Canto 6: Prescribed Duties for MankindChapter 14: King Citraketu's Lamentation

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 6.14.29

athāha nṛpatiḿ rājan

bhavitaikas tavātmajaḥ

harṣa-śoka-pradas tubhyam

iti brahma-suto yayau


atha — thereafter; āha — said; nṛpatim — unto the King; rājanO King Citraketu; bhavitā — there will be; ekaḥ — one; tava — your; ātmajaḥ — son; harṣa-śoka — jubilation and lamentation; pradaḥ — who will give; tubhyam — unto you; iti — thus; brahma-sutaḥ — Ańgirā Ṛṣi, the son of Lord Brahmā; yayau — left.


Thereafter, the great sage told the King, "O great King, now you will have a son who will be the cause of both jubilation and lamentation." The sage then left, without waiting for Citraketu's response.


The word harṣa means "jubilation," and śoka means "lamentation." The King was overwhelmed with joy when he understood that he would have a son. Because of his great jubilation, he could not actually understand the statement of the sage Ańgirā. He accepted it to mean that there would certainly be jubilation because of the birth of his future son, but that he would be the King's only son and, being very proud of his great wealth and empire, would not be very obedient to his father. Thus the King was satisfied, thinking, "Let there be a son. It does not matter if he is not very obedient." In Bengal there is a proverb that instead of having no maternal uncle, it is better to have a maternal uncle who is blind. The King accepted this philosophy, thinking that a disobedient son would be better than no son at all. The great sage Cāṇakya Paṇḍita says:

ko 'rthaḥ putreṇa jātena

yo na vidvān na dhārmikaḥ

kāṇena cakṣuṣā kiḿ vā

cakṣuḥ pīḍaiva kevalam

"What is the use of a son who is neither a learned scholar nor a devotee? Such a son is like a blind, diseased eye, which always causes suffering." Nevertheless, the material world is so polluted that one wants to have a son even though he is useless. This attitude was represented in the history of King Citraketu.

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