Chapter 55

Mahabharata English - ASWAMEDHA PARVA

“Utanka said, ‘I know thee, O Janarddana, to be the creator of theuniverse. Without doubt, this knowledge that I have is the result of thygrace towards me, O thou of unfading glory, my heart is possessed ofcheerful 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 showme once thy sovereign form.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Gratified with him, the holy one then showedUtanka that eternal Vaishnava form which Dhananjaya of great intelligencehad seen. Utanka beheld the high-souled Vasudeva’s universal form, enduedwith mighty arms. The effulgence of that form was like that of a blazingfire of a thousand suns. It stood before him filling all space. It hadfaces on every side. Beholding that high and wonderful Vaishnava form ofVishnu, in act, seeing the Supreme Lord (in that guise), the BrahmanaUtanka became filled with wonder.’

“Utanka, said, ‘O thou whose handiwork is the universe, I bow to thee, OSoul of the universe, O parent of all things. With thy feet thou hastcovered the whole Earth, and with thy head thou fillest the firmament.That which lies between the Earth and the firmament has been filled bythy stomach. All the points of the compass are covered by thy arms. Othou of unfading glory, thou art all this. Do thou withdraw thisexcellent and indestructible form of thine. I wish to behold thee now inthy own (human) form which too is eternal!’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Unto him, O Janamejaya, Govinda of gratifiedsoul 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 ofthine, O foremost of all beings. Krishna, however, once more said untohim–Do not scruple in this matter. This must be done. A sight of my formcannot be fruitless.’

“Utanka said, ‘I must accomplish that, O lord, which thou thinkest shouldbe done. I desire to have water wherever my wish for it may arise. Wateris scarce in such deserts.’ Withdrawing that energy, the Supreme Lordthen said unto Utanka–Whenever thou wilt require water, think of me!Having said so, he proceeded towards Dwaraka. Subsequently, one day, theillustrious Utanka, solicitous of water and exceedingly thirsty, wanderedover the desert. In course of his wanderings he thought of Krishna ofunfading glory. The intelligent Rishi then beheld in that desert a nakedhunter (of the Chandala class), all besmeared with dirt, surrounded by apack of dogs. Extremely fierce-looking, he carried a sword and was armedwith bow and arrows. That foremost of regenerate ones beheld copiousstreams of water issuing from the urinary organs of that hunter. As soonas Utanka had thought of Krishna, that hunter smilingly addressed him,saying,–‘O Utanka, O thou of Bhrigu’s race, do thou accept this waterfrom me. Beholding thee afflicted by thirst I have felt great compassionfor thee.’ Thus addressed by the hunter, the ascetic showed noinclination to accept that water. The intelligent Utanka even began tocensure Krishna of unfading glory. The hunter, how ever, repeatedlyaddressed the Rishi, saying,–‘Drink!’ The ascetic refused to drink thewater thus offered. On the other hand, with heart afflicted by hunger andthirst, he even gave way to wrath. Disregarded by the high-souled Rishithrough 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, thatslayer of foes, had beguiled him (in the matter of the boon he hadgranted). Soon after, the holder of the conch and discus and mace, enduedwith great intelligence, came to Utanka by the way (along which thehunter had come). Addressing Krishna, the Brahmana said,–‘O foremost ofbeings, it was scarcely proper for thee to offer water unto foremost ofBrahmanas in the form of a hunter’s urine, O lord.’ Unto Utanka who saidthese words, Janarddana of great intelligence replied, comforting himwith many soft words–‘That form which it was proper to assume foroffering 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 puissantdeity were–‘Do thou give nectar in the form of water unto Utanka.’ Thechief of the celestials replied to me saying–It is not proper that amortal should become immortal. Let some other boon be granted toUtanka.’–O son of Bhrigu’s race, these words were repeatedly addressedto me. The lord of Sachi, however, was once more requested by me in thesewords, viz., even nectar should be given to Utanka.’–The chief of thecelestials 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 hunterand give it to that high-souled descendant of Bhrigu’s race. If that sonof Bhrigu accepts it thus, I then go to him, O lord, for giving it untohim. If, however, he sends me away from disregard,–I shall not then giveit to him on any account,–Having made this compact with me, Vasavaappeared before thee, in that disguise, for giving thee nectar. Thou,however, didst disregard him and send him away, seeing that theillustrious one had put on the guise of a Chandala. Thy fault has beengreat. Once more, with regard to thy desire, I am prepared to do what isin my power. Indeed, this painful thirst of thine, I shall arrange, shallbe slaked. On those days, O regenerate one, in which thou wilt feel adesire for water, clouds well-charged with water will rise over thisdesert. Those clouds, O son of Bhrigu’s race, will give thee savourywater to drink. Verily, those clouds will become known in the world asUtanka-clouds.’ Thus addressed by Krishna, Utanka became filled withgladness, and to this day, O Bharata, Utanka-clouds (appear and) showerrain on and deserts.'”

Chapter 56
Chapter 54
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