Book 10: Fifteenth Chapter (First Half)
Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 10: Chapter 15: Verses 1-8
The demon Dhenuka slain
Sri Suka began again : And then, having attained (their) boyhood in Vraja, the two Brothers were approved (by Nanda and others) for (taking up the work of) tending the cows. While grazing them in the company of Their playmates, They rendered (the soil of) Vrndavana most sacred by Their footprints. Surrounded by cowherds-who were singing His praises-and accompanied by Balarama, Sri Krsna (the Spouse of Laksmi), who was eager to sport, entered the said woodland (of Vrndavana), the store-house of blossoms and good for the cattle, driving the cows before Him and playing on His flute. Observing it full of bees, beasts and birds making delightful sounds (nay,) fanned by a breeze blowing over a pond, whose water was clear as the mind of an exalted soul, and wafting the fragrance of lotuses, the Lord made up His mind to sport (there). Perceiving at every step trees whose boughs were touching the feet (as it were of Balarama) with the heavy load of their fruits and flowers as well as with the wealth of their ruddy leaves, and smiling as it were with joy, the said Sri Krsna (the most ancient Person) spoke to His elder brother (Balarama) (as follows). ' The glorious Lord said : Oh, for the elimination of their stupidity, by which was brought about their birth in the vegetable kingdom, these trees, 0 chief of the gods, bow with their (bending) boughs to Your lotus-feet, adored even by the immortals, bringing (with them) for You offerings in the shape of flowers and fruits. These bees, 0 most ancient Person, resort to You at every step, singing Your glory that is capable of purifying all the worlds. In all probability they are (no other than) hosts of hermits, the foremost among Your devotees, who do not forsake You, their Deity, though concealed in the forest, 0 sinless One f These peacocks, 0 praiseworthy One, dance in joy; the she-deer like the cowherd women bring delight to You with their glances and the flocks of cuckoos extend (their) welcome to You, arrived at their home, with their sweet notes. Blessed are these denizens of the forest; for such is the nature of the righteous. Blessed today is this earth no less than the blades of grass and plants that kiss Your feet, the trees and creepers touched by Your nails (while their leaves and flowers are being plucked by You), the rivers and mountains, the birds and beasts regarded (by You) with kindly looks, and the cowherd-damsels pressed (by You) to Your bosom, which is coveted even by Sri (the goddess of beauty and prosperity) !
- We read in Padmapurana:-
शुक्लाष्टमी कार्तिकस्य स्मृता गोपाष्टमी बुधै:। तद्दिनाद् वासुदेवोऽभूद् गोप: पूर्वं तु वत्सप:॥
The eighth day of the bright half of Kartika is remembered by the wise as Gopastami. From that day forward Lord Sri Krsna (the Son of Vasudeva) passed as a cowherd; before this however, He was a (mere) keeper of calves.