ABHIMANYU’S son Parikshit became the king of Hastinapur after the Pandavas left for the mountains. Once, while hunting in the forest, Parikshit wandered deep inside the forest and began to die of thirst. He walked around in search of water as his throat had become parched and dry. He looked far in the distance and saw a hut. He trudged some more and reached the hut, where he saw a sage meditating in front of the hut.
Parikshit said to the sage, “I am very thirsty. Can I get some water to drink please?” But the sage was so deeply engrossed in meditation that he did not hear Parikshit’s voice.
In a fit of rage, thinking that the sage was deliberately ignoring him, Parikshit picked up a dead snake lying nearby and placed it around the sage’s neck. It was at this very moment that the sage’s son happened to come out of the hut and caught Parikshit in the despicable act. Burning with anger, he cursed Parikshit, saying, “I curse you that you die within a week’s time for playing such a dirty trick on my father.”
The sage opened his eyes on hearing his son’s loud voice and scolded him for cursing the king. Moreover, he did not like such a strong curse to befall the king. So he informed the king about the seriousness of the curse. Fearing imminent death, the sage employed thousands of workers and got a palace built in such a way that no snakes could enter it.
After six days, King Parikshit felt satisfied that he was still alive. However on the seventh day, Takshaka, the king of serpents, disguised himself as a worm and entered a fruit kept near the king’s bedside. When the king picked up the fruit and was about to bite into it, Takshaka returned to his original form and coiled himself around the king’s body, killing him with his poisonous fangs.