योऽन्त्य: पुरञ्जयो नाम भविष्यो बारहद्रथ: ।
तस्यामात्यस्तु शुनको हत्वा स्वामिनमात्मजम् ॥ १ ॥
प्रद्योतसंज्ञं राजानं कर्ता यत् पालक: सुत: ।
विशाखयूपस्तत्पुत्रो भविता राजकस्तत: ॥ २ ॥
yo ’ntyaḥ purañjayo nāma
tasyāmātyas tu śunako
hatvā svāminam ātma-jam
kartā yat-pālakaḥ sutaḥ
bhavitā rājakas tataḥ
śrī śukaḥ uvāca — Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; yaḥ — who; antyaḥ — the final member (of the lineage described in the Ninth Canto); purañjayaḥ — Purañjaya (Ripuñjaya); nāma — named; bhaviṣyaḥ — will live in the future; bārahadrathaḥ — the descendant of Bṛhadratha; tasya — his; amātyaḥ — minister; tu — but; śunakaḥ — Śunaka; hatvā — killing; svāminam — his master; ātma-jam — his own son; pradyota-saṁjñam — named Pradyota; rājānam — the king; kartā — will make; yat — whose; pālakaḥ — named Pālaka; sutaḥ — the son; viśākhayūpaḥ — Viśākhayūpa; tat-putraḥ — the son of Pālaka; bhavitā — will be; rājakaḥ — Rājaka; tataḥ — then (coming as the son of Viśākhayūpa).
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: The last king mentioned in our previous enumeration of the future rulers of the Māgadha dynasty was Purañjaya, who will take birth as the descendant of Bṛhadratha. Purañjaya’s minister Śunaka will assassinate the king and install his own son, Pradyota, on the throne. The son of Pradyota will be Pālaka, his son will be Viśākhayūpa, and his son will be Rājaka.
The vicious political intrigue described here is symptomatic of the Age of Kali. In the Ninth Canto of this work, Śukadeva Gosvāmī describes how the great rulers of men descended from two royal dynasties, that of the sun and that of the moon. The Ninth Canto’s description of Lord Rāmacandra, a most famous incarnation of God, occurs in this genealogical narration, and at the end of the Ninth Canto Śukadeva describes the forefathers of Lord Kṛṣṇa and Lord Balarāma. Finally, the appearance of Lord Kṛṣṇa and that of Lord Balarāma are mentioned within the context of the narration of the moon dynasty.
The Tenth Canto is devoted exclusively to a description of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s childhood pastimes in Vṛndāvana, His teenage activities in Mathurā and His adult activities in Dvārakā. The famous epic Mahābhārata also describes the events of this period, focusing upon the five Pāṇḍava brothers and their activities in relation with Lord Kṛṣṇa and other leading historical figures, such as Bhīṣma, Dhṛtarāṣṭra, Droṇācārya and Vidura. Within the Mahābhārata is Bhagavad-gītā, in which Lord Kṛṣṇa is declared to be the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, of which we are presently translating the twelfth and final canto, is considered a more advanced literature than the Mahābhārata because throughout the entire work Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Absolute Truth and supreme source of all existence, is directly, centrally and irrefutably revealed. In fact, the First Canto of the Bhāgavatam describes how Śrī Vyāsadeva composed this great work because he was dissatisfied with his rather sporadic glorification of Lord Kṛṣṇa in the Mahābhārata.
Although Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam narrates the histories of many royal dynasties and the lives of innumerable kings, not until the description of the present age, the Age of Kali, do we find a minister assassinating his own king and installing his son on the throne. This incident resembles Dhṛtarāṣṭra’s attempt to assassinate the Pāṇḍavas and crown his son Duryodhana king. As the Mahābhārata describes, Lord Kṛṣṇa thwarted this attempt, but with the departure of the Lord for the spiritual sky, the Age of Kali became fully manifested, ushering in political assassination within one’s own house as a standard technique.