Krsna's Vrindavan Lila Pastimes
BY: SUN STAFF
Painting by Ravi Varma
Oct 2, USA (SUN) Srila Prabhupada's books and lectures are replete with stories and exacting details of the pastimes of Lord Sri Krsna during his Vrindavan lila. As described in Srimad-Bhagavatam 1:3:23, in the nineteenth and twentieth incarnations the Lord advented Himself as Lord Balarama and Lord Krsna in the family of Vrsni [the Yadu dynasty].
Vasudeva and Nanda Maharaja were stepbrothers. Vasudeva's father, Surasena, married a vaisya girl, and from her Nanda Maharaja was born. Later, Nanda Maharaja himself married a vaisya girl, Yasoda. Therefore his family is celebrated as a vaisya family, and Krsna, identifying Himself as their son, took charge of vaisya activities. Balarama represents plowing the land for agriculture and therefore always carries in His hand a plow, whereas Krsna tends cows and therefore carries a flute in His hand.
Balarama, who has the same original form of Krsna, is Himself a cowherd boy in Vrndavana, and He also considers Himself to belong to the ksatriya race in Dvaraka. Thus His color and dress are different, and He is called a pastime form of Krsna.
During their Vrindaban lila, Krsna and Balarama enjoyed many transcendental pastimes, which are described in the 10th Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam. Gargamuni performed the name-giving ceremony for Krsna and Balarama, who spent their early life enjoying playful childish activities, crawling and walking, stealing butter and breaking the pots.
Lord Krsna appeared in this world at midnight of Sravana k8 (July 19/20), in the year 3228 BC, born of Srimati Devaki. He was taken by Vasudeva from Mathura and put into the care of Father Nanda and Mother Yasoda in Gokula. While living in Gokula, He became famous even before turning four years old for His pastimes killing Putana, Sakatasura, and the Trinivarta demon.
He moved to Vrindavan, and enjoying various pastimes with his brother Balaram and the cowherd boys in the forests of Vrindavan. Between the ages of 3 and 6, Krsna killed Bakasura, Aghasura, and Dhenuka, while brother Balarama killed Pralamba demon. Many of these asuras were sent by the demon Kamsa to kill the brothers.
They then moved to Nandagrama, and between the ages of 7 and 10, Krsna had many more famous pastimes. This period also marks Lord Brahma's stealing pastime, along with the lifting of Govardhana Hill. Here Krsna played rasa-lila with the gopis. He killed Canura while Balarama killed Mustika. He and Balarama were also invited to Mathura for a wrestling match, where he killed Kamsa while Balarama killed his brothers.
Later, the brothers moved to Mathura and Sri Krsna lived there between the ages of 10 and 28. He and Balarama were initiated into chanting Gayatri by Gargamuni, and they were instructed by Sandipani Muni in the sixty four arts. Throughout their time in Mathura they protected the residents from many demons. A host of battles took place with Jarasandha, as did Their famous pastimes of jumping from a mountain Jarasandha had set fire to.
Lord Krsna then established His kingdom in Dvaraka, where he resided from 29 to 125. In Dvaraka, he married Rukmini and took His 7 principal queens, also marrying 16,100 princesses, with whom He fathered 161,080 sons.
In Dvaraka, Balarama killed Rukmi and broke the teeth of the King of Kalinga during a chess game. Baladeva later went to Gokula, and on Raivataka Mountain he killed the mischievous demon ape Dvivida. Lord Baladeva went to Hastinapura, which he pulled with his plow due to the arrogance of the Kauravas. Later, he went touring holy places, and killed Romaharsana and Balvala.
In 3138 BC (~90), Sri Krsna spoke the Bhagavad-Gita on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra. Rather than join the Battle, his brother returned to Dvaraka which he later departed with His wife Revati.
During this period, Krsna saved King Pariksit in the womb, and gave instruction to Uddhava.
The Lord disappeared from this earth on February 18th 3102 BC. Sri Krsna's manifest pastimes and disappearance mark the start of this Kali Yuga.
Lord Krsna descended in Vrindaban to mitigate the suffering on the earth. In order to enjoy those pastimes, the Lord ordered all the denizens of the heavenly planets to take birth in Vrndavana in different families of the Yadu and Vrsni dynasties. These personalities descended from the heavenly planets to see the pastimes of the Lord, which consist of saving the devotees and killing the demons.
In order to demonstrate these activities, the Lord called for devotees from different parts of the universe. The members of the Yadu and Vrsni dynasties and the inhabitants of Vrndavana were demigods or almost as good as demigods. Even those who externally helped the activities of the demons belonged to the higher planetary systems. The Lord came to play the part of a demon-killer, and a friend, son and brother to His devotees, and thus these devotees were all summoned.
For more information on Lord Krsna's pastimes in Vrindavan, Dwarka and Mathura with the demons and demigods, click here.