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Nalakubara and Manigriva are Liberated

The story of Shri Krishna and his childhood antics continues with the tale of Nalakubara and Manigriva, two attendants of Lord Shiva who were cursed to become trees by the sage Narada. The two men were the sons of Kubera and were very vain, thinking of no one but themselves. One day while they were drunk and singing in the river Mandakini with celestial women, Narada saw them and decided to discipline them. He cursed them to become immovable trees, but promised that after a hundred years, Lord Vasudeva himself would come and redeem them from the curse. They would regain their present forms and also attain devotion to the Lord.

The story then shifts to Yashoda, who was attending to her household chores while Shri Krishna was tied to a mortar. Krishna, being the naughty boy that he was, crawled towards two arjuna trees in front of their house. These trees were the cursed forms of Nalakubara and Manigriva. Krishna tried to crawl through the space between the two trees, but the mortar got lodged between them. He didn't give up and kept tugging at the mortar, and with a loud cracking sound, both trees came crashing down.

From within the trees, two luminous beings appeared and approached baby Krishna. They were Nalakubara and Manigriva, and they bowed down to him with folded hands, asking for his blessings. They said that they were attendants of Lord Shiva and the servants of his servants. They were fortunate to see Krishna that day, and they wished to be devoted to him forever. They asked that their lips always chant his name and glory, their ears ever hear the tales of his deeds, their hands ever engage in his work, their minds ever be immersed in the thought of him, their heads ever be bowed before him, and their eyes ever be engaged in seeing his devotees.

King Parikshit, who was listening to this story from the sage Shukadeva, asked who these two devas were and why they were cursed to be trees. Shukadeva then told Parikshit the story of Nalakubara and Manigriva and how they were cursed by Narada for their vanity.

As Shri Krishna grew up, more and more miracles manifested around him, but Yashoda would quickly forget them. She was completely overwhelmed by her love for her son and would gaze unblinkingly at him with a heart full of love. And gradually, he grew to be a little boy, but his divinity and power were evident to all those who were fortunate enough to witness them.

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