In the previous episode, we had witnessed the sequence of events wherein King Parikshit receives the curse of his life. He’s going to be bitten by a snake, seven days from now and with this, he would meet his end. Realizing this curse, King Parikshit is completely devastated beyond words. He doesn’t know what to do next. Hence at one point he decides that he has had enough and takes on the “Vaanaprastaashrama”. He comes to a conclusion that he is going to end his life by fasting until death.
As King Parikshit sits down with this agenda in mind, Sage Sukhaachaarya marks his entry into the scene! Indeed he was literally sent by Bhagawan Krishna Himself, so that this sacred Bhaagawatha Puraana gets propagated to the world, using this particular context. As Sage Sukhaachaarya arrives, King Parikshit is overwhelmed with joy upon seeing a person of such a high-stature coming towards him. He thus immediately gets up from where he was sitting, offered his respects to the great Sage and stands by his side. Sage Sukhaachaarya asks King Parikshit as to why is he alone in the forest, instead of ruling the kingdom from the palace of Hastinapura. Upon Sage Sukhaachaarya’s question, King Parikshit briefs him of all what had happened previously and how he ended up attaining a curse that is going to swallow his life very soon. As Sage Sukhaachaarya listens to all of what King Parikshit has to say, he consoles King Parikshit by saying that all is not over yet for him!
King Parikshit continues to converse with Sage Sukhaachaarya thus: “Oh great Sage! I still have only seven days left in my life! Within these seven days, I would like to know if I could do something so as to attain Moksha? I would like to do whatever Dharma I can, which I hadn’t done all these days. I would like to listen and understand all of our Sanaathana Dharma, what I didn’t know till now. All that enlightened spiritual knowledge that I hadn’t acquired by me so far, should be acquired within this seven-day period. Thus, Sage Sukhaachaarya! I’m not worried about my upcoming death. I’m only worried if I can do all of these above-mentioned items before I die. Is a seven-day period sufficient for me to do all of these? This is my biggest worry! Hence, Sage Sukhaachaarya! Please help me with a solution for this worry of mine!”
Upon listening this from King Parikshit, Sage Sukhaachaarya started to laugh a little bit. He was very happy that King Parikshit is not bothered about death, but he still wants to utilize this remaining seven days of time to attain the highest level of spirituality. He thus consoles King Parikshit and replies back, “Oh King Parikshit! I’m very happy that you have asked me this important question! Give me seven minutes! Of course, you have seven days, isn’t it? 😊 This is more than sufficient for you to attain all the knowledge and understanding that you require to attain Moksha! I’ll narrate a story for you, which contains the essence of all what you wish to attain! Don’t worry about the time-frame. All I want you to do is to listen to whatever I say with complete focus and involvement!”
Saying thus, Sage Sukhaachaarya starts narrating about a person by name “Khatvaanga”. It is to be noted that Khatvaanga was one of the great kings who ruled Ayodhya, before Bhagawan Rama incarnated. Once, King Khatvaanga helped the Devas (Celestial Beings) win a bitter battle against the “Asuras” (Demons). Happy with King Khatvaanga’s help, Indra, who is the leader of the “Devas” requested King Khatvaanga to ask him for a boon. Accordingly, King Khatvaanga asks Indra thus, “Oh Indra! I don’t want any thing from you as I’m self-sufficient. However, I would like to know my lifespan – How many more years am I going to live in this world from today?” Hearing thus, Devendra (Indra) didn’t know what to answer! However, he replies King Khatvaanga thus: “Oh Khatvaanga! You’ve asked a question that nobody has ever asked me till now! Anyways, just because you’ve asked this question, I shall tell you – Your lifespan has only one more “Muhurta” left! (One Muhurta = 48 minutes) Hearing thus, King Khatvaanga never felt sad about it! He immediately rushes back to Ayodhya, coronates his son as the next king of the country quickly, donated all his property and whatever belongings that he had, and finally sits at one place in deep penance. As the 48’th minute strikes, King Khatvaanga attains Moksha!
Narrating this short story thus, Sage Sukhaachaarya tells King Parikshit thus, “Oh King Parikshit! Now look at this Khatvaanga! He had just 48 minutes in hand with him, and still he was able to attain Moksha! You have seven days in hand with you! Isn’t it a lot of time? So, don’t worry about the time that you have in your hand! Focus on what you can do with it and how productively you can use this time!”
Saying thus, Sage Sukhaachaarya narrates the story of King Khatvaanga in detail. We shall wait till the next episode to witness the interesting story! Stay tuned! 😊