2. To Go Around the World
After bringing back safely the son of Guru Sandeepini, Krishna and Balarama took him to the rishi. The guru was very happy and blessed them. Then Krishna and Balarama returned back to Mathura. Devaki and Vasudeva were very much pleased, that their sons had came back after completing their education.
In a few days Krishna’s birthday “Janmashtami” was celebrated in Mathura with great joy. The people of Gokula came in large numbers to celebrate their beloved Krishna’s birthday. There were bull fighting sports, in which the youth participated enthusiastically. The gopis sang and danced around Krishna playing the flute. On the top of a smooth tall pole, a butter pot was tied and the pole was well oiled. The youth of Mathura tried to climb the pole and snatch the pot of butter. Many slipped and fell down till someone got the butter. There was great fun and frolic and rejoicement .
Sage Naradha descented and came to the Raja Sabha celebrations. Krishna and Balarama welcomed the celestial saint. Chanting his favourite slogan Narayana! Narayana! the sage took his seat in the court of king Ugrasena, Vasudeva told the rishi that Krishna and Balarama have successfully completed their education in Sandeepini Ashram. Naradha expressed his pleasure and blessed the boys. He gave some suggestions to complete their learning. He addressed them thus:
“Even after completing formal education, without “Desa Yatra” i.e. going around different countries and meeting different people the studies will not be complete. Therefore I would advise them to go around the globe and acquaint themselves with various countries and people”.
With youthful adventurous spirit and enthusiasm Krishna and Balarama welcomed this proposal. They were fond of touring and exploring new places. But their parents Devaki and Vasudeva did not like the idea of parting with their wards again. But their grandpa Ugrasena welcomed the idea in the interest of his royal grand sons. He reassured Vasudeva that they were great Kshatrias and would be victorious. He reminded them of the boys” recent encounter with the sea demon to rescue their guru’s son. This tour, he was sure would bring them praise and laurels.
With chanting his “Narayana” slogan, Naradha vanished. Krishna and Balarama started preparations for the journey.
On the new-moon-day of the month of Badhra Pada (September) which came following Janmashtami both Krishna and Balarama started their journey from Mathura towards south. They crossed Dhandakaranya and reached Panchavati on the bank of the river Godhavari. The rishis who were there, said that that was the place from where Ravana abducted Sita. Having heard the story of Ramayana, Krishna’s inquisitiveness was roused and he wanted to visit Sri Lanka.
Balarama agreed enthusiastically, adding, “Why don’t we tour the whole Bhooloka (Globe)?”
Thus Krishna and Balarama travelled south along Sahyadri mountains (part of western ghats). They crossed the river Krishna and went further south. Then they came to the city of Bhadhami, the city of Lord Ganesa. For any tough task Lord Ganesha’s blessings are sought after. Lord Ganesha was enjoying his most favourtie sweet modhakas. Krishna and Balarama fell at the feet of Ganesha and prayed for his blessings to successfully overcome the obstacles if any, during their global tour. Lord Vinayaka laughed.
Krishna asked “Ganapathi! Why are you laughing” Ganesha replied “If there are no hurdles in your journey, it won’t be thrilling! It will be dull and drab. There need to be problems and bad people, then only your valour and power shall be known to the world! The Vignas will come like fog and the rays of your power will annihilate them!”
“Yes! Okay”, said Krishna. Ganesha, smiled and closed his eyes and contemplated for some moments. “Narayana! Narayana! Sweet song of Naradha spread in the air. Next moment Naradha appeared and paid homage to Ganesha.
“See! Naradha has come. He is a wanderer of not only Bhooloka but all the fourteen lokas. He will be your guide. You also require transport, which I will provide. So saying Ganapathy pointed his trunk towards a direction from where a big elephant came.
Ganesa introduced the elephant. “He is Karimukha. He will be your transport throughout your journey”.
“We are blessed. What about crossing oceans?” Balarama questioned.
“Also in water. He will transform himself into a blue whale – he will become “Karingila”. He can survive in horrible climates also!
Naradha guided them: you go further south crossing river Kavery, then you will come across the small perennial river called Tamiraparani which emanates from Agasthia rishi’s abode and reaches the eastern sea. At the confluence of this river with the sea you will find the Pandiya King’s harbour called “KORKAI”. From there if you cross a short distance in the sea towards east you will reach Sri Lanka.
Thus saying Naradha, chanting “Narayana-Narayana” vanished in the air. Krishna and Balarama sat on Karimuka’s back and took leave of Ganesha. Ganesha took another modhaka and thrust in his mouth and waved his trunk!