Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Birth of Parikshit....heir to Pandavs !!!

It was the 15th day of the Kurukshetra war in Mahabharata. Guru Dronacharya was in charge of the Kauravs & he was in a fiery mood. The Pandavs were helpless in front of him & tens of thousands of soldiers were getting killed. Krishna told Yudhisthir that if Dronacharya was not stopped, he would finish the whole of the Pandav army. The only way to stop him was to make him lay down his weapons & that would happen only if he came to know that his son Aswatthama is dead.
So a plan was hatched & Bheem killed an elephant called Ashwatthama & started shouting “Ashwatthama is dead….Ashwatthama is dead”….for everyone to hear. Dronacharya could not believe this, as his son had the boon of Lord Shiva to be Chiranjeevi (immortal). Since everyone from the Pandavs were rejoicing the death of Ashwatthama, he was uncertain. He then turned to Yudhisthir to enquire about the truth. Yudhisthir was known to speak the truth at all times. That is why he was called the Dharmaraj. So Yudhisthir said “ Yes Ashwatthama is dead…… but it’s an elephant”. The last part of the sentence was uttered as almost a whisper, which Dronacharya could not hear, as there was a lot of noise & din around. The Pandavs were blowing trumpets & conchshells, as advised by Krishna.
Shattered & full of grief, Dronacharya, laid down his arms. Seeing this, Dhristadhyumn (Draupadi’s brother & son of Drupad) took his sword & killed Dronacharya by beheading him.

When Ashwatthama came to know how his father was brutally killed, using deceit, he was furious. Out of sheer anger, he killed Dhristadhyumn, even after the war was over & promised a dying Duryodhan that he would finish the Pandavs. He then proceeded to attack the Pandav camp in the night & ended up killing all the five sons of Draupadi in their sleep.
When Pandavs came to know about this, they were beyond grief & anger. Arjun chased Ashwatthama & they had a fight. During the fight Ashwatthama invoked the extremely powerful Bhramhaastra against Arjun. However, Arjun also invoked the same weapon. With such a powerful weapon being used from both sides, the Rishis & Sages feared destruction of the whole world & asked both the warriors to revoke & take back their respective weapons. While Arjun could do so, Ashwatthama could not (as he had lesser skills than Arjun in weapons) & had to choose a single target to destroy. Out of sheer anger & frustration at losing the battle, he directed the weapon towards the womb of Uttara, the widow of Abhimanyu, who was pregnant at that time. Ashwatthama wanted to annihilate the dynasty of Pandavs by killing the future heirs of the kingdom. The Bhramhaastra was a potent weapon to do so.
When Krishna came to know about this, he was very angry with Ashwatthama. He used his divine powers to instill life in the stillborn baby & then cursed Ashwatthama with leprosy & to roam the world till the end of Kali Yuga, as a unloved loner & castaway. It is believed, that Ashwatthama is still living in the jungles doing penance for his sins to Lord Shiva.

Lord Krishna, thus brought to life, the heir of the Pandavs, & the dynasty continued. This child grew up to be known as Parikshit. The chief priest Dhaumya predicted to Yudhisthir that Parikshit would a great devotee of Vishnu, & since he was saved by Krishna, he would also be known as Vishnurat (one who is always protected by the Lord Vishnu). He would be devoted to virtues, religious principles & truth & would be a wise ruler. He would take very good care of his kingdom & would expand the fame of the family.

When Krishna left his mortal body for Vaikuntha (heavenly abode of Vishnu),the Pandavs decided to make Parikshit the king of their vast empire, Hastinapur & embark on their last journey to heaven. This was the end of Dwapar Yuga & beginning of the Kali Yuga.

More on Kali Yuga to continue…… keep reading….