When all the ecstatic cowherd men heard that Nanda Mahārāja, the father of Kṛṣṇa, was celebrating the birth ceremony of his son, they became spontaneously joyful. They dressed themselves with very costly garments and ornamented their bodies with different kinds of earrings and necklaces and wore great turbans on their heads. After dressing themselves in this gorgeous way, they took various kinds of presentations and thus approached the house of Nanda Mahārāja.
As soon as they heard that mother Yaśodā had given birth to a child, all the cowherd women became overwhelmed with joy, and they also dressed themselves with various kinds of costly garments and ornaments and smeared scented cosmetics on their bodies.
As the dust on the lotus flower exhibits the exquisite beauty of the flower, all the gopīs (cowherd women) applied the dust of kuṅkuma on their lotuslike faces. These beautiful gopīs took their different presentations and very soon reached the house of Mahārāja Nanda. Overburdened with their heavy hips and swollen breasts, the gopīs could not proceed very quickly toward the house of Nanda Mahārāja, but out of ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa they proceeded as quickly as possible. Their ears were decorated with pearl rings, their necks were decorated with jeweled lockets, their lips and eyes were decorated with different kinds of lipstick and ointment, and their hands were decorated with nice golden bangles. As they were very hastily passing over the stone road, the flower garlands which were decorating their bodies fell to the ground, and it appeared that a shower of flowers was falling from the sky. From the movement of the different kinds of ornaments on their bodies, they were looking still more beautiful. In this way, they all reached the house of Nanda-Yaśodā and blessed the child: “Dear child, You live long just to protect us.” While they were blessing child Kṛṣṇa in this way, they offered a mixture of turmeric powder, oil, yogurt, milk and water. They sprinkled this mixture not only on the body of child Kṛṣṇa but on all other persons who were present there. Also on that auspicious occasion, there were different bands of expert musicians playing.
When the cowherd men saw the pastimes of the cowherd women, they became very joyful, and in response they also began to throw yogurt, milk, clarified butter and water upon the bodies of the gopīs. Then both parties began to throw butter on each other’s bodies. Nanda Mahārāja was also very happy to see the pastimes of the cowherd men and women, and he became very liberal in giving charity to the different singers who were assembled there. Some singers were reciting great verses from the Upaniṣads and Purāṇas, some were glorifying the family ancestors, and some were singing very sweet songs. There were also many learned brāhmaṇas present, and Nanda Mahārāja, being very satisfied on this occasion, gave them different kinds of garments, ornaments and cows in charity.
It is very important to note in this connection how wealthy the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana were simply by raising cows. All the cowherd men belonged to the vaiśya community, and their business was to protect the cows and cultivate crops. By their dress and ornaments, and by their behavior, it appears that although they were in a small village, they still were rich in material possessions. They possessed such an abundance of various kinds of milk products that they were throwing butter lavishly on each other’s bodies without restriction. Their wealth was in milk, yogurt, clarified butter and many other milk products, and by trading their agricultural products, they were rich in various kinds of jewelry, ornaments and costly garments. Not only did they possess all these things, but they could give them away in charity lavishly, as did Nanda Mahārāja.