In response to this question, the eminent Brahmins replied, “O Emperor Yudhisthira! In the future period of time, this boy will develop deep affection towards those who have experienced Godhead (Brahma vētta)!”
When such sweet words fall upon our ears, how blissful and delightful we feel! They are so soothing to the ears. They continued, “In addition, he will be firmly dedicated towards the Supreme Truth (satya nishta, truthfulness)!”
In these two words, satya nishta and Brahma vetta, the entire future story of Parikshit, the grandson of Yudhisthira, is contained!
“In protecting the citizens, he will be like Srirama, the son of Dasharatha”.
Aha, what a delightful and superb horoscope it was!
“In terms of charity, this boy will be at par with Śibi, the emperor of Uśinara kingdom. He will be supremely generous. He will, at all times, offer protection to the needy. Just like Bharata, the son of King Dushyanta, he will not only enhance the glory of his family, but also will enhance the fame of all those who engage in performing sacrificial rituals (Yagnas)”.
In the future we will be covering the stories of Emperor Śibi, Lord Śrirama and of Bharata, son of Dushyanta.
“In terms of archery, he will be at par with Arjuna and Kartaviryarjuna!”
Even the greatness of Arjuna and Kartaviryarjuna we will cover as we go ahead.
“He will be unconquerable like the God of Fire, Agni deva”.
Who is this Agni? What is fire? We shall discuss these in detail later.
“He will possess in depth character and will be as profound as the ocean. In valour he will be like a lion! Just as they serve Himavanta, noble beings (satpurusha) will serve and seek shelter under him”. We shall also discuss about Himavan later.
“In patience he will be like earth.” What is the greatness of earth? We shall discuss this.
“Like the earth he will be exceedingly tolerant towards his citizens. Like Lord Brahma, he will have feelings of equanimity towards everyone”. What is the meaning of equanimity like Lord Brahma? We will delve into it later.
“In kindness or in showering favours, he will be like Lord Shiva”. Let us also discuss about Shiva later on.
“In offering protection to all living creatures, he will be equal to Vishnu, the husband of Goddess Lakshmi”. Anyway we are discussing the story of Krishna. We will be going in-depth into that story.
“He will be an ardent devotee of Lord Srikrishna. In generosity and other noble traits, he will be akin to King Rantideva.” Who is this Rantideva? Why is his generosity appreciable? We shall also discuss this.
“In adherence to righteousness (dharma) he will be like Yayati”. We shall discuss about Yayati too.
“In courage he will be equal to Bali Chakravarti.” We will be discussing the story of Bali too.
“Like Prahlada he will possess supremely dedicated devotion towards Srikrishna”. Who is Prahlada? We shall be discussing this.
“He will possess deep reverence towards his elders. He will perform many Ashwamed Yāgas. He will be like a father to kings who have saintly characteristics (raja rishi). He will punish the wicked. In order to establish dharma on this earth, he will restrain Kali Puruśa (the Lord of Kali yuga).
Upon hearing from the son of a saint that he is to meet death due to snake bite, he will develop deep dispassion towards this materialistic world and will attain Vaikunṭha (abode of Lord Mahavishnu). From Maharishi Śuka, son of Maharishi Vyasa, he will obtain Self-knowledge. On the banks of River Ganga he will shed this physical body and attain that state of liberation where fear does not exist. This is the ultimate truth!”
In this manner, the exponents in astrology explained in detail the horoscope of the infant to Yudhisthira. They accepted the gifts given by him and went to their respective homes.
In order to be freed from the sin of killing kinsmen, Yudhisthira decided to perform Ashwamedha Yāga. But he did not have with him the wealth that was needed for this purpose. Understanding his desire, his younger brothers based on the valuable advice of Lord Srikrishna, travelled north and locating the golden plates and other riches that were previously left behind by King Marutt, brought it back to the kingdom.
The government has the right over such wealth which has been left behind by someone. Hence they could get it. Using this wealth, Yudhisthira, who was afraid of the sin incurred due to killing kinsmen, obtained the needed materials for the yāga. He performed three Ashwamedha yaagas.
Lord Krishna, accepting Yudhisthira’s invitation, attended the yagna and ensured that with the help of the learned Vedic scholars Yudhisthira completed it rightfully. In order to bring happiness to the Pandavas, he stayed there for many months.
Thereafter, Krishna took permission from Yudhisthira and accompanied by Draupadi, Arjuna, their other relatives left for Dwaraka along with members of his Yadu clan.
With this the 12th chapter of the first canto comes to an end.
All of you have heard about the yagna. As you recollect and listen to it again and again, you will understand better.