Mother Yashoda Ties Krishna Up With Her Love


  1. Mother Yashoda ties Krishna up with her love,

  2. Srila Prabhupada Appreciation; and

  3. Guru Maharaja’s instructions.


SB 1.8.31

gopy adade tvayi krtagasi dama tavad

ya te dasasru-kalilanjana-sambhramaksam

vaktram niniya bhaya-bhavanaya sthitasya

sa mam vimohayati bhir api yad bibheti

an offense, and Your perturbed eyes overflooded with tears, which washed the mascara from Your eyes. And You were afraid, though fear personified is afraid of You. This sight is bewildering to me.


Here is another example of the bewilderment created by the pastimes of the Supreme Lord. The Supreme Lord is the Supreme in all circumstances, as already explained. Here is a specific example of the Lord's being the Supreme and at the same time a plaything in the presence of His pure devotee. The Lord's pure devotee renders service unto the Lord out of unalloyed love only, and while discharging such devotional service the pure devotee forgets the position of the Supreme Lord. The Supreme Lord also accepts the loving service of His devotees more relishably when the service is rendered spontaneously out of pure affection, without anything of reverential admiration. Generally, the Lord is worshiped by the devotees in a reverential attitude, but the Lord is meticulously pleased when the devotee, out of pure affection and love, considers the Lord to be less important than himself. The Lord's pastimes in the original abode of Goloka Vrindavana are exchanged in that spirit. The friends of Krishna consider Him one of them. They do not consider Him to be of reverential importance. The parents of the Lord (who are all pure devotees) consider Him a child only. The Lord accepts the chastisements of the parents more cheerfully than the prayers of the Vedic hymns. Similarly, He accepts the reproaches of His fiancées more palatably than the Vedic hymns. When Lord Krishna was present in this material world to manifest His eternal pastimes of the transcendental realm of Goloka Vrindavana as an attraction for the people in general, He displayed a unique picture of subordination before His foster mother, Yashoda. The Lord, in His naturally childish playful activities, used to spoil the stocked butter of Mother Yashoda by breaking the pots and distributing the contents to His friends and playmates, including the celebrated monkeys of Vrindavana, who took advantage of the Lord's munificence. Mother Yashoda saw this, and out of her pure love she wanted to make a show of punishment for her transcendental child. She took a rope and threatened the Lord that she would tie Him up, as is generally done in the ordinary household. Seeing the rope in the hands of Mother Yashoda, the Lord bowed down His head and began to weep just like a child, and tears rolled down His cheeks, washing off the black ointment smeared about His beautiful eyes. This picture of the Lord is adored by Kuntidevi because she is conscious of the Lord's supreme position. He is feared often by fear personified, yet He is afraid of His mother, who wanted to punish Him just in an ordinary manner. Kunti was conscious of the exalted position of Krishna, whereas Yashoda was not. Therefore, Yashoda's position was more exalted than Kunti's. Mother Yashoda got the Lord as her child, and the Lord made her forget altogether that her child was the Lord Himself. If Mother Yashoda had been conscious of the exalted position of the Lord, she would certainly have hesitated to punish the Lord. But she was made to forget this situation because the Lord wanted to make a complete gesture of childishness before the affectionate Yashoda. This exchange of love between the mother and the son was performed in a natural way, and Kunti, remembering the scene, was bewildered, and she could do nothing but praise the transcendental filial love. Indirectly Mother Yashoda is praised for her unique position of love, for she could control even the all-powerful Lord as her beloved child. [End of purport]

So here Kuntidevi treated Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. ‘aisvarya paura sambhram’.  They treat him as God. But in Vrindavana it is a totally different kind of treatment. Therefore, that relationship is called madhurya rasa; conjugal relationship or conjugal love. They treat Krishna in a conjugal relationship in the pastimes that Krishna had with the younger girls/ younger gopis because as a mother she is not aware of that pastime. Just as the mother doesn’t really talk about the son’s affairs with his girlfriend, similarly, Kunti Devi is not speaking about that. That’s the general feeling, parents don’t discuss about the love affairs of the children. The senior members of Vrindavan are simply concerned about their love affair with Krishna. They treat Krishna just like a child and they don’t treat Krishna as anything other than their own little child. 

“gopy adade tvayi krtagasi dama tavad”; Mother Yashoda tied Krishna up with a rope. Now, if mother Yashoda knew that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, she could never do that. Here, by the arrangement of Yogamaya, Mother Yashoda forgot that Krishna is God. Therefore, she could treat Krishna in that way. Mother Yashoda treated Krishna just like her own little child and Krishna also acted just like a little child. Krishna also acted in such a way that Mother Yashoda became angry with Krishna. Krishna wanted to actually have this kind of reciprocation with the residents of Vrindavan; therefore, Krishna acts in such a unique way. What did Krishna do? Krishna broke the pots of butter. 

Krishna ran away and was hiding

Actually, it takes a lot of time and endeavour to make butter. Mother Yashoda boiled the milk, made it into yoghurt and then she had to churn the yoghurt, then the butter came floating on the surface. Then she collected the butter. It’s a lot of hard work. The butter was kept in a pot, but what did Krishna do? Krishna broke the pots and why He broke the pots? It is because Krishna became upset. He became very angry. Why did Krishna become very upset? It is because he was drinking his mother’s breast milk. At that time Krishna was about five years old. In the Vedic society, the child drinks the mothers’ milk even when the child is five years/ six years old. Nowadays what to speak of five years/ six years, mothers do not even give their milk to the children even when they are five/ six days old. That’s the unfortunate state of affairs and that’s way the relationship doesn’t grow between the mother and the children. The mothers do not take care of the children. This is what is happening in the human society.  But in the Vedic culture, we see a perfect human behaviour. It is a perfect human society and everybody deals in that society in the most perfect way. Mother Yashoda was breast feeding Krishna when He was about five years old. She was deriving great joy just looking at Krishna’s beautiful face. Mother Yashoda saw that the milk was just spilling over from the pot. But Krishna was on her lap, so she just quickly put Krishna down and she just ran to take care of the milk. Just this gesture of mother Yashoda made Krishna very upset. In the meantime, mother Yashoda came back but Krishna ran away and He was hiding. Mother Yashoda saw Krishna running away, she became very angry. 

Mother Yashoda although she was dealing with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, she became angry with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, just like the mother becomes angry when the child becomes naughty. Out of anger what mother Yashoda did? She picked up a stick and she ran after Krishna and He also ran. “rudantam muhur netra-yugmam mrjantam karambhoja-yugmena satanka-netram” “rudantam muhur netra”- Krishna started to cry and tears started to flow from His eyes and “karambhoja-yugmena satanka-netram” - He started to wipe the tears of His eyes with both of His hands. He was very afraid, with fearful eyes he started to look at mother Yashoda. Then when she saw that Krishna was afraid, she like a natural mother felt, “Oh, the child is afraid. If he becomes too afraid, it’ll be bad for him.” Therefore, she dropped the stick. She thought that it’s not good for a child to be too afraid. It affects the mentality of the child.  Mother Yashoda then dropped the stick to let Krishna overcome his fear. 

Krishna allowed mother Yashoda to tie him

Mother Yashoda at the same time thought, “He has done something wrong so he must be punished.” Thinking that, she decided to tie the child up. She then went and got some rope and tried to tie up Krishna. But she found to her great amazement that the rope was two inches short. The rope was not enough to tie. It was a little short. Then she went and got some more ropes and tied those ropes together to tie Krishna, that also was short and this way she got all the ropes in the house.  You can well imagine how much rope she had at her house. Nanda Maharaja was a cowherd man; who had cows in the house. When you have cows in the house, you need ropes to tie the cows. How many cows Nanda Maharaja, had? Nine Lakh cows. Yashoda didn’t have any shortage of ropes, she got so much ropes. Finally, she was completely exhausted. She was sweating and she was completely tired. So, Krishna then thought, “Okay, my mother became quite exhausted.” Then Krishna allowed mother Yashoda to tie him back and then mother Yashoda tied Krishna up to the mortar, udukhal. “yasoda-bhiyolukhalad dhavamanam” Udukhal means ‘from the mortar’. So, mother Yashoda tied Krishna to the udukhal. Krishna actually climbed on top of that to get the butter so as punishment mother Yashoda tied him up to the mortar.  Kunti Devi is saying that it is so wonderful that you treated Krishna like your little child and tied him up with ropes. The personality in whose belly, the entire creation is situated, that belly was tried to be tied up by mother Yashoda. 

Mother Yashoda was trying to tie up that belly “namas te 'stu damne sphurad-dipti-dhamne tvadiyodarayatha visvasya dhamne”; udara means belly; “Visvasya dhamne” - visvasya means entire creation and dhamne means the abode. Krishna’s belly is the abode of entire creation and mother Yashoda tied up that belly up. How did she do that? Not with the ropes, she tied Krishna up with her love. It is with her love that mother Yashoda tied Krishna up. It is with her love that she could deal with Krishna in this way and Krishna is very fond of this loving exchange. Krishna wants his mother to love him like that. It is an expression of love that she chased after Krishna, she picked a stick and chastised Him and then she thought, “Oh, He should not become afraid.” Kunti Devi is making that point, fear personified is afraid of you. You cause fear to the fear personified: Even fear personified is afraid of Krishna and that Krishna is afraid of you.  Why? It is because of love. What is that line? “bhakti baddham” Mother Yashoda - bhakti baddham; with her bhakti she tied up Krishna, not with the ropes.  Who can tie the Supreme Personality of Godhead?

Mother Yashoda’s exalted position 

That’s why, the Vrindavan pastimes of Krishna are so wonderful and Srila Prabhupada is pointing that out in the purport. That of course, Kuntidevi was the aunt of Krishna. She has a very intimate relationship with Krishna. She was a relative of Krishna. But Yashoda’s position was even more exalted because Yashoda treated Krishna just like her little child, which fortune Kuntidevi didn’t have or even Devaki did not have. Even Devaki could not treat Krishna as a child. Krishna was taken away from Mother Devaki just after He was born. So, Devaki did not get this good fortune of treating Krishna like a child, her own little child. Devaki could not breast feed Krishna. Devaki could not hold Krishna on her lap like her own baby. But mother Yashoda did and that is why the fortune of mother Yashoda is far greater than the fortune of mother Devaki and ultimately Krishna’s Vrindavan pastimes are far superior to Krishna’s Mathura and Dwarka pastimes. In those pastimes, Krishna is the Supreme child, Supreme friend and Supreme lover. The three mellows sakhya, vatsalya and madhurya are three unique relationship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is available only in Vrindavan and nowhere else. 


We the members of The International Society for Krishna Consciousness must realise that the real success of ISKCON lies in recognising and establishing the unique position of Srila Prabhupada as the founder-acarya of ISKCON. - Bhakti Charu Swami


Sometimes we do things because we have a desire for profit, adoration and distinction but that is not devotional service, Devotional service is just for the sake of our love for Krishna. Spiritual love is even more selfless than a mother's love for her child. We must develop that love. How? The love for Krishna is developed through one's loving relationship with their spiritual master.- Bhakti Charu Swami