Srimad Bhagavatam 01.18.41 - The fall of Brahminical Culture (download mp3)
by Akinchan Krishna Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
niśamya śaptam atad-arhaṁ narendraṁ
sa brāhmaṇo nātmajam abhyanandat
aho batāṁho mahad adya te kṛtam
alpīyasi droha urur damo dhṛtaḥ
The father heard from his son that the King had been cursed, although he should never have been condemned, for he was the best amongst all human beings. The ṛṣi did not congratulate his son, but, on the contrary, began to repent, saying: Alas! What a great sinful act was performed by my son. He has awarded heavy punishment for an insignificant offense.
The king is the best of all human beings. He is the representative of God, and he is never to be condemned for any of his actions. In other words, the king can do no wrong. The king may order hanging of a culprit son of a brāhmaṇa, but he does not become sinful for killing a brāhmaṇa. Even if there is something wrong with the king, he is never to be condemned. A medical practitioner may kill a patient by mistaken treatment, but such a killer is never condemned to death. So what to speak of a good and pious king like Mahārāja Parīkṣit? In the Vedic way of life, the king is trained to become a rājarṣi, or a great saint, although he is ruling as king. It is the king only by whose good government the citizens can live peacefully and without any fear. The rājarṣis would manage their kingdoms so nicely and piously that their subjects would respect them as if they were the Lord. That is the instruction of the Vedas. The king is called narendra, or the best amongst the human beings. How then could a king like Mahārāja Parīkṣit be condemned by an inexperienced, puffed-up son of a brāhmaṇa, even though he had attained the powers of a qualified brāhmaṇa?
Since Śamīka Ṛṣi was an experienced, good brāhmaṇa, he did not approve of the actions of his condemned son. He began to lament for all that his son had done. The king was beyond the jurisdiction of curses as a general rule, and what to speak of a good king like Mahārāja Parīkṣit. The offense of the King was most insignificant, and his being condemned to death was certainly a very great sin for Śṛṅgi. Therefore Ṛṣi Śamīka regretted the whole incident.
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