1: King Parikshit’s Question to Suka Maharishi : 2.
This boy, the child in Uttara’s womb who Asvatthama attempted to destroy, was Parikshit, the only descendent of the Pandava brothers. Due to a tragic historical event that took place, which is told in the beginning of the Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana, Parikshit was to die by a snake bite. Frightened by this possibility, Parikshit wound up his reign of the kingdom and sat in prayopavesa on the bank of Ganga, wishing to end his life, which was to come upon him within seven days, according to the curse of the son of a great Rishi. It was at that time the great Suka Maharishi happened to pass that way, and he was received with great respect by the audience seated around King Parikshit. When everybody paid obeisance, Suka asked them the reason why they were all gathered on the bank of River Ganga.
Parikshit put a question: “What is good for man, especially at this hour when my life is about to end?” How are we to answer this question? What is good for any person? In the freezing heights of the Himalayas, it is good to have a blanket over oneself. But a blanket is not good in the hot deserts of Africa; we would like to have cold water there. When we are hungry, it is good to have delicious food; when we are vomiting due to illness, it is good not to eat at all. Anyone who desires his or her own good cannot answer this question of what is actually good for oneself, because whatever answer we give, we will find it is connected to some cause thereof, and it is not the final good.
Riches will end, the body will wither, and life is uncertain. None of these things connected with life in this world can be regarded as really good in their ultimate sense. Then, what is really good for the human individual? The difficulty in answering this question arises because we think that we are living only in this world of sensory perception. To this great question, Sri Suka answers in a majestic manner. The ascent through the levels of creation through which one has to pass, and in which one is involved even at the present moment, is not merely a future event; it is only an unfolding of the involvement that is already there even at this present moment. Suka’s answer was that we belong to all the worlds at the same time. We are citizens of every level of existence.
You must have heard that the levels of our own individual psychic being, known as the chakras, represent the levels of cosmic existence. Bhuloka, Bhuvarloka, Svarloka, Maharloka, Janarloka, Tapoloka, Satyaloka are the names given to these possible levels of total creation. These levels are correspondingly represented by the circular fields – or semicircular, as the case may be – of what are called the chakras in one’s own body so that at one moment, at a single stroke of time, a person is in all the levels of creation.
To be continued ...