Dharma, the Lord of righteousness, continued, “O Mother Earth, 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?
Lord Srikrishna who had incarnated solely to reduce your burden has now left you and returned back to His abode. Are you thinking of Him and grieving? Or are you recollecting His glories and missing Him?
O Mother Cow! Due to this mental agony you have become weak and emaciated. Please tell me the cause of your sorrows. Has anyone stolen your auspiciousness and fortune, which is held in high esteem even by the Devatas? Please explain, O Mother.”
Mother Earth, who was in the form of a cow replied, “O Dharma! You already know the answers to all the questions that you have asked so far. Due to Srihari’s grace, when you stand on your 4 legs, you grant happiness and comforts to people.
- Truthfulness, b) mental purity, c) bodily cleanliness, d) compassion, e) forbearance, f) charity (tyāga), g) contentment, f) being straightforward, g) control over the mind, h) control over senses (indriya nigraha), i) penance (tapas), j) equanimity, k) tolerance to difficulties, l) dispassion towards enjoyments m) understanding the scriptures and abiding by them, n) acquiring Self-knowledge, o) attaining dispassion, p) feelings of prosperity, q) bravery, r) radiance, s) strength, t) meditation u) non-dependency, v) proficiency in all actions, w) loveliness, x) fortitude, y) gentleness in behavior, z) supreme intelligence, aa) humility, ab) saintly behavior, ac) faith in God and in Vedas, ad) laughter, ae) great renown, af) self-respect, ag) being devoid of ego and arrogance, are the good qualities that naturally and eternally exist in the Supreme Lord. They can never deplete in Him. Those who ardently seek His presence pray to be blessed with these qualities.
Such Srinivasa, the Supreme Lord, is no longer on earth. He has left earth and gone away. In His absence, the gaze of Kali Puruṣa (the presiding Lord of Kali Yuga), who is the cause of all sins, has fallen upon earth. I am lamenting this.
I do not lament only about my fate. I also grieve for You who are the supreme amongst the Devatas. In addition, I also feel sorry for the Devatas, for the forefathers, saints, noble persons, persons belonging to all castes and all stages of life (ashramas). I feel sorry for all beings.
Brahma and other Gods seeking the blessings and the compassionate glance of Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth and prosperity, worship Her and seek refuge under Her. Such Lakshmi, giving up her residence located in the garden of lotuses, has sought shelter at the lotus feet of Lord Srinivasa. With great love and affection she offers services to Him.
Being decorated with the symbol of His flag, thunderbolt, lotus and goad, which are the impressions on the splendorous lotus feet of Lord Krishna, I obtained limitless fortune and was shining in all glory, reigning in the three lokas (planes of existence). However now I am bereft of this great fortune. As I had become arrogant, the Lord has left me and gone away.
The Lord, who enjoys absolute freedom, destroyed the leaders of all those clans of demons, who had become an unbearable burden to earth. O Dharma! When you had lost three of your legs, He took on a wondrous form and incarnated in the lineage of Yadus. He restored you back into your complete form and then merged you into himself.
Is there any woman who can bear these pangs of separation from the Supreme Lord, Purushottama? With his loving affectionate gazes, charming tender smiles and melodious words, He destroyed the arrogance in Satyabhama and others in Madhuvana. When the impressions of His tender feet fall upon me, I experience great horripilation”.
Here it means that the earth being overjoyed, it will be replete with crops and will be peaceful.
Thus when the Lord of Dharma and Mother Earth were conversing, the exalted saintly King, Rājarishi Parikshit, arrived at Kurukshetra, which was located on the banks of River Saraswati, and from where Saraswati flowed towards the east.
With this the sixteenth chapter of the first canto comes to an end.
First Canto Seventeenth Chapter
In this chapter the conversation between Parikshit and the Lord of Dharma, the arrest of Kali Puruṣa by Parikshit are covered.
Parikshit came across an unrighteous low caste person, dressed like a king, beating a cow and a bull with a stick. He was horrified. It appeared as if there was none to protect these animals. When this person was thus mercilessly beating the weak, emaciated bull which was standing on one leg, it was urinating while trembling in fear. That cow, which provides milk and other auspicious ingredients that are particularly used in all sacrificial rituals such a Yagnas, was now shrunken and devoid of any calf. This low caste person was kicking its legs mercilessly while her eyes were filled with tears.
Seeing this, King Parikshit, who was seated in a golden chariot, readied the bow and arrows and in a thundering voice said, “Oh, who are you? You, who appear strong and powerful are torturing helpless weak beings. How dare you do this in my kingdom? It appears to me that you have donned the disguise of an emperor. Your external appearance is like a king, but your deeds are like that of a rogue.
How dare you torture helpless innocent beings in this isolated place, just because Krishna and Arjuna are not to be seen now? You deserve to be killed for this degraded offence. This is the rightful punishment for your sins”.
Thereafter addressing the bull, Parikshit said, “O bull, you appear white like a lotus. Although you are deprived of 3 legs, you move about with the help of that single leg. Who are you? Seeing you makes me writhe in pain. Are you some Devata moving about in the form of a bull?
This king belonging to the Kuru lineage is ruling effectively in this kingdom. During my rule, apart from you I have never ever come across any other being shedding tears. O bull, do not grieve. Do not fear this wicked sinner. I am here to protect you. Be brave.”
Then addressing the cow, he said, “O Gomata! May you be blessed with auspiciousness! The king, who although having the capacity, fails to protect the innocent living beings, loses all his wealth, longevity, renown, auspiciousness as well as the ability to travel to higher planes (punya loka) that he had earned thus far. It is the duty of a king to alleviate the sufferings of the needy. Therefore this very instant I will kill this wicked person who is torturing living beings within my kingdom.
O bull, who was the person who had the audacity to cut off your other 3 legs? I pray that in this lineage, that has been obedient to the laws laid down by Srikrishna, there should never be another being who suffers piteously in this manner. May you be blessed with auspiciousness! Who is the person who has brought about this deformity in you? Who is the person who has dared to put a black mark on the reputation to the lineage of the Pandavas?
Any person who harms the innocent cannot escape my wrath! I will destroy him. Punishing wicked criminals leads to the well-being of the saintly persons! I will mutilate the arms together with the armlets and armour of the person who fearlessly, shamelessly and without any inhibition, harms innocent beings. I will chop him completely even if he were to be a Devata!” roared Parikshit.
Krishna! Hare Krishna!