*Gopashtami* (16 Nov 2018)
Gopastami is the coming-of-age celebration when Krishna's father, Nanda Maharaja, gave Krishna the responsibility for taking care of the cows of Vrindavan. Krishna had previously been taking care of the calves.
"Thus Sri Krishna, along with His elder brother Balarama, passed the childhood age known as kaumara and stepped into the age of pauganda, from the sixth year up to the tenth. At that time, all the cowherd men conferred and agreed to give those boys who had passed their fifth year charge of the cows in the pasturing ground. Given charge of the cows, Krishna and Balarama traversed Vrindavana, purifying the land with Their lotus footprints."
The eighth lunar day of the bright fortnight of the month of Kārttika is known by authorities as Gopāṣṭamī. From that day, Lord Vāsudeva served as a cowherd, whereas previously He had tended the calves."
The word padaiḥ indicates that Lord Kṛṣṇa blessed the earth by walking on her surface with His lotus feet. The Lord wore no shoes or other footgear but walked barefoot in the forest, giving great anxiety to the girls of Vṛndāvana, who feared that His soft lotus feet would be injured.
Krishna practically demonstrated how to protect the cows. Mother Yashoda brought footwear for Krishna. Krishna refused them but agreed to wear it only if all the 9 lakh cows were also given footwear. The sensitive cows were overwhelmed with Lord’s love. In turn, all the cows ran along the Vrindavan to crush down every stone or pebble to powder so that Krishna doesn’t feel any pain while walking barefoot!
Gopashtami day falls on Ashtami Tithi during Kartik Shukla Pak
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