The symptoms of the kaiśora age are already described, and it is at this age that devotees generally most appreciate Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa with Rādhārāṇī is worshiped as Kiśora-kiśorī. Kṛṣṇa does not increase His age beyond this form of kaiśora, and it is confirmed in the Brahma-saṁhitā that although He is the oldest personality and has innumerable different forms, His original form is always youthful. In the pictures of Kṛṣṇa on the battlefield of Kurukṣetra we can see that He is youthful, although at that time He was old enough to have sons, grandsons, and great grandsons. The cowherd boy friends of Kṛṣṇa once said, "My dear Kṛṣṇa, You need not decorate Your body with so many ornaments. Your transcendental features are themselves so beautiful that You do not require any ornamentation." At this age, whenever Kṛṣṇa begins to vibrate His flute early in the morning, all of His friends immediately get up from bed just to join Him in going to the pasturing grounds. One of the friends once said, "My dear cowherd friends, the sound of Kṛṣṇa's flute from above Govardhan Hill is telling us that we need not go to search Him out on the bank of the Yamunā."
Pārvatī, the wife of Lord Śiva, told her husband: "My dear Pañcamukha (five-faced), just look at the Pāṇḍavas! After hearing the sound of Kṛṣṇa's conchshell known as Pāñcajanya, they have regained their strength and are just like lions."
At this age, Kṛṣṇa once dressed Himself up exactly like Rādhārāṇī, just to create fun among His friends. He put on golden earrings; and because He was blackish, He smeared the pulp of kuṅkum all over His body in order to become as fair as She. By seeing this dress, Kṛṣṇa's friend Subala became very astonished.
Kṛṣṇa sometimes played with His intimate friends by engaging in fighting or wrestling with their arms, sometimes by playing ball, sometimes by playing chess, sometimes by carrying one another on the shoulders, and sometimes by exhibiting their expertness at whirling logs. And the cowherd friends used to please Kṛṣṇa by sitting together with Him on coaches or on swings, by lying together on their beds, by joking together and by swimming in the pool. All these activities are called anubhāva. Whenever all the friends would assemble in the company of Kṛṣṇa, they would immediately engage in all these functions, especially in dancing together. Regarding their wrestling, one friend once asked Kṛṣṇa, "My dear friend, O killer of the Agha demon, You are very proudly wandering among Your friends trying to exhibit Your arms as very strong. Is it that You are envious of me? I know that You cannot defeat me in wrestling, and I also know that You were sitting idly for a long time because You were hopeless of defeating me."
All the friends were very daring and would risk any difficulty, because they were confident that Kṛṣṇa would help them to be victorious in all adventures. They used to sit together and advise one another what to do, sometimes inducing one another to be engaged in welfare work. Sometimes they would offer betel nuts to one another, decorate one another's faces with tilaka or smear pulp of candana on one another's bodies. Sometimes, for the sake of amusement, they used to decorate their faces in strange ways. Another business of the friends was that each of them wanted to defeat Kṛṣṇa. Sometimes they used to snatch His clothing or snatch away the flowers from His hands. Sometimes one would try to induce another to decorate his body for him, and failing this, they were always ready to fight, challenging one another to combat in wrestling. These were some of the general activities of Kṛṣṇa and His friends.
Another important pastime of the friends of Kṛṣṇa was that they served as messengers to and from the gopīs; they introduced the gopīs to Kṛṣṇa and canvassed for Kṛṣṇa. When the gopīs were in disagreement with Kṛṣṇa, these friends would support Kṛṣṇa's side in His presence—but when Kṛṣṇa was not present, they would support the side of the gopīs. In this way, sometimes supporting one side, sometimes the other, they would talk very privately, with much whispering in the ears, although none of the business was very serious.
The servants of Kṛṣṇa were sometimes engaged in collecting flowers, decorating His body with valuable ornaments and trinkets, dancing before Him, singing, helping Him herd the cows, massaging His body, preparing flower garlands and sometimes fanning His body. These were some of the primary duties of the servants of Kṛṣṇa. The friends and servants of Kṛṣṇa were combined together in serving Him, and all of their activities are known as anubhāva.
When Kṛṣṇa came out from the Yamunā after chastising the Kāliyanāga, Śrīdāmā wanted to embrace Him first, but he could not raise his arms because of his great feeling of respect.
When Kṛṣṇa used to play on His flute, it appeared just like the roaring of clouds in the sky during the constellation of Svāti. According to Vedic astronomical calculation, if there is rain during the constellation of the Svāti star, any rain falling on the sea will produce pearls, and rain falling on a serpent will produce jewels. Similarly, when Kṛṣṇa's flute roared like a thundercloud under the Svāti constellation, the resulting perspiration on Śrīdāmā's body appeared to be just like pearls.
When Kṛṣṇa and Subala were embracing one another, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī became a little envious, and hiding Her hot temperament She said, "My dear Subala, you are very fortunate, because even in the presence of superiors you and Kṛṣṇa have no hesitation in putting your arms on each other's shoulders. I think it must be admitted that in your previous lives you have succeeded in many kinds of austerities." The idea is that although Rādhārāṇī was accustomed to put Her arms on Kṛṣṇa's shoulders, it was not possible for Her to do such a thing in the presence of Her superiors, whereas Subala could do so freely. Rādhārāṇī therefore praised his good fortune.
When Kṛṣṇa entered the lake of Kāliya, His intimate friends became so perturbed that their bodily colors faded, and they all produced horrible gurgling sounds. At that time all of them fell down on the ground as if they were unconscious. Similarly, when there was a forest fire all of Kṛṣṇa's friends neglected their own protection and surrounded Kṛṣṇa on all sides to protect Him from the flames. This behavior of the friends toward Kṛṣṇa is described by thoughtful poets as vyabhicārī. In vyabhicārī ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa there is sometimes madness, dexterity, fear, laziness, jubilation, pride, dizziness, meditation, disease, forgetfulness and humbleness. These are some of the common symptoms in the stage of vyabhicārī ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa.