Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 1 Chapter 16:1-14

Book 1: Chapter 16

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 1: Chapter 16: Verses 1-14
Conquest of the world by king Pariksit and the dialogue between Dharma (the god of piety) and Mother Earth

Suta continued : After the ascent of the Pandavas to heaven king Pariksit who was a great devotee of the Lord, ruled over the earth according to the instructions of the foremost Brahmanas. He possessed, O Saunaka, the same noble virtues as had been predicted by expert astrologers at the time of his birth. He married lravati, the daughter of Uttara (his own maternal uncle[1]) and begot through her four sons, Janamejaya and others. Taking Krpa (the son of Saradvan) for his Guru (guide), he performed on the bank of the Ganga three Aswamedhas (horse-sacrifices), offering liberal sacrificial fees (to the officiating priests). In these sacrifices the gods accepted the offerings before the eyes of all. Somewhere in the course of his conquest of the world the hero caught and subdued by his superior might the spirit of the Kali age, who in the form of a Sudra was disguised as a prince, striking with his foot a cow and a bull.

Saunaka said : Why did the king (merely) subdue the spirit of the Kali age in the course of his conquest (instead of killing him outright and thus ridding humanity of his evil influence,once for all) ? For, though disguised as a prince, he was after all a vile Sudra, who took it into his head to strike a cow and a bull with his foot. Therefore, O blessed one, tell me all that, if it is connected with the story of Sri Krsna or with that of saints who taste the honey flowing from His lotus-feet (are devoted to Him). Of what avail are other idle discourses, in which life is wantonly spent ? For the good of mortal men who, though shortlived, are yet eager to realize the Truth, the all-powerful god of death has been invited here to perform propitiatory rites. Nobody will die so long as the god of death is here. That all-powerful god has been invited by the great sages so that even in this mortal world people may get to hear and enjoy the ambrosial discourses depicting the sports of Sri Hari. The life-span of the unfortunate men of this world, who are dull of understanding and shortlived too, is frittered away in sleep by night and in frivolous pursuits by day. Suta said : While Pariksit was living in the Kuru-Jangala country, he heard the unpalatable news that Kali had entered the territories protected by his army, and accordingly took his bow, fond of war as he was. Mounting his well-decorated car, driven by dark horses and bearing an ensign with the device of a lion, he sallied forth from his capital for the conquest of the world, surrounded by his own army consisting of chariots and elephants, horse and foot. Having conquered Bhadraswa, Ketumala, Bharata, the northern Kurus, Kimpurusa and other countries, he levied tribute from them. Everywhere he heard the people sing the praises of his high-souled forbears (the Pandavas), revealing at the same time the glory of Sri Krsna. He also heard the story of his own deliverance (at the hands of Sri Krsna) from the fire of the missile discharged by Aswatthama (the son of Drona), as well as of the cordial relations existing between the Vrsnis (the Yadavas) and the sons of Prtha (Kunti) and of the tatters' devotion to Lord Kesava (Sri Krsna).



  1. It seems it was customary among the princes in those days to marry the daughter of their own maternal uncle (mother's brother), which is otherwise regarded as incestuous and prohibited by the scriptures.

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