One day, Krishna was the first to wake up from his afternoon slumber in the forest, accompanied by his cowherd friends. He decided to wake everyone up as well as call the cows grazing at a distance by playing on his flute. When Krishna blew his divine breath into a flute, the most melodious raga emerged from it…
As the music floated through the forest, it mesmerized the peacocks in and around the Govardhan hills. Their hearts leapt in sheer joy, and they responded by filling the skies with their own song and dancing with happiness.
Krishna, who is the source of all dramatic arts, was pleased with their dance and encouraged them by his loving glance and sweet smile. They cried with joy and the sound travelled across the hills. Soon, their sounds became indistinguishable from the echoes. The peacocks became excited and jumped up and down, flapping their wings.
As the peacocks danced, the king of the peacocks made his way to the lotus feet of Sri Krishna, touching his holy feet and making a sound which Sri Krishna understood to be a request that Sri Krishna dance with them. Of course, Krishna – who can never refuse a devotee’s appeal – joined the peacocks in their dance; dancing quite like them…the steps increasing in tempo…fortunate were the people who could witness this superb spectacle!
The bliss of the peacocks increased multi-fold when Sri Krishna danced with them. It was so overwhelming that some peacocks even fainted. All the animals and cowherds of the Govardhan hills stood transfixed, unable to move their eyes away from the dance of Sri Krishna.
When the dance ended, the king of the peacocks approached Sri Krishna with great humility, bowed down his head and said, “You have created a festival of bliss for which we remain eternally indebted to you. It is our duty to offer you ‘Gurudakshina’. I request you to accept our only opulence, our plumage. Wear them on your crown as a decoration.”
With tears of ecstasy trickling down his face, the king of peacocks then dropped many beautiful feathers. Sri Krishna lovingly picked up the peacock’s offering and to everybody’s joy, placed a few on his crown. It was thus that he came to wear the peacock feathers.