In this way, Vidyādhara got permission from Lord Kṛṣṇa to return to his home in the higher planetary system. After receiving this permission, he circumambulated the Lord and offered his respectful obeisances unto Him, and then he returned to his heavenly planet. Thus Nanda Mahārāja was relieved of the imminent danger of being devoured by the snake.
The cowherd men, who had come to execute the ritualistic function of worshiping Lord Śiva and Ambikā, finished their business and prepared to return to Vṛndāvana. While returning, they recalled the wonderful activities of Kṛṣṇa. By relating the incident of Vidyādhara’s deliverance, they became more attached to Kṛṣṇa. They had come to worship Lord Śiva and Ambikā, but the result was that they became more and more attached to Kṛṣṇa. Similarly, the gopīs worshiped goddess Kātyāyanī to become more and more attached to Kṛṣṇa. It is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā that persons who are attached to worshiping demigods like Lord Brahmā, Śiva, Indra and Candra for some personal benefit are less intelligent and have forgotten the real purpose of life. But the cowherd men, inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, were no ordinary men. Whatever they did, they did for Kṛṣṇa. If one worships demigods like Lord Śiva and Lord Brahmā to become more attached to Kṛṣṇa, that is approved. But if one goes to the demigods for some personal benefit, that is condemned.
After this incident, on a very pleasant night Kṛṣṇa and His elder brother, Balarāma, who are inconceivably powerful, went into the forest of Vṛndāvana. They were accompanied by the damsels of Vrajabhūmi, and They began to enjoy their company. The young damsels of Vraja were very nicely dressed and anointed with pulp of sandalwood and decorated with flowers. The moon was shining in the sky, surrounded by glittering stars. The breeze was blowing, bearing the aroma of mallikā flowers, and the bumblebees were mad after the aroma. Taking advantage of the pleasing atmosphere, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma began to sing very melodiously. The damsels became so absorbed in Their rhythmical song that they almost forgot themselves; their hair loosened, their clothes slackened, and their garlands began to fall to the ground.
At that time, while Kṛṣṇa, Balarāma and the damsels were so much absorbed, almost in madness, a demoniac associate of Kuvera (the treasurer of the heavenly planets) appeared on the scene. The demon’s name was Śaṅkhacūḍa because on his head there was a valuable jewel resembling a conchshell. Just as the two sons of Kuvera had been puffed up over their wealth and opulence and did not care for Nārada Muni’s presence, this Śaṅkhacūḍa was also puffed up over material opulence. He thought that Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma were two ordinary cowherd boys enjoying the company of many beautiful girls. Generally, in the material world, a person with riches thinks that all beautiful women should be enjoyed by him. Śaṅkhacūḍa also thought that since he belonged to the rich community of Kuvera, he, not Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, should enjoy the company of so many beautiful girls. He therefore decided to take charge of them. He appeared before Kṛṣṇa, Balarāma and the damsels of Vraja and began to lead the girls away to the north. He commanded them as if he were their proprietor and husband, despite the presence of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma. Being forcibly taken away by Śaṅkhacūḍa, the damsels of Vraja called out the names of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma for protection. The two brothers immediately began to follow them, taking up big logs of śāla wood in Their hands. “Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid,” They called to the gopīs. “We are coming at once to chastise this demon.” Very quickly They reached Śaṅkhacūḍa. Thinking the brothers too powerful, Śaṅkhacūḍa left the company of the gopīs and ran in fear for his life. But Kṛṣṇa would not let him go. He entrusted the gopīs to the care of Balarāma and followed Śaṅkhacūḍa wherever he fled. Kṛṣṇa wanted to take the valuable jewel resembling a conchshell from the head of the demon. After following him a very short distance, Kṛṣṇa caught him, struck his head with His fist and killed him. He then took the valuable jewel and returned. In the presence of all the damsels of Vraja, He presented the valuable jewel to His elder brother, Balarāma.