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SB 1.4 - The sages questions about Śuka and Parīkṣit

Śuka after leaving his home was roaming like a mad man and thus the ordinary citizens could not recognize his exalted position. A sage is recognized by hearing and not by sight. The sages asked Sūta how Śuka was recognized by the citizens when he entered Hastināpura. They also asked how King Parīkṣit met Śukadeva Gosvāmī, making it possible for the sātvatī śruti (the transcendental essence of the Vedas), Bhāgavatam, to be spoken. Śuka was not accustomed to stay at any householder’s residence for more than half hour, the time taken to milk a cow. And he did this to sanctify the residence by enlightening the householder with transcendental knowledge. Then he would accept alms. The sages wondered how Śuka was able to speak with a king for so long a time.

The sages were eager to know about Mahārāja Parīkṣit too. The king was a great devotee of the Lord, and his birth and activities were all wonderful. He was protected by Kṛṣṇa while he was in the womb of his mother. Getting notice of his death, he renounced his kingdom and sat on the bank of the Ganges and without taking any food or drink nor sleeping, he heard the transcendental activities of the Lord from Śuka. The sages wanted to know why the king gave up everything to sit down on the bank of the Ganges and fast until death. Parīkṣit inherited the kingdom from his grandfathers Yudhiṣṭhira and brothers. He was governing well and was a great emperor that all his enemies would surrender their wealth for their own benefit. So why did he give up everything, the sages wondered.