vidviṭ-snigdhāḥ svarūpaṁ yayur ajita-para śrīr yad-arthe ’nya-yatnaḥ
yan-nāmāmaṅgala-ghnaṁ śrutam atha gaditaṁ yat-kṛto gotra-dharmaḥ
kṛṣṇasyaitan na citraṁ kṣiti-bhara-haraṇaṁ kāla-cakrāyudhasya
From beginning to end, the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam has been exclusively dedicated to reciting the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvana, Mathurā and Dvārakā. As Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī points out, this verse sums up the Tenth Canto by mentioning five special glories of Śrī Kṛṣṇa that even His expansions, plenary portions and incarnations do not display.
First, Lord Kṛṣṇa’s reputation eclipsed that of the holy Ganges when He descended into the Yadu dynasty. Previous to this, Mother Ganges was the most sacred of all tīrthas, being the water that had bathed Lord Vāmanadeva’s lotus feet. Another river, the Yamunā, became even greater than the Ganges by contacting the dust from Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s feet in the districts of Vraja and Mathurā:
māthure mama maṇḍale
yamunā viśrutā devi
nātra kāryā vicāraṇā
“The renowned Yamunā in My domain of Mathurā is hundreds of times greater than the Ganges. About this there can be no dispute, O goddess.” (Varāha Purāṇa)
Second, Lord Kṛṣṇa gave liberation not only to His surrendered devotees but also to those who considered themselves His enemies. Devotees like the cowherd girls of Vraja and others attained His personal association by entering into His eternal pleasure pastimes in the spiritual world, while inimical demons killed by Him attained the sāyujya-mukti of merging into His divine form. When He was present on this earth, Lord Kṛṣṇa’s compassion extended to His family, friends and servants, and also to His enemies and their families, friends and servants. Great authorities like Lord Brahmā have mentioned this fact: sad-veṣād iva pūtanāpi sa-kulā tvām eva devāpitā. “My Lord, You have already given Yourself to Pūtanā and her family members simply because she dressed herself as a devotee.” (Bhāg. 10.14.35)
Third, Goddess Lakṣmī, Lord Nārāyaṇa’s constant companion, whom great demigods serve menially to win her slight favor, was unable to win the privilege of joining the intimate company of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s devotees in Vraja. Despite her eagerness to participate in the rāsa dance and other pastimes enacted by Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and despite the severe austerities she underwent to achieve that end, she could not transcend her natural mood of reverence. The sweetness and intimacy Lord Kṛṣṇa manifested in Vṛndāvana constitute a unique kind of opulence found nowhere else, even in Vaikuṇṭha. As Śrī Uddhava says:
yan martya-līlaupayikaṁ sva-yoga-
māyā-balaṁ darśayatā gṛhītam
vismāpanaṁ svasya ca saubhagarddheḥ
paraṁ padaṁ bhūṣaṇa-bhūṣaṇāṅgam
“To exhibit the strength of His spiritual potency, Lord Kṛṣṇa manifested a form just suitable for His humanlike pastimes in the material world. This form was wonderful even for Him and was the supreme abode of the wealth of good fortune. Its limbs were so beautiful that they increased the beauty of the ornaments worn on different parts of His body.” (Bhāg. 3.2.12)
Fourth, the name Kṛṣṇa is superior to the name Nārāyaṇa and to those of all of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s other expansions. These two syllables — kṛṣ and ṇa — combine together to destroy all inauspiciousness and illusion. When recited, the name Kṛṣṇa becomes śruta-matha; that is to say, the recitation of Kṛṣṇa’s name totally crushes (mathnāti) the excellence of all other spiritual practices described in the revealed scriptures (śruta). In the words of the Brahmāṇda Purāṇa:
trir āvṛttyā tu yat phalam
ekāvṛttyā tu kṛṣṇasya
nāmaikaṁ tat prayacchati
“By uttering the single name of Kṛṣṇa just once, one attains the same benefit as that gained by reciting Lord Viṣṇu’s thousand names three times.”
Fifth, Lord Kṛṣṇa solidly reinstated dharma, the bull of religion, on his four legs of compassion, austerity, cleanliness and truth. Thus dharma could once again become go-tra, the protector of the earth. Śrī Kṛṣṇa also established the religious function of Govardhana-pūjā to honor His favorite hill, the cows and the brāhmaṇas. He also became the hill (gotra) Himself, assuming its form to accept the cowherds’ offerings. Moreover, He cultivated the dharma, or loving nature, of Vraja’s divine cowherds (gotras), whose love for Him has never been equaled.
These are just a few of the wonderful features of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s unique personality.