Lord Krishna – Damodar Leela

Lord Krishna willingly gets tied by mother Yashoda.

Damodar means “One who has rope around his belly’. Dam – Rope, Udar – Stomach/Belly

One day, when Mother Yashoda saw that all of the maidservants were already engaged, she personally began to churn the yogurt, and while doing so, she composed songs about Krishna’s childhood pastimes and enjoyed singing them to herself. Dressed in a saffron-yellow sari, with a belt tied around her full hips, Mother Yashoda worked hard, so that as her whole body shook, and her bangles and earrings tinkled. Because of intense love for her child, her breasts were wet with milk. Her beautiful face was wet with perspiration, and malati flowers fell from her hair.

Vaishnava-toshani of Sanaatana Goswami states that this took place on the Dipavali day. Among all of Nanda Maharaja’s cows, Yashoda kept several that ate only special grass that would flavour the milk to make it very tasty. Mother Yashoda personally churned the yogurt from this milk into butter, for she thought that Krishna was stealing butter from others’ houses because He did not like that which was ordinarily prepared.

It was formerly the custom that if someone wanted to remember something constantly, he would make a poem about it, or else have this done by a professional poet. Yashoda did not want to forget Krishna’s pastimes at any time, and so she composed songs that she would sing while churning butter. This should be the practice of all persons who are eager to remain in Krishna consciousness twenty-four hours a day.

While Mother Yashoda was churning butter, Lord Krishna appeared before her, desiring to drink the milk from her breast. Being hungry, Krishna caught hold of the churning rod, to prevent His mother from churning further. Mother Yashoda happily embraced Krishna, and then, taking Him upon her lap, she fed him her milk. While feeding krishna she enjoyed seeing the beauty of His face.

Suddenly, Mother Yashoda saw that the milk on the stove was boiling over and so she immediately put her child down and quickly went to attend to it. Krishna had not yet drank milk to his satisfaction, however, and so He became very angry at being left like this. While biting His reddish lips with His teeth, and with false tears in His eyes, Krishna picked up a stone and broke the pot of yogurt. He then went to a nearby room and began to eat all of the freshly churned butter in that solitary place.

After taking the milk off the stove, when Mother Yashoda returned to finish her churning, she saw that the pot of yogurt was broken and Krishna was not there. Thus she naturally concluded that it was Krishna who had performed this mischief, and she smiled, thinking how He had fled in fear of punishment.



Mother Yashoda was able to find Krishna by following His butter-smeared footprints. She found Him sitting on an overturned wooden grinding mortar, and He was distributing butter and yogurt to the monkeys, as He liked. Because he had stolen these, Krishna was looking around in great anxiety, and so, Mother Yashoda cautiously approached Him from behind.

However, Krishna could see His mother coming, stick in hand, and so He quickly got down from the mortar (Ukhal) and ran, as if He were very afraid.  As Yashoda quickly ran behind Krishna, her hair loosened and the flowers that decorated her head fell to the ground. Still, she did not fail to catch Krishna, whom even great yogis fail to attain after performing very severe austerities.

When He was caught, Krishna began to cry, and as He rubbed His eyes with His hands, He smeared the black ointment (decorating his eyes), mixed with His tears, all over His face. Yashoda caught Krishna by the hand, and He admitted that He had been an offender, but as she looked upon His beautiful face, she felt that He had become overly afraid, and so she threw her stick away.

Mother Yashoda did not really want to punish her son. So, she simply rebuked Him by saying, “I am going to tie You up so that You cannot commit any more offenses. Thus, for the time being, You will not be able to play with Your friends.”

Mother Yashoda did not want to bind Krishna to punish Him. She merely wanted to curb His restlessness for the time being, and she did not want Him to run away out of fear.

Because of maternal affection for Krishna, Mother Yashoda never cared to understand His actual position. Even great demigods fear Krishna, and yet Krishna became afraid of Mother Yashoda when she held a stick in her hand.

When Mother Yashoda tried to bind Krishna, she found that the rope was two fingers’width too short. Mother Yashoda brought another rope and joined it with the first, but once again, when she tried to tie the knot, it was still two fingers’-width short. Indeed, again and again she brought more rope, and each and every time she joined them, they were too short. Finally, there was no more rope remaining in her house, and all of the neighbouring ladies were gathered there, watching the fun. Even Mother Yashoda was smiling, for everyone was truly astonished.

Because of her hard labor, Yashoda’s body was covered with perspiration. She tried several ropes, each longer than the previous one, but all of them failed to do the job. At last Yashoda joined all the ropes through knots in order to tie her son to the mortar. Strangely enough, such a long rope fell short too. Not knowing what to do, Yashoda sat down weeping and said, “Krishna! Why should you bother me to that extent? I won’t speak to you at all. ” Finding his mother helpless and troubled at heart, Krishna began to smile and He became merciful and agreed to be bound. This is an attribute of the Supreme Lord even though He is the supreme controller of the entire universe, He still comes under the control of His devotees.
After binding Krishna to the grinding mortar (Ukhal), Mother Yashoda returned to her household affairs.

After Tying Krishna With Mortar ( Ukhal) Yashoda set about doing some household job. Krishna sat down on his knees and caused the mortar to tumble down so that it could roll when drawn. Now he began to crawl on his knees towards the twin trees standing in front of the house.The twin trees were, in fact, the two sons of Kubera–the god of wealth. Their names were Nal Kuber and Manigreeva. It was because of a curse that they had been turned to trees. The story goes that once these two brothers, after taking wine, were having their bath in the company of their wives. All of a sudden, Saint Narda happened to come there. Seeing him, both the ladies put on their clothes and got aside. But both the brothers, intoxicated as they were, kept standing naked before the saint. The saint could not tolerate their impertinence and uttered a curse on them,” Go and stand as trees in Gokul for ever.

Hearing the curse, the wives of both the brothers got worried and they beseeched the saint to excuse their husbands. the saint replied, “They will be rid of this curse when Lord Vishnu appears in Gokul as Krishna.” Since the curse was uttered these trees had been standing in front of Nand Baba’s house. So, to keep up the word given by Saint Narda to the wives of the two brothers, Krishna dragged the mortar crawling in between the trees. The mortar got stuck up between them and when Krishna exerted force, the trees got uprooted and fell down. As soon as the trees fell down, they changed into their real forms as sons of Kubera. With folded hands, they began to praise Krishna and after seeking his permission, they returned to their place.Nand Baba and Yashoda came out running. They untied their son Krishna and fondled him time and again whereupon Krishna began to smile.


Krishna Damodar Leela

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