One should talk of Lord Rama's and Lord Krishna's avataras, but only to those interested in listening. The one who narrates the stories of the Lord's avataras must narrate them with belief. It won't help if he is a skeptic. The listener must listen intently, without letting his attention wander, said Kidambi Narayanan. In this sense, one cannot think of a better narrator than Sukha Brahma and there could not have been a better listener than Parikshit.

Parikshit knew he had only seven days to live and so he decided to listen to stories about the Lord before he breathed his last. It is not given to many to know the appointed time of their death. If they did, they would worry about the impending death, rather than think about God. But Parikshit was cast in a different mould. When he knew he was going to die, he wanted to hear of nothing but the Lord.

Janamejaya was the son of Parikshit. Janamejaya performed a yaga to kill all snakes, because his father died due to the bite of the snake Takshaka. But Takshaka was saved by a sage called Astika. This sage asked Janamejaya to stop the yaga, which had killed the snakes. Vaisampayana was a disciple of Vyasa, and he approached Janamejaya and told him that he wanted to tell him something. Janamejaya said that he had no time to listen. Vaisampayana said that it was the Mahabharata that he wished to narrate. Janamejaya still said he had no time. The sage asked if he could narrate a portion of the Mahabharata, but Janamejaya still refused to listen. The sage said that Janamejaya was like the ten headed one who had no sense and also like the man with one head who had no sense. Janamejaya's curiosity was aroused and he asked who these two men were. The sage said that the ten headed one was Ravana and that the one headed senseless person was Duryodhana. Janamejaya wanted to know more about these two men and so Vaisampayana narrated their stories to him. Thus, although Janamejaya had been unwilling to listen, the sage cleverly kindled his curiosity and made him listen to the narrations. The Lord's avataras have many lessons to offer us, if we pay attention to the morals they advocate.

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