The Killing of the Demon Tṛṇāvarta
When Śukadeva Gosvāmī saw that Mahārāja Parīkṣit was eagerly waiting to hear about Lord Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes as a child, he was very much pleased, and he continued to speak. When Śrī Kṛṣṇa was only three months old and was just trying to turn backside up, before He even attempted to crawl, mother Yaśodā wanted to observe a ritualistic ceremony with her friends for the good fortune of the child. Such a ritualistic ceremony is generally performed with ladies who also have small children. When mother Yaśodā saw that Kṛṣṇa was falling asleep, because of other engagements she put the child underneath a household cart, called śakaṭa, and while the child was sleeping, she engaged herself in other business pertaining to the auspicious ritualistic ceremony. Underneath the cart was a cradle, and mother Yaśodā placed the child in that cradle. The child was sleeping, but suddenly He awakened and, as usual for a child, began to kick His small legs. This kicking shook the cart, which collapsed with a great sound, breaking completely and spilling all its contents. Children who were playing nearby immediately informed mother Yaśodā that the cart had broken, and therefore she hastily arrived there in great anxiety with the other gopīs. Mother Yaśodā immediately took the child on her lap and allowed Him to suck her breast. Then various types of Vedic ritualistic ceremonies were performed with the help of the brāhmaṇas. Not knowing the real identity of the child, the brāhmaṇas showered the child with blessings.
Another day, when mother Yaśodā was sitting with her child on her lap, she suddenly observed that he had assumed the weight of the entire universe. She was so astonished that she had to put the child down, and in the meantime Tṛṇāvarta, one of the servants of Kaṁsa, appeared there as a whirlwind and took the child away. The whole tract of land known as Gokula became surcharged with dust, no one could see where the child had been taken, and all the gopīs were overwhelmed because He had been taken away in the dust storm. But up in the sky, the asura, being overburdened by the child, could not carry the child far away, although he also could not drop the child because the child had caught him so tightly that it was difficult for him to separate the child from his body. Thus Tṛṇāvarta himself fell down from a very great height, the child grasping him tightly by the shoulder, and immediately died. The demon having fallen, the gopīs picked the child up and delivered Him to the lap of mother Yaśodā. Thus mother Yaśodā was struck with wonder, but because of yogamāyā’s influence, no one could understand who Kṛṣṇa was and what had actually happened. Rather, everyone began to praise fortune for the child’s having been saved from such a calamity. Nanda Mahārāja, of course, was thinking of the wonderful foretelling of Vasudeva and began to praise him as a great yogī. Later, when the child was on the lap of mother Yaśodā, the child yawned, and mother Yaśodā could see within His mouth the entire universal manifestation.
bhagavān harir īśvaraḥ
mano-jñāni ca naḥ prabho
yac-chṛṇvato ’paity aratir vitṛṣṇā
sattvaṁ ca śuddhyaty acireṇa puṁsaḥ
bhaktir harau tat-puruṣe ca sakhyaṁ
tad eva hāraṁ vada manyase cet
śrī-rājā uvāca—the King inquired (from Śukadeva Gosvāmī); yena yena avatāreṇa—the pastimes exhibited by different varieties of incarnations; bhagavān—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; hariḥ—the Lord; īśvaraḥ—the controller; karoti—presents; karṇa-ramyāṇi—were all very pleasing to the ear; manaḥ-jñāni—very attractive to the mind; ca—also; naḥ—of us; prabho—my lord, Śukadeva Gosvāmī; yat-śṛṇvataḥ—of anyone who simply hears these narrations; apaiti—vanishes; aratiḥ—unattractiveness; vitṛṣṇā—dirty things within the mind that make us uninterested in Kṛṣṇa consciousness; sattvam ca—the existential position in the core of the heart; śuddhyati—becomes purified; acireṇa—very soon; puṁsaḥ—of any person; bhaktiḥ harau—devotional attachment and service to the Lord; tat-puruṣe—with Vaiṣṇavas; ca—also; sakhyam—attraction to association; tat eva—that only; hāram—the activities of the Lord, which should be heard and kept on the neck as a garland; vada—kindly speak; manyase—you think it fit; cet—if.
King Parīkṣit said: My lord, Śukadeva Gosvāmī, all the various activities exhibited by the incarnations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are certainly pleasing to the ear and to the mind. Simply by one’s hearing of these activities, the dirty things in one’s mind immediately vanish. Generally we are reluctant to hear about the activities of the Lord, but Kṛṣṇa’s childhood activities are so attractive that they are automatically pleasing to the mind and ear. Thus one’s attachment for hearing about material things, which is the root cause of material existence, vanishes, and one gradually develops devotional service to the Supreme Lord, attachment for Him, and friendship with devotees who give us the contribution of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. If you think it fit, kindly speak about those activities of the Lord.
As stated in the Prema-vivarta:
Our material existence is māyā, or illusion, in which we desire different varieties of material enjoyment and therefore change to different varieties of bodies (bhrāmayan sarva-bhūtāni yantrārūḍhāni māyayā [Bg. 18.61]). Asann api kleśada āsa dehaḥ: [SB 5.5.4] as long as we have these temporary bodies, they give us many varieties of tribulation—ādhyātmika, ādhibhautika and ādhidaivika. This is the root cause of all suffering, but this root cause of suffering can be removed by revival of our Kṛṣṇa consciousness. All the Vedic literatures presented by Vyāsadeva and other great sages are therefore intended to revive our Kṛṣṇa consciousness, which begins to revive with śravaṇa-kīrtanam. Śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ (Bhāg. 1.2.17). Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and other Vedic literatures exist simply to give us a chance to hear about Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa has different avatāras, or incarnations, all of which are wonderful and which arouse one’s inquisitiveness, but generally such avatāras as Matsya, Kūrma and Varāha are not as attractive as Kṛṣṇa. First of all, however, we have no attraction for hearing about Kṛṣṇa, and this is the root cause of our suffering.
But Parīkṣit Mahārāja specifically mentions that the wonderful activities of baby Kṛṣṇa, which amazed mother Yaśodā and the other inhabitants of Vraja, are especially attractive. From the very beginning of His childhood, Kṛṣṇa killed Pūtanā, Tṛṇāvarta and Śakaṭāsura and showed the entire universe within His mouth. Thus the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa, one after another, kept mother Yaśodā and all the inhabitants of Vraja in great astonishment. The process to revive one’s Kṛṣṇa consciousness is ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgaḥ (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.4.15). The pastimes of Kṛṣṇa can be properly received from devotees. If one has developed a little bit of Kṛṣṇa consciousness by hearing from Vaiṣṇavas about the activities of Kṛṣṇa, one becomes attached to Vaiṣṇavas who are interested only in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Therefore Parīkṣit Mahārāja recommends that one hear about Kṛṣṇa’s childhood activities, which are more attractive than the activities of other incarnations, such as Matsya, Kūrma and Varāha. Wanting to hear more and more from Śukadeva Gosvāmī, Mahārāja Parīkṣit requested him to continue describing Kṛṣṇa’s childhood activities, which are especially easy to hear and which create more and more inquisitiveness.
athānyad api kṛṣṇasya
mānuṣaṁ lokam āsādya
atha—also; anyat api—other pastimes also; kṛṣṇasya—of child Kṛṣṇa; toka-ācaritam adbhutam—they are also wonderful childhood pastimes; mānuṣam—as if playing as a human child; lokam āsādya—appearing on this planet earth in human society; tat-jātim—exactly like a human child; anurundhataḥ—who was imitating.
Please describe other pastimes of Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality, who appeared on this planet earth, imitating a human child and performing wonderful activities like killing Pūtanā.
Mahārāja Parīkṣit requested Śukadeva Gosvāmī to narrate other childhood pastimes exhibited by Kṛṣṇa while playing as a human child. The Supreme Personality of Godhead incarnates at different times in different planets and universes, and according to the nature of those places, He exhibits His unlimited potency. That a child sitting on the lap of his mother was able to kill the gigantic Pūtanā is extremely wonderful for the inhabitants of this planet, but on other planets the inhabitants are more advanced, and therefore the pastimes the Lord performs there are still more wonderful. Kṛṣṇa’s appearance on this planet like a human being makes us more fortunate than the demigods in the higher planets, and therefore Mahārāja Parīkṣit was very much interested in hearing about Him.
cakāra sūnor abhiṣecanaṁ satī
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca—Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued to speak (at the request of Mahārāja Parīkṣit); kadācit—at that time (when Kṛṣṇa was three months old); autthānika-kautuka-āplave—when Kṛṣṇa was three or four months old and His body was developing, He attempted to turn around, and this pleasing occasion was observed with a festival and bathing ceremony; janma-ṛkṣa-yoge—at that time, there was also a conjunction of the moon with the auspicious constellation Rohiṇī; samaveta-yoṣitām—(the ceremony was observed) among the assembled women, a ceremony of mothers; vāditra-gīta—different varieties of music and singing; dvija-mantra-vācakaiḥ—with chanting of Vedic hymns by qualified brāhmaṇas; cakāra—executed; sūnoḥ—of her son; abhiṣecanam—the bathing ceremony; satī—mother Yaśodā.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: When mother Yaśodā’s baby was slanting His body to attempt to rise and turn around, this attempt was observed by a Vedic ceremony. In such a ceremony, called utthāna, which is performed when a child is due to leave the house for the first time, the child is properly bathed. Just after Kṛṣṇa turned three months old, mother Yaśodā celebrated this ceremony with other women of the neighborhood. On that day, there was a conjunction of the moon with the constellation Rohiṇī. As the brāhmaṇas joined by chanting Vedic hymns and professional musicians also took part, this great ceremony was observed by mother Yaśodā
There is no question of overpopulation or of children’s being a burden for their parents in a Vedic society. Such a society is so well organized and people are so advanced in spiritual consciousness that childbirth is never regarded as a burden or a botheration. The more a child grows, the more his parents become jubilant, and the child’s attempts to turn over are also a source of jubilation. Even before the child is born, when the mother is pregnant, many recommended ritualistic ceremonies are performed. For example, when the child has been within the womb for three months and for seven months, there is a ceremony the mother observes by eating with neighboring children. This ceremony is called svāda-bhakṣaṇa. Similarly, before the birth of the child there is the garbhādhāna ceremony. In Vedic civilization, childbirth or pregnancy is never regarded as a burden; rather, it is a cause for jubilation. In contrast, people in modern civilization do not like pregnancy or childbirth, and when there is a child, they sometimes kill it. We can just consider how human society has fallen since the inauguration of Kali-yuga. Although people still claim to be civilized, at the present moment there is actually no human civilization, but only an assembly of two-legged animals.
nandasya patnī kṛta-majjanādikaṁ
vipraiḥ kṛta-svastyayanaṁ supūjitaiḥ
sañjāta-nidrākṣam aśīśayac chanaiḥ
nandasya—of Mahārāja Nanda; patnī—the wife (mother Yaśodā); kṛta-majjana-ādikam—after she and the other members of the house had bathed and the child had been bathed also; vipraiḥ—by the brāhmaṇas; kṛta-svastyayanam—engaging them in chanting auspicious Vedic hymns; su-pūjitaiḥ—who were all received and worshiped with proper respect; anna-ādya—by offering them sufficient grains and other eatables; vāsaḥ—garments; srak-abhīṣṭa-dhenubhiḥ—by offering flower garlands and very desirable cows; sañjāta-nidrā—had become sleepy; akṣam—whose eyes; aśīśayat—laid the child down; śanaiḥ—for the time being.
After completing the bathing ceremony for the child, mother Yaśodā received the brāhmaṇas by worshiping them with proper respect and giving them ample food grains and other eatables, clothing, desirable cows, and garlands. The brāhmaṇas properly chanted Vedic hymns to observe the auspicious ceremony, and when they finished and mother Yaśodā saw that the child felt sleepy, she lay down on the bed with the child until He was peacefully asleep.
An affectionate mother takes great care of her child and is always anxious to see that the child is not disturbed even for a moment. As long as the child wants to remain with the mother, the mother stays with the child, and the child feels very comfortable. Mother Yaśodā saw that her child felt sleepy, and to give Him all facilities for sleep, she lay down with the child, and when He was peaceful, she got up to attend to her other household affairs.
samāgatān pūjayatī vrajaukasaḥ
naivāśṛṇod vai ruditaṁ sutasya sā
rudan stanārthī caraṇāv udakṣipat
autthānika-autsukya-manāḥ—mother Yaśodā was very busy celebrating the utthāna ceremony of her child; manasvinī—very liberal in distributing food, clothing, ornaments and cows, according to necessity; samāgatān—to the assembled guests; pūjayatī—just to satisfy them; vraja-okasaḥ—to the inhabitants of Vraja; na—not; eva—certainly; aśṛṇot—did hear; vai—indeed; ruditam—the crying; sutasya—of her child; sā—mother Yaśodā; rudan—crying; stana-arthī—Kṛṣṇa, who was hankering to drink His mother’s milk by sucking her breast; caraṇau udakṣipat—out of anger, threw His two legs hither and thither.
The liberal mother Yaśodā, absorbed in celebrating the utthāna ceremony, was busy receiving guests, worshiping them with all respect and offering them clothing, cows, garlands and grains. Thus she could not hear the child crying for His mother. At that time, the child Kṛṣṇa, demanding to drink the milk of His mother’s breast, angrily threw His legs upward.
Kṛṣṇa had been placed underneath a household handcart, but this handcart was actually another form of the Śakaṭāsura, a demon who had come there to kill the child. Now, on the plea of demanding to suck His mother’s breast, Kṛṣṇa took this opportunity to kill the demon. Thus He kicked Śakaṭāsura just to expose him. Although Kṛṣṇa’s mother was engaged in receiving guests, Lord Kṛṣṇa wanted to draw her attention by killing the Śakaṭāsura, and therefore he kicked that cart-shaped demon. Such are the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa wanted to draw the attention of His mother, but while doing so He created a great havoc not understandable by ordinary persons. These narrations are wonderfully enjoyable, and those who are fortunate are struck with wonder upon hearing of these extraordinary activities of the Lord. Although the less intelligent regard them as mythological because a dull brain cannot understand them, they are real facts. These narrations are actually so enjoyable and enlightening that Mahārāja Parīkṣit and Śukadeva Gosvāmī took pleasure in them, and other liberated persons, following in their footsteps, become fully jubilant by hearing about the wonderful activities of the Lord.
adhaḥ-śayānasya śiśor ano ’lpaka-
adhaḥ-śayānasya—who was put underneath the handcart; śiśoḥ—of the child; anaḥ—the cart; alpaka—not very much grown; pravāla—just like a new leaf; mṛdu-aṅghri-hatam—struck by His beautiful, delicate legs; vyavartata—turned over and fell down; vidhvasta—scattered; nānā-rasa-kupya-bhājanam—utensils made of various metals; vyatyasta—dislocated; cakra-akṣa—the two wheels and the axle; vibhinna—broken; kūbaram—the pole of the handcart.
Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa was lying down underneath the handcart in one corner of the courtyard, and although His little legs were as soft as leaves, when He struck the cart with His legs, it turned over violently and collapsed. The wheels separated from the axle, the hubs and spokes fell apart, and the pole of the handcart broke. On the cart there were many little utensils made of various metals, and all of them scattered hither and thither.
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura has commented on this verse as follows. When Lord Kṛṣṇa was of a very tender age, His hands and legs resembled soft new leaves, yet simply by touching the handcart with His legs, He made the cart fall to pieces. It was quite possible for Him to act in this way and yet not exert Himself very much. The Lord in His Vāmana avatāra had to extend His foot to the greatest height to penetrate the covering of the universe, and when the Lord killed the gigantic demon Hiraṇyakaśipu, He had to assume the special bodily feature of Nṛsiṁhadeva. But in His Kṛṣṇa avatāra, the Lord did not need to exert such energy. Therefore, kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam: Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself. In other incarnations, the Lord had to exert some energy according to the time and circumstances, but in this form He exhibited unlimited potency. Thus the handcart collapsed, its joints broken, and all the metal pots and utensils scattered.
The Vaiṣṇava-toṣaṇī remarks that although the handcart was higher than the child, the child could easily touch the wheel of the cart, and this was sufficient to send the demon down to the earth. The Lord simultaneously pushed the demon to the earth and superficially broke the handcart.
dṛṣṭvā yaśodā-pramukhā vraja-striya
autthānike karmaṇi yāḥ samāgatāḥ
kathaṁ svayaṁ vai śakaṭaṁ viparyagāt
dṛṣṭvā—after seeing; yaśodā-pramukhāḥ—headed by mother Yaśodā; vraja-striyaḥ—all the ladies of Vraja; autthānike karmaṇi—in the celebration of the utthāna ceremony; yāḥ—those who; samāgatāḥ—assembled there; nanda-ādayaḥ ca—and the men, headed by Nanda Mahārāja; adbhuta-darśana—by seeing the wonderful calamity (that the heavily loaded cart had broken upon the small baby, who still lay there unhurt); ākulāḥ—and thus they were very much perturbed as to how it had happened; katham—how; svayam—by itself; vai—indeed; śakaṭam—the handcart; viparyagāt—became so heavily damaged, dismantled.
When mother Yaśodā and the other ladies who had assembled for the utthāna festival, and all the men, headed by Nanda Mahārāja, saw the wonderful situation, they began to wonder how the handcart had collapsed by itself. They began to wander here and there, trying to find the cause, but were unable to do so.
gopān gopīś ca bālakāḥ
kṣiptam etan na saṁśayaḥ
ūcuḥ—said; avyavasita-matīn—who had lost all intelligence in the present situation; gopān—to the cowherd men; gopīḥ ca—and to the ladies; bālakāḥ—the children; rudatā anena—as soon as the child cried; pādena—with one leg; kṣiptam etat—this cart was dashed apart and immediately fell dismantled; na saṁśayaḥ—there is no doubt about it.
The assembled cowherd men and ladies began to contemplate how this thing had happened. “Is it the work of some demon or evil planet?” they asked. At that time, the small children present asserted that the cart had been kicked apart by the baby Kṛṣṇa. As soon as the crying baby bad kicked the cart’s wheel, the cart had collapsed. There was no doubt about it.
We have heard of people’s being haunted by ghosts. Having no gross material body, a ghost seeks shelter of a gross body to stay in and haunt. The Śakaṭāsura was a ghost who had taken shelter of the handcart and was looking for the opportunity to do mischief to Kṛṣṇa. When Kṛṣṇa kicked the cart with His small and very delicate legs, the ghost was immediately pushed down to the earth and his shelter dismantled, as already described. This was possible for Kṛṣṇa because He has full potency, as confirmed in the Brahma-saṁhitā (5.32):
Kṛṣṇa’s body is sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1], or ānanda-cinmaya-rasa-vigraha. That is, any of the parts of His ānanda-cinmaya body can act for any other part. Such are the inconceivable potencies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Supreme Lord does not need to acquire these potencies; He already has them. Thus Kṛṣṇa kicked His little legs, and His whole purpose was fulfilled. Also, when the handcart broke, an ordinary child could have been injured in many ways, but because Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He enjoyed the dismantling of the cart, and nothing injured Him. Everything done by Him is ānanda-cinmaya-rasa, full transcendental bliss. Thus Kṛṣṇa factually enjoyed.
The nearby children saw that actually Kṛṣṇa had kicked the wheel of the cart and this was how the accident happened. By the arrangement of yogamāyā, all the gopīs and gopas thought that the accident had taken place because of some bad planet or some ghost, but in fact everything was done by Kṛṣṇa and enjoyed by Him. Those who enjoy the activities of Kṛṣṇa are also on the platform of ānanda-cinmaya-rasa; they are liberated from the material platform. When one develops the practice of hearing kṛṣṇa-kathā, he is certainly transcendental to material existence, as confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (sa guṇān samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate [Bg. 14.26]). Unless one is on the spiritual platform, one cannot enjoy the transcendental activities of Kṛṣṇa; or in other words, whoever engages in hearing the transcendental activities of Kṛṣṇa is not on the material platform, but on the transcendental, spiritual platform.
na te śraddadhire gopā
bāla-bhāṣitam ity uta
aprameyaṁ balaṁ tasya
bālakasya na te viduḥ
na—not; te—the cowherd men and ladies; śraddadhire—put their faith (in such statements); gopāḥ—the cowherd men and women; bāla-bhāṣitam—childish talk from the assembled children; iti uta—thus spoken; aprameyam—unlimited, inconceivable; balam—the power; tasya bālakasya—of the small baby Kṛṣṇa; na—not; te—the gopīs and gopas; viduḥ—were aware of.
The assembled gopīs and gopas, unaware that Kṛṣṇa is always unlimited, could not believe that baby Kṛṣṇa had such inconceivable power. They could not believe the statements of the children, and therefore they neglected these statements as being childish talk.
rudantaṁ sutam ādāya
sūktaiḥ stanam apāyayat
rudantam—crying; sutam—son; ādāya—picking up; yaśodā—mother Yaśodā; graha-śaṅkitā—fearing some bad planet; kṛta-svastyayanam—immediately performed a ritualistic ceremony for good fortune; vipraiḥ—by calling all the brāhmaṇas; sūktaiḥ—by Vedic hymns; stanam—her breast; apāyayat—made the child suck.
Thinking that some bad planet had attacked Kṛṣṇa, mother Yaśodā picked up the crying child and allowed Him to suck her breast. Then she called for experienced brāhmaṇas to chant Vedic hymns and perform an auspicious ritualistic ceremony.
Whenever there is some danger or some inauspicious occurrence, it is the custom of Vedic civilization to have qualified brāhmaṇas immediately chant Vedic hymns to counteract it. Mother Yaśodā did this properly and allowed the baby to suck her breast.
pūrvavat sthāpitaṁ gopair
viprā hutvārcayāṁ cakrur
pūrva-vat—as the handcart had been situated before; sthāpitam—again assembled with the pots situated properly; gopaiḥ—by the cowherd men; balibhiḥ—all of whom were very strong and stout and who could therefore assemble the parts without difficulty; sa-paricchadam—with all the paraphernalia kept on it; viprāḥ—the brāhmaṇas; hutvā—after performing a fire ceremony; arcayām cakruḥ—performed ritualistic ceremonies; dadhi—with curd; akṣata—grains of rice; kuśa—and kuśa grass; ambubhiḥ—with water.
After the strong, stout cowherd men assembled the pots and paraphernalia on the handcart and set it up as before, the brāhmaṇas performed a ritualistic ceremony with a fire sacrifice to appease the bad planet, and then, with rice grains, kuśa, water and curd, they worshiped the Supreme Lord.
The handcart was loaded with heavy utensils and other paraphernalia. To set the cart back in its original position required much strength, but this was easily done by the cowherd men. Then, according to the system of the gopa jāti, various Vedic ceremonies were performed to appease the calamitous situation.
na teṣāṁ satya-śīlānām
āśiṣo viphalāḥ kṛtāḥ
iti bālakam ādāya
hutvā cāgniṁ dvijātibhyaḥ
prādād annaṁ mahā-guṇam
ye—those brāhmaṇas who; asūya—envy; anṛta—untruthfulness; dambha—false pride; īrṣā—grudges; hiṁsā—being disturbed by the opulence of others; māna—false prestige; vivarjitāḥ—completely devoid of; na—not; teṣām—of such brāhmaṇas; satya-śīlānām—who are endowed with perfect brahminical qualifications (satya, śama, dama, etc.); āśiṣaḥ—the blessings; viphalāḥ—useless; kṛtāḥ—have become; iti—considering all these things; bālakam—the child; ādāya—taking care of; sāma—according to the Sāma Veda; ṛk—according to the Ṛg Veda; yajuḥ—and according to the Yajur Veda; upākṛtaiḥ—purified by such means; jalaiḥ—with water; pavitra-auṣadhibhiḥ—mixed with pure herbs; abhiṣicya—after bathing (the child); dvija-uttamaiḥ—with ceremonies performed by first-class brāhmaṇas with the above qualifications; vācayitvā—requested to be chanted; svasti-ayanam—auspicious hymns; nanda-gopaḥ—Mahārāja Nanda, the head of the cowherd men; samāhitaḥ—liberal and good; hutvā—after offering oblations; ca—also; agnim—unto the sacred fire; dvijātibhyaḥ—unto those first-class brāhmaṇas; prādāt—gave in charity; annam—food grains; mahā-guṇam—excellent.
When brāhmaṇas are free from envy, untruthfulness, unnecessary pride, grudges, disturbance by the opulence of others, and false prestige, their blessings never go in vain. Considering this, Nanda Mahārāja soberly took Kṛṣṇa on his lap and invited such truthful brāhmaṇas to perform a ritualistic ceremony according to the holy hymns of the Sāma Veda, Ṛg Veda and Yajur Veda. Then, while the hymns were being chanted, he bathed the child with water mixed with pure herbs, and after performing a fire ceremony, he sumptuously fed all the brāhmaṇas with first-class grains and other food.
Nanda Mahārāja was very confident about the qualifications of the brāhmaṇas and their blessings. He was fully confident that simply if the good brāhmaṇas showered their blessings, the child Kṛṣṇa would be happy. The blessings of qualified brāhmaṇas can bring happiness not only to Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but to everyone. Because Kṛṣṇa is self-sufficient, He does not require anyone’s blessings, yet Nanda Mahārāja thought that Kṛṣṇa required the blessings of the brāhmaṇas. What then is to be said of others? In human society, therefore, there must be an ideal class of men, brāhmaṇas, who can bestow blessings upon others, namely, upon the kṣatriyas, vaiśyas and śūdras, so that everyone will be happy. Kṛṣṇa therefore says in Bhagavad-gītā (4.13) that human society must have four social orders (cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ); it is not that everyone should become a śūdra or a vaiśya and human society will prosper. As enunciated in Bhagavad-gītā, there must be a class of brāhmaṇas with qualities like satya (truthfulness), śama (peacefulness), dama (self-control) and titikṣā (tolerance).
Here also, in the Bhāgavatam, Nanda Mahārāja invites qualified brāhmaṇas. There may be caste brāhmaṇas, and we have all respect for them, but their birth in brāhmaṇa families does not mean that they are qualified to bestow blessings upon the other members of human society. This is the verdict of the śāstras. In Kali-yuga, caste brāhmaṇas are accepted as brāhmaṇas. Vipratve sūtram eva hi (Bhāg. 12.2.3): in Kali-yuga, simply by putting on a thread worth two paise, one becomes a brāhmaṇa. Such brāhmaṇas were not called for by Nanda Mahārāja. As stated by Nārada Muni (Bhāg. 7.11.35), yasya yal lakṣaṇaṁ proktam. The symptoms of a brāhmaṇa are stated in śāstra, and one must be qualified with these symptoms.
The blessings of brāhmaṇas who are not envious, disturbed or puffed up with pride and false prestige and who are fully qualified with truthfulness will be useful. Therefore a class of men must be trained as brāhmaṇas from the very beginning. Brahmacārī guru-kule vasan dānto guror hitam (Bhāg. 7.12.1). The word dāntaḥ is very important. Dāntaḥ refers to one who is not envious, disturbing or puffed up with false prestige. With the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, we are trying to introduce such brāhmaṇas in society. Brāhmaṇas must ultimately be Vaiṣṇavas, and if one is a Vaiṣṇava, he has already acquired the qualifications of a brāhmaṇa. Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā (Bg. 18.54). The word brahma-bhūta refers to becoming a brāhmaṇa, or understanding what is Brahman (brahma jānātīti brāhmaṇaḥ). One who is brahma-bhūta is always happy (prasannātmā). Na śocati na kāṅkṣati: he is never disturbed about material necessities. Samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu: he is ready to bestow blessings upon everyone equally. Mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām: [Bg. 18.54] then he becomes a Vaiṣṇava. In this age, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura introduced the sacred thread ceremony for his Vaiṣṇava disciples, with the idea that people should understand that when one becomes a Vaiṣṇava he has already acquired the qualifications of a brāhmaṇa. Therefore in the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, those who are twice initiated so as to become brāhmaṇas must bear in mind their great responsibility to be truthful, control the mind and senses, be tolerant, and so on. Then their life will be successful. It was such brāhmaṇas that Nanda Mahārāja invited to chant the Vedic hymns, not ordinary brāhmaṇas. Verse thirteen distinctly mentions hiṁsā-māna. The word māna refers to false prestige or false pride. Those who were falsely proud, thinking that they were brāhmaṇas because they were born in brāhmaṇa families, were never invited by Nanda Mahārāja on such occasions.
Verse fourteen mentions pavitrauṣadhi. In any ritualistic ceremony, many herbs and leaves were required. These were known as pavitra-patra. Sometimes there were nimba leaves, sometimes bael leaves, mango leaves, aśvattha leaves or āmalakī leaves. Similarly, there were pañca-gavya, pañca-śasya and pañca-ratna. Although Nanda Mahārāja belonged to the vaiśya community, everything was known to him.
The most important word in these verses is mahā-guṇam, indicating that the brāhmaṇas were offered very palatable food of exalted quality. Such palatable dishes were generally prepared with two things, namely food grains and milk products. Bhagavad-gītā (18.44) therefore enjoins that human society must give protection to the cows and encourage agriculture (kṛṣi-go-rakṣya-vāṇijyaṁ vaiśya-karma svabhāvajam). Simply by expert cooking, hundreds and thousands of palatable dishes can be prepared from agricultural produce and milk products. This is indicated here by the words annaṁ mahā-guṇam. Still today in India, from these two things, namely food grains and milk, hundreds and thousands of varieties of food are prepared, and then they are offered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (Catur-vidha-śrī-bhagavat-prasāda. patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati .) Then the prasāda is distributed. Even today in Jagannātha-kṣetra and other big temples, very palatable dishes are offered to the Deity, and prasāda is distributed profusely. Cooked by first-class brāhmaṇas with expert knowledge and then distributed to the public, this prasāda is also a blessing from the brāhmaṇas or Vaiṣṇavas. There are four kinds of prasāda (catur-vidha). Salty, sweet, sour and pungent tastes are made with different types of spices, and the food is prepared in four divisions, called carvya, cūṣya, lehya and pehya—prasāda that is chewed, prasāda that is licked, prasāda tasted with the tongue, and prasāda that is drunk. Thus there are many varieties of prasāda, prepared very nicely with grains and ghee, offered to the Deity and distributed to the brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas and then to the general public. This is the way of human society. Killing the cows and spoiling the land will not solve the problem of food. This is not civilization. Uncivilized men living in the jungle and being unqualified to produce food by agriculture and cow protection may eat animals, but a perfect human society advanced in knowledge must learn how to produce first-class food simply by agriculture and protection of cows.
prādāt te cānvayuñjata
gāvaḥ—cows; sarva-guṇa-upetāḥ—being fully qualified by giving sufficient milk, etc.; vāsaḥ—well dressed; srak—with flower garlands; rukma-mālinīḥ—and with garlands of gold; ātmaja-abhyudaya-arthāya—for the purpose of his son’s affluence; prādāt—gave in charity; te—those brāhmaṇas; ca—also; anvayuñjata—accepted them.
Nanda Mahārāja, for the sake of the affluence of his own son Kṛṣṇa, gave the brāhmaṇas cows fully decorated with garments, flower garlands and gold necklaces. These cows, fully qualified to give ample milk, were given to the brāhmaṇas in charity, and the brāhmaṇas accepted them and bestowed blessings upon the whole family, and especially upon Kṛṣṇa.
Nanda Mahārāja first fed the brāhmaṇas sumptuously and then gave them in charity first-class cows fully decorated with golden necklaces, garments and flower garlands.
viprā mantra-vido yuktās
tair yāḥ proktās tathāśiṣaḥ
tā niṣphalā bhaviṣyanti
na kadācid api sphuṭam
viprāḥ—the brāhmaṇas; mantra-vidaḥ—completely expert in chanting the Vedic hymns; yuktāḥ—perfect mystic yogīs; taiḥ—by them; yāḥ—whatsoever; proktāḥ—was spoken; tathā—becomes just so; āśiṣaḥ—all blessings; tāḥ—such words; niṣphalāḥ—useless, without fruit; bhaviṣyanti na—never will become; kadācit—at any time; api—indeed; sphuṭam—always factual, as it is.
The brāhmaṇas, who were completely expert in chanting the Vedic hymns, were all yogīs fully equipped with mystic powers. Whatever blessings they spoke were certainly never fruitless.
Brāhmaṇas fully equipped with the brahminical qualifications are always yogīs fully powerful in mystic yoga. Their words never fail. In every transaction with other members of society, brāhmaṇas are certainly dependable. In this age, however, one must take into account that the brāhmaṇas are uncertain in their qualifications. Because there are no yajñic brāhmaṇas, all yajñas are forbidden. The only yajña recommended in this age is saṅkīrtana-yajña. Yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair yajanti hi sumedhasaḥ (Bhāg. 11.5.32). Yajña is meant to satisfy Viṣṇu (yajñārthāt karmaṇo ’nyatra loko ’yaṁ karma-bandhanaḥ [Bg. 3.9])). Because in this age there are no qualified brāhmaṇas, people should perform yajña by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra (yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair yajanti hi sumedhasaḥ). Life is meant for yajña, and yajña is performed by the chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.
lālayantī sutaṁ satī
garimāṇaṁ śiśor voḍhuṁ
na sehe giri-kūṭavat
ekadā—one time (estimated to have been when Kṛṣṇa was one year old); āroham—on His mother’s lap; ārūḍham—who was sitting; lālayantī—was patting; sutam—her son; satī—mother Yaśodā; garimāṇam—because of an increase in heaviness; śiśoḥ—of the child; voḍhum—to bear Him; na—not; sehe—was able; giri-kūṭa-vat—appearing like the weight of a mountain peak.
One day, a year after Kṛṣṇa’s appearance, mother Yaśodā was patting her son on her lap. But suddenly she felt the child to be heavier than a mountain peak, and she could no longer bear His weight.
Lālayantī. Sometimes a mother lifts her child, and when the child falls in her hands, the child laughs, and the mother also enjoys pleasure. Yaśodā used to do this, but this time Kṛṣṇa became very heavy, and she could not bear His weight. Under the circumstances, it is to be understood that Kṛṣṇa was aware of the coming of Tṛṇāvartāsura, who would take Him far away from His mother. Kṛṣṇa knew that when Tṛṇāvarta came and took Him away from His mother’s lap, mother Yaśodā would be greatly bereaved. He did not want His mother to suffer any difficulty from the demon. Therefore, because He is the source of everything (janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]), He assumed the heaviness of the entire universe. The child was on the lap of Yaśodā, who was therefore in possession of everything in the world, but when the child assumed such heaviness, she had to put Him down in order to give Tṛṇāvartāsura an opportunity to take Him away and play with Him for some time before the child returned to the lap of His mother.
bhūmau nidhāya taṁ gopī
jagatām āsa karmasu
bhūmau—on the ground; nidhāya—placing; tam—the child; gopī—mother Yaśodā; vismitā—being astonished; bhāra-pīḍitā—being aggrieved by the weight of the child; mahā-puruṣam—Lord Viṣṇu, Nārāyaṇa; ādadhyau—took shelter of; jagatām—as if the weight of the whole world; āsa—engaged herself; karmasu—in other household affairs.
Feeling the child to be as heavy as the entire universe and therefore being anxious, thinking that perhaps the child was being attacked by some other ghost or demon, the astonished mother Yaśodā put the child down on the ground and began to think of Nārāyaṇa. Foreseeing disturbances, she called for the brāhmaṇas to counteract this heaviness, and then she engaged in her other household affairs. She had no alternative than to remember the lotus feet of Nārāyaṇa, for she could not understand that Kṛṣṇa was the original source of everything.
Mother Yaśodā did not understand that Kṛṣṇa is the heaviest of all heavy things and that Kṛṣṇa rests within everything (mat-sthāni sarva-bhūtāni). As confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (9.4), mayā tatam idaṁ sarvaṁ jagad avyakta-mūrtinā: Kṛṣṇa is everywhere in His impersonal form, and everything rests upon Him. Nonetheless, na cāhaṁ teṣv avasthitaḥ: Kṛṣṇa is not everywhere. Mother Yaśodā was unable to understand this philosophy because she was dealing with Kṛṣṇa as His real mother by the arrangement of yogamāyā. Not understanding the importance of Kṛṣṇa, she could only seek shelter of Nārāyaṇa for Kṛṣṇa’s safety and call the brāhmaṇas to counteract the situation.
daityo nāmnā tṛṇāvartaḥ
daityaḥ—another demon; nāmnā—by the name; tṛṇāvartaḥ—Tṛṇāvartāsura; kaṁsa-bhṛtyaḥ—a servant of Kaṁsa; praṇoditaḥ—having been induced by him; cakravāta-svarūpeṇa—in the form of a whirlwind; jahāra—swept away; āsīnam—the sitting; arbhakam—child.
While the child was sitting on the ground, a demon named Tṛṇāvarta, who was a servant of Kaṁsa’s, came there as a whirlwind, at Kaṁsa’s instigation, and very easily carried the child away into the air.
Kṛṣṇa’s heaviness was unbearable for the child’s mother, but when Tṛṇāvartāsura came, he immediately carried the child away. This was another demonstration of Kṛṣṇa’s inconceivable energy. When the Tṛṇāvarta demon came, Kṛṣṇa became lighter than the grass so that the demon could carry Him away. This was ānanda-cinmaya-rasa, Kṛṣṇa’s blissful, transcendental pleasure.
gokulaṁ sarvam āvṛṇvan
muṣṇaṁś cakṣūṁṣi reṇubhiḥ
śabdena pradiśo diśaḥ
gokulam—the whole tract of land known as Gokula; sarvam—everywhere; āvṛṇvan—covering; muṣṇan—taking away; cakṣūṁṣi—the power of vision; reṇubhiḥ—by particles of dust; īrayan—was vibrating; su-mahā-ghora—very fierce and heavy; śabdena—with a sound; pradiśaḥ diśaḥ—entered everywhere, in all directions.
Covering the whole land of Gokula with particles of dust, that demon, acting as a strong whirlwind, covered everyone’s vision and began vibrating everywhere with a greatly fearful sound.
Tṛṇāvartāsura assumed the form of a whirlwind and covered with a dust storm the whole tract of land known as Gokula, so that no one could see even the nearest thing.
muhūrtam abhavad goṣṭhaṁ
sutaṁ yaśodā nāpaśyat
tasmin nyastavatī yataḥ
muhūrtam—for a moment; abhavat—there was; goṣṭham—throughout the whole pasturing ground; rajasā—by big particles of dust; tamasā āvṛtam—covered with darkness; sutam—her son; yaśodā—mother Yaśodā; na apaśyat—could not find; tasmin—in that very spot; nyastavatī—she had placed Him; yataḥ—where.
For a moment, the whole pasturing ground was overcast with dense darkness from the dust storm, and mother Yaśodā was unable to find her son where she had placed Him.
paraṁ cāpi vimohitaḥ
na—not; apaśyat—saw; kaścana—anyone; ātmānam—himself; param ca api—or another; vimohitaḥ—being illusioned; tṛṇāvarta-nisṛṣṭābhiḥ—thrown by Tṛṇāvartāsura; śarkarābhiḥ—by the sands; upadrutaḥ—and thus being disturbed.
Because of the bits of sand thrown about by Tṛṇāvarta, people could not see themselves or anyone else, and thus they were illusioned and disturbed.
suta-padavīm abalāvilakṣya mātā
atikaruṇam anusmaranty aśocad
bhuvi patitā mṛta-vatsakā yathā gauḥ
iti—thus; khara—very strong; pavana-cakra—by a whirlwind; pāṁśu-varṣe—when there were showers of dust and small dust particles; suta-padavīm—the place of her son; abalā—the innocent woman; avilakṣya—not seeing; mātā—because of being His mother; ati-karuṇam—very pitifully; anusmarantī—she was thinking of her son; aśocat—lamented extraordinarily; bhuvi—on the ground; patitā—fell down; mṛta-vatsakā—who has lost her calf; yathā—like; gauḥ—a cow.
Because of the dust storm stirred up by the strong whirlwind, mother Yaśodā could find no trace of her son, nor could she understand why. Thus she fell down on the ground like a cow who has lost her calf and began to lament very pitifully.
ruditam anuniśamya tatra gopyo
bhṛśam anutapta-dhiyo ’śru-pūrṇa-mukhyaḥ
rurudur anupalabhya nanda-sūnuṁ
ruditam—mother Yaśodā, crying pitifully; anuniśamya—after hearing; tatra—there; gopyaḥ—the other ladies, the gopīs; bhṛśam—highly; anutapta—lamenting sympathetically after mother Yaśodā; dhiyaḥ—with such feelings; aśru-pūrṇa-mukhyaḥ—and the other gopīs, their faces full of tears; ruruduḥ—they were crying; anupalabhya—without finding; nanda-sūnum—the son of Nanda Mahārāja, Kṛṣṇa; pavane—when the whirlwind; upārata—had ceased; pāṁśu-varṣa-vege—its force of showering dust.
When the force of the dust storm and the winds subsided, Yaśodā’s friends, the other gopīs, approached mother Yaśodā, hearing her pitiful crying. Not seeing Kṛṣṇa present, they too felt very much aggrieved and joined mother Yaśodā in crying, their eyes full of tears.
This attachment of the gopīs to Kṛṣṇa is wonderful and transcendental. The center of all the activities of the gopīs was Kṛṣṇa. When Kṛṣṇa was there they were happy, and when Kṛṣṇa was not there, they were unhappy. Thus when mother Yaśodā was lamenting Kṛṣṇa’s absence, the other ladies also began to cry.
kṛṣṇaṁ nabho-gato gantuṁ
tṛṇāvartaḥ—the demon Tṛṇāvarta; śānta-rayaḥ—the force of the blast reduced; vātyā-rūpa-dharaḥ—who had assumed the form of a forceful whirlwind; haran—and had thus taken away; kṛṣṇam—Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; nabhaḥ-gataḥ—went up to the top of the sky; gantum—to go further; na aśaknot—was not able; bhūri-bhāra-bhṛt—because Kṛṣṇa then became more powerful and heavy than the demon.
Having assumed the form of a forceful whirlwind, the demon Tṛṇāvarta took Kṛṣṇa very high in the sky, but when Kṛṣṇa became heavier than the demon, the demon had to stop his force and could go no further.
Here is a competition in yogic power between Kṛṣṇa and Tṛṇāvartāsura. By practicing mystic yoga, asuras generally attain some perfection in the eight siddhis, or perfections, namely aṇimā, laghimā, mahimā, prāpti, prākāmya, īśitva, vaśitva and kāmāvasāyitā. But although a demon may acquire such powers to a very limited extent, he cannot compete with the mystic power of Kṛṣṇa, for Kṛṣṇa is Yogeśvara, the source of all mystic power (yatra yogeśvaro hariḥ). No one can compete with Kṛṣṇa. Sometimes, of course, having acquired a fragmental portion of Kṛṣṇa’s mystic power, asuras demonstrate their power to the foolish public and assert themselves to be God, not knowing that God is the supreme Yogeśvara. Here also we see that Tṛṇāvarta assumed the mahimā-siddhi and took Kṛṣṇa away as if Kṛṣṇa were an ordinary child. But Kṛṣṇa also became a mystic mahimā-siddha. When mother Yaśodā was carrying Him, He became so heavy that His mother, who was usually accustomed to carrying Him, could not bear Him and had to place Him down on the ground. Thus Tṛṇāvarta had been able to take Kṛṣṇa away in the presence of mother Yaśodā. But when Kṛṣṇa, high in the sky, assumed the mahimā-siddhi, the demon, unable to go further, was obliged to stop his force and come down according to Kṛṣṇa’s desire. One should not, therefore, compete with Kṛṣṇa’s mystic power.
Devotees automatically have all mystic power, but they do not like to compete with Kṛṣṇa. Instead, they fully surrender to Kṛṣṇa, and their yogic power is demonstrated by Kṛṣṇa’s mercy. Devotees can show mystic yoga so powerful that a demon could not even dream of it, but they never try to demonstrate it for their personal sense gratification. Whatever they do is for the service of the Lord, and therefore they are always in a position superior to that of the demons. There are many karmīs, yogīs and jñānīs who artificially try to compete with Kṛṣṇa, and thus ordinary, foolish people who do not care to hear Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from authorities consider some rascal yogī to be Bhagavān, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. At the present moment there are many so-called bābās who present themselves as incarnations of God by showing some insignificant mystic wonder, and foolish people regard them as God because of lacking knowledge of Kṛṣṇa.
tam aśmānaṁ manyamāna
gale gṛhīta utsraṣṭuṁ
tam—Kṛṣṇa; aśmānam—very heavy stone like a lump of iron; manyamānaḥ—thinking like that; ātmanaḥ guru-mattayā—because of being heavier than he could personally perceive; gale—his neck; gṛhīte—being embraced or encircled by His arms; utsraṣṭum—to give up; na aśaknot—was not able; adbhuta-arbhakam—this wonderful child who was different from an ordinary child.
Because of Kṛṣṇa’s weight, Tṛṇāvarta considered Him to be like a great mountain or a hunk of iron. But because Kṛṣṇa had caught the demon’s neck, the demon was unable to throw Him off. He therefore thought of the child as wonderful, since he could neither bear the child nor cast aside the burden.
Tṛṇāvarta intended to take Kṛṣṇa up in the sky and kill Him, but Kṛṣṇa enjoyed the pastime of riding on Tṛṇāvarta’s body and traveling for a while in the sky. Thus Tṛṇāvarta’s attempt to kill Kṛṣṇa failed, while Kṛṣṇa, ānanda-cinmaya-rasa-vigraha, enjoyed this pastime. Now, since Tṛṇāvarta was falling because of Kṛṣṇa’s heaviness, he wanted to save himself by throwing Kṛṣṇa off from his neck, but was unable to do so because Kṛṣṇa held him very tightly. Consequently, this would be the last time for Tṛṇāvarta’s yogic power. Now he was going to die by the arrangement of Kṛṣṇa.
saha-bālo vyasur vraje
gala-grahaṇa-niśceṣṭaḥ—because of Kṛṣṇa’s grasping the neck of the demon Tṛṇāvarta, the demon choked and could not do anything; daityaḥ—the demon; nirgata-locanaḥ—his eyes popped out because of pressure; avyakta-rāvaḥ—because of choking, he could not even make a sound; nyapatat—fell down; saha-bālaḥ—with the child; vyasuḥ vraje—lifeless on the ground of Vraja.
With Kṛṣṇa grasping him by the throat, Tṛṇāvarta choked, unable to make even a sound or even to move his hands and legs. His eyes popping out, the demon lost his life and fell, along with the little boy, down to the ground of Vraja.
tam antarikṣāt patitaṁ śilāyāṁ
puraṁ yathā rudra-śareṇa viddhaṁ
striyo rudatyo dadṛśuḥ sametāḥ
tam—unto the demon Tṛṇāvarta; antarikṣāt—from outer space; patitam—fallen; śilāyām—on a slab of stone; viśīrṇa—scattered, separated; sarva-avayavam—all the parts of his body; karālam—very fierce hands and legs; puram—the place of Tripurāsura; yathā—as; rudra-śareṇa—by the arrow of Lord Śiva; viddham—pierced; striyaḥ—all the women, the gopīs; rudatyaḥ—although crying because Kṛṣṇa was separated from them; dadṛśuḥ—they saw in front of them; sametāḥ—all together.
While the gopīs who had gathered were crying for Kṛṣṇa, the demon fell from the sky onto a big slab of stone, his limbs dislocated, as if he had been pierced by the arrow of Lord Śiva like Tripurāsura.
In transcendental life, as soon as devotees of the Lord merge in lamentation, they immediately experience the Lord’s transcendental activities and merge in transcendental bliss. Actually such devotees are always in transcendental bliss, and such apparent calamities provide a further impetus for that bliss.
prādāya mātre pratihṛtya vismitāḥ
kṛṣṇaṁ ca tasyorasi lambamānam
taṁ svastimantaṁ puruṣāda-nītaṁ
vihāyasā mṛtyu-mukhāt pramuktam
gopyaś ca gopāḥ kila nanda-mukhyā
labdhvā punaḥ prāpur atīva modam
prādāya—after picking up; mātre—unto His mother (Yaśodā); pratihṛtya—delivered; vismitāḥ—all surprised; kṛṣṇam ca—and Kṛṣṇa; tasya—of the demon; urasi—on the chest; lambamānam—situated; tam—Kṛṣṇa; svastimantam—endowed with all auspiciousness; puruṣāda-nītam—who was taken by the man-eating demon; vihāyasā—into the sky; mṛtyu-mukhāt—from the mouth of death; pramuktam—now liberated; gopyaḥ—the gopīs; ca—and; gopāḥ—the cowherd men; kila—indeed; nanda-mukhyāḥ—headed by Nanda Mahārāja; labdhvā—after getting; punaḥ—again (their son); prāpuḥ—enjoyed; atīva—very much; modam—bliss.
The gopīs immediately picked Kṛṣṇa up from the chest of the demon and delivered Him, free from all inauspiciousness, to mother Yaśodā. Because the child, although taken into the sky by the demon, was unhurt and now free from all danger and misfortune, the gopīs and cowherd men, headed by Nanda Mahārāja, were extremely happy.
The demon fell flat from the sky, and Kṛṣṇa was playing on his chest very happily, uninjured and free from misfortune. Not at all disturbed because of being taken high in the sky by the demon, Kṛṣṇa was playing and enjoying. This is ānanda-cinmaya-rasa-vigraha. In any condition, Kṛṣṇa is sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1]. He has no unhappiness. Others might have thought that He was in difficulty, but because the demon’s chest was sufficiently broad to play on, the baby was happy in all respects. It was most astonishing that although the demon went so high in the sky, the child did not fall down. Therefore, the child had been saved virtually from the mouth of death. Now that He was saved, all the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana were happy.
aho batāty-adbhutam eṣa rakṣasā
bālo nivṛttiṁ gamito ’bhyagāt punaḥ
hiṁsraḥ sva-pāpena vihiṁsitaḥ khalaḥ
sādhuḥ samatvena bhayād vimucyate
aho—alas; bata—indeed; ati—very much; adbhutam—this incident is wonderfully astonishing; eṣaḥ—this (child); rakṣasā—by the man-eating demon; bālaḥ—the innocent child Kṛṣṇa; nivṛttim—taken away just to be killed and eaten; gamitaḥ—went away; abhyagāt punaḥ—but He has come back again unhurt; hiṁsraḥ—one who is envious; sva-pāpena—because of his own sinful activities; vihiṁsitaḥ—now (that demon) has been killed; khalaḥ—because he was envious and polluted; sādhuḥ—any person who is innocent and free from sinful life; samatvena—being equal to everyone; bhayāt—from all kinds of fear; vimucyate—becomes relieved.
It is most astonishing that although this innocent child was taken away by the Rākṣasa to be eaten, He has returned without having been killed or even injured. Because this demon was envious, cruel and sinful, he has been killed for his own sinful activities. This is the law of nature. An innocent devotee is always protected by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and a sinful person is always vanquished for his sinful life.
Kṛṣṇa conscious life means innocent devotional life, and a sādhu is one who is fully devoted to Kṛṣṇa. As confirmed by Kṛṣṇa in Bhagavad-gītā (9.30), bhajate māṁ ananya-bhāk sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ: anyone fully attached to Kṛṣṇa is a sādhu. Nanda Mahārāja and the gopīs and other cowherd men could not understand that Kṛṣṇa was the Supreme Personality of Godhead playing as a human child and that His life was not in danger under any circumstances. Rather, because of their intense parental love for Kṛṣṇa, they thought that Kṛṣṇa was an innocent child and had been saved by the Supreme Lord.
In the material world, because of intense lust and desire for enjoyment, one becomes implicated in sinful life more and more (kāma eṣa krodha eṣa rajo-guṇa-samudbhavaḥ). Therefore the quality of fear is one of the aspects of material life (āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunaṁ ca). But if one becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious, the process of devotional service, śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam, diminishes one’s polluted life of material existence, and one is purified and protected by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ [SB 1.2.17]. In devotional life, one has faith in this process. Such faith is one of the six kinds of surrender. Rakṣiṣyatīti viśvāsaḥ (Hari-bhakti-vilāsa 11.676). One of the processes of surrender is that one should simply depend on Kṛṣṇa, convinced that He will give one all protection. That Kṛṣṇa will protect His devotee is a fact, and Nanda Mahārāja and the other inhabitants of Vṛndāvana accepted this very simply, although they did not know that the Supreme Lord Himself was present before them. There have been many instances in which a devotee like Prahlāda Mahārāja or Dhruva Mahārāja has been put in difficulty even by his father but has been saved under all circumstances. Therefore our only business is to become Kṛṣṇa conscious and depend fully on Kṛṣṇa for all protection.
kiṁ nas tapaś cīrṇam adhokṣajārcanaṁ
pūrteṣṭa-dattam uta bhūta-sauhṛdam
yat samparetaḥ punar eva bālako
diṣṭyā sva-bandhūn praṇayann upasthitaḥ
kim—what kind of; naḥ—by us; tapaḥ—austerity; cīrṇam—has been done for a very long time; adhokṣaja—of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; arcanam—worshiping; pūrta—constructing public roads, etc.; iṣṭa—activities for public benefit; dattam—giving charity; uta—or else; bhūta-sauhṛdam—because of love for the general public; yat—by the result of which; samparetaḥ—even though the child was practically lost in death; punaḥ eva—even again because of pious activities; bālakaḥ—the child; diṣṭyā—by fortune; sva-bandhūn—all His relatives; praṇayan—to please; upasthitaḥ—is present here.
Nanda Mahārāja and the others said: We must previously have performed austerities for a very long time, worshiped the Supreme Personality of Godhead, performed pious activities for public life, constructing public roads and wells, and also given charity, as a result of which this boy, although faced with death, has returned to give happiness to His relatives.
Nanda Mahārāja confirmed that by pious activities one can become a sādhu so that one will be happy at home and one’s children will be protected. In śāstra there are many injunctions for karmīs and jñānīs, especially for karmīs, by which they can become pious and happy even in material life. According to Vedic civilization, one should perform activities for the benefit of the public, such as constructing public roads, planting trees on both sides of the road so that people can walk in the shade, and constructing public wells so that everyone can take water without difficulty. One should perform austerity to control one’s desires, and one must simultaneously worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thus one becomes pious, and as a result one is happy even in material conditions of life.
mānayām āsa vismitaḥ
dṛṣṭvā—after seeing; adbhutāni—the very wonderful and astonishing incidents; bahuśaḥ—many times; nanda-gopaḥ—Nanda Mahārāja, the head of the cowherd men; bṛhadvane—in Bṛhadvana; vasudeva-vacaḥ—the words spoken by Vasudeva when Nanda Mahārāja was in Mathurā; bhūyaḥ—again and again; mānayām āsa—accepted how true they were; vismitaḥ—in great astonishment.
Having seen all these incidents in Bṛhadvana, Nanda Mahārāja became more and more astonished, and he remembered the words spoken to him by Vasudeva in Mathurā.
svāṅkam āropya bhāminī
prasnutaṁ pāyayām āsa
ekadā—once upon a time; arbhakam—the child; ādāya—taking; sva-aṅkam—on her own lap; āropya—and placing Him; bhāminī—mother Yaśodā; prasnutam—breast milk oozing out; pāyayām āsa—fed the child; stanam—her breast; sneha-pariplutā—with great affection and love.
One day mother Yaśodā, having taken Kṛṣṇa up and placed Him on her lap, was feeding Him milk from her breast with maternal affection. The milk was flowing from her breast, and the child was drinking it.
mukhaṁ lālayatī rājañ
jṛmbhato dadṛśe idam
khaṁ rodasī jyotir-anīkam āśāḥ
dvīpān nagāṁs tad-duhitṝr vanāni
bhūtāni yāni sthira-jaṅgamāni
pīta-prāyasya—of child Kṛṣṇa, who was being offered breast milk and was almost satisfied; jananī—mother Yaśodā; sutasya—of her son; rucira-smitam—seeing the child fully satisfied and smiling; mukham—the face; lālayatī—patting and softly rubbing with her hand; rājan—O King; jṛmbhataḥ—while the child was yawning; dadṛśe—she saw; idam—the following; kham—the sky; rodasī—both the higher planetary system and the earth; jyotiḥ-anīkam—the luminaries; āśāḥ—the directions; sūrya—the sun; indu—the moon; vahni—fire; śvasana—the air; ambudhīn—the seas; ca—and; dvīpān—the islands; nagān—the mountains; tat-duhitṝḥ—the daughters of the mountains (the rivers); vanāni—forests; bhūtāni—all kinds of living entities; yāni—which are; sthira-jaṅgamāni—nonmoving and moving.
O King Parīkṣit, when the child Kṛṣṇa was almost finished drinking His mother’s milk and mother Yaśodā was touching Him and looking at His beautiful, brilliantly smiling face, the baby yawned, and mother Yaśodā saw in His mouth the whole sky, the higher planetary system and the earth, the luminaries in all directions, the sun, the moon, fire, air, the seas, islands, mountains, rivers, forests, and all kinds of living entities, moving and nonmoving.
By the arrangement of yogamāyā, Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes with mother Yaśodā were all regarded as ordinary. So here was an opportunity for Kṛṣṇa to show His mother that the whole universe is situated within Him. In His small form, Kṛṣṇa was kind enough to show His mother the virāṭ-rūpa, the universal form, so that she could enjoy seeing what kind of child she had on her lap. The rivers have been mentioned here as the daughters of the mountains (nagāṁs tad-duhitṝḥ). It is the flowing of the rivers that makes big forests possible. There are living entities everywhere, some of them moving and some of them not moving. No place is vacant. This is a special feature of God’s creation.
sā vīkṣya viśvaṁ sahasā
netre āsīt suvismitā
sā—mother Yaśodā; vīkṣya—by seeing; viśvam—the whole universe; sahasā—suddenly within the mouth of her son; rājan—O King (Mahārāja Parīkṣit); sañjāta-vepathuḥ—whose heart was beating; sammīlya—opening; mṛgaśāva-akṣī—like the eyes of a deer cub; netre—her two eyes; āsīt—became; su-vismitā—astonished.
When mother Yaśodā saw the whole universe within the mouth of her child, her heart began to throb, and in astonishment she wanted to close her restless eyes.
Because of her pure maternal love, mother Yaśodā thought that this wonderful child playing so many tricks must have had some disease. She did not appreciate the wonders shown by her child; rather, she wanted to close her eyes. She was expecting another danger, and therefore her eyes became restless like those of a deer cub. This was all the arrangement of yogamāyā. The relationship between mother Yaśodā and Kṛṣṇa is one of pure maternal love. In that love, mother Yaśodā did not very much appreciate the display of the Supreme Personality of Godhead’s opulences.
At the beginning of this chapter, two extra verses sometimes appear:
“In this way, to chastise and kill the demons, the child Kṛṣṇa demonstrated many activities in the house of Nanda Mahārāja, and the inhabitants of Vraja enjoyed these incidents.”
“To increase the transcendental pleasure of the gopas and the gopīs, Kṛṣṇa, the killer of all demons, was thus raised by His father and mother, Nanda and Yaśodā.”
Śrīpāda Vijayadhvaja Tīrtha also adds another verse after the third verse in this chapter:
“Parīkṣit Mahārāja then requested Śukadeva Gosvāmī to continue speaking such narrations about the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa, so that the King could enjoy from them transcendental bliss.”
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Tenth Canto, Seventh Chapter, of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, entitled “The Killing of the Demon Tṛṇāvarta.”
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