44. Krsna Recovers the Son of His Teacher
44 / Kåñëa Recovers the Son of His Teacher
When Lord Kåñëa saw that Vasudeva and Devaké were remaining standing in a reverential attitude, He immediately expanded His influence of yogamäyä so that they could treat Him and Balaräma 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 yogamäyä, the devotee can establish a relationship in which the Supreme Personality of Godhead is his child. After creating this situation by His yogamäyä, Kåñëa, appearing with His elder brother Balaräma as the most illustrious sons in the dynasty of the Sätvatas, very submissively and respectfully addressed Vasudeva and Devaké: "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." Kåñëa indirectly praised the fatherhood of Nanda Mahäräja and motherhood of Yaçodä as most glorious because although He and Balaräma were not their born sons, Nanda and Yaçodä 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 Devaké, they were always very anxious for the protection of their sons, Kåñëa and Balaräma. That is why Kåñëa, after His appearance, was immediately transferred to another's house. Balaräma was also transferred from Devaké's womb to Rohiëé's womb.
Vasudeva and Devaké were full of anxieties for Kåñëa's and Balaräma's protection, and they could not enjoy Their childhood pastimes. Kåñëa 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, brähmaëas 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 Devaké became captivated by parental affection and embraced Them with great pleasure. They were amazed and could not speak or answer the words of Kåñëa, but simply embraced Him and Balaräma 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 Devaké, approached His grandfather Ugrasena and announced that Ugrasena would now be the King of the Yadu kingdom. Kaàsa 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 Kaàsa, Kaàsa'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, Våñëi dynasty and Bhoja dynasty. Mahäräja Ugrasena belonged to the Bhoja dynasty; therefore Kåñëa indirectly declared that the King of the Bhoja dynasty would be the emperor of the other small kingdoms. He willingly asked Mahäräja Ugrasena to rule over Them because They were his subjects. The word prajä is used both for the progeny and for the citizens, so Kåñëa belonged to the prajä, both as a grandson to Mahäräja Ugrasena and as a member of the Yadu dynasty. He voluntarily accepted the rule of Mahäräja Ugrasena. He informed Ugrasena: "Being cursed by the Yayäti, 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 Kaàsa, all the kings belonging to the Yadu dynasty, Våñëi dynasty, Andhaka dynasty, Madhu dynasty, Daçärha 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 Kaàsa and were living in distant parts of the country. Now, after the death of Kaàsa 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 Mathurä were pleased to live in Mathurä, being protected by the strong arms of Kåñëa and Balaräma. On account of good government in the presence of Kåñëa and Balaräma, the inhabitants of Mathurä felt complete satisfaction in the fulfillment of all their material desires and necessities, and because they saw Kåñëa and Balaräma daily, eye to eye, they soon forgot all material miseries completely. As soon as they saw Kåñëa and Balaräma 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. Kåñëa's presence acted as such a vitalizing tonic that not only the younger generation, but even the old men of Mathurä became fully invigorated with youthful energy and strength by regularly seeing Him.
Nanda Mahäräja and Yaçodä were also living in Mathurä because Kåñëa and Balaräma were there, but after some time they wanted to go back to Våndävana. Kåñëa and Balaräma went before them and very feelingly and affectionately embraced Nanda and Yaçodä, and Kåñëa began to speak as follows: "My Dear father and mother, although I was born of Vasudeva and Devaké, 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 Våndävana and leaving Us here, but please rest assured that I shall be coming back to Våndävana just after giving some satisfaction to My real father and mother, Vasudeva and Devaké, My grandfather, and other relatives and family members." Kåñëa and Balaräma satisfied Nanda and Yaçodä 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 Våndävana to Mathurä, as fully as possible. On account of his excessive parental affection for Balaräma and Kåñëa, Nanda Mahäräja felt tears in his eyes, and he embraced Them and started with the cowherd men for Våndävana.
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 brähmaëas, and the sacred thread ceremony of Kåñëa and Balaräma was duly performed. During this ceremony, Vasudeva gave various ornaments in charity to the brähmaëas and endowed them with cows decorated with silken cloths and golden ornaments. Previously, during the birth of Kåñëa and Balaräma, Vasudeva had wanted to give cows in charity to the brähmaëas, but being imprisoned by Kaàsa, he was able to do so only within his mind. With the death of Kaàsa the actual cows were given to the brähmaëas. Then Balaräma and Kåñëa were duly initiated with the sacred thread ceremony, and They repeated the chanting of the Gäyatré mantra. The Gäyatré mantra is offered to the disciples after the sacred thread ceremony, and Balaräma and Kåñëa 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 Balaräma and Kåñëa were both transcendental personalities, They strictly followed the regulative principles. Both were initiated by Their family priest Gargäcärya, usually known as Gargamuni, the äcärya of the Yadu dynasty. According to Vedic culture, every respectable person has an äcärya, or spiritual master. One is not considered to be a perfectly cultured man without being initiated and trained by an äcärya. It is said, therefore, that one who has approached an äcärya is actually in perfect knowledge. Lord Kåñëa and Balaräma 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 äcärya, 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 Gäyatré mantra, for one to live away from home for some time under the care of the äcärya 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 brahmacäré living under the care of an äcärya, and both Lord Kåñëa and Balaräma strictly followed those regulative principles while living under the instruction of their spiritual master, Sändépani 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 Kåñëa and Balaräma 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, Sändépani Muni instructed Them in all the intricacies of Vedic wisdom as well as in supplementary literatures such as the Upaniñads. Because Kåñëa and Balaräma happened to be kñatriyas, 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 Kåñëa and Balaräma.
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 Kåñëa and Balaräma, 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, Kåñëa and Balaräma 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 Våndävana during the summer season. It is called phulabäòi. 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.
Kåñëa and Balaräma 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 bahurüpé 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 véëä, 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. Kåñëa and Balaräma 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.
Kåñëa and Balaräma learned how to speak and understand the languages of various countries. They learned not only the languages of human beings. Kåñëa could also speak even with animals and birds. Evidence of this is found in Vaiñëava literature compiled by the Gosvämés. Then They learned how to make carriages and airplanes from flowers. It is said in the Ramäyäëa that after defeating Rävaëa, Rämacandra was carried from Laìkä to Bhäratavarña on a plane of flowers called puñpa-ratha. Kåñëa then learned the art of foretelling events by seeing signs. In a book called Khanär 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 Kåñëa learned the science. Kåñëa also learned the art of composing mätåkä. A mätåkä is a crossword section with three letters in a line; counting any three from any side, it will count nine. The mätåkäs are of different kinds and are for different purposes.
Kåñëa 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 brahmacäré 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 Kåñëa and Balaräma, 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-dakñiëä. It is essential that a student satisfy the teacher in return for any learning received, either material or spiritual. When Kåñëa and Balaräma offered Their service in this way, the teacher, Sändépani 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 Kåñëa and Balaräma 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 Prabhäsakñetra.
When Kåñëa and Balaräma heard from Their teacher about the death of his son on the bank of Prabhäsakñetra, 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 Païcajana. 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, Kåñëa dove deep into the water and caught hold of the demon Païcajana. 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 Prabhäsakñetra. From there He started for Saàyamané, the residence of Yamaräja, the superintendent of death. Accompanied by His elder brother Balaräma, who is also known as Haläyudha, Kåñëa arrived there and blew on His conchshell.
Hearing the vibration, Yamaräja appeared and received Çré Kåñëa with all respectful obeisances. Yamaräja could understand who Kåñëa and Balaräma were, and therefore he immediately offered his humble service to the Lord. Kåñëa had appeared on the surface of the earth as an ordinary human being, but actually Kåñëa and Balaräma are the Supersoul living within the heart of every living entity. They are Viñëu Himself, but were playing just like ordinary human boys. As Yamaräja offered his services to the Lord, Çré Kåñëa 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 Kåñëa, "you should immediately return the son of My teacher."
Yamaräja returned the boy to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and Kåñëa and Balaräma 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 Kåñëa's Bhagavad-gétä 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, Kåñëa and Balaräma 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 Mathurä, who had not seen Kåñëa and Balaräma 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 Kåñëa, "Kåñëa Recovers the Son of His Teacher."