Gurudakshina – importance of teacher
Teacher or Guru is given tremendous importance in Indian culture, The Guru or teacher is greater than father in Indian culture. Though there are numerous incidents available depicting pupils who have sacrificed for their Gurus, many people do not know that Krishna was one such pupil who went to great lengths for his Guru (teacher).
Shri Krishna and his older brother Balram used to study at the ashram of Guru Sandeepani. Guru Sandeepani was their teacher. Once they graduated, it was time to leave the ashram and return to their kingdom of Mathura.
Shri Krishna approached his Guru Sandeepani and his wife and asked them what they want for Guru Dakshina. They turned him down saying, “What we want the most you can’t give us, so please don’t ask us”. Shri Krishna was not happy with the answer and told Guru Sandeepani’s wife to elaborate on exactly what the guru means. The Guru’s wife couldn’t control her emotions and started crying saying that many years ago their son got drowned in a sea while having a bath.
Shri Krishna promised them that he will go to the sea where he drowned and find him. Shri Krishna and Balraam go to the sea and find out that his Guru’s son didn’t drown but got caught by a demon called “Paanchjanya”. Shri Krishna goes deep into the sea to find the demon inside a “Shankha” (conch). He killed the demon but could not find the guru’s son. He took the “Paanchjanya” shankha for himself which he used many times during battles.
Then He went to Yam Raaj (God of Death) and asked Yam Raaj about him. Yam Raaj said – “Here we get only souls not the bodies.” Shri Krishna said – “I want my Guru’s son back at all cost.” Yam Raaj gave him his Guru’s son. Shri Krishna and Balraam retuned to Gurukul along with Guru’s son and presented their Guru Dakshina to them. Guru and his wife were very happy to see their lost son coming back after so many years. Thus, Krishna paid his Gurudakshina to his teacher.