There lived a pious Brahman who owned a number of cows. The cow named Bahula, was his favourite one among all. She was most sincere and kind and had given birth to a young calf recently. As usual on that day Brahmana sent out all his cows for grazing. Bahula too headed for the grassland. She wanted to have a few quick mouthfuls and return to her young calf to feed her. Unfortunately, she strayed into the deep forest while grazing. Suddenly she noticed a tiger before her getting ready to pounce upon her. Realising she will be devoured by the tiger, her eyes widened and began shedding copious tears. She thought of her hungry calf waiting for her back home and pleaded with the tiger, “ Let me go home and feed my calf for one last time, and then you can eat me” Bahula begged. The tiger took pity on Bahula and asked her return as quickly as possible after feeding the calf , as he was very hungry.
Bahula hastened home. She fed her calf her milk for the last time and told Brahmana, what had happened. After listening the tale, Brahmana said “O Bahula! If you die what will happen to your young calf ? Instead, let me offer myself to the tiger.” But Bahula was adamant. She explained to the Brahmana that she had promised the tiger to return and she cannot go against her word. Saying thus she returned to the tiger. Brahman and little calf too followed behind her. When they reached the jungle, Bahula gladly offered herself to the tiger. Instantly, the tiger changed shape and the brilliant form of Lord Shri Krishna appeared in place of the tiger. Krishna said “ I am so pleased with your truthfulness and integrity and from now on, this forest will be known as Bahulavan”