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THE

Ramayana

OF

* - Valmeeki

RENDERED INTO ENGLISH

WITH EXHAUSTIVE NOTES

BY

(. ^ ^reenivasa jHv$oiu$ar, B. A.,

LECTURER

S. P G. COLLEGE, TRICHINGj,



Balakanda and N



MADRAS:
M. K. PEES8, A. L. T. PRKS8 AND GUARDIAN PBE8S. *

> 1910. %

i*t

Copyright ftpfiglwtd. 3 - , [ JJf JB^/to Reserved



PREFACE

The Ramayana of Valmeeki is a most unique work.
The Aryans are the oldest race on earth and the most
* advanced ; and the Ramayana is their first and grandest
epic.

The Eddas of Scandinavia, the Niebelungen Lied of
Germany, the Iliad of Homer, the Enead of Virgil, the
Inferno, the Purgatorio, and the Paradiso of Dante, the
Paradise Lost of Milton, the Lusiad of Camcens, the Shah
Nama of Firdausi are Epics and no more ; the Ramayana
of Valmeeki is an Epic and much more.

If any work can clam} to be the Bible of the Hindus,
it is the Ramayana of Valmeeki.

Professor MacDonell, the latest writer on Samskritha
Literature, says :

" The Epic contains the following verse foretelling its
everlasting fame

* As long as moynfain ranges stand

And rivers flow upon the earth,
So long will this Ramayana
Survive upon the lips of men.

This prophecy has been perhaps even more abundantly
fulfilled than the well-known prediction of Horace. No pro-
duct of Sanskrit Literature has enjoyed a greater popularity
in India down to the present day than the Ramayana. Its
story furnishes the subject of many other Sanskrit poems
as well as plays and still delights, from the lips* of reciters,
the hearts of the myriads of the Indian people, as at the



11 PREFACE

great annual Rama-festival held at Benares. It has been
translated into many Indian vernaculars. Above all, it
inspired the greatest poet of medieval Hindustan, Tulasi
Das, to compose in Hindi his version of the epic entitled
Ram Chant Manas, which, with its ideal standard of
virtue and purity, is a kind of Bible to a hundred millions
of the people of Northern India." Sanskrit Literature,
p. 317. So much for the version.

It is a fact within the personal observation of the
elders of our country, that witnesses swear upon a copy of
the Ramayana in the law-courts. Any one called upon
to pay an unjust debt contents himself with saying, " I will
place the money upon the Ramayana , let him take it if he
dares." In private life, the expression, " I swear by the
Ramayana/' is an inviolable oath I know instances where
sums of money were lent upon no other security than a palm
leaf manuscript of the Ramayana too precious a Talisman
to lose When a man yearns for a son to continue his line
on earth and raise him to the Mansions of the Blessed, the
Elders advise him to read the Ramayana or hear it recited,
or at least the Sundarakanda When a man has some
great issue at stake that will either mend or mar his life, he
reads the Sundarakanda or hears it expounded. When a
man is very ill, past medical help, the old people about him
say with one voice, " Read the Sundarakanda in the house
and Maruthi will bring him back to life and health " When
an evil spirit troubles sore a man or a woman, the grey-
beards wag their wise heads and oracularly exclaim, " Ah f
the Sundarakanda never fails " When any one desires to
know the result of a contemplated project, he desires a
child to open a page of the Sundarakanda and decides by
the nature of the subject dealt with therein. (Here is a
case in point. A year or two ago, I was asked by a young
man to advise him whether he should marry or lead a life



lit

<fc single blessedness. I promised to give him an
answer a day or two later. When I was alone,
I took up my Ramayana and asked my child to
open it. And lo ! the first line that met my eye was

Kumbhakarna-siro bhathi
Kundala-lamkntam mahaili.

" The severed head of Kumbhakarna shone high and
huge in the heavens, its splendour heightened by the ear-
rings he wore."

I had not the heart to communicate the result to
the poor man. His people had made everything
ready for his marriage. I could plainly sec that his
inclinations too lay that way. I could urge nothing
against it his health was good, and his worldly position
and prospects high and bright. Ah me f I was myself half-
sceptical So, quite against my better self, I managed to
avoid giving him an answer. And he, taking my silence
for consent, got himself married Alas ! within a year his
place in his house was vacant , his short meteoric life was
over , his health shattered, his public life a failure, his
mind darkened and gloomy by the vision ot his future,
Death was a welcome deliverer to him , and an old mother
and a child-wife are left to mourn his untimely end.

The Karma-kanda of the Vedas, the Upamshads, the
Smnthis, the Mahabharatha, the Puranas, nay, no other
work in the vast range of Samskntha literature is regarded
by the Hindus in the same light as the Ramayana The
Karma-kanda is accessible only to a very few, an infini-
tesimal minority of the Brahmanas the Purohiths who
are making a living out of it , and they too know not its
meaning, but recite it parrot-like. The Upamshads are not
for the men of the world , they are for hard-headed
logicianb or calm-minded philosophers. The Smnthib are



IV

but Rules of daily life. The Bharatha is not a very auspi-
cious work ; no devout Hindu would allow it to be read in
in his house, for it brings on strife, dissensions and misfor-
tune ; the temple of the Gods, the Mathas of Sanyasms, the
river-ghauts, and the rest-houses for the travellers are chosen
for the purpose The Bhagavad-geetha enjoys a unique
unpopularity ; for, he who reads or studies it is weaned
away from wife and child, house and home, friends and
km, wealth and power and seeks the Path of Renunciation.
The Puranas are but world-records, religious histories.

But, for a work that gives a man everything he holds
dear and valuable in this world and leads him to the Feet of
the Almighty Father, give me the Ramayana of Valmeeki.

The Lord of Mercy has come down among men time
and oft ; and the Puranas contain incidental records of
it short or long. But, the Ramayana of Valmeeki is the
only biography we have of the Supreme One.

" Nothing that relates to any of the actors in that great
world-drama shall 'escape thy all-seeing eye Rama,
Lakshmana, Seetha, men and monkeys, gods and
Rakshasas, their acts, their words, nay, their very thoughts,
known or secret. Nothing that comes out of your mouth,
consciously or otherwise, shall prove other than true/'
Such was the power of clear vision and clear speech con-
ferred on the poet by the Demiurge, the Ancient of Days.

" What nobler subject for your poem than Sree Rama-
chandra, the Divine Hero, the soul of righteousness, the
perfect embodiment of all that is good and great and the
Director of men's thoughts, words and deeds in the light
of their Karma ? " And this Ideal Man is the Hero of
the Epic.

"The cloud-capped mouritains, the swift-coursing
livers and all created things shdDl passe way and be as



taught. But, your noble song shall outlive them and never
fade from the hearts of men." This is the boon of immor-
tality the poem shall enjoy.

" And as long as the record of Rama's life holds sway
over the hearts of men, so long shall you sit by me in my
highest heaven/' This is the eternity of fame that comes
to the singer as his guerdon

The Hero, the Epic, and the Poet are the most perfect
any one can conceive.

It was composed when the Hero was yet upon earth,
when his deeds and fame were fresh in the hearts of men.
It was sung before himself. "And the poem they recite,
how wonderful in its suggestivencss ' Listen we to it"
such was ///,s estimate of the lay.

It was not written, but sung to sweet music Who were
they that conveyed the message to the hearts of men ? The
very sous of the Divine Hero, "Mark you the radiant glory
that plays around them ' Liker gods than men ! . . . .
Behold these young ascetics, of kingly form and mien. Rare
singers are they and of mighty spiritual energy withal" and
this encomium was from him who is Incarnate Wisdom.

What audience did they sing to ' ''Large concourses
of Brahmanas and warriors, sages and saints . . . .Through
many a land they travelled and sang to many an audience.

Thus many a time and oft did these boys recite it in
crowded halls and broad streets, in sacred groves and
sacrificial grounds And Rama invited to the as-
sembly the literati, the theologians, the expounders of
sacred histories, grammarians, Brahmanas grown grey in
knowledge and experience, phonologists, musical experts,
poets, rhetoricians, logicians, ritualists, philosophers,
astronomers, astrologers, geographers, linguists, statesmen
politicians, professors of music and dancing, painters



vi PREFACE

sculptors, minstrels, physiognomists, kings, merchant^,
farmers, saints, sages, hermits, ascetics ... ."

What was the ettect produced on the hearers ?

" And such the pcrlectness of expression and delicacy
of execution, that the hearers followed them with their
hearts and ears , and such the marvellous power of their
song, that an indescribable sense of bhs^ gradually stole
over them and pervaded their frame and e\ery sense and
faculty of theirs strange, overpowering and almost painful
in its intensity "

What was the cutical estimate ot the audience ;

"What charming musK ' what sweetness and melody
of verse ' And then, the vividness of narration ' We seem to
live and move among old times and scenes long gone by. .

A rare and noble epic this, the Ramavana of honeyed
verses and faultless diction, beautifully adapted to music,
vocal or instrumental and charming to hear , begun and
finished according to the best canons of the art, the most
exacting critic cannot praise it too highly , the first of its
kind and an unapproachable ideal for all time to come , the
best model for all future poets , the thrice-distilled Essence
of the Holy Scriptures , the surest giver oi health and
happiness, length of years and prosperity, to all who read
or listen to it. And, proficients as ye are in cverv style of
music, marvellously have ye sung it."

But what raises Ramayana from the sphere oi literary
works into " a mighty repository of the priceless wisdom
enshrined in the Veelas ' ' The sacred monosyllable, the
Pranava, is the mystic symbol of the Absolute , the Gayathn
is an exposition of the Pranava , the Vedas are the paraphrase
of the Gayathn , and the Ramayana is but the amplification
of the Vedic mysteries and lurmshes the key thereto. Each
letter of the Gayathn begins a thousand ot its stanzas.



PREFACE Vll

\ The p^em is based upon the hymns of the Rig-veda
aught to the author bv Narada For, it is not a record of
incidents that occurred during a certain cycle ; it is
a symbolical account of cosmic events that come about m
every cycle with but slight modifications , Rama, Seetha,
Ravana and the other characteis in the Epu are arcJietvpes
and real characters a mystery within a mvsterv The
numerous k( Inner Meanings " of the Ramasana (vide
Introduction) amph bear out the above remarks

There IN not one relation of hie, ptuate or public,
but is beautifully and perfectly illustrated in the woids and
deeds of the Ramavana characters (vide lyJ^^JMLJlon The
Aims of Life 1 )

It is not a poem of an\ one
world-asset , it must find a
town, in everx village and in





Tin

(a). Tlie Rental recension Ch<
Sardinia, helped Gorressio to bring
of it m 1S(57

(b) The Renare^ mention. Between ISO,") 1H10,
Carey and Marshman, the philanthiopic missionaries
of Serampore, published the text of the hrst h\o kandas and
a halt In 1S4<>, Sehlegel brought <mt an edition oi the
text oi the first two kandas In 1 *,?), the complete text
was lithographed at Bombav, and in ISfjO, a printed edi-
tion ot the same appeared at Calcutta

(r) The South Indian retention While the first two
recensions are in Devanagan, this exists in the Grantha
characters or in the Telugu This uas unknown to the
west and to the other parts of India until ll)0r>, when Mr.
T. R. Knshnacharya of Kumbakonam, Madras Presidency,



Vlil PREFACE

conferred a great boon upon the literary world by publish-
ing a fine edition of it in Devanagari (1905). The earliest
Grantha edition was published in Madras in 1891 by Mr.
K. Subramanya Sastry, with the commentaries of Govmda-
raja, Mahesa-theertha, Ramanuja, Teeka-siromam and
Pena-vachchan-Pillai. Mr. Raja Sastry of Madras has
almost finished another edition of the same (1907), supple-
menting the above commentaries with that of Thilaka (till
now accessible only in Devanagari). It shows a considera-
ble improvement in the matter of paper, type, printing
and get-up. Meanwhile, Mr Knshnacharya has begun
another beautiful edition of his text (1911) with the
commentary of Goymdaraja and extracts from Thilaka,
Theertheeya, Ramanujeeya, Sathyadharma-theertheeya,
Thanisloki, Siromam, Vishamapada-vivnthi, Kathaka,
Munibhavaprakasika etc. It will, when completed, place
before the world many a rare and priceless information in-
accessible till now.

Commentators

1. Govindaraja. He names his work the Ramayana-
Bhooshana " an ornament to the Ramayana, " ; and each
kanda furnishes a variety of it the anklets, the silk -cloth,
the girdle, the pearl necklace, the beauty-mark between the
eye-brows, the tiara and the crest-gem. He is of the
Kausikas and the disciple of Sathakopa. The Lord Venka-
tesa appeared to him in a dream one night while he lay
asleep in front of His shrine on the Serpent Mount and
commanded him to write a commentary on the Ramayana ;
and in devout obedience to the Divine call, he undertook
the task and right manfully has he performed it. It is the
most comprehensive, the most scholarly and the most
authoritative commentary on the Sacred Epic, albeit his
zealous Vaishnavite spirit surges up now and then in a hi-
at Siya and the Saivites, Priceless gems of traditional



PREFACE IX

pretations and oral instructions are embedded in his monu-
mental work.

2. Mahesa-theertha. He declares himself to be the
pupil of Narayana-theertha and has named his work Rama-
yana-thathva-deepika. " I have but written down the
opinions of various great men and have nothing of my own
to give, except where I have tried to explain the inner
meaning of the remarks made by Viradha, Khara, Vali
and Ravana ". In fact, he copies out the commentary of
Govindaraja bodily. He quotes Teeka-siromam and is
criticised by Rama-panditha in his Thilaka.

3. Rama-pan ditha. His commentary, the Rama-
yana-thilaka, was the only one accessible to the
world (outside of southern India), being printed in
Devanagan characters at Calcutta and Bombay. He
quotes from and criticises the Ramayana-thathva-
deepika and the Kathaka, but makes no reference to
Govindaraja. It may be the that work of the latter,
being in the Grantha characters, was not available to him
in Northern India; and Theertha might have studied it
in the South and written his commentary in the Devana-
gan. Rama-panditha is a thorough-going, uncompromising
Adwaithin, and jeers mercilessly at Theertha's esoteric
interpretations. In the Grantha edition of the Ramayana,
the Uthtnarakanda is commented upon only by Govindaraja
and Theertha ; but, the Devanagan edition with the com-
mentary of Rama-panditha, contains word for word, without
a single alteration, the gloss of Mahesatheertha M I have
tried in vain to explain or reconcile this enigma. But, the
Adwaithic tenor of the arguments and the frequent criticisms
of Kathaka, savor more of Rama-panditha than of Theertha.

4. Kathaka. I have not been able to find out the
author of the commentary so named, which exists only in
the extracts quoted in the Thilaka.



X PREFACE

5. Ramanuja. He confines himself mainly to a di#-
cussion of the various readings of the text. What comment-
ary he chances to write now and then, is not very valuable.
He is not to be confounded with the famous Founder of
the Visishtadwaitha School of Philosophy.

6. Thanislokt, Knshna-Samahvaya or as he is more
popularly known by his Tamil cognomen, Pena-vachchan
Pillay, is the author of it. It is not a regular commentary
upon the Ramayana. He selects certain oft-quoted stanzas
and writes short essays upon them, which are much admir-
ed by the people of the South, and form the cram-book of
the professional expounder of the Rarnayana. It is written
in Manipravala a curious combination of Samskntha and
Tamil, with quaint idioms and curious twists of language.
Many of the explanations are far-fetched and wire-drawn
and reveal a spirit of Vaishnavite sectarianism.

7. Abhaya-pradana-sara. Sree Vedantha-desika, the
most prominent personage after Sree Ramanuja, is the
author of this treatise. It selects the incident of Vibheeshana
seeking refuge with Rama (Vibheeshana-saranagathi) as a
typical illustration of the key-rote of the Ramayana the
doctrine of Surrender to the Lord, and deals with the subject
exhaustively. It is written in the Manipravala, as most of
his Tamil works are.

Translations

Gorresio published an Italian rendering of the work
in 1870, It was followed by the French translation of
Hippolyte Fauche's. In the year 1846, Schlegel gave to
the world a Latin version of the first Kanda and a part of the
second. The Serampore Missionaries were the first to
give the Ramayana an English garb ; but they proceeded
no further than two Kandas and a half. Mr. Griffith, Prin-
cipal of the Benares College, was the first to translate the



PREFACE xi

Ramayana into English verse (187074). But, the latest
translation of Valmeeki's immortal epic into English prose
is that of Manmathanath Dutt, M. A., Calcutta (1894).

" Then why go over the same ground and inflict upon the
public another translation of the Ramayana m English prose?"

1 . Mr. Dutt has translated but the text of Valmeeki
and that almost too literally ; he has not placed before the
readers the priceless gems of information contained in the
commentaries.

2. The text that, I think, he has used is the one pub-
lished with the commentary of Rama-panditha, which
differs widely from the South Indian Grantha text in read-
ings and IK the number of stanzas and chapters.

3 More often than once, his rendering is completely
wide of the maik. (It is neither useful nor graceful to make
a list of all such instances. A careful comparison of his
rendering with mine is all I request of any impartial scholar
of Samskntha).

4. I venture to think that his translation conveys not
to a Westerner the beauty, the spirit, the swing, the force
and the grandeur of the original

5, Even supposing that it is a faultless rendering of
a faultless text, it is not all that is required.

G. As is explained in the Introduction, the greatness
of the Ramayana lies in its profound suggestiveness ; and no
literal word-for-word rendering will do the barest justice to it.

7. Many incidents, customs, manners, usages and
traditions of the time of Rama are hinted at or left to be in-
ferred, being within the knowledge of the persons to whom
the poem was sung ; but to the modern world they are a
sealed book.

8. Even such of the above as have lived down to our
times are so utterly changed, altered, nidified and over-laid
by the accretions of ages as to be almost unrecognisable.



Xll



9. The same incident is variously related in various
places.

Every one of the eighteen Puranas, as also the Maha-
bharatha, the Adhyathma Ramayana and the Ananda Rama-
yana, relates the coming down of the Lord as Sree Rama, but
with great divergences of detail ; while the Padmapurana
narrates the life and doings of Sree Rama in a former Kalpa,
which differs very much in the main from the Ramayana
of Valmeeki. The Adbhutha Ramayana and the Vasishtha
Ramayana deal at great length with certain incidents in the
life of Rama as are not touched upon by Valmeeki ; while
the Ananda Ramayana devotes eight Kandas to the history
of Rama after he was crowned at Ayodhya. Innumerable
poems and plays founded upon Valmeeki's epic modify its
incidents greatly, but base themselves on some Purana or
other authoritative work.

10. Many a story that we have heard from the lips of
our elders when we lay around roaring fires during long
wintry nights and which we have come to regard as part and
parcel of the life and doings of Rama, finds no place in
Valmeeki's poem.

11. The poem was to be recited, not read, and to an
ever-changing audience. Only twenty chapters were allow-
ed to be sung a day, neither more nor less. Hence the in-
numerable repititions, recapitulations and other literary
rapids through which it is not very easy to steer our frail
translation craft. The whole range of Samskntha literature,
religious and secular, has to be laid under contribution to
bring home to the minds of the readers a fair and adequate
idea of the message that was conveyed to humanity by
Valmeeki.

12. A bare translation of the text of the Ramayana
is thus of no use nay, more mischievous than useful, in
that it gives an incomplete and la many places a distorted



PREFACE xiii

view of the subject. It is to the commentaries that we
have to turn for explanation, interpretation, amplification,
reconciliation and rounding off. And of these, the most
important, that of Govindaraja, is practically inaccessible
except to the Tamil-speaking races of India. The saints
of the Dravida country, the Alwars from Sree Sathakopa
downwards, have taken up the study of the Ramayana of
Valmeeki as a special branch of the Vedantha and have
left behind them a large literature on the subject, original
and explanatory. The Divya-prabandhas and their numer-
ous commentaries are all in the quaint archaic Tamil style
known as Mampravala, and are entirely unknown to the
non-Tamil-speaking world. With those teachers the Rama-
yana was not an ordinary epic, not even an Ithihasa.
It was something higher, grander and more sacred. It
was an Upadesa-Grantha a Book of Initiation , and no true
Vaishnava may read it unless he has been initiated by his
Guru into its mysteries. It is to him what the Bible was to
the Catholic world of the Medieval Ages ; only the Initiated,
the clergy as it were, could read and expound it. Over and
above all this, there are many priceless teachings about the
Inner Mysteries of the Ramayana which find no place in
written books. They form part of the instructions that the
Guru gives to the Disciple by word of mouth.

13. Then again, there is the never-ending discussion
about the method of translation to be followed. Max-
Muller, the Grand Old Man of the Orientalist School opines
thus : " When I was enabled to collate copies which came
from the south of India, the opinion,which I have often ex-
pressed of the great value of Southern Mss. received fresh
confirmation The study of Grantha and other southern
Mss, will inaugurate, I believe, a new period in the critical
treatment of Sanskrit texts. The rule which I have follow-
ed myself, and which I have asked my fellow-translators



Xiv PREPACK

to follow, has been adhered to in this new volume atoo,
viz. whenever a choice has to be made between what is
not quite faithful and what is not quite English, to surren-
der, without hesitation, the idiom rather than the accuracy
of the translation. I know that all true scholars have ap-
proved of this, and if some of our critics have been offend-
ed by certain unidiomatic expressions occurring in our
translations, all I can say is, that we shall always be most
grateful if they would suggest translations which are not
only faithful, but also idiomatic. For the purpose we have
in view, a rugged but faithful translation seems to us more
useful than a smooth but misleading one.

However, we have laid ourselves open to another kind
of censure also, namely, of having occasionally not been
literal enough. It is impossible to argue these questions in
general, but every translator knows that in many cases a
literal translation may convey an entirely wrong mean-
ing. " Introduction to his Translation of the Upamshads.
Part II, p. 13

" It is difficult to explain to those who have not them-
selves worked at the Veda, how it is that, though we may
understand almost every word, yet we find it so difficult
to lay hold of a whole chain of connected thought and to
discover expressions that will not throw a wrong shade on
the original features of the ancient words of the Veda. We
have, on the one hand, to avoid giving to our translations
too modern a character or paraphrasing instead of tran-
slating ; while on the other, we cannot retain expressions
which, if literally rendered in English or any modern
tongue, would have an air of quamtness or absurdity totally
foreign to the intention of the ancient poets.

While in my translation of the Veda in the remarks
that I have to make in the course of my commentary, I
shall frequently differ from other scholars, who have dope



PREFACE XV

their best and who have done what they have done in a truly
scholarlike, that is in a humble spirit, it would be un-
pleasant, even were it possible within the limits assigned,
to criticise every opinion that has been put forward on the
meaning of certain words or on the construction of certain
verses of the Veda. I prefer as much as possible to vindi-
cate my own translation, instead of examining the transla-
tions of other scholars, whether Indian or European. "
From the Preface to his translation of the Rig-veda Samhitha.

In his letter to me of the 26th of January 1892,
referring to my proposal to translate the Markandeya Purana
as one of the Sacred Books of the East, he writes

" I shall place your letter before the Chancellor and
Delegates of the Press, and I hope they may accept your
proposal. If you would send me a specimen of your
translation, clearly written, I shall be glad to examine it,
and compare it with the text in the Bibliotheca Iinlua.
I have a Mss. of the Markandeya-punma. Possibly the palm
leaf Mss. in Grantha letters would supply you with a better
text than that printed in the Ribliotheca Indica"

But, Mrs. Besant, in her Introduction to ' The Laws of
Manu, in the Light of Theosophy. By Bhagavan Das,
M. A./ takes a different view

" One explanatory statement should be made as to the
method of conveying to the modern reader the thought of
the ancient writer. The European Orientalist, with admir-
able scrupulosity and tireless patience, works away labon-
busly with dictionary and grammar to give an " accurate
and scholarly translation " of the foreign language which
he is striving to interpret. What else can he do ? But the
Result, as compared with the Original, is like the dead
pressed specimen ' of the botanist beside the breathing
living flower of the garden. Even I, with my poor know-
ledge of Samsknt, know the joy of contacting the pulsing



XVI PREFACE

virile scriptures in their own tongue, and the inexpressible
dulness and dreariness of their scholarly renderings into
English. But our lecturer is a Hindu, who from childhood
upwards has lived in the atmosphere of the elder days ;
he heard the old stories before he could read, sung by
grand-mother, aunt, and pandit ; when he is tired now, he
finds his recreation in chanting over the well-loved stanzas
of an Ancient Purana, crooning them softly as a lullaby to
a weaned mind ; to him the ' well-constructed language '
(Samsknt) is the mother-tongue,

_________________
The Flesh of Fallen Angels! Come to me all! Asteroth,

Beelzebub, Asmodeus, Bapholada, Lucifer, Loki, Satan,

Cthulhu, Lilith, Della! Blood, to you all!

I'm the wolf, yeah!
I am the wolf! It's close, it's coming. You have come.
The witness to the end, of time. It's now! I will rise to
her side! I don't need the words!
I'm beyond the words!
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Post Re: POST, POST LIKE YOU NEVER POSTED BEFORE!
The Mahabharata

of

Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa

BOOK 17

Mahaprasthanika-parva



Translated into English Prose from the Original Sanskrit Text

by

Kisari Mohan Ganguli

[1883-1896]

Scanned and Proofed by Mantra Caitanya. Additional proofing and
formatting at sacred-texts.com, by J. B. Hare, October 2003.





1

Om! Having bowed down unto Narayana, and to Nara, the foremost of men, as
also to the goddess Sarasvati, should the word "Jaya" be uttered.

Janamejaya said: "Having heard of that encounter with iron bolts between
the heroes of the Vrishni and the Andhaka races, and having been informed
also of Krishnas ascension to Heaven, what did the Pandavas do?"

Vaishampayana said: "Having heard the particulars of the great slaughter
of the Vrishnis, the Kaurava king set his heart on leaving the world. He
addressed Arjuna, saying, O thou of great intelligence, it is Time that
cooks every creature (in his cauldron). I think that what has happened is
due to the cords of Time (with which he binds us all). It behoveth thee
also to see it.

"Thus addressed by his brother, the son of Kunti only repeated the word
Time, Time! and fully endorsed the view of his eldest brother gifted with
great intelligence. Ascertaining the resolution of Arjuna, Bhimasena and
the twins fully endorsed the words that Arjuna had said. Resolved to
retire from the world for earning merit, they brought Yuyutsu before
them. Yudhishthira made over the kingdom to the son of his uncle by his
Vaisya wife. Installing Parikshit also on their throne, as king, the
eldest brother of the Pandavas, filled with sorrow, addressed Subhadra,
saying, This son of thy son will be the king of the Kurus. The survivor
of the Yadus, Vajra, has been made a king. Parikshit will rule in
Hastinapura, while the Yadava prince, Vajra, will rule in Shakraprastha.
He should be protected by thee. Never set thy heart on unrighteousness.

"Having said these words, king Yudhishthira the just, along with his
brothers, promptly offered oblations of water unto Vasudeva of great
intelligence, as also unto his old maternal uncle and Rama and others. He
then duly performed the Sraddhas of all those deceased kinsmen of his.
The king, in honour of Hari and naming him repeatedly, fed the
Island-born Vyasa, and Narada, and Markandeya possessed of wealth of
penances, and Yajnavalkya of Bharadwajas race, with many delicious
viands. In honour of Krishna, he also gave away many jewels and gems, and
robes and clothes, and villages, and horses and cars, and female slaves
by hundreds and thousands unto foremost of Brahmanas. Summoning the
citizens. Kripa was installed as the preceptor and Parikshit was made
over to him as his disciple, O chief of Bharatas race.

"Then Yudhishthira once more summoned all his subjects. The royal sage
informed them of his intentions. The citizens and the inhabitants of the
provinces, hearing the kings words, became filled with anxiety and
disapproved of them. This should never be done, said they unto the king.
The monarch, well versed with the changes brought about by time, did not
listen to their counsels. Possessed of righteous soul, he persuaded the
people to sanction his views. He then set his heart on leaving the world.
His brothers also formed the same resolution. Then Dharmas son,
Yudhishthira, the king of the Kurus, casting off his ornaments, wore
barks of trees. Bhima and Arjuna and the twins, and Draupadi also of
great fame, similarly clad themselves in bark of trees, O king. Having
caused the preliminary rites of religion, O chief of Bharatas race, which
were to bless them in the accomplishment of their design, those foremost
of men cast off their sacred fires into the water. The ladies, beholding
the princes in that guise, wept aloud. They seemed to look as they had
looked in days before, when with Draupadi forming the sixth in number
they set out from the capital after their defeat at dice. The brothers,
however, were all very cheerful at the prospect of retirement.
Ascertaining the intentions of Yudhishthira and seeing the destruction of
the Vrishnis, no other course of action could please them then.

"The five brothers, with Draupadi forming the sixth, and a dog forming
the seventh, set out on their journey. Indeed, even thus did king
Yudhishthira depart, himself the head of a party of seven, from the city
named after the elephant. The citizen and the ladies of the royal
household followed them for some distance. None of them, however, could
venture to address the king for persuading him to give up his intention.
The denizens of the city then returned; Kripa and others stood around
Yuyutsu as their centre. Ulupi, the daughter of the Naga chief, O thou of
Kuntis race, entered the waters of Ganga. The princess Chitrangada set
out for the capital of Manipura. The other ladies who were the
grandmothers of Parikshit centered around him. Meanwhile the high-souled
Pandavas, O thou of Kurus race, and Draupadi of great fame, having
observed the preliminary fast, set out with their faces towards the east.
Setting themselves on Yoga, those high-souled ones, resolved to observe
the religion of Renunciation, traversed through various countries and
reached diverse rivers and seas. Yudhishthira, proceeded first. Behind
him was Bhima; next walked Arjuna; after him were the twins in the order
of their birth; behind them all, O foremost one of Bharatas race,
proceeded Draupadi, that first of women, possessed of great beauty, of
dark complexion, and endued with eyes resembling lotus petals. While the
Pandavas set out for the forest, a dog followed them.

"Proceeding on, those heroes reached the sea of red waters. Dhananjaya
had not cast off his celestial bow Gandiva, nor his couple of
inexhaustible quivers, actuated, O king, by the cupidity that attaches
one to things of great value. The Pandavas there beheld the deity of fire
standing before them like a hill. Closing their way, the god stood there
in his embodied form. The deity of seven flames then addressed the
Pandavas, saying, Ye heroic sons of Pandu, know me for the deity of fire.
O mighty-armed Yudhishthira, O Bhimasena that art a scorcher of foes, O
Arjuna, and ye twins of great courage, listen to what I say! Ye foremost
ones of Kurus race, I am the god of fire. The forest of Khandava was
burnt by me, through the puissance of Arjuna and of Narayana himself. Let
your brother Phalguna proceed to the woods after casting off Gandiva,
that high weapon. He has no longer any need of it. That precious discus,
which was with the high-souled Krishna, has disappeared (from the world).
When the time again comes, it will come back into his hands. This
foremost of bows, Gandiva, was procured by me from Varuna for the use of
Partha. Let it be made over to Varuna himself.

"At this, all the brothers urged Dhananjaya to do what the deity said. He
then threw into the waters (of the sea) both the bow and the couple of
inexhaustible quivers. After this, O chief of Bharatas race, the god of
the fire disappeared then and there. The heroic sons of Pandu next
proceeded with their faces turned towards the south. Then, by the
northern coast of the salt sea, those princes of Bharatas race proceeded
to the south-west. Turning next towards the west, they beheld the city of
Dwaraka covered by the ocean. Turning next to the north, those foremost
ones proceeded on. Observant of Yoga, they were desirous of making a
round of the whole Earth."



2

Vaishampayana said: "Those princes of restrained souls and devoted to
Yoga, proceeding to the north, beheld Himavat, that very large mountain.
Crossing the Himavat, they beheld a vast desert of sand. They then saw
the mighty mountain Meru, the foremost of all high-peaked mountains. As
those mighty ones were proceeding quickly, all rapt in Yoga, Yajnaseni,
falling of from Yoga, dropped down on the Earth. Beholding her fallen
down, Bhimasena of great strength addressed king Yudhishthira the just,
saying, O scorcher of foes, this princess never did any sinful act. Tell
us what the cause is for which Krishna has fallen down on the Earth!

"Yudhishthira said: O best of men, though we were all equal unto her she
had great partiality for Dhananjaya. She obtains the fruit of that
conduct today, O best of men."

Vaishampayana continued: "Having said this, that foremost one of Bharatas
race proceeded on. Of righteous soul, that foremost of men, endued with
great intelligence, went on, with mind intent on itself. Then Sahadeva of
great learning fell down on the Earth. Beholding him drop down, Bhima
addressed the king, saying, He who with great humility used to serve us
all, alas, why is that son of Madravati fallen down on the Earth?

"Yudhishthira said, He never thought anybody his equal in wisdom. It is
for that fault that this prince has fallen down.

Vaishampayana continued: "Having said this, the king proceeded, leaving
Sahadeva there. Indeed, Kuntis son Yudhishthira went on, with his
brothers and with the dog. Beholding both Krishna and the Pandava
Sahadeva fallen down, the brave Nakula, whose love for kinsmen was very
great, fell down himself. Upon the falling down of the heroic Nakula of
great personal beauty, Bhima once more addressed the king, saying, This
brother of ours who was endued with righteousness without incompleteness,
and who always obeyed our behests, this Nakula who was unrivalled for
beauty, has fallen down.

"Thus addressed by Bhimasena, Yudhishthira, said, with respect to Nakula,
these words: He was of righteous soul and the foremost of all persons
endued with intelligence. He, however, thought that there was nobody that
equalled him in beauty of person. Indeed, he regarded himself as superior
to all in that respect. It is for this that Nakula has fallen down. Know
this, O Vrikodara. What has been ordained for a person, O hero, must have
to be endured by him.

"Beholding Nakula and the others fall down, Pandus son Arjuna of white
steeds, that slayer of hostile heroes, fell down in great grief of heart.
When that foremost of men, who was endued with the energy of Shakra, had
fallen down, indeed, when that invincible hero was on the point of death,
Bhima said unto the king, I do not recollect any untruth uttered by this
high-souled one. Indeed, not even in jest did he say anything false. What
then is that for whose evil consequence this one has fallen down on the
Earth?

"Yudhishthira said, Arjuna had said that he would consume all our foes in
a single day. Proud of his heroism, he did not, however, accomplish what
he had said. Hence has he fallen down. This Phalguna disregarded all
wielders of bows. One desirous of prosperity should never indulge in such
sentiments."

Vaishampayana continued: "Having said so, the king proceeded on. Then
Bhima fell down. Having fallen down, Bhima addressed king Yudhishthira
the just, saying, O king, behold, I who am thy darling have fallen down.
For what reason have I dropped down? Tell me if thou knowest it.

"Yudhishthira said, Thou wert a great eater, and thou didst use to boast
of thy strength. Thou never didst attend, O Bhima, to the wants of others
while eating. It is for that, O Bhima, that thou hast fallen down.

"Having said these words, the mighty-armed Yudhishthira proceeded on,
without looking back. He had only one companion, the dog of which I have
repeatedly spoken to thee, that followed him now.



3

Vaishampayana said: "Then Shakra, causing the firmament and the Earth to
be filled by a loud sound, came to the son of Pritha on a car and asked
him to ascend it. Beholding his brothers fallen on the Earth, king
Yudhishthira the just said unto that deity of a 1,000 eyes these words:
My brothers have all dropped down here. They must go with me. Without
them by me I do not wish to go to Heaven, O lord of all the deities. The
delicate princess (Draupadi) deserving of every comfort, O Purandara,
should go with us. It behoveth thee to permit this.

"Shakra said, Thou shalt behold thy brothers in Heaven. They have reached
it before thee. Indeed, thou shalt see all of them there, with Krishna.
Do not yield to grief, O chief of the Bharatas. Having cast off their
human bodies they have gone there, O chief of Bharatas race. As regards
thee, it is ordained that thou shalt go thither in this very body of
thine.

"Yudhishthira said, This dog, O lord of the Past and the Present, is
exceedingly devoted to me. He should go with me. My heart is full of
compassion for him.

"Shakra said, Immortality and a condition equal to mine, O king,
prosperity extending in all directions, and high success, and all the
felicities of Heaven, thou hast won today. Do thou cast off this dog. In
this there will be no cruelty.

"Yudhishthira said, O thou of a 1,000 eyes. O thou that art of righteous
behaviour, it is exceedingly difficult for one that is of righteous
behaviour to perpetrate an act that is unrighteous. I do not desire that
union with prosperity for which I shall have to cast off one that is
devoted to me.

"Indra said, There is no place in Heaven for persons with dogs. Besides,
the (deities called) Krodhavasas take away all the merits of such
persons. Reflecting on this, act, O king Yudhishthira the just. Do thou
abandon this dog. There is no cruelty in this.

"Yudhishthira said, It has been said that the abandonment of one that is
devoted is infinitely sinful. It is equal to the sin that one incurs by
slaying a Brahmana. Hence, O great Indra, I shall not abandon this dog
today from desire of my happiness. Even this is my vow steadily pursued,
that I never give up a person that is terrified, nor one that is devoted
to me, nor one that seeks my protection, saying that he is destitute, nor
one that is afflicted, nor one that has come to me, nor one that is weak
in protecting oneself, nor one that is solicitous of life. I shall never
give up such a one till my own life is at an end.

"Indra said, Whatever gifts, or sacrifices spread out, or libations
poured on the sacred fire, are seen by a dog, are taken away by the
Krodhavasas. Do thou, therefore, abandon this dog. By abandoning this dog
thou wilt attain to the region of the deities. Having abandoned thy
brothers and Krishna, thou hast, O hero, acquired a region of felicity by
thy own deeds. Why art thou so stupefied? Thou hast renounced everything.
Why then dost thou not renounce this dog? "Yudhishthira said, This is
well known in all the worlds that there is neither friendship nor enmity
with those that are dead. When my brothers and Krishna died, I was unable
to revive them. Hence it was that I abandoned them. I did not, however,
abandon them as long as they were alive. To frighten one that has sought
protection, the slaying of a woman, the theft of what belongs to a
Brahmana, and injuring a friend, each of these four, O Shakra, is I think
equal to the abandonment of one that is devoted."

Vaishampayana continued: "Hearing these words of king Yudhishthira the
just, (the dog became transformed into) the deity of Righteousness, who,
well pleased, said these words unto him in a sweet voice fraught with
praise.

"Dharma said: Thou art well born, O king of kings, and possessed of the
intelligence and the good conduct of Pandu. Thou hast compassion for all
creatures, O Bharata, of which this is a bright example. Formerly, O son,
thou wert once examined by me in the woods of Dwaita, where thy brothers
of great prowess met with (an appearance of) death. Disregarding both thy
brothers Bhima and Arjuna, thou didst wish for the revival of Nakula from
thy desire of doing good to thy (step-) mother. On the present occasion,
thinking the dog to be devoted to thee, thou hast renounced the very car
of the celestials instead of renouncing him. Hence. O king, there is no
one in Heaven that is equal to thee. Hence, O Bharata, regions of
inexhaustible felicity are thine. Thou hast won them, O chief of the
Bharatas, and thine is a celestial and high goal."

Vaishampayana continued: "Then Dharma, and Shakra, and the Maruts, and
the Ashvinis, and other deities, and the celestial Rishis, causing
Yudhishthira to ascend on a car, proceeded to Heaven. Those beings
crowned with success and capable of going everywhere at will, rode their
respective cars. King Yudhishthira, that perpetuator of Kurus race,
riding on that car, ascended quickly, causing the entire welkin to blaze
with his effulgence. Then Narada, that foremost of all speakers, endued
with penances, and conversant with all the worlds, from amidst that
concourse of deities, said these words: All those royal sages that are
here have their achievements transcended by those of Yudhishthira.
Covering all the worlds by his fame and splendour and by his wealth of
conduct, he has attained to Heaven in his own (human) body. None else
than the son of Pandu has been heard to achieve this.

"Hearing these words of Narada, the righteous-souled king, saluting the
deities and all the royal sages there present, said, Happy or miserable,
whatever the region be that is now my brothers, I desire to proceed to. I
do not wish to go anywhere else.

"Hearing this speech of the king, the chief of the deities, Purandara,
said these words fraught with noble sense: Do thou live in this place, O
king of kings, which thou hast won by thy meritorious deeds. Why dost
thou still cherish human affections? Thou hast attained to great success,
the like of which no other man has ever been able to attain. Thy
brothers, O delighter of the Kurus, have succeeded in winning regions of
felicity. Human affections still touch thee. This is Heaven. Behold these
celestial Rishis and Siddhas who have attained to the region of the gods.

"Gifted with great intelligence, Yudhishthira answered the chief of the
deities once more, saying, O conqueror of Daityas, I venture not to dwell
anywhere separated from them. I desire to go there, where my brothers
have gone. I wish to go there where that foremost of women, Draupadi, of
ample proportions and darkish complexion and endued with great
intelligence and righteous of conduct, has gone."

The end of Mahaprasthanika-parv

_________________
The Flesh of Fallen Angels! Come to me all! Asteroth,

Beelzebub, Asmodeus, Bapholada, Lucifer, Loki, Satan,

Cthulhu, Lilith, Della! Blood, to you all!

I'm the wolf, yeah!
I am the wolf! It's close, it's coming. You have come.
The witness to the end, of time. It's now! I will rise to
her side! I don't need the words!
I'm beyond the words!


_________________

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1 pcs.
1 pcs.
1 pcs.


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Re: POST, POST LIKE YOU NEVER POSTED BEFORE!
The Mahabharata

of

Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa

BOOK 1

ADI PARVA

Translated into English Prose from the Original Sanskrit Text

by

Kisari Mohan Ganguli

[1883-1896]

Scanned at sacred-texts.com, 2003. Proofed at Distributed Proofing,
Juliet Sutherland, Project Manager. Additional proofing and formatting at
sacred-texts.com, by J. B. Hare.



TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE

The object of a translator should ever be to hold the mirror upto his
author. That being so, his chief duty is to represent so far as
practicable the manner in which his author's ideas have been expressed,
retaining if possible at the sacrifice of idiom and taste all the
peculiarities of his author's imagery and of language as well. In regard
to translations from the Sanskrit, nothing is easier than to dish up
Hindu ideas, so as to make them agreeable to English taste. But the
endeavour of the present translator has been to give in the following
pages as literal a rendering as possible of the great work of Vyasa. To
the purely English reader there is much in the following pages that will
strike as ridiculous. Those unacquainted with any language but their own
are generally very exclusive in matters of taste. Having no knowledge of
models other than what they meet with in their own tongue, the standard
they have formed of purity and taste in composition must necessarily be a
narrow one. The translator, however, would ill-discharge his duty, if for
the sake of avoiding ridicule, he sacrificed fidelity to the original. He
must represent his author as he is, not as he should be to please the
narrow taste of those entirely unacquainted with him. Mr. Pickford, in
the preface to his English translation of the Mahavira Charita, ably
defends a close adherence to the original even at the sacrifice of idiom
and taste against the claims of what has been called 'Free Translation,'
which means dressing the author in an outlandish garb to please those to
whom he is introduced.

In the preface to his classical translation of Bhartrihari's Niti Satakam
and Vairagya Satakam, Mr. C.H. Tawney says, "I am sensible that in the
present attempt I have retained much local colouring. For instance, the
ideas of worshipping the feet of a god of great men, though it frequently
occurs in Indian literature, will undoubtedly move the laughter of
Englishmen unacquainted with Sanskrit, especially if they happen to
belong to that class of readers who revel their attention on the
accidental and remain blind to the essential. But a certain measure of
fidelity to the original even at the risk of making oneself ridiculous,
is better than the studied dishonesty which characterises so many
translations of oriental poets."

We fully subscribe to the above although, it must be observed, the
censure conveyed to the class of translators last indicated is rather
undeserved, there being nothing like a 'studied dishonesty' in their
efforts which proceed only from a mistaken view of their duties and as
such betray only an error of the head but not of the heart. More than
twelve years ago when Babu Pratapa Chandra Roy, with Babu Durga Charan
Banerjee, went to my retreat at Seebpore, for engaging me to translate
the Mahabharata into English, I was amazed with the grandeur of the
scheme. My first question to him was,--whence was the money to come,
supposing my competence for the task. Pratapa then unfolded to me the
details of his plan, the hopes he could legitimately cherish of
assistance from different quarters. He was full of enthusiasm. He showed
me Dr. Rost's letter, which, he said, had suggested to him the
undertaking. I had known Babu Durga Charan for many years and I had the
highest opinion of his scholarship and practical good sense. When he
warmly took Pratapa's side for convincing me of the practicability of the
scheme, I listened to him patiently. The two were for completing all
arrangements with me the very day. To this I did not agree. I took a
week's time to consider. I consulted some of my literary friends,
foremost among whom was the late lamented Dr. Sambhu C. Mookherjee. The
latter, I found, had been waited upon by Pratapa. Dr. Mookherjee spoke to
me of Pratapa as a man of indomitable energy and perseverance. The result
of my conference with Dr. Mookherjee was that I wrote to Pratapa asking
him to see me again. In this second interview estimates were drawn up,
and everything was arranged as far as my portion of the work was
concerned. My friend left with me a specimen of translation which he had
received from Professor Max Muller. This I began to study, carefully
comparing it sentence by sentence with the original. About its literal
character there could be no doubt, but it had no flow and, therefore,
could not be perused with pleasure by the general reader. The translation
had been executed thirty years ago by a young German friend of the great
Pundit. I had to touch up every sentence. This I did without at all
impairing faithfulness to the original. My first 'copy' was set up in
type and a dozen sheets were struck off. These were submitted to the
judgment of a number of eminent writers, European and native. All of
them, I was glad to see, approved of the specimen, and then the task of
translating the Mahabharata into English seriously began.

Before, however, the first fasciculus could be issued, the question as to
whether the authorship of the translation should be publicly owned,
arose. Babu Pratapa Chandra Roy was against anonymity. I was for it. The
reasons I adduced were chiefly founded upon the impossibility of one
person translating the whole of the gigantic work. Notwithstanding my
resolve to discharge to the fullest extent the duty that I took up, I
might not live to carry it out. It would take many years before the end
could be reached. Other circumstances than death might arise in
consequence of which my connection with the work might cease. It could
not be desirable to issue successive fasciculus with the names of a
succession of translators appearing on the title pages. These and other
considerations convinced my friend that, after all, my view was correct.
It was, accordingly, resolved to withhold the name of the translator. As
a compromise, however, between the two views, it was resolved to issue
the first fasciculus with two prefaces, one over the signature of the
publisher and the other headed--'Translator's Preface.' This, it was
supposed, would effectually guard against misconceptions of every kind.
No careful reader would then confound the publisher with the author.

Although this plan was adopted, yet before a fourth of the task had been
accomplished, an influential Indian journal came down upon poor Pratapa
Chandra Roy and accused him openly of being a party to a great literary
imposture, viz., of posing before the world as the translator of Vyasa's
work when, in fact, he was only the publisher. The charge came upon my
friend as a surprise, especially as he had never made a secret of the
authorship in his correspondence with Oriental scholars in every part of
the world. He promptly wrote to the journal in question, explaining the
reasons there were for anonymity, and pointing to the two prefaces with
which the first fasciculus had been given to the world. The editor
readily admitted his mistake and made a satisfactory apology.

Now that the translation has been completed, there can no longer be any
reason for withholding the name of the translator. The entire translation
is practically the work of one hand. In portions of the Adi and the Sabha
Parvas, I was assisted by Babu Charu Charan Mookerjee. About four forms
of the Sabha Parva were done by Professor Krishna Kamal Bhattacharya, and
about half a fasciculus during my illness, was done by another hand. I
should however state that before passing to the printer the copy received
from these gentlemen I carefully compared every sentence with the
original, making such alterations as were needed for securing a
uniformity of style with the rest of the work.

I should here observe that in rendering the Mahabharata into English I
have derived very little aid from the three Bengali versions that are
supposed to have been executed with care. Every one of these is full of
inaccuracies and blunders of every description. The Santi in particular
which is by far the most difficult of the eighteen Parvas, has been made
a mess of by the Pundits that attacked it. Hundreds of ridiculous
blunders can be pointed out in both the Rajadharma and the Mokshadharma
sections. Some of these I have pointed out in footnotes.

I cannot lay claim to infallibility. There are verses in the Mahabharata
that are exceedingly difficult to construe. I have derived much aid from
the great commentator Nilakantha. I know that Nilakantha's authority is
not incapable of being challenged. But when it is remembered that the
interpretations given by Nilakantha came down to him from preceptors of
olden days, one should think twice before rejecting Nilakantha as a guide.

About the readings I have adopted, I should say that as regards the first
half of the work, I have generally adhered to the Bengal texts; as
regards the latter half, to the printed Bombay edition. Sometimes
individual sections, as occurring in the Bengal editions, differ widely,
in respect of the order of the verses, from the corresponding ones in the
Bombay edition. In such cases I have adhered to the Bengal texts,
convinced that the sequence of ideas has been better preserved in the
Bengal editions than the Bombay one.

I should express my particular obligations to Pundit Ram Nath Tarkaratna,
the author of 'Vasudeva Vijayam' and other poems, Pundit Shyama Charan
Kaviratna, the learned editor of Kavyaprakasha with the commentary of
Professor Mahesh Chandra Nayaratna, and Babu Aghore Nath Banerjee, the
manager of the Bharata Karyalaya. All these scholars were my referees on
all points of difficulty. Pundit Ram Nath's solid scholarship is known to
them that have come in contact with him. I never referred to him a
difficulty that he could not clear up. Unfortunately, he was not always
at hand to consult. Pundit Shyama Charan Kaviratna, during my residence
at Seebpore, assisted me in going over the Mokshadharma sections of the
Santi Parva. Unostentatious in the extreme, Kaviratna is truly the type
of a learned Brahman of ancient India. Babu Aghore Nath Banerjee also has
from time to time, rendered me valuable assistance in clearing my
difficulties.

Gigantic as the work is, it would have been exceedingly difficult for me
to go on with it if I had not been encouraged by Sir Stuart Bayley, Sir
Auckland Colvin, Sir Alfred Croft, and among Oriental scholars, by the
late lamented Dr. Reinhold Rost, and Mons. A. Barth of Paris. All these
eminent men know from the beginning that the translation was proceeding
from my pen. Notwithstanding the enthusiasm, with which my poor friend,
Pratapa Chandra Roy, always endeavoured to fill me. I am sure my energies
would have flagged and patience exhausted but for the encouraging words
which I always received from these patrons and friends of the enterprise.

Lastly, I should name my literary chief and friend, Dr. Sambhu C.
Mookherjee. The kind interest he took in my labours, the repeated
exhortations he addressed to me inculcating patience, the care with which
he read every fasciculus as it came out, marking all those passages which
threw light upon topics of antiquarian interest, and the words of praise
he uttered when any expression particularly happy met his eyes, served to
stimulate me more than anything else in going on with a task that
sometimes seemed to me endless.

Kisari Mohan Ganguli

Calcutta



THE MAHABHARATA

ADI PARVA

SECTION I

Om! Having bowed down to Narayana and Nara, the most exalted male being,
and also to the goddess Saraswati, must the word Jaya be uttered.

Ugrasrava, the son of Lomaharshana, surnamed Sauti, well-versed in the
Puranas, bending with humility, one day approached the great sages of
rigid vows, sitting at their ease, who had attended the twelve years'
sacrifice of Saunaka, surnamed Kulapati, in the forest of Naimisha. Those
ascetics, wishing to hear his wonderful narrations, presently began to
address him who had thus arrived at that recluse abode of the inhabitants
of the forest of Naimisha. Having been entertained with due respect by
those holy men, he saluted those Munis (sages) with joined palms, even
all of them, and inquired about the progress of their asceticism. Then
all the ascetics being again seated, the son of Lomaharshana humbly
occupied the seat that was assigned to him. Seeing that he was
comfortably seated, and recovered from fatigue, one of the Rishis
beginning the conversation, asked him, 'Whence comest thou, O lotus-eyed
Sauti, and where hast thou spent the time? Tell me, who ask thee, in
detail.'

Accomplished in speech, Sauti, thus questioned, gave in the midst of that
big assemblage of contemplative Munis a full and proper answer in words
consonant with their mode of life.

"Sauti said, 'Having heard the diverse sacred and wonderful stories which
were composed in his Mahabharata by Krishna-Dwaipayana, and which were
recited in full by Vaisampayana at the Snake-sacrifice of the high-souled
royal sage Janamejaya and in the presence also of that chief of Princes,
the son of Parikshit, and having wandered about, visiting many sacred
waters and holy shrines, I journeyed to the country venerated by the
Dwijas (twice-born) and called Samantapanchaka where formerly was fought
the battle between the children of Kuru and Pandu, and all the chiefs of
the land ranged on either side. Thence, anxious to see you, I am come
into your presence. Ye reverend sages, all of whom are to me as Brahma;
ye greatly blessed who shine in this place of sacrifice with the
splendour of the solar fire: ye who have concluded the silent meditations
and have fed the holy fire; and yet who are sitting--without care, what,
O ye Dwijas (twice-born), shall I repeat, shall I recount the sacred
stories collected in the Puranas containing precepts of religious duty
and of worldly profit, or the acts of illustrious saints and sovereigns
of mankind?"

"The Rishi replied, 'The Purana, first promulgated by the great Rishi
Dwaipayana, and which after having been heard both by the gods and the
Brahmarshis was highly esteemed, being the most eminent narrative that
exists, diversified both in diction and division, possessing subtile
meanings logically combined, and gleaned from the Vedas, is a sacred
work. Composed in elegant language, it includeth the subjects of other
books. It is elucidated by other Shastras, and comprehendeth the sense of
the four Vedas. We are desirous of hearing that history also called
Bharata, the holy composition of the wonderful Vyasa, which dispelleth
the fear of evil, just as it was cheerfully recited by the Rishi
Vaisampayana, under the direction of Dwaipayana himself, at the
snake-sacrifice of Raja Janamejaya?'

"Sauti then said, 'Having bowed down to the primordial being Isana, to
whom multitudes make offerings, and who is adored by the multitude; who
is the true incorruptible one, Brahma, perceptible, imperceptible,
eternal; who is both a non-existing and an existing-non-existing being;
who is the universe and also distinct from the existing and non-existing
universe; who is the creator of high and low; the ancient, exalted,
inexhaustible one; who is Vishnu, beneficent and the beneficence itself,
worthy of all preference, pure and immaculate; who is Hari, the ruler of
the faculties, the guide of all things moveable and immoveable; I will
declare the sacred thoughts of the illustrious sage Vyasa, of marvellous
deeds and worshipped here by all. Some bards have already published this
history, some are now teaching it, and others, in like manner, will
hereafter promulgate it upon the earth. It is a great source of
knowledge, established throughout the three regions of the world. It is
possessed by the twice-born both in detailed and compendious forms. It is
the delight of the learned for being embellished with elegant
expressions, conversations human and divine, and a variety of poetical
measures.

In this world, when it was destitute of brightness and light, and
enveloped all around in total darkness, there came into being, as the
primal cause of creation, a mighty egg, the one inexhaustible seed of all
created beings. It is called Mahadivya, and was formed at the beginning
of the Yuga, in which we are told, was the true light Brahma, the eternal
one, the wonderful and inconceivable being present alike in all places;
the invisible and subtile cause, whose nature partaketh of entity and
non-entity. From this egg came out the lord Pitamaha Brahma, the one only
Prajapati; with Suraguru and Sthanu. Then appeared the twenty-one
Prajapatis, viz., Manu, Vasishtha and Parameshthi; ten Prachetas, Daksha,
and the seven sons of Daksha. Then appeared the man of inconceivable
nature whom all the Rishis know and so the Viswe-devas, the Adityas, the
Vasus, and the twin Aswins; the Yakshas, the Sadhyas, the Pisachas, the
Guhyakas, and the Pitris. After these were produced the wise and most
holy Brahmarshis, and the numerous Rajarshis distinguished by every noble
quality. So the water, the heavens, the earth, the air, the sky, the
points of the heavens, the years, the seasons, the months, the
fortnights, called Pakshas, with day and night in due succession. And
thus were produced all things which are known to mankind.

And what is seen in the universe, whether animate or inanimate, of
created things, will at the end of the world, and after the expiration of
the Yuga, be again confounded. And, at the commencement of other Yugas,
all things will be renovated, and, like the various fruits of the earth,
succeed each other in the due order of their seasons. Thus continueth
perpetually to revolve in the world, without beginning and without end,
this wheel which causeth the destruction of all things.

The generation of Devas, in brief, was thirty-three thousand,
thirty-three hundred and thirty-three. The sons of Div were Brihadbhanu,
Chakshus, Atma Vibhavasu, Savita, Richika, Arka, Bhanu, Asavaha, and
Ravi. Of these Vivaswans of old, Mahya was the youngest whose son was
Deva-vrata. The latter had for his son, Su-vrata who, we learn, had three
sons,--Dasa-jyoti, Sata-jyoti, and Sahasra-jyoti, each of them producing
numerous offspring. The illustrious Dasa-jyoti had ten thousand,
Sata-jyoti ten times that number, and Sahasra-jyoti ten times the number
of Sata-jyoti's offspring. From these are descended the family of the
Kurus, of the Yadus, and of Bharata; the family of Yayati and of
Ikshwaku; also of all the Rajarshis. Numerous also were the generations
produced, and very abundant were the creatures and their places of abode.
The mystery which is threefold--the Vedas, Yoga, and Vijnana Dharma,
Artha, and Kama--also various books upon the subject of Dharma, Artha,
and Kama; also rules for the conduct of mankind; also histories and
discourses with various srutis; all of which having been seen by the
Rishi Vyasa are here in due order mentioned as a specimen of the book.

The Rishi Vyasa published this mass of knowledge in both a detailed and
an abridged form. It is the wish of the learned in the world to possess
the details and the abridgement. Some read the Bharata beginning with the
initial mantra (invocation), others with the story of Astika, others with
Uparichara, while some Brahmanas study the whole. Men of learning display
their various knowledge of the institutes in commenting on the
composition. Some are skilful in explaining it, while others, in
remembering its contents.

The son of Satyavati having, by penance and meditation, analysed the
eternal Veda, afterwards composed this holy history, when that learned
Brahmarshi of strict vows, the noble Dwaipayana Vyasa, offspring of
Parasara, had finished this greatest of narrations, he began to consider
how he might teach it to his disciples. And the possessor of the six
attributes, Brahma, the world's preceptor, knowing of the anxiety of the
Rishi Dwaipayana, came in person to the place where the latter was, for
gratifying the saint, and benefiting the people. And when Vyasa,
surrounded by all the tribes of Munis, saw him, he was surprised; and,
standing with joined palms, he bowed and ordered a seat to be brought.
And Vyasa having gone round him who is called Hiranyagarbha seated on
that distinguished seat stood near it; and being commanded by Brahma
Parameshthi, he sat down near the seat, full of affection and smiling in
joy. Then the greatly glorious Vyasa, addressing Brahma Parameshthi,
said, "O divine Brahma, by me a poem hath been composed which is greatly
respected. The mystery of the Veda, and what other subjects have been
explained by me; the various rituals of the Upanishads with the Angas;
the compilation of the Puranas and history formed by me and named after
the three divisions of time, past, present, and future; the determination
of the nature of decay, fear, disease, existence, and non-existence, a
description of creeds and of the various modes of life; rule for the four
castes, and the import of all the Puranas; an account of asceticism and
of the duties of a religious student; the dimensions of the sun and moon,
the planets, constellations, and stars, together with the duration of the
four ages; the Rik, Sama and Yajur Vedas; also the Adhyatma; the sciences
called Nyaya, Orthoephy and Treatment of diseases; charity and
Pasupatadharma; birth celestial and human, for particular purposes; also
a description of places of pilgrimage and other holy places of rivers,
mountains, forests, the ocean, of heavenly cities and the kalpas; the art
of war; the different kinds of nations and languages: the nature of the
manners of the people; and the all-pervading spirit;--all these have been
represented. But, after all, no writer of this work is to be found on
earth.'

"Brahma said. 'I esteem thee for thy knowledge of divine mysteries,
before the whole body of celebrated Munis distinguished for the sanctity
of their lives. I know thou hast revealed the divine word, even from its
first utterance, in the language of truth. Thou hast called thy present
work a poem, wherefore it shall be a poem. There shall be no poets whose
works may equal the descriptions of this poem, even, as the three other
modes called Asrama are ever unequal in merit to the domestic Asrama. Let
Ganesa be thought of, O Muni, for the purpose of writing the poem.'

"Sauti said, 'Brahma having thus spoken to Vyasa, retired to his own
abode. Then Vyasa began to call to mind Ganesa. And Ganesa, obviator of
obstacles, ready to fulfil the desires of his votaries, was no sooner
thought of, than he repaired to the place where Vyasa was seated. And
when he had been saluted, and was seated, Vyasa addressed him thus, 'O
guide of the Ganas! be thou the writer of the Bharata which I have formed
in my imagination, and which I am about to repeat."

"Ganesa, upon hearing this address, thus answered, 'I will become the
writer of thy work, provided my pen do not for a moment cease writing."
And Vyasa said unto that divinity, 'Wherever there be anything thou dost
not comprehend, cease to continue writing.' Ganesa having signified his
assent, by repeating the word Om! proceeded to write; and Vyasa began;
and by way of diversion, he knit the knots of composition exceeding
close; by doing which, he dictated this work according to his engagement.

I am (continued Sauti) acquainted with eight thousand and eight hundred
verses, and so is Suka, and perhaps Sanjaya. From the mysteriousness of
their meaning, O Muni, no one is able, to this day, to penetrate those
closely knit difficult slokas. Even the omniscient Ganesa took a moment
to consider; while Vyasa, however, continued to compose other verses in
great abundance.

The wisdom of this work, like unto an instrument of applying collyrium,
hath opened the eyes of the inquisitive world blinded by the darkness of
ignorance. As the sun dispelleth the darkness, so doth the Bharata by its
discourses on religion, profit, pleasure and final release, dispel the
ignorance of men. As the full-moon by its mild light expandeth the buds
of the water-lily, so this Purana, by exposing the light of the Sruti
hath expanded the human intellect. By the lamp of history, which
destroyeth the darkness of ignorance, the whole mansion of nature is
properly and completely illuminated.

This work is a tree, of which the chapter of contents is the seed; the
divisions called Pauloma and Astika are the root; the part called
Sambhava is the trunk; the books called Sabha and Aranya are the roosting
perches; the books called Arani is the knitting knots; the books called
Virata and Udyoga the pith; the book named Bhishma, the main branch; the
book called Drona, the leaves; the book called Karna, the fair flowers;
the book named Salya, their sweet smell; the books entitled Stri and
Aishika, the refreshing shade; the book called Santi, the mighty fruit;
the book called Aswamedha, the immortal sap; the denominated
Asramavasika, the spot where it groweth; and the book called Mausala, is
an epitome of the Vedas and held in great respect by the virtuous
Brahmanas. The tree of the Bharata, inexhaustible to mankind as the
clouds, shall be as a source of livelihood to all distinguished poets."

"Sauti continued, 'I will now speak of the undying flowery and fruitful
productions of this tree, possessed of pure and pleasant taste, and not
to be destroyed even by the immortals. Formerly, the spirited and
virtuous Krishna-Dwaipayana, by the injunctions of Bhishma, the wise son
of Ganga and of his own mother, became the father of three boys who were
like the three fires by the two wives of Vichitra-virya; and having thus
raised up Dhritarashtra, Pandu and Vidura, he returned to his recluse
abode to prosecute his religious exercise.

It was not till after these were born, grown up, and departed on the
supreme journey, that the great Rishi Vyasa published the Bharata in this
region of mankind; when being solicited by Janamejaya and thousands of
Brahmanas, he instructed his disciple Vaisampayana, who was seated near
him; and he, sitting together with the Sadasyas, recited the Bharata,
during the intervals of the ceremonies of the sacrifice, being repeatedly
urged to proceed.

Vyasa hath fully represented the greatness of the house of Kuru, the
virtuous principles of Gandhari, the wisdom of Vidura, and the constancy
of Kunti. The noble Rishi hath also described the divinity of Vasudeva,
the rectitude of the sons of Pandu, and the evil practices of the sons
and partisans of Dhritarashtra.

Vyasa executed the compilation of the Bharata, exclusive of the episodes
originally in twenty-four thousand verses; and so much only is called by
the learned as the Bharata. Afterwards, he composed an epitome in one
hundred and fifty verses, consisting of the introduction with the chapter
of contents. This he first taught to his son Suka; and afterwards he gave
it to others of his disciples who were possessed of the same
qualifications. After that he executed another compilation, consisting of
six hundred thousand verses. Of those, thirty hundred thousand are known
in the world of the Devas; fifteen hundred thousand in the world of the
Pitris: fourteen hundred thousand among the Gandharvas, and one hundred
thousand in the regions of mankind. Narada recited them to the Devas,
Devala to the Pitris, and Suka published them to the Gandharvas, Yakshas,
and Rakshasas: and in this world they were recited by Vaisampayana, one
of the disciples of Vyasa, a man of just principles and the first among
all those acquainted with the Vedas. Know that I, Sauti, have also
repeated one hundred thousand verses.

Yudhishthira is a vast tree, formed of religion and virtue; Arjuna is its
trunk; Bhimasena, its branches; the two sons of Madri are its full-grown
fruit and flowers; and its roots are Krishna, Brahma, and the Brahmanas.

Pandu, after having subdued many countries by his wisdom and prowess,
took up his abode with the Munis in a certain forest as a sportsman,
where he brought upon himself a very severe misfortune for having killed
a stag coupling with its mate, which served as a warning for the conduct
of the princes of his house as long as they lived. Their mothers, in
order that the ordinances of the law might be fulfilled, admitted as
substitutes to their embraces the gods Dharma, Vayu, Sakra, and the
divinities the twin Aswins. And when their offspring grew up, under the
care of their two mothers, in the society of ascetics, in the midst of
sacred groves and holy recluse-abodes of religious men, they were
conducted by Rishis into the presence of Dhritarashtra and his sons,
following as students in the habit of Brahmacharis, having their hair
tied in knots on their heads. 'These our pupils', said they, 'are as your
sons, your brothers, and your friends; they are Pandavas.' Saying this,
the Munis disappeared.

When the Kauravas saw them introduced as the sons of Pandu, the
distinguished class of citizens shouted exceedingly for joy. Some,
however, said, they were not the sons of Pandu; others said, they were;
while a few asked how they could be his offspring, seeing he had been so
long dead. Still on all sides voices were heard crying, 'They are on all
accounts Whalecum! Through divine Providence we behold the family of
Pandu! Let their Whalecum be proclaimed!' As these acclamations ceased,
the plaudits of invisible spirits, causing every point of the heavens to
resound, were tremendous. There were showers of sweet-scented flowers,
and the sound of shells and kettle-drums. Such were the wonders that
happened on the arrival of the young princes. The joyful noise of all the
citizens, in expression of their satisfaction on the occasion, was so
great that it reached the very heavens in magnifying plaudits.

Having studied the whole of the Vedas and sundry other shastras, the
Pandavas resided there, respected by all and without apprehension from
any one.

The principal men were pleased with the purity of Yudhishthira, the
courage of Arjuna, the submissive attention of Kunti to her superiors,
and the humility of the twins, Nakula and Sahadeva; and all the people
rejoiced in their heroic virtues.

After a while, Arjuna obtained the virgin Krishna at the swayamvara, in
the midst of a concourse of Rajas, by performing a very difficult feat of
archery. And from this time he became very much respected in this world
among all bowmen; and in fields of battle also, like the sun, he was hard
to behold by foe-men. And having vanquished all the neighbouring princes
and every considerable tribe, he accomplished all that was necessary for
the Raja (his eldest brother) to perform the great sacrifice called
Rajasuya.

Yudhishthira, after having, through the wise counsels of Vasudeva and by
the valour of Bhimasena and Arjuna, slain Jarasandha (the king of
Magadha) and the proud Chaidya, acquired the right to perform the grand
sacrifice of Rajasuya abounding in provisions and offering and fraught
with transcendent merits. And Duryodhana came to this sacrifice; and when
he beheld the vast wealth of the Pandavas scattered all around, the
offerings, the precious stones, gold and jewels; the wealth in cows,
elephants, and horses; the curious textures, garments, and mantles; the
precious shawls and furs and carpets made of the skin of the Ranku; he
was filled with envy and became exceedingly displeased. And when he
beheld the hall of assembly elegantly constructed by Maya (the Asura
architect) after the fashion of a celestial court, he was inflamed with
rage. And having started in confusion at certain architectural deceptions
within this building, he was derided by Bhimasena in the presence of
Vasudeva, like one of mean descent.

And it was represented to Dhritarashtra that his son, while partaking of
various objects of enjoyment and diverse precious things, was becoming
meagre, wan, and pale. And Dhritarashtra, some time after, out of
affection for his son, gave his consent to their playing (with the
Pandavas) at dice. And Vasudeva coming to know of this, became
exceedingly wroth. And being dissatisfied, he did nothing to prevent the
disputes, but overlooked the gaming and sundry other horried
unjustifiable transactions arising therefrom: and in spite of Vidura,
Bhishma, Drona, and Kripa, the son of Saradwan, he made the Kshatriyas
kill each other in the terrific war that ensued.'

"And Dhritarashtra hearing the ill news of the success of the Pandavas
and recollecting the resolutions of Duryodhana, Kama, and Sakuni,
pondered for a while and addressed to Sanjaya the following speech:--

'Attend, O Sanjaya, to all I am about to say, and it will not become thee
to treat me with contempt. Thou art well-versed in the shastras,
intelligent and endowed with wisdom. My inclination was never to war, not
did I delight in the destruction of my race. I made no distinction
between my own children and the children of Pandu. My own sons were prone
to wilfulness and despised me because I am old. Blind as I am, because of
my miserable plight and through paternal affection, I bore it all. I was
foolish alter the thoughtless Duryodhana ever growing in folly. Having
been a spectator of the riches of the mighty sons of Pandu, my son was
derided for his awkwardness while ascending the hall. Unable to bear it
all and unable himself to overcome the sons of Pandu in the field, and
though a soldier, unwilling yet to obtain good fortune by his own
exertion, with the help of the king of Gandhara he concerted an unfair
game at dice.

'Hear, O Sanjaya, all that happened thereupon and came to my knowledge.
And when thou hast heard all I say, recollecting everything as it fell
out, thou shall then know me for one with a prophetic eye. When I heard
that Arjuna, having bent the bow, had pierced the curious mark and
brought it down to the ground, and bore away in triumph the maiden
Krishna, in the sight of the assembled princes, then, O Sanjaya I had no
hope of success. When I heard that Subhadra of the race of Madhu had,
after forcible seizure been married by Arjuna in the city of Dwaraka, and
that the two heroes of the race of Vrishni (Krishna and Balarama the
brothers of Subhadra) without resenting it had entered Indraprastha as
friends, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that
Arjuna, by his celestial arrow preventing the downpour by Indra the king
of the gods, had gratified Agni by making over to him the forest of
Khandava, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that
the five Pandavas with their mother Kunti had escaped from the house of
lac, and that Vidura was engaged in the accomplishment of their designs,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Arjuna,
after having pierced the mark in the arena had won Draupadi, and that the
brave Panchalas had joined the Pandavas, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. When I heard that Jarasandha, the foremost of the royal line
of Magadha, and blazing in the midst of the Kshatriyas, had been slain by
Bhima with his bare arms alone, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that in their general campaign the sons of Pandu
had conquered the chiefs of the land and performed the grand sacrifice of
the Rajasuya, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard
that Draupadi, her voice choked with tears and heart full of agony, in
the season of impurity and with but one raiment on, had been dragged into
court and though she had protectors, she had been treated as if she had
none, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the
wicked wretch Duhsasana, was striving to strip her of that single
garment, had only drawn from her person a large heap of cloth without
being able to arrive at its end, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that Yudhishthira, beaten by Saubala at the game of
dice and deprived of his kingdom as a consequence thereof, had still been
attended upon by his brothers of incomparable prowess, then, O Sanjaya, I
had no hope of success. When I heard that the virtuous Pandavas weeping
with affliction had followed their elder brother to the wilderness and
exerted themselves variously for the mitigation of his discomforts, then,
O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success.

'When I heard that Yudhishthira had been followed into the wilderness by
Snatakas and noble-minded Brahmanas who live upon alms, then, O Sanjaya,
I had no hope of success. When I heard that Arjuna, having, in combat,
pleased the god of gods, Tryambaka (the three-eyed) in the disguise of a
hunter, obtained the great weapon Pasupata, then O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. When I heard that the just and renowned Arjuna after having
been to the celestial regions, had there obtained celestial weapons from
Indra himself then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard
that afterwards Arjuna had vanquished the Kalakeyas and the Paulomas
proud with the boon they had obtained and which had rendered them
invulnerable even to the celestials, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that Arjuna, the chastiser of enemies, having gone
to the regions of Indra for the destruction of the Asuras, had returned
thence successful, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard that Bhima and the other sons of Pritha (Kunti) accompanied by
Vaisravana had arrived at that country which is inaccessible to man then,
O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that my sons, guided by
the counsels of Karna, while on their journey of Ghoshayatra, had been
taken prisoners by the Gandharvas and were set free by Arjuna, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Dharma (the god of
justice) having come under the form of a Yaksha had proposed certain
questions to Yudhishthira then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When
I heard that my sons had failed to discover the Pandavas under their
disguise while residing with Draupadi in the dominions of Virata, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the principal men of
my side had all been vanquished by the noble Arjuna with a single chariot
while residing in the dominions of Virata, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. When I heard that Vasudeva of the race of Madhu, who covered
this whole earth by one foot, was heartily interested in the welfare of
the Pandavas, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard
that the king of Matsya, had offered his virtuous daughter Uttara to
Arjuna and that Arjuna had accepted her for his son, then, O Sanjaya, I
had no hope of success. When I heard that Yudhishthira, beaten at dice,
deprived of wealth, exiled and separated from his connections, had
assembled yet an army of seven Akshauhinis, then, O Sanjaya, I had no
hope of success. When I heard Narada, declare that Krishna and Arjuna
were Nara and Narayana and he (Narada) had seen them together in the
regions of Brahma, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard that Krishna, anxious to bring about peace, for the welfare of
mankind had repaired to the Kurus, and went away without having been able
to effect his purpose, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard that Kama and Duryodhana resolved upon imprisoning Krishna
displayed in himself the whole universe, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. Then I heard that at the time of his departure, Pritha
(Kunti) standing, full of sorrow, near his chariot received consolation
from Krishna, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard
that Vasudeva and Bhishma the son of Santanu were the counsellors of the
Pandavas and Drona the son of Bharadwaja pronounced blessings on them,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When Kama said unto Bhishma--I
will not fight when thou art fighting--and, quitting the army, went away,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Vasudeva and
Arjuna and the bow Gandiva of immeasurable prowess, these three of
dreadful energy had come together, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that upon Arjuna having been seized with
compunction on his chariot and ready to sink, Krishna showed him all the
worlds within his body, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard that Bhishma, the desolator of foes, killing ten thousand
charioteers every day in the field of battle, had not slain any amongst
the Pandavas then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that
Bhishma, the righteous son of Ganga, had himself indicated the means of
his defeat in the field of battle and that the same were accomplished by
the Pandavas with joyfulness, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success.
When I heard that Arjuna, having placed Sikhandin before himself in his
chariot, had wounded Bhishma of infinite courage and invincible in
battle, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the
aged hero Bhishma, having reduced the numbers of the race of shomaka to a
few, overcome with various wounds was lying on a bed of arrows, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that upon Bhishma's lying
on the ground with thirst for water, Arjuna, being requested, had pierced
the ground and allayed his thirst, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When Bayu together with Indra and Suryya united as allies for
the success of the sons of Kunti, and the beasts of prey (by their
inauspicious presence) were putting us in fear, then, O Sanjaya, I had no
hope of success. When the wonderful warrior Drona, displaying various
modes of fight in the field, did not slay any of the superior Pandavas,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the
Maharatha Sansaptakas of our army appointed for the overthrow of Arjuna
were all slain by Arjuna himself, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that our disposition of forces, impenetrable by
others, and defended by Bharadwaja himself well-armed, had been singly
forced and entered by the brave son of Subhadra, then, O Sanjaya, I had
no hope of success. When I heard that our Maharathas, unable to overcome
Arjuna, with jubilant faces after having jointly surrounded and slain the
boy Abhimanyu, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard
that the blind Kauravas were shouting for joy after having slain
Abhimanyu and that thereupon Arjuna in anger made his celebrated speech
referring to Saindhava, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard that Arjuna had vowed the death of Saindhava and fulfilled his vow
in the presence of his enemies, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that upon the horses of Arjuna being fatigued,
Vasudeva releasing them made them drink water and bringing them back and
reharnessing them continued to guide them as before, then, O Sanjaya, I
had no hope of success. When I heard that while his horses were fatigued,
Arjuna staying in his chariot checked all his assailants, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Yuyudhana of the
race of Vrishni, after having thrown into confusion the army of Drona
rendered unbearable in prowess owing to the presence of elephants,
retired to where Krishna and Arjuna were, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. When I heard that Karna even though he had got Bhima within
his power allowed him to escape after only addressing him in contemptuous
terms and dragging him with the end of his bow, then, O Sanjaya, I had no
hope of success. When I heard that Drona, Kritavarma, Kripa, Karna, the
son of Drona, and the valiant king of Madra (Salya) suffered Saindhava to
be slain, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that
the celestial Sakti given by Indra (to Karna) was by Madhava's
machinations caused to be hurled upon Rakshasa Ghatotkacha of frightful
countenance, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that
in the encounter between Karna and Ghatotkacha, that Sakti was hurled
against Ghatotkacha by Karna, the same which was certainly to have slain
Arjuna in battle, then, O Sanjaya. I had no hope of success. When I heard
that Dhristadyumna, transgressing the laws of battle, slew Drona while
alone in his chariot and resolved on death, then, O Sanjaya, I had no
hope of success. When I heard that Nakula. the son of Madri, having in
the presence of the whole army engaged in single combat with the son of
Drona and showing himself equal to him drove his chariot in circles
around, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When upon the death of
Drona, his son misused the weapon called Narayana but failed to achieve
the destruction of the Pandavas, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that Bhimasena drank the blood of his brother
Duhsasana in the field of battle without anybody being able to prevent
him, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the
infinitely brave Karna, invincible in battle, was slain by Arjuna in that
war of brothers mysterious even to the gods, then, O Sanjaya, I had no
hope of success. When I heard that Yudhishthira, the Just, overcame the
heroic son of Drona, Duhsasana, and the fierce Kritavarman, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the brave king of
Madra who ever dared Krishna in battle was slain by Yudhishthira, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the wicked Suvala of
magic power, the root of the gaming and the feud, was slain in battle by
Sahadeva, the son of Pandu, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success.
When I heard that Duryodhana, spent with fatigue, having gone to a lake
and made a refuge for himself within its waters, was lying there alone,
his strength gone and without a chariot, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. When I heard that the Pandavas having gone to that lake
accompanied by Vasudeva and standing on its beach began to address
contemptuously my son who was incapable of putting up with affronts,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that while,
displaying in circles a variety of curious modes (of attack and defence)
in an encounter with clubs, he was unfairly slain according to the
counsels of Krishna, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard the son of Drona and others by slaying the Panchalas and the sons
of Draupadi in their sleep, perpetrated a horrible and infamous deed,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Aswatthaman
while being pursued by Bhimasena had discharged the first of weapons
called Aishika, by which the embryo in the womb (of Uttara) was wounded,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the weapon
Brahmashira (discharged by Aswatthaman) was repelled by Arjuna with
another weapon over which he had pronounced the word "Sasti" and that
Aswatthaman had to give up the jewel-like excrescence on his head, then,
O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that upon the embryo in
the womb of Virata's daughter being wounded by Aswatthaman with a mighty
weapon, Dwaipayana and Krishna pronounced curses on him, then, O Sanjaya,
I had no hope of success.

'Alas! Gandhari, destitute of children, grand-children, parents,
brothers, and kindred, is to be pitied. Difficult is the task that hath
been performed by the Pandavas: by them hath a kingdom been recovered
without a rival.

'Alas! I have heard that the war hath left only ten alive: three of our
side, and the Pandavas, seven, in that dreadful conflict eighteen
Akshauhinis of Kshatriyas have been slain! All around me is utter
darkness, and a fit of swoon assaileth me: consciousness leaves me, O
Suta, and my mind is distracted."

"Sauti said, 'Dhritarashtra, bewailing his fate in these words, was
overcome with extreme anguish and for a time deprived of sense; but being
revived, he addressed Sanjaya in the following words.

"After what hath come to pass, O Sanjaya, I wish to put an end to my life
without delay; I do not find the least advantage in cherishing it any
longer."

"Sauti said, 'The wise son of Gavalgana (Sanjaya) then addressed the
distressed lord of Earth while thus talking and bewailing, sighing like a
serpent and repeatedly tainting, in words of deep import.

"Thou hast heard, O Raja, of the greatly powerful men of vast exertions,
spoken of by Vyasa and the wise Narada; men born of great royal families,
resplendent with worthy qualities, versed in the science of celestial
arms, and in glory emblems of Indra; men who having conquered the world
by justice and performed sacrifices with fit offerings (to the
Brahmanas), obtained renown in this world and at last succumbed to the
sway of time. Such were Saivya; the valiant Maharatha; Srinjaya, great
amongst conquerors. Suhotra; Rantideva, and Kakshivanta, great in glory;
Valhika, Damana, Saryati, Ajita, and Nala; Viswamitra the destroyer of
foes; Amvarisha, great in strength; Marutta, Manu, Ikshaku, Gaya, and
Bharata; Rama the son of Dasaratha; Sasavindu, and Bhagiratha;
Kritavirya, the greatly fortunate, and Janamejaya too; and Yayati of good
deeds who performed sacrifices, being assisted therein by the celestials
themselves, and by whose sacrificial altars and stakes this earth with
her habited and uninhabited regions hath been marked all over. These
twenty-four Rajas were formerly spoken of by the celestial Rishi Narada
unto Saivya when much afflicted for the loss of his children. Besides
these, other Rajas had gone before, still more powerful than they, mighty
charioteers noble in mind, and resplendent with every worthy quality.
These were Puru, Kuru, Yadu, Sura and Viswasrawa of great glory; Anuha,
Yuvanaswu, Kakutstha, Vikrami, and Raghu; Vijava, Virihorta, Anga, Bhava,
Sweta, and Vripadguru; Usinara, Sata-ratha, Kanka, Duliduha, and Druma;
Dambhodbhava, Para, Vena, Sagara, Sankriti, and Nimi; Ajeya, Parasu,
Pundra, Sambhu, and holy Deva-Vridha; Devahuya, Supratika, and
Vrihad-ratha; Mahatsaha, Vinitatma, Sukratu, and Nala, the king of the
Nishadas; Satyavrata, Santabhaya, Sumitra, and the chief Subala;
Janujangha, Anaranya, Arka, Priyabhritya, Chuchi-vrata, Balabandhu,
Nirmardda, Ketusringa, and Brhidbala; Dhrishtaketu, Brihatketu,
Driptaketu, and Niramaya; Abikshit, Chapala, Dhurta, Kritbandhu, and
Dridhe-shudhi; Mahapurana-sambhavya, Pratyanga, Paraha and Sruti. These,
O chief, and other Rajas, we hear enumerated by hundreds and by
thousands, and still others by millions, princes of great power and
wisdom, quitting very abundant enjoyments met death as thy sons have
done! Their heavenly deeds, valour, and generosity, their magnanimity,
faith, truth, purity, simplicity and mercy, are published to the world in
the records of former times by sacred bards of great learning. Though
endued with every noble virtue, these have yielded up their lives. Thy
sons were malevolent, inflamed with passion, avaricious, and of very
evil-disposition. Thou art versed in the Sastras, O Bharata, and art
intelligent and wise; they never sink under misfortunes whose
understandings are guided by the Sastras. Thou art acquainted, O prince,
with the lenity and severity of fate; this anxiety therefore for the
safety of thy children is unbecoming. Moreover, it behoveth thee not to
grieve for that which must happen: for who can avert, by his wisdom, the
decrees of fate? No one can leave the way marked out for him by
Providence. Existence and non-existence, pleasure and pain all have Time
for their root. Time createth all things and Time destroyeth all
creatures. It is Time that burneth creatures and it is Time that
extinguisheth the fire. All states, the good and the evil, in the three
worlds, are caused by Time. Time cutteth short all things and createth
them anew. Time alone is awake when all things are asleep: indeed, Time
is incapable of being overcome. Time passeth over all things without
being retarded. Knowing, as thou dost, that all things past and future
and all that exist at the present moment, are the offspring of Time, it
behoveth thee not to throw away thy reason.'

"Sauti said, 'The son of Gavalgana having in this manner administered
comfort to the royal Dhritarashtra overwhelmed with grief for his sons,
then restored his mind to peace. Taking these facts for his subject,
Dwaipayana composed a holy Upanishad that has been published to the world
by learned and sacred bards in the Puranas composed by them.

"The study of the Bharata is an act of piety. He that readeth even one
foot, with belief, hath his sins entirely purged away. Herein Devas,
Devarshis, and immaculate Brahmarshis of good deeds, have been spoken of;
and likewise Yakshas and great Uragas (Nagas). Herein also hath been
described the eternal Vasudeva possessing the six attributes. He is the
true and just, the pure and holy, the eternal Brahma, the supreme soul,
the true constant light, whose divine deeds wise and learned recount;
from whom hath proceeded the non-existent and existent-non-existent
universe with principles of generation and progression, and birth, death
and re-birth. That also hath been treated of which is called Adhyatma
(the superintending spirit of nature) that partaketh of the attributes of
the five elements. That also hath been described who is purusha being
above such epithets as 'undisplayed' and the like; also that which the
foremost yatis exempt from the common destiny and endued with the power
of meditation and Tapas behold dwelling in their hearts as a reflected
image in the mirror.

"The man of faith, devoted to piety, and constant in the exercise of
virtue, on reading this section is freed from sin. The believer that
constantly heareth recited this section of the Bharata, called the
Introduction, from the beginning, falleth not into difficulties. The man
repeating any part of the introduction in the two twilights is during
such act freed from the sins contracted during the day or the night. This
section, the body of the Bharata, is truth and nectar. As butter is in
curd, Brahmana among bipeds, the Aranyaka among the Vedas, and nectar
among medicines; as the sea is eminent among receptacles of water, and
the cow among quadrupeds; as are these (among the things mentioned) so is
the Bharata said to be among histories.

"He that causeth it, even a single foot thereof, to be recited to
Brahmanas during a Sradha, his offerings of food and drink to the manes
of his ancestors become inexhaustible.

"By the aid of history and the Puranas, the Veda may be expounded; but
the Veda is afraid of one of little information lest he should it. The
learned man who recites to other this Veda of Vyasa reapeth advantage. It
may without doubt destroy even the sin of killing the embryo and the
like. He that readeth this holy chapter of the moon, readeth the whole of
the Bharata, I ween. The man who with reverence daily listeneth to this
sacred work acquireth long life and renown and ascendeth to heaven.

"In former days, having placed the four Vedas on one side and the Bharata
on the other, these were weighed in the balance by the celestials
assembled for that purpose. And as the latter weighed heavier than the
four Vedas with their mysteries, from that period it hath been called in
the world Mahabharata (the great Bharata). Being esteemed superior both
in substance and gravity of import it is denominated Mahabharata on
account of such substance and gravity of import. He that knoweth its
meaning is saved from all his sins.

'Tapa is innocent, study is harmless, the ordinance of the Vedas
prescribed for all the tribes are harmless, the acquisition of wealth by
exertion is harmless; but when they are abused in their practices it is
then that they become sources of evil.'"



SECTION II

"The Rishis said, 'O son of Suta, we wish to hear a full and
circumstantial account of the place mentioned by you as Samanta-panchaya.'

"Sauti said, 'Listen, O ye Brahmanas, to the sacred descriptions I utter
O ye best of men, ye deserve to hear of the place known as
Samanta-panchaka. In the interval between the Treta and Dwapara Yugas,
Rama (the son of Jamadagni) great among all who have borne arms, urged by
impatience of wrongs, repeatedly smote the noble race of Kshatriyas. And
when that fiery meteor, by his own valour, annihilated the entire tribe
of the Kshatriyas, he formed at Samanta-panchaka five lakes of blood. We
are told that his reason being overpowered by anger he offered oblations
of blood to the manes of his ancestors, standing in the midst of the
sanguine waters of those lakes. It was then that his forefathers of whom
Richika was the first having arrived there addressed him thus, 'O Rama, O
blessed Rama, O offspring of Bhrigu, we have been gratified with the
reverence thou hast shown for thy ancestors and with thy valour, O mighty
one! Blessings be upon thee. O thou illustrious one, ask the boon that
thou mayst desire.'

"Rama said, 'If, O fathers, ye are favourably disposed towards me, the
boon I ask is that I may be absolved from the sins born of my having
annihilated the Kshatriyas in anger, and that the lakes I have formed may
become famous in the world as holy shrines.' The Pitris then said, 'So
shall it be. But be thou pacified.' And Rama was pacified accordingly.
The region that lieth near unto those lakes of gory water, from that time
hath been celebrated as Samanta-panchaka the holy. The wise have declared
that every country should be distinguished by a name significant of some
circumstance which may have rendered it famous. In the interval between
the Dwapara and the Kali Yugas there happened at Samanta-panchaka the
encounter between the armies of the Kauravas and the Pandavas. In that
holy region, without ruggedness of any kind, were assembled eighteen
Akshauhinis of soldiers eager for battle. And, O Brahmanas, having come
thereto, they were all slain on the spot. Thus the name of that region, O
Brahmanas, hath been explained, and the country described to you as a
sacred and delightful one. I have mentioned the whole of what relateth to
it as the region is celebrated throughout the three worlds.'

"The Rishis said, 'We have a desire to know, O son of Suta, what is
implied by the term Akshauhini that hath been used by thee. Tell us in
full what is the number of horse and foot, chariots and elephants, which
compose an Akshauhini for thou art fully informed.'

"Sauti said, 'One chariot, one elephant, five foot-soldiers, and three
horses form one Patti; three pattis make one Sena-mukha; three
sena-mukhas are called a Gulma; three gulmas, a Gana; three ganas, a
Vahini; three vahinis together are called a Pritana; three pritanas form
a Chamu; three chamus, one Anikini; and an anikini taken ten times forms,
as it is styled by those who know, an Akshauhini. O ye best of Brahmanas,
arithmeticians have calculated that the number of chariots in an
Akshauhini is twenty-one thousand eight hundred and seventy. The measure
of elephants must be fixed at the same number. O ye pure, you must know
that the number of foot-soldiers is one hundred and nine thousand, three
hundred and fifty, the number of horse is sixty-five thousand, six
hundred and ten. These, O Brahmanas, as fully explained by me, are the
numbers of an Akshauhini as said by those acquainted with the principles
of numbers. O best of Brahmanas, according to this calculation were
composed the eighteen Akshauhinis of the Kaurava and the Pandava army.
Time, whose acts are wonderful assembled them on that spot and having
made the Kauravas the cause, destroyed them all. Bhishma acquainted with
choice of weapons, fought for ten days. Drona protected the Kaurava
Vahinis for five days. Kama the desolator of hostile armies fought for
two days; and Salya for half a day. After that lasted for half a day the
encounter with clubs between Duryodhana and Bhima. At the close of that
day, Aswatthaman and Kripa destroyed the army of Yudishthira in the night
while sleeping without suspicion of danger.

'O Saunaka, this best of narrations called Bharata which has begun to be
repeated at thy sacrifice, was formerly repeated at the sacrifice of
Janamejaya by an intelligent disciple of Vyasa. It is divided into
several sections; in the beginning are Paushya, Pauloma, and Astika
parvas, describing in full the valour and renown of kings. It is a work
whose description, diction, and sense are varied and wonderful. It
contains an account of various manners and rites. It is accepted by the
wise, as the state called Vairagya is by men desirous of final release.
As Self among things to be known, as life among things that are dear, so
is this history that furnisheth the means of arriving at the knowledge of
Brahma the first among all the sastras. There is not a story current in
this world but doth depend upon this history even as the body upon the
foot that it taketh. As masters of good lineage are ever attended upon by
servants desirous of preferment so is the Bharata cherished by all poets.
As the words constituting the several branches of knowledge appertaining
to the world and the Veda display only vowels and consonants, so this
excellent history displayeth only the highest wisdom.

'Listen, O ye ascetics, to the outlines of the several divisions (parvas)
of this history called Bharata, endued with great wisdom, of sections and
feet that are wonderful and various, of subtile meanings and logical
connections, and embellished with the substance of the Vedas.

'The first parva is called Anukramanika; the second, Sangraha; then
Paushya; then Pauloma; the Astika; then Adivansavatarana. Then comes the
Sambhava of wonderful and thrilling incidents. Then comes Jatugrihadaha
(setting fire to the house of lac) and then Hidimbabadha (the killing of
Hidimba) parvas; then comes Baka-badha (slaughter of Baka) and then
Chitraratha. The next is called Swayamvara (selection of husband by
Panchali), in which Arjuna by the exercise of Kshatriya virtues, won
Draupadi for wife. Then comes Vaivahika (marriage). Then comes
Viduragamana (advent of Vidura), Rajyalabha (acquirement of kingdom),
Arjuna-banavasa (exile of Arjuna) and Subhadra-harana (the carrying away
of Subhadra). After these come Harana-harika, Khandava-daha (the burning
of the Khandava forest) and Maya-darsana (meeting with Maya the Asura
architect). Then come Sabha, Mantra, Jarasandha, Digvijaya (general
campaign). After Digvijaya come Raja-suyaka, Arghyaviharana (the robbing
of the Arghya) and Sisupala-badha (the killing of Sisupala). After these,
Dyuta (gambling), Anudyuta (subsequent to gambling), Aranyaka, and
Krimira-badha (destruction of Krimira). The Arjuna-vigamana (the travels
of Arjuna), Kairati. In the last hath been described the battle between
Arjuna and Mahadeva in the guise of a hunter. After this
Indra-lokavigamana (the journey to the regions of Indra); then that mine
of religion and virtue, the highly pathetic Nalopakhyana (the story of
Nala). After this last, Tirtha-yatra or the pilgrimage of the wise prince
of the Kurus, the death of Jatasura, and the battle of the Yakshas. Then
the battle with the Nivata-kavachas, Ajagara, and Markandeya-Samasya
(meeting with Markandeya). Then the meeting of Draupadi and Satyabhama,
Ghoshayatra, Mirga-Swapna (dream of the deer). Then the story of
Brihadaranyaka and then Aindradrumna. Then Draupadi-harana (the abduction
of Draupadi), Jayadratha-bimoksana (the release of Jayadratha). Then the
story of 'Savitri' illustrating the great merit of connubial chastity.
After this last, the story of 'Rama'. The parva that comes next is called
'Kundala-harana' (the theft of the ear-rings). That which comes next is
'Aranya' and then 'Vairata'. Then the entry of the Pandavas and the
fulfilment of their promise (of living unknown for one year). Then the
destruction of the 'Kichakas', then the attempt to take the kine (of
Virata by the Kauravas). The next is called the marriage of Abhimanyu
with the daughter of Virata. The next you must know is the most wonderful
parva called Udyoga. The next must be known by the name of 'Sanjaya-yana'
(the arrival of Sanjaya). Then comes 'Prajagara' (the sleeplessness of
Dhritarashtra owing to his anxiety). Then Sanatsujata, in which are the
mysteries of spiritual philosophy. Then 'Yanasaddhi', and then the
arrival of Krishna. Then the story of 'Matali' and then of 'Galava'. Then
the stories of 'Savitri', 'Vamadeva', and 'Vainya'. Then the story of
'Jamadagnya and Shodasarajika'. Then the arrival of Krishna at the court,
and then Bidulaputrasasana. Then the muster of troops and the story of
Sheta. Then, must you know, comes the quarrel of the high-souled Karna.
Then the march to the field of the troops of both sides. The next hath
been called numbering the Rathis and Atirathas. Then comes the arrival of
the messenger Uluka which kindled the wrath (of the Pandavas). The next
that comes, you must know, is the story of Amba. Then comes the thrilling
story of the installation of Bhishma as commander-in-chief. The next is
called the creation of the insular region Jambu; then Bhumi; then the
account about the formation of islands. Then comes the 'Bhagavat-gita';
and then the death of Bhishma. Then the installation of Drona; then the
destruction of the 'Sansaptakas'. Then the death of Abhimanyu; and then
the vow of Arjuna (to slay Jayadratha). Then the death of Jayadratha, and
then of Ghatotkacha. Then, must you know, comes the story of the death of
Drona of surprising interest. The next that comes is called the discharge
of the weapon called Narayana. Then, you know, is Karna, and then Salya.
Then comes the immersion in the lake, and then the encounter (between
Bhima and Duryodhana) with clubs. Then comes Saraswata, and then the
descriptions of holy shrines, and then genealogies. Then comes Sauptika
describing incidents disgraceful (to the honour of the Kurus). Then comes
the 'Aisika' of harrowing incidents. Then comes 'Jalapradana' oblations
of water to the manes of the deceased, and then the wailings of the
women. The next must be known as 'Sraddha' describing the funeral rites
performed for the slain Kauravas. Then comes the destruction of the
Rakshasa Charvaka who had assumed the disguise of a Brahmana (for
deceiving Yudhishthira). Then the coronation of the wise Yudhishthira.
The next is called the 'Grihapravibhaga'. Then comes 'Santi', then
'Rajadharmanusasana', then 'Apaddharma', then 'Mokshadharma'. Those that
follow are called respectively 'Suka-prasna-abhigamana',
'Brahma-prasnanusana', the origin of 'Durvasa', the disputations with
Maya. The next is to be known as 'Anusasanika'. Then the ascension of
Bhishma to heaven. Then the horse-sacrifice, which when read purgeth all
sins away. The next must be known as the 'Anugita' in which are words of
spiritual philosophy. Those that follow are called 'Asramvasa',
'Puttradarshana' (meeting with the spirits of the deceased sons), and the
arrival of Narada. The next is called 'Mausala' which abounds with
terrible and cruel incidents. Then comes 'Mahaprasthanika' and ascension
to heaven. Then comes the Purana which is called Khilvansa. In this last
are contained 'Vishnuparva', Vishnu's frolics and feats as a child, the
destruction of 'Kansa', and lastly, the very wonderful 'Bhavishyaparva'
(in which there are prophecies regarding the future).

The high-souled Vyasa composed these hundred parvas of which the above is
only an abridgement: having distributed them into eighteen, the son of
Suta recited them consecutively in the forest of Naimisha as follows:

'In the Adi parva are contained Paushya, Pauloma, Astika, Adivansavatara,
Samva, the burning of the house of lac, the slaying of Hidimba, the
destruction of the Asura Vaka, Chitraratha, the Swayamvara of Draupadi,
her marriage after the overthrow of rivals in war, the arrival of Vidura,
the restoration, Arjuna's exile, the abduction of Subhadra, the gift and
receipt of the marriage dower, the burning of the Khandava forest, and
the meeting with (the Asura-architect) Maya. The Paushya parva treats of
the greatness of Utanka, and the Pauloma, of the sons of Bhrigu. The
Astika describes the birth of Garuda and of the Nagas (snakes), the
churning of the ocean, the incidents relating to the birth of the
celestial steed Uchchaihsrava, and finally, the dynasty of Bharata, as
described in the Snake-sacrifice of king Janamejaya. The Sambhava parva
narrates the birth of various kings and heroes, and that of the sage,
Krishna Dwaipayana: the partial incarnations of deities, the generation
of Danavas and Yakshas of great prowess, and serpents, Gandharvas, birds,
and of all creatures; and lastly, of the life and adventures of king
Bharata--the progenitor of the line that goes by his name--the son born
of Sakuntala in the hermitage of the ascetic Kanwa. This parva also
describes the greatness of Bhagirathi, and the births of the Vasus in the
house of Santanu and their ascension to heaven. In this parva is also
narrated the birth of Bhishma uniting in himself portions of the energies
of the other Vasus, his renunciation of royalty and adoption of the
Brahmacharya mode of life, his adherence to his vows, his protection of
Chitrangada, and after the death of Chitrangada, his protection of his
younger brother, Vichitravirya, and his placing the latter on the throne:
the birth of Dharma among men in consequence of the curse of Animondavya;
the births of Dhritarashtra and Pandu through the potency of Vyasa's
blessings (?) and also the birth of the Pandavas; the plottings of
Duryodhana to send the sons of Pandu to Varanavata, and the other dark
counsels of the sons of Dhritarashtra in regard to the Pandavas; then the
advice administered to Yudhishthira on his way by that well-wisher of the
Pandavas--Vidura--in the mlechchha language--the digging of the hole, the
burning of Purochana and the sleeping woman of the fowler caste, with her
five sons, in the house of lac; the meeting of the Pandavas in the
dreadful forest with Hidimba, and the slaying of her brother Hidimba by
Bhima of great prowess. The birth of Ghatotkacha; the meeting of the
Pandavas with Vyasa and in accordance with his advice their stay in
disguise in the house of a Brahmana in the city of Ekachakra; the
destruction of the Asura Vaka, and the amazement of the populace at the
sight; the extra-ordinary births of Krishna and Dhrishtadyumna; the
departure of the Pandavas for Panchala in obedience to the injunction of
Vyasa, and moved equally by the desire of winning the hand of Draupadi on
learning the tidings of the Swayamvara from the lips of a Brahmana;
victory of Arjuna over a Gandharva, called Angaraparna, on the banks of
the Bhagirathi, his contraction of friendship with his adversary, and his
hearing from the Gandharva the history of Tapati, Vasishtha and Aurva.
This parva treats of the journey of the Pandavas towards Panchala, the
acquisition of Draupadi in the midst of all the Rajas, by Arjuna, after
having successfully pierced the mark; and in the ensuing fight, the
defeat of Salya, Kama, and all the other crowned heads at the hands of
Bhima and Arjuna of great prowess; the ascertainment by Balarama and
Krishna, at the sight of these matchless exploits, that the heroes were
the Pandavas, and the arrival of the brothers at the house of the potter
where the Pandavas were staying; the dejection of Drupada on learning
that Draupadi was to be wedded to five husbands; the wonderful story of
the five Indras related in consequence; the extraordinary and
divinely-ordained wedding of Draupadi; the sending of Vidura by the sons
of Dhritarashtra as envoy to the Pandavas; the arrival of Vidura and his
sight to Krishna; the abode of the Pandavas in Khandava-prastha, and then
their rule over one half of the kingdom; the fixing of turns by the sons
of Pandu, in obedience to the injunction of Narada, for connubial
companionship with Krishna. In like manner hath the history of Sunda and
Upasunda been recited in this. This parva then treats of the departure of
Arjuna for the forest according to the vow, he having seen Draupadi and
Yudhishthira sitting together as he entered the chamber to take out arms
for delivering the kine of a certain Brahmana. This parva then describes
Arjuna's meeting on the way with Ulupi, the daughter of a Naga (serpent);
it then relates his visits to several sacred spots; the birth of
Vabhruvahana; the deliverance by Arjuna of the five celestial damsels who
had been turned into alligators by the imprecation of a Brahmana, the
meeting of Madhava and Arjuna on the holy spot called Prabhasa; the
carrying away of Subhadra by Arjuna, incited thereto by her brother
Krishna, in the wonderful car moving on land and water, and through
mid-air, according to the wish of the rider; the departure for
Indraprastha, with the dower; the conception in the womb of Subhadra of
that prodigy of prowess, Abhimanyu; Yajnaseni's giving birth to children;
then follows the pleasure-trip of Krishna and Arjuna to the banks of the
Jamuna and the acquisition by them of the discus and the celebrated bow
Gandiva; the burning of the forest of Khandava; the rescue of Maya by
Arjuna, and the escape of the serpent,--and the begetting of a son by
that best of Rishis, Mandapala, in the womb of the bird Sarngi. This
parva is divided by Vyasa into two hundred and twenty-seven chapters.
These two hundred and twenty-seven chapters contain eight thousand eight
hundred and eighty-four slokas.

The second is the extensive parva called Sabha or the assembly, full of
matter. The subjects of this parva are the establishment of the grand
hall by the Pandavas; their review of their retainers; the description of
the lokapalas by Narada well-acquainted with the celestial regions; the
preparations for the Rajasuya sacrifice; the destruction of Jarasandha;
the deliverance by Vasudeva of the princes confined in the mountain-pass;
the campaign of universal conquest by the Pandavas; the arrival of the
princes at the Rajasuya sacrifice with tribute; the destruction of
Sisupala on the occasion of the sacrifice, in connection with offering of
arghya; Bhimasena's ridicule of Duryodhana in the assembly; Duryodhana's
sorrow and envy at the sight of the magnificent scale on which the
arrangements had been made; the indignation of Duryodhana in consequence,
and the preparations for the game of dice; the defeat of Yudhishthira at
play by the wily Sakuni; the deliverance by Dhritarashtra of his
afflicted daughter-in-law Draupadi plunged in the sea of distress caused
by the gambling, as of a boat tossed about by the tempestuous waves. The
endeavours of Duryodhana to engage Yudhishthira again in the game; and
the exile of the defeated Yudhishthira with his brothers. These
constitute what has been called by the great Vyasa the Sabha Parva. This
parva is divided into seventh-eight sections, O best of Brahmanas, of two
thousand, five hundred and seven slokas.

Then comes the third parva called Aranyaka (relating to the forest) This
parva treats of the wending of the Pandavas to the forest and the
citizens, following the wise Yudhishthira, Yudhishthira's adoration of
the god of day; according to the injunctions of Dhaumya, to be gifted
with the power of maintaining the dependent Brahmanas with food and
drink: the creation of food through the grace of the Sun: the expulsion
by Dhritarashtra of Vidura who always spoke for his master's good;
Vidura's coming to the Pandavas and his return to Dhritarashtra at the
solicitation of the latter; the wicked Duryodhana's plottings to destroy
the forest-ranging Pandavas, being incited thereto by Karna; the
appearance of Vyasa and his dissuasion of Duryodhana bent on going to the
forest; the history of Surabhi; the arrival of Maitreya; his laying down
to Dhritarashtra the course of action; and his curse on Duryodhana;
Bhima's slaying of Kirmira in battle; the coming of the Panchalas and the
princes of the Vrishni race to Yudhishthira on hearing of his defeat at
the unfair gambling by Sakuni; Dhananjaya's allaying the wrath of
Krishna; Draupadi's lamentations before Madhava; Krishna's cheering her;
the fall of Sauva also has been here described by the Rishi; also
Krishna's bringing Subhadra with her son to Dwaraka; and Dhrishtadyumna's
bringing the son of Draupadi to Panchala; the entrance of the sons of
Pandu into the romantic Dwaita wood; conversation of Bhima, Yudhishthira,
and Draupadi; the coming of Vyasa to the Pandavas and his endowing
Yudhishthira with the power of Pratismriti; then, after the departure of
Vyasa, the removal of the Pandavas to the forest of Kamyaka; the
wanderings of Arjuna of immeasurable prowess in search of weapons; his
battle with Mahadeva in the guise of a hunter; his meeting with the
lokapalas and receipt of weapons from them; his journey to the regions of
Indra for arms and the consequent anxiety of Dhritarashtra; the wailings
and lamentations of Yudhishthira on the occasion of his meeting with the
worshipful great sage Brihadaswa. Here occurs the holy and highly
pathetic story of Nala illustrating the patience of Damayanti and the
character of Nala. Then the acquirement by Yudhishthira of the mysteries
of dice from the same great sage; then the arrival of the Rishi Lomasa
from the heavens to where the Pandavas were, and the receipt by these
high-souled dwellers in the woods of the intelligence brought by the
Rishi of their brother Arjuna staving in the heavens; then the pilgrimage
of the Pandavas to various sacred spots in accordance with the message of
Arjuna, and their attainment of great merit and virtue consequent on such
pilgrimage; then the pilgrimage of the great sage Narada to the shrine
Putasta; also the pilgrimage of the high-souled Pandavas. Here is the
deprivation of Karna of his ear-rings by Indra. Here also is recited the
sacrificial magnificence of Gaya; then the story of Agastya in which the
Rishi ate up the Asura Vatapi, and his connubial connection with
Lopamudra from the desire of offspring. Then the story of Rishyasringa
who adopted Brahmacharya mode of life from his very boyhood; then the
history of Rama of great prowess, the son of Jamadagni, in which has been
narrated the death of Kartavirya and the Haihayas; then the meeting
between the Pandavas and the Vrishnis in the sacred spot called Prabhasa;
then the story of Su-kanya in which Chyavana, the son of Bhrigu, made the
twins, Aswinis, drink, at the sacrifice of king Saryati, the Soma juice
(from which they had been excluded by the other gods), and in which
besides is shown how Chyavana himself acquired perpetual youth (as a boon
from the grateful Aswinis). Then hath been described the history of king
Mandhata; then the history of prince Jantu; and how king Somaka by
offering up his only son (Jantu) in sacrifice obtained a hundred others;
then the excellent history of the hawk and the pigeon; then the
examination of king Sivi by Indra, Agni, and Dharma; then the story of
Ashtavakra, in which occurs the disputation, at the sacrifice of Janaka,
between that Rishi and the first of logicians, Vandi, the son of Varuna;
the defeat of Vandi by the great Ashtavakra, and the release by the Rishi
of his father from the depths of the ocean. Then the story of Yavakrita,
and then that of the great Raivya: then the departure (of the Pandavas)
for Gandhamadana and their abode in the asylum called Narayana; then
Bhimasena's journey to Gandhamadana at the request of Draupadi (in search
of the sweet-scented flower). Bhima's meeting on his way, in a grove of
bananas, with Hanuman, the son of Pavana of great prowess; Bhima's bath
in the tank and the destruction of the flowers therein for obtaining the
sweet-scented flower (he was in search of); his consequent battle with
the mighty Rakshasas and the Yakshas of great prowess including Hanuman;
the destruction of the Asura Jata by Bhima; the meeting (of the Pandavas)
with the royal sage Vrishaparva; their departure for the asylum of
Arshtishena and abode therein: the incitement of Bhima (to acts of
vengeance) by Draupadi. Then is narrated the ascent on the hills of
Kailasa by Bhimasena, his terrific battle with the mighty Yakshas headed
by Hanuman; then the meeting of the Pandavas with Vaisravana (Kuvera),
and the meeting with Arjuna after he had obtained for the purpose of
Yudhishthira many celestial weapons; then Arjuna's terrible encounter
with the Nivatakavachas dwelling in Hiranyaparva, and also with the
Paulomas, and the Kalakeyas; their destruction at the hands of Arjuna;
the commencement of the display of the celestial weapons by Arjuna before
Yudhishthira, the prevention of the same by Narada; the descent of the
Pandavas from Gandhamadana; the seizure of Bhima in the forest by a
mighty serpent huge as the mountain; his release from the coils of the
snake, upon Yudhishthira's answering certain questions; the return of the
Pandavas to the Kamyaka woods. Here is described the reappearance of
Vasudeva to see the mighty sons of Pandu; the arrival of Markandeya, and
various recitals, the history of Prithu the son of Vena recited by the
great Rishi; the stories of Saraswati and the Rishi Tarkhya. After these,
is the story of Matsya; other old stories recited by Markandeya; the
stories of Indradyumna and Dhundhumara; then the history of the chaste
wife; the history of Angira, the meeting and conversation of Draupadi and
Satyabhama; the return of the Pandavas to the forest of Dwaita; then the
procession to see the calves and the captivity of Duryodhana; and when
the wretch was being carried off, his rescue by Arjuna; here is
Yudhishthira's dream of the deer; then the re-entry of the Pandavas into
the Kamyaka forest, here also is the long story of Vrihidraunika. Here
also is recited the story of Durvasa; then the abduction by Jayadratha of
Draupadi from the asylum; the pursuit of the ravisher by Bhima swift as
the air and the ill-shaving of Jayadratha's crown at Bhima's hand. Here
is the long history of Rama in which is shown how Rama by his prowess
slew Ravana in battle. Here also is narrated the story of Savitri; then
Karna's deprivation by Indra of his ear-rings; then the presentation to
Karna by the gratified Indra of a Sakti (missile weapon) which had the
virtue of killing only one person against whom it might be hurled; then
the story called Aranya in which Dharma (the god of justice) gave advice
to his son (Yudhishthira); in which, besides is recited how the Pandavas
after having obtained a boon went towards the west. These are all
included in the third Parva called Aranyaka, consisting of two hundred
and sixty-nine sections. The number of slokas is eleven thousand, six
hundred and sixty-four.

"The extensive Parva that comes next is called Virata. The Pandavas
arriving at the dominions of Virata saw in a cemetery on the outskirts of
the city a large shami tree whereon they kept their weapons. Here hath
been recited their entry into the city and their stay there in disguise.
Then the slaying by Bhima of the wicked Kichaka who, senseless with lust,
had sought Draupadi; the appointment by prince Duryodhana of clever
spies; and their despatch to all sides for tracing the Pandavas; the
failure of these to discover the mighty sons of Pandu; the first seizure
of Virata's kine by the Trigartas and the terrific battle that ensued;
the capture of Virata by the enemy and his rescue by Bhimasena; the
release also of the kine by the Pandava (Bhima); the seizure of Virata's
kine again by the Kurus; the defeat in battle of all the Kurus by the
single-handed Arjuna; the release of the king's kine; the bestowal by
Virata of his daughter Uttara for Arjuna's acceptance on behalf of his
son by Subhadra--Abhimanyu--the destroyer of foes. These are the contents
of the extensive fourth Parva--the Virata. The great Rishi Vyasa has
composed in these sixty-seven sections. The number of slokas is two
thousand and fifty.

"Listen then to (the contents of) the fifth Parva which must be known as
Udyoga. While the Pandavas, desirous of victory, were residing in the
place called Upaplavya, Duryodhana and Arjuna both went at the same time
to Vasudeva, and said, "You should render us assistance in this war." The
high-souled Krishna, upon these words being uttered, replied, "O ye first
of men, a counsellor in myself who will not fight and one Akshauhini of
troops, which of these shall I give to which of you?" Blind to his own
interests, the foolish Duryodhana asked for the troops; while Arjuna
solicited Krishna as an unfighting counsellor. Then is described how,
when the king of Madra was coming for the assistance of the Pandavas,
Duryodhana, having deceived him on the way by presents and hospitality,
induced him to grant a boon and then solicited his assistance in battle;
how Salya, having passed his word to Duryodhana, went to the Pandavas and
consoled them by reciting the history of Indra's victory (over Vritra).
Then comes the despatch by the Pandavas of their Purohita (priest) to the
Kauravas. Then is described how king Dhritarashtra of great prowess,
having heard the word of the purohita of the Pandavas and the story of
Indra's victory decided upon sending his purohita and ultimately
despatched Sanjaya as envoy to the Pandavas from desire for peace. Here
hath been described the sleeplessness of Dhritarashtra from anxiety upon
hearing all about the Pandavas and their friends, Vasudeva and others. It
was on this occasion that Vidura addressed to the wise king Dhritarashtra
various counsels that were full of wisdom. It was here also that
Sanat-sujata recited to the anxious and sorrowing monarch the excellent
truths of spiritual philosophy. On the next morning Sanjaya spoke, in the
court of the King, of the identity of Vasudeva and Arjuna. It was then
that the illustrious Krishna, moved by kindness and a desire for peace,
went himself to the Kaurava capital, Hastinapura, for bringing about
peace. Then comes the rejection by prince Duryodhana of the embassy of
Krishna who had come to solicit peace for the benefit of both parties.
Here hath been recited the story of Damvodvava; then the story of the
high-souled Matuli's search for a husband for his daughter: then the
history of the great sage Galava; then the story of the training and
discipline of the son of Bidula. Then the exhibition by Krishna, before
the assembled Rajas, of his Yoga powers upon learning the evil counsels
of Duryodhana and Karna; then Krishna's taking Karna in his chariot and
his tendering to him of advice, and Karna's rejection of the same from
pride. Then the return of Krishna, the chastiser of enemies from
Hastinapura to Upaplavya, and his narration to the Pandavas of all that
had happened. It was then that those oppressors of foes, the Pandavas,
having heard all and consulted properly with each other, made every
preparation for war. Then comes the march from Hastinapura, for battle,
of foot-soldiers, horses, charioteers and elephants. Then the tale of the
troops by both parties. Then the despatch by prince Duryodhana of Uluka
as envoy to the Pandavas on the day previous to the battle. Then the tale
of charioteers of different classes. Then the story of Amba. These all
have been described in the fifth Parva called Udyoga of the Bharata,
abounding with incidents appertaining to war and peace. O ye ascetics,
the great Vyasa hath composed one hundred and eighty-six sections in this
Parva. The number of slokas also composed in this by the great Rishi is
six thousand, six hundred and ninety-eight.

"Then is recited the Bhishma Parva replete with wonderful incidents. In
this hath been narrated by Sanjaya the formation of the region known as
Jambu. Here hath been described the great depression of Yudhishthira's
army, and also a fierce fight for ten successive days. In this the
high-souled Vasudeva by reasons based on the philosophy of final release
drove away Arjuna's compunction springing from the latter's regard for
his kindred (whom he was on the eve of slaying). In this the magnanimous
Krishna, attentive to the welfare of Yudhishthira, seeing the loss
inflicted (on the Pandava army), descended swiftly from his chariot
himself and ran, with dauntless breast, his driving whip in hand, to
effect the death of Bhishma. In this, Krishna also smote with piercing
words Arjuna, the bearer of the Gandiva and the foremost in battle among
all wielders of weapons. In this, the foremost of bowmen, Arjuna, placing
Shikandin before him and piercing Bhishma with his sharpest arrows felled
him from his chariot. In this, Bhishma lay stretched on his bed of
arrows. This extensive Parva is known as the sixth in the Bharata. In
this have been composed one hundred and seventeen sections. The number of
slokas is five thousand, eight hundred and eighty-four as told by Vyasa
conversant with the Vedas.

_________________
The Flesh of Fallen Angels! Come to me all! Asteroth,

Beelzebub, Asmodeus, Bapholada, Lucifer, Loki, Satan,

Cthulhu, Lilith, Della! Blood, to you all!

I'm the wolf, yeah!
I am the wolf! It's close, it's coming. You have come.
The witness to the end, of time. It's now! I will rise to
her side! I don't need the words!
I'm beyond the words!
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The Mahabharata

of

Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa

BOOK 17

Mahaprasthanika-parva



Translated into English Prose from the Original Sanskrit Text

by

Kisari Mohan Ganguli

[1883-1896]

Scanned and Proofed by Mantra Caitanya. Additional proofing and
formatting at sacred-texts.com, by J. B. Hare, October 2003.





1

Om! Having bowed down unto Narayana, and to Nara, the foremost of men, as
also to the goddess Sarasvati, should the word "Jaya" be uttered.

Janamejaya said: "Having heard of that encounter with iron bolts between
the heroes of the Vrishni and the Andhaka races, and having been informed
also of Krishnas ascension to Heaven, what did the Pandavas do?"

Vaishampayana said: "Having heard the particulars of the great slaughter
of the Vrishnis, the Kaurava king set his heart on leaving the world. He
addressed Arjuna, saying, O thou of great intelligence, it is Time that
cooks every creature (in his cauldron). I think that what has happened is
due to the cords of Time (with which he binds us all). It behoveth thee
also to see it.

"Thus addressed by his brother, the son of Kunti only repeated the word
Time, Time! and fully endorsed the view of his eldest brother gifted with
great intelligence. Ascertaining the resolution of Arjuna, Bhimasena and
the twins fully endorsed the words that Arjuna had said. Resolved to
retire from the world for earning merit, they brought Yuyutsu before
them. Yudhishthira made over the kingdom to the son of his uncle by his
Vaisya wife. Installing Parikshit also on their throne, as king, the
eldest brother of the Pandavas, filled with sorrow, addressed Subhadra,
saying, This son of thy son will be the king of the Kurus. The survivor
of the Yadus, Vajra, has been made a king. Parikshit will rule in
Hastinapura, while the Yadava prince, Vajra, will rule in Shakraprastha.
He should be protected by thee. Never set thy heart on unrighteousness.

"Having said these words, king Yudhishthira the just, along with his
brothers, promptly offered oblations of water unto Vasudeva of great
intelligence, as also unto his old maternal uncle and Rama and others. He
then duly performed the Sraddhas of all those deceased kinsmen of his.
The king, in honour of Hari and naming him repeatedly, fed the
Island-born Vyasa, and Narada, and Markandeya possessed of wealth of
penances, and Yajnavalkya of Bharadwajas race, with many delicious
viands. In honour of Krishna, he also gave away many jewels and gems, and
robes and clothes, and villages, and horses and cars, and female slaves
by hundreds and thousands unto foremost of Brahmanas. Summoning the
citizens. Kripa was installed as the preceptor and Parikshit was made
over to him as his disciple, O chief of Bharatas race.

"Then Yudhishthira once more summoned all his subjects. The royal sage
informed them of his intentions. The citizens and the inhabitants of the
provinces, hearing the kings words, became filled with anxiety and
disapproved of them. This should never be done, said they unto the king.
The monarch, well versed with the changes brought about by time, did not
listen to their counsels. Possessed of righteous soul, he persuaded the
people to sanction his views. He then set his heart on leaving the world.
His brothers also formed the same resolution. Then Dharmas son,
Yudhishthira, the king of the Kurus, casting off his ornaments, wore
barks of trees. Bhima and Arjuna and the twins, and Draupadi also of
great fame, similarly clad themselves in bark of trees, O king. Having
caused the preliminary rites of religion, O chief of Bharatas race, which
were to bless them in the accomplishment of their design, those foremost
of men cast off their sacred fires into the water. The ladies, beholding
the princes in that guise, wept aloud. They seemed to look as they had
looked in days before, when with Draupadi forming the sixth in number
they set out from the capital after their defeat at dice. The brothers,
however, were all very cheerful at the prospect of retirement.
Ascertaining the intentions of Yudhishthira and seeing the destruction of
the Vrishnis, no other course of action could please them then.

"The five brothers, with Draupadi forming the sixth, and a dog forming
the seventh, set out on their journey. Indeed, even thus did king
Yudhishthira depart, himself the head of a party of seven, from the city
named after the elephant. The citizen and the ladies of the royal
household followed them for some distance. None of them, however, could
venture to address the king for persuading him to give up his intention.
The denizens of the city then returned; Kripa and others stood around
Yuyutsu as their centre. Ulupi, the daughter of the Naga chief, O thou of
Kuntis race, entered the waters of Ganga. The princess Chitrangada set
out for the capital of Manipura. The other ladies who were the
grandmothers of Parikshit centered around him. Meanwhile the high-souled
Pandavas, O thou of Kurus race, and Draupadi of great fame, having
observed the preliminary fast, set out with their faces towards the east.
Setting themselves on Yoga, those high-souled ones, resolved to observe
the religion of Renunciation, traversed through various countries and
reached diverse rivers and seas. Yudhishthira, proceeded first. Behind
him was Bhima; next walked Arjuna; after him were the twins in the order
of their birth; behind them all, O foremost one of Bharatas race,
proceeded Draupadi, that first of women, possessed of great beauty, of
dark complexion, and endued with eyes resembling lotus petals. While the
Pandavas set out for the forest, a dog followed them.

"Proceeding on, those heroes reached the sea of red waters. Dhananjaya
had not cast off his celestial bow Gandiva, nor his couple of
inexhaustible quivers, actuated, O king, by the cupidity that attaches
one to things of great value. The Pandavas there beheld the deity of fire
standing before them like a hill. Closing their way, the god stood there
in his embodied form. The deity of seven flames then addressed the
Pandavas, saying, Ye heroic sons of Pandu, know me for the deity of fire.
O mighty-armed Yudhishthira, O Bhimasena that art a scorcher of foes, O
Arjuna, and ye twins of great courage, listen to what I say! Ye foremost
ones of Kurus race, I am the god of fire. The forest of Khandava was
burnt by me, through the puissance of Arjuna and of Narayana himself. Let
your brother Phalguna proceed to the woods after casting off Gandiva,
that high weapon. He has no longer any need of it. That precious discus,
which was with the high-souled Krishna, has disappeared (from the world).
When the time again comes, it will come back into his hands. This
foremost of bows, Gandiva, was procured by me from Varuna for the use of
Partha. Let it be made over to Varuna himself.

"At this, all the brothers urged Dhananjaya to do what the deity said. He
then threw into the waters (of the sea) both the bow and the couple of
inexhaustible quivers. After this, O chief of Bharatas race, the god of
the fire disappeared then and there. The heroic sons of Pandu next
proceeded with their faces turned towards the south. Then, by the
northern coast of the salt sea, those princes of Bharatas race proceeded
to the south-west. Turning next towards the west, they beheld the city of
Dwaraka covered by the ocean. Turning next to the north, those foremost
ones proceeded on. Observant of Yoga, they were desirous of making a
round of the whole Earth."



2

Vaishampayana said: "Those princes of restrained souls and devoted to
Yoga, proceeding to the north, beheld Himavat, that very large mountain.
Crossing the Himavat, they beheld a vast desert of sand. They then saw
the mighty mountain Meru, the foremost of all high-peaked mountains. As
those mighty ones were proceeding quickly, all rapt in Yoga, Yajnaseni,
falling of from Yoga, dropped down on the Earth. Beholding her fallen
down, Bhimasena of great strength addressed king Yudhishthira the just,
saying, O scorcher of foes, this princess never did any sinful act. Tell
us what the cause is for which Krishna has fallen down on the Earth!

"Yudhishthira said: O best of men, though we were all equal unto her she
had great partiality for Dhananjaya. She obtains the fruit of that
conduct today, O best of men."

Vaishampayana continued: "Having said this, that foremost one of Bharatas
race proceeded on. Of righteous soul, that foremost of men, endued with
great intelligence, went on, with mind intent on itself. Then Sahadeva of
great learning fell down on the Earth. Beholding him drop down, Bhima
addressed the king, saying, He who with great humility used to serve us
all, alas, why is that son of Madravati fallen down on the Earth?

"Yudhishthira said, He never thought anybody his equal in wisdom. It is
for that fault that this prince has fallen down.

Vaishampayana continued: "Having said this, the king proceeded, leaving
Sahadeva there. Indeed, Kuntis son Yudhishthira went on, with his
brothers and with the dog. Beholding both Krishna and the Pandava
Sahadeva fallen down, the brave Nakula, whose love for kinsmen was very
great, fell down himself. Upon the falling down of the heroic Nakula of
great personal beauty, Bhima once more addressed the king, saying, This
brother of ours who was endued with righteousness without incompleteness,
and who always obeyed our behests, this Nakula who was unrivalled for
beauty, has fallen down.

"Thus addressed by Bhimasena, Yudhishthira, said, with respect to Nakula,
these words: He was of righteous soul and the foremost of all persons
endued with intelligence. He, however, thought that there was nobody that
equalled him in beauty of person. Indeed, he regarded himself as superior
to all in that respect. It is for this that Nakula has fallen down. Know
this, O Vrikodara. What has been ordained for a person, O hero, must have
to be endured by him.

"Beholding Nakula and the others fall down, Pandus son Arjuna of white
steeds, that slayer of hostile heroes, fell down in great grief of heart.
When that foremost of men, who was endued with the energy of Shakra, had
fallen down, indeed, when that invincible hero was on the point of death,
Bhima said unto the king, I do not recollect any untruth uttered by this
high-souled one. Indeed, not even in jest did he say anything false. What
then is that for whose evil consequence this one has fallen down on the
Earth?

"Yudhishthira said, Arjuna had said that he would consume all our foes in
a single day. Proud of his heroism, he did not, however, accomplish what
he had said. Hence has he fallen down. This Phalguna disregarded all
wielders of bows. One desirous of prosperity should never indulge in such
sentiments."

Vaishampayana continued: "Having said so, the king proceeded on. Then
Bhima fell down. Having fallen down, Bhima addressed king Yudhishthira
the just, saying, O king, behold, I who am thy darling have fallen down.
For what reason have I dropped down? Tell me if thou knowest it.

"Yudhishthira said, Thou wert a great eater, and thou didst use to boast
of thy strength. Thou never didst attend, O Bhima, to the wants of others
while eating. It is for that, O Bhima, that thou hast fallen down.

"Having said these words, the mighty-armed Yudhishthira proceeded on,
without looking back. He had only one companion, the dog of which I have
repeatedly spoken to thee, that followed him now.



3

Vaishampayana said: "Then Shakra, causing the firmament and the Earth to
be filled by a loud sound, came to the son of Pritha on a car and asked
him to ascend it. Beholding his brothers fallen on the Earth, king
Yudhishthira the just said unto that deity of a 1,000 eyes these words:
My brothers have all dropped down here. They must go with me. Without
them by me I do not wish to go to Heaven, O lord of all the deities. The
delicate princess (Draupadi) deserving of every comfort, O Purandara,
should go with us. It behoveth thee to permit this.

"Shakra said, Thou shalt behold thy brothers in Heaven. They have reached
it before thee. Indeed, thou shalt see all of them there, with Krishna.
Do not yield to grief, O chief of the Bharatas. Having cast off their
human bodies they have gone there, O chief of Bharatas race. As regards
thee, it is ordained that thou shalt go thither in this very body of
thine.

"Yudhishthira said, This dog, O lord of the Past and the Present, is
exceedingly devoted to me. He should go with me. My heart is full of
compassion for him.

"Shakra said, Immortality and a condition equal to mine, O king,
prosperity extending in all directions, and high success, and all the
felicities of Heaven, thou hast won today. Do thou cast off this dog. In
this there will be no cruelty.

"Yudhishthira said, O thou of a 1,000 eyes. O thou that art of righteous
behaviour, it is exceedingly difficult for one that is of righteous
behaviour to perpetrate an act that is unrighteous. I do not desire that
union with prosperity for which I shall have to cast off one that is
devoted to me.

"Indra said, There is no place in Heaven for persons with dogs. Besides,
the (deities called) Krodhavasas take away all the merits of such
persons. Reflecting on this, act, O king Yudhishthira the just. Do thou
abandon this dog. There is no cruelty in this.

"Yudhishthira said, It has been said that the abandonment of one that is
devoted is infinitely sinful. It is equal to the sin that one incurs by
slaying a Brahmana. Hence, O great Indra, I shall not abandon this dog
today from desire of my happiness. Even this is my vow steadily pursued,
that I never give up a person that is terrified, nor one that is devoted
to me, nor one that seeks my protection, saying that he is destitute, nor
one that is afflicted, nor one that has come to me, nor one that is weak
in protecting oneself, nor one that is solicitous of life. I shall never
give up such a one till my own life is at an end.

"Indra said, Whatever gifts, or sacrifices spread out, or libations
poured on the sacred fire, are seen by a dog, are taken away by the
Krodhavasas. Do thou, therefore, abandon this dog. By abandoning this dog
thou wilt attain to the region of the deities. Having abandoned thy
brothers and Krishna, thou hast, O hero, acquired a region of felicity by
thy own deeds. Why art thou so stupefied? Thou hast renounced everything.
Why then dost thou not renounce this dog? "Yudhishthira said, This is
well known in all the worlds that there is neither friendship nor enmity
with those that are dead. When my brothers and Krishna died, I was unable
to revive them. Hence it was that I abandoned them. I did not, however,
abandon them as long as they were alive. To frighten one that has sought
protection, the slaying of a woman, the theft of what belongs to a
Brahmana, and injuring a friend, each of these four, O Shakra, is I think
equal to the abandonment of one that is devoted."

Vaishampayana continued: "Hearing these words of king Yudhishthira the
just, (the dog became transformed into) the deity of Righteousness, who,
well pleased, said these words unto him in a sweet voice fraught with
praise.

"Dharma said: Thou art well born, O king of kings, and possessed of the
intelligence and the good conduct of Pandu. Thou hast compassion for all
creatures, O Bharata, of which this is a bright example. Formerly, O son,
thou wert once examined by me in the woods of Dwaita, where thy brothers
of great prowess met with (an appearance of) death. Disregarding both thy
brothers Bhima and Arjuna, thou didst wish for the revival of Nakula from
thy desire of doing good to thy (step-) mother. On the present occasion,
thinking the dog to be devoted to thee, thou hast renounced the very car
of the celestials instead of renouncing him. Hence. O king, there is no
one in Heaven that is equal to thee. Hence, O Bharata, regions of
inexhaustible felicity are thine. Thou hast won them, O chief of the
Bharatas, and thine is a celestial and high goal."

Vaishampayana continued: "Then Dharma, and Shakra, and the Maruts, and
the Ashvinis, and other deities, and the celestial Rishis, causing
Yudhishthira to ascend on a car, proceeded to Heaven. Those beings
crowned with success and capable of going everywhere at will, rode their
respective cars. King Yudhishthira, that perpetuator of Kurus race,
riding on that car, ascended quickly, causing the entire welkin to blaze
with his effulgence. Then Narada, that foremost of all speakers, endued
with penances, and conversant with all the worlds, from amidst that
concourse of deities, said these words: All those royal sages that are
here have their achievements transcended by those of Yudhishthira.
Covering all the worlds by his fame and splendour and by his wealth of
conduct, he has attained to Heaven in his own (human) body. None else
than the son of Pandu has been heard to achieve this.

"Hearing these words of Narada, the righteous-souled king, saluting the
deities and all the royal sages there present, said, Happy or miserable,
whatever the region be that is now my brothers, I desire to proceed to. I
do not wish to go anywhere else.

"Hearing this speech of the king, the chief of the deities, Purandara,
said these words fraught with noble sense: Do thou live in this place, O
king of kings, which thou hast won by thy meritorious deeds. Why dost
thou still cherish human affections? Thou hast attained to great success,
the like of which no other man has ever been able to attain. Thy
brothers, O delighter of the Kurus, have succeeded in winning regions of
felicity. Human affections still touch thee. This is Heaven. Behold these
celestial Rishis and Siddhas who have attained to the region of the gods.

"Gifted with great intelligence, Yudhishthira answered the chief of the
deities once more, saying, O conqueror of Daityas, I venture not to dwell
anywhere separated from them. I desire to go there, where my brothers
have gone. I wish to go there where that foremost of women, Draupadi, of
ample proportions and darkish complexion and endued with great
intelligence and righteous of conduct, has gone."

The end of Mahaprasthanika-parv

_________________
The Flesh of Fallen Angels! Come to me all! Asteroth,

Beelzebub, Asmodeus, Bapholada, Lucifer, Loki, Satan,

Cthulhu, Lilith, Della! Blood, to you all!

I'm the wolf, yeah!
I am the wolf! It's close, it's coming. You have come.
The witness to the end, of time. It's now! I will rise to
her side! I don't need the words!
I'm beyond the words!
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The Mahabharata

of

Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa

BOOK 1

ADI PARVA

Translated into English Prose from the Original Sanskrit Text

by

Kisari Mohan Ganguli

[1883-1896]

Scanned at sacred-texts.com, 2003. Proofed at Distributed Proofing,
Juliet Sutherland, Project Manager. Additional proofing and formatting at
sacred-texts.com, by J. B. Hare.



TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE

The object of a translator should ever be to hold the mirror upto his
author. That being so, his chief duty is to represent so far as
practicable the manner in which his author's ideas have been expressed,
retaining if possible at the sacrifice of idiom and taste all the
peculiarities of his author's imagery and of language as well. In regard
to translations from the Sanskrit, nothing is easier than to dish up
Hindu ideas, so as to make them agreeable to English taste. But the
endeavour of the present translator has been to give in the following
pages as literal a rendering as possible of the great work of Vyasa. To
the purely English reader there is much in the following pages that will
strike as ridiculous. Those unacquainted with any language but their own
are generally very exclusive in matters of taste. Having no knowledge of
models other than what they meet with in their own tongue, the standard
they have formed of purity and taste in composition must necessarily be a
narrow one. The translator, however, would ill-discharge his duty, if for
the sake of avoiding ridicule, he sacrificed fidelity to the original. He
must represent his author as he is, not as he should be to please the
narrow taste of those entirely unacquainted with him. Mr. Pickford, in
the preface to his English translation of the Mahavira Charita, ably
defends a close adherence to the original even at the sacrifice of idiom
and taste against the claims of what has been called 'Free Translation,'
which means dressing the author in an outlandish garb to please those to
whom he is introduced.

In the preface to his classical translation of Bhartrihari's Niti Satakam
and Vairagya Satakam, Mr. C.H. Tawney says, "I am sensible that in the
present attempt I have retained much local colouring. For instance, the
ideas of worshipping the feet of a god of great men, though it frequently
occurs in Indian literature, will undoubtedly move the laughter of
Englishmen unacquainted with Sanskrit, especially if they happen to
belong to that class of readers who revel their attention on the
accidental and remain blind to the essential. But a certain measure of
fidelity to the original even at the risk of making oneself ridiculous,
is better than the studied dishonesty which characterises so many
translations of oriental poets."

We fully subscribe to the above although, it must be observed, the
censure conveyed to the class of translators last indicated is rather
undeserved, there being nothing like a 'studied dishonesty' in their
efforts which proceed only from a mistaken view of their duties and as
such betray only an error of the head but not of the heart. More than
twelve years ago when Babu Pratapa Chandra Roy, with Babu Durga Charan
Banerjee, went to my retreat at Seebpore, for engaging me to translate
the Mahabharata into English, I was amazed with the grandeur of the
scheme. My first question to him was,--whence was the money to come,
supposing my competence for the task. Pratapa then unfolded to me the
details of his plan, the hopes he could legitimately cherish of
assistance from different quarters. He was full of enthusiasm. He showed
me Dr. Rost's letter, which, he said, had suggested to him the
undertaking. I had known Babu Durga Charan for many years and I had the
highest opinion of his scholarship and practical good sense. When he
warmly took Pratapa's side for convincing me of the practicability of the
scheme, I listened to him patiently. The two were for completing all
arrangements with me the very day. To this I did not agree. I took a
week's time to consider. I consulted some of my literary friends,
foremost among whom was the late lamented Dr. Sambhu C. Mookherjee. The
latter, I found, had been waited upon by Pratapa. Dr. Mookherjee spoke to
me of Pratapa as a man of indomitable energy and perseverance. The result
of my conference with Dr. Mookherjee was that I wrote to Pratapa asking
him to see me again. In this second interview estimates were drawn up,
and everything was arranged as far as my portion of the work was
concerned. My friend left with me a specimen of translation which he had
received from Professor Max Muller. This I began to study, carefully
comparing it sentence by sentence with the original. About its literal
character there could be no doubt, but it had no flow and, therefore,
could not be perused with pleasure by the general reader. The translation
had been executed thirty years ago by a young German friend of the great
Pundit. I had to touch up every sentence. This I did without at all
impairing faithfulness to the original. My first 'copy' was set up in
type and a dozen sheets were struck off. These were submitted to the
judgment of a number of eminent writers, European and native. All of
them, I was glad to see, approved of the specimen, and then the task of
translating the Mahabharata into English seriously began.

Before, however, the first fasciculus could be issued, the question as to
whether the authorship of the translation should be publicly owned,
arose. Babu Pratapa Chandra Roy was against anonymity. I was for it. The
reasons I adduced were chiefly founded upon the impossibility of one
person translating the whole of the gigantic work. Notwithstanding my
resolve to discharge to the fullest extent the duty that I took up, I
might not live to carry it out. It would take many years before the end
could be reached. Other circumstances than death might arise in
consequence of which my connection with the work might cease. It could
not be desirable to issue successive fasciculus with the names of a
succession of translators appearing on the title pages. These and other
considerations convinced my friend that, after all, my view was correct.
It was, accordingly, resolved to withhold the name of the translator. As
a compromise, however, between the two views, it was resolved to issue
the first fasciculus with two prefaces, one over the signature of the
publisher and the other headed--'Translator's Preface.' This, it was
supposed, would effectually guard against misconceptions of every kind.
No careful reader would then confound the publisher with the author.

Although this plan was adopted, yet before a fourth of the task had been
accomplished, an influential Indian journal came down upon poor Pratapa
Chandra Roy and accused him openly of being a party to a great literary
imposture, viz., of posing before the world as the translator of Vyasa's
work when, in fact, he was only the publisher. The charge came upon my
friend as a surprise, especially as he had never made a secret of the
authorship in his correspondence with Oriental scholars in every part of
the world. He promptly wrote to the journal in question, explaining the
reasons there were for anonymity, and pointing to the two prefaces with
which the first fasciculus had been given to the world. The editor
readily admitted his mistake and made a satisfactory apology.

Now that the translation has been completed, there can no longer be any
reason for withholding the name of the translator. The entire translation
is practically the work of one hand. In portions of the Adi and the Sabha
Parvas, I was assisted by Babu Charu Charan Mookerjee. About four forms
of the Sabha Parva were done by Professor Krishna Kamal Bhattacharya, and
about half a fasciculus during my illness, was done by another hand. I
should however state that before passing to the printer the copy received
from these gentlemen I carefully compared every sentence with the
original, making such alterations as were needed for securing a
uniformity of style with the rest of the work.

I should here observe that in rendering the Mahabharata into English I
have derived very little aid from the three Bengali versions that are
supposed to have been executed with care. Every one of these is full of
inaccuracies and blunders of every description. The Santi in particular
which is by far the most difficult of the eighteen Parvas, has been made
a mess of by the Pundits that attacked it. Hundreds of ridiculous
blunders can be pointed out in both the Rajadharma and the Mokshadharma
sections. Some of these I have pointed out in footnotes.

I cannot lay claim to infallibility. There are verses in the Mahabharata
that are exceedingly difficult to construe. I have derived much aid from
the great commentator Nilakantha. I know that Nilakantha's authority is
not incapable of being challenged. But when it is remembered that the
interpretations given by Nilakantha came down to him from preceptors of
olden days, one should think twice before rejecting Nilakantha as a guide.

About the readings I have adopted, I should say that as regards the first
half of the work, I have generally adhered to the Bengal texts; as
regards the latter half, to the printed Bombay edition. Sometimes
individual sections, as occurring in the Bengal editions, differ widely,
in respect of the order of the verses, from the corresponding ones in the
Bombay edition. In such cases I have adhered to the Bengal texts,
convinced that the sequence of ideas has been better preserved in the
Bengal editions than the Bombay one.

I should express my particular obligations to Pundit Ram Nath Tarkaratna,
the author of 'Vasudeva Vijayam' and other poems, Pundit Shyama Charan
Kaviratna, the learned editor of Kavyaprakasha with the commentary of
Professor Mahesh Chandra Nayaratna, and Babu Aghore Nath Banerjee, the
manager of the Bharata Karyalaya. All these scholars were my referees on
all points of difficulty. Pundit Ram Nath's solid scholarship is known to
them that have come in contact with him. I never referred to him a
difficulty that he could not clear up. Unfortunately, he was not always
at hand to consult. Pundit Shyama Charan Kaviratna, during my residence
at Seebpore, assisted me in going over the Mokshadharma sections of the
Santi Parva. Unostentatious in the extreme, Kaviratna is truly the type
of a learned Brahman of ancient India. Babu Aghore Nath Banerjee also has
from time to time, rendered me valuable assistance in clearing my
difficulties.

Gigantic as the work is, it would have been exceedingly difficult for me
to go on with it if I had not been encouraged by Sir Stuart Bayley, Sir
Auckland Colvin, Sir Alfred Croft, and among Oriental scholars, by the
late lamented Dr. Reinhold Rost, and Mons. A. Barth of Paris. All these
eminent men know from the beginning that the translation was proceeding
from my pen. Notwithstanding the enthusiasm, with which my poor friend,
Pratapa Chandra Roy, always endeavoured to fill me. I am sure my energies
would have flagged and patience exhausted but for the encouraging words
which I always received from these patrons and friends of the enterprise.

Lastly, I should name my literary chief and friend, Dr. Sambhu C.
Mookherjee. The kind interest he took in my labours, the repeated
exhortations he addressed to me inculcating patience, the care with which
he read every fasciculus as it came out, marking all those passages which
threw light upon topics of antiquarian interest, and the words of praise
he uttered when any expression particularly happy met his eyes, served to
stimulate me more than anything else in going on with a task that
sometimes seemed to me endless.

Kisari Mohan Ganguli

Calcutta



THE MAHABHARATA

ADI PARVA

SECTION I

Om! Having bowed down to Narayana and Nara, the most exalted male being,
and also to the goddess Saraswati, must the word Jaya be uttered.

Ugrasrava, the son of Lomaharshana, surnamed Sauti, well-versed in the
Puranas, bending with humility, one day approached the great sages of
rigid vows, sitting at their ease, who had attended the twelve years'
sacrifice of Saunaka, surnamed Kulapati, in the forest of Naimisha. Those
ascetics, wishing to hear his wonderful narrations, presently began to
address him who had thus arrived at that recluse abode of the inhabitants
of the forest of Naimisha. Having been entertained with due respect by
those holy men, he saluted those Munis (sages) with joined palms, even
all of them, and inquired about the progress of their asceticism. Then
all the ascetics being again seated, the son of Lomaharshana humbly
occupied the seat that was assigned to him. Seeing that he was
comfortably seated, and recovered from fatigue, one of the Rishis
beginning the conversation, asked him, 'Whence comest thou, O lotus-eyed
Sauti, and where hast thou spent the time? Tell me, who ask thee, in
detail.'

Accomplished in speech, Sauti, thus questioned, gave in the midst of that
big assemblage of contemplative Munis a full and proper answer in words
consonant with their mode of life.

"Sauti said, 'Having heard the diverse sacred and wonderful stories which
were composed in his Mahabharata by Krishna-Dwaipayana, and which were
recited in full by Vaisampayana at the Snake-sacrifice of the high-souled
royal sage Janamejaya and in the presence also of that chief of Princes,
the son of Parikshit, and having wandered about, visiting many sacred
waters and holy shrines, I journeyed to the country venerated by the
Dwijas (twice-born) and called Samantapanchaka where formerly was fought
the battle between the children of Kuru and Pandu, and all the chiefs of
the land ranged on either side. Thence, anxious to see you, I am come
into your presence. Ye reverend sages, all of whom are to me as Brahma;
ye greatly blessed who shine in this place of sacrifice with the
splendour of the solar fire: ye who have concluded the silent meditations
and have fed the holy fire; and yet who are sitting--without care, what,
O ye Dwijas (twice-born), shall I repeat, shall I recount the sacred
stories collected in the Puranas containing precepts of religious duty
and of worldly profit, or the acts of illustrious saints and sovereigns
of mankind?"

"The Rishi replied, 'The Purana, first promulgated by the great Rishi
Dwaipayana, and which after having been heard both by the gods and the
Brahmarshis was highly esteemed, being the most eminent narrative that
exists, diversified both in diction and division, possessing subtile
meanings logically combined, and gleaned from the Vedas, is a sacred
work. Composed in elegant language, it includeth the subjects of other
books. It is elucidated by other Shastras, and comprehendeth the sense of
the four Vedas. We are desirous of hearing that history also called
Bharata, the holy composition of the wonderful Vyasa, which dispelleth
the fear of evil, just as it was cheerfully recited by the Rishi
Vaisampayana, under the direction of Dwaipayana himself, at the
snake-sacrifice of Raja Janamejaya?'

"Sauti then said, 'Having bowed down to the primordial being Isana, to
whom multitudes make offerings, and who is adored by the multitude; who
is the true incorruptible one, Brahma, perceptible, imperceptible,
eternal; who is both a non-existing and an existing-non-existing being;
who is the universe and also distinct from the existing and non-existing
universe; who is the creator of high and low; the ancient, exalted,
inexhaustible one; who is Vishnu, beneficent and the beneficence itself,
worthy of all preference, pure and immaculate; who is Hari, the ruler of
the faculties, the guide of all things moveable and immoveable; I will
declare the sacred thoughts of the illustrious sage Vyasa, of marvellous
deeds and worshipped here by all. Some bards have already published this
history, some are now teaching it, and others, in like manner, will
hereafter promulgate it upon the earth. It is a great source of
knowledge, established throughout the three regions of the world. It is
possessed by the twice-born both in detailed and compendious forms. It is
the delight of the learned for being embellished with elegant
expressions, conversations human and divine, and a variety of poetical
measures.

In this world, when it was destitute of brightness and light, and
enveloped all around in total darkness, there came into being, as the
primal cause of creation, a mighty egg, the one inexhaustible seed of all
created beings. It is called Mahadivya, and was formed at the beginning
of the Yuga, in which we are told, was the true light Brahma, the eternal
one, the wonderful and inconceivable being present alike in all places;
the invisible and subtile cause, whose nature partaketh of entity and
non-entity. From this egg came out the lord Pitamaha Brahma, the one only
Prajapati; with Suraguru and Sthanu. Then appeared the twenty-one
Prajapatis, viz., Manu, Vasishtha and Parameshthi; ten Prachetas, Daksha,
and the seven sons of Daksha. Then appeared the man of inconceivable
nature whom all the Rishis know and so the Viswe-devas, the Adityas, the
Vasus, and the twin Aswins; the Yakshas, the Sadhyas, the Pisachas, the
Guhyakas, and the Pitris. After these were produced the wise and most
holy Brahmarshis, and the numerous Rajarshis distinguished by every noble
quality. So the water, the heavens, the earth, the air, the sky, the
points of the heavens, the years, the seasons, the months, the
fortnights, called Pakshas, with day and night in due succession. And
thus were produced all things which are known to mankind.

And what is seen in the universe, whether animate or inanimate, of
created things, will at the end of the world, and after the expiration of
the Yuga, be again confounded. And, at the commencement of other Yugas,
all things will be renovated, and, like the various fruits of the earth,
succeed each other in the due order of their seasons. Thus continueth
perpetually to revolve in the world, without beginning and without end,
this wheel which causeth the destruction of all things.

The generation of Devas, in brief, was thirty-three thousand,
thirty-three hundred and thirty-three. The sons of Div were Brihadbhanu,
Chakshus, Atma Vibhavasu, Savita, Richika, Arka, Bhanu, Asavaha, and
Ravi. Of these Vivaswans of old, Mahya was the youngest whose son was
Deva-vrata. The latter had for his son, Su-vrata who, we learn, had three
sons,--Dasa-jyoti, Sata-jyoti, and Sahasra-jyoti, each of them producing
numerous offspring. The illustrious Dasa-jyoti had ten thousand,
Sata-jyoti ten times that number, and Sahasra-jyoti ten times the number
of Sata-jyoti's offspring. From these are descended the family of the
Kurus, of the Yadus, and of Bharata; the family of Yayati and of
Ikshwaku; also of all the Rajarshis. Numerous also were the generations
produced, and very abundant were the creatures and their places of abode.
The mystery which is threefold--the Vedas, Yoga, and Vijnana Dharma,
Artha, and Kama--also various books upon the subject of Dharma, Artha,
and Kama; also rules for the conduct of mankind; also histories and
discourses with various srutis; all of which having been seen by the
Rishi Vyasa are here in due order mentioned as a specimen of the book.

The Rishi Vyasa published this mass of knowledge in both a detailed and
an abridged form. It is the wish of the learned in the world to possess
the details and the abridgement. Some read the Bharata beginning with the
initial mantra (invocation), others with the story of Astika, others with
Uparichara, while some Brahmanas study the whole. Men of learning display
their various knowledge of the institutes in commenting on the
composition. Some are skilful in explaining it, while others, in
remembering its contents.

The son of Satyavati having, by penance and meditation, analysed the
eternal Veda, afterwards composed this holy history, when that learned
Brahmarshi of strict vows, the noble Dwaipayana Vyasa, offspring of
Parasara, had finished this greatest of narrations, he began to consider
how he might teach it to his disciples. And the possessor of the six
attributes, Brahma, the world's preceptor, knowing of the anxiety of the
Rishi Dwaipayana, came in person to the place where the latter was, for
gratifying the saint, and benefiting the people. And when Vyasa,
surrounded by all the tribes of Munis, saw him, he was surprised; and,
standing with joined palms, he bowed and ordered a seat to be brought.
And Vyasa having gone round him who is called Hiranyagarbha seated on
that distinguished seat stood near it; and being commanded by Brahma
Parameshthi, he sat down near the seat, full of affection and smiling in
joy. Then the greatly glorious Vyasa, addressing Brahma Parameshthi,
said, "O divine Brahma, by me a poem hath been composed which is greatly
respected. The mystery of the Veda, and what other subjects have been
explained by me; the various rituals of the Upanishads with the Angas;
the compilation of the Puranas and history formed by me and named after
the three divisions of time, past, present, and future; the determination
of the nature of decay, fear, disease, existence, and non-existence, a
description of creeds and of the various modes of life; rule for the four
castes, and the import of all the Puranas; an account of asceticism and
of the duties of a religious student; the dimensions of the sun and moon,
the planets, constellations, and stars, together with the duration of the
four ages; the Rik, Sama and Yajur Vedas; also the Adhyatma; the sciences
called Nyaya, Orthoephy and Treatment of diseases; charity and
Pasupatadharma; birth celestial and human, for particular purposes; also
a description of places of pilgrimage and other holy places of rivers,
mountains, forests, the ocean, of heavenly cities and the kalpas; the art
of war; the different kinds of nations and languages: the nature of the
manners of the people; and the all-pervading spirit;--all these have been
represented. But, after all, no writer of this work is to be found on
earth.'

"Brahma said. 'I esteem thee for thy knowledge of divine mysteries,
before the whole body of celebrated Munis distinguished for the sanctity
of their lives. I know thou hast revealed the divine word, even from its
first utterance, in the language of truth. Thou hast called thy present
work a poem, wherefore it shall be a poem. There shall be no poets whose
works may equal the descriptions of this poem, even, as the three other
modes called Asrama are ever unequal in merit to the domestic Asrama. Let
Ganesa be thought of, O Muni, for the purpose of writing the poem.'

"Sauti said, 'Brahma having thus spoken to Vyasa, retired to his own
abode. Then Vyasa began to call to mind Ganesa. And Ganesa, obviator of
obstacles, ready to fulfil the desires of his votaries, was no sooner
thought of, than he repaired to the place where Vyasa was seated. And
when he had been saluted, and was seated, Vyasa addressed him thus, 'O
guide of the Ganas! be thou the writer of the Bharata which I have formed
in my imagination, and which I am about to repeat."

"Ganesa, upon hearing this address, thus answered, 'I will become the
writer of thy work, provided my pen do not for a moment cease writing."
And Vyasa said unto that divinity, 'Wherever there be anything thou dost
not comprehend, cease to continue writing.' Ganesa having signified his
assent, by repeating the word Om! proceeded to write; and Vyasa began;
and by way of diversion, he knit the knots of composition exceeding
close; by doing which, he dictated this work according to his engagement.

I am (continued Sauti) acquainted with eight thousand and eight hundred
verses, and so is Suka, and perhaps Sanjaya. From the mysteriousness of
their meaning, O Muni, no one is able, to this day, to penetrate those
closely knit difficult slokas. Even the omniscient Ganesa took a moment
to consider; while Vyasa, however, continued to compose other verses in
great abundance.

The wisdom of this work, like unto an instrument of applying collyrium,
hath opened the eyes of the inquisitive world blinded by the darkness of
ignorance. As the sun dispelleth the darkness, so doth the Bharata by its
discourses on religion, profit, pleasure and final release, dispel the
ignorance of men. As the full-moon by its mild light expandeth the buds
of the water-lily, so this Purana, by exposing the light of the Sruti
hath expanded the human intellect. By the lamp of history, which
destroyeth the darkness of ignorance, the whole mansion of nature is
properly and completely illuminated.

This work is a tree, of which the chapter of contents is the seed; the
divisions called Pauloma and Astika are the root; the part called
Sambhava is the trunk; the books called Sabha and Aranya are the roosting
perches; the books called Arani is the knitting knots; the books called
Virata and Udyoga the pith; the book named Bhishma, the main branch; the
book called Drona, the leaves; the book called Karna, the fair flowers;
the book named Salya, their sweet smell; the books entitled Stri and
Aishika, the refreshing shade; the book called Santi, the mighty fruit;
the book called Aswamedha, the immortal sap; the denominated
Asramavasika, the spot where it groweth; and the book called Mausala, is
an epitome of the Vedas and held in great respect by the virtuous
Brahmanas. The tree of the Bharata, inexhaustible to mankind as the
clouds, shall be as a source of livelihood to all distinguished poets."

"Sauti continued, 'I will now speak of the undying flowery and fruitful
productions of this tree, possessed of pure and pleasant taste, and not
to be destroyed even by the immortals. Formerly, the spirited and
virtuous Krishna-Dwaipayana, by the injunctions of Bhishma, the wise son
of Ganga and of his own mother, became the father of three boys who were
like the three fires by the two wives of Vichitra-virya; and having thus
raised up Dhritarashtra, Pandu and Vidura, he returned to his recluse
abode to prosecute his religious exercise.

It was not till after these were born, grown up, and departed on the
supreme journey, that the great Rishi Vyasa published the Bharata in this
region of mankind; when being solicited by Janamejaya and thousands of
Brahmanas, he instructed his disciple Vaisampayana, who was seated near
him; and he, sitting together with the Sadasyas, recited the Bharata,
during the intervals of the ceremonies of the sacrifice, being repeatedly
urged to proceed.

Vyasa hath fully represented the greatness of the house of Kuru, the
virtuous principles of Gandhari, the wisdom of Vidura, and the constancy
of Kunti. The noble Rishi hath also described the divinity of Vasudeva,
the rectitude of the sons of Pandu, and the evil practices of the sons
and partisans of Dhritarashtra.

Vyasa executed the compilation of the Bharata, exclusive of the episodes
originally in twenty-four thousand verses; and so much only is called by
the learned as the Bharata. Afterwards, he composed an epitome in one
hundred and fifty verses, consisting of the introduction with the chapter
of contents. This he first taught to his son Suka; and afterwards he gave
it to others of his disciples who were possessed of the same
qualifications. After that he executed another compilation, consisting of
six hundred thousand verses. Of those, thirty hundred thousand are known
in the world of the Devas; fifteen hundred thousand in the world of the
Pitris: fourteen hundred thousand among the Gandharvas, and one hundred
thousand in the regions of mankind. Narada recited them to the Devas,
Devala to the Pitris, and Suka published them to the Gandharvas, Yakshas,
and Rakshasas: and in this world they were recited by Vaisampayana, one
of the disciples of Vyasa, a man of just principles and the first among
all those acquainted with the Vedas. Know that I, Sauti, have also
repeated one hundred thousand verses.

Yudhishthira is a vast tree, formed of religion and virtue; Arjuna is its
trunk; Bhimasena, its branches; the two sons of Madri are its full-grown
fruit and flowers; and its roots are Krishna, Brahma, and the Brahmanas.

Pandu, after having subdued many countries by his wisdom and prowess,
took up his abode with the Munis in a certain forest as a sportsman,
where he brought upon himself a very severe misfortune for having killed
a stag coupling with its mate, which served as a warning for the conduct
of the princes of his house as long as they lived. Their mothers, in
order that the ordinances of the law might be fulfilled, admitted as
substitutes to their embraces the gods Dharma, Vayu, Sakra, and the
divinities the twin Aswins. And when their offspring grew up, under the
care of their two mothers, in the society of ascetics, in the midst of
sacred groves and holy recluse-abodes of religious men, they were
conducted by Rishis into the presence of Dhritarashtra and his sons,
following as students in the habit of Brahmacharis, having their hair
tied in knots on their heads. 'These our pupils', said they, 'are as your
sons, your brothers, and your friends; they are Pandavas.' Saying this,
the Munis disappeared.

When the Kauravas saw them introduced as the sons of Pandu, the
distinguished class of citizens shouted exceedingly for joy. Some,
however, said, they were not the sons of Pandu; others said, they were;
while a few asked how they could be his offspring, seeing he had been so
long dead. Still on all sides voices were heard crying, 'They are on all
accounts Whalecum! Through divine Providence we behold the family of
Pandu! Let their Whalecum be proclaimed!' As these acclamations ceased,
the plaudits of invisible spirits, causing every point of the heavens to
resound, were tremendous. There were showers of sweet-scented flowers,
and the sound of shells and kettle-drums. Such were the wonders that
happened on the arrival of the young princes. The joyful noise of all the
citizens, in expression of their satisfaction on the occasion, was so
great that it reached the very heavens in magnifying plaudits.

Having studied the whole of the Vedas and sundry other shastras, the
Pandavas resided there, respected by all and without apprehension from
any one.

The principal men were pleased with the purity of Yudhishthira, the
courage of Arjuna, the submissive attention of Kunti to her superiors,
and the humility of the twins, Nakula and Sahadeva; and all the people
rejoiced in their heroic virtues.

After a while, Arjuna obtained the virgin Krishna at the swayamvara, in
the midst of a concourse of Rajas, by performing a very difficult feat of
archery. And from this time he became very much respected in this world
among all bowmen; and in fields of battle also, like the sun, he was hard
to behold by foe-men. And having vanquished all the neighbouring princes
and every considerable tribe, he accomplished all that was necessary for
the Raja (his eldest brother) to perform the great sacrifice called
Rajasuya.

Yudhishthira, after having, through the wise counsels of Vasudeva and by
the valour of Bhimasena and Arjuna, slain Jarasandha (the king of
Magadha) and the proud Chaidya, acquired the right to perform the grand
sacrifice of Rajasuya abounding in provisions and offering and fraught
with transcendent merits. And Duryodhana came to this sacrifice; and when
he beheld the vast wealth of the Pandavas scattered all around, the
offerings, the precious stones, gold and jewels; the wealth in cows,
elephants, and horses; the curious textures, garments, and mantles; the
precious shawls and furs and carpets made of the skin of the Ranku; he
was filled with envy and became exceedingly displeased. And when he
beheld the hall of assembly elegantly constructed by Maya (the Asura
architect) after the fashion of a celestial court, he was inflamed with
rage. And having started in confusion at certain architectural deceptions
within this building, he was derided by Bhimasena in the presence of
Vasudeva, like one of mean descent.

And it was represented to Dhritarashtra that his son, while partaking of
various objects of enjoyment and diverse precious things, was becoming
meagre, wan, and pale. And Dhritarashtra, some time after, out of
affection for his son, gave his consent to their playing (with the
Pandavas) at dice. And Vasudeva coming to know of this, became
exceedingly wroth. And being dissatisfied, he did nothing to prevent the
disputes, but overlooked the gaming and sundry other horried
unjustifiable transactions arising therefrom: and in spite of Vidura,
Bhishma, Drona, and Kripa, the son of Saradwan, he made the Kshatriyas
kill each other in the terrific war that ensued.'

"And Dhritarashtra hearing the ill news of the success of the Pandavas
and recollecting the resolutions of Duryodhana, Kama, and Sakuni,
pondered for a while and addressed to Sanjaya the following speech:--

'Attend, O Sanjaya, to all I am about to say, and it will not become thee
to treat me with contempt. Thou art well-versed in the shastras,
intelligent and endowed with wisdom. My inclination was never to war, not
did I delight in the destruction of my race. I made no distinction
between my own children and the children of Pandu. My own sons were prone
to wilfulness and despised me because I am old. Blind as I am, because of
my miserable plight and through paternal affection, I bore it all. I was
foolish alter the thoughtless Duryodhana ever growing in folly. Having
been a spectator of the riches of the mighty sons of Pandu, my son was
derided for his awkwardness while ascending the hall. Unable to bear it
all and unable himself to overcome the sons of Pandu in the field, and
though a soldier, unwilling yet to obtain good fortune by his own
exertion, with the help of the king of Gandhara he concerted an unfair
game at dice.

'Hear, O Sanjaya, all that happened thereupon and came to my knowledge.
And when thou hast heard all I say, recollecting everything as it fell
out, thou shall then know me for one with a prophetic eye. When I heard
that Arjuna, having bent the bow, had pierced the curious mark and
brought it down to the ground, and bore away in triumph the maiden
Krishna, in the sight of the assembled princes, then, O Sanjaya I had no
hope of success. When I heard that Subhadra of the race of Madhu had,
after forcible seizure been married by Arjuna in the city of Dwaraka, and
that the two heroes of the race of Vrishni (Krishna and Balarama the
brothers of Subhadra) without resenting it had entered Indraprastha as
friends, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that
Arjuna, by his celestial arrow preventing the downpour by Indra the king
of the gods, had gratified Agni by making over to him the forest of
Khandava, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that
the five Pandavas with their mother Kunti had escaped from the house of
lac, and that Vidura was engaged in the accomplishment of their designs,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Arjuna,
after having pierced the mark in the arena had won Draupadi, and that the
brave Panchalas had joined the Pandavas, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. When I heard that Jarasandha, the foremost of the royal line
of Magadha, and blazing in the midst of the Kshatriyas, had been slain by
Bhima with his bare arms alone, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that in their general campaign the sons of Pandu
had conquered the chiefs of the land and performed the grand sacrifice of
the Rajasuya, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard
that Draupadi, her voice choked with tears and heart full of agony, in
the season of impurity and with but one raiment on, had been dragged into
court and though she had protectors, she had been treated as if she had
none, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the
wicked wretch Duhsasana, was striving to strip her of that single
garment, had only drawn from her person a large heap of cloth without
being able to arrive at its end, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that Yudhishthira, beaten by Saubala at the game of
dice and deprived of his kingdom as a consequence thereof, had still been
attended upon by his brothers of incomparable prowess, then, O Sanjaya, I
had no hope of success. When I heard that the virtuous Pandavas weeping
with affliction had followed their elder brother to the wilderness and
exerted themselves variously for the mitigation of his discomforts, then,
O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success.

'When I heard that Yudhishthira had been followed into the wilderness by
Snatakas and noble-minded Brahmanas who live upon alms, then, O Sanjaya,
I had no hope of success. When I heard that Arjuna, having, in combat,
pleased the god of gods, Tryambaka (the three-eyed) in the disguise of a
hunter, obtained the great weapon Pasupata, then O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. When I heard that the just and renowned Arjuna after having
been to the celestial regions, had there obtained celestial weapons from
Indra himself then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard
that afterwards Arjuna had vanquished the Kalakeyas and the Paulomas
proud with the boon they had obtained and which had rendered them
invulnerable even to the celestials, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that Arjuna, the chastiser of enemies, having gone
to the regions of Indra for the destruction of the Asuras, had returned
thence successful, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard that Bhima and the other sons of Pritha (Kunti) accompanied by
Vaisravana had arrived at that country which is inaccessible to man then,
O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that my sons, guided by
the counsels of Karna, while on their journey of Ghoshayatra, had been
taken prisoners by the Gandharvas and were set free by Arjuna, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Dharma (the god of
justice) having come under the form of a Yaksha had proposed certain
questions to Yudhishthira then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When
I heard that my sons had failed to discover the Pandavas under their
disguise while residing with Draupadi in the dominions of Virata, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the principal men of
my side had all been vanquished by the noble Arjuna with a single chariot
while residing in the dominions of Virata, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. When I heard that Vasudeva of the race of Madhu, who covered
this whole earth by one foot, was heartily interested in the welfare of
the Pandavas, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard
that the king of Matsya, had offered his virtuous daughter Uttara to
Arjuna and that Arjuna had accepted her for his son, then, O Sanjaya, I
had no hope of success. When I heard that Yudhishthira, beaten at dice,
deprived of wealth, exiled and separated from his connections, had
assembled yet an army of seven Akshauhinis, then, O Sanjaya, I had no
hope of success. When I heard Narada, declare that Krishna and Arjuna
were Nara and Narayana and he (Narada) had seen them together in the
regions of Brahma, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard that Krishna, anxious to bring about peace, for the welfare of
mankind had repaired to the Kurus, and went away without having been able
to effect his purpose, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard that Kama and Duryodhana resolved upon imprisoning Krishna
displayed in himself the whole universe, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. Then I heard that at the time of his departure, Pritha
(Kunti) standing, full of sorrow, near his chariot received consolation
from Krishna, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard
that Vasudeva and Bhishma the son of Santanu were the counsellors of the
Pandavas and Drona the son of Bharadwaja pronounced blessings on them,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When Kama said unto Bhishma--I
will not fight when thou art fighting--and, quitting the army, went away,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Vasudeva and
Arjuna and the bow Gandiva of immeasurable prowess, these three of
dreadful energy had come together, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that upon Arjuna having been seized with
compunction on his chariot and ready to sink, Krishna showed him all the
worlds within his body, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard that Bhishma, the desolator of foes, killing ten thousand
charioteers every day in the field of battle, had not slain any amongst
the Pandavas then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that
Bhishma, the righteous son of Ganga, had himself indicated the means of
his defeat in the field of battle and that the same were accomplished by
the Pandavas with joyfulness, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success.
When I heard that Arjuna, having placed Sikhandin before himself in his
chariot, had wounded Bhishma of infinite courage and invincible in
battle, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the
aged hero Bhishma, having reduced the numbers of the race of shomaka to a
few, overcome with various wounds was lying on a bed of arrows, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that upon Bhishma's lying
on the ground with thirst for water, Arjuna, being requested, had pierced
the ground and allayed his thirst, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When Bayu together with Indra and Suryya united as allies for
the success of the sons of Kunti, and the beasts of prey (by their
inauspicious presence) were putting us in fear, then, O Sanjaya, I had no
hope of success. When the wonderful warrior Drona, displaying various
modes of fight in the field, did not slay any of the superior Pandavas,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the
Maharatha Sansaptakas of our army appointed for the overthrow of Arjuna
were all slain by Arjuna himself, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that our disposition of forces, impenetrable by
others, and defended by Bharadwaja himself well-armed, had been singly
forced and entered by the brave son of Subhadra, then, O Sanjaya, I had
no hope of success. When I heard that our Maharathas, unable to overcome
Arjuna, with jubilant faces after having jointly surrounded and slain the
boy Abhimanyu, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard
that the blind Kauravas were shouting for joy after having slain
Abhimanyu and that thereupon Arjuna in anger made his celebrated speech
referring to Saindhava, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard that Arjuna had vowed the death of Saindhava and fulfilled his vow
in the presence of his enemies, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that upon the horses of Arjuna being fatigued,
Vasudeva releasing them made them drink water and bringing them back and
reharnessing them continued to guide them as before, then, O Sanjaya, I
had no hope of success. When I heard that while his horses were fatigued,
Arjuna staying in his chariot checked all his assailants, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Yuyudhana of the
race of Vrishni, after having thrown into confusion the army of Drona
rendered unbearable in prowess owing to the presence of elephants,
retired to where Krishna and Arjuna were, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. When I heard that Karna even though he had got Bhima within
his power allowed him to escape after only addressing him in contemptuous
terms and dragging him with the end of his bow, then, O Sanjaya, I had no
hope of success. When I heard that Drona, Kritavarma, Kripa, Karna, the
son of Drona, and the valiant king of Madra (Salya) suffered Saindhava to
be slain, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that
the celestial Sakti given by Indra (to Karna) was by Madhava's
machinations caused to be hurled upon Rakshasa Ghatotkacha of frightful
countenance, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that
in the encounter between Karna and Ghatotkacha, that Sakti was hurled
against Ghatotkacha by Karna, the same which was certainly to have slain
Arjuna in battle, then, O Sanjaya. I had no hope of success. When I heard
that Dhristadyumna, transgressing the laws of battle, slew Drona while
alone in his chariot and resolved on death, then, O Sanjaya, I had no
hope of success. When I heard that Nakula. the son of Madri, having in
the presence of the whole army engaged in single combat with the son of
Drona and showing himself equal to him drove his chariot in circles
around, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When upon the death of
Drona, his son misused the weapon called Narayana but failed to achieve
the destruction of the Pandavas, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that Bhimasena drank the blood of his brother
Duhsasana in the field of battle without anybody being able to prevent
him, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the
infinitely brave Karna, invincible in battle, was slain by Arjuna in that
war of brothers mysterious even to the gods, then, O Sanjaya, I had no
hope of success. When I heard that Yudhishthira, the Just, overcame the
heroic son of Drona, Duhsasana, and the fierce Kritavarman, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the brave king of
Madra who ever dared Krishna in battle was slain by Yudhishthira, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the wicked Suvala of
magic power, the root of the gaming and the feud, was slain in battle by
Sahadeva, the son of Pandu, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success.
When I heard that Duryodhana, spent with fatigue, having gone to a lake
and made a refuge for himself within its waters, was lying there alone,
his strength gone and without a chariot, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. When I heard that the Pandavas having gone to that lake
accompanied by Vasudeva and standing on its beach began to address
contemptuously my son who was incapable of putting up with affronts,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that while,
displaying in circles a variety of curious modes (of attack and defence)
in an encounter with clubs, he was unfairly slain according to the
counsels of Krishna, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard the son of Drona and others by slaying the Panchalas and the sons
of Draupadi in their sleep, perpetrated a horrible and infamous deed,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Aswatthaman
while being pursued by Bhimasena had discharged the first of weapons
called Aishika, by which the embryo in the womb (of Uttara) was wounded,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the weapon
Brahmashira (discharged by Aswatthaman) was repelled by Arjuna with
another weapon over which he had pronounced the word "Sasti" and that
Aswatthaman had to give up the jewel-like excrescence on his head, then,
O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that upon the embryo in
the womb of Virata's daughter being wounded by Aswatthaman with a mighty
weapon, Dwaipayana and Krishna pronounced curses on him, then, O Sanjaya,
I had no hope of success.

'Alas! Gandhari, destitute of children, grand-children, parents,
brothers, and kindred, is to be pitied. Difficult is the task that hath
been performed by the Pandavas: by them hath a kingdom been recovered
without a rival.

'Alas! I have heard that the war hath left only ten alive: three of our
side, and the Pandavas, seven, in that dreadful conflict eighteen
Akshauhinis of Kshatriyas have been slain! All around me is utter
darkness, and a fit of swoon assaileth me: consciousness leaves me, O
Suta, and my mind is distracted."

"Sauti said, 'Dhritarashtra, bewailing his fate in these words, was
overcome with extreme anguish and for a time deprived of sense; but being
revived, he addressed Sanjaya in the following words.

"After what hath come to pass, O Sanjaya, I wish to put an end to my life
without delay; I do not find the least advantage in cherishing it any
longer."

"Sauti said, 'The wise son of Gavalgana (Sanjaya) then addressed the
distressed lord of Earth while thus talking and bewailing, sighing like a
serpent and repeatedly tainting, in words of deep import.

"Thou hast heard, O Raja, of the greatly powerful men of vast exertions,
spoken of by Vyasa and the wise Narada; men born of great royal families,
resplendent with worthy qualities, versed in the science of celestial
arms, and in glory emblems of Indra; men who having conquered the world
by justice and performed sacrifices with fit offerings (to the
Brahmanas), obtained renown in this world and at last succumbed to the
sway of time. Such were Saivya; the valiant Maharatha; Srinjaya, great
amongst conquerors. Suhotra; Rantideva, and Kakshivanta, great in glory;
Valhika, Damana, Saryati, Ajita, and Nala; Viswamitra the destroyer of
foes; Amvarisha, great in strength; Marutta, Manu, Ikshaku, Gaya, and
Bharata; Rama the son of Dasaratha; Sasavindu, and Bhagiratha;
Kritavirya, the greatly fortunate, and Janamejaya too; and Yayati of good
deeds who performed sacrifices, being assisted therein by the celestials
themselves, and by whose sacrificial altars and stakes this earth with
her habited and uninhabited regions hath been marked all over. These
twenty-four Rajas were formerly spoken of by the celestial Rishi Narada
unto Saivya when much afflicted for the loss of his children. Besides
these, other Rajas had gone before, still more powerful than they, mighty
charioteers noble in mind, and resplendent with every worthy quality.
These were Puru, Kuru, Yadu, Sura and Viswasrawa of great glory; Anuha,
Yuvanaswu, Kakutstha, Vikrami, and Raghu; Vijava, Virihorta, Anga, Bhava,
Sweta, and Vripadguru; Usinara, Sata-ratha, Kanka, Duliduha, and Druma;
Dambhodbhava, Para, Vena, Sagara, Sankriti, and Nimi; Ajeya, Parasu,
Pundra, Sambhu, and holy Deva-Vridha; Devahuya, Supratika, and
Vrihad-ratha; Mahatsaha, Vinitatma, Sukratu, and Nala, the king of the
Nishadas; Satyavrata, Santabhaya, Sumitra, and the chief Subala;
Janujangha, Anaranya, Arka, Priyabhritya, Chuchi-vrata, Balabandhu,
Nirmardda, Ketusringa, and Brhidbala; Dhrishtaketu, Brihatketu,
Driptaketu, and Niramaya; Abikshit, Chapala, Dhurta, Kritbandhu, and
Dridhe-shudhi; Mahapurana-sambhavya, Pratyanga, Paraha and Sruti. These,
O chief, and other Rajas, we hear enumerated by hundreds and by
thousands, and still others by millions, princes of great power and
wisdom, quitting very abundant enjoyments met death as thy sons have
done! Their heavenly deeds, valour, and generosity, their magnanimity,
faith, truth, purity, simplicity and mercy, are published to the world in
the records of former times by sacred bards of great learning. Though
endued with every noble virtue, these have yielded up their lives. Thy
sons were malevolent, inflamed with passion, avaricious, and of very
evil-disposition. Thou art versed in the Sastras, O Bharata, and art
intelligent and wise; they never sink under misfortunes whose
understandings are guided by the Sastras. Thou art acquainted, O prince,
with the lenity and severity of fate; this anxiety therefore for the
safety of thy children is unbecoming. Moreover, it behoveth thee not to
grieve for that which must happen: for who can avert, by his wisdom, the
decrees of fate? No one can leave the way marked out for him by
Providence. Existence and non-existence, pleasure and pain all have Time
for their root. Time createth all things and Time destroyeth all
creatures. It is Time that burneth creatures and it is Time that
extinguisheth the fire. All states, the good and the evil, in the three
worlds, are caused by Time. Time cutteth short all things and createth
them anew. Time alone is awake when all things are asleep: indeed, Time
is incapable of being overcome. Time passeth over all things without
being retarded. Knowing, as thou dost, that all things past and future
and all that exist at the present moment, are the offspring of Time, it
behoveth thee not to throw away thy reason.'

"Sauti said, 'The son of Gavalgana having in this manner administered
comfort to the royal Dhritarashtra overwhelmed with grief for his sons,
then restored his mind to peace. Taking these facts for his subject,
Dwaipayana composed a holy Upanishad that has been published to the world
by learned and sacred bards in the Puranas composed by them.

"The study of the Bharata is an act of piety. He that readeth even one
foot, with belief, hath his sins entirely purged away. Herein Devas,
Devarshis, and immaculate Brahmarshis of good deeds, have been spoken of;
and likewise Yakshas and great Uragas (Nagas). Herein also hath been
described the eternal Vasudeva possessing the six attributes. He is the
true and just, the pure and holy, the eternal Brahma, the supreme soul,
the true constant light, whose divine deeds wise and learned recount;
from whom hath proceeded the non-existent and existent-non-existent
universe with principles of generation and progression, and birth, death
and re-birth. That also hath been treated of which is called Adhyatma
(the superintending spirit of nature) that partaketh of the attributes of
the five elements. That also hath been described who is purusha being
above such epithets as 'undisplayed' and the like; also that which the
foremost yatis exempt from the common destiny and endued with the power
of meditation and Tapas behold dwelling in their hearts as a reflected
image in the mirror.

"The man of faith, devoted to piety, and constant in the exercise of
virtue, on reading this section is freed from sin. The believer that
constantly heareth recited this section of the Bharata, called the
Introduction, from the beginning, falleth not into difficulties. The man
repeating any part of the introduction in the two twilights is during
such act freed from the sins contracted during the day or the night. This
section, the body of the Bharata, is truth and nectar. As butter is in
curd, Brahmana among bipeds, the Aranyaka among the Vedas, and nectar
among medicines; as the sea is eminent among receptacles of water, and
the cow among quadrupeds; as are these (among the things mentioned) so is
the Bharata said to be among histories.

"He that causeth it, even a single foot thereof, to be recited to
Brahmanas during a Sradha, his offerings of food and drink to the manes
of his ancestors become inexhaustible.

"By the aid of history and the Puranas, the Veda may be expounded; but
the Veda is afraid of one of little information lest he should it. The
learned man who recites to other this Veda of Vyasa reapeth advantage. It
may without doubt destroy even the sin of killing the embryo and the
like. He that readeth this holy chapter of the moon, readeth the whole of
the Bharata, I ween. The man who with reverence daily listeneth to this
sacred work acquireth long life and renown and ascendeth to heaven.

"In former days, having placed the four Vedas on one side and the Bharata
on the other, these were weighed in the balance by the celestials
assembled for that purpose. And as the latter weighed heavier than the
four Vedas with their mysteries, from that period it hath been called in
the world Mahabharata (the great Bharata). Being esteemed superior both
in substance and gravity of import it is denominated Mahabharata on
account of such substance and gravity of import. He that knoweth its
meaning is saved from all his sins.

'Tapa is innocent, study is harmless, the ordinance of the Vedas
prescribed for all the tribes are harmless, the acquisition of wealth by
exertion is harmless; but when they are abused in their practices it is
then that they become sources of evil.'"



SECTION II

"The Rishis said, 'O son of Suta, we wish to hear a full and
circumstantial account of the place mentioned by you as Samanta-panchaya.'

"Sauti said, 'Listen, O ye Brahmanas, to the sacred descriptions I utter
O ye best of men, ye deserve to hear of the place known as
Samanta-panchaka. In the interval between the Treta and Dwapara Yugas,
Rama (the son of Jamadagni) great among all who have borne arms, urged by
impatience of wrongs, repeatedly smote the noble race of Kshatriyas. And
when that fiery meteor, by his own valour, annihilated the entire tribe
of the Kshatriyas, he formed at Samanta-panchaka five lakes of blood. We
are told that his reason being overpowered by anger he offered oblations
of blood to the manes of his ancestors, standing in the midst of the
sanguine waters of those lakes. It was then that his forefathers of whom
Richika was the first having arrived there addressed him thus, 'O Rama, O
blessed Rama, O offspring of Bhrigu, we have been gratified with the
reverence thou hast shown for thy ancestors and with thy valour, O mighty
one! Blessings be upon thee. O thou illustrious one, ask the boon that
thou mayst desire.'

"Rama said, 'If, O fathers, ye are favourably disposed towards me, the
boon I ask is that I may be absolved from the sins born of my having
annihilated the Kshatriyas in anger, and that the lakes I have formed may
become famous in the world as holy shrines.' The Pitris then said, 'So
shall it be. But be thou pacified.' And Rama was pacified accordingly.
The region that lieth near unto those lakes of gory water, from that time
hath been celebrated as Samanta-panchaka the holy. The wise have declared
that every country should be distinguished by a name significant of some
circumstance which may have rendered it famous. In the interval between
the Dwapara and the Kali Yugas there happened at Samanta-panchaka the
encounter between the armies of the Kauravas and the Pandavas. In that
holy region, without ruggedness of any kind, were assembled eighteen
Akshauhinis of soldiers eager for battle. And, O Brahmanas, having come
thereto, they were all slain on the spot. Thus the name of that region, O
Brahmanas, hath been explained, and the country described to you as a
sacred and delightful one. I have mentioned the whole of what relateth to
it as the region is celebrated throughout the three worlds.'

"The Rishis said, 'We have a desire to know, O son of Suta, what is
implied by the term Akshauhini that hath been used by thee. Tell us in
full what is the number of horse and foot, chariots and elephants, which
compose an Akshauhini for thou art fully informed.'

"Sauti said, 'One chariot, one elephant, five foot-soldiers, and three
horses form one Patti; three pattis make one Sena-mukha; three
sena-mukhas are called a Gulma; three gulmas, a Gana; three ganas, a
Vahini; three vahinis together are called a Pritana; three pritanas form
a Chamu; three chamus, one Anikini; and an anikini taken ten times forms,
as it is styled by those who know, an Akshauhini. O ye best of Brahmanas,
arithmeticians have calculated that the number of chariots in an
Akshauhini is twenty-one thousand eight hundred and seventy. The measure
of elephants must be fixed at the same number. O ye pure, you must know
that the number of foot-soldiers is one hundred and nine thousand, three
hundred and fifty, the number of horse is sixty-five thousand, six
hundred and ten. These, O Brahmanas, as fully explained by me, are the
numbers of an Akshauhini as said by those acquainted with the principles
of numbers. O best of Brahmanas, according to this calculation were
composed the eighteen Akshauhinis of the Kaurava and the Pandava army.
Time, whose acts are wonderful assembled them on that spot and having
made the Kauravas the cause, destroyed them all. Bhishma acquainted with
choice of weapons, fought for ten days. Drona protected the Kaurava
Vahinis for five days. Kama the desolator of hostile armies fought for
two days; and Salya for half a day. After that lasted for half a day the
encounter with clubs between Duryodhana and Bhima. At the close of that
day, Aswatthaman and Kripa destroyed the army of Yudishthira in the night
while sleeping without suspicion of danger.

'O Saunaka, this best of narrations called Bharata which has begun to be
repeated at thy sacrifice, was formerly repeated at the sacrifice of
Janamejaya by an intelligent disciple of Vyasa. It is divided into
several sections; in the beginning are Paushya, Pauloma, and Astika
parvas, describing in full the valour and renown of kings. It is a work
whose description, diction, and sense are varied and wonderful. It
contains an account of various manners and rites. It is accepted by the
wise, as the state called Vairagya is by men desirous of final release.
As Self among things to be known, as life among things that are dear, so
is this history that furnisheth the means of arriving at the knowledge of
Brahma the first among all the sastras. There is not a story current in
this world but doth depend upon this history even as the body upon the
foot that it taketh. As masters of good lineage are ever attended upon by
servants desirous of preferment so is the Bharata cherished by all poets.
As the words constituting the several branches of knowledge appertaining
to the world and the Veda display only vowels and consonants, so this
excellent history displayeth only the highest wisdom.

'Listen, O ye ascetics, to the outlines of the several divisions (parvas)
of this history called Bharata, endued with great wisdom, of sections and
feet that are wonderful and various, of subtile meanings and logical
connections, and embellished with the substance of the Vedas.

'The first parva is called Anukramanika; the second, Sangraha; then
Paushya; then Pauloma; the Astika; then Adivansavatarana. Then comes the
Sambhava of wonderful and thrilling incidents. Then comes Jatugrihadaha
(setting fire to the house of lac) and then Hidimbabadha (the killing of
Hidimba) parvas; then comes Baka-badha (slaughter of Baka) and then
Chitraratha. The next is called Swayamvara (selection of husband by
Panchali), in which Arjuna by the exercise of Kshatriya virtues, won
Draupadi for wife. Then comes Vaivahika (marriage). Then comes
Viduragamana (advent of Vidura), Rajyalabha (acquirement of kingdom),
Arjuna-banavasa (exile of Arjuna) and Subhadra-harana (the carrying away
of Subhadra). After these come Harana-harika, Khandava-daha (the burning
of the Khandava forest) and Maya-darsana (meeting with Maya the Asura
architect). Then come Sabha, Mantra, Jarasandha, Digvijaya (general
campaign). After Digvijaya come Raja-suyaka, Arghyaviharana (the robbing
of the Arghya) and Sisupala-badha (the killing of Sisupala). After these,
Dyuta (gambling), Anudyuta (subsequent to gambling), Aranyaka, and
Krimira-badha (destruction of Krimira). The Arjuna-vigamana (the travels
of Arjuna), Kairati. In the last hath been described the battle between
Arjuna and Mahadeva in the guise of a hunter. After this
Indra-lokavigamana (the journey to the regions of Indra); then that mine
of religion and virtue, the highly pathetic Nalopakhyana (the story of
Nala). After this last, Tirtha-yatra or the pilgrimage of the wise prince
of the Kurus, the death of Jatasura, and the battle of the Yakshas. Then
the battle with the Nivata-kavachas, Ajagara, and Markandeya-Samasya
(meeting with Markandeya). Then the meeting of Draupadi and Satyabhama,
Ghoshayatra, Mirga-Swapna (dream of the deer). Then the story of
Brihadaranyaka and then Aindradrumna. Then Draupadi-harana (the abduction
of Draupadi), Jayadratha-bimoksana (the release of Jayadratha). Then the
story of 'Savitri' illustrating the great merit of connubial chastity.
After this last, the story of 'Rama'. The parva that comes next is called
'Kundala-harana' (the theft of the ear-rings). That which comes next is
'Aranya' and then 'Vairata'. Then the entry of the Pandavas and the
fulfilment of their promise (of living unknown for one year). Then the
destruction of the 'Kichakas', then the attempt to take the kine (of
Virata by the Kauravas). The next is called the marriage of Abhimanyu
with the daughter of Virata. The next you must know is the most wonderful
parva called Udyoga. The next must be known by the name of 'Sanjaya-yana'
(the arrival of Sanjaya). Then comes 'Prajagara' (the sleeplessness of
Dhritarashtra owing to his anxiety). Then Sanatsujata, in which are the
mysteries of spiritual philosophy. Then 'Yanasaddhi', and then the
arrival of Krishna. Then the story of 'Matali' and then of 'Galava'. Then
the stories of 'Savitri', 'Vamadeva', and 'Vainya'. Then the story of
'Jamadagnya and Shodasarajika'. Then the arrival of Krishna at the court,
and then Bidulaputrasasana. Then the muster of troops and the story of
Sheta. Then, must you know, comes the quarrel of the high-souled Karna.
Then the march to the field of the troops of both sides. The next hath
been called numbering the Rathis and Atirathas. Then comes the arrival of
the messenger Uluka which kindled the wrath (of the Pandavas). The next
that comes, you must know, is the story of Amba. Then comes the thrilling
story of the installation of Bhishma as commander-in-chief. The next is
called the creation of the insular region Jambu; then Bhumi; then the
account about the formation of islands. Then comes the 'Bhagavat-gita';
and then the death of Bhishma. Then the installation of Drona; then the
destruction of the 'Sansaptakas'. Then the death of Abhimanyu; and then
the vow of Arjuna (to slay Jayadratha). Then the death of Jayadratha, and
then of Ghatotkacha. Then, must you know, comes the story of the death of
Drona of surprising interest. The next that comes is called the discharge
of the weapon called Narayana. Then, you know, is Karna, and then Salya.
Then comes the immersion in the lake, and then the encounter (between
Bhima and Duryodhana) with clubs. Then comes Saraswata, and then the
descriptions of holy shrines, and then genealogies. Then comes Sauptika
describing incidents disgraceful (to the honour of the Kurus). Then comes
the 'Aisika' of harrowing incidents. Then comes 'Jalapradana' oblations
of water to the manes of the deceased, and then the wailings of the
women. The next must be known as 'Sraddha' describing the funeral rites
performed for the slain Kauravas. Then comes the destruction of the
Rakshasa Charvaka who had assumed the disguise of a Brahmana (for
deceiving Yudhishthira). Then the coronation of the wise Yudhishthira.
The next is called the 'Grihapravibhaga'. Then comes 'Santi', then
'Rajadharmanusasana', then 'Apaddharma', then 'Mokshadharma'. Those that
follow are called respectively 'Suka-prasna-abhigamana',
'Brahma-prasnanusana', the origin of 'Durvasa', the disputations with
Maya. The next is to be known as 'Anusasanika'. Then the ascension of
Bhishma to heaven. Then the horse-sacrifice, which when read purgeth all
sins away. The next must be known as the 'Anugita' in which are words of
spiritual philosophy. Those that follow are called 'Asramvasa',
'Puttradarshana' (meeting with the spirits of the deceased sons), and the
arrival of Narada. The next is called 'Mausala' which abounds with
terrible and cruel incidents. Then comes 'Mahaprasthanika' and ascension
to heaven. Then comes the Purana which is called Khilvansa. In this last
are contained 'Vishnuparva', Vishnu's frolics and feats as a child, the
destruction of 'Kansa', and lastly, the very wonderful 'Bhavishyaparva'
(in which there are prophecies regarding the future).

The high-souled Vyasa composed these hundred parvas of which the above is
only an abridgement: having distributed them into eighteen, the son of
Suta recited them consecutively in the forest of Naimisha as follows:

'In the Adi parva are contained Paushya, Pauloma, Astika, Adivansavatara,
Samva, the burning of the house of lac, the slaying of Hidimba, the
destruction of the Asura Vaka, Chitraratha, the Swayamvara of Draupadi,
her marriage after the overthrow of rivals in war, the arrival of Vidura,
the restoration, Arjuna's exile, the abduction of Subhadra, the gift and
receipt of the marriage dower, the burning of the Khandava forest, and
the meeting with (the Asura-architect) Maya. The Paushya parva treats of
the greatness of Utanka, and the Pauloma, of the sons of Bhrigu. The
Astika describes the birth of Garuda and of the Nagas (snakes), the
churning of the ocean, the incidents relating to the birth of the
celestial steed Uchchaihsrava, and finally, the dynasty of Bharata, as
described in the Snake-sacrifice of king Janamejaya. The Sambhava parva
narrates the birth of various kings and heroes, and that of the sage,
Krishna Dwaipayana: the partial incarnations of deities, the generation
of Danavas and Yakshas of great prowess, and serpents, Gandharvas, birds,
and of all creatures; and lastly, of the life and adventures of king
Bharata--the progenitor of the line that goes by his name--the son born
of Sakuntala in the hermitage of the ascetic Kanwa. This parva also
describes the greatness of Bhagirathi, and the births of the Vasus in the
house of Santanu and their ascension to heaven. In this parva is also
narrated the birth of Bhishma uniting in himself portions of the energies
of the other Vasus, his renunciation of royalty and adoption of the
Brahmacharya mode of life, his adherence to his vows, his protection of
Chitrangada, and after the death of Chitrangada, his protection of his
younger brother, Vichitravirya, and his placing the latter on the throne:
the birth of Dharma among men in consequence of the curse of Animondavya;
the births of Dhritarashtra and Pandu through the potency of Vyasa's
blessings (?) and also the birth of the Pandavas; the plottings of
Duryodhana to send the sons of Pandu to Varanavata, and the other dark
counsels of the sons of Dhritarashtra in regard to the Pandavas; then the
advice administered to Yudhishthira on his way by that well-wisher of the
Pandavas--Vidura--in the mlechchha language--the digging of the hole, the
burning of Purochana and the sleeping woman of the fowler caste, with her
five sons, in the house of lac; the meeting of the Pandavas in the
dreadful forest with Hidimba, and the slaying of her brother Hidimba by
Bhima of great prowess. The birth of Ghatotkacha; the meeting of the
Pandavas with Vyasa and in accordance with his advice their stay in
disguise in the house of a Brahmana in the city of Ekachakra; the
destruction of the Asura Vaka, and the amazement of the populace at the
sight; the extra-ordinary births of Krishna and Dhrishtadyumna; the
departure of the Pandavas for Panchala in obedience to the injunction of
Vyasa, and moved equally by the desire of winning the hand of Draupadi on
learning the tidings of the Swayamvara from the lips of a Brahmana;
victory of Arjuna over a Gandharva, called Angaraparna, on the banks of
the Bhagirathi, his contraction of friendship with his adversary, and his
hearing from the Gandharva the history of Tapati, Vasishtha and Aurva.
This parva treats of the journey of the Pandavas towards Panchala, the
acquisition of Draupadi in the midst of all the Rajas, by Arjuna, after
having successfully pierced the mark; and in the ensuing fight, the
defeat of Salya, Kama, and all the other crowned heads at the hands of
Bhima and Arjuna of great prowess; the ascertainment by Balarama and
Krishna, at the sight of these matchless exploits, that the heroes were
the Pandavas, and the arrival of the brothers at the house of the potter
where the Pandavas were staying; the dejection of Drupada on learning
that Draupadi was to be wedded to five husbands; the wonderful story of
the five Indras related in consequence; the extraordinary and
divinely-ordained wedding of Draupadi; the sending of Vidura by the sons
of Dhritarashtra as envoy to the Pandavas; the arrival of Vidura and his
sight to Krishna; the abode of the Pandavas in Khandava-prastha, and then
their rule over one half of the kingdom; the fixing of turns by the sons
of Pandu, in obedience to the injunction of Narada, for connubial
companionship with Krishna. In like manner hath the history of Sunda and
Upasunda been recited in this. This parva then treats of the departure of
Arjuna for the forest according to the vow, he having seen Draupadi and
Yudhishthira sitting together as he entered the chamber to take out arms
for delivering the kine of a certain Brahmana. This parva then describes
Arjuna's meeting on the way with Ulupi, the daughter of a Naga (serpent);
it then relates his visits to several sacred spots; the birth of
Vabhruvahana; the deliverance by Arjuna of the five celestial damsels who
had been turned into alligators by the imprecation of a Brahmana, the
meeting of Madhava and Arjuna on the holy spot called Prabhasa; the
carrying away of Subhadra by Arjuna, incited thereto by her brother
Krishna, in the wonderful car moving on land and water, and through
mid-air, according to the wish of the rider; the departure for
Indraprastha, with the dower; the conception in the womb of Subhadra of
that prodigy of prowess, Abhimanyu; Yajnaseni's giving birth to children;
then follows the pleasure-trip of Krishna and Arjuna to the banks of the
Jamuna and the acquisition by them of the discus and the celebrated bow
Gandiva; the burning of the forest of Khandava; the rescue of Maya by
Arjuna, and the escape of the serpent,--and the begetting of a son by
that best of Rishis, Mandapala, in the womb of the bird Sarngi. This
parva is divided by Vyasa into two hundred and twenty-seven chapters.
These two hundred and twenty-seven chapters contain eight thousand eight
hundred and eighty-four slokas.

The second is the extensive parva called Sabha or the assembly, full of
matter. The subjects of this parva are the establishment of the grand
hall by the Pandavas; their review of their retainers; the description of
the lokapalas by Narada well-acquainted with the celestial regions; the
preparations for the Rajasuya sacrifice; the destruction of Jarasandha;
the deliverance by Vasudeva of the princes confined in the mountain-pass;
the campaign of universal conquest by the Pandavas; the arrival of the
princes at the Rajasuya sacrifice with tribute; the destruction of
Sisupala on the occasion of the sacrifice, in connection with offering of
arghya; Bhimasena's ridicule of Duryodhana in the assembly; Duryodhana's
sorrow and envy at the sight of the magnificent scale on which the
arrangements had been made; the indignation of Duryodhana in consequence,
and the preparations for the game of dice; the defeat of Yudhishthira at
play by the wily Sakuni; the deliverance by Dhritarashtra of his
afflicted daughter-in-law Draupadi plunged in the sea of distress caused
by the gambling, as of a boat tossed about by the tempestuous waves. The
endeavours of Duryodhana to engage Yudhishthira again in the game; and
the exile of the defeated Yudhishthira with his brothers. These
constitute what has been called by the great Vyasa the Sabha Parva. This
parva is divided into seventh-eight sections, O best of Brahmanas, of two
thousand, five hundred and seven slokas.

Then comes the third parva called Aranyaka (relating to the forest) This
parva treats of the wending of the Pandavas to the forest and the
citizens, following the wise Yudhishthira, Yudhishthira's adoration of
the god of day; according to the injunctions of Dhaumya, to be gifted
with the power of maintaining the dependent Brahmanas with food and
drink: the creation of food through the grace of the Sun: the expulsion
by Dhritarashtra of Vidura who always spoke for his master's good;
Vidura's coming to the Pandavas and his return to Dhritarashtra at the
solicitation of the latter; the wicked Duryodhana's plottings to destroy
the forest-ranging Pandavas, being incited thereto by Karna; the
appearance of Vyasa and his dissuasion of Duryodhana bent on going to the
forest; the history of Surabhi; the arrival of Maitreya; his laying down
to Dhritarashtra the course of action; and his curse on Duryodhana;
Bhima's slaying of Kirmira in battle; the coming of the Panchalas and the
princes of the Vrishni race to Yudhishthira on hearing of his defeat at
the unfair gambling by Sakuni; Dhananjaya's allaying the wrath of
Krishna; Draupadi's lamentations before Madhava; Krishna's cheering her;
the fall of Sauva also has been here described by the Rishi; also
Krishna's bringing Subhadra with her son to Dwaraka; and Dhrishtadyumna's
bringing the son of Draupadi to Panchala; the entrance of the sons of
Pandu into the romantic Dwaita wood; conversation of Bhima, Yudhishthira,
and Draupadi; the coming of Vyasa to the Pandavas and his endowing
Yudhishthira with the power of Pratismriti; then, after the departure of
Vyasa, the removal of the Pandavas to the forest of Kamyaka; the
wanderings of Arjuna of immeasurable prowess in search of weapons; his
battle with Mahadeva in the guise of a hunter; his meeting with the
lokapalas and receipt of weapons from them; his journey to the regions of
Indra for arms and the consequent anxiety of Dhritarashtra; the wailings
and lamentations of Yudhishthira on the occasion of his meeting with the
worshipful great sage Brihadaswa. Here occurs the holy and highly
pathetic story of Nala illustrating the patience of Damayanti and the
character of Nala. Then the acquirement by Yudhishthira of the mysteries
of dice from the same great sage; then the arrival of the Rishi Lomasa
from the heavens to where the Pandavas were, and the receipt by these
high-souled dwellers in the woods of the intelligence brought by the
Rishi of their brother Arjuna staving in the heavens; then the pilgrimage
of the Pandavas to various sacred spots in accordance with the message of
Arjuna, and their attainment of great merit and virtue consequent on such
pilgrimage; then the pilgrimage of the great sage Narada to the shrine
Putasta; also the pilgrimage of the high-souled Pandavas. Here is the
deprivation of Karna of his ear-rings by Indra. Here also is recited the
sacrificial magnificence of Gaya; then the story of Agastya in which the
Rishi ate up the Asura Vatapi, and his connubial connection with
Lopamudra from the desire of offspring. Then the story of Rishyasringa
who adopted Brahmacharya mode of life from his very boyhood; then the
history of Rama of great prowess, the son of Jamadagni, in which has been
narrated the death of Kartavirya and the Haihayas; then the meeting
between the Pandavas and the Vrishnis in the sacred spot called Prabhasa;
then the story of Su-kanya in which Chyavana, the son of Bhrigu, made the
twins, Aswinis, drink, at the sacrifice of king Saryati, the Soma juice
(from which they had been excluded by the other gods), and in which
besides is shown how Chyavana himself acquired perpetual youth (as a boon
from the grateful Aswinis). Then hath been described the history of king
Mandhata; then the history of prince Jantu; and how king Somaka by
offering up his only son (Jantu) in sacrifice obtained a hundred others;
then the excellent history of the hawk and the pigeon; then the
examination of king Sivi by Indra, Agni, and Dharma; then the story of
Ashtavakra, in which occurs the disputation, at the sacrifice of Janaka,
between that Rishi and the first of logicians, Vandi, the son of Varuna;
the defeat of Vandi by the great Ashtavakra, and the release by the Rishi
of his father from the depths of the ocean. Then the story of Yavakrita,
and then that of the great Raivya: then the departure (of the Pandavas)
for Gandhamadana and their abode in the asylum called Narayana; then
Bhimasena's journey to Gandhamadana at the request of Draupadi (in search
of the sweet-scented flower). Bhima's meeting on his way, in a grove of
bananas, with Hanuman, the son of Pavana of great prowess; Bhima's bath
in the tank and the destruction of the flowers therein for obtaining the
sweet-scented flower (he was in search of); his consequent battle with
the mighty Rakshasas and the Yakshas of great prowess including Hanuman;
the destruction of the Asura Jata by Bhima; the meeting (of the Pandavas)
with the royal sage Vrishaparva; their departure for the asylum of
Arshtishena and abode therein: the incitement of Bhima (to acts of
vengeance) by Draupadi. Then is narrated the ascent on the hills of
Kailasa by Bhimasena, his terrific battle with the mighty Yakshas headed
by Hanuman; then the meeting of the Pandavas with Vaisravana (Kuvera),
and the meeting with Arjuna after he had obtained for the purpose of
Yudhishthira many celestial weapons; then Arjuna's terrible encounter
with the Nivatakavachas dwelling in Hiranyaparva, and also with the
Paulomas, and the Kalakeyas; their destruction at the hands of Arjuna;
the commencement of the display of the celestial weapons by Arjuna before
Yudhishthira, the prevention of the same by Narada; the descent of the
Pandavas from Gandhamadana; the seizure of Bhima in the forest by a
mighty serpent huge as the mountain; his release from the coils of the
snake, upon Yudhishthira's answering certain questions; the return of the
Pandavas to the Kamyaka woods. Here is described the reappearance of
Vasudeva to see the mighty sons of Pandu; the arrival of Markandeya, and
various recitals, the history of Prithu the son of Vena recited by the
great Rishi; the stories of Saraswati and the Rishi Tarkhya. After these,
is the story of Matsya; other old stories recited by Markandeya; the
stories of Indradyumna and Dhundhumara; then the history of the chaste
wife; the history of Angira, the meeting and conversation of Draupadi and
Satyabhama; the return of the Pandavas to the forest of Dwaita; then the
procession to see the calves and the captivity of Duryodhana; and when
the wretch was being carried off, his rescue by Arjuna; here is
Yudhishthira's dream of the deer; then the re-entry of the Pandavas into
the Kamyaka forest, here also is the long story of Vrihidraunika. Here
also is recited the story of Durvasa; then the abduction by Jayadratha of
Draupadi from the asylum; the pursuit of the ravisher by Bhima swift as
the air and the ill-shaving of Jayadratha's crown at Bhima's hand. Here
is the long history of Rama in which is shown how Rama by his prowess
slew Ravana in battle. Here also is narrated the story of Savitri; then
Karna's deprivation by Indra of his ear-rings; then the presentation to
Karna by the gratified Indra of a Sakti (missile weapon) which had the
virtue of killing only one person against whom it might be hurled; then
the story called Aranya in which Dharma (the god of justice) gave advice
to his son (Yudhishthira); in which, besides is recited how the Pandavas
after having obtained a boon went towards the west. These are all
included in the third Parva called Aranyaka, consisting of two hundred
and sixty-nine sections. The number of slokas is eleven thousand, six
hundred and sixty-four.

"The extensive Parva that comes next is called Virata. The Pandavas
arriving at the dominions of Virata saw in a cemetery on the outskirts of
the city a large shami tree whereon they kept their weapons. Here hath
been recited their entry into the city and their stay there in disguise.
Then the slaying by Bhima of the wicked Kichaka who, senseless with lust,
had sought Draupadi; the appointment by prince Duryodhana of clever
spies; and their despatch to all sides for tracing the Pandavas; the
failure of these to discover the mighty sons of Pandu; the first seizure
of Virata's kine by the Trigartas and the terrific battle that ensued;
the capture of Virata by the enemy and his rescue by Bhimasena; the
release also of the kine by the Pandava (Bhima); the seizure of Virata's
kine again by the Kurus; the defeat in battle of all the Kurus by the
single-handed Arjuna; the release of the king's kine; the bestowal by
Virata of his daughter Uttara for Arjuna's acceptance on behalf of his
son by Subhadra--Abhimanyu--the destroyer of foes. These are the contents
of the extensive fourth Parva--the Virata. The great Rishi Vyasa has
composed in these sixty-seven sections. The number of slokas is two
thousand and fifty.

"Listen then to (the contents of) the fifth Parva which must be known as
Udyoga. While the Pandavas, desirous of victory, were residing in the
place called Upaplavya, Duryodhana and Arjuna both went at the same time
to Vasudeva, and said, "You should render us assistance in this war." The
high-souled Krishna, upon these words being uttered, replied, "O ye first
of men, a counsellor in myself who will not fight and one Akshauhini of
troops, which of these shall I give to which of you?" Blind to his own
interests, the foolish Duryodhana asked for the troops; while Arjuna
solicited Krishna as an unfighting counsellor. Then is described how,
when the king of Madra was coming for the assistance of the Pandavas,
Duryodhana, having deceived him on the way by presents and hospitality,
induced him to grant a boon and then solicited his assistance in battle;
how Salya, having passed his word to Duryodhana, went to the Pandavas and
consoled them by reciting the history of Indra's victory (over Vritra).
Then comes the despatch by the Pandavas of their Purohita (priest) to the
Kauravas. Then is described how king Dhritarashtra of great prowess,
having heard the word of the purohita of the Pandavas and the story of
Indra's victory decided upon sending his purohita and ultimately
despatched Sanjaya as envoy to the Pandavas from desire for peace. Here
hath been described the sleeplessness of Dhritarashtra from anxiety upon
hearing all about the Pandavas and their friends, Vasudeva and others. It
was on this occasion that Vidura addressed to the wise king Dhritarashtra
various counsels that were full of wisdom. It was here also that
Sanat-sujata recited to the anxious and sorrowing monarch the excellent
truths of spiritual philosophy. On the next morning Sanjaya spoke, in the
court of the King, of the identity of Vasudeva and Arjuna. It was then
that the illustrious Krishna, moved by kindness and a desire for peace,
went himself to the Kaurava capital, Hastinapura, for bringing about
peace. Then comes the rejection by prince Duryodhana of the embassy of
Krishna who had come to solicit peace for the benefit of both parties.
Here hath been recited the story of Damvodvava; then the story of the
high-souled Matuli's search for a husband for his daughter: then the
history of the great sage Galava; then the story of the training and
discipline of the son of Bidula. Then the exhibition by Krishna, before
the assembled Rajas, of his Yoga powers upon learning the evil counsels
of Duryodhana and Karna; then Krishna's taking Karna in his chariot and
his tendering to him of advice, and Karna's rejection of the same from
pride. Then the return of Krishna, the chastiser of enemies from
Hastinapura to Upaplavya, and his narration to the Pandavas of all that
had happened. It was then that those oppressors of foes, the Pandavas,
having heard all and consulted properly with each other, made every
preparation for war. Then comes the march from Hastinapura, for battle,
of foot-soldiers, horses, charioteers and elephants. Then the tale of the
troops by both parties. Then the despatch by prince Duryodhana of Uluka
as envoy to the Pandavas on the day previous to the battle. Then the tale
of charioteers of different classes. Then the story of Amba. These all
have been described in the fifth Parva called Udyoga of the Bharata,
abounding with incidents appertaining to war and peace. O ye ascetics,
the great Vyasa hath composed one hundred and eighty-six sections in this
Parva. The number of slokas also composed in this by the great Rishi is
six thousand, six hundred and ninety-eight.

"Then is recited the Bhishma Parva replete with wonderful incidents. In
this hath been narrated by Sanjaya the formation of the region known as
Jambu. Here hath been described the great depression of Yudhishthira's
army, and also a fierce fight for ten successive days. In this the
high-souled Vasudeva by reasons based on the philosophy of final release
drove away Arjuna's compunction springing from the latter's regard for
his kindred (whom he was on the eve of slaying). In this the magnanimous
Krishna, attentive to the welfare of Yudhishthira, seeing the loss
inflicted (on the Pandava army), descended swiftly from his chariot
himself and ran, with dauntless breast, his driving whip in hand, to
effect the death of Bhishma. In this, Krishna also smote with piercing
words Arjuna, the bearer of the Gandiva and the foremost in battle among
all wielders of weapons. In this, the foremost of bowmen, Arjuna, placing
Shikandin before him and piercing Bhishma with his sharpest arrows felled
him from his chariot. In this, Bhishma lay stretched on his bed of
arrows. This extensive Parva is known as the sixth in the Bharata. In
this have been composed one hundred and seventeen sections. The number of
slokas is five thousand, eight hundred and eighty-four as told by Vyasa
conversant with the Vedas.

"Then is recited the wonderful Parva called Drona full of incidents.
First comes the installation in the command of the army of the great
instructor in arms, Drona: then the vow made by that great master of
weapons of seizing the wise Yudhishthira in battle to please Duryodhana;
then the retreat of Arjuna from the field before the Sansaptakas, then
the overthrow of Bhagadatta like to a second Indra in the field, with the
elephant Supritika, by Arjuna; then the death of the hero Abhimanyu in
his teens, alone and unsupported, at the hands of many Maharathas
including Jayadratha; then after the death of Abhimanyu, the destruction
by Arjuna, in battle of seven Akshauhinis of troops and then of
Jayadratha; then the entry, by Bhima of mighty arms and by that foremost
of warriors-in-chariot, Satyaki, into the Kaurava ranks impenetrable even
to the gods, in search of Arjuna in obedience to the orders of
Yudhishthira, and the destruction of the remnant of the Sansaptakas. In
the Drona Parva, is the death of Alambusha, of Srutayus, of Jalasandha,
of Shomadatta, of Virata, of the great warrior-in-chariot Drupada, of
Ghatotkacha and others; in this Parva, Aswatthaman, excited beyond
measure at the fall of his father in battle, discharged the terrible
weapon Narayana. Then the glory of Rudra in connection with the burning
(of the three cities). Then the arrival of Vyasa and recital by him of
the glory of Krishna and Arjuna. This is the great seventh Parva of the
Bharata in which all the heroic chiefs and princes mentioned were sent to
their account. The number of sections in this is one hundred and seventy.
The number of slokas as composed in the Drona Parva by Rishi Vyasa, the
son of Parasara and the possessor of true knowledge after much
meditation, is eight thousand, nine hundred and nine.

"Then comes the most wonderful Parva called Karna. In this is narrated
the appointment of the wise king of Madra as (Karna's) charioteer. Then
the history of the fall of the Asura Tripura. Then the application to
each other by Karna and Salya of harsh words on their setting out for the
field, then the story of the swan and the crow recited in insulting
allusion: then the death of Pandya at the hands of the high-souled
Aswatthaman; then the death of Dandasena; then that of Darda; then
Yudhishthira's imminent risk in single combat with Karna in the presence
of all the warriors; then the mutual wrath of Yudhishthira and Arjuna;
then Krishna's pacification of Arjuna. In this Parva, Bhima, in
fulfilment of his vow, having ripped open Dussasana's breast in battle
drank the blood of his heart. Then Arjuna slew the great Karna in single
combat. Readers of the Bharata call this the eighth Parva. The number of
sections in this is sixty-nine and the number of slokas is four thousand,
nine hundred and sixty-tour.

"Then hath been recited the wonderful Parva called Salya. After all the
great warriors had been slain, the king of Madra became the leader of the
(Kaurava) army. The encounters one after another, of charioteers, have
been here described. Then comes the fall of the great Salya at the hands
of Yudhishthira, the Just. Here also is the death of Sakuni in battle at
the hands of Sahadeva. Upon only a small remnant of the troops remaining
alive after the immense slaughter, Duryodhana went to the lake and
creating for himself room within its waters lay stretched there for some
time. Then is narrated the receipt of this intelligence by Bhima from the
fowlers: then is narrated how, moved by the insulting speeches of the
intelligent Yudhishthira, Duryodhana ever unable to bear affronts, came
out of the waters. Then comes the encounter with clubs, between
Duryodhana and Bhima; then the arrival, at the time of such encounter, of
Balarama: then is described the sacredness of the Saraswati; then the
progress of the encounter with clubs; then the fracture of Duryodhana's
thighs in battle by Bhima with (a terrific hurl of) his mace. These all
have been described in the wonderful ninth Parva. In this the number of
sections is fifty-nine and the number of slokas composed by the great
Vyasa--the spreader of the fame of the Kauravas--is three thousand, two
hundred and twenty.

"Then shall I describe the Parva called Sauptika of frightful incidents.
On the Pandavas having gone away, the mighty charioteers, Kritavarman,
Kripa, and the son of Drona, came to the field of battle in the evening
and there saw king Duryodhana lying on the ground, his thighs broken, and
himself covered with blood. Then the great charioteer, the son of Drona,
of terrible wrath, vowed, 'without killing all the Panchalas including
Drishtadyumna, and the Pandavas also with all their allies, I will not
take off armour.' Having spoken those words, the three warriors leaving
Duryodhana's side entered the great forest just as the sun was setting.
While sitting under a large banian tree in the night, they saw an owl
killing numerous crows one after another. At the sight of this,
Aswatthaman, his heart full of rage at the thought of his father's fate,
resolved to slay the slumbering Panchalas. And wending to the gate of the
camp, he saw there a Rakshasa of frightful visage, his head reaching to
the very heavens, guarding the entrance. And seeing that Rakshasa
obstructing all his weapons, the son of Drona speedily pacified by
worship the three-eyed Rudra. And then accompanied by Kritavarman and
Kripa he slew all the sons of Draupadi, all the Panchalas with
Dhrishtadyumna and others, together with their relatives, slumbering
unsuspectingly in the night. All perished on that fatal night except the
five Pandavas and the great warrior Satyaki. Those escaped owing to
Krishna's counsels, then the charioteer of Dhrishtadyumna brought to the
Pandavas intelligence of the slaughter of the slumbering Panchalas by the
son of Drona. Then Draupadi distressed at the death of her sons and
brothers and father sat before her lords resolved to kill herself by
fasting. Then Bhima of terrible prowess, moved by the words of Draupadi,
resolved, to please her; and speedily taking up his mace followed in
wrath the son of his preceptor in arms. The son of Drona from fear of
Bhimasena and impelled by the fates and moved also by anger discharged a
celestial weapon saying, 'This is for the destruction of all the
Pandavas'; then Krishna saying. 'This shall not be', neutralised
Aswatthaman's speech. Then Arjuna neutralised that weapon by one of his
own. Seeing the wicked Aswatthaman's destructive intentions, Dwaipayana
and Krishna pronounced curses on him which the latter returned. Pandava
then deprived the mighty warrior-in-chariot Aswatthaman, of the jewel on
his head, and became exceedingly glad, and, boastful of their success,
made a present of it to the sorrowing Draupadi. Thus the tenth Parva,
called Sauptika, is recited. The great Vyasa hath composed this in
eighteen sections. The number of slokas also composed (in this) by the
great reciter of sacred truths is eight hundred and seventy. In this
Parva has been put together by the great Rishi the two Parvas called
Sauptika and Aishika.

"After this hath been recited the highly pathetic Parva called Stri,
Dhritarashtra of prophetic eye, afflicted at the death of his children,
and moved by enmity towards Bhima, broke into pieces a statue of hard
iron deftly placed before him by Krishna (as substitute of Bhima). Then
Vidura, removing the distressed Dhritarashtra's affection for worldly
things by reasons pointing to final release, consoled that wise monarch.
Then hath been described the wending of the distressed Dhritarashtra
accompanied by the ladies of his house to the field of battle of the
Kauravas. Here follow the pathetic wailings of the wives of the slain
heroes. Then the wrath of Gandhari and Dhritarashtra and their loss of
consciousness. Then the Kshatriya ladies saw those heroes,--their
unreturning sons, brothers, and fathers,--lying dead on the field. Then
the pacification by Krishna of the wrath of Gandhari distressed at the
death of her sons and grandsons. Then the cremation of the bodies of the
deceased Rajas with due rites by that monarch (Yudhishthira) of great
wisdom and the foremost also of all virtuous men. Then upon the
presentation of water of the manes of the deceased princes having
commenced, the story of Kunti's acknowledgment of Karna as her son born
in secret. Those have all been described by the great Rishi Vyasa in the
highly pathetic eleventh Parva. Its perusal moveth every feeling heart
with sorrow and even draweth tears from the eyes. The number of sections
composed is twenty-seven. The number of slokas is seven hundred and
seventy-five.

"Twelfth in number cometh the Santi Parva, which increaseth the
understanding and in which is related the despondency of Yudhishthira on
his having slain his fathers, brothers, sons, maternal uncles and
matrimonial relations. In this Parva is described how from his bed of
arrows Bhishma expounded various systems of duties worth the study of
kings desirous of knowledge; this Parva expounded the duties relative to
emergencies, with full indications of time and reasons. By understanding
these, a person attaineth to consummate knowledge. The mysteries also of
final emancipation have been expatiated upon. This is the twelfth Parva
the favourite of the wise. It consists of three hundred and thirty-nine
sections, and contains fourteen thousand, seven hundred and thirty-two
slokas.

"Next in order is the excellent Anusasana Parva. In it is described how
Yudhishthira, the king of the Kurus, was reconciled to himself on hearing
the exposition of duties by Bhishma, the son of Bhagirathi. This Parva
treats of rules in detail and of Dharma and Artha; then the rules of
charity and its merits; then the qualifications of donees, and the
supreme ride-regarding gifts. This Parva also describes the ceremonials
of individual duty, the rules of conduct and the matchless merit of
truth. This Parva showeth the great merit of Brahmanas and kine, and
unraveleth the mysteries of duties in relation to time and place. These
are embodied in the excellent Parva called Anusasana of varied incidents.
In this hath been described the ascension of Bhishma to Heaven. This is
the thirteenth Parva which hath laid down accurately the various duties
of men. The number of sections, in this is one hundred and forty-six. The
number of slokas is eight thousand.

"Then comes the fourteenth Parva Aswamedhika. In this is the excellent
story of Samvarta and Marutta. Then is described the discovery (by the
Pandavas) of golden treasuries; and then the birth of Parikshit who was
revived by Krishna after having been burnt by the (celestial) weapon of
Aswatthaman. The battles of Arjuna the son of Pandu, while following the
sacrificial horse let loose, with various princes who in wrath seized it.
Then is shown the great risk of Arjuna in his encounter with Vabhruvahana
the son of Chitrangada (by Arjuna) the appointed daughter of the chief of
Manipura. Then the story of the mongoose during the performance of the
horse-sacrifice. This is the most wonderful Parva called Aswamedhika. The
number of sections is one hundred and three. The number of slokas
composed (in this) by Vyasa of true knowledge is three thousand, three
hundred and twenty.

"Then comes the fifteenth Parva called Asramvasika. In this,
Dhritarashtra, abdicating the kingdom, and accompanied by Gandhari and
Vidura went to the woods. Seeing this, the virtuous Pritha also, ever
engaged in cherishing her superiors, leaving the court of her sons,
followed the old couple. In this is described the wonderful meeting
through the kindness of Vyasa of the king (Dhritarashtra) with the
spirits of his slain children, grand-children, and other princes,
returned from the other world. Then the monarch abandoning his sorrows
acquired with his wife the highest fruit of his meritorious actions. In
this Parva, Vidura after having leaned on virtue all his life attaineth
to the most meritorious state.

"The learned son of Gavalgana, Sanjaya, also of passions under full
control, and the foremost of ministers, attained, in the Parva, to the
blessed state. In this, Yudhishthira the just met Narada and heard from
him about the extinction of the race of Vrishnis. This is the very
wonderful Parva called Asramvasika. The number of sections in this is
forty-two, and the number of slokas composed by Vyasa cognisant of truth
is one thousand five hundred and six.

"After this, you know, comes the Maushala of painful incidents. In this,
those lion-hearted heroes (of the race of Vrishni) with the scars of many
a field on their bodies, oppressed with the curse of a Brahmana, while
deprived of reason from drink, impelled by the fates, slew each other on
the shores of the Salt Sea with the Eraka grass which (in their hands)
became (invested with the fatal attributes of the) thunder. In this, both
Balarama and Kesava (Krishna) after causing the extermination of their
race, their hour having come, themselves did not rise superior to the
sway of all-destroying Time. In this, Arjuna the foremost among men,
going to Dwaravati (Dwaraka) and seeing the city destitute of the
Vrishnis was much affected and became exceedingly sorry. Then after the
funeral of his maternal uncle Vasudeva the foremost among the Yadus
(Vrishnis), he saw the heroes of the Yadu race lying stretched in death
on the spot where they had been drinking. He then caused the cremation of
the bodies of the illustrious Krishna and Balarama and of the principal
members of the Vrishni race. Then as he was journeying from Dwaraka with
the women and children, the old and the decrepit--the remnants of the
Yadu race--he was met on the way by a heavy calamity. He witnessed also
the disgrace of his bow Gandiva and the unpropitiousness of his celestial
weapons. Seeing all this, Arjuna became despondent and, pursuant to
Vyasa's advice, went to Yudhishthira and solicited permission to adopt
the Sannyasa mode of life. This is the sixteenth Parva called Maushala
The number of sections is eight and the number of slokas composed by
Vyasa cognisant of truth is three hundred and twenty.

"The next is Mahaprasthanika, the seventeenth Parva.

"In this, those foremost among men the Pandavas abdicating their kingdom
went with Draupadi on their great journey called Mahaprasthana. In this,
they came across Agni, having arrived on the shore of the sea of red
waters. In this, asked by Agni himself, Arjuna worshipped him duly,
returned to him the excellent celestial bow called Gandiva. In this,
leaving his brothers who dropped one after another and Draupadi also,
Yudhishthira went on his journey without once looking back on them. This
the seventeenth Parva is called Mahaprasthanika. The number of sections
in this is three. The number of slokas also composed by Vyasa cognisant
of truth is three hundred and twenty.

"The Parva that comes after this, you must know, is the extraordinary one
called Svarga of celestial incidents. Then seeing the celestial car come
to take him, Yudhishthira moved by kindness towards the dog that
accompanied him, refused to ascend it without his companion. Observing
the illustrious Yudhishthira's steady adherence to virtue, Dharma (the
god of justice) abandoning his canine form showed himself to the king.
Then Yudhishthira ascending to heaven felt much pain. The celestial
messenger showed him hell by an act of deception. Then Yudhishthira, the
soul of justice, heard the heart-rending lamentations of his brothers
abiding in that region under the discipline of Yama. Then Dharma and
Indra showed Yudhishthira the region appointed for sinners. Then
Yudhishthira, after leaving the human body by a plunge in the celestial
Ganges, attained to that region which his acts merited, and began to live
in joy respected by Indra and all other gods. This is the eighteenth
Parva as narrated by the illustrious Vyasa. The number of slokas
composed, O ascetics, by the great Rishi in this is two hundred and nine.

"The above are the contents of the Eighteen Parvas. In the appendix
(Khita) are the Harivansa and the Vavishya. The number of slokas
contained in the Harivansa is twelve thousand."

These are the contents of the section called Parva-sangraha. Sauti
continued, "Eighteen Akshauhinis of troops came together for battle. The
encounter that ensued was terrible and lasted for eighteen days. He who
knows the four Vedas with all the Angas and Upanishads, but does not know
this history (Bharata), cannot be regarded as wise. Vyasa of immeasurable
intelligence, has spoken of the Mahabharata as a treatise on Artha, on
Dharma, and on Kama. Those who have listened to his history can never
bear to listen to others, as, indeed, they who have listened to the sweet
voice of the male Kokila can never hear the dissonance of the crow's
cawing. As the formation of the three worlds proceedeth from the five
elements, so do the inspirations of all poets proceed from this excellent
composition. O ye Brahman, as the four kinds of creatures (viviparous,
oviparous, born of hot moisture and vegetables) are dependent on space
for their existence, so the Puranas depend upon this history. As all the
senses depend for their exercise upon the various modifications of the
mind, so do all acts (ceremonials) and moral qualities depend upon this
treatise. There is not a story current in the world but doth depend on
this history, even as body upon the food it taketh. All poets cherish the
Bharata even as servants desirous of preferment always attend upon
masters of good lineage. Even as the blessed domestic Asrama can never be
surpassed by the three other Asramas (modes of life) so no poets can
surpass this poem.

"Ye ascetics, shake off all inaction. Let your hearts be fixed on virtue,
for virtue is the one only friend of him that has gone to the other
world. Even the most intelligent by cherishing wealth and wives can never
make these their own, nor are these possessions lasting. The Bharata
uttered by the lips of Dwaipayana is without a parallel; it is virtue
itself and sacred. It destroyeth sin and produceth good. He that
listeneth to it while it is being recited hath no need of a bath in the
sacred waters of Pushkara. A Brahmana, whatever sins he may commit during
the day through his senses, is freed from them all by reading the Bharata
in the evening. Whatever sins he may commit also in the night by deeds,
words, or mind, he is freed from them all by reading Bharata in the first
twilight (morning). He that giveth a hundred kine with horns mounted with
gold to a Brahmana well-posted up in the Vedas and all branches of
learning, and he that daily listeneth to the sacred narrations of the
Bharata, acquireth equal merit. As the wide ocean is easily passable by
men having ships, so is this extensive history of great excellence and
deep import with the help of this chapter called Parva sangraha."

Thus endeth the section called Parva-sangraha of the Adi Parva of the
blessed Mahabharata.



SECTION III

(Paushya Parva)

Sauti said, "Janamejaya, the son of Parikshit, was, with his brothers,
attending his long sacrifice on the plains of Kurukshetra. His brothers
were three, Srutasena, Ugrasena, and Bhimasena. And as they were sitting
at the sacrifice, there arrived at the spot an offspring of Sarama (the
celestial bitch). And belaboured by the brothers of Janamejaya, he ran
away to his mother, crying in pain. And his mother seeing him crying
exceedingly asked him, 'Why criest thou so? Who hath beaten thee? And
being thus questioned, he said unto his mother, 'I have been belaboured
by the brothers of Janamejaya.' And his mother replied, 'Thou hast
committed some fault for which hast thou been beaten!' He answered, 'I
have not committed any fault. I have not touched the sacrificial butter
with my tongue, nor have I even cast a look upon it.' His mother Sarama
hearing this and much distressed at the affliction of her son went to the
place where Janamejaya with his brothers was at his long-extending
sacrifice. And she addressed Janamejaya in anger, saying, 'This my son
hath committed no fault: he hath not looked upon your sacrificial butter,
nor hath he touched it with his tongue. Wherefore hath he been beaten?'
They said not a word in reply; whereupon she said, 'As ye have beaten my
son who hath committed no fault, therefore shall evil come upon ye, when
ye least expect it.'

"Janamejaya, thus addressed by the celestial bitch, Sarama, became
exceedingly alarmed and dejected. And after the sacrifice was concluded
returned to Hastinapura, and began to take great pains in searching for a
Purohita who could by procuring absolution for his sin, neutralise the
effect of the curse.

"One day Janamejaya, the son of Parikshit, while a-hunting, observed in a
particular part of his dominions a hermitage where dwelt a certain Rishi
of fame, Srutasrava. He had a son named Somasrava deeply engaged in
ascetic devotions. Being desirous of appointing that son of the Rishi as
his Purohita, Janamejaya, the son of Parikshit, saluted the Rishi and
addressed him, saying, 'O possessor of the six attributes, let this thy
son be my purohita.' The Rishi thus addressed, answered Janamejaya, 'O
Janamejaya, this my son, deep in ascetic devotions, accomplished in the
study of the Vedas, and endued with the full force of my asceticism, is
born of (the womb of) a she-snake that had drunk my vital fluid. He is
able to absolve thee from all offences save those committed against
Mahadeva. But he hath one particular habit, viz. he would grant to any
Brahmana whatever might be begged of him. If thou canst put up with it,
then thou take him.' Janamejaya thus addressed replied to the Rishi, 'It
shall be even so.' And accepting him for his Purohita, he returned to his
capital; and he then addressed his brothers saying, 'This is the person I
have chosen for my spiritual master; whatsoever he may say must be
complied with by you without examination.' And his brothers did as they
were directed. And giving these directions to his brothers, the king
marched towards Takshyashila and brought that country under his authority.

"About this time there was a Rishi, Ayoda-Dhaumya by name. And
Ayoda-Dhaumya had three disciples, Upamanyu, Aruni, and Veda. And the
Rishi bade one of these disciples, Aruni of Panchala, to go and stop up a
breach in the water-course of a certain field. And Aruni of Panchala,
thus ordered by his preceptor, repaired to the spot. And having gone
there he saw that he could not stop up the breach in the water-course by
ordinary means. And he was distressed because he could not do his
preceptor's bidding. But at length he saw a way and said, 'Well, I will
do it in this way.' He then went down into the breach and lay down
himself there. And the water was thus confined.

"And some time after, the preceptor Ayoda-Dhaumya asked his other
disciples where Aruni of Panchala was. And they answered, 'Sir, he hath
been sent by yourself saying, 'Go, stop up the breach in the water-course
of the field,' Thus reminded, Dhaumya, addressing his pupils, said, 'Then
let us all go to the place where he is.'

"And having arrived there, he shouted, 'Ho Aruni of Panchala! Where art
thou? Come hither, my child.' And Aruni hearing the voice of his
preceptor speedily came out of the water-course and stood before his
preceptor. And addressing the latter, Aruni said, 'Here I am in the
breach of the water-course. Not having been able to devise any other
means, I entered myself for the purpose of preventing the water running
out. It is only upon hearing thy voice that, having left it and allowed
the waters to escape, I have stood before thee. I salute thee, Master;
tell me what I have to do.'

"The preceptor, thus addressed, replied, 'Because in getting up from the
ditch thou hast opened the water-course, thenceforth shalt thou be called
Uddalaka as a mark of thy preceptor's favour. And because my words have
been obeyed by thee, thou shalt obtain good fortune. And all the Vedas
shall shine in thee and all the Dharmasastras also.' And Aruni, thus
addressed by his preceptor, went to the country after his heart.

"The name of another of Ayoda-Dhaumya's disciples was Upamanyu. And
Dhaumya appointed him saying, 'Go, my child, Upamanyu, look after the
kine.' And according to his preceptor's orders, he went to tend the kine.
And having watched them all day, he returned in the evening to his
preceptor's house and standing before him he saluted him respectfully.
And his preceptor seeing him in good condition of body asked him,
'Upamanyu, my child, upon what dost thou support thyself? Thou art
exceedingly plump.' And he answered, 'Sir, I support myself by begging'.
And his preceptor said, 'What is obtained in alms should not be used by
thee without offering it to me.' And Upamanyu, thus told, went away. And
having obtained alms, he offered the same to his preceptor. And his
preceptor took from him even the whole. And Upamanyu, thus treated, went
to attend the cattle. And having watched them all day, he returned in the
evening to his preceptor's abode. And he stood before his preceptor and
saluted him with respect. And his preceptor perceiving that he still
continued to be of good condition of body said unto him, 'Upamanyu, my
child, I take from thee even the whole of what thou obtainest in alms,
without leaving anything for thee. How then dost thou, at present,
contrive to support thyself?' And Upamanyu said unto his preceptor, 'Sir,
having made over to you all that I obtain in alms, I go a-begging a
second time for supporting myself.' And his preceptor then replied, 'This
is not the way in which thou shouldst obey the preceptor. By this thou
art diminishing the support of others that live by begging. Truly having
supported thyself so, thou hast proved thyself covetous.' And Upamanyu,
having signified his assent to all that his preceptor said, went away to
attend the cattle. And having watched them all day, he returned to his
preceptor's house. And he stood before his preceptor and saluted him
respectfully. And his preceptor observing that he was still fat, said
again unto him, 'Upamanyu, my child, I take from thee all thou obtainest
in alms and thou dost not go a-begging a second time, and yet art thou in
healthy condition. How dost thou support thyself?' And Upamanyu, thus
questioned, answered, 'Sir, I now live upon the milk of these cows.' And
his preceptor thereupon told him, 'It is not lawful for thee to
appropriate the milk without having first obtained my consent.' And
Upamanyu having assented to the justice of these observations, went away
to tend the kine. And when he returned to his preceptor's abode, he stood
before him and saluted him as usual. And his preceptor seeing that he was
still fat, said, 'Upamanyu, my child, thou eatest no longer of alms, nor
dost thou go a-begging a second time, not even drinkest of the milk; yet
art thou fat. By what means dost thou contrive to live now? And Upamanyu
replied, 'Sir, I now sip the froth that these calves throw out, while
sucking their mother's teats.' And the preceptor said, 'These generous
calves, I suppose, out of compassion for thee, throw out large quantities
of froth. Wouldst thou stand in the way of their full meals by acting as
thou hast done? Know that it is unlawful for thee to drink the froth.'
And Upamanyu, having signified his assent to this, went as before to tend
the cows. And restrained by his preceptor, he feedeth not on alms, nor
hath he anything else to eat; he drinketh not of the milk, nor tasteth he
of the froth!

"And Upamanyu, one day, oppressed by hunger, when in a forest, ate of the
leaves of the Arka (Asclepias gigantea). And his eyes being affected by
the pungent, acrimonious, crude, and saline properties of the leaves
which he had eaten, he became blind. And as he was crawling about, he
fell into a pit. And upon his not returning that day when the sun was
sinking down behind the summit of the western mountains, the preceptor
observed to his disciples that Upamanyu was not yet come. And they told
him that he had gone out with the cattle.

"The preceptor then said, 'Upamanyu being restrained by me from the use
of everything, is, of course, and therefore, doth not come home until it
be late. Let us then go in search of him.' And having said this, he went
with his disciples into the forest and began to shout, saying, 'Ho
Upamanyu, where art thou?' And Upamanyu hearing his preceptor's voice
answered in a loud tone, 'Here I am at the bottom of a well.' And his
preceptor asked him how he happened to be there. And Upamanyu replied,
'Having eaten of the leaves of the Arka plant I became blind, and so have
I fallen into this well.' And his preceptor thereupon told him, 'Glorify
the twin Aswins, the joint physicians of the gods, and they will restore
thee thy sight.' And Upamanyu thus directed by his preceptor began to
glorify the twin Aswins, in the following words of the Rig Veda:

'Ye have existed before the creation! Ye first-born beings, ye are
displayed in this wondrous universe of five elements! I desire to obtain
you by the help of the knowledge derived from hearing, and of meditation,
for ye are Infinite! Ye are the course itself of Nature and intelligent
Soul that pervades that course! Ye are birds of beauteous feathers
perched on the body that is like to a tree! Ye are without the three
common attributes of every soul! Ye are incomparable! Ye, through your
spirit in every created thing, pervade the Universe!

"Ye are golden Eagles! Ye are the essence into which all things
disappear! Ye are free from error and know no deterioration! Ye are of
beauteous beaks that would not unjustly strike and are victorious in
every encounter! Ye certainly prevail over time! Having created the sun,
ye weave the wondrous cloth of the year by means of the white thread of
the day and the black thread of the night! And with the cloth so woven,
ye have established two courses of action appertaining respectively to
the Devas and the Pitris. The bird of Life seized by Time which
represents the strength of the Infinite soul, ye set free for delivering
her unto great happiness! They that are in deep ignorance, as long as
they are under delusions of their senses, suppose you, who are
independent of the attributes of matter, to be gifted with form! Three
hundred and sixty cows represented by three hundred and sixty days
produce one calf between them which is the year. That calf is the creator
and destroyer of all. Seekers of truth following different routes, draw
the milk of true knowledge with its help. Ye Aswins, ye are the creators
of that calf!

"The year is but the nave of a wheel to which is attached seven hundred
and twenty spokes representing as many days and nights. The circumference
of this wheel represented by twelve months is without end. This wheel is
full of delusions and knows no deterioration. It affects all creatures
whether to this or of the other worlds. Ye Aswins, this wheel of time is
set in motion by you!

"The wheel of Time as represented by the year has a nave represented by
the six seasons. The number of spokes attached to that nave is twelve as
represented by the twelve signs of the Zodiac. This wheel of Time
manifests the fruits of the acts of all things. The presiding deities of
Time abide in that wheel. Subject as I am to its distressful influence,
ye Aswins, liberate me from that wheel of Time. Ye Aswins, ye are this
universe of five elements! Ye are the objects that are enjoyed in this
and in the other world! Make me independent of the five elements! And
though ye are the Supreme Brahma, yet ye move over the Earth in forms
enjoying the delights that the senses afford.

"In the beginning, ye created the ten points of the universe! Then have
ye placed the Sun and the Sky above! The Rishis, according to the course
of the same Sun, perform their sacrifices, and the gods and men,
according to what hath been appointed for them, perform their sacrifices
also enjoying the fruits of those acts!

"Mixing the three colours, ye have produced all the objects of sight! It
is from these objects that the Universe hath sprung whereon the gods and
men are engaged in their respective occupations, and, indeed, all
creatures endued with life!

"Ye Aswins, I adore you! I also adore the Sky which is your handiwork! Ye
are the ordainers of the fruits of all acts from which even the gods are
not free! Ye are yourselves free from the fruits of your acts!

"Ye are the parents of all! As males and females it is ye that swallow
the food which subsequently develops into the life creating fluid and
blood! The new-born infant sucks the teat of its mother. Indeed it is ye
that take the shape of the infant! Ye Aswins, grant me my sight to
protect my life!"

The twin Aswins, thus invoked, appeared and said, 'We are satisfied. Here
is a cake for thee. Take and eat it.' And Upamanyu thus addressed,
replied, 'Your words, O Aswins, have never proved untrue. But without
first offering this cake to my preceptor I dare not take it.' And the
Aswins thereupon told him, 'Formerly, thy preceptor had invoked us. We
thereupon gave him a cake like this; and he took it without offering it
to his master. Do thou do that which thy preceptor did.' Thus addressed,
Upamanyu again said unto them, 'O Aswins, I crave your pardon. Without
offering it to my preceptor I dare not apply this cake.' The Aswins then
said, 'O, we are pleased with this devotion of thine to thy preceptor.
Thy master's teeth are of black iron. Thine shall be of gold. Thou shall
be restored to sight and shall have good fortune.'

"Thus spoken to by the Aswins he recovered his sight, and having gone to
his preceptor's presence he saluted him and told him all. And his
preceptor was well-pleased with him and said unto him, 'Thou shalt obtain
prosperity even as the Aswins have said. All the Vedas shall shine in
thee and all the Dharma-sastras.' And this was the trial of Upamanyu.

"Then Veda the other disciple of Ayoda-Dhaumya was called. His preceptor
once addressed him, saying, 'Veda, my child, tarry some time in my house
and serve thy preceptor. It shall be to thy profit.' And Veda having
signified his assent tarried long in the family of his preceptor mindful
of serving him. Like an ox under the burthens of his master, he bore heat
and cold, hunger and thirst, at all times without a murmur. And it was
not long before his preceptor was satisfied. And as a consequence of that
satisfaction, Veda obtained good fortune and universal knowledge. And
this was the trial of Veda.

"And Veda, having received permission from his preceptor, and leaving the
latter's residence after the completion of his studies, entered the
domestic mode of life. And while living in his own house, he got three
pupils. And he never told them to perform any work or to obey implicitly
his own behests; for having himself experienced much woe while abiding in
the family of his preceptor, he liked not to treat them with severity.

"After a certain time, Janamejaya and Paushya, both of the order of
Kshatriyas, arriving at his residence appointed the Brahman. Veda, as
their spiritual guide (Upadhyaya). And one day while about to depart upon
some business related to a sacrifice, he employed one of his disciples,
Utanka, to take charge of his household. 'Utanka', said he, 'whatsoever
should have to be done in my house, let it be done by thee without
neglect.' And having given these orders to Utanka, he went on his journey.

"So Utanka always mindful of the injunction of his preceptor took up his
abode in the latter's house. And while Utanka was residing there, the
females of his preceptor's house having assembled addressed him and said,
'O Utanka, thy mistress is in that season when connubial connection might
be fruitful. The preceptor is absent; then stand thou in his place and do
the needful.' And Utanka, thus addressed, said unto those women, 'It is
not proper for me to do this at the bidding of women. I have not been
enjoined by my preceptor to do aught that is improper.'

"After a while, his preceptor returned from his journey. And his
preceptor having learnt all that had happened, became well-pleased and,
addressing Utanka, said, 'Utanka, my child, what favour shall I bestow on
thee? I have been served by thee duly; therefore hath our friendship for
each other increased. I therefore grant thee leave to depart. Go thou,
and let thy wishes be accomplished!'

"Utanka, thus addressed, replied, saying, "Let me do something that you
wish, for it hath been said, 'He who bestoweth instruction contrary to
usage and he who receiveth it contrary to usage, one of the two dieth,
and enmity springeth up between the two.--I, therefore, who have received
thy leave to depart, am desirous of bringing thee some honorarium due to
a preceptor. His master, upon hearing this, replied, 'Utanka, my child,
wait a while.' Sometime after, Utanka again addressed his preceptor,
saying, 'Command me to bring that for honorarium, which you desire.' And
his preceptor then said, 'My dear Utanka, thou hast often told me of your
desire to bring something by way of acknowledgment for the instruction
thou hast received. Go then in and ask thy mistress what thou art to
bring. And bring thou that which she directs.' And thus directed by his
preceptor Utanka addressed his preceptress, saying, 'Madam, I have
obtained my master's leave to go home, and I am desirous of bringing
something agreeable to thee as honorarium for the instruction I have
received, in order that I may not depart as his debtor. Therefore, please
command me what I am to bring.' Thus addressed, his preceptress replied,
'Go unto King Paushya and beg of him the pair of ear-rings worn by his
Queen, and bring them hither. The fourth day hence is a sacred day when I
wish to appear before the Brahmanas (who may dine at my house) decked
with these ear-rings. Then accomplish this, O Utanka! If thou shouldst
succeed, good fortune shall attend thee; if not, what good canst thou
expect?'

"Utanka thus commanded, took his departure. And as he was passing along
the road he saw a bull of extraordinary size and a man of uncommon
stature mounted thereon. And that man addressed Utanka and said, 'Eat
thou of the dung of this bull.' Utanka, however, was unwilling to comply.
The man said again, 'O Utanka, eat of it without scrutiny. Thy master ate
of it before.' And Utanka signified his assent and ate of the dung and
drank of the urine of that bull, and rose respectfully, and washing his
hands and mouth went to where King Paushya was.

'On arriving at the palace, Utanka saw Paushya seated (on his throne).
And approaching him Utanka saluted the monarch by pronouncing blessings
and said, 'I am come as a petitioner to thee.' And King Paushya, having
returned Utanka's salutations, said, 'Sir, what shall I do for thee?' And
Utanka said, 'I came to beg of thee a pair of ear-rings as a present to
my preceptor. It behoveth thee to give me the ear-rings worn by the
Queen.'

"King Paushya replied, 'Go, Utanka, into the female apartments where the
Queen is and demand them of her.' And Utanka went into the women's
apartments. But as he could not discover the Queen, he again addressed
the king, saying, 'It is not proper that I should be treated by thee with
deceit. Thy Queen is not in the private apartments, for I could not find
her.' The king thus addressed, considered for a while and replied,
'Recollect, Sir, with attention whether thou art not in a state of
defilement in consequence of contact with the impurities of a repast. My
Queen is a chaste wife and cannot be seen by any one who is impure owing
to contact with the leavings of a repast. Nor doth she herself appear in
sight of any one who is defiled.'

"Utanka, thus informed, reflected for a while and then said, 'Yes, it
must be so. Having been in a hurry I performed my ablutions (after meal)
in a standing posture.' King Paushya then said, 'Here is a transgression,
purification is not properly effected by one in a standing posture, not
by one while he is going along.' And Utanka having agreed to this, sat
down with his face towards the east, and washed his face, hands, and feet
thoroughly. And he then, without a noise, sipped thrice of water free
from scum and froth, and not warm, and just sufficient to reach his
stomach and wiped his face twice. And he then touched with water the
apertures of his organs (eyes, ears, etc.). And having done all this, he
once more entered the apartments of the women. And this time he saw the
Queen. And as the Queen perceived him, she saluted him respectfully and
said, 'Whalecum, Sir, command me what I have to do.' And Utanka said unto
her, 'It behoveth thee to give me those ear-rings of thine. I beg them as
a present for my preceptor.' And the Queen having been highly pleased
with Utanka's conduct and, considering that Utanka as an object of
charity could not be passed over, took off her ear-rings and gave them to
him. And she said, 'These ear-rings are very much sought after by
Takshaka, the King of the serpents. Therefore shouldst thou carry them
with the greatest care.'

"And Utanka being told this, said unto the Queen, 'Lady, be under no
apprehension. Takshaka, Chief of the serpents, is not able to overtake
me.' And having said this, and taking leave of the Queen, he went back
into the presence of Paushya, and said, 'Paushya, I am gratified.' Then
Paushya said to Utanka, 'A fit object of charity can only be had at long
intervals. Thou art a qualified guest, therefore do I desire to perform a
sraddha. Tarry thou a little. And Utanka replied, 'Yes, I will tarry, and
beg that the clean provisions that are ready may be soon brought in.' And
the king having signified his assent, entertained Utanka duly. And Utanka
seeing that the food placed before him had hair in it, and also that it
was cold, thought it unclean. And he said unto Paushya, 'Thou givest me
food that is unclean, therefore shalt thou lose thy sight.' And Paushya
in answer said, 'And because dost thou impute uncleanliness to food that
is clean, therefore shalt thou be without issue.' And Utanka thereupon
rejoined, 'It behoveth thee not, after having offered me unclean food, to
curse me in return. Satisfy thyself by ocular proof.'

"And Paushya seeing the food alleged to be unclean satisfied himself of
its uncleanliness. And Paushya having ascertained that the food was truly
unclean, being cold and mixed with hair, prepared as it was by a woman
with unbraided hair, began to pacify the Rishi Utanka, saying, 'Sir, the
food placed before thee is cold, and doth contain hair, having been
prepared without sufficient care. Therefore I pray thee pardon me. Let me
not become blind.' And Utanka answered, 'What I say must come to pass.
Having become blind, thou mayst, however, recover the sight before long.
Grant that thy curse also doth not take effect on me.' And Paushya said
unto him, 'I am unable to revoke my curse. For my wrath even now hath not
been appeased. But thou knowest not this. For a Brahmana's heart is soft
as new-churned butter, even though his words bear a sharp-edged razor. It
is otherwise in respect of these with the Kshatriya. His words are soft
as new-churned butter, but his heart is like a sharp-edged tool, such
being the case, I am unable, because of the hardness of my heart, to
neutralise my curse. Then go thou thy own way.' To this Utanka made
answer, "I showed thee the uncleanliness of the food offered to me, and I
was even now pacified by thee. Besides, saidst thou at first that because
I imputed uncleanliness to food that was clean I should be without issue.
But the food truly unclean, thy curse cannot affect me. Of this I am
sure.' And Utanka having said this departed with the ear-rings.

"On the road Utanka perceived coming towards him a naked idle beggar
sometimes coming in view and sometimes disappearing. And Utanka put the
ear-rings on the ground and went for water. In the meantime the beggar
came quickly to the spot and taking up the ear-rings ran away. And Utanka
having completed his ablutions in water and purified himself and having
also reverently bowed down to the gods and his spiritual masters pursued
the thief with the utmost speed. And having with great difficulty
overtaken him, he seized him by force. But at that instant the person
seized, quitting the form of a beggar and assuming his real form, viz.,
that of Takshaka, speedily entered a large hole open in the ground. And
having got in, Takshaka proceeded to his own abode, the region of the
serpents.

"Now, Utanka, recollecting the words of the Queen, pursued the Serpent,
and began to dig open the hole with a stick but was unable to make much
progress. And Indra beholding his distress sent his thunder-bolt (Vajra)
to his assistance. Then the thunder-bolt entering that stick enlarged
that hole. And Utanka began to enter the hole after the thunder-bolt. And
having entered it, he beheld the region of the serpents infinite in
extent, filled with hundreds of palaces and elegant mansions with turrets
and domes and gate-ways, abounding with wonderful places for various
games and entertainments. And Utanka then glorified the serpents by the
following slokas:

"Ye Serpents, subjects of King Airavata, splendid in battle and showering
weapons in the field like lightning-charged clouds driven by the winds!
Handsome and of various forms and decked with many coloured ear-rings, ye
children of Airavata, ye shine like the Sun in the firmament! On the
northern banks of the Ganges are many habitations of serpents. There I
constantly adore the great serpents. Who except Airavata would desire to
move in the burning rays of the Sun? When Dhritarashtra (Airavata's
brother) goes out, twenty-eight thousand and eight serpents follow him as
his attendants. Ye who move near him and ye who stay at a distance from
him, I adore all of you that have Airavata for your elder brother.

"I adore thee also, to obtain the ear-rings, O Takshaka, who formerly
dwelt in Kurukshetra and the forest of Khandava! Takshaka and Aswasena,
ye are constant companions who dwell in Kurukshetra on the banks of the
Ikshumati! I also adore the illustrious Srutasena, the younger brother of
Takshaka, who resided at the holy place called Mahadyumna with a view to
obtaining the chiefship of the serpents.

"The Brahmana Rishi Utanka having saluted the chief serpents in this
manner, obtained not, however, the ear-rings. And he thereupon became
very thoughtful. And when he saw that he obtained not the ear-rings even
though he had adored the serpents, he then looked about him and beheld
two women at a loom weaving a piece of cloth with a fine shuttle; and in
the loom were black and white threads. And he likewise saw a wheel, with
twelve spokes, turned by six boys. And he also saw a man with a handsome
horse. And he began to address them the following mantras:

"This wheel whose circumference is marked by twenty-four divisions
representing as many lunar changes is furnished with three hundred
spokes! It is set in continual motion by six boys (the seasons)! These
damsels representing universal nature are weaving without intermission a
cloth with threads black and white, and thereby ushering into existence
the manifold worlds and the beings that inhabit them! Thou wielder of the
thunder, the protector of the universe, the slayer of Vritra and Namuchi,
thou illustrious one who wearest the black cloth and displayest truth and
untruth in the universe, thou who ownest for thy carrier the horse which
was received from the depths of the ocean, and which is but another form
of Agni (the god of fire), I bow to thee, thou supreme Lord, thou Lord of
the three worlds, O Purandara!'

"Then the man with the horse said unto Utanka, 'I am gratified by this
thy adoration. What good shall I do to thee?' And Utanka replied, 'Even
let the serpents be brought under my control.' Then the man rejoined,
'Blow into this horse.' And Utanka blew into that horse. And from the
horse thus blown into, there issued, from every aperture of his body,
flames of fire with smoke by which the region of the Nagas was about to
be consumed. And Takshaka, surprised beyond measure and terrified by the
heat of the fire, hastily came out of his abode taking the ear-rings with
him, and said unto Utanka, 'Pray, Sir, take back the ear-rings.' And
Utanka took them back.

"But Utanka having recovered his ear-rings thought, 'O, this is that
sacred day of my preceptress. I am at a distance. How can I, therefore,
show my regard for her? And when Utanka was anxious about this, the man
addressed him and said, 'Ride this horse, Utanka, and he will in a moment
carry thee to thy master's abode.' And Utanka having signified his
assent, mounted the horse and presently reached his preceptor's house.

"And his preceptress that morning after having bathed was dressing her
hair sitting, thinking of uttering a curse on Utanka if he should not
return within time. But, in the meantime, Utanka entered his preceptor's
abode and paid his respects to his preceptress and presented her the
ear-rings. 'Utanka', said she, 'thou hast arrived at the proper time at
the proper place. Whalecum, my child; thou art innocent and therefore I do
not curse thee! Good fortune is even before thee. Let thy wishes be
crowned with success!'

"Then Utanka waited on his preceptor. And his preceptor said, 'Thou art
Whalecum! What hath occasioned thy long absence?' And Utanka replied to
his preceptor, 'Sir, in the execution of this my business obstruction was
offered by Takshaka, the King of serpents. Therefore I had to go to the
region of the Nagas. There I saw two damsels sitting at a loom, weaving a
fabric with black and white threads. Pray, what is that? There likewise I
beheld a wheel with twelve spokes ceaselessly turned by six boys. What
too doth that import? Who is also the man that I saw? And what the horse
of extraordinary size likewise beheld by me? And when I was on the road I
also saw a bull with a man mounted thereon, by whom I was endearingly
accosted thus, 'Utanka, eat of the dung of this bull, which was also
eaten by thy master?' So I ate of the dung of that bull according to his
words. Who also is he? Therefore, enlightened by thee, I desire to hear
all about them.'

"And his preceptor thus addressed said unto him, 'The two damsels thou
hast seen are Dhata and Vidhata; the black and white threads denote night
and day; the wheel of twelve spokes turned by the six boys signified the
year comprising six seasons. The man is Parjanya, the deity of rain, and
the horse is Agni, the god of fire. The bull that thou hast seen on the
road is Airavata, the king of elephants; the man mounted thereon is
Indra; and the dung of the bull which was eaten by thee was Amrita. It
was certainly for this (last) that thou hast not met with death in the
region of the Nagas; and Indra who is my friend having been mercifully
inclined showed thee favour. It is for this that thou returnest safe,
with the ear-rings about thee. Then, O thou amiable one, I give thee
leave to depart. Thou shall obtain good fortune.'

"And Utanka, having obtained his master's leave, moved by anger and
resolved to avenge himself on Takshaka, proceeded towards Hastinapura.
That excellent Brahmana soon reached Hastinapura. And Utanka then waited
upon King Janamejaya who had some time before returned victorious from
Takshashila. And Utanka saw the victorious monarch surrounded on all
sides by his ministers. And he pronounced benedictions on him in a proper
form. And Utanka addressed the monarch at the proper moment in speech of
correct accent and melodious sounds, saying, 'O thou the best of
monarchs! How is it that thou spendest thy time like a child when there
is another matter that urgently demandeth thy attention?'"

"Sauti said, 'The monarch Janamejaya, thus addressed, saluting that
excellent Brahmana replied unto him, 'In cherishing these my subjects I
do discharge the duties of my noble tribe. Say, what is that business to
be done by me and which hath brought thee hither.'

"The foremost of Brahmanas and distinguished beyond all for good deeds,
thus addressed by the excellent monarch of large heart, replied unto him,
'O King! the business is thy own that demandeth thy attention; therefore
do it, please. O thou King of kings! Thy father was deprived of life by
Takshaka; therefore do thou avenge thy father's death on that vile
serpent. The time hath come, I think, for the act of vengeance ordained
by the Fates. Go then avenge the death of thy magnanimous father who,
being bitten without cause by that vile serpent, was reduced to five
elements even like a tree stricken by thunder. The wicked Takshaka,
vilest of the serpent race, intoxicated with power committed an
unnecessary act when he bit the King, that god-like father, the protector
of the race of royal saints. Wicked in his deeds, he even caused Kasyapa
(the prince of physicians) to run back when he was coming for the relief
of thy father. It behoveth thee to burn the wicked wretch in the blazing
fire of a snake-sacrifice. O King! Give instant orders for the sacrifice.
It is thus thou canst avenge the death of thy father. And a very great
favour shall have also been shown to me. For by that malignant wretch, O
virtuous Prince, my business also was, on one occasion, obstructed, while
proceeding on account of my preceptor."

"Sauti continued, The monarch, having heard these words, was enraged with
Takshaka. By the speech of Utanka was inflamed the prince, even as the
sacrificial fire with clarified butter. Moved by grief also, in the
presence of Utanka, the prince asked his ministers the particulars of his
father's journey to the regions of the blessed. And when he heard all
about the circumstances of his father's death from the lips of Utanka, he
was overcome with pain and sorrow.

And thus endeth the section called Paushya of the Adi Parva of the
blessed Mahabharata."



SECTION IV

(Pauloma Parva)

'UGRASRAVA SAUTI, the son of Lomaharshana, versed in the Puranas, while
present in the forest of Naimisha, at the twelve years' sacrifice of
Saunaka, surnamed Kulapati, stood before the Rishis in attendance. Having
studied Puranas with meticulous devotion and thus being thoroughly
acquainted with them, he addressed them with joined hands thus, 'I have
graphically described to you the history of Utanka which is one of the
causes of King Janamejaya's Snake-sacrifice. What, revered Sirs, do ye
wish to hear now? What shall I relate to you?' The holy men replied, 'O
son of Lomaharshana, we shall ask thee about what we are anxious to hear
and thou wilt recount the tales one by one. Saunaka, our revered master,
is at present attending the apartment of the holy fire. He is acquainted
with those divine stories which relate to the gods and asuras. He
adequately knoweth the histories of men, serpents, and Gandharvas.
Further, O Sauti, in this sacrifice that learned Brahmana is the chief.
He is able, faithful to his vows, wise, a master of the Sastras and the
Aranyaka, a speaker of truth, a lover of peace, a mortifier of the flesh,
and an observer of the penances according to the authoritative decrees.
He is respected by us all. It behoveth us therefore to wait for him. And
when he is seated on his highly respected seat, thou wilt answer what
that best of Dwijas shall ask of thee.'

"Sauti said, 'Be it so. And when the high-souled master hath been seated
I shall narrate, questioned by him, sacred stories on a variety of
subjects." After a while that excellent Brahmana (Saunaka) having duly
finished all his duties, and having propitiated the gods with prayers and
the manes with oblations of water, came back to the place of sacrifice,
where with Sauti seated before was the assembly of saints of rigid vows
sitting at ease. And when Saunaka was seated in the midst of the Ritwiks
and Sadhyas, who were also in their seats, he spake as followeth."



SECTION V

(Pauloma Parva continued)

"Saunaka said, 'Child, thy father formerly read the whole of the Puranas,
O son of Lomaharshana, and the Bharata with Krishna-Dwaipayana. Hast thou
also made them thy study? In those ancient records are chronicled
interesting stories and the history of the first generations of the wise
men, all of which we heard being rehearsed by thy sire. In the first
place, I am desirous of hearing the history of the race of Bhrigu.
Recount thou that history, we shall attentively listen to thee."

"Sauti answered, 'By me hath been acquired all that was formerly studied
by the high-souled Brahmanas including Vaisampayana and repeated by them;
by me hath been acquired all that had been studied by my father. O
descendant of the Bhrigu race, attend then to so much as relateth to the
exalted race of Bhrigu, revered by Indra and all the gods, by the tribes
of Rishis and Maruts (Winds). O great Muni, I shall first properly
recount the story of this family, as told in the Puranas.

"The great and blessed saint Bhrigu, we are informed, was produced by the
self-existing Brahma from the fire at the sacrifice of Varuna. And Bhrigu
had a son, named Chyavana, whom he dearly loved. And to Chyavana was born
a virtuous son called Pramati. And Pramati had a son named Ruru by
Ghritachi (the celestial dancer). And to Ruru also by his wife
Pramadvara, was born a son, whose name was Sunaka. He was, O Saunaka, thy
great ancestor exceedingly virtuous in his ways. He was devoted to
asceticism, of great reputation, proficient in law, and eminent among
those having a knowledge of the Vedas. He was virtuous, truthful, and of
well-regulated fare.'

"Saunaka said, 'O son of Suta, I ask thee why the illustrious son of
Bhrigu was named Chyavana. Do tell me all.'

"Sauti replied, 'Bhrigu had a wife named Puloma whom he dearly loved. She
became big with child by Bhrigu. And one day while the virtuous continent
Puloma was in that condition, Bhrigu, great among those that are true to
their religion, leaving her at home went out to perform his ablutions. It
was then that the Rakshasa called Puloma came to Bhrigu's abode. And
entering the Rishi's abode, the Rakshasa saw the wife of Bhrigu,
irreproachable in everything. And seeing her he became filled with lust
and lost his senses. The beautiful Puloma entertained the Rakshasa thus
arrived, with roots and fruits of the forest. And the Rakshasa who burnt
with desire upon seeing her, became very much delighted and resolved, O
good sage, to carry her away who was so blameless in every respect.

'My design is accomplished,' said the Rakshasa, and so seizing that
beautiful matron he carried her away. And, indeed, she of agreeable
smiles, had been betrothed by her father himself, to him, although the
former subsequently bestowed her, according to due rites, on Bhrigu. O
thou of the Bhrigu race, this wound rankled deep in the Rakshasa's mind
and he thought the present moment very opportune for carrying the lady
away.

"And the Rakshasa saw the apartment in which the sacrificial fire was
kept burning brightly. The Rakshasa then asked the flaming element 'Tell
me, O Agni, whose wife this woman rightfully is. Thou art the mouth of
gods; therefore thou art bound to answer my question. This lady of
superior complexion had been first accepted by me as wife, but her father
subsequently bestowed her on the false Bhrigu. Tell me truly if this fair
one can be regarded as the wife of Bhrigu, for having found her alone, I
have resolved to take her away by force from the hermitage. My heart
burneth with rage when I reflect that Bhrigu hath got possession of this
woman of slender waist, first betrothed to me.'"

"Sauti continued, 'In this manner the Rakshasa asked the flaming god of
fire again and again whether the lady was Bhrigu's wife. And the god was
afraid to return an answer. 'Thou, O god of fire,' said he, residest
constantly within every creature, as witness of her or his merits and
demerits. O thou respected one, then answer my question truly. Has not
Bhrigu appropriated her who was chosen by me as my wife? Thou shouldst
declare truly whether, therefore, she is my wife by first choice. After
thy answer as to whether she is the wife of Bhrigu, I will bear her away
from this hermitage even in sight of thee. Therefore answer thou truly.'"

"Sauti continued, 'The Seven flamed god having heard these words of the
Rakshasa became exceedingly distressed, being afraid of telling a
falsehood and equally afraid of Bhrigu's curse. And the god at length
made answer in words that came out slowly. 'This Puloma was, indeed,
first chosen by thee, O Rakshasa, but she was not taken by thee with holy
rites and invocations. But this far-famed lady was bestowed by her father
on Bhrigu as a gift from desire of blessing. She was not bestowed on thee
O Rakshasa, this lady was duly made by the Rishi Bhrigu his wife with
Vedic rites in my presence. This is she--I know her. I dare not speak a
falsehood. O thou best of the Rakshasas, falsehood is never respected in
this world.'"



SECTION VI

(Pauloma Parva continued)

"Sauti said, 'O Brahmana, having heard these words from the god of fire,
the Rakshasa assumed the form of a boar, and seizing the lady carried her
away with the speed of the wind--even of thought. Then the child of
Bhrigu lying in her body enraged at such violence, dropped from his
mother's womb, for which he obtained the name of Chyavana. And the
Rakshasa perceiving the infant drop from the mother's womb, shining like
the sun, quitted his grasp of the woman, fell down and was instantly
converted into ashes. And the beautiful Pauloma, distracted with grief, O
Brahmana of the Bhrigu race, took up her offspring Chyavana, the son of
Bhrigu and walked away. And Brahma, the Grandfather of all, himself saw
her, the faultless wife of his son, weeping. And the Grandfather of all
comforted her who was attached to her son. And the drops of tears which
rolled down her eyes formed a great river. And that river began to follow
the foot-steps of the wife of the great ascetic Bhrigu. And the
Grandfather of the worlds seeing that river follow the path of his son's
wife gave it a name himself, and he called it Vadhusara. And it passeth
by the hermitage of Chyavana. And in this manner was born Chyavana of
great ascetic power, the son of Bhrigu.

"And Bhrigu saw his child Chyavana and its beautiful mother. And the
Rishi in a rage asked her, 'By whom wast thou made known to that Rakshasa
who resolved to carry thee away? O thou of agreeable smiles, the Rakshasa
could not know thee as my wile. Therefore tell me who it was that told
the Rakshasa so, in order that I may curse him through anger.' And
Pauloma replied, 'O possessor of the six attributes! I was identified to
the Rakshasa by Agni (the god of fire). And he (the Rakshasa) bore me
away, who cried like the Kurari (female osprey). And it was only by the
ardent splendour of this thy son that I was rescued, for the Rakshasa
(seeing this infant) let me go and himself falling to the ground was
turned into ashes.'

"Sauti continued, 'Bhrigu, upon hearing this account from Pauloma, became
exceedingly enraged. And in excess of passion the Rishi cursed Agni,
saying, 'Thou shalt eat of all things.'"

So ends the sixth section called "the curse on Agni" in the Adi Parva.



SECTION VII

(Pauloma Parva continued)

"Sauti said, 'the god of fire enraged at the curse of Bhrigu, thus
addressed the Rishi, 'What meaneth this rashness, O Brahmana, that thou
hast displayed towards me? What transgression can be imputed to me who
was labouring to do justice and speak the truth impartially? Being asked
I gave the true answer. A witness who when interrogated about a fact of
which he hath knowledge, representeth otherwise than it is, ruineth his
ancestors and descendants both to the seventh generation. He, too, who,
being fully cognisant of all the particulars of an affair, doth not
disclose what he knoweth, when asked, is undoubtedly stained with guilt.
I can also curse thee, but Brahmanas are held by me in high respect.
Although these are known to thee, O Brahmana, I will yet speak of them,
so please attend! Having, by ascetic power, multiplied myself, I am
present in various forms, in places of the daily homa, at sacrifices
extending for years, in places where holy rites are performed (such as
marriage, etc.), and at other sacrifices. With the butter that is poured
upon my flame according to the injunctions prescribed in the Vedas, the
Devas and the Pitris are appeased. The Devas are the waters; the Pitris
are also the waters. The Devas have with the Pitris an equal right to the
sacrifices called Darshas and Purnamasas. The Devas therefore are the
Pitris and the Pitris, the Devas. They are identical beings, worshipped
together and also separately at the changes of the moon. The Devas and
the Pitris eat what is poured upon me. I am therefore called the mouth of
the Devas and the Pitris. At the new moon the Pitris, and at the full
moon the Devas, are fed through my mouth, eating of the clarified butter
that is poured on me. Being, as I am, their mouth, how am I to be an
eater of all things (clean and unclean)?

"Then Agni, alter reflecting for a while, withdrew himself from all
places; from places of the daily homa of the Brahmanas, from all
long-extending sacrifices, from places of holy rites, and from other
ceremonies. Without their Oms and Vashats, and deprived of their Swadhas
and Swahas (sacrificial mantras during offerings), the whole body of
creatures became much distressed at the loss of their (sacrificial) fire.
The Rishis in great anxiety went to the gods and addressed them thus, 'Ye
immaculate beings! The three regions of the universe are confounded at
the cessation of their sacrifices and ceremonies in consequence of the
loss of fire! Ordain what is to be done in tins matter, so that there may
be no loss of time.' Then the Rishis and the gods went together to the
presence of Brahma. And they represented to him all about the curse on
Agni and the consequent interruption of all ceremonies. And they said, 'O
thou greatly fortunate! Once Agni hath been cursed by Bhrigu for some
reason. Indeed, being the mouth of the gods and also the first who eateth
of what is offered in sacrifices, the eater also of the sacrificial
butter, how will Agni be reduced to the condition of one who eateth of
all things promiscuously?' And the creator of the universe hearing these
words of theirs summoned Agni to his presence. And Brahma addressed Agni,
the creator of all and eternal as himself, in these gentle words, 'Thou
art the creator of the worlds and thou art their destroyer! Thou
preserves! the three worlds and thou art the promoter of all sacrifices
and ceremonies! Therefore behave thyself so that ceremonies be not
interrupted. And, O thou eater of the sacrificial butter, why dost thou
act so foolishly, being, as thou art, the Lord of all? Thou alone art
always pure in the universe and thou art its stay! Thou shall not, with
all thy body, be reduced to the state of one who eateth of all things
promiscuously. O thou of flames, the flame that is in thy viler parts
shall alone eat of all things alike. The body of thine which eateth of
flesh (being in the stomach of all carnivorous animals) shall also eat of
all things promiscuously. And as every thing touched by the sun's rays
becometh pure, so shall everything be pure that shall be burnt by thy
flames. Thou art, O fire, the supreme energy born of thy own power. Then,
O Lord, by that power of thine make the Rishi's curse come true. Continue
to 'receive thy own portion and that of the gods, offered at thy mouth.'

'Sauti continued, 'Then Agni replied to the Grandfather, 'So be it.' And
he then went away to obey the command of the supreme Lord. The gods and
the Rishis also returned in delight to the place whence they had come.
And the Rishis began to perform as before their ceremonies and
sacrifices. And the gods in heaven and all creatures of the world
rejoiced exceedingly. And Agni too rejoiced in that he was free from the
prospect of sin.

"Thus, O possessor of the six attributes, had Agni been cursed in the
days of yore by Bhrigu. And such is the ancient history connected with
the destruction of the Rakshasa, Pauloma and the birth of Chyavana.'"

Thus endeth the seventh section of the Pauloma Parva of the Adi Parva of
the blessed Mahabharata.



SECTION VIII

(Pauloma Parva continued)

"Sauti said, 'O Brahmana, Chyavana, the son of Bhrigu, begot a son in the
womb of his wife Sukanya. And that son was the illustrious Pramati of
resplendent energy. And Pramati begot in the womb of Ghritachi a son
called Ruru. And Ruru begot on his wife Pramadvara a son called Sunaka.
And I shall relate to you in detail, O Brahmana, the entire history of
Ruru of abundant energy. O listen to it then in full!

"Formerly there was a great Rishi called Sthulakesa possessed of ascetic
power and learning and kindly disposed towards all creatures. At that
time, O Brahmana sage, Viswavasu, the King of the Gandharvas, it is said,
had intimacy with Menaka, the celestial dancing-girl. And the Apsara,
Menaka, O thou of the Bhrigu race, when her time was come, brought forth
an infant near the hermitage of Sthulakesa. And dropping the newborn
infant on the banks of the river, O Brahmana, Menaka, the Apsara, being
destitute of pity and shame, went away. And the Rishi, Sthulakesa, of
great ascetic power, discovered the infant lying forsaken in a lonely
part of the river-side. And he perceived that it was a female child,
bright as the offspring of an Immortal and blazing, as it were, with
beauty: And the great Brahmana, Sthulakesa, the first of Munis, seeing
that female child, and filled with compassion, took it up and reared it.
And the lovely child grew up in his holy habitation, the noble-minded and
blessed Rishi Sthulakesa performing in due succession all the ceremonies
beginning with that at birth as ordained by the divine law. And because
she surpassed all of her sex in goodness, beauty, and every quality, the
great Rishi called her by the name of Pramadvara. And the pious Ruru
having seen Pramadvara in the hermitage of Sthulakesa became one whose
heart was pierced by the god of love. And Ruru by means of his companions
made his father Pramati, the son of Bhrigu, acquainted with his passion.
And Pramati demanded her of the far-famed Sthulakesa for his son. And her
foster-father betrothed the virgin Pramadvara to Ruru, fixing the
nuptials for the day when the star Varga-Daivata (Purva-phalguni) would
be ascendant.

"Then within a few days of the time fixed for the nuptials, the beautiful
virgin while at play with companions of her own sex, her time having
come, impelled by fate, trod upon a serpent which she did not perceive as
it lay in coil. And the reptile, urged to execute the will of Fate,
violently darted its envenomed fangs into the body of the heedless
maiden. And stung by that serpent, she instantly dropped senseless on the
ground, her colour faded and all the graces of her person went off. And
with dishevelled hair she became a spectacle of woe to her companions and
friends. And she who was so agreeable to behold became on her death what
was too painful to look at. And the girl of slender waist lying on the
ground like one asleep--being overcome with the poison of the snake-once
more became more beautiful than in life. And her foster-father and the
other holy ascetics who were there, all saw her lying motionless upon the
ground with the splendour of a lotus. And then there came many noted
Brahmanas filled with compassion, and they sat around her. And
Swastyatreya, Mahajana, Kushika, Sankhamekhala, Uddalaka, Katha, and
Sweta of great renown, Bharadwaja, Kaunakutsya, Arshtishena, Gautama,
Pramati, and Pramati's son Ruru, and other inhabitants of the forest,
came there. And when they saw that maiden lying dead on the ground
overcome with the poison of the reptile that had bitten her, they all
wept filled with compassion. But Ruru, mortified beyond measure, retired
from the scene.'"

So ends the eighth section of the Pauloma Parva of the Adi Parva of the
blessed Mahabharata.



SECTION IX

(Pauloma Parva continued)

"Sauti said, 'While those illustrious Brahmanas were sitting around the
dead body of Pramadvara, Ruru, sorely afflicted, retired into a deep wood
and wept aloud. And overwhelmed with grief he indulged in much piteous
lamentation. And, remembering his beloved Pramadvara, he gave vent to his
sorrow in the following words, 'Alas! The delicate fair one that
increaseth my affliction lieth upon the bare ground. What can be more
deplorable to us, her friends? If I have been charitable, if I have
performed acts of penance, if I have ever revered my superiors, let the
merit of these arts restore to life my beloved one! If from my birth I
have been controlling my passions, adhered to my vows, let the fair
Pramadvara rise from the ground.

"And while Ruru was indulging in these lamentations for the loss of his
bride, a messenger from heaven came to him in the forest and addressed
him thus, 'The words thou utterest, O Ruru, in thy affliction are
certainly ineffectual. For, O pious man, one belonging to this world
whose days have run out can never come back to life. This poor child of a
Gandharva and Apsara has had her days run out! Therefore, O child, thou
shouldst not consign thy heart to sorrow. The great gods, however, have
provided beforehand a means of her restoration to life. And if thou
compliest with it, thou mayest receive back thy Pramadvara.'

"And Ruru replied, O messenger of heaven! What is that which the gods
have ordained. Tell me in full so that (on hearing) I may comply with it.
It behoveth thee to deliver me from grief!' And the celestial messenger
said unto Ruru, 'Resign half of thy own life to thy bride, and then, O
Ruru of the race of Bhrigu, thy Pramadvara shall rise from the ground.'
'O best of celestial messengers, I most willingly offer a moiety of my
own life in favour of my bride. Then let my beloved one rise up once more
in her dress and lovable form.'

"Sauti said, 'Then the king of Gandharvas (the father of Pramadvara) and
the celestial messenger, both of excellent qualities, went to the god
Dharma (the Judge of the dead) and addressed him, saying, 'If it be thy
will, O Dharmaraja, let the amiable Pramadvara, the betrothed wife of
Ruru, now lying dead, rise up with a moiety of Ruru's life.' And
Dharmaraja answered, 'O messenger of the gods, if it be thy wish, let
Pramadvara, the betrothed wife of Ruru, rise up endued with a moiety of
Ruru's life.'

"Sauti continued, 'And when Dharmaraja had said so, that maiden of
superior complexion, Pramadvara, endued with a moiety of Ruru's life,
rose as from her slumber. This bestowal by Ruru of a moiety of his own
span of life to resuscitate his bride afterwards led, as it would be
seen, to a curtailment of Ruru's life.

"And on an auspicious day their fathers gladly married them with due
rites. And the couple passed their days, devoted to each other. And Ruru
having obtained such a wife, as is hard to be found, beautiful and bright
as the filaments of the lotus, made a vow for the destruction of the
serpent-race. And whenever he saw a serpent he became filled with great
wrath and always killed it with a weapon.

"One day, O Brahmana, Ruru entered an extensive forest. And there he saw
an old serpent of the Dundubha species lying stretched on the ground. And
Ruru thereupon lifted up in anger his staff, even like to the staff of
Death, for the purpose of killing it. Then the Dundubha, addressing Ruru,
said, 'I have done thee no harm, O Brahmana! Then wherefore wilt thou
slay me in anger?'"

So ends the ninth section of the Pauloma Parva of the Adi Parva of the
blessed Mahabharata.



SECTION X

(Pauloma Parva continued)

Sauti said, 'And Ruru, on hearing those words, replied, 'My wife, dear to
me as life, was bit by a snake; upon which, I took, O snake, a dreadful
vow, viz., that I would kill every snake that I might come across.
Therefore shall I smite thee and thou shalt be deprived of life.'

"And the Dundubha replied, 'O Brahmana, the snakes that bite man are
quite different in type. It behoveth thee not to slay Dundubhas who are
serpents only in name. Subject like other serpents to the same calamities
but not sharing their good fortune, in woe the same but in joy different,
the Dundubhas should not be slain by thee under any misconception.'

"Sauti continued, 'And the Rishi Ruru hearing these words of the serpent,
and seeing that it was bewildered with fear, albeit a snake of the
Dundubha species, killed it not. And Ruru, the possessor of the six
attributes, comforting the snake addressed it, saying, 'Tell me fully, O
snake, who art thou thus metamorphosed?' And the Dundubha replied, 'O
Ruru! I was formerly a Rishi by name Sahasrapat. And it is by the curse
of a Brahmana that I have been transformed into a snake. And Ruru asked,
'O thou best of snakes, for what wast thou cursed by a Brahmana in wrath?
And how long also will thy form continue so?'"

And so ends the tenth section of the Pauloma Parva of the Adi Parva.



SECTION XI

(Pauloma Parva continued)

"Sauti continued 'The Dundubha then said, 'In former times, I had a
friend Khagama by name. He was impetuous in his speech and possessed of
spiritual power by virtue of his austerities. And one day when he was
engaged in the Agni-hotra (Fire-sacrifice), I made a mock snake of blades
of grass, and in a frolic attempted to frighten him with it. And anon he
fell into a swoon. On recovering his senses, that truth-telling and
vow-observing ascetic, burning with wrath, exclaimed, 'Since thou hast
made a powerless mock snake to frighten me, thou shalt be turned even
into a venomless serpent thyself by my curse.' O ascetic, I well knew the
power of his penances; therefore with an agitated heart, I addressed him
thus, bending low with joined hands, 'Friend, I did this by way of a
joke, to excite thy laughter. It behoveth thee to forgive me and revoke
thy curse.' And seeing me sorely troubled, the ascetic was moved, and he
replied, breathing hot and hard. 'What I have said must come to pass.
Listen to what I say and lay it to thy heart. O pious one! when Ruru the
pure son of Pramati, will appear, thou shall be delivered from the curse
the moment thou seest him. Thou art the very Ruru and the son of Pramati.
On regaining my native form, I will tell thee something for thy good.

"And that illustrious man and the best of Brahmanas then left his
snake-body, and attained his own form and original brightness. He then
addressed the following words to Ruru of incomparable power, 'O thou
first of created beings, verily the highest virtue of man is sparing the
life of others. Therefore a Brahmana should never take the life of any
creature. A Brahmana should ever be mild. This is the most sacred
injunction of the Vedas. A Brahmana should be versed in the Vedas and
Vedangas, and should inspire all creatures with belief in God. He should
be benevolent to all creatures, truthful, and forgiving, even as it is
his paramount duty to retain the Vedas in his memory. The duties of the
Kshatriya are not thine. To be stern, to wield the sceptre and to rule
the subjects properly are the duties of the Kshatriya. Listen, O Ruru, to
the account of the destruction of snakes at the sacrifice of Janamejaya
in days of yore, and the deliverance of the terrified reptiles by that
best of Dwijas, Astika, profound in Vedic lore and might in spiritual
energy.'"

And so ends the eleventh section of the Pauloma Parva of the Adi Parva.



SECTION XII

(Pauloma Parva continued)

"Sauti continued, 'Ruru then asked, 'O best of Dwijas, why was king
Janamejaya bent upon destroying the serpents?--And why and how were they
saved by the wise Astika? I am anxious to hear all this in detail.'

"The Rishi replied, 'O Ruru, the important history of Astika you will
learn from the lips of Brahmanas.' Saying this, he vanished.

"Sauti continued, 'Ruru ran about in search of the missing Rishi, and
having failed to find him in all the woods, fell down on the ground,
fatigued. And revolving in his mind the words of the Rishi, he was
greatly confounded and seemed to be deprived of his senses. Regaining
consciousness, he came home and asked his father to relate the history in
question. Thus asked, his father related all about the story.'"

So ends the twelfth section in the Pauloma Parva of the Adi Parva.



SECTION XIII

(Astika Parva)

"Saunaka said, 'For what reason did that tiger among kings, the royal
Janamejaya, determine to take the lives of the snakes by means of a
sacrifice? O Sauti, tell us in full the true story. Tell us also why
Astika, that best of regenerate ones, that foremost of ascetics, rescued
the snakes from the blazing fire. Whose son was that monarch who
celebrated the snake-sacrifice? And whose son also was that best of
regenerate ones?'

"Sauti said, 'O best of speakers, this story of Astika is long. I will
duly relate it in full, O listen!'

"Saunaka said, 'I am desirous of hearing at length the charming story of
that Rishi, that illustrious Brahmana named Astika.'

"Sauti said, 'This history (first) recited by Krishna-Dwaipayana, is
called a Purana by the Brahmanas. It was formerly narrated by my wise
father, Lomaharshana, the disciple of Vyasa, before the dwellers of the
Naimisha forest, at their request. I was present at the recital, and, O
Saunaka, since thou askest me, I shall narrate the history of Astika
exactly as I heard it. O listen, as I recite in full that sin-destroying
story.

"The father of Astika was powerful like Prajapati. He was a
Brahma-charin, always engaged in austere devotions. He ate sparingly, was
a great ascetic, and had his lust under complete control. And he was
known by the name of Jaratkaru. That foremost one among the Yayavaras,
virtuous and of rigid vows, highly blessed and endued with great ascetic
power, once undertook a journey over the world. He visited diverse
places, bathed in diverse sacred waters, and rested where night overtook
him. Endued with great energy, he practised religious austerities, hard
to be practised by men of unrestrained souls. The sage lived upon air
only, and renounced sleep for ever. Thus going about like a blazing fire,
one day he happened to see his ancestors, hanging heads down in a great
hole, their feet pointing upwards. On seeing them, Jaratkaru addressed
them, saying:

'Who are you thus hanging heads down in this hole by a rope of virana
fibres that is again secretly eaten into on all sides by a rat living
here?'

"The ancestors said, 'We are Rishis of rigid vows, called Yayavaras. We
are sinking low into the earth for want of offspring. We have a son named
Jaratkaru. Woe to us! That wretch hath entered upon a life of austerities
only! The fool doth not think of raising offspring by marriage! It is for
that reason, viz., the fear of extinction of our race, that we are
suspended in this hole. Possessed of means, we fare like unfortunates
that have none! O excellent one, who art thou that thus sorrowest as a
friend on our account? We desire to learn, O Brahmana, who thou art that
standest by us, and why, O best of men, thou sorrowest for us that are so
unfortunate.'

"Jaratkaru said, 'Ye are even my sires and grandsires I am that
Jaratkaru! O, tell me, how I may serve you.'

"The fathers then answered, 'Try thy best, O child, to beget a son to
extend our line. Thou wilt then, O excellent one, have done a meritorious
art for both thyself and us. Not by the fruits of virtue, not by ascetic
penances well hoarded up, acquireth the merit which one doth by becoming
a father. Therefore, O child, by our command, set thy heart upon marriage
and offspring. Even this is our highest good.'

"Jaratkaru replied, 'I shall not marry for my sake, nor shall I earn
wealth for enjoyment, but I shall do so for your welfare only. According
to this understanding, I shall, agreeably to the Sastric ordinance, take
a wife for attaining the end. I shall not act otherwise. If a bride may
be had of the same name with me, whose friends would, besides, willingly
give her to me as a gift in charity, I shall wed her duly. But who will
give his daughter to a poor man like me for wife. I shall, however,
accept any daughter given to me as alms. I shall endeavour, ye sires,
even thus to wed a girl! Having given my word, I will not act otherwise.
Upon her I will raise offspring for your redemption, so that, ye fathers,
ye may attain to eternal regions (of bliss) and may rejoice as ye like.'"

So ends the thirteenth section in the Astika Parva of the Adi Parva.



SECTION XIV

(Astika Parva continued)

"Sauti said, 'That Brahmana of rigid vows then wandered over the earth
for a wife but a wife found he not. One day he went into the forest, and
recollecting the words of his ancestors, he thrice prayed in a faint
voice for a bride. Thereupon Vasuki rose and offered his sister for the
Rishi's acceptance. But the Brahmana hesitated to accept her, thinking
her not to be of the same name with himself. The high-souled Jaratkaru
thought within himself, 'I will take none for wife who is not of the same
name with myself.' Then that Rishi of great wisdom and austere penances
asked him, saying, 'Tell me truly what is the name of this thy sister, O
snake.'

"Vasuki replied, 'O Jaratkaru, this my younger sister is called
Jaratkaru. Given away by me, accept this slender-waisted damsel for thy
spouse. O best of Brahmanas, for thee I reserved her. Therefore, take
her.' Saying this, he offered his beautiful sister to Jaratkaru who then
espoused her with ordained rites.'"

So ends the thirteenth section in the Astika Parva of the Adi Parva.



SECTION XV

(Astika Parva continued)

"Sauti said, 'O foremost of persons acquainted with Brahma, the mother of
the snakes had cursed them of old, saying, 'He that hath the Wind for his
charioteer (viz., Agni) shall burn you all in Janamejaya's sacrifice!' It
was to neutralise that curse that the chief of the snakes married his
sister to that high-souled Rishi of excellent vows. The Rishi wedded her
according to the rites ordained (in the scriptures), and from them was
born a high-souled son called Astika. An illustrious ascetic; versed in
the Vedas and their branches, he regarded all with an even eye, and
removed the fears of both his parents.

"Then, after a long space of time, a king descending from the Pandava
line celebrated a great sacrifice known as the Snake-sacrifice, After
that sacrifice had commenced for the destruction of the snakes, Astika
delivered the Nagas, viz., his brothers and maternal uncles and other
snakes (from a fiery death). And he delivered his fathers also by
begetting offspring. And by his austerities, O Brahmana, and various vows
and study of the Vedas, he freed himself from all his debts. By
sacrifices, at which various kinds of offerings were made, he propitiated
the gods. By practising the Brahmacharya mode of life he conciliated the
Rishis; and by begetting offspring he gratified his ancestors.

"Thus Jaratkaru of rigid vows discharged the heavy debt he owed to his
sires who being thus relieved from bondage ascended to heaven. Thus
having acquired great religious merit, Jaratkaru, after a long course of
years, went to heaven, leaving Astika behind. There is the story of
Astika that I have related duly Now, tell me, O tiger of Bhrigu's race,
what else I shall narrate."

So ends the fifteenth section in the Astika Parva of the Adi Parva.



SECTION XVI

(Astika Parva continued)

"Saunaka said, 'O Sauti, relate once more in detail this history of the
learned and virtuous Astika. Our curiosity for hearing it is great. O
amiable one, thou speakest sweetly, with proper accent and emphasis; and
we are well-pleased with thy speech. Thou speakest even as thy father.
Thy sire was ever ready to please us. Tell us now the story as thy father
had related it.'

"Sauti said, 'O thou that art blest with longevity, I shall narrate the
history of Astika as I heard it from my father. O Brahmana, in the golden
age, Prajapati had two daughters. O sinless one, the sisters were endowed
with wonderful beauty. Named Kadru and Vinata, they became the wives of
Kasyapa. Kasyapa derived great pleasure from his two wedded wives and
being gratified he, resembling Prajapati himself, offered to give each of
them a boon. Hearing that their lord was willing to confer on them their
choice blessings, those excellent ladies felt transports of joy. Kadru
wished to have for sons a thousand snakes all of equal splendour. And
Vinata wished to bring forth two sons surpassing the thousand offsprings
of Kadru in strength, energy, size of body, and prowess. Unto Kadru her
lord gave that boon about a multitude of offspring. And unto Vinata also,
Kasyapa said, 'Be it so!' Then Vinata, having; obtained her prayer,
rejoiced greatly. Obtaining two sons of superior prowess, she regarded
her boon fulfilled. Kadru also obtained her thousand sons of equal
splendour. 'Bear the embryos carefully,' said Kasyapa, and then he went
into the forest, leaving his two wives pleased with his blessings.'

"Sauti continued, 'O best of regenerate ones, after a long time, Kadru
brought forth a thousand eggs, and Vinata two. Their maid-servants
deposited the eggs separately in warm vessels. Five hundred years passed
away, and the thousand eggs produced by Kadru burst and out came the
progeny. But the twins of Vinata did not appear. Vinata was jealous, and
therefore she broke one of the eggs and found in it an embryo with the
upper part developed but the lower one undeveloped. At this, the child in
the egg became angry and cursed his mother, saying. 'Since thou hast
prematurely broken this egg, thou shall serve as a slave. Shouldst thou
wait five hundred years and not destroy, or render the other egg
half-developed, by breaking it through impatience, then the illustrious
child within it will deliver thee from slavery! And if thou wouldst have
the child strong, thou must take tender care of the egg for all this
time!' Thus cursing his mother, the child rose to the sky. O Brahmana,
even he is the charioteer of Surya, always seen in the hour of morning!

"Then at the expiration of the five hundred years, bursting open the
other egg, out came Garuda, the serpent-eater. O tiger of Bhrigu's race,
immediately on seeing the light, that son of Vinata left his mother. And
the lord of birds, feeling hungry, took wing in quest of the food
assigned to him by the Great Ordainer of all.".

So ends the sixteenth section in the Astika Parva of the Adi Parva.



SECTION XVII

(Astika Parva continued)

"Sauti said, 'O ascetic, about this time the two sisters saw approaching
near, that steed of complacent appearance named Uchchaihsravas who was
worshipped by the gods, that gem of steeds, who arose at the churning of
the Ocean for nectar. Divine, graceful, perpetually young, creation's
master-piece, and of irresistible vigour, it was blest with every
auspicious mark.'

"Saunaka asked, 'Why did the gods churn the Ocean for nectar, and under
what circumstances and when as you say, did that best of steeds so
powerful and resplendent spring?'

"Sauti said, 'There is a mountain named Meru, of blazing appearance, and
looking like a heap of effulgence. The rays of the Sun falling on its
peaks of golden lustre are dispersed by them. Decked with gold and
exceedingly beautiful, that mountain is the haunt of the gods and the
Gandharvas. It is immeasurable and unapproachable by men of manifold
sins. Dreadful beasts of prey wander over its breasts, and it is
illuminated by many divine life-giving herbs. It stands kissing the
heavens by its height and is the first of mountains. Ordinary people
cannot even think of ascending it. It is graced with trees and streams,
and resounds with the charming melody of winged choirs. Once the
celestials sat on its begemmed peak--in conclave. They who had practised
penances and observed excellent vows for amrita now seemed to be eager
seekers alter amrita (celestial ambrosia). Seeing the celestial assembly
in anxious mood Nara-yana said to Brahman, 'Do thou churn the Ocean with
the gods and the Asuras. By doing so, amrita will be obtained as also all
drugs and gems. O ye gods, chum the Ocean, ye will discover amrita.'"

So ends the seventeenth section in the Astika Parva of the Adi Parva.



SECTION XVIII

(Astika Parva continued)

"Sauti said, 'There is a mountain called Mandara adorned with cloud-like
peaks. It is the best of mountains, and is covered all over with
intertwining herbs. There countless birds pour forth their melodies, and
beasts of prey roam about. The gods, the Apsaras and the Kinnaras visit
the place. Upwards it rises eleven thousand yojanas, and descends
downwards as much. The gods wanted to tear it up and use it as a churning
rod but failing to do so same to Vishnu and Brahman who were sitting
together, and said unto them, 'Devise some efficient scheme, consider, ye
gods, how Mandara may be dislodged for our good.'

"Sauti continued, 'O son of Bhrigu! Vishnu with Brahman assented to it.
And the lotus-eyed one (Vishnu) laid the hard task on the mighty Ananta,
the prince of snakes. The powerful Ananta, directed thereto both by
Brahman and Narayana, O Brahmana, tore up the mountain with the woods
thereon and with the denizens of those woods. And the gods came to the
shore of the Ocean with Ananta and addressed the Ocean, saying, 'O Ocean;
we have come to churn thy waters for obtaining nectar.' And the Ocean
replied, 'Be it so, as I shall not go without a share of it. I am able to
bear the prodigious agitation of my waters set up by the mountain.' The
gods then went to the king of tortoises and said to him, 'O
Tortoise-king, thou wilt have to hold the mountain on thy back!' The
Tortoise-king agreed, and Indra contrived to place the mountain on the
former's back.

"And the gods and the Asuras made of Mandara a churning staff and Vasuki
the cord, and set about churning the deep for amrita. The Asuras held
Vasuki by the hood and the gods held him by the tail. And Ananta, who was
on the side of the gods, at intervals raised the snake's hood and
suddenly lowered it. And in consequence of the stretch Vasuki received at
the hands of the gods and the Asuras, black vapours with flames issued
from his mouth. These, turned into clouds charged with lightning, poured
showers that refreshed the tired gods. And flowers that also fell on all
sides of the celestials from the trees on the whirling Mandara, refreshed
them.

"Then, O Brahmana, out of the deep came a tremendous roar like unto the
roar of the clouds at the Universal Dissolution. Diverse aquatic animals
being crushed by the great mountain gave up the ghost in the salt waters.
And many denizens of the lower regions and the world of Varuna were
killed. Large trees with birds on the whirling Mandara were torn up by
the roots and fell into the water. The mutual friction of those trees
also produced fires that blazed up frequently. The mountain thus looked
like a mass of dark clouds charged with lightning. O Brahmana, the fire
spread, and consumed the lions, elephants and other creatures that were
on the mountain. Then Indra extinguished that fire by pouring down heavy
showers.

"After the churning, O Brahmana, had gone on for some time, gummy
exudations of various trees and herbs vested with the properties of
amrita mingled with the waters of the Ocean. And the celestials attained
to immortality by drinking of the water mixed with those gums and with
the liquid extract of gold. By degrees, the milky water of the agitated
deep turned into clarified butter by virtue of those gums and juices. But
nectar did not appear even then. The gods came before the boon-granting
Brahman seated on his seat and said, 'Sire, we are spent up, we have no
strength left to churn further. Nectar hath not yet arisen so that now we
have no resource save Narayana.'

"On hearing them, Brahman said to Narayana, 'O Lord, condescend to grant
the gods strength to churn the deep afresh.'

"Then Narayana agreeing to grant their various prayers, said, 'Ye wise
ones, I grant you sufficient strength. Go, put the mountain in position
again and churn the water.'

'Re-established thus in strength, the gods recommenced churning. After a
while, the mild Moon of a thousand rays emerged from the Ocean.
Thereafter sprung forth Lakshmi dressed in white, then Soma, then the
White Steed, and then the celestial gem Kaustubha which graces the breast
of Narayana. Then Lakshmi, Soma and the Steed, fleet as the mind, all
came before the gods on high. Then arose the divine Dhanwantari himself
with the white vessel of nectar in his hand. And seeing him, the Asuras
set up a loud cry, saying, 'It be ours.'

"And at length rose the great elephant, Airavata, of huge body and with
two pair of white tusks. And him took Indra the wielder of the
thunderbolt. But with the churning still going on, the poison Kalakuta
appeared at last. Engulfing the Earth it suddenly blazed up like a fire
attended with fumes. And by the scent of the fearful Kalakuta, the three
worlds were stupefied. And then Siva, being solicited by Brahman,
swallowed that poison for the safety of the creation. The divine
Maheswara held it in his throat, and it is said that from that time he is
called Nilakantha (blue-throated). Seeing all these wondrous things, the
Asuras were filled with despair, and got themselves prepared for entering
into hostilities with the gods for the possession of Lakshmi and Amrita.
Thereupon Narayana called his bewitching Maya (illusive power) to his
aid, and assuming the form of an enticing female, coquetted with the
Danavas. The Danavas and the Daityas charmed with her exquisite beauty
and grace lost their reason and unanimously placed the Amrita in the
hands of that fair damsel.'"

So ends the eighteenth section in the Astika Parva of the Adi Parva.



SECTION XIX

(Astika Parva continued)

"Sauti said, 'Then the Daityas and the Danauas equipped with first-class
armours and various weapons attacked the gods. In the meantime the
valiant Lord Vishnu in the form of an enchantress accompanied by Nara
deceived the mighty Danavas and took away the Amrita from their hands.

"And all the gods at that time of great fright drank the Amrita with
delight, receiving it from Vishnu. And while the gods were partaking of
it, after which they had so much hankered, a Danava named Rahu was also
drinking it among them in the guise of a god. And when the Amrita had
reached Rahu's throat only, Surya and Soma (recognised him and) intimated
the fact to the gods. And Narayana instantly cut off with his discus the
well-adorned head of the Danava who was drinking the Amrita without
permission. And the huge head of the Danava, cut off by the discus and
resembling a mountain peak, then rose up to the sky and began to utter
dreadful cries. And the Danava's headless trunk, falling upon the ground
and rolling thereon, made the Earth tremble with her mountains, forests
and islands. And from that time there is a long-standing quarrel between
Rahu's head and Surya and Soma. And to this day it swalloweth Surya and
Soma (during solar and lunar eclipses).

"Then Narayana quitting his enchanting female form and hurling many
terrible weapons at the Danavas, made them tremble. And thus on the
shores of the salt-water sea, commenced the dreadful battle of the gods
and the Asuras. And sharp-pointed javelins and lances and various weapons
by thousands began to be discharged on all sides. And mangled with the
discus and wounded with swords, darts and maces, the Asuras in large
numbers vomited blood and lay prostrate on the earth. Cut off from the
trunks with sharp double-edged swords, heads adorned with bright gold,
fell continually on the field of battle. Their bodies drenched in gore,
the great Asuras lay dead everywhere. It seemed as if red-dyed mountain
peaks lay scattered all around. And when the Sun rose in his splendour,
thousands of warriors struck one another with weapons. And cries of
distress were heard everywhere. The warriors fighting at a distance from
one another brought one another down by sharp iron missiles, and those
fighting at close quarters slew one another with blows of their fists.
And the air was filled with shrieks of distress. Everywhere were heard
the alarming sounds,--'cut', 'pierce', 'at them', 'hurl down', 'advance'.

'And when the battle was raging fiercely, Nara and Narayana entered the
field. And Narayana seeing the celestial bow in the hand of Nara, called
to mind his own weapon, the Danava-destroying discus. And lo! the discus,
Sudarsana, destroyer of enemies, like to Agni in effulgence and dreadful
in battle, came from the sky as soon as thought of. And when it came,
Narayana of fierce energy, possessing arms like the trunk of an elephant,
hurled with great force that weapon of extraordinary lustre, effulgent as
blazing fire, dreadful and capable of destroying hostile towns. And that
discus blazing like the fire that consumeth all things at the end of
Yuga, hurled with force from the hands of Narayana, and falling
constantly everywhere, destroyed the Daityas and the Danavas by
thousands. Sometimes it blazed like fire and consumed them all; sometimes
it struck them down as it coursed through the sky; and sometimes, falling
on the earth, it drank their life-blood like a goblin.

"On the other hand, the Danavas, white as the clouds from which the rain
hath dropped, possessing great strength and bold hearts, ascended the
sky, and by hurling down thousands of mountains, continually harassed the
gods. And those dreadful mountains, like masses of clouds, with their
trees and flat tops, falling from the sky, collided with one another and
produced a tremendous roar. And when thousands of warriors shouted
without intermission in the field of battle and mountains with the woods
thereon began to fall around, the earth with her forests trembled. Then
the divine Nara appeared at the scene of the dreadful conflict between
the Asuras and the Ganas (the followers of Rudra), and reducing to dust
those rocks by means of his gold-headed arrows, he covered the heavens
with dust. Thus discomfited by the gods, and seeing the furious discus
scouring the fields of heaven like a blazing flame, the mighty Danavas
entered the bowels of the earth, while others plunged into the sea of
salt-waters.

"And having gained the victory, the gods offered due respect to Mandara
and placed him again on his own base. And the nectar-bearing gods made
the heavens resound with their shouts, and went to their own abodes. And
the gods, on returning to the heavens, rejoiced greatly, and Indra and
the other deities made over to Narayana the vessel of Amrita for careful
keeping.'"

And so ends the nineteenth section in the Astika Parva of the Adi Parva.



SECTION XX

(Astika Parva continued)

"Sauti said, 'Thus have I recited to you the whole story of how Amrita
was churned out of the Ocean, and the occasion on which the horse
Uchchaihsravas of great beauty and incomparable prowess was obtained. It
was this horse about which Kadru asked Vinata, saying, 'Tell me, amiable
sister, without taking much time, of what colour Uchchaishravas is.' And
Vinata answered, 'That prince of steeds is certainly white. What dost
thou think, sister? Say thou what is its colour. Let us lay a wager upon
it.' Kadru replied, then, 'O thou of sweet smiles. I think that horse is
black in its tail. Beauteous one, bet with me that she who loseth will
become the other's slave.'

'Sauti continued, 'Thus wagering with each other about menial service as
a slave, the sisters went home, and resolved to satisfy themselves by
examining the horse next day. And Kadru, bent upon practising a
deception, ordered her thousand sons to transform themselves into black
hair and speedily cover the horse's tail in order that she might not
become a slave. But her sons, the snakes, refusing to do her bidding, she
cursed them, saying, 'During the snake-sacrifice of the wise king
Janamejaya of the Pandava race, Agni shall consume you all.' And the
Grandsire (Brahman) himself heard this exceedingly cruel curse pronounced
by Kadru, impelled by the fates. And seeing that the snakes had
multiplied exceedingly, the Grandsire, moved by kind consideration for
his creatures, sanctioned with all the gods this curse of Kadru. Indeed,
as the snakes were of virulent poison, great prowess and excess of
strength, and ever bent on biting other creatures, their mother's conduct
towards them--those persecutors of all creatures,--was very proper for
the good of all creatures. Fate always inflicts punishment of death on
those who seek the death of other creatures. The gods, having exchanged
such sentiments with one another, supported Kadru's action (and went
away). And Brahman, calling Kasyapa to him, spake unto him these words,
'O thou pure one who overcomest all enemies, these snakes begotten by
you, who are of virulent poison and huge bodies, and ever intent on
biting other creatures, have been cursed by their mother. O son, do not
grieve for it in the least. The destruction of the snakes in the
sacrifice hath, indeed, been ordained long ago' Saying this, the divine
Creator of the Universe comforted Kasyapa and imparted to that
illustrious one the knowledge of neutralising poison."

And so ends the twentieth section in the Astika Parva of the Adi Parva.



SECTION XXI

(Astika Parva continued)

"Sauti said. 'Then when the night had passed away and the sun had risen
in the morning, O thou whose wealth is asceticism, the two sisters Kadru
and Vinata, having laid a wager about slavery, went with haste and
impatience to view the steed Uchchaishravas from a near point. On their
way they saw the Ocean, that receptacle of waters, vast and deep, rolling
and tremendously roaring, full of fishes large enough to swallow the
whale, and abounding with huge makaras and creatures of various forms by
thousands, and rendered inaccessible by the presence of other terrible,
monster-shaped, dark, and fierce aquatic animals, abounding with
tortoises and crocodiles, the mine of all kinds of gems, the home of
Varuna (the water-God), the excellent and beautiful residence of the
Nagas, the lord of all rivers, the abode of the subterranean fire, the
friend (or asylum) of the Asuras, the terror of all creatures, the grand
reservoir of water, and ever immutable. It is holy, beneficial to the
gods, and is the great source of nectar; without limits, inconceivable,
sacred, and highly wonderful. It is dark, terrible with the sound of
aquatic creatures, tremendously roaring, and full of deep whirl-pools. It
is an object of terror to all creatures. Moved by the winds blowing from
its shores and heaving high, agitated and disturbed, it seems to dance
everywhere with uplifted hands represented by its surges. Full of
swelling billows caused by the waxing and waning of the moon the parent
of Vasudeva's great conch called Panchajanya, the great mine of gems, its
waters were formerly disturbed in consequence of the agitation caused
within them by the Lord Govinda of immeasurable prowess when he had
assumed the form of a wild boar for raising the (submerged) Earth. Its
bottom, lower than the nether regions, the vow observing regenerate Rishi
Atri could not fathom after (toiling for) a hundred years. It becomes the
bed of the lotus-naveled Vishnu when at the termination of every Yuga
that deity of immeasurable power enjoys yoga-nidra, the deep sleep under
the spell of spiritual meditation. It is the refuge of Mainaka fearful of
falling thunder, and the retreat of the Asuras overcome in fierce
encounters. It offers water as sacrificial butter to the blazing fire
issuing from the mouth of Varava (the Ocean-mare). It is fathomless and
without limits, vast and immeasurable, and the lord of rivers.

"And they saw that unto it rushed mighty rivers by thousands with proud
gait, like amorous competitors, each eager for meeting it, forestalling
the others. And they saw that it was always full, and always dancing in
its waves. And they saw that it was deep and abounding with fierce whales
and makaras. And it resounded constantly with the terrible sounds of
aquatic creatures. And they saw that it was vast, and wide as the expanse
of space, unfathomable, and limitless, and the grand reservoir of water.'"

And so ends the twenty-first section in the Astika Parva of the Adi Parva.



SECTION XXII

(Astika Parva continued)

"Sauti said, 'The Nagas after consultation arrived at the conclusion that
they should do their mother's bidding, for if she failed in obtaining her
desire she might withdraw her affection and burn them all. If, on the
other hand, she were graciously inclined, she might free them from her
curse. They said, 'We will certainly render the horse's tail black.' And
it is said that they then went and became hairs in the horse's tail.

"Now the two co-wives had laid the wager. And having laid the wager, O
best of Brahmanas, the two sisters Kadru and Vinata, the daughters of
Daksha, proceeded in great delight along the sky to see the other side of
the Ocean. And on their way they saw the Ocean, that receptacle of
waters, incapable of being easily disturbed, mightily agitated all of a
sudden by the wind, and roaring tremendously; abounding with fishes
capable of swallowing the whale and full of makaras; containing also
creatures of diverse forms counted by thousands; frightful from the
presence of horrible monsters, inaccessible, deep, and terrible, the mine
of all kinds of gems, the home of Varuna (the water-god), the wonderful
habitations of the Nagas, the lord of rivers, the abode of the
subterranean fire; the residence of the Asuras and of many dreadful
creatures; the reservoir of water, not subject to decay, aromatic, and
wonderful, the great source of the amrita of the celestials; immeasurable
and inconceivable, containing waters that are holy, filled to the brim by
many thousands of great rivers, dancing as it were in waves. Such was the
Ocean, full of rolling waves, vast as the expanse of the sky, deep, of
body lighted with the flames of subterranean fire, and roaring, which the
sisters quickly passed over.'"

And so ends the twenty-second section in the Astika Parva of the Adi
Parva.



SECTION XXIII

(Astika Parva continued)

"Sauti said, 'Having crossed the Ocean, Kadru of swift speed, accompanied
by Vinata, soon alighted near the horse. They then both beheld that
foremost of steeds of great speed, with body white as the rays of the
moon but having black hairs (in the tail). And observing many black hairs
in the tail, Kadru put Vinata, who was deeply dejected, into slavery. And
thus Vinata having lost the wager, entered into a state of slavery and
became exceedingly sorry.

"In the meantime, when his time came, burst forth from the egg without
(the help of his) mother, Garuda of great splendour, enkindling all the
points of the universe, that mighty being endued with strength, that bird
capable of assuming at will any form, of going at will everywhere, and of
calling to his aid at will any measure of energy. Effulgent like a heap
of fire, he shone terribly. Of lustre equal to that of the fire at the
end of the Yuga, his eyes were bright like the lightning-flash. And soon
after birth, that bird grew in size and increasing his body ascended the
skies. Fierce and vehemently roaring, he looked as terrible as second
Ocean-fire. And all the deities seeing him, sought the protection of
Vibhavasu (Agni). And they bowed down to that deity of manifold forms
seated on his seat and spake unto him these words, 'O Agni, extend not
thy body! Wilt thou consume us? Lo, this huge heap of thy flames is
spreading wide!' And Agni replied, 'O, ye persecutors of the Asuras, it
is not as ye imagine. This is Garuda of great strength and equal to me in
splendour, endued with great energy, and born to promote the joy of
Vinata. Even the sight of this heap of effulgence hath caused this
delusion in you. He is the mighty son of Kasyapa, the destroyer of the
Nagas, engaged in the well-being of the gods, and the foe of the Daityas
and the Rakshasas. Be not afraid of it in the least. Come with me and
see.' Thus addressed, the gods from a distance.

"The gods said, 'Thou art a Rishi (i.e., one cognisant of all mantras),
share of the largest portion in sacrifices, ever resplendent, the
controller along with the Rishi wended their way towards Garuda and
adored him of birds, the presiding spirit of the animate and the
inanimate universe. Thou art the destroyer of all, the creator of all;
thou art the very Hiranyagarbha; thou art the progenitor of creation in
the form of Daksha and the other Prajapatis; thou art Indra (the king of
the gods), thou art Hayagriva the steed necked incarnation of Vishnu;
thou art the arrow (Vishnu himself, as he became such in the hands of
Mahadeva at the burning of Tripura); thou art the lord of the universe;
thou art the mouth of Vishnu; thou art the four-faced Padmaja; thou art
the Brahmana (i.e., wise), thou art Agni, Pavana, etc. (i.e., the
presiding deity of every object in the universe). Thou art knowledge,
thou art the illusion to which we are all subject; thou art the
all-pervading spirit; thou art the lord of the gods; thou art the great
Truth; thou art fearless; thou art ever unchanged; thou art Brahma
without attributes; thou art the energy of the Sun; thou art the
intellectual functions; thou art our great protector; thou art the ocean
of holiness; thou art purity; thou art bereft of the attributes of
darkness; thou art the possessor of the six high attributes; thou art he
who cannot be withstood in contest. From thee have emanated all things;
thou art of excellent deeds; thou art all that hath not been and all that
hath been. Thou art pure knowledge; thou displayest to us, as Surya does
by his rays, this animate and inanimate universe; thou darkenest the
splendour of Surya at every moment, and thou art the destroyer of all;
thou art all that is perishable and all that is imperishable. O thou
resplendent as Agni, thou burnest all even as Surya in his anger burneth
all creatures. O terrible one, thou resistest even as the fire that
destroys everything at the time of the Universal Dissolution. O mighty
Garuda who movest in the skies, we seek thy protection. O lord of birds
thy energy is extraordinary, thy splendour is that of fire, thy
brightness is like that of the lightning that no darkness can approach.
Thou reachest the very clouds, and art both the cause and the effect; the
dispenser of boons and invincible in prowess. O Lord, this whole universe
is rendered hot by thy splendour, bright as the lustre of heated gold.
Protect these high-souled gods, who overcome by thee and terrified
withal, are flying along the heavens in different directions on their
celestial cars. O thou best of birds, thou Lord of all, thou art the son
of the merciful and high-souled Rishi Kasyapa; therefore, be not wroth
but have mercy on the universe. Thou art Supreme. O pacify thy anger and
preserve us. At thy voice, loud as the roar of the thunder, the ten
points, the skies, the heavens, the Earth and our hearts, O bird, thou
art continuously shaking. O, diminish this thy body resembling Agni. At
the sight of the splendour resembling that of Yama when in wrath, our
hearts lose all equanimity and quake. O thou lord of birds, be propitious
to us who solicit thy mercy! O illustrious one, bestow on us good fortune
and joy.'

And that bird of fair feathers, thus adored by the deities and diverse
sections of Rishis, reduced his own energy and splendour.'"

And thus ends the twenty-third section in the Astika Parva of the Adi
Parva.



SECTION XXIV

(Astika Parva continued)

"Sauti said, 'Then hearing of and beholding his own body, that bird of
beautiful feathers diminished its size.'

"And Garuda said, 'Let no creature be afraid; as ye are in a fright at
the sight of my terrible form, I shall diminish my energy.'

"Sauti continued, 'Then that bird capable of going everywhere at will,
that ranger of the skies capable of calling to his aid any measure of
energy, bearing Aruna on his back, wended from his father's home and
arrived at his mother's side on the other shore of the great ocean. And
he placed Aruna of great splendour in the eastern regions, just at a time
when Surya had resolved to burn the worlds with his fierce rays.'

"Saunaka said, 'When did the revered Surya resolve at the time to burn
the worlds? What wrong was done to him by the gods that provoked his
ire?'

"Sauti said, 'O sinless one, when Rahu was drinking nectar among the gods
at the time of the churning of the ocean he was pointed out to the gods
by Surya and Soma, and from that time he conceived an enmity towards
those deities. And upon this Rahu sought to devour his afflictor (Surya),
became wroth, and thought, 'Oh, this enmity of Rahu towards me hath
sprung from my desire of benefiting the gods. And this dire consequence I
alone have to sustain. Indeed, at this pass help I obtain not. And before
the very eyes of the denizens of heaven I am going to be devoured and
they brook it quietly. Therefore, for the destruction of the worlds must
I strive.' And with this resolution he went to the mountains of the west.

"And from that place he began to radiate his heat around for the
destruction of the world. And then the great Rishis, approaching the
gods, spake unto them, 'Lo, in the middle of the night springeth a great
heat striking terror into every heart, and destructive of the three
worlds.' Then the gods, accompanied by the Rishis, wended to the
Grandsire, and said unto him, 'O what is this great heat today that
causeth such panic? Surya hath not yet risen, still the destruction (of
the world) is obvious. O Lord, what will happen when he doth rise?" The
Grandsire replied, 'Indeed, Surya is prepared to rise today for the
destruction of the world. As soon as he will appear he will burn
everything into a heap of ashes. By me, however, hath the remedy been
provided beforehand. The intelligent son of Kasyapa is known to all by
the name of Aruna. He is huge of body and of great splendour; he shall
stay in front of Surya, doing the duty of his charioteer and taking away
all the energy of the former. And this will ensure the welfare of the
worlds, of the Rishis, and of the dwellers in heaven.'

"Sauti continued, 'Aruna, at the behest of the Grandsire, did all that he
was ordered to do. And Surya rose veiled by Aruna's person. I have told
thee now why Surya was in wrath, and how Aruna, the brother of Garuda,
was appointed as his charioteer. Hear next of that other question asked
by thee a little while ago.'"

And so ends the twenty-fourth section in the Astika Parva of the Adi
Parva.



SECTION XXV

(Astika Parva continued)

"Sauti said, 'Then that bird of great strength and energy and capable of
going at will to every place repaired to his mother's side on the other
shore of the great ocean. Thither lived Vinata in affliction, defeated in
wager and put into a state of slavery. Once Kadru calling Vinata who had
prostrated herself before the former, addressed her these words in the
presence of her son, 'O gentle Vinata, there is in the midst of the
ocean, in a remote quarter, a delightful and fair region inhabited by the
Nagas. Bear me thither!' At this that mother of the bird of fair feathers
bore (on her shoulders) the mother of the snakes. And Garuda also,
directed by his mother's words, carried (on his back) the snakes. And
that ranger of the skies born of Vinata began to ascend towards the Sun.
And thereupon the snakes, scorched by the rays of the Sun, swooned away.
And Kadru seeing her sons in that state prayed to Indra, saying, 'I bow
to thee, thou Lord of all the gods! I bow to thee, thou slayer of Vritra!
I bow to thee, thou slayer of Namuchi! O thou of a thousand eyes, consort
of Sachi! By thy showers, be thou the protector of the snakes scorched by
the Sun. O thou best of the deities, thou art our great protector. O
Purandara, thou art able to grant rain in torrents. Thou art Vayu (the
air), the clouds, fire, and the lightning of the skies. Thou art the
propeller of the clouds, and hast been called the great cloud (i.e., that
which will darken the universe at the end of Yuga). Thou art the fierce
and incomparable thunder, and the roaring clouds. Thou art the Creator of
the worlds and their Destroyer. Thou art unconquered. Thou art the light
of all creatures, Aditya, Vibhavasu, and the wonderful elements. Thou art
the ruler of all the gods. Thou art Vishnu. Thou hast a thousand eyes.
Thou art a god, and the final resource. Thou art, O deity, all amrita,
and the most adored Soma. Thou art the moment, the lunar day, the bala
(minute), thou art the kshana (4 minutes). Thou art the lighted
fortnight, and also the dark fortnight. Thou art kala, thou kashtha, and
thou Truti.[1] Thou art the year, the seasons, the months, the nights,
and the days. Thou art the fair Earth with her mountains and forests.
Thou art also the firmament, resplendent with the Sun. Thou art the great
Ocean with heaving billows and abounding with whales, swallowers of
whales, and makaras, and various fishes. Thou art of great renown, always
adored by the wise and by the great Rishis with minds rapt in
contemplation. Thou drinkest, for the good of all creatures, the Soma
juice in sacrifices and the clarified butter offered with sacred
invocation. Thou art always worshipped at sacrifices by Brahmanas moved
by desire of fruit. O thou of incomparable mass of strength, thou art
sung in the Vedas and Vedangas. It is for that reason that learned
Brahmanas bent upon performing sacrifices, study the Vedas with every
care.'"

And so ends the twenty-fifth section in the Astika Parva of the Adi Parva.



SECTION XXVI

(Astika Parva continued)

"Sauti said, 'And then Indra, the king of gods, having the best of horses
for his bearer, thus adored by Kadru, covered the entire firmament with
masses of blue clouds. And he commanded the clouds, saying, Pour ye, your
vivifying and blessed drops!' And those clouds, luminous with lightning,
and incessantly roaring against each other in the welkin, poured abundant
water. And the sky, in consequence of those wonderful and

_________________
The Flesh of Fallen Angels! Come to me all! Asteroth,

Beelzebub, Asmodeus, Bapholada, Lucifer, Loki, Satan,

Cthulhu, Lilith, Della! Blood, to you all!

I'm the wolf, yeah!
I am the wolf! It's close, it's coming. You have come.
The witness to the end, of time. It's now! I will rise to
her side! I don't need the words!
I'm beyond the words!
Image

_________________
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Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:28 pm
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Post Re: POST, POST LIKE YOU NEVER POSTED BEFORE!
increaseth covetousness and folly. Wealth alone is the root of
niggardliness and boastfulness, pride and fear and anxiety! These are the
miseries of men that the wise see in riches! Men undergo infinite
miseries in the acquisition and retention of wealth. Its expenditure also
is fraught with grief. Nay, sometimes, life itself is lost for the sake
of wealth! The abandonment of wealth produces misery, and even they that
are cherished by one's wealth become enemies for the sake of that wealth!
When, therefore, the possession of wealth is fraught with such misery,
one should not mind its loss. It is the ignorant alone who are
discontented. The wise, however, are always content. The thirst of wealth
can never be assuaged. Contentment is the highest happiness; therefore,
it is, that the wise regard contentment as the highest object of pursuit.
The wise knowing the instability of youth and beauty, of life and
treasure-hoards, of prosperity and the company of the loved ones, never
covet them. Therefore, one should refrain from the acquisition of wealth,
bearing the pain incident to it. None that is rich free from trouble, and
it is for this that the virtuous applaud them that are free from the
desire of wealth. And as regards those that pursue wealth for purposes of
virtue, it is better for them to refrain altogether from such pursuit,
for, surely, it is better not to touch mire at all than to wash it off
after having been besmeared with it. And, O Yudhishthira, it behoveth
thee not to covet anything! And if thou wouldst have virtue, emancipate
thyself from desire of worldly possessions!'

"Yudhishthira said, 'O Brahmana, this my desire of wealth is not for
enjoying it when obtained. It is only for the support of the Brahmanas
that I desire it and not because I am actuated by avarice! For what
purpose, O Brahmana, doth one like us lead a domestic life, if he cannot
cherish and support those that follow him? All creatures are seen to
divide the food (they procure) amongst those that depend on them.[1] So
should a person leading a domestic life give a share of his food to Yatis
and Brahmacharins that have renounced cooking for themselves. The houses
of the good men can never be in want of grass (for seat), space (for
rest), water (to wash and assuage thirst), and fourthly, sweet words. To
the weary a bed,--to one fatigued with standing, a seat,--to the thirsty,
water,--and to the hungry, food should ever be given. To a guest are due
pleasant looks and a cheerful heart and sweet words. The host, rising up,
should advance towards the guest, offer him a seat, and duly worship him.
Even this is eternal morality. They that perform not the Agnihotra[2] not
wait upon bulls

_________________
The Flesh of Fallen Angels! Come to me all! Asteroth,

Beelzebub, Asmodeus, Bapholada, Lucifer, Loki, Satan,

Cthulhu, Lilith, Della! Blood, to you all!

I'm the wolf, yeah!
I am the wolf! It's close, it's coming. You have come.
The witness to the end, of time. It's now! I will rise to
her side! I don't need the words!
I'm beyond the words!
Image

_________________
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Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:32 pm
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Post Re: POST, POST LIKE YOU NEVER POSTED BEFORE!
THE

Ramayana

OF

* - Valmeeki

RENDERED INTO ENGLISH

WITH EXHAUSTIVE NOTES

BY

(. ^ ^reenivasa jHv$oiu$ar, B. A.,

LECTURER

S. P G. COLLEGE, TRICHINGj,



Balakanda and N



MADRAS:
M. K. PEES8, A. L. T. PRKS8 AND GUARDIAN PBE8S. *

> 1910. %

i*t

Copyright ftpfiglwtd. 3 - , [ JJf JB^/to Reserved



PREFACE

The Ramayana of Valmeeki is a most unique work.
The Aryans are the oldest race on earth and the most
* advanced ; and the Ramayana is their first and grandest
epic.

The Eddas of Scandinavia, the Niebelungen Lied of
Germany, the Iliad of Homer, the Enead of Virgil, the
Inferno, the Purgatorio, and the Paradiso of Dante, the
Paradise Lost of Milton, the Lusiad of Camcens, the Shah
Nama of Firdausi are Epics and no more ; the Ramayana
of Valmeeki is an Epic and much more.

If any work can clam} to be the Bible of the Hindus,
it is the Ramayana of Valmeeki.

Professor MacDonell, the latest writer on Samskritha
Literature, says :

" The Epic contains the following verse foretelling its
everlasting fame

* As long as moynfain ranges stand

And rivers flow upon the earth,
So long will this Ramayana
Survive upon the lips of men.

This prophecy has been perhaps even more abundantly
fulfilled than the well-known prediction of Horace. No pro-
duct of Sanskrit Literature has enjoyed a greater popularity
in India down to the present day than the Ramayana. Its
story furnishes the subject of many other Sanskrit poems
as well as plays and still delights, from the lips* of reciters,
the hearts of the myriads of the Indian people, as at the



11 PREFACE

great annual Rama-festival held at Benares. It has been
translated into many Indian vernaculars. Above all, it
inspired the greatest poet of medieval Hindustan, Tulasi
Das, to compose in Hindi his version of the epic entitled
Ram Chant Manas, which, with its ideal standard of
virtue and purity, is a kind of Bible to a hundred millions
of the people of Northern India." Sanskrit Literature,
p. 317. So much for the version.

It is a fact within the personal observation of the
elders of our country, that witnesses swear upon a copy of
the Ramayana in the law-courts. Any one called upon
to pay an unjust debt contents himself with saying, " I will
place the money upon the Ramayana , let him take it if he
dares." In private life, the expression, " I swear by the
Ramayana/' is an inviolable oath I know instances where
sums of money were lent upon no other security than a palm
leaf manuscript of the Ramayana too precious a Talisman
to lose When a man yearns for a son to continue his line
on earth and raise him to the Mansions of the Blessed, the
Elders advise him to read the Ramayana or hear it recited,
or at least the Sundarakanda When a man has some
great issue at stake that will either mend or mar his life, he
reads the Sundarakanda or hears it expounded. When a
man is very ill, past medical help, the old people about him
say with one voice, " Read the Sundarakanda in the house
and Maruthi will bring him back to life and health " When
an evil spirit troubles sore a man or a woman, the grey-
beards wag their wise heads and oracularly exclaim, " Ah f
the Sundarakanda never fails " When any one desires to
know the result of a contemplated project, he desires a
child to open a page of the Sundarakanda and decides by
the nature of the subject dealt with therein. (Here is a
case in point. A year or two ago, I was asked by a young
man to advise him whether he should marry or lead a life



lit

<fc single blessedness. I promised to give him an
answer a day or two later. When I was alone,
I took up my Ramayana and asked my child to
open it. And lo ! the first line that met my eye was

Kumbhakarna-siro bhathi
Kundala-lamkntam mahaili.

" The severed head of Kumbhakarna shone high and
huge in the heavens, its splendour heightened by the ear-
rings he wore."

I had not the heart to communicate the result to
the poor man. His people had made everything
ready for his marriage. I could plainly sec that his
inclinations too lay that way. I could urge nothing
against it his health was good, and his worldly position
and prospects high and bright. Ah me f I was myself half-
sceptical So, quite against my better self, I managed to
avoid giving him an answer. And he, taking my silence
for consent, got himself married Alas ! within a year his
place in his house was vacant , his short meteoric life was
over , his health shattered, his public life a failure, his
mind darkened and gloomy by the vision ot his future,
Death was a Whalecum deliverer to him , and an old mother
and a child-wife are left to mourn his untimely end.

The Karma-kanda of the Vedas, the Upamshads, the
Smnthis, the Mahabharatha, the Puranas, nay, no other
work in the vast range of Samskntha literature is regarded
by the Hindus in the same light as the Ramayana The
Karma-kanda is accessible only to a very few, an infini-
tesimal minority of the Brahmanas the Purohiths who
are making a living out of it , and they too know not its
meaning, but recite it parrot-like. The Upamshads are not
for the men of the world , they are for hard-headed
logicianb or calm-minded philosophers. The Smnthib are



IV

but Rules of daily life. The Bharatha is not a very auspi-
cious work ; no devout Hindu would allow it to be read in
in his house, for it brings on strife, dissensions and misfor-
tune ; the temple of the Gods, the Mathas of Sanyasms, the
river-ghauts, and the rest-houses for the travellers are chosen
for the purpose The Bhagavad-geetha enjoys a unique
unpopularity ; for, he who reads or studies it is weaned
away from wife and child, house and home, friends and
km, wealth and power and seeks the Path of Renunciation.
The Puranas are but world-records, religious histories.

But, for a work that gives a man everything he holds
dear and valuable in this world and leads him to the Feet of
the Almighty Father, give me the Ramayana of Valmeeki.

The Lord of Mercy has come down among men time
and oft ; and the Puranas contain incidental records of
it short or long. But, the Ramayana of Valmeeki is the
only biography we have of the Supreme One.

" Nothing that relates to any of the actors in that great
world-drama shall 'escape thy all-seeing eye Rama,
Lakshmana, Seetha, men and monkeys, gods and
Rakshasas, their acts, their words, nay, their very thoughts,
known or secret. Nothing that comes out of your mouth,
consciously or otherwise, shall prove other than true/'
Such was the power of clear vision and clear speech con-
ferred on the poet by the Demiurge, the Ancient of Days.

" What nobler subject for your poem than Sree Rama-
chandra, the Divine Hero, the soul of righteousness, the
perfect embodiment of all that is good and great and the
Director of men's thoughts, words and deeds in the light
of their Karma ? " And this Ideal Man is the Hero of
the Epic.

"The cloud-capped mouritains, the swift-coursing
livers and all created things shdDl passe way and be as



taught. But, your noble song shall outlive them and never
fade from the hearts of men." This is the boon of immor-
tality the poem shall enjoy.

" And as long as the record of Rama's life holds sway
over the hearts of men, so long shall you sit by me in my
highest heaven/' This is the eternity of fame that comes
to the singer as his guerdon

The Hero, the Epic, and the Poet are the most perfect
any one can conceive.

It was composed when the Hero was yet upon earth,
when his deeds and fame were fresh in the hearts of men.
It was sung before himself. "And the poem they recite,
how wonderful in its suggestivencss ' Listen we to it"
such was ///,s estimate of the lay.

It was not written, but sung to sweet music Who were
they that conveyed the message to the hearts of men ? The
very sous of the Divine Hero, "Mark you the radiant glory
that plays around them ' Liker gods than men ! . . . .
Behold these young ascetics, of kingly form and mien. Rare
singers are they and of mighty spiritual energy withal" and
this encomium was from him who is Incarnate Wisdom.

What audience did they sing to ' ''Large concourses
of Brahmanas and warriors, sages and saints . . . .Through
many a land they travelled and sang to many an audience.

Thus many a time and oft did these boys recite it in
crowded halls and broad streets, in sacred groves and
sacrificial grounds And Rama invited to the as-
sembly the literati, the theologians, the expounders of
sacred histories, grammarians, Brahmanas grown grey in
knowledge and experience, phonologists, musical experts,
poets, rhetoricians, logicians, ritualists, philosophers,
astronomers, astrologers, geographers, linguists, statesmen
politicians, professors of music and dancing, painters



vi PREFACE

sculptors, minstrels, physiognomists, kings, merchant^,
farmers, saints, sages, hermits, ascetics ... ."

What was the ettect produced on the hearers ?

" And such the pcrlectness of expression and delicacy
of execution, that the hearers followed them with their
hearts and ears , and such the marvellous power of their
song, that an indescribable sense of bhs^ gradually stole
over them and pervaded their frame and e\ery sense and
faculty of theirs strange, overpowering and almost painful
in its intensity "

What was the cutical estimate ot the audience ;

"What charming musK ' what sweetness and melody
of verse ' And then, the vividness of narration ' We seem to
live and move among old times and scenes long gone by. .

A rare and noble epic this, the Ramavana of honeyed
verses and faultless diction, beautifully adapted to music,
vocal or instrumental and charming to hear , begun and
finished according to the best canons of the art, the most
exacting critic cannot praise it too highly , the first of its
kind and an unapproachable ideal for all time to come , the
best model for all future poets , the thrice-distilled Essence
of the Holy Scriptures , the surest giver oi health and
happiness, length of years and prosperity, to all who read
or listen to it. And, proficients as ye are in cverv style of
music, marvellously have ye sung it."

But what raises Ramayana from the sphere oi literary
works into " a mighty repository of the priceless wisdom
enshrined in the Veelas ' ' The sacred monosyllable, the
Pranava, is the mystic symbol of the Absolute , the Gayathn
is an exposition of the Pranava , the Vedas are the paraphrase
of the Gayathn , and the Ramayana is but the amplification
of the Vedic mysteries and lurmshes the key thereto. Each
letter of the Gayathn begins a thousand ot its stanzas.



PREFACE Vll

\ The p^em is based upon the hymns of the Rig-veda
aught to the author bv Narada For, it is not a record of
incidents that occurred during a certain cycle ; it is
a symbolical account of cosmic events that come about m
every cycle with but slight modifications , Rama, Seetha,
Ravana and the other characteis in the Epu are arcJietvpes
and real characters a mystery within a mvsterv The
numerous k( Inner Meanings " of the Ramasana (vide
Introduction) amph bear out the above remarks

There IN not one relation of hie, ptuate or public,
but is beautifully and perfectly illustrated in the woids and
deeds of the Ramavana characters (vide lyJ^^JMLJlon The
Aims of Life 1 )

It is not a poem of an\ one
world-asset , it must find a
town, in everx village and in





Tin

(a). Tlie Rental recension Ch<
Sardinia, helped Gorressio to bring
of it m 1S(57

(b) The Renare^ mention. Between ISO,") 1H10,
Carey and Marshman, the philanthiopic missionaries
of Serampore, published the text of the hrst h\o kandas and
a halt In 1S4<>, Sehlegel brought <mt an edition oi the
text oi the first two kandas In 1 *,?), the complete text
was lithographed at Bombav, and in ISfjO, a printed edi-
tion ot the same appeared at Calcutta

(r) The South Indian retention While the first two
recensions are in Devanagan, this exists in the Grantha
characters or in the Telugu This uas unknown to the
west and to the other parts of India until ll)0r>, when Mr.
T. R. Knshnacharya of Kumbakonam, Madras Presidency,



Vlil PREFACE

conferred a great boon upon the literary world by publish-
ing a fine edition of it in Devanagari (1905). The earliest
Grantha edition was published in Madras in 1891 by Mr.
K. Subramanya Sastry, with the commentaries of Govmda-
raja, Mahesa-theertha, Ramanuja, Teeka-siromam and
Pena-vachchan-Pillai. Mr. Raja Sastry of Madras has
almost finished another edition of the same (1907), supple-
menting the above commentaries with that of Thilaka (till
now accessible only in Devanagari). It shows a considera-
ble improvement in the matter of paper, type, printing
and get-up. Meanwhile, Mr Knshnacharya has begun
another beautiful edition of his text (1911) with the
commentary of Goymdaraja and extracts from Thilaka,
Theertheeya, Ramanujeeya, Sathyadharma-theertheeya,
Thanisloki, Siromam, Vishamapada-vivnthi, Kathaka,
Munibhavaprakasika etc. It will, when completed, place
before the world many a rare and priceless information in-
accessible till now.

Commentators

1. Govindaraja. He names his work the Ramayana-
Bhooshana " an ornament to the Ramayana, " ; and each
kanda furnishes a variety of it the anklets, the silk -cloth,
the girdle, the pearl necklace, the beauty-mark between the
eye-brows, the tiara and the crest-gem. He is of the
Kausikas and the disciple of Sathakopa. The Lord Venka-
tesa appeared to him in a dream one night while he lay
asleep in front of His shrine on the Serpent Mount and
commanded him to write a commentary on the Ramayana ;
and in devout obedience to the Divine call, he undertook
the task and right manfully has he performed it. It is the
most comprehensive, the most scholarly and the most
authoritative commentary on the Sacred Epic, albeit his
zealous Vaishnavite spirit surges up now and then in a hi-
at Siya and the Saivites, Priceless gems of traditional



PREFACE IX

pretations and oral instructions are embedded in his monu-
mental work.

2. Mahesa-theertha. He declares himself to be the
pupil of Narayana-theertha and has named his work Rama-
yana-thathva-deepika. " I have but written down the
opinions of various great men and have nothing of my own
to give, except where I have tried to explain the inner
meaning of the remarks made by Viradha, Khara, Vali
and Ravana ". In fact, he copies out the commentary of
Govindaraja bodily. He quotes Teeka-siromam and is
criticised by Rama-panditha in his Thilaka.

3. Rama-pan ditha. His commentary, the Rama-
yana-thilaka, was the only one accessible to the
world (outside of southern India), being printed in
Devanagan characters at Calcutta and Bombay. He
quotes from and criticises the Ramayana-thathva-
deepika and the Kathaka, but makes no reference to
Govindaraja. It may be the that work of the latter,
being in the Grantha characters, was not available to him
in Northern India; and Theertha might have studied it
in the South and written his commentary in the Devana-
gan. Rama-panditha is a thorough-going, uncompromising
Adwaithin, and jeers mercilessly at Theertha's esoteric
interpretations. In the Grantha edition of the Ramayana,
the Uthtnarakanda is commented upon only by Govindaraja
and Theertha ; but, the Devanagan edition with the com-
mentary of Rama-panditha, contains word for word, without
a single alteration, the gloss of Mahesatheertha M I have
tried in vain to explain or reconcile this enigma. But, the
Adwaithic tenor of the arguments and the frequent criticisms
of Kathaka, savor more of Rama-panditha than of Theertha.

4. Kathaka. I have not been able to find out the
author of the commentary so named, which exists only in
the extracts quoted in the Thilaka.



X PREFACE

5. Ramanuja. He confines himself mainly to a di#-
cussion of the various readings of the text. What comment-
ary he chances to write now and then, is not very valuable.
He is not to be confounded with the famous Founder of
the Visishtadwaitha School of Philosophy.

6. Thanislokt, Knshna-Samahvaya or as he is more
popularly known by his Tamil cognomen, Pena-vachchan
Pillay, is the author of it. It is not a regular commentary
upon the Ramayana. He selects certain oft-quoted stanzas
and writes short essays upon them, which are much admir-
ed by the people of the South, and form the cram-book of
the professional expounder of the Rarnayana. It is written
in Manipravala a curious combination of Samskntha and
Tamil, with quaint idioms and curious twists of language.
Many of the explanations are far-fetched and wire-drawn
and reveal a spirit of Vaishnavite sectarianism.

7. Abhaya-pradana-sara. Sree Vedantha-desika, the
most prominent personage after Sree Ramanuja, is the
author of this treatise. It selects the incident of Vibheeshana
seeking refuge with Rama (Vibheeshana-saranagathi) as a
typical illustration of the key-rote of the Ramayana the
doctrine of Surrender to the Lord, and deals with the subject
exhaustively. It is written in the Manipravala, as most of
his Tamil works are.

Translations

Gorresio published an Italian rendering of the work
in 1870, It was followed by the French translation of
Hippolyte Fauche's. In the year 1846, Schlegel gave to
the world a Latin version of the first Kanda and a part of the
second. The Serampore Missionaries were the first to
give the Ramayana an English garb ; but they proceeded
no further than two Kandas and a half. Mr. Griffith, Prin-
cipal of the Benares College, was the first to translate the



PREFACE xi

Ramayana into English verse (187074). But, the latest
translation of Valmeeki's immortal epic into English prose
is that of Manmathanath Dutt, M. A., Calcutta (1894).

" Then why go over the same ground and inflict upon the
public another translation of the Ramayana m English prose?"

1 . Mr. Dutt has translated but the text of Valmeeki
and that almost too literally ; he has not placed before the
readers the priceless gems of information contained in the
commentaries.

2. The text that, I think, he has used is the one pub-
lished with the commentary of Rama-panditha, which
differs widely from the South Indian Grantha text in read-
ings and IK the number of stanzas and chapters.

3 More often than once, his rendering is completely
wide of the maik. (It is neither useful nor graceful to make
a list of all such instances. A careful comparison of his
rendering with mine is all I request of any impartial scholar
of Samskntha).

4. I venture to think that his translation conveys not
to a Westerner the beauty, the spirit, the swing, the force
and the grandeur of the original

5, Even supposing that it is a faultless rendering of
a faultless text, it is not all that is required.

G. As is explained in the Introduction, the greatness
of the Ramayana lies in its profound suggestiveness ; and no
literal word-for-word rendering will do the barest justice to it.

7. Many incidents, customs, manners, usages and
traditions of the time of Rama are hinted at or left to be in-
ferred, being within the knowledge of the persons to whom
the poem was sung ; but to the modern world they are a
sealed book.

8. Even such of the above as have lived down to our
times are so utterly changed, altered, nidified and over-laid
by the accretions of ages as to be almost unrecognisable.



Xll



9. The same incident is variously related in various
places.

Every one of the eighteen Puranas, as also the Maha-
bharatha, the Adhyathma Ramayana and the Ananda Rama-
yana, relates the coming down of the Lord as Sree Rama, but
with great divergences of detail ; while the Padmapurana
narrates the life and doings of Sree Rama in a former Kalpa,
which differs very much in the main from the Ramayana
of Valmeeki. The Adbhutha Ramayana and the Vasishtha
Ramayana deal at great length with certain incidents in the
life of Rama as are not touched upon by Valmeeki ; while
the Ananda Ramayana devotes eight Kandas to the history
of Rama after he was crowned at Ayodhya. Innumerable
poems and plays founded upon Valmeeki's epic modify its
incidents greatly, but base themselves on some Purana or
other authoritative work.

10. Many a story that we have heard from the lips of
our elders when we lay around roaring fires during long
wintry nights and which we have come to regard as part and
parcel of the life and doings of Rama, finds no place in
Valmeeki's poem.

11. The poem was to be recited, not read, and to an
ever-changing audience. Only twenty chapters were allow-
ed to be sung a day, neither more nor less. Hence the in-
numerable repititions, recapitulations and other literary
rapids through which it is not very easy to steer our frail
translation craft. The whole range of Samskntha literature,
religious and secular, has to be laid under contribution to
bring home to the minds of the readers a fair and adequate
idea of the message that was conveyed to humanity by
Valmeeki.

12. A bare translation of the text of the Ramayana
is thus of no use nay, more mischievous than useful, in
that it gives an incomplete and la many places a distorted



PREFACE xiii

view of the subject. It is to the commentaries that we
have to turn for explanation, interpretation, amplification,
reconciliation and rounding off. And of these, the most
important, that of Govindaraja, is practically inaccessible
except to the Tamil-speaking races of India. The saints
of the Dravida country, the Alwars from Sree Sathakopa
downwards, have taken up the study of the Ramayana of
Valmeeki as a special branch of the Vedantha and have
left behind them a large literature on the subject, original
and explanatory. The Divya-prabandhas and their numer-
ous commentaries are all in the quaint archaic Tamil style
known as Mampravala, and are entirely unknown to the
non-Tamil-speaking world. With those teachers the Rama-
yana was not an ordinary epic, not even an Ithihasa.
It was something higher, grander and more sacred. It
was an Upadesa-Grantha a Book of Initiation , and no true
Vaishnava may read it unless he has been initiated by his
Guru into its mysteries. It is to him what the Bible was to
the Catholic world of the Medieval Ages ; only the Initiated,
the clergy as it were, could read and expound it. Over and
above all this, there are many priceless teachings about the
Inner Mysteries of the Ramayana which find no place in
written books. They form part of the instructions that the
Guru gives to the Disciple by word of mouth.

13. Then again, there is the never-ending discussion
about the method of translation to be followed. Max-
Muller, the Grand Old Man of the Orientalist School opines
thus : " When I was enabled to collate copies which came
from the south of India, the opinion,which I have often ex-
pressed of the great value of Southern Mss. received fresh
confirmation The study of Grantha and other southern
Mss, will inaugurate, I believe, a new period in the critical
treatment of Sanskrit texts. The rule which I have follow-
ed myself, and which I have asked my fellow-translators



Xiv PREPACK

to follow, has been adhered to in this new volume atoo,
viz. whenever a choice has to be made between what is
not quite faithful and what is not quite English, to surren-
der, without hesitation, the idiom rather than the accuracy
of the translation. I know that all true scholars have ap-
proved of this, and if some of our critics have been offend-
ed by certain unidiomatic expressions occurring in our
translations, all I can say is, that we shall always be most
grateful if they would suggest translations which are not
only faithful, but also idiomatic. For the purpose we have
in view, a rugged but faithful translation seems to us more
useful than a smooth but misleading one.

However, we have laid ourselves open to another kind
of censure also, namely, of having occasionally not been
literal enough. It is impossible to argue these questions in
general, but every translator knows that in many cases a
literal translation may convey an entirely wrong mean-
ing. " Introduction to his Translation of the Upamshads.
Part II, p. 13

" It is difficult to explain to those who have not them-
selves worked at the Veda, how it is that, though we may
understand almost every word, yet we find it so difficult
to lay hold of a whole chain of connected thought and to
discover expressions that will not throw a wrong shade on
the original features of the ancient words of the Veda. We
have, on the one hand, to avoid giving to our translations
too modern a character or paraphrasing instead of tran-
slating ; while on the other, we cannot retain expressions
which, if literally rendered in English or any modern
tongue, would have an air of quamtness or absurdity totally
foreign to the intention of the ancient poets.

While in my translation of the Veda in the remarks
that I have to make in the course of my commentary, I
shall frequently differ from other scholars, who have dope



PREFACE XV

their best and who have done what they have done in a truly
scholarlike, that is in a humble spirit, it would be un-
pleasant, even were it possible within the limits assigned,
to criticise every opinion that has been put forward on the
meaning of certain words or on the construction of certain
verses of the Veda. I prefer as much as possible to vindi-
cate my own translation, instead of examining the transla-
tions of other scholars, whether Indian or European. "
From the Preface to his translation of the Rig-veda Samhitha.

In his letter to me of the 26th of January 1892,
referring to my proposal to translate the Markandeya Purana
as one of the Sacred Books of the East, he writes

" I shall place your letter before the Chancellor and
Delegates of the Press, and I hope they may accept your
proposal. If you would send me a specimen of your
translation, clearly written, I shall be glad to examine it,
and compare it with the text in the Bibliotheca Iinlua.
I have a Mss. of the Markandeya-punma. Possibly the palm
leaf Mss. in Grantha letters would supply you with a better
text than that printed in the Ribliotheca Indica"

But, Mrs. Besant, in her Introduction to ' The Laws of
Manu, in the Light of Theosophy. By Bhagavan Das,
M. A./ takes a different view

" One explanatory statement should be made as to the
method of conveying to the modern reader the thought of
the ancient writer. The European Orientalist, with admir-
able scrupulosity and tireless patience, works away labon-
busly with dictionary and grammar to give an " accurate
and scholarly translation " of the foreign language which
he is striving to interpret. What else can he do ? But the
Result, as compared with the Original, is like the dead
pressed specimen ' of the botanist beside the breathing
living flower of the garden. Even I, with my poor know-
ledge of Samsknt, know the joy of contacting the pulsing



XVI PREFACE

virile scriptures in their own tongue, and the inexpressible
dulness and dreariness of their scholarly renderings into
English. But our lecturer is a Hindu, who from childhood
upwards has lived in the atmosphere of the elder days ;
he heard the old stories before he could read, sung by
grand-mother, aunt, and pandit ; when he is tired now, he
finds his recreation in chanting over the well-loved stanzas
of an Ancient Purana, crooning them softly as a lullaby to
a weaned mind ; to him the ' well-constructed language '
(Samsknt) is the mother-tongue,

_________________
The Flesh of Fallen Angels! Come to me all! Asteroth,

Beelzebub, Asmodeus, Bapholada, Lucifer, Loki, Satan,

Cthulhu, Lilith, Della! Blood, to you all!

I'm the wolf, yeah!
I am the wolf! It's close, it's coming. You have come.
The witness to the end, of time. It's now! I will rise to
her side! I don't need the words!
I'm beyond the words!

_________________

1 pcs.
1 pcs.
1 pcs.
1 pcs.


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The Mahabharata

of

Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa

BOOK 17

Mahaprasthanika-parva



Translated into English Prose from the Original Sanskrit Text

by

Kisari Mohan Ganguli

[1883-1896]

Scanned and Proofed by Mantra Caitanya. Additional proofing and
formatting at sacred-texts.com, by J. B. Hare, October 2003.





1

Om! Having bowed down unto Narayana, and to Nara, the foremost of men, as
also to the goddess Sarasvati, should the word "Jaya" be uttered.

Janamejaya said: "Having heard of that encounter with iron bolts between
the heroes of the Vrishni and the Andhaka races, and having been informed
also of Krishnas ascension to Heaven, what did the Pandavas do?"

Vaishampayana said: "Having heard the particulars of the great slaughter
of the Vrishnis, the Kaurava king set his heart on leaving the world. He
addressed Arjuna, saying, O thou of great intelligence, it is Time that
cooks every creature (in his cauldron). I think that what has happened is
due to the cords of Time (with which he binds us all). It behoveth thee
also to see it.

"Thus addressed by his brother, the son of Kunti only repeated the word
Time, Time! and fully endorsed the view of his eldest brother gifted with
great intelligence. Ascertaining the resolution of Arjuna, Bhimasena and
the twins fully endorsed the words that Arjuna had said. Resolved to
retire from the world for earning merit, they brought Yuyutsu before
them. Yudhishthira made over the kingdom to the son of his uncle by his
Vaisya wife. Installing Parikshit also on their throne, as king, the
eldest brother of the Pandavas, filled with sorrow, addressed Subhadra,
saying, This son of thy son will be the king of the Kurus. The survivor
of the Yadus, Vajra, has been made a king. Parikshit will rule in
Hastinapura, while the Yadava prince, Vajra, will rule in Shakraprastha.
He should be protected by thee. Never set thy heart on unrighteousness.

"Having said these words, king Yudhishthira the just, along with his
brothers, promptly offered oblations of water unto Vasudeva of great
intelligence, as also unto his old maternal uncle and Rama and others. He
then duly performed the Sraddhas of all those deceased kinsmen of his.
The king, in honour of Hari and naming him repeatedly, fed the
Island-born Vyasa, and Narada, and Markandeya possessed of wealth of
penances, and Yajnavalkya of Bharadwajas race, with many delicious
viands. In honour of Krishna, he also gave away many jewels and gems, and
robes and clothes, and villages, and horses and cars, and female slaves
by hundreds and thousands unto foremost of Brahmanas. Summoning the
citizens. Kripa was installed as the preceptor and Parikshit was made
over to him as his disciple, O chief of Bharatas race.

"Then Yudhishthira once more summoned all his subjects. The royal sage
informed them of his intentions. The citizens and the inhabitants of the
provinces, hearing the kings words, became filled with anxiety and
disapproved of them. This should never be done, said they unto the king.
The monarch, well versed with the changes brought about by time, did not
listen to their counsels. Possessed of righteous soul, he persuaded the
people to sanction his views. He then set his heart on leaving the world.
His brothers also formed the same resolution. Then Dharmas son,
Yudhishthira, the king of the Kurus, casting off his ornaments, wore
barks of trees. Bhima and Arjuna and the twins, and Draupadi also of
great fame, similarly clad themselves in bark of trees, O king. Having
caused the preliminary rites of religion, O chief of Bharatas race, which
were to bless them in the accomplishment of their design, those foremost
of men cast off their sacred fires into the water. The ladies, beholding
the princes in that guise, wept aloud. They seemed to look as they had
looked in days before, when with Draupadi forming the sixth in number
they set out from the capital after their defeat at dice. The brothers,
however, were all very cheerful at the prospect of retirement.
Ascertaining the intentions of Yudhishthira and seeing the destruction of
the Vrishnis, no other course of action could please them then.

"The five brothers, with Draupadi forming the sixth, and a dog forming
the seventh, set out on their journey. Indeed, even thus did king
Yudhishthira depart, himself the head of a party of seven, from the city
named after the elephant. The citizen and the ladies of the royal
household followed them for some distance. None of them, however, could
venture to address the king for persuading him to give up his intention.
The denizens of the city then returned; Kripa and others stood around
Yuyutsu as their centre. Ulupi, the daughter of the Naga chief, O thou of
Kuntis race, entered the waters of Ganga. The princess Chitrangada set
out for the capital of Manipura. The other ladies who were the
grandmothers of Parikshit centered around him. Meanwhile the high-souled
Pandavas, O thou of Kurus race, and Draupadi of great fame, having
observed the preliminary fast, set out with their faces towards the east.
Setting themselves on Yoga, those high-souled ones, resolved to observe
the religion of Renunciation, traversed through various countries and
reached diverse rivers and seas. Yudhishthira, proceeded first. Behind
him was Bhima; next walked Arjuna; after him were the twins in the order
of their birth; behind them all, O foremost one of Bharatas race,
proceeded Draupadi, that first of women, possessed of great beauty, of
dark complexion, and endued with eyes resembling lotus petals. While the
Pandavas set out for the forest, a dog followed them.

"Proceeding on, those heroes reached the sea of red waters. Dhananjaya
had not cast off his celestial bow Gandiva, nor his couple of
inexhaustible quivers, actuated, O king, by the cupidity that attaches
one to things of great value. The Pandavas there beheld the deity of fire
standing before them like a hill. Closing their way, the god stood there
in his embodied form. The deity of seven flames then addressed the
Pandavas, saying, Ye heroic sons of Pandu, know me for the deity of fire.
O mighty-armed Yudhishthira, O Bhimasena that art a scorcher of foes, O
Arjuna, and ye twins of great courage, listen to what I say! Ye foremost
ones of Kurus race, I am the god of fire. The forest of Khandava was
burnt by me, through the puissance of Arjuna and of Narayana himself. Let
your brother Phalguna proceed to the woods after casting off Gandiva,
that high weapon. He has no longer any need of it. That precious discus,
which was with the high-souled Krishna, has disappeared (from the world).
When the time again comes, it will come back into his hands. This
foremost of bows, Gandiva, was procured by me from Varuna for the use of
Partha. Let it be made over to Varuna himself.

"At this, all the brothers urged Dhananjaya to do what the deity said. He
then threw into the waters (of the sea) both the bow and the couple of
inexhaustible quivers. After this, O chief of Bharatas race, the god of
the fire disappeared then and there. The heroic sons of Pandu next
proceeded with their faces turned towards the south. Then, by the
northern coast of the salt sea, those princes of Bharatas race proceeded
to the south-west. Turning next towards the west, they beheld the city of
Dwaraka covered by the ocean. Turning next to the north, those foremost
ones proceeded on. Observant of Yoga, they were desirous of making a
round of the whole Earth."



2

Vaishampayana said: "Those princes of restrained souls and devoted to
Yoga, proceeding to the north, beheld Himavat, that very large mountain.
Crossing the Himavat, they beheld a vast desert of sand. They then saw
the mighty mountain Meru, the foremost of all high-peaked mountains. As
those mighty ones were proceeding quickly, all rapt in Yoga, Yajnaseni,
falling of from Yoga, dropped down on the Earth. Beholding her fallen
down, Bhimasena of great strength addressed king Yudhishthira the just,
saying, O scorcher of foes, this princess never did any sinful act. Tell
us what the cause is for which Krishna has fallen down on the Earth!

"Yudhishthira said: O best of men, though we were all equal unto her she
had great partiality for Dhananjaya. She obtains the fruit of that
conduct today, O best of men."

Vaishampayana continued: "Having said this, that foremost one of Bharatas
race proceeded on. Of righteous soul, that foremost of men, endued with
great intelligence, went on, with mind intent on itself. Then Sahadeva of
great learning fell down on the Earth. Beholding him drop down, Bhima
addressed the king, saying, He who with great humility used to serve us
all, alas, why is that son of Madravati fallen down on the Earth?

"Yudhishthira said, He never thought anybody his equal in wisdom. It is
for that fault that this prince has fallen down.

Vaishampayana continued: "Having said this, the king proceeded, leaving
Sahadeva there. Indeed, Kuntis son Yudhishthira went on, with his
brothers and with the dog. Beholding both Krishna and the Pandava
Sahadeva fallen down, the brave Nakula, whose love for kinsmen was very
great, fell down himself. Upon the falling down of the heroic Nakula of
great personal beauty, Bhima once more addressed the king, saying, This
brother of ours who was endued with righteousness without incompleteness,
and who always obeyed our behests, this Nakula who was unrivalled for
beauty, has fallen down.

"Thus addressed by Bhimasena, Yudhishthira, said, with respect to Nakula,
these words: He was of righteous soul and the foremost of all persons
endued with intelligence. He, however, thought that there was nobody that
equalled him in beauty of person. Indeed, he regarded himself as superior
to all in that respect. It is for this that Nakula has fallen down. Know
this, O Vrikodara. What has been ordained for a person, O hero, must have
to be endured by him.

"Beholding Nakula and the others fall down, Pandus son Arjuna of white
steeds, that slayer of hostile heroes, fell down in great grief of heart.
When that foremost of men, who was endued with the energy of Shakra, had
fallen down, indeed, when that invincible hero was on the point of death,
Bhima said unto the king, I do not recollect any untruth uttered by this
high-souled one. Indeed, not even in jest did he say anything false. What
then is that for whose evil consequence this one has fallen down on the
Earth?

"Yudhishthira said, Arjuna had said that he would consume all our foes in
a single day. Proud of his heroism, he did not, however, accomplish what
he had said. Hence has he fallen down. This Phalguna disregarded all
wielders of bows. One desirous of prosperity should never indulge in such
sentiments."

Vaishampayana continued: "Having said so, the king proceeded on. Then
Bhima fell down. Having fallen down, Bhima addressed king Yudhishthira
the just, saying, O king, behold, I who am thy darling have fallen down.
For what reason have I dropped down? Tell me if thou knowest it.

"Yudhishthira said, Thou wert a great eater, and thou didst use to boast
of thy strength. Thou never didst attend, O Bhima, to the wants of others
while eating. It is for that, O Bhima, that thou hast fallen down.

"Having said these words, the mighty-armed Yudhishthira proceeded on,
without looking back. He had only one companion, the dog of which I have
repeatedly spoken to thee, that followed him now.



3

Vaishampayana said: "Then Shakra, causing the firmament and the Earth to
be filled by a loud sound, came to the son of Pritha on a car and asked
him to ascend it. Beholding his brothers fallen on the Earth, king
Yudhishthira the just said unto that deity of a 1,000 eyes these words:
My brothers have all dropped down here. They must go with me. Without
them by me I do not wish to go to Heaven, O lord of all the deities. The
delicate princess (Draupadi) deserving of every comfort, O Purandara,
should go with us. It behoveth thee to permit this.

"Shakra said, Thou shalt behold thy brothers in Heaven. They have reached
it before thee. Indeed, thou shalt see all of them there, with Krishna.
Do not yield to grief, O chief of the Bharatas. Having cast off their
human bodies they have gone there, O chief of Bharatas race. As regards
thee, it is ordained that thou shalt go thither in this very body of
thine.

"Yudhishthira said, This dog, O lord of the Past and the Present, is
exceedingly devoted to me. He should go with me. My heart is full of
compassion for him.

"Shakra said, Immortality and a condition equal to mine, O king,
prosperity extending in all directions, and high success, and all the
felicities of Heaven, thou hast won today. Do thou cast off this dog. In
this there will be no cruelty.

"Yudhishthira said, O thou of a 1,000 eyes. O thou that art of righteous
behaviour, it is exceedingly difficult for one that is of righteous
behaviour to perpetrate an act that is unrighteous. I do not desire that
union with prosperity for which I shall have to cast off one that is
devoted to me.

"Indra said, There is no place in Heaven for persons with dogs. Besides,
the (deities called) Krodhavasas take away all the merits of such
persons. Reflecting on this, act, O king Yudhishthira the just. Do thou
abandon this dog. There is no cruelty in this.

"Yudhishthira said, It has been said that the abandonment of one that is
devoted is infinitely sinful. It is equal to the sin that one incurs by
slaying a Brahmana. Hence, O great Indra, I shall not abandon this dog
today from desire of my happiness. Even this is my vow steadily pursued,
that I never give up a person that is terrified, nor one that is devoted
to me, nor one that seeks my protection, saying that he is destitute, nor
one that is afflicted, nor one that has come to me, nor one that is weak
in protecting oneself, nor one that is solicitous of life. I shall never
give up such a one till my own life is at an end.

"Indra said, Whatever gifts, or sacrifices spread out, or libations
poured on the sacred fire, are seen by a dog, are taken away by the
Krodhavasas. Do thou, therefore, abandon this dog. By abandoning this dog
thou wilt attain to the region of the deities. Having abandoned thy
brothers and Krishna, thou hast, O hero, acquired a region of felicity by
thy own deeds. Why art thou so stupefied? Thou hast renounced everything.
Why then dost thou not renounce this dog? "Yudhishthira said, This is
well known in all the worlds that there is neither friendship nor enmity
with those that are dead. When my brothers and Krishna died, I was unable
to revive them. Hence it was that I abandoned them. I did not, however,
abandon them as long as they were alive. To frighten one that has sought
protection, the slaying of a woman, the theft of what belongs to a
Brahmana, and injuring a friend, each of these four, O Shakra, is I think
equal to the abandonment of one that is devoted."

Vaishampayana continued: "Hearing these words of king Yudhishthira the
just, (the dog became transformed into) the deity of Righteousness, who,
well pleased, said these words unto him in a sweet voice fraught with
praise.

"Dharma said: Thou art well born, O king of kings, and possessed of the
intelligence and the good conduct of Pandu. Thou hast compassion for all
creatures, O Bharata, of which this is a bright example. Formerly, O son,
thou wert once examined by me in the woods of Dwaita, where thy brothers
of great prowess met with (an appearance of) death. Disregarding both thy
brothers Bhima and Arjuna, thou didst wish for the revival of Nakula from
thy desire of doing good to thy (step-) mother. On the present occasion,
thinking the dog to be devoted to thee, thou hast renounced the very car
of the celestials instead of renouncing him. Hence. O king, there is no
one in Heaven that is equal to thee. Hence, O Bharata, regions of
inexhaustible felicity are thine. Thou hast won them, O chief of the
Bharatas, and thine is a celestial and high goal."

Vaishampayana continued: "Then Dharma, and Shakra, and the Maruts, and
the Ashvinis, and other deities, and the celestial Rishis, causing
Yudhishthira to ascend on a car, proceeded to Heaven. Those beings
crowned with success and capable of going everywhere at will, rode their
respective cars. King Yudhishthira, that perpetuator of Kurus race,
riding on that car, ascended quickly, causing the entire welkin to blaze
with his effulgence. Then Narada, that foremost of all speakers, endued
with penances, and conversant with all the worlds, from amidst that
concourse of deities, said these words: All those royal sages that are
here have their achievements transcended by those of Yudhishthira.
Covering all the worlds by his fame and splendour and by his wealth of
conduct, he has attained to Heaven in his own (human) body. None else
than the son of Pandu has been heard to achieve this.

"Hearing these words of Narada, the righteous-souled king, saluting the
deities and all the royal sages there present, said, Happy or miserable,
whatever the region be that is now my brothers, I desire to proceed to. I
do not wish to go anywhere else.

"Hearing this speech of the king, the chief of the deities, Purandara,
said these words fraught with noble sense: Do thou live in this place, O
king of kings, which thou hast won by thy meritorious deeds. Why dost
thou still cherish human affections? Thou hast attained to great success,
the like of which no other man has ever been able to attain. Thy
brothers, O delighter of the Kurus, have succeeded in winning regions of
felicity. Human affections still touch thee. This is Heaven. Behold these
celestial Rishis and Siddhas who have attained to the region of the gods.

"Gifted with great intelligence, Yudhishthira answered the chief of the
deities once more, saying, O conqueror of Daityas, I venture not to dwell
anywhere separated from them. I desire to go there, where my brothers
have gone. I wish to go there where that foremost of women, Draupadi, of
ample proportions and darkish complexion and endued with great
intelligence and righteous of conduct, has gone."

The end of Mahaprasthanika-parv

_________________
The Flesh of Fallen Angels! Come to me all! Asteroth,

Beelzebub, Asmodeus, Bapholada, Lucifer, Loki, Satan,

Cthulhu, Lilith, Della! Blood, to you all!

I'm the wolf, yeah!
I am the wolf! It's close, it's coming. You have come.
The witness to the end, of time. It's now! I will rise to
her side! I don't need the words!
I'm beyond the words!


_________________

1 pcs.
1 pcs.
1 pcs.
1 pcs.


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Re: POST, POST LIKE YOU NEVER POSTED BEFORE!
The Mahabharata

of

Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa

BOOK 1

ADI PARVA

Translated into English Prose from the Original Sanskrit Text

by

Kisari Mohan Ganguli

[1883-1896]

Scanned at sacred-texts.com, 2003. Proofed at Distributed Proofing,
Juliet Sutherland, Project Manager. Additional proofing and formatting at
sacred-texts.com, by J. B. Hare.



TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE

The object of a translator should ever be to hold the mirror upto his
author. That being so, his chief duty is to represent so far as
practicable the manner in which his author's ideas have been expressed,
retaining if possible at the sacrifice of idiom and taste all the
peculiarities of his author's imagery and of language as well. In regard
to translations from the Sanskrit, nothing is easier than to dish up
Hindu ideas, so as to make them agreeable to English taste. But the
endeavour of the present translator has been to give in the following
pages as literal a rendering as possible of the great work of Vyasa. To
the purely English reader there is much in the following pages that will
strike as ridiculous. Those unacquainted with any language but their own
are generally very exclusive in matters of taste. Having no knowledge of
models other than what they meet with in their own tongue, the standard
they have formed of purity and taste in composition must necessarily be a
narrow one. The translator, however, would ill-discharge his duty, if for
the sake of avoiding ridicule, he sacrificed fidelity to the original. He
must represent his author as he is, not as he should be to please the
narrow taste of those entirely unacquainted with him. Mr. Pickford, in
the preface to his English translation of the Mahavira Charita, ably
defends a close adherence to the original even at the sacrifice of idiom
and taste against the claims of what has been called 'Free Translation,'
which means dressing the author in an outlandish garb to please those to
whom he is introduced.

In the preface to his classical translation of Bhartrihari's Niti Satakam
and Vairagya Satakam, Mr. C.H. Tawney says, "I am sensible that in the
present attempt I have retained much local colouring. For instance, the
ideas of worshipping the feet of a god of great men, though it frequently
occurs in Indian literature, will undoubtedly move the laughter of
Englishmen unacquainted with Sanskrit, especially if they happen to
belong to that class of readers who revel their attention on the
accidental and remain blind to the essential. But a certain measure of
fidelity to the original even at the risk of making oneself ridiculous,
is better than the studied dishonesty which characterises so many
translations of oriental poets."

We fully subscribe to the above although, it must be observed, the
censure conveyed to the class of translators last indicated is rather
undeserved, there being nothing like a 'studied dishonesty' in their
efforts which proceed only from a mistaken view of their duties and as
such betray only an error of the head but not of the heart. More than
twelve years ago when Babu Pratapa Chandra Roy, with Babu Durga Charan
Banerjee, went to my retreat at Seebpore, for engaging me to translate
the Mahabharata into English, I was amazed with the grandeur of the
scheme. My first question to him was,--whence was the money to come,
supposing my competence for the task. Pratapa then unfolded to me the
details of his plan, the hopes he could legitimately cherish of
assistance from different quarters. He was full of enthusiasm. He showed
me Dr. Rost's letter, which, he said, had suggested to him the
undertaking. I had known Babu Durga Charan for many years and I had the
highest opinion of his scholarship and practical good sense. When he
warmly took Pratapa's side for convincing me of the practicability of the
scheme, I listened to him patiently. The two were for completing all
arrangements with me the very day. To this I did not agree. I took a
week's time to consider. I consulted some of my literary friends,
foremost among whom was the late lamented Dr. Sambhu C. Mookherjee. The
latter, I found, had been waited upon by Pratapa. Dr. Mookherjee spoke to
me of Pratapa as a man of indomitable energy and perseverance. The result
of my conference with Dr. Mookherjee was that I wrote to Pratapa asking
him to see me again. In this second interview estimates were drawn up,
and everything was arranged as far as my portion of the work was
concerned. My friend left with me a specimen of translation which he had
received from Professor Max Muller. This I began to study, carefully
comparing it sentence by sentence with the original. About its literal
character there could be no doubt, but it had no flow and, therefore,
could not be perused with pleasure by the general reader. The translation
had been executed thirty years ago by a young German friend of the great
Pundit. I had to touch up every sentence. This I did without at all
impairing faithfulness to the original. My first 'copy' was set up in
type and a dozen sheets were struck off. These were submitted to the
judgment of a number of eminent writers, European and native. All of
them, I was glad to see, approved of the specimen, and then the task of
translating the Mahabharata into English seriously began.

Before, however, the first fasciculus could be issued, the question as to
whether the authorship of the translation should be publicly owned,
arose. Babu Pratapa Chandra Roy was against anonymity. I was for it. The
reasons I adduced were chiefly founded upon the impossibility of one
person translating the whole of the gigantic work. Notwithstanding my
resolve to discharge to the fullest extent the duty that I took up, I
might not live to carry it out. It would take many years before the end
could be reached. Other circumstances than death might arise in
consequence of which my connection with the work might cease. It could
not be desirable to issue successive fasciculus with the names of a
succession of translators appearing on the title pages. These and other
considerations convinced my friend that, after all, my view was correct.
It was, accordingly, resolved to withhold the name of the translator. As
a compromise, however, between the two views, it was resolved to issue
the first fasciculus with two prefaces, one over the signature of the
publisher and the other headed--'Translator's Preface.' This, it was
supposed, would effectually guard against misconceptions of every kind.
No careful reader would then confound the publisher with the author.

Although this plan was adopted, yet before a fourth of the task had been
accomplished, an influential Indian journal came down upon poor Pratapa
Chandra Roy and accused him openly of being a party to a great literary
imposture, viz., of posing before the world as the translator of Vyasa's
work when, in fact, he was only the publisher. The charge came upon my
friend as a surprise, especially as he had never made a secret of the
authorship in his correspondence with Oriental scholars in every part of
the world. He promptly wrote to the journal in question, explaining the
reasons there were for anonymity, and pointing to the two prefaces with
which the first fasciculus had been given to the world. The editor
readily admitted his mistake and made a satisfactory apology.

Now that the translation has been completed, there can no longer be any
reason for withholding the name of the translator. The entire translation
is practically the work of one hand. In portions of the Adi and the Sabha
Parvas, I was assisted by Babu Charu Charan Mookerjee. About four forms
of the Sabha Parva were done by Professor Krishna Kamal Bhattacharya, and
about half a fasciculus during my illness, was done by another hand. I
should however state that before passing to the printer the copy received
from these gentlemen I carefully compared every sentence with the
original, making such alterations as were needed for securing a
uniformity of style with the rest of the work.

I should here observe that in rendering the Mahabharata into English I
have derived very little aid from the three Bengali versions that are
supposed to have been executed with care. Every one of these is full of
inaccuracies and blunders of every description. The Santi in particular
which is by far the most difficult of the eighteen Parvas, has been made
a mess of by the Pundits that attacked it. Hundreds of ridiculous
blunders can be pointed out in both the Rajadharma and the Mokshadharma
sections. Some of these I have pointed out in footnotes.

I cannot lay claim to infallibility. There are verses in the Mahabharata
that are exceedingly difficult to construe. I have derived much aid from
the great commentator Nilakantha. I know that Nilakantha's authority is
not incapable of being challenged. But when it is remembered that the
interpretations given by Nilakantha came down to him from preceptors of
olden days, one should think twice before rejecting Nilakantha as a guide.

About the readings I have adopted, I should say that as regards the first
half of the work, I have generally adhered to the Bengal texts; as
regards the latter half, to the printed Bombay edition. Sometimes
individual sections, as occurring in the Bengal editions, differ widely,
in respect of the order of the verses, from the corresponding ones in the
Bombay edition. In such cases I have adhered to the Bengal texts,
convinced that the sequence of ideas has been better preserved in the
Bengal editions than the Bombay one.

I should express my particular obligations to Pundit Ram Nath Tarkaratna,
the author of 'Vasudeva Vijayam' and other poems, Pundit Shyama Charan
Kaviratna, the learned editor of Kavyaprakasha with the commentary of
Professor Mahesh Chandra Nayaratna, and Babu Aghore Nath Banerjee, the
manager of the Bharata Karyalaya. All these scholars were my referees on
all points of difficulty. Pundit Ram Nath's solid scholarship is known to
them that have come in contact with him. I never referred to him a
difficulty that he could not clear up. Unfortunately, he was not always
at hand to consult. Pundit Shyama Charan Kaviratna, during my residence
at Seebpore, assisted me in going over the Mokshadharma sections of the
Santi Parva. Unostentatious in the extreme, Kaviratna is truly the type
of a learned Brahman of ancient India. Babu Aghore Nath Banerjee also has
from time to time, rendered me valuable assistance in clearing my
difficulties.

Gigantic as the work is, it would have been exceedingly difficult for me
to go on with it if I had not been encouraged by Sir Stuart Bayley, Sir
Auckland Colvin, Sir Alfred Croft, and among Oriental scholars, by the
late lamented Dr. Reinhold Rost, and Mons. A. Barth of Paris. All these
eminent men know from the beginning that the translation was proceeding
from my pen. Notwithstanding the enthusiasm, with which my poor friend,
Pratapa Chandra Roy, always endeavoured to fill me. I am sure my energies
would have flagged and patience exhausted but for the encouraging words
which I always received from these patrons and friends of the enterprise.

Lastly, I should name my literary chief and friend, Dr. Sambhu C.
Mookherjee. The kind interest he took in my labours, the repeated
exhortations he addressed to me inculcating patience, the care with which
he read every fasciculus as it came out, marking all those passages which
threw light upon topics of antiquarian interest, and the words of praise
he uttered when any expression particularly happy met his eyes, served to
stimulate me more than anything else in going on with a task that
sometimes seemed to me endless.

Kisari Mohan Ganguli

Calcutta



THE MAHABHARATA

ADI PARVA

SECTION I

Om! Having bowed down to Narayana and Nara, the most exalted male being,
and also to the goddess Saraswati, must the word Jaya be uttered.

Ugrasrava, the son of Lomaharshana, surnamed Sauti, well-versed in the
Puranas, bending with humility, one day approached the great sages of
rigid vows, sitting at their ease, who had attended the twelve years'
sacrifice of Saunaka, surnamed Kulapati, in the forest of Naimisha. Those
ascetics, wishing to hear his wonderful narrations, presently began to
address him who had thus arrived at that recluse abode of the inhabitants
of the forest of Naimisha. Having been entertained with due respect by
those holy men, he saluted those Munis (sages) with joined palms, even
all of them, and inquired about the progress of their asceticism. Then
all the ascetics being again seated, the son of Lomaharshana humbly
occupied the seat that was assigned to him. Seeing that he was
comfortably seated, and recovered from fatigue, one of the Rishis
beginning the conversation, asked him, 'Whence comest thou, O lotus-eyed
Sauti, and where hast thou spent the time? Tell me, who ask thee, in
detail.'

Accomplished in speech, Sauti, thus questioned, gave in the midst of that
big assemblage of contemplative Munis a full and proper answer in words
consonant with their mode of life.

"Sauti said, 'Having heard the diverse sacred and wonderful stories which
were composed in his Mahabharata by Krishna-Dwaipayana, and which were
recited in full by Vaisampayana at the Snake-sacrifice of the high-souled
royal sage Janamejaya and in the presence also of that chief of Princes,
the son of Parikshit, and having wandered about, visiting many sacred
waters and holy shrines, I journeyed to the country venerated by the
Dwijas (twice-born) and called Samantapanchaka where formerly was fought
the battle between the children of Kuru and Pandu, and all the chiefs of
the land ranged on either side. Thence, anxious to see you, I am come
into your presence. Ye reverend sages, all of whom are to me as Brahma;
ye greatly blessed who shine in this place of sacrifice with the
splendour of the solar fire: ye who have concluded the silent meditations
and have fed the holy fire; and yet who are sitting--without care, what,
O ye Dwijas (twice-born), shall I repeat, shall I recount the sacred
stories collected in the Puranas containing precepts of religious duty
and of worldly profit, or the acts of illustrious saints and sovereigns
of mankind?"

"The Rishi replied, 'The Purana, first promulgated by the great Rishi
Dwaipayana, and which after having been heard both by the gods and the
Brahmarshis was highly esteemed, being the most eminent narrative that
exists, diversified both in diction and division, possessing subtile
meanings logically combined, and gleaned from the Vedas, is a sacred
work. Composed in elegant language, it includeth the subjects of other
books. It is elucidated by other Shastras, and comprehendeth the sense of
the four Vedas. We are desirous of hearing that history also called
Bharata, the holy composition of the wonderful Vyasa, which dispelleth
the fear of evil, just as it was cheerfully recited by the Rishi
Vaisampayana, under the direction of Dwaipayana himself, at the
snake-sacrifice of Raja Janamejaya?'

"Sauti then said, 'Having bowed down to the primordial being Isana, to
whom multitudes make offerings, and who is adored by the multitude; who
is the true incorruptible one, Brahma, perceptible, imperceptible,
eternal; who is both a non-existing and an existing-non-existing being;
who is the universe and also distinct from the existing and non-existing
universe; who is the creator of high and low; the ancient, exalted,
inexhaustible one; who is Vishnu, beneficent and the beneficence itself,
worthy of all preference, pure and immaculate; who is Hari, the ruler of
the faculties, the guide of all things moveable and immoveable; I will
declare the sacred thoughts of the illustrious sage Vyasa, of marvellous
deeds and worshipped here by all. Some bards have already published this
history, some are now teaching it, and others, in like manner, will
hereafter promulgate it upon the earth. It is a great source of
knowledge, established throughout the three regions of the world. It is
possessed by the twice-born both in detailed and compendious forms. It is
the delight of the learned for being embellished with elegant
expressions, conversations human and divine, and a variety of poetical
measures.

In this world, when it was destitute of brightness and light, and
enveloped all around in total darkness, there came into being, as the
primal cause of creation, a mighty egg, the one inexhaustible seed of all
created beings. It is called Mahadivya, and was formed at the beginning
of the Yuga, in which we are told, was the true light Brahma, the eternal
one, the wonderful and inconceivable being present alike in all places;
the invisible and subtile cause, whose nature partaketh of entity and
non-entity. From this egg came out the lord Pitamaha Brahma, the one only
Prajapati; with Suraguru and Sthanu. Then appeared the twenty-one
Prajapatis, viz., Manu, Vasishtha and Parameshthi; ten Prachetas, Daksha,
and the seven sons of Daksha. Then appeared the man of inconceivable
nature whom all the Rishis know and so the Viswe-devas, the Adityas, the
Vasus, and the twin Aswins; the Yakshas, the Sadhyas, the Pisachas, the
Guhyakas, and the Pitris. After these were produced the wise and most
holy Brahmarshis, and the numerous Rajarshis distinguished by every noble
quality. So the water, the heavens, the earth, the air, the sky, the
points of the heavens, the years, the seasons, the months, the
fortnights, called Pakshas, with day and night in due succession. And
thus were produced all things which are known to mankind.

And what is seen in the universe, whether animate or inanimate, of
created things, will at the end of the world, and after the expiration of
the Yuga, be again confounded. And, at the commencement of other Yugas,
all things will be renovated, and, like the various fruits of the earth,
succeed each other in the due order of their seasons. Thus continueth
perpetually to revolve in the world, without beginning and without end,
this wheel which causeth the destruction of all things.

The generation of Devas, in brief, was thirty-three thousand,
thirty-three hundred and thirty-three. The sons of Div were Brihadbhanu,
Chakshus, Atma Vibhavasu, Savita, Richika, Arka, Bhanu, Asavaha, and
Ravi. Of these Vivaswans of old, Mahya was the youngest whose son was
Deva-vrata. The latter had for his son, Su-vrata who, we learn, had three
sons,--Dasa-jyoti, Sata-jyoti, and Sahasra-jyoti, each of them producing
numerous offspring. The illustrious Dasa-jyoti had ten thousand,
Sata-jyoti ten times that number, and Sahasra-jyoti ten times the number
of Sata-jyoti's offspring. From these are descended the family of the
Kurus, of the Yadus, and of Bharata; the family of Yayati and of
Ikshwaku; also of all the Rajarshis. Numerous also were the generations
produced, and very abundant were the creatures and their places of abode.
The mystery which is threefold--the Vedas, Yoga, and Vijnana Dharma,
Artha, and Kama--also various books upon the subject of Dharma, Artha,
and Kama; also rules for the conduct of mankind; also histories and
discourses with various srutis; all of which having been seen by the
Rishi Vyasa are here in due order mentioned as a specimen of the book.

The Rishi Vyasa published this mass of knowledge in both a detailed and
an abridged form. It is the wish of the learned in the world to possess
the details and the abridgement. Some read the Bharata beginning with the
initial mantra (invocation), others with the story of Astika, others with
Uparichara, while some Brahmanas study the whole. Men of learning display
their various knowledge of the institutes in commenting on the
composition. Some are skilful in explaining it, while others, in
remembering its contents.

The son of Satyavati having, by penance and meditation, analysed the
eternal Veda, afterwards composed this holy history, when that learned
Brahmarshi of strict vows, the noble Dwaipayana Vyasa, offspring of
Parasara, had finished this greatest of narrations, he began to consider
how he might teach it to his disciples. And the possessor of the six
attributes, Brahma, the world's preceptor, knowing of the anxiety of the
Rishi Dwaipayana, came in person to the place where the latter was, for
gratifying the saint, and benefiting the people. And when Vyasa,
surrounded by all the tribes of Munis, saw him, he was surprised; and,
standing with joined palms, he bowed and ordered a seat to be brought.
And Vyasa having gone round him who is called Hiranyagarbha seated on
that distinguished seat stood near it; and being commanded by Brahma
Parameshthi, he sat down near the seat, full of affection and smiling in
joy. Then the greatly glorious Vyasa, addressing Brahma Parameshthi,
said, "O divine Brahma, by me a poem hath been composed which is greatly
respected. The mystery of the Veda, and what other subjects have been
explained by me; the various rituals of the Upanishads with the Angas;
the compilation of the Puranas and history formed by me and named after
the three divisions of time, past, present, and future; the determination
of the nature of decay, fear, disease, existence, and non-existence, a
description of creeds and of the various modes of life; rule for the four
castes, and the import of all the Puranas; an account of asceticism and
of the duties of a religious student; the dimensions of the sun and moon,
the planets, constellations, and stars, together with the duration of the
four ages; the Rik, Sama and Yajur Vedas; also the Adhyatma; the sciences
called Nyaya, Orthoephy and Treatment of diseases; charity and
Pasupatadharma; birth celestial and human, for particular purposes; also
a description of places of pilgrimage and other holy places of rivers,
mountains, forests, the ocean, of heavenly cities and the kalpas; the art
of war; the different kinds of nations and languages: the nature of the
manners of the people; and the all-pervading spirit;--all these have been
represented. But, after all, no writer of this work is to be found on
earth.'

"Brahma said. 'I esteem thee for thy knowledge of divine mysteries,
before the whole body of celebrated Munis distinguished for the sanctity
of their lives. I know thou hast revealed the divine word, even from its
first utterance, in the language of truth. Thou hast called thy present
work a poem, wherefore it shall be a poem. There shall be no poets whose
works may equal the descriptions of this poem, even, as the three other
modes called Asrama are ever unequal in merit to the domestic Asrama. Let
Ganesa be thought of, O Muni, for the purpose of writing the poem.'

"Sauti said, 'Brahma having thus spoken to Vyasa, retired to his own
abode. Then Vyasa began to call to mind Ganesa. And Ganesa, obviator of
obstacles, ready to fulfil the desires of his votaries, was no sooner
thought of, than he repaired to the place where Vyasa was seated. And
when he had been saluted, and was seated, Vyasa addressed him thus, 'O
guide of the Ganas! be thou the writer of the Bharata which I have formed
in my imagination, and which I am about to repeat."

"Ganesa, upon hearing this address, thus answered, 'I will become the
writer of thy work, provided my pen do not for a moment cease writing."
And Vyasa said unto that divinity, 'Wherever there be anything thou dost
not comprehend, cease to continue writing.' Ganesa having signified his
assent, by repeating the word Om! proceeded to write; and Vyasa began;
and by way of diversion, he knit the knots of composition exceeding
close; by doing which, he dictated this work according to his engagement.

I am (continued Sauti) acquainted with eight thousand and eight hundred
verses, and so is Suka, and perhaps Sanjaya. From the mysteriousness of
their meaning, O Muni, no one is able, to this day, to penetrate those
closely knit difficult slokas. Even the omniscient Ganesa took a moment
to consider; while Vyasa, however, continued to compose other verses in
great abundance.

The wisdom of this work, like unto an instrument of applying collyrium,
hath opened the eyes of the inquisitive world blinded by the darkness of
ignorance. As the sun dispelleth the darkness, so doth the Bharata by its
discourses on religion, profit, pleasure and final release, dispel the
ignorance of men. As the full-moon by its mild light expandeth the buds
of the water-lily, so this Purana, by exposing the light of the Sruti
hath expanded the human intellect. By the lamp of history, which
destroyeth the darkness of ignorance, the whole mansion of nature is
properly and completely illuminated.

This work is a tree, of which the chapter of contents is the seed; the
divisions called Pauloma and Astika are the root; the part called
Sambhava is the trunk; the books called Sabha and Aranya are the roosting
perches; the books called Arani is the knitting knots; the books called
Virata and Udyoga the pith; the book named Bhishma, the main branch; the
book called Drona, the leaves; the book called Karna, the fair flowers;
the book named Salya, their sweet smell; the books entitled Stri and
Aishika, the refreshing shade; the book called Santi, the mighty fruit;
the book called Aswamedha, the immortal sap; the denominated
Asramavasika, the spot where it groweth; and the book called Mausala, is
an epitome of the Vedas and held in great respect by the virtuous
Brahmanas. The tree of the Bharata, inexhaustible to mankind as the
clouds, shall be as a source of livelihood to all distinguished poets."

"Sauti continued, 'I will now speak of the undying flowery and fruitful
productions of this tree, possessed of pure and pleasant taste, and not
to be destroyed even by the immortals. Formerly, the spirited and
virtuous Krishna-Dwaipayana, by the injunctions of Bhishma, the wise son
of Ganga and of his own mother, became the father of three boys who were
like the three fires by the two wives of Vichitra-virya; and having thus
raised up Dhritarashtra, Pandu and Vidura, he returned to his recluse
abode to prosecute his religious exercise.

It was not till after these were born, grown up, and departed on the
supreme journey, that the great Rishi Vyasa published the Bharata in this
region of mankind; when being solicited by Janamejaya and thousands of
Brahmanas, he instructed his disciple Vaisampayana, who was seated near
him; and he, sitting together with the Sadasyas, recited the Bharata,
during the intervals of the ceremonies of the sacrifice, being repeatedly
urged to proceed.

Vyasa hath fully represented the greatness of the house of Kuru, the
virtuous principles of Gandhari, the wisdom of Vidura, and the constancy
of Kunti. The noble Rishi hath also described the divinity of Vasudeva,
the rectitude of the sons of Pandu, and the evil practices of the sons
and partisans of Dhritarashtra.

Vyasa executed the compilation of the Bharata, exclusive of the episodes
originally in twenty-four thousand verses; and so much only is called by
the learned as the Bharata. Afterwards, he composed an epitome in one
hundred and fifty verses, consisting of the introduction with the chapter
of contents. This he first taught to his son Suka; and afterwards he gave
it to others of his disciples who were possessed of the same
qualifications. After that he executed another compilation, consisting of
six hundred thousand verses. Of those, thirty hundred thousand are known
in the world of the Devas; fifteen hundred thousand in the world of the
Pitris: fourteen hundred thousand among the Gandharvas, and one hundred
thousand in the regions of mankind. Narada recited them to the Devas,
Devala to the Pitris, and Suka published them to the Gandharvas, Yakshas,
and Rakshasas: and in this world they were recited by Vaisampayana, one
of the disciples of Vyasa, a man of just principles and the first among
all those acquainted with the Vedas. Know that I, Sauti, have also
repeated one hundred thousand verses.

Yudhishthira is a vast tree, formed of religion and virtue; Arjuna is its
trunk; Bhimasena, its branches; the two sons of Madri are its full-grown
fruit and flowers; and its roots are Krishna, Brahma, and the Brahmanas.

Pandu, after having subdued many countries by his wisdom and prowess,
took up his abode with the Munis in a certain forest as a sportsman,
where he brought upon himself a very severe misfortune for having killed
a stag coupling with its mate, which served as a warning for the conduct
of the princes of his house as long as they lived. Their mothers, in
order that the ordinances of the law might be fulfilled, admitted as
substitutes to their embraces the gods Dharma, Vayu, Sakra, and the
divinities the twin Aswins. And when their offspring grew up, under the
care of their two mothers, in the society of ascetics, in the midst of
sacred groves and holy recluse-abodes of religious men, they were
conducted by Rishis into the presence of Dhritarashtra and his sons,
following as students in the habit of Brahmacharis, having their hair
tied in knots on their heads. 'These our pupils', said they, 'are as your
sons, your brothers, and your friends; they are Pandavas.' Saying this,
the Munis disappeared.

When the Kauravas saw them introduced as the sons of Pandu, the
distinguished class of citizens shouted exceedingly for joy. Some,
however, said, they were not the sons of Pandu; others said, they were;
while a few asked how they could be his offspring, seeing he had been so
long dead. Still on all sides voices were heard crying, 'They are on all
accounts Whalecum! Through divine Providence we behold the family of
Pandu! Let their Whalecum be proclaimed!' As these acclamations ceased,
the plaudits of invisible spirits, causing every point of the heavens to
resound, were tremendous. There were showers of sweet-scented flowers,
and the sound of shells and kettle-drums. Such were the wonders that
happened on the arrival of the young princes. The joyful noise of all the
citizens, in expression of their satisfaction on the occasion, was so
great that it reached the very heavens in magnifying plaudits.

Having studied the whole of the Vedas and sundry other shastras, the
Pandavas resided there, respected by all and without apprehension from
any one.

The principal men were pleased with the purity of Yudhishthira, the
courage of Arjuna, the submissive attention of Kunti to her superiors,
and the humility of the twins, Nakula and Sahadeva; and all the people
rejoiced in their heroic virtues.

After a while, Arjuna obtained the virgin Krishna at the swayamvara, in
the midst of a concourse of Rajas, by performing a very difficult feat of
archery. And from this time he became very much respected in this world
among all bowmen; and in fields of battle also, like the sun, he was hard
to behold by foe-men. And having vanquished all the neighbouring princes
and every considerable tribe, he accomplished all that was necessary for
the Raja (his eldest brother) to perform the great sacrifice called
Rajasuya.

Yudhishthira, after having, through the wise counsels of Vasudeva and by
the valour of Bhimasena and Arjuna, slain Jarasandha (the king of
Magadha) and the proud Chaidya, acquired the right to perform the grand
sacrifice of Rajasuya abounding in provisions and offering and fraught
with transcendent merits. And Duryodhana came to this sacrifice; and when
he beheld the vast wealth of the Pandavas scattered all around, the
offerings, the precious stones, gold and jewels; the wealth in cows,
elephants, and horses; the curious textures, garments, and mantles; the
precious shawls and furs and carpets made of the skin of the Ranku; he
was filled with envy and became exceedingly displeased. And when he
beheld the hall of assembly elegantly constructed by Maya (the Asura
architect) after the fashion of a celestial court, he was inflamed with
rage. And having started in confusion at certain architectural deceptions
within this building, he was derided by Bhimasena in the presence of
Vasudeva, like one of mean descent.

And it was represented to Dhritarashtra that his son, while partaking of
various objects of enjoyment and diverse precious things, was becoming
meagre, wan, and pale. And Dhritarashtra, some time after, out of
affection for his son, gave his consent to their playing (with the
Pandavas) at dice. And Vasudeva coming to know of this, became
exceedingly wroth. And being dissatisfied, he did nothing to prevent the
disputes, but overlooked the gaming and sundry other horried
unjustifiable transactions arising therefrom: and in spite of Vidura,
Bhishma, Drona, and Kripa, the son of Saradwan, he made the Kshatriyas
kill each other in the terrific war that ensued.'

"And Dhritarashtra hearing the ill news of the success of the Pandavas
and recollecting the resolutions of Duryodhana, Kama, and Sakuni,
pondered for a while and addressed to Sanjaya the following speech:--

'Attend, O Sanjaya, to all I am about to say, and it will not become thee
to treat me with contempt. Thou art well-versed in the shastras,
intelligent and endowed with wisdom. My inclination was never to war, not
did I delight in the destruction of my race. I made no distinction
between my own children and the children of Pandu. My own sons were prone
to wilfulness and despised me because I am old. Blind as I am, because of
my miserable plight and through paternal affection, I bore it all. I was
foolish alter the thoughtless Duryodhana ever growing in folly. Having
been a spectator of the riches of the mighty sons of Pandu, my son was
derided for his awkwardness while ascending the hall. Unable to bear it
all and unable himself to overcome the sons of Pandu in the field, and
though a soldier, unwilling yet to obtain good fortune by his own
exertion, with the help of the king of Gandhara he concerted an unfair
game at dice.

'Hear, O Sanjaya, all that happened thereupon and came to my knowledge.
And when thou hast heard all I say, recollecting everything as it fell
out, thou shall then know me for one with a prophetic eye. When I heard
that Arjuna, having bent the bow, had pierced the curious mark and
brought it down to the ground, and bore away in triumph the maiden
Krishna, in the sight of the assembled princes, then, O Sanjaya I had no
hope of success. When I heard that Subhadra of the race of Madhu had,
after forcible seizure been married by Arjuna in the city of Dwaraka, and
that the two heroes of the race of Vrishni (Krishna and Balarama the
brothers of Subhadra) without resenting it had entered Indraprastha as
friends, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that
Arjuna, by his celestial arrow preventing the downpour by Indra the king
of the gods, had gratified Agni by making over to him the forest of
Khandava, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that
the five Pandavas with their mother Kunti had escaped from the house of
lac, and that Vidura was engaged in the accomplishment of their designs,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Arjuna,
after having pierced the mark in the arena had won Draupadi, and that the
brave Panchalas had joined the Pandavas, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. When I heard that Jarasandha, the foremost of the royal line
of Magadha, and blazing in the midst of the Kshatriyas, had been slain by
Bhima with his bare arms alone, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that in their general campaign the sons of Pandu
had conquered the chiefs of the land and performed the grand sacrifice of
the Rajasuya, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard
that Draupadi, her voice choked with tears and heart full of agony, in
the season of impurity and with but one raiment on, had been dragged into
court and though she had protectors, she had been treated as if she had
none, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the
wicked wretch Duhsasana, was striving to strip her of that single
garment, had only drawn from her person a large heap of cloth without
being able to arrive at its end, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that Yudhishthira, beaten by Saubala at the game of
dice and deprived of his kingdom as a consequence thereof, had still been
attended upon by his brothers of incomparable prowess, then, O Sanjaya, I
had no hope of success. When I heard that the virtuous Pandavas weeping
with affliction had followed their elder brother to the wilderness and
exerted themselves variously for the mitigation of his discomforts, then,
O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success.

'When I heard that Yudhishthira had been followed into the wilderness by
Snatakas and noble-minded Brahmanas who live upon alms, then, O Sanjaya,
I had no hope of success. When I heard that Arjuna, having, in combat,
pleased the god of gods, Tryambaka (the three-eyed) in the disguise of a
hunter, obtained the great weapon Pasupata, then O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. When I heard that the just and renowned Arjuna after having
been to the celestial regions, had there obtained celestial weapons from
Indra himself then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard
that afterwards Arjuna had vanquished the Kalakeyas and the Paulomas
proud with the boon they had obtained and which had rendered them
invulnerable even to the celestials, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that Arjuna, the chastiser of enemies, having gone
to the regions of Indra for the destruction of the Asuras, had returned
thence successful, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard that Bhima and the other sons of Pritha (Kunti) accompanied by
Vaisravana had arrived at that country which is inaccessible to man then,
O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that my sons, guided by
the counsels of Karna, while on their journey of Ghoshayatra, had been
taken prisoners by the Gandharvas and were set free by Arjuna, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Dharma (the god of
justice) having come under the form of a Yaksha had proposed certain
questions to Yudhishthira then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When
I heard that my sons had failed to discover the Pandavas under their
disguise while residing with Draupadi in the dominions of Virata, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the principal men of
my side had all been vanquished by the noble Arjuna with a single chariot
while residing in the dominions of Virata, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. When I heard that Vasudeva of the race of Madhu, who covered
this whole earth by one foot, was heartily interested in the welfare of
the Pandavas, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard
that the king of Matsya, had offered his virtuous daughter Uttara to
Arjuna and that Arjuna had accepted her for his son, then, O Sanjaya, I
had no hope of success. When I heard that Yudhishthira, beaten at dice,
deprived of wealth, exiled and separated from his connections, had
assembled yet an army of seven Akshauhinis, then, O Sanjaya, I had no
hope of success. When I heard Narada, declare that Krishna and Arjuna
were Nara and Narayana and he (Narada) had seen them together in the
regions of Brahma, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard that Krishna, anxious to bring about peace, for the welfare of
mankind had repaired to the Kurus, and went away without having been able
to effect his purpose, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard that Kama and Duryodhana resolved upon imprisoning Krishna
displayed in himself the whole universe, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. Then I heard that at the time of his departure, Pritha
(Kunti) standing, full of sorrow, near his chariot received consolation
from Krishna, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard
that Vasudeva and Bhishma the son of Santanu were the counsellors of the
Pandavas and Drona the son of Bharadwaja pronounced blessings on them,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When Kama said unto Bhishma--I
will not fight when thou art fighting--and, quitting the army, went away,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Vasudeva and
Arjuna and the bow Gandiva of immeasurable prowess, these three of
dreadful energy had come together, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that upon Arjuna having been seized with
compunction on his chariot and ready to sink, Krishna showed him all the
worlds within his body, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard that Bhishma, the desolator of foes, killing ten thousand
charioteers every day in the field of battle, had not slain any amongst
the Pandavas then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that
Bhishma, the righteous son of Ganga, had himself indicated the means of
his defeat in the field of battle and that the same were accomplished by
the Pandavas with joyfulness, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success.
When I heard that Arjuna, having placed Sikhandin before himself in his
chariot, had wounded Bhishma of infinite courage and invincible in
battle, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the
aged hero Bhishma, having reduced the numbers of the race of shomaka to a
few, overcome with various wounds was lying on a bed of arrows, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that upon Bhishma's lying
on the ground with thirst for water, Arjuna, being requested, had pierced
the ground and allayed his thirst, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When Bayu together with Indra and Suryya united as allies for
the success of the sons of Kunti, and the beasts of prey (by their
inauspicious presence) were putting us in fear, then, O Sanjaya, I had no
hope of success. When the wonderful warrior Drona, displaying various
modes of fight in the field, did not slay any of the superior Pandavas,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the
Maharatha Sansaptakas of our army appointed for the overthrow of Arjuna
were all slain by Arjuna himself, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that our disposition of forces, impenetrable by
others, and defended by Bharadwaja himself well-armed, had been singly
forced and entered by the brave son of Subhadra, then, O Sanjaya, I had
no hope of success. When I heard that our Maharathas, unable to overcome
Arjuna, with jubilant faces after having jointly surrounded and slain the
boy Abhimanyu, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard
that the blind Kauravas were shouting for joy after having slain
Abhimanyu and that thereupon Arjuna in anger made his celebrated speech
referring to Saindhava, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard that Arjuna had vowed the death of Saindhava and fulfilled his vow
in the presence of his enemies, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that upon the horses of Arjuna being fatigued,
Vasudeva releasing them made them drink water and bringing them back and
reharnessing them continued to guide them as before, then, O Sanjaya, I
had no hope of success. When I heard that while his horses were fatigued,
Arjuna staying in his chariot checked all his assailants, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Yuyudhana of the
race of Vrishni, after having thrown into confusion the army of Drona
rendered unbearable in prowess owing to the presence of elephants,
retired to where Krishna and Arjuna were, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. When I heard that Karna even though he had got Bhima within
his power allowed him to escape after only addressing him in contemptuous
terms and dragging him with the end of his bow, then, O Sanjaya, I had no
hope of success. When I heard that Drona, Kritavarma, Kripa, Karna, the
son of Drona, and the valiant king of Madra (Salya) suffered Saindhava to
be slain, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that
the celestial Sakti given by Indra (to Karna) was by Madhava's
machinations caused to be hurled upon Rakshasa Ghatotkacha of frightful
countenance, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that
in the encounter between Karna and Ghatotkacha, that Sakti was hurled
against Ghatotkacha by Karna, the same which was certainly to have slain
Arjuna in battle, then, O Sanjaya. I had no hope of success. When I heard
that Dhristadyumna, transgressing the laws of battle, slew Drona while
alone in his chariot and resolved on death, then, O Sanjaya, I had no
hope of success. When I heard that Nakula. the son of Madri, having in
the presence of the whole army engaged in single combat with the son of
Drona and showing himself equal to him drove his chariot in circles
around, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When upon the death of
Drona, his son misused the weapon called Narayana but failed to achieve
the destruction of the Pandavas, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that Bhimasena drank the blood of his brother
Duhsasana in the field of battle without anybody being able to prevent
him, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the
infinitely brave Karna, invincible in battle, was slain by Arjuna in that
war of brothers mysterious even to the gods, then, O Sanjaya, I had no
hope of success. When I heard that Yudhishthira, the Just, overcame the
heroic son of Drona, Duhsasana, and the fierce Kritavarman, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the brave king of
Madra who ever dared Krishna in battle was slain by Yudhishthira, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the wicked Suvala of
magic power, the root of the gaming and the feud, was slain in battle by
Sahadeva, the son of Pandu, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success.
When I heard that Duryodhana, spent with fatigue, having gone to a lake
and made a refuge for himself within its waters, was lying there alone,
his strength gone and without a chariot, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. When I heard that the Pandavas having gone to that lake
accompanied by Vasudeva and standing on its beach began to address
contemptuously my son who was incapable of putting up with affronts,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that while,
displaying in circles a variety of curious modes (of attack and defence)
in an encounter with clubs, he was unfairly slain according to the
counsels of Krishna, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard the son of Drona and others by slaying the Panchalas and the sons
of Draupadi in their sleep, perpetrated a horrible and infamous deed,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Aswatthaman
while being pursued by Bhimasena had discharged the first of weapons
called Aishika, by which the embryo in the womb (of Uttara) was wounded,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the weapon
Brahmashira (discharged by Aswatthaman) was repelled by Arjuna with
another weapon over which he had pronounced the word "Sasti" and that
Aswatthaman had to give up the jewel-like excrescence on his head, then,
O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that upon the embryo in
the womb of Virata's daughter being wounded by Aswatthaman with a mighty
weapon, Dwaipayana and Krishna pronounced curses on him, then, O Sanjaya,
I had no hope of success.

'Alas! Gandhari, destitute of children, grand-children, parents,
brothers, and kindred, is to be pitied. Difficult is the task that hath
been performed by the Pandavas: by them hath a kingdom been recovered
without a rival.

'Alas! I have heard that the war hath left only ten alive: three of our
side, and the Pandavas, seven, in that dreadful conflict eighteen
Akshauhinis of Kshatriyas have been slain! All around me is utter
darkness, and a fit of swoon assaileth me: consciousness leaves me, O
Suta, and my mind is distracted."

"Sauti said, 'Dhritarashtra, bewailing his fate in these words, was
overcome with extreme anguish and for a time deprived of sense; but being
revived, he addressed Sanjaya in the following words.

"After what hath come to pass, O Sanjaya, I wish to put an end to my life
without delay; I do not find the least advantage in cherishing it any
longer."

"Sauti said, 'The wise son of Gavalgana (Sanjaya) then addressed the
distressed lord of Earth while thus talking and bewailing, sighing like a
serpent and repeatedly tainting, in words of deep import.

"Thou hast heard, O Raja, of the greatly powerful men of vast exertions,
spoken of by Vyasa and the wise Narada; men born of great royal families,
resplendent with worthy qualities, versed in the science of celestial
arms, and in glory emblems of Indra; men who having conquered the world
by justice and performed sacrifices with fit offerings (to the
Brahmanas), obtained renown in this world and at last succumbed to the
sway of time. Such were Saivya; the valiant Maharatha; Srinjaya, great
amongst conquerors. Suhotra; Rantideva, and Kakshivanta, great in glory;
Valhika, Damana, Saryati, Ajita, and Nala; Viswamitra the destroyer of
foes; Amvarisha, great in strength; Marutta, Manu, Ikshaku, Gaya, and
Bharata; Rama the son of Dasaratha; Sasavindu, and Bhagiratha;
Kritavirya, the greatly fortunate, and Janamejaya too; and Yayati of good
deeds who performed sacrifices, being assisted therein by the celestials
themselves, and by whose sacrificial altars and stakes this earth with
her habited and uninhabited regions hath been marked all over. These
twenty-four Rajas were formerly spoken of by the celestial Rishi Narada
unto Saivya when much afflicted for the loss of his children. Besides
these, other Rajas had gone before, still more powerful than they, mighty
charioteers noble in mind, and resplendent with every worthy quality.
These were Puru, Kuru, Yadu, Sura and Viswasrawa of great glory; Anuha,
Yuvanaswu, Kakutstha, Vikrami, and Raghu; Vijava, Virihorta, Anga, Bhava,
Sweta, and Vripadguru; Usinara, Sata-ratha, Kanka, Duliduha, and Druma;
Dambhodbhava, Para, Vena, Sagara, Sankriti, and Nimi; Ajeya, Parasu,
Pundra, Sambhu, and holy Deva-Vridha; Devahuya, Supratika, and
Vrihad-ratha; Mahatsaha, Vinitatma, Sukratu, and Nala, the king of the
Nishadas; Satyavrata, Santabhaya, Sumitra, and the chief Subala;
Janujangha, Anaranya, Arka, Priyabhritya, Chuchi-vrata, Balabandhu,
Nirmardda, Ketusringa, and Brhidbala; Dhrishtaketu, Brihatketu,
Driptaketu, and Niramaya; Abikshit, Chapala, Dhurta, Kritbandhu, and
Dridhe-shudhi; Mahapurana-sambhavya, Pratyanga, Paraha and Sruti. These,
O chief, and other Rajas, we hear enumerated by hundreds and by
thousands, and still others by millions, princes of great power and
wisdom, quitting very abundant enjoyments met death as thy sons have
done! Their heavenly deeds, valour, and generosity, their magnanimity,
faith, truth, purity, simplicity and mercy, are published to the world in
the records of former times by sacred bards of great learning. Though
endued with every noble virtue, these have yielded up their lives. Thy
sons were malevolent, inflamed with passion, avaricious, and of very
evil-disposition. Thou art versed in the Sastras, O Bharata, and art
intelligent and wise; they never sink under misfortunes whose
understandings are guided by the Sastras. Thou art acquainted, O prince,
with the lenity and severity of fate; this anxiety therefore for the
safety of thy children is unbecoming. Moreover, it behoveth thee not to
grieve for that which must happen: for who can avert, by his wisdom, the
decrees of fate? No one can leave the way marked out for him by
Providence. Existence and non-existence, pleasure and pain all have Time
for their root. Time createth all things and Time destroyeth all
creatures. It is Time that burneth creatures and it is Time that
extinguisheth the fire. All states, the good and the evil, in the three
worlds, are caused by Time. Time cutteth short all things and createth
them anew. Time alone is awake when all things are asleep: indeed, Time
is incapable of being overcome. Time passeth over all things without
being retarded. Knowing, as thou dost, that all things past and future
and all that exist at the present moment, are the offspring of Time, it
behoveth thee not to throw away thy reason.'

"Sauti said, 'The son of Gavalgana having in this manner administered
comfort to the royal Dhritarashtra overwhelmed with grief for his sons,
then restored his mind to peace. Taking these facts for his subject,
Dwaipayana composed a holy Upanishad that has been published to the world
by learned and sacred bards in the Puranas composed by them.

"The study of the Bharata is an act of piety. He that readeth even one
foot, with belief, hath his sins entirely purged away. Herein Devas,
Devarshis, and immaculate Brahmarshis of good deeds, have been spoken of;
and likewise Yakshas and great Uragas (Nagas). Herein also hath been
described the eternal Vasudeva possessing the six attributes. He is the
true and just, the pure and holy, the eternal Brahma, the supreme soul,
the true constant light, whose divine deeds wise and learned recount;
from whom hath proceeded the non-existent and existent-non-existent
universe with principles of generation and progression, and birth, death
and re-birth. That also hath been treated of which is called Adhyatma
(the superintending spirit of nature) that partaketh of the attributes of
the five elements. That also hath been described who is purusha being
above such epithets as 'undisplayed' and the like; also that which the
foremost yatis exempt from the common destiny and endued with the power
of meditation and Tapas behold dwelling in their hearts as a reflected
image in the mirror.

"The man of faith, devoted to piety, and constant in the exercise of
virtue, on reading this section is freed from sin. The believer that
constantly heareth recited this section of the Bharata, called the
Introduction, from the beginning, falleth not into difficulties. The man
repeating any part of the introduction in the two twilights is during
such act freed from the sins contracted during the day or the night. This
section, the body of the Bharata, is truth and nectar. As butter is in
curd, Brahmana among bipeds, the Aranyaka among the Vedas, and nectar
among medicines; as the sea is eminent among receptacles of water, and
the cow among quadrupeds; as are these (among the things mentioned) so is
the Bharata said to be among histories.

"He that causeth it, even a single foot thereof, to be recited to
Brahmanas during a Sradha, his offerings of food and drink to the manes
of his ancestors become inexhaustible.

"By the aid of history and the Puranas, the Veda may be expounded; but
the Veda is afraid of one of little information lest he should it. The
learned man who recites to other this Veda of Vyasa reapeth advantage. It
may without doubt destroy even the sin of killing the embryo and the
like. He that readeth this holy chapter of the moon, readeth the whole of
the Bharata, I ween. The man who with reverence daily listeneth to this
sacred work acquireth long life and renown and ascendeth to heaven.

"In former days, having placed the four Vedas on one side and the Bharata
on the other, these were weighed in the balance by the celestials
assembled for that purpose. And as the latter weighed heavier than the
four Vedas with their mysteries, from that period it hath been called in
the world Mahabharata (the great Bharata). Being esteemed superior both
in substance and gravity of import it is denominated Mahabharata on
account of such substance and gravity of import. He that knoweth its
meaning is saved from all his sins.

'Tapa is innocent, study is harmless, the ordinance of the Vedas
prescribed for all the tribes are harmless, the acquisition of wealth by
exertion is harmless; but when they are abused in their practices it is
then that they become sources of evil.'"



SECTION II

"The Rishis said, 'O son of Suta, we wish to hear a full and
circumstantial account of the place mentioned by you as Samanta-panchaya.'

"Sauti said, 'Listen, O ye Brahmanas, to the sacred descriptions I utter
O ye best of men, ye deserve to hear of the place known as
Samanta-panchaka. In the interval between the Treta and Dwapara Yugas,
Rama (the son of Jamadagni) great among all who have borne arms, urged by
impatience of wrongs, repeatedly smote the noble race of Kshatriyas. And
when that fiery meteor, by his own valour, annihilated the entire tribe
of the Kshatriyas, he formed at Samanta-panchaka five lakes of blood. We
are told that his reason being overpowered by anger he offered oblations
of blood to the manes of his ancestors, standing in the midst of the
sanguine waters of those lakes. It was then that his forefathers of whom
Richika was the first having arrived there addressed him thus, 'O Rama, O
blessed Rama, O offspring of Bhrigu, we have been gratified with the
reverence thou hast shown for thy ancestors and with thy valour, O mighty
one! Blessings be upon thee. O thou illustrious one, ask the boon that
thou mayst desire.'

"Rama said, 'If, O fathers, ye are favourably disposed towards me, the
boon I ask is that I may be absolved from the sins born of my having
annihilated the Kshatriyas in anger, and that the lakes I have formed may
become famous in the world as holy shrines.' The Pitris then said, 'So
shall it be. But be thou pacified.' And Rama was pacified accordingly.
The region that lieth near unto those lakes of gory water, from that time
hath been celebrated as Samanta-panchaka the holy. The wise have declared
that every country should be distinguished by a name significant of some
circumstance which may have rendered it famous. In the interval between
the Dwapara and the Kali Yugas there happened at Samanta-panchaka the
encounter between the armies of the Kauravas and the Pandavas. In that
holy region, without ruggedness of any kind, were assembled eighteen
Akshauhinis of soldiers eager for battle. And, O Brahmanas, having come
thereto, they were all slain on the spot. Thus the name of that region, O
Brahmanas, hath been explained, and the country described to you as a
sacred and delightful one. I have mentioned the whole of what relateth to
it as the region is celebrated throughout the three worlds.'

"The Rishis said, 'We have a desire to know, O son of Suta, what is
implied by the term Akshauhini that hath been used by thee. Tell us in
full what is the number of horse and foot, chariots and elephants, which
compose an Akshauhini for thou art fully informed.'

"Sauti said, 'One chariot, one elephant, five foot-soldiers, and three
horses form one Patti; three pattis make one Sena-mukha; three
sena-mukhas are called a Gulma; three gulmas, a Gana; three ganas, a
Vahini; three vahinis together are called a Pritana; three pritanas form
a Chamu; three chamus, one Anikini; and an anikini taken ten times forms,
as it is styled by those who know, an Akshauhini. O ye best of Brahmanas,
arithmeticians have calculated that the number of chariots in an
Akshauhini is twenty-one thousand eight hundred and seventy. The measure
of elephants must be fixed at the same number. O ye pure, you must know
that the number of foot-soldiers is one hundred and nine thousand, three
hundred and fifty, the number of horse is sixty-five thousand, six
hundred and ten. These, O Brahmanas, as fully explained by me, are the
numbers of an Akshauhini as said by those acquainted with the principles
of numbers. O best of Brahmanas, according to this calculation were
composed the eighteen Akshauhinis of the Kaurava and the Pandava army.
Time, whose acts are wonderful assembled them on that spot and having
made the Kauravas the cause, destroyed them all. Bhishma acquainted with
choice of weapons, fought for ten days. Drona protected the Kaurava
Vahinis for five days. Kama the desolator of hostile armies fought for
two days; and Salya for half a day. After that lasted for half a day the
encounter with clubs between Duryodhana and Bhima. At the close of that
day, Aswatthaman and Kripa destroyed the army of Yudishthira in the night
while sleeping without suspicion of danger.

'O Saunaka, this best of narrations called Bharata which has begun to be
repeated at thy sacrifice, was formerly repeated at the sacrifice of
Janamejaya by an intelligent disciple of Vyasa. It is divided into
several sections; in the beginning are Paushya, Pauloma, and Astika
parvas, describing in full the valour and renown of kings. It is a work
whose description, diction, and sense are varied and wonderful. It
contains an account of various manners and rites. It is accepted by the
wise, as the state called Vairagya is by men desirous of final release.
As Self among things to be known, as life among things that are dear, so
is this history that furnisheth the means of arriving at the knowledge of
Brahma the first among all the sastras. There is not a story current in
this world but doth depend upon this history even as the body upon the
foot that it taketh. As masters of good lineage are ever attended upon by
servants desirous of preferment so is the Bharata cherished by all poets.
As the words constituting the several branches of knowledge appertaining
to the world and the Veda display only vowels and consonants, so this
excellent history displayeth only the highest wisdom.

'Listen, O ye ascetics, to the outlines of the several divisions (parvas)
of this history called Bharata, endued with great wisdom, of sections and
feet that are wonderful and various, of subtile meanings and logical
connections, and embellished with the substance of the Vedas.

'The first parva is called Anukramanika; the second, Sangraha; then
Paushya; then Pauloma; the Astika; then Adivansavatarana. Then comes the
Sambhava of wonderful and thrilling incidents. Then comes Jatugrihadaha
(setting fire to the house of lac) and then Hidimbabadha (the killing of
Hidimba) parvas; then comes Baka-badha (slaughter of Baka) and then
Chitraratha. The next is called Swayamvara (selection of husband by
Panchali), in which Arjuna by the exercise of Kshatriya virtues, won
Draupadi for wife. Then comes Vaivahika (marriage). Then comes
Viduragamana (advent of Vidura), Rajyalabha (acquirement of kingdom),
Arjuna-banavasa (exile of Arjuna) and Subhadra-harana (the carrying away
of Subhadra). After these come Harana-harika, Khandava-daha (the burning
of the Khandava forest) and Maya-darsana (meeting with Maya the Asura
architect). Then come Sabha, Mantra, Jarasandha, Digvijaya (general
campaign). After Digvijaya come Raja-suyaka, Arghyaviharana (the robbing
of the Arghya) and Sisupala-badha (the killing of Sisupala). After these,
Dyuta (gambling), Anudyuta (subsequent to gambling), Aranyaka, and
Krimira-badha (destruction of Krimira). The Arjuna-vigamana (the travels
of Arjuna), Kairati. In the last hath been described the battle between
Arjuna and Mahadeva in the guise of a hunter. After this
Indra-lokavigamana (the journey to the regions of Indra); then that mine
of religion and virtue, the highly pathetic Nalopakhyana (the story of
Nala). After this last, Tirtha-yatra or the pilgrimage of the wise prince
of the Kurus, the death of Jatasura, and the battle of the Yakshas. Then
the battle with the Nivata-kavachas, Ajagara, and Markandeya-Samasya
(meeting with Markandeya). Then the meeting of Draupadi and Satyabhama,
Ghoshayatra, Mirga-Swapna (dream of the deer). Then the story of
Brihadaranyaka and then Aindradrumna. Then Draupadi-harana (the abduction
of Draupadi), Jayadratha-bimoksana (the release of Jayadratha). Then the
story of 'Savitri' illustrating the great merit of connubial chastity.
After this last, the story of 'Rama'. The parva that comes next is called
'Kundala-harana' (the theft of the ear-rings). That which comes next is
'Aranya' and then 'Vairata'. Then the entry of the Pandavas and the
fulfilment of their promise (of living unknown for one year). Then the
destruction of the 'Kichakas', then the attempt to take the kine (of
Virata by the Kauravas). The next is called the marriage of Abhimanyu
with the daughter of Virata. The next you must know is the most wonderful
parva called Udyoga. The next must be known by the name of 'Sanjaya-yana'
(the arrival of Sanjaya). Then comes 'Prajagara' (the sleeplessness of
Dhritarashtra owing to his anxiety). Then Sanatsujata, in which are the
mysteries of spiritual philosophy. Then 'Yanasaddhi', and then the
arrival of Krishna. Then the story of 'Matali' and then of 'Galava'. Then
the stories of 'Savitri', 'Vamadeva', and 'Vainya'. Then the story of
'Jamadagnya and Shodasarajika'. Then the arrival of Krishna at the court,
and then Bidulaputrasasana. Then the muster of troops and the story of
Sheta. Then, must you know, comes the quarrel of the high-souled Karna.
Then the march to the field of the troops of both sides. The next hath
been called numbering the Rathis and Atirathas. Then comes the arrival of
the messenger Uluka which kindled the wrath (of the Pandavas). The next
that comes, you must know, is the story of Amba. Then comes the thrilling
story of the installation of Bhishma as commander-in-chief. The next is
called the creation of the insular region Jambu; then Bhumi; then the
account about the formation of islands. Then comes the 'Bhagavat-gita';
and then the death of Bhishma. Then the installation of Drona; then the
destruction of the 'Sansaptakas'. Then the death of Abhimanyu; and then
the vow of Arjuna (to slay Jayadratha). Then the death of Jayadratha, and
then of Ghatotkacha. Then, must you know, comes the story of the death of
Drona of surprising interest. The next that comes is called the discharge
of the weapon called Narayana. Then, you know, is Karna, and then Salya.
Then comes the immersion in the lake, and then the encounter (between
Bhima and Duryodhana) with clubs. Then comes Saraswata, and then the
descriptions of holy shrines, and then genealogies. Then comes Sauptika
describing incidents disgraceful (to the honour of the Kurus). Then comes
the 'Aisika' of harrowing incidents. Then comes 'Jalapradana' oblations
of water to the manes of the deceased, and then the wailings of the
women. The next must be known as 'Sraddha' describing the funeral rites
performed for the slain Kauravas. Then comes the destruction of the
Rakshasa Charvaka who had assumed the disguise of a Brahmana (for
deceiving Yudhishthira). Then the coronation of the wise Yudhishthira.
The next is called the 'Grihapravibhaga'. Then comes 'Santi', then
'Rajadharmanusasana', then 'Apaddharma', then 'Mokshadharma'. Those that
follow are called respectively 'Suka-prasna-abhigamana',
'Brahma-prasnanusana', the origin of 'Durvasa', the disputations with
Maya. The next is to be known as 'Anusasanika'. Then the ascension of
Bhishma to heaven. Then the horse-sacrifice, which when read purgeth all
sins away. The next must be known as the 'Anugita' in which are words of
spiritual philosophy. Those that follow are called 'Asramvasa',
'Puttradarshana' (meeting with the spirits of the deceased sons), and the
arrival of Narada. The next is called 'Mausala' which abounds with
terrible and cruel incidents. Then comes 'Mahaprasthanika' and ascension
to heaven. Then comes the Purana which is called Khilvansa. In this last
are contained 'Vishnuparva', Vishnu's frolics and feats as a child, the
destruction of 'Kansa', and lastly, the very wonderful 'Bhavishyaparva'
(in which there are prophecies regarding the future).

The high-souled Vyasa composed these hundred parvas of which the above is
only an abridgement: having distributed them into eighteen, the son of
Suta recited them consecutively in the forest of Naimisha as follows:

'In the Adi parva are contained Paushya, Pauloma, Astika, Adivansavatara,
Samva, the burning of the house of lac, the slaying of Hidimba, the
destruction of the Asura Vaka, Chitraratha, the Swayamvara of Draupadi,
her marriage after the overthrow of rivals in war, the arrival of Vidura,
the restoration, Arjuna's exile, the abduction of Subhadra, the gift and
receipt of the marriage dower, the burning of the Khandava forest, and
the meeting with (the Asura-architect) Maya. The Paushya parva treats of
the greatness of Utanka, and the Pauloma, of the sons of Bhrigu. The
Astika describes the birth of Garuda and of the Nagas (snakes), the
churning of the ocean, the incidents relating to the birth of the
celestial steed Uchchaihsrava, and finally, the dynasty of Bharata, as
described in the Snake-sacrifice of king Janamejaya. The Sambhava parva
narrates the birth of various kings and heroes, and that of the sage,
Krishna Dwaipayana: the partial incarnations of deities, the generation
of Danavas and Yakshas of great prowess, and serpents, Gandharvas, birds,
and of all creatures; and lastly, of the life and adventures of king
Bharata--the progenitor of the line that goes by his name--the son born
of Sakuntala in the hermitage of the ascetic Kanwa. This parva also
describes the greatness of Bhagirathi, and the births of the Vasus in the
house of Santanu and their ascension to heaven. In this parva is also
narrated the birth of Bhishma uniting in himself portions of the energies
of the other Vasus, his renunciation of royalty and adoption of the
Brahmacharya mode of life, his adherence to his vows, his protection of
Chitrangada, and after the death of Chitrangada, his protection of his
younger brother, Vichitravirya, and his placing the latter on the throne:
the birth of Dharma among men in consequence of the curse of Animondavya;
the births of Dhritarashtra and Pandu through the potency of Vyasa's
blessings (?) and also the birth of the Pandavas; the plottings of
Duryodhana to send the sons of Pandu to Varanavata, and the other dark
counsels of the sons of Dhritarashtra in regard to the Pandavas; then the
advice administered to Yudhishthira on his way by that well-wisher of the
Pandavas--Vidura--in the mlechchha language--the digging of the hole, the
burning of Purochana and the sleeping woman of the fowler caste, with her
five sons, in the house of lac; the meeting of the Pandavas in the
dreadful forest with Hidimba, and the slaying of her brother Hidimba by
Bhima of great prowess. The birth of Ghatotkacha; the meeting of the
Pandavas with Vyasa and in accordance with his advice their stay in
disguise in the house of a Brahmana in the city of Ekachakra; the
destruction of the Asura Vaka, and the amazement of the populace at the
sight; the extra-ordinary births of Krishna and Dhrishtadyumna; the
departure of the Pandavas for Panchala in obedience to the injunction of
Vyasa, and moved equally by the desire of winning the hand of Draupadi on
learning the tidings of the Swayamvara from the lips of a Brahmana;
victory of Arjuna over a Gandharva, called Angaraparna, on the banks of
the Bhagirathi, his contraction of friendship with his adversary, and his
hearing from the Gandharva the history of Tapati, Vasishtha and Aurva.
This parva treats of the journey of the Pandavas towards Panchala, the
acquisition of Draupadi in the midst of all the Rajas, by Arjuna, after
having successfully pierced the mark; and in the ensuing fight, the
defeat of Salya, Kama, and all the other crowned heads at the hands of
Bhima and Arjuna of great prowess; the ascertainment by Balarama and
Krishna, at the sight of these matchless exploits, that the heroes were
the Pandavas, and the arrival of the brothers at the house of the potter
where the Pandavas were staying; the dejection of Drupada on learning
that Draupadi was to be wedded to five husbands; the wonderful story of
the five Indras related in consequence; the extraordinary and
divinely-ordained wedding of Draupadi; the sending of Vidura by the sons
of Dhritarashtra as envoy to the Pandavas; the arrival of Vidura and his
sight to Krishna; the abode of the Pandavas in Khandava-prastha, and then
their rule over one half of the kingdom; the fixing of turns by the sons
of Pandu, in obedience to the injunction of Narada, for connubial
companionship with Krishna. In like manner hath the history of Sunda and
Upasunda been recited in this. This parva then treats of the departure of
Arjuna for the forest according to the vow, he having seen Draupadi and
Yudhishthira sitting together as he entered the chamber to take out arms
for delivering the kine of a certain Brahmana. This parva then describes
Arjuna's meeting on the way with Ulupi, the daughter of a Naga (serpent);
it then relates his visits to several sacred spots; the birth of
Vabhruvahana; the deliverance by Arjuna of the five celestial damsels who
had been turned into alligators by the imprecation of a Brahmana, the
meeting of Madhava and Arjuna on the holy spot called Prabhasa; the
carrying away of Subhadra by Arjuna, incited thereto by her brother
Krishna, in the wonderful car moving on land and water, and through
mid-air, according to the wish of the rider; the departure for
Indraprastha, with the dower; the conception in the womb of Subhadra of
that prodigy of prowess, Abhimanyu; Yajnaseni's giving birth to children;
then follows the pleasure-trip of Krishna and Arjuna to the banks of the
Jamuna and the acquisition by them of the discus and the celebrated bow
Gandiva; the burning of the forest of Khandava; the rescue of Maya by
Arjuna, and the escape of the serpent,--and the begetting of a son by
that best of Rishis, Mandapala, in the womb of the bird Sarngi. This
parva is divided by Vyasa into two hundred and twenty-seven chapters.
These two hundred and twenty-seven chapters contain eight thousand eight
hundred and eighty-four slokas.

The second is the extensive parva called Sabha or the assembly, full of
matter. The subjects of this parva are the establishment of the grand
hall by the Pandavas; their review of their retainers; the description of
the lokapalas by Narada well-acquainted with the celestial regions; the
preparations for the Rajasuya sacrifice; the destruction of Jarasandha;
the deliverance by Vasudeva of the princes confined in the mountain-pass;
the campaign of universal conquest by the Pandavas; the arrival of the
princes at the Rajasuya sacrifice with tribute; the destruction of
Sisupala on the occasion of the sacrifice, in connection with offering of
arghya; Bhimasena's ridicule of Duryodhana in the assembly; Duryodhana's
sorrow and envy at the sight of the magnificent scale on which the
arrangements had been made; the indignation of Duryodhana in consequence,
and the preparations for the game of dice; the defeat of Yudhishthira at
play by the wily Sakuni; the deliverance by Dhritarashtra of his
afflicted daughter-in-law Draupadi plunged in the sea of distress caused
by the gambling, as of a boat tossed about by the tempestuous waves. The
endeavours of Duryodhana to engage Yudhishthira again in the game; and
the exile of the defeated Yudhishthira with his brothers. These
constitute what has been called by the great Vyasa the Sabha Parva. This
parva is divided into seventh-eight sections, O best of Brahmanas, of two
thousand, five hundred and seven slokas.

Then comes the third parva called Aranyaka (relating to the forest) This
parva treats of the wending of the Pandavas to the forest and the
citizens, following the wise Yudhishthira, Yudhishthira's adoration of
the god of day; according to the injunctions of Dhaumya, to be gifted
with the power of maintaining the dependent Brahmanas with food and
drink: the creation of food through the grace of the Sun: the expulsion
by Dhritarashtra of Vidura who always spoke for his master's good;
Vidura's coming to the Pandavas and his return to Dhritarashtra at the
solicitation of the latter; the wicked Duryodhana's plottings to destroy
the forest-ranging Pandavas, being incited thereto by Karna; the
appearance of Vyasa and his dissuasion of Duryodhana bent on going to the
forest; the history of Surabhi; the arrival of Maitreya; his laying down
to Dhritarashtra the course of action; and his curse on Duryodhana;
Bhima's slaying of Kirmira in battle; the coming of the Panchalas and the
princes of the Vrishni race to Yudhishthira on hearing of his defeat at
the unfair gambling by Sakuni; Dhananjaya's allaying the wrath of
Krishna; Draupadi's lamentations before Madhava; Krishna's cheering her;
the fall of Sauva also has been here described by the Rishi; also
Krishna's bringing Subhadra with her son to Dwaraka; and Dhrishtadyumna's
bringing the son of Draupadi to Panchala; the entrance of the sons of
Pandu into the romantic Dwaita wood; conversation of Bhima, Yudhishthira,
and Draupadi; the coming of Vyasa to the Pandavas and his endowing
Yudhishthira with the power of Pratismriti; then, after the departure of
Vyasa, the removal of the Pandavas to the forest of Kamyaka; the
wanderings of Arjuna of immeasurable prowess in search of weapons; his
battle with Mahadeva in the guise of a hunter; his meeting with the
lokapalas and receipt of weapons from them; his journey to the regions of
Indra for arms and the consequent anxiety of Dhritarashtra; the wailings
and lamentations of Yudhishthira on the occasion of his meeting with the
worshipful great sage Brihadaswa. Here occurs the holy and highly
pathetic story of Nala illustrating the patience of Damayanti and the
character of Nala. Then the acquirement by Yudhishthira of the mysteries
of dice from the same great sage; then the arrival of the Rishi Lomasa
from the heavens to where the Pandavas were, and the receipt by these
high-souled dwellers in the woods of the intelligence brought by the
Rishi of their brother Arjuna staving in the heavens; then the pilgrimage
of the Pandavas to various sacred spots in accordance with the message of
Arjuna, and their attainment of great merit and virtue consequent on such
pilgrimage; then the pilgrimage of the great sage Narada to the shrine
Putasta; also the pilgrimage of the high-souled Pandavas. Here is the
deprivation of Karna of his ear-rings by Indra. Here also is recited the
sacrificial magnificence of Gaya; then the story of Agastya in which the
Rishi ate up the Asura Vatapi, and his connubial connection with
Lopamudra from the desire of offspring. Then the story of Rishyasringa
who adopted Brahmacharya mode of life from his very boyhood; then the
history of Rama of great prowess, the son of Jamadagni, in which has been
narrated the death of Kartavirya and the Haihayas; then the meeting
between the Pandavas and the Vrishnis in the sacred spot called Prabhasa;
then the story of Su-kanya in which Chyavana, the son of Bhrigu, made the
twins, Aswinis, drink, at the sacrifice of king Saryati, the Soma juice
(from which they had been excluded by the other gods), and in which
besides is shown how Chyavana himself acquired perpetual youth (as a boon
from the grateful Aswinis). Then hath been described the history of king
Mandhata; then the history of prince Jantu; and how king Somaka by
offering up his only son (Jantu) in sacrifice obtained a hundred others;
then the excellent history of the hawk and the pigeon; then the
examination of king Sivi by Indra, Agni, and Dharma; then the story of
Ashtavakra, in which occurs the disputation, at the sacrifice of Janaka,
between that Rishi and the first of logicians, Vandi, the son of Varuna;
the defeat of Vandi by the great Ashtavakra, and the release by the Rishi
of his father from the depths of the ocean. Then the story of Yavakrita,
and then that of the great Raivya: then the departure (of the Pandavas)
for Gandhamadana and their abode in the asylum called Narayana; then
Bhimasena's journey to Gandhamadana at the request of Draupadi (in search
of the sweet-scented flower). Bhima's meeting on his way, in a grove of
bananas, with Hanuman, the son of Pavana of great prowess; Bhima's bath
in the tank and the destruction of the flowers therein for obtaining the
sweet-scented flower (he was in search of); his consequent battle with
the mighty Rakshasas and the Yakshas of great prowess including Hanuman;
the destruction of the Asura Jata by Bhima; the meeting (of the Pandavas)
with the royal sage Vrishaparva; their departure for the asylum of
Arshtishena and abode therein: the incitement of Bhima (to acts of
vengeance) by Draupadi. Then is narrated the ascent on the hills of
Kailasa by Bhimasena, his terrific battle with the mighty Yakshas headed
by Hanuman; then the meeting of the Pandavas with Vaisravana (Kuvera),
and the meeting with Arjuna after he had obtained for the purpose of
Yudhishthira many celestial weapons; then Arjuna's terrible encounter
with the Nivatakavachas dwelling in Hiranyaparva, and also with the
Paulomas, and the Kalakeyas; their destruction at the hands of Arjuna;
the commencement of the display of the celestial weapons by Arjuna before
Yudhishthira, the prevention of the same by Narada; the descent of the
Pandavas from Gandhamadana; the seizure of Bhima in the forest by a
mighty serpent huge as the mountain; his release from the coils of the
snake, upon Yudhishthira's answering certain questions; the return of the
Pandavas to the Kamyaka woods. Here is described the reappearance of
Vasudeva to see the mighty sons of Pandu; the arrival of Markandeya, and
various recitals, the history of Prithu the son of Vena recited by the
great Rishi; the stories of Saraswati and the Rishi Tarkhya. After these,
is the story of Matsya; other old stories recited by Markandeya; the
stories of Indradyumna and Dhundhumara; then the history of the chaste
wife; the history of Angira, the meeting and conversation of Draupadi and
Satyabhama; the return of the Pandavas to the forest of Dwaita; then the
procession to see the calves and the captivity of Duryodhana; and when
the wretch was being carried off, his rescue by Arjuna; here is
Yudhishthira's dream of the deer; then the re-entry of the Pandavas into
the Kamyaka forest, here also is the long story of Vrihidraunika. Here
also is recited the story of Durvasa; then the abduction by Jayadratha of
Draupadi from the asylum; the pursuit of the ravisher by Bhima swift as
the air and the ill-shaving of Jayadratha's crown at Bhima's hand. Here
is the long history of Rama in which is shown how Rama by his prowess
slew Ravana in battle. Here also is narrated the story of Savitri; then
Karna's deprivation by Indra of his ear-rings; then the presentation to
Karna by the gratified Indra of a Sakti (missile weapon) which had the
virtue of killing only one person against whom it might be hurled; then
the story called Aranya in which Dharma (the god of justice) gave advice
to his son (Yudhishthira); in which, besides is recited how the Pandavas
after having obtained a boon went towards the west. These are all
included in the third Parva called Aranyaka, consisting of two hundred
and sixty-nine sections. The number of slokas is eleven thousand, six
hundred and sixty-four.

"The extensive Parva that comes next is called Virata. The Pandavas
arriving at the dominions of Virata saw in a cemetery on the outskirts of
the city a large shami tree whereon they kept their weapons. Here hath
been recited their entry into the city and their stay there in disguise.
Then the slaying by Bhima of the wicked Kichaka who, senseless with lust,
had sought Draupadi; the appointment by prince Duryodhana of clever
spies; and their despatch to all sides for tracing the Pandavas; the
failure of these to discover the mighty sons of Pandu; the first seizure
of Virata's kine by the Trigartas and the terrific battle that ensued;
the capture of Virata by the enemy and his rescue by Bhimasena; the
release also of the kine by the Pandava (Bhima); the seizure of Virata's
kine again by the Kurus; the defeat in battle of all the Kurus by the
single-handed Arjuna; the release of the king's kine; the bestowal by
Virata of his daughter Uttara for Arjuna's acceptance on behalf of his
son by Subhadra--Abhimanyu--the destroyer of foes. These are the contents
of the extensive fourth Parva--the Virata. The great Rishi Vyasa has
composed in these sixty-seven sections. The number of slokas is two
thousand and fifty.

"Listen then to (the contents of) the fifth Parva which must be known as
Udyoga. While the Pandavas, desirous of victory, were residing in the
place called Upaplavya, Duryodhana and Arjuna both went at the same time
to Vasudeva, and said, "You should render us assistance in this war." The
high-souled Krishna, upon these words being uttered, replied, "O ye first
of men, a counsellor in myself who will not fight and one Akshauhini of
troops, which of these shall I give to which of you?" Blind to his own
interests, the foolish Duryodhana asked for the troops; while Arjuna
solicited Krishna as an unfighting counsellor. Then is described how,
when the king of Madra was coming for the assistance of the Pandavas,
Duryodhana, having deceived him on the way by presents and hospitality,
induced him to grant a boon and then solicited his assistance in battle;
how Salya, having passed his word to Duryodhana, went to the Pandavas and
consoled them by reciting the history of Indra's victory (over Vritra).
Then comes the despatch by the Pandavas of their Purohita (priest) to the
Kauravas. Then is described how king Dhritarashtra of great prowess,
having heard the word of the purohita of the Pandavas and the story of
Indra's victory decided upon sending his purohita and ultimately
despatched Sanjaya as envoy to the Pandavas from desire for peace. Here
hath been described the sleeplessness of Dhritarashtra from anxiety upon
hearing all about the Pandavas and their friends, Vasudeva and others. It
was on this occasion that Vidura addressed to the wise king Dhritarashtra
various counsels that were full of wisdom. It was here also that
Sanat-sujata recited to the anxious and sorrowing monarch the excellent
truths of spiritual philosophy. On the next morning Sanjaya spoke, in the
court of the King, of the identity of Vasudeva and Arjuna. It was then
that the illustrious Krishna, moved by kindness and a desire for peace,
went himself to the Kaurava capital, Hastinapura, for bringing about
peace. Then comes the rejection by prince Duryodhana of the embassy of
Krishna who had come to solicit peace for the benefit of both parties.
Here hath been recited the story of Damvodvava; then the story of the
high-souled Matuli's search for a husband for his daughter: then the
history of the great sage Galava; then the story of the training and
discipline of the son of Bidula. Then the exhibition by Krishna, before
the assembled Rajas, of his Yoga powers upon learning the evil counsels
of Duryodhana and Karna; then Krishna's taking Karna in his chariot and
his tendering to him of advice, and Karna's rejection of the same from
pride. Then the return of Krishna, the chastiser of enemies from
Hastinapura to Upaplavya, and his narration to the Pandavas of all that
had happened. It was then that those oppressors of foes, the Pandavas,
having heard all and consulted properly with each other, made every
preparation for war. Then comes the march from Hastinapura, for battle,
of foot-soldiers, horses, charioteers and elephants. Then the tale of the
troops by both parties. Then the despatch by prince Duryodhana of Uluka
as envoy to the Pandavas on the day previous to the battle. Then the tale
of charioteers of different classes. Then the story of Amba. These all
have been described in the fifth Parva called Udyoga of the Bharata,
abounding with incidents appertaining to war and peace. O ye ascetics,
the great Vyasa hath composed one hundred and eighty-six sections in this
Parva. The number of slokas also composed in this by the great Rishi is
six thousand, six hundred and ninety-eight.

"Then is recited the Bhishma Parva replete with wonderful incidents. In
this hath been narrated by Sanjaya the formation of the region known as
Jambu. Here hath been described the great depression of Yudhishthira's
army, and also a fierce fight for ten successive days. In this the
high-souled Vasudeva by reasons based on the philosophy of final release
drove away Arjuna's compunction springing from the latter's regard for
his kindred (whom he was on the eve of slaying). In this the magnanimous
Krishna, attentive to the welfare of Yudhishthira, seeing the loss
inflicted (on the Pandava army), descended swiftly from his chariot
himself and ran, with dauntless breast, his driving whip in hand, to
effect the death of Bhishma. In this, Krishna also smote with piercing
words Arjuna, the bearer of the Gandiva and the foremost in battle among
all wielders of weapons. In this, the foremost of bowmen, Arjuna, placing
Shikandin before him and piercing Bhishma with his sharpest arrows felled
him from his chariot. In this, Bhishma lay stretched on his bed of
arrows. This extensive Parva is known as the sixth in the Bharata. In
this have been composed one hundred and seventeen sections. The number of
slokas is five thousand, eight hundred and eighty-four as told by Vyasa
conversant with the Vedas.

_________________
The Flesh of Fallen Angels! Come to me all! Asteroth,

Beelzebub, Asmodeus, Bapholada, Lucifer, Loki, Satan,

Cthulhu, Lilith, Della! Blood, to you all!

I'm the wolf, yeah!
I am the wolf! It's close, it's coming. You have come.
The witness to the end, of time. It's now! I will rise to
her side! I don't need the words!
I'm beyond the words!

_________________

1 pcs.
1 pcs.
1 pcs.
1 pcs.


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Re: POST, POST LIKE YOU NEVER POSTED BEFORE!
The Mahabharata

of

Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa

BOOK 17

Mahaprasthanika-parva



Translated into English Prose from the Original Sanskrit Text

by

Kisari Mohan Ganguli

[1883-1896]

Scanned and Proofed by Mantra Caitanya. Additional proofing and
formatting at sacred-texts.com, by J. B. Hare, October 2003.





1

Om! Having bowed down unto Narayana, and to Nara, the foremost of men, as
also to the goddess Sarasvati, should the word "Jaya" be uttered.

Janamejaya said: "Having heard of that encounter with iron bolts between
the heroes of the Vrishni and the Andhaka races, and having been informed
also of Krishnas ascension to Heaven, what did the Pandavas do?"

Vaishampayana said: "Having heard the particulars of the great slaughter
of the Vrishnis, the Kaurava king set his heart on leaving the world. He
addressed Arjuna, saying, O thou of great intelligence, it is Time that
cooks every creature (in his cauldron). I think that what has happened is
due to the cords of Time (with which he binds us all). It behoveth thee
also to see it.

"Thus addressed by his brother, the son of Kunti only repeated the word
Time, Time! and fully endorsed the view of his eldest brother gifted with
great intelligence. Ascertaining the resolution of Arjuna, Bhimasena and
the twins fully endorsed the words that Arjuna had said. Resolved to
retire from the world for earning merit, they brought Yuyutsu before
them. Yudhishthira made over the kingdom to the son of his uncle by his
Vaisya wife. Installing Parikshit also on their throne, as king, the
eldest brother of the Pandavas, filled with sorrow, addressed Subhadra,
saying, This son of thy son will be the king of the Kurus. The survivor
of the Yadus, Vajra, has been made a king. Parikshit will rule in
Hastinapura, while the Yadava prince, Vajra, will rule in Shakraprastha.
He should be protected by thee. Never set thy heart on unrighteousness.

"Having said these words, king Yudhishthira the just, along with his
brothers, promptly offered oblations of water unto Vasudeva of great
intelligence, as also unto his old maternal uncle and Rama and others. He
then duly performed the Sraddhas of all those deceased kinsmen of his.
The king, in honour of Hari and naming him repeatedly, fed the
Island-born Vyasa, and Narada, and Markandeya possessed of wealth of
penances, and Yajnavalkya of Bharadwajas race, with many delicious
viands. In honour of Krishna, he also gave away many jewels and gems, and
robes and clothes, and villages, and horses and cars, and female slaves
by hundreds and thousands unto foremost of Brahmanas. Summoning the
citizens. Kripa was installed as the preceptor and Parikshit was made
over to him as his disciple, O chief of Bharatas race.

"Then Yudhishthira once more summoned all his subjects. The royal sage
informed them of his intentions. The citizens and the inhabitants of the
provinces, hearing the kings words, became filled with anxiety and
disapproved of them. This should never be done, said they unto the king.
The monarch, well versed with the changes brought about by time, did not
listen to their counsels. Possessed of righteous soul, he persuaded the
people to sanction his views. He then set his heart on leaving the world.
His brothers also formed the same resolution. Then Dharmas son,
Yudhishthira, the king of the Kurus, casting off his ornaments, wore
barks of trees. Bhima and Arjuna and the twins, and Draupadi also of
great fame, similarly clad themselves in bark of trees, O king. Having
caused the preliminary rites of religion, O chief of Bharatas race, which
were to bless them in the accomplishment of their design, those foremost
of men cast off their sacred fires into the water. The ladies, beholding
the princes in that guise, wept aloud. They seemed to look as they had
looked in days before, when with Draupadi forming the sixth in number
they set out from the capital after their defeat at dice. The brothers,
however, were all very cheerful at the prospect of retirement.
Ascertaining the intentions of Yudhishthira and seeing the destruction of
the Vrishnis, no other course of action could please them then.

"The five brothers, with Draupadi forming the sixth, and a dog forming
the seventh, set out on their journey. Indeed, even thus did king
Yudhishthira depart, himself the head of a party of seven, from the city
named after the elephant. The citizen and the ladies of the royal
household followed them for some distance. None of them, however, could
venture to address the king for persuading him to give up his intention.
The denizens of the city then returned; Kripa and others stood around
Yuyutsu as their centre. Ulupi, the daughter of the Naga chief, O thou of
Kuntis race, entered the waters of Ganga. The princess Chitrangada set
out for the capital of Manipura. The other ladies who were the
grandmothers of Parikshit centered around him. Meanwhile the high-souled
Pandavas, O thou of Kurus race, and Draupadi of great fame, having
observed the preliminary fast, set out with their faces towards the east.
Setting themselves on Yoga, those high-souled ones, resolved to observe
the religion of Renunciation, traversed through various countries and
reached diverse rivers and seas. Yudhishthira, proceeded first. Behind
him was Bhima; next walked Arjuna; after him were the twins in the order
of their birth; behind them all, O foremost one of Bharatas race,
proceeded Draupadi, that first of women, possessed of great beauty, of
dark complexion, and endued with eyes resembling lotus petals. While the
Pandavas set out for the forest, a dog followed them.

"Proceeding on, those heroes reached the sea of red waters. Dhananjaya
had not cast off his celestial bow Gandiva, nor his couple of
inexhaustible quivers, actuated, O king, by the cupidity that attaches
one to things of great value. The Pandavas there beheld the deity of fire
standing before them like a hill. Closing their way, the god stood there
in his embodied form. The deity of seven flames then addressed the
Pandavas, saying, Ye heroic sons of Pandu, know me for the deity of fire.
O mighty-armed Yudhishthira, O Bhimasena that art a scorcher of foes, O
Arjuna, and ye twins of great courage, listen to what I say! Ye foremost
ones of Kurus race, I am the god of fire. The forest of Khandava was
burnt by me, through the puissance of Arjuna and of Narayana himself. Let
your brother Phalguna proceed to the woods after casting off Gandiva,
that high weapon. He has no longer any need of it. That precious discus,
which was with the high-souled Krishna, has disappeared (from the world).
When the time again comes, it will come back into his hands. This
foremost of bows, Gandiva, was procured by me from Varuna for the use of
Partha. Let it be made over to Varuna himself.

"At this, all the brothers urged Dhananjaya to do what the deity said. He
then threw into the waters (of the sea) both the bow and the couple of
inexhaustible quivers. After this, O chief of Bharatas race, the god of
the fire disappeared then and there. The heroic sons of Pandu next
proceeded with their faces turned towards the south. Then, by the
northern coast of the salt sea, those princes of Bharatas race proceeded
to the south-west. Turning next towards the west, they beheld the city of
Dwaraka covered by the ocean. Turning next to the north, those foremost
ones proceeded on. Observant of Yoga, they were desirous of making a
round of the whole Earth."



2

Vaishampayana said: "Those princes of restrained souls and devoted to
Yoga, proceeding to the north, beheld Himavat, that very large mountain.
Crossing the Himavat, they beheld a vast desert of sand. They then saw
the mighty mountain Meru, the foremost of all high-peaked mountains. As
those mighty ones were proceeding quickly, all rapt in Yoga, Yajnaseni,
falling of from Yoga, dropped down on the Earth. Beholding her fallen
down, Bhimasena of great strength addressed king Yudhishthira the just,
saying, O scorcher of foes, this princess never did any sinful act. Tell
us what the cause is for which Krishna has fallen down on the Earth!

"Yudhishthira said: O best of men, though we were all equal unto her she
had great partiality for Dhananjaya. She obtains the fruit of that
conduct today, O best of men."

Vaishampayana continued: "Having said this, that foremost one of Bharatas
race proceeded on. Of righteous soul, that foremost of men, endued with
great intelligence, went on, with mind intent on itself. Then Sahadeva of
great learning fell down on the Earth. Beholding him drop down, Bhima
addressed the king, saying, He who with great humility used to serve us
all, alas, why is that son of Madravati fallen down on the Earth?

"Yudhishthira said, He never thought anybody his equal in wisdom. It is
for that fault that this prince has fallen down.

Vaishampayana continued: "Having said this, the king proceeded, leaving
Sahadeva there. Indeed, Kuntis son Yudhishthira went on, with his
brothers and with the dog. Beholding both Krishna and the Pandava
Sahadeva fallen down, the brave Nakula, whose love for kinsmen was very
great, fell down himself. Upon the falling down of the heroic Nakula of
great personal beauty, Bhima once more addressed the king, saying, This
brother of ours who was endued with righteousness without incompleteness,
and who always obeyed our behests, this Nakula who was unrivalled for
beauty, has fallen down.

"Thus addressed by Bhimasena, Yudhishthira, said, with respect to Nakula,
these words: He was of righteous soul and the foremost of all persons
endued with intelligence. He, however, thought that there was nobody that
equalled him in beauty of person. Indeed, he regarded himself as superior
to all in that respect. It is for this that Nakula has fallen down. Know
this, O Vrikodara. What has been ordained for a person, O hero, must have
to be endured by him.

"Beholding Nakula and the others fall down, Pandus son Arjuna of white
steeds, that slayer of hostile heroes, fell down in great grief of heart.
When that foremost of men, who was endued with the energy of Shakra, had
fallen down, indeed, when that invincible hero was on the point of death,
Bhima said unto the king, I do not recollect any untruth uttered by this
high-souled one. Indeed, not even in jest did he say anything false. What
then is that for whose evil consequence this one has fallen down on the
Earth?

"Yudhishthira said, Arjuna had said that he would consume all our foes in
a single day. Proud of his heroism, he did not, however, accomplish what
he had said. Hence has he fallen down. This Phalguna disregarded all
wielders of bows. One desirous of prosperity should never indulge in such
sentiments."

Vaishampayana continued: "Having said so, the king proceeded on. Then
Bhima fell down. Having fallen down, Bhima addressed king Yudhishthira
the just, saying, O king, behold, I who am thy darling have fallen down.
For what reason have I dropped down? Tell me if thou knowest it.

"Yudhishthira said, Thou wert a great eater, and thou didst use to boast
of thy strength. Thou never didst attend, O Bhima, to the wants of others
while eating. It is for that, O Bhima, that thou hast fallen down.

"Having said these words, the mighty-armed Yudhishthira proceeded on,
without looking back. He had only one companion, the dog of which I have
repeatedly spoken to thee, that followed him now.



3

Vaishampayana said: "Then Shakra, causing the firmament and the Earth to
be filled by a loud sound, came to the son of Pritha on a car and asked
him to ascend it. Beholding his brothers fallen on the Earth, king
Yudhishthira the just said unto that deity of a 1,000 eyes these words:
My brothers have all dropped down here. They must go with me. Without
them by me I do not wish to go to Heaven, O lord of all the deities. The
delicate princess (Draupadi) deserving of every comfort, O Purandara,
should go with us. It behoveth thee to permit this.

"Shakra said, Thou shalt behold thy brothers in Heaven. They have reached
it before thee. Indeed, thou shalt see all of them there, with Krishna.
Do not yield to grief, O chief of the Bharatas. Having cast off their
human bodies they have gone there, O chief of Bharatas race. As regards
thee, it is ordained that thou shalt go thither in this very body of
thine.

"Yudhishthira said, This dog, O lord of the Past and the Present, is
exceedingly devoted to me. He should go with me. My heart is full of
compassion for him.

"Shakra said, Immortality and a condition equal to mine, O king,
prosperity extending in all directions, and high success, and all the
felicities of Heaven, thou hast won today. Do thou cast off this dog. In
this there will be no cruelty.

"Yudhishthira said, O thou of a 1,000 eyes. O thou that art of righteous
behaviour, it is exceedingly difficult for one that is of righteous
behaviour to perpetrate an act that is unrighteous. I do not desire that
union with prosperity for which I shall have to cast off one that is
devoted to me.

"Indra said, There is no place in Heaven for persons with dogs. Besides,
the (deities called) Krodhavasas take away all the merits of such
persons. Reflecting on this, act, O king Yudhishthira the just. Do thou
abandon this dog. There is no cruelty in this.

"Yudhishthira said, It has been said that the abandonment of one that is
devoted is infinitely sinful. It is equal to the sin that one incurs by
slaying a Brahmana. Hence, O great Indra, I shall not abandon this dog
today from desire of my happiness. Even this is my vow steadily pursued,
that I never give up a person that is terrified, nor one that is devoted
to me, nor one that seeks my protection, saying that he is destitute, nor
one that is afflicted, nor one that has come to me, nor one that is weak
in protecting oneself, nor one that is solicitous of life. I shall never
give up such a one till my own life is at an end.

"Indra said, Whatever gifts, or sacrifices spread out, or libations
poured on the sacred fire, are seen by a dog, are taken away by the
Krodhavasas. Do thou, therefore, abandon this dog. By abandoning this dog
thou wilt attain to the region of the deities. Having abandoned thy
brothers and Krishna, thou hast, O hero, acquired a region of felicity by
thy own deeds. Why art thou so stupefied? Thou hast renounced everything.
Why then dost thou not renounce this dog? "Yudhishthira said, This is
well known in all the worlds that there is neither friendship nor enmity
with those that are dead. When my brothers and Krishna died, I was unable
to revive them. Hence it was that I abandoned them. I did not, however,
abandon them as long as they were alive. To frighten one that has sought
protection, the slaying of a woman, the theft of what belongs to a
Brahmana, and injuring a friend, each of these four, O Shakra, is I think
equal to the abandonment of one that is devoted."

Vaishampayana continued: "Hearing these words of king Yudhishthira the
just, (the dog became transformed into) the deity of Righteousness, who,
well pleased, said these words unto him in a sweet voice fraught with
praise.

"Dharma said: Thou art well born, O king of kings, and possessed of the
intelligence and the good conduct of Pandu. Thou hast compassion for all
creatures, O Bharata, of which this is a bright example. Formerly, O son,
thou wert once examined by me in the woods of Dwaita, where thy brothers
of great prowess met with (an appearance of) death. Disregarding both thy
brothers Bhima and Arjuna, thou didst wish for the revival of Nakula from
thy desire of doing good to thy (step-) mother. On the present occasion,
thinking the dog to be devoted to thee, thou hast renounced the very car
of the celestials instead of renouncing him. Hence. O king, there is no
one in Heaven that is equal to thee. Hence, O Bharata, regions of
inexhaustible felicity are thine. Thou hast won them, O chief of the
Bharatas, and thine is a celestial and high goal."

Vaishampayana continued: "Then Dharma, and Shakra, and the Maruts, and
the Ashvinis, and other deities, and the celestial Rishis, causing
Yudhishthira to ascend on a car, proceeded to Heaven. Those beings
crowned with success and capable of going everywhere at will, rode their
respective cars. King Yudhishthira, that perpetuator of Kurus race,
riding on that car, ascended quickly, causing the entire welkin to blaze
with his effulgence. Then Narada, that foremost of all speakers, endued
with penances, and conversant with all the worlds, from amidst that
concourse of deities, said these words: All those royal sages that are
here have their achievements transcended by those of Yudhishthira.
Covering all the worlds by his fame and splendour and by his wealth of
conduct, he has attained to Heaven in his own (human) body. None else
than the son of Pandu has been heard to achieve this.

"Hearing these words of Narada, the righteous-souled king, saluting the
deities and all the royal sages there present, said, Happy or miserable,
whatever the region be that is now my brothers, I desire to proceed to. I
do not wish to go anywhere else.

"Hearing this speech of the king, the chief of the deities, Purandara,
said these words fraught with noble sense: Do thou live in this place, O
king of kings, which thou hast won by thy meritorious deeds. Why dost
thou still cherish human affections? Thou hast attained to great success,
the like of which no other man has ever been able to attain. Thy
brothers, O delighter of the Kurus, have succeeded in winning regions of
felicity. Human affections still touch thee. This is Heaven. Behold these
celestial Rishis and Siddhas who have attained to the region of the gods.

"Gifted with great intelligence, Yudhishthira answered the chief of the
deities once more, saying, O conqueror of Daityas, I venture not to dwell
anywhere separated from them. I desire to go there, where my brothers
have gone. I wish to go there where that foremost of women, Draupadi, of
ample proportions and darkish complexion and endued with great
intelligence and righteous of conduct, has gone."

The end of Mahaprasthanika-parv

_________________
The Flesh of Fallen Angels! Come to me all! Asteroth,

Beelzebub, Asmodeus, Bapholada, Lucifer, Loki, Satan,

Cthulhu, Lilith, Della! Blood, to you all!

I'm the wolf, yeah!
I am the wolf! It's close, it's coming. You have come.
The witness to the end, of time. It's now! I will rise to
her side! I don't need the words!
I'm beyond the words!
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The Mahabharata

of

Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa

BOOK 1

ADI PARVA

Translated into English Prose from the Original Sanskrit Text

by

Kisari Mohan Ganguli

[1883-1896]

Scanned at sacred-texts.com, 2003. Proofed at Distributed Proofing,
Juliet Sutherland, Project Manager. Additional proofing and formatting at
sacred-texts.com, by J. B. Hare.



TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE

The object of a translator should ever be to hold the mirror upto his
author. That being so, his chief duty is to represent so far as
practicable the manner in which his author's ideas have been expressed,
retaining if possible at the sacrifice of idiom and taste all the
peculiarities of his author's imagery and of language as well. In regard
to translations from the Sanskrit, nothing is easier than to dish up
Hindu ideas, so as to make them agreeable to English taste. But the
endeavour of the present translator has been to give in the following
pages as literal a rendering as possible of the great work of Vyasa. To
the purely English reader there is much in the following pages that will
strike as ridiculous. Those unacquainted with any language but their own
are generally very exclusive in matters of taste. Having no knowledge of
models other than what they meet with in their own tongue, the standard
they have formed of purity and taste in composition must necessarily be a
narrow one. The translator, however, would ill-discharge his duty, if for
the sake of avoiding ridicule, he sacrificed fidelity to the original. He
must represent his author as he is, not as he should be to please the
narrow taste of those entirely unacquainted with him. Mr. Pickford, in
the preface to his English translation of the Mahavira Charita, ably
defends a close adherence to the original even at the sacrifice of idiom
and taste against the claims of what has been called 'Free Translation,'
which means dressing the author in an outlandish garb to please those to
whom he is introduced.

In the preface to his classical translation of Bhartrihari's Niti Satakam
and Vairagya Satakam, Mr. C.H. Tawney says, "I am sensible that in the
present attempt I have retained much local colouring. For instance, the
ideas of worshipping the feet of a god of great men, though it frequently
occurs in Indian literature, will undoubtedly move the laughter of
Englishmen unacquainted with Sanskrit, especially if they happen to
belong to that class of readers who revel their attention on the
accidental and remain blind to the essential. But a certain measure of
fidelity to the original even at the risk of making oneself ridiculous,
is better than the studied dishonesty which characterises so many
translations of oriental poets."

We fully subscribe to the above although, it must be observed, the
censure conveyed to the class of translators last indicated is rather
undeserved, there being nothing like a 'studied dishonesty' in their
efforts which proceed only from a mistaken view of their duties and as
such betray only an error of the head but not of the heart. More than
twelve years ago when Babu Pratapa Chandra Roy, with Babu Durga Charan
Banerjee, went to my retreat at Seebpore, for engaging me to translate
the Mahabharata into English, I was amazed with the grandeur of the
scheme. My first question to him was,--whence was the money to come,
supposing my competence for the task. Pratapa then unfolded to me the
details of his plan, the hopes he could legitimately cherish of
assistance from different quarters. He was full of enthusiasm. He showed
me Dr. Rost's letter, which, he said, had suggested to him the
undertaking. I had known Babu Durga Charan for many years and I had the
highest opinion of his scholarship and practical good sense. When he
warmly took Pratapa's side for convincing me of the practicability of the
scheme, I listened to him patiently. The two were for completing all
arrangements with me the very day. To this I did not agree. I took a
week's time to consider. I consulted some of my literary friends,
foremost among whom was the late lamented Dr. Sambhu C. Mookherjee. The
latter, I found, had been waited upon by Pratapa. Dr. Mookherjee spoke to
me of Pratapa as a man of indomitable energy and perseverance. The result
of my conference with Dr. Mookherjee was that I wrote to Pratapa asking
him to see me again. In this second interview estimates were drawn up,
and everything was arranged as far as my portion of the work was
concerned. My friend left with me a specimen of translation which he had
received from Professor Max Muller. This I began to study, carefully
comparing it sentence by sentence with the original. About its literal
character there could be no doubt, but it had no flow and, therefore,
could not be perused with pleasure by the general reader. The translation
had been executed thirty years ago by a young German friend of the great
Pundit. I had to touch up every sentence. This I did without at all
impairing faithfulness to the original. My first 'copy' was set up in
type and a dozen sheets were struck off. These were submitted to the
judgment of a number of eminent writers, European and native. All of
them, I was glad to see, approved of the specimen, and then the task of
translating the Mahabharata into English seriously began.

Before, however, the first fasciculus could be issued, the question as to
whether the authorship of the translation should be publicly owned,
arose. Babu Pratapa Chandra Roy was against anonymity. I was for it. The
reasons I adduced were chiefly founded upon the impossibility of one
person translating the whole of the gigantic work. Notwithstanding my
resolve to discharge to the fullest extent the duty that I took up, I
might not live to carry it out. It would take many years before the end
could be reached. Other circumstances than death might arise in
consequence of which my connection with the work might cease. It could
not be desirable to issue successive fasciculus with the names of a
succession of translators appearing on the title pages. These and other
considerations convinced my friend that, after all, my view was correct.
It was, accordingly, resolved to withhold the name of the translator. As
a compromise, however, between the two views, it was resolved to issue
the first fasciculus with two prefaces, one over the signature of the
publisher and the other headed--'Translator's Preface.' This, it was
supposed, would effectually guard against misconceptions of every kind.
No careful reader would then confound the publisher with the author.

Although this plan was adopted, yet before a fourth of the task had been
accomplished, an influential Indian journal came down upon poor Pratapa
Chandra Roy and accused him openly of being a party to a great literary
imposture, viz., of posing before the world as the translator of Vyasa's
work when, in fact, he was only the publisher. The charge came upon my
friend as a surprise, especially as he had never made a secret of the
authorship in his correspondence with Oriental scholars in every part of
the world. He promptly wrote to the journal in question, explaining the
reasons there were for anonymity, and pointing to the two prefaces with
which the first fasciculus had been given to the world. The editor
readily admitted his mistake and made a satisfactory apology.

Now that the translation has been completed, there can no longer be any
reason for withholding the name of the translator. The entire translation
is practically the work of one hand. In portions of the Adi and the Sabha
Parvas, I was assisted by Babu Charu Charan Mookerjee. About four forms
of the Sabha Parva were done by Professor Krishna Kamal Bhattacharya, and
about half a fasciculus during my illness, was done by another hand. I
should however state that before passing to the printer the copy received
from these gentlemen I carefully compared every sentence with the
original, making such alterations as were needed for securing a
uniformity of style with the rest of the work.

I should here observe that in rendering the Mahabharata into English I
have derived very little aid from the three Bengali versions that are
supposed to have been executed with care. Every one of these is full of
inaccuracies and blunders of every description. The Santi in particular
which is by far the most difficult of the eighteen Parvas, has been made
a mess of by the Pundits that attacked it. Hundreds of ridiculous
blunders can be pointed out in both the Rajadharma and the Mokshadharma
sections. Some of these I have pointed out in footnotes.

I cannot lay claim to infallibility. There are verses in the Mahabharata
that are exceedingly difficult to construe. I have derived much aid from
the great commentator Nilakantha. I know that Nilakantha's authority is
not incapable of being challenged. But when it is remembered that the
interpretations given by Nilakantha came down to him from preceptors of
olden days, one should think twice before rejecting Nilakantha as a guide.

About the readings I have adopted, I should say that as regards the first
half of the work, I have generally adhered to the Bengal texts; as
regards the latter half, to the printed Bombay edition. Sometimes
individual sections, as occurring in the Bengal editions, differ widely,
in respect of the order of the verses, from the corresponding ones in the
Bombay edition. In such cases I have adhered to the Bengal texts,
convinced that the sequence of ideas has been better preserved in the
Bengal editions than the Bombay one.

I should express my particular obligations to Pundit Ram Nath Tarkaratna,
the author of 'Vasudeva Vijayam' and other poems, Pundit Shyama Charan
Kaviratna, the learned editor of Kavyaprakasha with the commentary of
Professor Mahesh Chandra Nayaratna, and Babu Aghore Nath Banerjee, the
manager of the Bharata Karyalaya. All these scholars were my referees on
all points of difficulty. Pundit Ram Nath's solid scholarship is known to
them that have come in contact with him. I never referred to him a
difficulty that he could not clear up. Unfortunately, he was not always
at hand to consult. Pundit Shyama Charan Kaviratna, during my residence
at Seebpore, assisted me in going over the Mokshadharma sections of the
Santi Parva. Unostentatious in the extreme, Kaviratna is truly the type
of a learned Brahman of ancient India. Babu Aghore Nath Banerjee also has
from time to time, rendered me valuable assistance in clearing my
difficulties.

Gigantic as the work is, it would have been exceedingly difficult for me
to go on with it if I had not been encouraged by Sir Stuart Bayley, Sir
Auckland Colvin, Sir Alfred Croft, and among Oriental scholars, by the
late lamented Dr. Reinhold Rost, and Mons. A. Barth of Paris. All these
eminent men know from the beginning that the translation was proceeding
from my pen. Notwithstanding the enthusiasm, with which my poor friend,
Pratapa Chandra Roy, always endeavoured to fill me. I am sure my energies
would have flagged and patience exhausted but for the encouraging words
which I always received from these patrons and friends of the enterprise.

Lastly, I should name my literary chief and friend, Dr. Sambhu C.
Mookherjee. The kind interest he took in my labours, the repeated
exhortations he addressed to me inculcating patience, the care with which
he read every fasciculus as it came out, marking all those passages which
threw light upon topics of antiquarian interest, and the words of praise
he uttered when any expression particularly happy met his eyes, served to
stimulate me more than anything else in going on with a task that
sometimes seemed to me endless.

Kisari Mohan Ganguli

Calcutta



THE MAHABHARATA

ADI PARVA

SECTION I

Om! Having bowed down to Narayana and Nara, the most exalted male being,
and also to the goddess Saraswati, must the word Jaya be uttered.

Ugrasrava, the son of Lomaharshana, surnamed Sauti, well-versed in the
Puranas, bending with humility, one day approached the great sages of
rigid vows, sitting at their ease, who had attended the twelve years'
sacrifice of Saunaka, surnamed Kulapati, in the forest of Naimisha. Those
ascetics, wishing to hear his wonderful narrations, presently began to
address him who had thus arrived at that recluse abode of the inhabitants
of the forest of Naimisha. Having been entertained with due respect by
those holy men, he saluted those Munis (sages) with joined palms, even
all of them, and inquired about the progress of their asceticism. Then
all the ascetics being again seated, the son of Lomaharshana humbly
occupied the seat that was assigned to him. Seeing that he was
comfortably seated, and recovered from fatigue, one of the Rishis
beginning the conversation, asked him, 'Whence comest thou, O lotus-eyed
Sauti, and where hast thou spent the time? Tell me, who ask thee, in
detail.'

Accomplished in speech, Sauti, thus questioned, gave in the midst of that
big assemblage of contemplative Munis a full and proper answer in words
consonant with their mode of life.

"Sauti said, 'Having heard the diverse sacred and wonderful stories which
were composed in his Mahabharata by Krishna-Dwaipayana, and which were
recited in full by Vaisampayana at the Snake-sacrifice of the high-souled
royal sage Janamejaya and in the presence also of that chief of Princes,
the son of Parikshit, and having wandered about, visiting many sacred
waters and holy shrines, I journeyed to the country venerated by the
Dwijas (twice-born) and called Samantapanchaka where formerly was fought
the battle between the children of Kuru and Pandu, and all the chiefs of
the land ranged on either side. Thence, anxious to see you, I am come
into your presence. Ye reverend sages, all of whom are to me as Brahma;
ye greatly blessed who shine in this place of sacrifice with the
splendour of the solar fire: ye who have concluded the silent meditations
and have fed the holy fire; and yet who are sitting--without care, what,
O ye Dwijas (twice-born), shall I repeat, shall I recount the sacred
stories collected in the Puranas containing precepts of religious duty
and of worldly profit, or the acts of illustrious saints and sovereigns
of mankind?"

"The Rishi replied, 'The Purana, first promulgated by the great Rishi
Dwaipayana, and which after having been heard both by the gods and the
Brahmarshis was highly esteemed, being the most eminent narrative that
exists, diversified both in diction and division, possessing subtile
meanings logically combined, and gleaned from the Vedas, is a sacred
work. Composed in elegant language, it includeth the subjects of other
books. It is elucidated by other Shastras, and comprehendeth the sense of
the four Vedas. We are desirous of hearing that history also called
Bharata, the holy composition of the wonderful Vyasa, which dispelleth
the fear of evil, just as it was cheerfully recited by the Rishi
Vaisampayana, under the direction of Dwaipayana himself, at the
snake-sacrifice of Raja Janamejaya?'

"Sauti then said, 'Having bowed down to the primordial being Isana, to
whom multitudes make offerings, and who is adored by the multitude; who
is the true incorruptible one, Brahma, perceptible, imperceptible,
eternal; who is both a non-existing and an existing-non-existing being;
who is the universe and also distinct from the existing and non-existing
universe; who is the creator of high and low; the ancient, exalted,
inexhaustible one; who is Vishnu, beneficent and the beneficence itself,
worthy of all preference, pure and immaculate; who is Hari, the ruler of
the faculties, the guide of all things moveable and immoveable; I will
declare the sacred thoughts of the illustrious sage Vyasa, of marvellous
deeds and worshipped here by all. Some bards have already published this
history, some are now teaching it, and others, in like manner, will
hereafter promulgate it upon the earth. It is a great source of
knowledge, established throughout the three regions of the world. It is
possessed by the twice-born both in detailed and compendious forms. It is
the delight of the learned for being embellished with elegant
expressions, conversations human and divine, and a variety of poetical
measures.

In this world, when it was destitute of brightness and light, and
enveloped all around in total darkness, there came into being, as the
primal cause of creation, a mighty egg, the one inexhaustible seed of all
created beings. It is called Mahadivya, and was formed at the beginning
of the Yuga, in which we are told, was the true light Brahma, the eternal
one, the wonderful and inconceivable being present alike in all places;
the invisible and subtile cause, whose nature partaketh of entity and
non-entity. From this egg came out the lord Pitamaha Brahma, the one only
Prajapati; with Suraguru and Sthanu. Then appeared the twenty-one
Prajapatis, viz., Manu, Vasishtha and Parameshthi; ten Prachetas, Daksha,
and the seven sons of Daksha. Then appeared the man of inconceivable
nature whom all the Rishis know and so the Viswe-devas, the Adityas, the
Vasus, and the twin Aswins; the Yakshas, the Sadhyas, the Pisachas, the
Guhyakas, and the Pitris. After these were produced the wise and most
holy Brahmarshis, and the numerous Rajarshis distinguished by every noble
quality. So the water, the heavens, the earth, the air, the sky, the
points of the heavens, the years, the seasons, the months, the
fortnights, called Pakshas, with day and night in due succession. And
thus were produced all things which are known to mankind.

And what is seen in the universe, whether animate or inanimate, of
created things, will at the end of the world, and after the expiration of
the Yuga, be again confounded. And, at the commencement of other Yugas,
all things will be renovated, and, like the various fruits of the earth,
succeed each other in the due order of their seasons. Thus continueth
perpetually to revolve in the world, without beginning and without end,
this wheel which causeth the destruction of all things.

The generation of Devas, in brief, was thirty-three thousand,
thirty-three hundred and thirty-three. The sons of Div were Brihadbhanu,
Chakshus, Atma Vibhavasu, Savita, Richika, Arka, Bhanu, Asavaha, and
Ravi. Of these Vivaswans of old, Mahya was the youngest whose son was
Deva-vrata. The latter had for his son, Su-vrata who, we learn, had three
sons,--Dasa-jyoti, Sata-jyoti, and Sahasra-jyoti, each of them producing
numerous offspring. The illustrious Dasa-jyoti had ten thousand,
Sata-jyoti ten times that number, and Sahasra-jyoti ten times the number
of Sata-jyoti's offspring. From these are descended the family of the
Kurus, of the Yadus, and of Bharata; the family of Yayati and of
Ikshwaku; also of all the Rajarshis. Numerous also were the generations
produced, and very abundant were the creatures and their places of abode.
The mystery which is threefold--the Vedas, Yoga, and Vijnana Dharma,
Artha, and Kama--also various books upon the subject of Dharma, Artha,
and Kama; also rules for the conduct of mankind; also histories and
discourses with various srutis; all of which having been seen by the
Rishi Vyasa are here in due order mentioned as a specimen of the book.

The Rishi Vyasa published this mass of knowledge in both a detailed and
an abridged form. It is the wish of the learned in the world to possess
the details and the abridgement. Some read the Bharata beginning with the
initial mantra (invocation), others with the story of Astika, others with
Uparichara, while some Brahmanas study the whole. Men of learning display
their various knowledge of the institutes in commenting on the
composition. Some are skilful in explaining it, while others, in
remembering its contents.

The son of Satyavati having, by penance and meditation, analysed the
eternal Veda, afterwards composed this holy history, when that learned
Brahmarshi of strict vows, the noble Dwaipayana Vyasa, offspring of
Parasara, had finished this greatest of narrations, he began to consider
how he might teach it to his disciples. And the possessor of the six
attributes, Brahma, the world's preceptor, knowing of the anxiety of the
Rishi Dwaipayana, came in person to the place where the latter was, for
gratifying the saint, and benefiting the people. And when Vyasa,
surrounded by all the tribes of Munis, saw him, he was surprised; and,
standing with joined palms, he bowed and ordered a seat to be brought.
And Vyasa having gone round him who is called Hiranyagarbha seated on
that distinguished seat stood near it; and being commanded by Brahma
Parameshthi, he sat down near the seat, full of affection and smiling in
joy. Then the greatly glorious Vyasa, addressing Brahma Parameshthi,
said, "O divine Brahma, by me a poem hath been composed which is greatly
respected. The mystery of the Veda, and what other subjects have been
explained by me; the various rituals of the Upanishads with the Angas;
the compilation of the Puranas and history formed by me and named after
the three divisions of time, past, present, and future; the determination
of the nature of decay, fear, disease, existence, and non-existence, a
description of creeds and of the various modes of life; rule for the four
castes, and the import of all the Puranas; an account of asceticism and
of the duties of a religious student; the dimensions of the sun and moon,
the planets, constellations, and stars, together with the duration of the
four ages; the Rik, Sama and Yajur Vedas; also the Adhyatma; the sciences
called Nyaya, Orthoephy and Treatment of diseases; charity and
Pasupatadharma; birth celestial and human, for particular purposes; also
a description of places of pilgrimage and other holy places of rivers,
mountains, forests, the ocean, of heavenly cities and the kalpas; the art
of war; the different kinds of nations and languages: the nature of the
manners of the people; and the all-pervading spirit;--all these have been
represented. But, after all, no writer of this work is to be found on
earth.'

"Brahma said. 'I esteem thee for thy knowledge of divine mysteries,
before the whole body of celebrated Munis distinguished for the sanctity
of their lives. I know thou hast revealed the divine word, even from its
first utterance, in the language of truth. Thou hast called thy present
work a poem, wherefore it shall be a poem. There shall be no poets whose
works may equal the descriptions of this poem, even, as the three other
modes called Asrama are ever unequal in merit to the domestic Asrama. Let
Ganesa be thought of, O Muni, for the purpose of writing the poem.'

"Sauti said, 'Brahma having thus spoken to Vyasa, retired to his own
abode. Then Vyasa began to call to mind Ganesa. And Ganesa, obviator of
obstacles, ready to fulfil the desires of his votaries, was no sooner
thought of, than he repaired to the place where Vyasa was seated. And
when he had been saluted, and was seated, Vyasa addressed him thus, 'O
guide of the Ganas! be thou the writer of the Bharata which I have formed
in my imagination, and which I am about to repeat."

"Ganesa, upon hearing this address, thus answered, 'I will become the
writer of thy work, provided my pen do not for a moment cease writing."
And Vyasa said unto that divinity, 'Wherever there be anything thou dost
not comprehend, cease to continue writing.' Ganesa having signified his
assent, by repeating the word Om! proceeded to write; and Vyasa began;
and by way of diversion, he knit the knots of composition exceeding
close; by doing which, he dictated this work according to his engagement.

I am (continued Sauti) acquainted with eight thousand and eight hundred
verses, and so is Suka, and perhaps Sanjaya. From the mysteriousness of
their meaning, O Muni, no one is able, to this day, to penetrate those
closely knit difficult slokas. Even the omniscient Ganesa took a moment
to consider; while Vyasa, however, continued to compose other verses in
great abundance.

The wisdom of this work, like unto an instrument of applying collyrium,
hath opened the eyes of the inquisitive world blinded by the darkness of
ignorance. As the sun dispelleth the darkness, so doth the Bharata by its
discourses on religion, profit, pleasure and final release, dispel the
ignorance of men. As the full-moon by its mild light expandeth the buds
of the water-lily, so this Purana, by exposing the light of the Sruti
hath expanded the human intellect. By the lamp of history, which
destroyeth the darkness of ignorance, the whole mansion of nature is
properly and completely illuminated.

This work is a tree, of which the chapter of contents is the seed; the
divisions called Pauloma and Astika are the root; the part called
Sambhava is the trunk; the books called Sabha and Aranya are the roosting
perches; the books called Arani is the knitting knots; the books called
Virata and Udyoga the pith; the book named Bhishma, the main branch; the
book called Drona, the leaves; the book called Karna, the fair flowers;
the book named Salya, their sweet smell; the books entitled Stri and
Aishika, the refreshing shade; the book called Santi, the mighty fruit;
the book called Aswamedha, the immortal sap; the denominated
Asramavasika, the spot where it groweth; and the book called Mausala, is
an epitome of the Vedas and held in great respect by the virtuous
Brahmanas. The tree of the Bharata, inexhaustible to mankind as the
clouds, shall be as a source of livelihood to all distinguished poets."

"Sauti continued, 'I will now speak of the undying flowery and fruitful
productions of this tree, possessed of pure and pleasant taste, and not
to be destroyed even by the immortals. Formerly, the spirited and
virtuous Krishna-Dwaipayana, by the injunctions of Bhishma, the wise son
of Ganga and of his own mother, became the father of three boys who were
like the three fires by the two wives of Vichitra-virya; and having thus
raised up Dhritarashtra, Pandu and Vidura, he returned to his recluse
abode to prosecute his religious exercise.

It was not till after these were born, grown up, and departed on the
supreme journey, that the great Rishi Vyasa published the Bharata in this
region of mankind; when being solicited by Janamejaya and thousands of
Brahmanas, he instructed his disciple Vaisampayana, who was seated near
him; and he, sitting together with the Sadasyas, recited the Bharata,
during the intervals of the ceremonies of the sacrifice, being repeatedly
urged to proceed.

Vyasa hath fully represented the greatness of the house of Kuru, the
virtuous principles of Gandhari, the wisdom of Vidura, and the constancy
of Kunti. The noble Rishi hath also described the divinity of Vasudeva,
the rectitude of the sons of Pandu, and the evil practices of the sons
and partisans of Dhritarashtra.

Vyasa executed the compilation of the Bharata, exclusive of the episodes
originally in twenty-four thousand verses; and so much only is called by
the learned as the Bharata. Afterwards, he composed an epitome in one
hundred and fifty verses, consisting of the introduction with the chapter
of contents. This he first taught to his son Suka; and afterwards he gave
it to others of his disciples who were possessed of the same
qualifications. After that he executed another compilation, consisting of
six hundred thousand verses. Of those, thirty hundred thousand are known
in the world of the Devas; fifteen hundred thousand in the world of the
Pitris: fourteen hundred thousand among the Gandharvas, and one hundred
thousand in the regions of mankind. Narada recited them to the Devas,
Devala to the Pitris, and Suka published them to the Gandharvas, Yakshas,
and Rakshasas: and in this world they were recited by Vaisampayana, one
of the disciples of Vyasa, a man of just principles and the first among
all those acquainted with the Vedas. Know that I, Sauti, have also
repeated one hundred thousand verses.

Yudhishthira is a vast tree, formed of religion and virtue; Arjuna is its
trunk; Bhimasena, its branches; the two sons of Madri are its full-grown
fruit and flowers; and its roots are Krishna, Brahma, and the Brahmanas.

Pandu, after having subdued many countries by his wisdom and prowess,
took up his abode with the Munis in a certain forest as a sportsman,
where he brought upon himself a very severe misfortune for having killed
a stag coupling with its mate, which served as a warning for the conduct
of the princes of his house as long as they lived. Their mothers, in
order that the ordinances of the law might be fulfilled, admitted as
substitutes to their embraces the gods Dharma, Vayu, Sakra, and the
divinities the twin Aswins. And when their offspring grew up, under the
care of their two mothers, in the society of ascetics, in the midst of
sacred groves and holy recluse-abodes of religious men, they were
conducted by Rishis into the presence of Dhritarashtra and his sons,
following as students in the habit of Brahmacharis, having their hair
tied in knots on their heads. 'These our pupils', said they, 'are as your
sons, your brothers, and your friends; they are Pandavas.' Saying this,
the Munis disappeared.

When the Kauravas saw them introduced as the sons of Pandu, the
distinguished class of citizens shouted exceedingly for joy. Some,
however, said, they were not the sons of Pandu; others said, they were;
while a few asked how they could be his offspring, seeing he had been so
long dead. Still on all sides voices were heard crying, 'They are on all
accounts Whalecum! Through divine Providence we behold the family of
Pandu! Let their Whalecum be proclaimed!' As these acclamations ceased,
the plaudits of invisible spirits, causing every point of the heavens to
resound, were tremendous. There were showers of sweet-scented flowers,
and the sound of shells and kettle-drums. Such were the wonders that
happened on the arrival of the young princes. The joyful noise of all the
citizens, in expression of their satisfaction on the occasion, was so
great that it reached the very heavens in magnifying plaudits.

Having studied the whole of the Vedas and sundry other shastras, the
Pandavas resided there, respected by all and without apprehension from
any one.

The principal men were pleased with the purity of Yudhishthira, the
courage of Arjuna, the submissive attention of Kunti to her superiors,
and the humility of the twins, Nakula and Sahadeva; and all the people
rejoiced in their heroic virtues.

After a while, Arjuna obtained the virgin Krishna at the swayamvara, in
the midst of a concourse of Rajas, by performing a very difficult feat of
archery. And from this time he became very much respected in this world
among all bowmen; and in fields of battle also, like the sun, he was hard
to behold by foe-men. And having vanquished all the neighbouring princes
and every considerable tribe, he accomplished all that was necessary for
the Raja (his eldest brother) to perform the great sacrifice called
Rajasuya.

Yudhishthira, after having, through the wise counsels of Vasudeva and by
the valour of Bhimasena and Arjuna, slain Jarasandha (the king of
Magadha) and the proud Chaidya, acquired the right to perform the grand
sacrifice of Rajasuya abounding in provisions and offering and fraught
with transcendent merits. And Duryodhana came to this sacrifice; and when
he beheld the vast wealth of the Pandavas scattered all around, the
offerings, the precious stones, gold and jewels; the wealth in cows,
elephants, and horses; the curious textures, garments, and mantles; the
precious shawls and furs and carpets made of the skin of the Ranku; he
was filled with envy and became exceedingly displeased. And when he
beheld the hall of assembly elegantly constructed by Maya (the Asura
architect) after the fashion of a celestial court, he was inflamed with
rage. And having started in confusion at certain architectural deceptions
within this building, he was derided by Bhimasena in the presence of
Vasudeva, like one of mean descent.

And it was represented to Dhritarashtra that his son, while partaking of
various objects of enjoyment and diverse precious things, was becoming
meagre, wan, and pale. And Dhritarashtra, some time after, out of
affection for his son, gave his consent to their playing (with the
Pandavas) at dice. And Vasudeva coming to know of this, became
exceedingly wroth. And being dissatisfied, he did nothing to prevent the
disputes, but overlooked the gaming and sundry other horried
unjustifiable transactions arising therefrom: and in spite of Vidura,
Bhishma, Drona, and Kripa, the son of Saradwan, he made the Kshatriyas
kill each other in the terrific war that ensued.'

"And Dhritarashtra hearing the ill news of the success of the Pandavas
and recollecting the resolutions of Duryodhana, Kama, and Sakuni,
pondered for a while and addressed to Sanjaya the following speech:--

'Attend, O Sanjaya, to all I am about to say, and it will not become thee
to treat me with contempt. Thou art well-versed in the shastras,
intelligent and endowed with wisdom. My inclination was never to war, not
did I delight in the destruction of my race. I made no distinction
between my own children and the children of Pandu. My own sons were prone
to wilfulness and despised me because I am old. Blind as I am, because of
my miserable plight and through paternal affection, I bore it all. I was
foolish alter the thoughtless Duryodhana ever growing in folly. Having
been a spectator of the riches of the mighty sons of Pandu, my son was
derided for his awkwardness while ascending the hall. Unable to bear it
all and unable himself to overcome the sons of Pandu in the field, and
though a soldier, unwilling yet to obtain good fortune by his own
exertion, with the help of the king of Gandhara he concerted an unfair
game at dice.

'Hear, O Sanjaya, all that happened thereupon and came to my knowledge.
And when thou hast heard all I say, recollecting everything as it fell
out, thou shall then know me for one with a prophetic eye. When I heard
that Arjuna, having bent the bow, had pierced the curious mark and
brought it down to the ground, and bore away in triumph the maiden
Krishna, in the sight of the assembled princes, then, O Sanjaya I had no
hope of success. When I heard that Subhadra of the race of Madhu had,
after forcible seizure been married by Arjuna in the city of Dwaraka, and
that the two heroes of the race of Vrishni (Krishna and Balarama the
brothers of Subhadra) without resenting it had entered Indraprastha as
friends, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that
Arjuna, by his celestial arrow preventing the downpour by Indra the king
of the gods, had gratified Agni by making over to him the forest of
Khandava, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that
the five Pandavas with their mother Kunti had escaped from the house of
lac, and that Vidura was engaged in the accomplishment of their designs,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Arjuna,
after having pierced the mark in the arena had won Draupadi, and that the
brave Panchalas had joined the Pandavas, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. When I heard that Jarasandha, the foremost of the royal line
of Magadha, and blazing in the midst of the Kshatriyas, had been slain by
Bhima with his bare arms alone, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that in their general campaign the sons of Pandu
had conquered the chiefs of the land and performed the grand sacrifice of
the Rajasuya, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard
that Draupadi, her voice choked with tears and heart full of agony, in
the season of impurity and with but one raiment on, had been dragged into
court and though she had protectors, she had been treated as if she had
none, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the
wicked wretch Duhsasana, was striving to strip her of that single
garment, had only drawn from her person a large heap of cloth without
being able to arrive at its end, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that Yudhishthira, beaten by Saubala at the game of
dice and deprived of his kingdom as a consequence thereof, had still been
attended upon by his brothers of incomparable prowess, then, O Sanjaya, I
had no hope of success. When I heard that the virtuous Pandavas weeping
with affliction had followed their elder brother to the wilderness and
exerted themselves variously for the mitigation of his discomforts, then,
O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success.

'When I heard that Yudhishthira had been followed into the wilderness by
Snatakas and noble-minded Brahmanas who live upon alms, then, O Sanjaya,
I had no hope of success. When I heard that Arjuna, having, in combat,
pleased the god of gods, Tryambaka (the three-eyed) in the disguise of a
hunter, obtained the great weapon Pasupata, then O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. When I heard that the just and renowned Arjuna after having
been to the celestial regions, had there obtained celestial weapons from
Indra himself then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard
that afterwards Arjuna had vanquished the Kalakeyas and the Paulomas
proud with the boon they had obtained and which had rendered them
invulnerable even to the celestials, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that Arjuna, the chastiser of enemies, having gone
to the regions of Indra for the destruction of the Asuras, had returned
thence successful, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard that Bhima and the other sons of Pritha (Kunti) accompanied by
Vaisravana had arrived at that country which is inaccessible to man then,
O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that my sons, guided by
the counsels of Karna, while on their journey of Ghoshayatra, had been
taken prisoners by the Gandharvas and were set free by Arjuna, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Dharma (the god of
justice) having come under the form of a Yaksha had proposed certain
questions to Yudhishthira then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When
I heard that my sons had failed to discover the Pandavas under their
disguise while residing with Draupadi in the dominions of Virata, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the principal men of
my side had all been vanquished by the noble Arjuna with a single chariot
while residing in the dominions of Virata, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. When I heard that Vasudeva of the race of Madhu, who covered
this whole earth by one foot, was heartily interested in the welfare of
the Pandavas, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard
that the king of Matsya, had offered his virtuous daughter Uttara to
Arjuna and that Arjuna had accepted her for his son, then, O Sanjaya, I
had no hope of success. When I heard that Yudhishthira, beaten at dice,
deprived of wealth, exiled and separated from his connections, had
assembled yet an army of seven Akshauhinis, then, O Sanjaya, I had no
hope of success. When I heard Narada, declare that Krishna and Arjuna
were Nara and Narayana and he (Narada) had seen them together in the
regions of Brahma, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard that Krishna, anxious to bring about peace, for the welfare of
mankind had repaired to the Kurus, and went away without having been able
to effect his purpose, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard that Kama and Duryodhana resolved upon imprisoning Krishna
displayed in himself the whole universe, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. Then I heard that at the time of his departure, Pritha
(Kunti) standing, full of sorrow, near his chariot received consolation
from Krishna, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard
that Vasudeva and Bhishma the son of Santanu were the counsellors of the
Pandavas and Drona the son of Bharadwaja pronounced blessings on them,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When Kama said unto Bhishma--I
will not fight when thou art fighting--and, quitting the army, went away,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Vasudeva and
Arjuna and the bow Gandiva of immeasurable prowess, these three of
dreadful energy had come together, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that upon Arjuna having been seized with
compunction on his chariot and ready to sink, Krishna showed him all the
worlds within his body, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard that Bhishma, the desolator of foes, killing ten thousand
charioteers every day in the field of battle, had not slain any amongst
the Pandavas then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that
Bhishma, the righteous son of Ganga, had himself indicated the means of
his defeat in the field of battle and that the same were accomplished by
the Pandavas with joyfulness, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success.
When I heard that Arjuna, having placed Sikhandin before himself in his
chariot, had wounded Bhishma of infinite courage and invincible in
battle, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the
aged hero Bhishma, having reduced the numbers of the race of shomaka to a
few, overcome with various wounds was lying on a bed of arrows, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that upon Bhishma's lying
on the ground with thirst for water, Arjuna, being requested, had pierced
the ground and allayed his thirst, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When Bayu together with Indra and Suryya united as allies for
the success of the sons of Kunti, and the beasts of prey (by their
inauspicious presence) were putting us in fear, then, O Sanjaya, I had no
hope of success. When the wonderful warrior Drona, displaying various
modes of fight in the field, did not slay any of the superior Pandavas,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the
Maharatha Sansaptakas of our army appointed for the overthrow of Arjuna
were all slain by Arjuna himself, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that our disposition of forces, impenetrable by
others, and defended by Bharadwaja himself well-armed, had been singly
forced and entered by the brave son of Subhadra, then, O Sanjaya, I had
no hope of success. When I heard that our Maharathas, unable to overcome
Arjuna, with jubilant faces after having jointly surrounded and slain the
boy Abhimanyu, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard
that the blind Kauravas were shouting for joy after having slain
Abhimanyu and that thereupon Arjuna in anger made his celebrated speech
referring to Saindhava, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard that Arjuna had vowed the death of Saindhava and fulfilled his vow
in the presence of his enemies, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that upon the horses of Arjuna being fatigued,
Vasudeva releasing them made them drink water and bringing them back and
reharnessing them continued to guide them as before, then, O Sanjaya, I
had no hope of success. When I heard that while his horses were fatigued,
Arjuna staying in his chariot checked all his assailants, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Yuyudhana of the
race of Vrishni, after having thrown into confusion the army of Drona
rendered unbearable in prowess owing to the presence of elephants,
retired to where Krishna and Arjuna were, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. When I heard that Karna even though he had got Bhima within
his power allowed him to escape after only addressing him in contemptuous
terms and dragging him with the end of his bow, then, O Sanjaya, I had no
hope of success. When I heard that Drona, Kritavarma, Kripa, Karna, the
son of Drona, and the valiant king of Madra (Salya) suffered Saindhava to
be slain, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that
the celestial Sakti given by Indra (to Karna) was by Madhava's
machinations caused to be hurled upon Rakshasa Ghatotkacha of frightful
countenance, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that
in the encounter between Karna and Ghatotkacha, that Sakti was hurled
against Ghatotkacha by Karna, the same which was certainly to have slain
Arjuna in battle, then, O Sanjaya. I had no hope of success. When I heard
that Dhristadyumna, transgressing the laws of battle, slew Drona while
alone in his chariot and resolved on death, then, O Sanjaya, I had no
hope of success. When I heard that Nakula. the son of Madri, having in
the presence of the whole army engaged in single combat with the son of
Drona and showing himself equal to him drove his chariot in circles
around, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When upon the death of
Drona, his son misused the weapon called Narayana but failed to achieve
the destruction of the Pandavas, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that Bhimasena drank the blood of his brother
Duhsasana in the field of battle without anybody being able to prevent
him, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the
infinitely brave Karna, invincible in battle, was slain by Arjuna in that
war of brothers mysterious even to the gods, then, O Sanjaya, I had no
hope of success. When I heard that Yudhishthira, the Just, overcame the
heroic son of Drona, Duhsasana, and the fierce Kritavarman, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the brave king of
Madra who ever dared Krishna in battle was slain by Yudhishthira, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the wicked Suvala of
magic power, the root of the gaming and the feud, was slain in battle by
Sahadeva, the son of Pandu, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success.
When I heard that Duryodhana, spent with fatigue, having gone to a lake
and made a refuge for himself within its waters, was lying there alone,
his strength gone and without a chariot, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. When I heard that the Pandavas having gone to that lake
accompanied by Vasudeva and standing on its beach began to address
contemptuously my son who was incapable of putting up with affronts,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that while,
displaying in circles a variety of curious modes (of attack and defence)
in an encounter with clubs, he was unfairly slain according to the
counsels of Krishna, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard the son of Drona and others by slaying the Panchalas and the sons
of Draupadi in their sleep, perpetrated a horrible and infamous deed,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Aswatthaman
while being pursued by Bhimasena had discharged the first of weapons
called Aishika, by which the embryo in the womb (of Uttara) was wounded,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the weapon
Brahmashira (discharged by Aswatthaman) was repelled by Arjuna with
another weapon over which he had pronounced the word "Sasti" and that
Aswatthaman had to give up the jewel-like excrescence on his head, then,
O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that upon the embryo in
the womb of Virata's daughter being wounded by Aswatthaman with a mighty
weapon, Dwaipayana and Krishna pronounced curses on him, then, O Sanjaya,
I had no hope of success.

'Alas! Gandhari, destitute of children, grand-children, parents,
brothers, and kindred, is to be pitied. Difficult is the task that hath
been performed by the Pandavas: by them hath a kingdom been recovered
without a rival.

'Alas! I have heard that the war hath left only ten alive: three of our
side, and the Pandavas, seven, in that dreadful conflict eighteen
Akshauhinis of Kshatriyas have been slain! All around me is utter
darkness, and a fit of swoon assaileth me: consciousness leaves me, O
Suta, and my mind is distracted."

"Sauti said, 'Dhritarashtra, bewailing his fate in these words, was
overcome with extreme anguish and for a time deprived of sense; but being
revived, he addressed Sanjaya in the following words.

"After what hath come to pass, O Sanjaya, I wish to put an end to my life
without delay; I do not find the least advantage in cherishing it any
longer."

"Sauti said, 'The wise son of Gavalgana (Sanjaya) then addressed the
distressed lord of Earth while thus talking and bewailing, sighing like a
serpent and repeatedly tainting, in words of deep import.

"Thou hast heard, O Raja, of the greatly powerful men of vast exertions,
spoken of by Vyasa and the wise Narada; men born of great royal families,
resplendent with worthy qualities, versed in the science of celestial
arms, and in glory emblems of Indra; men who having conquered the world
by justice and performed sacrifices with fit offerings (to the
Brahmanas), obtained renown in this world and at last succumbed to the
sway of time. Such were Saivya; the valiant Maharatha; Srinjaya, great
amongst conquerors. Suhotra; Rantideva, and Kakshivanta, great in glory;
Valhika, Damana, Saryati, Ajita, and Nala; Viswamitra the destroyer of
foes; Amvarisha, great in strength; Marutta, Manu, Ikshaku, Gaya, and
Bharata; Rama the son of Dasaratha; Sasavindu, and Bhagiratha;
Kritavirya, the greatly fortunate, and Janamejaya too; and Yayati of good
deeds who performed sacrifices, being assisted therein by the celestials
themselves, and by whose sacrificial altars and stakes this earth with
her habited and uninhabited regions hath been marked all over. These
twenty-four Rajas were formerly spoken of by the celestial Rishi Narada
unto Saivya when much afflicted for the loss of his children. Besides
these, other Rajas had gone before, still more powerful than they, mighty
charioteers noble in mind, and resplendent with every worthy quality.
These were Puru, Kuru, Yadu, Sura and Viswasrawa of great glory; Anuha,
Yuvanaswu, Kakutstha, Vikrami, and Raghu; Vijava, Virihorta, Anga, Bhava,
Sweta, and Vripadguru; Usinara, Sata-ratha, Kanka, Duliduha, and Druma;
Dambhodbhava, Para, Vena, Sagara, Sankriti, and Nimi; Ajeya, Parasu,
Pundra, Sambhu, and holy Deva-Vridha; Devahuya, Supratika, and
Vrihad-ratha; Mahatsaha, Vinitatma, Sukratu, and Nala, the king of the
Nishadas; Satyavrata, Santabhaya, Sumitra, and the chief Subala;
Janujangha, Anaranya, Arka, Priyabhritya, Chuchi-vrata, Balabandhu,
Nirmardda, Ketusringa, and Brhidbala; Dhrishtaketu, Brihatketu,
Driptaketu, and Niramaya; Abikshit, Chapala, Dhurta, Kritbandhu, and
Dridhe-shudhi; Mahapurana-sambhavya, Pratyanga, Paraha and Sruti. These,
O chief, and other Rajas, we hear enumerated by hundreds and by
thousands, and still others by millions, princes of great power and
wisdom, quitting very abundant enjoyments met death as thy sons have
done! Their heavenly deeds, valour, and generosity, their magnanimity,
faith, truth, purity, simplicity and mercy, are published to the world in
the records of former times by sacred bards of great learning. Though
endued with every noble virtue, these have yielded up their lives. Thy
sons were malevolent, inflamed with passion, avaricious, and of very
evil-disposition. Thou art versed in the Sastras, O Bharata, and art
intelligent and wise; they never sink under misfortunes whose
understandings are guided by the Sastras. Thou art acquainted, O prince,
with the lenity and severity of fate; this anxiety therefore for the
safety of thy children is unbecoming. Moreover, it behoveth thee not to
grieve for that which must happen: for who can avert, by his wisdom, the
decrees of fate? No one can leave the way marked out for him by
Providence. Existence and non-existence, pleasure and pain all have Time
for their root. Time createth all things and Time destroyeth all
creatures. It is Time that burneth creatures and it is Time that
extinguisheth the fire. All states, the good and the evil, in the three
worlds, are caused by Time. Time cutteth short all things and createth
them anew. Time alone is awake when all things are asleep: indeed, Time
is incapable of being overcome. Time passeth over all things without
being retarded. Knowing, as thou dost, that all things past and future
and all that exist at the present moment, are the offspring of Time, it
behoveth thee not to throw away thy reason.'

"Sauti said, 'The son of Gavalgana having in this manner administered
comfort to the royal Dhritarashtra overwhelmed with grief for his sons,
then restored his mind to peace. Taking these facts for his subject,
Dwaipayana composed a holy Upanishad that has been published to the world
by learned and sacred bards in the Puranas composed by them.

"The study of the Bharata is an act of piety. He that readeth even one
foot, with belief, hath his sins entirely purged away. Herein Devas,
Devarshis, and immaculate Brahmarshis of good deeds, have been spoken of;
and likewise Yakshas and great Uragas (Nagas). Herein also hath been
described the eternal Vasudeva possessing the six attributes. He is the
true and just, the pure and holy, the eternal Brahma, the supreme soul,
the true constant light, whose divine deeds wise and learned recount;
from whom hath proceeded the non-existent and existent-non-existent
universe with principles of generation and progression, and birth, death
and re-birth. That also hath been treated of which is called Adhyatma
(the superintending spirit of nature) that partaketh of the attributes of
the five elements. That also hath been described who is purusha being
above such epithets as 'undisplayed' and the like; also that which the
foremost yatis exempt from the common destiny and endued with the power
of meditation and Tapas behold dwelling in their hearts as a reflected
image in the mirror.

"The man of faith, devoted to piety, and constant in the exercise of
virtue, on reading this section is freed from sin. The believer that
constantly heareth recited this section of the Bharata, called the
Introduction, from the beginning, falleth not into difficulties. The man
repeating any part of the introduction in the two twilights is during
such act freed from the sins contracted during the day or the night. This
section, the body of the Bharata, is truth and nectar. As butter is in
curd, Brahmana among bipeds, the Aranyaka among the Vedas, and nectar
among medicines; as the sea is eminent among receptacles of water, and
the cow among quadrupeds; as are these (among the things mentioned) so is
the Bharata said to be among histories.

"He that causeth it, even a single foot thereof, to be recited to
Brahmanas during a Sradha, his offerings of food and drink to the manes
of his ancestors become inexhaustible.

"By the aid of history and the Puranas, the Veda may be expounded; but
the Veda is afraid of one of little information lest he should it. The
learned man who recites to other this Veda of Vyasa reapeth advantage. It
may without doubt destroy even the sin of killing the embryo and the
like. He that readeth this holy chapter of the moon, readeth the whole of
the Bharata, I ween. The man who with reverence daily listeneth to this
sacred work acquireth long life and renown and ascendeth to heaven.

"In former days, having placed the four Vedas on one side and the Bharata
on the other, these were weighed in the balance by the celestials
assembled for that purpose. And as the latter weighed heavier than the
four Vedas with their mysteries, from that period it hath been called in
the world Mahabharata (the great Bharata). Being esteemed superior both
in substance and gravity of import it is denominated Mahabharata on
account of such substance and gravity of import. He that knoweth its
meaning is saved from all his sins.

'Tapa is innocent, study is harmless, the ordinance of the Vedas
prescribed for all the tribes are harmless, the acquisition of wealth by
exertion is harmless; but when they are abused in their practices it is
then that they become sources of evil.'"



SECTION II

"The Rishis said, 'O son of Suta, we wish to hear a full and
circumstantial account of the place mentioned by you as Samanta-panchaya.'

"Sauti said, 'Listen, O ye Brahmanas, to the sacred descriptions I utter
O ye best of men, ye deserve to hear of the place known as
Samanta-panchaka. In the interval between the Treta and Dwapara Yugas,
Rama (the son of Jamadagni) great among all who have borne arms, urged by
impatience of wrongs, repeatedly smote the noble race of Kshatriyas. And
when that fiery meteor, by his own valour, annihilated the entire tribe
of the Kshatriyas, he formed at Samanta-panchaka five lakes of blood. We
are told that his reason being overpowered by anger he offered oblations
of blood to the manes of his ancestors, standing in the midst of the
sanguine waters of those lakes. It was then that his forefathers of whom
Richika was the first having arrived there addressed him thus, 'O Rama, O
blessed Rama, O offspring of Bhrigu, we have been gratified with the
reverence thou hast shown for thy ancestors and with thy valour, O mighty
one! Blessings be upon thee. O thou illustrious one, ask the boon that
thou mayst desire.'

"Rama said, 'If, O fathers, ye are favourably disposed towards me, the
boon I ask is that I may be absolved from the sins born of my having
annihilated the Kshatriyas in anger, and that the lakes I have formed may
become famous in the world as holy shrines.' The Pitris then said, 'So
shall it be. But be thou pacified.' And Rama was pacified accordingly.
The region that lieth near unto those lakes of gory water, from that time
hath been celebrated as Samanta-panchaka the holy. The wise have declared
that every country should be distinguished by a name significant of some
circumstance which may have rendered it famous. In the interval between
the Dwapara and the Kali Yugas there happened at Samanta-panchaka the
encounter between the armies of the Kauravas and the Pandavas. In that
holy region, without ruggedness of any kind, were assembled eighteen
Akshauhinis of soldiers eager for battle. And, O Brahmanas, having come
thereto, they were all slain on the spot. Thus the name of that region, O
Brahmanas, hath been explained, and the country described to you as a
sacred and delightful one. I have mentioned the whole of what relateth to
it as the region is celebrated throughout the three worlds.'

"The Rishis said, 'We have a desire to know, O son of Suta, what is
implied by the term Akshauhini that hath been used by thee. Tell us in
full what is the number of horse and foot, chariots and elephants, which
compose an Akshauhini for thou art fully informed.'

"Sauti said, 'One chariot, one elephant, five foot-soldiers, and three
horses form one Patti; three pattis make one Sena-mukha; three
sena-mukhas are called a Gulma; three gulmas, a Gana; three ganas, a
Vahini; three vahinis together are called a Pritana; three pritanas form
a Chamu; three chamus, one Anikini; and an anikini taken ten times forms,
as it is styled by those who know, an Akshauhini. O ye best of Brahmanas,
arithmeticians have calculated that the number of chariots in an
Akshauhini is twenty-one thousand eight hundred and seventy. The measure
of elephants must be fixed at the same number. O ye pure, you must know
that the number of foot-soldiers is one hundred and nine thousand, three
hundred and fifty, the number of horse is sixty-five thousand, six
hundred and ten. These, O Brahmanas, as fully explained by me, are the
numbers of an Akshauhini as said by those acquainted with the principles
of numbers. O best of Brahmanas, according to this calculation were
composed the eighteen Akshauhinis of the Kaurava and the Pandava army.
Time, whose acts are wonderful assembled them on that spot and having
made the Kauravas the cause, destroyed them all. Bhishma acquainted with
choice of weapons, fought for ten days. Drona protected the Kaurava
Vahinis for five days. Kama the desolator of hostile armies fought for
two days; and Salya for half a day. After that lasted for half a day the
encounter with clubs between Duryodhana and Bhima. At the close of that
day, Aswatthaman and Kripa destroyed the army of Yudishthira in the night
while sleeping without suspicion of danger.

'O Saunaka, this best of narrations called Bharata which has begun to be
repeated at thy sacrifice, was formerly repeated at the sacrifice of
Janamejaya by an intelligent disciple of Vyasa. It is divided into
several sections; in the beginning are Paushya, Pauloma, and Astika
parvas, describing in full the valour and renown of kings. It is a work
whose description, diction, and sense are varied and wonderful. It
contains an account of various manners and rites. It is accepted by the
wise, as the state called Vairagya is by men desirous of final release.
As Self among things to be known, as life among things that are dear, so
is this history that furnisheth the means of arriving at the knowledge of
Brahma the first among all the sastras. There is not a story current in
this world but doth depend upon this history even as the body upon the
foot that it taketh. As masters of good lineage are ever attended upon by
servants desirous of preferment so is the Bharata cherished by all poets.
As the words constituting the several branches of knowledge appertaining
to the world and the Veda display only vowels and consonants, so this
excellent history displayeth only the highest wisdom.

'Listen, O ye ascetics, to the outlines of the several divisions (parvas)
of this history called Bharata, endued with great wisdom, of sections and
feet that are wonderful and various, of subtile meanings and logical
connections, and embellished with the substance of the Vedas.

'The first parva is called Anukramanika; the second, Sangraha; then
Paushya; then Pauloma; the Astika; then Adivansavatarana. Then comes the
Sambhava of wonderful and thrilling incidents. Then comes Jatugrihadaha
(setting fire to the house of lac) and then Hidimbabadha (the killing of
Hidimba) parvas; then comes Baka-badha (slaughter of Baka) and then
Chitraratha. The next is called Swayamvara (selection of husband by
Panchali), in which Arjuna by the exercise of Kshatriya virtues, won
Draupadi for wife. Then comes Vaivahika (marriage). Then comes
Viduragamana (advent of Vidura), Rajyalabha (acquirement of kingdom),
Arjuna-banavasa (exile of Arjuna) and Subhadra-harana (the carrying away
of Subhadra). After these come Harana-harika, Khandava-daha (the burning
of the Khandava forest) and Maya-darsana (meeting with Maya the Asura
architect). Then come Sabha, Mantra, Jarasandha, Digvijaya (general
campaign). After Digvijaya come Raja-suyaka, Arghyaviharana (the robbing
of the Arghya) and Sisupala-badha (the killing of Sisupala). After these,
Dyuta (gambling), Anudyuta (subsequent to gambling), Aranyaka, and
Krimira-badha (destruction of Krimira). The Arjuna-vigamana (the travels
of Arjuna), Kairati. In the last hath been described the battle between
Arjuna and Mahadeva in the guise of a hunter. After this
Indra-lokavigamana (the journey to the regions of Indra); then that mine
of religion and virtue, the highly pathetic Nalopakhyana (the story of
Nala). After this last, Tirtha-yatra or the pilgrimage of the wise prince
of the Kurus, the death of Jatasura, and the battle of the Yakshas. Then
the battle with the Nivata-kavachas, Ajagara, and Markandeya-Samasya
(meeting with Markandeya). Then the meeting of Draupadi and Satyabhama,
Ghoshayatra, Mirga-Swapna (dream of the deer). Then the story of
Brihadaranyaka and then Aindradrumna. Then Draupadi-harana (the abduction
of Draupadi), Jayadratha-bimoksana (the release of Jayadratha). Then the
story of 'Savitri' illustrating the great merit of connubial chastity.
After this last, the story of 'Rama'. The parva that comes next is called
'Kundala-harana' (the theft of the ear-rings). That which comes next is
'Aranya' and then 'Vairata'. Then the entry of the Pandavas and the
fulfilment of their promise (of living unknown for one year). Then the
destruction of the 'Kichakas', then the attempt to take the kine (of
Virata by the Kauravas). The next is called the marriage of Abhimanyu
with the daughter of Virata. The next you must know is the most wonderful
parva called Udyoga. The next must be known by the name of 'Sanjaya-yana'
(the arrival of Sanjaya). Then comes 'Prajagara' (the sleeplessness of
Dhritarashtra owing to his anxiety). Then Sanatsujata, in which are the
mysteries of spiritual philosophy. Then 'Yanasaddhi', and then the
arrival of Krishna. Then the story of 'Matali' and then of 'Galava'. Then
the stories of 'Savitri', 'Vamadeva', and 'Vainya'. Then the story of
'Jamadagnya and Shodasarajika'. Then the arrival of Krishna at the court,
and then Bidulaputrasasana. Then the muster of troops and the story of
Sheta. Then, must you know, comes the quarrel of the high-souled Karna.
Then the march to the field of the troops of both sides. The next hath
been called numbering the Rathis and Atirathas. Then comes the arrival of
the messenger Uluka which kindled the wrath (of the Pandavas). The next
that comes, you must know, is the story of Amba. Then comes the thrilling
story of the installation of Bhishma as commander-in-chief. The next is
called the creation of the insular region Jambu; then Bhumi; then the
account about the formation of islands. Then comes the 'Bhagavat-gita';
and then the death of Bhishma. Then the installation of Drona; then the
destruction of the 'Sansaptakas'. Then the death of Abhimanyu; and then
the vow of Arjuna (to slay Jayadratha). Then the death of Jayadratha, and
then of Ghatotkacha. Then, must you know, comes the story of the death of
Drona of surprising interest. The next that comes is called the discharge
of the weapon called Narayana. Then, you know, is Karna, and then Salya.
Then comes the immersion in the lake, and then the encounter (between
Bhima and Duryodhana) with clubs. Then comes Saraswata, and then the
descriptions of holy shrines, and then genealogies. Then comes Sauptika
describing incidents disgraceful (to the honour of the Kurus). Then comes
the 'Aisika' of harrowing incidents. Then comes 'Jalapradana' oblations
of water to the manes of the deceased, and then the wailings of the
women. The next must be known as 'Sraddha' describing the funeral rites
performed for the slain Kauravas. Then comes the destruction of the
Rakshasa Charvaka who had assumed the disguise of a Brahmana (for
deceiving Yudhishthira). Then the coronation of the wise Yudhishthira.
The next is called the 'Grihapravibhaga'. Then comes 'Santi', then
'Rajadharmanusasana', then 'Apaddharma', then 'Mokshadharma'. Those that
follow are called respectively 'Suka-prasna-abhigamana',
'Brahma-prasnanusana', the origin of 'Durvasa', the disputations with
Maya. The next is to be known as 'Anusasanika'. Then the ascension of
Bhishma to heaven. Then the horse-sacrifice, which when read purgeth all
sins away. The next must be known as the 'Anugita' in which are words of
spiritual philosophy. Those that follow are called 'Asramvasa',
'Puttradarshana' (meeting with the spirits of the deceased sons), and the
arrival of Narada. The next is called 'Mausala' which abounds with
terrible and cruel incidents. Then comes 'Mahaprasthanika' and ascension
to heaven. Then comes the Purana which is called Khilvansa. In this last
are contained 'Vishnuparva', Vishnu's frolics and feats as a child, the
destruction of 'Kansa', and lastly, the very wonderful 'Bhavishyaparva'
(in which there are prophecies regarding the future).

The high-souled Vyasa composed these hundred parvas of which the above is
only an abridgement: having distributed them into eighteen, the son of
Suta recited them consecutively in the forest of Naimisha as follows:

'In the Adi parva are contained Paushya, Pauloma, Astika, Adivansavatara,
Samva, the burning of the house of lac, the slaying of Hidimba, the
destruction of the Asura Vaka, Chitraratha, the Swayamvara of Draupadi,
her marriage after the overthrow of rivals in war, the arrival of Vidura,
the restoration, Arjuna's exile, the abduction of Subhadra, the gift and
receipt of the marriage dower, the burning of the Khandava forest, and
the meeting with (the Asura-architect) Maya. The Paushya parva treats of
the greatness of Utanka, and the Pauloma, of the sons of Bhrigu. The
Astika describes the birth of Garuda and of the Nagas (snakes), the
churning of the ocean, the incidents relating to the birth of the
celestial steed Uchchaihsrava, and finally, the dynasty of Bharata, as
described in the Snake-sacrifice of king Janamejaya. The Sambhava parva
narrates the birth of various kings and heroes, and that of the sage,
Krishna Dwaipayana: the partial incarnations of deities, the generation
of Danavas and Yakshas of great prowess, and serpents, Gandharvas, birds,
and of all creatures; and lastly, of the life and adventures of king
Bharata--the progenitor of the line that goes by his name--the son born
of Sakuntala in the hermitage of the ascetic Kanwa. This parva also
describes the greatness of Bhagirathi, and the births of the Vasus in the
house of Santanu and their ascension to heaven. In this parva is also
narrated the birth of Bhishma uniting in himself portions of the energies
of the other Vasus, his renunciation of royalty and adoption of the
Brahmacharya mode of life, his adherence to his vows, his protection of
Chitrangada, and after the death of Chitrangada, his protection of his
younger brother, Vichitravirya, and his placing the latter on the throne:
the birth of Dharma among men in consequence of the curse of Animondavya;
the births of Dhritarashtra and Pandu through the potency of Vyasa's
blessings (?) and also the birth of the Pandavas; the plottings of
Duryodhana to send the sons of Pandu to Varanavata, and the other dark
counsels of the sons of Dhritarashtra in regard to the Pandavas; then the
advice administered to Yudhishthira on his way by that well-wisher of the
Pandavas--Vidura--in the mlechchha language--the digging of the hole, the
burning of Purochana and the sleeping woman of the fowler caste, with her
five sons, in the house of lac; the meeting of the Pandavas in the
dreadful forest with Hidimba, and the slaying of her brother Hidimba by
Bhima of great prowess. The birth of Ghatotkacha; the meeting of the
Pandavas with Vyasa and in accordance with his advice their stay in
disguise in the house of a Brahmana in the city of Ekachakra; the
destruction of the Asura Vaka, and the amazement of the populace at the
sight; the extra-ordinary births of Krishna and Dhrishtadyumna; the
departure of the Pandavas for Panchala in obedience to the injunction of
Vyasa, and moved equally by the desire of winning the hand of Draupadi on
learning the tidings of the Swayamvara from the lips of a Brahmana;
victory of Arjuna over a Gandharva, called Angaraparna, on the banks of
the Bhagirathi, his contraction of friendship with his adversary, and his
hearing from the Gandharva the history of Tapati, Vasishtha and Aurva.
This parva treats of the journey of the Pandavas towards Panchala, the
acquisition of Draupadi in the midst of all the Rajas, by Arjuna, after
having successfully pierced the mark; and in the ensuing fight, the
defeat of Salya, Kama, and all the other crowned heads at the hands of
Bhima and Arjuna of great prowess; the ascertainment by Balarama and
Krishna, at the sight of these matchless exploits, that the heroes were
the Pandavas, and the arrival of the brothers at the house of the potter
where the Pandavas were staying; the dejection of Drupada on learning
that Draupadi was to be wedded to five husbands; the wonderful story of
the five Indras related in consequence; the extraordinary and
divinely-ordained wedding of Draupadi; the sending of Vidura by the sons
of Dhritarashtra as envoy to the Pandavas; the arrival of Vidura and his
sight to Krishna; the abode of the Pandavas in Khandava-prastha, and then
their rule over one half of the kingdom; the fixing of turns by the sons
of Pandu, in obedience to the injunction of Narada, for connubial
companionship with Krishna. In like manner hath the history of Sunda and
Upasunda been recited in this. This parva then treats of the departure of
Arjuna for the forest according to the vow, he having seen Draupadi and
Yudhishthira sitting together as he entered the chamber to take out arms
for delivering the kine of a certain Brahmana. This parva then describes
Arjuna's meeting on the way with Ulupi, the daughter of a Naga (serpent);
it then relates his visits to several sacred spots; the birth of
Vabhruvahana; the deliverance by Arjuna of the five celestial damsels who
had been turned into alligators by the imprecation of a Brahmana, the
meeting of Madhava and Arjuna on the holy spot called Prabhasa; the
carrying away of Subhadra by Arjuna, incited thereto by her brother
Krishna, in the wonderful car moving on land and water, and through
mid-air, according to the wish of the rider; the departure for
Indraprastha, with the dower; the conception in the womb of Subhadra of
that prodigy of prowess, Abhimanyu; Yajnaseni's giving birth to children;
then follows the pleasure-trip of Krishna and Arjuna to the banks of the
Jamuna and the acquisition by them of the discus and the celebrated bow
Gandiva; the burning of the forest of Khandava; the rescue of Maya by
Arjuna, and the escape of the serpent,--and the begetting of a son by
that best of Rishis, Mandapala, in the womb of the bird Sarngi. This
parva is divided by Vyasa into two hundred and twenty-seven chapters.
These two hundred and twenty-seven chapters contain eight thousand eight
hundred and eighty-four slokas.

The second is the extensive parva called Sabha or the assembly, full of
matter. The subjects of this parva are the establishment of the grand
hall by the Pandavas; their review of their retainers; the description of
the lokapalas by Narada well-acquainted with the celestial regions; the
preparations for the Rajasuya sacrifice; the destruction of Jarasandha;
the deliverance by Vasudeva of the princes confined in the mountain-pass;
the campaign of universal conquest by the Pandavas; the arrival of the
princes at the Rajasuya sacrifice with tribute; the destruction of
Sisupala on the occasion of the sacrifice, in connection with offering of
arghya; Bhimasena's ridicule of Duryodhana in the assembly; Duryodhana's
sorrow and envy at the sight of the magnificent scale on which the
arrangements had been made; the indignation of Duryodhana in consequence,
and the preparations for the game of dice; the defeat of Yudhishthira at
play by the wily Sakuni; the deliverance by Dhritarashtra of his
afflicted daughter-in-law Draupadi plunged in the sea of distress caused
by the gambling, as of a boat tossed about by the tempestuous waves. The
endeavours of Duryodhana to engage Yudhishthira again in the game; and
the exile of the defeated Yudhishthira with his brothers. These
constitute what has been called by the great Vyasa the Sabha Parva. This
parva is divided into seventh-eight sections, O best of Brahmanas, of two
thousand, five hundred and seven slokas.

Then comes the third parva called Aranyaka (relating to the forest) This
parva treats of the wending of the Pandavas to the forest and the
citizens, following the wise Yudhishthira, Yudhishthira's adoration of
the god of day; according to the injunctions of Dhaumya, to be gifted
with the power of maintaining the dependent Brahmanas with food and
drink: the creation of food through the grace of the Sun: the expulsion
by Dhritarashtra of Vidura who always spoke for his master's good;
Vidura's coming to the Pandavas and his return to Dhritarashtra at the
solicitation of the latter; the wicked Duryodhana's plottings to destroy
the forest-ranging Pandavas, being incited thereto by Karna; the
appearance of Vyasa and his dissuasion of Duryodhana bent on going to the
forest; the history of Surabhi; the arrival of Maitreya; his laying down
to Dhritarashtra the course of action; and his curse on Duryodhana;
Bhima's slaying of Kirmira in battle; the coming of the Panchalas and the
princes of the Vrishni race to Yudhishthira on hearing of his defeat at
the unfair gambling by Sakuni; Dhananjaya's allaying the wrath of
Krishna; Draupadi's lamentations before Madhava; Krishna's cheering her;
the fall of Sauva also has been here described by the Rishi; also
Krishna's bringing Subhadra with her son to Dwaraka; and Dhrishtadyumna's
bringing the son of Draupadi to Panchala; the entrance of the sons of
Pandu into the romantic Dwaita wood; conversation of Bhima, Yudhishthira,
and Draupadi; the coming of Vyasa to the Pandavas and his endowing
Yudhishthira with the power of Pratismriti; then, after the departure of
Vyasa, the removal of the Pandavas to the forest of Kamyaka; the
wanderings of Arjuna of immeasurable prowess in search of weapons; his
battle with Mahadeva in the guise of a hunter; his meeting with the
lokapalas and receipt of weapons from them; his journey to the regions of
Indra for arms and the consequent anxiety of Dhritarashtra; the wailings
and lamentations of Yudhishthira on the occasion of his meeting with the
worshipful great sage Brihadaswa. Here occurs the holy and highly
pathetic story of Nala illustrating the patience of Damayanti and the
character of Nala. Then the acquirement by Yudhishthira of the mysteries
of dice from the same great sage; then the arrival of the Rishi Lomasa
from the heavens to where the Pandavas were, and the receipt by these
high-souled dwellers in the woods of the intelligence brought by the
Rishi of their brother Arjuna staving in the heavens; then the pilgrimage
of the Pandavas to various sacred spots in accordance with the message of
Arjuna, and their attainment of great merit and virtue consequent on such
pilgrimage; then the pilgrimage of the great sage Narada to the shrine
Putasta; also the pilgrimage of the high-souled Pandavas. Here is the
deprivation of Karna of his ear-rings by Indra. Here also is recited the
sacrificial magnificence of Gaya; then the story of Agastya in which the
Rishi ate up the Asura Vatapi, and his connubial connection with
Lopamudra from the desire of offspring. Then the story of Rishyasringa
who adopted Brahmacharya mode of life from his very boyhood; then the
history of Rama of great prowess, the son of Jamadagni, in which has been
narrated the death of Kartavirya and the Haihayas; then the meeting
between the Pandavas and the Vrishnis in the sacred spot called Prabhasa;
then the story of Su-kanya in which Chyavana, the son of Bhrigu, made the
twins, Aswinis, drink, at the sacrifice of king Saryati, the Soma juice
(from which they had been excluded by the other gods), and in which
besides is shown how Chyavana himself acquired perpetual youth (as a boon
from the grateful Aswinis). Then hath been described the history of king
Mandhata; then the history of prince Jantu; and how king Somaka by
offering up his only son (Jantu) in sacrifice obtained a hundred others;
then the excellent history of the hawk and the pigeon; then the
examination of king Sivi by Indra, Agni, and Dharma; then the story of
Ashtavakra, in which occurs the disputation, at the sacrifice of Janaka,
between that Rishi and the first of logicians, Vandi, the son of Varuna;
the defeat of Vandi by the great Ashtavakra, and the release by the Rishi
of his father from the depths of the ocean. Then the story of Yavakrita,
and then that of the great Raivya: then the departure (of the Pandavas)
for Gandhamadana and their abode in the asylum called Narayana; then
Bhimasena's journey to Gandhamadana at the request of Draupadi (in search
of the sweet-scented flower). Bhima's meeting on his way, in a grove of
bananas, with Hanuman, the son of Pavana of great prowess; Bhima's bath
in the tank and the destruction of the flowers therein for obtaining the
sweet-scented flower (he was in search of); his consequent battle with
the mighty Rakshasas and the Yakshas of great prowess including Hanuman;
the destruction of the Asura Jata by Bhima; the meeting (of the Pandavas)
with the royal sage Vrishaparva; their departure for the asylum of
Arshtishena and abode therein: the incitement of Bhima (to acts of
vengeance) by Draupadi. Then is narrated the ascent on the hills of
Kailasa by Bhimasena, his terrific battle with the mighty Yakshas headed
by Hanuman; then the meeting of the Pandavas with Vaisravana (Kuvera),
and the meeting with Arjuna after he had obtained for the purpose of
Yudhishthira many celestial weapons; then Arjuna's terrible encounter
with the Nivatakavachas dwelling in Hiranyaparva, and also with the
Paulomas, and the Kalakeyas; their destruction at the hands of Arjuna;
the commencement of the display of the celestial weapons by Arjuna before
Yudhishthira, the prevention of the same by Narada; the descent of the
Pandavas from Gandhamadana; the seizure of Bhima in the forest by a
mighty serpent huge as the mountain; his release from the coils of the
snake, upon Yudhishthira's answering certain questions; the return of the
Pandavas to the Kamyaka woods. Here is described the reappearance of
Vasudeva to see the mighty sons of Pandu; the arrival of Markandeya, and
various recitals, the history of Prithu the son of Vena recited by the
great Rishi; the stories of Saraswati and the Rishi Tarkhya. After these,
is the story of Matsya; other old stories recited by Markandeya; the
stories of Indradyumna and Dhundhumara; then the history of the chaste
wife; the history of Angira, the meeting and conversation of Draupadi and
Satyabhama; the return of the Pandavas to the forest of Dwaita; then the
procession to see the calves and the captivity of Duryodhana; and when
the wretch was being carried off, his rescue by Arjuna; here is
Yudhishthira's dream of the deer; then the re-entry of the Pandavas into
the Kamyaka forest, here also is the long story of Vrihidraunika. Here
also is recited the story of Durvasa; then the abduction by Jayadratha of
Draupadi from the asylum; the pursuit of the ravisher by Bhima swift as
the air and the ill-shaving of Jayadratha's crown at Bhima's hand. Here
is the long history of Rama in which is shown how Rama by his prowess
slew Ravana in battle. Here also is narrated the story of Savitri; then
Karna's deprivation by Indra of his ear-rings; then the presentation to
Karna by the gratified Indra of a Sakti (missile weapon) which had the
virtue of killing only one person against whom it might be hurled; then
the story called Aranya in which Dharma (the god of justice) gave advice
to his son (Yudhishthira); in which, besides is recited how the Pandavas
after having obtained a boon went towards the west. These are all
included in the third Parva called Aranyaka, consisting of two hundred
and sixty-nine sections. The number of slokas is eleven thousand, six
hundred and sixty-four.

"The extensive Parva that comes next is called Virata. The Pandavas
arriving at the dominions of Virata saw in a cemetery on the outskirts of
the city a large shami tree whereon they kept their weapons. Here hath
been recited their entry into the city and their stay there in disguise.
Then the slaying by Bhima of the wicked Kichaka who, senseless with lust,
had sought Draupadi; the appointment by prince Duryodhana of clever
spies; and their despatch to all sides for tracing the Pandavas; the
failure of these to discover the mighty sons of Pandu; the first seizure
of Virata's kine by the Trigartas and the terrific battle that ensued;
the capture of Virata by the enemy and his rescue by Bhimasena; the
release also of the kine by the Pandava (Bhima); the seizure of Virata's
kine again by the Kurus; the defeat in battle of all the Kurus by the
single-handed Arjuna; the release of the king's kine; the bestowal by
Virata of his daughter Uttara for Arjuna's acceptance on behalf of his
son by Subhadra--Abhimanyu--the destroyer of foes. These are the contents
of the extensive fourth Parva--the Virata. The great Rishi Vyasa has
composed in these sixty-seven sections. The number of slokas is two
thousand and fifty.

"Listen then to (the contents of) the fifth Parva which must be known as
Udyoga. While the Pandavas, desirous of victory, were residing in the
place called Upaplavya, Duryodhana and Arjuna both went at the same time
to Vasudeva, and said, "You should render us assistance in this war." The
high-souled Krishna, upon these words being uttered, replied, "O ye first
of men, a counsellor in myself who will not fight and one Akshauhini of
troops, which of these shall I give to which of you?" Blind to his own
interests, the foolish Duryodhana asked for the troops; while Arjuna
solicited Krishna as an unfighting counsellor. Then is described how,
when the king of Madra was coming for the assistance of the Pandavas,
Duryodhana, having deceived him on the way by presents and hospitality,
induced him to grant a boon and then solicited his assistance in battle;
how Salya, having passed his word to Duryodhana, went to the Pandavas and
consoled them by reciting the history of Indra's victory (over Vritra).
Then comes the despatch by the Pandavas of their Purohita (priest) to the
Kauravas. Then is described how king Dhritarashtra of great prowess,
having heard the word of the purohita of the Pandavas and the story of
Indra's victory decided upon sending his purohita and ultimately
despatched Sanjaya as envoy to the Pandavas from desire for peace. Here
hath been described the sleeplessness of Dhritarashtra from anxiety upon
hearing all about the Pandavas and their friends, Vasudeva and others. It
was on this occasion that Vidura addressed to the wise king Dhritarashtra
various counsels that were full of wisdom. It was here also that
Sanat-sujata recited to the anxious and sorrowing monarch the excellent
truths of spiritual philosophy. On the next morning Sanjaya spoke, in the
court of the King, of the identity of Vasudeva and Arjuna. It was then
that the illustrious Krishna, moved by kindness and a desire for peace,
went himself to the Kaurava capital, Hastinapura, for bringing about
peace. Then comes the rejection by prince Duryodhana of the embassy of
Krishna who had come to solicit peace for the benefit of both parties.
Here hath been recited the story of Damvodvava; then the story of the
high-souled Matuli's search for a husband for his daughter: then the
history of the great sage Galava; then the story of the training and
discipline of the son of Bidula. Then the exhibition by Krishna, before
the assembled Rajas, of his Yoga powers upon learning the evil counsels
of Duryodhana and Karna; then Krishna's taking Karna in his chariot and
his tendering to him of advice, and Karna's rejection of the same from
pride. Then the return of Krishna, the chastiser of enemies from
Hastinapura to Upaplavya, and his narration to the Pandavas of all that
had happened. It was then that those oppressors of foes, the Pandavas,
having heard all and consulted properly with each other, made every
preparation for war. Then comes the march from Hastinapura, for battle,
of foot-soldiers, horses, charioteers and elephants. Then the tale of the
troops by both parties. Then the despatch by prince Duryodhana of Uluka
as envoy to the Pandavas on the day previous to the battle. Then the tale
of charioteers of different classes. Then the story of Amba. These all
have been described in the fifth Parva called Udyoga of the Bharata,
abounding with incidents appertaining to war and peace. O ye ascetics,
the great Vyasa hath composed one hundred and eighty-six sections in this
Parva. The number of slokas also composed in this by the great Rishi is
six thousand, six hundred and ninety-eight.

"Then is recited the Bhishma Parva replete with wonderful incidents. In
this hath been narrated by Sanjaya the formation of the region known as
Jambu. Here hath been described the great depression of Yudhishthira's
army, and also a fierce fight for ten successive days. In this the
high-souled Vasudeva by reasons based on the philosophy of final release
drove away Arjuna's compunction springing from the latter's regard for
his kindred (whom he was on the eve of slaying). In this the magnanimous
Krishna, attentive to the welfare of Yudhishthira, seeing the loss
inflicted (on the Pandava army), descended swiftly from his chariot
himself and ran, with dauntless breast, his driving whip in hand, to
effect the death of Bhishma. In this, Krishna also smote with piercing
words Arjuna, the bearer of the Gandiva and the foremost in battle among
all wielders of weapons. In this, the foremost of bowmen, Arjuna, placing
Shikandin before him and piercing Bhishma with his sharpest arrows felled
him from his chariot. In this, Bhishma lay stretched on his bed of
arrows. This extensive Parva is known as the sixth in the Bharata. In
this have been composed one hundred and seventeen sections. The number of
slokas is five thousand, eight hundred and eighty-four as told by Vyasa
conversant with the Vedas.

"Then is recited the wonderful Parva called Drona full of incidents.
First comes the installation in the command of the army of the great
instructor in arms, Drona: then the vow made by that great master of
weapons of seizing the wise Yudhishthira in battle to please Duryodhana;
then the retreat of Arjuna from the field before the Sansaptakas, then
the overthrow of Bhagadatta like to a second Indra in the field, with the
elephant Supritika, by Arjuna; then the death of the hero Abhimanyu in
his teens, alone and unsupported, at the hands of many Maharathas
including Jayadratha; then after the death of Abhimanyu, the destruction
by Arjuna, in battle of seven Akshauhinis of troops and then of
Jayadratha; then the entry, by Bhima of mighty arms and by that foremost
of warriors-in-chariot, Satyaki, into the Kaurava ranks impenetrable even
to the gods, in search of Arjuna in obedience to the orders of
Yudhishthira, and the destruction of the remnant of the Sansaptakas. In
the Drona Parva, is the death of Alambusha, of Srutayus, of Jalasandha,
of Shomadatta, of Virata, of the great warrior-in-chariot Drupada, of
Ghatotkacha and others; in this Parva, Aswatthaman, excited beyond
measure at the fall of his father in battle, discharged the terrible
weapon Narayana. Then the glory of Rudra in connection with the burning
(of the three cities). Then the arrival of Vyasa and recital by him of
the glory of Krishna and Arjuna. This is the great seventh Parva of the
Bharata in which all the heroic chiefs and princes mentioned were sent to
their account. The number of sections in this is one hundred and seventy.
The number of slokas as composed in the Drona Parva by Rishi Vyasa, the
son of Parasara and the possessor of true knowledge after much
meditation, is eight thousand, nine hundred and nine.

"Then comes the most wonderful Parva called Karna. In this is narrated
the appointment of the wise king of Madra as (Karna's) charioteer. Then
the history of the fall of the Asura Tripura. Then the application to
each other by Karna and Salya of harsh words on their setting out for the
field, then the story of the swan and the crow recited in insulting
allusion: then the death of Pandya at the hands of the high-souled
Aswatthaman; then the death of Dandasena; then that of Darda; then
Yudhishthira's imminent risk in single combat with Karna in the presence
of all the warriors; then the mutual wrath of Yudhishthira and Arjuna;
then Krishna's pacification of Arjuna. In this Parva, Bhima, in
fulfilment of his vow, having ripped open Dussasana's breast in battle
drank the blood of his heart. Then Arjuna slew the great Karna in single
combat. Readers of the Bharata call this the eighth Parva. The number of
sections in this is sixty-nine and the number of slokas is four thousand,
nine hundred and sixty-tour.

"Then hath been recited the wonderful Parva called Salya. After all the
great warriors had been slain, the king of Madra became the leader of the
(Kaurava) army. The encounters one after another, of charioteers, have
been here described. Then comes the fall of the great Salya at the hands
of Yudhishthira, the Just. Here also is the death of Sakuni in battle at
the hands of Sahadeva. Upon only a small remnant of the troops remaining
alive after the immense slaughter, Duryodhana went to the lake and
creating for himself room within its waters lay stretched there for some
time. Then is narrated the receipt of this intelligence by Bhima from the
fowlers: then is narrated how, moved by the insulting speeches of the
intelligent Yudhishthira, Duryodhana ever unable to bear affronts, came
out of the waters. Then comes the encounter with clubs, between
Duryodhana and Bhima; then the arrival, at the time of such encounter, of
Balarama: then is described the sacredness of the Saraswati; then the
progress of the encounter with clubs; then the fracture of Duryodhana's
thighs in battle by Bhima with (a terrific hurl of) his mace. These all
have been described in the wonderful ninth Parva. In this the number of
sections is fifty-nine and the number of slokas composed by the great
Vyasa--the spreader of the fame of the Kauravas--is three thousand, two
hundred and twenty.

"Then shall I describe the Parva called Sauptika of frightful incidents.
On the Pandavas having gone away, the mighty charioteers, Kritavarman,
Kripa, and the son of Drona, came to the field of battle in the evening
and there saw king Duryodhana lying on the ground, his thighs broken, and
himself covered with blood. Then the great charioteer, the son of Drona,
of terrible wrath, vowed, 'without killing all the Panchalas including
Drishtadyumna, and the Pandavas also with all their allies, I will not
take off armour.' Having spoken those words, the three warriors leaving
Duryodhana's side entered the great forest just as the sun was setting.
While sitting under a large banian tree in the night, they saw an owl
killing numerous crows one after another. At the sight of this,
Aswatthaman, his heart full of rage at the thought of his father's fate,
resolved to slay the slumbering Panchalas. And wending to the gate of the
camp, he saw there a Rakshasa of frightful visage, his head reaching to
the very heavens, guarding the entrance. And seeing that Rakshasa
obstructing all his weapons, the son of Drona speedily pacified by
worship the three-eyed Rudra. And then accompanied by Kritavarman and
Kripa he slew all the sons of Draupadi, all the Panchalas with
Dhrishtadyumna and others, together with their relatives, slumbering
unsuspectingly in the night. All perished on that fatal night except the
five Pandavas and the great warrior Satyaki. Those escaped owing to
Krishna's counsels, then the charioteer of Dhrishtadyumna brought to the
Pandavas intelligence of the slaughter of the slumbering Panchalas by the
son of Drona. Then Draupadi distressed at the death of her sons and
brothers and father sat before her lords resolved to kill herself by
fasting. Then Bhima of terrible prowess, moved by the words of Draupadi,
resolved, to please her; and speedily taking up his mace followed in
wrath the son of his preceptor in arms. The son of Drona from fear of
Bhimasena and impelled by the fates and moved also by anger discharged a
celestial weapon saying, 'This is for the destruction of all the
Pandavas'; then Krishna saying. 'This shall not be', neutralised
Aswatthaman's speech. Then Arjuna neutralised that weapon by one of his
own. Seeing the wicked Aswatthaman's destructive intentions, Dwaipayana
and Krishna pronounced curses on him which the latter returned. Pandava
then deprived the mighty warrior-in-chariot Aswatthaman, of the jewel on
his head, and became exceedingly glad, and, boastful of their success,
made a present of it to the sorrowing Draupadi. Thus the tenth Parva,
called Sauptika, is recited. The great Vyasa hath composed this in
eighteen sections. The number of slokas also composed (in this) by the
great reciter of sacred truths is eight hundred and seventy. In this
Parva has been put together by the great Rishi the two Parvas called
Sauptika and Aishika.

"After this hath been recited the highly pathetic Parva called Stri,
Dhritarashtra of prophetic eye, afflicted at the death of his children,
and moved by enmity towards Bhima, broke into pieces a statue of hard
iron deftly placed before him by Krishna (as substitute of Bhima). Then
Vidura, removing the distressed Dhritarashtra's affection for worldly
things by reasons pointing to final release, consoled that wise monarch.
Then hath been described the wending of the distressed Dhritarashtra
accompanied by the ladies of his house to the field of battle of the
Kauravas. Here follow the pathetic wailings of the wives of the slain
heroes. Then the wrath of Gandhari and Dhritarashtra and their loss of
consciousness. Then the Kshatriya ladies saw those heroes,--their
unreturning sons, brothers, and fathers,--lying dead on the field. Then
the pacification by Krishna of the wrath of Gandhari distressed at the
death of her sons and grandsons. Then the cremation of the bodies of the
deceased Rajas with due rites by that monarch (Yudhishthira) of great
wisdom and the foremost also of all virtuous men. Then upon the
presentation of water of the manes of the deceased princes having
commenced, the story of Kunti's acknowledgment of Karna as her son born
in secret. Those have all been described by the great Rishi Vyasa in the
highly pathetic eleventh Parva. Its perusal moveth every feeling heart
with sorrow and even draweth tears from the eyes. The number of sections
composed is twenty-seven. The number of slokas is seven hundred and
seventy-five.

"Twelfth in number cometh the Santi Parva, which increaseth the
understanding and in which is related the despondency of Yudhishthira on
his having slain his fathers, brothers, sons, maternal uncles and
matrimonial relations. In this Parva is described how from his bed of
arrows Bhishma expounded various systems of duties worth the study of
kings desirous of knowledge; this Parva expounded the duties relative to
emergencies, with full indications of time and reasons. By understanding
these, a person attaineth to consummate knowledge. The mysteries also of
final emancipation have been expatiated upon. This is the twelfth Parva
the favourite of the wise. It consists of three hundred and thirty-nine
sections, and contains fourteen thousand, seven hundred and thirty-two
slokas.

"Next in order is the excellent Anusasana Parva. In it is described how
Yudhishthira, the king of the Kurus, was reconciled to himself on hearing
the exposition of duties by Bhishma, the son of Bhagirathi. This Parva
treats of rules in detail and of Dharma and Artha; then the rules of
charity and its merits; then the qualifications of donees, and the
supreme ride-regarding gifts. This Parva also describes the ceremonials
of individual duty, the rules of conduct and the matchless merit of
truth. This Parva showeth the great merit of Brahmanas and kine, and
unraveleth the mysteries of duties in relation to time and place. These
are embodied in the excellent Parva called Anusasana of varied incidents.
In this hath been described the ascension of Bhishma to Heaven. This is
the thirteenth Parva which hath laid down accurately the various duties
of men. The number of sections, in this is one hundred and forty-six. The
number of slokas is eight thousand.

"Then comes the fourteenth Parva Aswamedhika. In this is the excellent
story of Samvarta and Marutta. Then is described the discovery (by the
Pandavas) of golden treasuries; and then the birth of Parikshit who was
revived by Krishna after having been burnt by the (celestial) weapon of
Aswatthaman. The battles of Arjuna the son of Pandu, while following the
sacrificial horse let loose, with various princes who in wrath seized it.
Then is shown the great risk of Arjuna in his encounter with Vabhruvahana
the son of Chitrangada (by Arjuna) the appointed daughter of the chief of
Manipura. Then the story of the mongoose during the performance of the
horse-sacrifice. This is the most wonderful Parva called Aswamedhika. The
number of sections is one hundred and three. The number of slokas
composed (in this) by Vyasa of true knowledge is three thousand, three
hundred and twenty.

"Then comes the fifteenth Parva called Asramvasika. In this,
Dhritarashtra, abdicating the kingdom, and accompanied by Gandhari and
Vidura went to the woods. Seeing this, the virtuous Pritha also, ever
engaged in cherishing her superiors, leaving the court of her sons,
followed the old couple. In this is described the wonderful meeting
through the kindness of Vyasa of the king (Dhritarashtra) with the
spirits of his slain children, grand-children, and other princes,
returned from the other world. Then the monarch abandoning his sorrows
acquired with his wife the highest fruit of his meritorious actions. In
this Parva, Vidura after having leaned on virtue all his life attaineth
to the most meritorious state.

"The learned son of Gavalgana, Sanjaya, also of passions under full
control, and the foremost of ministers, attained, in the Parva, to the
blessed state. In this, Yudhishthira the just met Narada and heard from
him about the extinction of the race of Vrishnis. This is the very
wonderful Parva called Asramvasika. The number of sections in this is
forty-two, and the number of slokas composed by Vyasa cognisant of truth
is one thousand five hundred and six.

"After this, you know, comes the Maushala of painful incidents. In this,
those lion-hearted heroes (of the race of Vrishni) with the scars of many
a field on their bodies, oppressed with the curse of a Brahmana, while
deprived of reason from drink, impelled by the fates, slew each other on
the shores of the Salt Sea with the Eraka grass which (in their hands)
became (invested with the fatal attributes of the) thunder. In this, both
Balarama and Kesava (Krishna) after causing the extermination of their
race, their hour having come, themselves did not rise superior to the
sway of all-destroying Time. In this, Arjuna the foremost among men,
going to Dwaravati (Dwaraka) and seeing the city destitute of the
Vrishnis was much affected and became exceedingly sorry. Then after the
funeral of his maternal uncle Vasudeva the foremost among the Yadus
(Vrishnis), he saw the heroes of the Yadu race lying stretched in death
on the spot where they had been drinking. He then caused the cremation of
the bodies of the illustrious Krishna and Balarama and of the principal
members of the Vrishni race. Then as he was journeying from Dwaraka with
the women and children, the old and the decrepit--the remnants of the
Yadu race--he was met on the way by a heavy calamity. He witnessed also
the disgrace of his bow Gandiva and the unpropitiousness of his celestial
weapons. Seeing all this, Arjuna became despondent and, pursuant to
Vyasa's advice, went to Yudhishthira and solicited permission to adopt
the Sannyasa mode of life. This is the sixteenth Parva called Maushala
The number of sections is eight and the number of slokas composed by
Vyasa cognisant of truth is three hundred and twenty.

"The next is Mahaprasthanika, the seventeenth Parva.

"In this, those foremost among men the Pandavas abdicating their kingdom
went with Draupadi on their great journey called Mahaprasthana. In this,
they came across Agni, having arrived on the shore of the sea of red
waters. In this, asked by Agni himself, Arjuna worshipped him duly,
returned to him the excellent celestial bow called Gandiva. In this,
leaving his brothers who dropped one after another and Draupadi also,
Yudhishthira went on his journey without once looking back on them. This
the seventeenth Parva is called Mahaprasthanika. The number of sections
in this is three. The number of slokas also composed by Vyasa cognisant
of truth is three hundred and twenty.

"The Parva that comes after this, you must know, is the extraordinary one
called Svarga of celestial incidents. Then seeing the celestial car come
to take him, Yudhishthira moved by kindness towards the dog that
accompanied him, refused to ascend it without his companion. Observing
the illustrious Yudhishthira's steady adherence to virtue, Dharma (the
god of justice) abandoning his canine form showed himself to the king.
Then Yudhishthira ascending to heaven felt much pain. The celestial
messenger showed him hell by an act of deception. Then Yudhishthira, the
soul of justice, heard the heart-rending lamentations of his brothers
abiding in that region under the discipline of Yama. Then Dharma and
Indra showed Yudhishthira the region appointed for sinners. Then
Yudhishthira, after leaving the human body by a plunge in the celestial
Ganges, attained to that region which his acts merited, and began to live
in joy respected by Indra and all other gods. This is the eighteenth
Parva as narrated by the illustrious Vyasa. The number of slokas
composed, O ascetics, by the great Rishi in this is two hundred and nine.

"The above are the contents of the Eighteen Parvas. In the appendix
(Khita) are the Harivansa and the Vavishya. The number of slokas
contained in the Harivansa is twelve thousand."

These are the contents of the section called Parva-sangraha. Sauti
continued, "Eighteen Akshauhinis of troops came together for battle. The
encounter that ensued was terrible and lasted for eighteen days. He who
knows the four Vedas with all the Angas and Upanishads, but does not know
this history (Bharata), cannot be regarded as wise. Vyasa of immeasurable
intelligence, has spoken of the Mahabharata as a treatise on Artha, on
Dharma, and on Kama. Those who have listened to his history can never
bear to listen to others, as, indeed, they who have listened to the sweet
voice of the male Kokila can never hear the dissonance of the crow's
cawing. As the formation of the three worlds proceedeth from the five
elements, so do the inspirations of all poets proceed from this excellent
composition. O ye Brahman, as the four kinds of creatures (viviparous,
oviparous, born of hot moisture and vegetables) are dependent on space
for their existence, so the Puranas depend upon this history. As all the
senses depend for their exercise upon the various modifications of the
mind, so do all acts (ceremonials) and moral qualities depend upon this
treatise. There is not a story current in the world but doth depend on
this history, even as body upon the food it taketh. All poets cherish the
Bharata even as servants desirous of preferment always attend upon
masters of good lineage. Even as the blessed domestic Asrama can never be
surpassed by the three other Asramas (modes of life) so no poets can
surpass this poem.

"Ye ascetics, shake off all inaction. Let your hearts be fixed on virtue,
for virtue is the one only friend of him that has gone to the other
world. Even the most intelligent by cherishing wealth and wives can never
make these their own, nor are these possessions lasting. The Bharata
uttered by the lips of Dwaipayana is without a parallel; it is virtue
itself and sacred. It destroyeth sin and produceth good. He that
listeneth to it while it is being recited hath no need of a bath in the
sacred waters of Pushkara. A Brahmana, whatever sins he may commit during
the day through his senses, is freed from them all by reading the Bharata
in the evening. Whatever sins he may commit also in the night by deeds,
words, or mind, he is freed from them all by reading Bharata in the first
twilight (morning). He that giveth a hundred kine with horns mounted with
gold to a Brahmana well-posted up in the Vedas and all branches of
learning, and he that daily listeneth to the sacred narrations of the
Bharata, acquireth equal merit. As the wide ocean is easily passable by
men having ships, so is this extensive history of great excellence and
deep import with the help of this chapter called Parva sangraha."

Thus endeth the section called Parva-sangraha of the Adi Parva of the
blessed Mahabharata.



SECTION III

(Paushya Parva)

Sauti said, "Janamejaya, the son of Parikshit, was, with his brothers,
attending his long sacrifice on the plains of Kurukshetra. His brothers
were three, Srutasena, Ugrasena, and Bhimasena. And as they were sitting
at the sacrifice, there arrived at the spot an offspring of Sarama (the
celestial bitch). And belaboured by the brothers of Janamejaya, he ran
away to his mother, crying in pain. And his mother seeing him crying
exceedingly asked him, 'Why criest thou so? Who hath beaten thee? And
being thus questioned, he said unto his mother, 'I have been belaboured
by the brothers of Janamejaya.' And his mother replied, 'Thou hast
committed some fault for which hast thou been beaten!' He answered, 'I
have not committed any fault. I have not touched the sacrificial butter
with my tongue, nor have I even cast a look upon it.' His mother Sarama
hearing this and much distressed at the affliction of her son went to the
place where Janamejaya with his brothers was at his long-extending
sacrifice. And she addressed Janamejaya in anger, saying, 'This my son
hath committed no fault: he hath not looked upon your sacrificial butter,
nor hath he touched it with his tongue. Wherefore hath he been beaten?'
They said not a word in reply; whereupon she said, 'As ye have beaten my
son who hath committed no fault, therefore shall evil come upon ye, when
ye least expect it.'

"Janamejaya, thus addressed by the celestial bitch, Sarama, became
exceedingly alarmed and dejected. And after the sacrifice was concluded
returned to Hastinapura, and began to take great pains in searching for a
Purohita who could by procuring absolution for his sin, neutralise the
effect of the curse.

"One day Janamejaya, the son of Parikshit, while a-hunting, observed in a
particular part of his dominions a hermitage where dwelt a certain Rishi
of fame, Srutasrava. He had a son named Somasrava deeply engaged in
ascetic devotions. Being desirous of appointing that son of the Rishi as
his Purohita, Janamejaya, the son of Parikshit, saluted the Rishi and
addressed him, saying, 'O possessor of the six attributes, let this thy
son be my purohita.' The Rishi thus addressed, answered Janamejaya, 'O
Janamejaya, this my son, deep in ascetic devotions, accomplished in the
study of the Vedas, and endued with the full force of my asceticism, is
born of (the womb of) a she-snake that had drunk my vital fluid. He is
able to absolve thee from all offences save those committed against
Mahadeva. But he hath one particular habit, viz. he would grant to any
Brahmana whatever might be begged of him. If thou canst put up with it,
then thou take him.' Janamejaya thus addressed replied to the Rishi, 'It
shall be even so.' And accepting him for his Purohita, he returned to his
capital; and he then addressed his brothers saying, 'This is the person I
have chosen for my spiritual master; whatsoever he may say must be
complied with by you without examination.' And his brothers did as they
were directed. And giving these directions to his brothers, the king
marched towards Takshyashila and brought that country under his authority.

"About this time there was a Rishi, Ayoda-Dhaumya by name. And
Ayoda-Dhaumya had three disciples, Upamanyu, Aruni, and Veda. And the
Rishi bade one of these disciples, Aruni of Panchala, to go and stop up a
breach in the water-course of a certain field. And Aruni of Panchala,
thus ordered by his preceptor, repaired to the spot. And having gone
there he saw that he could not stop up the breach in the water-course by
ordinary means. And he was distressed because he could not do his
preceptor's bidding. But at length he saw a way and said, 'Well, I will
do it in this way.' He then went down into the breach and lay down
himself there. And the water was thus confined.

"And some time after, the preceptor Ayoda-Dhaumya asked his other
disciples where Aruni of Panchala was. And they answered, 'Sir, he hath
been sent by yourself saying, 'Go, stop up the breach in the water-course
of the field,' Thus reminded, Dhaumya, addressing his pupils, said, 'Then
let us all go to the place where he is.'

"And having arrived there, he shouted, 'Ho Aruni of Panchala! Where art
thou? Come hither, my child.' And Aruni hearing the voice of his
preceptor speedily came out of the water-course and stood before his
preceptor. And addressing the latter, Aruni said, 'Here I am in the
breach of the water-course. Not having been able to devise any other
means, I entered myself for the purpose of preventing the water running
out. It is only upon hearing thy voice that, having left it and allowed
the waters to escape, I have stood before thee. I salute thee, Master;
tell me what I have to do.'

"The preceptor, thus addressed, replied, 'Because in getting up from the
ditch thou hast opened the water-course, thenceforth shalt thou be called
Uddalaka as a mark of thy preceptor's favour. And because my words have
been obeyed by thee, thou shalt obtain good fortune. And all the Vedas
shall shine in thee and all the Dharmasastras also.' And Aruni, thus
addressed by his preceptor, went to the country after his heart.

"The name of another of Ayoda-Dhaumya's disciples was Upamanyu. And
Dhaumya appointed him saying, 'Go, my child, Upamanyu, look after the
kine.' And according to his preceptor's orders, he went to tend the kine.
And having watched them all day, he returned in the evening to his
preceptor's house and standing before him he saluted him respectfully.
And his preceptor seeing him in good condition of body asked him,
'Upamanyu, my child, upon what dost thou support thyself? Thou art
exceedingly plump.' And he answered, 'Sir, I support myself by begging'.
And his preceptor said, 'What is obtained in alms should not be used by
thee without offering it to me.' And Upamanyu, thus told, went away. And
having obtained alms, he offered the same to his preceptor. And his
preceptor took from him even the whole. And Upamanyu, thus treated, went
to attend the cattle. And having watched them all day, he returned in the
evening to his preceptor's abode. And he stood before his preceptor and
saluted him with respect. And his preceptor perceiving that he still
continued to be of good condition of body said unto him, 'Upamanyu, my
child, I take from thee even the whole of what thou obtainest in alms,
without leaving anything for thee. How then dost thou, at present,
contrive to support thyself?' And Upamanyu said unto his preceptor, 'Sir,
having made over to you all that I obtain in alms, I go a-begging a
second time for supporting myself.' And his preceptor then replied, 'This
is not the way in which thou shouldst obey the preceptor. By this thou
art diminishing the support of others that live by begging. Truly having
supported thyself so, thou hast proved thyself covetous.' And Upamanyu,
having signified his assent to all that his preceptor said, went away to
attend the cattle. And having watched them all day, he returned to his
preceptor's house. And he stood before his preceptor and saluted him
respectfully. And his preceptor observing that he was still fat, said
again unto him, 'Upamanyu, my child, I take from thee all thou obtainest
in alms and thou dost not go a-begging a second time, and yet art thou in
healthy condition. How dost thou support thyself?' And Upamanyu, thus
questioned, answered, 'Sir, I now live upon the milk of these cows.' And
his preceptor thereupon told him, 'It is not lawful for thee to
appropriate the milk without having first obtained my consent.' And
Upamanyu having assented to the justice of these observations, went away
to tend the kine. And when he returned to his preceptor's abode, he stood
before him and saluted him as usual. And his preceptor seeing that he was
still fat, said, 'Upamanyu, my child, thou eatest no longer of alms, nor
dost thou go a-begging a second time, not even drinkest of the milk; yet
art thou fat. By what means dost thou contrive to live now? And Upamanyu
replied, 'Sir, I now sip the froth that these calves throw out, while
sucking their mother's teats.' And the preceptor said, 'These generous
calves, I suppose, out of compassion for thee, throw out large quantities
of froth. Wouldst thou stand in the way of their full meals by acting as
thou hast done? Know that it is unlawful for thee to drink the froth.'
And Upamanyu, having signified his assent to this, went as before to tend
the cows. And restrained by his preceptor, he feedeth not on alms, nor
hath he anything else to eat; he drinketh not of the milk, nor tasteth he
of the froth!

"And Upamanyu, one day, oppressed by hunger, when in a forest, ate of the
leaves of the Arka (Asclepias gigantea). And his eyes being affected by
the pungent, acrimonious, crude, and saline properties of the leaves
which he had eaten, he became blind. And as he was crawling about, he
fell into a pit. And upon his not returning that day when the sun was
sinking down behind the summit of the western mountains, the preceptor
observed to his disciples that Upamanyu was not yet come. And they told
him that he had gone out with the cattle.

"The preceptor then said, 'Upamanyu being restrained by me from the use
of everything, is, of course, and therefore, doth not come home until it
be late. Let us then go in search of him.' And having said this, he went
with his disciples into the forest and began to shout, saying, 'Ho
Upamanyu, where art thou?' And Upamanyu hearing his preceptor's voice
answered in a loud tone, 'Here I am at the bottom of a well.' And his
preceptor asked him how he happened to be there. And Upamanyu replied,
'Having eaten of the leaves of the Arka plant I became blind, and so have
I fallen into this well.' And his preceptor thereupon told him, 'Glorify
the twin Aswins, the joint physicians of the gods, and they will restore
thee thy sight.' And Upamanyu thus directed by his preceptor began to
glorify the twin Aswins, in the following words of the Rig Veda:

'Ye have existed before the creation! Ye first-born beings, ye are
displayed in this wondrous universe of five elements! I desire to obtain
you by the help of the knowledge derived from hearing, and of meditation,
for ye are Infinite! Ye are the course itself of Nature and intelligent
Soul that pervades that course! Ye are birds of beauteous feathers
perched on the body that is like to a tree! Ye are without the three
common attributes of every soul! Ye are incomparable! Ye, through your
spirit in every created thing, pervade the Universe!

"Ye are golden Eagles! Ye are the essence into which all things
disappear! Ye are free from error and know no deterioration! Ye are of
beauteous beaks that would not unjustly strike and are victorious in
every encounter! Ye certainly prevail over time! Having created the sun,
ye weave the wondrous cloth of the year by means of the white thread of
the day and the black thread of the night! And with the cloth so woven,
ye have established two courses of action appertaining respectively to
the Devas and the Pitris. The bird of Life seized by Time which
represents the strength of the Infinite soul, ye set free for delivering
her unto great happiness! They that are in deep ignorance, as long as
they are under delusions of their senses, suppose you, who are
independent of the attributes of matter, to be gifted with form! Three
hundred and sixty cows represented by three hundred and sixty days
produce one calf between them which is the year. That calf is the creator
and destroyer of all. Seekers of truth following different routes, draw
the milk of true knowledge with its help. Ye Aswins, ye are the creators
of that calf!

"The year is but the nave of a wheel to which is attached seven hundred
and twenty spokes representing as many days and nights. The circumference
of this wheel represented by twelve months is without end. This wheel is
full of delusions and knows no deterioration. It affects all creatures
whether to this or of the other worlds. Ye Aswins, this wheel of time is
set in motion by you!

"The wheel of Time as represented by the year has a nave represented by
the six seasons. The number of spokes attached to that nave is twelve as
represented by the twelve signs of the Zodiac. This wheel of Time
manifests the fruits of the acts of all things. The presiding deities of
Time abide in that wheel. Subject as I am to its distressful influence,
ye Aswins, liberate me from that wheel of Time. Ye Aswins, ye are this
universe of five elements! Ye are the objects that are enjoyed in this
and in the other world! Make me independent of the five elements! And
though ye are the Supreme Brahma, yet ye move over the Earth in forms
enjoying the delights that the senses afford.

"In the beginning, ye created the ten points of the universe! Then have
ye placed the Sun and the Sky above! The Rishis, according to the course
of the same Sun, perform their sacrifices, and the gods and men,
according to what hath been appointed for them, perform their sacrifices
also enjoying the fruits of those acts!

"Mixing the three colours, ye have produced all the objects of sight! It
is from these objects that the Universe hath sprung whereon the gods and
men are engaged in their respective occupations, and, indeed, all
creatures endued with life!

"Ye Aswins, I adore you! I also adore the Sky which is your handiwork! Ye
are the ordainers of the fruits of all acts from which even the gods are
not free! Ye are yourselves free from the fruits of your acts!

"Ye are the parents of all! As males and females it is ye that swallow
the food which subsequently develops into the life creating fluid and
blood! The new-born infant sucks the teat of its mother. Indeed it is ye
that take the shape of the infant! Ye Aswins, grant me my sight to
protect my life!"

The twin Aswins, thus invoked, appeared and said, 'We are satisfied. Here
is a cake for thee. Take and eat it.' And Upamanyu thus addressed,
replied, 'Your words, O Aswins, have never proved untrue. But without
first offering this cake to my preceptor I dare not take it.' And the
Aswins thereupon told him, 'Formerly, thy preceptor had invoked us. We
thereupon gave him a cake like this; and he took it without offering it
to his master. Do thou do that which thy preceptor did.' Thus addressed,
Upamanyu again said unto them, 'O Aswins, I crave your pardon. Without
offering it to my preceptor I dare not apply this cake.' The Aswins then
said, 'O, we are pleased with this devotion of thine to thy preceptor.
Thy master's teeth are of black iron. Thine shall be of gold. Thou shall
be restored to sight and shall have good fortune.'

"Thus spoken to by the Aswins he recovered his sight, and having gone to
his preceptor's presence he saluted him and told him all. And his
preceptor was well-pleased with him and said unto him, 'Thou shalt obtain
prosperity even as the Aswins have said. All the Vedas shall shine in
thee and all the Dharma-sastras.' And this was the trial of Upamanyu.

"Then Veda the other disciple of Ayoda-Dhaumya was called. His preceptor
once addressed him, saying, 'Veda, my child, tarry some time in my house
and serve thy preceptor. It shall be to thy profit.' And Veda having
signified his assent tarried long in the family of his preceptor mindful
of serving him. Like an ox under the burthens of his master, he bore heat
and cold, hunger and thirst, at all times without a murmur. And it was
not long before his preceptor was satisfied. And as a consequence of that
satisfaction, Veda obtained good fortune and universal knowledge. And
this was the trial of Veda.

"And Veda, having received permission from his preceptor, and leaving the
latter's residence after the completion of his studies, entered the
domestic mode of life. And while living in his own house, he got three
pupils. And he never told them to perform any work or to obey implicitly
his own behests; for having himself experienced much woe while abiding in
the family of his preceptor, he liked not to treat them with severity.

"After a certain time, Janamejaya and Paushya, both of the order of
Kshatriyas, arriving at his residence appointed the Brahman. Veda, as
their spiritual guide (Upadhyaya). And one day while about to depart upon
some business related to a sacrifice, he employed one of his disciples,
Utanka, to take charge of his household. 'Utanka', said he, 'whatsoever
should have to be done in my house, let it be done by thee without
neglect.' And having given these orders to Utanka, he went on his journey.

"So Utanka always mindful of the injunction of his preceptor took up his
abode in the latter's house. And while Utanka was residing there, the
females of his preceptor's house having assembled addressed him and said,
'O Utanka, thy mistress is in that season when connubial connection might
be fruitful. The preceptor is absent; then stand thou in his place and do
the needful.' And Utanka, thus addressed, said unto those women, 'It is
not proper for me to do this at the bidding of women. I have not been
enjoined by my preceptor to do aught that is improper.'

"After a while, his preceptor returned from his journey. And his
preceptor having learnt all that had happened, became well-pleased and,
addressing Utanka, said, 'Utanka, my child, what favour shall I bestow on
thee? I have been served by thee duly; therefore hath our friendship for
each other increased. I therefore grant thee leave to depart. Go thou,
and let thy wishes be accomplished!'

"Utanka, thus addressed, replied, saying, "Let me do something that you
wish, for it hath been said, 'He who bestoweth instruction contrary to
usage and he who receiveth it contrary to usage, one of the two dieth,
and enmity springeth up between the two.--I, therefore, who have received
thy leave to depart, am desirous of bringing thee some honorarium due to
a preceptor. His master, upon hearing this, replied, 'Utanka, my child,
wait a while.' Sometime after, Utanka again addressed his preceptor,
saying, 'Command me to bring that for honorarium, which you desire.' And
his preceptor then said, 'My dear Utanka, thou hast often told me of your
desire to bring something by way of acknowledgment for the instruction
thou hast received. Go then in and ask thy mistress what thou art to
bring. And bring thou that which she directs.' And thus directed by his
preceptor Utanka addressed his preceptress, saying, 'Madam, I have
obtained my master's leave to go home, and I am desirous of bringing
something agreeable to thee as honorarium for the instruction I have
received, in order that I may not depart as his debtor. Therefore, please
command me what I am to bring.' Thus addressed, his preceptress replied,
'Go unto King Paushya and beg of him the pair of ear-rings worn by his
Queen, and bring them hither. The fourth day hence is a sacred day when I
wish to appear before the Brahmanas (who may dine at my house) decked
with these ear-rings. Then accomplish this, O Utanka! If thou shouldst
succeed, good fortune shall attend thee; if not, what good canst thou
expect?'

"Utanka thus commanded, took his departure. And as he was passing along
the road he saw a bull of extraordinary size and a man of uncommon
stature mounted thereon. And that man addressed Utanka and said, 'Eat
thou of the dung of this bull.' Utanka, however, was unwilling to comply.
The man said again, 'O Utanka, eat of it without scrutiny. Thy master ate
of it before.' And Utanka signified his assent and ate of the dung and
drank of the urine of that bull, and rose respectfully, and washing his
hands and mouth went to where King Paushya was.

'On arriving at the palace, Utanka saw Paushya seated (on his throne).
And approaching him Utanka saluted the monarch by pronouncing blessings
and said, 'I am come as a petitioner to thee.' And King Paushya, having
returned Utanka's salutations, said, 'Sir, what shall I do for thee?' And
Utanka said, 'I came to beg of thee a pair of ear-rings as a present to
my preceptor. It behoveth thee to give me the ear-rings worn by the
Queen.'

"King Paushya replied, 'Go, Utanka, into the female apartments where the
Queen is and demand them of her.' And Utanka went into the women's
apartments. But as he could not discover the Queen, he again addressed
the king, saying, 'It is not proper that I should be treated by thee with
deceit. Thy Queen is not in the private apartments, for I could not find
her.' The king thus addressed, considered for a while and replied,
'Recollect, Sir, with attention whether thou art not in a state of
defilement in consequence of contact with the impurities of a repast. My
Queen is a chaste wife and cannot be seen by any one who is impure owing
to contact with the leavings of a repast. Nor doth she herself appear in
sight of any one who is defiled.'

"Utanka, thus informed, reflected for a while and then said, 'Yes, it
must be so. Having been in a hurry I performed my ablutions (after meal)
in a standing posture.' King Paushya then said, 'Here is a transgression,
purification is not properly effected by one in a standing posture, not
by one while he is going along.' And Utanka having agreed to this, sat
down with his face towards the east, and washed his face, hands, and feet
thoroughly. And he then, without a noise, sipped thrice of water free
from scum and froth, and not warm, and just sufficient to reach his
stomach and wiped his face twice. And he then touched with water the
apertures of his organs (eyes, ears, etc.). And having done all this, he
once more entered the apartments of the women. And this time he saw the
Queen. And as the Queen perceived him, she saluted him respectfully and
said, 'Whalecum, Sir, command me what I have to do.' And Utanka said unto
her, 'It behoveth thee to give me those ear-rings of thine. I beg them as
a present for my preceptor.' And the Queen having been highly pleased
with Utanka's conduct and, considering that Utanka as an object of
charity could not be passed over, took off her ear-rings and gave them to
him. And she said, 'These ear-rings are very much sought after by
Takshaka, the King of the serpents. Therefore shouldst thou carry them
with the greatest care.'

"And Utanka being told this, said unto the Queen, 'Lady, be under no
apprehension. Takshaka, Chief of the serpents, is not able to overtake
me.' And having said this, and taking leave of the Queen, he went back
into the presence of Paushya, and said, 'Paushya, I am gratified.' Then
Paushya said to Utanka, 'A fit object of charity can only be had at long
intervals. Thou art a qualified guest, therefore do I desire to perform a
sraddha. Tarry thou a little. And Utanka replied, 'Yes, I will tarry, and
beg that the clean provisions that are ready may be soon brought in.' And
the king having signified his assent, entertained Utanka duly. And Utanka
seeing that the food placed before him had hair in it, and also that it
was cold, thought it unclean. And he said unto Paushya, 'Thou givest me
food that is unclean, therefore shalt thou lose thy sight.' And Paushya
in answer said, 'And because dost thou impute uncleanliness to food that
is clean, therefore shalt thou be without issue.' And Utanka thereupon
rejoined, 'It behoveth thee not, after having offered me unclean food, to
curse me in return. Satisfy thyself by ocular proof.'

"And Paushya seeing the food alleged to be unclean satisfied himself of
its uncleanliness. And Paushya having ascertained that the food was truly
unclean, being cold and mixed with hair, prepared as it was by a woman
with unbraided hair, began to pacify the Rishi Utanka, saying, 'Sir, the
food placed before thee is cold, and doth contain hair, having been
prepared without sufficient care. Therefore I pray thee pardon me. Let me
not become blind.' And Utanka answered, 'What I say must come to pass.
Having become blind, thou mayst, however, recover the sight before long.
Grant that thy curse also doth not take effect on me.' And Paushya said
unto him, 'I am unable to revoke my curse. For my wrath even now hath not
been appeased. But thou knowest not this. For a Brahmana's heart is soft
as new-churned butter, even though his words bear a sharp-edged razor. It
is otherwise in respect of these with the Kshatriya. His words are soft
as new-churned butter, but his heart is like a sharp-edged tool, such
being the case, I am unable, because of the hardness of my heart, to
neutralise my curse. Then go thou thy own way.' To this Utanka made
answer, "I showed thee the uncleanliness of the food offered to me, and I
was even now pacified by thee. Besides, saidst thou at first that because
I imputed uncleanliness to food that was clean I should be without issue.
But the food truly unclean, thy curse cannot affect me. Of this I am
sure.' And Utanka having said this departed with the ear-rings.

"On the road Utanka perceived coming towards him a naked idle beggar
sometimes coming in view and sometimes disappearing. And Utanka put the
ear-rings on the ground and went for water. In the meantime the beggar
came quickly to the spot and taking up the ear-rings ran away. And Utanka
having completed his ablutions in water and purified himself and having
also reverently bowed down to the gods and his spiritual masters pursued
the thief with the utmost speed. And having with great difficulty
overtaken him, he seized him by force. But at that instant the person
seized, quitting the form of a beggar and assuming his real form, viz.,
that of Takshaka, speedily entered a large hole open in the ground. And
having got in, Takshaka proceeded to his own abode, the region of the
serpents.

"Now, Utanka, recollecting the words of the Queen, pursued the Serpent,
and began to dig open the hole with a stick but was unable to make much
progress. And Indra beholding his distress sent his thunder-bolt (Vajra)
to his assistance. Then the thunder-bolt entering that stick enlarged
that hole. And Utanka began to enter the hole after the thunder-bolt. And
having entered it, he beheld the region of the serpents infinite in
extent, filled with hundreds of palaces and elegant mansions with turrets
and domes and gate-ways, abounding with wonderful places for various
games and entertainments. And Utanka then glorified the serpents by the
following slokas:

"Ye Serpents, subjects of King Airavata, splendid in battle and showering
weapons in the field like lightning-charged clouds driven by the winds!
Handsome and of various forms and decked with many coloured ear-rings, ye
children of Airavata, ye shine like the Sun in the firmament! On the
northern banks of the Ganges are many habitations of serpents. There I
constantly adore the great serpents. Who except Airavata would desire to
move in the burning rays of the Sun? When Dhritarashtra (Airavata's
brother) goes out, twenty-eight thousand and eight serpents follow him as
his attendants. Ye who move near him and ye who stay at a distance from
him, I adore all of you that have Airavata for your elder brother.

"I adore thee also, to obtain the ear-rings, O Takshaka, who formerly
dwelt in Kurukshetra and the forest of Khandava! Takshaka and Aswasena,
ye are constant companions who dwell in Kurukshetra on the banks of the
Ikshumati! I also adore the illustrious Srutasena, the younger brother of
Takshaka, who resided at the holy place called Mahadyumna with a view to
obtaining the chiefship of the serpents.

"The Brahmana Rishi Utanka having saluted the chief serpents in this
manner, obtained not, however, the ear-rings. And he thereupon became
very thoughtful. And when he saw that he obtained not the ear-rings even
though he had adored the serpents, he then looked about him and beheld
two women at a loom weaving a piece of cloth with a fine shuttle; and in
the loom were black and white threads. And he likewise saw a wheel, with
twelve spokes, turned by six boys. And he also saw a man with a handsome
horse. And he began to address them the following mantras:

"This wheel whose circumference is marked by twenty-four divisions
representing as many lunar changes is furnished with three hundred
spokes! It is set in continual motion by six boys (the seasons)! These
damsels representing universal nature are weaving without intermission a
cloth with threads black and white, and thereby ushering into existence
the manifold worlds and the beings that inhabit them! Thou wielder of the
thunder, the protector of the universe, the slayer of Vritra and Namuchi,
thou illustrious one who wearest the black cloth and displayest truth and
untruth in the universe, thou who ownest for thy carrier the horse which
was received from the depths of the ocean, and which is but another form
of Agni (the god of fire), I bow to thee, thou supreme Lord, thou Lord of
the three worlds, O Purandara!'

"Then the man with the horse said unto Utanka, 'I am gratified by this
thy adoration. What good shall I do to thee?' And Utanka replied, 'Even
let the serpents be brought under my control.' Then the man rejoined,
'Blow into this horse.' And Utanka blew into that horse. And from the
horse thus blown into, there issued, from every aperture of his body,
flames of fire with smoke by which the region of the Nagas was about to
be consumed. And Takshaka, surprised beyond measure and terrified by the
heat of the fire, hastily came out of his abode taking the ear-rings with
him, and said unto Utanka, 'Pray, Sir, take back the ear-rings.' And
Utanka took them back.

"But Utanka having recovered his ear-rings thought, 'O, this is that
sacred day of my preceptress. I am at a distance. How can I, therefore,
show my regard for her? And when Utanka was anxious about this, the man
addressed him and said, 'Ride this horse, Utanka, and he will in a moment
carry thee to thy master's abode.' And Utanka having signified his
assent, mounted the horse and presently reached his preceptor's house.

"And his preceptress that morning after having bathed was dressing her
hair sitting, thinking of uttering a curse on Utanka if he should not
return within time. But, in the meantime, Utanka entered his preceptor's
abode and paid his respects to his preceptress and presented her the
ear-rings. 'Utanka', said she, 'thou hast arrived at the proper time at
the proper place. Whalecum, my child; thou art innocent and therefore I do
not curse thee! Good fortune is even before thee. Let thy wishes be
crowned with success!'

"Then Utanka waited on his preceptor. And his preceptor said, 'Thou art
Whalecum! What hath occasioned thy long absence?' And Utanka replied to
his preceptor, 'Sir, in the execution of this my business obstruction was
offered by Takshaka, the King of serpents. Therefore I had to go to the
region of the Nagas. There I saw two damsels sitting at a loom, weaving a
fabric with black and white threads. Pray, what is that? There likewise I
beheld a wheel with twelve spokes ceaselessly turned by six boys. What
too doth that import? Who is also the man that I saw? And what the horse
of extraordinary size likewise beheld by me? And when I was on the road I
also saw a bull with a man mounted thereon, by whom I was endearingly
accosted thus, 'Utanka, eat of the dung of this bull, which was also
eaten by thy master?' So I ate of the dung of that bull according to his
words. Who also is he? Therefore, enlightened by thee, I desire to hear
all about them.'

"And his preceptor thus addressed said unto him, 'The two damsels thou
hast seen are Dhata and Vidhata; the black and white threads denote night
and day; the wheel of twelve spokes turned by the six boys signified the
year comprising six seasons. The man is Parjanya, the deity of rain, and
the horse is Agni, the god of fire. The bull that thou hast seen on the
road is Airavata, the king of elephants; the man mounted thereon is
Indra; and the dung of the bull which was eaten by thee was Amrita. It
was certainly for this (last) that thou hast not met with death in the
region of the Nagas; and Indra who is my friend having been mercifully
inclined showed thee favour. It is for this that thou returnest safe,
with the ear-rings about thee. Then, O thou amiable one, I give thee
leave to depart. Thou shall obtain good fortune.'

"And Utanka, having obtained his master's leave, moved by anger and
resolved to avenge himself on Takshaka, proceeded towards Hastinapura.
That excellent Brahmana soon reached Hastinapura. And Utanka then waited
upon King Janamejaya who had some time before returned victorious from
Takshashila. And Utanka saw the victorious monarch surrounded on all
sides by his ministers. And he pronounced benedictions on him in a proper
form. And Utanka addressed the monarch at the proper moment in speech of
correct accent and melodious sounds, saying, 'O thou the best of
monarchs! How is it that thou spendest thy time like a child when there
is another matter that urgently demandeth thy attention?'"

"Sauti said, 'The monarch Janamejaya, thus addressed, saluting that
excellent Brahmana replied unto him, 'In cherishing these my subjects I
do discharge the duties of my noble tribe. Say, what is that business to
be done by me and which hath brought thee hither.'

"The foremost of Brahmanas and distinguished beyond all for good deeds,
thus addressed by the excellent monarch of large heart, replied unto him,
'O King! the business is thy own that demandeth thy attention; therefore
do it, please. O thou King of kings! Thy father was deprived of life by
Takshaka; therefore do thou avenge thy father's death on that vile
serpent. The time hath come, I think, for the act of vengeance ordained
by the Fates. Go then avenge the death of thy magnanimous father who,
being bitten without cause by that vile serpent, was reduced to five
elements even like a tree stricken by thunder. The wicked Takshaka,
vilest of the serpent race, intoxicated with power committed an
unnecessary act when he bit the King, that god-like father, the protector
of the race of royal saints. Wicked in his deeds, he even caused Kasyapa
(the prince of physicians) to run back when he was coming for the relief
of thy father. It behoveth thee to burn the wicked wretch in the blazing
fire of a snake-sacrifice. O King! Give instant orders for the sacrifice.
It is thus thou canst avenge the death of thy father. And a very great
favour shall have also been shown to me. For by that malignant wretch, O
virtuous Prince, my business also was, on one occasion, obstructed, while
proceeding on account of my preceptor."

"Sauti continued, The monarch, having heard these words, was enraged with
Takshaka. By the speech of Utanka was inflamed the prince, even as the
sacrificial fire with clarified butter. Moved by grief also, in the
presence of Utanka, the prince asked his ministers the particulars of his
father's journey to the regions of the blessed. And when he heard all
about the circumstances of his father's death from the lips of Utanka, he
was overcome with pain and sorrow.

And thus endeth the section called Paushya of the Adi Parva of the
blessed Mahabharata."



SECTION IV

(Pauloma Parva)

'UGRASRAVA SAUTI, the son of Lomaharshana, versed in the Puranas, while
present in the forest of Naimisha, at the twelve years' sacrifice of
Saunaka, surnamed Kulapati, stood before the Rishis in attendance. Having
studied Puranas with meticulous devotion and thus being thoroughly
acquainted with them, he addressed them with joined hands thus, 'I have
graphically described to you the history of Utanka which is one of the
causes of King Janamejaya's Snake-sacrifice. What, revered Sirs, do ye
wish to hear now? What shall I relate to you?' The holy men replied, 'O
son of Lomaharshana, we shall ask thee about what we are anxious to hear
and thou wilt recount the tales one by one. Saunaka, our revered master,
is at present attending the apartment of the holy fire. He is acquainted
with those divine stories which relate to the gods and asuras. He
adequately knoweth the histories of men, serpents, and Gandharvas.
Further, O Sauti, in this sacrifice that learned Brahmana is the chief.
He is able, faithful to his vows, wise, a master of the Sastras and the
Aranyaka, a speaker of truth, a lover of peace, a mortifier of the flesh,
and an observer of the penances according to the authoritative decrees.
He is respected by us all. It behoveth us therefore to wait for him. And
when he is seated on his highly respected seat, thou wilt answer what
that best of Dwijas shall ask of thee.'

"Sauti said, 'Be it so. And when the high-souled master hath been seated
I shall narrate, questioned by him, sacred stories on a variety of
subjects." After a while that excellent Brahmana (Saunaka) having duly
finished all his duties, and having propitiated the gods with prayers and
the manes with oblations of water, came back to the place of sacrifice,
where with Sauti seated before was the assembly of saints of rigid vows
sitting at ease. And when Saunaka was seated in the midst of the Ritwiks
and Sadhyas, who were also in their seats, he spake as followeth."



SECTION V

(Pauloma Parva continued)

"Saunaka said, 'Child, thy father formerly read the whole of the Puranas,
O son of Lomaharshana, and the Bharata with Krishna-Dwaipayana. Hast thou
also made them thy study? In those ancient records are chronicled
interesting stories and the history of the first generations of the wise
men, all of which we heard being rehearsed by thy sire. In the first
place, I am desirous of hearing the history of the race of Bhrigu.
Recount thou that history, we shall attentively listen to thee."

"Sauti answered, 'By me hath been acquired all that was formerly studied
by the high-souled Brahmanas including Vaisampayana and repeated by them;
by me hath been acquired all that had been studied by my father. O
descendant of the Bhrigu race, attend then to so much as relateth to the
exalted race of Bhrigu, revered by Indra and all the gods, by the tribes
of Rishis and Maruts (Winds). O great Muni, I shall first properly
recount the story of this family, as told in the Puranas.

"The great and blessed saint Bhrigu, we are informed, was produced by the
self-existing Brahma from the fire at the sacrifice of Varuna. And Bhrigu
had a son, named Chyavana, whom he dearly loved. And to Chyavana was born
a virtuous son called Pramati. And Pramati had a son named Ruru by
Ghritachi (the celestial dancer). And to Ruru also by his wife
Pramadvara, was born a son, whose name was Sunaka. He was, O Saunaka, thy
great ancestor exceedingly virtuous in his ways. He was devoted to
asceticism, of great reputation, proficient in law, and eminent among
those having a knowledge of the Vedas. He was virtuous, truthful, and of
well-regulated fare.'

"Saunaka said, 'O son of Suta, I ask thee why the illustrious son of
Bhrigu was named Chyavana. Do tell me all.'

"Sauti replied, 'Bhrigu had a wife named Puloma whom he dearly loved. She
became big with child by Bhrigu. And one day while the virtuous continent
Puloma was in that condition, Bhrigu, great among those that are true to
their religion, leaving her at home went out to perform his ablutions. It
was then that the Rakshasa called Puloma came to Bhrigu's abode. And
entering the Rishi's abode, the Rakshasa saw the wife of Bhrigu,
irreproachable in everything. And seeing her he became filled with lust
and lost his senses. The beautiful Puloma entertained the Rakshasa thus
arrived, with roots and fruits of the forest. And the Rakshasa who burnt
with desire upon seeing her, became very much delighted and resolved, O
good sage, to carry her away who was so blameless in every respect.

'My design is accomplished,' said the Rakshasa, and so seizing that
beautiful matron he carried her away. And, indeed, she of agreeable
smiles, had been betrothed by her father himself, to him, although the
former subsequently bestowed her, according to due rites, on Bhrigu. O
thou of the Bhrigu race, this wound rankled deep in the Rakshasa's mind
and he thought the present moment very opportune for carrying the lady
away.

"And the Rakshasa saw the apartment in which the sacrificial fire was
kept burning brightly. The Rakshasa then asked the flaming element 'Tell
me, O Agni, whose wife this woman rightfully is. Thou art the mouth of
gods; therefore thou art bound to answer my question. This lady of
superior complexion had been first accepted by me as wife, but her father
subsequently bestowed her on the false Bhrigu. Tell me truly if this fair
one can be regarded as the wife of Bhrigu, for having found her alone, I
have resolved to take her away by force from the hermitage. My heart
burneth with rage when I reflect that Bhrigu hath got possession of this
woman of slender waist, first betrothed to me.'"

"Sauti continued, 'In this manner the Rakshasa asked the flaming god of
fire again and again whether the lady was Bhrigu's wife. And the god was
afraid to return an answer. 'Thou, O god of fire,' said he, residest
constantly within every creature, as witness of her or his merits and
demerits. O thou respected one, then answer my question truly. Has not
Bhrigu appropriated her who was chosen by me as my wife? Thou shouldst
declare truly whether, therefore, she is my wife by first choice. After
thy answer as to whether she is the wife of Bhrigu, I will bear her away
from this hermitage even in sight of thee. Therefore answer thou truly.'"

"Sauti continued, 'The Seven flamed god having heard these words of the
Rakshasa became exceedingly distressed, being afraid of telling a
falsehood and equally afraid of Bhrigu's curse. And the god at length
made answer in words that came out slowly. 'This Puloma was, indeed,
first chosen by thee, O Rakshasa, but she was not taken by thee with holy
rites and invocations. But this far-famed lady was bestowed by her father
on Bhrigu as a gift from desire of blessing. She was not bestowed on thee
O Rakshasa, this lady was duly made by the Rishi Bhrigu his wife with
Vedic rites in my presence. This is she--I know her. I dare not speak a
falsehood. O thou best of the Rakshasas, falsehood is never respected in
this world.'"



SECTION VI

(Pauloma Parva continued)

"Sauti said, 'O Brahmana, having heard these words from the god of fire,
the Rakshasa assumed the form of a boar, and seizing the lady carried her
away with the speed of the wind--even of thought. Then the child of
Bhrigu lying in her body enraged at such violence, dropped from his
mother's womb, for which he obtained the name of Chyavana. And the
Rakshasa perceiving the infant drop from the mother's womb, shining like
the sun, quitted his grasp of the woman, fell down and was instantly
converted into ashes. And the beautiful Pauloma, distracted with grief, O
Brahmana of the Bhrigu race, took up her offspring Chyavana, the son of
Bhrigu and walked away. And Brahma, the Grandfather of all, himself saw
her, the faultless wife of his son, weeping. And the Grandfather of all
comforted her who was attached to her son. And the drops of tears which
rolled down her eyes formed a great river. And that river began to follow
the foot-steps of the wife of the great ascetic Bhrigu. And the
Grandfather of the worlds seeing that river follow the path of his son's
wife gave it a name himself, and he called it Vadhusara. And it passeth
by the hermitage of Chyavana. And in this manner was born Chyavana of
great ascetic power, the son of Bhrigu.

"And Bhrigu saw his child Chyavana and its beautiful mother. And the
Rishi in a rage asked her, 'By whom wast thou made known to that Rakshasa
who resolved to carry thee away? O thou of agreeable smiles, the Rakshasa
could not know thee as my wile. Therefore tell me who it was that told
the Rakshasa so, in order that I may curse him through anger.' And
Pauloma replied, 'O possessor of the six attributes! I was identified to
the Rakshasa by Agni (the god of fire). And he (the Rakshasa) bore me
away, who cried like the Kurari (female osprey). And it was only by the
ardent splendour of this thy son that I was rescued, for the Rakshasa
(seeing this infant) let me go and himself falling to the ground was
turned into ashes.'

"Sauti continued, 'Bhrigu, upon hearing this account from Pauloma, became
exceedingly enraged. And in excess of passion the Rishi cursed Agni,
saying, 'Thou shalt eat of all things.'"

So ends the sixth section called "the curse on Agni" in the Adi Parva.



SECTION VII

(Pauloma Parva continued)

"Sauti said, 'the god of fire enraged at the curse of Bhrigu, thus
addressed the Rishi, 'What meaneth this rashness, O Brahmana, that thou
hast displayed towards me? What transgression can be imputed to me who
was labouring to do justice and speak the truth impartially? Being asked
I gave the true answer. A witness who when interrogated about a fact of
which he hath knowledge, representeth otherwise than it is, ruineth his
ancestors and descendants both to the seventh generation. He, too, who,
being fully cognisant of all the particulars of an affair, doth not
disclose what he knoweth, when asked, is undoubtedly stained with guilt.
I can also curse thee, but Brahmanas are held by me in high respect.
Although these are known to thee, O Brahmana, I will yet speak of them,
so please attend! Having, by ascetic power, multiplied myself, I am
present in various forms, in places of the daily homa, at sacrifices
extending for years, in places where holy rites are performed (such as
marriage, etc.), and at other sacrifices. With the butter that is poured
upon my flame according to the injunctions prescribed in the Vedas, the
Devas and the Pitris are appeased. The Devas are the waters; the Pitris
are also the waters. The Devas have with the Pitris an equal right to the
sacrifices called Darshas and Purnamasas. The Devas therefore are the
Pitris and the Pitris, the Devas. They are identical beings, worshipped
together and also separately at the changes of the moon. The Devas and
the Pitris eat what is poured upon me. I am therefore called the mouth of
the Devas and the Pitris. At the new moon the Pitris, and at the full
moon the Devas, are fed through my mouth, eating of the clarified butter
that is poured on me. Being, as I am, their mouth, how am I to be an
eater of all things (clean and unclean)?

"Then Agni, alter reflecting for a while, withdrew himself from all
places; from places of the daily homa of the Brahmanas, from all
long-extending sacrifices, from places of holy rites, and from other
ceremonies. Without their Oms and Vashats, and deprived of their Swadhas
and Swahas (sacrificial mantras during offerings), the whole body of
creatures became much distressed at the loss of their (sacrificial) fire.
The Rishis in great anxiety went to the gods and addressed them thus, 'Ye
immaculate beings! The three regions of the universe are confounded at
the cessation of their sacrifices and ceremonies in consequence of the
loss of fire! Ordain what is to be done in tins matter, so that there may
be no loss of time.' Then the Rishis and the gods went together to the
presence of Brahma. And they represented to him all about the curse on
Agni and the consequent interruption of all ceremonies. And they said, 'O
thou greatly fortunate! Once Agni hath been cursed by Bhrigu for some
reason. Indeed, being the mouth of the gods and also the first who eateth
of what is offered in sacrifices, the eater also of the sacrificial
butter, how will Agni be reduced to the condition of one who eateth of
all things promiscuously?' And the creator of the universe hearing these
words of theirs summoned Agni to his presence. And Brahma addressed Agni,
the creator of all and eternal as himself, in these gentle words, 'Thou
art the creator of the worlds and thou art their destroyer! Thou
preserves! the three worlds and thou art the promoter of all sacrifices
and ceremonies! Therefore behave thyself so that ceremonies be not
interrupted. And, O thou eater of the sacrificial butter, why dost thou
act so foolishly, being, as thou art, the Lord of all? Thou alone art
always pure in the universe and thou art its stay! Thou shall not, with
all thy body, be reduced to the state of one who eateth of all things
promiscuously. O thou of flames, the flame that is in thy viler parts
shall alone eat of all things alike. The body of thine which eateth of
flesh (being in the stomach of all carnivorous animals) shall also eat of
all things promiscuously. And as every thing touched by the sun's rays
becometh pure, so shall everything be pure that shall be burnt by thy
flames. Thou art, O fire, the supreme energy born of thy own power. Then,
O Lord, by that power of thine make the Rishi's curse come true. Continue
to 'receive thy own portion and that of the gods, offered at thy mouth.'

'Sauti continued, 'Then Agni replied to the Grandfather, 'So be it.' And
he then went away to obey the command of the supreme Lord. The gods and
the Rishis also returned in delight to the place whence they had come.
And the Rishis began to perform as before their ceremonies and
sacrifices. And the gods in heaven and all creatures of the world
rejoiced exceedingly. And Agni too rejoiced in that he was free from the
prospect of sin.

"Thus, O possessor of the six attributes, had Agni been cursed in the
days of yore by Bhrigu. And such is the ancient history connected with
the destruction of the Rakshasa, Pauloma and the birth of Chyavana.'"

Thus endeth the seventh section of the Pauloma Parva of the Adi Parva of
the blessed Mahabharata.



SECTION VIII

(Pauloma Parva continued)

"Sauti said, 'O Brahmana, Chyavana, the son of Bhrigu, begot a son in the
womb of his wife Sukanya. And that son was the illustrious Pramati of
resplendent energy. And Pramati begot in the womb of Ghritachi a son
called Ruru. And Ruru begot on his wife Pramadvara a son called Sunaka.
And I shall relate to you in detail, O Brahmana, the entire history of
Ruru of abundant energy. O listen to it then in full!

"Formerly there was a great Rishi called Sthulakesa possessed of ascetic
power and learning and kindly disposed towards all creatures. At that
time, O Brahmana sage, Viswavasu, the King of the Gandharvas, it is said,
had intimacy with Menaka, the celestial dancing-girl. And the Apsara,
Menaka, O thou of the Bhrigu race, when her time was come, brought forth
an infant near the hermitage of Sthulakesa. And dropping the newborn
infant on the banks of the river, O Brahmana, Menaka, the Apsara, being
destitute of pity and shame, went away. And the Rishi, Sthulakesa, of
great ascetic power, discovered the infant lying forsaken in a lonely
part of the river-side. And he perceived that it was a female child,
bright as the offspring of an Immortal and blazing, as it were, with
beauty: And the great Brahmana, Sthulakesa, the first of Munis, seeing
that female child, and filled with compassion, took it up and reared it.
And the lovely child grew up in his holy habitation, the noble-minded and
blessed Rishi Sthulakesa performing in due succession all the ceremonies
beginning with that at birth as ordained by the divine law. And because
she surpassed all of her sex in goodness, beauty, and every quality, the
great Rishi called her by the name of Pramadvara. And the pious Ruru
having seen Pramadvara in the hermitage of Sthulakesa became one whose
heart was pierced by the god of love. And Ruru by means of his companions
made his father Pramati, the son of Bhrigu, acquainted with his passion.
And Pramati demanded her of the far-famed Sthulakesa for his son. And her
foster-father betrothed the virgin Pramadvara to Ruru, fixing the
nuptials for the day when the star Varga-Daivata (Purva-phalguni) would
be ascendant.

"Then within a few days of the time fixed for the nuptials, the beautiful
virgin while at play with companions of her own sex, her time having
come, impelled by fate, trod upon a serpent which she did not perceive as
it lay in coil. And the reptile, urged to execute the will of Fate,
violently darted its envenomed fangs into the body of the heedless
maiden. And stung by that serpent, she instantly dropped senseless on the
ground, her colour faded and all the graces of her person went off. And
with dishevelled hair she became a spectacle of woe to her companions and
friends. And she who was so agreeable to behold became on her death what
was too painful to look at. And the girl of slender waist lying on the
ground like one asleep--being overcome with the poison of the snake-once
more became more beautiful than in life. And her foster-father and the
other holy ascetics who were there, all saw her lying motionless upon the
ground with the splendour of a lotus. And then there came many noted
Brahmanas filled with compassion, and they sat around her. And
Swastyatreya, Mahajana, Kushika, Sankhamekhala, Uddalaka, Katha, and
Sweta of great renown, Bharadwaja, Kaunakutsya, Arshtishena, Gautama,
Pramati, and Pramati's son Ruru, and other inhabitants of the forest,
came there. And when they saw that maiden lying dead on the ground
overcome with the poison of the reptile that had bitten her, they all
wept filled with compassion. But Ruru, mortified beyond measure, retired
from the scene.'"

So ends the eighth section of the Pauloma Parva of the Adi Parva of the
blessed Mahabharata.



SECTION IX

(Pauloma Parva continued)

"Sauti said, 'While those illustrious Brahmanas were sitting around the
dead body of Pramadvara, Ruru, sorely afflicted, retired into a deep wood
and wept aloud. And overwhelmed with grief he indulged in much piteous
lamentation. And, remembering his beloved Pramadvara, he gave vent to his
sorrow in the following words, 'Alas! The delicate fair one that
increaseth my affliction lieth upon the bare ground. What can be more
deplorable to us, her friends? If I have been charitable, if I have
performed acts of penance, if I have ever revered my superiors, let the
merit of these arts restore to life my beloved one! If from my birth I
have been controlling my passions, adhered to my vows, let the fair
Pramadvara rise from the ground.

"And while Ruru was indulging in these lamentations for the loss of his
bride, a messenger from heaven came to him in the forest and addressed
him thus, 'The words thou utterest, O Ruru, in thy affliction are
certainly ineffectual. For, O pious man, one belonging to this world
whose days have run out can never come back to life. This poor child of a
Gandharva and Apsara has had her days run out! Therefore, O child, thou
shouldst not consign thy heart to sorrow. The great gods, however, have
provided beforehand a means of her restoration to life. And if thou
compliest with it, thou mayest receive back thy Pramadvara.'

"And Ruru replied, O messenger of heaven! What is that which the gods
have ordained. Tell me in full so that (on hearing) I may comply with it.
It behoveth thee to deliver me from grief!' And the celestial messenger
said unto Ruru, 'Resign half of thy own life to thy bride, and then, O
Ruru of the race of Bhrigu, thy Pramadvara shall rise from the ground.'
'O best of celestial messengers, I most willingly offer a moiety of my
own life in favour of my bride. Then let my beloved one rise up once more
in her dress and lovable form.'

"Sauti said, 'Then the king of Gandharvas (the father of Pramadvara) and
the celestial messenger, both of excellent qualities, went to the god
Dharma (the Judge of the dead) and addressed him, saying, 'If it be thy
will, O Dharmaraja, let the amiable Pramadvara, the betrothed wife of
Ruru, now lying dead, rise up with a moiety of Ruru's life.' And
Dharmaraja answered, 'O messenger of the gods, if it be thy wish, let
Pramadvara, the betrothed wife of Ruru, rise up endued with a moiety of
Ruru's life.'

"Sauti continued, 'And when Dharmaraja had said so, that maiden of
superior complexion, Pramadvara, endued with a moiety of Ruru's life,
rose as from her slumber. This bestowal by Ruru of a moiety of his own
span of life to resuscitate his bride afterwards led, as it would be
seen, to a curtailment of Ruru's life.

"And on an auspicious day their fathers gladly married them with due
rites. And the couple passed their days, devoted to each other. And Ruru
having obtained such a wife, as is hard to be found, beautiful and bright
as the filaments of the lotus, made a vow for the destruction of the
serpent-race. And whenever he saw a serpent he became filled with great
wrath and always killed it with a weapon.

"One day, O Brahmana, Ruru entered an extensive forest. And there he saw
an old serpent of the Dundubha species lying stretched on the ground. And
Ruru thereupon lifted up in anger his staff, even like to the staff of
Death, for the purpose of killing it. Then the Dundubha, addressing Ruru,
said, 'I have done thee no harm, O Brahmana! Then wherefore wilt thou
slay me in anger?'"

So ends the ninth section of the Pauloma Parva of the Adi Parva of the
blessed Mahabharata.



SECTION X

(Pauloma Parva continued)

Sauti said, 'And Ruru, on hearing those words, replied, 'My wife, dear to
me as life, was bit by a snake; upon which, I took, O snake, a dreadful
vow, viz., that I would kill every snake that I might come across.
Therefore shall I smite thee and thou shalt be deprived of life.'

"And the Dundubha replied, 'O Brahmana, the snakes that bite man are
quite different in type. It behoveth thee not to slay Dundubhas who are
serpents only in name. Subject like other serpents to the same calamities
but not sharing their good fortune, in woe the same but in joy different,
the Dundubhas should not be slain by thee under any misconception.'

"Sauti continued, 'And the Rishi Ruru hearing these words of the serpent,
and seeing that it was bewildered with fear, albeit a snake of the
Dundubha species, killed it not. And Ruru, the possessor of the six
attributes, comforting the snake addressed it, saying, 'Tell me fully, O
snake, who art thou thus metamorphosed?' And the Dundubha replied, 'O
Ruru! I was formerly a Rishi by name Sahasrapat. And it is by the curse
of a Brahmana that I have been transformed into a snake. And Ruru asked,
'O thou best of snakes, for what wast thou cursed by a Brahmana in wrath?
And how long also will thy form continue so?'"

And so ends the tenth section of the Pauloma Parva of the Adi Parva.



SECTION XI

(Pauloma Parva continued)

"Sauti continued 'The Dundubha then said, 'In former times, I had a
friend Khagama by name. He was impetuous in his speech and possessed of
spiritual power by virtue of his austerities. And one day when he was
engaged in the Agni-hotra (Fire-sacrifice), I made a mock snake of blades
of grass, and in a frolic attempted to frighten him with it. And anon he
fell into a swoon. On recovering his senses, that truth-telling and
vow-observing ascetic, burning with wrath, exclaimed, 'Since thou hast
made a powerless mock snake to frighten me, thou shalt be turned even
into a venomless serpent thyself by my curse.' O ascetic, I well knew the
power of his penances; therefore with an agitated heart, I addressed him
thus, bending low with joined hands, 'Friend, I did this by way of a
joke, to excite thy laughter. It behoveth thee to forgive me and revoke
thy curse.' And seeing me sorely troubled, the ascetic was moved, and he
replied, breathing hot and hard. 'What I have said must come to pass.
Listen to what I say and lay it to thy heart. O pious one! when Ruru the
pure son of Pramati, will appear, thou shall be delivered from the curse
the moment thou seest him. Thou art the very Ruru and the son of Pramati.
On regaining my native form, I will tell thee something for thy good.

"And that illustrious man and the best of Brahmanas then left his
snake-body, and attained his own form and original brightness. He then
addressed the following words to Ruru of incomparable power, 'O thou
first of created beings, verily the highest virtue of man is sparing the
life of others. Therefore a Brahmana should never take the life of any
creature. A Brahmana should ever be mild. This is the most sacred
injunction of the Vedas. A Brahmana should be versed in the Vedas and
Vedangas, and should inspire all creatures with belief in God. He should
be benevolent to all creatures, truthful, and forgiving, even as it is
his paramount duty to retain the Vedas in his memory. The duties of the
Kshatriya are not thine. To be stern, to wield the sceptre and to rule
the subjects properly are the duties of the Kshatriya. Listen, O Ruru, to
the account of the destruction of snakes at the sacrifice of Janamejaya
in days of yore, and the deliverance of the terrified reptiles by that
best of Dwijas, Astika, profound in Vedic lore and might in spiritual
energy.'"

And so ends the eleventh section of the Pauloma Parva of the Adi Parva.



SECTION XII

(Pauloma Parva continued)

"Sauti continued, 'Ruru then asked, 'O best of Dwijas, why was king
Janamejaya bent upon destroying the serpents?--And why and how were they
saved by the wise Astika? I am anxious to hear all this in detail.'

"The Rishi replied, 'O Ruru, the important history of Astika you will
learn from the lips of Brahmanas.' Saying this, he vanished.

"Sauti continued, 'Ruru ran about in search of the missing Rishi, and
having failed to find him in all the woods, fell down on the ground,
fatigued. And revolving in his mind the words of the Rishi, he was
greatly confounded and seemed to be deprived of his senses. Regaining
consciousness, he came home and asked his father to relate the history in
question. Thus asked, his father related all about the story.'"

So ends the twelfth section in the Pauloma Parva of the Adi Parva.



SECTION XIII

(Astika Parva)

"Saunaka said, 'For what reason did that tiger among kings, the royal
Janamejaya, determine to take the lives of the snakes by means of a
sacrifice? O Sauti, tell us in full the true story. Tell us also why
Astika, that best of regenerate ones, that foremost of ascetics, rescued
the snakes from the blazing fire. Whose son was that monarch who
celebrated the snake-sacrifice? And whose son also was that best of
regenerate ones?'

"Sauti said, 'O best of speakers, this story of Astika is long. I will
duly relate it in full, O listen!'

"Saunaka said, 'I am desirous of hearing at length the charming story of
that Rishi, that illustrious Brahmana named Astika.'

"Sauti said, 'This history (first) recited by Krishna-Dwaipayana, is
called a Purana by the Brahmanas. It was formerly narrated by my wise
father, Lomaharshana, the disciple of Vyasa, before the dwellers of the
Naimisha forest, at their request. I was present at the recital, and, O
Saunaka, since thou askest me, I shall narrate the history of Astika
exactly as I heard it. O listen, as I recite in full that sin-destroying
story.

"The father of Astika was powerful like Prajapati. He was a
Brahma-charin, always engaged in austere devotions. He ate sparingly, was
a great ascetic, and had his lust under complete control. And he was
known by the name of Jaratkaru. That foremost one among the Yayavaras,
virtuous and of rigid vows, highly blessed and endued with great ascetic
power, once undertook a journey over the world. He visited diverse
places, bathed in diverse sacred waters, and rested where night overtook
him. Endued with great energy, he practised religious austerities, hard
to be practised by men of unrestrained souls. The sage lived upon air
only, and renounced sleep for ever. Thus going about like a blazing fire,
one day he happened to see his ancestors, hanging heads down in a great
hole, their feet pointing upwards. On seeing them, Jaratkaru addressed
them, saying:

'Who are you thus hanging heads down in this hole by a rope of virana
fibres that is again secretly eaten into on all sides by a rat living
here?'

"The ancestors said, 'We are Rishis of rigid vows, called Yayavaras. We
are sinking low into the earth for want of offspring. We have a son named
Jaratkaru. Woe to us! That wretch hath entered upon a life of austerities
only! The fool doth not think of raising offspring by marriage! It is for
that reason, viz., the fear of extinction of our race, that we are
suspended in this hole. Possessed of means, we fare like unfortunates
that have none! O excellent one, who art thou that thus sorrowest as a
friend on our account? We desire to learn, O Brahmana, who thou art that
standest by us, and why, O best of men, thou sorrowest for us that are so
unfortunate.'

"Jaratkaru said, 'Ye are even my sires and grandsires I am that
Jaratkaru! O, tell me, how I may serve you.'

"The fathers then answered, 'Try thy best, O child, to beget a son to
extend our line. Thou wilt then, O excellent one, have done a meritorious
art for both thyself and us. Not by the fruits of virtue, not by ascetic
penances well hoarded up, acquireth the merit which one doth by becoming
a father. Therefore, O child, by our command, set thy heart upon marriage
and offspring. Even this is our highest good.'

"Jaratkaru replied, 'I shall not marry for my sake, nor shall I earn
wealth for enjoyment, but I shall do so for your welfare only. According
to this understanding, I shall, agreeably to the Sastric ordinance, take
a wife for attaining the end. I shall not act otherwise. If a bride may
be had of the same name with me, whose friends would, besides, willingly
give her to me as a gift in charity, I shall wed her duly. But who will
give his daughter to a poor man like me for wife. I shall, however,
accept any daughter given to me as alms. I shall endeavour, ye sires,
even thus to wed a girl! Having given my word, I will not act otherwise.
Upon her I will raise offspring for your redemption, so that, ye fathers,
ye may attain to eternal regions (of bliss) and may rejoice as ye like.'"

So ends the thirteenth section in the Astika Parva of the Adi Parva.



SECTION XIV

(Astika Parva continued)

"Sauti said, 'That Brahmana of rigid vows then wandered over the earth
for a wife but a wife found he not. One day he went into the forest, and
recollecting the words of his ancestors, he thrice prayed in a faint
voice for a bride. Thereupon Vasuki rose and offered his sister for the
Rishi's acceptance. But the Brahmana hesitated to accept her, thinking
her not to be of the same name with himself. The high-souled Jaratkaru
thought within himself, 'I will take none for wife who is not of the same
name with myself.' Then that Rishi of great wisdom and austere penances
asked him, saying, 'Tell me truly what is the name of this thy sister, O
snake.'

"Vasuki replied, 'O Jaratkaru, this my younger sister is called
Jaratkaru. Given away by me, accept this slender-waisted damsel for thy
spouse. O best of Brahmanas, for thee I reserved her. Therefore, take
her.' Saying this, he offered his beautiful sister to Jaratkaru who then
espoused her with ordained rites.'"

So ends the thirteenth section in the Astika Parva of the Adi Parva.



SECTION XV

(Astika Parva continued)

"Sauti said, 'O foremost of persons acquainted with Brahma, the mother of
the snakes had cursed them of old, saying, 'He that hath the Wind for his
charioteer (viz., Agni) shall burn you all in Janamejaya's sacrifice!' It
was to neutralise that curse that the chief of the snakes married his
sister to that high-souled Rishi of excellent vows. The Rishi wedded her
according to the rites ordained (in the scriptures), and from them was
born a high-souled son called Astika. An illustrious ascetic; versed in
the Vedas and their branches, he regarded all with an even eye, and
removed the fears of both his parents.

"Then, after a long space of time, a king descending from the Pandava
line celebrated a great sacrifice known as the Snake-sacrifice, After
that sacrifice had commenced for the destruction of the snakes, Astika
delivered the Nagas, viz., his brothers and maternal uncles and other
snakes (from a fiery death). And he delivered his fathers also by
begetting offspring. And by his austerities, O Brahmana, and various vows
and study of the Vedas, he freed himself from all his debts. By
sacrifices, at which various kinds of offerings were made, he propitiated
the gods. By practising the Brahmacharya mode of life he conciliated the
Rishis; and by begetting offspring he gratified his ancestors.

"Thus Jaratkaru of rigid vows discharged the heavy debt he owed to his
sires who being thus relieved from bondage ascended to heaven. Thus
having acquired great religious merit, Jaratkaru, after a long course of
years, went to heaven, leaving Astika behind. There is the story of
Astika that I have related duly Now, tell me, O tiger of Bhrigu's race,
what else I shall narrate."

So ends the fifteenth section in the Astika Parva of the Adi Parva.



SECTION XVI

(Astika Parva continued)

"Saunaka said, 'O Sauti, relate once more in detail this history of the
learned and virtuous Astika. Our curiosity for hearing it is great. O
amiable one, thou speakest sweetly, with proper accent and emphasis; and
we are well-pleased with thy speech. Thou speakest even as thy father.
Thy sire was ever ready to please us. Tell us now the story as thy father
had related it.'

"Sauti said, 'O thou that art blest with longevity, I shall narrate the
history of Astika as I heard it from my father. O Brahmana, in the golden
age, Prajapati had two daughters. O sinless one, the sisters were endowed
with wonderful beauty. Named Kadru and Vinata, they became the wives of
Kasyapa. Kasyapa derived great pleasure from his two wedded wives and
being gratified he, resembling Prajapati himself, offered to give each of
them a boon. Hearing that their lord was willing to confer on them their
choice blessings, those excellent ladies felt transports of joy. Kadru
wished to have for sons a thousand snakes all of equal splendour. And
Vinata wished to bring forth two sons surpassing the thousand offsprings
of Kadru in strength, energy, size of body, and prowess. Unto Kadru her
lord gave that boon about a multitude of offspring. And unto Vinata also,
Kasyapa said, 'Be it so!' Then Vinata, having; obtained her prayer,
rejoiced greatly. Obtaining two sons of superior prowess, she regarded
her boon fulfilled. Kadru also obtained her thousand sons of equal
splendour. 'Bear the embryos carefully,' said Kasyapa, and then he went
into the forest, leaving his two wives pleased with his blessings.'

"Sauti continued, 'O best of regenerate ones, after a long time, Kadru
brought forth a thousand eggs, and Vinata two. Their maid-servants
deposited the eggs separately in warm vessels. Five hundred years passed
away, and the thousand eggs produced by Kadru burst and out came the
progeny. But the twins of Vinata did not appear. Vinata was jealous, and
therefore she broke one of the eggs and found in it an embryo with the
upper part developed but the lower one undeveloped. At this, the child in
the egg became angry and cursed his mother, saying. 'Since thou hast
prematurely broken this egg, thou shall serve as a slave. Shouldst thou
wait five hundred years and not destroy, or render the other egg
half-developed, by breaking it through impatience, then the illustrious
child within it will deliver thee from slavery! And if thou wouldst have
the child strong, thou must take tender care of the egg for all this
time!' Thus cursing his mother, the child rose to the sky. O Brahmana,
even he is the charioteer of Surya, always seen in the hour of morning!

"Then at the expiration of the five hundred years, bursting open the
other egg, out came Garuda, the serpent-eater. O tiger of Bhrigu's race,
immediately on seeing the light, that son of Vinata left his mother. And
the lord of birds, feeling hungry, took wing in quest of the food
assigned to him by the Great Ordainer of all.".

So ends the sixteenth section in the Astika Parva of the Adi Parva.



SECTION XVII

(Astika Parva continued)

"Sauti said, 'O ascetic, about this time the two sisters saw approaching
near, that steed of complacent appearance named Uchchaihsravas who was
worshipped by the gods, that gem of steeds, who arose at the churning of
the Ocean for nectar. Divine, graceful, perpetually young, creation's
master-piece, and of irresistible vigour, it was blest with every
auspicious mark.'

"Saunaka asked, 'Why did the gods churn the Ocean for nectar, and under
what circumstances and when as you say, did that best of steeds so
powerful and resplendent spring?'

"Sauti said, 'There is a mountain named Meru, of blazing appearance, and
looking like a heap of effulgence. The rays of the Sun falling on its
peaks of golden lustre are dispersed by them. Decked with gold and
exceedingly beautiful, that mountain is the haunt of the gods and the
Gandharvas. It is immeasurable and unapproachable by men of manifold
sins. Dreadful beasts of prey wander over its breasts, and it is
illuminated by many divine life-giving herbs. It stands kissing the
heavens by its height and is the first of mountains. Ordinary people
cannot even think of ascending it. It is graced with trees and streams,
and resounds with the charming melody of winged choirs. Once the
celestials sat on its begemmed peak--in conclave. They who had practised
penances and observed excellent vows for amrita now seemed to be eager
seekers alter amrita (celestial ambrosia). Seeing the celestial assembly
in anxious mood Nara-yana said to Brahman, 'Do thou churn the Ocean with
the gods and the Asuras. By doing so, amrita will be obtained as also all
drugs and gems. O ye gods, chum the Ocean, ye will discover amrita.'"

So ends the seventeenth section in the Astika Parva of the Adi Parva.



SECTION XVIII

(Astika Parva continued)

"Sauti said, 'There is a mountain called Mandara adorned with cloud-like
peaks. It is the best of mountains, and is covered all over with
intertwining herbs. There countless birds pour forth their melodies, and
beasts of prey roam about. The gods, the Apsaras and the Kinnaras visit
the place. Upwards it rises eleven thousand yojanas, and descends
downwards as much. The gods wanted to tear it up and use it as a churning
rod but failing to do so same to Vishnu and Brahman who were sitting
together, and said unto them, 'Devise some efficient scheme, consider, ye
gods, how Mandara may be dislodged for our good.'

"Sauti continued, 'O son of Bhrigu! Vishnu with Brahman assented to it.
And the lotus-eyed one (Vishnu) laid the hard task on the mighty Ananta,
the prince of snakes. The powerful Ananta, directed thereto both by
Brahman and Narayana, O Brahmana, tore up the mountain with the woods
thereon and with the denizens of those woods. And the gods came to the
shore of the Ocean with Ananta and addressed the Ocean, saying, 'O Ocean;
we have come to churn thy waters for obtaining nectar.' And the Ocean
replied, 'Be it so, as I shall not go without a share of it. I am able to
bear the prodigious agitation of my waters set up by the mountain.' The
gods then went to the king of tortoises and said to him, 'O
Tortoise-king, thou wilt have to hold the mountain on thy back!' The
Tortoise-king agreed, and Indra contrived to place the mountain on the
former's back.

"And the gods and the Asuras made of Mandara a churning staff and Vasuki
the cord, and set about churning the deep for amrita. The Asuras held
Vasuki by the hood and the gods held him by the tail. And Ananta, who was
on the side of the gods, at intervals raised the snake's hood and
suddenly lowered it. And in consequence of the stretch Vasuki received at
the hands of the gods and the Asuras, black vapours with flames issued
from his mouth. These, turned into clouds charged with lightning, poured
showers that refreshed the tired gods. And flowers that also fell on all
sides of the celestials from the trees on the whirling Mandara, refreshed
them.

"Then, O Brahmana, out of the deep came a tremendous roar like unto the
roar of the clouds at the Universal Dissolution. Diverse aquatic animals
being crushed by the great mountain gave up the ghost in the salt waters.
And many denizens of the lower regions and the world of Varuna were
killed. Large trees with birds on the whirling Mandara were torn up by
the roots and fell into the water. The mutual friction of those trees
also produced fires that blazed up frequently. The mountain thus looked
like a mass of dark clouds charged with lightning. O Brahmana, the fire
spread, and consumed the lions, elephants and other creatures that were
on the mountain. Then Indra extinguished that fire by pouring down heavy
showers.

"After the churning, O Brahmana, had gone on for some time, gummy
exudations of various trees and herbs vested with the properties of
amrita mingled with the waters of the Ocean. And the celestials attained
to immortality by drinking of the water mixed with those gums and with
the liquid extract of gold. By degrees, the milky water of the agitated
deep turned into clarified butter by virtue of those gums and juices. But
nectar did not appear even then. The gods came before the boon-granting
Brahman seated on his seat and said, 'Sire, we are spent up, we have no
strength left to churn further. Nectar hath not yet arisen so that now we
have no resource save Narayana.'

"On hearing them, Brahman said to Narayana, 'O Lord, condescend to grant
the gods strength to churn the deep afresh.'

"Then Narayana agreeing to grant their various prayers, said, 'Ye wise
ones, I grant you sufficient strength. Go, put the mountain in position
again and churn the water.'

'Re-established thus in strength, the gods recommenced churning. After a
while, the mild Moon of a thousand rays emerged from the Ocean.
Thereafter sprung forth Lakshmi dressed in white, then Soma, then the
White Steed, and then the celestial gem Kaustubha which graces the breast
of Narayana. Then Lakshmi, Soma and the Steed, fleet as the mind, all
came before the gods on high. Then arose the divine Dhanwantari himself
with the white vessel of nectar in his hand. And seeing him, the Asuras
set up a loud cry, saying, 'It be ours.'

"And at length rose the great elephant, Airavata, of huge body and with
two pair of white tusks. And him took Indra the wielder of the
thunderbolt. But with the churning still going on, the poison Kalakuta
appeared at last. Engulfing the Earth it suddenly blazed up like a fire
attended with fumes. And by the scent of the fearful Kalakuta, the three
worlds were stupefied. And then Siva, being solicited by Brahman,
swallowed that poison for the safety of the creation. The divine
Maheswara held it in his throat, and it is said that from that time he is
called Nilakantha (blue-throated). Seeing all these wondrous things, the
Asuras were filled with despair, and got themselves prepared for entering
into hostilities with the gods for the possession of Lakshmi and Amrita.
Thereupon Narayana called his bewitching Maya (illusive power) to his
aid, and assuming the form of an enticing female, coquetted with the
Danavas. The Danavas and the Daityas charmed with her exquisite beauty
and grace lost their reason and unanimously placed the Amrita in the
hands of that fair damsel.'"

So ends the eighteenth section in the Astika Parva of the Adi Parva.



SECTION XIX

(Astika Parva continued)

"Sauti said, 'Then the Daityas and the Danauas equipped with first-class
armours and various weapons attacked the gods. In the meantime the
valiant Lord Vishnu in the form of an enchantress accompanied by Nara
deceived the mighty Danavas and took away the Amrita from their hands.

"And all the gods at that time of great fright drank the Amrita with
delight, receiving it from Vishnu. And while the gods were partaking of
it, after which they had so much hankered, a Danava named Rahu was also
drinking it among them in the guise of a god. And when the Amrita had
reached Rahu's throat only, Surya and Soma (recognised him and) intimated
the fact to the gods. And Narayana instantly cut off with his discus the
well-adorned head of the Danava who was drinking the Amrita without
permission. And the huge head of the Danava, cut off by the discus and
resembling a mountain peak, then rose up to the sky and began to utter
dreadful cries. And the Danava's headless trunk, falling upon the ground
and rolling thereon, made the Earth tremble with her mountains, forests
and islands. And from that time there is a long-standing quarrel between
Rahu's head and Surya and Soma. And to this day it swalloweth Surya and
Soma (during solar and lunar eclipses).

"Then Narayana quitting his enchanting female form and hurling many
terrible weapons at the Danavas, made them tremble. And thus on the
shores of the salt-water sea, commenced the dreadful battle of the gods
and the Asuras. And sharp-pointed javelins and lances and various weapons
by thousands began to be discharged on all sides. And mangled with the
discus and wounded with swords, darts and maces, the Asuras in large
numbers vomited blood and lay prostrate on the earth. Cut off from the
trunks with sharp double-edged swords, heads adorned with bright gold,
fell continually on the field of battle. Their bodies drenched in gore,
the great Asuras lay dead everywhere. It seemed as if red-dyed mountain
peaks lay scattered all around. And when the Sun rose in his splendour,
thousands of warriors struck one another with weapons. And cries of
distress were heard everywhere. The warriors fighting at a distance from
one another brought one another down by sharp iron missiles, and those
fighting at close quarters slew one another with blows of their fists.
And the air was filled with shrieks of distress. Everywhere were heard
the alarming sounds,--'cut', 'pierce', 'at them', 'hurl down', 'advance'.

'And when the battle was raging fiercely, Nara and Narayana entered the
field. And Narayana seeing the celestial bow in the hand of Nara, called
to mind his own weapon, the Danava-destroying discus. And lo! the discus,
Sudarsana, destroyer of enemies, like to Agni in effulgence and dreadful
in battle, came from the sky as soon as thought of. And when it came,
Narayana of fierce energy, possessing arms like the trunk of an elephant,
hurled with great force that weapon of extraordinary lustre, effulgent as
blazing fire, dreadful and capable of destroying hostile towns. And that
discus blazing like the fire that consumeth all things at the end of
Yuga, hurled with force from the hands of Narayana, and falling
constantly everywhere, destroyed the Daityas and the Danavas by
thousands. Sometimes it blazed like fire and consumed them all; sometimes
it struck them down as it coursed through the sky; and sometimes, falling
on the earth, it drank their life-blood like a goblin.

"On the other hand, the Danavas, white as the clouds from which the rain
hath dropped, possessing great strength and bold hearts, ascended the
sky, and by hurling down thousands of mountains, continually harassed the
gods. And those dreadful mountains, like masses of clouds, with their
trees and flat tops, falling from the sky, collided with one another and
produced a tremendous roar. And when thousands of warriors shouted
without intermission in the field of battle and mountains with the woods
thereon began to fall around, the earth with her forests trembled. Then
the divine Nara appeared at the scene of the dreadful conflict between
the Asuras and the Ganas (the followers of Rudra), and reducing to dust
those rocks by means of his gold-headed arrows, he covered the heavens
with dust. Thus discomfited by the gods, and seeing the furious discus
scouring the fields of heaven like a blazing flame, the mighty Danavas
entered the bowels of the earth, while others plunged into the sea of
salt-waters.

"And having gained the victory, the gods offered due respect to Mandara
and placed him again on his own base. And the nectar-bearing gods made
the heavens resound with their shouts, and went to their own abodes. And
the gods, on returning to the heavens, rejoiced greatly, and Indra and
the other deities made over to Narayana the vessel of Amrita for careful
keeping.'"

And so ends the nineteenth section in the Astika Parva of the Adi Parva.



SECTION XX

(Astika Parva continued)

"Sauti said, 'Thus have I recited to you the whole story of how Amrita
was churned out of the Ocean, and the occasion on which the horse
Uchchaihsravas of great beauty and incomparable prowess was obtained. It
was this horse about which Kadru asked Vinata, saying, 'Tell me, amiable
sister, without taking much time, of what colour Uchchaishravas is.' And
Vinata answered, 'That prince of steeds is certainly white. What dost
thou think, sister? Say thou what is its colour. Let us lay a wager upon
it.' Kadru replied, then, 'O thou of sweet smiles. I think that horse is
black in its tail. Beauteous one, bet with me that she who loseth will
become the other's slave.'

'Sauti continued, 'Thus wagering with each other about menial service as
a slave, the sisters went home, and resolved to satisfy themselves by
examining the horse next day. And Kadru, bent upon practising a
deception, ordered her thousand sons to transform themselves into black
hair and speedily cover the horse's tail in order that she might not
become a slave. But her sons, the snakes, refusing to do her bidding, she
cursed them, saying, 'During the snake-sacrifice of the wise king
Janamejaya of the Pandava race, Agni shall consume you all.' And the
Grandsire (Brahman) himself heard this exceedingly cruel curse pronounced
by Kadru, impelled by the fates. And seeing that the snakes had
multiplied exceedingly, the Grandsire, moved by kind consideration for
his creatures, sanctioned with all the gods this curse of Kadru. Indeed,
as the snakes were of virulent poison, great prowess and excess of
strength, and ever bent on biting other creatures, their mother's conduct
towards them--those persecutors of all creatures,--was very proper for
the good of all creatures. Fate always inflicts punishment of death on
those who seek the death of other creatures. The gods, having exchanged
such sentiments with one another, supported Kadru's action (and went
away). And Brahman, calling Kasyapa to him, spake unto him these words,
'O thou pure one who overcomest all enemies, these snakes begotten by
you, who are of virulent poison and huge bodies, and ever intent on
biting other creatures, have been cursed by their mother. O son, do not
grieve for it in the least. The destruction of the snakes in the
sacrifice hath, indeed, been ordained long ago' Saying this, the divine
Creator of the Universe comforted Kasyapa and imparted to that
illustrious one the knowledge of neutralising poison."

And so ends the twentieth section in the Astika Parva of the Adi Parva.



SECTION XXI

(Astika Parva continued)

"Sauti said. 'Then when the night had passed away and the sun had risen
in the morning, O thou whose wealth is asceticism, the two sisters Kadru
and Vinata, having laid a wager about slavery, went with haste and
impatience to view the steed Uchchaishravas from a near point. On their
way they saw the Ocean, that receptacle of waters, vast and deep, rolling
and tremendously roaring, full of fishes large enough to swallow the
whale, and abounding with huge makaras and creatures of various forms by
thousands, and rendered inaccessible by the presence of other terrible,
monster-shaped, dark, and fierce aquatic animals, abounding with
tortoises and crocodiles, the mine of all kinds of gems, the home of
Varuna (the water-God), the excellent and beautiful residence of the
Nagas, the lord of all rivers, the abode of the subterranean fire, the
friend (or asylum) of the Asuras, the terror of all creatures, the grand
reservoir of water, and ever immutable. It is holy, beneficial to the
gods, and is the great source of nectar; without limits, inconceivable,
sacred, and highly wonderful. It is dark, terrible with the sound of
aquatic creatures, tremendously roaring, and full of deep whirl-pools. It
is an object of terror to all creatures. Moved by the winds blowing from
its shores and heaving high, agitated and disturbed, it seems to dance
everywhere with uplifted hands represented by its surges. Full of
swelling billows caused by the waxing and waning of the moon the parent
of Vasudeva's great conch called Panchajanya, the great mine of gems, its
waters were formerly disturbed in consequence of the agitation caused
within them by the Lord Govinda of immeasurable prowess when he had
assumed the form of a wild boar for raising the (submerged) Earth. Its
bottom, lower than the nether regions, the vow observing regenerate Rishi
Atri could not fathom after (toiling for) a hundred years. It becomes the
bed of the lotus-naveled Vishnu when at the termination of every Yuga
that deity of immeasurable power enjoys yoga-nidra, the deep sleep under
the spell of spiritual meditation. It is the refuge of Mainaka fearful of
falling thunder, and the retreat of the Asuras overcome in fierce
encounters. It offers water as sacrificial butter to the blazing fire
issuing from the mouth of Varava (the Ocean-mare). It is fathomless and
without limits, vast and immeasurable, and the lord of rivers.

"And they saw that unto it rushed mighty rivers by thousands with proud
gait, like amorous competitors, each eager for meeting it, forestalling
the others. And they saw that it was always full, and always dancing in
its waves. And they saw that it was deep and abounding with fierce whales
and makaras. And it resounded constantly with the terrible sounds of
aquatic creatures. And they saw that it was vast, and wide as the expanse
of space, unfathomable, and limitless, and the grand reservoir of water.'"

And so ends the twenty-first section in the Astika Parva of the Adi Parva.



SECTION XXII

(Astika Parva continued)

"Sauti said, 'The Nagas after consultation arrived at the conclusion that
they should do their mother's bidding, for if she failed in obtaining her
desire she might withdraw her affection and burn them all. If, on the
other hand, she were graciously inclined, she might free them from her
curse. They said, 'We will certainly render the horse's tail black.' And
it is said that they then went and became hairs in the horse's tail.

"Now the two co-wives had laid the wager. And having laid the wager, O
best of Brahmanas, the two sisters Kadru and Vinata, the daughters of
Daksha, proceeded in great delight along the sky to see the other side of
the Ocean. And on their way they saw the Ocean, that receptacle of
waters, incapable of being easily disturbed, mightily agitated all of a
sudden by the wind, and roaring tremendously; abounding with fishes
capable of swallowing the whale and full of makaras; containing also
creatures of diverse forms counted by thousands; frightful from the
presence of horrible monsters, inaccessible, deep, and terrible, the mine
of all kinds of gems, the home of Varuna (the water-god), the wonderful
habitations of the Nagas, the lord of rivers, the abode of the
subterranean fire; the residence of the Asuras and of many dreadful
creatures; the reservoir of water, not subject to decay, aromatic, and
wonderful, the great source of the amrita of the celestials; immeasurable
and inconceivable, containing waters that are holy, filled to the brim by
many thousands of great rivers, dancing as it were in waves. Such was the
Ocean, full of rolling waves, vast as the expanse of the sky, deep, of
body lighted with the flames of subterranean fire, and roaring, which the
sisters quickly passed over.'"

And so ends the twenty-second section in the Astika Parva of the Adi
Parva.



SECTION XXIII

(Astika Parva continued)

"Sauti said, 'Having crossed the Ocean, Kadru of swift speed, accompanied
by Vinata, soon alighted near the horse. They then both beheld that
foremost of steeds of great speed, with body white as the rays of the
moon but having black hairs (in the tail). And observing many black hairs
in the tail, Kadru put Vinata, who was deeply dejected, into slavery. And
thus Vinata having lost the wager, entered into a state of slavery and
became exceedingly sorry.

"In the meantime, when his time came, burst forth from the egg without
(the help of his) mother, Garuda of great splendour, enkindling all the
points of the universe, that mighty being endued with strength, that bird
capable of assuming at will any form, of going at will everywhere, and of
calling to his aid at will any measure of energy. Effulgent like a heap
of fire, he shone terribly. Of lustre equal to that of the fire at the
end of the Yuga, his eyes were bright like the lightning-flash. And soon
after birth, that bird grew in size and increasing his body ascended the
skies. Fierce and vehemently roaring, he looked as terrible as second
Ocean-fire. And all the deities seeing him, sought the protection of
Vibhavasu (Agni). And they bowed down to that deity of manifold forms
seated on his seat and spake unto him these words, 'O Agni, extend not
thy body! Wilt thou consume us? Lo, this huge heap of thy flames is
spreading wide!' And Agni replied, 'O, ye persecutors of the Asuras, it
is not as ye imagine. This is Garuda of great strength and equal to me in
splendour, endued with great energy, and born to promote the joy of
Vinata. Even the sight of this heap of effulgence hath caused this
delusion in you. He is the mighty son of Kasyapa, the destroyer of the
Nagas, engaged in the well-being of the gods, and the foe of the Daityas
and the Rakshasas. Be not afraid of it in the least. Come with me and
see.' Thus addressed, the gods from a distance.

"The gods said, 'Thou art a Rishi (i.e., one cognisant of all mantras),
share of the largest portion in sacrifices, ever resplendent, the
controller along with the Rishi wended their way towards Garuda and
adored him of birds, the presiding spirit of the animate and the
inanimate universe. Thou art the destroyer of all, the creator of all;
thou art the very Hiranyagarbha; thou art the progenitor of creation in
the form of Daksha and the other Prajapatis; thou art Indra (the king of
the gods), thou art Hayagriva the steed necked incarnation of Vishnu;
thou art the arrow (Vishnu himself, as he became such in the hands of
Mahadeva at the burning of Tripura); thou art the lord of the universe;
thou art the mouth of Vishnu; thou art the four-faced Padmaja; thou art
the Brahmana (i.e., wise), thou art Agni, Pavana, etc. (i.e., the
presiding deity of every object in the universe). Thou art knowledge,
thou art the illusion to which we are all subject; thou art the
all-pervading spirit; thou art the lord of the gods; thou art the great
Truth; thou art fearless; thou art ever unchanged; thou art Brahma
without attributes; thou art the energy of the Sun; thou art the
intellectual functions; thou art our great protector; thou art the ocean
of holiness; thou art purity; thou art bereft of the attributes of
darkness; thou art the possessor of the six high attributes; thou art he
who cannot be withstood in contest. From thee have emanated all things;
thou art of excellent deeds; thou art all that hath not been and all that
hath been. Thou art pure knowledge; thou displayest to us, as Surya does
by his rays, this animate and inanimate universe; thou darkenest the
splendour of Surya at every moment, and thou art the destroyer of all;
thou art all that is perishable and all that is imperishable. O thou
resplendent as Agni, thou burnest all even as Surya in his anger burneth
all creatures. O terrible one, thou resistest even as the fire that
destroys everything at the time of the Universal Dissolution. O mighty
Garuda who movest in the skies, we seek thy protection. O lord of birds
thy energy is extraordinary, thy splendour is that of fire, thy
brightness is like that of the lightning that no darkness can approach.
Thou reachest the very clouds, and art both the cause and the effect; the
dispenser of boons and invincible in prowess. O Lord, this whole universe
is rendered hot by thy splendour, bright as the lustre of heated gold.
Protect these high-souled gods, who overcome by thee and terrified
withal, are flying along the heavens in different directions on their
celestial cars. O thou best of birds, thou Lord of all, thou art the son
of the merciful and high-souled Rishi Kasyapa; therefore, be not wroth
but have mercy on the universe. Thou art Supreme. O pacify thy anger and
preserve us. At thy voice, loud as the roar of the thunder, the ten
points, the skies, the heavens, the Earth and our hearts, O bird, thou
art continuously shaking. O, diminish this thy body resembling Agni. At
the sight of the splendour resembling that of Yama when in wrath, our
hearts lose all equanimity and quake. O thou lord of birds, be propitious
to us who solicit thy mercy! O illustrious one, bestow on us good fortune
and joy.'

And that bird of fair feathers, thus adored by the deities and diverse
sections of Rishis, reduced his own energy and splendour.'"

And thus ends the twenty-third section in the Astika Parva of the Adi
Parva.



SECTION XXIV

(Astika Parva continued)

"Sauti said, 'Then hearing of and beholding his own body, that bird of
beautiful feathers diminished its size.'

"And Garuda said, 'Let no creature be afraid; as ye are in a fright at
the sight of my terrible form, I shall diminish my energy.'

"Sauti continued, 'Then that bird capable of going everywhere at will,
that ranger of the skies capable of calling to his aid any measure of
energy, bearing Aruna on his back, wended from his father's home and
arrived at his mother's side on the other shore of the great ocean. And
he placed Aruna of great splendour in the eastern regions, just at a time
when Surya had resolved to burn the worlds with his fierce rays.'

"Saunaka said, 'When did the revered Surya resolve at the time to burn
the worlds? What wrong was done to him by the gods that provoked his
ire?'

"Sauti said, 'O sinless one, when Rahu was drinking nectar among the gods
at the time of the churning of the ocean he was pointed out to the gods
by Surya and Soma, and from that time he conceived an enmity towards
those deities. And upon this Rahu sought to devour his afflictor (Surya),
became wroth, and thought, 'Oh, this enmity of Rahu towards me hath
sprung from my desire of benefiting the gods. And this dire consequence I
alone have to sustain. Indeed, at this pass help I obtain not. And before
the very eyes of the denizens of heaven I am going to be devoured and
they brook it quietly. Therefore, for the destruction of the worlds must
I strive.' And with this resolution he went to the mountains of the west.

"And from that place he began to radiate his heat around for the
destruction of the world. And then the great Rishis, approaching the
gods, spake unto them, 'Lo, in the middle of the night springeth a great
heat striking terror into every heart, and destructive of the three
worlds.' Then the gods, accompanied by the Rishis, wended to the
Grandsire, and said unto him, 'O what is this great heat today that
causeth such panic? Surya hath not yet risen, still the destruction (of
the world) is obvious. O Lord, what will happen when he doth rise?" The
Grandsire replied, 'Indeed, Surya is prepared to rise today for the
destruction of the world. As soon as he will appear he will burn
everything into a heap of ashes. By me, however, hath the remedy been
provided beforehand. The intelligent son of Kasyapa is known to all by
the name of Aruna. He is huge of body and of great splendour; he shall
stay in front of Surya, doing the duty of his charioteer and taking away
all the energy of the former. And this will ensure the welfare of the
worlds, of the Rishis, and of the dwellers in heaven.'

"Sauti continued, 'Aruna, at the behest of the Grandsire, did all that he
was ordered to do. And Surya rose veiled by Aruna's person. I have told
thee now why Surya was in wrath, and how Aruna, the brother of Garuda,
was appointed as his charioteer. Hear next of that other question asked
by thee a little while ago.'"

And so ends the twenty-fourth section in the Astika Parva of the Adi
Parva.



SECTION XXV

(Astika Parva continued)

"Sauti said, 'Then that bird of great strength and energy and capable of
going at will to every place repaired to his mother's side on the other
shore of the great ocean. Thither lived Vinata in affliction, defeated in
wager and put into a state of slavery. Once Kadru calling Vinata who had
prostrated herself before the former, addressed her these words in the
presence of her son, 'O gentle Vinata, there is in the midst of the
ocean, in a remote quarter, a delightful and fair region inhabited by the
Nagas. Bear me thither!' At this that mother of the bird of fair feathers
bore (on her shoulders) the mother of the snakes. And Garuda also,
directed by his mother's words, carried (on his back) the snakes. And
that ranger of the skies born of Vinata began to ascend towards the Sun.
And thereupon the snakes, scorched by the rays of the Sun, swooned away.
And Kadru seeing her sons in that state prayed to Indra, saying, 'I bow
to thee, thou Lord of all the gods! I bow to thee, thou slayer of Vritra!
I bow to thee, thou slayer of Namuchi! O thou of a thousand eyes, consort
of Sachi! By thy showers, be thou the protector of the snakes scorched by
the Sun. O thou best of the deities, thou art our great protector. O
Purandara, thou art able to grant rain in torrents. Thou art Vayu (the
air), the clouds, fire, and the lightning of the skies. Thou art the
propeller of the clouds, and hast been called the great cloud (i.e., that
which will darken the universe at the end of Yuga). Thou art the fierce
and incomparable thunder, and the roaring clouds. Thou art the Creator of
the worlds and their Destroyer. Thou art unconquered. Thou art the light
of all creatures, Aditya, Vibhavasu, and the wonderful elements. Thou art
the ruler of all the gods. Thou art Vishnu. Thou hast a thousand eyes.
Thou art a god, and the final resource. Thou art, O deity, all amrita,
and the most adored Soma. Thou art the moment, the lunar day, the bala
(minute), thou art the kshana (4 minutes). Thou art the lighted
fortnight, and also the dark fortnight. Thou art kala, thou kashtha, and
thou Truti.[1] Thou art the year, the seasons, the months, the nights,
and the days. Thou art the fair Earth with her mountains and forests.
Thou art also the firmament, resplendent with the Sun. Thou art the great
Ocean with heaving billows and abounding with whales, swallowers of
whales, and makaras, and various fishes. Thou art of great renown, always
adored by the wise and by the great Rishis with minds rapt in
contemplation. Thou drinkest, for the good of all creatures, the Soma
juice in sacrifices and the clarified butter offered with sacred
invocation. Thou art always worshipped at sacrifices by Brahmanas moved
by desire of fruit. O thou of incomparable mass of strength, thou art
sung in the Vedas and Vedangas. It is for that reason that learned
Brahmanas bent upon performing sacrifices, study the Vedas with every
care.'"

And so ends the twenty-fifth section in the Astika Parva of the Adi Parva.



SECTION XXVI

(Astika Parva continued)

"Sauti said, 'And then Indra, the king of gods, having the best of horses
for his bearer, thus adored by Kadru, covered the entire firmament with
masses of blue clouds. And he commanded the clouds, saying, Pour ye, your
vivifying and blessed drops!' And those clouds, luminous with lightning,
and incessantly roaring against each other in the welkin, poured abundant
water. And the sky, in consequence of those wonderful and

_________________
The Flesh of Fallen Angels! Come to me all! Asteroth,

Beelzebub, Asmodeus, Bapholada, Lucifer, Loki, Satan,

Cthulhu, Lilith, Della! Blood, to you all!

I'm the wolf, yeah!
I am the wolf! It's close, it's coming. You have come.
The witness to the end, of time. It's now! I will rise to
her side! I don't need the words!
I'm beyond the words!

_________________

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Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:28 pm
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Re: POST, POST LIKE YOU NEVER POSTED BEFORE!
increaseth covetousness and folly. Wealth alone is the root of
niggardliness and boastfulness, pride and fear and anxiety! These are the
miseries of men that the wise see in riches! Men undergo infinite
miseries in the acquisition and retention of wealth. Its expenditure also
is fraught with grief. Nay, sometimes, life itself is lost for the sake
of wealth! The abandonment of wealth produces misery, and even they that
are cherished by one's wealth become enemies for the sake of that wealth!
When, therefore, the possession of wealth is fraught with such misery,
one should not mind its loss. It is the ignorant alone who are
discontented. The wise, however, are always content. The thirst of wealth
can never be assuaged. Contentment is the highest happiness; therefore,
it is, that the wise regard contentment as the highest object of pursuit.
The wise knowing the instability of youth and beauty, of life and
treasure-hoards, of prosperity and the company of the loved ones, never
covet them. Therefore, one should refrain from the acquisition of wealth,
bearing the pain incident to it. None that is rich free from trouble, and
it is for this that the virtuous applaud them that are free from the
desire of wealth. And as regards those that pursue wealth for purposes of
virtue, it is better for them to refrain altogether from such pursuit,
for, surely, it is better not to touch mire at all than to wash it off
after having been besmeared with it. And, O Yudhishthira, it behoveth
thee not to covet anything! And if thou wouldst have virtue, emancipate
thyself from desire of worldly possessions!'

"Yudhishthira said, 'O Brahmana, this my desire of wealth is not for
enjoying it when obtained. It is only for the support of the Brahmanas
that I desire it and not because I am actuated by avarice! For what
purpose, O Brahmana, doth one like us lead a domestic life, if he cannot
cherish and support those that follow him? All creatures are seen to
divide the food (they procure) amongst those that depend on them.[1] So
should a person leading a domestic life give a share of his food to Yatis
and Brahmacharins that have renounced cooking for themselves. The houses
of the good men can never be in want of grass (for seat), space (for
rest), water (to wash and assuage thirst), and fourthly, sweet words. To
the weary a bed,--to one fatigued with standing, a seat,--to the thirsty,
water,--and to the hungry, food should ever be given. To a guest are due
pleasant looks and a cheerful heart and sweet words. The host, rising up,
should advance towards the guest, offer him a seat, and duly worship him.
Even this is eternal morality. They that perform not the Agnihotra[2] not
wait upon bulls

_________________
The Flesh of Fallen Angels! Come to me all! Asteroth,

Beelzebub, Asmodeus, Bapholada, Lucifer, Loki, Satan,

Cthulhu, Lilith, Della! Blood, to you all!

_________________
The Flesh of Fallen Angels! Come to me all! Asteroth,

Beelzebub, Asmodeus, Bapholada, Lucifer, Loki, Satan,

Cthulhu, Lilith, Della! Blood, to you all!

I'm the wolf, yeah!
I am the wolf! It's close, it's coming. You have come.
The witness to the end, of time. It's now! I will rise to
her side! I don't need the words!
I'm beyond the words!
Image

_________________
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Post Re: POST, POST LIKE YOU NEVER POSTED BEFORE!
THE

Ramayana

OF

* - Valmeeki

RENDERED INTO ENGLISH

WITH EXHAUSTIVE NOTES

BY

(. ^ ^reenivasa jHv$oiu$ar, B. A.,

LECTURER

S. P G. COLLEGE, TRICHINGj,



Balakanda and N



MADRAS:
M. K. PEES8, A. L. T. PRKS8 AND GUARDIAN PBE8S. *

> 1910. %

i*t

Copyright ftpfiglwtd. 3 - , [ JJf JB^/to Reserved



PREFACE

The Ramayana of Valmeeki is a most unique work.
The Aryans are the oldest race on earth and the most
* advanced ; and the Ramayana is their first and grandest
epic.

The Eddas of Scandinavia, the Niebelungen Lied of
Germany, the Iliad of Homer, the Enead of Virgil, the
Inferno, the Purgatorio, and the Paradiso of Dante, the
Paradise Lost of Milton, the Lusiad of Camcens, the Shah
Nama of Firdausi are Epics and no more ; the Ramayana
of Valmeeki is an Epic and much more.

If any work can clam} to be the Bible of the Hindus,
it is the Ramayana of Valmeeki.

Professor MacDonell, the latest writer on Samskritha
Literature, says :

" The Epic contains the following verse foretelling its
everlasting fame

* As long as moynfain ranges stand

And rivers flow upon the earth,
So long will this Ramayana
Survive upon the lips of men.

This prophecy has been perhaps even more abundantly
fulfilled than the well-known prediction of Horace. No pro-
duct of Sanskrit Literature has enjoyed a greater popularity
in India down to the present day than the Ramayana. Its
story furnishes the subject of many other Sanskrit poems
as well as plays and still delights, from the lips* of reciters,
the hearts of the myriads of the Indian people, as at the



11 PREFACE

great annual Rama-festival held at Benares. It has been
translated into many Indian vernaculars. Above all, it
inspired the greatest poet of medieval Hindustan, Tulasi
Das, to compose in Hindi his version of the epic entitled
Ram Chant Manas, which, with its ideal standard of
virtue and purity, is a kind of Bible to a hundred millions
of the people of Northern India." Sanskrit Literature,
p. 317. So much for the version.

It is a fact within the personal observation of the
elders of our country, that witnesses swear upon a copy of
the Ramayana in the law-courts. Any one called upon
to pay an unjust debt contents himself with saying, " I will
place the money upon the Ramayana , let him take it if he
dares." In private life, the expression, " I swear by the
Ramayana/' is an inviolable oath I know instances where
sums of money were lent upon no other security than a palm
leaf manuscript of the Ramayana too precious a Talisman
to lose When a man yearns for a son to continue his line
on earth and raise him to the Mansions of the Blessed, the
Elders advise him to read the Ramayana or hear it recited,
or at least the Sundarakanda When a man has some
great issue at stake that will either mend or mar his life, he
reads the Sundarakanda or hears it expounded. When a
man is very ill, past medical help, the old people about him
say with one voice, " Read the Sundarakanda in the house
and Maruthi will bring him back to life and health " When
an evil spirit troubles sore a man or a woman, the grey-
beards wag their wise heads and oracularly exclaim, " Ah f
the Sundarakanda never fails " When any one desires to
know the result of a contemplated project, he desires a
child to open a page of the Sundarakanda and decides by
the nature of the subject dealt with therein. (Here is a
case in point. A year or two ago, I was asked by a young
man to advise him whether he should marry or lead a life



lit

<fc single blessedness. I promised to give him an
answer a day or two later. When I was alone,
I took up my Ramayana and asked my child to
open it. And lo ! the first line that met my eye was

Kumbhakarna-siro bhathi
Kundala-lamkntam mahaili.

" The severed head of Kumbhakarna shone high and
huge in the heavens, its splendour heightened by the ear-
rings he wore."

I had not the heart to communicate the result to
the poor man. His people had made everything
ready for his marriage. I could plainly sec that his
inclinations too lay that way. I could urge nothing
against it his health was good, and his worldly position
and prospects high and bright. Ah me f I was myself half-
sceptical So, quite against my better self, I managed to
avoid giving him an answer. And he, taking my silence
for consent, got himself married Alas ! within a year his
place in his house was vacant , his short meteoric life was
over , his health shattered, his public life a failure, his
mind darkened and gloomy by the vision ot his future,
Death was a Whalecum deliverer to him , and an old mother
and a child-wife are left to mourn his untimely end.

The Karma-kanda of the Vedas, the Upamshads, the
Smnthis, the Mahabharatha, the Puranas, nay, no other
work in the vast range of Samskntha literature is regarded
by the Hindus in the same light as the Ramayana The
Karma-kanda is accessible only to a very few, an infini-
tesimal minority of the Brahmanas the Purohiths who
are making a living out of it , and they too know not its
meaning, but recite it parrot-like. The Upamshads are not
for the men of the world , they are for hard-headed
logicianb or calm-minded philosophers. The Smnthib are



IV

but Rules of daily life. The Bharatha is not a very auspi-
cious work ; no devout Hindu would allow it to be read in
in his house, for it brings on strife, dissensions and misfor-
tune ; the temple of the Gods, the Mathas of Sanyasms, the
river-ghauts, and the rest-houses for the travellers are chosen
for the purpose The Bhagavad-geetha enjoys a unique
unpopularity ; for, he who reads or studies it is weaned
away from wife and child, house and home, friends and
km, wealth and power and seeks the Path of Renunciation.
The Puranas are but world-records, religious histories.

But, for a work that gives a man everything he holds
dear and valuable in this world and leads him to the Feet of
the Almighty Father, give me the Ramayana of Valmeeki.

The Lord of Mercy has come down among men time
and oft ; and the Puranas contain incidental records of
it short or long. But, the Ramayana of Valmeeki is the
only biography we have of the Supreme One.

" Nothing that relates to any of the actors in that great
world-drama shall 'escape thy all-seeing eye Rama,
Lakshmana, Seetha, men and monkeys, gods and
Rakshasas, their acts, their words, nay, their very thoughts,
known or secret. Nothing that comes out of your mouth,
consciously or otherwise, shall prove other than true/'
Such was the power of clear vision and clear speech con-
ferred on the poet by the Demiurge, the Ancient of Days.

" What nobler subject for your poem than Sree Rama-
chandra, the Divine Hero, the soul of righteousness, the
perfect embodiment of all that is good and great and the
Director of men's thoughts, words and deeds in the light
of their Karma ? " And this Ideal Man is the Hero of
the Epic.

"The cloud-capped mouritains, the swift-coursing
livers and all created things shdDl passe way and be as



taught. But, your noble song shall outlive them and never
fade from the hearts of men." This is the boon of immor-
tality the poem shall enjoy.

" And as long as the record of Rama's life holds sway
over the hearts of men, so long shall you sit by me in my
highest heaven/' This is the eternity of fame that comes
to the singer as his guerdon

The Hero, the Epic, and the Poet are the most perfect
any one can conceive.

It was composed when the Hero was yet upon earth,
when his deeds and fame were fresh in the hearts of men.
It was sung before himself. "And the poem they recite,
how wonderful in its suggestivencss ' Listen we to it"
such was ///,s estimate of the lay.

It was not written, but sung to sweet music Who were
they that conveyed the message to the hearts of men ? The
very sous of the Divine Hero, "Mark you the radiant glory
that plays around them ' Liker gods than men ! . . . .
Behold these young ascetics, of kingly form and mien. Rare
singers are they and of mighty spiritual energy withal" and
this encomium was from him who is Incarnate Wisdom.

What audience did they sing to ' ''Large concourses
of Brahmanas and warriors, sages and saints . . . .Through
many a land they travelled and sang to many an audience.

Thus many a time and oft did these boys recite it in
crowded halls and broad streets, in sacred groves and
sacrificial grounds And Rama invited to the as-
sembly the literati, the theologians, the expounders of
sacred histories, grammarians, Brahmanas grown grey in
knowledge and experience, phonologists, musical experts,
poets, rhetoricians, logicians, ritualists, philosophers,
astronomers, astrologers, geographers, linguists, statesmen
politicians, professors of music and dancing, painters



vi PREFACE

sculptors, minstrels, physiognomists, kings, merchant^,
farmers, saints, sages, hermits, ascetics ... ."

What was the ettect produced on the hearers ?

" And such the pcrlectness of expression and delicacy
of execution, that the hearers followed them with their
hearts and ears , and such the marvellous power of their
song, that an indescribable sense of bhs^ gradually stole
over them and pervaded their frame and e\ery sense and
faculty of theirs strange, overpowering and almost painful
in its intensity "

What was the cutical estimate ot the audience ;

"What charming musK ' what sweetness and melody
of verse ' And then, the vividness of narration ' We seem to
live and move among old times and scenes long gone by. .

A rare and noble epic this, the Ramavana of honeyed
verses and faultless diction, beautifully adapted to music,
vocal or instrumental and charming to hear , begun and
finished according to the best canons of the art, the most
exacting critic cannot praise it too highly , the first of its
kind and an unapproachable ideal for all time to come , the
best model for all future poets , the thrice-distilled Essence
of the Holy Scriptures , the surest giver oi health and
happiness, length of years and prosperity, to all who read
or listen to it. And, proficients as ye are in cverv style of
music, marvellously have ye sung it."

But what raises Ramayana from the sphere oi literary
works into " a mighty repository of the priceless wisdom
enshrined in the Veelas ' ' The sacred monosyllable, the
Pranava, is the mystic symbol of the Absolute , the Gayathn
is an exposition of the Pranava , the Vedas are the paraphrase
of the Gayathn , and the Ramayana is but the amplification
of the Vedic mysteries and lurmshes the key thereto. Each
letter of the Gayathn begins a thousand ot its stanzas.



PREFACE Vll

\ The p^em is based upon the hymns of the Rig-veda
aught to the author bv Narada For, it is not a record of
incidents that occurred during a certain cycle ; it is
a symbolical account of cosmic events that come about m
every cycle with but slight modifications , Rama, Seetha,
Ravana and the other characteis in the Epu are arcJietvpes
and real characters a mystery within a mvsterv The
numerous k( Inner Meanings " of the Ramasana (vide
Introduction) amph bear out the above remarks

There IN not one relation of hie, ptuate or public,
but is beautifully and perfectly illustrated in the woids and
deeds of the Ramavana characters (vide lyJ^^JMLJlon The
Aims of Life 1 )

It is not a poem of an\ one
world-asset , it must find a
town, in everx village and in





Tin

(a). Tlie Rental recension Ch<
Sardinia, helped Gorressio to bring
of it m 1S(57

(b) The Renare^ mention. Between ISO,") 1H10,
Carey and Marshman, the philanthiopic missionaries
of Serampore, published the text of the hrst h\o kandas and
a halt In 1S4<>, Sehlegel brought <mt an edition oi the
text oi the first two kandas In 1 *,?), the complete text
was lithographed at Bombav, and in ISfjO, a printed edi-
tion ot the same appeared at Calcutta

(r) The South Indian retention While the first two
recensions are in Devanagan, this exists in the Grantha
characters or in the Telugu This uas unknown to the
west and to the other parts of India until ll)0r>, when Mr.
T. R. Knshnacharya of Kumbakonam, Madras Presidency,



Vlil PREFACE

conferred a great boon upon the literary world by publish-
ing a fine edition of it in Devanagari (1905). The earliest
Grantha edition was published in Madras in 1891 by Mr.
K. Subramanya Sastry, with the commentaries of Govmda-
raja, Mahesa-theertha, Ramanuja, Teeka-siromam and
Pena-vachchan-Pillai. Mr. Raja Sastry of Madras has
almost finished another edition of the same (1907), supple-
menting the above commentaries with that of Thilaka (till
now accessible only in Devanagari). It shows a considera-
ble improvement in the matter of paper, type, printing
and get-up. Meanwhile, Mr Knshnacharya has begun
another beautiful edition of his text (1911) with the
commentary of Goymdaraja and extracts from Thilaka,
Theertheeya, Ramanujeeya, Sathyadharma-theertheeya,
Thanisloki, Siromam, Vishamapada-vivnthi, Kathaka,
Munibhavaprakasika etc. It will, when completed, place
before the world many a rare and priceless information in-
accessible till now.

Commentators

1. Govindaraja. He names his work the Ramayana-
Bhooshana " an ornament to the Ramayana, " ; and each
kanda furnishes a variety of it the anklets, the silk -cloth,
the girdle, the pearl necklace, the beauty-mark between the
eye-brows, the tiara and the crest-gem. He is of the
Kausikas and the disciple of Sathakopa. The Lord Venka-
tesa appeared to him in a dream one night while he lay
asleep in front of His shrine on the Serpent Mount and
commanded him to write a commentary on the Ramayana ;
and in devout obedience to the Divine call, he undertook
the task and right manfully has he performed it. It is the
most comprehensive, the most scholarly and the most
authoritative commentary on the Sacred Epic, albeit his
zealous Vaishnavite spirit surges up now and then in a hi-
at Siya and the Saivites, Priceless gems of traditional



PREFACE IX

pretations and oral instructions are embedded in his monu-
mental work.

2. Mahesa-theertha. He declares himself to be the
pupil of Narayana-theertha and has named his work Rama-
yana-thathva-deepika. " I have but written down the
opinions of various great men and have nothing of my own
to give, except where I have tried to explain the inner
meaning of the remarks made by Viradha, Khara, Vali
and Ravana ". In fact, he copies out the commentary of
Govindaraja bodily. He quotes Teeka-siromam and is
criticised by Rama-panditha in his Thilaka.

3. Rama-pan ditha. His commentary, the Rama-
yana-thilaka, was the only one accessible to the
world (outside of southern India), being printed in
Devanagan characters at Calcutta and Bombay. He
quotes from and criticises the Ramayana-thathva-
deepika and the Kathaka, but makes no reference to
Govindaraja. It may be the that work of the latter,
being in the Grantha characters, was not available to him
in Northern India; and Theertha might have studied it
in the South and written his commentary in the Devana-
gan. Rama-panditha is a thorough-going, uncompromising
Adwaithin, and jeers mercilessly at Theertha's esoteric
interpretations. In the Grantha edition of the Ramayana,
the Uthtnarakanda is commented upon only by Govindaraja
and Theertha ; but, the Devanagan edition with the com-
mentary of Rama-panditha, contains word for word, without
a single alteration, the gloss of Mahesatheertha M I have
tried in vain to explain or reconcile this enigma. But, the
Adwaithic tenor of the arguments and the frequent criticisms
of Kathaka, savor more of Rama-panditha than of Theertha.

4. Kathaka. I have not been able to find out the
author of the commentary so named, which exists only in
the extracts quoted in the Thilaka.



X PREFACE

5. Ramanuja. He confines himself mainly to a di#-
cussion of the various readings of the text. What comment-
ary he chances to write now and then, is not very valuable.
He is not to be confounded with the famous Founder of
the Visishtadwaitha School of Philosophy.

6. Thanislokt, Knshna-Samahvaya or as he is more
popularly known by his Tamil cognomen, Pena-vachchan
Pillay, is the author of it. It is not a regular commentary
upon the Ramayana. He selects certain oft-quoted stanzas
and writes short essays upon them, which are much admir-
ed by the people of the South, and form the cram-book of
the professional expounder of the Rarnayana. It is written
in Manipravala a curious combination of Samskntha and
Tamil, with quaint idioms and curious twists of language.
Many of the explanations are far-fetched and wire-drawn
and reveal a spirit of Vaishnavite sectarianism.

7. Abhaya-pradana-sara. Sree Vedantha-desika, the
most prominent personage after Sree Ramanuja, is the
author of this treatise. It selects the incident of Vibheeshana
seeking refuge with Rama (Vibheeshana-saranagathi) as a
typical illustration of the key-rote of the Ramayana the
doctrine of Surrender to the Lord, and deals with the subject
exhaustively. It is written in the Manipravala, as most of
his Tamil works are.

Translations

Gorresio published an Italian rendering of the work
in 1870, It was followed by the French translation of
Hippolyte Fauche's. In the year 1846, Schlegel gave to
the world a Latin version of the first Kanda and a part of the
second. The Serampore Missionaries were the first to
give the Ramayana an English garb ; but they proceeded
no further than two Kandas and a half. Mr. Griffith, Prin-
cipal of the Benares College, was the first to translate the



PREFACE xi

Ramayana into English verse (187074). But, the latest
translation of Valmeeki's immortal epic into English prose
is that of Manmathanath Dutt, M. A., Calcutta (1894).

" Then why go over the same ground and inflict upon the
public another translation of the Ramayana m English prose?"

1 . Mr. Dutt has translated but the text of Valmeeki
and that almost too literally ; he has not placed before the
readers the priceless gems of information contained in the
commentaries.

2. The text that, I think, he has used is the one pub-
lished with the commentary of Rama-panditha, which
differs widely from the South Indian Grantha text in read-
ings and IK the number of stanzas and chapters.

3 More often than once, his rendering is completely
wide of the maik. (It is neither useful nor graceful to make
a list of all such instances. A careful comparison of his
rendering with mine is all I request of any impartial scholar
of Samskntha).

4. I venture to think that his translation conveys not
to a Westerner the beauty, the spirit, the swing, the force
and the grandeur of the original

5, Even supposing that it is a faultless rendering of
a faultless text, it is not all that is required.

G. As is explained in the Introduction, the greatness
of the Ramayana lies in its profound suggestiveness ; and no
literal word-for-word rendering will do the barest justice to it.

7. Many incidents, customs, manners, usages and
traditions of the time of Rama are hinted at or left to be in-
ferred, being within the knowledge of the persons to whom
the poem was sung ; but to the modern world they are a
sealed book.

8. Even such of the above as have lived down to our
times are so utterly changed, altered, nidified and over-laid
by the accretions of ages as to be almost unrecognisable.



Xll



9. The same incident is variously related in various
places.

Every one of the eighteen Puranas, as also the Maha-
bharatha, the Adhyathma Ramayana and the Ananda Rama-
yana, relates the coming down of the Lord as Sree Rama, but
with great divergences of detail ; while the Padmapurana
narrates the life and doings of Sree Rama in a former Kalpa,
which differs very much in the main from the Ramayana
of Valmeeki. The Adbhutha Ramayana and the Vasishtha
Ramayana deal at great length with certain incidents in the
life of Rama as are not touched upon by Valmeeki ; while
the Ananda Ramayana devotes eight Kandas to the history
of Rama after he was crowned at Ayodhya. Innumerable
poems and plays founded upon Valmeeki's epic modify its
incidents greatly, but base themselves on some Purana or
other authoritative work.

10. Many a story that we have heard from the lips of
our elders when we lay around roaring fires during long
wintry nights and which we have come to regard as part and
parcel of the life and doings of Rama, finds no place in
Valmeeki's poem.

11. The poem was to be recited, not read, and to an
ever-changing audience. Only twenty chapters were allow-
ed to be sung a day, neither more nor less. Hence the in-
numerable repititions, recapitulations and other literary
rapids through which it is not very easy to steer our frail
translation craft. The whole range of Samskntha literature,
religious and secular, has to be laid under contribution to
bring home to the minds of the readers a fair and adequate
idea of the message that was conveyed to humanity by
Valmeeki.

12. A bare translation of the text of the Ramayana
is thus of no use nay, more mischievous than useful, in
that it gives an incomplete and la many places a distorted



PREFACE xiii

view of the subject. It is to the commentaries that we
have to turn for explanation, interpretation, amplification,
reconciliation and rounding off. And of these, the most
important, that of Govindaraja, is practically inaccessible
except to the Tamil-speaking races of India. The saints
of the Dravida country, the Alwars from Sree Sathakopa
downwards, have taken up the study of the Ramayana of
Valmeeki as a special branch of the Vedantha and have
left behind them a large literature on the subject, original
and explanatory. The Divya-prabandhas and their numer-
ous commentaries are all in the quaint archaic Tamil style
known as Mampravala, and are entirely unknown to the
non-Tamil-speaking world. With those teachers the Rama-
yana was not an ordinary epic, not even an Ithihasa.
It was something higher, grander and more sacred. It
was an Upadesa-Grantha a Book of Initiation , and no true
Vaishnava may read it unless he has been initiated by his
Guru into its mysteries. It is to him what the Bible was to
the Catholic world of the Medieval Ages ; only the Initiated,
the clergy as it were, could read and expound it. Over and
above all this, there are many priceless teachings about the
Inner Mysteries of the Ramayana which find no place in
written books. They form part of the instructions that the
Guru gives to the Disciple by word of mouth.

13. Then again, there is the never-ending discussion
about the method of translation to be followed. Max-
Muller, the Grand Old Man of the Orientalist School opines
thus : " When I was enabled to collate copies which came
from the south of India, the opinion,which I have often ex-
pressed of the great value of Southern Mss. received fresh
confirmation The study of Grantha and other southern
Mss, will inaugurate, I believe, a new period in the critical
treatment of Sanskrit texts. The rule which I have follow-
ed myself, and which I have asked my fellow-translators



Xiv PREPACK

to follow, has been adhered to in this new volume atoo,
viz. whenever a choice has to be made between what is
not quite faithful and what is not quite English, to surren-
der, without hesitation, the idiom rather than the accuracy
of the translation. I know that all true scholars have ap-
proved of this, and if some of our critics have been offend-
ed by certain unidiomatic expressions occurring in our
translations, all I can say is, that we shall always be most
grateful if they would suggest translations which are not
only faithful, but also idiomatic. For the purpose we have
in view, a rugged but faithful translation seems to us more
useful than a smooth but misleading one.

However, we have laid ourselves open to another kind
of censure also, namely, of having occasionally not been
literal enough. It is impossible to argue these questions in
general, but every translator knows that in many cases a
literal translation may convey an entirely wrong mean-
ing. " Introduction to his Translation of the Upamshads.
Part II, p. 13

" It is difficult to explain to those who have not them-
selves worked at the Veda, how it is that, though we may
understand almost every word, yet we find it so difficult
to lay hold of a whole chain of connected thought and to
discover expressions that will not throw a wrong shade on
the original features of the ancient words of the Veda. We
have, on the one hand, to avoid giving to our translations
too modern a character or paraphrasing instead of tran-
slating ; while on the other, we cannot retain expressions
which, if literally rendered in English or any modern
tongue, would have an air of quamtness or absurdity totally
foreign to the intention of the ancient poets.

While in my translation of the Veda in the remarks
that I have to make in the course of my commentary, I
shall frequently differ from other scholars, who have dope



PREFACE XV

their best and who have done what they have done in a truly
scholarlike, that is in a humble spirit, it would be un-
pleasant, even were it possible within the limits assigned,
to criticise every opinion that has been put forward on the
meaning of certain words or on the construction of certain
verses of the Veda. I prefer as much as possible to vindi-
cate my own translation, instead of examining the transla-
tions of other scholars, whether Indian or European. "
From the Preface to his translation of the Rig-veda Samhitha.

In his letter to me of the 26th of January 1892,
referring to my proposal to translate the Markandeya Purana
as one of the Sacred Books of the East, he writes

" I shall place your letter before the Chancellor and
Delegates of the Press, and I hope they may accept your
proposal. If you would send me a specimen of your
translation, clearly written, I shall be glad to examine it,
and compare it with the text in the Bibliotheca Iinlua.
I have a Mss. of the Markandeya-punma. Possibly the palm
leaf Mss. in Grantha letters would supply you with a better
text than that printed in the Ribliotheca Indica"

But, Mrs. Besant, in her Introduction to ' The Laws of
Manu, in the Light of Theosophy. By Bhagavan Das,
M. A./ takes a different view

" One explanatory statement should be made as to the
method of conveying to the modern reader the thought of
the ancient writer. The European Orientalist, with admir-
able scrupulosity and tireless patience, works away labon-
busly with dictionary and grammar to give an " accurate
and scholarly translation " of the foreign language which
he is striving to interpret. What else can he do ? But the
Result, as compared with the Original, is like the dead
pressed specimen ' of the botanist beside the breathing
living flower of the garden. Even I, with my poor know-
ledge of Samsknt, know the joy of contacting the pulsing



XVI PREFACE

virile scriptures in their own tongue, and the inexpressible
dulness and dreariness of their scholarly renderings into
English. But our lecturer is a Hindu, who from childhood
upwards has lived in the atmosphere of the elder days ;
he heard the old stories before he could read, sung by
grand-mother, aunt, and pandit ; when he is tired now, he
finds his recreation in chanting over the well-loved stanzas
of an Ancient Purana, crooning them softly as a lullaby to
a weaned mind ; to him the ' well-constructed language '
(Samsknt) is the mother-tongue,

_________________
The Flesh of Fallen Angels! Come to me all! Asteroth,

Beelzebub, Asmodeus, Bapholada, Lucifer, Loki, Satan,

Cthulhu, Lilith, Della! Blood, to you all!

I'm the wolf, yeah!
I am the wolf! It's close, it's coming. You have come.
The witness to the end, of time. It's now! I will rise to
her side! I don't need the words!
I'm beyond the words!

_________________

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Re: POST, POST LIKE YOU NEVER POSTED BEFORE!
The Mahabharata

of

Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa

BOOK 17

Mahaprasthanika-parva



Translated into English Prose from the Original Sanskrit Text

by

Kisari Mohan Ganguli

[1883-1896]

Scanned and Proofed by Mantra Caitanya. Additional proofing and
formatting at sacred-texts.com, by J. B. Hare, October 2003.





1

Om! Having bowed down unto Narayana, and to Nara, the foremost of men, as
also to the goddess Sarasvati, should the word "Jaya" be uttered.

Janamejaya said: "Having heard of that encounter with iron bolts between
the heroes of the Vrishni and the Andhaka races, and having been informed
also of Krishnas ascension to Heaven, what did the Pandavas do?"

Vaishampayana said: "Having heard the particulars of the great slaughter
of the Vrishnis, the Kaurava king set his heart on leaving the world. He
addressed Arjuna, saying, O thou of great intelligence, it is Time that
cooks every creature (in his cauldron). I think that what has happened is
due to the cords of Time (with which he binds us all). It behoveth thee
also to see it.

"Thus addressed by his brother, the son of Kunti only repeated the word
Time, Time! and fully endorsed the view of his eldest brother gifted with
great intelligence. Ascertaining the resolution of Arjuna, Bhimasena and
the twins fully endorsed the words that Arjuna had said. Resolved to
retire from the world for earning merit, they brought Yuyutsu before
them. Yudhishthira made over the kingdom to the son of his uncle by his
Vaisya wife. Installing Parikshit also on their throne, as king, the
eldest brother of the Pandavas, filled with sorrow, addressed Subhadra,
saying, This son of thy son will be the king of the Kurus. The survivor
of the Yadus, Vajra, has been made a king. Parikshit will rule in
Hastinapura, while the Yadava prince, Vajra, will rule in Shakraprastha.
He should be protected by thee. Never set thy heart on unrighteousness.

"Having said these words, king Yudhishthira the just, along with his
brothers, promptly offered oblations of water unto Vasudeva of great
intelligence, as also unto his old maternal uncle and Rama and others. He
then duly performed the Sraddhas of all those deceased kinsmen of his.
The king, in honour of Hari and naming him repeatedly, fed the
Island-born Vyasa, and Narada, and Markandeya possessed of wealth of
penances, and Yajnavalkya of Bharadwajas race, with many delicious
viands. In honour of Krishna, he also gave away many jewels and gems, and
robes and clothes, and villages, and horses and cars, and female slaves
by hundreds and thousands unto foremost of Brahmanas. Summoning the
citizens. Kripa was installed as the preceptor and Parikshit was made
over to him as his disciple, O chief of Bharatas race.

"Then Yudhishthira once more summoned all his subjects. The royal sage
informed them of his intentions. The citizens and the inhabitants of the
provinces, hearing the kings words, became filled with anxiety and
disapproved of them. This should never be done, said they unto the king.
The monarch, well versed with the changes brought about by time, did not
listen to their counsels. Possessed of righteous soul, he persuaded the
people to sanction his views. He then set his heart on leaving the world.
His brothers also formed the same resolution. Then Dharmas son,
Yudhishthira, the king of the Kurus, casting off his ornaments, wore
barks of trees. Bhima and Arjuna and the twins, and Draupadi also of
great fame, similarly clad themselves in bark of trees, O king. Having
caused the preliminary rites of religion, O chief of Bharatas race, which
were to bless them in the accomplishment of their design, those foremost
of men cast off their sacred fires into the water. The ladies, beholding
the princes in that guise, wept aloud. They seemed to look as they had
looked in days before, when with Draupadi forming the sixth in number
they set out from the capital after their defeat at dice. The brothers,
however, were all very cheerful at the prospect of retirement.
Ascertaining the intentions of Yudhishthira and seeing the destruction of
the Vrishnis, no other course of action could please them then.

"The five brothers, with Draupadi forming the sixth, and a dog forming
the seventh, set out on their journey. Indeed, even thus did king
Yudhishthira depart, himself the head of a party of seven, from the city
named after the elephant. The citizen and the ladies of the royal
household followed them for some distance. None of them, however, could
venture to address the king for persuading him to give up his intention.
The denizens of the city then returned; Kripa and others stood around
Yuyutsu as their centre. Ulupi, the daughter of the Naga chief, O thou of
Kuntis race, entered the waters of Ganga. The princess Chitrangada set
out for the capital of Manipura. The other ladies who were the
grandmothers of Parikshit centered around him. Meanwhile the high-souled
Pandavas, O thou of Kurus race, and Draupadi of great fame, having
observed the preliminary fast, set out with their faces towards the east.
Setting themselves on Yoga, those high-souled ones, resolved to observe
the religion of Renunciation, traversed through various countries and
reached diverse rivers and seas. Yudhishthira, proceeded first. Behind
him was Bhima; next walked Arjuna; after him were the twins in the order
of their birth; behind them all, O foremost one of Bharatas race,
proceeded Draupadi, that first of women, possessed of great beauty, of
dark complexion, and endued with eyes resembling lotus petals. While the
Pandavas set out for the forest, a dog followed them.

"Proceeding on, those heroes reached the sea of red waters. Dhananjaya
had not cast off his celestial bow Gandiva, nor his couple of
inexhaustible quivers, actuated, O king, by the cupidity that attaches
one to things of great value. The Pandavas there beheld the deity of fire
standing before them like a hill. Closing their way, the god stood there
in his embodied form. The deity of seven flames then addressed the
Pandavas, saying, Ye heroic sons of Pandu, know me for the deity of fire.
O mighty-armed Yudhishthira, O Bhimasena that art a scorcher of foes, O
Arjuna, and ye twins of great courage, listen to what I say! Ye foremost
ones of Kurus race, I am the god of fire. The forest of Khandava was
burnt by me, through the puissance of Arjuna and of Narayana himself. Let
your brother Phalguna proceed to the woods after casting off Gandiva,
that high weapon. He has no longer any need of it. That precious discus,
which was with the high-souled Krishna, has disappeared (from the world).
When the time again comes, it will come back into his hands. This
foremost of bows, Gandiva, was procured by me from Varuna for the use of
Partha. Let it be made over to Varuna himself.

"At this, all the brothers urged Dhananjaya to do what the deity said. He
then threw into the waters (of the sea) both the bow and the couple of
inexhaustible quivers. After this, O chief of Bharatas race, the god of
the fire disappeared then and there. The heroic sons of Pandu next
proceeded with their faces turned towards the south. Then, by the
northern coast of the salt sea, those princes of Bharatas race proceeded
to the south-west. Turning next towards the west, they beheld the city of
Dwaraka covered by the ocean. Turning next to the north, those foremost
ones proceeded on. Observant of Yoga, they were desirous of making a
round of the whole Earth."



2

Vaishampayana said: "Those princes of restrained souls and devoted to
Yoga, proceeding to the north, beheld Himavat, that very large mountain.
Crossing the Himavat, they beheld a vast desert of sand. They then saw
the mighty mountain Meru, the foremost of all high-peaked mountains. As
those mighty ones were proceeding quickly, all rapt in Yoga, Yajnaseni,
falling of from Yoga, dropped down on the Earth. Beholding her fallen
down, Bhimasena of great strength addressed king Yudhishthira the just,
saying, O scorcher of foes, this princess never did any sinful act. Tell
us what the cause is for which Krishna has fallen down on the Earth!

"Yudhishthira said: O best of men, though we were all equal unto her she
had great partiality for Dhananjaya. She obtains the fruit of that
conduct today, O best of men."

Vaishampayana continued: "Having said this, that foremost one of Bharatas
race proceeded on. Of righteous soul, that foremost of men, endued with
great intelligence, went on, with mind intent on itself. Then Sahadeva of
great learning fell down on the Earth. Beholding him drop down, Bhima
addressed the king, saying, He who with great humility used to serve us
all, alas, why is that son of Madravati fallen down on the Earth?

"Yudhishthira said, He never thought anybody his equal in wisdom. It is
for that fault that this prince has fallen down.

Vaishampayana continued: "Having said this, the king proceeded, leaving
Sahadeva there. Indeed, Kuntis son Yudhishthira went on, with his
brothers and with the dog. Beholding both Krishna and the Pandava
Sahadeva fallen down, the brave Nakula, whose love for kinsmen was very
great, fell down himself. Upon the falling down of the heroic Nakula of
great personal beauty, Bhima once more addressed the king, saying, This
brother of ours who was endued with righteousness without incompleteness,
and who always obeyed our behests, this Nakula who was unrivalled for
beauty, has fallen down.

"Thus addressed by Bhimasena, Yudhishthira, said, with respect to Nakula,
these words: He was of righteous soul and the foremost of all persons
endued with intelligence. He, however, thought that there was nobody that
equalled him in beauty of person. Indeed, he regarded himself as superior
to all in that respect. It is for this that Nakula has fallen down. Know
this, O Vrikodara. What has been ordained for a person, O hero, must have
to be endured by him.

"Beholding Nakula and the others fall down, Pandus son Arjuna of white
steeds, that slayer of hostile heroes, fell down in great grief of heart.
When that foremost of men, who was endued with the energy of Shakra, had
fallen down, indeed, when that invincible hero was on the point of death,
Bhima said unto the king, I do not recollect any untruth uttered by this
high-souled one. Indeed, not even in jest did he say anything false. What
then is that for whose evil consequence this one has fallen down on the
Earth?

"Yudhishthira said, Arjuna had said that he would consume all our foes in
a single day. Proud of his heroism, he did not, however, accomplish what
he had said. Hence has he fallen down. This Phalguna disregarded all
wielders of bows. One desirous of prosperity should never indulge in such
sentiments."

Vaishampayana continued: "Having said so, the king proceeded on. Then
Bhima fell down. Having fallen down, Bhima addressed king Yudhishthira
the just, saying, O king, behold, I who am thy darling have fallen down.
For what reason have I dropped down? Tell me if thou knowest it.

"Yudhishthira said, Thou wert a great eater, and thou didst use to boast
of thy strength. Thou never didst attend, O Bhima, to the wants of others
while eating. It is for that, O Bhima, that thou hast fallen down.

"Having said these words, the mighty-armed Yudhishthira proceeded on,
without looking back. He had only one companion, the dog of which I have
repeatedly spoken to thee, that followed him now.



3

Vaishampayana said: "Then Shakra, causing the firmament and the Earth to
be filled by a loud sound, came to the son of Pritha on a car and asked
him to ascend it. Beholding his brothers fallen on the Earth, king
Yudhishthira the just said unto that deity of a 1,000 eyes these words:
My brothers have all dropped down here. They must go with me. Without
them by me I do not wish to go to Heaven, O lord of all the deities. The
delicate princess (Draupadi) deserving of every comfort, O Purandara,
should go with us. It behoveth thee to permit this.

"Shakra said, Thou shalt behold thy brothers in Heaven. They have reached
it before thee. Indeed, thou shalt see all of them there, with Krishna.
Do not yield to grief, O chief of the Bharatas. Having cast off their
human bodies they have gone there, O chief of Bharatas race. As regards
thee, it is ordained that thou shalt go thither in this very body of
thine.

"Yudhishthira said, This dog, O lord of the Past and the Present, is
exceedingly devoted to me. He should go with me. My heart is full of
compassion for him.

"Shakra said, Immortality and a condition equal to mine, O king,
prosperity extending in all directions, and high success, and all the
felicities of Heaven, thou hast won today. Do thou cast off this dog. In
this there will be no cruelty.

"Yudhishthira said, O thou of a 1,000 eyes. O thou that art of righteous
behaviour, it is exceedingly difficult for one that is of righteous
behaviour to perpetrate an act that is unrighteous. I do not desire that
union with prosperity for which I shall have to cast off one that is
devoted to me.

"Indra said, There is no place in Heaven for persons with dogs. Besides,
the (deities called) Krodhavasas take away all the merits of such
persons. Reflecting on this, act, O king Yudhishthira the just. Do thou
abandon this dog. There is no cruelty in this.

"Yudhishthira said, It has been said that the abandonment of one that is
devoted is infinitely sinful. It is equal to the sin that one incurs by
slaying a Brahmana. Hence, O great Indra, I shall not abandon this dog
today from desire of my happiness. Even this is my vow steadily pursued,
that I never give up a person that is terrified, nor one that is devoted
to me, nor one that seeks my protection, saying that he is destitute, nor
one that is afflicted, nor one that has come to me, nor one that is weak
in protecting oneself, nor one that is solicitous of life. I shall never
give up such a one till my own life is at an end.

"Indra said, Whatever gifts, or sacrifices spread out, or libations
poured on the sacred fire, are seen by a dog, are taken away by the
Krodhavasas. Do thou, therefore, abandon this dog. By abandoning this dog
thou wilt attain to the region of the deities. Having abandoned thy
brothers and Krishna, thou hast, O hero, acquired a region of felicity by
thy own deeds. Why art thou so stupefied? Thou hast renounced everything.
Why then dost thou not renounce this dog? "Yudhishthira said, This is
well known in all the worlds that there is neither friendship nor enmity
with those that are dead. When my brothers and Krishna died, I was unable
to revive them. Hence it was that I abandoned them. I did not, however,
abandon them as long as they were alive. To frighten one that has sought
protection, the slaying of a woman, the theft of what belongs to a
Brahmana, and injuring a friend, each of these four, O Shakra, is I think
equal to the abandonment of one that is devoted."

Vaishampayana continued: "Hearing these words of king Yudhishthira the
just, (the dog became transformed into) the deity of Righteousness, who,
well pleased, said these words unto him in a sweet voice fraught with
praise.

"Dharma said: Thou art well born, O king of kings, and possessed of the
intelligence and the good conduct of Pandu. Thou hast compassion for all
creatures, O Bharata, of which this is a bright example. Formerly, O son,
thou wert once examined by me in the woods of Dwaita, where thy brothers
of great prowess met with (an appearance of) death. Disregarding both thy
brothers Bhima and Arjuna, thou didst wish for the revival of Nakula from
thy desire of doing good to thy (step-) mother. On the present occasion,
thinking the dog to be devoted to thee, thou hast renounced the very car
of the celestials instead of renouncing him. Hence. O king, there is no
one in Heaven that is equal to thee. Hence, O Bharata, regions of
inexhaustible felicity are thine. Thou hast won them, O chief of the
Bharatas, and thine is a celestial and high goal."

Vaishampayana continued: "Then Dharma, and Shakra, and the Maruts, and
the Ashvinis, and other deities, and the celestial Rishis, causing
Yudhishthira to ascend on a car, proceeded to Heaven. Those beings
crowned with success and capable of going everywhere at will, rode their
respective cars. King Yudhishthira, that perpetuator of Kurus race,
riding on that car, ascended quickly, causing the entire welkin to blaze
with his effulgence. Then Narada, that foremost of all speakers, endued
with penances, and conversant with all the worlds, from amidst that
concourse of deities, said these words: All those royal sages that are
here have their achievements transcended by those of Yudhishthira.
Covering all the worlds by his fame and splendour and by his wealth of
conduct, he has attained to Heaven in his own (human) body. None else
than the son of Pandu has been heard to achieve this.

"Hearing these words of Narada, the righteous-souled king, saluting the
deities and all the royal sages there present, said, Happy or miserable,
whatever the region be that is now my brothers, I desire to proceed to. I
do not wish to go anywhere else.

"Hearing this speech of the king, the chief of the deities, Purandara,
said these words fraught with noble sense: Do thou live in this place, O
king of kings, which thou hast won by thy meritorious deeds. Why dost
thou still cherish human affections? Thou hast attained to great success,
the like of which no other man has ever been able to attain. Thy
brothers, O delighter of the Kurus, have succeeded in winning regions of
felicity. Human affections still touch thee. This is Heaven. Behold these
celestial Rishis and Siddhas who have attained to the region of the gods.

"Gifted with great intelligence, Yudhishthira answered the chief of the
deities once more, saying, O conqueror of Daityas, I venture not to dwell
anywhere separated from them. I desire to go there, where my brothers
have gone. I wish to go there where that foremost of women, Draupadi, of
ample proportions and darkish complexion and endued with great
intelligence and righteous of conduct, has gone."

The end of Mahaprasthanika-parv

_________________
The Flesh of Fallen Angels! Come to me all! Asteroth,

Beelzebub, Asmodeus, Bapholada, Lucifer, Loki, Satan,

Cthulhu, Lilith, Della! Blood, to you all!

I'm the wolf, yeah!
I am the wolf! It's close, it's coming. You have come.
The witness to the end, of time. It's now! I will rise to
her side! I don't need the words!
I'm beyond the words!


_________________

1 pcs.
1 pcs.
1 pcs.
1 pcs.


Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:58 pm

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Re: POST, POST LIKE YOU NEVER POSTED BEFORE!
The Mahabharata

of

Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa

BOOK 1

ADI PARVA

Translated into English Prose from the Original Sanskrit Text

by

Kisari Mohan Ganguli

[1883-1896]

Scanned at sacred-texts.com, 2003. Proofed at Distributed Proofing,
Juliet Sutherland, Project Manager. Additional proofing and formatting at
sacred-texts.com, by J. B. Hare.



TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE

The object of a translator should ever be to hold the mirror upto his
author. That being so, his chief duty is to represent so far as
practicable the manner in which his author's ideas have been expressed,
retaining if possible at the sacrifice of idiom and taste all the
peculiarities of his author's imagery and of language as well. In regard
to translations from the Sanskrit, nothing is easier than to dish up
Hindu ideas, so as to make them agreeable to English taste. But the
endeavour of the present translator has been to give in the following
pages as literal a rendering as possible of the great work of Vyasa. To
the purely English reader there is much in the following pages that will
strike as ridiculous. Those unacquainted with any language but their own
are generally very exclusive in matters of taste. Having no knowledge of
models other than what they meet with in their own tongue, the standard
they have formed of purity and taste in composition must necessarily be a
narrow one. The translator, however, would ill-discharge his duty, if for
the sake of avoiding ridicule, he sacrificed fidelity to the original. He
must represent his author as he is, not as he should be to please the
narrow taste of those entirely unacquainted with him. Mr. Pickford, in
the preface to his English translation of the Mahavira Charita, ably
defends a close adherence to the original even at the sacrifice of idiom
and taste against the claims of what has been called 'Free Translation,'
which means dressing the author in an outlandish garb to please those to
whom he is introduced.

In the preface to his classical translation of Bhartrihari's Niti Satakam
and Vairagya Satakam, Mr. C.H. Tawney says, "I am sensible that in the
present attempt I have retained much local colouring. For instance, the
ideas of worshipping the feet of a god of great men, though it frequently
occurs in Indian literature, will undoubtedly move the laughter of
Englishmen unacquainted with Sanskrit, especially if they happen to
belong to that class of readers who revel their attention on the
accidental and remain blind to the essential. But a certain measure of
fidelity to the original even at the risk of making oneself ridiculous,
is better than the studied dishonesty which characterises so many
translations of oriental poets."

We fully subscribe to the above although, it must be observed, the
censure conveyed to the class of translators last indicated is rather
undeserved, there being nothing like a 'studied dishonesty' in their
efforts which proceed only from a mistaken view of their duties and as
such betray only an error of the head but not of the heart. More than
twelve years ago when Babu Pratapa Chandra Roy, with Babu Durga Charan
Banerjee, went to my retreat at Seebpore, for engaging me to translate
the Mahabharata into English, I was amazed with the grandeur of the
scheme. My first question to him was,--whence was the money to come,
supposing my competence for the task. Pratapa then unfolded to me the
details of his plan, the hopes he could legitimately cherish of
assistance from different quarters. He was full of enthusiasm. He showed
me Dr. Rost's letter, which, he said, had suggested to him the
undertaking. I had known Babu Durga Charan for many years and I had the
highest opinion of his scholarship and practical good sense. When he
warmly took Pratapa's side for convincing me of the practicability of the
scheme, I listened to him patiently. The two were for completing all
arrangements with me the very day. To this I did not agree. I took a
week's time to consider. I consulted some of my literary friends,
foremost among whom was the late lamented Dr. Sambhu C. Mookherjee. The
latter, I found, had been waited upon by Pratapa. Dr. Mookherjee spoke to
me of Pratapa as a man of indomitable energy and perseverance. The result
of my conference with Dr. Mookherjee was that I wrote to Pratapa asking
him to see me again. In this second interview estimates were drawn up,
and everything was arranged as far as my portion of the work was
concerned. My friend left with me a specimen of translation which he had
received from Professor Max Muller. This I began to study, carefully
comparing it sentence by sentence with the original. About its literal
character there could be no doubt, but it had no flow and, therefore,
could not be perused with pleasure by the general reader. The translation
had been executed thirty years ago by a young German friend of the great
Pundit. I had to touch up every sentence. This I did without at all
impairing faithfulness to the original. My first 'copy' was set up in
type and a dozen sheets were struck off. These were submitted to the
judgment of a number of eminent writers, European and native. All of
them, I was glad to see, approved of the specimen, and then the task of
translating the Mahabharata into English seriously began.

Before, however, the first fasciculus could be issued, the question as to
whether the authorship of the translation should be publicly owned,
arose. Babu Pratapa Chandra Roy was against anonymity. I was for it. The
reasons I adduced were chiefly founded upon the impossibility of one
person translating the whole of the gigantic work. Notwithstanding my
resolve to discharge to the fullest extent the duty that I took up, I
might not live to carry it out. It would take many years before the end
could be reached. Other circumstances than death might arise in
consequence of which my connection with the work might cease. It could
not be desirable to issue successive fasciculus with the names of a
succession of translators appearing on the title pages. These and other
considerations convinced my friend that, after all, my view was correct.
It was, accordingly, resolved to withhold the name of the translator. As
a compromise, however, between the two views, it was resolved to issue
the first fasciculus with two prefaces, one over the signature of the
publisher and the other headed--'Translator's Preface.' This, it was
supposed, would effectually guard against misconceptions of every kind.
No careful reader would then confound the publisher with the author.

Although this plan was adopted, yet before a fourth of the task had been
accomplished, an influential Indian journal came down upon poor Pratapa
Chandra Roy and accused him openly of being a party to a great literary
imposture, viz., of posing before the world as the translator of Vyasa's
work when, in fact, he was only the publisher. The charge came upon my
friend as a surprise, especially as he had never made a secret of the
authorship in his correspondence with Oriental scholars in every part of
the world. He promptly wrote to the journal in question, explaining the
reasons there were for anonymity, and pointing to the two prefaces with
which the first fasciculus had been given to the world. The editor
readily admitted his mistake and made a satisfactory apology.

Now that the translation has been completed, there can no longer be any
reason for withholding the name of the translator. The entire translation
is practically the work of one hand. In portions of the Adi and the Sabha
Parvas, I was assisted by Babu Charu Charan Mookerjee. About four forms
of the Sabha Parva were done by Professor Krishna Kamal Bhattacharya, and
about half a fasciculus during my illness, was done by another hand. I
should however state that before passing to the printer the copy received
from these gentlemen I carefully compared every sentence with the
original, making such alterations as were needed for securing a
uniformity of style with the rest of the work.

I should here observe that in rendering the Mahabharata into English I
have derived very little aid from the three Bengali versions that are
supposed to have been executed with care. Every one of these is full of
inaccuracies and blunders of every description. The Santi in particular
which is by far the most difficult of the eighteen Parvas, has been made
a mess of by the Pundits that attacked it. Hundreds of ridiculous
blunders can be pointed out in both the Rajadharma and the Mokshadharma
sections. Some of these I have pointed out in footnotes.

I cannot lay claim to infallibility. There are verses in the Mahabharata
that are exceedingly difficult to construe. I have derived much aid from
the great commentator Nilakantha. I know that Nilakantha's authority is
not incapable of being challenged. But when it is remembered that the
interpretations given by Nilakantha came down to him from preceptors of
olden days, one should think twice before rejecting Nilakantha as a guide.

About the readings I have adopted, I should say that as regards the first
half of the work, I have generally adhered to the Bengal texts; as
regards the latter half, to the printed Bombay edition. Sometimes
individual sections, as occurring in the Bengal editions, differ widely,
in respect of the order of the verses, from the corresponding ones in the
Bombay edition. In such cases I have adhered to the Bengal texts,
convinced that the sequence of ideas has been better preserved in the
Bengal editions than the Bombay one.

I should express my particular obligations to Pundit Ram Nath Tarkaratna,
the author of 'Vasudeva Vijayam' and other poems, Pundit Shyama Charan
Kaviratna, the learned editor of Kavyaprakasha with the commentary of
Professor Mahesh Chandra Nayaratna, and Babu Aghore Nath Banerjee, the
manager of the Bharata Karyalaya. All these scholars were my referees on
all points of difficulty. Pundit Ram Nath's solid scholarship is known to
them that have come in contact with him. I never referred to him a
difficulty that he could not clear up. Unfortunately, he was not always
at hand to consult. Pundit Shyama Charan Kaviratna, during my residence
at Seebpore, assisted me in going over the Mokshadharma sections of the
Santi Parva. Unostentatious in the extreme, Kaviratna is truly the type
of a learned Brahman of ancient India. Babu Aghore Nath Banerjee also has
from time to time, rendered me valuable assistance in clearing my
difficulties.

Gigantic as the work is, it would have been exceedingly difficult for me
to go on with it if I had not been encouraged by Sir Stuart Bayley, Sir
Auckland Colvin, Sir Alfred Croft, and among Oriental scholars, by the
late lamented Dr. Reinhold Rost, and Mons. A. Barth of Paris. All these
eminent men know from the beginning that the translation was proceeding
from my pen. Notwithstanding the enthusiasm, with which my poor friend,
Pratapa Chandra Roy, always endeavoured to fill me. I am sure my energies
would have flagged and patience exhausted but for the encouraging words
which I always received from these patrons and friends of the enterprise.

Lastly, I should name my literary chief and friend, Dr. Sambhu C.
Mookherjee. The kind interest he took in my labours, the repeated
exhortations he addressed to me inculcating patience, the care with which
he read every fasciculus as it came out, marking all those passages which
threw light upon topics of antiquarian interest, and the words of praise
he uttered when any expression particularly happy met his eyes, served to
stimulate me more than anything else in going on with a task that
sometimes seemed to me endless.

Kisari Mohan Ganguli

Calcutta



THE MAHABHARATA

ADI PARVA

SECTION I

Om! Having bowed down to Narayana and Nara, the most exalted male being,
and also to the goddess Saraswati, must the word Jaya be uttered.

Ugrasrava, the son of Lomaharshana, surnamed Sauti, well-versed in the
Puranas, bending with humility, one day approached the great sages of
rigid vows, sitting at their ease, who had attended the twelve years'
sacrifice of Saunaka, surnamed Kulapati, in the forest of Naimisha. Those
ascetics, wishing to hear his wonderful narrations, presently began to
address him who had thus arrived at that recluse abode of the inhabitants
of the forest of Naimisha. Having been entertained with due respect by
those holy men, he saluted those Munis (sages) with joined palms, even
all of them, and inquired about the progress of their asceticism. Then
all the ascetics being again seated, the son of Lomaharshana humbly
occupied the seat that was assigned to him. Seeing that he was
comfortably seated, and recovered from fatigue, one of the Rishis
beginning the conversation, asked him, 'Whence comest thou, O lotus-eyed
Sauti, and where hast thou spent the time? Tell me, who ask thee, in
detail.'

Accomplished in speech, Sauti, thus questioned, gave in the midst of that
big assemblage of contemplative Munis a full and proper answer in words
consonant with their mode of life.

"Sauti said, 'Having heard the diverse sacred and wonderful stories which
were composed in his Mahabharata by Krishna-Dwaipayana, and which were
recited in full by Vaisampayana at the Snake-sacrifice of the high-souled
royal sage Janamejaya and in the presence also of that chief of Princes,
the son of Parikshit, and having wandered about, visiting many sacred
waters and holy shrines, I journeyed to the country venerated by the
Dwijas (twice-born) and called Samantapanchaka where formerly was fought
the battle between the children of Kuru and Pandu, and all the chiefs of
the land ranged on either side. Thence, anxious to see you, I am come
into your presence. Ye reverend sages, all of whom are to me as Brahma;
ye greatly blessed who shine in this place of sacrifice with the
splendour of the solar fire: ye who have concluded the silent meditations
and have fed the holy fire; and yet who are sitting--without care, what,
O ye Dwijas (twice-born), shall I repeat, shall I recount the sacred
stories collected in the Puranas containing precepts of religious duty
and of worldly profit, or the acts of illustrious saints and sovereigns
of mankind?"

"The Rishi replied, 'The Purana, first promulgated by the great Rishi
Dwaipayana, and which after having been heard both by the gods and the
Brahmarshis was highly esteemed, being the most eminent narrative that
exists, diversified both in diction and division, possessing subtile
meanings logically combined, and gleaned from the Vedas, is a sacred
work. Composed in elegant language, it includeth the subjects of other
books. It is elucidated by other Shastras, and comprehendeth the sense of
the four Vedas. We are desirous of hearing that history also called
Bharata, the holy composition of the wonderful Vyasa, which dispelleth
the fear of evil, just as it was cheerfully recited by the Rishi
Vaisampayana, under the direction of Dwaipayana himself, at the
snake-sacrifice of Raja Janamejaya?'

"Sauti then said, 'Having bowed down to the primordial being Isana, to
whom multitudes make offerings, and who is adored by the multitude; who
is the true incorruptible one, Brahma, perceptible, imperceptible,
eternal; who is both a non-existing and an existing-non-existing being;
who is the universe and also distinct from the existing and non-existing
universe; who is the creator of high and low; the ancient, exalted,
inexhaustible one; who is Vishnu, beneficent and the beneficence itself,
worthy of all preference, pure and immaculate; who is Hari, the ruler of
the faculties, the guide of all things moveable and immoveable; I will
declare the sacred thoughts of the illustrious sage Vyasa, of marvellous
deeds and worshipped here by all. Some bards have already published this
history, some are now teaching it, and others, in like manner, will
hereafter promulgate it upon the earth. It is a great source of
knowledge, established throughout the three regions of the world. It is
possessed by the twice-born both in detailed and compendious forms. It is
the delight of the learned for being embellished with elegant
expressions, conversations human and divine, and a variety of poetical
measures.

In this world, when it was destitute of brightness and light, and
enveloped all around in total darkness, there came into being, as the
primal cause of creation, a mighty egg, the one inexhaustible seed of all
created beings. It is called Mahadivya, and was formed at the beginning
of the Yuga, in which we are told, was the true light Brahma, the eternal
one, the wonderful and inconceivable being present alike in all places;
the invisible and subtile cause, whose nature partaketh of entity and
non-entity. From this egg came out the lord Pitamaha Brahma, the one only
Prajapati; with Suraguru and Sthanu. Then appeared the twenty-one
Prajapatis, viz., Manu, Vasishtha and Parameshthi; ten Prachetas, Daksha,
and the seven sons of Daksha. Then appeared the man of inconceivable
nature whom all the Rishis know and so the Viswe-devas, the Adityas, the
Vasus, and the twin Aswins; the Yakshas, the Sadhyas, the Pisachas, the
Guhyakas, and the Pitris. After these were produced the wise and most
holy Brahmarshis, and the numerous Rajarshis distinguished by every noble
quality. So the water, the heavens, the earth, the air, the sky, the
points of the heavens, the years, the seasons, the months, the
fortnights, called Pakshas, with day and night in due succession. And
thus were produced all things which are known to mankind.

And what is seen in the universe, whether animate or inanimate, of
created things, will at the end of the world, and after the expiration of
the Yuga, be again confounded. And, at the commencement of other Yugas,
all things will be renovated, and, like the various fruits of the earth,
succeed each other in the due order of their seasons. Thus continueth
perpetually to revolve in the world, without beginning and without end,
this wheel which causeth the destruction of all things.

The generation of Devas, in brief, was thirty-three thousand,
thirty-three hundred and thirty-three. The sons of Div were Brihadbhanu,
Chakshus, Atma Vibhavasu, Savita, Richika, Arka, Bhanu, Asavaha, and
Ravi. Of these Vivaswans of old, Mahya was the youngest whose son was
Deva-vrata. The latter had for his son, Su-vrata who, we learn, had three
sons,--Dasa-jyoti, Sata-jyoti, and Sahasra-jyoti, each of them producing
numerous offspring. The illustrious Dasa-jyoti had ten thousand,
Sata-jyoti ten times that number, and Sahasra-jyoti ten times the number
of Sata-jyoti's offspring. From these are descended the family of the
Kurus, of the Yadus, and of Bharata; the family of Yayati and of
Ikshwaku; also of all the Rajarshis. Numerous also were the generations
produced, and very abundant were the creatures and their places of abode.
The mystery which is threefold--the Vedas, Yoga, and Vijnana Dharma,
Artha, and Kama--also various books upon the subject of Dharma, Artha,
and Kama; also rules for the conduct of mankind; also histories and
discourses with various srutis; all of which having been seen by the
Rishi Vyasa are here in due order mentioned as a specimen of the book.

The Rishi Vyasa published this mass of knowledge in both a detailed and
an abridged form. It is the wish of the learned in the world to possess
the details and the abridgement. Some read the Bharata beginning with the
initial mantra (invocation), others with the story of Astika, others with
Uparichara, while some Brahmanas study the whole. Men of learning display
their various knowledge of the institutes in commenting on the
composition. Some are skilful in explaining it, while others, in
remembering its contents.

The son of Satyavati having, by penance and meditation, analysed the
eternal Veda, afterwards composed this holy history, when that learned
Brahmarshi of strict vows, the noble Dwaipayana Vyasa, offspring of
Parasara, had finished this greatest of narrations, he began to consider
how he might teach it to his disciples. And the possessor of the six
attributes, Brahma, the world's preceptor, knowing of the anxiety of the
Rishi Dwaipayana, came in person to the place where the latter was, for
gratifying the saint, and benefiting the people. And when Vyasa,
surrounded by all the tribes of Munis, saw him, he was surprised; and,
standing with joined palms, he bowed and ordered a seat to be brought.
And Vyasa having gone round him who is called Hiranyagarbha seated on
that distinguished seat stood near it; and being commanded by Brahma
Parameshthi, he sat down near the seat, full of affection and smiling in
joy. Then the greatly glorious Vyasa, addressing Brahma Parameshthi,
said, "O divine Brahma, by me a poem hath been composed which is greatly
respected. The mystery of the Veda, and what other subjects have been
explained by me; the various rituals of the Upanishads with the Angas;
the compilation of the Puranas and history formed by me and named after
the three divisions of time, past, present, and future; the determination
of the nature of decay, fear, disease, existence, and non-existence, a
description of creeds and of the various modes of life; rule for the four
castes, and the import of all the Puranas; an account of asceticism and
of the duties of a religious student; the dimensions of the sun and moon,
the planets, constellations, and stars, together with the duration of the
four ages; the Rik, Sama and Yajur Vedas; also the Adhyatma; the sciences
called Nyaya, Orthoephy and Treatment of diseases; charity and
Pasupatadharma; birth celestial and human, for particular purposes; also
a description of places of pilgrimage and other holy places of rivers,
mountains, forests, the ocean, of heavenly cities and the kalpas; the art
of war; the different kinds of nations and languages: the nature of the
manners of the people; and the all-pervading spirit;--all these have been
represented. But, after all, no writer of this work is to be found on
earth.'

"Brahma said. 'I esteem thee for thy knowledge of divine mysteries,
before the whole body of celebrated Munis distinguished for the sanctity
of their lives. I know thou hast revealed the divine word, even from its
first utterance, in the language of truth. Thou hast called thy present
work a poem, wherefore it shall be a poem. There shall be no poets whose
works may equal the descriptions of this poem, even, as the three other
modes called Asrama are ever unequal in merit to the domestic Asrama. Let
Ganesa be thought of, O Muni, for the purpose of writing the poem.'

"Sauti said, 'Brahma having thus spoken to Vyasa, retired to his own
abode. Then Vyasa began to call to mind Ganesa. And Ganesa, obviator of
obstacles, ready to fulfil the desires of his votaries, was no sooner
thought of, than he repaired to the place where Vyasa was seated. And
when he had been saluted, and was seated, Vyasa addressed him thus, 'O
guide of the Ganas! be thou the writer of the Bharata which I have formed
in my imagination, and which I am about to repeat."

"Ganesa, upon hearing this address, thus answered, 'I will become the
writer of thy work, provided my pen do not for a moment cease writing."
And Vyasa said unto that divinity, 'Wherever there be anything thou dost
not comprehend, cease to continue writing.' Ganesa having signified his
assent, by repeating the word Om! proceeded to write; and Vyasa began;
and by way of diversion, he knit the knots of composition exceeding
close; by doing which, he dictated this work according to his engagement.

I am (continued Sauti) acquainted with eight thousand and eight hundred
verses, and so is Suka, and perhaps Sanjaya. From the mysteriousness of
their meaning, O Muni, no one is able, to this day, to penetrate those
closely knit difficult slokas. Even the omniscient Ganesa took a moment
to consider; while Vyasa, however, continued to compose other verses in
great abundance.

The wisdom of this work, like unto an instrument of applying collyrium,
hath opened the eyes of the inquisitive world blinded by the darkness of
ignorance. As the sun dispelleth the darkness, so doth the Bharata by its
discourses on religion, profit, pleasure and final release, dispel the
ignorance of men. As the full-moon by its mild light expandeth the buds
of the water-lily, so this Purana, by exposing the light of the Sruti
hath expanded the human intellect. By the lamp of history, which
destroyeth the darkness of ignorance, the whole mansion of nature is
properly and completely illuminated.

This work is a tree, of which the chapter of contents is the seed; the
divisions called Pauloma and Astika are the root; the part called
Sambhava is the trunk; the books called Sabha and Aranya are the roosting
perches; the books called Arani is the knitting knots; the books called
Virata and Udyoga the pith; the book named Bhishma, the main branch; the
book called Drona, the leaves; the book called Karna, the fair flowers;
the book named Salya, their sweet smell; the books entitled Stri and
Aishika, the refreshing shade; the book called Santi, the mighty fruit;
the book called Aswamedha, the immortal sap; the denominated
Asramavasika, the spot where it groweth; and the book called Mausala, is
an epitome of the Vedas and held in great respect by the virtuous
Brahmanas. The tree of the Bharata, inexhaustible to mankind as the
clouds, shall be as a source of livelihood to all distinguished poets."

"Sauti continued, 'I will now speak of the undying flowery and fruitful
productions of this tree, possessed of pure and pleasant taste, and not
to be destroyed even by the immortals. Formerly, the spirited and
virtuous Krishna-Dwaipayana, by the injunctions of Bhishma, the wise son
of Ganga and of his own mother, became the father of three boys who were
like the three fires by the two wives of Vichitra-virya; and having thus
raised up Dhritarashtra, Pandu and Vidura, he returned to his recluse
abode to prosecute his religious exercise.

It was not till after these were born, grown up, and departed on the
supreme journey, that the great Rishi Vyasa published the Bharata in this
region of mankind; when being solicited by Janamejaya and thousands of
Brahmanas, he instructed his disciple Vaisampayana, who was seated near
him; and he, sitting together with the Sadasyas, recited the Bharata,
during the intervals of the ceremonies of the sacrifice, being repeatedly
urged to proceed.

Vyasa hath fully represented the greatness of the house of Kuru, the
virtuous principles of Gandhari, the wisdom of Vidura, and the constancy
of Kunti. The noble Rishi hath also described the divinity of Vasudeva,
the rectitude of the sons of Pandu, and the evil practices of the sons
and partisans of Dhritarashtra.

Vyasa executed the compilation of the Bharata, exclusive of the episodes
originally in twenty-four thousand verses; and so much only is called by
the learned as the Bharata. Afterwards, he composed an epitome in one
hundred and fifty verses, consisting of the introduction with the chapter
of contents. This he first taught to his son Suka; and afterwards he gave
it to others of his disciples who were possessed of the same
qualifications. After that he executed another compilation, consisting of
six hundred thousand verses. Of those, thirty hundred thousand are known
in the world of the Devas; fifteen hundred thousand in the world of the
Pitris: fourteen hundred thousand among the Gandharvas, and one hundred
thousand in the regions of mankind. Narada recited them to the Devas,
Devala to the Pitris, and Suka published them to the Gandharvas, Yakshas,
and Rakshasas: and in this world they were recited by Vaisampayana, one
of the disciples of Vyasa, a man of just principles and the first among
all those acquainted with the Vedas. Know that I, Sauti, have also
repeated one hundred thousand verses.

Yudhishthira is a vast tree, formed of religion and virtue; Arjuna is its
trunk; Bhimasena, its branches; the two sons of Madri are its full-grown
fruit and flowers; and its roots are Krishna, Brahma, and the Brahmanas.

Pandu, after having subdued many countries by his wisdom and prowess,
took up his abode with the Munis in a certain forest as a sportsman,
where he brought upon himself a very severe misfortune for having killed
a stag coupling with its mate, which served as a warning for the conduct
of the princes of his house as long as they lived. Their mothers, in
order that the ordinances of the law might be fulfilled, admitted as
substitutes to their embraces the gods Dharma, Vayu, Sakra, and the
divinities the twin Aswins. And when their offspring grew up, under the
care of their two mothers, in the society of ascetics, in the midst of
sacred groves and holy recluse-abodes of religious men, they were
conducted by Rishis into the presence of Dhritarashtra and his sons,
following as students in the habit of Brahmacharis, having their hair
tied in knots on their heads. 'These our pupils', said they, 'are as your
sons, your brothers, and your friends; they are Pandavas.' Saying this,
the Munis disappeared.

When the Kauravas saw them introduced as the sons of Pandu, the
distinguished class of citizens shouted exceedingly for joy. Some,
however, said, they were not the sons of Pandu; others said, they were;
while a few asked how they could be his offspring, seeing he had been so
long dead. Still on all sides voices were heard crying, 'They are on all
accounts Whalecum! Through divine Providence we behold the family of
Pandu! Let their Whalecum be proclaimed!' As these acclamations ceased,
the plaudits of invisible spirits, causing every point of the heavens to
resound, were tremendous. There were showers of sweet-scented flowers,
and the sound of shells and kettle-drums. Such were the wonders that
happened on the arrival of the young princes. The joyful noise of all the
citizens, in expression of their satisfaction on the occasion, was so
great that it reached the very heavens in magnifying plaudits.

Having studied the whole of the Vedas and sundry other shastras, the
Pandavas resided there, respected by all and without apprehension from
any one.

The principal men were pleased with the purity of Yudhishthira, the
courage of Arjuna, the submissive attention of Kunti to her superiors,
and the humility of the twins, Nakula and Sahadeva; and all the people
rejoiced in their heroic virtues.

After a while, Arjuna obtained the virgin Krishna at the swayamvara, in
the midst of a concourse of Rajas, by performing a very difficult feat of
archery. And from this time he became very much respected in this world
among all bowmen; and in fields of battle also, like the sun, he was hard
to behold by foe-men. And having vanquished all the neighbouring princes
and every considerable tribe, he accomplished all that was necessary for
the Raja (his eldest brother) to perform the great sacrifice called
Rajasuya.

Yudhishthira, after having, through the wise counsels of Vasudeva and by
the valour of Bhimasena and Arjuna, slain Jarasandha (the king of
Magadha) and the proud Chaidya, acquired the right to perform the grand
sacrifice of Rajasuya abounding in provisions and offering and fraught
with transcendent merits. And Duryodhana came to this sacrifice; and when
he beheld the vast wealth of the Pandavas scattered all around, the
offerings, the precious stones, gold and jewels; the wealth in cows,
elephants, and horses; the curious textures, garments, and mantles; the
precious shawls and furs and carpets made of the skin of the Ranku; he
was filled with envy and became exceedingly displeased. And when he
beheld the hall of assembly elegantly constructed by Maya (the Asura
architect) after the fashion of a celestial court, he was inflamed with
rage. And having started in confusion at certain architectural deceptions
within this building, he was derided by Bhimasena in the presence of
Vasudeva, like one of mean descent.

And it was represented to Dhritarashtra that his son, while partaking of
various objects of enjoyment and diverse precious things, was becoming
meagre, wan, and pale. And Dhritarashtra, some time after, out of
affection for his son, gave his consent to their playing (with the
Pandavas) at dice. And Vasudeva coming to know of this, became
exceedingly wroth. And being dissatisfied, he did nothing to prevent the
disputes, but overlooked the gaming and sundry other horried
unjustifiable transactions arising therefrom: and in spite of Vidura,
Bhishma, Drona, and Kripa, the son of Saradwan, he made the Kshatriyas
kill each other in the terrific war that ensued.'

"And Dhritarashtra hearing the ill news of the success of the Pandavas
and recollecting the resolutions of Duryodhana, Kama, and Sakuni,
pondered for a while and addressed to Sanjaya the following speech:--

'Attend, O Sanjaya, to all I am about to say, and it will not become thee
to treat me with contempt. Thou art well-versed in the shastras,
intelligent and endowed with wisdom. My inclination was never to war, not
did I delight in the destruction of my race. I made no distinction
between my own children and the children of Pandu. My own sons were prone
to wilfulness and despised me because I am old. Blind as I am, because of
my miserable plight and through paternal affection, I bore it all. I was
foolish alter the thoughtless Duryodhana ever growing in folly. Having
been a spectator of the riches of the mighty sons of Pandu, my son was
derided for his awkwardness while ascending the hall. Unable to bear it
all and unable himself to overcome the sons of Pandu in the field, and
though a soldier, unwilling yet to obtain good fortune by his own
exertion, with the help of the king of Gandhara he concerted an unfair
game at dice.

'Hear, O Sanjaya, all that happened thereupon and came to my knowledge.
And when thou hast heard all I say, recollecting everything as it fell
out, thou shall then know me for one with a prophetic eye. When I heard
that Arjuna, having bent the bow, had pierced the curious mark and
brought it down to the ground, and bore away in triumph the maiden
Krishna, in the sight of the assembled princes, then, O Sanjaya I had no
hope of success. When I heard that Subhadra of the race of Madhu had,
after forcible seizure been married by Arjuna in the city of Dwaraka, and
that the two heroes of the race of Vrishni (Krishna and Balarama the
brothers of Subhadra) without resenting it had entered Indraprastha as
friends, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that
Arjuna, by his celestial arrow preventing the downpour by Indra the king
of the gods, had gratified Agni by making over to him the forest of
Khandava, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that
the five Pandavas with their mother Kunti had escaped from the house of
lac, and that Vidura was engaged in the accomplishment of their designs,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Arjuna,
after having pierced the mark in the arena had won Draupadi, and that the
brave Panchalas had joined the Pandavas, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. When I heard that Jarasandha, the foremost of the royal line
of Magadha, and blazing in the midst of the Kshatriyas, had been slain by
Bhima with his bare arms alone, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that in their general campaign the sons of Pandu
had conquered the chiefs of the land and performed the grand sacrifice of
the Rajasuya, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard
that Draupadi, her voice choked with tears and heart full of agony, in
the season of impurity and with but one raiment on, had been dragged into
court and though she had protectors, she had been treated as if she had
none, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the
wicked wretch Duhsasana, was striving to strip her of that single
garment, had only drawn from her person a large heap of cloth without
being able to arrive at its end, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that Yudhishthira, beaten by Saubala at the game of
dice and deprived of his kingdom as a consequence thereof, had still been
attended upon by his brothers of incomparable prowess, then, O Sanjaya, I
had no hope of success. When I heard that the virtuous Pandavas weeping
with affliction had followed their elder brother to the wilderness and
exerted themselves variously for the mitigation of his discomforts, then,
O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success.

'When I heard that Yudhishthira had been followed into the wilderness by
Snatakas and noble-minded Brahmanas who live upon alms, then, O Sanjaya,
I had no hope of success. When I heard that Arjuna, having, in combat,
pleased the god of gods, Tryambaka (the three-eyed) in the disguise of a
hunter, obtained the great weapon Pasupata, then O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. When I heard that the just and renowned Arjuna after having
been to the celestial regions, had there obtained celestial weapons from
Indra himself then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard
that afterwards Arjuna had vanquished the Kalakeyas and the Paulomas
proud with the boon they had obtained and which had rendered them
invulnerable even to the celestials, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that Arjuna, the chastiser of enemies, having gone
to the regions of Indra for the destruction of the Asuras, had returned
thence successful, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard that Bhima and the other sons of Pritha (Kunti) accompanied by
Vaisravana had arrived at that country which is inaccessible to man then,
O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that my sons, guided by
the counsels of Karna, while on their journey of Ghoshayatra, had been
taken prisoners by the Gandharvas and were set free by Arjuna, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Dharma (the god of
justice) having come under the form of a Yaksha had proposed certain
questions to Yudhishthira then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When
I heard that my sons had failed to discover the Pandavas under their
disguise while residing with Draupadi in the dominions of Virata, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the principal men of
my side had all been vanquished by the noble Arjuna with a single chariot
while residing in the dominions of Virata, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. When I heard that Vasudeva of the race of Madhu, who covered
this whole earth by one foot, was heartily interested in the welfare of
the Pandavas, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard
that the king of Matsya, had offered his virtuous daughter Uttara to
Arjuna and that Arjuna had accepted her for his son, then, O Sanjaya, I
had no hope of success. When I heard that Yudhishthira, beaten at dice,
deprived of wealth, exiled and separated from his connections, had
assembled yet an army of seven Akshauhinis, then, O Sanjaya, I had no
hope of success. When I heard Narada, declare that Krishna and Arjuna
were Nara and Narayana and he (Narada) had seen them together in the
regions of Brahma, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard that Krishna, anxious to bring about peace, for the welfare of
mankind had repaired to the Kurus, and went away without having been able
to effect his purpose, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard that Kama and Duryodhana resolved upon imprisoning Krishna
displayed in himself the whole universe, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. Then I heard that at the time of his departure, Pritha
(Kunti) standing, full of sorrow, near his chariot received consolation
from Krishna, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard
that Vasudeva and Bhishma the son of Santanu were the counsellors of the
Pandavas and Drona the son of Bharadwaja pronounced blessings on them,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When Kama said unto Bhishma--I
will not fight when thou art fighting--and, quitting the army, went away,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Vasudeva and
Arjuna and the bow Gandiva of immeasurable prowess, these three of
dreadful energy had come together, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that upon Arjuna having been seized with
compunction on his chariot and ready to sink, Krishna showed him all the
worlds within his body, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard that Bhishma, the desolator of foes, killing ten thousand
charioteers every day in the field of battle, had not slain any amongst
the Pandavas then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that
Bhishma, the righteous son of Ganga, had himself indicated the means of
his defeat in the field of battle and that the same were accomplished by
the Pandavas with joyfulness, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success.
When I heard that Arjuna, having placed Sikhandin before himself in his
chariot, had wounded Bhishma of infinite courage and invincible in
battle, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the
aged hero Bhishma, having reduced the numbers of the race of shomaka to a
few, overcome with various wounds was lying on a bed of arrows, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that upon Bhishma's lying
on the ground with thirst for water, Arjuna, being requested, had pierced
the ground and allayed his thirst, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When Bayu together with Indra and Suryya united as allies for
the success of the sons of Kunti, and the beasts of prey (by their
inauspicious presence) were putting us in fear, then, O Sanjaya, I had no
hope of success. When the wonderful warrior Drona, displaying various
modes of fight in the field, did not slay any of the superior Pandavas,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the
Maharatha Sansaptakas of our army appointed for the overthrow of Arjuna
were all slain by Arjuna himself, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that our disposition of forces, impenetrable by
others, and defended by Bharadwaja himself well-armed, had been singly
forced and entered by the brave son of Subhadra, then, O Sanjaya, I had
no hope of success. When I heard that our Maharathas, unable to overcome
Arjuna, with jubilant faces after having jointly surrounded and slain the
boy Abhimanyu, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard
that the blind Kauravas were shouting for joy after having slain
Abhimanyu and that thereupon Arjuna in anger made his celebrated speech
referring to Saindhava, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard that Arjuna had vowed the death of Saindhava and fulfilled his vow
in the presence of his enemies, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that upon the horses of Arjuna being fatigued,
Vasudeva releasing them made them drink water and bringing them back and
reharnessing them continued to guide them as before, then, O Sanjaya, I
had no hope of success. When I heard that while his horses were fatigued,
Arjuna staying in his chariot checked all his assailants, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Yuyudhana of the
race of Vrishni, after having thrown into confusion the army of Drona
rendered unbearable in prowess owing to the presence of elephants,
retired to where Krishna and Arjuna were, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. When I heard that Karna even though he had got Bhima within
his power allowed him to escape after only addressing him in contemptuous
terms and dragging him with the end of his bow, then, O Sanjaya, I had no
hope of success. When I heard that Drona, Kritavarma, Kripa, Karna, the
son of Drona, and the valiant king of Madra (Salya) suffered Saindhava to
be slain, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that
the celestial Sakti given by Indra (to Karna) was by Madhava's
machinations caused to be hurled upon Rakshasa Ghatotkacha of frightful
countenance, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that
in the encounter between Karna and Ghatotkacha, that Sakti was hurled
against Ghatotkacha by Karna, the same which was certainly to have slain
Arjuna in battle, then, O Sanjaya. I had no hope of success. When I heard
that Dhristadyumna, transgressing the laws of battle, slew Drona while
alone in his chariot and resolved on death, then, O Sanjaya, I had no
hope of success. When I heard that Nakula. the son of Madri, having in
the presence of the whole army engaged in single combat with the son of
Drona and showing himself equal to him drove his chariot in circles
around, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When upon the death of
Drona, his son misused the weapon called Narayana but failed to achieve
the destruction of the Pandavas, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that Bhimasena drank the blood of his brother
Duhsasana in the field of battle without anybody being able to prevent
him, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the
infinitely brave Karna, invincible in battle, was slain by Arjuna in that
war of brothers mysterious even to the gods, then, O Sanjaya, I had no
hope of success. When I heard that Yudhishthira, the Just, overcame the
heroic son of Drona, Duhsasana, and the fierce Kritavarman, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the brave king of
Madra who ever dared Krishna in battle was slain by Yudhishthira, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the wicked Suvala of
magic power, the root of the gaming and the feud, was slain in battle by
Sahadeva, the son of Pandu, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success.
When I heard that Duryodhana, spent with fatigue, having gone to a lake
and made a refuge for himself within its waters, was lying there alone,
his strength gone and without a chariot, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. When I heard that the Pandavas having gone to that lake
accompanied by Vasudeva and standing on its beach began to address
contemptuously my son who was incapable of putting up with affronts,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that while,
displaying in circles a variety of curious modes (of attack and defence)
in an encounter with clubs, he was unfairly slain according to the
counsels of Krishna, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard the son of Drona and others by slaying the Panchalas and the sons
of Draupadi in their sleep, perpetrated a horrible and infamous deed,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Aswatthaman
while being pursued by Bhimasena had discharged the first of weapons
called Aishika, by which the embryo in the womb (of Uttara) was wounded,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the weapon
Brahmashira (discharged by Aswatthaman) was repelled by Arjuna with
another weapon over which he had pronounced the word "Sasti" and that
Aswatthaman had to give up the jewel-like excrescence on his head, then,
O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that upon the embryo in
the womb of Virata's daughter being wounded by Aswatthaman with a mighty
weapon, Dwaipayana and Krishna pronounced curses on him, then, O Sanjaya,
I had no hope of success.

'Alas! Gandhari, destitute of children, grand-children, parents,
brothers, and kindred, is to be pitied. Difficult is the task that hath
been performed by the Pandavas: by them hath a kingdom been recovered
without a rival.

'Alas! I have heard that the war hath left only ten alive: three of our
side, and the Pandavas, seven, in that dreadful conflict eighteen
Akshauhinis of Kshatriyas have been slain! All around me is utter
darkness, and a fit of swoon assaileth me: consciousness leaves me, O
Suta, and my mind is distracted."

"Sauti said, 'Dhritarashtra, bewailing his fate in these words, was
overcome with extreme anguish and for a time deprived of sense; but being
revived, he addressed Sanjaya in the following words.

"After what hath come to pass, O Sanjaya, I wish to put an end to my life
without delay; I do not find the least advantage in cherishing it any
longer."

"Sauti said, 'The wise son of Gavalgana (Sanjaya) then addressed the
distressed lord of Earth while thus talking and bewailing, sighing like a
serpent and repeatedly tainting, in words of deep import.

"Thou hast heard, O Raja, of the greatly powerful men of vast exertions,
spoken of by Vyasa and the wise Narada; men born of great royal families,
resplendent with worthy qualities, versed in the science of celestial
arms, and in glory emblems of Indra; men who having conquered the world
by justice and performed sacrifices with fit offerings (to the
Brahmanas), obtained renown in this world and at last succumbed to the
sway of time. Such were Saivya; the valiant Maharatha; Srinjaya, great
amongst conquerors. Suhotra; Rantideva, and Kakshivanta, great in glory;
Valhika, Damana, Saryati, Ajita, and Nala; Viswamitra the destroyer of
foes; Amvarisha, great in strength; Marutta, Manu, Ikshaku, Gaya, and
Bharata; Rama the son of Dasaratha; Sasavindu, and Bhagiratha;
Kritavirya, the greatly fortunate, and Janamejaya too; and Yayati of good
deeds who performed sacrifices, being assisted therein by the celestials
themselves, and by whose sacrificial altars and stakes this earth with
her habited and uninhabited regions hath been marked all over. These
twenty-four Rajas were formerly spoken of by the celestial Rishi Narada
unto Saivya when much afflicted for the loss of his children. Besides
these, other Rajas had gone before, still more powerful than they, mighty
charioteers noble in mind, and resplendent with every worthy quality.
These were Puru, Kuru, Yadu, Sura and Viswasrawa of great glory; Anuha,
Yuvanaswu, Kakutstha, Vikrami, and Raghu; Vijava, Virihorta, Anga, Bhava,
Sweta, and Vripadguru; Usinara, Sata-ratha, Kanka, Duliduha, and Druma;
Dambhodbhava, Para, Vena, Sagara, Sankriti, and Nimi; Ajeya, Parasu,
Pundra, Sambhu, and holy Deva-Vridha; Devahuya, Supratika, and
Vrihad-ratha; Mahatsaha, Vinitatma, Sukratu, and Nala, the king of the
Nishadas; Satyavrata, Santabhaya, Sumitra, and the chief Subala;
Janujangha, Anaranya, Arka, Priyabhritya, Chuchi-vrata, Balabandhu,
Nirmardda, Ketusringa, and Brhidbala; Dhrishtaketu, Brihatketu,
Driptaketu, and Niramaya; Abikshit, Chapala, Dhurta, Kritbandhu, and
Dridhe-shudhi; Mahapurana-sambhavya, Pratyanga, Paraha and Sruti. These,
O chief, and other Rajas, we hear enumerated by hundreds and by
thousands, and still others by millions, princes of great power and
wisdom, quitting very abundant enjoyments met death as thy sons have
done! Their heavenly deeds, valour, and generosity, their magnanimity,
faith, truth, purity, simplicity and mercy, are published to the world in
the records of former times by sacred bards of great learning. Though
endued with every noble virtue, these have yielded up their lives. Thy
sons were malevolent, inflamed with passion, avaricious, and of very
evil-disposition. Thou art versed in the Sastras, O Bharata, and art
intelligent and wise; they never sink under misfortunes whose
understandings are guided by the Sastras. Thou art acquainted, O prince,
with the lenity and severity of fate; this anxiety therefore for the
safety of thy children is unbecoming. Moreover, it behoveth thee not to
grieve for that which must happen: for who can avert, by his wisdom, the
decrees of fate? No one can leave the way marked out for him by
Providence. Existence and non-existence, pleasure and pain all have Time
for their root. Time createth all things and Time destroyeth all
creatures. It is Time that burneth creatures and it is Time that
extinguisheth the fire. All states, the good and the evil, in the three
worlds, are caused by Time. Time cutteth short all things and createth
them anew. Time alone is awake when all things are asleep: indeed, Time
is incapable of being overcome. Time passeth over all things without
being retarded. Knowing, as thou dost, that all things past and future
and all that exist at the present moment, are the offspring of Time, it
behoveth thee not to throw away thy reason.'

"Sauti said, 'The son of Gavalgana having in this manner administered
comfort to the royal Dhritarashtra overwhelmed with grief for his sons,
then restored his mind to peace. Taking these facts for his subject,
Dwaipayana composed a holy Upanishad that has been published to the world
by learned and sacred bards in the Puranas composed by them.

"The study of the Bharata is an act of piety. He that readeth even one
foot, with belief, hath his sins entirely purged away. Herein Devas,
Devarshis, and immaculate Brahmarshis of good deeds, have been spoken of;
and likewise Yakshas and great Uragas (Nagas). Herein also hath been
described the eternal Vasudeva possessing the six attributes. He is the
true and just, the pure and holy, the eternal Brahma, the supreme soul,
the true constant light, whose divine deeds wise and learned recount;
from whom hath proceeded the non-existent and existent-non-existent
universe with principles of generation and progression, and birth, death
and re-birth. That also hath been treated of which is called Adhyatma
(the superintending spirit of nature) that partaketh of the attributes of
the five elements. That also hath been described who is purusha being
above such epithets as 'undisplayed' and the like; also that which the
foremost yatis exempt from the common destiny and endued with the power
of meditation and Tapas behold dwelling in their hearts as a reflected
image in the mirror.

"The man of faith, devoted to piety, and constant in the exercise of
virtue, on reading this section is freed from sin. The believer that
constantly heareth recited this section of the Bharata, called the
Introduction, from the beginning, falleth not into difficulties. The man
repeating any part of the introduction in the two twilights is during
such act freed from the sins contracted during the day or the night. This
section, the body of the Bharata, is truth and nectar. As butter is in
curd, Brahmana among bipeds, the Aranyaka among the Vedas, and nectar
among medicines; as the sea is eminent among receptacles of water, and
the cow among quadrupeds; as are these (among the things mentioned) so is
the Bharata said to be among histories.

"He that causeth it, even a single foot thereof, to be recited to
Brahmanas during a Sradha, his offerings of food and drink to the manes
of his ancestors become inexhaustible.

"By the aid of history and the Puranas, the Veda may be expounded; but
the Veda is afraid of one of little information lest he should it. The
learned man who recites to other this Veda of Vyasa reapeth advantage. It
may without doubt destroy even the sin of killing the embryo and the
like. He that readeth this holy chapter of the moon, readeth the whole of
the Bharata, I ween. The man who with reverence daily listeneth to this
sacred work acquireth long life and renown and ascendeth to heaven.

"In former days, having placed the four Vedas on one side and the Bharata
on the other, these were weighed in the balance by the celestials
assembled for that purpose. And as the latter weighed heavier than the
four Vedas with their mysteries, from that period it hath been called in
the world Mahabharata (the great Bharata). Being esteemed superior both
in substance and gravity of import it is denominated Mahabharata on
account of such substance and gravity of import. He that knoweth its
meaning is saved from all his sins.

'Tapa is innocent, study is harmless, the ordinance of the Vedas
prescribed for all the tribes are harmless, the acquisition of wealth by
exertion is harmless; but when they are abused in their practices it is
then that they become sources of evil.'"



SECTION II

"The Rishis said, 'O son of Suta, we wish to hear a full and
circumstantial account of the place mentioned by you as Samanta-panchaya.'

"Sauti said, 'Listen, O ye Brahmanas, to the sacred descriptions I utter
O ye best of men, ye deserve to hear of the place known as
Samanta-panchaka. In the interval between the Treta and Dwapara Yugas,
Rama (the son of Jamadagni) great among all who have borne arms, urged by
impatience of wrongs, repeatedly smote the noble race of Kshatriyas. And
when that fiery meteor, by his own valour, annihilated the entire tribe
of the Kshatriyas, he formed at Samanta-panchaka five lakes of blood. We
are told that his reason being overpowered by anger he offered oblations
of blood to the manes of his ancestors, standing in the midst of the
sanguine waters of those lakes. It was then that his forefathers of whom
Richika was the first having arrived there addressed him thus, 'O Rama, O
blessed Rama, O offspring of Bhrigu, we have been gratified with the
reverence thou hast shown for thy ancestors and with thy valour, O mighty
one! Blessings be upon thee. O thou illustrious one, ask the boon that
thou mayst desire.'

"Rama said, 'If, O fathers, ye are favourably disposed towards me, the
boon I ask is that I may be absolved from the sins born of my having
annihilated the Kshatriyas in anger, and that the lakes I have formed may
become famous in the world as holy shrines.' The Pitris then said, 'So
shall it be. But be thou pacified.' And Rama was pacified accordingly.
The region that lieth near unto those lakes of gory water, from that time
hath been celebrated as Samanta-panchaka the holy. The wise have declared
that every country should be distinguished by a name significant of some
circumstance which may have rendered it famous. In the interval between
the Dwapara and the Kali Yugas there happened at Samanta-panchaka the
encounter between the armies of the Kauravas and the Pandavas. In that
holy region, without ruggedness of any kind, were assembled eighteen
Akshauhinis of soldiers eager for battle. And, O Brahmanas, having come
thereto, they were all slain on the spot. Thus the name of that region, O
Brahmanas, hath been explained, and the country described to you as a
sacred and delightful one. I have mentioned the whole of what relateth to
it as the region is celebrated throughout the three worlds.'

"The Rishis said, 'We have a desire to know, O son of Suta, what is
implied by the term Akshauhini that hath been used by thee. Tell us in
full what is the number of horse and foot, chariots and elephants, which
compose an Akshauhini for thou art fully informed.'

"Sauti said, 'One chariot, one elephant, five foot-soldiers, and three
horses form one Patti; three pattis make one Sena-mukha; three
sena-mukhas are called a Gulma; three gulmas, a Gana; three ganas, a
Vahini; three vahinis together are called a Pritana; three pritanas form
a Chamu; three chamus, one Anikini; and an anikini taken ten times forms,
as it is styled by those who know, an Akshauhini. O ye best of Brahmanas,
arithmeticians have calculated that the number of chariots in an
Akshauhini is twenty-one thousand eight hundred and seventy. The measure
of elephants must be fixed at the same number. O ye pure, you must know
that the number of foot-soldiers is one hundred and nine thousand, three
hundred and fifty, the number of horse is sixty-five thousand, six
hundred and ten. These, O Brahmanas, as fully explained by me, are the
numbers of an Akshauhini as said by those acquainted with the principles
of numbers. O best of Brahmanas, according to this calculation were
composed the eighteen Akshauhinis of the Kaurava and the Pandava army.
Time, whose acts are wonderful assembled them on that spot and having
made the Kauravas the cause, destroyed them all. Bhishma acquainted with
choice of weapons, fought for ten days. Drona protected the Kaurava
Vahinis for five days. Kama the desolator of hostile armies fought for
two days; and Salya for half a day. After that lasted for half a day the
encounter with clubs between Duryodhana and Bhima. At the close of that
day, Aswatthaman and Kripa destroyed the army of Yudishthira in the night
while sleeping without suspicion of danger.

'O Saunaka, this best of narrations called Bharata which has begun to be
repeated at thy sacrifice, was formerly repeated at the sacrifice of
Janamejaya by an intelligent disciple of Vyasa. It is divided into
several sections; in the beginning are Paushya, Pauloma, and Astika
parvas, describing in full the valour and renown of kings. It is a work
whose description, diction, and sense are varied and wonderful. It
contains an account of various manners and rites. It is accepted by the
wise, as the state called Vairagya is by men desirous of final release.
As Self among things to be known, as life among things that are dear, so
is this history that furnisheth the means of arriving at the knowledge of
Brahma the first among all the sastras. There is not a story current in
this world but doth depend upon this history even as the body upon the
foot that it taketh. As masters of good lineage are ever attended upon by
servants desirous of preferment so is the Bharata cherished by all poets.
As the words constituting the several branches of knowledge appertaining
to the world and the Veda display only vowels and consonants, so this
excellent history displayeth only the highest wisdom.

'Listen, O ye ascetics, to the outlines of the several divisions (parvas)
of this history called Bharata, endued with great wisdom, of sections and
feet that are wonderful and various, of subtile meanings and logical
connections, and embellished with the substance of the Vedas.

'The first parva is called Anukramanika; the second, Sangraha; then
Paushya; then Pauloma; the Astika; then Adivansavatarana. Then comes the
Sambhava of wonderful and thrilling incidents. Then comes Jatugrihadaha
(setting fire to the house of lac) and then Hidimbabadha (the killing of
Hidimba) parvas; then comes Baka-badha (slaughter of Baka) and then
Chitraratha. The next is called Swayamvara (selection of husband by
Panchali), in which Arjuna by the exercise of Kshatriya virtues, won
Draupadi for wife. Then comes Vaivahika (marriage). Then comes
Viduragamana (advent of Vidura), Rajyalabha (acquirement of kingdom),
Arjuna-banavasa (exile of Arjuna) and Subhadra-harana (the carrying away
of Subhadra). After these come Harana-harika, Khandava-daha (the burning
of the Khandava forest) and Maya-darsana (meeting with Maya the Asura
architect). Then come Sabha, Mantra, Jarasandha, Digvijaya (general
campaign). After Digvijaya come Raja-suyaka, Arghyaviharana (the robbing
of the Arghya) and Sisupala-badha (the killing of Sisupala). After these,
Dyuta (gambling), Anudyuta (subsequent to gambling), Aranyaka, and
Krimira-badha (destruction of Krimira). The Arjuna-vigamana (the travels
of Arjuna), Kairati. In the last hath been described the battle between
Arjuna and Mahadeva in the guise of a hunter. After this
Indra-lokavigamana (the journey to the regions of Indra); then that mine
of religion and virtue, the highly pathetic Nalopakhyana (the story of
Nala). After this last, Tirtha-yatra or the pilgrimage of the wise prince
of the Kurus, the death of Jatasura, and the battle of the Yakshas. Then
the battle with the Nivata-kavachas, Ajagara, and Markandeya-Samasya
(meeting with Markandeya). Then the meeting of Draupadi and Satyabhama,
Ghoshayatra, Mirga-Swapna (dream of the deer). Then the story of
Brihadaranyaka and then Aindradrumna. Then Draupadi-harana (the abduction
of Draupadi), Jayadratha-bimoksana (the release of Jayadratha). Then the
story of 'Savitri' illustrating the great merit of connubial chastity.
After this last, the story of 'Rama'. The parva that comes next is called
'Kundala-harana' (the theft of the ear-rings). That which comes next is
'Aranya' and then 'Vairata'. Then the entry of the Pandavas and the
fulfilment of their promise (of living unknown for one year). Then the
destruction of the 'Kichakas', then the attempt to take the kine (of
Virata by the Kauravas). The next is called the marriage of Abhimanyu
with the daughter of Virata. The next you must know is the most wonderful
parva called Udyoga. The next must be known by the name of 'Sanjaya-yana'
(the arrival of Sanjaya). Then comes 'Prajagara' (the sleeplessness of
Dhritarashtra owing to his anxiety). Then Sanatsujata, in which are the
mysteries of spiritual philosophy. Then 'Yanasaddhi', and then the
arrival of Krishna. Then the story of 'Matali' and then of 'Galava'. Then
the stories of 'Savitri', 'Vamadeva', and 'Vainya'. Then the story of
'Jamadagnya and Shodasarajika'. Then the arrival of Krishna at the court,
and then Bidulaputrasasana. Then the muster of troops and the story of
Sheta. Then, must you know, comes the quarrel of the high-souled Karna.
Then the march to the field of the troops of both sides. The next hath
been called numbering the Rathis and Atirathas. Then comes the arrival of
the messenger Uluka which kindled the wrath (of the Pandavas). The next
that comes, you must know, is the story of Amba. Then comes the thrilling
story of the installation of Bhishma as commander-in-chief. The next is
called the creation of the insular region Jambu; then Bhumi; then the
account about the formation of islands. Then comes the 'Bhagavat-gita';
and then the death of Bhishma. Then the installation of Drona; then the
destruction of the 'Sansaptakas'. Then the death of Abhimanyu; and then
the vow of Arjuna (to slay Jayadratha). Then the death of Jayadratha, and
then of Ghatotkacha. Then, must you know, comes the story of the death of
Drona of surprising interest. The next that comes is called the discharge
of the weapon called Narayana. Then, you know, is Karna, and then Salya.
Then comes the immersion in the lake, and then the encounter (between
Bhima and Duryodhana) with clubs. Then comes Saraswata, and then the
descriptions of holy shrines, and then genealogies. Then comes Sauptika
describing incidents disgraceful (to the honour of the Kurus). Then comes
the 'Aisika' of harrowing incidents. Then comes 'Jalapradana' oblations
of water to the manes of the deceased, and then the wailings of the
women. The next must be known as 'Sraddha' describing the funeral rites
performed for the slain Kauravas. Then comes the destruction of the
Rakshasa Charvaka who had assumed the disguise of a Brahmana (for
deceiving Yudhishthira). Then the coronation of the wise Yudhishthira.
The next is called the 'Grihapravibhaga'. Then comes 'Santi', then
'Rajadharmanusasana', then 'Apaddharma', then 'Mokshadharma'. Those that
follow are called respectively 'Suka-prasna-abhigamana',
'Brahma-prasnanusana', the origin of 'Durvasa', the disputations with
Maya. The next is to be known as 'Anusasanika'. Then the ascension of
Bhishma to heaven. Then the horse-sacrifice, which when read purgeth all
sins away. The next must be known as the 'Anugita' in which are words of
spiritual philosophy. Those that follow are called 'Asramvasa',
'Puttradarshana' (meeting with the spirits of the deceased sons), and the
arrival of Narada. The next is called 'Mausala' which abounds with
terrible and cruel incidents. Then comes 'Mahaprasthanika' and ascension
to heaven. Then comes the Purana which is called Khilvansa. In this last
are contained 'Vishnuparva', Vishnu's frolics and feats as a child, the
destruction of 'Kansa', and lastly, the very wonderful 'Bhavishyaparva'
(in which there are prophecies regarding the future).

The high-souled Vyasa composed these hundred parvas of which the above is
only an abridgement: having distributed them into eighteen, the son of
Suta recited them consecutively in the forest of Naimisha as follows:

'In the Adi parva are contained Paushya, Pauloma, Astika, Adivansavatara,
Samva, the burning of the house of lac, the slaying of Hidimba, the
destruction of the Asura Vaka, Chitraratha, the Swayamvara of Draupadi,
her marriage after the overthrow of rivals in war, the arrival of Vidura,
the restoration, Arjuna's exile, the abduction of Subhadra, the gift and
receipt of the marriage dower, the burning of the Khandava forest, and
the meeting with (the Asura-architect) Maya. The Paushya parva treats of
the greatness of Utanka, and the Pauloma, of the sons of Bhrigu. The
Astika describes the birth of Garuda and of the Nagas (snakes), the
churning of the ocean, the incidents relating to the birth of the
celestial steed Uchchaihsrava, and finally, the dynasty of Bharata, as
described in the Snake-sacrifice of king Janamejaya. The Sambhava parva
narrates the birth of various kings and heroes, and that of the sage,
Krishna Dwaipayana: the partial incarnations of deities, the generation
of Danavas and Yakshas of great prowess, and serpents, Gandharvas, birds,
and of all creatures; and lastly, of the life and adventures of king
Bharata--the progenitor of the line that goes by his name--the son born
of Sakuntala in the hermitage of the ascetic Kanwa. This parva also
describes the greatness of Bhagirathi, and the births of the Vasus in the
house of Santanu and their ascension to heaven. In this parva is also
narrated the birth of Bhishma uniting in himself portions of the energies
of the other Vasus, his renunciation of royalty and adoption of the
Brahmacharya mode of life, his adherence to his vows, his protection of
Chitrangada, and after the death of Chitrangada, his protection of his
younger brother, Vichitravirya, and his placing the latter on the throne:
the birth of Dharma among men in consequence of the curse of Animondavya;
the births of Dhritarashtra and Pandu through the potency of Vyasa's
blessings (?) and also the birth of the Pandavas; the plottings of
Duryodhana to send the sons of Pandu to Varanavata, and the other dark
counsels of the sons of Dhritarashtra in regard to the Pandavas; then the
advice administered to Yudhishthira on his way by that well-wisher of the
Pandavas--Vidura--in the mlechchha language--the digging of the hole, the
burning of Purochana and the sleeping woman of the fowler caste, with her
five sons, in the house of lac; the meeting of the Pandavas in the
dreadful forest with Hidimba, and the slaying of her brother Hidimba by
Bhima of great prowess. The birth of Ghatotkacha; the meeting of the
Pandavas with Vyasa and in accordance with his advice their stay in
disguise in the house of a Brahmana in the city of Ekachakra; the
destruction of the Asura Vaka, and the amazement of the populace at the
sight; the extra-ordinary births of Krishna and Dhrishtadyumna; the
departure of the Pandavas for Panchala in obedience to the injunction of
Vyasa, and moved equally by the desire of winning the hand of Draupadi on
learning the tidings of the Swayamvara from the lips of a Brahmana;
victory of Arjuna over a Gandharva, called Angaraparna, on the banks of
the Bhagirathi, his contraction of friendship with his adversary, and his
hearing from the Gandharva the history of Tapati, Vasishtha and Aurva.
This parva treats of the journey of the Pandavas towards Panchala, the
acquisition of Draupadi in the midst of all the Rajas, by Arjuna, after
having successfully pierced the mark; and in the ensuing fight, the
defeat of Salya, Kama, and all the other crowned heads at the hands of
Bhima and Arjuna of great prowess; the ascertainment by Balarama and
Krishna, at the sight of these matchless exploits, that the heroes were
the Pandavas, and the arrival of the brothers at the house of the potter
where the Pandavas were staying; the dejection of Drupada on learning
that Draupadi was to be wedded to five husbands; the wonderful story of
the five Indras related in consequence; the extraordinary and
divinely-ordained wedding of Draupadi; the sending of Vidura by the sons
of Dhritarashtra as envoy to the Pandavas; the arrival of Vidura and his
sight to Krishna; the abode of the Pandavas in Khandava-prastha, and then
their rule over one half of the kingdom; the fixing of turns by the sons
of Pandu, in obedience to the injunction of Narada, for connubial
companionship with Krishna. In like manner hath the history of Sunda and
Upasunda been recited in this. This parva then treats of the departure of
Arjuna for the forest according to the vow, he having seen Draupadi and
Yudhishthira sitting together as he entered the chamber to take out arms
for delivering the kine of a certain Brahmana. This parva then describes
Arjuna's meeting on the way with Ulupi, the daughter of a Naga (serpent);
it then relates his visits to several sacred spots; the birth of
Vabhruvahana; the deliverance by Arjuna of the five celestial damsels who
had been turned into alligators by the imprecation of a Brahmana, the
meeting of Madhava and Arjuna on the holy spot called Prabhasa; the
carrying away of Subhadra by Arjuna, incited thereto by her brother
Krishna, in the wonderful car moving on land and water, and through
mid-air, according to the wish of the rider; the departure for
Indraprastha, with the dower; the conception in the womb of Subhadra of
that prodigy of prowess, Abhimanyu; Yajnaseni's giving birth to children;
then follows the pleasure-trip of Krishna and Arjuna to the banks of the
Jamuna and the acquisition by them of the discus and the celebrated bow
Gandiva; the burning of the forest of Khandava; the rescue of Maya by
Arjuna, and the escape of the serpent,--and the begetting of a son by
that best of Rishis, Mandapala, in the womb of the bird Sarngi. This
parva is divided by Vyasa into two hundred and twenty-seven chapters.
These two hundred and twenty-seven chapters contain eight thousand eight
hundred and eighty-four slokas.

The second is the extensive parva called Sabha or the assembly, full of
matter. The subjects of this parva are the establishment of the grand
hall by the Pandavas; their review of their retainers; the description of
the lokapalas by Narada well-acquainted with the celestial regions; the
preparations for the Rajasuya sacrifice; the destruction of Jarasandha;
the deliverance by Vasudeva of the princes confined in the mountain-pass;
the campaign of universal conquest by the Pandavas; the arrival of the
princes at the Rajasuya sacrifice with tribute; the destruction of
Sisupala on the occasion of the sacrifice, in connection with offering of
arghya; Bhimasena's ridicule of Duryodhana in the assembly; Duryodhana's
sorrow and envy at the sight of the magnificent scale on which the
arrangements had been made; the indignation of Duryodhana in consequence,
and the preparations for the game of dice; the defeat of Yudhishthira at
play by the wily Sakuni; the deliverance by Dhritarashtra of his
afflicted daughter-in-law Draupadi plunged in the sea of distress caused
by the gambling, as of a boat tossed about by the tempestuous waves. The
endeavours of Duryodhana to engage Yudhishthira again in the game; and
the exile of the defeated Yudhishthira with his brothers. These
constitute what has been called by the great Vyasa the Sabha Parva. This
parva is divided into seventh-eight sections, O best of Brahmanas, of two
thousand, five hundred and seven slokas.

Then comes the third parva called Aranyaka (relating to the forest) This
parva treats of the wending of the Pandavas to the forest and the
citizens, following the wise Yudhishthira, Yudhishthira's adoration of
the god of day; according to the injunctions of Dhaumya, to be gifted
with the power of maintaining the dependent Brahmanas with food and
drink: the creation of food through the grace of the Sun: the expulsion
by Dhritarashtra of Vidura who always spoke for his master's good;
Vidura's coming to the Pandavas and his return to Dhritarashtra at the
solicitation of the latter; the wicked Duryodhana's plottings to destroy
the forest-ranging Pandavas, being incited thereto by Karna; the
appearance of Vyasa and his dissuasion of Duryodhana bent on going to the
forest; the history of Surabhi; the arrival of Maitreya; his laying down
to Dhritarashtra the course of action; and his curse on Duryodhana;
Bhima's slaying of Kirmira in battle; the coming of the Panchalas and the
princes of the Vrishni race to Yudhishthira on hearing of his defeat at
the unfair gambling by Sakuni; Dhananjaya's allaying the wrath of
Krishna; Draupadi's lamentations before Madhava; Krishna's cheering her;
the fall of Sauva also has been here described by the Rishi; also
Krishna's bringing Subhadra with her son to Dwaraka; and Dhrishtadyumna's
bringing the son of Draupadi to Panchala; the entrance of the sons of
Pandu into the romantic Dwaita wood; conversation of Bhima, Yudhishthira,
and Draupadi; the coming of Vyasa to the Pandavas and his endowing
Yudhishthira with the power of Pratismriti; then, after the departure of
Vyasa, the removal of the Pandavas to the forest of Kamyaka; the
wanderings of Arjuna of immeasurable prowess in search of weapons; his
battle with Mahadeva in the guise of a hunter; his meeting with the
lokapalas and receipt of weapons from them; his journey to the regions of
Indra for arms and the consequent anxiety of Dhritarashtra; the wailings
and lamentations of Yudhishthira on the occasion of his meeting with the
worshipful great sage Brihadaswa. Here occurs the holy and highly
pathetic story of Nala illustrating the patience of Damayanti and the
character of Nala. Then the acquirement by Yudhishthira of the mysteries
of dice from the same great sage; then the arrival of the Rishi Lomasa
from the heavens to where the Pandavas were, and the receipt by these
high-souled dwellers in the woods of the intelligence brought by the
Rishi of their brother Arjuna staving in the heavens; then the pilgrimage
of the Pandavas to various sacred spots in accordance with the message of
Arjuna, and their attainment of great merit and virtue consequent on such
pilgrimage; then the pilgrimage of the great sage Narada to the shrine
Putasta; also the pilgrimage of the high-souled Pandavas. Here is the
deprivation of Karna of his ear-rings by Indra. Here also is recited the
sacrificial magnificence of Gaya; then the story of Agastya in which the
Rishi ate up the Asura Vatapi, and his connubial connection with
Lopamudra from the desire of offspring. Then the story of Rishyasringa
who adopted Brahmacharya mode of life from his very boyhood; then the
history of Rama of great prowess, the son of Jamadagni, in which has been
narrated the death of Kartavirya and the Haihayas; then the meeting
between the Pandavas and the Vrishnis in the sacred spot called Prabhasa;
then the story of Su-kanya in which Chyavana, the son of Bhrigu, made the
twins, Aswinis, drink, at the sacrifice of king Saryati, the Soma juice
(from which they had been excluded by the other gods), and in which
besides is shown how Chyavana himself acquired perpetual youth (as a boon
from the grateful Aswinis). Then hath been described the history of king
Mandhata; then the history of prince Jantu; and how king Somaka by
offering up his only son (Jantu) in sacrifice obtained a hundred others;
then the excellent history of the hawk and the pigeon; then the
examination of king Sivi by Indra, Agni, and Dharma; then the story of
Ashtavakra, in which occurs the disputation, at the sacrifice of Janaka,
between that Rishi and the first of logicians, Vandi, the son of Varuna;
the defeat of Vandi by the great Ashtavakra, and the release by the Rishi
of his father from the depths of the ocean. Then the story of Yavakrita,
and then that of the great Raivya: then the departure (of the Pandavas)
for Gandhamadana and their abode in the asylum called Narayana; then
Bhimasena's journey to Gandhamadana at the request of Draupadi (in search
of the sweet-scented flower). Bhima's meeting on his way, in a grove of
bananas, with Hanuman, the son of Pavana of great prowess; Bhima's bath
in the tank and the destruction of the flowers therein for obtaining the
sweet-scented flower (he was in search of); his consequent battle with
the mighty Rakshasas and the Yakshas of great prowess including Hanuman;
the destruction of the Asura Jata by Bhima; the meeting (of the Pandavas)
with the royal sage Vrishaparva; their departure for the asylum of
Arshtishena and abode therein: the incitement of Bhima (to acts of
vengeance) by Draupadi. Then is narrated the ascent on the hills of
Kailasa by Bhimasena, his terrific battle with the mighty Yakshas headed
by Hanuman; then the meeting of the Pandavas with Vaisravana (Kuvera),
and the meeting with Arjuna after he had obtained for the purpose of
Yudhishthira many celestial weapons; then Arjuna's terrible encounter
with the Nivatakavachas dwelling in Hiranyaparva, and also with the
Paulomas, and the Kalakeyas; their destruction at the hands of Arjuna;
the commencement of the display of the celestial weapons by Arjuna before
Yudhishthira, the prevention of the same by Narada; the descent of the
Pandavas from Gandhamadana; the seizure of Bhima in the forest by a
mighty serpent huge as the mountain; his release from the coils of the
snake, upon Yudhishthira's answering certain questions; the return of the
Pandavas to the Kamyaka woods. Here is described the reappearance of
Vasudeva to see the mighty sons of Pandu; the arrival of Markandeya, and
various recitals, the history of Prithu the son of Vena recited by the
great Rishi; the stories of Saraswati and the Rishi Tarkhya. After these,
is the story of Matsya; other old stories recited by Markandeya; the
stories of Indradyumna and Dhundhumara; then the history of the chaste
wife; the history of Angira, the meeting and conversation of Draupadi and
Satyabhama; the return of the Pandavas to the forest of Dwaita; then the
procession to see the calves and the captivity of Duryodhana; and when
the wretch was being carried off, his rescue by Arjuna; here is
Yudhishthira's dream of the deer; then the re-entry of the Pandavas into
the Kamyaka forest, here also is the long story of Vrihidraunika. Here
also is recited the story of Durvasa; then the abduction by Jayadratha of
Draupadi from the asylum; the pursuit of the ravisher by Bhima swift as
the air and the ill-shaving of Jayadratha's crown at Bhima's hand. Here
is the long history of Rama in which is shown how Rama by his prowess
slew Ravana in battle. Here also is narrated the story of Savitri; then
Karna's deprivation by Indra of his ear-rings; then the presentation to
Karna by the gratified Indra of a Sakti (missile weapon) which had the
virtue of killing only one person against whom it might be hurled; then
the story called Aranya in which Dharma (the god of justice) gave advice
to his son (Yudhishthira); in which, besides is recited how the Pandavas
after having obtained a boon went towards the west. These are all
included in the third Parva called Aranyaka, consisting of two hundred
and sixty-nine sections. The number of slokas is eleven thousand, six
hundred and sixty-four.

"The extensive Parva that comes next is called Virata. The Pandavas
arriving at the dominions of Virata saw in a cemetery on the outskirts of
the city a large shami tree whereon they kept their weapons. Here hath
been recited their entry into the city and their stay there in disguise.
Then the slaying by Bhima of the wicked Kichaka who, senseless with lust,
had sought Draupadi; the appointment by prince Duryodhana of clever
spies; and their despatch to all sides for tracing the Pandavas; the
failure of these to discover the mighty sons of Pandu; the first seizure
of Virata's kine by the Trigartas and the terrific battle that ensued;
the capture of Virata by the enemy and his rescue by Bhimasena; the
release also of the kine by the Pandava (Bhima); the seizure of Virata's
kine again by the Kurus; the defeat in battle of all the Kurus by the
single-handed Arjuna; the release of the king's kine; the bestowal by
Virata of his daughter Uttara for Arjuna's acceptance on behalf of his
son by Subhadra--Abhimanyu--the destroyer of foes. These are the contents
of the extensive fourth Parva--the Virata. The great Rishi Vyasa has
composed in these sixty-seven sections. The number of slokas is two
thousand and fifty.

"Listen then to (the contents of) the fifth Parva which must be known as
Udyoga. While the Pandavas, desirous of victory, were residing in the
place called Upaplavya, Duryodhana and Arjuna both went at the same time
to Vasudeva, and said, "You should render us assistance in this war." The
high-souled Krishna, upon these words being uttered, replied, "O ye first
of men, a counsellor in myself who will not fight and one Akshauhini of
troops, which of these shall I give to which of you?" Blind to his own
interests, the foolish Duryodhana asked for the troops; while Arjuna
solicited Krishna as an unfighting counsellor. Then is described how,
when the king of Madra was coming for the assistance of the Pandavas,
Duryodhana, having deceived him on the way by presents and hospitality,
induced him to grant a boon and then solicited his assistance in battle;
how Salya, having passed his word to Duryodhana, went to the Pandavas and
consoled them by reciting the history of Indra's victory (over Vritra).
Then comes the despatch by the Pandavas of their Purohita (priest) to the
Kauravas. Then is described how king Dhritarashtra of great prowess,
having heard the word of the purohita of the Pandavas and the story of
Indra's victory decided upon sending his purohita and ultimately
despatched Sanjaya as envoy to the Pandavas from desire for peace. Here
hath been described the sleeplessness of Dhritarashtra from anxiety upon
hearing all about the Pandavas and their friends, Vasudeva and others. It
was on this occasion that Vidura addressed to the wise king Dhritarashtra
various counsels that were full of wisdom. It was here also that
Sanat-sujata recited to the anxious and sorrowing monarch the excellent
truths of spiritual philosophy. On the next morning Sanjaya spoke, in the
court of the King, of the identity of Vasudeva and Arjuna. It was then
that the illustrious Krishna, moved by kindness and a desire for peace,
went himself to the Kaurava capital, Hastinapura, for bringing about
peace. Then comes the rejection by prince Duryodhana of the embassy of
Krishna who had come to solicit peace for the benefit of both parties.
Here hath been recited the story of Damvodvava; then the story of the
high-souled Matuli's search for a husband for his daughter: then the
history of the great sage Galava; then the story of the training and
discipline of the son of Bidula. Then the exhibition by Krishna, before
the assembled Rajas, of his Yoga powers upon learning the evil counsels
of Duryodhana and Karna; then Krishna's taking Karna in his chariot and
his tendering to him of advice, and Karna's rejection of the same from
pride. Then the return of Krishna, the chastiser of enemies from
Hastinapura to Upaplavya, and his narration to the Pandavas of all that
had happened. It was then that those oppressors of foes, the Pandavas,
having heard all and consulted properly with each other, made every
preparation for war. Then comes the march from Hastinapura, for battle,
of foot-soldiers, horses, charioteers and elephants. Then the tale of the
troops by both parties. Then the despatch by prince Duryodhana of Uluka
as envoy to the Pandavas on the day previous to the battle. Then the tale
of charioteers of different classes. Then the story of Amba. These all
have been described in the fifth Parva called Udyoga of the Bharata,
abounding with incidents appertaining to war and peace. O ye ascetics,
the great Vyasa hath composed one hundred and eighty-six sections in this
Parva. The number of slokas also composed in this by the great Rishi is
six thousand, six hundred and ninety-eight.

"Then is recited the Bhishma Parva replete with wonderful incidents. In
this hath been narrated by Sanjaya the formation of the region known as
Jambu. Here hath been described the great depression of Yudhishthira's
army, and also a fierce fight for ten successive days. In this the
high-souled Vasudeva by reasons based on the philosophy of final release
drove away Arjuna's compunction springing from the latter's regard for
his kindred (whom he was on the eve of slaying). In this the magnanimous
Krishna, attentive to the welfare of Yudhishthira, seeing the loss
inflicted (on the Pandava army), descended swiftly from his chariot
himself and ran, with dauntless breast, his driving whip in hand, to
effect the death of Bhishma. In this, Krishna also smote with piercing
words Arjuna, the bearer of the Gandiva and the foremost in battle among
all wielders of weapons. In this, the foremost of bowmen, Arjuna, placing
Shikandin before him and piercing Bhishma with his sharpest arrows felled
him from his chariot. In this, Bhishma lay stretched on his bed of
arrows. This extensive Parva is known as the sixth in the Bharata. In
this have been composed one hundred and seventeen sections. The number of
slokas is five thousand, eight hundred and eighty-four as told by Vyasa
conversant with the Vedas.

_________________
The Flesh of Fallen Angels! Come to me all! Asteroth,

Beelzebub, Asmodeus, Bapholada, Lucifer, Loki, Satan,

Cthulhu, Lilith, Della! Blood, to you all!

I'm the wolf, yeah!
I am the wolf! It's close, it's coming. You have come.
The witness to the end, of time. It's now! I will rise to
her side! I don't need the words!
I'm beyond the words!

_________________

1 pcs.
1 pcs.
1 pcs.
1 pcs.


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Re: POST, POST LIKE YOU NEVER POSTED BEFORE!
The Mahabharata

of

Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa

BOOK 17

Mahaprasthanika-parva



Translated into English Prose from the Original Sanskrit Text

by

Kisari Mohan Ganguli

[1883-1896]

Scanned and Proofed by Mantra Caitanya. Additional proofing and
formatting at sacred-texts.com, by J. B. Hare, October 2003.





1

Om! Having bowed down unto Narayana, and to Nara, the foremost of men, as
also to the goddess Sarasvati, should the word "Jaya" be uttered.

Janamejaya said: "Having heard of that encounter with iron bolts between
the heroes of the Vrishni and the Andhaka races, and having been informed
also of Krishnas ascension to Heaven, what did the Pandavas do?"

Vaishampayana said: "Having heard the particulars of the great slaughter
of the Vrishnis, the Kaurava king set his heart on leaving the world. He
addressed Arjuna, saying, O thou of great intelligence, it is Time that
cooks every creature (in his cauldron). I think that what has happened is
due to the cords of Time (with which he binds us all). It behoveth thee
also to see it.

"Thus addressed by his brother, the son of Kunti only repeated the word
Time, Time! and fully endorsed the view of his eldest brother gifted with
great intelligence. Ascertaining the resolution of Arjuna, Bhimasena and
the twins fully endorsed the words that Arjuna had said. Resolved to
retire from the world for earning merit, they brought Yuyutsu before
them. Yudhishthira made over the kingdom to the son of his uncle by his
Vaisya wife. Installing Parikshit also on their throne, as king, the
eldest brother of the Pandavas, filled with sorrow, addressed Subhadra,
saying, This son of thy son will be the king of the Kurus. The survivor
of the Yadus, Vajra, has been made a king. Parikshit will rule in
Hastinapura, while the Yadava prince, Vajra, will rule in Shakraprastha.
He should be protected by thee. Never set thy heart on unrighteousness.

"Having said these words, king Yudhishthira the just, along with his
brothers, promptly offered oblations of water unto Vasudeva of great
intelligence, as also unto his old maternal uncle and Rama and others. He
then duly performed the Sraddhas of all those deceased kinsmen of his.
The king, in honour of Hari and naming him repeatedly, fed the
Island-born Vyasa, and Narada, and Markandeya possessed of wealth of
penances, and Yajnavalkya of Bharadwajas race, with many delicious
viands. In honour of Krishna, he also gave away many jewels and gems, and
robes and clothes, and villages, and horses and cars, and female slaves
by hundreds and thousands unto foremost of Brahmanas. Summoning the
citizens. Kripa was installed as the preceptor and Parikshit was made
over to him as his disciple, O chief of Bharatas race.

"Then Yudhishthira once more summoned all his subjects. The royal sage
informed them of his intentions. The citizens and the inhabitants of the
provinces, hearing the kings words, became filled with anxiety and
disapproved of them. This should never be done, said they unto the king.
The monarch, well versed with the changes brought about by time, did not
listen to their counsels. Possessed of righteous soul, he persuaded the
people to sanction his views. He then set his heart on leaving the world.
His brothers also formed the same resolution. Then Dharmas son,
Yudhishthira, the king of the Kurus, casting off his ornaments, wore
barks of trees. Bhima and Arjuna and the twins, and Draupadi also of
great fame, similarly clad themselves in bark of trees, O king. Having
caused the preliminary rites of religion, O chief of Bharatas race, which
were to bless them in the accomplishment of their design, those foremost
of men cast off their sacred fires into the water. The ladies, beholding
the princes in that guise, wept aloud. They seemed to look as they had
looked in days before, when with Draupadi forming the sixth in number
they set out from the capital after their defeat at dice. The brothers,
however, were all very cheerful at the prospect of retirement.
Ascertaining the intentions of Yudhishthira and seeing the destruction of
the Vrishnis, no other course of action could please them then.

"The five brothers, with Draupadi forming the sixth, and a dog forming
the seventh, set out on their journey. Indeed, even thus did king
Yudhishthira depart, himself the head of a party of seven, from the city
named after the elephant. The citizen and the ladies of the royal
household followed them for some distance. None of them, however, could
venture to address the king for persuading him to give up his intention.
The denizens of the city then returned; Kripa and others stood around
Yuyutsu as their centre. Ulupi, the daughter of the Naga chief, O thou of
Kuntis race, entered the waters of Ganga. The princess Chitrangada set
out for the capital of Manipura. The other ladies who were the
grandmothers of Parikshit centered around him. Meanwhile the high-souled
Pandavas, O thou of Kurus race, and Draupadi of great fame, having
observed the preliminary fast, set out with their faces towards the east.
Setting themselves on Yoga, those high-souled ones, resolved to observe
the religion of Renunciation, traversed through various countries and
reached diverse rivers and seas. Yudhishthira, proceeded first. Behind
him was Bhima; next walked Arjuna; after him were the twins in the order
of their birth; behind them all, O foremost one of Bharatas race,
proceeded Draupadi, that first of women, possessed of great beauty, of
dark complexion, and endued with eyes resembling lotus petals. While the
Pandavas set out for the forest, a dog followed them.

"Proceeding on, those heroes reached the sea of red waters. Dhananjaya
had not cast off his celestial bow Gandiva, nor his couple of
inexhaustible quivers, actuated, O king, by the cupidity that attaches
one to things of great value. The Pandavas there beheld the deity of fire
standing before them like a hill. Closing their way, the god stood there
in his embodied form. The deity of seven flames then addressed the
Pandavas, saying, Ye heroic sons of Pandu, know me for the deity of fire.
O mighty-armed Yudhishthira, O Bhimasena that art a scorcher of foes, O
Arjuna, and ye twins of great courage, listen to what I say! Ye foremost
ones of Kurus race, I am the god of fire. The forest of Khandava was
burnt by me, through the puissance of Arjuna and of Narayana himself. Let
your brother Phalguna proceed to the woods after casting off Gandiva,
that high weapon. He has no longer any need of it. That precious discus,
which was with the high-souled Krishna, has disappeared (from the world).
When the time again comes, it will come back into his hands. This
foremost of bows, Gandiva, was procured by me from Varuna for the use of
Partha. Let it be made over to Varuna himself.

"At this, all the brothers urged Dhananjaya to do what the deity said. He
then threw into the waters (of the sea) both the bow and the couple of
inexhaustible quivers. After this, O chief of Bharatas race, the god of
the fire disappeared then and there. The heroic sons of Pandu next
proceeded with their faces turned towards the south. Then, by the
northern coast of the salt sea, those princes of Bharatas race proceeded
to the south-west. Turning next towards the west, they beheld the city of
Dwaraka covered by the ocean. Turning next to the north, those foremost
ones proceeded on. Observant of Yoga, they were desirous of making a
round of the whole Earth."



2

Vaishampayana said: "Those princes of restrained souls and devoted to
Yoga, proceeding to the north, beheld Himavat, that very large mountain.
Crossing the Himavat, they beheld a vast desert of sand. They then saw
the mighty mountain Meru, the foremost of all high-peaked mountains. As
those mighty ones were proceeding quickly, all rapt in Yoga, Yajnaseni,
falling of from Yoga, dropped down on the Earth. Beholding her fallen
down, Bhimasena of great strength addressed king Yudhishthira the just,
saying, O scorcher of foes, this princess never did any sinful act. Tell
us what the cause is for which Krishna has fallen down on the Earth!

"Yudhishthira said: O best of men, though we were all equal unto her she
had great partiality for Dhananjaya. She obtains the fruit of that
conduct today, O best of men."

Vaishampayana continued: "Having said this, that foremost one of Bharatas
race proceeded on. Of righteous soul, that foremost of men, endued with
great intelligence, went on, with mind intent on itself. Then Sahadeva of
great learning fell down on the Earth. Beholding him drop down, Bhima
addressed the king, saying, He who with great humility used to serve us
all, alas, why is that son of Madravati fallen down on the Earth?

"Yudhishthira said, He never thought anybody his equal in wisdom. It is
for that fault that this prince has fallen down.

Vaishampayana continued: "Having said this, the king proceeded, leaving
Sahadeva there. Indeed, Kuntis son Yudhishthira went on, with his
brothers and with the dog. Beholding both Krishna and the Pandava
Sahadeva fallen down, the brave Nakula, whose love for kinsmen was very
great, fell down himself. Upon the falling down of the heroic Nakula of
great personal beauty, Bhima once more addressed the king, saying, This
brother of ours who was endued with righteousness without incompleteness,
and who always obeyed our behests, this Nakula who was unrivalled for
beauty, has fallen down.

"Thus addressed by Bhimasena, Yudhishthira, said, with respect to Nakula,
these words: He was of righteous soul and the foremost of all persons
endued with intelligence. He, however, thought that there was nobody that
equalled him in beauty of person. Indeed, he regarded himself as superior
to all in that respect. It is for this that Nakula has fallen down. Know
this, O Vrikodara. What has been ordained for a person, O hero, must have
to be endured by him.

"Beholding Nakula and the others fall down, Pandus son Arjuna of white
steeds, that slayer of hostile heroes, fell down in great grief of heart.
When that foremost of men, who was endued with the energy of Shakra, had
fallen down, indeed, when that invincible hero was on the point of death,
Bhima said unto the king, I do not recollect any untruth uttered by this
high-souled one. Indeed, not even in jest did he say anything false. What
then is that for whose evil consequence this one has fallen down on the
Earth?

"Yudhishthira said, Arjuna had said that he would consume all our foes in
a single day. Proud of his heroism, he did not, however, accomplish what
he had said. Hence has he fallen down. This Phalguna disregarded all
wielders of bows. One desirous of prosperity should never indulge in such
sentiments."

Vaishampayana continued: "Having said so, the king proceeded on. Then
Bhima fell down. Having fallen down, Bhima addressed king Yudhishthira
the just, saying, O king, behold, I who am thy darling have fallen down.
For what reason have I dropped down? Tell me if thou knowest it.

"Yudhishthira said, Thou wert a great eater, and thou didst use to boast
of thy strength. Thou never didst attend, O Bhima, to the wants of others
while eating. It is for that, O Bhima, that thou hast fallen down.

"Having said these words, the mighty-armed Yudhishthira proceeded on,
without looking back. He had only one companion, the dog of which I have
repeatedly spoken to thee, that followed him now.



3

Vaishampayana said: "Then Shakra, causing the firmament and the Earth to
be filled by a loud sound, came to the son of Pritha on a car and asked
him to ascend it. Beholding his brothers fallen on the Earth, king
Yudhishthira the just said unto that deity of a 1,000 eyes these words:
My brothers have all dropped down here. They must go with me. Without
them by me I do not wish to go to Heaven, O lord of all the deities. The
delicate princess (Draupadi) deserving of every comfort, O Purandar