Because those were the only snacks that were there in that community. There was no chocolate cake. Butter, milk – they were the main things there. So whatever was the cream of the food available he went for that.
Much has been said about his childhood. Innumerable songs have been written about him. The legend has lived for 3500 years as if it’s yesterday. Probably in most families, they talk about Krishna’s childhood, much more than the childhood of their own children or grandchildren even today.
So it is such a celebrated childhood because, he just drove people into a frenzy with his simple beauty, his smiles and his flute, and the dance in his step. So Krishna very joyfully, very proudly he says, “I stole butter.
“If I don’t steal butter there would be no zest in the village, no excitement”.
So he and his friends slipped into other people’s homes, opened the tiles on the roof, and got in and they would be hung high up there so that the children cannot reach it.
So they climbed on each other’s shoulders and got it. Or when it was too high and they couldn’t get it, they took a stone and threw it. So this curd and butter if it made a small hole, it just poured out and they drank with their open mouths.
Or sometimes it cracked and the whole thing crashed down so they gobbled it from the floor. They shared it among their friends, and always there was excess, because there were just a few brave boys who will do this.
Others are playing it safe. So they called the monkeys and fed the monkeys. This is all very romantic but it’s like your refrigerator has been raided by your neighbor’s kids. That’s the reality.
So some are angry, some are, you know, heartbroken, but they were not as paranoid as people are today. Today they would get neurosis. Those women were not made that way, they got angry, it’s their livelihood, it’s so many things.
So they complained about Krishna constantly. So when they came home to complain to his mother about what he has done, he very proudly says, “I would hide behind mother and make loving eyes at them and they would smile.”
See even if they’re angry, these Gopi women were wonderful, you just have to make lovely eyes at them and then they’ll be okay.
So, much culture, song, and music and dances evolved around this simple pranks of Krishna and his friends.
All this happened. There are other aspects of his life but one very basic thing is – he was irresistibly beautiful as a man. Even as a child, people were just drawn to his physical self the way he was.
In the Northern part of the country where generally people were fair he was dark-complexioned. Bluish, bluish-black in color but he was so attractive as a child, that people were willing to overlook all the quite terrible pranks that he played along the way.
Today it’s an unfortunate reality that many people in the world who never even walk joyfully for ten minutes by themselves. There is any number of people in the world, where not for one moment in their whole life did they sit in front of somebody really loving them.
Their whole life goes without even a moment of these things happening. For such people there is no entry into Gokula. Gokula is a place where people romped about joyfully even doing their work.
They sang they danced, they loved. You know twenty-four hours of being joyful, being loving is not out of reach for a human being. Why Krishna is such a huge factor in the cultural ethos of this country is – this is a man who romped through his life, no matter what was happening.
His life went through various types of situations. Right from his childhood many extreme situations.
From the day he was born, people were trying to kill him. In his childhood, any number of assassins came to execute him, and through various factors and sometimes through his superhuman capabilities, these things were warded off.
But the most important factor is he went through it like a dance – joyfully, blissfully, lovingly. Wherever he was whether he is in a battle or just about to behead his foe, there was a smile on his face, whether he was in loving atmospheres, joyful atmospheres, terrible atmospheres.
When it was necessary he became stern, but the moment that necessity was over, in all kinds of extreme situations he smiled and went through it. Unfortunately, people would like to see this as a divine quality.
Smile is a human quality. It’s not a divine quality. Human beings who have lost it have transported their joy to heaven. They’ve exported their joys to heaven. Only there it’s possible. So as a child, he exhibited various qualities of his own.
When he was just about three months old, as an infant – it happened to be one of the Pournami festivals, which means in these pastoral cultures, full moon day was always a celebration. Every day was a celebration, full moon day was a good excuse.
So for the full moon day celebrations, in the afternoon itself people go to the riverside and the families gather and they’re cooking and in the evening after eating, dancing, everything happens. So, all the ladies are busy cooking, so children are left here and there with somebody.
This very young infant, just three-month-old; because it’s sunny, the mother, Yashodha left Krishna under a bullock cart, a parked bullock cart for shade. He was sleeping for some time, then he woke up.
Still, he doesn’t have the legs to move around and dance but he wants to be there. He saw nobody was paying attention. He just kicked the wheel of the cart and the whole cart crashed down. That was the first display of his superhuman strength whenever it was necessary, otherwise, he lived as a normal human being going through all the strife and struggles of any human being.
But at certain moments, he exhibited certain qualities that were beyond what you can call human. So everybody was aghast that the cart crashed and they thought the child is crushed. But nothing had happened to the child.
And a few little boys who had seen this, they said, “He kicked the cart, that’s why it fell down.” Nobody would believe it, “What nonsense? A three-month-old child, can he kick the cart?” So all the adults dismissed that these children have, you know, wild imagination.
As he got a little bigger – five, six years of age – he got more organized. As he got more organized in his efforts, people who were losing their butter got more and more distressed (Laughs). So a lot of complaints started pouring in to his mother, constantly people coming and complaining that, “Your boy, please keep him at home. He’s our refrigerator..”
So it became a little too much. So mother Yashodha scolded him. He had his way with her. If she scolded, he knew how to cry immediately. He put his face down on the floor and just cried and bawled, just waiting for her to attend.
He even goes to the extent of saying, “I did get angry, but not like other people. When other people got angry, for example, when my elder brother got angry, he screamed, he stamped his foot, he got… you know, he paced up and down.
I could see he was wasting lot of his energy. I did not get angry like that. I just got angry to the extent it was necessary.”