Krishna’s Gurudakshina!

Krishna and Balarama accompanied Akrura and came to Mathura at the behest of Kamsa. All the evil-minded tyrant’s plans to kill Krishna were in vain. Finally Krishna killed Kamsa. The Devatas were delighted, the Gandharvas sang and Apsaras danced in sheer joy and rained down showers of flowers. Ugrasena, Krishna’s grandfather was released from prison and reinstalled back on the throne of Mathura. Vasudeva and Devaki were overwhelmed to see their children Krishna and Balarama after so many years of longing and hoping.

Vasudeva then approached his family Guru, Gargacharya and in accordance with the sastras, had the Upanayana performed for both of them. Balarama and Krishna then undertook the vows of Gaayatra (for learning Gayatri-mantra), Praajaapatya (for commencing the study of Vedas) and Braahma (for consistency till the end of Vedic study) under the instructions of their Guru. Gargacharya was well aware about the divinity of Krishna and Balarama. He spoke to Vasudeva and told him to send his sons to Guru Sandeepani, one of the greatest Acharya’s who was residing in Ujjain. Vasudeva agreed, and both Krishna and Balarama proceeded to Ujjain from Mathura. 

Krishna and Balarama reached the hermitage of Guru Sandeepani, offered their prostrations and introduced themselves to him and prayed that they be accepted as his disciples. Sandeepani knew in reality who they were, and whole-heartedly accepted them as his disciples. Krishna and Balarama reverentially and respectfully served their teacher with all devotion. The best of the Acharyas, Guru Sandeepani taught them the four Vedas and their six auxiliary branches, the Upanishads, the Science of Archery along with the Mantras, Dharmasastras, Nyaya, Rajaneeti and other branches of knowledge. And in just sixty four days they mastered all the sixty four Arts.

After their studies in the Gurukula, before leaving, they asked their Guru what they could offer as their Guru Dakshina. An overwhelmed Sandeepani  who was aware of the Lord’s infinite glory asked Krishna to restore back his child whom he had lost in the ocean at Prabhasa kshetra. Krishna promised to bring back the child, and the brothers reached Prabhasa. The presiding deity of the ocean immediately manifested himself and asked in what way he could serve the Lord. Krishna asked him for Sandeepani’s son who had been swallowed up by the waves. 

Samudra told Krishna that he had not taken away the child. A rakshasa by name Panchajana who lived in the ocean in the form of a conch had taken away the child. The Lord immediately plunged into the waters, fought the rakshasa and killed him. The body of the rakshasa – Panchajanya which was in the form of a conch was taken by the Lord. However the Lord did not find his Guru’s child there. Then Krishna and Balarama went to the city of Lord Death called Samyamani. Krishna announced his arrival by blowing the Panchajanya. Lord Yama immediately came forward and offered his prostrations to both of them and with folded hands asked in what way he could serve the Lord. Lord Krishna said, “bring the son of my Guru Sandeepani whom you have carried away due to the child’s own destiny”. Yama immediately brought the child and presented him to Krishna. The Lord took the child with him to his Guru’s ashram. Sandeepani was overjoyed to get his son back from the jaws of death. 

Krishna again requested his Guru to ask for anything else as a boon. Guru Sandeepani who was more than fulfilled told Krishna, “O my child! can any desire remain unfulfilled for a preceptor who has you as his disciple. You both have indeed fully paid the debt to your teacher. Return back to your home. May your divine glory purify all. May your knowledge ever remain fresh in your memory here as well as hereafter.” With prayerful prostrations and carrying with them these blessings of Guru Sandeepani, Krishna and Balarama reached Mathura.

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