Chapter XLII - 159 Home | Index | Previous | Next

"He noticed the little drops of rain that fell from the sky, and was sad that the new-born child would soon be soaked. But, when he turned back, he found the snake, Adi-sesha following his footsteps, preventing the rain from wetting the babe, holding the ribbed umbrella of its broad hoods over the child! At every step along the road, Vasudeva noticed auspicious and favourable signs. Though the Sun had not risen yet, the lotus bloomed in all the tanks and leaned on its stalk towards Vasudeva. Though it was a night with no expectation of moonlight, perhaps through the yearning to have a look at the divine babe, the full moon peeped through the clouds, its cool rays illumining only the bamboo-mat-let on which the babe lay, along the entire route! The babe which attracted all this auspiciousness was placed in Nanda's home, and the child that had just then been born there was brought and placed into the hands of Devaki. No sooner was this done than Vasudeva burst into tears; he could not stop his weeping."

Even while these words came from Suka's lips, Parikshith exclaimed aloud, "Krishna! Krishna!" Every one turned towards the king and hastened towards him. They saw a snake, crawling away fast, after biting the right toe of the Maharaja!

It was clear to all that the end had come. Everyone echoed the words of Parikshith and repeated "Krishna! Krishna!" and "O Dwarakavasa! Brindavana-vihara!" The vast gathering had no other thought than that of God, no other word than the name of God.

The Maharaja fell on the ground, repeating, "Krishna! Krishna!" Men learned in the Vedas recited Vedic prayers. Bhakthas sang the glory of God in chorus; ascetics and sages were sunk in Japa and Dhyana.

Suka shed tears of inner bliss; he announced, "The Maharaja has reached Gopala!" He wanted the funeral rites to be undertaken and went away without being noticed.

The word Suka means a parrot. Yes; he was the parrot that plucked the ripe nectar-filled fruit called Bhagavatha from the tree of the Vedas and enabled the world to taste it and be nourished by it. May the world relish the fruit and strengthen itself through it, and derive the Atmic bliss that it can confer.

May Humanity attain Nanda-nandana!