One day lord Sri Krsna when he was in his Kaumära Lila, this means from the age of birth until five years old; he decided to take breakfast in the forest with cowherd boys that day. So he rose very early in morning & with great happiness he blew his buffalo horn calling the cowherd boys & calves. They all came running & running to be with Krsna. When Yashoda Mayi was requested to cook special preparation for this picnic in the forest; she made so many wonderful preparations for Krsna as well as his friends. That particular day happened to be Balaräm ji’ birth day, so Yashoda Mayi & Rohini Devi they asked Balaräm ji to remain back at home in order to observe certain Yajïas & to have abhishek & as well as to give charity to the Brahmans. This is civilization. In material conception when it is birth day, you are accepting gifts, you are expecting gifts. But is Vrindavan when it is birth day it is auspicious day to give gifts especially to the qualified Brahmans. Because the ultimate gift we can receive is their blessing. So that day the boys went without Balaräm ji, Krsna & the gopas & they all had lunch bags that was tied to a stick which was carried over their shoulder. Srimad Bhagvatam tells us that there were lacs & lacs of gopas that means there were lacs & lacs of herds of calves & Krsna in his particular herd had unlimited calves. Prabhupada explains, he quotes from the shastras 0.05.18 ?we cannot understand Krsna by our intelligence, Krsna is unlimited he is beyond the grasp of our mundane conceptions, Krsna can do anything what he like in unlimited ways, even in limited sphere. That is his supernatural inconceivable potency.
Krsna is the source of all plays
So the boys were out on that day in a very very playful spirit, they were already decorated nicely by their mothers but they were not so concerned with their mother’s decorations; they all began to decorate each other themselves in the forest. With what they considered real opulent ornaments; leaves from the trees, different coloured minerals on the ground, they would smear it on each other’s body & flowers & peacocks feathers lying on the ground. This is how they decorated themselves so nicely. Each Gopa is playing flute, each Gopa was equipped with a horn & a stick. That day they were in a very very playful spirit. Some of the games that they played, one was what the acharya called, the festival of stealing. One gopas would steal another boy’s lunch bag & he would be very much for that lunch bag & he would go after it. Then another boy would take the lunch bag & it would just keep going further & further, passing the lunch bag farther & farther away from the boy & he was running & running until he finally gave up & he started crying & then all the boys would laugh & jump & dance & give him his lunch bag back. Krsna would go & walk into the forest to see very scenic views & all the cowherd boys would say, I will touch Krsna first, another would say no no, I will touch Krsna first; you just see I will touch Krsna first. They all started running to Krsna & everyone when they reach Krsna they just started touching him again & again & they couldn’t stop touching him. Then they all asked Krsna, who touched you first. Krsna smiled, he said it doesn’t matter, we are all together. Sometimes they would imitate the animals in the jungle, they would buzz like bees & then others would begin to sing like cuckoos, others would sit silently near the ducks, others would see birds flying over their heads & they wanted to fly like the birds so they chased the shadow of the birds & in the shadow of the birds they were imitating the bird’s flying. Others were imitating very beautiful graceful movements of the swans. Others began to dance just like the peacocks. Many of the cowherd boys they jumped on the tress along with the monkeys. Other boys hey went to the water fall & the lakes & began to jump in the lakes following the frogs & some boys would shout in the well & when the echo would come out they would chastise the echo & call it bad names. One of the boys would take the role of a emperor & other boys would be his subjects. Some were police constables chasing the other cowherd boys who played thieves. And some played football with ämalaké fruits & bell fruits. Another game they often played is they would throw ämalaké fruit as high as they could in the sky & then all of them would take other ämalaké fruits & try to hit that one. In this way the boys would play so many enjoyable games. Srila Prabhupada gives in this regard the purport that is very important for us to understand, that in this world people like to enjoy playing games especially children; the reason is because this originally exists in the spiritual world. The origin of all playing is Goloka Vrindavan & Krsna personally appears with his friends into this world just to show us real enjoyment & to attract us, invite us to come back to spiritual world to play games with him. But there is a difference, in this material world games create material competition which create anger & agitation & envy; & even if you win, next day you gone lose. But in the spiritual world the playing is eternal & it brings about unlimited bliss in all of Krsna’s friends hearts.