29. Flying Carpet

Krishna and Balarama started their tour again along the shores of Caspian Sea towards the south. The Ural river from the Ural mountains joined the sea. To the east there was another small sea. Rivers Syr Darya and Amu Darya came down from the Hindu Kush mountains and joined the Ural sea. They travelled along Amu Darya in south east direction.

In the bank of the river there was a grove. They heard the clip-clop of horse steps and the commotion of fighting. They directed Karimukha in that direction. They saw half a dozen soldiers surrounding and attacking a young man. The youth was riding on the horse and defending against this onslaught. A beautiful maiden was sitting behind him. With fear she was embracing the lad. The soldiers were attacking them. Krishna and Balarama came to the rescue of the lovers.

From the elephants’s back they assaulted the horse men.

They in turn attacked Krishna and Balarama. An intense battle started. They were well-built ruffians. Balarama defended himself with his Gadha (club) against the arrows and spears aimed by them. Krishna rained arrows on them. After some time they could not withstand the attack by Krishna and Balarama. They withdrew and fled.

Krishna and Balarama came down from Karimukha and came to the young couple. The youth and the young girl came down to them and thanked them profusely.

Then they came to know each other. The girl was an Uzbek princess, and the youth was the prince of Persia (Iran). The Uzbek King did not approve of their love. Long term enmity with Persia was the reason for his objection. Both secretly planned to go to Persia. In that full moon night the princess came to the royal garden. The prince was waiting there as per their understanding. While they were fleeing to Persia they were intercepted by the Uzbek soldiers.

“The defeated soldiers will go and report to the king about your escape. They may pursue and prevent you from going to Persia. So it is better for you to reach Persia as early as possible. If you travel by horse they may soon overpower you. I will find a way”, said Krishna.

Krishna took out his head gear silk cloth and spread it on the floor. He asked the couple to sit on it. He made his flute as magic wand and converted the cloth to a magic carpet and gave instructions.

“Young friends! Keep this magic wand in your hands. Pronounce the mantra: “Hari! Hari!” Then the magic carpet will obey your instructions. It can fly in the sky. All you have to do is give it directions”.

Krishna handed over the magic wand to the prince. Having got the magic wand in his hand the prince uttered the “Hari!” mantra and said, “Fly! Fly to Persepolis towards the south-west”. The magic carpet rose from the ground. The couple with wonder writ large in their eyes waved their hands and took leave. “Friends! On your onward journey towards Hindustan you should visit our city Persepolis (Present Shiraz in Iran) you will be our honoured guests. This is our request.”

“Sure! I have to get back my magic wand!”, said Krishna with his enchanting smile. The magic carpet picked up speed and flew in the southwest direction. Krishna and Balarama with Karimukha continued their travel in that direction.

The king’s soldiers did not come again. Probably the Uzbek king thought it was too late.

Krishna and Balarama reached the capital of Persia. The princess and prince with due respect welcomed them and took them to the palace. The story of the magic carpet and the Indian magician has spread wide. The people hailed them all along their route up to the palace. In the court of the Persian Emperor a grand feast and celebrations were arranged in their honour.

The prince and princess showered their guests with gifts of Persian silk garments placed in a golden plate. They also reverently returned Krishna’s head gear “peethambara” and the flute on the plate. Krishna gave it to Balarama with a smile. Then the celebrations started. Naradha appeared with his music. The music and dance in the court reverberated for a long time.

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