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XL. From Mrita to Amrita

The king, who was listening to the thrilling narrative of the gratitude of Krishna towards His Guru, suddenly opened his eyes, and seeing the sage before him, he said, "Ah, the Leelas of Krishna! His wonder-filled acts exceed each other in miracle and mystery. God is prepared to assume any burden, in order to correct and improve the world; by this means, He proclaims His genuine majesty and might. But the dark smoke of Maya settles hard on the eye of man and renders him incapable of recognising divinity. Therefore, he misses the inner significance of these Leelas".

Suka understood the working of the king's mind. He replied, "King! The confusing influence of Maya is the consequence of the accumulated activities in previous lives. One can escape Maya through good consequence; one succumbs to it if the consequence is deleterious. If good activity has marked previous lives, any sinful tendency will be overwhelmed by virtuous tendencies in this life and one will have faith in divinity; one will attach himself to the divine and spend his life on the basis of the divine.

"On the other hand, those who have committed horrible crimes in past lives have the dreadful darkened vision, which prevents one from seeing the divine. Such a one never reminds himself of God and His handiwork, never yearns for his own 'good' and the good of others; he sees things in false perspective; he revels in wickedness, and engages in vicious acts. Faith in God is the harvest of the seeds planted in previous lives. It cannot be grown and harvested, on the spur of the moment".

Hearing these words, the king grew anxious to know more about the Punya (merit acquired by means of good activity), and Paapa (demerit acquired by means of evil activity) and their impact on the lives of man; so, he prayed the sage Suka to tell him one more incident from the career of Krishna, which deals with a curse and its cure, illustrating the principle of destiny.

Suka laughed at this request! "King! Countless are the cures which Krishna effected on those affected by curses! The Rakshasas whom He killed while He was yet a child, and later, as a boy, as I have told you, were all cursed to be born so, as a punishment for some evil deed and when they met with death at His hands, they were liberated from the curse." The king put in a suggestion at this stage. "I have heard that the 'uprooting of the tree' was an amazing incident of outstanding importance; if you elaborate on that, I can derive deep joy therefrom". On this, Suka who was ever ready to oblige him, began the story: