The Varaha Purana mentions an interesting story about Raja Parikshit (परिक्षित्). Parikshit is popularly regarded as the posthumous son of Abhimanyu of the Kuru clan who inherited the throne of Hastinapur from Yudhisthira. At the end of the Mahabharata war, Aswathama, who was the son of Dronacharya and himself born from the blessings of Rudra, to avenge the killing of his relatives by the Pandava-s decided to wreck havoc on the next generation of the Pandava warriors. He entered into their camp at night slaughtering all the sleeping progeny of Pandavas and finally in anger fired his Brahmastra at the womb of Uttara, who was carrying Parikshit. Scared of the weapon’s infamous power of destruction, Uttara prayed to Sri Krishna and the Lord entered into her womb and stopped that weapon from causing any harm to the unborn child. Parikshit of course experienced the effect of that incident, though he could not comprehend what was happening. All his life he remembered that he had felt himself being protected and secured by someone or something vast and infinitely powerful, but he had not idea who or what it was. In life, therefore, whenever he would meet anyone new he would try and test them and see if that individual has the same energy as the One whose protection he had felt while in the womb. This behaviour earned him the name Parikshit, one who tests.

bhisma-drona-tata jayadratha-jala gandhara nilotpala salya-grahavati krpena-vahani karnena-velakula asvatthama-vikarna-ghora-makara duryodhanavartini sottirna khalu pandavai rana-nadi kaivartakah kesavah

The river of war, has one bank as Bhisma and the other Dronacarya; Jayadratha is the water, the sons of Gandhari are the blue lotus flower, and Salya is the crocodile; Krpa is the current, and Karna is the ever-changing rising and ebbing tide; Asvatthama, Vikarna and company are the terrifying crocodiles, and Duryodhana is the whirlpool itself; it could be crossed by the Pandavas safely with Sri Kesava as the boatman.

Photo: Painting of Sri Krishna attacking Bhisma with the wheel of his chariot in the middle of the war.

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