A story about trusting the divine and seizing the opportunity

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Sage Uttanga was a friend of Krishna.  Krishna impressed by his friend's devotion, once showed his Viswaroopa (cosmic form) to him and also offered to grant a boon for him.  Uttanga has no great desires, he says, "Krishna, I go through deserts and forests and sometimes it is difficult to find water, whenever I am really thirsty and need water, can you please ensure that I get the water?".  Krishna says, so be it granting him the boon.  


But, Krishna felt he needs to do more for his friend out of compassion.  So, he goes to Indra and asks him to give amrita/nectar to his friend Uttanka, to make him an immortal.  In Indra's opinion Uttanga was not ready and did not deserve to have the nectar.  But, he can't argue with Krishna.  So, he agrees to give Uttanga the nectar with a condition.  He will go in any form he wishes and offer it to Uttanga 3 times, if he takes it he can become an immortal.  Krishna agrees.  Indra goes to Uttanga in the form of a Chandala.  Here is one version of story that narrates what happened next.




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…



The divine may appear in some form in our life also, offering us great possibilities.  Sometimes it may not be clear outwardly.  Are we ready not to discriminate, identify and seize the opportunity?

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