Utanga received blessings of Krishna

 
Contributed by : Pallavi Hota   
Utanga received blessings of Krishna

This is a story of Brahma and Krishna.

Mahabharata is an ancient Indian epic about the brothers, Pandavas and kauravas. It describes the battle between them in the Kurukshetra war for the throne of Hastinapura. It is an epic tale that combines war, religion, philosophy and Hindu history. Following is a story from The Mahabharata.

When the Kurukshetra battle was over, Lord Krishna bade farewell to the Pandavas and went to Dwaraka. While on his way, he met his old brahmana friend Utanga. Krishna stopped and descended from his chariot and saluted the brahmana.

Utanga returned the greeting and proceeded to make the usual enquiries about the health and welfare of relatives. He asked whether the cousins, Pandavas and Kauravas loved one another as brothers should and whether they were well and flourishing.

The innocent brahmana had not heard about the great battle that had been fought. The Lord was astounded by this question and for a while he stood silent not knowing what to say in reply. He then softly disclosed what had happened, about how a great battle had been fought and almost all the Kauravas had been exterminated.

On hearing the narrative, Utanga became very angry. He told Krishna that He had failed in His duties and asked Him to be prepared to receive his curse. In reply, the Lord just smiled asking him not to use up the fruits of his great penances. He then proceeded to show Utanga his Visvarupa form and explain to him the message of the Bhagavad Gita just as He had done to Arjuna.

After this explanation, Utanga recovered his calm and the Lord was pleased. He told the brahmana to ask for any boon he desired to which the brahmana said that he did not desire anything as he had seen Lord Krishna's Universal form. When Krishna insisted, Utanga said that he should be able to find water whenever he might feel thirsty. The Lord thus blessed him and went on His way. Later when Utanga was passing through a desert he felt very thirsty and remembered the boon he had received. He decided to make use of that boon.

The same moment, a nishada (shudra) appeared before him clothed in rags; he had five hunting hounds(dogs) in leash and a water bag strapped to his shoulder. He offered the bamboo spout of his water skin to the brahmana to drink from. Utanga looked at the man in disgust and told him that he was not thirsty and asked him to go. Saying this he reapproached the Lord in his mind for the boon He had given him. The outcaste pressed Utanga over and over again to quench his thirst, but it only made Utanga more and more angry and he refused to drink. The outcaste then disappeared.

Seeing this strange disappearance of the nishada the brahmana reflected, Who was this? He could not have been a real nishada. It was certainly a test and I blundered miserably. I rejected the water offered by the outcaste and proved myself to be an arrogant fool. Utanga was in great anguish when a moment later Madhava Himself appeared before him with conch and discussion.

ìO Purushottama!î exclaimed Utanga, ìWas it right of You to send an outcaste to offer unclean water to a brahmana like me? Was this kind?î, asked Utanga. The Lord replied smiling, O Utanga! For your sake I asked Indra to take amrita and give it to you as water. He said he would on no account give nectar to a mortal. But I prevailed upon him and he agreed to do so only if I allowed him to test you in the form of a chandala. I accepted the challenge believing you had attained that stage of understanding. But you have and made me suffer defeat at Indra's hands.




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