Guru dakshina was the teacher's fee. That was an important source of the teacher's livelihood and the maintenance of his ashram. At the end of his education, when the pupil would leave, he was duty-bound to request his guru to name his dakshina. The guru might not always demand his dakshina.
Krishna, Balaram and Uddhava left for their teacher's ashram. Guru Sandipani has taken Krishna as his student because he felt that Krishna was interested in uprootingadharma and not in becoming a power hungry king. On the other hand, Krishna felt it necessary to train in warfare now that he had entered a new, yet a unfamiliar world of terrific ambitious and intrigues. Life in Brindavan had been full of fun, happiness and love. But henceforth, he had put that life behind him and equip himself for more important events. Life in the ashram was rigorous. Krishna performed his duties meticulously and served his Guru like a true student. His student days were to be spe nt in acquiring as much knowledge as possible. One evening, Krishna found Guru Sandipani gazing towards the sea with tears in his eyes. "What is it Guruji?" he asked with folded hands and humble tone, "You seem to be upset. Can I help?" Sandipani heaved a long sigh, and wiping his tears, said, "A year ago, during my last visit, my son, Punardatta was kidnapped from this very place by the Punyajana demons." Then, after a pause, he asked, "How can you help, Krishna? You are just a child." He said without hope, "If you go, you might also be kidnapped." "The Punyajana demons come every year to trade, stay on their ship and go away. They say my son is in Patala." "I will find him," assured Krishna, "it will be my gurudakshina."
The ship reached the city of the Sun, in Nagaloka near Patala, and docked in the harbor. Here, women ruled over men and the reign was handed over from mother to daughter. The women were called Nagakanyas. Punardatta, who was purchased by the queen from Panchajana was now married to one of the princesses. He enjoyed all worldy comforts and was called the Divine Prince. As soon as Krishna and Uddhava reached the city they found a large crowd, as though everybody knew they were coming and were eagerly awaiting their arrival. Soon, a boat with two very beautiful girls, accompanied by some more girls who looked like maids of honour drew near the ship. Looking at the two girls, Krishna knew that these were the princesses of Patala- they were dressed in silks and wore gold ornaments studded with rubies. "Get into the boat Krishna, the Queen Mother is waiting for you," said the youngest princess. The elder one kept silent. 'She must be the one married to Punardatta,' thought Krishna. All the way to the shore she never uttered a word, while the younger one kept chattering away. "This will be your place of stay," said the young princess pointing to a splendid looking building near the waterfront. It was only then that Krishna, who was lost in thought, realized that the boat had come to a halt. "After having eaten and rested, you will have to meet the Queen Mother. Be ready and I will come to fetch you," she said smilingly, moving close to Krishna. He could see that she felt attracted to him and tried to avoid her attentions. 'Where is Punardatta? The earlier I meet him the better,' he thought, 'but I have to make my moves with caution.' Soon the sisters left. Krishna and Uddhava were ready when the Princess returned to fetch them. On arrival at the Palace, they were taken straight to the Queen Mother. The visitors paid their respects to the royal personages. Looking up Krishna cast an intent look at the prince and knew he was none other than Punardatta. The Queen Mother said, "Krishna, we have been expecting you for quite sometime. Now you will stay here and make this your home."
Krishna was shocked and pained. "Don't' you care for dharma which you learnt from your great father," Krishna asked. Punardatta felt terribly hurt as though struck by a whiplash. "No Krishna, it is these people I am afraid of, since they won't let me go." "Leave your fear, Punardatta," assured Krishna, "trust in me I will take you back." Meanwhile Uddhava, who had been going around talking to the people came up and said Krishna, "I hear that Queen now wants you to marry the elder Princess and become the divine Prince." "But that cannot be, Uddhava," Krishna was worried, "I have given my words to Guru Sandipani." After this Krishna went in search of the Divine father for help, who is supposed to be very kind and explained his strategy to him and returned back to the palace. The next day, Punardatta and Krishna were to fight in a vast open place in front of the harbor, so that whoever wins the fight will have to marry the elder princess. There were large crowd on all sides, waiting with interest to watch the combat between the two heroic men. They fought for a long time. When the Queen saw that there was going to be no end to this fight, she ordered the divine father to kill both of them. "Krishna has to fight with me," announced the king but Krishna refused and surrendered to him out of respect. But the Divine Father ordered Krishna to fight. As the battle began, Krishna slowly moved towards the boat which was fastened near the ship of Panchajana. As he neared the water, Krishna jumped into the boat which was already occupied by Punardatta and Uddhava as per the plan. Hukku, the giant, moved the boat fast towards the ship and they escaped. All this happened so fast that the Queen could not react. Back to Guru Sandipani's ashram, Krishna and Uddhava stood reverently before their teacher,along with Punardatta.