Krishna heard his mother’s footsteps and fearing He’d be apprehended for His mischief and theft, he ran from the spot. Yashoda soon caught up with Krishna. The great yogis meditate for hundreds of years; still, they are unable to catch Krishna. He expertly slips away from their minds. Yashoda is not a great warrior like Kalayavana who also chased Krishna but failed miserably, yet she quickly caught up with Krishna.
In this world of suffering the Lord runs after conditioned souls to bring them back to His kingdom. But in the spiritual realm of Vrindavan, the pure devotees run after Krishna!
The third canto of Srimad Bhagavatam (3.25.42) describes God’s commanding position, “It is because of my supremacy that the wind blows, out of fear of Me; the sun shines out of fear of Me, and the lord of the clouds, Indra sends forth showers out of fear of Me. Fire burns out of fear of Me, and death goes about taking its toll out of fear of Me.”
The tenth canto of the same book presents a sweet contrast to God’s above declaration. He is fearful of His mother and runs away from her. Seeing the whipping stick in His mother’s hand, Krishna began to breathe fast and rubbed tears from His eyes. The moistened black mascara added to His beauty. Kunti, another stalwart devotee of Krishna, recalls this scene in her prayers and expresses wonder that while fear personified is afraid of Krishna, here He is fearful of His own mother.
How could we understand God’s fear of His devotee? Bhakti commentators explain that a bumblebee enters a soft lotus flower for nectar, and gets so busy in it that it forgets to come out. When the petals close for the day, although the bee possesses the strength to penetrate them and get out, the nectar within the flower keeps her bound. Similarly, Krishna relishes the nectar of love in the hearts of his pure devotees and decides to enter it. He then is captured and secured by the intense affection of His devotees and prefers to forget His godhood and be conquered by the love of His devotee.
Muktaya- eternally free
When mother Yashoda decided to bind Krishna to the grinding mortar, the rope fell two fingers short. She fetched more ropes, at first from her neighborhood, and then all the colorful strings of Vrindavan were collected to bind Krishna. Still, all of them fell two fingers short. Finally, after Krishna was pleased by the festive endeavor, He agreed to be bound by His mother.
Gajendra, in his prayers, desperately begs the Lord to free Him from the grip of a crocodile. And here we see that the eternally free Lord chooses to be bound to a small rope! How could Krishna allow himself to be tied?