Of the innumerable lilas enacted by Krishna, the most mystifying is the one which humbled Brahma and reinforced the Lord’s infinite glory. Under the leadership of young Krishna, life in Brindavan flowed in an idyllic manner. Leading the cows and calves for grazing, Krishna would be accompanied by the fellow cowherds, carrying ropes, sticks, blow-horns, etc. On one such trip, when the cowherds with Krishna enjoyed the simple home-made food, the air of sharing and caring among them prevailed and there reigned perfect peace and harmony.
Realised souls such as Narada wondered about the former good deeds of the cowherds that had placed them in this fortunate situation of enjoying such proximity and camaraderie with Krishna, the Supreme Lord, pointed out Kidambi Sri Narayanan in a lecture.
But when Brahma saw this sight of Krishna with the simple cowherds, he experienced jealous pangs in his heart. His ego-sense stirred in him the desire to test Krishna’s greatness. He hid the calves and cows. The all-knowing Krishna decided to act out His Maya suitably. Krishna went far to search for the calves, and Brahma now shifted the entire lot of cowherd boys and their paraphernalia to his place. When Krishna returned he realised Brahma had hidden away His companions, etc. So Krishna assumed the form of the calves, cowherds, the slings, blow-horns, etc. to ensure that none would guess that anything was amiss. After a year Brahma returned to Brindavan and was perplexed to see the same flow of life. To add to his surprise, an extraordinary effulgence had descended on the cows and cowherds (since the Lord had incarnated as all these forms). Brahma’s doubts were cleared when the Lord revealed His transcendental nature and manifested the conch and the discus in those forms that He had assumed.
Those who know and understand His divine birth and His lilas will be relieved from the cycle of birth. The Lord’s Maya is unfathomable and even as one starts to ponder on it, it becomes elusive. This delusion is resolved only through His grace.