On being enquired again and again by Yudhishthira as to why he had such a lacklustre look, Arjuna finally narrated how the whole Yadu race fought with each other and got killed, and how Sri Krishna withdrew himself from physical manifestation after an iron arrow, aimed unknowingly by a hunter, pierced his rosy heel.
Having completed the narration, Arjuna who was so far very disturbed, now felt a sudden peace descending on him. He reminisced the teachings of Krishna in the battlefield, which he had forgotten due to lapse of time and his mind being preoccupied with other things. He realised the self that was taught to him by Krishna long ago. Yudhishthira too decided to march towards heaven while Pritha, the mother of the Pandavas hearing of Krishna’s departure from the world, sat down in meditation, never to see the world again.
That very day when Sri Krishna left the mortal frame, the iron age of Kali entered the earth. Installing grandson Parikshit as the emperor of Hastinapura, Yudhishthira gave up all signs of royalty and walked into the forest wandering as a recluse. Draupadi too followed him. Vidura left his body at Prabhasa and entered his own abode of Lord Yama. The Srimad Bhagavatam contains the Phala Shruti for many of the stories—meaning the impact of hearing the story. One who hears this story in which the Pandavas left after the disappearance of Krishna will develop deep devotion to the form of Hari and will eventually become perfect beings.
Parikshit continued to rule in the most divine manner, guided by knowers of god. Suta continues the narration of the story to Shaunaka and the other rishis. Parikshit married Iravati, the daughter of Uttara, his maternal uncle. The eldest of his sons was Janamejaya.
Parikshit saw a man of lowly qualities hitting a cow and a bull with his leg. The bull was the very embodiment of good virtues called Dharma and the cow was mother earth, with eyes full of tears.
There is a conversation between the bull and the cow. Is this a fairy tale? No, the great author of the Puranas not only converses and feels with the minds of humans, but has a knowledge of what is going on in the minds of animals and other beings too. Dharma asks mother earth, citing many reasons for her sorrow. The final question was, “Are you crying because Lord Hari has left you?”
Dharani, mother Earth replies to Dharma—the earth has now been deserted by that one in whom all the most noble qualities had their abode. Kali has entered the world. I am concerned about you—Dharma and all the gods, sages and holy persons. That noble lord Krishna has left and I will no longer feel the joy of bearing his footprints on me. As the two were conversing, King Parikshit, the protector of the meek and the suffering, arrived there on the banks of the river Saraswati.
The author is Sevak, Chinmaya Mission, Tiruchi; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.sharanyachaitanya.blogspot.in