Krishna was especially happy that morning and the whole group of Krishna's friends were together and looking for things to do. They ran towards the kitchens where Yashoda Ma and Rohini Ma were busy making laddus.
Longing for laddus:
When the boys saw those laddus suddenly they began to feel hungry. Krishna said, "Ma! We are all very hungry. Won't you give us some laddus?"
"No, my son, not just now. These you will receive at night after the Pooja. Come! I will give you Shrikhand (a sweet made of yoghurt and sugar), butter, sugar candy, mangoes and bananas," replied Yashoda.
Krishna insisted, "Ma! Please give us laddus now." "I surely will give all of you as many as you want, but not just now," Yashoda tried to reason with Krishna.
Krishna took hold of her scarf and again insisted, "Ma! We want laddus only.""Please, Krishna, don't insist," Yashoda replied. Balaram said, "Come, Krishna, now we will eat Shrikhand and have the laddus later tonight."Krishna obeyed his elder brother Balaram, but a little reluctantly. Rohini Ma brought out many delicacies for the children's breakfast. The children enjoyed themselves thoroughly.
After breakfast the children wandered everywhere. When they came back to the courtyard Yashoda Ma was putting the big trays of laddus in the store-room.Yashoda smiled when she saw the children's longing glances. She closed the door of the store-room, then locked it and tied the key into the end of her scarf and said, "Krishna! Do not even think of trying to steal the laddus. They are meant for the worship of Vishnu. If you steal them Lord Vishnu will be angry."
A secret smile flitted into the eyes of Krishna for he himself was the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. But outwardly he pretended to be angry, "Ma! Am I a thief? I will not take your laddus, not even if you ask me to. I will not talk to you." With that parting remark Krishna joined his friends.
Krishna with his friends:
Since that day was a holiday the boys did not have to take the cows to Vrindavan. They decided to skip ropes in turn. Two of them swung a rope while one of them jumped. Everyone enjoyed his turn. Only Madhumangal did not join his friends in their fun. He looked sad as he sat in a corner.While enquired he told he was hungry for those big laddus. As soon as they were reminded of laddus all the children began to say, "We are hungry for laddus, we want to eat laddus.
Planned a trick:He came to his friends and began to plan how to steal the laddus. Yashoda Maiya knew how determined her son could be. On the alert for mischief she sat by the side of the store-house and began to churn curds.As soon as she put her hands in the earthern pot to gather and take out the butter, he threw the ball into the store-room through its back window and all the children shouted together, "Our ball! Our ball! Look, it has fallen into the store-room." Yashoda clearly heard their cries. But she could could not leave the butter half gathered because if she did it would not easily rise again.
In a moment, along with Sudam, he ran to Maiya and said, "Maiya, quick, please open the store-house and give us our ball." "My son, wait for ten minutes. My hands are full of butter.Yashoda became suspicious. She refused to give the key.Then Krishna said with his most innocent expression, "Maiya! Don't you have trust in your son? Look, first I will take the key and open the door. Then Subal will tie both my hands with my waist-band. I will then go into the store-room and will kick the ball out. Can I steal laddus with tied hands?"
Yashoda Ma fell into the trap and consented to the plan.
As soon as Krishna entered the store he picked up a laddu very gently with his mouth and ran towards the back window. Madhumangal took it in his hands and Krishna ran back to pick up another laddu. He had to stretch his mouth to get hold of them. Thus in a few minutes he had transferred 12 laddus to Madhumangal -- one for each of them.Maiya called out, "Krishna! What are you doing? Come out with the ball, my son."
Krishna had the last laddu in his mouth.
As soon as Madhumangal took it he shouted back, "Maiya! It is not easy to take out the ball with no hands."Finally he kicked the ball near the door. As soon as he was about to cross the doorway Madhumangal beckoned him back frantically. Krishna ran on tip-toes wondering what the matter could be. Madhumangal reached through the bars and wiped Krishna's lips because some gold foil was stuck to them.Krishna ran and gave a final kick to the ball. He said, "Look well, Ma. My hands are still tied. Do not complain afterwards that I stole your laddus."
Has Krishna no desires?
Popping the butter-balls in their mouths Krishna and Subal ran to rejoin their friends. Each boy was eating a laddu. How delicious they were! Two had been kept for Subal and Krishna. Krishna took up his laddu and gently shoved it into Madhumangal's mouth. Laughing, Krishna said, "I hope you are no more hungry, my dear Madhumangal."He had forced his friend to steal but Krishna had not eaten even a bite.
"Has Krishna no desires?" he wondered.
Reading his unspoken thought Krishna answered, "Truly, I have no desires." While he said this, for a moment his face seemed full of a bright light. Then he joyously called out, "Now let us play a new game." Strangely, after that day, Madhumangal never felt any greed for food.
Divine lips of our Krishna:
Krishna's friends always wondered at the heavenly taste of those particular laddus. There seemed to be something different and special about them. Nothing afterwards ever tasted quite so good as the sweets Krishna stole for them. But don't forget, they had been touched by the divine lips of our Krishna.
And something even stranger happened. When Ma Yashoda went to the store-room to fetch the laddus for the evening Pooja she found not a single one missing!