SB 10.45: Kṛṣṇa Rescues His Teacher’s Son
This chapter describes how Lord Kṛṣṇa consoled Devakī, Vasudeva and Nanda Mahārāja and installed Ugrasena as king. It also relates how Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma completed Their education, retrieved the dead son of Their guru and then returned home.
Noting that His parents — Vasudeva and Devakī — had realized His true position as God, Śrī Kṛṣṇa expanded His Yogamāyā to again make them think of Him as their dear child. Then, with Lord Balarāma, Kṛṣṇa approached them and said how unhappy He was that He and they had been unable to enjoy the mutual satisfaction of parents and children who live together. Then He stated, “Even in a lifetime of one hundred years, no son can ever repay the debt he owes his parents, from whom he receives his very body. Any capable son who fails to support his parents will be forced, in the hereafter, to eat his own flesh. Indeed, any person who does not maintain and nourish those under his care — children, wife, spiritual masters, brāhmaṇas, elderly parents, and so on — is simply a living corpse. It was out of fear of Kaṁsa that We could not serve you, so now please forgive Us.” Vasudeva and Devakī, overcome with emotion upon hearing these words of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s, embraced their two sons and in ecstasy shed a torrent of tears.
Having thus satisfied His mother and father, Lord Kṛṣṇa offered Kaṁsa’s kingdom to His maternal grandfather, Ugrasena, and then arranged for all His family members who had fled in fear of Kaṁsa to return to their homes. Protected by the mighty arms of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, the Yādavas began to enjoy supreme bliss.
Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma next approached Nanda Mahārāja and praised him for having cared so lovingly for Them, another’s sons. Kṛṣṇa then said to Nanda, “Dear Father, please return to Vraja. Knowing how much you and Our other relatives are suffering in separation from Us, Balarāma and I will come to see you as soon as We have satisfied your friends here in Mathurā.” Kṛṣṇa then worshiped Nanda with various offerings, and Nanda felt overwhelmed with love for his sons. After tearfully embracing Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, he took the cowherd men and departed for Vraja. Next Vasudeva had his priests perform his sons’ ritual of second birth. Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma then went to Garga Muni to take the vow of brahmacarya, celibacy. Afterward, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, though omniscient, desired to reside at the school of a spiritual master, and thus They went to live with Sāndīpani Muni at Avantīpura.
To teach the proper way to respect one’s guru, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma served Their spiritual master with great devotion, as They would a Deity of the Supreme Lord Himself. Sāndīpani Muni, pleased by Their service, imparted to Them detailed knowledge of all the Vedas, together with their six corollaries and the Upaniṣads. Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma needed to hear each subject explained only once to assimilate it completely, and thus in sixty-four days They learned the sixty-four traditional arts.
Before taking leave of Their guru, the two Lords offered Sāndīpani Muni any gift he desired. The wise Sāndīpani, seeing Their amazing prowess, requested that They bring back his son, who had died in the ocean at Prabhāsa.
Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma mounted a chariot and went to Prabhāsa, where They approached the shore and were worshiped by the presiding deity of the ocean. Kṛṣṇa asked the ocean to return His spiritual master’s son, and the lord of the ocean replied that a demon dwelling within the ocean named Pāñcajana had taken the boy away. Hearing this, Śrī Kṛṣṇa entered the ocean, killed that demon and took the shell that had grown from his body. But when Kṛṣṇa did not find His guru’s son within the demon’s belly, He went to the planet of Yamarāja, the lord of death. Yamarāja came forward when he heard Kṛṣṇa blow the Pāñcajanya conchshell and devotedly worshiped Him. Lord Kṛṣṇa then asked Yamarāja for Sāndīpani Muni’s son, and Yamarāja immediately gave him to the two Lords.
Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma then returned to Their spiritual master and presented him with his son, requesting him to choose yet another favor. But Sāndīpani Muni replied that by having obtained disciples such as Them, all his desires were fulfilled. He thus instructed Them to return home.
Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma traveled to Their home by chariot, and upon Their arrival all the citizens became unlimitedly ecstatic to see Them, just like persons who have regained a lost treasure.