The ways of God are mysterious, His justice inscrutable to man. Why does He allow something to happen? Why does He chose a particular means to accomplish something? Why is it that He answers prayers in a manner unfathomable? Such are the questions that have agitated the minds of men of all lands, of all ages and of all faiths. The story of a conversation between Lord Krish and Uddhava gives a glimpse of this eterl puzzle.
One morning, Krish and Uddhava went for a walk. They walked and conversed a long way as the sun came up. Krish felt thirsty and stopped across a rich man’s mansion. He then asked Uddhava to fetch some water from the palatial house.
Uddhava went up to the house and asked for water. The owner of the house invited them in, received them graciously and offered them cool refreshments. Krish was pleased at his hospitality. While taking leave, Krish blessed the rich man with even more wealth and prosperity.
They continued on their walk. Before long, the sun was blazing in the heavens. Coming across a small hut, they saw a cow grazing in the field behind. Krish again said he was thirsty and asked Uddahava to fetch water from the hut. This time Uddhava suspected Krish was up to some trick. But Krish assured him that he really felt thirsty and needed a drink.
Uddhava then went and called at the door of the hut. Soon an old hermit appeared and invited them in. When Uddhava told him his friend was thirsty, the hermit regretfully said there was nothing in the house to offer them. Suddenly he remembered his at the backyard. Exclaiming that the cow, his sole and dearest possession, will not let him down, the hermit hurried out to the field. He then sat and milked the cow, offering its fresh and sweet milk to his guests. Krish gulped it down joyfully and thanked him.
As they walked out of the hut, Krish lifted his hands up in blessing and murmured, “May the old yogi’s cow die.” Uddhava was thunderstruck. Scarcely believing what he had heard, he groped for words before asking Krish the meaning of this strange blessing which was surely a curse!
Krish laughed and said: “My blessings are always true. I give the individual what he needs, not what he wants.” He then told Uddhava how the hermit had already reached a high level of piousness and enlightenment, in a long life full of good deeds and pence.
“The yogi is now on the verge of reaching the Ultimate Truth. The only thing preventing him from divine salvation is his last remaining attachment to the cow. Once it is gone, his deliverance will be at hand,” explained Krish.
Thus it was that Uddhava, the dearest friend and devotee of Lord Krish, gained an insight about learning to trust God when it is beyond man’s limited capacity to understand. This is the key to spiritual growth.
Many years later, when Lord Krish spoke of the impending destruction of the Yadu clan and how his own life was ending, Uddhava was similarly perplexed. Lord Krish then explained how the Yadavas, grown insolent by their mighty prowess, heroism and material fortune, had become a threat to humanity. When a sorrowful Uddhava beseeched to be taken along into the Great Beyond, Lord Krish consoled him with the eterl truths that came to be enshrined in the Uddhava Gita.
— the harbinger