Fate Served on a Plate


Our past, present and future is governed by the world of energy, physical attempts to alter it do not work. Let us understand this with an episode from the life of King Parikshit.

With the end of Mahabharat, Creation stood at a turning point — the transition from Dwapar to Kaliyug. Lord Krishna had left the Creation, and with his exit, Pandavas too did not want to stay. So they passed on the kingdom to their grandson Parikshit and left for the forests.


King Parikshit was a noble ruler, virtuous, benevolent and follower of ways of Lord Vishnu. Kaliyug made several attempts to enter into his kingdom, but failed every time, for under King Parikshit’s rule, dharma was upheld. However, Creation is cyclical in nature, it starts with Satyug, and Kaliyug completes the cycle to make way for a new Satyug. So Kaliyug had to make an entry… and for it to spread itself, King Parikshit had to exit. And it happened. What is interesting is the sequence of events which made it happen, despite the King’s best efforts to avert it.

Having failed in all its attempts, Kaliyug approached King Parikshit to give him shelter in his kingdom. The King refused for he was aware of the evil ways of Kaliyug. Upon much persuasion, the benevolent King granted him shelter in alcohol, gambling and prostitution, for he did not want it to influence righteous people. Kaliyug, brimming with malice pleaded the king to give him some more space as these were already full. The King replied, “Ok, you can also stay in gold.” Kaliyug was elated and instantly hid in the crown of the King (which was of gold).

Few days later, King Parikshit went on a hunting trip and wandered deep inside the forest. Consumed by hunger and thirst he reached the ashram of Shameek Rishi, who was in dhyan at the time and had taken a vow of silence. King Parikshit, who did not know this, asked him where he could find food and shelter. There was no response from the rishi. Kaliyug then whispered from the crown, “he has insulted you, punish him.” The virtuous King,who could never think ill of anyone, leave alone a sage, decided to teach the rishi a lesson. He picked up a dead snake lying nearby and put it on the shoulders of the rishi. When Rishi Shameek’s son Shringi saw a dead snake on his father’s shoulder, he cursed King Parikshit to be dead himself seven days from then and that the cause of death be a snake.

King Parikshit came home shocked at his own behaviour. When he took off his crown, good sense prevailed once again and he realised his folly. Determined to stop the spread of Kaliyug by averting his death, he got a magnificent fort constructed overnight. Many warriors and Brahmins skilled in the art of repelling snakes were placed around the fort to protect the King, as were those who excelled in counteracting snake venom. Anyone who had to meet the King was scanned thoroughly. The King spent all the time in his palace surrounded by the Brahmins learned in the Vedas and other scriptures. Six days passed in this manner, with the King listening to the recitations of the Vedas and Puranas.

On the day ordained for his death, despite his best efforts to dodge death, death was served to him, literally on the plate. Takshak, a powerful serpent, was on its way to the King’s chamber. As was routine, the cooks prepared the food for the King, the same was tested for venom and covered and sent to the King’s chamber. While the guards inspected the food, no one thought of looking under it… Hidden under the plate the Takshak, crossed all the guards and made its way to the chamber. Just as all the people in his room left to let the King have his meal, the snake emerged from under the plate and bit him. King Parikshit died, and with it began the era of Kaliyug, as was ordained.

When a king of the stature of Parikshit with all the resources of the world at his disposal, could not change his niyati, then it is foolish for us, ordinary men, to harbour such fantastical notions/ideas. What has to happen, happens… nothing save your Guru can avert it, and he/she does it only when there is a strong reason behind it.

TIW Bureau

TIW Bureau

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