41. Shameeka disapproves Sringee

41. Shameeka disapproves Sringee

“Soota said, ‘Being thus addressed, and hearing that his father (Rishi Shameeka) was bearing a dead snake, the powerful Sringee burned with anger. Looking at Krisha, and speaking softly, he asked him, ‘Pray, why does my father bear today a dead snake?’

“Krisha replied, ‘O dear one (Sringee), as king Parikshit was roving, for purpose of hunting, he placed the dead snake on the shoulder of your father.’

“Sringee asked, ‘What wrong was done to that wicked monarch by my father? O Krisha, tell me this, and witness the power of my Tapas.’

“Krisha answered, ‘King Parikshit, the son of Abhimanyu, while hunting, had wounded a fleet deer with an arrow and chased it alone. The king lost sight of the animal in that extensive wilderness. Seeing then your father, he immediately approached and spoke him. Your father was then observing the vow of silence (Mouna Vrata in Sanskrit). Oppressed by hunger, thirst and labour, the prince (Parikshit) again and again asked your father sitting motionless, about the missing deer. The sage, being under the vow of silence, did not reply. The king immediately placed the snake on your father’s shoulder with the end of his bow. O Sringee, your father engaged in devotion is in the same posture still. The king also has gone to his capital which is named after the elephant!’

“Soota continued, ‘Having heard of a dead snake placed upon his (father’s) shoulders, the son of the Rishi (Sringee), his eyes reddened with anger, blazed up with rage. Possessed by anger, the influential Rishi then cursed the king (Parikshit), touching water and overcome with anger.’

“Sringee said, ‘That sinful wretch of a monarch (Parikshit) who has placed a dead snake on the shoulders of my lean and old parent, that insulter of Dwijas and tarnisher of the fame of the Kurus, shall be taken within seven nights hence to the regions of Yama by the snake Takshaka, the powerful king of snakes, stimulated thereto by the strength of my words!’

“Soota continued, ‘Having thus cursed (the king Parikshit) from anger, Sringee went to his father, and saw the sage sitting in the cow-enclosure, bearing the dead snake. Seeing his parent in that plight, he was again inflamed with anger. He shed tears of grief, and addressed his father (Rishi Shameeka), saying, ‘Father, having been informed of this your disgrace at the hands of that wicked wretch, king Parikshit, I have from anger cursed him; and that worst of Kurus (King Parikshit) has richly deserved my potent curse. Seven days from now, Takshaka, the lord of snakes, shall take the sinful king to the horrible abode of Death.’

“The father (Rishi Shameeka) said to the enraged son (Sringee), ‘Child, I am not pleased with you. Rishis should not act thus. We live in the domains of that great king. We are protected by him righteously. In all he does, the reigning king should by the like of us forgiven. If you destroy Dharma, certainly Dharma will destroy you. If the king do not properly protect us, we fare very ill; we cannot perform our Dharma according to our desire. But protected by righteous kings, we attain immense merit, and they are entitled to a share thereof. Therefore, reigning royalty is by all means to be forgiven. Parikshit like to his great-grandfather (Paandu), protects us as a king should protect his subjects. That Tapas-practising monarch (King Parikshit) was tired and oppressed with hunger. Ignorant of my vow (of silence) he did this. A kingless country always suffers from evils. The king punishes offenders, and fear of punishments conducts to peace; and people do their duties and perform their rites undisturbed (Hence, it implies people are anarchic and only a strong leader keeps the entire society in order). The king establishes Dharma – establishes the kingdom of heaven. The king protects yagnas from disturbance, and yagnas to please Devas. Devas cause rain, and rain produces grains and herbs, which are always useful to man. Manu says, a ruler of the destinies of men is equal (in dignity) to ten Veda-studying priests. Tired and oppressed with hunger, that penance-practising prince (Parikshit) has done this through ignorance of my vow. Why then have you rashly done this unrighteous action through childishness? O son, in no way does the king (Parikshit) deserve a curse from us.’”



Related Articles

Leave a Reply

WhatsApp chat