Srimadbhagavatam - Birth of King Parikshit

elmec elmec at GIASBG01.VSNL.NET.IN
Mon Sep 25 15:04:35 CDT 2000

Hari Om
Om Namo Bhagavate Vaasudevaaya.

King Parikshit was the posthumous son of Abhimanyu and the grand son of
Arjuna. After the Mahabharata war ended with Paandavas becoming
victorious and Dhuryodhana lay there in the battle field injured by
Bhima, Ashwathama, son of Dronachaarya, wanted to please his master
Dhuryodhana and hence asks him what could he do to make him happy.
Dhuryodhana bids him kill all the paandavas. Ashwathama enters Pandavas’
tent in the middle of the night, mistakes the sleeping children of
Pandavas as Pandavas themselves and kills all of them. That night
Pandavas would have gone out with Krishna and escape being killed by
Ashwathama. Next morning when the Pandavas hear Droupadi wailing over
the death of her sons, Arjuna vows to bring Ashwathama to Droupadi and
tells her that she could then punish him in whatever way she pleased.
Arjuna with the help of Krishna chases Ashwathama, catches him, ties him
up and brings him to Droupadi. When everybody is eager to see what
punishment Droupadi would give him, she orders him to be freed and let
go ! The onlookers are aghast at this verdict of Droupadi and even
Arjuna asks her why she ordered so. She says these magnanimous words – “
I would never want to see another mother suffer the grief of losing her
child ” !  Arjuna, being a kshatriya can not take back the vow that he
has taken to kill Ashwathama. But Ashwathama is a Brahmin and also their
‘Guru Putra’, killing him would beget them the ‘Brahmahatya dosha’.
Arjuna is in a fix and at last he decides to chop off  his tuft of hair
(shikhe)which is most dear to a Brahmana and also very humiliating
experience which almost amounts to death for a Brahmin.

Thus terribly humiliated, Ashwathama decides to kill the child that
Uttara, the widow of Abhimanyu, (son of Arjuna) was carrying at that
time which would totally erase the future generation of the Pandavas. He
directs his ‘Brahmaastra’ at Uttara’s womb. Terrified by the oncoming
weaponwhich would destroy her unborn child, she runs to Lord Krishna and
takes refuge at his feet and begs him to protect her child inside her
womb. Lord is touched by the faith that Uttara had in Him and he
immediately enters her womb and protects the child. The Brahmastra
salutes the Lord and returns without harming the child.

There is an interesting point to be noted here. There are instances in
the Avataaras of Lord where women like Kousalya and Devaki have borne
the Lord as their child, and devotees like Prahlada and Dhruva were also
borne by their mothers. But Uttara is the only mother who had the
privilege of bearing both the Lord and his devotee together inside her
womb for some time. God is ever ready to come down and help the devotee
when he needs Him. There is no delay in Lord’s coming down to help us ;
there is always delay in our approaching Him. We seek the help of all
others and when all avenues close then only we remember the Lord. But
Uttara instantly knew that only Lord Krishna would be able to help her
in this hour of crisis and she calls out to him and there He comes !

The child born in due course is named ‘Vishnuraat’ as it was protected
by Lord Vishnu Himself inside the womb. The child remembered the face of
the Lord who protected him inside his mother’s womb and was very much
interested to see that face again. So when people came to see the child,
the child was scrutinizing all the faces inorder to catch a glimpse of
Lord’s face. Thus the child earned the name  ‘Parikshit’ (one who
examined) and became famous by that name itself.

Parikshit  was duly educated in all branches of learning and Pandavas
then crown him as the King and decide to go to heaven. King parikshit
was very righteous, flawless and an ideal king loved by all his
subjects. He keeps up the reputation of King Yudhishtira and looks after
his subjects very well.

King Parikshit meets Kali – next episode.

Hari Om
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaaya

Latha Vidyaranya

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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