A king, monarch, is supposed to give protection everyone within the kingdom. It doesn't matter whether he is man or animal. Even trees. There was no law, unnecessarily cutting or killing. No. Actually, if you are reasonable, national... National means anyone who is born in that land. At the present moment the governments take care of the man only, not of the animals. What is this nationalism? What the animal has done that they should not be protected? So this is called Kali-yuga, the sinful age. Sinful age. That is increasing. That is increasing. But during Mahārāja Parīkṣit's time, nobody could do anything injustice. Therefore it is said in the śāstra that kāmaṁ vavarṣa parjanyaḥ (SB 1.10.4). Because everything was right, the nature's way of giving us all comforts, all necessaries of life, that was also complete. As soon as you become injurious or harmful or disobedient to the laws of the king or God... King is supposed to be representative of God. Therefore, in India the king is accepted as the representative of God. So formerly the kings were trained up in such a way that one man is sufficient to govern the whole universe, whole... At least one planet. That was the system. The king was so pious. There are many, I mean to say, statements about these king. Why they were pious? Because they were also governed. The kings were governed by first-class brāhmaṇas, sages. The brāhmaṇas should not take part in the management of the government, but they would advise the kṣatriya kings that "You rule over the citizens like this." If the king would not do that, the brāhmaṇas had so much power—there are many instances—they will dethrone the king or kill him. But they will not occupy the power themselves. His son will be given the chance. This was the system.
So that Parīkṣit Mahārāja was condemned to death within seven days. That is also very nice, interesting. Not interesting very much; it is very sorry plight, that Parīkṣit Mahārāja was cursed by a brāhmaṇa boy to die within seven days, bitten by a snake. What was the incident? The incident was that Mahārāja Parīkṣit was in the forest, hunting. Hunting is allowed only to the kṣatriya kings. Because they were to rule over, and formerly the rogues and rascals by the order of king or king himself would kill him immediately, so they had to practice how to kill. And that practice was done by hunting some ferocious animal in the forest, not for eating. Nowadays hunting is going on for eating purpose. No, that is not the law. So Mahārāja Parīkṣit was in the hunting excursion and he became very thirsty. So he entered one āśrama of saintly person. He was at that time meditation. So he entered, and he asked him, "Give me drinking water. I am very thirsty." He thought, "It is āśrama." But the sage who was engaged in meditation could not hear him. So the king became little disgusted, that "I am king. I am asking water, and this man is silent." So he became little enraged, and there was a dead snake. So he took that snake and coiled over his neck and went away.
So his one boy, he was ten, twelve years old. He was playing, and his friends told him that "The king has insulted your father in this way." And the boy became very angry, "Oh, the king is so rude that he has insulted my father." He saw that a dead snake is over his neck. He immediately cursed Mahārāja Parīkṣit that "You will die within seven days, bitten by a snake." So when he was crying very loudly and this, I mean to say, sound was going on, the saintly person, the sage, he got up. "What has happened, my dear boy, you are crying?" "No, no. The king has insulted you, so I have cursed him." Oh, he became very sorry, that "You have cursed such a saintly king? Oh, you have brought defamation to the whole brāhmaṇa community. You have allowed Kali-yuga to come in. It is the Kali-yuga's conspiracy." Anyway, he sent the news to the king that "My son foolishly has cursed you. This is... But what can I do? It is God's wish. It has been done. So you be prepared." Now, just see, even a boy born of a brāhmaṇa, how much he was powerful, if a ten years boy old, he could curse such a great king and he had to abide by that. This was the condition of kṣatriya, brāhmaṇa and, I mean to say, vaiśya and śūdra. Cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ (BG 4.13). The human society, by the will of God there are four classes of men. The first class is the brāhmaṇa; the second class, the kṣatriya; the third class, the vaiśyas; and all others, fourth class, śūdras.