Hari Om !
This is a quick review of the topics we discussed this past Sunday - 10092022.
Parikshit & Kali
We picked up this Sunday with the story of Kali's entry:
The age of Kali commenced the moment Lord Krishna departed from Earth. All the virtues of which Krishna was the embodiment, began one by one to leave the world, which saddened Raja Parikshit.
One day as he was going round his domain to see things for himself, Parikshit saw a cruel man kicking and beating a bull, which had lost 3 of his legs, and a cow which was shedding tears of grief. The sight greatly perturbed the great King, who drew his sword to kill the man.
But the man, who was Kali, fell at Parikshit's feet and surrendered. The bull was Dharma and was beaten off its fourth leg to deprive earth of the four fundamental virtues - Purity, Truthfulness, Piety and Compassion. The cow was Mother Earth, which was to pass through many trials and tribulations.
Parikshit pardoned Kali on the condition that Kali would leave Earth during his reign. But Kali pleaded for some shelter to reside. Parikshit named four areas where Kali could stay, namely: Gambling, Alcohol, Bad Company & Senseless Violence (Butchery). Upon asking for one more place, Parikshit named 'Gold'. These are the 5 areas where Kali resides, even today.
These avenues are forbidden to Seekers of truth, righteous people and spiritual teachers.
The Curse on Parikshit
One day, while on a hunting expedition, Parikshit lost his way and was looking for water and food. He ventured deep into the forest and entered the hermitage of Rishi Shamika. He found the sage sitting still, with his eyes closed. In a moment of rash judgment, he proceeded to insult the sage by putting a dead snake around the sage's neck. The sage's son, Shringi arrived at the scene after Parikshit left. With his Yogic power, he was able to deduce all that had transpired. Sipping water, Shringi pronounced a curse in a tone which sounded like thunder. He said, "Commanded by me, Takshaka, the deadly serpent will bite to death, in seven days, this accursed king Parikshit who so shamelessly transgressed against us and disrespected my father."
The Sage rebuked his son for having inflicted a terrible punishment for such a minor offence. He insightfully added, "Kings should not be judged by the ordinary standard, for they have great many duties to perform and shoulder great many responsibilities in the protection of their people. Besides, Parikshit was an emperor known for his righteousness, fairness and extreme devotion for the Lord."
Shringi apologizes and informs Parikshit about the curse. Parikshit welcomes the punishment and accepts the verdict as a blessing from the Lord.
Shuka & Parikshit
Parikshit resolved to spend these seven days in fast and meditation on the Lord on the sacred banks of Mother Ganga. Arriving there, he saw a number of rishis who had assembled there to call on him - Vasistha, Angiras, Agastya, Vyaasa, Maitreya, and dozens of other rishis. As the dignitaries talk to Parikshit, the great Shukadev walks in. He neither blesses nor seeks blessings from anyone.
Shri Suta, proudly introduces Shri Shuka to Parikshit. People are prouder to introduce their Gurus than even their parents, to others.
The end of Canto 1 is marked by Parikshit's question to Shri Shuka. He asks, "Please tell me the right conduct of the man who stands at death's door."
The second canto begins with Shuka's answer to Parikshit, where he asks him to meditate on the Lord - either on the cosmic form or on the Ishta-devata form of the Lord.
Art of Living Well and Art of Dying Well
We also reflected upon a deeper question on the Art of Dying well and whether it is very much different from the Art of Living well. The Gita talks extensively about the Art of Living Well and Bhagavatham deals with the Art of Dying well, but unless we have some exposure or sense of Bhagwaan's glory, it is impossible to bring forth His name at the time of death.
We will enter the 3rd Canto this upcoming Sunday. Depiction of Avatars of Bhagwaan will commence from this canto onwards.
Also, here is a link to all the 4 verses from the Chatushloki Bhagavatham. I have also included there a link to the audio recording.
Srimad Bhagavatham Canto-Chapter Map
This link provides the list of all the Cantos, Chapters & Topics within Bhagavatham. This should be a handy guide to help us navigate thru this voluminous text.
Hari Om !!
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