Then, guided by the best of the twice-born, Parīkṣit governed the earth as a great devotee. Indeed, he developed all the great qualities foreseen by the astrologers when he was born.
“Twice-born” refers to a person with excellent education. The first birth is for the body, the second is for the mind. The word for “great devotee” is mahā-bhāgavata. This could be more elaborately translated as, “Great All-Attracted.” The word for “astrologers” is abhijāta-kovida, which could be more elaborately translated as, “experts in extrapolating the birth.”
He married Uttara’s daughter, Irāvatī. They had four children: Janamejaya, etc.
He held three horse sacrifices [aśvamedhā] by the Ganges. At these he gave abundant charity. He made Śaradvan’s son [Kṛpā] the master. There, the gods could came within the range of the senses.
Once, while victoriously travelling the world, he heroically used his power to arrest Kali, a low class man in the form of a king who was destroying the legs of a cow-couple.
Here, Kali refers to the personified kali-yuga. Pretention and fakery is his primary character trait. The cow-couple refers to the cow of Mother Earth and the bull of dharma. Dharma has four “legs” – pillars that hold up morality: truthfulness, simplicity, compassion, and cleanliness. In each age another leg is broken. The only leg that remains in Kali Yuga is truthfulness. The age itself pummels away at this leg so that it crumbles and is completely destroyed as the age progresses.
During this victory travels, why did he arrest Kali, a low class man in a king’s costume beating the leg of a cow? O blessed one, please tell us about this if it is a part of what you wish to tell us about Kṛṣṇa.
Śaunaka is surprised that Parīkṣit merely arrested and did not kill such a dangerous person. But this verse is very special because it clearly shows the standard by which the Bhāgavatam was composed, and by which we must also present it. There are all sorts of topics covered in Bhāgavatam, but all of them have explicit and direct relevance to devotional discussion of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Vasudeva’s son.
Those who drink the real nectar from his lotus-like feet have no interest in wasting their life on unreal jabbering.
My boy, short-lived human mortals who desire immortality should befriend the lord of death, who suspends his activities when invited to devotional discussions.
No one dies so long as the death-lord is present. That is why the great sages invited him here. Ho! Let us humans now drink the immortal nectar of words about the activities of Hari!
Śaunaka tells Sūta he would like to hear more details about Parīkṣit’s arrest of Kali, if and only insofar as such discussion involves Kṛṣṇa. He wants to drink the delicious nectar from the lotus-like feet of Kṛṣṇa, so he has no interest at all in wasting his life by jibber jabbering about illusions and unreal details. When one discusses Kṛṣṇa the lord of death, Yāma, himself comes to hear the delightful narrations suspending his normal activities. Thus one who submerges himself in Kṛṣṇa-kathā never dies, but goes on and on relishing the ever-new deliciousness of the All-Attractive. This is the poetic metaphor Śaunaka spontaneously composed.
Small, small-minded, and certainly with small lifespan; the people of this age sleep away their nights and work away their days for nothing.
Without the immortal nectar of Hari-kathā our short lives are wasted on nothing of importance; we become stunted in every way.