This year, the women of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha celebrated the birth of Bhagwan Shri Krishna with a cultural program centered on the life and death of King Parikshit, the grandson of Arjun. From the time of his birth Parikshit was hailed as Vishnurata, one who is projected by Vishnu, and was known to be a righteous and devout king. However, due to an unfortunate incident at Shamika Rishi’s ashram where King Parikshit placed a dead snake around the meditating rishi’s neck, he was condemned to death by the bite of a snake in 7 days. Despite the curse, King Parikshit lived out the last several days of his life in complete peace, largely due to the spiritual guidance and words found in the Bhagwat Puran scripture.
The program based on the theme, “Yogakshemam Vahamyaham”, celebrated at BAPS Mandirs across North America highlighted the key messages that Parikshit heard the days leading up to his redemption. The discourses that Parikshit keenly listened to revolved around the role of a guru and how such a guru provides both physical and spiritual protection. Through dances, theatrical stage productions and speeches, the program explored the role of the guru in helping aspirants overcome challenges in their day-to-day lives as well as lead spiritually centric lives. His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj encourages devotees throughout North America to maintain their cultural heritage through events such as these and pass those same values on to future generations.