Krishna Lila 1

by O.V.Vijayan

Sandipani arrived at the home of Nanda, the Cowherd, to tutor the child.

The teacher duly enquired: “Did you revise the lessons from yesterday, Krishna?”

“I did study, master”, Krishna replied.

“In that case, go on — recite the multiplication tables for thirteen.”

Krishna began his recitation:

Thirteen ones are thirteen —Twenty threes make twenty threes Thirty threes are but only thirty threes —

“Stop it!”, the teacher hissed.

Krishna stared at him and stood quietly. “Now, recite…”, the teacher pressed on: “…the Bhagavad Gita.”

Krishna began: “On the golden sickle shaped crescent moon…

The teacher was infuriated.

“Stop this racket!” he said. “Have you studied anything at all?”

“No.” Krishna replied.

Sandipani opened up his tuft of hair, let it loose, rolled it up again, and then picking up a caning stick, he ordered:

“Come, now!”

Sandipani walked ahead and Krishna followed. When they arrived at the Govardhana mountains, the teacher ordered: “Stop.”

Krishna stood still.

Sandipani pointed to the hills. He said: “All lazybones must lift mountains.”

Krishna then duly picked up the mountain and held it high. Suddenly, a passing rain swept in. Sandipani looked around on all sides. Sensing there was no recourse to getting drenched, Sandipani snuck himself under the aloft Govardhana.

Krishna, ever generous to those who seek refuge, smiled.

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(translated: Keerthik Sasidharan; sketch by Urmi Chanda Vaz)