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Ma Ha 14

Ma Ha 14

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The MahabharataofKrishna-Dwaipayana VyasaBOOK 14ASWAMEDHA PARVATranslated into English Prose from the Original Sanskrit TextbyKisari Mohan Ganguli[1883-1896]Scanned at sacred-texts.com, January 2004. Proofed by John Bruno Hare.THE MAHABHARATAASWAMEDHA PARVASECTION I(Aswamedhika Parva)OM! HAVING BOWED down unto Narayana, and Nara the foremost of malebeings, and unto the goddess Saraswati, must the word Jaya be uttered."Vaisampayana said, "After the king Dhritarashtra had offered libationsof water (unto the manes of Bhisma), the mighty-armed[1] Yudhishthira,with his senses bewildered, placing the former in his front, ascended thebanks (of the river), his eyes suffused with tears, and dropt down on thebank of the Ganga like an elephant pierced by the hunter. Then incited byKrishna, Bhima took him up sinking. 'This must not be so,' said Krishna,the grinder of hostile hosts. The Pandavas, O king, saw Yudhishthira, theson of Dharma, troubled and lying on the ground, and also sighing againand again. And seeing the king despondent and feeble, the Pandavas,overwhelmed with grief, sat down, surrounding him. And endowed with highintelligence and having the sight of wisdom, king Dhritarashtra,exceedingly afflicted with grief for his sons, addressed the monarch,saying,--'Rise up, O thou tiger among the Kurus. Do thou now attend tothy duties. O Kunti's son, thou hast conquered this Earth according tothe usage of the Kshatriyas. Do thou now, O lord of men, enjoy her withthy brothers and friends. O foremost of the righteous, I do not see whythou shouldst grieve. O lord of the Earth, having lost a hundred sonslike unto riches obtained in a dream, it is Gandhari and I, who shouldmourn. Not having listened to the pregnant words of the high-souledVidura, who sought our welfare, I, of perverse senses, (now) repent. Thevirtuous Vidura, endowed with divine insight, had told me,--'Thy race
 
will meet with annihilation owing to the transgressions of Duryodhana. Oking, if thou wish for the weal of thy line, act up to my advice. Castoff this wicked-minded monarch, Suyodhana, and let not either Karna orSakuni by any means see him. Their gambling too do thou, without makingany fuss suppress, and anoint the righteous king Yudhishthira. That oneof subdued senses will righteously govern the Earth. If thou wouldst nothave king Yudhishthira, son of Kunti, then, O monarch, do thou,performing a sacrifice, thyself take charge of the kingdom, and regardingall creatures with an even eye, O lord of men, do thou let thy kinsmen. Othou advancer of thy kindred, subsist on thy bounty.' When, O Kunti'sson, the far-sighted Vidura said this, fool that I was I followed thewicked Duryodhana. Having turned a deaf ear to the sweet speech of thatsedate one, I have obtained this mighty sorrow as a consequence, and havebeen plunged in an ocean of woe. Behold thy old father and mother, Oking, plunged in misery. But, O master of men, I find no occasion for thygrief.'"SECTION II"Vaisampayana said, "Thus addressed by the intelligent king DhritarashtraYudhishthira, possessed of understanding, became calm. And then Kesava(Krishna) accosted him,--'If a person indulges excessively in sorrow forhis departed forefathers, he grieves them. (Therefore, banishing grief),do thou (now) celebrate many a sacrifice with suitable presents to thepriests; and do thou gratify the gods with Soma liquor, and the manes ofthy forefathers with their due food and drink. Do thou also gratify thyguests with meat and drink and the destitute with gifts commensurate withtheir desires. A person of thy high intelligence should not bear himselfthus. What ought to be known hath been known by thee; what ought to bedone, hath also been performed. And thou hast heard the duties of theKshatriyas, recited by Bhishma, the son of Bhagirathi, by KrishnaDwaipayana, Narada and Vidura. Therefore thou shouldst not walk the wayof the stupid; but pursuing the course of thy forefathers, sustain theburthen (of the empire). It is meet that a Kshatriya should attain heavenfor certain by his (own) renown. Of heroes, those that came to be slainnever shall have to turn away (from the celestial regions). Renounce thygrief, O mighty sovereign. Verily, what hath happened was destined tohappen so. Thou canst in no wise see those that have been slain in thiswar.--Having said this unto Yudhishthira, prince of the pious, thehigh-spirited Govinda paused; and Yudhishthira answered him thus, 'OGovinda, full well do I know thy fondness for me. Thou hast ever favouredme with thy love and thy friendship. And, O holder of the mace and thediscus. O scion of Yadu's race, O glorious one, if (now) with a pleasedmind thou dost permit me to go to the ascetic's retreat in the woods,then thou wouldst compass what is highly desired by me. Peace find I noneafter having slain my grand-father, and that foremost of men, Karna, whonever fled from the field of battle. Do thou, O Janarddana, so order thatI may be freed from this heinous sin and that my mind may be purified. AsPritha's son was speaking thus, the highly-energetic Vyasa, cognisant ofthe duties of life, soothing him, spoke these excellent words, My child,thy mind is not yet calmed; and therefore thou art again stupefied by achildish sentiment. And wherefore, O child, do we over and over againscatter our speech to the winds? Thou knowest duties of the Kshatriyas,who live by warfare. A king that hath performed his proper part shouldnot suffer himself to be overwhelmed by sorrow. Thou hast faithfullylistened to the entire doctrine of salvation; and I have repeatedly
 
removed thy misgivings arising out of desire. But not paying due heed towhat I have unfolded, thou of perverse understanding hast doubtlessforgotten it clean. Be it not so. Such ignorance is not worthy of thee. Osinless one, thou knowest all kinds, of expiation; and thou hast alsoheard of the virtues of kings as well as the merits of gifts. Whereforethen, O Bharata, acquainted with every morality and versed in all theAgamas, art thou overwhelmed (with grief) as if from ignorance?'"SECTION III"Vyasa said, 'O Yudhishthira, thy wisdom, I conceive, is not adequate.None doth any act by virtue of his own power. It is God. who engageth himin acts good or bad, O bestower of honour. Where then is the room forrepentance? Thou deemest thyself as having perpetrated impious acts. Dothou, therefore, O Bharata, harken as to the way in which sin may beremoved. O Yudhishthira, those that commit sins, can always freethemselves from them through penance, sacrifice and gifts. O king, Oforemost of men, sinful people are purified by sacrifice, austerities andcharity. The high-souled celestials and Asuras perform sacrifices forsecuring religious merit; and therefore sacrifice are of supremeimportance. It is through sacrifices that the high-souled celestials hadwaxed so wondrously powerful; and having celebrated rites did theyvanquish the Danavas. Do thou, O Yudhishthira, prepare for the Rajasuya,and the horse-sacrifice, as well as, O Bharata, for the Sarvamedha andthe Naramedha.[2] And then as Dasaratha's son, Rama, or as Dushmanta'sand Sakuntala's son, thy ancestor, the lord of the Earth, the exceedinglypuissant king Bharata, had done, do thou agreeably to the ordinancecelebrate the Horse-sacrifice with Dakshinas. Yudhishthira replied,'Beyond a doubt, the Horse-sacrifice purifieth princes. But I have apurpose of which it behoveth thee to hear. Having caused this hugecarnage of kindred, I cannot, O best of the regenerate ones, dispensegifts even on a small scale; I have no wealth to give. Nor can I forwealth solicit these juvenile sons of kings, staying in sorry plight,with their wounds yet green, and undergoing suffering. How, O foremost oftwice-born ones, having myself destroyed the Earth can I, overcome bysorrow, levy dues for celebrating a sacrifice? Through Duryodhana'sfault, O best of ascetics, the kings of the Earth have met withdestruction, and we have reaped ignominy. For wealth Duryodhana hathwasted the Earth; and the treasury of that wicked-minded son ofDhritarashtra is empty. (In this sacrifice), the Earth is the Dakshina;this is the rule that is prescribed in the first instance. The usualreversal of this rule, though sanctioned, is observed, by the learned assuch. Nor, O ascetic, do I like to have a substitute (for this process).In this matter, O reverend sir, it behoveth thee to favour me with thycounsel'. Thus addressed by Pritha's son, Krishna Dwaipayana, reflectingfor a while, spoke unto the righteous king,--'This treasury, (now)exhausted, shall be full. O son of Pritha, in the mountain Himavat (TheHimalayas) there is gold which had been left behind by Brahmanas at thesacrifice of the high-souled Marutta.'[3] Yudhishthira asked, 'How inthat sacrifice celebrated by Marutta was so much gold amassed? And, Oforemost of speakers, when did he reign?' Vyasa said 'If, O Pritha's son,thou art anxious to hear concerning that king sprung from the Karandhamarace, then listen to me as I tell thee when that highly powerful monarchpossessed of immense wealth reigned.'"

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