Srimad Bhagavatam 01.18.46 - To Err is human to forgive is Divine (download mp3)
by Purushottam Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
sa tu samrāḍ bṛhac-chravāḥ
naivāsmac chāpam arhati
The Emperor Parīkṣit is a pious king. He is highly celebrated and is a first-class devotee of the Personality of Godhead. He is a saint amongst royalty, and he has performed many horse sacrifices. When such a king is tired and fatigued, being stricken with hunger and thirst, he does not at all deserve to be cursed.
After explaining the general codes relating to the royal position and asserting that the king can do no wrong and therefore is never to be condemned, the sage Śamīka wanted to say something about Emperor Parīkṣit specifically. The specific qualification of Mahārāja Parīkṣit is summarized herein. The King, even calculated as a king only, was most celebrated as a ruler who administered the religious principles of the royal order. In the śāstras the duties of all castes and orders of society are prescribed. All the qualities of a kṣatriya mentioned in the Bhagavad-gītā (18.43) were present in the person of the Emperor. He was also a great devotee of the Lord and a self-realized soul. Cursing such a king, when he was tired and fatigued with hunger and thirst, was not at all proper. Śamīka Ṛṣi thus admitted from all sides that Mahārāja Parīkṣit was cursed most unjustly. Although all the brāhmaṇas were aloof from the incident, still for the childish action of a brāhmaṇa boy the whole world situation was changed. Thus Ṛṣi Śamīka, a brāhmaṇa, took responsibility for all deterioration of the good orders of the world.