We know who He is

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“We know very well who that black boy Krsna really is. We have heard from Devi Paurnamasi that in previous yugas, He came as Vamanadeva and Raghunandan Ram, and in those forms also He cheated others. As a young dwarf brahmana boy, He went to the sacrificial arena of Maharaja Bali and, feigning innocence, asked Him for three steps of earth. When the pious king performed the sankalpa, oath, to grant Him those three steps of earth, this cheater expanded His form till He was gigantic. In the first two steps, He covered the entire creation. Even after that, He was not satisfied. and with His third step, He pushed the poor king into the nether regions. In His incarnation as Rama, He insulted the demon princess Surpanakha, who had committed no crime. She had simply come to Him desiring His association. Not only that, being completely controlled by His wife, just like a henpecked husband, He went after the deer on her insistence, even though Laksman kept warning Him that the deer might be a demon. Therefore, O Uddhava, do not try to tell us who Krsna is. We know Him very well. With His unfathomable sweetness and charm, He made us leave behind our husbands, families, and even religious principles. He then made us taste the nectar of His lips just once before going to Mathura and leaving us here to suffer for the rest of our lives in separation from Him.” 

The super excellence of vraja-rasa lies in the fact that even though the Vrajavasis may hear about the position of Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, their love for Him is always predominated by madhurya. Their love is never covered by an awe for His majestic grandeur, or aishvarya.. 

This is unlike the Dwarakavasis or other associates like the Pandavas. When Arjuna saw the universal form of the Lord, he immediately offered Him respectful obeisances , knowing Krsna to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Yet even when the Vrajavasis witnessed pastimes of Krsna that clearly indicated His position as the all-powerful Lord, their love for Him was never overwhelmed by awe and reverence. They simply continued to always think of Krsna as their own. 

The gopis had heard from Paurnamasi about Krsna’s previous incarnations, and they believed her, yet they always only saw Krsna as their dear-most beloved. They never thought of Him as the Supreme Lord. Similarly, after Krsna lifted Govardhana Hill, the cowherd men of Vraja told Nanda Maharaja that Krsna is certainly not an ordinary boy. “Therefore, you should not chastise Him the way you do.” Hearing this Nanda Maharaj was reminded of the statements of Gargacarya and told them that even Gargacarya had said that Krsna is as good as Narayana Himself. Even though Krsna’s Godhood manifested right before Nanda Baba, he, out of his parental affection, immediately denied their statements.   “Krsna cannot be God. He steals and tells lies, and when He is hungry, He goes to His mother and asks her for food. These are not symptoms of God. And even He were God, He is still my son and I shall surely punish Him when he does something wrong.” 

Mother Yasoda, also, did not think of Krsna as God when He lifted Govardhan Hill. Instead it increased her motherly love for Him, and she felt great satisfaction and transcendental pride to be the mother of such a glorious son. Even though all the residents of Vraja witnessed how Krsna killed so many demons when He was just a toddler, it never occurred to any of them that it was really He who was performing these amazing activities. Rather they considered it the mercy of Lord Narayana that their Krsna was saved each time. 

Such is the glory of the love that the Vrajavasis have for Krsna. Even when they directly perceive a pastime that indicates that Krsna is the Lord himself, they do not see Him as such due to their intense affection for Him. They just consider him to be one of them, a cowherd from Vraja. 

Srila Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has explained that it is not that Krsna’s majestic feature, His aishvarya, is not there is Vrindavan. If there were no aishvarya, then there would be no difference between the activities of ordinary human beings and the activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Aishvarya is definitely there, but it is completely covered by sweetness, or madhurya, so Krsna’s relishing sweet relationships with His eternal associates in Vraja is never checked.