Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 1 Chapter 19:1-13

Book 1: Chapter 19

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 1: Chapter 19: Verses 1-13
Pariksit takes a vow of fasting till death and Suka pays a visit to him

Suta continued : Now the king too felt much troubled at heart at the thought of his reproachful conduct, and said to himself: "Oh! like a. vulgar man I have behaved very ignobly with that innocent Brahmana of hidden spiritual power. As a result of the disrespect shown by me to the Lord Himself (in the form of that saint) some calamity, hard to overcome, will surely befall me not long afterwards. Let it come directly on me by all means for the expiation of my sin, so that I may not have the courage to repeat it. Let fire in the shape of the angered Brahmana race consume this very day the kingdom, the army and the rich treasury of my accursed self, so that I may not harbour a sinful thought with regard to the Brahmanas, the gods and the cows hereafter." While thus reflecting, he presently heard how death impelled by (the curse of) the sage's son awaited him under the appellation of Taksaka. He looked upon the fire-like poison of Taksaka as a blessing; for he thought the same would speedily arouse dispassion in him who was deeply attached to the world. Now renouncing this as well as the other world, both of which he had already concluded as worth rejecting, and recognizing the adoration of Sri Krsna's feet as superior to everything else, he sat down on the bank of the Gariga (the river of the immortals) with a resolve to fast till death.

The Ganga carries in it the water which excels all other waters due to its contact with the dust of Sri Krsna's feet mixed with lovely Tulasi leaves borne on them, and sanctifies all the worlds both above and below along with their guardian deities (Indra and others). What dying man would not resort to this holy river ? Having thus resolved upon fasting till death on the bank of the Ganga (which flows from the feet of Lord Visnu), and shaken off all attachment (to the world), king Pariksit (a scion of Pandu) took a vow to lead the life of a hermit and fixed his mind on the feet of Lord Sri Krsna (the Bestower of Liberation) with undivided devotion. There arrived with their pupils sages of great spiritual power, who brought sanctity to the whole world. Under the pretext of visiting holy places the saints generally consecrate the places of pilgrimage themselves. (There came) Atri, Vasistha, Cyavana, Saradvan, Aristanemi, Bhrgu and Arigira, Parasara (the father of Vedavyasa), Viswamitra (the son of Gadhi) and Rama (more popularly known as Parasurama), Utathya, Indrapramada and Idhmavaha, Medhatithi, Devala, Arstisena, Bharadwaja, Gautama, Pippalada, Maitreya, Aurva, Kavasa, the jar-born sage Agastya, the island-born Vedavyasa and the divine sage Narada as well as other distinguished celestial and Brahmana sages and eminent royal sages besides other sages such as Aruna. Seeing the foremost of many Rsi families gathered there, the king received them with due honour and bowed his head to them. When they were all comfortably seated, he made obeisance to them once more and, standing before them with joined palms, told them with a guileless heart what he intended to do. The king said : We are the most blessed of all monarchs, possessing as we do a character which has deserved the grace of the noblest souls. Alas ! the race of kings (the ruling class) is generally far removed from (deprived of the privilege of bearing on their head) the water in which the feet of the Brahmanas have been washed: their doings are so reproachful.



Related Articles