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Sages ask 3 main questions to Suta Goswami
While Sanat Kumaras finished reciting the stories of Dhundhukari and Gokarna, Sukha acharya came to Anandavan. On looking at His charismatic appearance, just like people desire for the moon, Jnana desired for Sukadeva Goswami. Suka is eternally 16 years old, with a calm vibrant face having absorbed the essence of the Srimad Bhagavatham. The Lord too assembled in this spot with His eternal consorts Rukmini, Satyabhama, and his dear devotees, Prahalada, Bali, Uddhava, with a deep desire to sit amidst them and together hear His pastimes. After completing the entire recitation of the Srimad Bhagavatham narrated by the 4 kumaras, Jnana and Vairagya regained consciousness and Intelligence awakens, dawning the realization that nobody is responsible for good or bad events in our lives. We realize that it is all a result of our own past actions. Hence, blaming others for losses stand rejected. The Lord says: “Whoever, reads the Srimad Bhagavatham will find Me beside Him and hence Kali can in no way cause harm.”
In Naimisharanya, Sanunaka along with other sages assembled to hear the Srimad Bhagavatham from Sri Suta who says: “The essence of the Vedas is Srimad Bhagavatham which can be relished by all aspirants of Bhakti. Therefore, having desire to attain Bhagawan is the only eligibility criterion to hear this divine scripture.”
The sages ask: “1) What is the means of attaining Moksha for the beings of Kali Yuga who have been subjected to various diseases, a short life-span and whose negligible intelligence has been corroded by materialism? 2) How did the son of Vasudeva and Devaki appear on earth? 3) How did Sri Krishna grow up and kindly illuminate His divine pastimes. 3) What are the various incarnations of the Supreme Lord?”
24 incarnations of Bhagawan
Suta Goswami: “ 1) The very first incarnations out of 24 Avataras is the 4 kumaras or the Sanat Kumaras. These 4 Brahmin boys are direct manifestations of the Supreme Being who emerged from the heart of Lord Brahma.
2) The next is Varaha Dev who liberated Bhoomi Devi (mother Earth) from the atrocities of Demon King Hiranyaksha.
3) Devarsi Narada is the Amsha-Avatar of Sri Narayana
4) Nara-Narayana who appeared in Bhadrika ashrama who are also the propagators of the Ashtaskhara mantra or the 8 syllabled mantra.
5) Son of Devahuti and Kardama, the Lord appeared as Kapila Mahmuni
6) The son of Atreya Rsi, Dattatrya is the 6th incarnation of Bhagawan
7) Yagna or the presiding deity of the sacrificial fire, the son of Ruchi
8) Then the Lord incarnated as Rishabhadeva
9) Prithu Maharaj who was celebrated as the ever-first conqueror of Earth and thereafter Earth got its name Prithvi
10) Matsya the fish incarnation saved creation from devastation.
11)Kurma Avatara or the tortoise incarnation where Sri Narayana held the Mandara mountain on His back. He supported the Samudra Manthan that was initiated by the Asuras and Suras.
12) The Lord then incarnated as Dhanavantri, the God of medicine.
13) Mohini the all enchanting feminine form of Vishnu served nectar to the Devatas and prevented the Asuras from attaining immortality. 14) The saviour of His devotees, who appeared with his 4 handed form assuming the head of a lion and a body of a human Being, Narsimha Deva protected His devotee Prahalada from his father, Demon King Hiranyakashipu
15) The dwarf incarnation, Vamana who revealed His Trivikrama form to Bali Maharaja.
16) Parshurama who slayed the arrogant Kshatriya Kings to protect Dharma.
17) Vyasa the author of the Ithihasa, Mahabharatha and the numerous Puranas. He divided the Vedas into 4.
18) Sri Ramachandra who was the son of Dasharatha, the King of Ayodhya.
19) Balarama the elder brother of Krishna
20) Born in the clan of the Vrsnis to rid the Earth of all Adharmic-Unrighteous men, Bhagawan incarnated as Sri Krishna.
21) Buddha the propagator of Peace
There are uncountable avataras of Bhagawan but 10 Avataras are set as standards for us to be able to perceive the Lord easily in His most pristine form.
Who was King Parikshita?
Parikshita Maharaja was a descendant of the Kuru dynasty and was the son of Abhimanyu and Uttara. His grandfather was Arjuna, the great archer. When Pariskhit was unborn, housed in the womb of Uttara, the fallen Brahmana Ashwatthama released the detrimental Brahamastra intended to uproot the offspring of the Pandavas. On learning about the malicious intentions of Ashwatthama, the devoted women, (Draupadi, Kunti and Uttara) call out to Sri Krishna and prayerd intensely. They offered their respected obeisances to Sri Krishna, Vaasudeva and pleaded to save the unborn child of Uttara.
They prayed: “We don’t find any way to avoid this calamity and therefore we surrender unto You as only You are all capable of protecting your devotees.” The cries of His dear devotees drew Bhagawan to enter the womb of Uttara as He waged His Sudarshan Chakra to render the Brahmastra ineffective. But, a lifeless child was born to which the women reciprocated by praying again to the Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna. The Lord revives the lifeless body by saying: “If I have followed brahmacharya throughout my life, then Oh child wake up. May life dawn on you.” The child was instantly brought to life and with passing time, he grew up to be the emperor of the Kuru dynasty, King Parikshit.
Parikshit grants places for Kali to stay
Once, Parikshit Maharaj encountered Kali, the presiding deity of the current yuga and trapped him in an argument. In Krita (Saty-Yuga), Dharma stood on 4 legs namely Tapas (Austerity), Saucha (Cleanliness), Daya (Compassion), and Satya (Truth). But with the advent of Dwapara and Treta Yugas, the number of feet successively reduced. Therefore, in Kali Yuga, Dharma stands with the aid of a single leg, Satya or truthfulness.
On witnessing this tragedy in front of his eyes, Parikshita decided to slay Kali to which latter replied: “What harm have I done to you, oh king. I like the other Yugas am pre-destined, bound to come when the time is right. Therefore, Oh king not by my personal will but as time demands, I have been sent to earth to rule. Before slaying me, please approach Bhagawan as a snake does not possess poison by its own will, but by the will of the Supreme Lord alone. Similarly my advent on Earth is a mere will of the Supreme Lord”
Hearing this witty reply from Kali, the king said: “As long as I live you cannot effect my subjects in any manner. So, now you must tell me a way by which my subjects are not exposed to your atrocities.”
Kali:“I am under your shelter and so provide me suitable places to reside and release me from your wrath. I will not come to your subjects and torture them, provided they successfully abstain themselves from approaching me.”
Parikshit: “Alright, now that you have requested, I must grant you places to reside.
1) You have the permission to stay in gambling hubs, where people stake money and stoke their greed.
2) You can stay in localities where liquor is sold or where alcoholic-substances are consumed for sense-gratification as it pushes one into a state of ignorance.
3) Go and stay in places where women are tortured
4) Stay in slaughterhouses where people care no more for the freedom of animals and usurp their right for life inviting disharmony in their own lives.”
Kali: “Please grant me some more places to stay.” to which Parikshit said: “Live in gold and stay in places where people are attached to gold and wealth. You shall always be present in places devoid of truth and among people who are egoistic and arrogant. Stay among people who engage in illicit sex and are overpowered by lust. Also, stay with people who get angry for no reason and people who oppose each other and create conflicts.