The Curse of Parikshit

Once King Parikshit went hunting to a forest. After hunting for a long time he became very exhausted and searched for wells or tanks of water but couldn’t find any. While wandering for water he happened to reach Sage Sameeka’s hermit. He saw the Sage engrossed in deep Samadhi with disheveled locks of hair. The king asked for some water but the sage didn’t wake up from his meditation. This angered the king who thought that the sage was pretending to be in meditation and in his anger he took a dead snake of his hunt and put it over Sage Sameeka’s neck. He then went away in great antagonism.

The son of the sage who was playing with his friends when this incident happened. When the son came to know of his father’s insult through his spiritual power he cursed the King in great anger. He told that a Kshatriya whose duty is to protect the Brahmanas has got into the house and insulted Him and thus shall die of a serpent Takshaka’s bite in seven days. He then went to the hermit and pulled out the dead snake from his father’s neck and cried loudly. Hearing the cries of the boy the hermit woke up and the boy told the sage of what had happened. The Sage admonished the foolishness of the boy because a king is like a divine being that protects his country from enemies, makes it prosperous and controls theft and law-breakers. The sage knew that the King Parikshit was a protector of Dharma, a man of great reputation and a one who is deeply devoted to God.

A true devotee of the Lord, though he may be endowed with power will never retaliate for an injury done to him.

The holy man thus expressed his regret for the sin committed by his son; he was never concerned about the insult on him as he depended only on his Atman.

Meanwhile the king returned from his hunt and began to repent over his act of insulting a holy man and a Brahmana. While engaging in such thoughts he heard about the curse and immediately decided to go to the banks of Ganga and fast unto death. He decided to meditate of the Lord abandoning all attachments and adopting as ascetic’s life.

Hearing about Parikshit’s fast on the banks of Ganga many renouned Maharshis, Rajarshis and Devarshis flocked around the king. The king prostrated at their feet and told them that he is the most fortunate among kings to have got this curse and take a path of renunciation and devotion to the Lord. He told them of his desire to hear about the excellences of the supreme Lord and increase his love towards God.

{To be continued}

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