Kṛṣṇa was the only worshipable Deity for the Pāṇḍavas. When Mahārāja Parīkṣit was in the womb of his mother, Uttarā, Kṛṣṇa saved him from the attack of the brahma-śastra. Now Mahārāja Parīkṣit asked Śukadeva Gosvāmī how His Lordship Baladeva, the son of Rohiṇī, could have appeared in the womb of Devakī. Why did Kṛṣṇa transfer Himself from Mathurā to Vṛndāvana, King Parīkṣit asked, and how did He live there with His family members? What did Kṛṣṇa do in Mathurā and Vṛndāvana, and why did He kill His maternal uncle Kaṁsa? For how many years did Kṛṣṇa reside in Dvārakā, and how many queens did He have? Mahārāja Parīkṣit asked Śukadeva Gosvāmī all these questions. He also requested Śukadeva Gosvāmī to describe other activities of Kṛṣṇa about which he could not inquire.
When Maharaja Pariksit was in the womb of his mother, Uttara, Krsna saved him from the attack of the brahmastra atomic weapon of Asvatthama
- 1 Srimad-Bhagavatam
- 2 Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
- 3 Lectures
- 4 Conversations and Morning Walks
SB Canto 1
O foremost among the great thinkers (munis) (Śaunaka), seeing the glaring brahmāstra proceeding towards them, the Pāṇḍavas took up their five respective weapons.
The brahmāstras are finer than the nuclear weapons. Aśvatthāmā discharged the brahmāstra simply to kill the Pāṇḍavas, namely the five brothers headed by Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira and their only grandson, who was lying within the womb of Uttarā. Therefore the brahmāstra, more effective and finer than the atomic weapons, was not as blind as the atomic bombs. When the atomic bombs are discharged they do not discriminate between the target and others. Mainly the atomic bombs do harm to the innocent because there is no control. The brahmāstra is not like that. It marks out the target and proceeds accordingly without harming the innocent.
Queen Kuntī affirms that the Lord, although both within and without all living beings, is still invisible. The Lord is, so to speak, a puzzle for the common man. Queen Kuntī experienced personally that Lord Kṛṣṇa was present before her, yet He entered within the womb of Uttarā to save her embryo from the attack of Aśvatthāmā's brahmāstra. Kuntī herself was puzzled about whether Śrī Kṛṣṇa is all-pervasive or localized. In fact, He is both, but He reserves the right of not being exposed to persons who are not surrendered souls. This checking curtain is called the māyā energy of the Supreme Lord, and it controls the limited vision of the rebellious soul.
There was the great Battle of Kurukṣetra, and Arjuna had to meet such great generals as Droṇa, Bhīṣma and Karṇa, all powerful fighters. And at last, even when everything was done away with, there was the brahmāstra released by the son of Droṇācārya to kill the child within the womb of Uttarā, and so the Lord saved the only surviving descendant of the Kurus, Mahārāja Parīkṣit.
The sage Śaunaka said: The womb of Uttarā, mother of Mahārāja Parīkṣit, was spoiled by the dreadful and invincible brahmāstra weapon released by Aśvatthāmā. But Mahārāja Parīkṣit was saved by the Supreme Lord."
O son of Bhṛgu (Śaunaka), when the child Parīkṣit, the great fighter, was in the womb of his mother, Uttarā, and was suffering from the burning heat of the brahmāstra (thrown by Aśvatthāmā), he could observe the Supreme Lord coming to him.
Death generally involves remaining in trance for seven months. A living being, according to his own action, is allowed to enter into the womb of a mother by the vehicle of a father's semina, and thus he develops his desired body. This is the law of birth in specific bodies according to one's past actions. When he is awake from trance, he feels the inconvenience of being confined within the womb, and thus he wants to come out of it and sometimes fortunately prays to the Lord for such liberation. Mahārāja Parīkṣit, while in the womb of his mother, was struck by the brahmāstra released by Aśvatthāmā, and he was feeling the burning heat. But because he was a devotee of the Lord, the Lord at once appeared Himself within the womb by His all-powerful energy, and the child could see that someone else had come to save him. Even in that helpless condition, the child Parīkṣit endured the unbearable temperature due to his being a great fighter by nature. And for this reason the word vīraḥ has been used.
He (the Lord) was only thumb high, but He was all transcendental. He had a very beautiful, blackish, infallible body, and He wore a dress of lightning yellow and a helmet of blazing gold. Thus He was seen by the child."
The Lord was enriched with four hands, earrings of molten gold and eyes blood red with fury. As He loitered about, His club constantly encircled Him like a shooting star.
It is said in the Brahma-saṁhitā (Ch. 5) that the Supreme Lord Govinda, by His one plenary portion, enters into the halo of the universe and distributes himself as Paramātmā, or the Supersoul, not only within the heart of every living being, but also within every atom of the material elements. Thus the Lord is all-pervading by His inconceivable potency, and thus He entered the womb of Uttarā to save His beloved devotee Mahārāja Parīkṣit. In the Bhagavad-gītā (9.31) the Lord assured everyone that His devotees are never to be vanquished. No one can kill a devotee of the Lord because he is protected by the Lord, and no one can save a person whom the Lord desires to kill. The Lord is all-powerful, and therefore He can both save and kill as He likes. He became visible to His devotee Mahārāja Parīkṣit even in that awkward position (in the womb of his mother) in a shape just suitable for his vision. The Lord can become bigger than thousands of universes and can become smaller than an atom at the same time. Merciful as He is, He becomes just suitable to the vision of the limited living being. He is unlimited. He is not limited by any measurement of our calculation. He can become bigger than what we can think of, and He can become smaller than what we can conceive. But in all circumstances He is the same all-powerful Lord. There is no difference between the thumblike Viṣṇu in the womb of Uttarā and the full-fledged Nārāyaṇa in the Vaikuṇṭha-dhāma, the kingdom of Godhead. He accepts the form of arca-vigraha (worshipable Deity) just to accept service from His different incapable devotees. By the mercy of the arca-vigraha, the form of the Lord in material elements, the devotees who are in the material world can easily approach the Lord, although He is not conceivable by the material senses. The arca-vigraha is therefore an all-spiritual form of the Lord to be perceived by the material devotees; such an arca-vigraha of the Lord is never to be considered material. There is no difference between matter and spirit for the Lord, although there is a gulf of difference between the two in the case of the conditioned living being. For the Lord there is nothing but spiritual existence, and similarly there is nothing except spiritual existence for the pure devotee of the Lord in his intimate relation with the Lord.
Having won his kingdom and observed the birth of one grandson competent to continue the noble tradition of his family, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira reigned peacefully and enjoyed uncommon opulence in cooperation with his younger brothers, who were all expert administrators to the common people.
Both Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira and Arjuna were unhappy from the beginning of the Battle of Kurukṣetra, but even though they were unwilling to kill their own men in the fight, it had to be done as a matter of duty, for it was planned by the supreme will of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. After the battle, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira was unhappy over such mass killings. Practically there was none to continue the Kuru dynasty after them, the Pāṇḍavas. The only remaining hope was the child in the womb of his daughter-in-law, Uttarā, and he was also attacked by Aśvatthāmā, but by the grace of the Lord the child was saved. So after the settlement of all disturbing conditions and reestablishment of the peaceful order of the state, and after seeing the surviving child, Parīkṣit, well satisfied, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira felt some relief as a human being, although he had very little attraction for material happiness, which is always illusory and temporary.
SB Canto 3
The embryo of Pūru's descendant begotten by the great hero Abhimanyu in the womb of Uttarā, his wife, was burnt by the weapon of the son of Droṇa, but later he was again protected by the Lord.
The embryonic body of Parīkṣit which was in formation after Uttarā's pregnancy by Abhimanyu, the great hero, was burned by the brahmāstra of Aśvatthāmā, but a second body was given by the Lord within the womb, and thus the descendant of Pūru was saved. This incident is the direct proof that the body and the living entity, the spiritual spark, are different. When the living entity takes shelter in the womb of a woman through the injection of the semen of a man, there is an emulsification of the man's and woman's discharges, and thus a body is formed the size of a pea, gradually developing into a complete body. But if the developing embryo is destroyed in some way or other, the living entity has to take shelter in another body or in the womb of another woman. The particular living entity who was selected to be the descendant of Mahārāja Pūru, or the Pāṇḍavas, was not an ordinary living entity, and by the superior will of the Lord he was destined to be the successor to Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira. Therefore, when Aśvatthāmā destroyed the embryo of Mahārāja Parīkṣit, the Lord, by His own internal potency, entered into the womb of Uttarā by His plenary portion just to give audience to the would-be Mahārāja Parīkṣit, who was in great danger. By His appearance within the womb, the Lord encouraged the child and gave him complete protection in a new body by His omnipotency. By His power of omnipresence He was present both inside and outside of Uttarā and other members of the Pāṇḍava family.
SB Canto 10.1 to 10.13
Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
Nectar of Devotion
Kṛṣṇa is present everywhere, not only within the universe, not only within the hearts of all living entities, but also within every atom. In the prayers of Queen Kuntī we find mention of this inconceivable potency of Kṛṣṇa. While Kṛṣṇa was talking with Kuntī, He simultaneously entered the womb of Uttarā, who was in danger due to the atomic weapon of Aśvatthāmā. Kṛṣṇa can illusion even Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva, and He can protect all surrendered devotees from the reactions of sinful activities. These are some of the examples of His inconceivable potencies.
When Uttarā was attacked by the brahmāstra of Aśvatthāmā, she became afraid of losing her child, Mahārāja Parīkṣit, who was still within the womb. She immediately surrendered to Kṛṣṇa and said, "My dear Lord, kindly save my child! I do not mind if I myself must be killed by the brahmāstra of Aśvatthāmā." This is an instance of humility caused by fear.
Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead
Mahārāja Parīkṣit very much appreciated Kṛṣṇa's activities for many other reasons. Not only was his grandfather saved by Kṛṣṇa, but he himself also was saved by Kṛṣṇa. By the end of the Battle of Kurukṣetra, all the members of the Kuru dynasty, both the sons and grandsons on the side of Dhṛtarāṣṭra and those on the side of the Pāṇḍavas, had died in the fighting. Except the five Pāṇḍava brothers, everyone died on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra. Mahārāja Parīkṣit was at that time within the womb of his mother. His father, Abhimanyu, the son of Arjuna, also died on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra, and so Mahārāja Parīkṣit was a posthumous child. When he was in the womb of his mother, a brahmāstra weapon was released by Aśvatthāmā to kill the child. When Parīkṣit Mahārāja's mother, Uttarā, approached Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, seeing the danger of abortion, entered her womb as the Supersoul and saved Mahārāja Parīkṣit. Mahārāja Parīkṣit's other name is Viṣṇurāta because he was saved by Lord Viṣṇu Himself while still within the womb.
So he was arrested. He was arrested by Arjuna, and he was to be killed. Kṛṣṇa ordered that "Kill him. He is not a brāhmaṇa. He is less than śūdra." So when he was arrested, then he was let loose by the request of Draupadī that "I am suffering for the death of my sons, and this rascal is the son of our Guru Mahārāja, Droṇācārya, who has done so much for us. If he dies also, then mother guru will be very much unhappy. So let him go away." So, being insulted, he threw atom bomb, brahmāstra. The brahmāstra is something like atomic weapon, nuclear weapon. It can go to the enemy wherever the enemy is. It doesn't matter. It will go and kill him. That is called brahmāstra. So the brahmāstra was... He knew that "The rest of the Kuru family is Parīkṣit, the son of Abhimanyu. He is in the womb of Uttarā. So let me kill him also. Then everything finished."
So drauṇy-astra. So when that weapon was let loose, Parīkṣit Mahārāja mother, Uttarā, felt that she is going to discharge the womb. And she approached Kṛṣṇa, "Save me." And Kṛṣṇa entered the womb of Uttarā and saved the child, the posthumous child. So in this way the Pāṇḍava family was saved. Simply Parīkṣit Mahārāja remained. That also within the womb of his mother. And in mature time, when Parīkṣit Mahārāja came out, the grandfathers only (were) there.
So Abhimanyu was Kṛṣṇa's (Arjuna's) son from the womb of Subhadrā. So he was married. Only sixteen years. Almost the same age. Fortunately Uttarā became pregnant. So Abhimanyu went to fight in the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra and never returned. So Parīkṣit Mahārāja was posthumous child. He took his birth after the death of his father. He did not see. Not only father, many. Because it was after the battle. He was the only survivor of the whole Kuru dynasty. So he was also attempted to be killed by Aśvatthāmā by brahmāstra. Kṛṣṇa saved. So Parīkṣit Mahārāja was born after the death of his father. The grandfathers took care of him, and as soon as the child was grown up, all the grandfathers, Pāṇḍavas, entrusted the kingdom to Parīkṣit Mahārāja, and they left home.
So only Mahārāja Parīkṣit was in the womb of his mother, and that was also attempted to be killed by brahmāstra. Brahmāstra is almost similar to the atomic weapon. And the brahmāstra, the specific function of brahmāstra is that when this weapon is released, it will kill the particular men wherever he is; it will go there and kill him. It doesn't matter whether he is in front or in somewhere. The weapon is so powerful that simply by mantra, you release it, and it will kill your enemy, wherever he is. So one brahmāstra was released to kill this child, baby within the womb, embryo, to kill. And at that time Uttarā felt that her pregnancy is going to be, what is called, discharged. So immediately she approached Kṛṣṇa, that "I am feeling like that, miscarrying. Please save me." So at that time Kṛṣṇa entered the womb of Uttarā and saved the child from the brahmāstra. So Mahārāja Parīkṣit is such a devotee that he was protected from the embryo by Kṛṣṇa.
Kṛṣṇa, when brahmāstra was released by Aśvatthāmā to kill the Mahārāja Parīkṣit while he was within the womb of his mother, Kṛṣṇa personally saved him. Because... He wanted because in the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra, everyone died, of the Kuru dynasty. Only the son, this Abhimanyu's son, Kṛṣṇa, uh, Arjuna's grandson, was within the womb of his mother. Therefore he was not killed in the battlefield. Still, Aśvatthāmā, the son of Droṇācārya wanted to kill him, and he released brahmāstra, and it was going to kill the child. At that time his mother, Uttarā, approached Kṛṣṇa, that "I am feeling that my womb will be..., abortion there may be." So Kṛṣṇa saved. This is the history. So after his birth, because he saw Kṛṣṇa within the womb, so after his birth, as soon as he came out of the womb of his mother, he was looking here and there, "Where is that personality?" Therefore his name is Parīkṣit. Parīkṣit means he was examining, "Who is that? Who is that man?"
So Parīkṣit Mahārāja's, these are the qualifications. Sa vai bhāgavato rājā, not ordinary rājā. Rājā means king. Bhāgavataḥ. Bhāgavata means great devotee. First-class devotee, bhāgavata. Pāṇḍaveya. How he became bhāgavata? Because son and grandson, all in the dynasty of the Pāṇḍavas. Parīkṣit Mahārāja was the grandson of Arjuna. So Arjuna was Kṛṣṇa's friend, he was bhāgavata. So unfortunately, Arjuna's son died in the Battle of Kurukṣetra. He was also bhāgavata. He was Subhadrā's son. Arjuna... Kṛṣṇa's sister Subhadrā, who is sitting here with Jagannātha. So Subhadrā's son was Abhimanyu, but he died in the battlefield of Kurukṣetra. Sixteen years old. But fortunately, his wife Uttarā was pregnant. So Parīkṣit Mahārāja was within the womb of Uttarā, so he was saved. All others died. Pāṇḍaveyaḥ, coming in the dynasty of the Pāṇḍavas.
Here, one important matter is there, that Parīkṣit Mahārāja, while he was in the womb of his mother, there was brahmāstra targeted on him by Aśvatthāmā. And he was to be killed. Practically he was killed. His mother felt a miscarriage and immediately approached Kṛṣṇa, that "I am feeling like this. The only son of the Pāṇḍava dynasty is going to be lost." So Kṛṣṇa immediately entered the womb of Uttarā and saved the baby. Now, Parīkṣit Mahārāja is recognized devotee; otherwise Kṛṣṇa would not have taken so much trouble. He wanted that Parīkṣit Mahārāja. Now, when he was cursed by a brāhmaṇa to die within seven days, why Kṛṣṇa did not save him, or why he did not seek Kṛṣṇa's protection? This question may be raised. He was young man. He was not old man. He could live. That question was made also: "The Parīkṣit Mahārāja, such a nice king, his life was dedicated for the welfare of his subjects. So actually, his body was meant for the benefit of others.
So Kṛṣṇa will help, Kṛṣṇa is within you. Don't think that Kṛṣṇa is without. He's without and within, both. That is explained in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. When Kṛṣṇa was standing before Kuntī and He also entered within the womb of Uttarā to save Parīkṣit Mahārāja, so Kuntī said that "I see that You are within and without. Still, You are unseen." God is within and without, but the rascals cannot see. They say, "Where is God? Can you show me?" But He is always everywhere, within and without. So one has to train himself how to see.
Conversations and Morning Walks
1977 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: You'll find in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam this Mahārāja Parīkṣit, grandson of Arjuna. His father died when he was in the womb of his mother. So all, everyone died. Only these five brother remained. And Parīkṣit Mahārāja, the grandson of Arjuna, he was in the womb of his mother Uttarā. So he was also attempted to be killed by Aśvatthāmā by brahmāstra. Kṛṣṇa saved him. So anyway, the grandfathers took care of this child, baby in the womb.
|Compiled by||Sahadeva +, Labangalatika + and MadhuGopaldas +|
|Completed sections||ALL +|
|Date of first entry||July 8, 0009 JL +|
|Date of last entry||January 28, 0010 JL +|
|Total quotes||21 +|
|Total quotes by section||BG: 0 +, SB: 10 +, CC: 0 +, OB: 3 +, Lec: 7 +, Conv: 1 + and Let: 0 +|