1. Srila Sukadeva Gosvami said: O best of devotees, most fortunate Pariksit, you have inquired very nicely, for although constantly hearing the pastimes of the Lord, you are perceiving His activities to be newer and newer.
2. Paramahamsas, devotees who have accepted the essence of life, are attached to Krsna in the core of their hearts, and He is the aim of their lives. It is their nature to talk only of Krsna at every moment, as if such topics were newer and newer. They are attached to such topics, just as materialists are attached to topics of women and sex.
3. O King, kindly hear me with great attention. Although the activities of the Supreme Lord are very confidential, no ordinary man being able to understand them, I shall speak about them to you, for spiritual masters explain to a submissive disciple even subject matters that are very confidential and difficult to understand.
4. Then, after saving the boys and calves from the mouth of Aghasura, who was death personified, Lord Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, brought them all to the bank of the river and spoke the following words.
5. My dear friends, just see how this riverbank is extremely beautiful because of its pleasing atmosphere. And just see how the blooming lotuses are attracting bees and birds by their aroma. The humming and chirping of the bees and birds is echoing throughout the beautiful trees in the forest. Also, here the sands are clean and soft. Therefore, this must be considered the best place for our sporting and pastimes.
6. I think we should take our lunch here, since we are already hungry because the time is very late. Here the calves may drink water and go slowly here and there and eat the grass.
7. Accepting Lord Krsna's proposal, the cowherd boys allowed the calves to drink water from the river and then tied them to trees where there was green, tender grass. Then the boys opened their baskets of food and began eating with Krsna in great transcendental pleasure.
8. Like the whorl of a lotus flower surrounded by its petals and leaves, Krsna sat in the center, encircled by lines of His friends, who all looked very beautiful. Every one of them was trying to look forward toward Krsna, thinking that Krsna might look toward him. In this way they all enjoyed their lunch in the forest.
9. Among the cowherd boys, some placed their lunch on flowers, some on leaves, fruits, or bunches of leaves, some actually in their baskets, some on the bark of trees and some on rocks. This is what the children imagined to be their plates as they ate their lunch.
10. All the cowherd boys enjoyed their lunch with Krsna, showing one another the different tastes of the different varieties of preparations they had brought from home. Tasting one another's preparations, they began to laugh and make one another laugh.
11. Krsna is yajna-bhuk--that is, He eats only offerings of yajna--but to exhibit His childhood pastimes, He now sat with His flute tucked between His waist and His tight cloth on His right side and with His horn bugle and cow-driving stick on His left. Holding in His hand a very nice preparation of yogurt and rice, with pieces of suitable fruit between His fingers, He sat like the whorl of a lotus flower, looking forward toward all His friends, personally joking with them and creating jubilant laughter among them as He ate. At that time, the denizens of heaven were watching, struck with wonder at how the Personality of Godhead, who eats only in yajna, was now eating with His friends in the forest.
12. O Maharaja Pariksit, while the cowherd boys, who knew nothing within the core of their hearts but Krsna, were thus engaged in eating their lunch in the forest, the calves went far away, deep into the forest, being allured by green grass.
13. When Krsna saw that His friends the cowherd boys were frightened, He, the fierce controller even of fear itself, said, just to mitigate their fear, "My dear friends, do not stop eating. I shall bring your calves back to this spot by personally going after them Myself."
14. "Let Me go and search for the calves," Krsna said. "Don't disturb your enjoyment." Then, carrying His yogurt and rice in His hand, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, immediately went out to search for the calves of His friends. To please His friends, He began searching in all the mountains, mountain caves, bushes and narrow passages.
15. O Maharaja Pariksit, Brahma, who resides in the higher planetary system in the sky, had observed the activities of the most powerful Krsna in killing and delivering Aghasura, and he was astonished. Now that same Brahma wanted to show some of his own power and see the power of Krsna, who was engaged in His childhood pastimes, playing as if with ordinary cowherd boys. Therefore, in Krsna's absence, Brahma took all the boys and calves to another place. Thus he became entangled, for in the very near future he would see how powerful Krsna was.
16. Thereafter, when Krsna was unable to find the calves, He returned to the bank of the river, but there He was also unable to see the cowherd boys. Thus He began to search for both the calves and the boys, as if He could not understand what had happened.
17. When Krsna was unable to find the calves and their caretakers, the cowherd boys, anywhere in the forest, He could suddenly understand that this was the work of Lord Brahma.
18. Thereafter, just to create pleasure both for Brahma and for the mothers of the calves and cowherd boys, Krsna, the creator of the entire cosmic manifestation, expanded Himself as calves and boys.
19. By His Vasudeva feature, Krsna simultaneously expanded Himself into the exact number of missing cowherd boys and calves, with their exact bodily features, their particular types of hands, legs and other limbs, their sticks, bugles and flutes, their lunch bags, their particular types of dress and ornaments placed in various ways, their names, ages and forms, and their special activities and characteristics. By expanding Himself in this way, beautiful Krsna proved the statement samagra-jagad visnumayam: "Lord Visnu is all-pervading."
20. Now expanding Himself so as to appear as all the calves and cowherd boys, all of them as they were, and at the same time appear as their leader, Krsna entered Vrajabhumi, the land of His father, Nanda Maharaja, just as He usually did while enjoying their company.
21. O Maharaja Pariksit, Krsna, who had divided Himself as different calves and also as different cowherd boys, entered different cow sheds as the calves and then different homes as different boys.
22. The mothers of the boys, upon hearing the sounds of the flutes and bugles being played by their sons, immediately rose from their household tasks, lifted their boys onto their laps, embraced them with both arms and began to feed them with their breast milk, which flowed forth because of extreme love specifically for Krsna. Actually Krsna is everything, but at that time, expressing extreme love and affection, they took special pleasure in feeding Krsna, the Parabrahman, and Krsna drank the milk from His respective mothers as if it were a nectarean beverage.
23. Thereafter, O Maharaja Pariksit, as required according to the scheduled round of His pastimes, Krsna returned in the evening, entered the house of each of the cowherd boys, and engaged exactly like the former boys, thus enlivening their mothers with transcendental pleasure. The mothers took care of the boys by massaging them with oil, bathing them, smearing their bodies with sandalwood pulp, decorating them with ornaments, chanting protective mantras, decorating their bodies with tilaka and giving them food. In this way, the mothers served Krsna personally.
24. Thereafter, all the cows entered their different sheds and began mooing loudly, calling for their respective calves. When the calves arrived, the mothers began licking the calves' bodies again and again and profusely feeding them with the milk flowing from their milk bags.
25. Previously, from the very beginning, the gopis had motherly affection for Krsna. Indeed, their affection for Krsna exceeded even their affection for their own sons. In displaying their affection, they had thus distinguished between Krsna and their sons, but now that distinction disappeared.
26. Although the inhabitants of Vrajabhumi, the cowherd men and cowherd women, previously had more affection for Krsna than for their own children, now, for one year, their affection for their own sons continuously increased, for Krsna had now become their sons. There was no limit to the increment of their affection for their sons, who were now Krsna. Every day they found new inspiration for loving their children as much as they loved Krsna.
27. In this way, Lord Sri Krsna, having Himself become the cowherd boys and groups of calves, maintained Himself by Himself. Thus He continued His pastimes, both in Vrndavana and in the forest, for one year.
28. One day, five or six nights before the completion of the year, Krsna, tending the calves, entered the forest along with Balarama.
29. Thereafter, while pasturing atop Govardhana Hill, the cows looked down to find some green grass and saw their calves pasturing near Vrndavana, not very far away.
30. When the cows saw their own calves from the top of Govardhana Hill, they forgot themselves and their caretakers because of increased affection, and although the path was very rough, they ran toward their calves with great anxiety, each running as if with one pair of legs. Their milk bags full and flowing with milk, their heads and tails raised, and their humps moving with their necks, they ran forcefully until they reached their calves to feed them.
31. The cows had given birth to new calves, but while coming down from Govardhana Hill, the cows, because of increased affection for the older calves, allowed the older calves to drink milk from their milk bags and then began licking the calves' bodies in anxiety, as if wanting to swallow them.
32. The cowherd men, having been unable to check the cows from going to their calves, felt simultaneously ashamed and angry. They crossed the rough road with great difficulty, but when they came down and saw their own sons, they were overwhelmed by great affection.
33. At that time, all the thoughts of the cowherd men merged in the mellow of paternal love, which was aroused by the sight of their sons. Experiencing a great attraction, their anger completely disappearing, they lifted their sons, embraced them in their arms and enjoyed the highest pleasure by smelling their sons' heads.
34. Thereafter the elderly cowherd men, having obtained great feeling from embracing their sons, gradually and with great difficulty and reluctance ceased embracing them and returned to the forest. But as the men remembered their sons, tears began to roll down from their eyes.
35. Because of an increase of affection, the cows had constant attachment even to those calves that were grown up and had stopped sucking milk from their mothers. When Baladeva saw this attachment, He was unable to understand the reason for it, and thus He began to consider as follows.
36. What is this wonderful phenomenon? The affection of all the inhabitants of Vraja, including Me, toward these boys and calves is increasing as never before, just like our affection for Lord Krsna, the Supersoul of all living entities.
37. Who is this mystic power, and where has she come from? Is she a demigod or a demoness? She must be the illusory energy of My master, Lord Krsna, for who else can bewilder Me?
38. Thinking in this way, Lord Balarama was able to see, with the eye of transcendental knowledge, that all these calves and Krsna's friends were expansions of the form of Sri Krsna.
39. Lord Baladeva said, "O supreme controller! These boys are not great demigods, as I previously thought. Nor are these calves great sages like Narada. Now I can see that You alone are manifesting Yourself in all varieties of difference. Although one, You are existing in the different forms of the calves and boys. Please briefly explain this to Me." Having thus been requested by Lord Baladeva, Krsna explained the whole situation, and Baladeva understood it.
40. When Lord Brahma returned after a moment of time had passed (according to his own measurement), he saw that although by human measurement a complete year had passed, Lord Krsna, after all that time, was engaged just as before in playing with the boys and calves, who were His expansions.
41. Lord Brahma thought: Whatever boys and calves there were in Gokula, I have kept them sleeping on the bed of my mystic potency, and to this very day they have not yet risen again.
42. A similar number of boys and calves have been playing with Krsna for one whole year, yet they are different from the ones illusioned by my mystic potency. Who are they? Where did they come from?
43. Thus Lord Brahma, thinking and thinking for a long time, tried to distinguish between those two sets of boys, who were each separately existing. He tried to understand who was real and who was not real, but he couldn't understand at all.
44. Thus because Lord Brahma wanted to mystify the all-pervading Lord Krsna, who can never be mystified, but who, on the contrary, mystifies the entire universe, he himself was put into bewilderment by his own mystic power.
45. As the darkness of snow on a dark night and the light of a glowworm in the light of day have no value, the mystic power of an inferior person who tries to use it against a person of great power is unable to accomplish anything; instead, the power of that inferior person is diminished.
46. Then, while Lord Brahma looked on, all the calves and the boys tending them immediately appeared to have complexions the color of bluish rainclouds and to be dressed in yellow silken garments.
47-48. All those personalities had four arms, holding conchshell, disc, mace and lotus flower in Their hands. They wore helmets on Their heads, earrings on Their ears and garlands of forest flowers around Their necks. On the upper portion of the right side of Their chests was the emblem of the goddess of fortune. Furthermore, They wore armlets on Their arms, the Kaustubha gem around Their necks, which were marked with three lines like a conchshell, and bracelets on Their wrists. With bangles on Their ankles, ornaments on Their feet, and sacred belts around Their waists, They all appeared very beautiful.
49. Every part of Their bodies, from Their feet to the top of Their heads, was fully decorated with fresh, tender garlands of tulasi leaves offered by devotees engaged in worshiping the Lord by the greatest pious activities, namely hearing and chanting.
50. Those Visnu forms, by Their pure smiling, which resembled the increasing light of the moon, and by the sidelong glances of Their reddish eyes, created and protected the desires of Their own devotees, as if by the modes of passion and goodness.
51. All beings, both moving and nonmoving, from the four-headed Lord Brahma down to the most insignificant living entity, had taken forms and were differently worshiping those visnu-murtis, according to their respective capacities, with various means of worship, such as dancing and singing.
52. All the visnu-murtis were surrounded by the opulences, headed by anima-siddhi; by the mystic potencies, headed by Aja; and by the twenty-four elements for the creation of the material world, headed by the mahat-tattva.
53. Then Lord Brahma saw that kala (the time factor), svabhava (one's own nature by association), samskara (reformation), kama (desire), karma (fruitive activity) and the gunas (the three modes of material nature), their own independence being completely subordinate to the potency of the Lord, had all taken forms and were also worshiping those visnu-murtis.
54. The visnu-murtis all had eternal, unlimited forms, full of knowledge and bliss and existing beyond the influence of time. Their great glory was not even to be touched by the jnanis engaged in studying the Upanisads.
55. Thus Lord Brahma saw the Supreme Brahman, by whose energy this entire universe, with its moving and nonmoving living beings, is manifested. He also saw at the same time all the calves and boys as the Lord's expansions.
56. Then, by the power of the effulgence of those visnu-murtis, Lord Brahma, his eleven senses jolted by astonishment and stunned by transcendental bliss, became silent, just like a child's clay doll in the presence of the village deity.
57. The Supreme Brahman is beyond mental speculation, He is self-manifest, existing in His own bliss, and He is beyond the material energy. He is known by the crest jewels of the Vedas by refutation of irrelevant knowledge. Thus in relation to that Supreme Brahman, the Personality of Godhead, whose glory had been shown by the manifestation of all the four-armed forms of Visnu, Lord Brahma, the lord of Sarasvati, was mystified. "What is this?" he thought, and then he was not even able to see. Lord Krsna, understanding Brahma's position, then at once removed the curtain of His yogamaya.
58. Lord Brahma's external consciousness then revived, and he stood up, just like a dead man coming back to life. Opening his eyes with great difficulty, he saw the universe, along with himself.
59. Then, looking in all directions, Lord Brahma immediately saw Vrndavana before him, filled with trees, which were the means of livelihood for the inhabitants and which were equally pleasing in all seasons.
60. Vrndavana is the transcendental abode of the Lord, where there is no hunger, anger or thirst. Though naturally inimical, both human beings and fierce animals live there together in transcendental friendship.
61. Then Lord Brahma saw the Absolute Truth--who is one without a second, who possesses full knowledge and who is unlimited--assuming the role of a child in a family of cowherd men and standing all alone, just as before, with a morsel of food in His hand, searching everywhere for the calves and His cowherd friends.
62. After seeing this, Lord Brahma hastily got down from his swan carrier, fell down like a golden rod and touched the lotus feet of Lord Krsna with the tips of the four crowns on his heads. Offering his obeisances, he bathed the feet of Krsna with the water of his tears of joy.
63. Rising and falling again and again at the lotus feet of Lord Krsna for a long time, Lord Brahma remembered over and over the Lord's greatness he had just seen.
64. Then, rising very gradually and wiping his two eyes, Lord Brahma looked up at Mukunda. Lord Brahma, his head bent low, his mind concentrated and his body trembling, very humbly began, with faltering words, to offer praises to Lord Krsna.
Chapter Fourteen Brahma’s Prayers to Lord Krsna
1. Lord Brahma said: My dear Lord, You are the only worshipable Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore I offer my humble obeisances and prayers just to please You. O son of the king of the cowherds, Your transcendental body is dark blue like a new cloud, Your garment is brilliant like lightning, and the beauty of Your face is enhanced by Your gunja earrings and the peacock feather on Your head. Wearing garlands of various forest flowers and leaves, and equipped with a herding stick, a buffalo horn and a flute, You stand beautifully with a morsel of food in Your hand.
2. My dear Lord, neither I nor anyone else can estimate the potency of this transcendental body of Yours, which has shown such mercy to me and which appears just to fulfill the desires of Your pure devotees. Although my mind is completely withdrawn from material affairs, I cannot understand Your personal form. How, then, could I possibly understand the happiness You experience within Yourself?
3. Those who, even while remaining situated in their established social positions, throw away the process of speculative knowledge and with their body, words and mind offer all respects to descriptions of Your personality and activities, dedicating their lives to these narrations, which are vibrated by You personally and by Your pure devotees, certainly conquer Your Lordship, although You are otherwise unconquerable by anyone within the three worlds.
4. My dear Lord, devotional service unto You is the best path for self-realization. If someone gives up that path and engages in the cultivation of speculative knowledge, he will simply undergo a troublesome process and will not achieve his desired result. As a person who beats an empty husk of wheat cannot get grain, one who simply speculates cannot achieve self-realization. His only gain is trouble.
5. O almighty Lord, in the past many yogis in this world achieved the platform of devotional service by offering all their endeavors unto You and faithfully carrying out their prescribed duties. Through such devotional service, perfected by the processes of hearing and chanting about You, they came to understand You, O infallible one, and could easily surrender to You and achieve Your supreme abode.
6. Nondevotees, however, cannot realize You in Your full personal feature. Nevertheless, it may be possible for them to realize Your expansion as the impersonal Supreme by cultivating direct perception of the Self within the heart. But they can do this only by purifying their mind and senses of all conceptions of material distinctions and all attachment to material sense objects. Only in this way will Your impersonal feature manifest itself to them.
7. In time, learned philosophers or scientists might be able to count all the atoms of the earth, the particles of snow, or perhaps even the shining molecules radiating from the sun, the stars and other luminaries. But among these learned men, who could possibly count the unlimited transcendental qualities possessed by You, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who have descended onto the surface of the earth for the benefit of all living entities?
8. My dear Lord, one who earnestly waits for You to bestow Your causeless mercy upon him, all the while patiently suffering the reactions of his past misdeeds and offering You respectful obeisances with his heart, words and body, is surely eligible for liberation, for it has become his rightful claim.
9. My Lord, just see my uncivilized impudence! To test Your power I tried to extend my illusory potency to cover You, the unlimited and primeval Supersoul, who bewilder even the masters of illusion. What am I compared to You? I am just like a small spark in the presence of a great fire.
10. Therefore, O infallible Lord, kindly excuse my offenses. I have taken birth in the mode of passion and am therefore simply foolish, presuming myself a controller independent of Your Lordship. My eyes are blinded by the darkness of ignorance, which causes me to think of myself as the unborn creator of the universe. But please consider that I am Your servant and therefore worthy of Your compassion.
11. What am I, a small creature measuring seven spans of my own hand? I am enclosed in a potlike universe composed of material nature, the total material energy, false ego, ether, air, water and earth. And what is Your glory? Unlimited universes pass through the pores of Your body just as particles of dust pass through the openings of a screened window.
12. O Lord Adhoksaja, does a mother take offense when the child within her womb kicks with his legs? And is there anything in existence—whether designated by various philosophers as real or as unreal—that is actually outside Your abdomen?
13. My dear Lord, it is said that when the three planetary systems are merged into the water at the time of dissolution, Your plenary portion, Narayana, lies down on the water, gradually a lotus flower grows from His navel, and Brahma takes birth upon that lotus flower. Certainly, these words are not false. Thus am I not born from You?
14. Are You not the original Narayana, O supreme controller, since You are the Soul of every embodied being and the eternal witness of all created realms? Indeed, Lord Narayana is Your expansion, and He is called Narayana because He is the generating source of the primeval water of the universe. He is real, not a product of Your illusory Maya.
15. My dear Lord, if Your transcendental body, which shelters the entire universe, is actually lying upon the water, then why were You not seen by me when I searched for You? And why, though I could not envision You properly within my heart, did You then suddenly reveal Yourself?
16. My dear Lord, in this incarnation You have proved that You are the supreme controller of Maya. Although You are now within this universe, the whole universal creation is within Your transcendental body—a fact You demonstrated by exhibiting the universe within Your abdomen before Your mother, Yasoda.
17. Just as this entire universe, including You, was exhibited within Your abdomen, so it is now manifested here externally in the same exact form. How could such things happen unless arranged by Your inconceivable energy?
18. Have You not shown me today that both You Yourself and everything within this creation are manifestations of Your inconceivable potency? First You appeared alone, and then You manifested Yourself as all of Vrndavana’s calves and cowherd boys, Your friends. Next You appeared as an equal number of four-handed Visnu forms, who were worshiped by all living beings, including me, and after that You appeared as an equal number of complete universes. Finally, You have now returned to Your unlimited form as the Supreme Absolute Truth, one without a second.
19. To persons ignorant of Your actual transcendental position, You appear as part of the material world, manifesting Yourself by the expansion of Your inconceivable energy. Thus for the creation of the universe You appear as me [Brahma], for its maintenance You appear as Yourself [Visnu], and for its annihilation You appear as Lord Trinetra [Siva].
20. O Lord, O supreme creator and master, You have no material birth, yet to defeat the false pride of the faithless demons and show mercy to Your saintly devotees, You take birth among the demigods, sages, human beings, animals and even the aquatics.
21. O supreme great one! O Supreme Personality of Godhead! O Supersoul, master of all mystic power! Your pastimes are taking place continuously in these three worlds, but who can estimate where, how and when You are employing Your spiritual energy and performing these innumerable pastimes? No one can understand the mystery of how Your spiritual energy acts.
22. Therefore this entire universe, which like a dream is by nature unreal, nevertheless appears real, and thus it covers one’s consciousness and assails one with repeated miseries. This universe appears real because it is manifested by the potency of illusion emanating from You, whose unlimited transcendental forms are full of eternal happiness and knowledge.
23. You are the one Supreme Soul, the primeval Supreme Personality, the Absolute Truth—self-manifested, endless and beginningless. You are eternal and infallible, perfect and complete, without any rival and free from all material designations. Your happiness can never be obstructed, nor have You any connection with material contamination. Indeed, You are the indestructible nectar of immortality.
24. Those who have received the clear vision of knowledge from the sunlike spiritual master can see You in this way, as the very Soul of all souls, the Supersoul of everyone’s own self. Thus understanding Your original personality, they are able to cross over the ocean of illusory material existence.
25. A person who mistakes a rope for a snake becomes fearful, but he then gives up his fear upon realizing that the so-called snake does not exist. Similarly, for those who fail to recognize You as the Supreme Soul of all souls, the expansive illusory material existence arises, but knowledge of You at once causes it to subside.
26. The conception of material bondage and the conception of liberation are both manifestations of ignorance. Being outside the scope of true knowledge, they cease to exist when one correctly understands that the pure spirit soul is distinct from matter and always fully conscious. At that time bondage and liberation no longer have any significance, just as day and night have no significance from the perspective of the sun.
27. Just see the foolishness of those ignorant persons who consider You to be some separated manifestation of illusion and who consider the self, which is actually You, to be something else, the material body. Such fools conclude that the supreme soul is to be searched for somewhere outside Your supreme personality.
28. O unlimited Lord, the saintly devotees seek You out within their own bodies by rejecting everything separate from You. Indeed, how can discriminating persons appreciate the real nature of a rope lying before them until they refute the illusion that it is a snake.
29. My Lord, if one is favored by even a slight trace of the mercy of Your lotus feet, he can understand the greatness of Your personality. But those who speculate to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead are unable to know You, even though they continue to study the Vedas for many years.
30. My dear Lord, I therefore pray to be so fortunate that in this life as Lord Brahma or in another life, wherever I take my birth, I may be counted as one of Your devotees. I pray that wherever I may be, even among the animal species, I can engage in devotional service to Your lotus feet.
31. O almighty Lord, how greatly fortunate are the cows and ladies of Vrndavana, the nectar of whose breast-milk You have happily drunk to Your full satisfaction, taking the form of their calves and children! All the Vedic sacrifices performed from time immemorial up to the present day have not given You as much satisfaction.
32. How greatly fortunate are Nanda Maharaja, the cowherd men and all the other inhabitants of Vrajabhumi! There is no limit to their good fortune, because the Absolute Truth, the source of transcendental bliss, the eternal Supreme Brahman, has become their friend.
33. Yet even though the extent of the good fortune of these residents of Vrndavana is inconceivable, we eleven presiding deities of the various senses, headed by Lord Siva, are also most fortunate, because the senses of these devotees of Vrndavana are the cups through which we repeatedly drink the nectarean, intoxicating beverage of the honey of Your lotus feet.
34. My greatest possible good fortune would be to take any birth whatever in this forest of Gokula and have my head bathed by the dust falling from the lotus feet of any of its residents. Their entire life and soul is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Mukunda, the dust of whose lotus feet is still being searched for in the Vedic mantras.
35. My mind becomes bewildered just trying to think of what reward other than You could be found anywhere. You are the embodiment of all benedictions, which You bestow upon these residents of the cowherd community of Vrndavana. You have already arranged to give Yourself to Putana and her family members in exchange for her disguising herself as a devotee. So what is left for You to give these devotees of Vrndavana, whose homes, wealth, friends, dear relations, bodies, children and very lives and hearts are all dedicated only to You?
36. My dear Lord Krsna, until people become Your devotees, their material attachments and desires remain thieves, their homes remain prisons, and their affectionate feelings for their family members remain foot-shackles.
37. My dear master, although You have nothing to do with material existence, You come to this earth and imitate material life just to expand the varieties of ecstatic enjoyment for Your surrendered devotees.
38. There are people who say, “I know everything about Krsna.” Let them think that way. As far as I am concerned, I do not wish to speak very much about this matter. O my Lord, let me say this much: As far as Your opulences are concerned, they are all beyond the reach of my mind, body and words.
39. My dear Krsna, I now humbly request permission to leave. Actually, You are the knower and seer of all things. Indeed, You are the Lord of all the universes, and yet I offer this one universe unto You.
40. My dear Sri Krsna, You bestow happiness upon the lotuslike Vrsni dynasty and expand the great oceans consisting of the earth, the demigods, the brahmanas and the cows. You dispel the dense darkness of irreligion and oppose the demons who have appeared on this earth. O Supreme Personality of Godhead, as long as this universe exists and as long as the sun shines, I will offer my obeisances unto You.
41. Sukadeva Gosvami said: Having thus offered his prayers, Brahma circumambulated his worshipable Lord, the unlimited Personality of Godhead, three times and then bowed down at His lotus feet. The appointed creator of the universe then returned to his own residence.
42. After granting His son Brahma permission to leave, the Supreme Personality of Godhead took the calves, who were still where they had been a year earlier, and brought them to the riverbank, where He had been taking His meal and where His cowherd boyfriends remained just as before.
43. O King, although the boys had passed an entire year apart from the Lord of their very lives, they had been covered by Lord Krsna’s illusory potency and thus considered that year merely half a moment.
44. What indeed is not forgotten by those whose minds are bewildered by the Lord’s illusory potency? By that power of Maya, this entire universe remains in perpetual bewilderment, and in this atmosphere of forgetfulness no one can understand his own identity.
45. The cowherd boyfriends said to Lord Krsna: You have returned so quickly! We have not eaten even one morsel in Your absence. Please come here and take Your meal without distraction.
46. Then Lord Hrsikesa, smiling, finished His lunch in the company of His cowherd friends. While they were returning from the forest to their homes in Vraja, Lord Krsna showed the cowherd boys the skin of the dead serpent Aghasura.
47. Lord Krsna’s transcendental body was decorated with peacock feathers and flowers and painted with forest minerals, and His bamboo flute loudly and festively resounded. As He called out to His calves by name, His cowherd boyfriends purified the whole world by chanting His glories. Thus Lord Krsna entered the cow pasture of His father, Nanda Maharaja, and the sight of His beauty at once produced a great festival for the eyes of all the cowherd women.
48. As the cowherd boys reached the village of Vraja, they sang, “Today Krsna saved us by killing a great serpent!” Some of the boys described Krsna as the son of Yasoda, and others as the son of Nanda Maharaja.
49. King Pariksit said: O brahmana, how could the cowherd women have developed for Krsna, someone else’s son, such unprecedented pure love—love they never felt even for their own children? Please explain this.
50. Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said: O King, for every created being the dearmost thing is certainly his own self. The dearness of everything else—children, wealth and so on—is due only to the dearness of the self.
51. For this reason, O best of kings, the embodied soul is self-centered: he is more attached to his own body and self than to his so-called possessions like children, wealth and home.
52. Indeed, for persons who think the body is the self, O best of kings, those things whose importance lies only in their relationship to the body are never as dear as the body itself.
53. If a person comes to the stage of considering the body “mine” instead of “me,” he will certainly not consider the body as dear as his own self. After all, even as the body is growing old and useless, one’s desire to continue living remains strong.
54. Therefore it is his own self that is most dear to every embodied living being, and it is simply for the satisfaction of this self that the whole material creation of moving and nonmoving entities exists.
55. You should know Krsna to be the original Soul of all living entities. For the benefit of the whole universe, He has, out of His causeless mercy, appeared as an ordinary human being. He has done this by the strength of His internal potency.
56. Those in this world who understand Lord Krsna as He is see all things, whether stationary or moving, as manifest forms of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such enlightened persons recognize no reality apart from the Supreme Lord Krsna.
57. The original, unmanifested form of material nature is the source of all material things, and the source of even that subtle material nature is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna. What, then, could one ascertain to be separate from Him?
58. For those who have accepted the boat of the lotus feet of the Lord, who is the shelter of the cosmic manifestation and is famous as Murari, the enemy of the Mura demon, the ocean of the material world is like the water contained in a calf’s hoof-print. Their goal is paraà padam, Vaikuntha, the place where there are no material miseries, not the place where there is danger at every step.
59. Since you inquired from me, I have fully described to you those activities of Lord Hari that were performed in His fifth year but not celebrated until His sixth.
60. Any person who hears or chants these pastimes Lord Murari performed with His cowherd friends—the killing of Aghasura, the taking of lunch on the forest grass, the Lord’s manifestation of transcendental forms, and the wonderful prayers offered by Lord Brahma—is sure to achieve all his spiritual desires.
61. In this way the boys spent their childhood in the land of Vrndavana playing hide-and-go-seek, building play bridges, jumping about like monkeys and engaging in many other such games.