Skip to main content


Mother Yaśodā Binds Lord Kṛṣṇa

While mother Yaśodā was allowing Kṛṣṇa to drink her breast milk, she was forced to stop because she saw the milk pan boiling over on the oven. The maidservants being engaged in other business, she stopped allowing Kṛṣṇa to drink from her breast and immediately attended to the overflowing milk pan. Kṛṣṇa became very angry because of His mother’s behavior and devised a means of breaking the pots of yogurt. Because He created this disturbance, mother Yaśodā decided to bind Him. These incidents are described in this chapter.

One day, the maidservants being engaged in other work, mother Yaśodā was churning the yogurt into butter herself, and in the meantime Kṛṣṇa came and requested her to allow Him to suck her breast milk. Of course, mother Yaśodā immediately allowed Him to do so, but then she saw that the hot milk on the oven was boiling over, and therefore she immediately stopped allowing Kṛṣṇa to drink the milk of her breast and went to stop the milk on the oven from overflowing. Kṛṣṇa, however, having been interrupted in His business of sucking the breast, was very angry. He took a piece of stone, broke the churning pot and entered a room, where He began to eat the freshly churned butter. When mother Yaśodā, after attending to the overflowing milk, returned and saw the pot broken, she could understand that this was the work of Kṛṣṇa, and therefore she went to search for Him. When she entered the room, she saw Kṛṣṇa standing on the ulūkhala, a large mortar for grinding spices. Having turned the mortar upside down, He was stealing butter hanging from a swing and was distributing the butter to the monkeys. As soon as Kṛṣṇa saw that His mother had come, He immediately began to run away, and mother Yaśodā began to follow Him. After going some distance, mother Yaśodā was able to catch Kṛṣṇa, who because of His offense was crying. Mother Yaśodā, of course, threatened to punish Kṛṣṇa if He acted that way again, and she decided to bind Him with rope. Unfortunately, when the time came to knot the rope, the rope with which she wanted to bind Him was short by a distance equal to the width of two fingers. When she made the rope longer by adding another rope, she again saw that it was short by two fingers. Again and again she tried, and again and again she found the rope too short by two fingers. Thus she became very tired, and Kṛṣṇa, seeing His affectionate mother so tired, allowed Himself to be bound. Now, being compassionate, He did not show her His unlimited potency. After mother Yaśodā bound Kṛṣṇa and became engaged in other household affairs, Kṛṣṇa observed two yamala-arjuna trees, which were actually Nalakūvara and Maṇigrīva, two sons of Kuvera who had been condemned by Nārada Muni to become trees. Kṛṣṇa, by His mercy, now began to proceed toward the trees to fulfill the desire of Nārada Muni.

Texts 1-2:
Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: One day when mother Yaśodā saw that all the maidservants were engaged in other household affairs, she personally began to churn the yogurt. While churning, she remembered the childish activities of Kṛṣṇa, and in her own way she composed songs and enjoyed singing to herself about all those activities.
Text 3:
Dressed in a saffron-yellow sari, with a belt tied about her full hips, mother Yaśodā pulled on the churning rope, laboring considerably, her bangles and earrings moving and vibrating and her whole body shaking. Because of her intense love for her child, her breasts were wet with milk. Her face, with its very beautiful eyebrows, was wet with perspiration, and mālatī flowers were falling from her hair.
Text 4:
While mother Yaśodā was churning butter, Lord Kṛṣṇa, desiring to drink the milk of her breast, appeared before her, and in order to increase her transcendental pleasure, He caught hold of the churning rod and began to prevent her from churning.
Text 5:
Mother Yaśodā then embraced Kṛṣṇa, allowed Him to sit down on her lap, and began to look upon the face of the Lord with great love and affection. Because of her intense affection, milk was flowing from her breast. But when she saw that the milk pan on the oven was boiling over, she immediately left her son to take care of the overflowing milk, although the child was not yet fully satisfied with drinking the milk of His mother’s breast.
Text 6:
Being very angry and biting His reddish lips with His teeth, Kṛṣṇa, with false tears in His eyes, broke the container of yogurt with a piece of stone. Then He entered a room and began to eat the freshly churned butter in a solitary place.
Text 7:
Mother Yaśodā, after taking down the hot milk from the oven, returned to the churning spot, and when she saw that the container of yogurt was broken and that Kṛṣṇa was not present, she concluded that the breaking of the pot was the work of Kṛṣṇa.
Text 8:
Kṛṣṇa, at that time, was sitting on an upside-down wooden mortar for grinding spices and was distributing milk preparations such as yogurt and butter to the monkeys as He liked. Because of having stolen, He was looking all around with great anxiety, suspecting that He might be chastised by His mother. Mother Yaśodā, upon seeing Him, very cautiously approached Him from behind.
Text 9:
When Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa saw His mother, stick in hand, He very quickly got down from the top of the mortar and began to flee as if very much afraid. Although yogīs try to capture Him as Paramātmā by meditation, desiring to enter into the effulgence of the Lord with great austerities and penances, they fail to reach Him. But mother Yaśodā, thinking that same Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, to be her son, began following Kṛṣṇa to catch Him.
Text 10:
While following Kṛṣṇa, mother Yaśodā, her thin waist overburdened by her heavy breasts, naturally had to reduce her speed. Because of following Kṛṣṇa very swiftly, her hair became loose, and the flowers in her hair were falling after her. Yet she did not fail to capture her son, Kṛṣṇa.
Text 11:
When caught by mother Yaśodā, Kṛṣṇa became more and more afraid and admitted to being an offender. As she looked upon Him, she saw that He was crying, His tears mixing with the black ointment around His eyes, and as He rubbed His eyes with His hands, He smeared the ointment all over His face. Mother Yaśodā, catching her beautiful son by the hand, mildly began to chastise Him.
Text 12:
Mother Yaśodā was always overwhelmed by intense love for Kṛṣṇa, not knowing who Kṛṣṇa was or how powerful He was. Because of maternal affection for Kṛṣṇa, she never even cared to know who He was. Therefore, when she saw that her son had become excessively afraid, she threw the stick away and desired to bind Him so that He would not commit any further naughty activities.
Texts 13-14:
The Supreme Personality of Godhead has no beginning and no end, no exterior and no interior, no front and no rear. In other words, He is all-pervading. Because He is not under the influence of the element of time, for Him there is no difference between past, present and future; He exists in His own transcendental form at all times. Being absolute, beyond relativity, He is free from distinctions between cause and effect, although He is the cause and effect of everything. That unmanifested person, who is beyond the perception of the senses, had now appeared as a human child, and mother Yaśodā, considering Him her own ordinary child, bound Him to the wooden mortar with a rope.
Text 15:
When mother Yaśodā was trying to bind the offending child, she saw that the binding rope was short by a distance the width of two fingers. Thus she brought another rope to join to it.
Text 16:
This new rope also was short by a measurement of two fingers, and when another rope was joined to it, it was still two fingers too short. As many ropes as she joined, all of them failed; their shortness could not be overcome.
Text 17:
Thus mother Yaśodā joined whatever ropes were available in the household, but still she failed in her attempt to bind Kṛṣṇa. Mother Yaśodā’s friends, the elderly gopīs in the neighborhood, were smiling and enjoying the fun. Similarly, mother Yaśodā, although laboring in that way, was also smiling. All of them were struck with wonder.
Text 18:
Because of mother Yaśodā’s hard labor, her whole body became covered with perspiration, and the flowers and comb were falling from her hair. When child Kṛṣṇa saw His mother thus fatigued, He became merciful to her and agreed to be bound.
Text 19:
O Mahārāja Parīkṣit, this entire universe, with its great, exalted demigods like Lord Śiva, Lord Brahmā and Lord Indra, is under the control of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Yet the Supreme Lord has one transcendental attribute: He comes under the control of His devotees. This was now exhibited by Kṛṣṇa in this pastime.
Text 20:
Neither Lord Brahmā, nor Lord Śiva, nor even the goddess of fortune, who is always the better half of the Supreme Lord, can obtain from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the deliverer from this material world, such mercy as received by mother Yaśodā.
Text 21:
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, the son of mother Yaśodā, is accessible to devotees engaged in spontaneous loving service, but He is not as easily accessible to mental speculators, to those striving for self-realization by severe austerities and penances, or to those who consider the body the same as the self.
Text 22:
While mother Yaśodā was very busy with household affairs, the Supreme Lord, Kṛṣṇa, observed twin trees known as yamala-arjuna, which in a former millennium had been the demigod sons of Kuvera.
Text 23:
In their former birth, these two sons, known as Nalakūvara and Maṇigrīva, were extremely opulent and fortunate. But because of pride and false prestige, they did not care about anyone, and thus Nārada Muni cursed them to become trees.