Chapter 16: How Parîkchit Received the Age of Kali
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    Welcome, Guest · RSS 2019-07-19, 2:49 AM
    Chapter 16: How Parîkchit Received the Age of Kali
    (1) Sûta said: "Oh learned ones, thereafter Parîkchit, the great devotee, instructed by the twice-born ruled over the earth with all the qualities the astrologers, who predicted the future at the time of his birth, had thought he would have. (2) He married with Irâvatî, the daughter of King Uttara, and begot four sons in her with Janamejaya as the first. (3) At the Ganges he performed three horse sacrifices with proper rewards for Kripâcârya, whom he selected for his spiritual master, and the God-conscious who came into view with it. (4) Once on a chastising campaign he, the valiant hero, by dint of his prowess managed to rebuke the master of Kali-yuga who was disguised as a king but lower than a s'ûdra was hurting the legs of a cow and a bull."

    (5) S'aunaka inquired: "Why did he during his campaign reprimand the master of Kali who was dressed up as a king but as someone lower than a śūdra was striking the legs of a cow? Please oh fortunate one describe all this to us, viz. as far as it relates to the topics of Krishna. (6) Because for what reason would the ones of liberation who relish the honey at His lotus feet, waste their lives with endless illusory discussions? (7) Oh Sûta, in this world of mortal human beings whose lifespan is but short, for the salvation of those among them who desire eternal life is called for the presence of the Lord of Death, Yamârâja who rules over the propitiatory sacrifice [of animal flesh]. (8) No one will die [so one is convinced] as long as he who rules over death has his place here. For that reason he as the [representative of  the] great lord has been invited by the sages. Let [therefore] the ones who fall under his grip drink  from  the nectar of the narrations about the divine pastimes of the Lord. (9) Is it not so that those who are lazy, of a trivial interest and short-lived, pass their days and nights with aimless activities and sleeping?"

    (10) Sûta said: "When Parîkchit, residing in the Kuru capital, heard that the signs of Kali-yuga had entered the domain of his jurisdiction, he thought the news was not very palatable and therefore took, in his responsibility of maintaining authority by military means, up his bow and arrows. (11) Well decorated under the protection of the lion in his flag and with black horses pulling his chariot, he left the capital accompanied by charioteers, cavalry, elephants and infantry troops to assure himself of a victory. (12) Bhadrâs'va, Ketumâla, Bhârata, the northern countries of Kuru and Kimpurusha behind the Himalayas were the lands on earth he conquered, maintaining his authority by exacting tribute. (13-15) Everywhere he went he continuously heard what great souls his forefathers were and found also indications of the glorious acts of Lord Krishna among the people he met. He heard both about his own deliverance from the powerful rays of the weapon of As'vatthâmâ and about the devotion for Lord Kes'ava [Krishna as the killer of the demon Kes'î, the mad horse] among the descendants of Vrishni and Parthâ. Extremely pleased he with eyes wide open of joy, rewarded the people magnanimously with clothes, necklaces and other riches. (16) Serving as a chariot driver, presiding in assemblies, acting as a servant, being a friend and a messenger and keeping the watch at night He who is of Vishnu and Himself obeyed by everyone [Krishna], had acted with prayers and obeisances in relation to the God-fearing sons of Pāndu. This filled the king with devotion for His lotus feet.

    (17) Thus absorbed in thoughts about the good qualities of his forefathers he in his everyday activities kept himself close to their example. Now hear from me about a most peculiar incident that took place not far away from where he was. (18) The personality of religion who stood on one leg only [the so-called 'bull' of dharma whose legs stand for the four fundamental human values] wandering around met with the aggrieved cow [mother Earth] who had tears in her eyes like a mother who has lost her child. (19) Dharma said: 'Madam, are you hale and hearty? Looking aggrieved with a gloomy face you appear to be affected by a disease or to be preoccupied with a relative far away from you, oh mother. (20) Are you lamenting about the diminishing of three of my legs as I am standing on one leg only, or is it because the meat-eaters want to exploit your body? Or is it because the enlightened ones and such are bereft of their share of the sacrifice due to a lack of ceremonies or because the living beings increasingly suffer from scarcity, famine and drought? (21) Are you grieving about the unhappy women and children on earth who miss the protection of their husbands and fathers or are you sorry about the way one in the families of the learned speaks against the principles of the goddess [of learning]? Or do you lament the fact that most of them act against the brahminical culture  in taking shelter of the ruling class? (22) Is it because the descendants of the noble class under the influence of Kali-yuga appear to have lost their minds and left and right have messed up the affairs of the state? Or is it because of the wonts that have developed in society to take one's food and drink and how one sleeps, bathes and has intercourse? (23) Could it be, oh mother Earth, that you are thinking of the salvation brought by the activities of the incarnation of the Lord who diminished your heavy load but is now out of sight? (24) Please inform me, oh reservoir of all riches, about the reason of your sadness that reduced you to such a weakness. Or has oh mother, powerful Time stolen away from you the good fortune that was even extolled by the enlightened souls?'
    (25) Mother Earth replied: 'Oh Dharma, I will do my best to answer all the questions you asked me, for you are with your four legs [the vidhi] present in all the worlds to bring happiness. (26-30) Truthfulness, cleanliness, compassion, self-control, magnanimity, contentment, straightforwardness, concentration, sense-control, responsibility, equality, tolerance, equanimity and loyalty. And certainly also knowledge, detachment, leadership, chivalry, influence, power, dutifulness, independence, dexterity, beauty, serenity and kindheartedness, as also ingenuity, gentility, mannerliness, determination, knowledgeability, propriety, pleasantness, joyfulness, immovability, faithfulness, fame and dignity - all these and many others are the everlasting qualities of the Supreme Lord, the never diminishing higher nature which can be attained by those who are worthy of that greatness. Thanks to Him I myself am, just as the Goddess of Fortune, such a reservoir of qualities, but in the absence of Him who is the pivot, Kali, the source of all sins, is seen in all worlds. (31) I am lamenting for me and also for you, for the best of the enlightened, the gods and the ancestors in heaven, the sages and the devotees, and for all people in their status orientations in society. (32-33) Lakshmî [the Goddess of Fortune] whose grace was sought by demigods like Lord Brahmâ and for whom the gods so often were doing penance in surrender to the Lord, has for the sake of worship forsaken her own abode in the forest of lotus flowers out of attachment to the all-blissful feet. As a consequence of what He did I, who on my skin experienced the impressions of the footprints of the Supreme Lord, the proprietor of all opulence, succeeded magnanimously to be victorious in all the worlds, decorated as I was with the special powers of the lotus flower, thunderbolt, flag and driving rod that I myself had obtained. But in the end, just when I was feeling so fortunate, He has left me. (34) He who relieved me of the burden of the hundreds of military divisions of atheist kings, incarnated also for you in the Yadu family, and that He did because you lacking in strength had difficulty to keep standing. (35) Who, I ask you,  can tolerate it to be separated from the love, glances, smiles and hearty appeal of the Supreme Original Person who conquered the passionate wrath and gravity of women like Satyabhâmâ and made my hair [my grasses] stand on end out of the pleasure of being imprinted by His feet?'

    (36) While the earth and the personality of religion were thus conversing, Parîkchit, who was renown for being the saint among the kings, arrived at the Sarasvatî river that was flowing to the east."