How Krishna Foiled Brahma
"There was great rejoicing among the celestial beings (Devas) when they heard about the slaying of many demons on earth by Lord Narayana in his incarnation as Krishna. On hearing these stories, Brahma wanted to verify the truth about Krishna's prowess and the miracles attributed to him.
That same night Krishna gave a directive to his mates. 'Today do not take cows for grazing. Let us take the calves. Come together with your respective musical instruments. We spend the day with music.' Most of them came with flutes on which they could play well, holding a stick in one hand and flute in the other. Only two boys brought two mud-pots to be used as drums. Playing on the mud-pot is known today as 'Ghata-vaadyam'. This art is as ancient as Dwapara Yuga.
The cowherd boys gathered on the bank of the Yamuna River with their calves. Some of them played on their flutes; some drummed their mud-pots while Krishna danced to the music. When Krishna stopped dancing, others started dancing. After sometime, Daama, one of the two intimate friends of Krishna (the other being Subaala), told Krishna that he was feeling hungry and would like to have some palm-fruits from palm-trees a little far away. Balarama, who was close by, said he would fetch the fruits. Balarama went near the trees and shook them. All the fruits dropped down. At that time, a huge donkey appeared there. All were frightened. The donkey was getting bigger and bigger. Balarama seized the donkey by the forelegs and dashed it to ground. It died on the spot. The cowherd boys hailed Balarama as a hero and danced in joy.
Biding his time, Brahma created at that moment a huge cave. He took into the cave all the calves, while cowherd boys were immersed in merriment. Missing the calves, the boys started searching for them, shouting 'Krishna!' Krishna!. Krishna knew what was afoot.
And directed his mates to search for the calves in the cave nearby. They all went into the cave. Immediately the mouth of the cave closed in. The boys and the calves were caught inside. They were there for a whole year.
Krishna wanted to teach Brahma a lesson. He took the form of all the calves and all the Gopalas imprisoned in the cave. In the evening Krishna and Balarama took the calves and boys to their homes. This went on day after day for a whole year. The elders assumed that the calves and the boys were their own. Brahma wondered what was happening? Had Krishna managed to free the boys and the calves from the cave? When he went into the cave, he found all of them inside as well as outside. He then realised the inscrutable ways of the Lord. 'How can anyone know you. Oh Krishna! You are subtler than the atom and vaster than the vastest in creation. You dwell in all the myriad species in all the worlds, how can anyone know you? He prayed to Krishna to forgive him and released the calves and cowherd boys from the cave." Sai Baba, SS. 10/94, pp. 257 & 258