Chapter III - 10 Home | Index | Previous | Next

The child too was very bright; it seemed to watch the lineaments of everyone who fondled it or came before it. It stared into their faces long and longingly. All were surprised at this strange behaviour. Every person who came to it was subjected to this searching examination by the child who seemed determined to trace someone or something, in the world into which it was born.

Some said, sadly, it is seeking its father, Abhimanyu. Others said, "No,no; the child is searching for Lord Krishna". Some others opined that it appeared to be trying to discover some divine brilliance. The fact remained that the child was examining all, for some trait or sign which it knew already, to recognise some form it had in mind. "Pariksha" was the word used by every one for the 'quest' in which the child was engaged and so, even before the formal naming ceremony, every one both in the palace and outside it, began referring to the child as Parikshith, 'he who is engaged in Pariksha!'

That name, Parikshith, stayed! From the Raja to the Ryot, from the scholar to the boor, from the monarch to the man-in-the -street, every one addressed the child as Parikshith or referred to him so. The fame of the child grew from day to day. It was on everyone's lips. One auspicious day, Yudhishtira had the court priest brought before him and he commissioned him to fix a good day for the ceremony of naming the child-prince.

The priest called together his group of scholars and astrologers and after consulting the conjunctions of heavenly bodies, they discovered a day which all of them agreed was a good one for the event. They also settled at what hour the actual naming has to take place. Invitations to attend the ceremony were sent to the rulers of the land, to scholars and Pundits as well as prominent citizens. The king sent his emissaries to invite sages and personages full of spiritual wealth. Arjuna went to Lord Krishna and reverentially prayed that He should shower His grace on the child on the occasion; he succeeded in bringing Krishna along when he returned.

When Lord Krishna arrived, the sages, Brahmins, Rajas, subordinate rulers and citizens got ready to receive Him with respectful homage; the Pandava brothers, attired magnificently, waited at the main gate of the palace to offer Him welcome. When the chariot of the Lord was sighted, drums sounded, trumpets pealed mighty welcome, and joyful Jais rose from every throat. Yudhishtira approached the chariot and embraced the Lord as soon as He alighted; he held Him by the hand and led Him into the palace, where a high throne was specially placed for Him. After the Lord was seated, all else occupied their seats according to their rank and status.

Sahadeva went to the inner apartments and the child was brought on a gold plate, resplendent as the sun, made more charming by magnificent jewels. The priests recited prayers invoking the Gods to bless the child and confer on him health and happiness.