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KRISHNA'S GURUDAKSHINA

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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.

krishnagurudakshna
"The oracle has come true! Kansa is dead!" the maid came running into Devaki's room breathlessly. "What?" asked Devaki disbelievingly. "Are you crazy? How can that be?" "It is Krishna, the young cowherd from Brindavan," explained the maid excitedly. "It is Yadav Nanda's son and his brother Balarama who have accomplished the feat," the maid was exultant. "Can't you hear the people rejoicing?" Devaki closed her eyes and tears rolled down, this her eighth son is God, a savior. Krishna, Balarama and their inseparable cousin Uddhava had bade goodbye to Nanda and after a bath and a light meal had gone to their room to rest. "After the twelve day mourning period, Grandfather and King Ugrasena will be celebrating our Yajnopavitha ceremony," announced Balarama. As Balarama and Uddhava slept, Krishna lay with eyes wide open, immersed in thought. He liked people who lived humbly and in the service of the good, the wicked had to be destroyed. He had only followed that Dharma when he killed Kansa. All men have to die someday. They only live in the affectionate memories of those who they leave behind, otherwise their lives are wasted. This, Kansa did not realize. He was a tyrant. Next morning, he went to see Mother Devaki and to pay his respects and seek her blessings. Devaki watched with great love and tenderness. How long she had waited for this occasion! Though she had not seen him for so many years, her love for him had remained constant. Devaki bade him good bye reluctantly. He had a mission in this world. She cannot confine him to the palace.

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."


krishnagurudakshna
That night, Krishna and Uddhava swam towards the Punyajana ship stealthily and were promptly caught by old Bhikru the pilot, and tied up with ropes. "We want to be taken to Pinardatta," said Krishna by way of explanation. "We cannot live without him, he is our brother." When Panchajana, the chief came back from the shore with the riches he had traded, he saw the two fine looking boys. He determined to keep them as captives and sell them for a fat sum as he did with Punardatta. Panchajana was attended by two giants Hukku and Hullu. Krishna came to know from Bhikru's nephew that Punardatta was in Vaivasvatapuri, where he was married to the princess of Patala. One day, when Panchajana punished the young carpenter boy and when Krishna tried helping him out Panchajana got very angry and he asked the giants to punish Krishna by whipping him. But Krishna defiantly pulled the whip from the giant and with the precision of a cowherd, he whipped Panchajana who fell down exhausted. During this Panchajana's conch fell down and Krishna picked it up and played it to announce the victory. "I shall call it Panchajanaya, the gift of Panchajana, "he told u'ddhava. Since then, Krishna has heralded the victory of Dharma over Adharma by blowing that conch. The ship sailed towards Vaivasvatapuri with a happy crew. During the night, Panchajana came behind Krishna and tried to kill him, but was thrown into the sea by one of the giants itself.

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."

krishnagurudakshna
Krishna was shocked but he knew that he had to play his cards with care. "You knew I was coming here?" he asked. "Yes," replied the Queen. "You will now marry the young Princess and become a member of our family." Krishna did not assent and only some pleasantries were exchanged. He knew he was in a difficult situation out of which it would not be easy to get out. During the night, the young princess came to meet him again. He realized that if he had to meet Punardatta it would be only be with the help of the young Princess. Therefore he talked with her in a friendly manner and asked her to take to Punardatta. "If my mother comes to know about it she will kill both of us but anyhow since you asked I will try and take you tomorrow," replied the princess. The next day the princess kept her promise. They reached the part of the Palace where the elder princess lived with Punardatta. After looking to ensure that nobody was around, the younger princess entered first and took her sister to the inner quarters on some pretext after signaling Krishna. Taken by surprise, Punardatta quickly closed the door and querried, "What are you doing here Krishna? Do you want both of us to be killed?" "Even if I wanted to I cannot leave, Krishna, but the truth is, I do not want to leave for I am used to the comfort and luxury here." Krishna was taken aback. "What?" "Why Punardatta don't you care for your father?"

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.