Chapter XXXIX - 143 Home | Index | Previous | Next

"King! What can I say? How can I describe them? The world may have known of geniuses who can master one subject in five years or in one year or in a single month; but, listen! Balarama and Krishna were with Sandeepani for only sixty-four days, and in that short time, they mastered the sixty four arts and sciences! That was how they enacted this drama of study; it was just a sport for them. How can we explain this amazing make-believe, this divine histrionic Leela? Can ordinary mortals learn so quick? Can they master so much in so few days?"

"While exulting over the humility and loyalty of the brothers, while accepting their salutations and homage so genuinely offered, and while engaged in delightful conversation with them, Sandeepani used to shed tears, in spite of his persistent efforts to curb the grief that was surging within him. Balarama and Krishna observed this and long hesitated to question him about the reason. At last, one day, Krishna stood before the preceptor with folded hands and addressed him, 'O greatest of teachers! While we are conversing with you, we find that your eyes are occasionally filled with tears, whenever you contemplate some incident. If you consider it appropriate that we can be told the reason for this grief, please tell us.'"

"When he heard this prayer, the pent-up sorrow in his heart gushed forth; overcome by unbearable grief, he clasped Krishna with both hands and wept aloud in uncontrollable anguish. Krishna knew the whole story; he pretended not to; he said 'Guruji! Tell us the reason for this agony. We will try our best with all our strength and skill, to alleviate it. No mission can be so holy and so important for us as this - to restore joy in the heart of the Guru. Inform us without entertaining any doubt. Do not consider us as boys, and hesitate.' When Krishna remonstrated with him thus, Sandeepani was much relieved. He recovered himself, and drawing the brothers near, made them sit close to him on his right and left."

"He said, 'Dear ones! It is indeed my good fortune that I secured you. I already derive from your very words the joy of realising my desire. My conscience is telling me that you are no ordinary children. I feel that it may be possible for you to fulfil this mission; that faith is prompting me; sometimes I am shaken by doubt. I do not know what is in store for me.' Saying this, he stopped and the tears flowed again. At this, Balarama fell at his feet again, saying, 'Guruji! Why do you doubt us and refrain from trusting us? We are as your own sons. To give you Ananda, we are prepared to sacrifice our very lives'. The earnestness of the boys and the firmness of their resolution caused a sense of shame in the preceptor, that he kept back from them the reason for his sorrow. 'Children! I got a son, after many years of married life. I brought him up lovingly and with as much care as I guarded my own life. One day, he went to Prabhasa-kshetra, on the sea, and while taking the holy dip in the waves, he was drowned. I was deriving great consolation and even joy, looking at you two and watching your humility and sense of discipline. I almost forgot the loss. You have learnt all that has to be learnt, very quick. Now, even you cannot stay with me any longer. Whom am I to watch and love, after your departure?' The preceptor burst into inconsolable sobs."