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XV. The Reign of Emperor Parikshith

The Pandavas were journeying along with their eyes fixed straight ahead, awaiting the moment when their bodies would collapse out of sheer exhaustion and death finish their earthly career. Their hearts were filled with emotions centring around Krishna, His play and pranks, His grace and glory; they had no room for any other emotion or thought. Droupadi, their queen, dragged herself along for a considerable distance, but, she became too weak to continue; her lords did not turn back, even when she appealed; she realised, highly intelligent and devoted that she was, that they were engaged in a stringent uncompromising vow; she decided that the bond that tagged her to them so long had loosened and she had to meet her end. She fainted and fell; she breathed her last, with her mind fixed on Krishna.

The Pandavas, too, walked on in staunch discipline and met their separate ends, at the times and places in which each had to shed his body. The body became dust, but the soul merged in Krishna. They attained immortality, losing themselves in the immortal essence of Krishna.

From the throne of imperial Bharath, Parikshith ruled his dominion adhering to the principles of justice and morality, lovingly fostering his subjects and guarding them from harm with parental care and affection. Whatever may be the task he set his hands upon, Parikshith did not move one step without calling to mind Krishna and his grandfathers and praying to them to crown him with success. He prayed to them morning and evening to direct him along the correct path of virtue. He felt as if he was the heart of his people and as if they were his body.

Throughout his empire, the very wind was reluctant to displace any article, for fear of being implicated in theft. There was not the slightest fear of thieves. Nor was there any trace of injustice, immorality or ill-will. The kingdom gained great fame thereby. At the slightest sign of any such evil, Parikshith overcame it by means of terrific punishment and instituted preventive steps which decidedly scotched it. Since Dharma was thus fostered with love and reverence, even nature was kind; rains came in time, crops grew high and rich; granaries were filled; people were contented, happy and unafraid.