Chapter XIII - 48 Home | Index | Previous | Next

Parikshith, the newly crowned emperor, was weeping; why, even Dharmaraja, the man who crowned him, could not stop his tears, in spite of his best efforts. The hearts of all the spectators were torn by agonising sorrow. Who can stem the force of destiny? Fate executes every act, at the time and place, and in the manner it has to be so executed. Man is nothing before It; he is helpless.

Parikshith was a well-bred virtuous boy; he watched the sadness that pervaded every face; he noted the incidents and happenings in the palace; he had sat on the throne, since he felt he should not transgress the command of his elders; but, suddenly, he fell at Dharmaraja's feet and pleaded pathetically, "My Lord! Whatever your wish, I shall honour and obey. But, please do not desert me and leave me alone". He did not give up his hold on the feet; he continued weeping and praying. All who saw the tragic scene wept; even the hardest could not but weep. It was terrible, fraught with dire distress.

The boy fell at the feet of his grandfather, Arjuna, and cried piteously. "Grandpa! How can you move out of here with peace in your hearts, after placing this heavy burden of empire on my head? I am a child who knows nothing. I am very foolish; I am ignorant; I have no qualifications; I am incompetent. It is not just; it is not proper for you to lay on my head this empire which has been in the care of a long line of heroes, statesmen, warriors and wise men and remove yourselves to the forest. Let some one else bear this responsibility; take me also with you to the forest," he pleaded.