Uttara was Abhimanyu’s wife. Uttara means superior, and she deserved to be known by that name. But what made Uttara superior? She was superior because she was the mother of Parikshit. The date of Parikshit’s death was known to him and also the manner of death, and yet he did not worry about his impending death, but was eager to listen to sage Suka describe Lord Krishna’ greatness.

But even so, why should Uttara, his mother be considered superior? There were women who bore great saints. And what about those who bore the Lord Himself, as Devaki and Kausalya did? Why should Uttara be superior to these women? There have been women who bore the Supreme One in their womb. But no one except Uttara bore both the Supreme One and His devotee at the same time, said V.S. Karunakarachariar, in a discourse.

When Aswattama’s weapon reached the womb of Uttara, she was concerned about her foetus and sought refuge with Krishna. The Lord assured her that she need not fear and that He would protect her child. So saying, the Lord entered her womb, wherein resided the child of Abhimanyu and Uttara.

The Lord used His discus to keep Aswattama’s weapon at bay. The child watched the swirling discus that moved in every direction to ensure that the enemy’s weapon did not come anywhere near the foetus. This scene was firmly imprinted in the baby’s mind, and when it was born, it turned its little head in every direction to see if it could locate the One who had wielded a discus so deftly in Uttara’s womb. Parikshit was a unique baby for he had shared for some time at least his mother’s womb with the Lord.

His greatness was revealed when, unconcerned about his approaching death, he listened to Suka narrate incidents from Krishna’s life. In just seven days, Suka narrated the Srimad Bhagavatam, which consists of 18,000 verses. The narration was round the clock for the listener was a great bhakta, who wanted to spend his last days hearing about the Lord’s greatness. Uttara, therefore, was deserving of her name as she bore not only a great bhakta but for a brief period also the One whose stories her son listened to.

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