Lakshmana was wearing two ear rings, one on each ear, by which he could evade hunger and thirst while wearing them, which were provided by his Guru, Viswamitra Rishi to him, during the days of his education under him. This was the top secret power of Lakshmana. When he found his life span was about to be completed, he started towards Sarayu River for performing Yoga Samadhi and on his way, he found the king Saudasa coming towards Ayodhya to meet with God Rama. Lakshmana told him the Emperor God Rama was then very busy, had scheduled meeting with Durvasa Rishi and he may meet him on another day. After convincing him, he loosened his two ear rings and entrusted them to king Saudasa in order to hand over them to Ahalya as the gift of sympathy and honor.     

Serpent yaga or worship
Uttanka Rishi performing serpent yaga

Ramayana had been written by Valmiki Maharshi and he detailed in it as, after Rama, his son, Kusha had been crowned, and then he started ruling.

King Saudasa thought the ear rings may be given to his own wife, queen Madayanthi, instead of going in search of Ahalya. But later Ahalya got the retention news of the earrings, with the wife of king Saudasa, queen Madayanthi.

After the education and marriage with Anjana, Uttanka enquired about the Gurudakshina once again. He wished to give some Gurudakshina to his mother in law, since she also taught his wife. Ahalya informed him, if possible, to bring some special ear rings from the king Saudasa, which would be taken as Gurudakshina by her. Uttanka agreed and started to accomplish the task.

Then, time had elapsed and Treta yuga was to end and Dwapara yuga was to begin. Uttanka is more explained in Mahabharata since the time was then in juncture of Treta yuga and Dwaparayuga. Uttanka had also shown his role in Adi parva, Ashwamedha parva and Paushya parva of the other epic, Mahabharata. 

Uttanka moved in search of Saudasa king but before getting out, he sought the blessings of Gauthama Rishi. When he declared his task, Gauthama Rishi felt embarrassed since then king Saudasa had become a cannibal, eating human flesh. They discussed the details of earring and the reason for his life to happen as bad.

 When king Saudasa betrayed the words as promised with Lakshmana, Indra could not bear the injustice and thought he did not deserve to keep the honor as a king, ruling a country. One day, Vasishta Rishi visited the palace of king Saudasa being invited for the death anniversary homage paying rituals on behalf of his late father. During the preparations of food, Madayanthi, the wife of Saudasa had touched her earrings and a few hairs had fallen on the eatables but could not know then. When the king, with his wife, served the food to the guest, Vasishta Rishi, the hairs appeared on the eatables causing him angry. He stood up, rejected the food and before going out, cursed; thereafter Saudasa should live by eating human flesh, as a cannibal. Since his wife used to wear the earrings, she never felt hunger or thirst and did not require any food.

Uttanka walked with strong decision, in search of king Saudasa. One day, he met with him. With bold words, he told his commission to carry the earrings. But then, Saudasa was a cannibal, also fully hungry, and desired to eat Uttanka. Uttanka agreed but under condition that he should get the earrings in his hand first. Since Damayanthi was within his controlled area, he agreed to wait till he got the earrings from his wife, but he should collect them, himself from her.

Uttanka approached Madayanthi and greeted her, explaining his endeavor. She told, by donating the earrings, her husband may be redeemed from the present curse. Hence, she loosened them and gave them to him. She also advised him, even though they appeared as ordinary diamond earrings, the celestial powers hidden in them and serpents (Naga) were after them to secure them. Hence during journey, he should keep them hidden, packed in deerskin and should never place on earth.  He again visited king Saudasa and wished to take his leave. But due to huger, king Saudasa desired to eat him then and there. He promised to return back at his place without fail and he convinced and waited to eat his body.

Uttanka obtaining earrings from Queen Madayanthi
Uttanka obtaining earrings from Queen Madayanthi

So far as he was in touch with those earrings, he could not feel hungry but when he saw some fruits on a tree, and packed the earrings with deerskin, he started feeling hungry. Hence, he tied the packet of the earrings, on a branch and climbed up the tree, in order to pluck some fruits, to eat then. But alas! The packet fell down and touched the earth. On the bottom of the tree, a snake (Naga) was waiting and immediately, sneaked near the earrings, caught them and started towards the anthill and disappeared into the earth. Uttanka, then with a stick, started to scratch the soil to unearth the earrings and find out the Naga.

Since Uttanka used to offer daily oblations to Indra and fire God Agni, they were bound to help him and planned accordingly. Then, Uttanka had seen an old man with a walking stick (rod) coming there. The old man enquired the situation and laughed on seeing him. He offered his supporting rod to Uttanka and advised to dig the hole in the earth till he entered the Naga loka, just over the patala loka. The rod was fixed with a Diamond Head and it was easy to dig and Uttanka made a deep dent and removed the soil and in the darkness also, continued.

In the deep, Uttanka saw a cave and there was a horse, surrounded with fire. He removed the Diamond Head of the rod, found it like a tube and he blew air towards the fire, through his mouth, continuously. The horse had not objected but found comfort when smoke evolved. He wanted to expel the Naga along with earrings. Due to the smoke, the small snakes, pierced out but Uttanka stood attentively to see which snake carried the earrings. Finally, Takshaka had come with the earrings and due to his rod, was afraid to come near and hand over the rings to him. Then, immediately he started to the Ashram of Gauthama Rishi searching for Ahalya.

There, he found many changes that had occurred on earth. There were many students in the Ashram then, and he offered the earrings to his mother in law. She accepted them and blessed hem for his good future and sent her daughter, Anjana with him. He told the entire incidences to Anjana and started to live at Ujwalaka forming an Ashram there. It was like a desert. God Krishna was then moving to Dwaraka. After his works were over, he again visited king Saudasa. He then found a great change in him. The king Saudasa with queen Madayanthi greeted him and treated him as a friend instead of eating his body. They discussed, a friend in need is a friend in deed. He told him in Hastinavati king Parikshit had died due to snake bite by Takshaka.

Uttanka then met with Janamejaya, the son of Parikshit and advised him to conduct a serpent’s yajna, to burn out all mischievous snakes. Then Takshaka felt afraid and surrendered under Indra. Indra assured him help. Hence, Takshaka had hidden, under his protection. But Uttanka summoned Indra. Indra came before him and told him that he had given him his Diamond Mace in the form of a rod with Diamond Head as an old man while he was searching for the snake and earrings. Uttanka was convinced and stopped the serpent’s yaja. Then Indra offered him a boon of his choice. Uttanka asked Indra to shower rain water whenever Uttanka felt its need and thought of God Krishna. Uttanka had agreed with Indra and got advised to meet God Krishna on another day for more details.

During Uttanka’s life period, he thought of God Krishna at Jaipur in Rajashan and then and there, rain showered well. The place was Ujwalak Ashram, later called Jal Mahal. It was modified by several kings and they constructed a palace over the big natural water tank. One day, he met with God Krishna. God Krishna explained about the help he offered to Arjuna during the Mahabharata war and told him he had to show Vishwarupa Darshana to Arjuna to protect the Dharma.

Then, Uttanka also desired to see the Vishwarupa Darshana of God Krishna and obliged him. But God Krishna thought of his virtues and eligibilities. God Krishna told him he had conducted serpent’s yajna which is not good. But God Krishna himself had previously told, Arjuna had also done it to build Pandava’s Palace at Indraprasta. Their argument reached a hot level and was about to reach war level but then, to convince Uttanka, God Krishna had displayed his Vishwarupa Darshana.

 Thus he was a lucky man and he got wealth and name by heroic actions.

॥ लक्श्मीः साहस प्रिया ॥

The meaning is: Goddess Lakshmi is the wife of God Vishnu, so follows him. For any heroic works, the blessing of God Vishnu is mandatory. With the blessings of God Vishnu, one who works with great devotion would get wealth and fame since Goddess Lakshmi also blesses him.

Uttanka’s life started during God Rama‘s period but he had seen him as God Krishna also!!

It is humbly prayed for the blessings of God Rama upon us.

Regarding Shabari, a sincere devotee of God Rama, and Sugriva, the strong king devoted to Rama, would be available in the forthcoming articles.  

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