Conversation between Sukadeva Goswami and Maharaja Pariksit
Srila Sukadeva Goswami said: O best of devotees, most fortunate Pariksit, you have inquired very nicely, for although constantly hearing the pastimes of the Lord, you are realizing His activities to be newer and newer.
satām ayaṁ sāra-bhṛtāṁ nisargo
prati-kṣaṇaṁ navya-vad acyutasya yat
striyā viṭānām iva sādhu vārtā
Paramahaṁsas, or devotees who have accepted the essence of life, are attached to Krishna in the core of their hearts, and He is the singular goal of their lives. It is their nature to talk only of Krishna at every moment, because such topics are ever fresh and ever new. They are attached to these topics, just as materialists are attached to topics of women and sex.
O King, kindly hear me with great attention. Although the activities of the Supreme Lord are very confidential, and no ordinary man is able to understand them, I shall speak to you about them, for spiritual masters explain to a submissive disciple even subject matters that are very confidential and difficult to understand. Then, after saving the boys and calves from the mouth of Aghasura, who was death personified, Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, brought them all to the bank of the river and spoke the following words: “My dear friends, just see how this riverbank section is extremely beautiful because of its pleasing atmosphere. And just see how the blooming lotuses are attracting bees and birds by their aroma. The humming and chirping of the bees and birds is echoing through the beautiful trees in the forest. Also, here the sands are clean and soft. Therefore, this must be considered the best place for our sporting and pastimes. I think we should take our lunch here, since we are already hungry because the time is very late. Here the calves may drink water and go slowly here and there to eat the grass.”
Accepting Lord Krishna’s proposal, the cowherd boys allowed the calves to drink water from the river and then tied them to trees where there was green, tender grass. Then the boys opened their baskets of food and began eating with Krishna in great transcendental pleasure.
Like the whorl of a lotus flower surrounded by its petals and leaves, Krishna sat in the center, encircled by circles of His friends, who all looked very handsome. Every one of them was trying to look forward towards Krishna, thinking that Krishna might look towards him. In this way they enjoyed their lunch in the forest. Among the cowherd boys, some placed their lunch on flowers, some on leaves, fruit, or bunches of leaves, some on the bark of trees, some on rocks and some ate from their baskets. These were the make-believe plates of the cowherd boys when they ate their lunch. All the cowherd boys enjoyed their lunch with Krishna, sharing with one another the different tastes of the different preparations they had brought from home. Tasting one another’s preparations, they began to laugh and make each another laugh. Krishna is yajña-bhuk, that is, He eats only offerings of yajña. However, to exhibit His childhood pastimes, He now sat with His flute tucked between His waist and His upper cloth on His right side and with His horn, bugle and cow-driving stick on His left. Holding in His hand a very tasty rice preparation made with yogurt and pieces of suitable fruit between His fingers, He sat like the whorl of a lotus flower, looking towards all His friends, personally joking with them and creating jubilant laughter among them as He ate. At that time, the denizens of heaven who were watching, were struck with wonder at how the Personality of Godhead, who eats only in yajña, was now eating with His friends in the forest.
O Maharaja Pariksit, while the cowherd boys, who kept only Krishna within the core of their hearts, were thus engaged in eating their lunch in the forest, the calves went far away, deep into the forest, being allured by green grass. When Krishna saw that His friends the cowherd boys were frightened, He, the fierce controller even of fear itself, spoke to mitigate their fear. Krishna said “My dear friends, do not stop eating. I shall bring your calves back to this spot after finding them Myself. Let Me go and search for the calves.
Don’t disturb your enjoyment.” Then, carrying His yogurt and rice in His hand, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, immediately went out to search for the calves of His friends. To please His friends, He began searching in all the mountains, mountain caves, bushes and narrow passages.
O Maharaja Pariksit, Brahma, who resides in the highest planet in the sky, had observed the activities of the most powerful Krishna in killing and delivering Aghasura, and was astonished. Now that same Brahma wanted to show some of his own powers to see for himself the power of Krishna, who was engaged in His childhood pastimes, playing as if with ordinary cowherd boys. Therefore, in Krishna’s absence, Brahma took all the boys and calves to another place. Thus he became involved in the pastimes of the Lord, for in the very near future he would see just how powerful Krishna actually is.
— Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (BhāgavataPurāṇa) » Canto 10: The Summum Bonum» Chapter.13: The Stealing of the Boys and Calves by Brahma» Verses 1-15