Bhagawatam 055: Parikshit’s victory tour; conversation between Dharma and Mother Earth

If out of 100 years, 50 years is spent in sleeping and the remaining time allocated only for fulfilling personal needs, what is to be our fate?

At least do this exercise. From the time of your birth, just calculate how many days you have spent on earth so far. Now select all those days on which you have performed any form of good deeds. Then calculate how many days/ hours roughly have you spent worrying for your life when you were travelling? For instance, a person travelling in a plane is more worried about landing safely than about performing charitable or meritorious deeds.

A person cannot perform any good deeds when he is fast asleep. He cannot perform any good deeds when he is travelling and is tensed about his own life. Does he spend any of his remaining time for his true benefit? Analyze.

Hearing the question of Maharishi Shounaka, Maharishi Suta replied as follows:

“The valorous Parikshit, who resided in the capital city Kuru-jangāla, realized that Kali (the presiding lord of this eon) had entered his kingdom, which was being protected by his mighty army. Upon hearing this he was mentally agitated. He was worried as this was the beginning of many difficulties and problems. He wanted to confront Kali.

Immediately he took up his bows and arrows, mounted a magnificent chariot that was beautifully decorated. The chariot was driven by beautiful sturdy black horses. On his chariot was a flag with the emblem of a lion upon it. He was surrounded by a gigantic army consisting of warriors mounted on chariots and on elephants, a huge cavalry and many foot soldiers. He set out to conquer the world (digvijaya yatra).

He conquered Bhadrāśva, Ketumāla, Bhārata, Uttara-Kuru and Kimpuruṣa parts of the world and accepted gifts and tributes from all these kingdoms.

Everywhere he went, King Parikshit, who was large-hearted, was greeted with stories pertaining to glories of Srikrishna. He also heard the glories of his forefathers as narrated by the people. He heard how Srikrishna had saved him from the powerful Brahmastra weapon that had been hurled by Ashwatthama. Along with the stories of Srikrishna, people also told him the story of his birth. They also extolled his greatness. He heard the stories of how his grandfathers and other forefathers had successfully conquered the world in the past. He heard about the close friendship that existed between Pandavas and Yadavas. When they narrated stories about the devotion of his grandfathers towards Srikrishna, Parikshit would be overjoyed. He would sit beside them and hear those stories in rapt attention.

At times dressed like a king he would listen. At other times he would disguise himself and enjoy these stories being sung by story-tellers. Ecstatic after these renditions, he would gift them with exquisite garments and precious pearls necklaces. At times overjoyed, he would give away his horses as gifts. He implored people to narrate to him the glories of Srikrishna and the Pandavas. He would be immersed in these stories as they were being narrated.

The Supreme Lord Srikrishna, who is worshipped in all planes of existence (lokas), tied down by the love showered upon Him by the Pandavas, offered to them all forms of services. He took upon the role of a charioteer. At other times He offered them services as if He was their servant. He maintained an amicable relationship with them. As a true friend He graced them not only with joy and bliss but also offered to become their messenger. There are many instances when Srikrishna would take up arms, in the dead of the night, to guard the sleeping Pandavas. In one occasion He even fed them. There were occasions where He would praise and offer obeisance to the Pandavas.

Thus Krishna, the Supreme Lord of all universes who is supremely worshipped everywhere, became the messenger, guard, charioteer and servant of the Pandavas. He offered them supreme protection at all times.

Through listening to these stories, Parikshit’s devotion towards Srikrishna multiplied significantly. “Aha, how large hearted is that Lord; He, who is the protector of all universes, has offered services to these forefathers. How great He would be”, he thought.

When Parikshit who had inculcated the good qualities of his ancestors, was thus ruling effectively, a wonderous incident took place. I will narrate this. Listen”, said Maharishi Suta.

He continued, “The Lord of Righteousness (dharma) assumed the form of a bull and was limping about on one leg. He saw Mother Earth, who, in the form of a cow was weeping inconsolably as if it had lost its child.

Seeing the cow, dharma said, “O Mother! O form of auspiciousness! Are you healthy? Why is your face lusterless? I suspect that some worry is tormenting you. Are you grieving for some relative whom you have not recently seen? Are you grieving for me, as I have lost three legs and am surviving on only one leg? Or are you worried that you will have to bear the burden of unrighteous rulers who will rule you in future? Are you worrying that unrighteous persons will stamp and walk on you?

Are you grieving for the Devatas, who are deprived of their share of offerings as human beings have stopped conducting homas and yagnas? Are you lamenting that Lord Indra has stopped showering rain? Or are you grieving that he will shower far more rain than needed in future?

Are you unhappy seeing men who no longer offer protection to their wives? Or are you upset seeing people who, like demons, subject their children to torture? Or are you sorry that Brahmins who are unrighteous and of ill conduct handle the Vedas? Or are you sad that eminent Vedic scholars have to serve those who despise God and religion?

Are you unhappy seeing the wicked Kshatriyas (warrior class), who are unrighteous and unjust? Are you grieving seeing the kingdoms they have destroyed? Or are you lamenting seeing the general population, who giving up every form of rules and disciplines, are interested purely in eating, sleeping, bathing and co-habiting women and who behave as they please?

Krishna! Srikrishna!

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