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In that dress He used to take care of the calves near the house, and sometimes He played with cowherd boys of about the same age

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"In that dress He used to take care of the calves near the house, and sometimes He played with cowherd boys of about the same age"

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Nectar of Devotion

In that dress He used to take care of the calves near the house, and sometimes He played with cowherd boys of about the same age. He had a slender flute and a buffalo horn bugle, and sometimes He played on a flute made from the leaves of trees. These are some of the symptoms of the end of Kṛṣṇa's kaumāra age.

When Nanda Mahārāj saw the beauty of child Kṛṣṇa with tiger nails on His chest, a complexion like the new-grown tāmala tree, beautifully decorated tilaka made with cow's urine, arm decorations of nice silk thread and silk clothes tied around His waist—when Nanda Mahārāj saw his child like this, he never became satiated by the child's beauty.

In the middle kaumāra age, the upper portion of Kṛṣṇa's hair falls around His eyes. Sometimes He is covered with cloth around the lower part of His body, and sometimes He is completely naked. Sometimes He tries to walk, taking step by step, and sometimes He talks very sweetly, in broken language. These were some of the symptoms of His middle kaumāra age. He is thus described when Mother Yaśodā once saw Him in His middle kaumāra age: His scattered hairs were touching His eyebrows, and His eyes were restless, but He could not express His feelings with proper words; still, when He was talking, it was so nice and sweet to hear. When Mother Yaśodā looked at His little ears and saw Him naked, trying to run very quickly with His little legs, she was merged into the ocean of nectar. Kṛṣṇa's ornaments at this age are a pearl hanging from the septum of His nose, butter on His lotus-like palms and some small bells hanging from His waist. It is stated that when Mother Yaśodā saw that the child was moving, ringing the bells on His waist, smiling at her with a pearl between His nostrils and with butter on His hands, she became wonderfully pleased to see her little child in that fashion.

While Kṛṣṇa was in the middle of His kaumāra age, His waist became thinner, His chest became broader, and His head was decorated with His curly hairs, resembling the falling of the wings of a crow. These wonderful features of Kṛṣṇa's body never failed to astonish Mother Yaśodā. At the end of His kaumāra age, Kṛṣṇa carried a small stick in His hand, His clothing was a little longer, and He had a knot around His waist, resembling the hood of a snake. In that dress He used to take care of the calves near the house, and sometimes He played with cowherd boys of about the same age. He had a slender flute and a buffalo horn bugle, and sometimes He played on a flute made from the leaves of trees. These are some of the symptoms of the end of Kṛṣṇa's kaumāra age.

When Kṛṣṇa was a little grown up and was taking care of the small calves, He would often go near the forest. And when He was a little bit late returning home, Nanda Mahārāj would immediately get up on the candraśālikā (a small shed built on the roof for getting a bird's eye view all around), and he would watch for Him. Worrying about the late arrival of his little son, Nanda Mahārāj would remain on the candraśālikā until he could indicate to his wife that Kṛṣṇa, surrounded by His little cowherd friends, was coming back with the calves. Nanda Mahārāj would point out the peacock feather on his child's head and would inform his beloved wife how the child was pleasing his eyes.

Mother Yaśodā then addressed Nanda Mahārāj, "See my dear son, whose eyes are white, who has a turban on His head, a wrapper on His body and leg bells which tinkle very sweetly on His feet. He is coming near, along with His surabhi calves, and just see how He is wandering upon the sacred land of Vṛndāvana!"

Similarly, Mahārāj Nanda addressed his wife, "My dear Yaśodā, just look at your offspring, Kṛṣṇa! See His blackish bodily luster, His eyes tinged with red color, His broad chest and His nice golden necklace! How wonderful He looks, and how He is increasing my transcendental bliss more and more!"

When Kṛṣṇa, the beloved son of Nanda Mahārāj, steps into His kaiśora age, although He becomes more beautiful, His parents still consider Him as being in the paugaṇḍa age—even though He is between the ages of ten and fifteen. When Kṛṣṇa is in His paugaṇḍa age, some of His servants also accept Him as being in the kaiśora age. When Kṛṣṇa performs His childish pastimes, His general practice is to break the milk and yogurt pots, throw the yogurt in the courtyard and steal the cream from the milk. Sometimes He breaks the churning rod, and sometimes He throws butter on the fire. In this way, he increases the transcendental pleasure of His Mother Yaśodā.

In this connection Mother Yaśodā once told Mukharā, her maidservant, "Just look at Kṛṣṇa looking stealthily toward all sides and slowly stepping forward from the bushes. It appears that He is coming just to steal the butter. Don't expose yourself or He may understand that we are looking towards Him. I want to enjoy the sight of His eyebrows moving in this cunning way, and I want to see His fearful eyes and beautiful face."

In enjoying Kṛṣṇa's attitude of stealing butter very stealthily, Mother Yaśodā experienced the ecstasy of maternal love by smelling His head, sometimes patting His body with her hand, sometimes offering blessings, sometimes ordering Him, sometimes gazing at Him, sometimes maintaining and sometimes giving Him good instructions not to become a thief. Such activities are in maternal ecstatic love. An important point to be observed in this connection is that the childish propensity of stealing is there even in the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore this propensity is not artificial. However, in the spiritual relationship there is no inebriety to this stealing propensity, as there is in the material world.

In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Tenth Canto, 13th Chapter, verse 39, Śukadeva Gosvāmī tells King Parīkṣit: "My dear King, as soon as the elderly gopīs saw their sons coming, there was an inexpressible sign of parental love, and all of them became absorbed in affection. At first they were planning to chastise their sons for stealing butter, but as soon as the sons came before their eyes, they lost all of their angry attitudes and became overwhelmed with affection. They began to embrace their sons and smell their heads. While doing this, they became almost mad after their children." In their childhood pastimes, all these cowherd boys joined with Kṛṣṇa in stealing butter. But rather than become angry, Mother Yaśodā became wet from the milk flowing out of her breasts. Out of her affection for Kṛṣṇa, she began to smell His head repeatedly.