With great relish and fervor, Radhanath Swami once narrated the fascinating story of Lord Shiva coming to Nandagaon to have the darshan of Yashoda’s little darling Gopal. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Krishna was performing His pastimes in the courtyard of Nanda Maharaj. Once Lord Shiva appeared at Nanda Maharaj’s doorsteps, desiring to take darshan of little Gopal, the Lord of his life. But when Lord Shiva came to the door, Yashoda Mayi became very much alarmed on seeing this yogi covered with crematorium ashes all over his body and garlanded with necklaces of snakes.
“What do you want?”, she asked.
He said, “O Maiya, I want to see your son.”
She said, “No, no, that is impossible. If my little Kanha sees you with snakes and ashes and trident, He will become afraid and start crying.”
So He begged and pleaded. Vrindavan is a place of such sweetness that Mahadev Shiva, the destroyer of the cosmic universes is desperately begging and taking a humble subordinate position here in front of Yashoda Mayi, a simple Vraja Gopi.
And ultimately, Yashoda Mayi told Him, “Go away.”
So Lord Shiva went into the forest and started deeply meditating on Krishna, His beautiful Bal Gopal form, His sweet Vraja pastimes and began to pray for the darshan of Gopal. Krishna understanding His devotee’s heart began to cry incessantly there in Nanda Bhawan. There was nothing that Yashoda Mayi or any of the Gopis could do to make Him stop crying.
So the Gopis were discussing among themselves that what has suddenly happened to our Gopal. And Yashoda Mayi understood that, “Perhaps I made some offence to that yogi. Therefore my child is crying.” So she immediately sent some Gopis, “Please go and find that yogi and bring him here.”
At the behest of the Gopis, Lord Shiva again appeared at Nanda Maharaj’s door. But this time Yashoda Mayi welecomed him and brought him into the house and there, he had the darshan of Krishna. And Krishna, who was crying up to this point, when He saw Lord Shiva and remembered Shiva chanting His Holy names with his transcendental drum, Krishna smiled. Shri Gopalji ki Jai!
So Yashoda Mayi, who only wants the pleasure of Krishna, requested Lord Shiva that, “Will you kindly stay here always? You make my son so happy.”
Lord Shiva who is also known as Ashutosh replied, “I will stay under one condition that I will get to see the child’s beautiful pastimes and whenever you bathe Him, you’ll give me caranamrita and whenever you feed Him, you will give me some of His remnants.”
Vajranabha, Krishna’s great grandson established a Shiva lingam here in Nandagaon called the Nandeshwar Mahadev. And even today whenever the puja and bhoga offerings to Krishna-Balarama are done in Their temple, the caranamrita and the Maha-Prasadis brought and offered to Nandeshwar Mahadev. Even 5000 years later, the promise of Yashoda Mayi is still being honored.
– Radhanath Swami