Mahaabhaarat | Kathaa-G | 7-Post-War

14-Ashwamedh Parv, 52-58
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Krishn Meets Uttank

Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Krishn asked His Saarathee Daaruk to prepare His chariot and Arjun also ordered his people to get ready to go to Hastinaapur the same day. Everything was ready so both started their journey. Once more Arjun said to Krishn before starting their journey - "It is only because of you that Yudhishthir got the victory and recovered his kingdom. Every creature is born from you, the whole Universe is resting on you, everything is your illusion, I am incapable of describing all your qualities. I bow to you. I have heard from Deval and Naarad Jee, Vyaas Jee and our grandfather Bheeshm that the whole Universe rests on you. You have done a great a favor to me to speak all this to me. I will ask Yudhishthir to relieve you and then you may meet your people in Dwaarakaa." And thus talking they came to Hastinaapur. They met all people there and then went to their palaces as the night had fallen. Krishn slept with Arjun. Next day morning Arjun requested Yudhishthir to grant permission to Krishn to go to His place. Yudhishthir readily said - "You should surely go there but please come back for my Ashwamedh Yagya. Take anything from here you like." Krishn said - "This whole wealth is yours, even the wealth in my place is also yours." Krishn climbed in His chariot and all others followed Him. He sent them back to Hastinaapur and asked Daaruk to increase the speed of His chariot."

Vaishampaayan Jee further said - "As Krishn proceeded, He came upon a piece of land where the water was scarce. He saw the great Rishi Uttank standing there. Both worshipped each other, and Krishn asked his welfare. Uttank asked - "O Krishn, You are coming after bringing Kaurav and Paandav together. How are they? Are they happy?: Krishn said - "First I tried my best to bring them together in friendship, but when I could not, they, the Kaurav, with their own wish fought and died along with their relatives and kinsmen. It is impossible to go against destiny for either an intelligent or a mighty person. You know this. They did not hear Bheeshm and Vidur's advice. Only the five Paandav remain alive, all others are slain." Uttank got very angry at this, he said - "Since you were able to do it, but you did not do it, I give you Shaap." Krishn said - "Listen to me first, O Bhrigu's descendent, then you can give me Shaap. I do not wish to see the destruction of all your Tap. (An ascetic loses his penance even if he curses somebody rightly or wrongly, that is why the ancient ascetics were always of forgiving nature. The more forgiving they were the more powerful they were.) You may give me Shaap after hearing the discourse related to soul."

Uttank said - "Please tell me that discourse about the soul. After hearing it I will decide whether I should curse you or not." Krishn said - "Three qualities of Darkness, Passion and Goodness exist and they depend on me. And Rudra and Vasu have appeared from me. I exist in everybody, and everybody exists in me. All people - Devtaa, Daitya, Apsaraa, Gandharv etc have sprung from me. Whatever is here - existent or non-existent, manifest or non-manifest, destructible or indestructible, I am in them as their soul. All the four types of duty, all the four modes of life, Vaidik duties have sprung from me. There is nothing beyond and higher than me. All Ved, beginning with syllable Om are identical with me. Constantly transforming myself, I take birth from various wombs. I am the creator, I am the destroyer.

In whichever species I live, I behave like that species. That is why when I am born as a human being, I must act like a human being. I requested them (Kaurav), I appealed to them, I frightened them, I showed my wrath, but they didn't listen to me, and they all were killed righteously in the battlefield. Undoubtedly they have gone to Heaven. The Paandav have got a great fame. I have told you what you have asked me."

Uttank said - "I know that you are the creator of the Universe. The knowledge I have is because of your grace only. I will not give you any Shaap, just show me your sovereign form." Vaishampaayan Jee said - "O Janamejaya, Satisfied with him He showed him His Vaishnav form which Arjun had already seen. He was standing in front of him filling all space. Uttank got very surprised to see it. He said - "I bow to you. You have filled the Earth with your feet, the firmament with your stomach and above space with your head. This is you. Now please show me your human form." Govind asked him to ask for some boon. Uttank said - "For now this much is enough that I have seen your Vaishnav form." Krishn said - "You have to ask for some boon, because my Darshan cannot go without fruit." Uttank said - "I should fulfill whatever you want me to do. Besides I should get water wherever I wish to have it." Krishn returned to His original form and said - "Whenever you like to have water, just think about me." and He went to Dwaarakaa.

Now one day Uttank needed some water to drink so he thought of Krishn. Immediately he saw a naked hunter in that desert, covered with dust surrounded by dogs. He was extremely fiercely looking and was carrying bow and arrows. A thick stream of water was coming out of his urinary organ. He said - "O Uttank, Accept this water from me. I got pity on you seeing you so thirsty." But the Rishi was hesitant to drink it. He started criticizing Krishn, but the hunter repeatedly asked him to drink it. At last he refused to drink it and got angry with Him. So the hunter got disappeared with his dogs. Seeing disappearing him like this Uttank filled with shame. Soon after Krishn appeared in His Chatur-bhuj form from the way the hunter disappeared. Uttank said - "It was not proper for you to offer water to Braahman like me in the form of a hunter's urine."

Krishn said in soft words - "In whichever form it was proper to offer you water, it was given, but you could not understand it. I asked Indra to give you Amrit (nectar) in the form of water, but Indra said that, "A mortal cannot be made immortal. Let some other boon should be granted to him." He told me this several times. I asked him again to give you Amrit. Somehow he said - "If you say so, then I assume the form of a hunter and give Amrit to him. If he accepts it I will give it to him otherwise I am not going to give it to him" Having made this contract with me, he appeared before you in the disguise of Chaandaal to give Amrit to you, but you sent him away. Although your fault is very big, still I am prepared to do whatever is in my power. When you feel thirsty in future the clouds will rain savory water, they will be known as Uttank clouds. And those Uttank clouds will give you water." So Hey Janamejaya, Till today those Uttank clouds make rains in desert."

Uttank and Rishi Gautam

(14-56) Janamejaya asked - "Hey Rishi, What was Uttank's penance so that he could curse even the source of all things?" Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Hey Janamejaya, He was a great Tapaswee. He was devoted to his preceptor. He never worshipped anyone else. Even all the children of Rishi wished that they could be so devoted to their Guru as Uttank. He was the disciple of Gautam Rishi. Although he had numerous disciples but he loved Uttank very much. Many disciple went home after taking his permission, but he never permitted Uttank to leave. After some time Uttank's power became very great, although he was not aware of it.

One day Uttank went to bring fuel for his Guru and soon came with a great load of fuel. He was tired and hungry, so he threw the load on the ground. One of his white matted locks entangled in the wood and it also fell on the ground with the wood. Uttank was already tired and hungry and when he saw his white hair lock he got very sad at his old age began to lament loudly. Seeing him weeping like this Gautam's daughter who was very beautiful, asked her father's permission to take his tears in her hands. As she held them in her hands, they seemed to start burn with his tear drops. Unable to hold them any longer she had to drop them on the ground. The earth also could not hold them. Seeing all this Gautam asked - "Uttank, Why are you so sad today? Tell me everything in detail."

Uttank said - "I have always been to faithful to you, I did whatever was agreeable to you, and never could know that I became so old. I did not see any happiness. Although I have lived with you for 100 years, still you did not permit me to leave. Hundreds and thousands of disciples came and left this place but me." Gautam said - "Since you were so dutiful to me that so much time has passed even without my knowing it. But if you desire to leave this place now, you may go immediately. You have my permission." Uttank asked - "What shall I present to my Guru? After giving it to you I will leave." Gautam said - "I am very much satisfied with you so there is no need to give me anything. I am highly gratified with your services. If you become a 16-year old boy and I will give my daughter to you, because no other woman can bear your energy."

At this Uttank became young again and got Gautam's daughter as his wife. After this he asked Gautam's wife Ahalyaa as what he should give to her as the final fee (Guru Dakshinaa). I can give my wealth or my life to do your good. Whatever you will ask for, undoubtedly I can bring it with the power of my penance." Ahalyaa said - "I am very satisfied with you, you may go wherever you like to go." Uttank asked her again if she wanted something from him, he would be very happy to fulfill her wish. At this Ahalyaa said - "If you really insist then bring me the ear-rings which Saudaas' wife wears." Uttank said, "So be it." and went away from there. He immediately proceeded to king Saudaas (who had become cannibal by that time because of Vashishth's Shaap) to bring the ear-ring of his wife.

When Gautam Rishi didn't see Uttank for some time, he asked his wife as where he was. She said - "He has gone to bring Saudaas' wife's ear-ring." Gautam Rishi said - "You did not do good to him. Saudaas is cursed by Vashishth to be a man-eater, he will surely eat him as he will see him." Ahalyaa said - "I did not know this. I hope that he will not fall in any danger because of your grace." Uttank came to Saudaas and met him in a forest.

Vaishampaayan Jee further said - "Uttank saw Saudaas' face smeared with human blood, but he did not get afraid of him. As Saudaas saw him he said - "By my good luck you have come to me in the sixth hour of the day when I am looking for my food." Uttank said - "Look O King, I have come here to do good to my Guru. Wise men say that when on is on duty to his Guru, he should not be hurt." Saudaas said - "I have to eat food at the sixth hour of the day, so when I have got you as my food, I cannot leave you." At this Uttank said - "Let me finish my work for my Guru, then I myself will come and offer myself to you. I have heard that whatever my Guru wants it is in your power, therefore I request it from you. You give many gems daily to superior Braahman, I am also worthy of taking a donation from you. I promise that after I have given that gift to my Guru I will come back to you. There is no lie in it."

Saudaas said - "If that object that your Guru wants is worthy for you, and will bring you to me later, then tell me what is that thing?" Uttank said - "It is the ear-rings of your queen." Saudaas said - "But those ear-rings are of my queen. If you ask me anything, ask me, I will readily give it to you." Uttank said - "If you are the authority, then please give those ear-rings to me." Saudaas said - "Go to my queen with my permission and ask her saying "Give", she will surely give them to you."

Uttank asked - "Will she give them to me? Why don't you go yourself to her?" Saudaas said - "You will find her near the foremost fountain, I cannot see her now because the sixth hour of the day has come." So Uttank went to his wife, Madayantee, and asked the thing. She said - "You say that you don't tell lies, still you should have brought some sign from my husband. Even Devtaa, Raakshas, Yaksh etc watch my celestial ear-rings. If I keep them on ground, they will be taken away by Naag. If worn by an impure in consequence by eating, they will be taken away by Yaksh. If the wearer falls asleep without taking care of them, they will be taken away by Devtaa. Thus they are very prone to stealing. They always produce gold, day and night. At night they shine brightly attracting the light of stars and constellations. Their wearer will be free from hunger, thirst and fear of all kinds - fire, poison etc. If they are worn by a short stature person they become small, and if worn by a large person they will become large. They are very well-known in Tri-Lok. Please, will you bring me any sign from my husband?"

Uttank immediately came back to Saudaas, so Saudaas gave him a sign "My present condition is intolerable, I do not behold any refuge, so knowing it my wish give your ear-rings." Uttank again went back to the queen and gave his message to her. The queen gave her ear-rings to him. Uttank came back to the king and asked him - "What was the mystery in your words that the queen gave me her ear-rings." Saudaas said "Kshatriya have been in service of Braahman from the very olden times. Presently I am under the Shaap of a Braahman. I do not see any other refuge to go to Heaven, except Madayantee, or in continuing here. hence you give your ear-rings to this Braahman. Now you keep your words which you said to me today."

Uttank said - "I will certainly come back but I wish to ask you one question more. Those are who are skilled in the rules of duties are of restrained speech. One who misbehaves with friend is called thief. You have become my friend today. Please counsel me like a wise man. I have already got my desire fulfilled. You are a cannibal, is it proper for me to come back to you or not?" Saudaas said - "If you ask me my proper advice, then I would say that you should never come back to me, but if you will come back to me, you will surely die." Hearing this Uttank proceeded to Gautam's Aashram with taking every care for those ear-rings.

As he proceeded further, he felt hungry and he saw tree of Vilva fruit tree laden with ripe fruits. He hanged his deer skin on the tree and climbed upon the tree to pluck the fruits. While plucking them some of them fell on the deer skin in which the ear-rings were tied. With the weight of the fruits, the knot of the deer skin opened and both, deer skin and the ear-rings. fell on the ground. A snake, descendent of Airaavat, was watching this. He promptly took the ear-rings in his mouth and entered in an anthill. Seeing the snake taking ear-ring, Uttank got filled with rage, he came down of the tree and started digging the anthill.

He dug it for 35 days. Earth could not tolerate the force of his walking staff, Indra also came down on his chariot drawn by green horses. He assumed the form of a Braahman and said to Uttank - "This is not going to achieve anything. The regions of Naag are thousands of Yojan far from here, and your walking staff cannot do it." But Uttank didn't move from his intentions. Then Indra united his thunder with his walking staff. Earth gave way to Uttank and he entered the regions of Naag. It was thousands of Yojan long and wide. There he saw many well made of gold and decked with gems and jewels. Its gate was five Yojan high and 100 Yojan wide. Seeing all this Uttank left the hope to get ear-rings back.

Then there appeared a black horse with white tail. He said to Uttank - "You blow in my Apaan duct of my body. You will get your ear-rings back. Do not dislike my bidding as you did at Gautam's Aashram." Uttank asked - "How did I know you? I want to know what did I do with you before?" The horse said - "I am the Guru of your Guru, I am Jaatved (Agni). You often worshipped me for your Guru, that is why I want to help you. Do immediately as I said." Uttank did as he said to him. A fire came out of his pores to blaze the world of Naag and nothing could be seen around. Naag came out of their palaces to see as what was happening. After knowing that what the matter was they worshipped him, offered Arghya and gave the ear-ring back to him. Uttank circumambulated Agni Dev and came back quickly to Gautam's Aashram and gave those ear-rings to Ahalyaa. He told Gautam about the Naag incident also. This was his penance. I told you what you wanted to know."


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Created by Sushma Gupta On 05/27/04
Modified on 04/16/13