(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Then, when they in Vraja attained the age of boyhood [six to ten], were the two, rendering Vrindâvana most auspicious with their footprints, old enough to be cowherds and commissioned to tend the cows along with their friends [*]. (2) Surrounded by the gopas who were chanting His fame entered Mâdhava ['the Sweet Lord'], eager to play, the forest rich with flowers and nourishment for the cows while He sounded His flute and with the help of Balarâma kept the animals in front. (3) The forest most enchanting was filled with the sounds of bees, animals and birds, had a lake with water as clear as the minds of the great and had a fragrance carried by the wind of hundred-petalled lotuses; that sight made the Supreme Lord decide to play there. (4) He, the Original Personality seeing the beauty all around of the stately trees with the tips of their branches touching His feet with their heavy load of fruits, flowers and reddish buds, with joy at the brink of laughter spoke to His elder brother. (5) The Supreme Lord said: 'Oh Best of the Gods, these, at Your lotusfeet that are worshiped by the immortals, are presenting with their heads bowing down offerings of flowers and fruits so that they find salvation from the ignorance that prepared them their births as trees. (6) Despite of Your hiding in the forest, o Original Personality, do these bees as the most intimate great sages among Your devotees not abandon You as their personal deity, o Sinless One, with their all the way singing in worship of You, the place of pilgrimage for all the worlds! (7) These peacocks, o Worshipable One, are dancing with joy; these doe are pleasing You with their glances as if they were the gopîs and the cuckoos do vedic prayers; they're all, blessed with such a saintly nature, as fortunate as to see You now, as residents of the forest, arriving at their home. (8) Blessed is so this earth, her grasses and bushes receiving the touch of Your feet; the trees and creepers struck by your fingernails; the rivers, mountains, birds and animals with the mercy of Your glances; and the gopîs in Your arms according the desire of the Goddess of Fortune.'
(9) S'rî S'uka said: 'Lord Krishna this way satisfied with all of Vrindâvana's beauty, took delight in together with His companions pasturing the animals at the river banks at the foot of the mountain [Govardhana]. (10-12) Sometimes, while on their way His companions together with Balarâma sang of His fame, sang He along with the humming bees that were blind of intoxication, imitated He sometimes the chattering broken speech of the parrots and then the charming cuckoos of a cuckoo; sometimes He cooed along with the swans and sometimes He danced hilariously in front of a peacock; with a voice like the clouds [rumbling] He sometimes called for the animals that strayed off by their names and spoke endearing affectionately with the cows and their protectors. (13) Together with the other creatures, the cakora-birds, the curlews, the ruddygeese, the skylarks and the peacocks He cried out in imitation as if He were afraid of the tigers and lions. (14) Sometimes when His elder brother tired of playing used the lap of a gopa for a pillow, would He personally relieve Him by massaging His feet and do other services. (15) Holding hands with one another laughed and praised they the cowherd boys as they danced, sang, moved about and wrestled at times. (16) Now and then of the wrestling fatigued lay He worn out on beds made of twigs and leaves, taking shelter at the base of a tree with the lap of a gopa for a pillow. (17) Some of them, all great souls, massaged His feet while others, free from all sin, fanned Him nicely with fans. (18) Others would, with their hearts slowly melting of love, sing befitting the occasion, o great King, [songs] reflecting the Great Soul His spirit. (19) In His activities this way pretending to be a cowherd and by His mystic potency hiding His personal opulence, enjoyed He whose tender feet are attended by the Goddess of Fortune like a villager with the villagers, whatever His feats as the Controller had been.
(20) The gopa S'rîdâmâ, a friend of Râma and Kes'ava, and others like Subala and StokaKrishna [one day] with love said the following: (21) 'Râma, o Râma, o Mighty-armed One, o Krishna, Destroyer of the Wicked, not far from here there is a very great forest full of palm trees [called Tâlavana]. (22) Many fruits there fall from the trees and lie around, they are kept back however by Dhenuka, the evil one. (23) He, having taken the form of an ass surrounded by other companions as strong as he is, is such a mighty demon, o Râma, o Krishna! (24) Human beings have been killed by him, the people are afraid to go there, o Killer of the Enemies, and all kinds of animals and flocks of birds have abandoned it. (25) There are fragrant fruits we've never tasted yet of which the aroma spreading is that strong that it is noticed everywhere. (26) Please o Krishna give them to us, whose minds are craving of the fragrance; the desire is so strong, o Râma, let's go there if You think that's a good idea.'
(27) Having heard these words from their friends went the two masters, with the desire to please their friends, surrounded by the gopas laughing [compare 3.28: 31-33] to the Tâlavana forest. (28) Balarâma arriving there, employing His great strength shook like a mad elephant with His two arms the trees to all sides so that the fruits came down. (29) Hearing the sounds of the fruits falling ran the donkey demon hither with a heavy galop that made the earth together with its trees tremble. (30) Meeting Him he stroke Balarâma's chest fast with his two hind legs and then ran about producing an ugly ass bray. (31) The furious, crying beast approaching Him again angrily hurled, with his back forward, his two legs at Balarâma, o King. (32) He seized him by the hooves though, whirled him around with one hand and threw him, with the life slung out of him, in the top of a palm tree. (33) With that blow shook the big palm tree heavily with its large crown and next broke down along with another one that started to shake besides it that on its turn took down a next one and so went it further. (34) Balarâma with His game of throwing the donkey corpse made all the trees shake and strike each other as if they were blown down by a hurricane. (35) This feat of the Fortunate One is not that surprising at all because He indeed is the Unlimited One Controller of the Universe. Upon Him it is resting long and wide like a piece of cloth does on its warp and woof. (36) Then, enraged about the death of their friend, attacked the asses that were Dhenuka's intimates Krishna and Râma. (37) One after the other were they, attacking Krishna and Râma o King, easily seized by their hind legs and thrown into the palm trees. (38) The earth covered with the heaps of fruits and the lifeless daitya bodies in the tree tops, shone forth as beautiful as the sky decorated with its clouds. (39) Hearing of that very great triumph showered the gods and the godly a rain of flowers, playing music and offering prayers. (40) Now that Dhenuka was killed could the fruits of the palm trees be eaten by the people who were no longer afraid and could the animals graze in the forest.
(41) Krishna with His lotus petal eyes - about whom it is so auspicious to hear and to chant -, returned with His elder brother to Vraja, glorified by the gopas following Them. (42) The gopîs with eyes hungry to see Him came all together forth to meet Him, He with the dust still in His hair thrown up by the cows, the peacock feather, the forest flowers, His charming eyes and beautiful smile, His flute sounded and His glories sung by the gopas. (43) Entering the cowherd village welcomed He heartily the ladies of Vraja who in their veneration, bashful, humble and laughing, like bees eyeing for the honey, with sidelong glances drank in the face of Mukunda, He who constituted their liberation. And with that they gave up the grief of having been separated that they had suffered during the day. (44) Mother Yas'odâ and Rohinî most lovingly catering to the desires of their two sons presented Them at the right times the finest offerings. (45) The weariness of the road vanished by bathing and massaging and such, after which They being dressed with a charming cloth around Their waist were decorated with divine garlands and fragrances. (46) With the delicious preparations offered to Them ate They their fill and thus pampered by their mothers fell They happily in Their fine beds asleep in Vraja.
(47) O King, Krishna, the Supreme Lord thus acting in Vrindâvana, once, without Balarâma, went in the company of His friends to the Kâlindi [the Yamunâ, see also **]. (48) The cows who together with the gopas suffered from the glaring summer sun drank, tormented by thirst, from the water of the river, but it was spoiled by poison. (49-50) By fate made the mere touch with that poisoned water them loose their consciousness so that they all fell down lifeless at the waterside, o best of the Kurus. Seeing them in that predicament brought Lord Krishna, the Controller of all Masters of Yoga, by His glance only - which is as a shower of nectar - those then, who had accepted Him as their master, back to life. (51) Regaining their senses, they again stood up from near the water and all most surprised looked at each other. (52) They came to the conclusion that they, having drunk the poison and fallen dead, o King, due to the merciful glance of Govinda again had risen to their strength.'