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Text 21

taṁ mopayātaṁ pratiyantu viprā
gaṅgā ca devī dhṛta-cittam īśe
dvijopasṛṣṭaḥ kuhakas takṣako vā
daśatv alaṁ gāyata viṣṇu-gāthāḥ

tam — him; — me; upayātam — surrendered; pratiyantu — you may know; viprāḥ — O brāhmaṇas; gaṅgā — mother Ganges; ca — and; devī — the demigoddess; dhṛta — offered; cittam — whose mind; īśe — unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead; dvija-upasṛṣṭaḥ — created by the brāhmaṇa; kuhakaḥ — some trickery; takṣakaḥ — snake-bird; — or; daśatu — let it bite; alam — never mind; gāyata — chant; viṣṇu-gāthāḥ — the holy names of Lord Viṣṇu.

‘O brāhmaṇas, just accept me as a completely surrendered soul, and let mother Ganges, the representative of the Lord, also accept me in that way, for I have already taken the lotus feet of the Lord into my heart. Let the snakebird — or whatever magical thing the brāhmaṇa created — bite me at once. I only desire that you all continue singing the deeds of Lord Viṣṇu.’

This is a verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.19.15) spoken by Mahārāja Parīkṣit while he was sitting on the bank of the Ganges expecting to be bitten by a snake-bird summoned by the curse of a brāhmaṇa boy named Śṛṅgi, who was the son of a great sage named Śamīka. News of the curse was conveyed to the King, who prepared for his imminent death. Many great saintly persons, sages, brāhmaṇas, kings and demigods came to see him in his last days. Mahārāja Parīkṣit, however, was not at all afraid of being bitten by the snake-bird. Indeed, he requested all the great personalities assembled to continue chanting the holy name of Lord Viṣṇu.

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