The Land of Loving Dealings
Yasoda mayi wanted to give a pair of shoes to Krishna, so that His feet would not be pricked by the sharp stones and thorns of the forest. However, Krishna said that He would accept the shoes only if she gives shoes for all the cows. Hearing this wonderful loving
reciprocation, Mother Earth made the ground of Vrindavan very soft and fine like the pollen of the lotus flower. It was neither too hot nor too cold and was just right, meant to please Krishna. As a gesture of reciprocation Krishna was walking on Mother Earth bare feet. And although there were so many cows and calves and cowherd boys, no one would ever step on Krishna’s footprints.
All the trees, flowers, rivers, mountains, caves would reciprocate with Krishna and would give their best to serve Him and please Him. When Krishna would enter Yamuna, she would embrace His body through her waves, not for her own pleasure but for Krishna’s pleasure. Krishna would feel her love and He would reciprocate back by His touch. Beautiful lotus flowers would grow in abundance all around Krishna as Yamuna would celebrate her good fortune.
Jiva Goswami explains how Krishna would embrace the little calves. Krishna knows every devotee’s innermost consciousness. So if any calf had an itch, Krishna knew where that calf would itch and Krishna would go right up to that little calf and scratch and embrace the calf with one arm and then if the itch was on the side of the calf’s face, Krishna would scratch there. If the itch was on the bottom of the neck Krishna would scratch it. So personal! Sometimes Krishna would put His forehead against a calf’s forehead and while pressing each other’s heads together, He would say to the calf, “If you are missing your mother, I will immediately take you back to your mother.”
And the little calf was thinking, “Krishna cares so much about me, Krishna is so personal to me.” This is the loving reciprocation of Vrindavan.
In the evening when it was time to bring the cows back, Krishna would climb the tree called as ‘tera kadamba’ and He would call out the names of every single cow. There were over 900,000 cows but Krishna has achintya shakti.
Krishna would say one name and call out, “Surabhi”, but every single cow would hear her name – “Syamili, Godavari…” Each cow would think that Krishna was personally calling her and she would reciprocate by running towards Krishna as milk dripping from her heavy milk bags would moisten the ground. Each one thought that Krishna was only looking at her.
But none of them became proud because if you have any false pride you cannot be there. They were simply grateful.
“If you are grateful, you are humble, if you are ungrateful, you become falsely proud.”
Krishna would see the peacocks dancing for Him and in order to give pleasure to the peacocks He started to dance for them. As Krishna danced in ecstasy the peacocks formed a circle around Him. While dancing He held His flute outward and the flute was in so much ecstasy that it started playing on its own without even touching Krishna’s lips. At the end of the beautiful dance, the king of peacocks offered one peacock feather as a gesture of their gratitude towards Krishna.
For Krishna, the love of these peacocks was something greater than what the demigods offer in the heavenly planets or the denizens of Vaikuntha offer in the spiritual world. Just to reciprocate with their love He placed that peacock feather on the very top of His head and wears it eternally.
Krishna gave the supreme jewel of ecstatic prema to a simple fruit vendor, who didn’t even know who He was, but just wanted to please Him by giving Him a few fruits. Yasoda Mayi and Nanda Maharaj would derive intense spiritual happiness by witnessing Krishna’s childhood pastimes. His attempts to walk, to speak, to learn alphabets and perform some simple tasks like lifting heavy objects would give them immense spiritual pleasure.
This is the love of Vrindavan, that the Supreme Lord, the source of all strength is learning from His parents how to walk. Once tasting the sweetness of Vrindavan, there is nothing else in any material or spiritual world that can possibly attract us.
– Radhanath Swami