Tales from Srimad Bhagavatam: Pranks Begin – XXXVI

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Nilanjana retells the story of Krishna’s pranks, in the weekly column, exclusively in Different Truths.

In the stories of Krishna that are prevalent, stories of his pranks delight readers even today. The inhabitants of Gokula, at that point of time, were indeed lucky to witness the child-like leela (play) of , personified as Krishna.

When Krishna began crawling on all four, Yashoda tied silver anklets onto his feet. The sound of anklets would keep her clued onto the whereabouts of the crawling child. Soon he began to toddle. He had Balarama for company. Their respective and the other women of Gokula would be delighted to see both the boys take hesitant steps, fall down and break into a cry as if they were hurt.

Gradually, they learnt to stand and walk around. While their mothers would watch their toddlers with joy, their workload increased as well. Balarama and Krishna would often sneak out of their houses and  into the nearby streets. They would come back covered with mud and wait with their eyes wide open waiting for their mothers to scold them. Their mothers would patiently clean them without much ado. They would then smile and their teeth, which had just begun to appear, would charm everybody around. The gopis were so absorbed in the antics of these two children that they would often forget their daily chores just observing the naughty boys.

When they grew up a little more, they would run all over the place. They began to play with other children. They would be  for hours. And very soon, complaints started reaching Yashoda’s ears.
Krishna’s mischief became the talk of the town.

“It was time for me to milk the cow,” complained a gopi to Yashoda, “when I see that Krishna has untied the calf and he drank all the milk. I found no milk for myself. When I scolded him, he just laughed at

“Oh, he goes on stealing curd and butter from my house,” added a second gopi to the list of complaints, “he has some and for the rest, he gives them away to the monkeys.”

Another gopi sulked, “When he could not find any curd or butter in my house, he pinched my children and ran away.”

The list of complaints went on, “I had just cleaned up my house. When I refused to give butter to Krishna, he brought the dirty water and poured it all over the house again.”

Krishna would stand by his mother’s side looking very innocent. Yashoda would look at her son – his face innocent, eyes filled with tears and lips trembling – and would not have the heart to scold him.

Gradually all conversations in Gokula went on to be discussions about little Krishna and his pranks. All other thoughts were secondary as Krishna completely occupied their -space.

This is supposed to be divinity’s way of completely engaging mere mortals into consistent thoughts of the divine, thereby replacing regular mundane pre-occupations of the chattering mind!

[To be continued]

Footnote: Srimad Bhagavatam is often called the Bhagavad Purana. Authored by Ved Vyasa, the stories are about the various avatars (incarnations) of Lord Vishnu, also known as a.

©Nilanjana Dey

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Nilanjana Dey

Nilanjana Dey

A story-teller at heart, Nilanjana Dey is on a journey to experiment with fiction and poetry. Her first novel, largely aimed towards children, is titled ‘The Adventures of Puti – The Cheese Trail’. Her poems have been published at various prestigious portals. An alumni of English Literature from Jadavpur University (Kolkata), she is a marketing and communication professional based in Mumbai. She volunteers with a Mumbai based NGO working with the marginalised sections of the society.
Nilanjana Dey