sukhopaviṣṭeṣv atha teṣu bhūyaḥ
kṛta-praṇāmaḥ sva-cikīrṣitaṁ yat
vijñāpayām āsa vivikta-cetā
upasthito 'gre 'bhigṛhīta-pāṇiḥ
sukha—happily; upaviṣṭeṣu—all sitting down; atha—thereupon; teṣu—unto them (the visitors); bhūyaḥ—again; kṛta-praṇāmaḥ—having offered obeisances; sva—his own; cikīrṣitam—decision of fasting; yat—who; vijñāpayām āsa—submitted; vivikta-cetāḥ—one whose mind is detached from worldly affairs; upasthitaḥ—being present; agre—before them; abhigṛhīta-pāṇiḥ—humbly with folded hands.
After all the sages and other great personages had seated themselves comfortably on the bank of the Ganges, King Pariksit told them of his decision to fast until death: "O sages, the Supreme Personality of Godhead has graciously overtaken me in the form of a brahmana's curse. Due to my being too much attached to family life, the Lord, in order to save me, has appeared before me in such a way that out of fear only I will detach myself from the world.
After all the ṛṣis and others had seated themselves comfortably, the King, humbly standing before them with folded hands, told them of his decision to fast until death.
Although the King had already decided to fast until death on the bank of the Ganges, he humbly expressed his decision to elicit the opinions of the great authorities present there. Any decision, however important, should be confirmed by some authority. That makes the matter perfect. This means that the monarchs who ruled the earth in those days were not irresponsible dictators. They scrupulously followed the authoritative decisions of the saints and sages in terms of Vedic injunction. Mahārāja Parīkṣit, as a perfect king, followed the principles by consulting the authorities, even up to the last days of his life.
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