44 / Krsna Recovers the Son of His Teacher
When Lord Krsna saw that Vasudeva and Devaki were remaining standing in a reverential attitude, He immediately expanded His influence of yogamaya so that they could treat Him and Balarama as children. As in the material world the relationship existing between father and mother and children can be established amongst different living entities by the influence of the illusory energy, so, by the influence of yogamaya, the devotee can establish a relationship in which the Supreme Personality of Godhead is his child. After creating this situation by His yogamaya, Krsna, appearing with His elder brother Balarama as the most illustrious sons in the dynasty of the Satvatas, very submissively and respectfully addressed Vasudeva and Devaki: "My dear father and mother, although you have always been very anxious for the protection of Our lives, you could not enjoy the pleasure of having Us as your babies, as your growing boys and as your adolescent youths." Krsna indirectly praised the fatherhood of Nanda Maharaja and motherhood of Yasoda as most glorious because although He and Balarama were not their born sons, Nanda and Yasoda actually enjoyed Their childhood pastimes. By nature's own arrangement, the childhood of the embodied living being is enjoyed by the parents. Even in the animal kingdom the parents are found to be affectionate to the cubs. Being captivated by the activities of their children, they take much care for their well-being. As for Vasudeva and Devaki, they were always very anxious for the protection of their sons, Krsna and Balarama. That is why Krsna, after His appearance, was immediately transferred to another's house. Balarama was also transferred from Devaki's womb to Rohini's womb.
Vasudeva and Devaki were full of anxieties for Krsna's and Balarama's protection, and they could not enjoy Their childhood pastimes. Krsna said, "Unfortunately, being ordered by Our fate, We could not be raised by Our own parents to enjoy childhood pleasures at home. My dear father and mother, a man has a debt to pay to his parents, from whom he gets this body which can bestow upon him all the benefits of material existence. According to the Vedic injunction, this human form of life enables one to perform all kinds of religious activities, fulfill all kinds of desires and acquire all kinds of wealth. And only in this human form is there every possibility that one can get liberation from material existence. This body is produced by the combined efforts of the father and mother. Every human being should be obliged to his parents and understand that he cannot repay his debt to them. If, after growing up, a son does not try to satisfy his parents by his actions or by an endowment of riches, he is surely punished after death by the superintendent of death and made to eat his own flesh. If a person is able to care for or give protection to old parents, children, the spiritual master, brahmanas and other dependents, but does not do so, he is considered to be already dead, although he is supposedly breathing. My dear father and mother, you have always been very anxious for Our protection, but unfortunately We could not render any service unto you. Up to date We have simply wasted Our time; We could not serve you for reasons beyond Our control. Mother and father, please excuse Us for Our sinful action."
When the Supreme Personality of Godhead was speaking as an innocent boy in very sweet words, both Vasudeva and Devaki became captivated by parental affection and embraced Them with great pleasure. They were amazed and could not speak or answer the words of Krsna, but simply embraced Him and Balarama in great affection and remained silent, shedding incessant tears.
Thus consoling His father and mother, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appearing as the beloved son of Devaki, approached His grandfather Ugrasena and announced that Ugrasena would now be the King of the Yadu kingdom. Kamsa had been forcibly ruling over the kingdom of Yadu, in spite of the presence of his father, whom he had arrested. But after the death of Kamsa, Kamsa's father was released and announced to be the king of the Yadu kingdom. It appears that in those days, in the western part of India, there were many small kingdoms, and they were ruled by the Yadu dynasty, Andhaka dynasty, Vrsni dynasty and Bhoja dynasty. Maharaja Ugrasena belonged to the Bhoja dynasty; therefore Krsna indirectly declared that the King of the Bhoja dynasty would be the emperor of the other small kingdoms. He willingly asked Maharaja Ugrasena to rule over Them because They were his subjects. The word praja is used both for the progeny and for the citizens, so Krsna belonged to the praja, both as a grandson to Maharaja Ugrasena and as a member of the Yadu dynasty. He voluntarily accepted the rule of Maharaja Ugrasena. He informed Ugrasena: "Being cursed by the Yayati, the kings of the Yadu dynasty will not rise against the throne. It will be Our pleasure to serve you as your servants. Our full cooperation with you will make your position more exalted and secure so that the kings of other dynasties will not hesitate to pay their respective revenues. Protected by Us, you will be honored even by the demigods from the heavenly planets. My dear grandfather, out of fear of My late uncle Kamsa, all the kings belonging to the Yadu dynasty, Vrsni dynasty, Andhaka dynasty, Madhu dynasty, Dasarha dynasty and Kukura dynasty were very anxious and disturbed. Now you can pacify them all and give them assurance of security. The whole kingdom will be peaceful."
All the kings in the neighboring area had left their homes in fear of Kamsa and were living in distant parts of the country. Now, after the death of Kamsa and the reinstatement of Ugrasena as king, the neighboring kings were given all kinds of presentations and comforts. Then they returned to their respective homes. After this nice political arrangement, the citizens of Mathura were pleased to live in Mathura, being protected by the strong arms of Krsna and Balarama. On account of good government in the presence of Krsna and Balarama, the inhabitants of Mathura felt complete satisfaction in the fulfillment of all their material desires and necessities, and because they saw Krsna and Balarama daily, eye to eye, they soon forgot all material miseries completely. As soon as they saw Krsna and Balarama coming out on the street, very nicely dressed and smiling and looking here and there, the citizens were immediately filled with loving ecstasies, simply by seeing the personal presence of Mukunda. Mukunda refers to one who can award liberation and transcendental bliss. Krsna's presence acted as such a vitalizing tonic that not only the younger generation, but even the old men of Mathura became fully invigorated with youthful energy and strength by regularly seeing Him.
Nanda Maharaja and Yasoda were also living in Mathura because Krsna and Balarama were there, but after some time they wanted to go back to Vrndavana. Krsna and Balarama went before them and very feelingly and affectionately embraced Nanda and Yasoda, and Krsna began to speak as follows: "My Dear father and mother, although I was born of Vasudeva and Devaki, you have been Our real father and mother, because from Our very birth and childhood, you raised Us with great affection and love. Your affectionate love for Us was more than anyone can offer one's own children. You are actually Our father and mother, because you raised Us as your own children at a time when when We were just like orphans. For certain reasons We were rejected by Our father and mother, and you protected Us. My dear father and mother, I know you will be feeling separation by returning to Vrndavana and leaving Us here, but please rest assured that I shall be coming back to Vrndavana just after giving some satisfaction to My real father and mother, Vasudeva and Devaki, My grandfather, and other relatives and family members." Krsna and Balarama satisfied Nanda and Yasoda by sweet words and by presentation of various clothing, ornaments and properly made utensils. They satisfied them, along with their friends and neighbors who had come with them from Vrndavana to Mathura, as fully as possible. On account of his excessive parental affection for Balarama and Krsna, Nanda Maharaja felt tears in his eyes, and he embraced Them and started with the cowherd men for Vrndavana.
After this, Vasudeva had his son initiated by sacred thread as the token of second birth, which is essential for the higher castes of human society. Vasudeva called for his family priest and learned brahmanas, and the sacred thread ceremony of Krsna and Balarama was duly performed. During this ceremony, Vasudeva gave various ornaments in charity to the brahmanas and endowed them with cows decorated with silken cloths and golden ornaments. Previously, during the birth of Krsna and Balarama, Vasudeva had wanted to give cows in charity to the brahmanas, but being imprisoned by Kamsa, he was able to do so only within his mind. With the death of Kamsa the actual cows were given to the brahmanas. Then Balarama and Krsna were duly initiated with the sacred thread ceremony, and They repeated the chanting of the Gayatri mantra. The Gayatri mantra is offered to the disciples after the sacred thread ceremony, and Balarama and Krsna properly discharged the duties of chanting this mantra. Anyone who executes the chanting of this mantra has to abide by certain principles and vows. Although Balarama and Krsna were both transcendental personalities, They strictly followed the regulative principles. Both were initiated by Their family priest Gargacarya, usually known as Gargamuni, the acarya of the Yadu dynasty. According to Vedic culture, every respectable person has an acarya, or spiritual master. One is not considered to be a perfectly cultured man without being initiated and trained by an acarya. It is said, therefore, that one who has approached an acarya is actually in perfect knowledge. Lord Krsna and Balarama were the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of all education and knowledge. There was no need for Them to accept a spiritual master or acarya, yet for the instruction of ordinary men, They also accepted a spiritual master for advancement in spiritual knowledge.
It is customary, after being initiated in the Gayatri mantra, for one to live away from home for some time under the care of the acarya in order to be trained in spiritual life. During this period one has to work under the spiritual master as an ordinary menial servant. There are many rules and regulations for a brahmacari living under the care of an acarya, and both Lord Krsna and Balarama strictly followed those regulative principles while living under the instruction of their spiritual master, Sandipani Muni, in his place in northern India. According to scriptural injunctions, a spiritual master should be respected and be regarded on an equal level with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Both Krsna and Balarama exactly followed those principles with great devotion and underwent the regulations of brahmacarya, and thus They satisfied Their spiritual master, who instructed Them in Vedic knowledge. Being very satisfied, Sandipani Muni instructed Them in all the intricacies of Vedic wisdom as well as in supplementary literatures such as the Upanisads. Because Krsna and Balarama happened to be ksatriyas, They were specifically trained in military science, politics and mathematics. In politics there are six departments of knowledge--how to make peace, how to fight, how to pacify, how to divide and rule, how to give shelter, etc. All these items were fully explained and instructed to Krsna and Balarama.
The ocean is the source of water in a river. The cloud is created by the evaporation of ocean water, and the same water is distributed as rain all over the surface of the earth and then returns toward the ocean in rivers. So Krsna and Balarama, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, are the source of all kinds of knowledge, but because They were playing like ordinary human boys, They set the example so that everyone would receive knowledge from the right source. Thus They agreed to take knowledge from a spiritual master.
After hearing only once from the teacher, Krsna and Balarama learned all the arts and sciences. In sixty-four days and sixty-four nights They learned all the necessary arts and sciences that are required in human society. During daytime They took lessons on a subject from the teacher, and by nightfall, after having heard from the teacher, They were expert in that department of knowledge.
First of all They learned how to sing, how to compose songs and how to recognize the different tunes; They learned the favorable and unfavorable accents and meters, how to sing different kinds of rhythms and melodies, and how to follow them by beating different kinds of drums. They learned how to dance with rhythm, melody and different songs. They learned how to write dramas, and They learned the various types of paintings, beginning from different village arts up to the highest perfectional stage. They also learned how to paint tilaka on the face and make different kinds of dots on the forehead and cheeks. Then They learned the art of painting on the floor with liquid paste of rice and flour; such paintings are very popular at auspicious ceremonies performed at household affairs or in the temple. They learned how to make a resting place with flowers and how to decorate clothing and leaves with colorful paintings. They also learned how to set different valuable jewels in ornaments. They learned the art of ringing waterpots. Waterpots are filled with water to a certain measurement so that when one beats on the pots, different tunes are produced, and when the pots are beaten together they produce a melodious sound. They also learned how to throw water in the rivers or the lakes while taking a bath among friends. They also learned how to decorate with flowers. This art of decorating can still be seen in various temples of Vrndavana during the summer season. It is called phulabadi. The dais, the throne, the walls and the ceiling are all fully decorated, and a small, aromatic fountain of flowers is fixed in the center. Because of these floral decorations, the people, fatigued from the heat of the summer season, become refreshed.
Krsna and Balarama learned the art of dressing hair in various styles and fixing a helmet in different positions on the head. They also learned how to perform on a theatrical stage, how to decorate dramatic actors with flower ornaments over the ear, and how to sprinkle sandalwood pulp and water to produce a nice fragrance. They also learned the art of performing magical feats. Within the magical field there is an art called bahurupi by which a person dresses himself in such a way that when he approaches a friend he cannot be recognized. They also learned how to make beverages which are required at various times, and they studied syrups and tastes and the effects of intoxication. They learned how to manipulate thin threads for dancing puppets, and They learned how to string wires on musical instruments, such as the vina, sitar and tampura, to produce melodious sound. Then They learned puzzles and how to set and solve them. They learned the art of reading books from which even a foolish student can very quickly learn to read the alphabet and comprehend writing. Then They learned how to rehearse and act out a drama. They also studied the art of solving crossword puzzles, filling up the missing space and making complete words.
They also learned how to draw pictographic literature. In some countries in the world, pictographic literature is still current. A story is represented by pictures; for instance, a man and a house are pictured to represent a man going home. Krsna and Balarama also learned the art of architecture--how to construct residential buildings. They learned to recognize valuable jewels by studying the luster and the quality of their colors. Then They learned the art of setting jewels with gold and silver. They also learned how to study soil to find minerals. This study of soil is now a greatly specialized science, but formerly it was common knowledge even for the ordinary man. They learned to study herbs and plants and to extract medicine from the elements. By studying the different species of plants, They learned how to crossbreed plants and get different types of fruits. They learned how to train and engage lambs and cocks in fighting for sporting purposes. They then learned how to teach parrots to speak and answer the questions of human beings.
They learned practical psychology--how to influence another's mind and thus induce another to act according to one's own desire. Sometimes this is called hypnotism. They learned how to wash hair, dye it in different colors and curl it in different ways. They learned the art of telling what is written in someone's book without actually seeing it. They learned to tell what is contained in another's fist. Sometimes children imitate this art, although not very accurately. One child keeps something within his fist and asks his friend, "Can you tell what is within?" and the friend gives some suggestion, although He actually cannot tell. But there is an art by which one can understand and actually tell what is held within the fist.
Krsna and Balarama learned how to speak and understand the languages of various countries. They learned not only the languages of human beings. Krsna could also speak even with animals and birds. Evidence of this is found in Vaisnava literature compiled by the Gosvamis. Then They learned how to make carriages and airplanes from flowers. It is said in the Ramayana that after defeating Ravana, Ramacandra was carried from Lanka to Bharatavarsa on a plane of flowers called puspa-ratha. Krsna then learned the art of foretelling events by seeing signs. In a book called Khanar vacana, the various types of signs and omens are described. If, when one is going out, one sees someone with a bucket full of water, that is a very good sign. But if one sees someone with an empty bucket, it is not a very good sign. Similarly, if one sees cow's milk along with a calf, it is a good sign. The result of understanding these signs is that one can foretell events, and Krsna learned the science. Krsna also learned the art of composing matrka. A matrka is a crossword section with three letters in a line; counting any three from any side, it will count nine. The matrkas are of different kinds and are for different purposes.
Krsna learned the art of cutting valuable stones such as diamonds, and He learned the art of questioning and answering by immediately composing poetry within His mind. He learned the science of the action and reaction of physical combinations and permutations. He learned the art of a psychiatrist, who can understand the psychic movements of another person. He learned how to satisfy one's desires. Desires are very difficult to fulfill; but if one desires something which is unreasonable and can never be fulfilled, the desire can be subdued and satisfied, and that is an art. By this art one can also subdue sex impulses when they are aroused, as they are even in brahmacari life. By this art one can make even an enemy his friend or transfer the direct action of a physical element to other things.
Lord Krsna and Balarama, the reservoir of all knowledge of arts and sciences, exhibited Their perfect understanding when They offered to serve Their teacher by awarding him anything he desired. This offering by the student to the teacher or spiritual master is called guru-daksina. It is essential that a student satisfy the teacher in return for any learning received, either material or spiritual. When Krsna and Balarama offered Their service in this way, the teacher, Sandipani Muni, thought it wise to ask Them for something extraordinary, something which no common student could offer. He therefore consulted with his wife about what to ask from Them. They had already seen the extraordinary potencies of Krsna and Balarama and could understand that the two boys were the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They decided to ask for the return of their son, who had drowned in the ocean on the bank of Prabhasaksetra.
When Krsna and Balarama heard from Their teacher about the death of his son on the bank of Prabhasaksetra, They immediately started for the ocean on Their chariot. Reaching the beach, They asked the controlling deity of the ocean to return the son of Their teacher. The ocean deity immediately appeared before the Lord and offered Him all respectful obeisances with great humility.
The Lord said, "Some time back you caused the drowning of the son of Our teacher. I order you to return him."
The ocean deity replied, "The boy was not actually taken by me, but was captured by a demon named Pancajana. This great demon generally remains deep in the water in the shape of a conchshell. The son of Your teacher might be within the belly of the demon, having been devoured by him."
On hearing this, Krsna dove deep into the water and caught hold of the demon Pancajana. He killed him on the spot, but could not find the son of His teacher within his belly. Therefore He took the demon's dead body (in the shape of a conchshell) and returned to His chariot on the beach of Prabhasaksetra. From there He started for Samyamani, the residence of Yamaraja, the superintendent of death. Accompanied by His elder brother Balarama, who is also known as Halayudha, Krsna arrived there and blew on His conchshell.
Hearing the vibration, Yamaraja appeared and received Sri Krsna with all respectful obeisances. Yamaraja could understand who Krsna and Balarama were, and therefore he immediately offered his humble service to the Lord. Krsna had appeared on the surface of the earth as an ordinary human being, but actually Krsna and Balarama are the Supersoul living within the heart of every living entity. They are Visnu Himself, but were playing just like ordinary human boys. As Yamaraja offered his services to the Lord, Sri Krsna asked him to return His teacher's son, who had come to him as a result of his work. "Considering My ruling as supreme," said Krsna, "you should immediately return the son of My teacher."
Yamaraja returned the boy to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and Krsna and Balarama brought him to his father. The brothers asked if Their teacher had anything more to ask from Them, but he replied, "My dear sons, You have done enough for me. I am now completely satisfied. What further want can there be for a man who has disciples like You? My dear boys, You can go home now. These glorious acts of Yours will always be renowned all over the world. You are above all blessing, yet it is my duty to bless You. I give You the benediction that whatever You speak will remain as eternally fresh as the instruction of the Vedas. Your teachings will not only be honored within this universe or in this millennium, but in all places and ages and will remain increasingly new and important." Due to this benediction from His teacher, Lord Krsna's Bhagavad-gita is ever increasingly fresh and is not only renowned within this universe, but in other planets and in other universes also.
Being ordered by Their teacher, Krsna and Balarama immediately returned home on Their chariots. They traveled at great speeds like the wind and made sounds like the crashing of clouds. All the residents of Mathura, who had not seen Krsna and Balarama for a long time, were very pleased to see Them again. They felt joyful, like a person who has regained his lost property.
Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Forty-fourth Chapter of Krsna, "Krsna Recovers the Son of His Teacher."
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