When Kṛṣṇa grew up a little more, He began to turn Himself backside up; He did not merely lie down on His back. And another function was observed by Yaśodā and Nanda Mahārāja: Kṛṣṇa’s first birthday. They arranged for Kṛṣṇa’s birthday ceremony, which is still observed by all followers of the Vedic principles. (Kṛṣṇa’s birthday ceremony is observed in India by all Hindus, irrespective of different sectarian views.) All the cowherd men and women were invited to participate in the jubilant celebration. A nice band played, and the assembled people enjoyed it. All the learned brāhmaṇas were invited, and they chanted Vedic hymns for the good fortune of Kṛṣṇa. During the chanting of the Vedic hymns and playing of the bands, Kṛṣṇa was bathed by mother Yaśodā. This bathing ceremony is technically called abhiṣeka, and even today this is observed in all the temples of Vṛndāvana on Janmāṣṭamī Day, or the birthday anniversary of Lord Kṛṣṇa.
On this occasion, mother Yaśodā arranged to distribute a large quantity of grain, and first-class cows decorated with golden ornaments were made ready to be given in charity to the learned, respectable brāhmaṇas. Yaśodā took her bath and dressed herself nicely, and taking child Kṛṣṇa, duly dressed and bathed, on her lap, she sat down to hear the Vedic hymns chanted by the brāhmaṇas. While mother Yaśodā was listening to the chanting of the Vedic hymns, the child appeared to be falling asleep, and therefore she very silently laid Him down on the bed. Being engaged in receiving all the friends, relatives and residents of Vṛndāvana on that holy occasion, she forgot to feed the child milk. He was crying, being hungry, but mother Yaśodā could not hear Him cry because of the various noises. The child, however, became angry because He was hungry and His mother was not paying attention to Him. So He lifted His legs and began to kick His lotus feet just like an ordinary child. Baby Kṛṣṇa had been placed underneath a hand-driven cart, and while He was kicking His legs, He accidentally touched the wheel of the cart, and it collapsed. Various kinds of utensils and dishes made of brass and other metals had been piled up in the handcart, and they all fell down with a great noise. The wheel of the cart separated from the axle, and the spokes of the wheel were all broken and scattered hither and thither. Mother Yaśodā and all the gopīs, as well as Mahārāja Nanda and the cowherd men, were astonished as to how the cart could have collapsed by itself. All the men and women who were assembled for the holy function crowded around and began to suggest how the cart might have collapsed. No one could ascertain the cause, but some small children who were entrusted to play with baby Kṛṣṇa informed the crowd that it was due to Kṛṣṇa’s striking His feet against the wheel. They assured the crowd that they had seen how it happened with their own eyes, and they strongly asserted the point. Some were listening to the statement of the small children, but others said, “How can you believe the statements of these children?” The cowherd men and women could not understand that the all-powerful Personality of Godhead was lying there as a baby and that He could do anything. Both the possible and impossible were in His power.
While the discussion was going on, baby Kṛṣṇa cried. Without remonstration, mother Yaśodā picked the child up on her lap and called the learned brāhmaṇas to chant holy Vedic hymns to counteract the evil spirits. At the same time she allowed the baby to suck her breast. If a child sucks the mother’s breast nicely, it is to be understood that he is out of all danger. After this, all the stronger cowherd men put the broken cart in order, and all the scattered things were set up nicely as before. The brāhmaṇas thereafter began to offer oblations to the sacrificial fire with yogurt, butter, kuśa grass and water. They worshiped the Supreme Personality of Godhead for the good fortune of the child.
The brāhmaṇas who were present at that time were all qualified because they were not envious, they never indulged in untruthfulness, they were never proud, they were nonviolent, and they never claimed any false prestige. They were all bona fide brāhmaṇas, and there was no reason to think that their blessings would be useless. With firm faith in the qualified brāhmaṇas, Nanda Mahārāja took his child on his lap and bathed Him with water mixed with various herbs while the brāhmaṇas chanted hymns from the Ṛg, Yajur and Sāma Vedas.
It is said that without being a qualified brāhmaṇa one should not read the mantras of the Vedas. Here is the proof that the brāhmaṇas were qualified with all the brahminical symptoms. Mahārāja Nanda also had full faith in them. Therefore they were allowed to perform the ritualistic ceremonies by chanting the Vedic mantras. There are many different varieties of sacrifices recommended for different purposes, but the mantras are all to be chanted by qualified brāhmaṇas. And because in this Age of Kali such qualified brāhmaṇas are not available, all Vedic ritualistic sacrifices are forbidden. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has therefore recommended only one kind of sacrifice in this age—namely the saṅkīrtana-yajña, or chanting the mahā-mantra, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare / Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.As the brāhmaṇas chanted the Vedic hymns and performed the ritualistic ceremonies for the second time, Nanda Mahārāja again gave them huge quantities of grain and many cows. All the cows which were given in charity were covered with nice gold-embroidered garments, and their horns were bedecked with golden rings; their hooves were covered with silver plate, and they wore garlands of flowers. He gave so many cows just for the welfare of his wonderful child, and the brāhmaṇas in return bestowed their heartfelt blessings. And the blessings offered by the able brāhmaṇas were never to be baffled.