In the present times, many of us find it difficult to believe in and have faith in things divine and in powers beyond man. We tend to assume ourselves powerful enough to the extent of even disregarding God. How close to reality are we? Why do we feel lost when matters take things into their own hands when we envisage them otherwise? Why, then, do we feel powerless?
In the forest named Naimisha, where several sages were gathered, there came the wise minstrel, Ugrashravas by name. He, upon their earnest entreaty, told them of how the Bhagavatam came to be written. Vyasa, the teacher was advised by the heavenly sage Narada to write of the glory of the Lord.
Vyasa asked Narada: Holy teacher! Pray tell me more about how you earned your present state.
Narada said: I associated with the holy sages amidst who I was brought up. I heard them talk wisely and learnt many a thing. When my mother died, I wandered about and then I went into a forest and sat in meditation. At that time I felt a connection with the Supreme Being. I was in ecstasy for a while but I soon came down to the old life leaving me extremely unhappy. Then I heard a voice that guided me to live in association with the holy. I did as directed and, in due course, came to the end of that life and was united with the Supreme Being. Now, after a complete cycle, as He bade, I am here to spread the message of the Lord.
Then Narada departed. Vyasa sat on the bank of river Saraswati and meditated on the Lord and realized that through the love of Lord Krishna man could free himself of all earthly bondage. With such immense knowledge, the greatest teacher wrote the Bhagavatam and taught it to his pure son Shuka.
Ugrashravas, the Suta, paused and said: I must now introduce you to King Parikshit, the king who was taught the Bhagavatam by Shuka. King Parikshit was the grandson of Arjuna and the son of Abhimanyu. Parikshit was in young Uttara’s womb when his father died in war. He was the lone surviving scion of the Pandavas and of the whole Kuru race. All else was killed in the great Mahabharata war.
Parikshit was a great king and ruled well. However, he committed a certain mistake due to which he had to incur the curse of a sage. In order to redeem his sin committed thus, Parikshit retired to the forest where he spent his last days thinking of the Lord. It was here that Shuka came and taught him the Bhagavatam. I was there too…
Continued in next part…