The Mahabharata Home
"Utanka said, 'I know thee, O Janarddana, to be the creator of the universe. Without doubt, this knowledge that I have is the result of thy grace towards me, O thou of unfading glory, my heart is possessed of cheerful tranquillity in consequence of its being devoted to thee. Know, O chastiser of foes, that my heart is no longer inclined to curse thee. If, O Janarddana, I deserve the least grace from thee, do thou then show me once thy sovereign form.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Gratified with him, the holy one then showed Utanka that eternal Vaishnava form which Dhananjaya of great intelligence had seen. Utanka beheld the high-souled Vasudeva's universal form, endued with mighty arms. The effulgence of that form was like that of a blazing fire of a thousand suns. It stood before him filling all space. It had faces on every side. Beholding that high and wonderful Vaishnava form of Vishnu, in act, seeing the Supreme Lord (in that guise), the Brahmana Utanka became filled with wonder.'
"Utanka, said, 'O thou whose handiwork is the universe, I bow to thee, O Soul of the universe, O parent of all things. With thy feet thou hast covered the whole Earth, and with thy head thou fillest the firmament. That which lies between the Earth and the firmament has been filled by thy stomach. All the points of the compass are covered by thy arms. O thou of unfading glory, thou art all this. Do thou withdraw this excellent and indestructible form of thine. I wish to behold thee now in thy own (human) form which too is eternal!'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Unto him, O Janamejaya, Govinda of gratified soul said these words,--'Do thou ask for some boon' Unto him Utanka,
however, said--Even this is a sufficient boon from thee for the present, O thou of great splendour, in that, O Krishna, I have beheld this form of thine, O foremost of all beings. Krishna, however, once more said unto him--Do not scruple in this matter. This must be done. A sight of my form cannot be fruitless.'
"Utanka said, 'I must accomplish that, O lord, which thou thinkest should be done. I desire to have water wherever my wish for it may arise. Water is scarce in such deserts.' Withdrawing that energy, the Supreme Lord then said unto Utanka--Whenever thou wilt require water, think of me! Having said so, he proceeded towards Dwaraka. Subsequently, one day, the illustrious Utanka, solicitous of water and exceedingly thirsty, wandered over the desert. In course of his wanderings he thought of Krishna of unfading glory. The intelligent Rishi then beheld in that desert a naked hunter (of the Chandala class), all besmeared with dirt, surrounded by a pack of dogs. Extremely fierce-looking, he carried a sword and was armed with bow and arrows. That foremost of regenerate ones beheld copious streams of water issuing from the urinary organs of that hunter. As soon as Utanka had thought of Krishna, that hunter smilingly addressed him, saying,--'O Utanka, O thou of Bhrigu's race, do thou accept this water from me. Beholding thee afflicted by thirst I have felt great compassion for thee.' Thus addressed by the hunter, the ascetic showed no inclination to accept that water. The intelligent Utanka even began to censure Krishna of unfading glory. The hunter, how ever, repeatedly addressed the Rishi, saying,--'Drink!' The ascetic refused to drink the water thus offered. On the other hand, with heart afflicted by hunger and thirst, he even gave way to wrath. Disregarded by the high-souled Rishi through that conviction, the hunter, O king, with his pack of dogs, disappeared there and then. Beholding that (wonderful) disappearance, Utanka became filled with shame. He even thought that Krishna, that slayer of foes, had beguiled him (in the matter of the boon he had granted). Soon after, the holder of the conch and discus and mace, endued with great intelligence, came to Utanka by the way (along which the hunter had come). Addressing Krishna, the Brahmana said,--'O foremost of beings, it was scarcely proper for thee to offer water unto foremost of Brahmanas in the form of a hunter's urine, O lord.' Unto Utanka who said these words, Janarddana of great intelligence replied, comforting him with many soft words--'That form which it was proper to assume for offering thee water, in that form was water offered to thee. But, also, thou couldst not understand it. The wielder of the thunder bolt, Purandara, was requested by me for thy sake. My words to that puissant deity were--'Do thou give nectar in the form of water unto Utanka.' The chief of the celestials replied to me saying--It is not proper that a mortal should become immortal. Let some other boon be granted to Utanka.'--O son of Bhrigu's race, these words were repeatedly addressed to me. The lord of Sachi, however, was once more requested by me in these words, viz., even nectar should be given to Utanka.'--The chief of the celestials then, comforting me, said,--'If, O thou of great intelligence, nectar is to be given to him, I shall then assume the form of a hunter and give it to that high-souled descendant
of Bhrigu's race. If that son of Bhrigu accepts it thus, I then go to him, O lord, for giving it unto him. If, however, he sends me away from disregard,--I shall not then give it to him on any account,--Having made this compact with me, Vasava appeared before thee, in that disguise, for giving thee nectar. Thou, however, didst disregard him and send him away, seeing that the illustrious one had put on the guise of a Chandala. Thy fault has been great. Once more, with regard to thy desire, I am prepared to do what is in my power. Indeed, this painful thirst of thine, I shall arrange, shall be slaked. On those days, O regenerate one, in which thou wilt feel a desire for water, clouds well-charged with water will rise over this desert. Those clouds, O son of Bhrigu's race, will give thee savoury water to drink. Verily, those clouds will become known in the world as Utanka-clouds.' Thus addressed by Krishna, Utanka became filled with gladness, and to this day, O Bharata, Utanka-clouds (appear and) shower rain on and deserts.'"
Next: section LVI