Krishna becoming the Gopala at Vrindhavava


Seeing that calamities befell Brihat Vana (Vraja or Gokul) so often, the elders put their heads together to devise the best course to adopt. Upa Nanda, one of the oldest and wisest of them, said:

“We that wish well for Gokula must hence get away. Evils befall that bode no good for the children. This boy was with difficulty saved from that child-killing Rakshasa woman. It is only by the favor of Vishnu that the cart did not fall on him. When he was taken high up by the whirlwind Asura, and when he fell down on the rock, it was the Deva Kings that saved him. If this boy and others did not perish when they were between the two trees, it was because Vishnu preserved them. Ere this Vraja is visited by fresh calamity, let us go elsewhere with the boys and all attendants.

There is a forest called Vrindavana with fresh verdure for cattle, where Gopas, Gopis and Gos will all enjoy themselves. The hills, grass and creepers are all holy there. This very day let us go to that place. Make ready the carriages. Let the cows precede us, if it pleases you all.”

With one heart, the Gopas agreed.  They prepared their carriages and placed on them the aged, the young, the females and all household articles. They drove the cows in advance. They blew their horns and beat their drums. Accompanied by the priests, the Gopas went on their way. The Gopa girls, seated on chariots sang the deeds of Krishna and Yasoda, and Rohinl attentively listened to them.

At last they entered Vrindavana, which gives pleasure at all times, with the carriages; they made a semi-circular abode for the cattle.

Balarama and Krishna saw Vrindavana, the hill Govardhana and the banks of the Yamuna and then became very much pleased. In time they became keepers of calves (Vatsa). They tended the calves in the company of Gopa boys on pasture lands near at hand. They played with other boys as ordinary children.