Lord Brahmā continued: “My Lord, sometimes I am puzzled as to how Your Lordship will be able to repay, in gratitude, the devotional service of these residents of Vṛndāvana. Although I know that You are the supreme source of all benediction, I am puzzled to know how You will be able to repay all the service that You are receiving from these residents of Vṛndāvana. I think of how You are so kind, so magnanimous, that even Pūtanā, who came to cheat You by dressing herself as a very affectionate mother, was awarded liberation and the actual post of a mother. And other demons belonging to the same family, such as Aghāsura and Bakāsura, were also favored with liberation and achieved You. Under the circumstances, I am puzzled. These residents of Vṛndāvana have given You everything—their bodies, their minds, their love, their homes, their possessions. Everything is being utilized for Your purpose. So how will You be able to repay Your debt to them? You have already given Yourself to Pūtanā! I surmise that You shall ever remain a debtor to the residents of Vṛndāvana, being unable to repay their loving service. My Lord, I can understand that the superexcellent quality of the service rendered by the residents of Vṛndāvana is due to their spontaneously engaging all natural instincts in Your loving service. It is said that attachment for material objects and home is due to illusion, which makes a living entity conditioned in the material world. But this is only the case for persons who are not Kṛṣṇa conscious. In the case of the residents of Vṛndāvana, such obstructions as attachment to hearth and home are nonexistent. Because their attachment has been directed unto You and their homes have been converted into temples by Your constant presence there, and because they have forgotten everything for Your sake, there is no impediment. For a Kṛṣṇa conscious person, there is no such thing as impediments due to attachment for hearth and home. Nor is there illusion.
“I can also understand that Your appearance as a small cowherd boy, a child of the cowherd men, is not at all a material activity. You are so much obliged by their affection that You are here to inspire them with more loving service by Your transcendental presence. In Vṛndāvana there is no distinction between material and spiritual because everything is dedicated to Your loving service. My dear Lord, Your Vṛndāvana pastimes are simply to inspire Your devotees. If someone takes Your Vṛndāvana pastimes to be material, he will be misled.
“My dear Lord Kṛṣṇa, those who deride You, claiming that You have a material body like an ordinary man, are described in the Bhagavad-gītā as demoniac and less intelligent. You are always transcendental. The nondevotees are cheated because they consider You to be a material creation. Actually, You have assumed this body, which exactly resembles that of an ordinary cowherd boy, simply to increase the devotion and transcendental bliss of Your devotees.
“My dear Lord, I have nothing to say about people who advertise that they have already realized God or that by their realization they have themselves become God. But as far as I am concerned, I admit frankly that for me it is not possible to realize You by my body, mind or speech. What can I say about You, or how can I realize You by my senses? I cannot even think of You perfectly with my mind, which is the master of the senses. Your qualities, Your activities and Your body cannot be conceived of by any person within this material world. Only by Your mercy can one understand, to some extent, what You are. My dear Lord, You are the Supreme Lord of all creation, although I sometimes falsely think that I am the master of this universe. I may be the master of this universe, but there are innumerable universes, and there are also innumerable Brahmās who preside over these universes. But actually You are the master of them all. As the Supersoul in everyone’s heart, You know everything. Please, therefore, accept me as Your surrendered servant. I hope that You will excuse me for committing the great offense of disturbing You in Your pastimes with Your friends and calves. Now if You will kindly allow me, I will immediately leave so You can enjoy Your friends and calves without my presence.
“My dear Lord Kṛṣṇa, Your very name suggests that You are all-attractive. The attraction of the sun and the moon are all due to You. By the attraction of the sun, You are beautifying the very existence of the Yadu dynasty. With the attraction of the moon, You are enhancing the potency of the land, the demigods, the brāhmaṇas, the cows and the oceans. Because of Your supreme attraction, demons like Kaṁsa and others are annihilated. Therefore it is my deliberate conclusion that You are the only worshipable Deity within the creation. Accept my humble obeisances until the annihilation of this material world. As long as there is sunshine within this material world, kindly accept my humble obeisances.”
In this way, Brahmā, the master of this universe, after offering humble and respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead and circumambulating Him three times, was ready to return to his abode, known as Brahmaloka. By His gesture, the Supreme Personality of Godhead gave him permission to return.
As soon as Brahmā left, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa immediately returned to the bank of the Yamunā and rejoined His calves and cowherd boyfriends, who were situated just as they had been on the very day they had vanished. Kṛṣṇa had left His friends on the bank of the Yamunā while they were engaged in lunch, and although He returned exactly one year later, the cowherd boys thought that He had returned within a second. That is the way Kṛṣṇa’s different energies act. It is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā that Kṛṣṇa Himself is residing in everyone’s heart, and He causes both remembrance and forgetfulness. All living entities are controlled by the supreme energy of the Lord, and sometimes they remember and sometimes they forget their constitutional position. His friends, being controlled in such a way, could not understand that for one whole year they were absent from the Yamunā’s bank and were under the spell of Brahmā’s illusion. When Kṛṣṇa appeared before the boys, they thought, “Kṛṣṇa has returned within a minute.” They began to laugh, thinking that Kṛṣṇa was not willing to leave their lunchtime company. They were very jubilant and invited Him, “Dear friend Kṛṣṇa, You have come back so quickly! All right, we have not as yet begun our lunch, not even taken one morsel of food. So please come and join us, and let us eat together.” Kṛṣṇa smiled and accepted their invitation, and He began to enjoy the lunchtime company of His friends. While eating, Kṛṣṇa was thinking, “These boys believe that I have come back within a second, but they do not know that for the last year I have been involved with the mystic activities of Lord Brahmā.”