CHENNAI: The cause of human suffering continues to remain enigmatic and scriptures and sacred texts have discussed it from many angles. Parikshit’s righteous rule saw the end of Dwapara Yuga and the beginning of Kali Yuga and the entry of Kali Yuga is described in a symbolic manner in the Bhagavata Purana, pointed out Sri Venkatesa Sarma in a lecture.

When Parikshit heard that there were signs of Kali’s attempts to enter the domain of his jurisdiction, he decided to confront the situation in the true nature of a warrior. One of his expeditions brought him to the banks of the Saraswati river and there he saw a person in the disguise of king harassing a bull and a cow and there was none to protect them. It was a strange sight of a bull (representing Dharma) that stood on one leg with a sorrowful cow (Mother Earth) beside it.

Parikshit wanted to know the cause of such suffering. Dharma spoke with deference and said that it would not be able to pinpoint the cause of human suffering and that there were many viewpoints put forth by different people. For instance, some believe that one suffers because of one’s actions, while others attribute it to supernatural causes. Some others believe that accepting outside authorities is the cause and that, on the whole, this subject defies comprehension. Dharma concludes that it is left to the king’s power of judgment to decide the cause.

Seeing Kali trying to destroy the remaining leg of Dharma, Parikshit understood that he was trying to usher in a reign of Adharma and thus cause distress to earth. He threatened Kali for his cruel behaviour and wanted to destroy him.

Then Kali sought surrender at the king’s feet and the noble Parikshit did not kill him. He merely asked him to flee from his kingdom since Kali was in allegiance with all that is deceitful and unrighteous.

Kali pleaded with Parikshit to grant him some place to stay. So Parikshit gave Kali permission to live in places wherever the sinful activities of gambling, drinking, prostitution and animal slaughter were taking place. Further pleas of Kali gave him gold as a dwelling place in addition since passion for gold brings in intoxication, lust and enmity.