Sukadeva Gosvami said, "At first they were planning to chastise their sons for stealing butter, but as soon as the sons came before their eyes, they lost all of their angry attitudes and became overwhelmed with affection"

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"At first they were planning to chastise their sons for stealing butter, but as soon as the sons came before their eyes, they lost all of their angry attitudes and became overwhelmed with affection"

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Nectar of Devotion

In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Tenth Canto, 13th Chapter, verse 39, Śukadeva Gosvāmī tells King Parīkṣit: "My dear King, as soon as the elderly gopīs saw their sons coming, there was an inexpressible sign of parental love, and all of them became absorbed in affection. At first they were planning to chastise their sons for stealing butter, but as soon as the sons came before their eyes, they lost all of their angry attitudes and became overwhelmed with affection.

When Kṛṣṇa, the beloved son of Nanda Mahārāj, steps into His kaiśora age, although He becomes more beautiful, His parents still consider Him as being in the paugaṇḍa age—even though He is between the ages of ten and fifteen. When Kṛṣṇa is in His paugaṇḍa age, some of His servants also accept Him as being in the kaiśora age. When Kṛṣṇa performs His childish pastimes, His general practice is to break the milk and yogurt pots, throw the yogurt in the courtyard and steal the cream from the milk. Sometimes He breaks the churning rod, and sometimes He throws butter on the fire. In this way, he increases the transcendental pleasure of His Mother Yaśodā.

In this connection Mother Yaśodā once told Mukharā, her maidservant, "Just look at Kṛṣṇa looking stealthily toward all sides and slowly stepping forward from the bushes. It appears that He is coming just to steal the butter. Don't expose yourself or He may understand that we are looking towards Him. I want to enjoy the sight of His eyebrows moving in this cunning way, and I want to see His fearful eyes and beautiful face."

In enjoying Kṛṣṇa's attitude of stealing butter very stealthily, Mother Yaśodā experienced the ecstasy of maternal love by smelling His head, sometimes patting His body with her hand, sometimes offering blessings, sometimes ordering Him, sometimes gazing at Him, sometimes maintaining and sometimes giving Him good instructions not to become a thief. Such activities are in maternal ecstatic love. An important point to be observed in this connection is that the childish propensity of stealing is there even in the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore this propensity is not artificial. However, in the spiritual relationship there is no inebriety to this stealing propensity, as there is in the material world.

In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Tenth Canto, 13th Chapter, verse 39, Śukadeva Gosvāmī tells King Parīkṣit: "My dear King, as soon as the elderly gopīs saw their sons coming, there was an inexpressible sign of parental love, and all of them became absorbed in affection. At first they were planning to chastise their sons for stealing butter, but as soon as the sons came before their eyes, they lost all of their angry attitudes and became overwhelmed with affection. They began to embrace their sons and smell their heads. While doing this, they became almost mad after their children." In their childhood pastimes, all these cowherd boys joined with Kṛṣṇa in stealing butter. But rather than become angry, Mother Yaśodā became wet from the milk flowing out of her breasts. Out of her affection for Kṛṣṇa, she began to smell His head repeatedly.

The general activities of all the mothers of the cowherd boys were to kiss them, to embrace them, to call them by their names and sometimes to mildly chastise them for their stealing habits. These manifestations of parental love are called sāttvika ecstasy, wherein manifestations of eight kinds of ecstatic symptoms are visible in full. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Tenth Canto, 13th Chapter, 19th verse, Śukadeva Gosvāmī tells King Parīkṣit: "All the mothers of the cowherd boys were illusioned by the covering influence of the yoga-māyā potency of the Personality of Godhead, and as soon as they heard the flute-playing of their boys, they immediately stood up and mentally embraced their sons, who had been created by the direct internal potency of Kṛṣṇa. Accepting them as their born sons, they lifted them into their arms and began to embrace them, resting the children's bodies upon their own. The emotions created by this incident were sweeter than nectar turned into a palatable intoxicant, and the milk flowing out of their breasts was immediately drunk up by the children."

In the Lalita-mādhava, compiled by Rūpa Gosvāmī, Kṛṣṇa is addressed as follows: "My dear Kṛṣṇa, when You are engaged in herding the animals, the dust caused by the hooves of the calves and cows covers Your nice face and artistic tilaka, and You appear very dusty. But when You return home, the milk flowing out of the breasts of Your mother washes Your face of its dust covering, and it appears that You are purified by this milk. It is just like when the Deity is washed during the performance of the abhiṣeka ceremony." It is the custom in the temples of Deities that if there have been some impure activities, the Deity has to be washed with milk. Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and He was washed by the milk from the breast of Mother Yaśodā, which purified Him from the dust covering.

Sometimes there are examples of Mother Yaśodā's becoming stunned in ecstasy. This was exhibited when she saw her son lifting Govardhan Hill. When Kṛṣṇa was standing, raising the hill, Mother Yaśodā hesitated to embrace Him and became stunned. The dangerous position that Kṛṣṇa had accepted by lifting the hill brought tears to her eyes. And with her eyes filled with tears she could not see Kṛṣṇa anymore, and because her throat was choked up by anxiety she could not even instruct Kṛṣṇa as to what He should do in that position. This is a symptom of becoming stunned in ecstatic love.

Mother Yaśodā sometimes enjoyed transcendental ecstasy in happiness when her child was saved from a dangerous situation, such as being attacked by Pūtanā or some other demon. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, 10th Canto, 17th Chapter, 15th verse Śukadeva Gosvāmī says that Mother Yaśodā felt very, very fortunate when she got back her lost child. She immediately placed Him on her lap and began to embrace Him again and again. While she was thus embracing her son repeatedly, torrents of tears fell from her eyes, and she was unable to express her transcendental joy. It is stated in the Vidagdha-mādhava of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī: "My dear Kṛṣṇa, the touch of Your mother is so pleasing and cooling that it surpasses the cooling capacity of the pulp of sandalwood and of bright moonshine mixed with the pulp of uśīra root." (Uśīra is a kind of root which when soaked with water has a very, very cooling effect. It is especially used in the scorching heat of the sun.)