King Parikshit was burnt in his mother’s womb by the arrow of Dronacharya’s son, Ashwathama. However, he did not die as he was saved by Krishna. Even when he was cursed by the young Shringi to face death at the hands of the snake Takshaka, he went through it unflinchingly. Having surrendered completely to the Lord, his mind knew no fear facing the end of life. He gave up all attachment to the material world outside and became a disciple of Shuka Brahma Maharshi, the son of Veda Vyasa, and dropped his body on the banks of the Ganga.
For the one who remembers the lotus feet of Krishna and listens to the great stories told of him, there is no confusion in the mind even when the last days of life have come, said Sauti.Kali, the demon king responsible for the onset of Kali Yuga, pervaded the whole world the moment the feet of Krishna left the earth plane. King Parikshit, son of Abhimanyu, had managed to quell his power and kept him well under control. He was like the bee which could pierce a flower and take in just its essence. The moment he saw Kali, he understood that in essence that period of time had the ability to yield results immediately for good actions even when it was just a thought. Bad actions, however, had to be committed to make an impact.
Kali wielded his power like a hero amid people who were ignorant of their real self. However, in the presence of the wise, who knew their true nature as consciousness, Kali was afraid. Kali was like the wolf that was alert to grab those who lacked alertness and make a meal of them.
The storyteller Suta said that this was the main achievement of Parikshit and it was important for people to listen to the great qualities, deeds and exploits of Krishna if ever they sought blessings in their lives.
The Rishis, who were hearing this, blessed Suta with a long life for narrating the divine story of Krishna.
“To us whose clothes are filled with the smoke of these sacrificial fires that we have raised and we do not know if they would yield us our desired results, you have very graciously given us the nectarine stories of Krishna. Neither heaven, nor liberation from birth and death is comparable to the bliss of listening to these tales. What to say of the mortal pleasures of the world?” the rishis said.
“Whoever can be satiated on hearing the tales of the Lord full of the essence of life—the Lord who is the refuge of blessed saints and sages—whose glories even the master of all the yogis and the creator cannot complete extolling,” the sages said and requested Suta to narrate that story of the Srimad Bhagavatam, which Parikshit himself had listened to and attained a peaceful exit from this world of mortals.
The author is Sevak, Chinmaya Mission, Tiruchi; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.chinmayamission.com