As per a kannada daasa vaani- we can not achieve anything in life unless we surrender our self to the guru. Even Shri Krishna – Jagadguru himself learnt from Guru Sandipani because he too believed that only a guru van show us a righteous path of life. And this is the story, how he paid Guru dakshina of Sandipani muni.
Guru dakshina was the fees paid to the guru. It was an important source of livelihood of the teacher and for the maintain ancestors of the ashrama. The concept of guru dakshina is not like fees of these days.
A student would complete his education in the ashrama and when he was about to return to his home, student would ask guru to name his dakshina. Guru might not always request dakshina. It was his choice.
Krishna, Balarama and Udhava(son of Vasudeva’s brother Devabhaga) , the trio, were sent to sage Sandipani’s ashram. Sandipani accepted Krishna as his student because he had understood Krishna avatar purpose is to uproot adharma.
For Krishna, the days spent in vrindavana were full of fun, happiness and love. Now, he felt, is the time to learn the warfare and shastras. He had decided to be a dedicated student Sandipani’s ashram. Life at ashrama was demanding and tough.
One day, Krishna saw his guru gazing at the sea with tears in his eyes. Krishna, with folded hands, asked Sandipani, what is the reason for his sadness.
Sandipani muni revealed that his son was kidnapped by Panchajana rakshasa(also known as Shankasura) a year ago.
Krishna requests his guru permit him to bring back his son from the clutches of Rakshasa. Sandipani says – ‘You are a child, very young. How can you help me? If you go there, the demons might kidnap you as well. The demons say that my son is in patala’.
Krishna assures Sandipani muni that he will get back Punardatta. That will be my gurudakshina to you he said.
That night, Krishna and Udhava, swam towards the ship used by the Panchajana demon. But they get caught by the panchajans servants. Krishna, tells them We have came to get Punardatta, we cannot leave without him. He is our brother. When this argument was going on Panchajana who always carried a great conch in his hands, sees the young Krishna and his brilliant radiance. He plans to trade these good looking boys off like he did for Punardatta. Krishna comes to know that Punardatta is in vaivaswata puri and was married off to the pricess of patala.
Panchajana had two giant servants, Hukku and Hullu. When krishna tries to rescue other boys held captive by Panchajana, he gets angry and orders Hukku and Hullu to whip Krishna. Krishna gets hold of the whip and turns it very intelligently and Panchajana falls loosing his conch. Krishna immediately, picks the Conch and blows it to announce his victory over Panchajana. Krishna says to Udhava, we shall now call this as Panchajanya, the gift of Panchajana.
From then onwards, every victory of Dharma over Adharma, Krishna has always played the Panchajanya.
Krishna travels in the ship of Shankasura to the Nagaloka in Patala. Women ruled Nagaloka and the reign was handed over from mother to daughter. Punardatta was taken hostage by the queen of Patala.
Krishna and Udhava were welcomed by beautiful Princessess of Patala. Krishna’s had a instant impact on all the princess there. They were attracted to his divine radiance.
Krishna had no idea where Punardatta was held captive. He got the news that queen has decided to marry of her elder daughter to Krishna. Krishna goes to see the younger princess and asks her to take him to Punardatta. It was plot by queen to make both of them Fight and whoever wins the fight would marry the princess.
Krishna and Punardatta pretend to fight, by doing so they reached to edge of the nagaloka where Udhava had kept Shankasura’s ship ready.
They deceived the people of Nagaloka and jumped to ship to cruise away from there.
Before the queen could realize, they had sailed far away.
Krishna and Udhava stood in front of their guru Sandipani with reverence along with Punardatta. Thus Krishna fulfilled his vow given to his guru and paid guru dakshina. When Krishna tried to rescue a small carpenter boy from Shankasura, the demon questions him,
“why are you trying to help him? What he mean to you?”
“it’s my dharma to help those who are in need and nobody can stop me from performing my duties. If I see suffering I reach out”
Krishna, lord vishnu’s avatar, could have easily brought back Punardatta, he didn’t had to fight Shankasura. But as the saying goes,
“Tena vina trunamapi na chalati”
Even a grass won’t move if God doesn’t wish for. It was all part of a divine plan. To defeat Shankasura, thus eliminating the fear he had created in people. To travel to nagaloka personally to rescue Punardatta, is a way of displaying his devotion to his teacher.
Dr Sindhu Prashanth