King Parikshit: Who was King Parikshit of Srimad Bhagavatam?
was the first recipient of Srimad Bhagavatam. He was descendent of Pandavas of Mahabharata. He was son of Abhimanyu and Uttara. Abhimanyu was son of Arjuna and Subhadra. Thus he was grandson of Pandavas. His birth is very special as he was protected from Asvatthama’s weapon that came to annihilate him in the womb of Uttara. Let us know about the birth of King Parikshita in this article.
Asvatthama Kills Five Sons of Draupadi
Asvatthama was son of Dronacharya, the teacher of Pandavas. In the battle, Dronacharya took the side of Kauravas. It was the time when the battle of Kurukshetra was over and Duryodhana, the leader of Kauravas, was defeated by Bhima. Duryodhana fell down on the ground as his thighs were broken by the club of Bhima. Asvatthama beheaded five sons of Draupadi while they were sleeping. When he brought the heads before Duryodhana he was not happy with this. Duryodhana died painfully and that ended the war.
But this heinous act of Asvatthama was punishable. Arjuna took his armor and mounted his chariot to kill Asvatthama. When Asvatthama saw Arjuna coming to him he ran away with his chariot. But Arjuna was a great hero and Aswatthama was exhausted and got caught. When he was brought before Draupadi whether to kill him or not, Draupadi just forgave him. But Pandavas insulted him and drew him away.
Aswatthama Releases Deadly Weapon
For Aswatthama the insult was more than death. He wanted to kill Pandavas. So he released his ultimate weapon
Aawatthama ordered it to uproot all Pandavas. At that time Uttara was pregnant with Abhmanyu’s child. The weapon was so powerful that it went straight to all the pandavas and also to the womb of Uttara.
When Arjuna saw the weapon coming he immediately asked Krishna what to do. Then Lord Krishna suggested that he release his ‘Brahmastra’ to nullify the effect of Brahmasira. All Pandavas were protected but they did not know about the fetus in Uttara’s womb.
The Child Saved by Krishna
But Lord Krishna knew that the effect of Brahmasira would destroy the descendant of Pandavas also. Soon Uttara came running to Lord Krishna for protection of the child. Lord Krishna invoked His Sudarshana cakra and protected the womb. He then went in four-arm form in the womb of Uttara in the size of thumb. In the womb the child could see the Lord and was protected in all ways.
Finally at a very auspicious astronomical time the childbirth took place. From the time of birth, the child was looking for the Lord; he was constantly searching for Lord and thus he was named
by brahmanas. Parikshit means one who sees and analyses the Supreme Lord. The child became the pure devotee of the Lord. He became King Parikshit and ruled whole planet. He was cursed to die in seven days and became the first recipient of Srimad Bhagavatam.
You can find more information on the story of Parikshita Maharaj in a related article in this site.