9th Jun 2021
Sudarshana devi dasi

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.

While explaining to the sages of Naimisaranya as to how Parikshit Maharaj received the age of Kali, Suta Goswami says in Srimad Bhagavatam verse 1.16.11

svalaṅkṛtaṁ śyāma-turaṅga-yojitaṁ
rathaṁ mṛgendra-dhvajam āśritaḥ purāt
vṛto rathāśva-dvipapatti-yuktayā
sva-senayā digvijayāya nirgataḥ

Mahārāja Parīkṣit sat on a chariot drawn by black horses. His flag was marked with the sign of a lion. Being so decorated and surrounded by charioteers, cavalry, elephants and infantry soldiers, he left the capital to conquer in all directions.

When we simply read the translation of the above verse, we would feel its just a description of Parikshit Maharaj's army. But Srila Prabhupada in his wonderful lecture on the above verse, very nicely brings out the qualities of the Vaishnava and the many practical lessons which we can learn from them.  

1. Firstly His Divine Grace very nicely points out how the saintly kings like Parikshit, Arjuna had very nice auspicious signs on their flags. Arjuna's flag had Hanumanji and Parikshit Maharaj had mrgendra - lion, which actually implies Lord Narasimhadev. So we can see here as to how devotees have so many auspicious ways in which they can always see and remember Krishna

2. Be it Arjuna or Hanumanji or Parikshit Maharaj - all of them were devotees of the Lord. But whenever the Lord wanted, they did not hesitate to take part in war. Hanumanji took part in the battle between Lord Rama and Ravana. Arjuna fought against Kauravas as per the instruction of Krishna and here we find Parikshit Maharaj setting out to curb the impact of Kali in his kingdom. So His Divine Grace very nicely says, "Not that because one is Kṛṣṇa devotee, he should not do any other thing. If required, a devotee can do anything, as ordered by Kṛṣṇa, as Kṛṣṇa ordered Arjuna to fight."

3. In the above verse the word digvijaya means conquering in all directions. This digvijaya was done by scholars and kings. His Divine Grace says, in those days, scholars travel in all directions and propose their thought and defeat other scholars. Kings travel in all directions and subdue other kings. The idea behind conquering other kings is not for any possession of land, tax etc - but to establish Krishna consciousness to all citizens of that kingdom. The saintly kings of Vedic age don't have any other selfish motive for conquering. But now we are living in a Godless civilsation, where no country cares for the well-being of another and everyone simply want to cheat and exploit each other.

4. Srila Prabhupada then gives a beautiful meaning for digvijaya which devotees can do. His Divine Grace himself is the best example for this kind of digvijay. His Divine Grace says,  "Similarly, for a preacher also, that is digvijaya. Go from country and country, from village to village, town to town, and make digvijaya: "Here is our philosophy. There is God. We can prove there is God. Who are you, you deny God? Come on." That is digvijaya".

Hare Krishna.
Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Sudarshana devi dasi.