Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das
Gopal Steals Butter
Krishna’s pastimes of crawling about and drinking His mother’s breast milk gradually stopped. Soon He walked on His lotus feet and started stealing butter. One day when no one was looking, Krishna began His pastimes of stealing fresh butter.
Startled upon seeing His own reflection in a jeweled inlaid pillar, Krishna shivered in fear and said, “O dear brother, do not tell mother. I will save some butter for You and You may enjoy too.” Watching her mischievous son from a hidden place. Mother Yashoda heard these sweet broken words with great relish. Then she innocently appeared before Krishna.
Pointing to His effulgent reflection, Krishna said, “O Ma! Being very greedy, this boy came here today to steal your butter. Although I forbade Him, He did not listen to Me. And when I got angry with Him, He also got angry. But I am not at all greedy for butter.”
One day while Yashoda was outside the house engaged in some domestic activities, inside the house Krishna stole butter again. When Yashoda returned and called out, “O my darling Krishna! Where are You and what are You doing?” Hearing her, Krishna became afraid and stopped stealing butter.
Pausing for a moment, Krishna answered, “Mother! My hand started burning from the shining effulgence of My ruby bangles, so I stuck it in this butter pot to relieve the pain.”
Pleased by her son’s clever words, Yashoda said, “Hey Vatsa! Please come sit on my lap. Oh My darling, show me the burns on Your hand.” Then Yashoda kissed Krishna’s hand and consoled Him, saying, “Ahh, ahh, Look, Your hand has been burned. So let me remove these ruby bangles.”
On another day Krishna cried and rubbed His eyes with His flower bud-like palms. In a choked voice Krishna uttered unintelligible phrases. Even though Yashoda had previously scolded Krishna for stealing butter, this time she wiped the tears from Krishna’s eyes with the edge of her sari. While tenderly caressing Krishna, She said, “Hey Lala, all of our stock of butter actually belongs to You alone.”
One night the soothing rays of the full moon illumined the courtyard of Nanda’s house. Yashoda sat there talking with some elderly gopis while Krishna played nearby gazing at the moon. Sneaking up behind Yashoda, Krishna removed the veil covering her head, loosened her braid, and patted her on the back to get her attention with His butter-soft lotus palms. Krishna’s voice choked up as He continually cried. Yashoda’s heart swelled with maternal love, so she indicated with a glance that her friends should attend to Krishna.
With great respect and affection, the gopis enthusiastically lifted up Krishna and asked, “O darling! What do You want? Do You want some kheer?” Krishna replied, “No, No!” “Do You want some thick creamy yogurt?” Krishna replied, “No, No!” “Do you want some cheese?” Again Krishna said, “No, no! I want freshly churned condensed butter.”
The gopis continued, “Do not lament or be angry with Your mother. What do You mean by ‘condensed butter?’”
Pointing His little index finger to the full moon, Krishna replied, “I want that freshly churned condensed butter!”
The elderly gopis said, “O Vatsa! Do not mistake the moon for a huge piece of butter. It is a rajahamsa (royal swan) gliding across the lake of the sky.” Krishna said, “Then give Me that rajahamsa so I can play with him. Quickly catch him before he reaches the bank of the lake.”
Full anxiety, Krishna kicked His legs and cried loudly, “Give Me! Give Me!”
While Krishna showed his childish antics, some other gopis said, “O darling! They have lied to You. What You see is not a rajahamsa, but it is the moon hanging in the sky and it is called Candra.” Krishna said, “Then give Me that Candra! I really want it so I can play with it. Right now! Get it!”
Yashoda placed her crying son on her lap and comforted Krishna, “Darling, actually it is freshly churned condensed butter! Definitely, it is not rajahamsa nor is it the moon. Regardless, I can never give it to You. Just see by chance or by the arrangement of Providence it has poisonous spots on it. Although it looks very tasty, no one in this world can eat it.”
Then Krishna said, “Mother, mother! Why is it stained with spots of poison? What is poison anyway?” Seeing a change in Krishna’s mood, mother Yashoda embraced Him and spoke in a gentle, sweet voice. “Listen attentively my dearest son. There is an ocean of milk called Ksira-sagara.”
Krishna Nectar Lilas ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!