“When the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna was so ordered by His mother, He immediately opened His mouth just like an ordinary boy. Then mother Yashoda saw within that mouth the complete opulence of creation. She saw the entire outer space in all directions, mountains, islands, oceans, seas, planets, air, fire, moon and stars. Along with the moon and the stars she also saw the entire elements, water, sky, the extensive ethereal existence along with the total ego and the products of the senses and the controller of the senses, all the demigods, the objects of the senses like sound, smell, etc., and the three qualities of material nature.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 8)
The friends levied the accusation. The word of Balarama carried some weight. He was the elder brother, so there was not a conflicting interest. Or so it seemed. Krishna’s defense was that somehow Balarama had joined the other party. They were out to get Him. Krishna was innocent of the charge.
Young children are known to do things they shouldn’t. Once they become mobile and gradually increase in height, they can get to areas that were previously out of reach. These are prohibited places. The infant should not reach up and pull down the blinds from the window. They should not hang off the edge of the table, for they might fall back and hit their head on the tile floor.
That floor brings trouble in another area. Anything lying on it is liable to be put into the baby’s mouth. They simply do not know better. Catch them in the act, about to eat something not fit for human consumption, and they quickly jump up and run away. It is as if they want you to catch them, to force them away from the prohibited behavior.
The accusation was that Krishna had eaten dirt. This is not a good thing, for there could be all sorts of foreign substances mixed in. The digestive system is not equipped to handle large objects that cannot be broken down. Mother Yashoda was rightfully concerned. As there was conflicting testimony, to get confirmation she looked into the mouth of her darling son.
1. Infinite within the finite
Within His mouth she found the entire universe. Not limited to a large abstract vision, there was endless nuance and detail. Planets, stars, bodies of water, mountains, islands – everything a person would think to be present in a space inhabited by living creatures. Yashoda essentially went on a tour of the universe.
One significance of the exchange is that within the seemingly limited there can be the unlimited. This is only true with the Supreme Lord. The transcendental body of Krishna at the time was diminutive in comparison to the adults. Children can’t eat that much precisely because the stomach has yet to expand to full size. How could the entire universe fit into that tiny form?
The reason is that Bhagavan is not limited by the body. The dichotomy between spirit and matter does not apply to Him. He is quintessential transcendence. The vision shown to Yashoda was limited by the time factor. In truth, a person can travel endlessly inside of the stomach of the Supreme Lord. Kakabhushundi, one of the authorities on the Ramayana, had a similar experience. In the form of a crow he was swallowed by the same Krishna in the form of a small child named Rama, the prince of Ayodhya.
2. God can eat anything He likes
The concern from Yashoda was legitimate. The sentiment was indicative of her pure love. Despite the fact that her son had overcome many obstacles prior, the mother did not think He was invincible. She did not look to take anything from Him. She only wanted to give.
For Krishna eating dirt is not an issue. He accepts all kinds of offerings from His devotee. The earth is actually a devi, or goddess, known as Bhumi. She had originally gone to petition Lord Vishnu to help with the dire situation on earth. Accepting her dirt in His mouth was like receiving a kind offering.
As Krishna can accept dirt in His mouth, He can eat with His eyes. He reciprocates offerings consisting of sound vibration, as well, such as the singing of the maha-mantra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
3. Yashoda did not need to be impressed
The vision of the universal form was not necessary. Yashoda was already in the liberated position. She did not need convincing on the stature of her son, since she was totally dedicated to Him regardless of what anyone said or thought. Nothing Krishna could show her would change the relationship.
The interaction is another instance of the Supreme Lord having fun with those closest to Him. The documented version of the incident also helps to bring others back into the eternal occupation of devotional service, one they have missed since too long, unfortunately choosing a path of forgetfulness instead.
After eating dirt from the ground,
Amazing vision in mouth found.
By Yashoda the loving mother,
Though son is Vishnu no other.
Not this way considering,
Selfless service delivering.
That Krishna beyond limits to go,
For devotees an amazing show.
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