Bagawatha Purana - Part XI
Parikshit meets Suka, Arjun aiming arrow at fish.
Parikshit leaves the Palace and family!
None would have thought about the bizarre turn of events. Though the king left the place, the son of the recluse returned to the hermitage. Finding a dead snake around the neck of his father, he immediately became furious. He could not control his anger. He was searching for the culprit. Finding none in the vicinity, he pronounced a deadly curse. He took some water in his palm and pronounced the curse, "Whoever has committed this heinous sin will be bitten by a snake and die within seven days!
The dead snake was removed from the neck of the recluse and cast aside. The son of the recluse was attending to his work. The recluse opened his eyes and found some thing amiss. He called his son who dutifully told him what has transpired in the middle and the curse he pronounced. The recluse was in deep sorrow and he admonished his son for pronouncing such a fierce full curse for the small act of transgression. He meditated again and found that King Parikshit was there some time before in search of water and in a fit of anguish, he has done this. The recluse rushed to the Palace and sought audience with the King!
He told him, "Oh King! you are an illustrious and just king looking after the welfare of the citizens. Fate has brought you to my hermitage when I was absorbed in meditation. Since you are in deep anguish to get water to drink and since I was not responding, you put the dead snake on my neck. See what has happened. Without knowing who has committed this mistake, my son has pronounced a horrible curse. He is immature and out of reverence to my person, he had uttered the curse that the perpetrator would be bitten by a snake and die in seven days! I do not know how all this happened without my being aware of it. Hearing this, King Parikshit felt remorse. Then and there he decided to withdraw from the Kingdom and from the family life.
He went to the banks of holy river and start meditating on God! Due to the enormous merit, he gathered in previous lives and in this life too, Sage Suka came along the river bank. Parikshit fell at his feet and narrated the events that culminated his leaving the Kingdom and family. He earnestly enquired how he should conduct himself during the seven days which will grant him wisdom? Sage Suka melt at the plight of Parikshit. He said, I will narrate the Bagawata Purana to you. By listening to the beautiful stories of incarnations and especially about Lord Krishna, you will attain the highest wisdom!
Hearing the plight of King Parikshit, many wise people came there. Many peace loving people who wished for the welfare of the King gathered on the bank. They were happy to listen to the narration of Sage Suka. The sage too started narrating the thrilling episodes of Bagawatha Purana to the gathering. The King was eager to ascertain more facts about the incarnation of Krishna and his life on earth. He told Suka that he is not so fortunate like his grand fathers who had constant companionship with Sri Krishna. They moved with him, played with him, talked with him and spent many hours and many days in His loving company. Alas! I could not enjoy such company. But the sage told him, "Even when you were in the womb of your mother, Krishna came there and rescued you from Aswattama's missile. After your birth, Krishna lifted you on his lap and he named you as "Parikshit". Hence your fortune is no less than your grandparents.
But Parikshit requested the sage to tell him, "When and How my grandfathers first met Krishna? The sage too was eager to narrate the incident which culminated in the marriage of Draupathi to Arjuna when they were in exile! Since they were in exile, they have no means and hence they stayed in a potter's house! King Draupada had a beautiful daughter named Draupathi. The King had announced that whoever shot an arrow to hit the fish revolving above by seeing its reflection in water below is eligible to take her hand". Many heroes came, Many princes and kings contested but every body failed miserably and hence they hung their head. Your grandfathers in the garb of Brahmins were there. On that day Lord Krishna and Balarama came there to witness the grand event. Krishna looked at those lads who were in the garb of Brahmins. He knew that they are the Pandava brothers. He recognized Arjuna among the five and informed his elder brother Balarama. Suddenly Arjuna came to the center where the contraption is placed. By looking at the reflection, he shot a sure arrow which hit the fish above and fell it. Immediately Draupadi holding a garland came there and garlanded him and she held his hand!. Rest in next part.