King Parikshit saw a man who dressed himself up like a king. A king is a protector of the people. Instead this man was in the most cruel manner hitting a cow and a bull on their legs. The cow was in tears and the bull had lost three legs. It was standing on only one leg. “Who are you? How dare you commit such atrocities in my kingdom?
You have hurt these harmless creatures at a time when Sri Krishna along with Arjuna and his Gandiva have left this earth. You can be punished by me for this,” the king said. He turned to the bull and asked him, “Who are you walking on just one foot, white like the stalk of a lotus? Are you some God who is born here?” He consoled the bull saying that creatures like him need not cry when he was ruling.
King Parikshit here beautifully utters a couple of lines on the role of a king. It is the duty of a king to protect the good and righteous people in his kingdom. If he fails in this duty and the crude and violent people are putting the soft-natured and good people to suffering and making them cry, it is the duty of the king to protect them who are constantly doing their own duties. “Tell me the name of that person and I shall mercilessly severe the arm along with the armlet and other jewels,” the king called out loudly.
Dharma the Bull replied, “Indeed coming in the line of the Pandava kings, you speak words becoming of your lineage, O king. The Pandavas exhibited such great qualities that Sri Krishna even became a messenger on behalf of their kingdom.” The bull softly said that people who believe there is only one truth in the world and nothing alien or other than one’s own self say that each individual alone is responsible for their miseries. Some others say that suffering is caused by natural changes and some others attribute it to fate.
“O king, you may yourself come to a conclusion as to who it may be who is the cause of my sorrow. I am unable to say,” the bull said. The emperor Parikshit was disturbed to hear the words of the bull. Yet he remained calm. He finally could understand the real form of the bull.
“You speak dharma and hence you are none other than dharma in the form of a bull. You are not mentioning the name of the one who is attacking you because you are aware that if you did, half his sins would come to you. You had four legs called Austerity, Cleanliness, Compassion and Truth. Now in this age of time, you are barely standing on one foot—‘Satya’ or truthfulness. The unrighteous tendencies of Kali are trying to take away even that from you. This cow near you is the very embodiment of Mother Earth,” he said.
The author is Sevak, Chinmaya Mission, Tiruchi; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.chinmayamission.com