Table of Contents (The Complete Mahabharata in Simple English)

Previous Post: Did Sringin Regret His Rash Action?

Note: In the previous post, we learnt that Sage Samika’s wise words did not have much effect on Sringin. 

After explaining to Sringin the importance of keeping his anger under control, the rishi turned his attention to helping the king. 

In this post, we will find out how Rishi Samika tried to help King Parikshit.

Sage Samika said to Sringin, “O child, by forgiveness you can obtain worlds that are beyond the reach of Brahma Deva also. In my own ascetic practice, I have adopted peacefulness and have the desire to do as much good as I possibly can. Therefore, right now, I must do something to help the king.”

The Sage summoned one of his disciples called Gaurmukha who also practised ascetic penances and possessed excellent manners. He explained the recent events to Gaurmukha and advised him to go to the King, inquire about his welfare, and then give the actual message of the danger he faced because of the curse.

When Gaurmukha reached Parikshit’s palace in Hastinapur, he sent a message to the king through a royal servant, to inform the king about his arrival. 

Upon reaching the Parikshit’s court, Gaurmukha was respectfully worshipped by the noble monarch. After resting for some time, Gaurmukha relayed the Sage’s message to the king in the presence of his ministers.

Gaurmukha said, “O king of kings, I have been sent by a rishi called Samika who lives in your kingdom. The rishi practises hard ascetic devotions, has gained control over his passions, and is a peaceful as well as virtuous soul. O tiger among men, when the rishi was observing a vow of silence, a snake was placed on his shoulder by thyself. Even though the sage forgave you, his son, who is young and gets angry very quickly, was unable to forgive you. You have been cursed by the child that Takshaka will cause your death within seven nights. The sage asked his son to save you, but the child is unable to overcome his anger. His words are powerful and there’s nobody who can counter them. Therefore, I have been sent to convey this message for your safety.

Note: I loved Sage Samika’s patience, compassion, courage, and wisdom. He is patient towards his son’s immaturity, he feels compassion for the king and wants to save him, he is fearless in sending a messenger with such a dangerous message to the king, and he is wise because he teaches Gaurmukha the proper protocol and the correct words to use when approaching the king. Through this action, he practises what Sri Krishna taught in the Bhagwat Gita – to perform his duty with love, without fear, and without being attached to the result. 

In the next post, we will find out how Parikshit responded to the sage’s message.

Table of Contents (The Complete Mahabharata in Simple English)

Next Post: King Parikshit’s Response to Rishi Samika’s Message

Table of Contents (The Complete Mahabharata in Simple English)

Previous Post: The Wise Sage is Displeased With Sringin’s Rash Action

Note: In the previous post, we read about why Sringin’s wise father, Sage Samika, was displeased with his son for cursing King Parikshit.

In this post, we will find out if Sage Samika’s words had any effect on Sringin.

After hearing his father’s words, Sringin replied, “O father, regardless of whether my action was rash or not, regardless of whether you like it or dislike it, the words I have spoken will have their effect. I have never uttered a lie, even for fun, and, therefore my words will come true.”

Samika, Sringin’s father, heard his son’s words calmly and replied, “Dear son, I know you are very truthful because of which your words have great power, and what you have spoken will come true, but, my child, I want to tell you something important. A father continues to guide his son even when he becomes mature, so that the son may acquire good qualities and fame (resulting from virtue). When even a mature offspring needs guidance, a child who is very young, like you are, needs even more guidance. My child, you are always engaged in ascetic penances, but even great ascetics who have all the six attributes (of greatness) experience an increase in anger when they perform such penances. That is the reason I feel the need to guide you. It’s because I am aware how strictly you observe your ascetic vows and I’m also aware that you’re still a child and often rash in your actions.”

Note: In the next post, we will see how Sage Samika tries to help King Parikshit escape his fate.

Table of Contents (The Complete Mahabharata in Simple English)

Next Post: Sage Samika Tries to Help King Parikshit Escape Sringin’s Curse

A temple relief of a rishi

Table of Contents (The Complete Mahabharata in Simple English)

Previous Post: Sringin’s Wrath

Note: In the previous post, we read about how an angry youth, Sringin, cursed King Parikshit because the monarch had insulted his father.

In this post, we will find out what Sringin’s father told his son when he learned of the curse.

After cursing King Parikshit, Sringin continued on his homeward journey to his father. There, he saw his father sitting in the cow-pen with the dead snake on his shoulder.

Seeing his father in that state, Sringin was once again filled with anger and grief. With tear-filled eyes, he said to his father, “O father, I was informed about how that wicked king, Parikshit, insulted you. It filled me with anger and I cursed that king. He very well deserves to be thus cursed. Within seven days, the powerful snake, Takshaka, will send that king to the abode of death.

Hearing Sringin’s angry words, his father, the wise sage, said, “My child, I am not pleased with your action. Ascetics should not act like this. We live in King Parikshit’s kingdom. He is a righteous monarch who always protects us. A reigning (and righteous) king should always be forgiven by ascetics. My child, if you destroy dharma, then dharma will destroy you. We depend on the king’s protection to perform our ascetic practices without being disturbed by outlaws. It is because of his protection that we earn the merit from our ascetic practices. Therefore, the king also deserves a share of our merit.”

The sage continued, “O Sringin, Parikshit is very similar to his great-grandfather (King Pandu). He performs his duties well and cares for us like a king should care for his subjects. He made the mistake of putting a dead snake on my shoulder because he was hungry and tired. O child, a country without a king has to suffer many difficulties. The king maintains law and order by punishing offenders. The fear of punishment results in peace and peace ensures that the righteous can perform their duties and rites without being disturbed. This way the king establishes dharma and the way of heaven on earth. Because of the king’s protection, we are able to conduct yagnas and sacrifices. These please the devas, and the devas cause rain. The rains help in the production of grains and herbs which are very useful to humans. Manu says that a good king who rules over the destinies of humans is equal, in dignity, to ten priests who have studied the Vedas. The noble king committed this mistake due to hunger and fatigue. Why then have you cursed the king, O Sringin? Your action is childish, rash, and unrighteous. O son, the king has not done anything wrong to deserve a curse from us.”

Note: In the next post, we will find out if Sringin regrets his rash action, after hearing his father’s words.

Table of Contents (The Complete Mahabharata in Simple English)

Next Post: Did Sringin Regret His Rash Action?

An image of Rishyashringi’s (most likely Rishi Sringi) hermitage

Table of Contents (The Complete Mahabharata in Simple English)

Previous Post: King Parikshit Commits the Mistake of Insulting a Noble Sage

Note: In the previous post, we saw how King Parikshit, in a state of hunger, thirst, and exhaustion, made the mistake of insulting a Brahmin.

In this post, we will read about the repercussion of that mistake.

The sage whom King Parikshit had insulted had a son called Sringin. He was young and a bit immature, but he sincerely practised strict ascetic penances. Sringin also had an angry disposition and was difficult to please.

Sringin studied with a guru whose hermitage was not too far from where his father stayed. Commanded by his teacher, Sringin was going home when a fellow student called Krisa met him on the way. Krisa told Sringin in a playful way, “O Sringin, you are very proud of your asceticism and energy but I have heard that your father is sitting with a dead snake on his shoulder. Where was your manliness when the snake was placed on him? Henceforth, don’t show-off or talk rudely to students like us who also have knowledge of the truth. We have not done anything to deserve such treatment from you just as your father had done no wrong to deserve such an insult. I feel sad because of the insult your father had to suffer. 

Hearing Krisa’s words made Sringin burn with anger. However, he spoke softly to Krisa and asked, “Please tell me, why is my father bearing a dead snake on his shoulders?”

Krisa replied, “King Parikshit was in this region for the purpose of hunting. He placed the dead snake on your father’s shoulder.”

“Did my father commit any mistake?” Sringin asked, “what wrong did he do to that wicked king? O Krisa tell me the details and witness the power of my asceticism.”

Krisa said, “King Parikshit, the son of Abhimanyu, wounded a deer while hunting. The deer ran into the forest. King Parikshit pursued it but the deer managed to escape. He saw your father in the forest and asked him if he had seen the deer. Your father did not reply because he was observing a vow of silence. In a state of hunger, exhaustion, and thirst, the king asked your father again and again about the deer, but received no reply. That’s when, the king picked up a dead snake with his bow and put it on your father’s shoulders. Your father was in a state of deep devotion at that time, because of which he did not remove the snake. King Parikshit has returned to his capital, Hastinapur, and your father is still sitting with the snake on his shoulder.”

Sringin was filled with anger when he heard Krisa’s account of what had happened. His eyes enlarged and became red. He touched water and cursed the king in the following words, “That sinful wretch of a king who placed a snake on my old father’s shoulder, that insultee of Brahmins and tarnisher of the fame of kurus, will be taken to the abode of Yama within seven nights by Takshaka, the king of the serpents. The power of my words will stimulate Takshaka to perform this act.”

Note: In the next post, we will find out how Sringin’s father reacted when he heard about Sringin’s curse to the king.

Table of Contents (The Complete Mahabharata in Simple English)

Next Post: The Wise Sage is Displeased With Sringin’s Rash Action