Krishna’s Childhood Pastimes

Krishna childhood pastimes

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“O Lord Damodara, in Your form as a baby, Mother Yasoda bound You to a grinding stone with a rope for tying cows, You then freed the sons of Kuvera, Manigriva, and Nalakuvera, who were cursed to stand as trees, and You gave them the chance to become Your devotees. Please bless me in this same way, I have no desire for liberation into Your effulgence.” (Damodarastka Prayers)

So…continuining our month long attempt to stay focused on the childhood pastimes of Krsna, during this month of Damodara (Kartika), we bring you another exciting chapter from; Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Today we are posting the chapter entitled “The Deliverance of Nalakūvara and Maṇigrīva”.

Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter Ten

The Deliverance of Nalakūvara and Maṇigrīva

The story of the cursing of Nalakūvara and Maṇigrīva and their deliverance by Kṛṣṇa, under the all-blissful desire of the great sage Nārada, is here described.

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The Childhood Pastimes of Kṛṣṇa

Krsna & Balarama Hiding from Mother Yasoda

Today is Rama Ekadasi (fast from grains and beans), so on this auspicious day, in the auspicious month of Damodara, we wanted to do a special post. The following is the entire 11th chapter of the Tenth Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam entitled “The Childhood Pastimes of Kṛṣṇa”.

The following two verses are just an example of the nectar one will find in the following chapter…

…The gopīs would say, “If You dance, my dear Kṛṣṇa, then I shall give You half a sweetmeat.” By saying these words or by clapping their hands, all the gopīs encouraged Kṛṣṇa in different ways. At such times, although He was the supremely powerful Personality of Godhead, He would smile and dance according to their desire, as if He were a wooden doll in their hands. Sometimes He would sing very loudly, at their bidding. In this way, Kṛṣṇa came completely under the control of the gopīs.(Text 7)

To pure devotees throughout the world who could understand His activities, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, exhibited how much He can be subdued by His devotees, His servants. In this way He increased the pleasure of the Vrajavāsīs by His childhood activities. (Text 9)

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto 10, Chapter 11

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Sri Damodarastakam

He ran in retreat in fear of Mother Yasoda bus was ultimately caught, to that Supreme Lord, Sri Damodara, I offer my humble obeisances.

Sri Damodarastakam
By Sri Satyavrata Muni
From the original 1974 “Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas” songbook

This eight sloka prayer is sung morning and evening during the month of Damodara, which begins Friday Oct. 19, 2013

namāmīśvaraḿ sac-cid-ānanda-rūpaḿ
lasat-kuṇḍalaḿ gokule bhrājamanam
yaśodā-bhiyolūkhalād dhāvamānaḿ
parāmṛṣṭam atyantato drutya gopyā

1) To the supreme controller who possesses an eternal form of blissful knowledge, whose glistening earrings swing to and fro, who manifested Himself in Gokula, who stole the butter that the gopis kept hanging from the rafters of their storerooms and who then quickly jumped up and ran in retreat in fear of Mother Yasoda, but was ultimately caught-to that Supreme Lord, Sri Damodara, I offer my humble obeisances.

rudantaḿ muhur netra-yugmaḿ mṛjantam
karāmbhoja-yugmena sātańka-netram
muhuḥ śvāsa-kampa-trirekhāńka-kaṇṭha-
sthita-graivaḿ dāmodaraḿ bhakti-baddham

2) Upon seeing His mothers whipping stick, He cried and rubbed His eyes again and again with His two lotus hands. His eyes were fearful and His breathing quick, and as Mother Yasoda bound His belly with ropes, He shivered in fright and His pearl necklace shook, To this Supreme Lord, Sri Damodara, who is bound with His devotee’s love, I offer my humble obeisances.

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Radhika Stava: the Glory of Srimati Radharani

radha krishna on swing

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Radhika Stava: the Glory of Srimati Radharani
by Srila Rupa Goswami

Glories, Glories to Sri Radharani, the beloved of Madhava and most worshipable of the the cowherd girls of Gokula Mandala!

Decorated by the dress of Lord Damodara’s increasing ecstasy, You are the lady of the house of Lord Hari and the groves of Vrndavana.

From the ocean of Vrsabhanu has arisen a new moon which is overwhelming the qualities of Lalita and Visakha.

O Goddess, Your qualities are described by Sanaka and Sanatana Rsis and by Sanatana Goswami. Please bestow your mercy upon me.

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The Rivers Ganges and Yamuna

Yamuna River

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…Both the Ganges and the Yamunā are amartyā (transcendental) rivers, but the Yamunā is still more sanctified for the following reasons.

…And as far as sanctity is concerned, the River Yamunā is more directly connected with Lord Kṛṣṇa than the Ganges. The Lord sanctified the River Yamunā from the beginning of His transcendental pastimes in the world. While His father Vasudeva was crossing the Yamunā with the baby Lord Kṛṣṇa for a safe place at Gokula on the other bank of the river from Mathurā, the Lord fell down in the river, and by the dust of His lotus feet the river at once became sanctified. It is especially mentioned herein that Mahārāja Parīkṣit took shelter of that particular river which is beautifully flowing, carrying the dust of the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa, mixed with tulasī leaves. Lord Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet are always besmeared with the tulasī leaves, and thus as soon as His lotus feet contact the water of the Ganges and the Yamunā, the rivers become at once sanctified. The Lord, however, contacted the River Yamunā more than the Ganges. (from purport to SB 1.19.6)

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Sri Damodarastakam

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…O Lord, the cheeks of Your blackish lotus face, which is encircled by locks of curling hair, have become reddened like bimba fruit due to Mother Yasoda’s kisses. What more can I describe than this? Millions of opulences are of no use to me, but may this vision constantly remain in my mind.

Sri Damodarastakam
By Sri Satyavrata Muni
From the original 1974 “Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas” songbook

This eight sloka prayer is sung morning and evening during the month of Damodara, or Kartika and which begins today.

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Appearance day of Sītā Ṭhākurāṇī

In honor of the Appearance day of Sītā Ṭhākurāṇī (the eternal wife of Sri Advaita Acharya), we are posting a brief pastime from Srila Prabhupada’s Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta: Ādi-līlā Chapter 13, Text 111-119, which gives the following account of Sita Thakurani’s visit to the house of Jagannatha Mishra after the birth of the Lord

One day shortly after Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu was born, Advaita Ācārya’s wife, Sītādevī, who is worshipable by the whole world, took her husband’s permission and went to see that topmost child with all kinds of gifts and presentations

She brought different kinds of golden ornaments, including bangles for the hand, armlets, necklaces and anklets.

There were also tiger nails set in gold, waist decorations of silk and lace, ornaments for the hands and legs, nicely printed silken sārīs and a child’s garment, also made of silk. Many other riches, including gold and silver coins, were also presented to the child.

Riding in a palanquin covered with cloth and accompanied by maidservants, Sītā Ṭhākurāṇī came to the house of Jagannātha Miśra, bringing with her many auspicious articles such as fresh grass, paddy, gorocana, turmeric, kuṅkuma and sandalwood. All these presentations filled a large basket.

When Sītā Ṭhākurāṇī came to the house of Śacīdevī, bringing with her many kinds of eatables, dresses and other gifts, she was astonished to see the newly born child, for she appreciated that except for a difference in color, the child was directly Kṛṣṇa of Gokula Himself.

Seeing the transcendental bodily effulgence of the child, each of His nicely constructed limbs full of auspicious signs and resembling a form of gold, Sītā Ṭhākurāṇī was very much pleased, and because of her maternal affection, she felt as if her heart were melting.

She blessed the newly born child by placing fresh grass and paddy on His head and saying, “May You be blessed with a long duration of life.” But being afraid of ghosts and witches, she gave the child the name Nimāi.

On the day the mother and son bathed and left the maternity home, Sītā Ṭhākurāṇī gave them all kinds of ornaments and garments and then also honored Jagannātha Miśra. Then Sītā Ṭhākurāṇī, being honored by mother Śacīdevī and Jagannātha Miśra, was greatly happy within her mind, and thus she returned home.

In this way mother Śacīdevī and Jagannātha Miśra, having obtained a son who was the husband of the goddess of fortune, had all their desires fulfilled. Their house was always filled with riches and grains. As they saw the beloved body of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, day after day their pleasure increased.

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Krsna lila: The Divine Forms and Pastimes

…The boys who are playing with Krsna and herding cows in Vrndavana are not ordinary living entities. They are highly developed sages who have acquired perfection by the accumulation of pious activities in past lives. For those who are under the spell of materialism, Krsna is an ordinary boy, but these cowherd boys in Vrndavana accept Him as their Master, and their Supreme Lovable Object. Consequently, all the individual boys and girls who sport in Goloka Vrndavana enjoy Krsna’s spiritual bliss. Similarly, the gopis are not ordinary cowherd girls, but are great sages who transform themselves in order to enjoy conjugal love with Krsna. Lord Caitanya spoke of them in this way: “Oh what penances did the gopis perform to eternally enjoy the beauty of the Lord Krsna? They drink His beauty with their eyes and they fill their eyes, their limbs and their hearts with celestial visions of His beauty. O, blessed are they, for they enjoy that sublime beauty which is the sweetest in the creation and which has no equal. The pure love of the gopis is like a glass that reflects this sweetness and these attributes. As the Lord sees these reflections, His sweetness increases and so does the love of the gopis. And both His sweetness and their love grow and grow as though competing with one another. And though both attain new brilliances, neither admits defeat in this wonderful competition…”

Krsna lila: The Divine Forms and Pastimes
By Sriman Hayagriva das Adhikari
From Back to Godhead Magazine 1970 Vol. 1, No. 32

Lord Krsna’s pastimes, His appearance and disappearance, are continuous and eternal throughout the universe. As far as these pastimes are concerned, there is no stoppage. It is hard for the common man to understand how Krsna’s lilas (pastimes) can be eternal. To our conception He was present on earth 5,000 years ago, and now He is gone. We compare Him to ourselves. We remain on this planet for 100 years at the most and then, like a bubble, we pop and disappear. Although this is true for ourselves, we should not compare our condition to that of the Absolute Godhead. His Body is eternal, blissful and full of knowledge, whereas ours is mortal and full of misery and ignorance. Consequently we cannot understand how Krsna’s lilas are eternal.

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Sri Damodarastakam as explained by Visnujana Swami / Verse Three

Those superexcellent pastimes of Lord Krsna’s babyhood drowned the inhabitants of Gokula in pools of ecstasy


itīdṛk sva-līlābhir ānanda-kuṇḍe
sva-ghoṣaḿ nimajjantam ākhyāpayantam
tadīyeṣita-jñeṣu bhaktair jitatvaḿ
punaḥ prematas taḿ śatāvṛtti vande

iti īdṛk–displaying in this way (childhood pastimes such as the Dāmodara-līlā and so forth); sva-līlābhiḥ–by His own pastimes; ānandakuṇḍe–in a pool of bliss; sva-ghoṣam–His own family and the other residents of Gokula; nimajjantam–immersing; ākhyāpayantam–makes known; tadīya-īśita-jñeṣu–to those desirous of knowing His majesty (aiśvarya); bhaktaiḥ jitatvam–His quality of being conquered by His loving devotees (who are devoid of aiśvarya-jñāna); punaḥ–again; premataḥ–with love and devotion; tam–unto that Lord Dāmodara; śataāvṛtti–hundreds and hundreds of times; vande–I praise.

3) Those superexcellent pastimes of Lord Krsna’s babyhood drowned the inhabitants of Gokula in pools of ecstasy. To the devotees who are attracted only to His majestic aspect of Narayana in Vaikuntha, the Lord herein reveals: “I am conquered and overwhelmed by pure loving devotion.” To the Supreme Lord, Damodara, my obeisances hundreds and hundreds of times.

Purport
The attributes of His excellent qualities, guna-visesa, are described in this verse. The first word, iti, indicates this Damodara lila, or all of His childhood pastimes like the Damodara lila. Next, sva-lilabhih denotes His own transcendental pastimes by which (sva-ghosam) all the residents of Gokula become immersed in pools of ecstatic mellows (ananda-kunde nimajjantam). The word sva connotes svasya, His own glory, or svanam, the glories of the residents of Gokula, which are displayed by these pastimes (akyapayantam). Moreover, sva-ghosam may refer to child Krishna, since He is also a resident of Gokula.

Then a warning to those who cultivate knowledge of His majesty and opulence (tadiyesita-jnesu). He only reveals Himself to the pure devotees (bhaktair jitatvam), being conquered by their love. Again, this is proclaimed for all to know (akhyapayantam).

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Sri Damodarastakam as explained by Visnujana Swami

Vishnujana Swami with Radha Damodara

This will be an eight part series, with an explanation on each of the eight verses of the Sri Damodarastakam, given by Visnujana Swami. This eight sloka prayer is sung morning and evening during the month of Damodara, and which began today.

Sri Damodarastakam as explained by Visnujana Swami

namāmīśvaraḿ sac-cid-ānanda-rūpaḿ
lasat-kuṇḍalaḿ gokule bhrājamanam
yaśodā-bhiyolūkhalād dhāvamānaḿ
parāmṛṣṭam atyantato drutya gopyā

namāmi–I bow down; īśvaram–to the supreme controller; sat-cit-ānandarūpam–whose form is composed of eternity, knowledge and bliss; lasatkuṇḍalam–whose earrings play and swing; gokule bhrājamānam–who is splendrously manifest in Gokula; yaśodā-bhiyā–in fear of mother Yaśodā; ulūkalāt-dhāvamānam–who gets down from the wooden ricegrinding mortar and runs away; para-āmṛṣṭam–catching Him by the back; atyam–very much; tatam drutya–chasing after Him quickly; gopyā–by the gopī (Srī Yaśodā).

1) To the supreme controller who possesses an eternal form of blissful knowledge, whose glistening earrings swing to and fro, who manifested Himself in Gokula, who stole the butter that the gopis kept hanging from the rafters of their storerooms and who then quickly jumped up and ran in retreat in fear of Mother Yasoda, but was ultimately caught. To that Supreme Lord, Sri Damodara, I offer my humble obeisances.

Purport
The specific attributes of the Absolute Truth of the Lord, tattva-visesa, are addressed first. Satyavrata Muni begins with the offering of obeisances (namami) as an auspicious invocation, mangalacarana. He invokes the mercy of Lord Damodara to empower him to offer this prayer by the word isvara, the supreme controller. It also indicates that the Supreme Lord alone is worthy of the highest praise. It further implies the specific nature of devotional service, bhakti. The Lord manifests Himself in a form that embodies eternal existence, knowledge, and bliss. Thus, His supreme sovereignty is established.

The attribute of His enchanting beauty, rupa visesa, is described next. As He runs from Mother Yasoda, His earrings begin to swing back and forth lasat-kundalam. The earrings naturally sport upon His cheeks as He plays in the courtyard of Mother Yasoda. All the ornaments that adorn the Lord have become super-excellent by contact with His divine body, yet these earrings have attained superiority overall by the great fortune of constantly kissing His divine cheeks while swinging. They are glistening (lasanti) due to being enriched with the effulgence from the Lord’s complexion.

Uddhava describes Krishna’s beauty as so supremely enchanting that His transcendental body is the ornament of all ornaments.

Only in Gokula does Krishna display His most splendid pastimes that surpass all other manifestations of His excellence (gokule bhrajamanam) The word, gokule, indicates the place where cows and cowherds reside. The attributes of His family, parivara-visesa, thus further portray His unique excellence.
The last two lines of the verse describe the lila-visesa, the attributes of His excellent pastime as the butter thief. In fear of Mother Yasoda (yasoda-bhiya) He quickly runs away dhavamanam) from the mortar (ulukalat). Then, she also runs very swiftly (atyantato drutya).

“Krishna, at that time, was sitting on an upside-down wooden mortar for grinding spices and was distributing milk preparations, such as yogurt and butter, to the monkeys as He liked. Because of having stolen, He was looking all around with great anxiety, suspecting that He might be chastised by His mother. Mother Yasoda, upon seeing Him, very cautiously approached Him from behind. When Lord Sri Krishna saw His mother, stick in hand, He very quickly got down from the top of the mortar and began to flee as if very much afraid. Although yogis try to capture Him as Paramatma by meditation, desiring to enter into the effulgence of the Lord with great austerities and penance, they fail to reach Him. But Mother Yasoda, thinking that same Personality of Godhead Krishna, to be her son, began following Krishna to catch Him.

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108 Imporant Slokas from the 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is

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