Uttanka Goes to Paushya’s Kingdom

The queen gives her earrings to Uttanka

Note: In the previous post, Rishi Veda’s wife asked Uttanka to bring her the earrings of King Paushya’s wife as guru dakshina. In today’s post, we will see what happened when Uttanka went to Paushya’s palace to ask for the earrings.

Uttanka left Sage Veda’s house to go to Paushya’s kingdom. On the way, he saw a huge bull with a large man seated on it. The man said to Uttanka, “Eat this bull’s dung.”

Uttanka hesitated, but the man insisted, saying, “O Uttanka, don’t think so much about it. Your teacher has also eaten this bull’s dung in the past.”

Uttanka agreed when he heard this. He ate the dung and drank the urine of the bull, got up respectfully, washed his hands and mouth, and resumed his journey.

When Uttanka arrived at Paushya’s palace, he saw the king seated on his throne. Uttanka greeted the monarch respectfully, pronounced blessings on him, and said, “I’ve come to request something from you.”

Paushya also greeted Uttanka and replied, “Sir, what may I do for you?”

“I’ve come here to beg from you a pair of earrings that I want to gift to my teacher. It is therefore befitting that you give me the earrings worn by the queen,” Uttanka replied.

“O Uttanka, go to the women’s chambers and ask the queen for her earrings,” Paushya said.

However, when Uttanka went to the women’s chambers, he did not find the queen there. A little upset, he returned to Paushya and said, “O king, it is not proper for you to deceive me. The queen is not in her chamber.”

Paushya thought for a moment and replied, “The queen is very pure and chaste. Therefore, she can be seen only by those people who are perfectly pure and have not come into contact with anything impure.”

Uttanka reflected for a moment and said, “After having my meal, I performed my ablutions while standing. Maybe that is why I could not see her.”

“Yes, that’s a transgression. A person cannot purify himself properly while standing or walking,” Paushya said.

Uttanka agreed with the king’s logic and went to clean himself properly. 

He sat down facing the east and washed his face, hands, and legs thoroughly. Then he took some clean water, that was free of froth and not too warm, and drank it twice, taking just enough so that it would reach his stomach immediately. After that, he cleaned his eyes, ears, and other openings of his body by touching them with water. 

Thus having cleaned himself properly, Uttanka, once again went to the women’s chambers. 

This time, he was able to see the queen.  

The queen greeted Uttanka respectfully and said, “Welcome sir, please tell me, what can I do for you?”

“I have come to beg for your earrings which I wish to take as a present for my teacher,” Uttanka replied.

The queen was pleased with Uttanka’s conduct and felt that he was worthy of charity. She took off her earrings and gave them to Uttanka saying, “You will have to carry these earrings very carefully because Takshaka, the king of serpents, also covets them.”

“Don’t worry O queen, Takshaka, will not be able to take these earrings from me,” Uttanka assured the queen. He took the queen’s leave and went to express his gratitude to Paushya.

However, Paushya requested Uttanka to stay in his palace a little longer because a person worthy of charity (like Uttanka) rarely visited his palace. He requested Uttanka to perform a shraddha ceremony. 

Uttanka agreed and requested the king for some clean food to eat. When the food was brought to him, Uttanka realized that it was cold and there was hair in the food.

Being served unclean food displeased Uttanka.

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