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Lord Balaram’s Pastimes

Lord Baladeva's Appearance:

On the purnima or full moon of the month of Sridhara month Balarama, the
elder brother of Lord Krsna appeared. This day is celebrated in Vrndavana
and Mathura region. Particularly at the Dauji Temple, where Balarama resides
with His consort Revati.

The following section is from "The Life and Legacy of Sripad Ananda Tirtha –
Madhwacarya" © JTCd 1995-2001 All rights reserved.

The following incident happend when Sripad Madhwacharya was embraced by
Srila Vyasadev. First of all he began to remember all of the wonderful
pastimes of the Lord, Who in His literary incarnation now stood before him,
beginning with Matsya, Hayagreeva, Narasimha, Varahadev, and so on.

Remembering Sri Sri Krsna – Balaram.
Sripad Madhwacarya, being in the mixed 'rasa' or mellows of devotional
friendship and service, then meditated on his worshipful Friends and Lords,
Krsna and Balarama.

As Hanuman, the 'avatar' of Mukhyaprana, perfectly performed devotional
service in the 'dasya rasa' or devotional service in servitude and in the
incarnation as Bhima, his mood was that of fraternal love. This group is
usually divided into four. (1) well wishers, (2) friends, (3) confidential
friends, (4) intimate friends, and the group is called 'vayasyas' (friends).
 The fraternal 'rasa' has some light shed upon it, by the following
statements: "When there is full knowledge of Krsna's superiority and yet in
dealings with Him on friendly terms respectfulness in completely absent,
that stage is called affection. There is one brilliant example of this
affection. When the demigods, headed by Lord Shiva, were offering prayers to
Krsna describing the glorious opulences of the Lord, Krsna's friend in
Vrindavan stood before Him with his hand of His shoulders and brushed the
dust from His peacock feather.
 When the Pandavas were banished by Duryodhana and forced to live incognito
in the forest, no-one could trace out where they were staying. At that time,
the great sage Narada Muni met Lord Krsna and said, "My dear Mukunda,
although You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the all powerful
person, by making friendship with You the Pandavas have become bereft of
their legitimate right to the kingdom of the world – and moreover, they are
now living in the forest incognito. Sometimes they must work as ordinary
laborers in someone else's house. These symptoms appear to be very
inauspicious materially, but the beauty is that, the Pandavas have not lost
their faith and love for You, in spite of all these tribulations. In fact,
they are always thinking of You and chanting Your name in ecstatic
friendship."
 Another example of freidnship may be given again described by Narada Muni,
who reminded Krsna thus: "When Arjuna was learning the art of shooting
arrows, he could not see You for so many days. But when You arrived there,
he stopped all his activities and immediately embrassed You."(Bhaktirasamrta
Sindhu, Nectar of Devotion).

Mostly the 'rasa' or mood of Sripad Madhwacarya follows the 'dasya rasa'.
The devotees of the Lord in servitude are divided into four classes: (1)
appointed servants – (This is how the third incarnation of Vayu came to take
up these wonderful pastimes.) Others such as Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva, who
are appointed to control over the material modes of passion and ignorance.
(2) Devotees in servitude who are protected by the Lord. (3) Devotees who
are always associates. (4) Devotees who are simply following in the
footsteps of the Lord. To more or lesser degrees all these four apply to
Madhwa but 'adhikrta-devata' – appointed servants specifically covers the
pastimes of our hero.

In these moods of servitude and friendship Sripad Madhwacarya stood before
his Friend and Lord and remembered the unlimited pastimes of Lord Sri Krsna.
When He, the Original Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, appeared in
Sri Vrndavan Dhama in His original form and expansion, Sri Sri Krsna and
Balarama, the divine cowherd boys, Mukhyaprana was preparing to make his
second incarnation into the Yadu dynasty as Bhima.

Once Bhumidevi (the goddess of the earth) assumed the form of a cow and took
shelter of Lord Brahma. She humbly begged for relief, the whole earth is in
a mixed up condition.  Everyone is distressed due to the presence of so many
demoniac kings. Hearing the distressful condition, Lord Brahma, Mother Bhumi
and many other demigods, approached Lord Visnu on His island Swetadvipa.
Standing on the shore of the milk ocean they told their woeful tale.  Lord
Visnu instructed those devas there to go and take their births on earth in
the Yadu dynasty. He said at that time I will come in My original two-armed
form along with My transcendental brother and sister and will be knows as
Krsna, Balarama and Yogamaya. In these forms We will kill the demons,
protect the devotees, and have unlimited pastimes for the pleasure of the
devotees.

In the Yadu dynasty at that time was the king named Surasena who had a son
named Vasudeva. Another Yadu king by the name Ugrasena had a beautiful
daughter called Devaki. After some time Vasudeva and Devaki were married.
Devaki had an evil brother by the name Kamsa, and that Kamsa, after the
wedding, drove Vasudeva's and Devaki's wedding chariot to their home.
However, in mid journey, suddenly from the sky came a prophetic voice
saying, "Kamsa you are a fool. The eighth son of your sister Devaki, whose
chariot you now drive, will kill you." Without a second thought Kamsa
grabbed Devaki by the hair and raised his sword to kill her. Vasudeva
promising that he personally would present any children they may have, first
to Kamsa, and so there is no need to worry for now, as we don't have any
children, and when we do we will give them to you. So don't kill your sister
Devaki on her wedding day.
 Kamsa imprisoned his father, sister and brother-in-law to be sure of
Vasudeva's promise being kept. The transcendental devotee Narada Muni then
appeared before Kamsa at the arrival of the first child and told Kamsa that
now Krsna's friends, the demigods, are lying in wait, taking births in the
families of Nanda Maharaja, his wives, and the cowherd men of Vraja. In this
was Narada escalated the advent of Krsna. As each child was born, the was
presented to Kamsa who, with rage, smashed them one by one to the ground and
killed them.

Formerly an 'asura' named Kalanemi had six sons, named Hamsa, Suikrama,
Kratha, Damana, Ripurmardana and Krodhahanta. They were known as
'sad-garbhas', or six 'garbhas', and they were all equally powerful and
expert in military affairs. These 'sad-garbhas' gave up the association of
Hiranyakasipu, their grandfather, and underwent great austerities to satisfy
Lord Brahma, who, upon being satisfied, agreed to give them whatever
benediction they might desire. When asked by Lord Brahma to state what they
wanted, the sad-garbhas replied, "Dear Brahma, if you want to give us a
benediction, give us the blessing that we will not be killed by any demigod,
'maha-roga', 'yaksa', 'gandharva-pati', 'siddha', 'carana' or human being,
nor by great sages who are perfect in their penances and austerities."
Brahma understood their purpose and fulfilled their desire. But when
Hiranyakasipu came to know of these events, he was very angry at his
grandsons. "You have given up my association and have gone to worship
Brahma," he said, "….And therefore I no longer have any affection for you.
You tried to save yourselves from the hands of demigods, but I curse you in
this way; Your father will take birth as Kamsa and kill all of you because
you will take birth as the sons of Devaki."(Sripad Vijayadhwaj Tirtha.
Srimad Bhagavatam 10:1:69.).

The arrogant Kamsa then had himself installed as King. Soon came the time of
Devaki's seventh baby. This child was non other than Lord Balarama, but as
the child was born, Yogamaya took the child and placed him safely with
Rohini in the house of Nanda and Yasodamayi, and news spread that Devaki has
miscarried.
 When news reached Kamsa's ears that Devaki was pregnant for the eighth
time, Kamsa changed extraordinarily. He became completely paranoid for the
child that would kill him was now in the womb. In an adverse way Kamsa
performed devotional service, always being absorbed in thoughts of Krsna.
When he slept he dreamt of Krsna, whilst eating, working, walking, talking,
sitting, he couldn't spend a moment without thoughts of Krsna, but those
thoughts were not at all favourable. Kamsa feared for his life, knowing his
arch enemy was there, the child that would kill him.
 Narada Muni reassured Devaki that Kamsa would not kill this child, and that
Krsna is coming just to kill the demons so that the devotees may live in the
world peacefully.

All kinds of auspicious omens were seen all around prior to Krsna's
appearance, and in the heavens the all-auspicious 'nakshatra' of Rohini
welcomed the Lord to begin His pastimes. Rivers ran clear and full with pure
water, lakes were full with full blown pink, blue and white lotuses, all the
birds and animals of the forests were singing in great delight., and the
soft breezes carried the fragrances of aromatic flowers in all directions.
'Gandharvas' and 'Kinnaras' began to sing, and the 'Siddhas' and 'Caranas'
offered prayers in beautiful unison. The 'Apsaras' began their heavenly
dances and the great sages, 'Rshis' and all the demigods showered flowers
from the skies.
 Them just after midnight as the constellation ('nakshatra') Rohini moved
into position a great storm came. The four-armed form of Lord Visnu then
appeared before the beautiful Devaki. Devaki, who for some time was covered
by Krsna' internal potency, thought that this was like a normal birth, and
thought that only due to the trauma of the birth she didn't remember the
actual birth. But the Lord appeared fully adorned with jewels and looking
very beautiful. Vasudeva saw his son first with four arms carrying conch,
club, disc and lotus, surrounded by a glistening effulgence within the
prison cell, with the Srivatsa mark of Laxmi devi on His chest and Kaustubha
mani around His neck, and dressed in yellow silken cloth.
 Krsna then told Vasudeva to take Him out of the prison and go to Gokul and
exchange Krsna with the girl child just born to Mother Yashoda. Turning
Himself into what seemed to be an ordinary baby, Vasudeva carried his
newborn son out of the prison. The prison guards were unusually all sleeping
and all the doors miraculously opened to allow baby Krsna, carried by
Vasudeva, to go out.

The night was dark as it was the eighth day of the fortnight of the waning
moon (Krsna paksa) and the sky was full of rain clouds. Thunder and rain of
monsoon time made the Yamuna River fill it's banks with turbulent water and
the wind whipped up the waves. Thus due to the rainy season the Yamuna was
impossible to cross. But now effulgent baby Krsna suddenly manifested his
divine umbrella, Ananta Sesa, which, with His many snake like hoods, gave
shelter to Krsna and His devotee Vasudeva. As they approached the Yamuna
River again, suddenly miracles started to happen, and despite the rough and
deep waters, Vasudeva, carrying baby Krsna, walked across the Yamuna and
over to the house of Nanda Maharaja.  Picking up her girl child, he again
crossed the Yamuna and back to the prison.
 In the morning the guards told Kamsa about the sounds of a baby crying in
the prison, and Kamsa came down to investigate. Devaki begged Kamsa not to
kill her child, as it was a girl and the prediction was that her eighth son
would kill him. The cruel demon Kamsa was just about the dash the child to
the ground when the baby flew up into the air and manifested herself as
Durga. In her eight arms she carried all kinds of weapons – a bow, spear,
sword, club, shield, arrows, conch and disc. Dressed in fine ornaments and
exquisite garments and surrounded by devas, Durga addressed Kamsa, "So you
think you can kill me. You cannot. The child who will kill you however has
already been born before me somewhere else. Now don't be cruel to your
sister, Devaki," and disappeared. Kamsa was now petrified, and begged
Vasudeva and Devaki for forgiveness for killing their six children, but by
the next day his normal demoniac nature was back. Kamsa then ordered his men
to kill every child born in the last ten days.

In the meantime in Nanda Maharaja's house, the 'Nandotsava' (birthday
ceremony) of Lord Krsna was performed. Nanda Maharaja and the local cowherds
people, the elderly 'gopis', and the young 'gopis', all assembled there
along with pure hearted 'brahmins' including Gargamuni. After the
'abhisheka' bathing ceremony of baby Krsna, and after all the well wishers
had came and presented so many nice present for Krsna, Gargamuni cast an
astrological chart to see the nature of the child. Gargamuni was astounded.
This is no ordinary child. This is the Personality of Godhead, Lord Visnu.
But in their parental love, Nanda and Yasoda overlooked this face and gave
abundances of well decorated cows, grains and golden ornaments to all who
came to invoke their blessing upon the child.
 Afterwards there was a sumptuous feast, for any 'samskara' is not complete
without 'daksina' given to the 'Vaisnava brahmins', and distribution of
'prasadams'. The Nanda and Yasodamayi performed 'nyasa', touching Krsna's
transcendental body and praying to the Supreme Personality of Godhead to
protect each of His limbs and thus protect completely "their child".

At this time Lord Balarama was also growing up in the house of Nanda
Maharaja but as the son of Mother Rohini. Nanda Maharaja then asked Garga
muni to perform a secret 'nama karana' (name giving ceremony.) Garga muni
told that Rohini's son, who has a whitish complexion will be called Rama
because he is so pleasing, and he will be called Balarama because of his
strength. The other boy who is actual the son of Devaki, will be known as
Syama for His blackish complexion and Krsna for His all attractiveness, and
by some he will be known as Vasudeva, the son of Vasudeva. This child will
grow in power, beauty and opulence, being the Personality of Godhead.

Kamsa sent all kinds of demons in many varieties of disguises to try to kill
Krsna, one in particular was the evil witch Putana. She would take babies
and smearing her motherly nipples with poison, would push them into her
victim's mouth and kill them. Assuming a very beautiful form, Putana
approached the house of Nanda Maharaja. Seeing baby Krsna, she placed Him
upon her lap and pushed her poisoned nipple into Krsna's mouth. Krsna
accepted this motherly service that she rendered, but as well as sucking the
witches breast milk, Krsna sucked out her very life air. As Putana screaming
gave up her life, she returned to her ugly and huge form, but Krsna just
played of her dead body. Because of her contact with Krsna, when all the
inhabitants of Vraja burned up her body, there was a very pleasant smell.
 Krsna and Balarama used to crawl and play with the cows, holding onto their
tails until eventually the cows would run off with the boys holding the
cow's tails. In this way they would enjoy a ride as they ran off through the
cow dung. This used to amuse everyone watching the transcendental brothers
playing just like cheeky, funny boys.
 Kamsa would periodically send his friends who were all demons to try and
cause harm to baby Krsna and Balarama. But Krsna, the Supreme Personality of
Godhead, even though appearing as a small baby, finished the demons easily.

Once a whirl wind demon Trnavarta came and tried to take Krsna away by
force, but little Krsna suddenly became heavier and heavier until Trnavarta
felt Krsna to be like a mountain. Krsna grabbed the demob by the neck and
choked him, and Trnavarta's eyes popped out of their sockets as he screamed
in agony his last breath.
 When Krsna and Balarama had started walking around, they would go to the
houses of the 'gopis' every morning before the cows had been milked and
would release all the calves. Each calf would immediately run to their
respective mother and drink all the milk. When the 'gopis' would come to
milk the cows there was no milk, and so they would go to complain to Mother
Yashoda. On other occasions Krsna and Balaram and some of their cowherd
friends would go to the cool store room where the gopis would have their
yogurt hanging ready to prepare into butter. Krsna and Balarama would take
that yogurt and butter and sit and eat it directly from the pots. Other
times they would feed their remnants to the monkeys and then break the pots.
When the 'gopis' would catch them, They would just smile charmingly.  These
boys are so transcendentally cheeky.
 Another time some of Krsna's friends headed by Balarama told Mother Yashoda
that Krsna had eaten earth. Krsna complained that they were just trying to
get him into trouble, but Mother Yashoda insisted on looking in Krsna's
mouth. Opening his lotus mouth, Mother Yashoda saw the entire universe,
planets, mountains, oceans, everything and even herself sitting with Krsna
on her lap looking into his mouth. Stunned, by her parental love, she gave
Krsna a big hug and a kiss.

Once the two sons of the demigod Kuvera, Nalakuvera and Manigriva, were
enjoying in Lord Shiva's garden next to the Mandakini River, otherwise known
as the Ganges. They were naked and intoxicated and playing like elephants
they splashed and frolicked in the waters accompanied by naked women.
Suddenly the great staunch devotee Narada Muni came by. The intoxicated sons
of Kuvera didn't even bother to try to cover themselves, or pay any respect
to Narada. To teach them a lesson Narada cursed them to stand naked as trees
in the garden of Nanda Maharaja for 36,000 years until Krsna would free
them.
 It so happened that one day when Mother Yashoda was making butter in the
kitchen, baby Krsna being hungry, climbed upon her lap to drink her breast
milk. Remembering she had left the milk on the stove which by now was ready
to boil, over, Mother Yashoda put Krsna down and ran off to the kitchen.
 Krsna, who hadn't finished drinking, was so angry. He broke a pot of butter
and started to eat the contents. When Mother Yashoda returned to find the
broken pot, she took a stick and went to find her rascal son Krsna.
 Here Mother Yashoda is going to bind Krsna. It is not that Krsna is
unhappy, He is feeling happy. It is a pleasure for Krsna to be bound by the
ropes of love by his pure devotee. It is not that anyone can chastize the
Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna but He is taking pleasure in being
chastized by Mother Yashoda.
 When she finally caught Krsna, she tried to bind him with rope, but every
tope she tried to bind him with was two inches too short. Even all joined
together it was two inches too short. Krsna, withholding His mercy, not
allowing himself to be bound, was one inch and the other inch was the love
and endeavour of His devotee, mother Yashoda. Finally when Mother Yashoda
was at her wits end, in desperation she prayed to the Supreme Personality of
Godhead, Narayana, then that same Supreme Person in the form of her child
bestowed His mercy upon Mother Yashoda and allowed Himself to be bound by
her ropes of love.
 When Mother Yashoda left that place leaving Krsna tied to the grinding
mortar, Krsna, to fulfil the curse of Narada, dragged the mortar into the
garden and between the twin Arjuna trees. As Krsna crawled between the two
trees the mortar became stuck. Krsna pulled harder and the trees came
smashing down to the ground. As the trees broke, the two devas came out.
Yes, it was the now repentant sons of Kuvera, Nalakuvera and Manigriva, and
they offered prayers to Krsna.

Sometimes at the house of Nanda Maharaja different sales people would come
by selling their wares as is the nature of village life. On one such
occasion a fruit selling lady came by with a big basket of fruits. When
Krsna saw her and the fruits, He took a handful of rice and approached the
lady to purchase fruits. The fruit lady was so taken back by this
beautifully decorated and charming boy that she gave him his required
fruits. As she piled Krsna up with fruits, and watched the little boy waddle
away dropping an occasional fruit here and there, she laughed. Looking back
to her basket, she saw that the remaining fruits that she had turned into
priceless jewels. Krsna had rewarded the fruit lady for her unmotivated,
unexpectant service to Him.

On another day Krsna and Balarama were playing on the banks of the Yamuna
when Mother Rohini (Balarama's mother) called them for their lunch. Nanda
Maharaja was waiting to take, and wouldn't start without the whole family
there. Mother Yashoda stayed, and Rohini went back to the house. Mother
Yashoda scolded the and told them to get home immediately. Yashoda Mayi
finally got the boys home. They were both covered in dust and dirt, so she
gave them both a good bath, redressed them nicely with ornaments and jewels.
Then the 'brahmins' came to receive charity for the occasion of Janmasthami
(Krsna's birthday). As is Vedic culture, one should give in charity on one's
birthday and not expect returns.

Sometimes Krsna and Balarama and their friends would play near Govardhana
Hill. They would go there on carts with all the residents of Vrndavan in a
very festive mood, blowing conches and horns. Krsna and Balarama themselves
would take care of small calves, and with their friends and calves they
would all play in the fields. Sometimes they played on their flutes and
other times they played ball with bitter tasting 'amalaki' fruits, or
covered themselves with the calves blankets and pretended to be bulls.
Whilst they were playing like this, one day a demon by the name of Vatsasura
came and turned himself into a calf and mingled with the other calves,
waiting to attack Krsna and Balarama, but the divine brothers had their own
plan. Instead they sneaked up on Vatsasura and Krsna caught the calf-demon
by it's back legs and threw him high into a tree, and the demon fell down
dead.
 When once Krsna and Balarama and their friends were at the Yamuna River
with the calves, they saw what looked like a huge duck. Yes, this was
another demon sent by the evil Kamsa to kill Krsna. The demon attacked and
even swallowed Krsna. Krsna became so hot like the sun in the throat of the
demon that the demon released Him. Krsna then grabbed the demon's beak and
as one would split a piece of grass, Krsna tore the demon Bakasura's beaks
wide open and killed him.
 One day the younger brother of Putana witch and the duck demon Baka came by
with a plan to eat Krsna, Balarama and their friends. Assuming the form of a
gigantic snake, he opened his mouth like a huge cave. At first the boys
thought it was a statue, but they could see it moving and smell the fishy
smell of it's liver on the demon's breath. This demon's name was Aghasura.
Suddenly all the cowherd boys began to climb up over his big lips past his
teeth and into the cave-like mouth to explore the inside. Krsna and Balaram
also climbed in much to the dismay of the demigods who had gathered there to
see the boys play. Then Krsna began to grow bigger and bigger until finally
he choked the demon to death. After the death of Aghasura the boys used to
play on the gigantic body without fear, knowing that Krsna had killed him.

One time Krsna and Balarama and their friends, being desirous of enjoying
the succulent fruits of the Talavana Forest, made plans to go there.
However, some of the boys tried to warn Krsna and Balarama that there was a
herd of donkey demons who stayed in that forest headed by Dhenukasura, and
so it is not safe to go there. Krsna and Balarama who had dealt with so many
demons, were not perturbed. The fruits in Talavana Forest were all ripe and
juicy but were all high up in the trees. When Dhenukasura and his ass-like
friends came, Krsna and Balarama caught hold of the demons and began
throwing them up into the trees, thus killing the demons, and knocking down
all the nice fruits.
 In the summertime the boys and the cows would go down to the Yamuna River
and take a break from the heat of the day. But for some time now another
demon of the name Kaliya had taken his residence just down stream from the
area known as Raman Reti or shimmering sands. He was a big black snake with
many many heads and hoods. Due to his presence, the waters of the Yamuna in
that area had become dirty, black and poisonous. On these hot days the cow
herd boys normally would go to the Yamuna and drink also, but upon drinking
this time, they became sick and then died. Only Krsna could bring them back
to life by His glance. Krsna didn't like his friends to be caused suffering
in this way, so He climbed up a big Kadamba tree and in a fighting mood,
jumped into the murky waters.  After attracting the Kaliya serpent, Krsna
sported with Him for some time. Finally Krsna made his transcendental body
bigger and bigger, until finally He took hold of the demon's hoods and began
to dance, pushing down with Supreme pleasure. Kaliya began to vomit all
kinds of bad things and even his own blood. As Krsna danced, he kicked the
demon with His lotus feet. Kaliya was now almost dead because of associating
unfavourably with Krsna, the Nagapatnis (wives of Kaliya) appealed for the
life of their husband. Krsna then sent the demon away from that place in the
Yamuna to where he now resides, in the south Pacific Ocean near Fiji.  Krsna
said that Garuda will not bother you if you go there immediately.

The daily pastimes of Krsna and Balarama  are too numerous to even
comprehend, what to speak of tell. Even Sesa Naga (Ananta Deva), Who has
unlimited heads, possessing ears and mouths, is still in a transcendentally
frustrated condition, for even though with His unlimited eyes and mouths he
is neither capable of hearing nor reciting the oh, too numerous, wonderful
pastimes of the Lord.

Krsna and Balarama and the cowherd boys love to wrestle together. Sometimes
they would pick sides, and on some days some of the boys were on Krsna's
side and on some days they were on Balarama's side. One day while they
played like this, the demon Pralambasura joined in. He took the disguise of
a cowherd boy. Krsna, the knower of all activities and the performers
thereof in the past, present and future, knew this cowherd boy was a demon
in disguise. On this particular day Balarama's team were the winners and so
Krsna's team had to carry them on their shoulders. As they walked in this
way through the forest, Pralambasura who was carrying Lord Balarama, carried
Balarama far away. Suddenly the ferocious demon assumed his normal horrific
size and shape. Lord Balaram, who is known for his superhuman strength, with
a couple of good punches from his fists which are soft like lotuses and
powerful like thunder bolts, killed the demon, blood pouring from Pralamba's
mouth.

Krsna, the transcendental cupid, always attracts the gopis and teases them,
in fact, he gets them in such a state that they can never forget him for
even a second. Their surrender to Krsna is completely selfless as one can
see by the incident of when Krsna said He had a headache. He approached the
'brahmanas' and asked for the dust from their feet, for Krsna told them by
taking their foot dust his headache would be cured. The 'brahmins' flatly
refused, saying that they would go to hell never to return for such an
offence of allowing their foot dust to be placed upon Krsna's head. However
when the 'gopis' headed by Srimati Radharani were asked for their foot dust
without a second thought they gave, for they didn't care even if they went
to hell eternally, as long as Krsna was happy.
 The 'brahmanas' over attachment to rules and regulation in this incident
proved their reservation to be a limitation in actual service to the Lord.
This is in the same way that other brahmanas who were worshipping the Lord
within the sacrificial fire could not see the Lord directly before them
asking for alms. But when Krsna and His cowherd friends approached the wives
of the 'brahmanas', who were pure devotees they gave so much foodstuffs for
the boys.

Too much attachment to rules and regulations becomes an obstacle to
approaching Lord Krsna, and neglectfulness to follow guidelines for
acknowledging who is the personality of Godhead, and what He looks like are
also a problem. One cannot whimsically speculate what Krsna wants or how to
please Him. Appearing as a small boy with His brother, cowherd friends and
girl friends, the 'gopis', many persons did not recognise Krsna for who He
is due to one reason or another. Those pure Vaisnavas who know what He and
His friends look like, how to recognise them are constantly engaged in
hearing, chanting, remembering Him, offering prayers, etc, and serving him
with their every action.
 As we can see by Sripad Madhwacarya's life he is one of those pure
unalloyed devotees of the Lord, for if he were not the, the incarnations and
wonderful pastimes of Lord Krsna would not be manifesting themselves before
his eyes. Nor would he be there before Srila Vyasadeva in the presence of
Nara-Narayana Rshis.

Note: Sri Narayana Panditacarya in his Madhwa Vijaya (9:41-43.) when Udupi
Krsna came refers to Him as 'Gopikapranayinah Sripateh' and
'Nanadanandamatindrayakriam'. Madhwa's God is the Boy-Krishna and object of
all-affection. The lover conception of God as the lover of the 'Gopis'
although not held as their main object of devotion, seems to have been
present nonetheless, unlike today.
 "This Darling conception of God has found its best expression in Gaudiya
Vaishnavism. Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraj states, 'All 'Gopis' help to enhance
the pleasure of Lord Krishna's Sports with Sri Radha being the instruments
of their (Radha and Krishna's) mutual enjoyment, Radha being the darling of
Lord Krishna and His life's treasure, no maiden or Gopi conduces to His
Pleasure with Radha'."(Caitanya Caritamrta. Adi lila. 4:217-218.;
Sambidananda dasa. 1991. The History & Literature of the Gaudiya Vaishnavas
and their relation to other medieval Vaishnava Schools.page 107-108.)

If one shows that, Krsna can put his faith in a person, knowing that the
person will not exploit the situation for mundane sensual pleasures, either
mental, bodily, or extended through family or national, humanitarian, etc,
the Lord will give that pure devotee the three worlds for he will only use
it for the Lord's pleasure.

Nanda Maharaja and the cowherds men were preparing to worship Indra the
demigod in charge of distribution of rainfall. Being of the mercantile
community for the growth of their crops, and grass for their cows, rain is
very important. Krsna, however, was not impressed by the worship separately
of demigods. He told Nanda Maharaja to instead worship the local brahmanas
and Govardhana Hill and forget worshipping Indra. Agreeing to this, the
cowherd men arranged for all kinds of fabulous foodstuffs to be cooked and
offered to Govardhana Hill. There were many nice vegetable preparations,
juicy, fried and dry cooked with spices, all kinds of rice, 'dahls',
'pakora', 'puris', 'chapattis' and other breads. There was 'sujika halavah',
sweet balls, 'sandesh', 'barfi', sweets in syrups like 'gulab jamens',
'rasagulla', dry sweets like 'laddhus', 'methipak' etc., all kinds of nice
preparations from scriptural recipes and local traditions.

The 'brahmins' chanted the glories of the Lord through choice hymns from the
scriptures.  The cows were nicely decorated with embroidered blankets,
painted hoofs and horns, gold, silver, brass and copper ornaments adorned
their bodies, and they were fed with unlimited juicy green grasses and other
favourites of theirs.
 'Daksina' was given to the 'brahmanas' comprising of gold coins, grains,
cows and cloth, and every man, woman, child and animal was fed with nice
'prasadam'. The 'gopis' were all dressed nicely and decorated with nice
ornaments, their long hair nicely plaited and bound at the end with flowers,
so they looked very chaste and pure, sitting upon bullock carts chanting the
glories of Lord Sri Krsna.

During all this Lord Krsna, who was about seven years old, suddenly turned
himself into a gigantic form of Govardhana Hill and He firmly stated that he
is non-different from that Govardhana Hill. The Lord in His transcendental
form, began to eat all of the foodstuffs offered at that place. Who can
understand the wonderful pastimes and forms of the unlimited omnipotent
Lord, Who has assumed the form of a small boy, though. He is the origin of
everything that be.
 When Lord Indra found out what had happened, in foolish anger he ordered
his 'samvartaka' clouds to rain over Vrndavan and flood everything and in
this way punish the residents of Vrndavan for not supplying the regular
yearly offering. Krsna out of compassion for his dear devotees, lifted the
whole Govardhana Hill, which is very high and many miles around, just as
though this huge hill was a mere frogs' umbrella (toadstool). Krsna held
Govardhana Hill for seven days on the little (pinkie) finger of his left
hand.
 Indra could now understand that he had gotten carried away by the modes of
passion and ignorance, and so he came before Krsna to beg forgiveness. After
this King Indra, the demigods, and the Surabhi cows worshipped Krsna,
bathing him with Ganges (Yamuna) water and fresh milk from the wish
fulfilling Surabhi cows. Now Krsna is remembered as Giri Govardhana, and is
worshipped in the form of Govardhana Hill.
 Once, midway through the period of dusk, Krsna was about to engage in a
'rasa' dance with the cowherd girls when suddenly the Aristasura demon (bull
demon) madly entered the village of Gokula, terrifying everyone. His roar
was so frightening and tumultuous that pregnant mothers, cows and humans had
miscarriages immediately. Krsna verbally chastised this bull demon, which
made him more angry. Krsna stated that He was here just to punish wicked
rascals like Aristasura. He provoked the demon into a charge, pointing the
sharp tips of his horns straight ahead and gearing with anger from his
bloodshot eyes, Aristasura tried to pierce Krsna. Krsna however grabbed the
demon by the horns and threw him back eighteen paces. Enraged, the bull
charged again, breathing heard and sweating. He was determined to finish the
eternal Lord. As Aristasura attacked Krsna grabbed the demon by the horns
and smashed Arista to the ground with His foot. The He thrashed him as a
washerman thrashes the dirt out of a wet cloth. Finally Krsna broke off the
demon's horns and pulverised Aristasura with them. Vomiting blood and
passing stool and urine, kicking his legs in agony and rolling his eyes,
Aristasura painfully gave up his life. Meanwhile the demigods showered
flowers upon Lord Krsna.

After Krsna killed Aristasura, Narada Muni went to speak to Kamsa, Krsna's
evil demon uncle. Narada told Kamsa the real course of events, how Krsna is
really the son of Devaki, and that Yashoda Mayi really had a girl and was
swapped over by Vasudeva. Also that Balarama is the son of Rohini, and that
out of fear of Kamsa's vengeance Vasudeva entrusting the transcendental boys
to Nanda Maharaja. Thus accelerating the coming pastimes of the Lord. Narada
Muni emphasised that these are the same boys who have killed all the demons
that you Kamsa have sent.
 Kamsa then sent the Keshi demon to try to kill both Krsna and Balarama.
Arranging with the innocent devotee Akrura, Krsna sent Akrura to Vrndavan to
fetch Krsna and Balaram to Mathura. Kamsa's plan was simply to arrange for
his asuric friends to try to kill Krsna and Balaram, and then to rule the
world. When the Keshi demon arrived in the form of a gigantic horse, his
loud neighing terrified all the inhabitants of Vrindavana, who all took
shelter of Krsna. The bold Keshi demon came and approached Krsna and tried
to attack with his front legs, but in a fatal swoop, Krsna grabbed the
demon's legs and whirled the demon around and around several times, and
threw the horse demon three hundred metres or so. The demons lay half
unconscious for some time, the Krsna, noticing the demon regaining
consciousness, jumped on him, and thrust his left arm into the demons'
mouth. The demon tried to bit it, but Krsna simply expanded it more and
more, finally choking Keshi into an agonising death. Krsna then calmly
removed His arm from the dead demon's mouth.

Soon after this Narada Muni, the sage among the demigods, came and offered
respects to Krsna, glorifying the Lord's future pastimes.
 One day not long after, while Krsna and Balarama were tending the cows, a
game of hide and seek came about in which all the boys were so absorbed.
Some were playing sheep, some shepherds, and some as thieves who steal
sheep. A demon called Vyomasura assumed the form of a boy and taking
advantage of the game, stole away five of Krsna's friends. The demon then
secured them in a mountain cave and blocked the entrance with a big rock.
Lord Krsna saw what Vyomasura was doing, and just as a lion grabs a wolf,
Krsna forcefully grabbed the demon as he tried to steal away more boys. The
Vyomasura demon then changed into his normal terrifying ugly form, as big as
a mountain. Krsna, being the strength of the strong, withdrew the strength
of the demon as he held Vyomasura in a death grip. He then smashed him to
the ground and strangled the foolish servant of Kamsa.
 Krsna and Balarama then nicely received their uncle Akrura, and prepared to
go to Mathura to take up the 'invitation' of Kamsa. All the young 'gopis'
were extremely upset to hear that their life and soul, Sri Sri Krsna and
Balaram, were going to leave Vrndavan. The 'gopis' condemned Lord Brahma for
making eyes that blinked for during that blinking action the were without
Krsna for a second. But now Akrura, which literally means 'not cruel' was
the cause of Krsna and Balarama going away, and repeatedly they said Akrura
was not worthy of such a name. As the 'gopis' wept pitifully, Krsna assured
them that He would be back soon. With their minds fixed in thought of Krsna
and Balarama, the 'gopis' stood and watched as the chariot given by Kamsa,
the flag on top  and the dust of the chariot's wheels on the road
disappeared out of sight. Then in despondency they wandered back to their
individual homes.
 Krsna, Balarama and Akrura reached Mathura late in the afternoon. After
Krsna and Balarama met with Nanda Maharaja. Akrura went home with Krsna's
blessings. He then informed Kamsa of Krsna and Balarama's arrival in
Mathura. The boys, wanting to see the opulent city of Mathura, then entered
further into the city on the King's road. Festoons, full water pots, banana
trees, gems of all sizes decorated the city. Grains were scattered here and
there, flower garlands were hanging here and there, all kinds of natural
opulence's auspiciously adorned the city. As the boys and their friends
entered the city many women climbed to the roof tops to see Krsna and
Balarama. The ladies were is such haste to see their Lordships that
forgetting themselves, some of them put their clothes and ornaments on
backwards, others forgot one of their earrings or ankle bells, while others
applied make up to one eye forgetting the other one. Abandoning family
gatherings, their meals and those breast feeding mothers even abandoned
their suckling babes to see Krsna.
 The Lord, smiling, walked like a bold bill elephant, dressed nicely. He was
a festival for the eyes of the ladies of Mathura, who had gathered there
with melting hearts to see Him. The women rained flowers upon the boys who,
without a doubt, are the Supreme Lords of the three worlds.
 Seeing a washerman approaching who had been dyeing clothes, Krsna asked the
washerman to give some of these nice clothes in charity by which Krsna would
bless the washerman with His mercy. But this washerman was the arrogant
servant of King Kamsa, and was carrying the King's cloth. The washerman
foolishly started to insult Krsna and Balarama, suggesting that they were
being impudent for asking for the King's cloth. Krsna, with the greatest of
ease, lopped off the sinful rascal washerman's head with the touch of his
finger.  Seeing this, the washerman's associates dropped their bundles and
ran for their lives. Krsna and Balarama then dressed themselves nicely in
the opulent clothes and then distributed the rest to all their friends, the
cowherd from Vrindavan. Those that they had no need for, they simply left
scattered on the ground.
 As Krsna and Balarama and Their friends walked the streets, various person
brought many auspicious items for their Lordships, such as garlands,
perfumes, pan, etc, and thus received Krsna's benedictions.
 Krsna enquired from the local people as to the whereabouts of the
sacrificial arena where the bow sacrifice would take place. When Krsna
walked into the arena and saw the most opulent bow given to Kamsa by Lord
Shiva, even though it was huge and guarded by a large company of men, Krsna
pushed His way forward and effortlessly picked it up, strung it, and broke
it in a fraction of a second. Kamsa was struck with terror and instructed
his men to grab Krsna and Balarama and kill them. Krsna and Balarama picked
up the two halves of the mighty bow and started killing hundreds of the
soldiers who tried to attack them. As the sun began to set on that day,
Krsna and Balarama returned to the cowherd's wagons on the edge of town.
 Kamsa couldn't sleep that night as all kinds of inauspicious omen were seen
by him. Kamsa was terrified by the prospect of his own death which he knew
was imminent.

The next day was the day of the wrestling match. Worshipping the arena and
giving special seats to himself and other provincial rulers, Kamsa took his
seat though his weakened heart trembled. Then the lavishly dressed and
extremely proud wrestlers entered the arena to the sound of loud horns and
drums, announcing their presence. The King's powerful wrestlers Canura,
Mustika, Kuta, Sala and Tosala sat down on the wrestling mats. Kamsa called
forward the leaders of the community of Vraja (Vrindavan) to present their
offerings before him now. Kamsa then spoke with Nanda Maharaja and pointed
out how Kamsa had arranged this whole wrestling match because he had heard
that the boys of Nanda Maharaja were supposed to be powerful. But where are
they now? Out of disrespect for Kamsa, Krsna and Balarama had decided to
neglect Kamsa's arrangements and go and do something else, elsewhere.
 The next morning Krsna killed the elephant demon Kuvalayapida. That
elephant, on the orders of the mahoot (keeper), grabbed Krsna in his trunk,
but Krsna then disappeared from the demoniac elephant's sight and stood
behind the animal's back legs. The elephant again tried to capture Krsna in
playful torment, but Krsna escaped. Then Krsna seized the elephant, ripped
out one of his tusks, and began to beat both the keeper and the elephant
until they were dead. Then, sprinkled with the blood of the elephant and
holding one tusk in His hand, Krsna appeared decorated in this unique way at
the wrestling arena.
 In different relationships, the different persons assembled there saw Krsna
in different ways. The wrestlers in fury saw Krsna as a lightning bolt. The
men of Mathura saw Krsna in wonder as the best of all males, the women folk
saw Krsna as Cupid personified, and the cowherd men as their funny friend
and relative. The Kings assembled there saw Krsna as the chivalrous
chastiser, and His parents as their merciful child. Kamsa, the king of the
Bhoja dynasty, saw Krsna as death personified. The unintelligent there saw
in ghastliness, the Lord of His universal form, and the 'yogis', out of
peaceful neutrality saw the Lord as the absolute truth. The Vrsnis, in love
and devotion, saw Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, their Supreme
worshipful Deity.

Out of envy and fury Canura challenged Krsna to a wrestling match, not being
able to bear the praises of the public upon the two transcendental brothers.
Canura revealed his envy for Krsna and Balarama when the boys said that they
are just young boys and should play with boys of their own age. Many of the
public also felt like this, that it was an uneven match, but Canura revealed
his hate for Krsna, saying, "You aren't really a child or even a young man
and neither is Balarama, the strongest of the strong. After all, playfully
You have killed so many of our men, including the elephant who had the
strength of a thousand elephants.  Therefore I, Canura, will fight with You
and Balaram with Mustika."
 Krsna fought with Canura, seizing each other's hands, locking legs, Canura
struggled for victory. Fist against fist, knee to knee, the fight went on,
running, dragging in circles, shoving, throwing this way and that, until
finally Krsna had played enough. He then grabbed Canura's arms and whirled
the demon around several times before smashing him to the ground dead.
Mustika found himself in a similar situation. After bring stuck repeatedly
by the supreme powerful palm of Lord Balarama, Mustika vomited blood, and
fell down dead. The remaining wrestlers fled for their lives.
 To congratulate the victorious Krsna and Balarama, all their friends came
and joined them. Everyone was chanting and dancing, and their ankle bells
made a wonderful musical accompaniment. Everyone except Kamsa that is
rejoiced at the killing of the wrestlers. Kamsa told his remaining men to,
"Drive the two wicked sons of Vasudeva out of Mathura, confiscate the
cowherd's property and arrest Nanda Maharaja. Kill Vasudeva and his father
and their followers, our enemies." Hearing this nonsense, Krsna approached
Kamsa as death personified. Kamsa took up a shield and sword but was
disarmed by Krsna, Who was unarmed Himself, in seconds. Then, as Garuda
might capture an insignificant snake, Krsna grabbed Kamsa by the hair,
knocked off his crown, and dragged him by the hair into the arena.
Straddling Kamsa's chest as one straddles a horse. Krsna then repeatedly
pounded Kamsa again and again until Kamsa finally gave up his

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