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Krishna's Pranks With His Mother

"Yashoda, the mother, put Krishna to sleep and while singing a lullaby, she was immersed in that ecstacy. She tried to put Krishna to sleep for a long time, but in spite of all her attempts, he would not sleep. She was wondering why Krishna was unable to sleep. She was praying to the goddess of sleep 10 come to her help. All actions that are selfless and sacred can be regarded as Leelas of the Lord. After sometime, she found that krishna was sleeping. But, in fact, he was pretending to be asleep. She told the servants to be quiet. She addressed Krishna and said: 'You have the entire world encompassed in you and how can anyone build a mansion for you? You shine with the effulgence of a million suns and how can anyone show any light to you? In a similiar manner, Yashoda was addressing Krishna and saying: 'How can anyone wake you up, if you are pretending to be asleep. You must stop your pretense.' The Devas (gods) and Devatas (goddesses) were looking at this conversation and were telling themselves that Yashoda was the most fortunate person because she was able to play with the Lord.

On another occasion, when Krishna was just getting in the middle of his sleep, she came and sang a lullaby: 'I have made the four Vedas as the four corners of your cradle and I have made me nine precious stones decorate your cradle. The king of cobras is guarding you, in your cradle. This is the cradle of Omkara and in it, 1 have made a bed for you in the form of Tatwamasi. You symbolize all the seven worlds and they are united in you. In such a cradle you should sleep soundly.' The mother knew that Krishna was Almighty God and yet she was often steeped in such Maya (delusion).

Gradually, Krishna was growing up in the house of Nanda and he learnt to move about the house and play. The mother was, at all times, attached to him and was looking after him. On one occasion, when some Gopikas came to his mother to enquire about his welfare, Krishna went to mirror and was pretending to feed butter to his own image in the mirror, as if he was very innocent. The mother was greatly surprised to see how innocent Krishna was. All actions of Krishna appeared as if they were being performed by a very young innocent person, but they caused a great deal of surprise.

Krishna used to come and ask his mother why his hair was not growing as nicely as his brother's hair. In order to satisfy him, his mother always used to tell him that his hair would also grow nicely, if he drank a lot of milk and eat plenty of butter. After some days, he came to his mother again and asked why his hair was not growing although he was drinking plenty of milk and eating butter. The mother gave a a somewhat harsh reply to this and said: 'Your brother is drinking well boiled milk and eating butter only if he is given, but he does not steal them. You are always impatient and you snatch away the milk as soon as I milk the cows and even before the butter is ready, you cry for butter. Your brother is very patient and quite while you are not.' She thus admonished Krishna. From that day, Krishna was determined not to ask his mother for milk and he used to go to neighboring houses and ask for milk. Because he did many unusual things like killing the Raakshasi Putana, he endeared himself to all the people in the village and they used to love him. He used to be freely welcomed in any house that he went and from that day the thefts increased. The Gopikas used to complain about Krishna.

One day, Yashoda caught Krishna and admonished him saying' you do not eat what is given to you but you go to the houses of other Gopikas and steal butter and milk. You are a small boy and yet your entire mouth is smelling butter and this whole village is complaining about you.' In this manner, Gopikas were always complaining about Krishna. We must understand the inner meaning of the action of Krishna. The word 'Navaneeta' means a pure heart. Pure butter here is compared to a pure heart. Ksheerasagara means ocean of milk and Samsarara (world) is sometimes described as an ocean. Here we should interpret Krishna's actions by saying that he steals the pure and clean hearts of people who was steeped in the ocean of Samsarara. In this manner, Krishna's actions have a deep inner meaning.

On one occasion, Krishna came crying to his mother like an ordinary child. When the mother asked why he was crying, he replied that he was unhappy because his brother Balarama was always quarrelling and not playing properly with him. There was some kind of disagreement between Krishna and Balarama. While playing, Balarama would always ask him if he was truly the son of Yashoda and he used to humiliate him in the presence of other children by saying that he was actually purchased by Yashoda from some other mother and that he was not truly the son of Yashoda. This used to hurt Krishna and he would always assert that he was the son of Nanda and Yashoda. Balarama would then retort and ask why Krishna was dark if he was truly the son ofNanda and Yashoda who were of fair complexion. He used to argue that if Krishna was really the son of Nanda and Yashoda, he should also be fair. Krishna used to bring such arguments before mother Yashoda and start crying. At this, Yashoda was deeply moved and she told Krishna that Balarama was always jealous and hence keeps on cooking up such stories. She asserted that she was indeed the mother and he was the son. Here, we must notice that she did not say Krishna was her son or that she was his mother." Baba, Summer Showers, 1978, pp. 96-99