The great battle of Kuruksetra was over. Lord Krsna had successfully enthroned the pious Yudhighira as the king of the entire planet. His mission successful Krsna decides to take leave of his friends and go back to His majestic capital, Dvaraka.
As He was about to take leave, Uttara, the wife of the slain Pandava hero, Abhimanyu, came running towards Lord Krsna’s chariot. “Save me, save me”, she cried in agony. “0, my Lord, Asvatthama, the son of Drnacarya, has hurled a mighty brahmastra against me. Let it burn me personally, if Your so desire, but please do not let it burn and abort my embryo. Please do this favour, my Lord.”
The mother of a child has a great responsibility in giving all protection to the child, and therefore Uttara was not ashamed to express this frankly before Lord Krsna. Uttara was the daughter of a great king, the wife of a great hero, and student of a great devotee, and later she was the mother of a great king.
A brahmastra is considered to be more effective and finer than today’s nuclear weapons, because it is not blind like them. When the atomic bombs are discharged they do not discriminate between the target and others. Mainly the atomic bombs do harm to the innocent because there is no control. The brahmastra is not like that. It marks out the target and proceeds accordingly without harming the innocent.
Immediately Lord Krsna took his personal disc, the Sudarsana cakra and was prepared to face any eventuality. Simultaneously He also entered Uttara’s womb and covered her embryo with His potency. Although the supreme brahmastra weapon released by Asvatthama was irresistible and without check or counteraction, it was neutralized and foiled when confronted by the strength of Lord Krsna. In the Bhagavad-gita it is said that the brahmajyoti, or the glowing transcendental effulgence, is resting on Lord Sri Krsna. In other words, the glowing effulgence known as brahma-tejas is nothing but the rays of the Lord, just as the sun rays are rays of the sun disc. So this brahmastra also, although materially irresistible, could not surpass the Supreme strength of the Lord. It was neutralized and foiled by Lord Sri Krsna by His own energy; He did not wait for any other help because He is absolute.
The Lord is, so to speak, a puzzle for the common man. Queen Kunti experienced personally that Lord Krsna was present before her, yet He entered within the womb of Uttara to save her embryo from the attack of Asvatthama’s brahmastra. Kunti herself was puzzled about whether Sri Krsna is all-pervasive or localized. In fact, He is both, but He reserves the right of not being exposed to persons who are not surrendered souls. This checking curtain is called the maya energy of the Supreme Lord, and it controls the limited vision of the rebellious soul.
As Krsna entered the womb He saw that the weapon had already burnt the embryo. But by expanding His potency, the Lord once again brought Uttara’s son back to life and the child could see that there is a divine person protecting him. This son who was to become the great king Pariksit was suffering from the burning heat of the brahmastra and then could see the Supreme Lord coming to him. Even in that helpless condition, the child Pariksit endured the unbearable temperature due to his being a great fighter by nature.
The embryonic body of Pariksit, which was formed after Uttara’s pregnancy by Abhimanyu, the great hero, was burned by the brahmastra of Asvatthama, but a second body was given by the Lord within the womb, and thus the descendan t of Puru was saved.
This incident is the direct proof that the body and the living entity, the spiritual spark, are different. When the living entity takes shelter in the womb of a woman through the injection of the semen of a man, there is an emulsification of the man’s and woman’s discharges, and thus a body is formed the size of a pea, gradually developing into a complete body. But if the developing embryo is destroyed in some way or other, the living entity has to take shelter in another body or in the womb of another woman. The particular living entity, who was selected to be the descendant of Maharaja Puru, or the Pandavas, was not an ordinary living entity, and by the superior will of the Lord he was destined to be the successor to Maharaja Yudhisthira.
Therefore, when Asvatthama destroyed the embryo of Maharaja Pariksit, the Lord, by His own internal potency, entered into the womb of Uttara by His plenary portion just to give audience to the would-be Maharaja Pariksit, who was in great danger. By His appearance within the womb, the Lord encouraged the child and gave him complete protection in a new body by His omnipotency. By His power of omnipresence He was present both inside and outside of Uttara and in front of other members of the Pandava family.