Kṛṣṇa is known as Makhana-chora, “The Butter Thief”

Krsna the Butter Thief

The month of Damodara is winding down, only a few days left. So we are continuing with our posts on “Krsna Childhood Pastimes”, with a few excerpts on Krsna’s pastimes of sealing butter.

…Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is sometimes described as a thief. He is very famous amongst His pure devotees as the Mākhana-cora. He used to steal butter from the houses of neighbors at Vṛndāvana in His early age. Since then He is famous as a thief. But in spite of His being famous as a thief, He is worshiped as a thief, whereas in the mundane world a thief is punished and is never praised. Since He is the Absolute Personality of Godhead, everything is applicable to Him, and still in spite of all contradictions He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (from purport SB 1.10.19)

…God is all-good. Even God appears in such fierceful attitude, it is beautiful to the devotees. God’s stealing… This is abominable, stealing, in this material world. But in the spiritual world, that stealing by Kṛṣṇa is worshipable. Makhana-chora, butter thief. The devotees like that “Kṛṣṇa should come to my house and steal my things, butter.” That is the pastime of Vṛndāvana-līlā. Kṛṣṇa would go to every house and steal butter, and they would be very much pleased that “Kṛṣṇa has come to steal here.” They would come, a formally complaint lodged before Yaśodāmayī, and Kṛṣṇa would be afraid. But these things are very, very enjoyable. Kṛṣṇa is being chastised by Yaśodāmayī, and still, he’s thinking, she’s thinking, “Whether Kṛṣṇa has become very much afraid?” This is called Vṛndāvana-līlā. The love for Kṛṣṇa is so strong that whatever Kṛṣṇa does, that is beautiful. That is the spiritual world. (from Lecture on the Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.9.15)

…Because we are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, who has full freedom, we too have full freedom, although the quantity of that freedom is quite minute. Although the quantity of salt in a drop of seawater is not comparable to the quantity of salt in the ocean, the chemical composition of both the drop and the ocean is the same. Similarly, whatever we have in a minute quantity is present in its fullness in Kṛṣṇa (janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]). For example, we have a propensity to steal, to take things that belong to others. Why? Because Kṛṣṇa has the same propensity. Unless the propensity to steal is present in the Absolute Truth, how can it be present in us? Kṛṣṇa is known as “the butter thief.” But Kṛṣṇa’s stealing and our stealing are different. Because we are materially contaminated, our stealing is abominable, whereas on the spiritual, absolute platform the same stealing is so nice that it is enjoyable. Mother Yaśodā therefore enjoys Kṛṣṇa’s activities of stealing. This is the difference between material and spiritual. (from Teachings of Queen Kunti Chapter 10)

The Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, is always filled with transcendental bliss (ānanda-mayo ‘bhyāsāt). When He was present at Vṛndāvana in India five thousand years ago, He always remained in transcendental bliss, even from the beginning of His childhood pastimes. The killings of various demons-such as Agha, Baka, Pūtanā and Pralamba-were but pleasure excursions for Him. In His village of Vṛndāvana He enjoyed Himself with His mother, brother and friends, and when He played the role of a naughty butter thief, all His associates enjoyed celestial bliss by His stealing. The Lord’s fame as a butter thief is not reproachable, for by stealing butter the Lord gave pleasure to His pure devotees. Everything the Lord did in Vṛndāvana was for the pleasure of His associates there. The Lord created these pastimes to attract the dry speculators and the acrobats of the so-called haṭha-yoga system who wish to find the Absolute Truth. (from Sri Isopanisad text 15 purport)


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