Krishna Expands Himself as Cowherd Boys
At the time when Aghasura was killed and the demigods were looking on the incident with great surprise, Brahma, who was born out of the lotus flower growing out of the navel of Visnu, also came to see. He was surprised how a little boy like Krishna could act so wonderfully.
Although Brahma was informed that the little cowherd boy Krishna was the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he wanted to see more glorified pastimes of the Lord, and thus he stole all the calves and cowherd boys and took them to a different place.
Lord Krishna, therefore, in spite of searching for the calves, could not find them, and He even lost His boy friends on the bank of the Yamuna where they had been taking their lunch. In the form of a cowherd boy, Lord Krishna was very little in comparison to Brahma, but because He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He could immediately understand that all the calves and boys had been stolen by Brahma. Kṛṣṇa thought, "Brahma has taken away all the boys and calves. How can I alone return to Vrndavana? The mothers will be aggrieved!"
Therefore in order to satisfy the mothers of His friends as well as to convince Brahma of the supremacy of the Personality of Godhead, He immediately expanded Himself as the cowherd boys and calves. In the Vedas it is said that the Supreme Personality of Godhead expands Himself in so many living entities by His energy. Therefore it was not very difficult for Him to expand Himself again into so many boys and calves.
Krishna expanded Himself to become exactly like the boys, who were of all different features, facial and bodily construction, and who were different in their clothing and ornaments and in their behavior and personal activities. In other words, everyone has different tastes; being individual soul, each person has entirely different activities and behavior. Yet Krishna exactly expanded Himself into all the different positions of the individual boys. He also became the calves, who were also of different sizes, colors, activities, etc. This was possible because everything is an expansion of Krishna's energy. In the Visnu Purana it is said, parasya brahmaṇaḥ sakti.
Whatever we actually see in the cosmic manifestation--be it matter or the activities of the living entities--is simply an expansion of the energies of Krishna, as heat and light are the different expansions of fire.
Balarama inquired from Krishna about the actual situation. He said, "My dear Krishna, in the beginning I thought that all these cows, calves and cowherd boys were either great sages and saintly persons or demigods, but at the present it appears that they are actually Your expansions. They are all You; You Yourself are playing as the calves and cows and boys. What is the mystery of this situation? Where have those other calves and cows and boys gone? And why are You expanding Yourself as the cows, calves and boys? Will You kindly tell Me what is the cause?"
At the request of Balarama, Krishna briefly explained the whole situation: how the calves and boys were stolen by Brahma and how He was concealing the incident by expanding Himself so people would not know that the original cows, calves, and boys were missing.