Importance of hearing Lord Krishna's pastimes
Krishna-katha means narrations about Lord Krishna. There are two Krishna-kathas: narrations spoken by Krishna and narrations spoken about Krishna. The Bhagavad-gita, is the narration or the philosophy on the science of God, spoken by Krishna Himself.
Shrimad-Bhagavatam is the narration about the activities and transcendental pastimes of Krishna. Both are krishna-katha. One might wonder as to how one can benefit by hearing such pastimes of the Lord and also why does the Supreme Lord enact pastimes as a human being or a commoner? The answer, as described in the Bhagavad-gita is that He appears as He is in the human society just to invite everyone to His transcendental abode, back home, back to Godhead. Everyone should be interested in knowing about Krishna.
Shukadeva Gosvami informed Pariksit Maharaja that hearing and chanting the pastimes of Krishna are so auspicious that the processes purify the three varieties of men involved: he who recites the transcendental topics of Krishna, he who hears such topics, and he who inquires about Him. These pastimes are just like the Ganges water, which flows from the toe of Lord Vishnu: they purify the three worlds, the upper, middle and lower planetary systems.
The Amazing Adventures of Krishna
The following wonderful pastimes of the Lord are covered in this section:
Once, the world was overburdened by the unnecessary defense force of different kings. At that time, the whole world became perturbed, and the predominating deity of this earth, known as Bhumi, assumed the shape of a cow.
She presented herself before Lord Brahma with tears in her eyes while narrating the calamitous position of the earth.
A short time after the naming ceremony, both Balarama and Krishna began to crawl on Their hands and knees. When They were crawling like that, They pleased Their mothers. The bells tied to Their waist and ankles sounded fascinating, and They would move around very pleasingly. Sometimes, just like ordinary, They would be frightened by others and would immediately hurry to Their mothers for protection.
Once Mother Yashoda, who was feeding Krishna suddenly remembered that she had to do something. So she kept her son down to attend to the work. Krishna, left all alone felt very indignant and in anger picked up a stone and smashed a butter pot. He then started to distribute the contents to the monkeys. Mother Yashoda, after seeing her son so engaged, silently approached from behind to catch him.
• The Deliverance of Nalakuvara and Manigriva
The story of the cursing of Nalakuvara and Manigriva and their deliverance by Krishna, under the all-blissful desire of the great sage Narada, is here described. The two great demigods Nalakuvara and Manigriva were sons of the treasurer of the demigods, Kuvera, who was a great devotee of Lord Siva Kuvera’s material opulences had no limit.
All the gopi friends of Yasoda and Rohini enjoyed the naughty childish activities of Krishna and Balarama in Vrindavana. Formerly, in every household, yogurt and butter were kept for use in emergencies. But Krishna and Balarama would pile up planks so that They could reach the pots and would then pick holes in the pots with Their hands so that the contents would leak out and They could drink it.
Once, Lord Krishna desired to go early in the morning with all His cowherd friends to the forest, where they were to assemble together and take lunch. Keeping the calves before them, they started for the forest in a great procession. Many a sportive playing went on amongst the boys as childhood pastimes. When Lord Krishna was enjoying His childhood pastimes with His friends, Aghasura demon became very impatient. He was unable to tolerate seeing Krishna play so happily.
Within the river Yamuna there was a great lake, and in that lake the black serpent Kaliya used to live. Because of his poison, the whole area was so contaminated that it emanated a poisonous vapor twenty-four hours a day. Due to the poisonous effect of the Yamuna’s vaporsthe trees and grass near the bank of the Yamuna had all dried up. Lord Krishna saw the effect of the great serpent’s poison: the whole river that ran before Vrindavana was now deadly.
• Govardhan Lila
Krishna and Balarama once saw that the cowherd men were preparing for a sacrifice. Being the omniscient Personality of Godhead, Krishna knew that the cowherd men were preparing for sacrifice to Indra but as a matter of etiquette He began to inquire with great honor and submission from elder personalities like Maharaja Nanda.
When Krishna saved the inhabitants of Vrindavana from the wrath of Indra by lifting Govardhana Hill, a surabhi cow from Goloka Vrindavana, as well as King Indra from the heavenly planets, appeared before Him. Indra, the King of heaven, was conscious of his offense before Krishna; therefore he stealthily appeared before Him in a secluded place.
Everyone is aware of the fact that when there was a declaration of war between the Pandavas and Kauravas,
Lord Krishna, took the decision not to fight or lift arms. Yet this example shows how Krishna sometimes breaks His promise. Duryodhana once incited Bhismadeva that the grandsire was not fighting to his best ability as the opposing party were his pet grandsons.