Chapter Fourteen
King Citraketu’s Lamentation
In this Fourteenth Chapter, Parīkṣit Mahārāja asks his spiritual master, Śukadeva Gosvāmī, how such a demon as Vṛtrāsura could become an exalted devotee. In this connection the previous life of Vṛtrāsura is discussed. This involves the story of Citraketu and how he was victimized by lamentation because of the death of his son.
Among many millions of living entities, the number of human beings is extremely small, and among human beings who are actually religious, only some are eager to be liberated from material existence. Among many thousands of people who desire relief from material existence, one is freed from the association of unwanted persons or is relieved of material contamination. And among many millions of such liberated persons, one may become a devotee of Lord Nārāyaṇa. Therefore such devotees are extremely rare. Since bhakti, devotional service, is not ordinary, Parīkṣit Mahārāja was astonished that an asura could rise to the exalted position of a devotee. Being doubtful, Parīkṣit Mahārāja inquired from Śukadeva Gosvāmī, who then described Vṛtrāsura with reference to his previous birth as Citraketu, the King of Śūrasena.
Citraketu, who had no sons, got an opportunity to meet the great sage Aṅgirā. When Aṅgirā inquired from the King about his welfare, the King expressed his moroseness, and therefore by the grace of the great sage, the King’s first wife, Kṛtadyuti, gave birth to a son, who was the cause of both happiness and lamentation. Upon the birth of this son, the King and all the residents of the palace were very happy. The co-wives of Kṛtadyuti, however, were envious, and later they administered poison to the child. Citraketu was overwhelmed by shock at his son’s death. Then Nārada Muni and Aṅgirā went to see him.
śrī-parīkṣid uvāca
brahman vṛtrasya pāpmanaḥ
nārāyaṇe bhagavati
katham āsīd dṛḍhā matiḥ
śrī-parīkṣit uvāca—King Parīkṣit inquired; rajaḥ—of the mode of passion; tamaḥ—and of the mode of ignorance; sva-bhāvasya—having a nature; brahman—O learned brāhmaṇa; vṛtrasya—of Vṛtrāsura; pāpmanaḥ—who was supposedly sinful; nārāyaṇe—in Lord Nārāyaṇa; bhagavati—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; katham—how; āsīt—was there; dṛḍhā—very strong; matiḥ—consciousness.
King Parīkṣit inquired from Śukadeva Gosvāmī: O learned brāhmaṇa, demons are generally sinful, being obsessed with the modes of passion and ignorance. How, then, could Vṛtrāsura have attained such exalted love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa?
In this material world, everyone is obsessed with the modes of passion and ignorance. However, unless one conquers these modes and comes to the platform of goodness, there is no chance of one’s becoming a pure devotee. This is confirmed by Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself in Bhagavad-gītā (7.28):
“Persons who have acted piously in previous lives and in this life, whose sinful actions are completely eradicated and who are freed from the duality of delusion, engage themselves in My service with determination.” Since Vṛtrāsura was among the demons, Mahārāja Parīkṣit wondered how it was possible for him to have become such an exalted devotee.
devānāṁ śuddha-sattvānām
ṛṣīṇāṁ cāmalātmanām
bhaktir mukunda-caraṇe
na prāyeṇopajāyate
devānām—of the demigods; śuddha-sattvānām—whose minds are purified; ṛṣīṇām—of great saintly persons; ca—and; amala-ātmanām—who have purified their existence; bhaktiḥ—devotional service; mukunda-caraṇe—to the lotus feet of Mukunda, the Lord, who can give liberation; na—not; prāyeṇa—almost always; upajāyate—develops.
Demigods situated in the mode of goodness and great saints cleansed of the dirt of material enjoyment hardly ever render pure devotional service at the lotus feet of Mukunda. [Therefore how could Vṛtrāsura have become such a great devotee?]
rajobhiḥ sama-saṅkhyātāḥ
pārthivair iha jantavaḥ
teṣāṁ ye kecanehante
śreyo vai manujādayaḥ
rajobhiḥ—with the atoms; sama-saṅkhyātāḥ—having the same numerical strength; pārthivaiḥ—of the earth; iha—in this world; jantavaḥ—the living entities; teṣām—of them; ye—those who; kecana—some; īhante—act; śreyaḥ—for religious principles; vai—indeed; manuja-ādayaḥ—the human beings and so on.
In this material world there are as many living entities as atoms. Among these living entities, a very few are human beings, and among them, few are interested in following religious principles.
prāyo mumukṣavas teṣāṁ
kecanaiva dvijottama
mumukṣūṇāṁ sahasreṣu
kaścin mucyeta sidhyati
prāyaḥ—almost always; mumukṣavaḥ—persons interested in liberation; teṣām—of them; kecana—some; eva—indeed; dvija-uttama—O best of the brāhmaṇas; mumukṣūṇām—of those who desire to be liberated; sahasreṣu—in many thousands; kaścit—someone; mucyeta—may be actually liberated; sidhyati—someone is perfect.
O best of the brāhmaṇas, Śukadeva Gosvāmī, out of many persons who follow religious principles, only a few desire liberation from the material world. Among many thousands who desire liberation, one may actually achieve liberation, giving up material attachment to society, friendship, love, country, home, wife and children. And among many thousands of such liberated persons, one who can understand the true meaning of liberation is very rare.
There are four classes of men, namely karmīs, jñānīs, yogīs and bhaktas. This statement pertains especially to karmīs and jñānīs. A karmī tries to he happy within this material world by changing from one body to another. His objective is bodily comfort, either in this planet or in another. When such a person becomes a jñānī, however, be aspires for liberation from material bondage. Among many such persons who aspire for liberation, one may actually be liberated during his life. Such a person gives up his attachment for society, friendship, love, country, family, wife and children. Among many such persons, who are in the vānaprastha stage, one may understand the value of becoming a sannyāsī, completely accepting the renounced order of life.
muktānām api siddhānāṁ
sudurlabhaḥ praśāntātmā
koṭiṣv api mahā-mune
muktānām—of those who are liberated during this life (who are unattached to the bodily comforts of society, friendship and love); api—even; siddhānām—who are perfect (because they understand the insignificance of bodily comforts); nārāyaṇa-parāyaṇaḥ—a person who has concluded that Nārāyaṇa is the Supreme; su-durlabhaḥ—very rarely found; praśānta—fully pacified; ātmā—whose mind; koṭiṣu—out of millions and trillions; api—even; mahā-mune—O great sage.
O great sage, among many millions who are liberated and perfect in knowledge of liberation, one may be a devotee of Lord Nārāyaṇa, or Kṛṣṇa. Such devotees, who are fully peaceful, are extremely rare.
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura gives the following purport to this verse. Simply desiring mukti, or liberation, is insufficient; one must become factually liberated. When one understands the futility of the materialistic way of life, one becomes advanced in knowledge, and therefore he situates himself in the vānaprastha order, unattached to family, wife and children. One should then further progress to the platform of sannyāsa, the actual renounced order, never to fall again and be afflicted by materialistic life. Even though one desires to be liberated, this does not mean he is liberated. Only rarely is someone liberated. Indeed, although many men take sannyāsa to become liberated, because of their imperfections they again become attached to women, material activities, social welfare work and so on.
Jñānīs, yogīs and karmīs devoid of devotional service are called offenders. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, māyāvādī kṛṣṇe aparādhī: one who thinks that everything is māyā instead of thinking that everything is Kṛṣṇa is called an aparādhī, or offender. Although the Māyāvādīs, impersonalists, are offenders at the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, they may nonetheless be counted among the siddhas, those who have realized the self. They may be considered nearer to spiritual perfection because at least they have realized what spiritual life is. If such a person becomes nārāyaṇa-parāyaṇa, a devotee of Lord Nārāyaṇa, he is better than a jīvan-mukta, one who is liberated or perfect. This requires higher intelligence.
There are two kinds of jñānīs. One is inclined to devotional service and the other to impersonal realization. Impersonalists generally undergo great endeavor for no tangible benefit, and therefore it is said that they are husking paddy that has no grain (sthūla-tuṣāvaghātinaḥ). The other class of jñānīs, whose jñāna is mixed with bhakti, are also of two kinds—those who are devoted to the so-called false form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and those who understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead as sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha [Bs. 5.1], the actual spiritual form. The Māyāvādī devotees worship Nārāyaṇa or Viṣṇu with the idea that Viṣṇu has accepted a form of māyā and that the ultimate truth is actually impersonal. The pure devotee, however, never thinks that Viṣṇu has accepted a body of māyā; instead, he knows perfectly well that the original Absolute Truth is the Supreme Person. Such a devotee is actually situated in knowledge. He never merges in the Brahman effulgence. As stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.2.32):
ye ’nye ’ravindākṣa vimukta-māninas
tvayy asta-bhāvād aviśuddha-buddhayaḥ
āruhya kṛcchreṇa paraṁ padaṁ tataḥ
patanty adho ’nādṛta-yuṣmad-aṅghrayaḥ
“O Lord, the intelligence of those who think themselves liberated but who have no devotion is impure. Even though they rise to the highest point of liberation by dint of severe penances and austerities, they are sure to fall down again into material existence, for they do not take shelter at Your lotus feet.” Evidence of this same point is also given in Bhagavad-gītā (9.11), wherein the Lord says:
“Fools deride Me when I descend in the human form. They do not know My transcendental nature and My supreme dominion over all that be.” When rascals (mūḍhas) see that Kṛṣṇa acts exactly like a human being, they deride the transcendental form of the Lord because they do not know the paraṁ bhāvam, His transcendental form and activities. Such persons are further described in Bhagavad-gītā (9.12) as follows:
“Those who are thus bewildered are attracted by demoniac and atheistic views. In that deluded condition, their hopes for liberation, their fruitive activities and their culture of knowledge are all defeated.” Such persons do not know that Kṛṣṇa’s body is not material. There is no distinction between Kṛṣṇa’s body and His soul, but because less intelligent men see Kṛṣṇa as a human being, they deride Him. They cannot imagine how a person like Kṛṣṇa could be the origin of everything (govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi **). Such persons are described as moghāśāḥ, baffled in their hopes. Whatever they desire for the future will be baffled. Even if they apparently engage in devotional service, they are described as moghāśāḥ because they ultimately desire to merge into the Brahman effulgence.
Those who aspire to be elevated to the heavenly planets by devotional service will also be frustrated, because this is not the result of devotional service. However, they are also given a chance to engage in devotional service and be purified. As stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.17):
“Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramātmā [Supersoul] in everyone’s heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who relishes His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted.”
Unless the dirt within the core of one’s heart is cleansed away, one cannot become a pure devotee. Therefore the word sudurlabhaḥ (“very rarely found”) is used in this verse. Not only among hundreds and thousands, but among millions of perfectly liberated souls, a pure devotee is hardly ever found. Therefore the words koṭiṣv api are used herein. Śrīla Madhvācārya gives the following quotations from the Tantra Bhāgavata:
“There are ninety million demigods and seventy million sages, who are all called nārāyaṇāyana, devotees of Lord Nārāyaṇa. Among them, only a few are called nārāyaṇa-parāyaṇa.
nārāyaṇāyanā devā
ṛṣy-ādyās tat-parāyaṇāḥ
brahmādyāḥ kecanaiva syuḥ
siddho yogya-sukhaṁ labhan
The difference between the siddhas and nārāyaṇa-parāyaṇas is that direct devotees are called nārāyaṇa-parāyaṇas whereas those who perform various types of mystic yoga are called siddhas.
vṛtras tu sa kathaṁ pāpaḥ
itthaṁ dṛḍha-matiḥ kṛṣṇa
āsīt saṅgrāma ulbaṇe
vṛtraḥ—Vṛtrāsura; tu—but; saḥ—he; katham—how; pāpaḥ—although sinful (getting the body of a demon); sarva-loka—of all the three worlds; upatāpanaḥ—the cause of suffering; ittham—such; dṛḍha-matiḥ—firmly fixed intelligence; kṛṣṇe—in Kṛṣṇa; āsīt—there was; saṅgrāme ulbaṇe—in the great blazing fire of battle.
Vṛtrāsura was situated in the blazing fire of battle and was an infamous, sinful demon, always engaged in giving troubles and anxieties to others. How could such a demon become so greatly Kṛṣṇa conscious?
It has been described that a nārāyaṇa-parāyaṇa, a pure devotee, is rarely found even among millions and millions of persons. Therefore Parīkṣit Mahārāja was surprised that Vṛtrāsura, whose purpose was to give trouble and anxiety to others, was one of these devotees, even on a battlefield. What was the reason for Vṛtrāsura’s advancement?
atra naḥ saṁśayo bhūyāñ
chrotuṁ kautūhalaṁ prabho
yaḥ pauruṣeṇa samare
sahasrākṣam atoṣayat
atra—in this connection; naḥ—our; saṁśayaḥ—doubt; bhūyān—great; śrotum—to hear; kautūhalam—eagerness; prabho—O my lord; yaḥ—he who; pauruṣeṇa—by bravery and strength; samare—in battle; sahasra-akṣam—Lord Indra, who has one thousand eyes; atoṣayat—pleased.
My dear lord, Śukadeva Gosvāmī, although Vṛtrāsura was a sinful demon, he showed the prowess of a most exalted kṣatriya and satisfied Lord Indra in battle. How could such a demon be a great devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa? These contradictions have caused me great doubt, and they have made me eager to hear of this from you.
śrī-sūta uvāca
parīkṣito ’tha sampraśnaṁ
bhagavān bādarāyaṇiḥ
niśamya śraddadhānasya
pratinandya vaco ’bravīt
śrī-sūtaḥ uvāca—Śrī Sūta Gosvāmī said; parīkṣitaḥ—of Mahārāja Parīkṣit; atha—thus; sampraśnam—the perfect question; bhagavān—the most powerful; bādarāyaṇiḥ—Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the son of Vyāsadeva; niśamya—hearing; śraddadhānasya—of his disciple, who was so faithful in understanding the truth; pratinandya—congratulating; vacaḥ—words; abravīt—spoke.
Śrī Sūta Gosvāmī said: After hearing Mahārāja Parīkṣit’s very intelligent question, Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the most powerful sage, began answering his disciple with great affection.
śrī-śuka uvāca
śṛṇuṣvāvahito rājann
itihāsam imaṁ yathā
śrutaṁ dvaipāyana-mukhān
nāradād devalād api
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca—Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; śṛṇuṣva—please hear; avahitaḥ—with great attention; rājan—O King; itihāsam—history; imam—this; yathā—just as; śrutam—heard; dvaipāyana—of Vyāsadeva; mukhāt—from the mouth; nāradāt—from Nārada; devalāt—from Devala Ṛṣi; api—also.
Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: O King, I shall speak to you the same history I have heard from the mouths of Vyāsadeva, Nārada and Devala. Please listen with attention.
āsīd rājā sārvabhaumaḥ
śūraseneṣu vai nṛpa
citraketur iti khyāto
yasyāsīt kāmadhuṅ mahī
āsīt—there was; rājā—one king; sārva-bhaumaḥ—an emperor of the entire surface of the globe; śūraseneṣu—in the country known as Śūrasena; vai—indeed; nṛpa—O King; citraketuḥCitraketu; iti—thus; khyātaḥ—celebrated; yasya—of whom; āsīt—was; kāma-dhuk—supplying all the necessities; mahī—the earth.
O King Parīkṣit, in the province of Śūrasena there was a king named Citraketu, who ruled the entire earth. During his reign, the earth produced all the necessities for life.
Here the most significant statement is that the earth completely produced all the necessities of life during the time of King Citraketu. As stated in the Īśopaniṣad (Mantra 1):
“Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one should not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong.” Kṛṣṇa, the supreme controller, has created the material world, which is completely perfect and free from scarcity. The Lord supplies the necessities of all living entities. These necessities come from the earth, and thus the earth is the source of supply. When there is a good ruler, that source produces the necessities of life abundantly. However, when there is not such a good ruler, there will be scarcity. This is the significance of the word kāmadhuk. Elsewhere in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.10.4) it is said, kāmaṁ vavarṣa parjanyaḥ sarva-kāma-dughā mahī: “During the reign of Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, the clouds showered all the water that people needed, and the earth produced all the necessities of men in profusion.” We have experience that in some seasons the rains produce abundance and in other seasons there is scarcity. We have no control over the earth’s productiveness, for it is naturally under the full control of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. By His order, the Lord can make the earth produce sufficiently or insufficiently. If a pious king rules the earth according to the śāstric injunctions, there will naturally be regular rainfall and sufficient produce to provide for all men. There will be no question of exploitation, for everyone will have enough. Black-marketeering and other corrupt dealings will then automatically stop. Simply ruling the land cannot solve man’s problems unless the leader has spiritual capabilities. He must be like Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, Parīkṣit Mahārāja or Rāmacandra. Then all the inhabitants of the land will be extremely happy.
tasya bhāryā-sahasrāṇāṁ
sahasrāṇi daśābhavan
sāntānikaś cāpi nṛpo
na lebhe tāsu santatim
tasya—of him (King Citraketu); bhāryā—of wives; sahasrāṇām—of thousands; sahasrāṇi—thousands; daśa—ten; abhavan—there were; sāntānikaḥ—quite capable of begetting sons; ca—and; api—although; nṛpaḥ—the King; na—not; lebhe—obtained; tāsu—in them; santatim—a son.
This Citraketu had ten million wives, but although he was capable of producing children, he did not receive a child from any of them. By chance, all the wives were barren.
sampannasya guṇaiḥ sarvaiś
cintā bandhyā-pater abhūt
rūpa—with beauty; audārya—magnanimity; vayaḥ—youth; janma—aristocratic birth; vidyā—education; aiśvarya—opulence; śriya-ādibhiḥ—wealth and so on; sampannasya—endowed; guṇaiḥ—with good qualities; sarvaiḥ—all; cintā—anxiety; bandhyā-pateḥ—of Citraketu, the husband of so many sterile wives; abhūt—there was.
Citraketu, the husband of these millions of wives, was endowed with a beautiful form, magnanimity and youth. He was born in a high family, he had a complete education, and he was wealthy and opulent. Nevertheless, in spite of being endowed with all these assets, he was full of anxiety because he did not have a son.
It appears that the King first married one wife, but she could not bear a child. Then he married a second, a third, a fourth and so on, but none of the wives could bear children. In spite of the material assets of janmaiśvarya-śruta-śrī—birth in an aristocratic family with full opulence, wealth, education and beauty—he was very much aggrieved because in spite of having so many wives, he had no son. Certainly his grief was natural. Gṛhastha life does not mean having a wife and no children. Cāṇakya Paṇḍita says, putra-hīnaṁ gṛhaṁ śūnyam: if a family man has no son, his home is no better than a desert. The King was certainly most unhappy that he could not get a son, and this is why he had married so many times. Kṣatriyas especially are allowed to marry more than one wife, and this King did so. Nonetheless, he had no issue.
na tasya sampadaḥ sarvā
mahiṣyo vāma-locanāḥ
sārvabhaumasya bhūś ceyam
abhavan prīti-hetavaḥ
na—not; tasya—of him (Citraketu); sampadaḥ—the great opulences; sarvāḥ—all; mahiṣyaḥ—the queens; vāma-locanāḥ—having very attractive eyes; sārva-bhaumasya—of the emperor; bhūḥ—land; ca—also; iyam—this; abhavan—were; prīti-hetavaḥ—sources of pleasure.
His queens all had beautiful faces and attractive eyes, yet neither his opulences, his hundreds and thousands of queens, nor the lands of which he was the supreme proprietor were sources of happiness for him.
tasyaikadā tu bhavanam
aṅgirā bhagavān ṛṣiḥ
lokān anucarann etān
upāgacchad yadṛcchayā
tasya—of him; ekadā—once upon a time; tu—but; bhavanam—to the palace; aṅgirāḥ—Aṅgirā; bhagavān—very powerful; ṛṣiḥ—sage; lokān—planets; anucaran—traveling around; etān—these; upāgacchat—came; yadṛcchayā—suddenly.
Once upon a time, when the powerful sage named Aṅgirā was traveling all over the universe without engagement, by his sweet will he came to the palace of King Citraketu.
taṁ pūjayitvā vidhivat
kṛtātithyam upāsīdat
sukhāsīnaṁ samāhitaḥ
tam—him; pūjayitvā—after worshiping; vidhi-vat—according to the rules and regulations for receiving exalted guests; pratyutthāna—by standing from the throne; arhaṇa-ādibhiḥ—offering worship and so on; kṛta-atithyam—who was given hospitality; upāsīdatsat down near; sukha-āsīnam—who was seated very comfortably; samāhitaḥ—controlling his mind and senses.
Citraketu immediately stood up from his throne and offered him worship. He offered drinking water and eatables and in this way performed his duty as a host to a great guest. When the ṛṣi was seated very comfortably, the King, restraining his mind and senses, sat on the ground at the side of the ṛṣi’s feet.
maharṣis tam upāsīnaṁ
praśrayāvanataṁ kṣitau
pratipūjya mahārāja
samābhāṣyedam abravīt
mahā-ṛṣiḥ—the great sage; tam—unto him (the King); upāsīnam—sitting near; praśraya-avanatam—bowing in humility; kṣitau—on the ground; pratipūjya—congratulating; mahārāja—O King Parīkṣit; samābhāṣya—addressing; idam—this; abravīt—said.
O King Parīkṣit, when Citraketu, bent low in humility, was seated at the lotus feet of the great sage, the sage congratulated him for his humility and hospitality. The sage addressed him in the following words.
aṅgirā uvāca
api te ’nāmayaṁ svasti
prakṛtīnāṁ tathātmanaḥ
yathā prakṛtibhir guptaḥ
pumān rājā ca saptabhiḥ
aṅgirāḥ uvāca—the great sage Aṅgirā said; api—whether; te—of you; anāmayam—health; svasti—auspiciousness; prakṛtīnām—of your royal elements (associates and paraphernalia); tathā—as well as; ātmanaḥ—of your own body, mind and soul; yathā—like; prakṛtibhiḥ—by the elements of material nature; guptaḥ—protected; pumān—the living being; rājā—the king; ca—also; saptabhiḥ—by seven.
The great sage Aṅgirā said: My dear King, I hope that your body and mind and your royal associates and paraphernalia are well. When the seven properties of material nature [the total material energy, the ego and the five objects of sense gratification] are in proper order, the living entity within the material elements is happy. Without these seven elements one cannot exist. Similarly, a king is always protected by seven elements—his instructor (svāmī or guru), his ministers, his kingdom, his fort, his treasury, his royal order and his friends.
As it is quoted by Śrīdhara Svāmī in his Bhāgavatam commentary:
svāmy-amātyau janapadā
daṇḍo mitraṁ ca tasyaitāḥ
sapta-prakṛtayo matāḥ
A king is not alone. He first has his spiritual master, the supreme guide. Then come his ministers, his kingdom, his fortifications, his treasury, his system of law and order, and his friends or allies. If these seven are properly maintained, the king is happy. Similarly, as explained in Bhagavad-gītā (dehino ’smin yathā dehe [Bg. 2.13]), the living entity, the soul, is within the material covering of the mahat-tattva, ego and pañca-tanmātrā, the five objects of sense gratification. When these seven are in proper order, the living entity is in a mood of pleasure. Generally when the associates of the king are quiet and obedient, the king can be happy. Therefore the great sage Aṅgirā Ṛṣi inquired about the King’s personal health and the good fortune of his seven associates. When we inquire from a friend whether everything is well, we are concerned not only with his personal self but also with his family, his source of income, and his assistants or servants. All of them must be well, and then a person can be happy.
ātmānaṁ prakṛtiṣv addhā
nidhāya śreya āpnuyāt
rājñā tathā prakṛtayo
ātmānam—himself; prakṛtiṣu—under these seven royal elements; addhā—directly; nidhāya—placing; śreyaḥ—ultimate happiness; āpnuyāt—may obtain; rājñā—by the king; tathā—so also; prakṛtayaḥ—the dependent royal elements; nara-deva—O King; āhita-adhayaḥ—offering wealth and other items.
O King, O lord of humanity, when a king directly depends upon his associates and follows their instructions, he is happy. Similarly, when his associates offer their gifts and activities to the king and follow his orders, they are also happy.
The actual happiness of a king and his dependents is described in this verse. A king should not simply give orders to his dependents because he is supreme; sometimes he must follow their instructions. Similarly, the dependents should depend on the king. This mutual dependence will make everyone happy.
api dārāḥ prajāmātyā
bhṛtyāḥ śreṇyo ’tha mantriṇaḥ
paurā jānapadā bhūpā
ātmajā vaśa-vartinaḥ
api—whether; dārāḥ—wives; prajā—citizens; amātyāḥ—and secretaries; bhṛtyāḥ—servants; śreṇyaḥ—merchants; atha—as well as; mantriṇaḥ—ministers; paurāḥ—inmates of the palace; jānapadāḥ—the provincial governors; bhūpāḥ—landholders; ātma-jāḥ—sons; vaśa-vartinaḥ—under your full control.
O King, are your wives, citizens, secretaries and servants and the merchants who sell spices and oil under your control? Are you also in full control of ministers, the inhabitants of your palace, your provincial governors, your sons and your other dependents?
The master or king and his subordinates should be interdependent. Through cooperation, both of them can be happy.
yasyātmānuvaśaś cet syāt
sarve tad-vaśagā ime
lokāḥ sapālā yacchanti
sarve balim atandritāḥ
yasya—of whom; ātmā—mind; anuvaśaḥ—under control; cet—if; syāt—may be; sarve—all; tat-vaśa-gāḥ—under the control of him; ime—these; lokāḥ—the worlds; sa-pālāḥ—with their governors; yacchanti—offer; sarve—all; balim—contribution; atandritāḥ—becoming free from laziness.
If the king’s mind is fully controlled, all his family members and governmental officers are subordinate to him. His provincial governors present taxes on time, without resistance, and what to speak of lesser servants?
Aṅgirā Ṛṣi asked the King whether his mind was also under control. This is most essential for happiness.
ātmanaḥ prīyate nātmā
parataḥ svata eva vā
lakṣaye ’labdha-kāmaṁ tvāṁ
cintayā śabalaṁ mukham
ātmanaḥ—of you; prīyate—is pleased; na—not; ātmā—the mind; parataḥ—due to other causes; svataḥ—due to yourself; eva—indeed; —or; lakṣaye—I can see; alabdha-kāmam—not achieving your desired goals; tvām—you; cintayā—by anxiety; śabalampale; mukham—face.
O King Citraketu, I can observe that your mind is not pleased. You seem not to have achieved your desired goal. Is this because of you yourself, or has it been caused by others? Your pale face reflects your deep anxiety.
evaṁ vikalpito rājan
viduṣā munināpi saḥ
praśrayāvanato ’bhyāha
prajā-kāmas tato munim
evam—thus; vikalpitaḥ—questioned; rājan—O King Parīkṣit; viduṣā—greatly learned; muninā—by the philosopher; api—although; saḥ—he (King Citraketu); praśraya-avanataḥ—being bent low due to humility; abhyāha—replied; prajā-kāmaḥ—desiring offspring; tataḥ—thereafter; munim—to the great sage.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: O King Parīkṣit, although the great sage Aṅgirā knew everything, he inquired from the King in this way. Thus King Citraketu, desiring a son, bent low in great humility and spoke to the great sage as follows.
Since the face is the index to the mind, a saintly person can study the condition of one’s mind by seeing his face. When Aṅgirā Ṛṣi remarked about the King’s discolored face, King Citraketu explained the cause of his anxiety as follows.
citraketur uvāca
bhagavan kiṁ na viditaṁ
yogināṁ dhvasta-pāpānāṁ
bahir antaḥ śarīriṣu
citraketuḥ uvāca—King Citraketu replied; bhagavan—O most powerful sage; kim—what; na—not; viditam—is understood; tapaḥ—by austerity; jñāna—knowledge; samādhibhiḥ—and by samādhi (trance, transcendental meditation); yoginām—by the great yogīs or devotees; dhvasta-pāpānām—who are fully freed from all sinful reactions; bahiḥ—externally; antaḥ—internally; śarīriṣu—in conditioned souls, who have material bodies.
King Citraketu said: O great lord Aṅgirā, because of austerity, knowledge and transcendental samādhi, you are freed from all the reactions of sinful life. Therefore, as a perfect yogī, you can understand everything external and internal regarding embodied, conditioned souls like us.
tathāpi pṛcchato brūyāṁ
brahmann ātmani cintitam
bhavato viduṣaś cāpi
coditas tvad-anujñayā
tathāpi—still; pṛcchataḥ—asking; brūyām—let me speak; brahman—O great brāhmaṇa; ātmani—in the mind; cintitam—anxiety; bhavataḥ—to you; viduṣaḥ—who know everything; ca—and; api—although; coditaḥ—being inspired; tvat—your; anujñayā—by the order.
O great soul, you are aware of everything, yet you are asking me why I am full of anxiety. Therefore, in response to your order, let me disclose the cause.
loka-pālair api prārthyāḥ
na nandayanty aprajaṁ māṁ
kṣut-tṛṭ-kāmam ivāpare
loka-pālaiḥ—by great demigods; api—even; prārthyāḥ—desirable; sāmrājya—a great empire; aiśvarya—material opulence; sampadaḥ—possessions; na nandayanti—do not give pleasure; aprajam—because of having no son; mām—unto me; kṣut—hunger; tṛṭ—thirst; kāmam—desiring to satisfy; iva—like; apare—other enjoyable sense objects.
As a person aggrieved by hunger and thirst is not pleased by the external gratification of flower garlands or sandalwood pulp, I am not pleased with my empire, opulence or possessions, which are desirable even for great demigods, because I have no son.
tataḥ pāhi mahā-bhāga
pūrvaiḥ saha gataṁ tamaḥ
yathā tarema duṣpāraṁ
prajayā tad vidhehi naḥ
tataḥ—therefore, because of this; pāhi—kindly save; mahā-bhāga—O great sage; pūrvaiḥ saha—along with my forefathers; gatam—gone; tamaḥ—to darkness; yathā—so that; tarema—we can cross; duṣpāram—very difficult to cross; prajayā—by getting a son; tat—that; vidhehi—kindly do; naḥ—for us.
Therefore, O great sage, please save me and my forefathers, who are descending to the darkness of hell because I have no progeny. Kindly do something so that I may have a son to deliver us from hellish conditions.
According to Vedic civilization, one gets married simply to have a son, who is needed to offer oblations to his forefathers. King Citraketu responsibly desired to beget a child so that he and his forefathers might be delivered from the darkest regions. He was concerned with how to get piṇḍa, oblations, in the next life, not only for himself but also for his forefathers. Therefore he requested Aṅgirā Ṛṣi to favor him by doing something that could help him get a son.
śrī-śuka uvāca
ity arthitaḥ sa bhagavān
kṛpālur brahmaṇaḥ sutaḥ
śrapayitvā caruṁ tvāṣṭraṁ
tvaṣṭāram ayajad vibhuḥ
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca—Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; iti—thus; arthitaḥ—being requested; saḥ—he (Aṅgirā Ṛṣi); bhagavān—the most powerful; kṛpāluḥ—being very merciful; brahmaṇaḥ—of Lord Brahmā; sutaḥ—a son (born of Lord Brahmā’s mind); śrapayitvā—after causing to cook; carum—a specific oblation of sweetrice; tvāṣṭram—meant for the demigod known as Tvaṣṭā; tvaṣṭāramTvaṣṭā; ayajat—he worshiped; vibhuḥ—the great sage.
In response to the request of Mahārāja Citraketu, Aṅgirā Ṛṣi, who was born of Lord Brahmā’s mind, was very merciful toward him. Because the sage was a greatly powerful personality, he performed a sacrifice by offering oblations of sweetrice to Tvaṣṭā.
jyeṣṭhā śreṣṭhā ca yā rājño
mahiṣīṇāṁ ca bhārata
nāmnā kṛtadyutis tasyai
yajñocchiṣṭam adād dvijaḥ
jyeṣṭhā—the senior; śreṣṭhā—the most perfect; ca—and; —she who; rājñaḥ—of the King; mahiṣīṇām—among all the queens; ca—also; bhārata—O Mahārāja Parīkṣit, the best of the Bhāratas; nāmnā—by name; kṛtadyutiḥ—Kṛtadyuti; tasyai—unto her; yajña—of the sacrifice; ucchiṣṭam—the remnants of food; adāt—delivered; dvijaḥ—the great sage (Aṅgirā).
O Parīkṣit Mahārāja, best of the Bhāratas, the remnants of the food offered in the yajña were given by the great sage Aṅgirā to the first and most perfect among Citraketu’s millions of queens, whose name was Kṛtadyuti.
athāha nṛpatiṁ rājan
bhavitaikas tavātmajaḥ
harṣa-śoka-pradas tubhyam
iti brahma-suto yayau
atha—thereafter; āha—said; nṛpatim—unto the King; rājan—O King Citraketu; bhavitā—there will be; ekaḥ—one; tava—your; ātmajaḥ—son; harṣa-śoka—jubilation and lamentation; pradaḥ—who will give; tubhyam—unto you; iti—thus; brahma-sutaḥ—Aṅgirā Ṛṣi, the son of Lord Brahmā; yayau—left.
Thereafter, the great sage told the King, “O great King, now you will have a son who will be the cause of both jubilation and lamentation.” The sage then left, without waiting for Citraketu’s response.
The word harṣa means “jubilation,” and śoka means “lamentation.” The King was overwhelmed with joy when he understood that he would have a son. Because of his great jubilation, he could not actually understand the statement of the sage Aṅgirā. He accepted it to mean that there would certainly be jubilation because of the birth of his future son, but that he would be the King’s only son and, being very proud of his great wealth and empire, would not be very obedient to his father. Thus the King was satisfied, thinking, “Let there be a son. It does not matter if he is not very obedient.” In Bengal there is a proverb that instead of having no maternal uncle, it is better to have a maternal uncle who is blind. The King accepted this philosophy, thinking that a disobedient son would be better than no son at all. The great sage Cāṇakya Paṇḍita says:
“What is the use of a son who is neither a learned scholar nor a devotee? Such a son is like a blind, diseased eye, which always causes suffering.” Nevertheless, the material world is so polluted that one wants to have a son even though he is useless. This attitude was represented in the history of King Citraketu.
sāpi tat-prāśanād eva
citraketor adhārayat
garbhaṁ kṛtadyutir devī
kṛttikāgner ivātmajam
—she; api—even; tat-prāśanāt—by eating the remnants of food from the great sacrifice; eva—indeed; citraketoḥ—from King Citraketu; adhārayat—bore; garbham—pregnancy; kṛtadyutiḥ—Queen Kṛtadyuti; devī—the goddess; kṛttikāKṛttikā; agneḥ—from Agni; iva—as; ātma-jam—a son.
As Kṛttikādevī, after receiving the semen of Lord Śiva from Agni, conceived a child named Skanda [Kārttikeya], Kṛtadyuti, having received semen from Citraketu, became pregnant after eating remnants of food from the yajña performed by Aṅgirā.
tasyā anudinaṁ garbhaḥ
śukla-pakṣa ivoḍupaḥ
vavṛdhe śūraseneśa-
tejasā śanakair nṛpa
tasyāḥ—her; anudinam—day after day; garbhaḥ—embryo; śukla-pakṣe—during the fortnight of the waxing moon; iva—like; uḍupaḥ—the moon; vavṛdhe—gradually developed; śūrasena-īśa—of the King of Śūrasena; tejasā—by the semen; śanakaiḥ—little by little; nṛpa—O King Parīkṣit.
After receiving semen from Mahārāja Citraketu, the King of Śūrasena, Queen Kṛtadyuti gradually developed in her pregnancy, O King Parīkṣit, just as the moon develops during the bright fortnight.
atha kāla upāvṛtte
kumāraḥ samajāyata
janayan śūrasenānāṁ
śṛṇvatāṁ paramāṁ mudam
atha—thereafter; kāle upāvṛtte—in due course of time; kumāraḥ—the son; samajāyata—took birth; janayan—creating; śūrasenānām—of the inhabitants of Śūrasena; śṛṇvatām—hearing; paramām—the highest; mudam—delight.
Thereafter, in due course of time, a son was born to the King. Hearing news of this, all the inhabitants of the state of Śūrasena were extremely pleased.
hṛṣṭo rājā kumārasya
snātaḥ śucir alaṅkṛtaḥ
vācayitvāśiṣo vipraiḥ
kārayām āsa jātakam
hṛṣṭaḥ—very happy; rājā—the King; kumārasya—of his newly born son; snātaḥ—having bathed; śuciḥ—being purified; alaṅkṛtaḥ—being decorated with ornaments; vācayitvā—having caused to be spoken; āśiṣaḥ—words of benediction; vipraiḥ—by learned brāhmaṇas; kārayām āsa—caused to be performed; jātakam—the birth ceremony.
King Citraketu was especially pleased. After purifying himself by bathing and by decorating himself with ornaments, he engaged learned brāhmaṇas in offering benedictions to the child and performing the birth ceremony.
tebhyo hiraṇyaṁ rajataṁ
vāsāṁsy ābharaṇāni ca
grāmān hayān gajān prādād
dhenūnām arbudāni ṣaṭ
tebhyaḥ—unto them (the learned brāhmaṇas); hiraṇyam—gold; rajatam—silver; vāsāṁsi—garments; ābharaṇāni—ornaments; ca—also; grāmān—villages; hayān—horses; gajān—elephants; prādāt—gave in charity; dhenūnām—of cows; arbudāni—groups of one hundred million; ṣaṭ—six.
Unto the brāhmaṇas who took part in the ritualistic ceremony the King gave charity of gold, silver, garments, ornaments, villages, horses and elephants, as well as sixty crores of cows [six hundred million cows].
vavarṣa kāmān anyeṣāṁ
parjanya iva dehinām
dhanyaṁ yaśasyam āyuṣyaṁ
kumārasya mahā-manāḥ
vavarṣa—showered, gave in charity; kāmān—all desirable things; anyeṣām—of others; parjanyaḥ—a cloud; iva—like; dehinām—of all living entities; dhanyam—with the desire for an increase of opulence; yaśasyam—an increase of reputation; āyuṣyam—and an increase of the duration of life; kumārasya—of the newly born child; mahā-manāḥ—the beneficent King Citraketu.
As a cloud indiscriminately pours water on the earth, the beneficent King Citraketu, to increase the reputation, opulence and longevity of his son, distributed like rainfall all desirable things to everyone.
kṛcchra-labdhe ’tha rājarṣes
tanaye ’nudinaṁ pituḥ
yathā niḥsvasya kṛcchrāpte
dhane sneho ’nvavardhata
kṛcchra—with great difficulty; labdhe—gained; atha—thereafter; rāja-ṛṣeḥ—of the pious King Citraketu; tanaye—for the son; anudinam—day after day; pituḥ—of the father; yathā—exactly as; niḥsvasya—of a poor man; kṛcchra-āpte—gained after great difficulty; dhane—for riches; snehaḥ—affection; anvavardhata—increased.
When a poor man gets some money after great difficulty, his affection for the money increases daily. Similarly, when King Citraketu, after great difficulty, received a son, his affection for the son increased day after day.
mātus tv atitarāṁ putre
sneho moha-samudbhavaḥ
kṛtadyuteḥ sapatnīnāṁ
prajā-kāma-jvaro ’bhavat
mātuḥ—of the mother; tu—also; atitarām—excessively; putre—for the son; snehaḥ—affection; moha—out of ignorance; samudbhavaḥ—produced; kṛtadyuteḥ—of Kṛtadyuti; sapatnīnām—of the co-wives; prajā-kāma—of a desire to have sons; jvaraḥ—a fever; abhavat—there was.
The mother’s attraction and attention to the son, like that of the child’s father, excessively increased. The other wives, seeing Kṛtadyuti’s son, were very much agitated, as if by high fevers, with a desire to have sons.
citraketor atiprītir
yathā dāre prajāvati
na tathānyeṣu sañjajñe
bālaṁ lālayato ’nvaham
citraketoḥ—of King Citraketu; atiprītiḥ—excessive attraction; yathā—just as; dāre—unto the wife; prajā-vati—who begot a son; na—not; tathā—like that; anyeṣu—unto the others; sañjajñe—arose; bālam—the son; lālayataḥ—taking care of; anvaham—constantly.
As King Citraketu fostered his son very carefully, his affection for Queen Kṛtadyuti increased, but gradually he lost affection for the other wives, who had no sons.
tāḥ paryatapyann ātmānaṁ
garhayantyo ’bhyasūyayā
ānapatyena duḥkhena
rājñaś cānādareṇa ca
tāḥ—they (the queens who did not have sons); paryatapyan—lamented; ātmānam—themselves; garhayantyaḥ—condemning; abhyasūyayā—out of envy; ānapatyena—due to being without sons; duḥkhena—by unhappiness; rājñaḥ—of the King; ca—also; anādareṇa—due to negligence; ca—also.
The other queens were extremely unhappy due to their being sonless. Because of the King’s negligence toward them, they condemned themselves in envy and lamented.
dhig aprajāṁ striyaṁ pāpāṁ
patyuś cāgṛha-sammatām
suprajābhiḥ sapatnībhir
dāsīm iva tiraskṛtām
dhik—all condemnation; aprajām—without a son; striyam—upon a woman; pāpām—full of sinful activities; patyuḥ—by the husband; ca—also; a-gṛha-sammatām—who is not honored at home; su-prajābhiḥ—who have sons; sapatnībhiḥ—by co-wives; dāsīm—a maidservant; iva—exactly like; tiraskṛtām—dishonored.
A wife who has no sons is neglected at home by her husband and dishonored by her co-wives exactly like a maidservant. Certainly such a woman is condemned in every respect because of her sinful life.
As stated by Cāṇakya Paṇḍita:
mātā yasya gṛhe nāsti
bhāryā cāpriya-vādinī
araṇyaṁ tena gantavyaṁ
yathāraṇyaṁ tathā gṛham
“A person who has no mother at home and whose wife does not speak sweetly should go to the forest. For such a person, living at home and living in the forest are equal.” Similarly, for a woman who has no son, who is not cared for by her husband and whose co-wives neglect her, treating her like a maidservant, to go to the forest is better than to remain at home.
dāsīnāṁ ko nu santāpaḥ
svāminaḥ paricaryayā
abhīkṣṇaṁ labdha-mānānāṁ
dāsyā dāsīva durbhagāḥ
dāsīnām—of the maidservants; kaḥ—what; nu—indeed; santāpaḥ—lamentation; svāminaḥ—unto the husband; paricaryayā—by rendering service; abhīkṣṇam—constantly; labdha-mānānām—honored; dāsyāḥ—of the maidservant; dāsī iva—like a maidservant; durbhagāḥ—most unfortunate.
Even maidservants who are constantly engaged in rendering service to the husband are honored by the husband, and thus they have nothing for which to lament. Our position, however, is that we are maidservants of the maidservant. Therefore we are most unfortunate.
evaṁ sandahyamānānāṁ
sapatnyāḥ putra-sampadā
rājño ’sammata-vṛttīnāṁ
vidveṣo balavān abhūt
evam—thus; sandahyamānānām—of the queens, who were constantly burning in lamentation; sapatnyāḥ—of the co-wife Kṛtadyuti; putra-sampadā—due to the opulence of a son; rājñaḥ—by the King; asammata-vṛttīnām—not being very much favored; vidveṣaḥ—envy; balavān—very strong; abhūt—became.
Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: Being neglected by their husband and seeing Kṛtadyuti’s opulence in possessing a son, Kṛtadyuti’s co-wives always burned in envy, which became extremely strong.
striyo dāruṇa-cetasaḥ
garaṁ daduḥ kumārāya
durmarṣā nṛpatiṁ prati
vidveṣa-naṣṭa-matayaḥ—whose intelligence was lost in envy; striyaḥ—the women; dāruṇa-cetasaḥ—being very hardhearted; garam—poison; daduḥ—administered; kumārāya—unto the boy; durmarṣāḥ—being intolerant; nṛpatim—the King; prati—upon.
As their envy increased, they lost their intelligence. Being extremely hardhearted and unable to tolerate the King’s neglect, they finally administered poison to the son.
kṛtadyutir ajānantī
sapatnīnām aghaṁ mahat
supta eveti sañcintya
nirīkṣya vyacarad gṛhe
kṛtadyutiḥ—Queen Kṛtadyuti; ajānantī—being unaware of; sapatnīnām—of her co-wives; agham—sinful act; mahat—very great; suptaḥ—sleeping; eva—indeed; iti—thus; sañcintya—thinking; nirīkṣya—looking at; vyacarat—was walking; gṛhe—at home.
Unaware of the poison administered by her co-wives, Queen Kṛtadyuti walked within the house, thinking that her son was sleeping deeply. She did not understand that he was dead.
śayānaṁ suciraṁ bālam
upadhārya manīṣiṇī
putram ānaya me bhadre
iti dhātrīm acodayat
śayānam—lying down; su-ciram—for a long time; bālam—the son; upadhārya—thinking; manīṣiṇī—very intelligent; putram—the son; ānaya—bring; me—unto me; bhadre—O gentle friend; iti—thus; dhātrīm—unto the nurse; acodayat—gave the order.
Thinking that her child had been sleeping for a long time, Queen Kṛtadyuti, who was certainly very intelligent, ordered the nurse, “My dear friend, please bring my son here.”
sā śayānam upavrajya
dṛṣṭvā cottāra-locanam
prāṇendriyātmabhis tyaktaṁ
hatāsmīty apatad bhuvi
—she (the maidservant); śayānam—lying down; upavrajya—going to; dṛṣṭvā—seeing; ca—also; uttāra-locanam—his eyes turned upward (as are those of a dead body); prāṇa-indriya-ātmabhiḥ—by the life force, senses and mind; tyaktam—abandoned; hatā asmi—now I am doomed; iti—thus; apatat—fell down; bhuvi—on the ground.
When the maidservant approached the child, who was lying down, she saw that his eyes were turned upward. There were no signs of life, all his senses having stopped, and she could understand that the child was dead. Seeing this, she immediately cried, “Now I am doomed,” and fell to the ground.
tasyās tadākarṇya bhṛśāturaṁ svaraṁ
ghnantyāḥ karābhyām ura uccakair api
praviśya rājñī tvarayātmajāntikaṁ
dadarśa bālaṁ sahasā mṛtaṁ sutam
tasyāḥ—of her (the maidservant); tadā—at that time; ākarṇya—hearing; bhṛśa-āturam—highly regretful and agitated; svaram—voice; ghnantyāḥ—striking; karābhyām—with the hands; uraḥ—the chest; uccakaiḥ—loudly; api—also; praviśya—entering; rājñī—the Queen; tvarayā—hastily; ātmaja-antikam—near her son; dadarśa—she saw; bālam—the child; sahasā—suddenly; mṛtam—dead; sutam—son.
In great agitation, the maidservant struck her breast with both hands and cried loudly in regretful words. Hearing her loud voice, the Queen immediately came, and when she approached her son, she saw that he was suddenly dead.
papāta bhūmau parivṛddhayā śucā
mumoha vibhraṣṭa-śiroruhāmbarā
papāta—fell down; bhūmau—on the ground; parivṛddhayā—highly increased; śucā—out of lamentation; mumoha—she became unconscious; vibhraṣṭa—scattered; śiroruha—hair; ambarā—and dress.
In great lamentation, her hair and dress in disarray, the Queen fell to the ground unconscious.
tato nṛpāntaḥpura-vartino janā
narāś ca nāryaś ca niśamya rodanam
āgatya tulya-vyasanāḥ suduḥkhitās
tāś ca vyalīkaṁ ruruduḥ kṛtāgasaḥ
tataḥ—thereafter; nṛpa—O King; antaḥpura-vartinaḥ—the inhabitants of the palace; janāḥ—all the people; narāḥ—the men; ca—and; nāryaḥ—the women; ca—also; niśamya—hearing; rodanam—loud crying; āgatya—coming; tulya-vyasanāḥ—being equally aggrieved; su-duḥkhitāḥ—very greatly lamenting; tāḥ—they; ca—and; vyalīkam—pretentiously; ruruduḥ—cried; kṛta-āgasaḥ—who had committed the offense (by giving the poison).
O King Parīkṣit, hearing the loud crying, all the inhabitants of the palace came, both men and women. Being equally aggrieved, they also began to cry. The queens who had administered the poison also cried pretentiously, knowing full well their offense.
TEXTS 50–51
śrutvā mṛtaṁ putram alakṣitāntakaṁ
vinaṣṭa-dṛṣṭiḥ prapatan skhalan pathi
snehānubandhaidhitayā śucā bhṛśaṁ
vimūrcchito ’nuprakṛtir dvijair vṛtaḥ
papāta bālasya sa pāda-mūle
mṛtasya visrasta-śiroruhāmbaraḥ
dīrghaṁ śvasan bāṣpa-kaloparodhato
niruddha-kaṇṭho na śaśāka bhāṣitum
śrutvā—hearing; mṛtam—dead; putram—the son; alakṣita-antakam—the cause of death being unknown; vinaṣṭa-dṛṣṭiḥ—unable to see properly; prapatan—constantly falling down; skhalan—slipping; pathi—on the road; sneha-anubandha—because of affection; edhitayā—increasing; śucā—by lamentation; bhṛśam—greatly; vimūrcchitaḥ—becoming unconscious; anuprakṛtiḥ—followed by ministers and other officers; dvijaiḥ—by learned brāhmaṇas; vṛtaḥ—surrounded; papāta—fell down; bālasya—of the boy; saḥ—he (the King); pāda-mūle—at the feet; mṛtasya—of the dead body; visrasta—scattered; śiroruha—hair; ambaraḥ—and dress; dīrgham—long; śvasan—breathing; bāṣpa-kalā-uparodhataḥ—due to crying with tearful eyes; niruddha-kaṇṭhaḥ—having a choked voice; na—not; śaśāka—was able; bhāṣitum—to speak.
When King Citraketu heard of his son’s death from unknown causes, he became almost blind. Because of his great affection for his son, his lamentation grew like a blazing fire, and as he went to see the dead child, he kept slipping and falling on the ground. Surrounded by his ministers and other officers and the learned brāhmaṇas present, the King approached and fell unconscious at the child’s feet, his hair and dress scattered. When the King, breathing heavily, regained consciousness, his eyes were tearful, and he could not speak.
patiṁ nirīkṣyoru-śucārpitaṁ tadā
mṛtaṁ ca bālaṁ sutam eka-santatim
janasya rājñī prakṛteś ca hṛd-rujaṁ
satī dadhānā vilalāpa citradhā
patim—the husband; nirīkṣya—by seeing; uru—greatly; śuca—with lamentation; arpitam—pained; tadā—at that time; mṛtam—dead; ca—and; bālam—the child; sutam—the son; eka-santatim—the only son in the family; janasya—of all the other people gathered there; rājñī—the Queen; prakṛteḥ ca—as well as of the officers and ministers; hṛt-rujam—the pains within the core of the heart; satī dadhānā—increasing; vilalāpa—lamented; citradhā—in varieties of ways.
When the Queen saw her husband, King Citraketu, merged in great lamentation and saw the dead child, who was the only son in the family, she lamented in various ways. This increased the pain in the cores of the hearts of all the inhabitants of the palace, the ministers and all the brāhmaṇas.
stana-dvayaṁ kuṅkuma-paṅka-maṇḍitaṁ
niṣiñcatī sāñjana-bāṣpa-bindubhiḥ
vikīrya keśān vigalat-srajaḥ sutaṁ
śuśoca citraṁ kurarīva susvaram
stana-dvayam—her two breasts; kuṅkuma—with kuṅkuma powder (which is generally sprayed on the breasts of women); paṅka—ointment; maṇḍitam—decorated; niṣiñcatī—moistening; sa-añjana—mixed with the eye ointment; bāṣpa—of tears; bindubhiḥ—by drops; vikīrya—scattering; keśān—hair; vigalat—was falling down; srajaḥ—on which the flower garland; sutam—for her son; śuśoca—lamented; citram—variegated; kurarī iva—like a kurarī bird; su-svaram—in a very sweet voice.
The garland of flowers decorating the Queen’s head fell, and her hair scattered. Falling tears melted the collyrium on her eyes and moistened her breasts, which were covered with kuṅkuma powder. As she lamented the loss of her son, her loud crying resembled the sweet sound of a kurarī bird.
aho vidhātas tvam atīva bāliśo
yas tv ātma-sṛṣṭy-apratirūpam īhase
pare nu jīvaty aparasya yā mṛtir
viparyayaś cet tvam asi dhruvaḥ paraḥ
aho—alas (in great lamentation); vidhātaḥ—O Providence; tvam—You; atīva—very much; bāliśaḥ—inexperienced; yaḥ—who; tu—indeed; ātma-sṛṣṭi—of Your own creation; apratirūpam—just the opposite; īhase—You are performing and desiring; pare—while the father or the elder; nu—indeed; jīvati—is living; aparasya—of one who was born later; —which; mṛtiḥ—death; viparyayaḥ—contradictory; cet—if; tvam—You; asi—are; dhruvaḥ—indeed; paraḥ—an enemy.
Alas, O Providence, O Creator, You are certainly inexperienced in creation, for during the lifetime of a father You have caused the death of his son, thus acting in opposition to Your creative laws. If You are determined to contradict these laws, You are certainly the enemy of living entities and are never merciful.
This is the way a conditioned soul condemns the supreme creator when he meets reverses. Sometimes he accuses the Supreme Personality of Godhead of being crooked because some people are happy and some are not. Here the Queen blames supreme providence for her son’s death. Following the creative laws, a father should die first and then his son. If the creative laws are changed according to the whims of providence, then providence certainly should not be considered merciful, but must be considered inimical to the created being. Actually it is not the creator, but the conditioned soul who is inexperienced. He does not know how the subtle laws of fruitive activity work, and without knowledge of these laws of nature, he ignorantly criticizes the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
na hi kramaś ced iha mṛtyu-janmanoḥ
śarīriṇām astu tad ātma-karmabhiḥ
yaḥ sneha-pāśo nija-sarga-vṛddhaye
svayaṁ kṛtas te tam imaṁ vivṛścasi
na—not; hi—indeed; kramaḥ—chronological order; cet—if; iha—in this material world; mṛtyu—of death; janmanoḥ—and of birth; śarīriṇām—of the conditioned souls, who have accepted material bodies; astu—let it be; tat—that; ātma-karmabhiḥ—by the results of one’s karma (fruitive activities); yaḥ—that which; sneha-pāśaḥ—bondage of affection; nija-sarga—Your own creation; vṛddhaye—to increase; svayam—personally; kṛtaḥ—made; te—by You; tam—that; imam—this; vivṛścasi—you are cutting.
My Lord, You may say that there is no law that a father must die in the lifetime of his son and that a son must be born in the lifetime of his father, since everyone lives and dies according to his own fruitive activity. However, if fruitive activity is so strong that birth and death depend upon it, there is no need of a controller, or God. Again, if You say that a controller is needed because the material energy does not have the power to act, one may answer that if the bonds of affection You have created are disturbed by fruitive action, no one will raise children with affection; instead, everyone will cruelly neglect his children. Since You have cut the bonds of affection that compel a parent to raise his child, You appear inexperienced and unintelligent.
As stated in the Brahma-saṁhitā, karmāṇi nirdahati kintu ca bhakti-bhājām: [Bs. 5.54] one who has taken to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, devotional service, is not affected by the results of karma. In this verse, karma has been stressed on the basis of karma-mīmāṁsā philosophy, which says that one must act according to his karma and that a supreme controller must give the results of karma. The subtle laws of karma, which are controlled by the Supreme, cannot be understood by ordinary conditioned souls. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says that one who can understand Him and how He is acting, controlling everything by subtle laws, immediately becomes freed by His grace. That is the statement of Brahma-saṁhitā (karmāṇi nirdahati kintu ca bhakti-bhājām [Bs. 5.54]). One should take to devotional service without reservations and surrender everything to the supreme will of the Lord. That will make one happy in this life and the next.
tvaṁ tāta nārhasi ca māṁ kṛpaṇām anāthāṁ
tyaktuṁ vicakṣva pitaraṁ tava śoka-taptam
añjas tarema bhavatāpraja-dustaraṁ yad
dhvāntaṁ na yāhy akaruṇena yamena dūram
tvam—you; tāta—my dear son; na—not; arhasi—ought; ca—and; mām—me; kṛpaṇām—very poor; anāthām—without a protector; tyaktum—to give up; vicakṣva—look; pitaram—at the father; tava—your; śoka-taptam—affected by so much lamentation; añjaḥ—easily; tarema—we can cross; bhavatā—by you; apraja-dustaram—very difficult to cross for one without a son; yat—which; dhvāntam—the kingdom of darkness; na yāhi—do not go away; akaruṇena—merciless; yamena—with Yamarāja; dūram—any further.
My dear son, I am helpless and very much aggrieved. You should not give up my company. Just look at your lamenting father. We are helpless because without a son we shall have to suffer the distress of going to the darkest hellish regions. You are the only hope by which we can get out of these dark regions. Therefore I request you not to go any further with the merciless Yama.
According to the Vedic injunctions, one must accept a wife just to beget a son who can deliver one from the clutches of Yamarāja. Unless one has a son to offer oblations to the pitās, or forefathers, one must suffer in Yamarāja’s kingdom. King Citraketu was very much aggrieved. thinking that because his son was going away with Yamarāja he himself would again suffer. The subtle laws exist for the karmīs; if one becomes a devotee, he has no more obligations to the laws of karma.
uttiṣṭha tāta ta ime śiśavo vayasyās
tvām āhvayanti nṛpa-nandana saṁvihartum
suptaś ciraṁ hy aśanayā ca bhavān parīto
bhuṅkṣva stanaṁ piba śuco hara naḥ svakānām
uttiṣṭha—kindly get up; tāta—my dear son; te—they; ime—all these; śiśavaḥ—children; vayasyāḥ—playmates; tvām—you; āhvayanti—are calling; nṛpa-nandana—O son of the King; saṁvihartum—to play with; suptaḥ—you have slept; ciram—for a long time; hi—indeed; aśanayā—by hunger; ca—also; bhavān—you; parītaḥ—overcome; bhuṅkṣva—please eat; stanam—at the breast (of your mother); piba—drink; śucaḥ—lamentation; hara—just dissipate; naḥ—of us; svakānām—your relatives.
My dear son, you have slept a long time. Now please get up. Your playmates are calling you to play. Since you must be very hungry, please get up and suck my breast and dissipate our lamentation.
nāhaṁ tanūja dadṛśe hata-maṅgalā te
mugdha-smitaṁ mudita-vīkṣaṇam ānanābjam
kiṁ vā gato ’sy apunar-anvayam anya-lokaṁ
nīto ’ghṛṇena na śṛṇomi kalā giras te
na—not; aham—I; tanū-ja—my dear son (born of my body); dadṛśe—saw; hata-maṅgalā—because of my being the most unfortunate; te—your; mugdha-smitam—with charming smiling; mudita-vīkṣaṇam—with closed eyes; ānana-abjam—lotus face; kiṁ —whether; gataḥ—gone away; asi—you are; a-punaḥ-anvayam—from which one does not return; anya-lokam—to another planet, or the planet of Yamarāja; nītaḥ—having been taken away; aghṛṇena—by the cruel Yamarāja; na—not; śṛṇomi—I can hear; kalāḥ—very pleasing; giraḥ—utterances; te—your.
My dear son, I am certainly most unfortunate, for I can no longer see your mild smiling. You have closed your eyes forever. I therefore conclude that you have been taken from this planet to another, from which you will not return. My dear son, I can no longer hear your pleasing voice.
śrī-śuka uvāca
vilapantyā mṛtaṁ putram
iti citra-vilāpanaiḥ
citraketur bhṛśaṁ tapto
mukta-kaṇṭho ruroda ha
śrī-śukaḥ uvāca—Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; vilapantyā—with the woman who was lamenting; mṛtam—dead; putram—for the son; iti—thus; citra-vilāpanaiḥ—with various lamentations; citraketuḥ—King Citraketu; bhṛśam—very much; taptaḥ—aggrieved; mukta-kaṇṭhaḥ—loudly; ruroda—cried; ha—indeed.
Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: Accompanied by his wife, who was thus lamenting for her dead son, King Citraketu began crying loudly with an open mouth, being greatly aggrieved.
tayor vilapatoḥ sarve
dampatyos tad-anuvratāḥ
ruruduḥ sma narā nāryaḥ
sarvam āsīd acetanam
tayoḥ—while the two of them; vilapatoḥ—were lamenting; sarve—all; dam-patyoḥ—the King, along with his wife; tat-anuvratāḥ—their followers; ruruduḥ—cried loudly; sma—indeed; narāḥ—the male members; nāryaḥ—the female members; sarvam—the whole kingdom; āsīt—became; acetanam—almost unconscious.
As the King and Queen lamented, all their male and female followers joined them in crying. Because of the sudden accident, all the citizens of the kingdom were almost unconscious.
evaṁ kaśmalam āpannaṁ
naṣṭa-saṁjñam anāyakam
jñātvāṅgirā nāma ṛṣir
ājagāma sanāradaḥ
evam—thus; kaśmalam—misery; āpannam—having gotten; naṣṭa—lost; saṁjñam—consciousness; anāyakam—without help; jñātvā—knowing; aṅgirāḥ—Aṅgirā; nāma—named; ṛṣiḥ—the saintly person; ājagāma—came; sa-nāradaḥ—with Nārada Muni.
When the great sage Aṅgirā understood that the King was almost dead in an ocean of lamentation, he went there with Nārada Ṛṣi.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports of the Sixth Canto, Fourteenth Chapter, of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, entitled “King Citraketu’s Lamentation.”

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