Episode 38: Yudhisthira rejoices at the birth of his grandson Parikshit

The intellect (buddhi) that is eternally fixed upon Paramātma will not succumb to the trap of likes, dislikes and other bad tendencies. It remains as Paramātma at all times. Such person remains in the form of eternal bliss. He himself is bliss. He showers this bliss upon others. How can sorrow exist within him then? Without getting trapped He remains beyond illusion.

Those ignorant ladies were unaware of the greatness of their husband Srikrishna. Just as the foolish persons consider the Supreme Lord, who has incarnated in their lineage, to be a mere human being, these wives considered Krishna to be their husband, who was under their control and who offered them services when alone.

With this the 11th chapter of the first Canto comes to an end.

First Canto Twelfth Chapter

In this chapter Yudhisthira celebrating the birth of Parikshit is explained.

When Maharishi Suta narrated that Srikrishna had returned to Dwaraka, Maharishi Śounaka enquired,

‘O great Saint! Ashwatthama released the extremely powerful Brahmāstra and destroyed the fetus in the womb of Uttara. But Lord Krishna once again revived the fetus and filled it with life. The wise and great Parikshit was born thereafter. He performed many meritorious deeds. How did he meet his end? What level did he attain after his death? Please narrate this O great saint! We are eager to listen. We seek to listen to the story of Parikshit who received initiation from Maharishi Śuka’.

Maharishi Suta replied, “Yudhisthira, whose desires had been dissolved totally through offering service to the holy feet of Srikrishna, ruled wisely. He loved his citizens as his children and ruled like their father. He utilized his earnings to perform Yagnas by which he earned eligibility for reaching higher planes. He was fortunate to have a good righteous queen and good brothers. He had a vast empire and was the ruler for the entire Jhambu dweepa (earth). His fame spread even to Heaven.

To Yudhisthira, whose mind was engrossed in Lord Krishna, even those luxuries that the Celestials aspire for, did not give joy. To the hungry, only food gives the needed satisfaction. Apart from food, nothing else can give him happiness.

The valourous Parikshit, who was within his mother’s womb saw the fiery Brahmastra approaching to destroy him. At that time he saw a divine celestial who was the size of a thumb. He was pure and was wearing a glittering golden crown. He was extremely handsome. He was dark in appearance and was wearing golden yellow garments. He was changeless (nirvikara). He had 4 long arms. He was wearing golden earrings. His eyes were red in colour. That divine being was rotating a mace that He held in his hand. Just as the Sun melts snow, this divine being neutralized the fieriness of the Brahmastra. Parikshit, who was in his mother’s womb, who was observing this divine being, wondered who it could be.

His form was beyond the understanding of the mind and senses. He was a personification of righteousness. The omnipresent Lord Srihari was that divine being!

Having neutralized the Brahmastra, this Lord immediately disappeared from the view of this fetus, which had just entered the 10th month. What a wonder! All this took place when the baby was still in its mother’s womb. At an auspicious time when all the planets were in good auspicious positions, the heir of the Pandu lineage was born’ said Maharishi Suta.

Swamiji says: But for Srikrishna’s grace, this boy would not have been born. Who apart from the Lord has the capacity to neutralize the Brahmastra? He blessed the fetus with His darshan in a thumb sized form.

I will explain in detail later the meaning and essence behind the thumb sized form of the Lord. Parikshit was the fortunate being who saw the true form of the Lord even when he was in his mother’s womb. We do not know if anyone else is as blessed as him. What he saw was the original form of the Supreme Lord. What more can be said about his fortune! After all, his parents were noble persons. What about the greatness of his grandparents?  What about the goodness of his other paternal relatives? What was his relation to Paramatma who had saved him? Think deeply about his lineage. How else could the fetus get the strength to withstand the fiery and terrible Brahmastra?

‘Seeing the radiance of this new born baby, the citizens wondered whether Emperor Pandu himself had been re-born!  Yudhisthira, with untold happiness, had the purificatory rituals such as Punyahvacana and Jātakarma performed for the infant through eminent Brahmins such as Dhoumya and Kripacharya.

As Emperor Yudhisthira was well versed in the knowledge that charities had to be given in plenty upon the auspicious occasion of the birth of a son, he gave away gold, cows, land, villages, good elephants, fine horses and plenty of foodgrains in charity to the learned scholars, servants and many other deserving people.

It is the ancient tradition that upon the birth of a child, each person should, according to his/her ability participate in charitable activities. This practice is still being adhered in many households. With the hope that the new born child will be blessed with longevity, good health, good education and will become prosperous, many seek the blessings of their elders and also engage in charitable deeds.

Yudhisthira was after all the epitome of righteousness (dharma raja). How could it be possible for him to not engage in charitable deeds that were righteous in nature? He was not a small king; he was the emperor of the entire earth!

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