King Parikshit comforted Dharma and Mother Earth in the form of the bull and the cow; drew out his sword and turned towards Kali, the cause of all unrighteousness in the world. Kali saw this and concluded that the king was going to kill him. He threw his sceptre and crown, and fell at the feet of Parikshit, quivering with fear. The king knew enough dharma to not kill a person who was afraid and who had surrendered at his feet.
With a gentle smile, the king said, “You have joined your palms in the presence of a member of the clan of Arjuna who overcame sloth and inertia in his life. You need not have any fear. However, being a friend of the people who practice unrighteousness, you should not stay anywhere in my kingdom. Begone! You must not reside anywhere in this kingdom of Brahmavarta where the divine beings on earth worship gods through fire rituals and sacrifices in an elaborate way. In this land, Lord Hari, in the form of yagnas and fire sacrifices, blesses people and offers them abundance and prosperity. He resides within and without all beings and works to fulfil all their desires.”
The storyteller Suta narrated here that Kali was trembling with fear hearing the words of Parikshit. Kali spoke to the king, “O king, you drive me out of your kingdom. Please tell me, where your kingdom is not, ruler of the earth that you are. Wherever I think I can escape to, I visualise you with bow and arrow in hand. So please, you may yourself tell me a place where I can settle down.”
The Suta said the king then gave Kali four places to stay: Be there where people play dice or are engaged in lottery, live in intoxicant drinks, live in prostitution homes and revel in places which are untidy, unkempt and unclean slaughter houses. These were four places of unrighteousness. Kali said this was not enough for him as he had abundant opportunities for expression. The king granted him five more places—gold, falsehood, intoxication and arrogance of power, in the quality of Rajas or restlessness and where killing happens on account of hatred.
So Kali or the agent of rapid change and destruction is fully present in all these qualities, objects and places mentioned above. If we want to avoid grief, sorrow and pain, we must be careful not to get into the trap of these places. Done with Kali, the king turned to the bull and restored his three lost legs—austerity, cleanliness of mind and compassion. He consoled Mother Earth. The Suta told the rishis of Naimisharanya that it was in this kingdom of Hastinapura that the royal sage-like king Parikshit ruled and quelled the might of Kali.
The author is Sevak, Chinmaya Mission, Tiruchi; email@example.com; www.chinmayamission.com