Chapter Nine

                 Mother Yasoda Binds Lord Lord Krsna


   While mother Yasoda was allowing Krsna to drink her breast milk, she was forced to stop because she saw the milk pan boiling over on the oven. The maidservants being engaged in other business, she stopped allowing Krsna to drink from her breast and immediately attended to the overflowing milk pan. Krsna became very angry because of His mother's behavior and devised a means of breaking the pots of yogurt. Because He created this disturbance, mother Yasoda decided to bind Him. These incidents are described in this chapter.

   One day, the maidservants being engaged in other work, mother Yasoda was churning the yogurt into butter herself, and in the meantime Krsna came and requested her to allow Him to suck her breast milk. Of course, mother Yasoda immediately allowed Him to do so, but then she saw that the hot milk on the oven was boiling over, and therefore she immediately stopped allowing Krsna to drink the milk of her breast and went to stop the milk on the oven from overflowing. Krsna, however, having been interrupted in His business of sucking the breast, was very angry. He took a piece of stone, broke the churning pot and entered a room, where He began to eat the freshly churned butter. When mother Yasoda, after attending to the overflowing milk, returned and saw the pot broken, she could understand that this was the work of Krsna, and therefore she went to search for Him. When she entered the room, she saw Krsna standing on the ulukhala, a large mortar for grinding spices. Having turned the mortar upside down, He was stealing butter hanging from a swing and was distributing the butter to the monkeys. As soon as Krsna saw that His mother had come, He immediately began to run away, and mother Yasoda began to follow Him. After going some distance, mother Yasoda was able to catch Krsna, who because of His offense was crying. Mother Yasoda, of course, threatened to punish Krsna if He acted that way again, and she decided to bind Him with rope. Unfortunately, when the time came to knot the rope, the rope with which she wanted to bind Him was short by a distance equal to the width of two fingers. When she made the rope longer by adding another rope, she again saw that it was short by two fingers. Again and again she tried, and again and again she found the rope too short by two fingers. Thus she became very tired, and Krsna, seeing His affectionate mother so tired, allowed Himself to be bound. Now, being compassionate, He did not show her His unlimited potency. After mother Yasoda bound Krsna and became engaged in other household affairs, Krsna observed two yamala-arjuna trees, which were actually Nalakuvara and Manigriva, two sons of Kuvera who had been condemned by Narada Muni to become trees. Krsna, by His mercy, now began to proceed toward the trees to fulfill the desire of Narada Muni.


                              TEXTS 1-2




                            sri-suka uvaca

                          ekada grha-dasisu

                         yasoda nanda-gehini


                       nirmamantha svayam dadhi


                          yani yaniha gitani

                         tad-bala-caritani ca

                        dadhi-nirmanthane kale

                        smaranti tany agayata




   sri-sukah uvaca--Sri Sukadeva Gosvami said; ekada--one day; grha-dasisu--when all the maidservants of the household were otherwise engaged; yasoda--mother Yasoda; nanda-gehini--the queen of Nanda Maharaja; karma-antara--in other household affairs; niyuktasu--being engaged; nirmamantha--churned; svayam--personally; dadhi--the yogurt; yani--all such; yani--such; iha--in this connection; gitani--songs; tat-bala-caritani--in which the activities of her own child were enacted; ca--and; dadhi-nirmanthane--while churning the yogurt; kale--at that time; smaranti--remembering; tani--all of them (in the form of songs); agayata--chanted.




   Sri Sukadeva Gosvami continued: One day when mother Yasoda saw that all the maidservants were engaged in other household affairs, she personally began to churn the yogurt. While churning, she remembered the childish activities of Krsna, and in her own way she composed songs and enjoyed singing to herself about all those activities.




   Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, quoting from the Vaisnava-tosani of Srila Sanatana Gosvami, says that the incident of Krsna's breaking the pot of yogurt and being bound by mother Yasoda took place on the Dipavali Day, or Dipa-malika. Even today in India, this festival is generally celebrated very gorgeously in the month of Kartika by fireworks and lights, especially in Bombay. It is to be understood that among all the cows of Nanda Maharaja, several of mother Yasoda's cows ate only grasses so flavorful that the grasses would automatically flavor the milk. Mother Yasoda wanted to collect the milk from these cows, make it into yogurt and churn it into butter personally, since she thought that this child Krsna was going to the houses of neighborhood gopas and gopis to steal butter because He did not like the milk and yogurt ordinarily prepared.

   While churning the butter, mother Yasoda was singing about the childhood activities of Krsna. It was formerly a custom that if one wanted to remember something constantly, he would transform it into poetry or have this done by a professional poet. It appears that mother Yasoda did not want to forget Krsna's activities at any time. Therefore she poeticized all of Krsna's childhood activities, such as the killing of Putana, Aghasura, Sakatasura and Trnavarta, and while churning the butter, she sang about these activities in poetical form. This should be the practice of persons eager to remain Krsna conscious twenty-four hours a day. This incident shows how Krsna conscious mother Yasoda was. To stay in Krsna consciousness, we should follow such persons.


                                TEXT 3




         ksaumam vasah prthu-kati-tate bibhrati sutra-naddham

         putra-sneha-snuta-kuca-yugam jata-kampam ca subhruh

          rajjv-akarsa-srama-bhuja-calat-kankanau kundale ca

          svinnam vaktram kabara-vigalan-malati nirmamantha




   ksaumam--saffron and yellow mixed; vasah--mother Yasoda was wearing such a sari; prthu-kati-tate--surrounding her large hips; bibhrati--shaking; sutra-naddham--bound with a belt; putra-sneha-snuta--because of intense love for her child, became wet with milk; kuca-yugam--the nipples of her breasts; jata-kampam ca--as they were very nicely moving and quivering; su-bhruh--who had very beautiful eyebrows; rajju-akarsa--by pulling on the rope of the churning rod; srama--because of the labor; bhuja--on whose hands; calat-kankanau--the two bangles were moving; kundale--the two earrings; ca--also; svinnam--her hair was black like a cloud, so perspiration was dropping like rain; vaktram--throughout her face; kabara-vigalat-malati--and malati flowers were dropping from her hair; nirmamantha--thus mother Yasoda was churning the butter.




   Dressed in a saffron-yellow sari, with a belt tied about her full hips, mother Yasoda pulled on the churning rope, laboring considerably, her bangles and earrings moving and vibrating and her whole body shaking. Because of her intense love for her child, her breasts were wet with milk. Her face, with its very beautiful eyebrows, was wet with perspiration, and malati flowers were falling from her hair.




   Anyone who desires to be Krsna conscious in motherly affection or parental affection should contemplate the bodily features of mother Yasoda. It is not that one should desire to become like Yasoda, for this is Mayavada. Either in parental affection or conjugal love, friendship or servitorship--in any way--we must follow in the footsteps of the inhabitants of Vrndavana, not try to become like them. Therefore this description is provided here. Advanced devotees must cherish this description, always thinking of mother Yasoda's features--how she was dressed, how she was working and perspiring, how beautifully the flowers were arranged in her hair, and so on. One should take advantage of the full description provided here by thinking of mother Yasoda in maternal affection for Krsna.


                                TEXT 4




                        tam stanya-kama asadya

                       mathnantim jananim harih

                       grhitva dadhi-manthanam

                       nyasedhat pritim avahan




   tam--unto mother Yasoda; stanya-kamah--Krsna, who was desiring to drink her breast milk; asadya--appearing before her; mathnantim--while she was churning butter; jananim--to the mother; harih--Krsna; grhitva--catching; dadhi-manthanam--the churning rod; nyasedhat--forbade; pritim avahan--creating a situation of love and affection.




   While mother Yasoda was churning butter, Lord Krsna, desiring to drink the milk of her breast, appeared before her, and in order to increase her transcendental pleasure, He caught hold of the churning rod and began to prevent her from churning.




   Krsna was sleeping within the room, and as soon as He got up, He became hungry and went to His mother. Wanting to stop her from churning and drink the milk of her breasts, He stopped her from moving the churning rod.


                                TEXT 5




                  tam ankam arudham apayayat stanam

                 sneha-snutam sa-smitam iksati mukham

                   atrptam utsrjya javena sa yayav

                   utsicyamane payasi tv adhisrite




   tam--unto Krsna; ankam arudham--very affectionately allowing Him to sit down on her lap; apayayat--allowed to drink; stanam--her breast; sneha-snutam--which was flowing with milk because of intense affection; sa-smitam iksati mukham--mother Yasoda was smiling and observing the smiling face of Krsna; atrptam--Krsna, who was still not fully satisfied by drinking the milk; utsrjya--putting Him aside; javena--very hastily; sa--mother Yasoda; yayau--left that place; utsicyamane payasi--because of seeing that the milk was overflowing; tu--but; adhisrite--in the milk pan on the oven.




   Mother Yasoda then embraced Krsna, allowed Him to sit down on her lap, and began to look upon the face of the Lord with great love and affection. Because of her intense affection, milk was flowing from her breast. But when she saw that the milk pan on the oven was boiling over, she immediately left her son to take care of the overflowing milk, although the child was not yet fully satisfied with drinking the milk of His mother's breast.




   Everything in the household affairs of mother Yasoda was meant for Krsna. Although Krsna was drinking the breast milk of mother Yasoda, when she saw that the milk pan in the kitchen was overflowing, she had to take care of it immediately, and thus she left her son, who then became very angry, not having been fully satisfied with drinking the milk of her breast. Sometimes one must take care of more than one item of important business for the same purpose. Therefore mother Yasoda was not unjust when she left her son to take care of the overflowing milk. On the platform of love and affection, it is the duty of the devotee to do one thing first and other things later. The proper intuition by which to do this is given by Krsna.


                        tesam satata-yuktanam

                       bhajatam priti-purvakam

                       dadami buddhi-yogam tam

                         yena mam upayanti te


   (Bg. 10.10)


   In Krsna consciousness, everything is dynamic. Krsna guides the devotee in what to do first and what to do next on the platform of absolute truth.


                                TEXT 6




                   sanjata-kopah sphuritarunadharam

                sandasya dadbhir dadhi-mantha-bhajanam

                  bhittva mrsasrur drsad-asmana raho

                  jaghasa haiyangavam antaram gatah




   sanjata-kopah--in this way, Krsna being very angry; sphurita-aruna-adharam--swollen reddish lips; sandasya--capturing; dadbhih--by His teeth; dadhi-mantha-bhajanam--the pot in which yogurt was being churned; bhittva--breaking; mrsa-asruh--with false tears in the eyes; drsat-asmana--with a piece of stone; rahah--in a solitary place; jaghasa--began to eat; haiyangavam--the freshly churned butter; antaram--within the room; gatah--having gone.




   Being very angry and biting His reddish lips with His teeth, Krsna, with false tears in His eyes, broke the container of yogurt with a piece of stone. Then He entered a room and began to eat the freshly churned butter in a solitary place.




   It is natural that when a child becomes angry he can begin crying with false tears in his eyes. So Krsna did this, and biting His reddish lips with His teeth, He broke the pot with a stone, entered a room and began to eat the freshly churned butter.


                                TEXT 7




                   uttarya gopi susrtam payah punah

                 pravisya samdrsya ca dadhy-amatrakam

                bhagnam vilokya sva-sutasya karma taj

                   jahasa tam capi na tatra pasyati




   uttarya--putting down from the oven; gopi--mother Yasoda; su-srtam--very hot; payah--the milk; punah--again; pravisya--entered the churning spot; samdrsya--by observing; ca--also; dadhi-amatrakam--the container of yogurt; bhagnam--broken; vilokya--seeing this; sva-sutasya--of her own child; karma--work; tat--that; jahasa--smiled; tam ca--Krsna also; api--at the same time; na--not; tatra--there; pasyati--finding.




   Mother Yasoda, after taking down the hot milk from the oven, returned to the churning spot, and when she saw that the container of yogurt was broken and that Krsna was not present, she concluded that the breaking of the pot was the work of Krsna.




   Seeing the pot broken and Krsna not present, Yasoda definitely concluded that the breaking of the pot was the work of Krsna. There was no doubt about it.


                                TEXT 8




                  ulukhalanghrer upari vyavasthitam

                  markaya kamam dadatam sici sthitam

                  haiyangavam caurya-visankiteksanam

                 niriksya pascat sutam agamac chanaih




   ulukhala-anghreh--of the mortar in which spices were ground and which was being kept upside down; upari--on top; vyavasthitam--Krsna was sitting; markaya--unto a monkey; kamam--according to His satisfaction; dadatam--delivering shares; sici sthitam--situated in the butter pot hanging on the swing; haiyangavam--butter and other milk preparations; caurya-visankita--because of stealing, were anxiously looking hither and thither; iksanam--whose eyes; niriksya--by seeing these activities; pascat--from behind; sutam--her son; agamat--she reached; sanaih--very slowly, cautiously.




   Krsna, 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.




   Mother Yasoda was able to trace Krsna by following His butter-smeared footprints. She saw that Krsna was stealing butter, and thus she smiled. Meanwhile, the crows also entered the room and came out in fear. Thus mother Yasoda found Krsna stealing butter and very anxiously looking here and there.


                                TEXT 9




                 tam atta-yastim prasamiksya satvaras

                    tato 'varuhyapasasara bhitavat

                  gopy anvadhavan na yam apa yoginam

                  ksamam pravestum tapaseritam manah




   tam--unto mother Yasoda; atta-yastim--carrying in her hand a stick; prasamiksya--Krsna, seeing her in that attitude; satvarah--very quickly; tatah--from there; avaruhya--getting down; apasasara--began to flee; bhita-vat--as if very much afraid; gopi--mother Yasoda; anvadhavat--began to follow Him; na--not; yam--unto whom; apa--failed to reach; yoginam--of great yogis, mystics; ksamam--who could reach Him; pravestum--trying to enter into the Brahman effulgence or Paramatma; tapasa--with great austerities and penances; iritam--trying for that purpose; manah--by meditation.




   When Lord Sri Krsna 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 penances, they fail to reach Him. But mother Yasoda, thinking that same Personality of Godhead, Krsna, to be her son, began following Krsna to catch Him.




   Yogis, mystics, want to catch Krsna as Paramatma, and with great austerities and penances they try to approach Him, yet they cannot. Here we see, however, that Krsna is going to be caught by Yasoda and is running away in fear. This illustrates the difference between the bhakta and the yogi. Yogis cannot reach Krsna, but for pure devotees like mother Yasoda, Krsna is already caught. Krsna was even afraid of mother Yasoda's stick. This was mentioned by Queen Kunti in her prayers: bhaya-bhavanaya sthitasya (Bhag. 1.8.31). Krsna is afraid of mother Yasoda, and yogis are afraid of Krsna. Yogis try to reach Krsna by jnana-yoga and other yogas, but fail. Yet although mother Yasoda was a woman, Krsna was afraid of her, as clearly described in this verse.


                               TEXT 10




                   anvancamana janani brhac-calac-

                 chroni-bharakranta-gatih sumadhyama

                   javena visramsita-kesa-bandhana-

                    cyuta-prasunanugatih paramrsat




   anvancamana--following Krsna very swiftly; janani--mother Yasoda; brhat-calat-sroni-bhara-akranta-gatih--being overburdened by the weight of her large breasts, she became tired and had to reduce her speed; su-madhyama--because of her thin waist; javena--because of going very fast; visramsita-kesa-bandhana--from her arrangement of hair, which had become loosened; cyuta-prasuna-anugatih--she was followed by the flowers falling after her; paramrsat--finally captured Krsna without fail.




   While following Krsna, mother Yasoda, her thin waist overburdened by her heavy breasts, naturally had to reduce her speed. Because of following Krsna very swiftly, her hair became loose, and the flowers in her hair were falling after her. Yet she did not fail to capture her son Krsna.




   Yogis cannot capture Krsna by severe penances and austerities, but mother Yasoda, despite all obstacles, was finally able to catch Krsna without difficulty. This is the difference between a yogi and a bhakta. Yogis cannot enter even the effulgence of Krsna. Yasya prabha prabhavato jagad-anda-koti-kotisu (Brahma-samhita 5.40). In that effulgence there are millions of universes, but yogis and jnanis cannot enter that effulgence even after many, many years of austerities, whereas bhaktas can capture Krsna simply by love and affection. This is the example shown here by mother Yasoda. Krsna therefore confirms that if one wants to capture Him, one must undertake devotional service.


                        bhaktya mam abhijanati

                      yavan yas casmi tattvatah

                       tato mam tattvato jnatva

                         visate tad-anantaram


   (Bg. 18.55)


   Bhaktas enter even the planet of Krsna very easily, but the less intelligent yogis and jnanis, by their meditation, remain running after Krsna. Even if they enter Krsna's effulgence, they fall down.


                               TEXT 11




                   krtagasam tam prarudantam aksini

                   kasantam anjan-masini sva-panina

                   udviksamanam bhaya-vihvaleksanam

                  haste grhitva bhisayanty avagurat




   krta-agasam--who was an offender; tam--unto Krsna; prarudantam--with a crying attitude; aksini--His two eyes; kasantam--rubbing; anjat-masini--from whose eyes the blackish ointment was distributed all over His face with tears; sva-panina--with His own hand; udviksamanam--who was seen in that attitude by mother Yasoda; bhaya-vihvala-iksanam--whose eyes appeared distressed because of such fear of His mother; haste--by the hand; grhitva--catching; bhisayanti--mother Yasoda was threatening Him; avagurat--and thus she very mildly chastised Him.




   When caught by mother Yasoda, Krsna became more and more afraid and admitted to being an offender. As she looked upon Him, she saw that He was crying, His tears mixing with the black ointment around His eyes, and as He rubbed His eyes with His hands, He smeared the ointment all over His face. Mother Yasoda, catching her beautiful son by the hand, mildly began to chastise Him.




   From these dealings between mother Yasoda and Krsna, we can understand the exalted position of a pure devotee in loving service to the Lord. Yogis, jnanis, karmis and Vedantists cannot even approach Krsna; they must remain very, very far away from Him and try to enter His bodily effulgence, although this also they are unable to do. Great demigods like Lord Brahma and Lord Siva always worship the Lord by meditation and by service. Even the most powerful Yamaraja fears Krsna. Therefore, as we find in the history of Ajamila, Yamaraja instructed his followers not even to approach the devotees, what to speak of capturing them. In other words, Yamaraja also fears Krsna and Krsna's devotees. Yet this Krsna became so dependent on mother Yasoda that when she simply showed Krsna the stick in her hand, Krsna admitted to being an offender and began to cry like an ordinary child. Mother Yasoda, of course, did not want to chastise her beloved child very much, and therefore she immediately threw her stick away and simply rebuked Krsna, saying, "Now I shall bind You so that You cannot commit any further offensive activities. Nor for the time being can You play with Your playmates." This shows the position of a pure devotee, in contrast with others, like jnanis, yogis and the followers of Vedic ritualistic ceremonies, in regarding the transcendental nature of the Absolute Truth.


                               TEXT 12




                     tyaktva yastim sutam bhitam


                        iyesa kila tam baddhum





   tyaktva--throwing away; yastim--the stick in her hand; sutam--her son; bhitam--considering her son's great fear; vijnaya--understanding; arbhaka-vatsala--the most affectionate mother of Krsna; iyesa--desired; kila--indeed; tam--Krsna; baddhum--to bind; damna--with a rope; a-tat-virya-kovida--without knowledge of the supremely powerful Personality of Godhead (because of intense love for Krsna).




   Mother Yasoda was always overwhelmed by intense love for Krsna, not knowing who Krsna was or how powerful He was. Because of maternal affection for Krsna, she never even cared to know who He was. Therefore, when she saw that her son had become excessively afraid, she threw the stick away and desired to bind Him so that He would not commit any further naughty activities.




   Mother Yasoda wanted to bind Krsna not in order to chastise Him but because she thought that the child was so restless that He might leave the house in fear. That would be another disturbance. Therefore, because of full affection, to stop Krsna from leaving the house, she wanted to bind Him with rope. Mother Yasoda wanted to impress upon Krsna that since He was afraid merely to see her stick, He should not perform such disturbing activities as breaking the container of yogurt and butter and distributing its contents to the monkeys. Mother Yasoda did not care to understand who Krsna was and how His power spreads everywhere. This is an example of pure love for Krsna.


                             TEXTS 13-14




                       na cantar na bahir yasya

                        na purvam napi caparam

                       purvaparam bahis cantar

                        jagato yo jagac ca yah


                       tam matvatmajam avyaktam

                       martya-lingam adhoksajam

                         gopikolukhale damna

                       babandha prakrtam yatha




   na--not; ca--also; antah--interior; na--nor; bahih--exterior; yasya--whose; na--neither; purvam--beginning; na--nor; api--indeed; ca--also; aparam--end; purva-aparam--the beginning and the end; bahih ca antah--the external and the internal; jagatah--of the whole cosmic manifestation; yah--one who is; jagat ca yah--and who is everything in creation in total; tam--Him; matva--considering; atmajam--her own son; avyaktam--the unmanifested; martya-lingam--appearing as a human being; adhoksajam--beyond sense perception; gopika--mother Yasoda; ulukhale--to the grinding mortar; damna--by a rope; babandha--bound; prakrtam yatha--as done to a common human child.




   The Supreme Personality of Godhead has no beginning and no end, no exterior and no interior, no front and no rear. In other words, He is all-pervading. Because He is not under the influence of the element of time, for Him there is no difference between past, present and future; He exists in His own transcendental form at all times. Being absolute, beyond relativity, He is free from distinctions between cause and effect, although He is the cause and effect of everything. That unmanifested person, who is beyond the perception of the senses, had now appeared as a human child, and mother Yasoda, considering Him her own ordinary child, bound Him to the wooden mortar with a rope.




   In Bhagavad-gita (10.12), Krsna is described as the Supreme Brahman (param brahma param dhama). The word brahma means "the greatest." Krsna is greater than the greatest, being unlimited and all-pervading. How can it be possible for the all-pervading to be measured or bound? Then again, Krsna is the time factor. Therefore, He is all-pervading not only in space but also in time. We have measurements of time, but although we are limited by past, present and future, for Krsna these do not exist. Every individual person can be measured, but Krsna has already shown that although He also is an individual, the entire cosmic manifestation is within His mouth. All these points considered, Krsna cannot be measured. How then did Yasoda want to measure Him and bind Him? We must conclude that this took place simply on the platform of pure transcendental love. This was the only cause.


                 advaitam acyutam anadim ananta-rupam

                adyam purana-purusam nava-yauvanam ca

               vedesu durlabham adurlabham atma-bhaktau

                govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami


   (Brahma-samhita 5.33)


   Everything is one because Krsna is the supreme cause of everything. Krsna cannot be measured or calculated by Vedic knowledge (vedesu durlabham). He is available only to devotees (adurlabham atma-bhaktau). Devotees can handle Him because they act on the basis of loving service (bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yas casmi tattvatah). Thus mother Yasoda wanted to bind Him.


                               TEXT 15




                        tad dama badhyamanasya

                        svarbhakasya krtagasah

                       dvy-angulonam abhut tena

                       sandadhe 'nyac ca gopika




   tat dama--that binding rope; badhyamanasya--who was being bound by mother Yasoda; sva-arbhakasya--of her own son; krta-agasah--who was an offender; dvi-angula--by a measurement of two fingers; unam--short; abhut--became; tena--with that rope; sandadhe--joined; anyat ca--another rope; gopika--mother Yasoda.




   When mother Yasoda was trying to bind the offending child, she saw that the binding rope was short by a distance the width of two fingers. Thus she brought another rope to join to it.




   Here is the first chapter in Krsna's exhibition of unlimited potency to mother Yasoda when she tried to bind Him: the rope was too short. The Lord had already shown His unlimited potency by killing Putana, Sakatasura and Trnavarta. Now Krsna exhibited another vibhuti, or display of potency, to mother Yasoda. "Unless I agree," Krsna desired to show, "you cannot bind Me." Thus although mother Yasoda, in her attempt to bind Krsna, added one rope after another, ultimately she was a failure. When Krsna agreed, however, she was successful. In other words, one must be in transcendental love with Krsna, but that does not mean that one can control Krsna. When Krsna is satisfied with one's devotional service, He does everything Himself. Sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah. He reveals more and more to the devotee as the devotee advances in service. Jihvadau: this service begins with the tongue, with chanting and with taking the prasada of Krsna.


                        atah sri-krsna-namadi

                     na bhaved grahyam indriyaih

                        sevonmukhe hi jihvadau

                       svayam eva sphuraty adah


   (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.234)


                               TEXT 16




                        yadasit tad api nyunam

                        tenanyad api sandadhe

                      tad api dvy-angulam nyunam

                       yad yad adatta bandhanam




   yada--when; asit--became; tat api--even the new rope that had been joined; nyunam--still short; tena--then, with the second rope; anyat api--another rope also; sandadhe--she joined; tat api--that also; dvi-angulam--by a measurement of two fingers; nyunam--remained short; yat yat adatta--in this way, one after another, whatever ropes she joined; bandhanam--for binding Krsna.




   This new rope also was short by a measurement of two fingers, and when another rope was joined to it, it was still two fingers too short. As many ropes as she joined, all of them failed; their shortness could not be overcome.


                               TEXT 17




                         evam sva-geha-damani

                        yasoda sandadhaty api

                        gopinam susmayantinam

                        smayanti vismitabhavat




   evam--in this manner; sva-geha-damani--all the ropes available in the household; yasoda--mother Yasoda; sandadhati api--although she was joining one after another; gopinam--when all the other elderly gopi friends of mother Yasoda; su-smayantinam--were all taking pleasure in this funny affair; smayanti--mother Yasoda was also smiling; vismita abhavat--all of them were struck with wonder.




   Thus mother Yasoda joined whatever ropes were available in the household, but still she failed in her attempt to bind Krsna. Mother Yasoda's friends, the elderly gopis in the neighborhood, were smiling and enjoying the fun. Similarly, mother Yasoda, although laboring in that way, was also smiling. All of them were struck with wonder.




   Actually this incident was wonderful because Krsna was only a child with small hands. To bind Him should have required only a rope not more than two feet long. All the ropes in the house combined together might have been hundreds of feet long, but still He was impossible to bind, for all the ropes together were still too short. Naturally mother Yasoda and her gopi friends thought, "How is this possible?" Seeing this funny affair, all of them were smiling. The first rope was short by a measurement the width of two fingers, and after the second rope was added, it was still two fingers too short. If the shortness of all the ropes were added together, it must have amounted to the width of hundreds of fingers. Certainly this was astonishing. This was another exhibition of Krsna's inconceivable potency to His mother and His mother's friends.


                               TEXT 18




                       sva-matuh svinna-gatraya


                       drstva parisramam krsnah

                        krpayasit sva-bandhane




   sva-matuh--of His own mother (Krsna's mother, Yasodadevi); svinna-gatrayah--when Krsna saw His mother perspiring all over because of unnecessary labor; visrasta--were falling down; kabara--from her hair; srajah--of whom the flowers; drstva--by seeing the condition of His mother; parisramam--He could understand that she was now overworked and feeling fatigued; krsnah--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; krpaya--by His causeless mercy upon His devotee and mother; asit--agreed; sva-bandhane--in binding Him.




   Because of mother Yasoda's hard labor, her whole body became covered with perspiration, and the flowers and comb were falling from her hair. When child Krsna saw His mother thus fatigued, He became merciful to her and agreed to be bound.




   When mother Yasoda and the other ladies finally saw that Krsna, although decorated with many bangles and other jeweled ornaments, could not be bound with all the ropes available in the house, they decided that Krsna was so fortunate that He could not be bound by any material condition. Thus they gave up the idea of binding Him. But in competition between Krsna and His devotee, Krsna sometimes agrees to be defeated. Thus Krsna's internal energy, yogamaya, was brought to work, and Krsna agreed to be bound by mother Yasoda.


                               TEXT 19




                       evam sandarsita hy anga

                        harina bhrtya-vasyata

                         sva-vasenapi krsnena

                        yasyedam sesvaram vase




   evam--in this manner; sandarsita--was exhibited; hi--indeed; anga--O Maharaja Pariksit; harina--by the Supreme Personality of Godhead; bhrtya-vasyata--His transcendental quality of becoming subordinate to His servitor or devotee; sva-vasena--who is within the control only of His own self; api--indeed; krsnena--by Krsna; yasya--of whom; idam--the whole universe; sa-isvaram--with the powerful demigods like Lord Siva and Lord Brahma; vase--under the control.




   O Maharaja Pariksit, this entire universe, with its great, exalted demigods like Lord Siva, Lord Brahma and Lord Indra, is under the control of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Yet the Supreme Lord has one transcendental attribute: He comes under the control of His devotees. This was now exhibited by Krsna in this pastime.




   This pastime of Krsna's is very difficult to understand, but devotees can understand it. It is therefore said, darsayams tad-vidam loka atmano bhakta-vasyatam (Bhag. 10.11.9): the Lord displays the transcendental attribute of coming under the control of His devotees. As stated in the Brahma-samhita (5.35):


               eko 'py asau racayitum jagad-anda-kotim

              yac-chaktir asti jagad-anda-caya yad-antah


                govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami


   By His one plenary portion as Paramatma, the Lord controls innumerable universes, with all their demigods; yet He agrees to be controlled by a devotee. In the Upanisads it is said that the Supreme Personality of Godhead can run with more speed than the mind, but here we see that although Krsna wanted to avoid being arrested by His mother, He was finally defeated, and mother Yasoda captured Him. Laksmi-sahasra-sata-sambhrama-sevyamanam: Krsna is served by hundreds and thousands of goddesses of fortune. Nonetheless, He steals butter like one who is poverty-stricken. Yamaraja, the controller of all living entities, fears the order of Krsna, yet Krsna is afraid of His mother's stick. These contradictions cannot be understood by one who is not a devotee, but a devotee can understand how powerful is unalloyed devotional service to Krsna; it is so powerful that Krsna can be controlled by an unalloyed devotee. This bhrtya-vasyata does not mean that He is under the control of the servant; rather, He is under the control of the servant's pure love. In Bhagavad-gita (1.21) it is said that Krsna became the chariot driver of Arjuna. Arjuna ordered Him, senayor ubhayor madhye ratham sthapaya me 'cyuta: "My dear Krsna, You have agreed to be my charioteer and to execute my orders. Place my chariot between the two armies of soldiers." Krsna immediately executed this order, and therefore one may argue that Krsna also is not independent. But this is one's ajnana, ignorance. Krsna is always fully independent; when He becomes subordinate to His devotees, this is a display of ananda-cinmaya-rasa, the humor of transcendental qualities that increases His transcendental pleasure. Everyone worships Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore He sometimes desires to be controlled by someone else. Such a controller can be no one else but a pure devotee.


                               TEXT 20




                        nemam virinco na bhavo

                      na srir apy anga-samsraya

                        prasadam lebhire gopi

                       yat tat prapa vimuktidat




   na--not; imam--this exalted position; virincah--Lord Brahma; na--nor; bhavah--Lord Siva; na--nor; srih--the goddess of fortune; api--indeed; anga-samsraya--although she is always the better half of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; prasadam--mercy; lebhire--obtained; gopi--mother Yasoda; yat tat--as that which; prapa--obtained; vimukti-dat--from Krsna, who gives deliverance from this material world.




   Neither Lord Brahma, nor Lord Siva, nor even the goddess of fortune, who is always the better half of the Supreme Lord, can obtain from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the deliverer from this material world, such mercy as received by mother Yasoda.




   This is a comparative study between mother Yasoda and other devotees of the Lord. As stated in Caitanya caritamrta (Adi 5.142), ekale isvara krsna, ara saba bhrtya: the only supreme master is Krsna, and all others are His servants. Krsna has the transcendental quality of bhrtya-vasyata, becoming subordinate to His bhrtya, or servant. Now, although everyone is bhrtya and although Krsna has the quality of becoming subordinate to His bhrtya, the position of mother Yasoda is the greatest. Lord Brahma is bhrtya, a servant of Krsna, and he is adi-kavi, the original creator of this universe (tene brahma hrda ya adi-kavaye). Nonetheless, even he could not obtain such mercy as mother Yasoda. As for Lord Siva, he is the topmost Vaisnava (vaisnavanam yatha sambhuh). What to speak of Lord Brahma and Lord Siva, the goddess of fortune, Laksmi, is the Lord's constant companion in service, since she always associates with His body. But even she could not get such mercy. Therefore Maharaja Pariksit was surprised, thinking, "What did mother Yasoda and Nanda Maharaja do in their previous lives by which they got such a great opportunity, the opportunity to be the affectionate father and mother of Krsna?"

   In this verse there are three negative pronouncements--na, na, na. When anything is uttered three times--"do it, do it, do it"--one should understand that this is meant to indicate great stress on a fact. In this verse, we find na lebhire, na lebhire, na lebhire. Yet mother Yasoda is in the supermost exalted position, and thus Krsna has become completely subordinate to her.

   The word vimuktidat is also significant. There are different types of liberation, such as sayujya, salokya, sarupya, sarsti and samipya, but vimukti means "special mukti." When after liberation one is situated on the platform of prema-bhakti, one is said to have achieved vimukti, "special mukti." Therefore the word na is mentioned. That exalted platform of prema is described by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu as prema pum-artho mahan, and mother Yasoda naturally acts in such an exalted position in loving affairs. She is therefore a nitya-siddha devotee, an expansion of Krsna's hladini potency, His potency to enjoy transcendental bliss through expansions who are special devotees (ananda-cinmaya-rasa-pratibhavitabhih). Such devotees are not sadhana-siddha.


                               TEXT 21




                        nayam sukhapo bhagavan

                         dehinam gopika-sutah

                       jnaninam catma-bhutanam

                        yatha bhaktimatam iha




   na--not; ayam--this; sukha-apah--very easily obtainable, or an object of happiness; bhagavan--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; dehinam--of persons in the bodily concept of life, especially the karmis; gopika-sutah--Krsna, the son of mother Yasoda (Krsna as the son of Vasudeva is called Vasudeva, and as the son of mother Yasoda He is known as Krsna); jnaninam ca--and of the jnanis, who try to be free from material contamination; atma-bhutanam--of self-sufficient yogis; yatha--as; bhakti-matam--of the devotees; iha--in this world.




   The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, the son of mother Yasoda, is accessible to devotees engaged in spontaneous loving service, but He is not as easily accessible to mental speculators, to those striving for self-realization by severe austerities and penances, or to those who consider the body the same as the self.




   Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead as the son of mother Yasoda, is very easily available to devotees, but not to tapasvis, yogis, jnanis and others who have a bodily concept of life. Although they may sometimes be called santa-bhaktas, real bhakti begins with dasya-rasa. Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita (4.11):


                       ye yatha mam prapadyante

                      tams tathaiva bhajamy aham

                        mama vartmanuvartante

                       manusyah partha sarvasah


   "As living entities surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Prtha." Everyone is seeking Krsna, for He is the Supersoul of all individual souls. Everyone loves his body and wants to protect it because he is within the body as the soul, and everyone loves the soul because the soul is part and parcel of the Supersoul. Therefore, everyone is actually seeking to achieve happiness by reviving his relationship with the Supersoul. As the Lord says in Bhagavad-gita (15.15), vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah: "By all the Vedas, it is I who am to be known." Therefore, the karmis, jnanis, yogis and saintly persons are all seeking Krsna. But by following in the footsteps of devotees who are in a direct relationship with Krsna, especially the inhabitants of Vrndavana, one can reach the supreme position of associating with Krsna. As it is said, vrndavanam parityajya padam ekam na gacchati: Krsna does not leave Vrndavana even for a moment. The vrndavana-vasis--mother Yasoda, Krsna's friends and Krsna's conjugal lovers, the younger gopis with whom He dances--have very intimate relationships with Krsna, and if one follows in the footsteps of these devotees, Krsna is available. Although the nitya-siddha expansions of Krsna always remain with Krsna, if those engaged in sadhana-siddhi follow in the footsteps of Krsna's nitya-siddha associates, such sadhana-siddhas also can easily attain Krsna without difficulty. But there are those who are attached to bodily concepts of life. Lord Brahma and Lord Siva, for example, have very prestigious positions, and thus they have the sense of being very exalted isvaras. In other words, because Lord Brahma and Lord Siva are guna-avataras and have exalted positions, they have some small sense of being like Krsna. But the pure devotees who inhabit Vrndavana do not possess any bodily conception. They are fully dedicated to the service of the Lord in sublime affection, prema. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has therefore recommended, prema pum-artho mahan: the highest perfection of life is prema, pure love in relationship with Krsna. And mother Yasoda appears to be the topmost of devotees who have attained this perfection.


                               TEXT 22




                        krsnas tu grha-krtyesu

                       vyagrayam matari prabhuh

                       adraksid arjunau purvam

                        guhyakau dhanadatmajau




   krsnah tu--in the meantime; grha-krtyesu--in engagement in household affairs; vyagrayam--very busy; matari--when His mother; prabhuh--the Lord; adraksit--observed; arjunau--the twin arjuna trees; purvam--before Him; guhyakau--which in a former millennium had been demigods; dhanada-atmajau--the sons of Kuvera, the treasurer of the demigods.




   While mother Yasoda was very busy with household affairs, the Supreme Lord, Krsna, observed twin trees known as yamala-arjuna, which in a former millennium had been the demigod sons of Kuvera.


                               TEXT 23




                          pura narada-sapena

                       vrksatam prapitau madat


                       iti khyatau sriyanvitau




   pura--formerly; narada-sapena--being cursed by Narada Muni; vrksatam--the forms of trees; prapitau--obtained; madat--because of madness; nalakuvara--one of them was Nalakuvara; manigrivau--the other was Manigriva; iti--thus; khyatau--well known; sriya anvitau--very opulent.




   In their former birth, these two sons, known as Nalakuvara and Manigriva, were extremely opulent and fortunate. But because of pride and false prestige, they did not care about anyone, and thus Narada Muni cursed them to become trees.


Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Tenth Canto, Ninth Chapter, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled "Mother Yasoda Binds Lord Krsna."

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