|Canto 1: Creation||Chapter 12: Birth of Emperor Parikshit|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Srimad Bhagavatam 1.12.24
esha krishnam anuvratah
yayatir iva dharmikah
sarva-sat-guna-mahatmye -- glorified by all godly attributes; eshah -- this child; krishnam -- like Lord Krishna; anuvratah -- a follower in His footsteps; rantidevah -- Rantideva; iva -- like; udarah -- in the matter of magnanimity; yayatih -- Yayati; iva -- like; dharmikah -- concerning religion.
This child will be almost as good as Lord Sri Krishna by following in His footsteps. In magnanimity he will become as great as King Rantideva. And in religion he will be like Maharaja Yayati.
The last instruction of Lord Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita is that one should give up everything and should follow in the footsteps of the Lord alone. Less intelligent persons do not agree to this great instruction of the Lord, as ill luck would have it, but one who is actually intelligent catches up this sublime instruction and is immensely benefited. Foolish people do not know that association is the cause of acquiring qualities. Association with fire makes an object hot, even in the material sense. Therefore, association with the Supreme Personality of Godhead makes one qualified like the Lord. As we have discussed previously, one can achieve seventy-eight percent of the godly qualities by the Lord's intimate association. To follow the instructions of the Lord is to associate with the Lord. The Lord is not a material object whose presence one has to feel for such association. The Lord is present everywhere and at all times. It is quite possible to have His association simply by following His instruction because the Lord and His instruction and the Lord and His name, fame, attributes and paraphernalia are all identical with Him, being absolute knowledge. Maharaja Parikshit associated with the Lord even from the womb of his mother up to the last day of his valuable life, and thus he acquired all the essential good qualities of the Lord in all perfection.
Rantideva: An ancient king prior to the Mahabharata period, referred to by Narada Muni while instructing Sanjaya, as mentioned in Mahabharata (Drona-parva 67). He was a great king, liberal for hospitality and distribution of foodstuff. Even Lord Sri Krishna praised his acts of charity and hospitality. He was blessed by the great Vasishtha Muni for supplying him cold water, and thus he achieved the heavenly planet. He used to supply fruits, roots and leaves to the rishis, and thus he was blessed by them with fulfillment of his desires. Although a kshatriya by birth, he never ate flesh in his life. He was especially hospitable to Vasishtha Muni, and by his blessings only he attained the higher planetary residence. He is one of those pious kings whose names are remembered in the morning and evening.
Yayati: The great emperor of the world and the original forefather of all great nations of the world who belong to the Aryan and Indo-European stock. He is the son of Maharaja Nabusha, and he became the emperor of the world due to his elder brother's becoming a great and liberated saintly mystic. He ruled over the world for several thousands of years and performed many sacrifices and pious activities recorded in history, although his early youth was very lustful and full of romantic stories. He fell in love with Devayani, the most beloved daughter of Sukracarya. Devayani wished to marry him, but at first he refused to accept her because of her being a daughter of a brahmana. According to sastras, a brahmana could marry the daughter of a kshatriya but a kshatriya could not marry the daughter of a brahmana. They were very much cautious about varna-sankara population in the world. Sukracarya amended this law of forbidden marriage and induced Emperor Yayati to accept Devayani. Devayani had a girl friend named Sarmishtha, who also fell in love with the emperor and thus went with her friend Devayani. Sukracarya forbade Emperor Yayati to call Sarmishtha into his bedroom, but Yayati could not strictly follow his instruction. He secretly married Sarmishtha also and begot sons by her. When this was known by Devayani, she went to her father and lodged a complaint. Yayati was much attached to Devayani, and when he went to his father-in-law's place to call her, Sukracarya was angry with him and cursed him to become impotent. Yayati begged his father-in-law to withdraw his curse, but the sage asked Yayati to ask youthfulness from his sons and let them become old as the condition of his becoming potent. He had five sons, two from Devayani and three from Sarmishtha. From his five sons, namely (1) Yadu, (2) Turvasu, (3) Druhyu, (4) Anu and (5) Puru, five famous dynasties, namely (1) the Yadu dynasty, (2) the Yavana (Turk) dynasty, (3) the Bhoja dynasty, (4) the Mleccha dynasty (Greek) and (5) the Paurava dynasty, all emanated to spread all over the world. He reached the heavenly planets by dint of his pious acts, but he fell down from there because of his self-advertisement and criticizing other great souls. After his fall, his daughter and grandson bestowed upon him their accumulated virtues, and by the help of his grandson and friend Sibi, he was again promoted to the heavenly kingdom, becoming one of the assembly members of Yamaraja, with whom he is staying as a devotee. He performed more than one thousand different sacrifices, gave in charity very liberally and was a very influential king. His majestic power was felt all over the world. His youngest son agreed to award him his youthfulness when he was troubled with lustful desires, even for one thousand years. Finally he became detached from worldly life and returned the youthfulness again to his son Puru. He wanted to hand over the kingdom to Puru, but his noblemen and the subjects did not agree. But when he explained to his subjects the greatness of Puru, they agreed to accept Puru as the King, and thus Emperor Yayati retired from family life and left home for the forest.
Copyright (c) The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness