On hearing the statement of Upananda, all the cowherd men immediately agreed. “Let us immediately go there.” Everyone then loaded all their household furniture and utensils onto the carts and prepared to go to Vṛndāvana. All the children, women and old men of the village were arranged on seats, and the cowherd men equipped themselves with bows and arrows to follow the carts. All the cows and bulls were placed in the front along with their calves, and the men, with their bows and arrows, surrounded the herds and carts and began to blow on their horns and bugles. In this way, with tumultuous sound, they started for Vṛndāvana.
And who can describe the damsels of Vraja? They were all seated on the carts and were very beautifully dressed with ornaments and costly saris. They chanted the pastimes of child Kṛṣṇa as usual. Mother Yaśodā and mother Rohiṇī were seated on a separate cart, and Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma were seated on their laps. While mother Rohiṇī and Yaśodā were riding on the cart, they talked to Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, and feeling the pleasure of such talks, they looked very, very beautiful.
In this way, after reaching Vṛndāvana, where everyone lives eternally, very peacefully and happily, they encircled Vṛndāvana, drew all the carts together in a half circle, and in this way constructed a temporary residence. When Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma saw the beautiful appearance of Vṛndāvana, Govardhana Hill and the banks of the river Yamunā, They felt very happy. As They grew up They began talking with Their parents and others in childish language, and thus They gave great pleasure to all the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana.
Soon Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma had grown sufficiently to be given charge of the calves. Cowherd boys, from the very beginning of their childhood, are trained to take care of the cows, and their first responsibility is to take care of the little calves. So along with the other little cowherd boys, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma went into the pasturing ground and took charge of the calves, and there They played with Their playmates. While taking charge of the calves, sometimes the two brothers played on Their flutes. And sometimes They played with āmalaka fruits and bael fruits, just as small children play with balls. Sometimes They danced and made tinkling sounds with Their ankle bells. Sometimes They made Themselves into bulls and cows by covering Themselves with blankets. Thus Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma played. The two brothers also used to imitate the sounds of bulls and cows and play at bullfighting. Sometimes They used to imitate the sounds of various animals and birds. In this way, They enjoyed Their childhood pastimes apparently like ordinary, mundane children.
Once, when Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma were playing on the bank of the Yamunā, a demon of the name Vatsāsura assumed the shape of a calf and came there intending to kill the brothers. By taking the shape of a calf, the demon could mingle with the other calves. Kṛṣṇa, however, specifically noticed this, and He immediately alerted Balarāma about the entrance of the demon. Both brothers then silently approached him. Kṛṣṇa caught hold of the demon-calf by the two hind legs and tail, whipped him around very forcibly and threw him up into a tree. The demon lost his life and fell down from the top of the tree to the ground. When the demon lay dead on the ground, all the playmates of Kṛṣṇa congratulated Him, “Well done! Well done!” and the demigods in the sky showered flowers with great satisfaction. In this way, the maintainers of the complete creation, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, used to take care of the calves every day, beginning in the morning, and thus They enjoyed Their childhood pastimes as cowherd boys in Vṛndāvana.
One day, all the cowherd boys went to the bank of the river Yamunā to water their calves. When the calves drank water from the Yamunā, the boys also drank. After drinking, when they were sitting on the bank of the river, they saw a huge animal which looked something like a heron and was as big as a hill. Its top was as strong as a thunderbolt. When they saw that unusual animal, they became afraid of it. The name of this beast was Bakāsura, and he was a friend of Kaṁsa’s. He appeared on the scene suddenly and immediately attacked Kṛṣṇa with his pointed, sharp beak and quickly swallowed Him up. When Kṛṣṇa was thus swallowed, all the boys, headed by Balarāma, became almost breathless, as if they had died. But when the Bakāsura demon was swallowing up Kṛṣṇa, he felt a burning, fiery sensation in his throat. This was due to the glowing effulgence of Kṛṣṇa. The demon quickly threw Kṛṣṇa up and tried to kill Him by pinching Him in his beak. Bakāsura did not know that although Kṛṣṇa was playing the part of a child of Nanda Mahārāja, He was still the original father of Lord Brahmā, the creator of the universe. Mother Yaśodā’s child, who is the reservoir of pleasure for the demigods and who is the maintainer of saintly persons, caught hold of the great gigantic heron by the two halves of his beak and, before His cowherd boyfriends, bifurcated his mouth, just as a child very easily splits a blade of grass. From the sky, the denizens of the heavenly planets showered flowers like the mallikā, the most fragrant of all flowers, as a token of their congratulations. Accompanying the showers of flowers was a vibration of bugles, drums and conchshells.