Mr. Whatif: Why didn’t Parikshit Maharaja Kill Kali rather than forgiving him; we wouldn’t be suffering the effects of Kali now.
Dr. Dharmajna: If you see superficially it looks like that, my dear friend, but if you go little deep and understand what Kali-Yuga is and why it comes, it would be indeed eye opening not only for you but for all.
Mr. Whatif: Then please explain me in detail.
Dr. Dharmajna: When Pariksit Maharaja observed that sudra (Kali) was beating a cow and a bull with a club, as if they had no owner, he came on the scene and well equipped with arrows and bow spoke to him [the sudra] with a deep voice sounding like thunder. “You are considered a culprit and therefore deserve to be killed.”
Mr. Whatif: But still I don’t understand why he didn’t kill Kali though it was very much possible for him.
Dr. Dharmajna (murmurs): Now I realise why sages of Naimisharanya said like this
kalāv asmin yuge janāḥ
manda-bhāgyā hy upadrutāḥ
Mr. Whatif: What did you murmur?
Dr. Dharmajna: Nothing important. Anyways, being the King of whole earth planet he knew his responsibility. Therefore he expressed that he must kill that most wretched man, Kali. And it wasn’t that he was not able to punish him, rather he said “even though perpetrator is a denizen of heaven with armour and decorations, I will uproot him.”
Then he took up his sharp sword to kill the personality of Kali. Kali gave up his dress, out of fear, completely surrendered to him, bowing his head. Thus Maharaja Parikṣit, who was qualified to accept the surrendered, accepted surrender of Kali with smile.
Mr. Whatif: On what basis did he accept his surrender?
Dr. Dharmajna: As per sastra even if enemy comes and surrenders unto the King, then he must forgive that person. This is exactly what Pariksit Maharaja did.
Mr. Whatif: Ok, that’s sound logical! Please continue.
Dr. Dharmajna: But Mahārāja Parīkṣit didn’t pardon him like that. As in rainy season we prepare for the inevitable rain similarly though this age is certainly full of all activities of Kali, it is the duty of the executive heads of state to take all necessary actions against the activities of Kali or the persons influenced by the age of Kali.
Thus he didn’t compromise the religiosity of his kingdom and spiritual safety of his citizens and chastised Kali by giving him order to leave his kingdom. This way Maharaja Parikṣit thought that, “If he does not follow my order, I will kill him right now. If he obeys my order, though I will not kill him, I do not have any fault.”
Thus, seeing the King before him like Yamaraja, ready to kill him, Kali spoke to the King, “My dear King, everywhere is your kingdom. I do not have any place to live. Therefore kill me, who have fallen at your feet in front of you, with your hand right now.” Thus Maharaja Parikṣit replied, “I don’t kill those who have surrendered to me.” Then Kali requests, “O best among protectors of dharma! Then give me a place to stay.”
Thus understanding the will of Lord that Kali-Yuga is opportunity for gross materialists to enjoy senselessly and being petitioned by the personality of Kali, Maharaja Parikṣit gave him permission to reside in places where gambling, drinking, prostitution and animal slaughter were performed.
abhyarthitas tadā tasmai sthānāni kalaye dadau
dyūtaṁ pānaṁ striyaḥ sūnā yatrādharmaś catur-vidhaḥ
But, Kali knew the way Maharaja Parikṣit has chastised him, no one will dare to perform gambling, drinking, illicit sex or animal killing. Thus Kali requests the King, “Give some medium through which I can enter the minds of people and thus pollute them.” Therefore the King gave Kali materials represented by gold as his living place. Because of Kali residing in a place where there is wealth, four types of adharma—untruth, intoxication, illicit sex, and pride—and a fifth, enmity will also be present.
anṛtaṁ madaṁ kāmaṁ rajo vairaṁ ca pañcamam…..SB 1.17.39
Maharaja Parikṣit knew that Kali-Yuga is going to come now or later but still he tried to restrict it up to certain degree. He understood that, Krsna, who is the Karunasindu, is all merciful to all living entities, being their original father and supreme well-wisher. pitāham asya jagato …..BG 9.17 & suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ…. BG 5.29
Therefore, Krsna fulfils all the desires of the living beings through the manifestation of the material world. Some living beings have very gross enjoyment desires and they want to fulfill them at the cost of breaking the four principles of dharma namely – tapa (Austerity), suacam (Cleanliness), daya (Mercy), satyam (Truthfulness). Thus by breaking these principles they engage in intoxication, illicit sex, meat eating and gambling.
So these kinds of living entities, waiting to take birth in the Kali-Yuga, are given opportunity by all merciful Lord and thus they take birth and engross themselves in endless desires of sense gratifications. In the age of Kali demonic people come as a Brahmana, which is the head of social order and break the back-bone of the Varnasrama.
Mr. Whatif: Wow, this really seems convincing! Please explain if there is more.
Dr. Dharmajna: Parikshit Maharaja knew the one benefit of Kali: At the end of the Srimad-Bhagavatam it is said that even though all nefarious activities of the personality of Kali are present, there is a great advantage in the age of Kali. One can attain salvation simply by chanting the holy name of the Lord. Thus Maharaja Parikṣit made an organized effort to propagate the chanting of the Lord’s holy name, and thus he saved the citizens from the clutches of Kali. It is for this advantage only that great sages sometimes wish all well for the age of Kali. In the Vedas also it is said that by discourse on Lord Kṛṣṇa’s activities, one can get rid of all the disadvantages of the age of Kali. In the beginning of the Srimad-Bhagavatam it is also said that by the recitation of Srimad-Bhagavatam, the Supreme Lord becomes at once arrested within one’s heart. Maharaja Parikṣit knew all this and he was a realist, like the bees who only accept the essence [of a flower]. He knew perfectly well that in this age of Kali, auspicious things produce good effects immediately, whereas inauspicious acts must be actually performed [to render effects]. So he was never envious of the personality of Kali.
A devotee’s conclusion is that no one is directly responsible for being a benefactor or mischief-monger without the sanction of the Lord; therefore he does not consider anyone to be directly responsible for such action. Thus Kali was allowed to live in five places and therefore, whoever desires progressive well-being, especially kings, religionists, public leaders, brahmaṇas and sannyasis, should never come in contact with the four above-mentioned irreligious principles. After this king established lost legs of bull and improved situation of cow, thus establishing the Dharma and protecting the mother earth.
Mr. Whatif: Great, thank you Dr. Dharmajna. I am completely convinced now. Indeed the way Maharaja Parikṣit acted, was as per the religious principles and as per the desire of Lord Krsna.
Dr. Dharmajna: Thank you for your kind inquiry. Hari Bol!