Parikshit thus allotted to Kali places of gambling, drinking, prostitution and animals slaughtering houses as places to reside.
In which form does the Lord of Kali reside during gambling? In the form of untruthfulness he resides. Gambling is nothing but another form of cheating. To cheat means to be untruthful. There are many who due to intoxication sleep for hours at stretch. In addition intoxication increases lust in the person. In the form of lust and in the form of cruelty towards animals, he resides.
Kali who heard all this requested for yet another place to reside. Then Parikshit allotted gold to him. In addition to the four places mentioned above, Kali could also reside in gold. Gold increases enmity between people.
Kali, who is the primary cause for unrighteousness, in accordance with the orders of the King, began to reside only in these 5 places. For this reason, wise righteous persons never accept gold in charity. They distance themselves from gold. They are scared of gold as Kali resides in it. It is said that just the golden colour is enough to attract problems.
Hence the truly wise person should never enjoy any of these 5 sinful activities. More importantly, kings, leaders and rulers who govern and seek the prosperity of their citizens as well as Gurus who guide them, should under no circumstances associate with these 5 activities in any way.
In this fashion, Parikshit restored Dharma’s other 3 legs viz., penance, compassion and cleanliness. In addition he nourished and strengthened them. Further he consoled Mother Earth and enhanced her glory. He could achieve this success as he had driven Kali out from there.
When Yudhisthira was leaving for the forests, he had coroneted his grandson Parikshit as the King and had entrusted his entire empire to him. Now Parikshit, who was ruling from Hastinapura, became the crown jewel of the entire Kuru race and was illumining thus. There is no limit to the glory of Parikshit, the son of Abhimanyu. It is only during his rule, you had taken on this holy vow and begun this holy Yagna” said Maharishi Suta addressing the saints who had assembled there.
With this the seventeenth chapter of the first canto comes to an end.
First Canto Eighteenth Chapter
In this chapter the story of how King Parikshit was cursed by the son of a saint is covered. This is the turning point to the story.
Maharishi Suta who had so far described the manner in which Parikshit had restrained Kali, now continued, “O Śounaka! Parikshit who was in his mother’s womb was to be destroyed due to the fiery Brahmāstra. Due to the supreme grace of Srikrishna, whose miraculous plays are limitless, he survived.
To this Parikshit, death appeared in the form of a snake, through the medium of a curse pronounced by the son of a saint. But as his heart was eternally placed at the lotus feet of that Supreme Lord, even death could not cause fear in him!
This was because he had seen the Lord even when he was in his mother’s womb. Right from the time he was born, he was always scrutinizing, with his deep gaze, everyone whom he met. In everyone and everything he was searching for that divine form whom he had seen while he was in his mother’s womb. As he was eternally examining (pariksha) everyone, he was known as Parikshit.
This supreme king did not fear when death approached him. He became a disciple of Maharishi Śuka, the son of Maharishi Vyasa. Attaining total dispassion, he understood the essence of the Supreme Lord Srihari and then gave up his body on the banks of River Ganga.
Nottamaśloka-vārtānāṁ juṣatāṁ tat-kathāmṛtam
Syāt sambhramo ‘nta-kāle ‘pi smaratāṁ tat-padāmbujam
Those aspirants (sadhakas) who spend their time eternally describing the pure glories of that Supreme Lord, who eternally drink the nectar called His divine stories and who place their mind fixedly at His lotus feet do not get even slightly disturbed by fear and confusions at the time of their death!
This above verse is actually a great mantra! We should learn from it!
As long as Parikshit, the son of Abhimanyu, ruled over this entire earth as its unsurpassed ruler, Kali could not spread its influence on earth. The day and moment, Srikrishna, the Supreme Lord left earth to return to His abode, Kali, the Lord of unrighteousness (adharma) stepped into earth.
In this Kali Yuga merely by wishing to participate in meritorious deeds, the person is blessed with punya (merit). On the other hand, only when a person actually indulges in sinful deeds he is tainted with sin. Merely planning sinful deeds does not taint him with sin.
The Lord has made it so easy for us. Just by saying, “I want to go on a pilgrimage or I want to do this good deed” he is rewarded with merit (punya). But by merely saying “I want to cheat” he will not incur any sin. Only when the person actually cheats, he incurs sin. This is the rule for Kali Yuga. By merely wishing to go to Kashi, his good luck will start multiplying.
Parikshit understood this essence thoroughly. Like a honey bee he drank in this nectar completely. Therefore he never developed any aversion towards Kali.
Sri Narayana! Datta Narayana!