The Wise Sage is Displeased With Sringin’s Rash Action

A temple relief of a rishi

Table of Contents (The Complete Mahabharata in Simple English)

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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?