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Tenth Skanda

Chapter 8: The Name Ceremony, His Pranks and Again the Universe Within His Mouth

(1) S’rî S’uka said: ‘Garga the family priest of the Yadus, highly elevated in penance, o King, went on the request of Vasudeva to Nanda’s cow community. (2) Nanda very pleased to see him stood of worship with folded hands to welcome him knowing him to be someone beyond the senses [adhokshaja] and prostrated to offer his obeisances. (3) With the greatest hospitality and the sweetest words he had the sage seated and pleasing him this way he said: ‘O brahmin so complete of realization, what can I do for you? (4) The moving of the great towards the common people, the simple-minded householders, never must be considered to happen for any other reason but to their best interest. (5) Any person is able to understand his past and future from the knowledge beyond the ken of ordinary man about the course of the luminaries that you’ve so graciously wrote down to the scrutiny of each [in a book on astrology]. (6) You indeed as the best of all the knowers of the Brahman are the brahmin by birth [*] to be the guru for each; so please perform the name-ceremony [the samskâra] for these two boys [Krishna and Balarâma].’

(7) S’rî Garga said: ‘I am, as everyone knows, the teacher of example of the Yadus; always have the sons with me undergone the purification rites, but in your case people might think that we would be doing that for the sake of the son of Devakî. (8-9) Kamsa, that great sinner, with your friendship with Vasudeva in mind and the fact that the eighth child of Devakî can’t be a girl, might, having taken notice of the message from Devakî’s daughter [Durgâ 10.4: 12], even contemplate to kill it and therefore is it not wise for us to do that.’

(10) S’rî Nanda said: ‘Perform without him or with even my own relatives knowing about it right here in a remote place, in the cow-pen, the purificatory second birth rites with the benedictory chanting of the classical hymns.’

(11) S’rî S’uka said: ‘With this urgent request performed the man of learning for the two boys in secret seclusion the name-giving ceremony for which he had come. (12) S’rî Garga said: ‘This indeed is the son of Rohinî who with His transcendental qualities is there to the pleasure of all his folk and thus will he be called Râma; so too will He be known as Bala for His extraordinary strength and will He for the fact that He unites both the families [of Nanda and Vasudeva, see also 10.2: 8] be known as Sankarshana [the unifier]. (13) There are three colors your son has assumed in accepting forms according the yuga: white, red as well as yellow and now He is Krishna [Blackish see **]. (14) Some time before was this child born as the son of Vasudeva and therefore will about this child of yours the ones who know thus also speak as the all-beautiful Vâsudeva. (15) Of this son of yours there are many names and forms according the nature of His qualities and activities; These are known to me, but not to the common people. (16) This child will always act to what is most beneficial to you all in being a Nanda-Gokula cowherd; by Him will you all easily overcome all dangers [*3]. (17) In times before were by Him, o King of Vraja, the pious who were disturbed by the rogues of a faulty rule protected so that they, with the bad ones defeated, could flourish [see also 1.3: 28]. (18) Like the ones close to Vishnu have nothing to fear from the Asuras, will those persons who unto this child are as greatly fortunate as to act in affection not be overcome by enemies. (19) Therefore, o Nanda, take the greatest care raising this child: in His qualities, opulences, name and fame is this son of yours as good as Nârâyana!’

(20) S’rî S’uka said: ‘After Garga thus in full had informed them about the Supreme Soul [the way He had manifested in the form of the two boys] and had left for his own place, considered Nanda himself, being blessed with all good fortune, most happy. (21) A little time later were in Gokula Râma and Kes’ava [Krishna] crawling around on their hands and knees enjoying their childhood. (22) They, crawling like snakes in the mud of the cowplace, dragging their feet behind them, produced a sweet sound with their ankle bells, but charmed by the sounds enthusiastically following other people, got they afraid and returned they quickly to their mothers. (23) Closing their by the mud charmingly colored bodies in their arms allowed their mothers them to drink from the milk which from the great love for each of their sons flowed from their breasts, and when they, as they were sucking, looked into their mouths were they delighted with the greatest ecstasy to find their teeth growing. (24) From within their houses watching the children play outside in Vraja forgot they laughing their household duties amused to see how the both of them catching the tails’ ends of the calves were dragged around by them. (25) In their restless playing engaged with the cows, with fire, with animal beaks, with swords, water, birds and thorns were the mothers put off when they, doing their household duties, couldn’t find a way to check them. (26) Within a short time, o King, began Râma and Krishna in Gokula without the help of their knees with ease to walk around on their legs alone. (27) Next was by the Supreme Lord, in His together with Balarâma playing with other kids in Vraja, awakened a heavenly bliss with the ladies of Vraja. (28) The gopîs, who with eyes for Krishna were eager just to hear again and again about His childish pranks, assembled in the presence of His mother and said: (29) ‘Once He untimely released the calves and smiled upon the anger aroused; some or another way He stole and ate from the pots the palatable curd, milk and butter and gave the monkeys each a share to eat; and when they refuse to eat [having enough], He breaks the pot and when He can’t find any [food to feed them], He gets angry at the people of the house and goes pinching the babies. (30) [With the pots] hung out of reach He devises a way by piling up things or turning over a mortar and then finds His way to the contents making a hole in the hanging pot. Awaiting the time the gopîs are busy with their household affairs, He knows His way around in a dark room with enough light to see from the shining jewels on His body! (31) He’s so naughty that He sometimes freely urinates in a clean spot in our houses and that cunning, resourceful thief now sits there like a nice boy!’ Being there discussed the gopîs all these things, but seeing Him sitting before them looking afraid with His beautiful face, could the gopîs, who were happy to see Him, with their complaints against Him truly not be angry with Him and only smile and rejoice. (32) One day, when He was a little older, came Balarâma and the other kids of the neighborhood to tell His mother: ‘Krishna has eaten earth!’

(33) Yas’odâ anxious about His well-being took Krishna chiding by the hand and looked worried into His mouth to inspect Him and said: (34) ‘Why, You unruly boy, have You secretly eaten dirt, what is it that I hear from Your older brother and all Your playmates?’

(35) ‘O mother I didn’t eat any dirt, they have it all wrong; if that what they say would be true, then look right now into My mouth!’

(36) ‘If so, then open wide’, she ordered Him and He, the Supreme Personality, the Lord to whose opulences there’s no limit, then, in His pastime of being a human child, opened His mouth. (37-39) Within His mouth she [for the second time, see chapter 10.7: 35-37] saw the entire universe with all beings moving and not moving, the sky in all directions, the mountains, the continents, the oceans, the surface of the earth, the blowing wind, the fire, the moon and the stars. She saw the planetary systems, the waters, the light, the firmament with all of outer space and all [divinities] bound to change, the senses, the mind and the three modes. Seeing the variety of that along with the time of living of each soul, the natural instincts, the karma, what is all desired and the different subtle bodies, including Vraja and herself within in the wide open mouth of the body of her son, was she struck with disbelief: (40) ‘Is this all a dream, a divine phantasmagoria or maybe a delusion of my own intelligenc, or would otherwise that what I so see be some yogic feat natural to my child? (41) Because I, as far as I can see, may not understand what all escapes the consciousness, mind, action and words, do I surrender myself at the feet of Him beyond my range of vision under whose control I live and of whom I may awaken. (42) In the notion of me as having this husband and that son, of being the wife that would have it all with the ruler of Vraja, of being the one entrusted with all the gopas and gopîs with the cows and calves, I have it all wrong since only He is my progress [see 5.5: 8, 7.9: 19 and B.G. 5: 29].’ (43) This way understanding her reality as it is extended He, the Controller, unto that first lady of the gopîs [again] His special grace as Vishnu to be attracted to the Almighty in her affection for her son. (44) With the memory [of the vision] abrupt gone seated she, the gopî, touched in her heart her son on her lap with a love restored to what it was before. (45) By the three [Vedas] and also by the philosophical exercises [the Upanishads], by yogic analysis [sânkhya-yoga] and by means of the devotees [pañcarâtras] is the Lord glorified in all His greatness, but she simply considered Him as her son.’

(46) The honorable king said: ‘What were the pious activities [see B.G. 7: 16] o brahmin, performed by Nanda and Yas’odâ, from whose breast the Lord drank His milk, by which they achieved the highest perfection of being so blessed? (47) Not even His own father and mother could enjoy the uplifting childhood exploits of Krishna which remove the dirt of the world and which even today are sung by the intelligent!’

(48) S’rî S’uka said: ‘Drona, the best of the godly [the Vasus] said with Dharâ his wife in the past to Lord Brahmâ, just to find out what his orders were: (49) ‘May we [as His parents] be born on this earth to be, for the sake of the greatness of God, of devotional service for the Lord, the Controller of the Entire Universe, who is the ultimate goal out here by which we can easily avoid a miserable life? (50) ”Let it be so’ was said to this [by Brahmâ], so that he, the Great One [the Bhagavân to Bhagavân], Drona, the highly distinguished one, was born in Vraja and became celebrated as Nanda and she, Dharâ, there appeared as Yas’odâ [compare 10.3: 32-45 and see *4]. (51) O son of Bharata, as a consequence of that was there of the husband as well as the wife and all the gopas and gopîs, the continuous [love] of the devotional service unto the Lord, our Well-wisher who had appeared as their son. (52) To substantiate the words of Brahmâ resided Krishna then along with the almighty [or Bala-]Râma in Vraja to perform His pastimes [His ‘lîlâ’] to their greater pleasure.’