March 10, 2003
Waukegan Mandir

Once Parvatiji insisted that Lord Shiva tell her why he wore a necklace of skulls. Lord Shiva explained that while he was immortal, she had been through many lives, and each skull he wore was her own from a previous life. She was shocked, and implored him to explain to her how she could become immortal like him. He told her that she would have to learn brahmagnyaana (divine knowledge). Before Lord Shiva could teach Parvatiji, he created a very loud sound that would clear the area. However, a baby parrot that was unable to fly away remained behind. The baby parrot began listening to the discourse and imbibing the knowledge.

As the discussion continued, while the parrot became more and more attentive, Parvatiji had become tired and was trying to stay awake. Once in a while, Lord Shiva, whose eyes were closed during the discourse, would call out to check if she was listening. She would respond, but finally she fell asleep. When Lord Shiva asked and she did not respond, the parrot became worried that the discourse would end. By now, he had acquired considerable knowledge and thus, he imitated the voice of Parvatiji and responded, "Yes, I am listening." Lord Shiva however realized that the voice had come from far away. He opened his eyes and saw the baby parrot. Worried that the knowledge had fallen into unworthy hands, he released his trident to destroy the parrot. The parrot was unable to fly physically, but through the talks, he had acquired spiritual wings of aatmagnyaana (knowledge of the soul) and vairaaga (detachment). The parrot took a spiritual form and flew away on these wings to escape the trident. The trident followed him everywhere but finally the parrot's soul entered the womb of Vyas's wife. The trident immediately turned back because if it struck the expecting mother, it would be the triple sin of killing a child, a woman, and a Brahmin.

After many years, Shukdevji was born (shuk means parrot). Vyasji then taught Shukdevji the Bhagavat (given in Bhagavat 1/7/8), and Shukdevji recites the Bhagavat to King Parikshit and liberates him.



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