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XXXVI. Comrade and King
"Master! I am eager to hear about the boyish pranks, games and adventures that Krishna, as the cowherd lad, (Gopala), did engage Himself in with His comrades of the Vraja community in the groves and wilds during the eleven years. He spent in Brindavan, after reaching there, from the Mathura prison where He chose to be born".
When Parikshith prayed thus, Suka was rendered very happy. He smiled and said, "It is not possible for me to describe to you all the Leelas of that divine Gopala, each of which fills the mind with sweetness. The Vraja cowherd boys who shared that joy were really blessed. The Lord will not pay any attention to external distinctions, the name of the individual, his nationality, his caste, his profession, his attitude. Whatever may be the attitude with which a person approaches Him, He will welcome him, draw him near, fulfil his wishes, and confer happiness; that was the nature of Gopala."
"Ever since He was left in the home of Nanda by His father, Vasudeva, Krishna granted great joy on Nanda and the grateful shouts of 'victory' echoed and re-echoed in that home as a result of the child's divine prowess. He grew day by day, with increasing charm; He shone as the most endearing treasure of the mother, and played on her lap; toddled and crossed the doorstep; He held the finger of His father or mother, and venturesomely walked a few steps; though the parents tried their best to hide Him from view, so that the many ambassadors of death that Kamsa dispatched without respite, could not get at him, He would somehow make himself available. He used to go forward to meet them, and introduce Himself to them. Who could keep Gopala, the provider and protector of the universe hidden - and where? Who could carry Him off - and how? O, Parikshith, it is all divine sport!"
"Growing day by day, He started going to the sacred sandbanks of the holy Yamuna river with children of His age from the homes of the cowherds, and play; the parents endeavoured to stop Him, but could not. Like His comrades, He drove cows to the pastures. Really, the eyes that saw the entrancing scene - when Gopala was in the midst of the herd of clean sleek happy cows and calves - are worthy to be called so; for they saw the sight of all sights. Picture to yourself, O king! The spotless white herd of calves and cows; the dark divine boy! They were drawn to Him, close; they would not leave Him and stray away. Nor could Krishna, for He loved them as His own brothers and sisters, or as His own children! Let but His hand touch their backs ever so lightly, the calves and their mothers forgot all about themselves, opened their mouths, raised their tails, hung out their tongues, and lovingly licked His face and hands. Gopala too, often clasped their necks and swung to and fro, in great joy - His eyes closed. His face beaming with a radiant smile. The calves playfully butted at His soft body with their just- emerging horn-ends."