Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Krishna and Uttanga

After the great war of Mahabharatha was over, Lord Krishna was traveling back home. On his way back, he passed a barren desert. He waited there for the night. There in the barren desert he saw a Sage named Uttanga. Uttanga was a great devotee of Lord Krishna. He spent most of his time in meditation and did not know much about what happened in the outer world...

Uttanga saw Krishna camping the desert and was thrilled to meet him. Uttanga fell at Krishna's feet and worshiped Krishna. Krishna picked up Uttanga lovingly and embraced him. 'My friend! What are you doing here?' Krishna asked Uttanga. Uttanga smiled and shook his head. 'Just meditating, my Lord! The question is what are you doing here?'

Krishna thought for a few seconds and then spoke, 'A great war was just over! We just finished the Kurushektra war, my friend! I am now going back that my work there is done...'

Uttanga blinked...A war? Krishna could not stop a war? Uttanga fumbled, 'But my Lord! A war? A war would have caused so much bloodshed....Why would you even allow such a war to happen?

Krishna sadly nodded his head, 'This war was responsible for many people to lose their lives...But it was necessary...'

Uttanga said surprised 'You are saying that a war is necessary?' Uttanga looked disgusted as he continued, 'this war has created so much misery and loss…Did you do nothing to stop the war Krishna?’ Uttanga became more and more angry, as he spoke. In anger he pulled out the water from his Kamandalam and held it in his hands and said, ‘If that is true Krishna…then I am going to curse you…’

Krishna looked at Uttanga and smilingly shook his head. Gandhari’s [the mother of the Kauravas] curse already hung on his head. He had accepted that curse willingly….He did not need another person who did not understand him…He had to make Uttanga understand, ‘Uttanga! I did everything in my power to stop the war…I went and pleaded with Duryodhana [the eldest Kaurava] to make peace with Pandavas…I said that he did not even have to give back the Pandavas the whole of the kingdom that they had lost….I was even ready to accept five villages - one each for each of the five Pandavas...’

Uttanga looked surprised as Krishna continued, ‘Yes! I actually pleaded with Duryodhana to give five villages, one for each of the five Pandavas…and do you know what Duryodhana said?’ Krishna said with pain filled eyes. Uttanga questioningly raised his eyebrows as Krishna continued, ‘Duryodhana said he would not give even the space to occupy a needle to the Pandavas…He said he was willing to fight for it…It was his….’

Uttanga felt a little silly with the water in his hands as Krishna continued, ‘Besides Uttanga, the Kauravas humiliated the Pandavas and Draupadi[the wife of the Pandavas]…Such cruelty could not be forgiven…And so...' Krishna said taking a deep breath, '...the war was fought…’

Uttanga dropped the water uselessly on the floor and looked at Krishna with tears in his eyes, ‘I am sorry I doubted you, Krishna…’ He looked down looking shamefaced, ‘I am sorry I was about to curse you for something you were not responsible…’

Krishna shook his head. He ordered his guards to prepare lunch for the sage. The sage enjoyed Krishna’s hospitality for some time. The next day, as Krishna left for his kingdom, Krishna spoke to Uttanga, ‘Uttanga! I know that when you heard my story yesterday you were about to curse transferred some energy to the water in your Kamadalam…It was wasted…Your powers were wasted…I wish to make up for it…Please ask for anything from me, I will grant you any boon you want…’

Uttanga shook his head, ‘I need nothing Krishna…I am an ascetic…I am devoted to you…I can see you whenever I want...What more could I want….’

Krishna smiled, ‘Please Uttanga! I insist! Please ask for a boon…’

Uttanga thought for some time. Krishna did not give his word normally to everyone…Krishna expected him to use the boon carefully…He looked at the place where his water had spilt and suddenly smiled, He looked at Krishna, ‘Krishna! I lost some water on that day right? So that is what I ask from you…Water…If I ever feel thirsty, you have to make sure that my thirst is quenched….’

Krishna smiled and blessed Uttanga. Krishna started his journey to Dwaraka.

In the desert Uttanga sat meditating on the Dark Lord. Once as Uttanga had finished his meditation, he felt very thirsty. He looked around and saw no water. Krishna! He thought as he closed his eyes.

When Uttanga opened his eyes, standing before him was a hunter with his dogs, dressed in rags looking dirty and filthy. The hunter was panting as if he had run a long way. The hunter took out the water from a pouch in his belt and took a sip. The hunter looked at Uttanga and said, ‘Sir! You look like you are thirsty….Want some water?’ The hunter said gruffly handing over the dirty pouch to Uttanga. Uttanga wrinkled his nose. The stench coming from the man was unbearable…The water that the man was drinking was probably dirty. Uttanga stepped back and shook his head, ‘I don’t want anything…Go away from me…’

The hunter looked amused, ‘Sir! You actually look thirsty…I saw you lick your lips, when I was drinking water…I filled the water from a river near my house…It is very clear and pure…’

Uttanga wanted to just get away from the dirty man and his dogs, who were sniffing him, ‘Go away now!’ He said angrily and slightly nervous looking at the dogs.

The hunter tried again, ‘Sir! You won’t find a lot of water here…' The hunter said pointing at the desert around him, '...Please sir…take some water…’

Uttanga looked angrily at the hunter and said, ‘I would rather die thirsty then to drink water from a dirty man like you…go away!’

The hunter gave a sad smile and went away from there...Uttanga was angry and still walking with no water…Krishna, your broke your promise…How dare you…

Standing before Uttanga with a very sad smile was the Dark Lord, who suddenly appeared before him. Uttanga angrily looked at Krishna ‘Is this a way to repay a boon…I thought you said I would get water, whenever I was thirsty…My thirst is almost killing me…and what?’ Uttanga said angrily waving his hands, ‘No water?’ He said looking scornfully at Krishna.

Krishna did not say anything while Uttanga was ranting. Finally Uttanga looked exhausted then Krishna spoke quietly, ‘You are right, Uttanga…I did not give you water…I was going to give you nectar of immortality…amrita of the Gods….’

Uttanga looked stunned as Krishna continued, ‘Indra, the God of the Devas has the nectar of immortality with him…I asked him to give that to you…' Uttanga looked stunned as Krishna sadly continued speaking, 'Indra agreed to give you the amrita, but he imposed a condition. Indra said that it was after all Amrita ...only a person who truly deserved it should be given it....Indra said that he would first test you and if you passed the test, he would give the amrita to you...'

Krishna pointed at the direction of the hunter, ‘The hunter was actually Indra…He had amrita in his pouch…He wanted to see whether you saw the Brahman [the Force which runs within us all…] in all the people…’ Krishna sadly shook his head, ‘You could not see that all people are equal, Uttanga…’ Uttanga looked too shamefaced and bowed down, his thirst forgotten, ‘Despite all your meditation and prayers, you still do not realize that everything is one and the same and all are equal…I am sorry Uttanga…’ The Dark Lord said turning away, ‘You still have a lot of learn about Love and the Brahman…’

The Dark Lord handed some plain water to Uttanga who was now not in a mood to drink it. Uttanga just went away and promised to himself that he would become a better person and try to see everyone equally no matter who they are…


  1. I remembered the second part from AmarChitraKatha, but did not know the first meeting of Uttanga and Krishna, and Uttanga asking krishna why he did not stop the war. Interesting.

  2. Each and every one of your stories are amazing and your choice of narrating little known facts is commendable. Please keep up the good work. I think it would be great if Hollywood asked you to script some good stories so we can see something from our puranas on the celluloid instead of all the fake ones we keep seeing!

  3. Hi again, Nice story never heard of anytime before. I have a blog which is dedicated to all Bhakti posts and I was posting only devotional chantings and sthotras so far. With your permission I would like to post these stories in my blog too but in Telugu language, I shall acknowledge/courtesy your posts though. I like Krishna a lot and I am ardent devotee of him these stories are very heart touching.


  4. Dear Sir,
    You may definitely reblog the stories in Telugu language. Kindly just credit the original source when you reblog it.

  5. Hi Madam,

    I just happened to see your comment now. Am glad you permitted me :) I have just posted in my blog @ . It is not a story from your blog but some story I heard in discourse by His Holiness SriTridandi RaamaanujaChinna Jeeyar swamy. As I have no other way to share it with you except this comment box, I would share it with you here. It is a story about a painter and lord Srikrishna as a kid.

    continued in next comment..

  6. Once there lived a great painter who was well renowned for his artistic merit. Someone said that in Repalle (place where krishna lived as a cowherd) there lived a boy who is very very cute and gorgeous. No other beauty in the world can compete with such a marvelous treasure of beauty. The kid is also as clever as he is beautiful, and as naughty as he is clever. He makes everyone happy with his mischief and innocence and tapping such a beauty in a portrait would be a huge challenge to any great painter. Having heard of that the painter's desire to see such a kid increased exponentially and made him restless. He traveled all over and at last after lot of struggle and travel he could reach Vrajabhoomi (Krishna's village).

    There he saw the enchanting kid playing with his fellow cowherd folks. Soon he saw Krishna he realized that every word he came to know is very true. Without further delay he approached the kid and showed him all the paintings he painted before. This was to convince the kid that if he liked the paintings the painter can paint Krishna's image also in similar way. Krishna being an enthusiastic kid readily agreed to it. Painter started to draw the portrait of Chinni krishna. Every bit of his body from toe to the head was a feast to the painter's eye. Also painter using all his talent gave a best shot at painting the Krishna's portrait. Krishna was wearing peacock feather on his forehead, he wore a nice dhoti, and had the flute in his hand, his hair was waving due to gentle breeze, he was very attractive. Painter finished his job and said. I shall complete the painting by tomorrow and get it to show to you.

    Next day by the time painter came back with completed portrait, krishna was about to go for a bath and him mom has applied butter all over his body hence he was very shiny with oily skin. Also has no much garments on body except loincloth, he was having pearl strings on his neck and his hair was knotted into a small ball. Oily chubby cheeks kid saw the painting with wide opened eyes and gaping mouth.. He said..."This is not me..look at me and look at this painting..we are very different". Painter was very upset with these words.. He immediately took the brush and gave a 2nd try. When he returned with finished portrait, again the same thing happened. Krishna this time was about to leave his house in pursuit of taking all the cattle for grazing. He wore a small turban like thing and had the flute in his loin-string, had a some food in a sack that was hanging on his shoulder, he had a little stick in his hand to manage the cattle. he again said the same thing after looking at the portrait. "This is not me am very different that this picture"..painter made multiple attempts and failed miserably.

    One day he decided to commit suicide. After all , his art of painting could not bring a smile on such a cute kid's face. Sri Narada muni stopped the painter from committing Suicide and learns all the story painter had experienced. He then says "I shall give you a painting tomorrow, just go and show it to that kid, your job will be done" . Painter questions " After all I myself could not paint such portrait, how can you do it? " Narada says coolly "Just follow what I say, give the painting I give you and fall at the feet of the kid. He is not an ordinary soul". Next morning Narada gives a portrait which was wrapped in a cloth to the Painter. Asks him not to uncover it and just give it to Krishna to open and see. Painter does as instructed. He gives the clothe wrapped portrait to krishna and prostrates at his feet. By the time he stood up he sees little krishna smiling and admiring at his own beauty in the portrait. Painter was thrilled and plunged in joy. But soon a question struck his mind how could Narada do this impossible task so easily ? So out of curiosity he peeked into the portrait..guess what ???

    the portrait is nothing but.... A mirror!! so whenever krishna sees it he will look exactly like he was.

    1. What a lovely story! Krishna is as cute as he is naughty!

  7. Moral: Though fruits of human effort and merit are valuable, we should not be proud of them. Rather if we surrender ourselves to the lord, he will bestow us with the wit and power to achieve even the highly toughest things.

    Hope you liked the story :) This is what I posted in Telugu in my blog.



  8. :) Co incidentally I just read another story related to Aruni and his student Sathyathapa. How Indra and Vishnu test him and bless him The story is from Varaaha puraana. Will share with you shortly. May be I start posting in English in my blog and share them with you...bye


  9. Hi Maam:) after a long time I could finally post the story in my blog. Here is the link. I mentioned your name in courtesy. Thanks again for permitting me. I will be looking forward for Vasishta rebirth story that you owe me

  10. Love reading these gems. Since a huge number of folks do not know that our mythology is so rich with anecdotes like the above, I seek your permission to reproduce your stories toy friends via Fb. If its OK by you I will be so happy to do the same