Chapter XXV - 88 Home | Index | Previous | Next

"Therefore, I request you all to pray to God that the king should come to no harm and that only auspicious things be added unto him". When the Rishi Sameeka directed them thus, an aged monk rose from the group; he was the very picture of peace and resignation; he said, "Great Soul! You are showering such profuse grace on this king. The person who pronounced this curse is your own son; surely your spiritual attainments are much higher than your son's and, you can achieve anything through them. Why then are you so much concerned about the curse that this boy hurled at the king? You can make it ineffective, can't you?" At this, the rest of the group, the elders and the young ones, exclaimed, "True, true; listen to our prayers and pardon this boy. Bring about the welfare of the king and save Him from harm".

The sage Sameeka smiled; he closed his eyes; he saw with his inner yogic vision the past and the future of the king, and examined whether his present was conditioned by his past or by his future. He found that Parikshith had to suffer the poison-bite of the cobra, Takshaka and that this was his destiny. He felt that trying to save him from this end will be going counter to the dictates of divinity; he realised that the misbehaviour of the king and the angry reaction of his son were both the consequences of that compulsive urge. He concluded that only God, the artificer of all resolutions and achievements, can modify events and that, any effort on his part would amount to an exhibition of egoism.

He knew that egoism is the deadliest foe of hermits; but, yet he did not amass his undoubted strength against it and destroy it completely. He decided to render what little help he could to the unfortunate king of the realm. Opening his eyes, he looked on all four sides to select a clever disciple of his from among the gathering. At last, he called one student to him and, said: "You must proceed immediately to Hasthinapura and return; prepare yourself for the journey and come to me again". The student replied "I am ever ready to obey your command; what have I to do with preparations? I am ever prepared. I can start this very moment; tell me what I have to do there". With these words, he fell at his feet and offered his obeisance. The sage rose from his seat and took the student into the inner apartment. He told him in detail all the points that he had to convey to the king. Then, the student fell at the master's feet and set out towards the capital.

Meanwhile, the king had reached his palace and after a short rest, he awoke into a realisation of the enormity of the wrong that he had done at the hermitage. "Alas, into what depths of foulness did my mind fall! It is indeed a heinous sin that I, the emperor, should cast an insult on that ascetic". He lamented within himself. "How can I make amends for this crime? Shall I go to that hermitage and plead for pardon? Or, shall I offer my head to bear the punishment that is my due? What exactly is my duty now?" He struggled with himself for an answer.

Just then, he saw a guard who came up to the door and stood silent with folded arms. He asked him why he had come. The man said, "A student from a hermitage has come and is waiting for audience; he says, he has been sent by the sage Sameeka; he says his message is very urgent and important; he is in great hurry. I am awaiting royal orders".