Category Archives: 1.16 Pariksit as an Adult

How to Befriend the God of Death

In the absence of the Pāṇḍavas, Parīkṣit governed the earth as a great devotee, guided by the best philosophers. Indeed, he developed all the great qualities foreseen by the astrologers when he was born.

He married Irāvatī and they had four children, the oldest of whom was Janamejaya.

With Kṛpā as the supervising priest, he held three horse sacrifices on the bank of the Ganges, at which he gave abundant charity. There, the gods came within the range of the human vision.

Once, while travelling through his new kingdom, he heroically used his power to arrest Kali, who appeared as a low class man disguised as a king destroying the legs of a cow and bull.

Śaunaka asked:

Why did he merely arrestKali and not kill him? O blessed Sūta, if this story has something to do with Krishna, please tell us about it. Those who enjoy the real nectar of Krishna have no hunger for wasting their life on unreal jabbering.

My boy, humans are short-lived mortals. But we can attain immortality if we befriend the god of death. If the god of death hears devotional discussion of Krishna, he stops his duties to listen, and while that happens no one dies. We have invited him here, so let us humans now drink the immortal nectar of discussing Hari! Let us not be like the fools of our age: Small, small-minded, and very short lived; sleeping away their nights and working away their days for nothing.

Advertisements

Parikit Hears His Ancestors Glorified in Kirtan

10

Sūta said:

When Parīkṣit was in Kuru Jungle he heard not very desirable news: Kali had spread through his own jurisdictions. Then, with this excellent opportunity for a fight he took up his weapons.

11

His beautiful chariot, beneath a lion-flag and yoked to brilliantly black horses set out from the city along with soldiers, horsemen, elephanteers and charioteers.

12

He brought order and strength to his lands, which included Bhadrāśva, Ketumāla, Bhārata, and northern regions like the land of Kimpuruṣa.

Although the very old geography is difficult for a non-historian like myself to accurately sort out, basically the statement made in texts 10-12 is that Parīkṣit restored a sense of order and dignity to his vast kingdom, which extended far to the south (“Bhārata”), west (“Ketumāla”), north (beyond “Uttarakuru” into regions like “Kimpuruṣa”), and east (“Bhadrāśva”).

The northern regions beyond Uttarakuru are high up in the Himalayas. Various semi-human species live in these remote areas, which is why they have names like Kimpuruṣa, a term that either means, “what kind of being is this?” or “who owns this place?”

13-15

In each and every place he went he always heard bards singing about the great souls who were his own ancestors, because their fame was involved with the glories of Kṛṣṇa. He heard songs about himself, too, about how he had been rescued from the powerful weapon of Aśvatthāma. He heard songs about the great affection between the families of Vṛṣṇi and Pṛthā due to their mutual devotion to Keśava.

Extremely satisfied by these songs his eyes opened wide with delighted love. Being magnanimous, he gave the bards a lot of money, clothing and jewelry.

16

Hearing how the universally obeyed Viṣṇu became a driver, ally, assistant, friend, messenger, guard, follower, and respecter of the beloved Pāṇḍavas caused the king to become moved with devotion for Viṣṇu’s lotus-like feet .

17

He thus passed many days enrapt in thoughts of his ancestors. But pretty soon something very astonishing happened, which is what you wanted to know about.

 


No Time for Jibber Jabber!!!

Srimad Bhagavatam 1.16.1

Sūta said:

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.”

2

He married Uttara’s daughter, Irāvatī. They had four children: Janamejaya, etc.

3

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.

4

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.

5

Śaunaka said:

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.

6

Those who drink the real nectar from his lotus-like feet have no interest in wasting their life on unreal jabbering.

7

My boy, short-lived human mortals who desire immortality should befriend the lord of death, who suspends his activities when invited to devotional discussions.

8

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.

9

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.