Hrdayananda dasa Gosvami (1990) - MAHABHARATA (AdiParva) ADI PARVA - CHAPTER 01

narayanam namas-krtya, naram caiva narottamam devim sarasvatim vyasam, tato jayam udirayet "Before reciting this Mahabharata, which is the very means of conquest, one should first offer respectful obeisances unto the Personality of Godhead, Narayana, unto Nara-narayana Rsi, the supermost human being, unto mother Sarasvati, the goddess of learning, and unto Srila Vyasadeva, the author." Suta Gosvami, son of Romaharsana, was widely renowned for his knowledge of the sacred histories called Puranas. Once he journeyed to the holy forest of Naimisaranya, where the learned Saunaka, assisted by strict and powerful sages, was conducting a twelve-year sacrifice. Humbly bowing his head, Suta approached the sages seated in the sacrificial arena, greeting them with folded hands, and then inquired about the progress of their austerities. The forest ascetics welcomed him into their midst, eager to hear the fascinating histories he knew so well. As all the ascetics again sat down together, they offered Suta Gosvami the speaker's seat of honor, and he humbly accepted in deference to their request. Seeing that Suta was comfortable and well-rested, one of the sages, eager to begin their talks, inquired of him: "Dear Suta, where are you coming from, and how have you been spending your time? O lotus-eyed one, please tell us." Suta Gosvami replied: I recently attended the sacrifice of the saintly King Janamejaya, who is a great soul among earthly rulers and a most worthy son of his great father, Pariksit. In that sacrifice King Janamejaya tried to destroy all the serpents in the universe in order to avenge his father's death. During the ceremony, the learned Vaisampayana spoke on various topics he had learned from his teacher, the great Krsna Dvaipayana. Being present, I heard many wonderful and pious stories known together as the Mahabharata. Thereafter, I traveled about and visited many holy sites and sanctuaries, until at last I reached the sacred land of Samanta-pancaka, where many qualified brahmanas reside. In that very land some time ago, the great war between the Pandavas and Kurus and all the kings of the earth took place. I then journeyed here to Naimisaranya, desiring to see all of you, whom I consider to be self-realized sages. Indeed, having purified yourselves by this sacrifice, you great souls shine like the sun or fire. You have chanted the proper hymns, ignited the sacred fire, and have thus become fixed in your real identity as spiritual beings. Dear brahmana, you have spent your lives well. On what subject would you now have me speak? Shall I narrate pious histories of antiquity, or shall we discuss universal principles of justice-- or perhaps the lives of great souls, the saintly kings and sages? The sages replied:

We would like to hear that historical narrative which was first spoken by Srila Vyasadeva, the greatest of sages. Indeed, when the godly and wise hear this best of chronicles with its variety of topics and its exquisite composition, they instantly honor it. This sacred work known as the Mahabharata fulfills the very noblest aims of literature, for it is invested with subtlety, logic, and Vedic knowledge, enlivening the soul with the wisdom of many scriptures. We would hear that work which Vaisampayana, on the order of Vyasadeva, joyfully narrated at the sacrifice of King Janamejaya. Vyasadeva himself, whose deeds are marvelous, considers the Mahabharata equal to all the four Vedas. Dear Suta, we wish to hear the glorious Mahabharata, which drives away the fear that flows from sin. Suta replied: Let me first pay my respectful obeisances unto the source of all that exists, the indestructible reality called by many names and praised in many prayers, the Absolute Truth, who is eternally present, although at times manifest and at times unmanifest. Unto Him I bow down. Matter and spirit are His potencies, and therefore He is one with the universe. Yet He is transcendental and supreme, the prime creator of all things great and small. Standing above all, His power is never diminished. My obeisances unto the Supreme Lord, who is celebrated as Visnu and who is the purest and most desireable being. Full of spiritual bliss, He enlivens each of us with His own happiness. That sinless one is called Hari, for He dispells His devotee's anxiety, and Hrsikesa, for He alone is the master of all the senses. He is the original teacher of all the creatures who move in this world and of those, like the trees, that cannot move. I shall now narrate the complete epic as taught by Vyasadeva, that great and broadminded sage honored by all. Learned poets recited this chronicle in the past, others declare it even today, and still others will certainly recite it in times to come. This great teaching is firmly established in all the three worlds, and advanced scholars study its broad outline as well as its many details. The learned consider the Mahabharata a veritable pleasure to read, for it is embellished with beautiful language and a variety of charming meters, both divine and human. To write this history Vyasadeva retired to a sanctified region, high in the Himalayas in a secluded mountain valley, fit for performing religious sacrifices, and he reflected deeply on how best to explain this great history to the people of the present age. Rising early and cleansing his body, and then taking his seat on a simple mat of kusa grass, Vyasadeva remained strictly celibate, peaceful, and pure, and entered into a state of yoga by linking his own consciousness with the Supreme Consciousness. Thus he beheld, within himself, all things.Vyasa could see that in the beginning of universal time, when the world was covered with darkness and nothing could be seen, there arose a single cosmic seed, round and potent like an egg, yet vast and indestructible, pregnant with the bodies of all creatures. As authorities have it, this divine instrument was the great principle of creation. Within that single seed shown the eternal light of the Absolute Truth, primordial, wonderful, inconceivable, and everywhere the same. Housing both matter and spirit, it was the subtle and invisible cause of the universe. From that same Absolute Truth the grandsire, Brahma, took birth, he who is the master of creatures and guru to the gods; who is known as Sthanu, Manu, Ka, and Paramesthi; [who arose directly from the spiritual body of Lord Maha-visnu.] Lord Siva, Manu, the ten Pracetas, and Daksa with his seven sons, also appeared, followed by the twenty-one Prajapatis. All of these gods are partial manifestations of the immeasureable Personality of Godhead. This is known to all enlightened philosophers.

Various demigods then took birth to assist the cosmic rule: the Visve-devas, the Adityas, the Vasus, and the twin Asvins. Among them, illustrious Vivasvan rules the fiery sun. Acting as the eye of God, he is also celebrated as Atma-vibhavasu, Savita, Rcika, Arka, Bhanu, Asavaha, and Ravi. Mahya is the youngest son of the sun-god. Mahya's son is Devavrata, and Devavrata's son is Subhraj, who had three well- known sons named Dasajyoti, Satajyoti, and Sahasrajyoti, all of whom produced many children. The great soul Dasajyoti (whose name means "Ten Lights") had ten thousand children. Satajyoti ("Hundred Lights") had children numbering one hundred thousand, and Sahasra-jyoti ("Thousand Lights") had a thousand times a thousand children. From these godly beings, the great royal dynasties descended on the earth, dynasties like the Kurus, Yadus, and Bharatas, as well as the great dynasties of Yayati, Iksvaku, and many other saintly kings. Thus by the power of the Sun and his descendants, many civilizations flourished and found a home in this world. Vyasadeva could thus see the complete history of the cosmos and all its mysterious inner workings, which he explained in the Mahabharata, that others might learn and profit. Vyasadeva understood that in this world souls pass through cycles of piety, prosperity, pleasure-seeking, and salvation. In his authoritative books of knowledge, he therefore explained how human beings could live piously, become prosperous, satisfy their desires, and at the same time make spiritual progress. The special mark of the Mahabharata, therefore, is its clear focus on all important aspects of human endeavor. After expanding this great knowledge Vyasadeva then prepared a condensed version, because learned scholars in this world would study it both in summary as well as in detail. Some wise brahmanas study the Mahabharata from the opening stanza, while others begin from the story of Astika; still others begin with the story of King Uparicara. Different thinkers illuminate different aspects of the work, some by expertly analyzing its meaning, others by committing the entire text to memory. But it was Vyasa, celibate and austere, who divided the eternal Veda and then composed this sacred history. The sage Parasara begot Vyasa in the womb of the maiden Satyavati. Later, on the plea of his mother and his stepbrother Bhisma, the wise Vyasadeva, ever-strict in his vows, begot three sons in the childless widows of his stepbrother Vicitravirya, each of whom was as brilliant as fire. Having fathered the three Kuru princes, Dhrtarastra, Pandu, and Vidura, thoughtful Vyasa went to his own asrama and again dedicated himself to the practice of austerity. After the three Kuru princes matured and eventually went on to their final destinations, the same great sage told their story to all mankind by narrating the Mahabharata. At the urging of Emperor Janamejaya and thousands of brahmanas, Vyasadeva taught this great history to his disciple Vaisampayana, who sat close by his teacher. Later, sitting in the learned assembly at Janamejaya's sacrifice, the sage Vaisampayana, after repeated requests, spoke the Mahabharata at intervals in the sacrifice. This great chronicle, spoken by the exalted sage Vyasa, thus records the powerful growth of the Kuru dynasty, the extraordinary chastity of Gandhari, Vidura's wisdom, Kunti's determination, the glory of Sri Krsna, the unswerving fidelity of the Pandavas, and the wicked deeds of the sons of Dhrtarastra. The learned say that Vyasa first recorded the essential story of the Mahabharata, less the minor episodes, in 24,000 verses, summarizing the major events and sections of the history in a single chapter of 150 verses. He then taught the history to his own son Suka and to other qualified disciples.

The sage compiled versions of the Mahabharata for the demigods in six million verses and in three million verses. The forefathers received 1,500,000 verses, the Raksasas and Yaksas 1,400,000, and human society 100,000. Narada Muni revealed it to the demigods, Asita Devala to the forefathers, and Suka, the son of Vyasa, taught it to the Gandharvas and Yaksas.

Full of anger, Duryodhana was like a great tree whose trunk was Karna, its branches Sakuni, its fully ripened fruits and flowers the evil Duhsasana, and its root King Dhrtarastra, who was not a thoughtful man. The thoroughly just Yudhisthira was like a great tree whose trunk was Arjuna, its branches Bhimasena, its fully ripened fruits and flowers the twin sons of Madri, and its roots were Sri Krsna, knowledge of the Vedas, and saintly brahmanas. After conquering many lands by his courage and fighting strength, King Pandu dwelled in the forest with his close associates, ever engaged in hunting, until one day he slew a deer couple who were mating. Thereafter he underwent much suffering, spending his life in the forest where he raised his sons from their birth. Pandu was unable to beget children, thus his two wives gave him five sons by their contact with demigods. On Pandu's order, his first wife Kunti united with Dharma, god of justice; with Vayu, lord of the Wind; and with Indra, ruler of heaven., Arjuna performed a nearly impossible feat and stole her away in the midst of all the greatest warriors of the earth. From that time on Arjuna was honored as the best of bowmen. So brilliant was he on the battlefield that his opponents could not face him, just as they could not stare into the face of the blazing sun. Many years later, after defeating all the earthly kings who were great and noble, Arjuna enabled his brother Yudhisthira to perform the exalted Rajasuya sacrifice, at which all present were fed sumptuously and gived valuable gifts. The Rajasuya sacrifice of King Yudhisthira was glorious in all respects. By the good counsel of Lord Krsna and with the strength of Bhima and Arjuna, Yudhisthira arranged to kill Jarasandha, the evil monarch who was slaughtering thousands of innocent rulers. Thus the king performed his sacrifice without fear of harassment. During that great ceremony Lord Krsna took the life of the wicked Sisupala, who was insanely proud of his strength. Fabulous wealth, jewelry, gems, and gold, valuable herds of cows, elephants, and fine horses, and all manner of opulence came to Duryodhana from all sides. But when Duryodhana saw that the Pandavas acquired the same opulence and riches, his jealousy drove him to deadly rage. And when he saw their unique assembly hall, as splendid as a celestial airship, created by the mystic craftsman Maya, Duryodhana burned in the flames of envy. In that celestial hall Duryodhana became utterly confused, like an ordinary low-class fool, and slipped and fell in the presence of Lord Krsna and Bhimasena, who openly laughed at him. Soon thereafter Dhrtarastra understood that his son Duryodhana, though enjoying all varieties of wealth, was sick with jealousy and was steadily growing pale and thin. Dhrtarastra was so attached to his son and so anxious to please him that he gave his permission for the crooked gambling match in which his sons would steal the Pandavas' kingdom. When Sri Krsna heard of it He was greatly angered, but He allowed the deceitful

match to take place. As the terrible strife sown by Duryodhana grew between the cousinbrothers, Lord Krsna was not at all pleased, but He did not interfere until, finally, not heeding the pleas of Vidura, Drona, Bhisma, and Krpa, son of Saradvan, the Supreme Lord caused all the burdensome monarchs to destroy each other in the tumultuous war. Hearing the dreaded news that the Pandavas had defeated his sons in mortal combat, Dhrtarastra could not deny that his eldest son Duryodhana, together with Karna and Sakuni, had provoked the catastrophic war between the cousin-brothers. For a long time Dhrtarastra struggled to understand his great loss, and then at last spoke these words to his intimate secretary, Sanjaya: "Please, Sanjaya, hear all that I have to say, and do not blame me for all that has happened. You are an intelligent and educated man; the wisest men trust your judgement. Sanjaya, I did not want the war! I did not want to destroy our Kuru dynasty. I knew that there was no difference between my own sons and those of Pandu, but my sons were always so angry and so displeased with me, an old, blind man. Out of weakness and attachment, I tolerated their wicked deeds. "Duryodhana had no sense of right and wrong, yet whenever he went astray I followed him. When he beheld the opulence of the mighty Pandava king at the Rajasuya sacrifice and then suffered such ridicule during his tour of the new assembly hall, he simply could not tolerate it. He did not have the strength to defeat the Pandavas in battle, nor did he have the initiative and ingenuity to personally acquire opulence as the Pandavas had done. And thus, like a man unworthy to be a warrior, he plotted with the Gandhara king to steal the Pandavas' fortune in an unjust gambling match. "O Sanjaya, please hear me! All along I understood so many things. Listen to my words, and you will see that I am a reasonable man, that although I am blind, I do have a certain eye of wisdom. "When I heard that Arjuna had strung the wonderful bow and struck the hidden target, which then fell to the earth, and that he had carried away the lovely Draupadi as all the kings of the earth looked on, I knew then, Sanjaya, that I had no hope for victory. "When I heard that Arjuna had even carried away Lord Krsna's sister, by force, from the city of Dvaraka, and that Krsna and Balarama did not oppose him, but rather went to the Pandavas' city of Indraprastha to celebrate the marriage, I knew then, Sanjaya, that I had no hope for victory. "When I heard that Arjuna with celestial arrows had withstood in battle the king of the demigods, repulsing his angry rain, and had offered the entire Khandava forest as a gift to the god of fire, I knew then, Sanjaya, that I had no hope for victory. "When I heard that Yudhisthira, though utterly defeated, his kingdom stolen by Saubala in a game of dice, was nevertheless faithfully followed into exile by his brothers, who possessed immeasurable strength, I knew then, Sanjaya, that I had no hope for victory. "When I heard that Draupadi, pained and grieving, her throat choked with tears, had been dragged into the Kuru assembly wrapped in a single cloth, and that she who is always protected by Lord Krsna was insulted there as if the lowest of women, I knew then, Sanjaya, that I had no hope for victory. "When I heard that the Pandavas had all gone to the forest, accepting the pain of exile out of love for their eldest brother, and that even in exile those virtuous souls had performed extraordinary deeds, I knew then, Sanjaya, that I had no hope for victory.

"When I heard that Yudhisthira, the king of justice, had departed for the forest and was immediately followed there by thousands of learned brahmanas, all of them humble mendicants and great souls, I knew then, Sanjaya, that I had no hope for victory. "When I heard that the three-eyed Siva, god of gods, had come disguised as a lowly Kirata hunter, and that Arjuna fought him and so pleased him that he awarded Arjuna his own mighty weapon, the Pasupata, I knew then, Sanjaya, that I had no hope for victory. "When I heard that Arjuna had actually gone to the heavenly planets and there learned from Indra himself the use of unfailing celestial weapons, I knew then, Sanjaya, that I had no hope for victory. "When I heard that Bhima and the other sons of Prtha had gone with Vaisravana to that land where no man could possibly go, I knew then, Sanjaya, that I had no hope for victory. "When I heard that my own sons, in taking the advice of Karna and going to visit the remote herdsmen, had all been captured by the Gandharvas, only to be set free by Arjuna, I knew then, Sanjaya, that I had no hope for victory. "When I heard that Dharma, the god of justice, had come in the guise of a Yaksa to speak with Yudhisthira, who is known as Dharma-raja, the king of justice, and that Yudhisthira perfectly answered Dharma's most puzzling questions, I knew then, Sanjaya, that I had no hope for victory. "When I heard that my sons could not recognize the Pandavas, who, with Draupadi, were living in disguise in the kingdom of Virata, I knew then, Sanjaya, that I had no hope for victory. "When I heard that the sons of Prtha had become so clever --indeed as difficult to grasp as fire --that by so many means they had eluded my sons, who could neither find nor see them, I knew then, Sanjaya, that I had no hope for victory. "When I heard that Bhimasena, defending his dear Draupadi, had slain the greatest of the Kicakas along with his hunred brothers, I knew then, Sanjaya, that I had no hope for victory. "When I heard that the great soul Arjuna, dwelling in disguise in the kingdom of Virata, had broken in battle the very best of my men, while fighting alone on a single chariot, I knew then, Sanjaya, that I had no hope for victory. "When I heard that the King of Matsya had offered his virtuous daughter Uttara to Arjuna, who accepted her not for himself but for his son, I knew then, Sanjaya, that I had no hope for victory. "When I heard that Yudhisthira, utterly defeated in a game of dice, penniless, and banished to the forest with nary a friend or ally, suddenly had command of a mighty force of seven full aksauhini armies, I knew then, Sanjaya, that I had no hope for victory. "When I heard from the great sage Narada that Krsna and Arjuna were not ordinary human beings at all, but in fact the two great beings known as Nara and Narayana, and when Narada told me, 'Yes, I always see them in the highest planet of the universe,' I knew then, Sanjaya, that I had no hope for victory. "When I heard that Lord Krsna, the husband of the goddess of fortune, had wholeheartedly taken the side of the Pandava's, that same Sri Krsna who had once crossed the universe in a single step, I knew then, Sanjaya, that I had no hope for victory. "When I heard that Lord Krsna, desiring to make peace for the benefit of the whole world, had approached the Kurus and begged for peace and had gone away without fulfilling His purpose, I knew then, Sanjaya, that I had no hope for victory.

"When I heard that Karna and Duryodhana had made up their minds to subdue Lord Krsna, even after He had revealed Himself in so many ways to be the Supreme Soul of the universe, I knew then, Sanjaya, that I had no hope for victory. "When I heard that the Pandavas' mother Pritha, seeing that Lord Krsna was departing, had stood alone desperately in front of His chariot, begging for His help, and that Lord Krsna had comforted her, I knew then, Sanjaya, that I had no hope for victory. "When I heard that Lord Krsna and Grandfather Bhisma were personally acting as advisors to the Pandavas, and that even the acarya Drona conferred blessings upon them, I knew then, Sanjaya, that I had no hope for victory. "When I heard that Karna had said to Bhisma, 'As long as you are fighting on our side, I shall not fight,' and that he had left the army and gone away, I knew then, Sanjaya, that I had no hope for victory. "When I heard that Lord Krsna, Arjuna, and the invincible Gandiva bow--- all three possessing terrifying strength--- were standing united together, I knew then, Sanjaya, that I had no hope for victory. "When I heard that Arjuna had become overwhelmed by despair and sank down in his chariot, unable to fight, but that Lord Krsna had showed him all the worlds within His own transcendental body, I knew then, Sanjaya, that I had no hope for victory. "When I heard that Bhisma, the tormentor of enemies, was killing ten thousand chariot warriors a day on the battlefield, but that he did not slay a single Pandava, although they were standing there plainly visible before him, I knew then, Sanjaya, that I had no hope for victory. "When I heard that Bhisma himself, ever resigned to God's will, had indicated the means by which he could be killed, and that the Pandavas had understood the clue and happily carried out his execution, I knew then, Sanjaya, that I had no hope for victory. "When I heard that invincible Bhisma, the greatest hero of all, had been slain on the battlefield by Arjuna, who placed Sikhandi in front as a shield, I knew then, Sanjaya, that I had no hope for victory. "When I heard that mighty Bhisma, having reduced the race of the Somakas to but a few men, had been brought down by Arjuna's brilliant shafts, and that the eldest warrior had simply lain down upon a bed of arrows, I knew then, Sanjaya, that I had no hope for victory. "When I heard that Bhisma, son of Ganga, was troubled by thirst as he lay on the bed of arrows, and Arjuna understood and immediately pierced the earth with an arrow, bringing forth water for him to drink, I knew then, Sanjaya, that I had no hope for victory. "When I heard that even the demigods who rule the sun and fire were favorable to the Pandavas and steadily committed to their success, while emboldened beasts of prey stalked and frightened our own soldiers, I knew then, Sanjaya, that I had no hope for victory. "When I heard that Drona, that beautiful fighter, had wielded his weapons in many skillful ways but could not slay the Pandavas, who were the chief of the opposing fighters, I knew then, Sanjaya, that I had no hope for victory. "When I heard that our allies the Samsaptakas, the most deadly of warriors, who swore to finish the life of Arjuna, had been slain by that very Arjuna, I knew then, Sanjaya, that I had no hope for victory. "When I heard that our army had formed an impenetrable phalanx, guarded by the great Drona with weapons in hand, but that Abhimanyu, Subhadra's young heroic son, had

that I had no hope for victory. and the courageous king of Madra had all stood by while Saindhava was killed. I knew then. Sanjaya. that I had no hope for victory. that I had no hope for victory. who was but a child. locked in single combat with the son of Drona. I knew then. had merely insulted him with words and struck him with the corner of his bow. I knew then. driving off all the enemy soldiers with his Gandiva bow. Sanjaya. Sanjaya. Lord Krsna. but still could not bring an end to the Pandavas. that I had no hope for victory. who was born of a man-eating mother. even in the midst of his enemies. Krtavarma. that I had no hope for victory. I knew then. Sanjaya. that I had no hope for victory. Narayanastra. "When I heard that Drona. Sanjaya. "When I heard that upon the death of Drona. and then set him free. Sanjaya. I knew then. that I had no hope for victory. that I had no hope for victory. Sanjaya. "When I heard that Yuyudhana. "When I heard that Karna had the powerful Bhima's life in his hands. against the ghastly Ghatotkaca. being exhausted. his crazed son had released the dreaded nuclear weapon. "When I heard that in his fight with Ghatotkaca Karna had released his sakti weapon actually meant to kill Arjuna. Asvatthama. but rather had surrounded his son Abhimanyu. "When I heard that Karna. Sanjaya. "When I heard that Arjuna had taken a solemn vow to slay the instigator Saindhava and had made true his word. and that Arjuna had unleashed his awful wrath on Saindhava. I knew then. Sanjaya. that I had no hope for victory. the celestial sakti given him by Indra. Sanjaya. Sanjaya. I knew then. I knew then. that I had no hope for victory. I knew then. that I had no hope for victory. I knew then. Sanjaya. that I had no hope for victory. that most extraordinary warrior virtually invincible in combat. "When I heard that upon killing Abhimanyu my own foolish sons had cried out in joy. "When I heard that Dhrstadyumna had violated the sacred warrior code and cut down Dronacarya. that I had no hope for victory. the Vrsni hero. I knew then. Arjuna stood firm on his chariot. Sanjaya. and given water. Sanjaya. I knew then. and that when they had recovered Krsna had again yoked them and set out for battle. "When I heard that Arjuna's horses. . "When I heard that all our best fighters could not slay Arjuna. who was alone in his chariot and resolved upon death. and then returned safely to where Krsna and Arjuna were standing. had violently harassed the army of Drona and its invincible elephant legions.singlehandedly broken through the formation and fearlessly entered our ranks. Sanjaya. were untied on the battlefield by his chariot driver. "When I heard that Madri's son Nakula. Krpa. and slew him and rejoiced. had been slain by Arjuna in a war between brothers even the gods could not comprehend. Karna. "When I heard that even with his horses unyoked and breathing heavily with fatigue. I knew then. I knew then. I knew then. that I had no hope for victory. had matched him in battle in the presence of everyone and had driven circles around him with his chariot. "When I heard that Lord Krsna had so bewildered Karna that he hurled his ultimate weapon. but that instead of killing him. that I had no hope for victory.

Gandhari. exhausted and all alone. Darkness spreads all around me and confusion overwhelms me. "When I heard that Arjuna nullified Asvatthama's great weapon with a similar weapon. that I had no hope for victory. bereft even of his chariot. "When I heard that Duryodhana. Sanjaya. that I had no hope for victory. he again spoke to Sanjaya. Yet it is so painful. When I heard that Asvatthama was destroying the embryo of Princess Uttara with powerful weapons. for she has lost her sons and grandsons. and that Vyasadeva and Lord Krsna both cursed him. engaged in a deadly fight with clubs. "When I heard that my son Duryodhana. is to be pitied. Sanjaya. "When I heard that the Madra king. they regained their rightful kingdom. Duhsasana. Sanjaya. that I had no hope for victory. I knew then. that a mere three of our men and seven on the Pandavas' side are all that remain of two mighty armies. I knew then. that I had no hope for victory. that I had no hope for victory. that great hero who always challenged Lord Krsna in battle. Sanjaya. which he had empowered simply by vibrating the sound svasti! and that he proceeded to slash the jewel from the culprit's head. I knew then. "When I heard that the sons of Pandu had stood on the shore of that Ganges lake and together with Lord Krsna had rebuked my son. that I had no hope for victory. Sanjaya. Sanjaya. his pride shattered. my poor wife. I knew then. even daring to perform such an infamous act. which he aimed at the young and pregnant Uttara. Sanjaya. son of Pandu. only to be struck down by the treacherous plan of Lord Krsna. I knew then. that I had no hope for victory. I knew then. that I had no hope for victory. "When I heard that Saubala. I knew then. I have no reason to live. had entered a lake and made his shelter there within its waters. And I grieve for all the women who have lost their fathers and brothers. that I had no hope for victory. Nearly unconscious with pain. had been struck down in battle by Sahadeva. Krpa. the last female descendant in the Pandava line. Vanquishing all who plotted against them." Having spoken thus. had skillfully demonstrated his repertoire of techniques. "I want to give up my life. to hear that only ten warriors have survived. the griefstricken Dhrtarastra cried out many times. who was standing alone. had been killed in combat by Yudhisthira. Sanjaya. Sanjaya. I knew then. Sanjaya. that the battle has exhausted the lives of eighteen full aksauhini divisions. pursued by Bhimasena."When I heard that Asvatthama. that wicked and powerful mystic who had fomented strife through the false gambling match. with strong curses." . had angrily launched a missle bearing the most deadly weapon. and Krtavarma together had been unable to overwhelm Yudhisthira. "When I heard that Drauni (Asvatthama) and his accomplices had heinously murdered the five young sons of Draupadi in their sleep. my mind is reeling and I cannot find my reason. I knew then. "When I heard that Asvatthama. "Only the sons of Pandu could have done what they did. his chest heaving with long breaths. one after the other. Sanjaya. that I had no hope for victory. Sanjaya. "O Sanjaya. "O Sanjaya. who could not tolerate offense. I knew then.

destroyer of enemies. Prabala. Rantideva. sages. but even they came under the deadly grip of time. for time and destiny are the expression of His will. and straightforward in their dealings. Kuru. Vitihotra. Who is so intelligent that he can stop destiny? Surely no one can overcome the course of events that has already been established by the Creator. and firm faith in God. pure. Saryati. Arka. Surely you know that one's intelligence is never bewildered when it follows the dictates of scripture. Gaya. Sambhavya. "Your sons were wicked and greedy men who burned with needless anger and constantly embroiled themselves in wicked deeds. Paraha. and Dhrdhesudhi. Sura. and of course Bharata. Bhava. Manu. Vena. Bahlika.When Dhrtarastra. Duliduha. "Undoubtedly you have heard from Sri Vyasadeva and the wise Narada about kings of great courage and strength who were born in dynasties endowed with all good qualities. with her abundant forests. Niramarda. are all heard about and discussed in this world. hundreds and thousands and tens of thousands of them. That is why the best and saintliest poets. Ajeya. engaged by the demigods. performed so many opulent sacrifices that the entire earth. Usinara. giving generous gifts to all the people. Kanka. You should not lament for them. There were Puru.magnificent chariot fighters and great souls fully endowed with all good qualities. and historians have all recorded their deeds. Aviksit. the greatest men of their times. Anena. O King. and Subhavrata. Diptaketu. "There were Dambhodbhava. Kakutstha. there is reward and punishment in this world. There was Marutta. Vikrami. Devahvaya. Niramaya. and the lordly Subala. passed away from this world leaving behind vast resources. Sasabindu. Dhurta. O descendant of Bharata. following the moral law and offering their acquired riches in holy sacrifices. Balabandhu. "You should not lament for that which is destined to be. "There were other kings besides these who were the strongest of men. Sukratu. Brhadratha. Pratyanga. "These and many other earthly monarchs. They were great men who were honest. Vinitatma. And the pious King Yayati. Formerly the celestial sage Narada described these same twenty-four kings to Saibya. Janujangha. came to be marked with sacrificial pillars and shrines. and the greatly powerful Ambarisa. Supratika. Ausija. who had once ruled the world. Dhrstaketu. Sataratha. detachment. Visvagasva of great determination. son of Dasaratha. Brhadguru. for you are an intelligent and educated man. Supratima. Yuvanasva. There were also Vijiti. who stands out among conquerors. kings who conquered the world fairly. Pundra. the sinless Devavrdha. a great chariot fighter who alone could battle thousands of warriors. and therefore authorities recommend that we not be obsessive in our attempts to protect our children. Mahotsaha. Yadu. Anaranya. Sambhu. just as your own sons have done. and Raghu. was thus speaking and lamenting so wretchedly. and Nala. still passed away from this world. Visvamitra. and Srnjaya. Such kings earned their fame in this world. Sveta. the wise Sanjaya spoke to him words of profound meaning. Indeed. and Bhagiratha. and Jita. These intelligent and powerful kings. Yet even these exalted monarchs. There was Suhotra. Mahapurana. Sagara. time is . men of wealth and character. and Brhadbala. "There was the heroic Prthu. Ketusrnga. And too there was Rama. Santabhaya. a person of discrimination appreciated by the learned. Sumitra. Damana. king of the Nisadas. As you know. Iksvaku. and Sruti. They were kings who fought with celestial weapons and who thus were equal in strength to Lord Indra. who was lamenting the loss of his son. Sankrti. and the fiery Kaksivan. Parasu. These kings performed godly acts and possessed courage. Nimi. Priyabhrtya. and Druma. Saibya. Ajita. "There were Satyavrata. Krtabandhu. Para. Brhatketu.

who. It glorifies the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The best of the selfcontrolled sages. Srila Vyasadeva. and He is the goal. son of Gavalgana. and it is He alone who is to be celebrated. He performs transcendental activities. or as a saintly brahmana is the best of all two-legged creatures. Sri Krsna. and He is the life that follows death. is the essence of the entire work and is pleasing like nectar. and it describes mystic Yaksas and celestial serpents. will never be disheartened by the troubles of life. the extent. This chapter is a brief introduction to the substance of the entire epic. though eternal. and time itself extinguishes that fire. It is to be understood that He is the Supreme Spirit. has narrated the full history of all these events. all emanate from the Supreme Godhead alone. . and therefore you should not forsake your true wisdom. so this introduction to the Mahabharata. Krsna Dvaipayana. He is birth and death. water. and ether. Indeed. who was grieving for his dead children. You are not an ordinary man. see that same Supreme Soul within their purified hearts as one sees a reflection in a spotless mirror. yet He expands Himself into the material creation of earth. fire. devoted to the discipline that leads to knowledge. or as the milk-giving cow is the most valuable creature among quadrupeds. spirit and matter. Time steals away all creatures and then manifests them again in due course of time. while sincerely believing its message. A faithful person who devoutly studies even one verse of the Mahabharata is fully purified of all his sins. A faithful man always endeavoring on the spiritual path. One who regularly recites this chapter at sunrise and at sunset is freed at once from all the sins he has committed in all his days and nights. air. Just as fresh butter is the best product of raw milk. Consoling him with learned instructions. which reveals the highest truth. You must remember that all things past. "Time devours all material bodies and carries away all living beings. for He is the supremely pure and the very means of purification.the basis of the entire world. and ignorance are manifested. freeing them of all kinds of suffering due them because of their past sins. The Mahabharata tells of virtuous deeds performed by godly sages and self-realized and saintly kings. Thus we enjoy or suffer. Thus by His energy the qualities of goodness. Sri Krsna is truth itself and He is the path that leads to that truth. ever-fresh yet unchanging. Yet He is beyond the material creation of subtle and gross matter. One who recites this chapter for the pleasure of brahmanas at the sraddha ceremony greatly benefits his forefathers. He is the Supreme Absolute Truth. the everlasting light. Cause and effect. absorbed in transcendence and meditating on Him with great yogic power. He is the origin. and sequence of all things. as the ocean is the greatest among bodies of water. because by the power of time all things are born and die. Time is like a fire that consumes all creatures. both the auspicious and the inauspicious. In this world time transforms all states of existence. spoke thus to King Dhrtarastra. and therefore one who hears the entire chapter. passion. No one can stop time as it moves impartially among all creatures. in composing this sacred literature the Mahabharata. can become freed of sin by careful study of this chapter of the Mahabharata. Dhrtarastra. appears as the son of King Vasudeva. so among all historical epics the Mahabharata is the greatest. which learned sages then narrate to the whole world. all things that exist at present. who thus receive perpetual offerings of sacred food and drink. and all things that are yet to come are in the grip of time. Sanjaya brought the king to his true consciousness." Suta Goswami said: Sanjaya.

Learned scholars enhance their knowledge of the Veda by studying the histories and the Puranas. In fact, the Veda personified is critical of those of small learning who directly approach the Vedas without having understood the great histories and Puranas. The Veda thinks, "Lacking proper study, this so-called scholar will pass over my real meaning and thus deceive himself and others." One who has learned this Krsna-Veda and who speaks it to others will enjoy a prosperous life and undoubtedly become free of reactions to his past sinful deeds, even that of having killed a child in the womb. Thus I conclude that one who cleanses his body and, with a pure mind, studies this chapter, section by section, actually studies the entire Mahabharata. And thus one who with full faith regularly hears this work of the sages attains a long life, fame, and at last promotion to the heavenly planets. Once, the godly sages placed the four Vedas on one side of a scale, and on the other side they placed a single text, the Mahabharata. Both in greatness and weight the Bharata was superior. Being therefore greater than the four Vedas--with all their mysteries--this work came to be known henceforth throughout the world as the Mahabharata (for the word maha means "great"). One who thus understands the purport of the name Mahabharata becomes free of all sinful reactions. It is not wrong to perform austerity; nor is study of the scriptures a bad thing. Following the strictures of the Vedas according to one's nature is not wrong; nor is it wrong to acquire wealth by strong endeavor. But all these endeavors are actually harmful when they lead us away from our real, spiritual nature.

The sages said: In the beginning of your discourse, you mentioned the holy place known as Samantapancaka. We would like to hear the details of that site. What is its actual history? Suta Goswami replied: Dear learned brahmanas, if you desire to hear me narrate truly auspicious topics, then, O saintly ones, listen to the story of Samanta-pancaka. In the juncture between the second and third great ages, or the Treta and Dvapara yugas, when evil kings ruled the world, Lord Parasu-rama, as brilliant as fire, appeared in this world and in great anger repeatedly slew the wicked monarchs, until by His own power he had destroyed all the kings of the earth. Rama killed so many monarchs at Samanta-pancaka that their blood alone formed five big lakes. Still shaking with anger over the sins of the wicked kings who had cruelly murdered his father, Lord Rama then worshiped His departed father and forefathers with devotional offerings in which He showed them the blood of the slain tyrants. This we have heard from authorities. Lord Rama's forefathers, headed by Rcika, then approached Lord Rama, the best of the brahmanas, and convinced Him to forgive the royal order, whereupon the Lord desisted from His violent campaign. The Lord had created five lakes with the blood of the slain rulers, and the pure land surrounding those bloody lakes came to be widely celebrated as Samanta-pancaka, or "that which surrounds the five," for the learned have stated that a region should be named for its visible features [gradually the lakes filled with clear water]. Then, at the juncture of the third and fourth ages, or the Dvapara and Kali yugas, in that most virtuous and sacred place, free of

the deficiencies of ordinary places, a war took place between the Kuru and Pandava armies, and eighteen great aksauhini divisions assembled there to fight. Thus, learned brahmanas, I have explained to you how that pure and charming land was named. Indeed, noble thinkers, I have explained to you in full how that area became widely renowned throughout the three planetary systems. The sages said: O Suta, you have just mentioned a military division known as an aksauhini. We would like to hear a full explanation of its size in terms of chariots, horses, men, and elephants. Undoubtedly you know all these things. Suta Goswami replied: Authorites state that a small military unit consisting of one chariot, one elephant, five footsoldiers, and three cavalry soldiers is called a patti. Three pattis form one sena-mukha. Three sena-mukhas form one gulma. Three gulmas constitute one gana. Three ganas form a vahini. Three vahinis make up a prtana. Three prtanas are equal to one camu. Three camus form an anikini. And ten anikinis constitute an aksauhini. O best of brahmanas, learned authorities thus say that within an aksauhini, there are a total of 21,870 chariots, and the full census of elephants is again 21,870. O sinless ones, the aksauhini is know to comprise 109,350 infantry men, and the count for cavalry is given at 65,610. Authoritative persons, learned in such computations, have stated that this, in total, is an aksauhini, and I have explained it to you in detail, O noble twice-born. With such a count, O saintly ones, there were a little more than eighteen such aksauhinis between the Kuru and Pandava legions. Meeting at Samanta-pancaka, they lost their lives and fortunes. The Kaurava kings thus became an instrument of time, which acts in extraordinary ways. For ten days that supreme knower of weapons, Bhisma, led the Kuru army. Then for five days, Drona protected the Kuru ranks. Karna, punisher of enemies, led the Kurus for two days. For half a day, Salya became the Kuru chief, and for half a day, Bhima and Duryodhana engaged in a mortal club fight. At the end of that half day, Hardikya, Asvatthama, and Gautama murdered Yudhisthira's unsuspecting army as it slept in the dead of night. Here at Saunaka's sacrifice I shall recite the full Mahabharata from the very beginning, just as Vyasa's learned disciple recited it at the sacrifice of Janamejaya. Just as those seeking liberation seriously cultivate detachment, so the learned devote themselves to the study of this history. As among things to be known the self is most important, or as life is most dear among dear things, so this profound history is uniquely attractive among all sacred writings. As all speech, both Vedic and worldly, is made entirely of vowels and consonants, so is this book invested throughout with the finest design and reason, having been richly composed by an enlightened sage. Now please hear a summary of its divisions.

1. A summary of the contents in one hundred parts 2. An additional summary of eighteen principle divisions 3. Pausya 4. Pauloma 5. The story of the brahmana Astika 6. Descent of the first created beings 7. Origins, a wondrous narration prepared by the gods 8. The burning of the house of lac 9. The killing of the demon Hidimba 10. The killing of the demon Baka 11. The Gandharva king Citraratha 12. The godly princess Pancali selects a groom 13. After the rival kings are defeated, she marries 14. The coming of Vidura 15. Gaining a kingdom 16. Arjuna dwells in the forest 17. The kidnapping of Princess Subhadra 18. Bringing the dowry 19. The burning of the Khandava forest and the meeting 20. The assembly hall 21. Council is given 22. The killing of Jarasandha 23. World conquest 24. The Raja-suya sacrifice 25. Offerings for guests 26. The killing of Sisupala 27. The gambling match 28. The sequel to the gambling match 29. Life in the forest 30. The killing of Kirmira 31. Arjuna fights with Lord Siva, who comes disguised as a hunter 32. Traveling to the planet of Indra 33. The wise Kuru king travels to holy places 34. The killing of the demon Jatasura 35. Battle with the Yaksas 36. The story of the python with the mystic Maya according to the warrior code

37. The meeting with the sage Markandeya 38. Talks between the two queens Draupadi and Satyabhama 39. The excursion to see the herds 40. The dream of the deer 41. The Vrihi-draunika story 42. Saindhava steals Draupadi from the forest 43. Stealing the earrings 44. Araneya parva 45. Virata 46. The killing of the Kicakas 47. The Kauravas attempt to steal King Virata's cows 48. The marriage of Abhimanyu with Vairati 49. The great endeavor, full of wonders 50. The coming of Sanjaya 51. Dhrtarastra's sleeplessness caused by anxiety 52. The story of Sanat-sujata, which explains the intimate truths of the soul 53. Endeavoring for peace 54. The Supreme Lord's journey 55. The dispute of the great-spirited Karna 56. The Kuru and Pandava armies set out for battle 57. The warriors and the greater (Ati-ratha) warriors 58. The messenger Uluka arrives and infuriates the Pandavas 59. The story of the princess Amba 60. The amazing installation of Bhisma as commander-in- chief 61. The creation of the region of Jambu 62. The earth and its great islands 63. Lord Krsna speaks the Bhagavad-gita 64. The killing of Bhisma 65. Drona is installed as Kuru commander-in-chief 66. The killing of the Samsaptaka warriors 67. The killing of Abhimanyu 68. Arjuna vows to kill Jayadratha 69. The killing of Jayadratha 70. The killing of Ghatotkaca 71. The hair-raising account of the killing of Dronacarya 72. The release of the dreaded Narayana weapon

73. The last days of Karna 74. The last days of Salya 75. Entering the lake 76. The deadly fight with clubs 77. The sacred river Sarasvati, and the special qualities of sacred places 78. The grisly murder of the sleeping warriors 79. The harrowing tale of the Aisika weapon 80. The offering of water to the departed kin 81. The grief of the women 82. The funeral ceremony for departed kin, and the future lives of the slain Kurus 83. Wise Yudhisthira, king of virtue, consecrated as the world's leader 84. The Raksasa Carvaka, disguised as a brahmana, is cut down 85. Distribution of homes 86. Peace and the duties and ethics of kings 87. Duties and ethics in times of trouble 88. Duties and disciplines for the soul's salvation 89. Teachings 90. The wise Bhisma ascends to heaven 91. The Asvamedha sacrifice: a story that destroys all reactions of previous sins 92. The Anugita, which explains spiritual philosophy 93. Living in the asrama 94. Meeting the sons 95. The arrival of the illustrious sage Narada 96. The ghastly incident of the iron club fully described 97. The great departure 98. The ascent to the spiritual planets 99. The supplement known as Hari-vamsa, which describes the childhood activities of Lord Krsna 100. Great and wonderful descriptions of future events The great soul Vyasadeva narrated these one hundred sections in full, and the son of Romaharsana, Suta Goswami, again described these same contents to the sages at Naimisaranya, dividing them, however, into eighteen divisions, as follows:

1. Adi-parva, The Beginning:

The first section of the Adi-parva, known as Pausya, narrates the glories of Uttanka, and the Pauloma section fully describes the expansion of the Bhrgu dynasty. Next, the Astika section explains the origin of all snakes and of the great Garuda; the churning of the milk ocean; the birth of the celestial steed Uccaihsrava; tales of the great Bharata kings related at Janamejaya's snake sacrifice; and the origin of various kings and sages and of the great sage Vyasa. The section entitled Descent of the First Created Beings describes the origin of demigods, Daityas, Danavas, and Yaksas. This section also tells the origin of Naga serpents, snakes, Gandharvas, birds, and various other creatures. The story of the Vasus tells how these great souls were forced to take birth from the womb of goddess Ganga in the house of King Santanu and how they regained their position in heaven. All the Vasus invested a portion of their potency in a single Vasu, and that one took birth as Bhisma, who later renounced his father's kingdom, taking the difficult vow of celibacy, which he kept with great determination. Bhisma's younger step-brother Citrangada assumed the Kuru throne under Bhisma's guidance, but when the young monarch was killed, Bhisma installed Citrangada's younger brother Vicitravirya as king and took care of him. The first book also tells how Srila Vyasa, to keep his promise to his mother, begot Dhrtarastra, Pandu, and Vidura, who was actually Dharma, lord of justice, forced to take birth as a human being by the curse of the sage Mandavya-of-the-lance. Also described are the births of Pandu's sons, their journey to Varanavata, the wicked plotting of their cousin Duryodhana to kill them, and their effort to escape, based on Vidura's wise counsel, through a secret underground tunnel. The first book also narrates the meeting of the Pandavas with the demoness Hidimba in the frightful forest; the birth of Ghatotkaca from that forest encounter; the Pandava's activities while living incognito in the house of a brahmana; and the slaying of the monstrous Baka, which amazed the brahmana and all the inhabitants of his city. Also described in this book are the births of lovely Draupadi and her fiery twin brother, Dhrstadyumna. Hearing about her from a brahmana and encouraged as well by the words of Srila Vyasa, the Pandavas decided to win Draupadi's hand in marriage. They eagerly sett out for the kingdom of Pancala, which was ruled by Draupadi's father, to compete at her svayamvara ceremony, where she was to choose her husband. On the way, Arjuna defeated the Gandharva king Angaraparna on the banks of the Ganges. Having formed a lasting friendship with him, and having heard many stories from him, Arjuna then traveled on with all his brothers towards the kingdom of the Pancalas. Narrated in this section are the excellent stories of Tapatya, Vasistha, and Aurva. In the city of Pancala, Arjuna alone among all the kings of the earth could pierce an exceptionally difficult target with his arrow, thus winning Draupadi's hand. The losing kings, headed by Karna and Salya, were furious, but Bhima and Arjuna defeated them in a great battle. Seeing the unfathomable, superhuman prowess of Bhima and Arjuna, Lord Krsna and His elder brother, Lord Balarama, recognized them as the the sons of Pandu, even though all of the Pandavas were carefully disguised as brahmanas. The great minded brothers, Krsna and Balarama, then went to visit the sons of Pandu at their lodgings in the house of a potter. The amazing story of the five Indras is also told. King Drupada puzzled over the fact that his daughter Draupadi was to marry all five Pandava brothers, but Lord Siva had blessed her to enjoy an extraordinary marriage. Dhrtarastra sent Vidura to see the Pandavas, and upon his arrival Vidura also met with Lord Krsna. To prevent a quarrel between the Pandavas and Kurus, the kingdom was divided, and the Pandavas went to live in the city of Khandava-prasta. Thereafter comes the story of

Sunda and Upasunda. By the order of Narada Muni the five brothers agreed to spend equal time alone with their lovely wife Draupadi (each brother swore that if he ever intruded when another brother was with Draupadi, the intruding brother would voluntarily accept banishment). Soon thereafter, when the eldest brother, Yudhisthira, was alone with Draupadi, Arjuna unavoidably entered their room to get a weapon that he needed to help a saintly brahmana. After rescuing the stolen property of the brahmana, Arjuna, determined to honor the Pandavas' mutual pact, left the royal palace and went alone to the forest. Next comes the story of Arjuna's union with the princess Ulupi, whom he met on the path while dwelling in the forest; after that, Arjuna's pilgrimage to many sacred spots and the birth of Babruvahana are described. During that time Arjuna saved five apsaras who have been cursed by an ascetic brahmana to take birth as crocodiles. Arjuna then met with Lord Krsna at the holy land of Prabhasa-ksetra and went with Him to His capital of Dvaraka, (a fabulous city built on the surface of the ocean). While there Arjuna fell in love with Krsna's lovely young sister, Subhadra, and Subhadra also fell in love with Arjuna. Taking Lord Krsna's permission, Arjuna eloped with her, and Lord Krsna, son of Devaki, brought a dowery for His new brother-in-law. Upon arriving at the Pandava's capital (Khandavaprastha, also known as Indraprastha), Sri Krsna acquired His famous whirling weapon, the Sudarsana disc, and Arjuna acquired his famous Gandiva bow. The Khandava forest was burned to ashes, and Subhadra gave birth to mighty Abhimanyu. Arjuna saved the great mystic Maya from the fiery forest, while a special serpent escaped. The great sage Mandapala begot a son in the womb of the bird Sarngi. All these and many other stories are elaborately explained in the Adi-parva, the first book of the Mahabharata. The liberated sage Srila Vyasadeva affirms that this book contains 218 chapters composed of 7,984 verses. 2. Sabha Parva, The Great Assembly: The second book, Sabha-parva, describes many events. The Pandavas establish their magnificent assembly hall and meet with their servants; the sage Narada, who can see God, describes the assembly hall of the demigods; preparations begin for the great Raja-suya sacrifice, and wicked Jarasandha is killed; all the kings whom Jarasandha had cruelly imprisoned in a mountain cave are released by Sri Krsna; the Pandavas' extraordinary wealth, visible in the Raja-suya sacrifice, frustrates and angers Duryodhana; Bhima laughs when Duryodhana slips on the assembly hall floor, and the enraged Duryodhana plots to ruin the Pandavas in a gambling match; crooked Sakuni defeats Yudhisthira in a dishonest gambling match; when the Pandavas are drowning in the sea of gambling, Draupadi, like a sturdy boat, pulls them out of that ocean; King Duryodhana, seeing that the Pandavas have been saved, calls them to participate in yet another false game of chance. The great soul Vyasa has elaborately explained all these incidents in the Mahabharata's second book, which contains 72 chapters and 2,511 verses. 3. Aranyaka Parva, Life in the Forest: The auspicious third book contains the following stories: the faithful citizens follow the wise Yudhisthira to the forest; all the Vrsnis and Pancalas come to see the Pandavas in exile; Saubha is slain; Kirmira is slain; hearing that Sakuni has cheated the Pandavas in a game of dice, Lord Krsna is furious, but Arjuna calms His anger; Draupadi laments before Lord Krsna, and Lord Krsna consoles her with encouraging words; Arjuna goes off in search of weapons;

Yudhisthira converses with Bhimasena. Next comes the narration of the sage Agastya. These are the topics of the Aranyaka-parva. the demigod Dharma instructing his son. Draupadi engages Bhimasena. meets the great and enlightened sage Brhadasva and pours out the story of his suffering. and Dharma test King Sibi. Vyasadeva leaves and the Pandavas travel to the Kamyaka forest. wherein Lords Indra. wherein King Somaka sacrifices his son to obtain more sons and thus acquires one hunred sons. the tale of the measure of rice. Next comes the narration of Draupadi's meeting and conversation with Satyabhama. Auddalaki. Arjuna ascends to the heavenly planets and meets the leaders of the universe. Jayad-ratha steals away Draupadi from within the asrama. Lord Parasu-rama of awesome and fiery strength. He defeats Bandi in a logical debate and regains his father. who dwell in the City of Gold. who are living in the forest. In this context the death of Kartavirya and the Haihayas is described. Yudhisthira hears the most pious and moving story of King Nala. who at the sacrifice of Saryati awards the twin Asvins the right to drink the Soma beverage when he regains from them his lost youth. Agni. and Dhrstadyumna similarly escorts the sons of Draupadi. the third division of the Mahabharata. whose wife Damayanti remained steadily devoted during King Nala's severe tribulations. based on this message sent from the higher planets. Then the meeting with Markandeya and the stories that ensue are told. In this section is the story of Jantu. -the sage delivers a message from Arjuna. and Vainya. Then is told the story of the hawk and the pigeon. comprising 11. ADI PARVA . and her young son to Dvaraka. who appears in the guise of a hunter. who eats up Vatapi and then has union with Lopamudra to beget a son. and Bhima pursues him with speed like that of the wind. The story is told of the young. King Yudhisthira converses with Draupadi. The great sage Vyasadeva declares that this section contains a total of 269 chapters. Hiranya-pura. celibate student Rsyasrnga. Arjuna rejoins his brothers in Gandha-madana and battles with the Gandharvas during an excursion to pasturing lands. son of Bhrgu. the great sage Narada goes on pilgrimage to the hermitage of Pulastya. the history of Lord Ramacandra. Ambidextrous Arjuna acquires divine weapons for his venerable elder brother and then battles with the Nivata-kavacas. grieving over his misfortune. who has fallen into the ocean. the demon Jata is killed.CHAPTER 02b . the histories of Savitri. Then the story of Astavakra is told. the story of Indradyumna. Arjuna fights with Lord Siva. and the Pandavas obtaining their boon and heading for the West. who goes to Gandha-madana and there violates a lotus pond in order to acquire a Mandara flower. The brothers return to Lake Dvaita-vana. Then is told of Lord Indra stealing Karna's two earrings.664 verses. Srila Vyasa comes to see the sons of Pandu and reveals to King Yudhisthira a special science of recollection. and of the son of Jamadagni. and the elaborate telling of the Ramayana. in response. and brings them news that Arjuna has reached the heavenly region.Lord Krsna escorts His sister. Subhadra. He also fights a great battle there with the bold and mighty Raksasas and Yaksas. the sage Lomasa descends from the heavenly planets to the Pandavas. The third book also describes the following: King Yudhisthira. the Pandavas begin to visit sacred places to purify themselves and acquire the power of righteousness. the story of the fire-sticks. who are led by Maniman. then the story of Sukanya and Cyavana. the Pandavas enter the enchanting Dvaita forest.

which tells of the endeavors for war and peace. Living in the City of Virata: Suta Gosvami continued: Dear sages. and infantry begin to pour out of the imperial capital of Hastinapura. Thereafter they enter the city. Vairata Parva. The next morning Sanjaya openly declares at Dhrtarastra's court that Lord Krsna is actually the Supreme Personality of Godhead. his heart tormented with grief. intoxicated with pride. Mighty Dhrtarastra then sends his secretary Sanjaya to negotiate peace with the sons of Pandu. "Both of you are very important men. preparing for war: During the time that the Pandavas are living in Upaplavya. Duryodhana has a messenger named Uluka deliver to the Pandavas a harsh and insulting message. without directly fighting. even though the Lord will only assist Arjuna. to the other side. Vrkodara (Bhima) kills the wicked Kicaka. Udyoga Parva.050 verses in this section. each seeking victory for his side. feeling great compassion for the ill-fated warriors and desiring to settle the conflict between the Kurus and Pandavas. Lord Krsna demonstrates to the Kuru kings that He is the Lord of all mystic power. 5." and with great wisdom. Sanatsujata also speaks elevated spiritual knowledge to the king. Lord Krsna then leaves Hastinapura and meets the Pandavas at Upaplavya. who is pleading for peace for the benefit of both parties. an entire army. I will assist one side as a noncombattant advisor. A description is then given of the regular and extraordinary chariot fighters taking part in the battle. the fourth book of the Mahabharata describes at length the events that take place while the Pandavas live in the city of Virata. Their analysis is correct. as the Lord's surrendered devotee. and I will give one aksauhini. crooked as he was by nature. In this section. On the day before the great war is to begin. Both say to Sri Krsna. and explains how the escalating conflict can be resolved. comes to Hastinapura and tries to make peace. The great soul Vyasadeva states that there are 67 chapters and 2. Vidura then speaks eloquent and beneficial words to the troubled king. The Virata king bestows his daughter Uttara upon Arjuna. both Duryodhana and Arjuna approach Lord Krsna. Arjuna defeats the Kurus in battle. gives him proper advice. a destroyer of his enemies in combat. Lord Krsna replies. having disguised their identities in various ways. Understanding that Karna and Duryodhana are scheming with impure intelligence. and the king's valuable herd is saved. and Arjuna choses Lord Krsna Himself. Now tell me. "My Lord. and that Arjuna. Duryodhana rejects Lord Krsna. The Lord then takes Karna onto His own chariot. is not different from the Lord. Hearing that Lord Krsna is leading the Pandavas. The illustrious Lord Krsna. whose mind is burning. they spy a large Sami tree growing in a cemetary and decide to hide their weapons within the tree. chooses Krsna's armed forces. and within a short time chariots. who accepts her for his son Abhimanyu. You should help our side in the coming battle. A precise analysis is then given of the Kuru military strength. As the five brothers approach the city of Virata. . Trying for peace. rejects the Lord's sincere advice. cavalry.4. so I will do the following. Dhrtarastra is filled with anxiety and cannot sleep at night. These many events make up the fifth book of the Mahabharata. those punishing heroes realize that war is inevitable and therefore begin to make final preparations. Karna. which shall I give to whom?" The dull-witted Duryodhana. informing them of all that has transpired. Hearing His words and discussing with Him the best course of action. These are the contents of the extensive fourth book.

Yudhisthira's army falls into a dangerous state of despondency. the master of chariot warfare. striking repeatedly with his sharp arrows. Arjuna kills the great chariot fighter Karna. Those who seriously study the Mahabharata recognize these and other powerful events as composing the eighth book.900 verses. Drona leads the army: The amazing Drona Parva tells of many important events: herein the warriors known as the Samsaptakas succeed in driving Arjuna away from the battlefield. who reveals the glories of Lord Krsna and Arjuna. Arjuna furiously destroys seven armies and kills Jayadratha. . The tale of the swan and the crow is recited in an insulting manner. that great-minded sage. The great bowman Arjuna keeps Sikhandi in front of him as a shield and. and his famous war-elephant Supratika are cut down by Arjuna. This section also describes the glorious fire weapon of Lord Siva and tells of the arrival of Vyasadeva.Dear ascetics. which is impenetrable even to the demigods. most of the world's leaders. Ninety million Samsaptakas suffer Arjuna's wrath. Bhisma Parva. All these events are fully described in this sixth book of Mahabharata. lists for this section 170 chapters. has counted 117 chapters and 5. In this section many of the world's greatest chariot fighters. a knower of the Vedas. after meditating on the Drona Parva. Seeing his young son unfairly killed by many older warriors. 7. who is equal to Indra in battle. the mighty Jalasandhi. In the Drona Parva warriors like Alambusa. knocks Bhisma down from his chariot. Karna takes the army: Thereafter comes the most amazing Karna Parva.884 verses. Srutayu. and others are all slain. But the wise Lord Krsna drives away his grief by logically explaining the path of liberation. Bhisma leads the Kuru army: The sixth book contains a rich variety of topics: Sanjaya describes the creation and dimension of the earthly region known as Jambukhanda. in a chariot duel. Saumadatti. 6. who has not yet reached his full youth. 8. and then. the pure soul Vyasa. Thus in the powerful seventh book. Ghatotkaca. The mighty King Bhagadatta. the mighty-armed Bhima and Satyaki search for Arjuna and enter the ranks of the Kuru army. Karna Parva. Arjuna then kills all who remain of the powerful Samsaptakas. The frightful war begins with unusual ferocity. son of Parasara. combine to kill heroic Abhimanyu. Drupada. When Drona himself is struck down in battle. whose very wealth is austerity.698 verses in this section. comprising 8. meet their death. The learned philosopher Vyasa. in which Srila Vyasa. who are heroes among men. his raging son unleashes the terrible Narayana weapon. and he sends all of those exalted warriors to the lord of death. By King Yudhisthira's regal order. The old history is told herein of the fall of demonic Tripura and the harsh exchange between Karna and Salya as they set out together for battle. and Arjuna falls into illusion and wants to leave the battlefield. known as the Karna Parva. Virata. Yudhisthira and Arjuna become angry at each other.909 verses. continuing unabated for ten full days. Drona Parva. states that there are 186 chapters and 6. headed by Jayadratha. which is said to include 69 chapters and 4. in which in a moment of crisis the skillful king of Madra is deputed to serve as Karna's charioteer.

Following Lord Krsna's instruction.220 verses. After the greatest warriors have been slain. From its very beginning. Only the five Pandavas. intelligent Yudhisthira provokes Duryodhana. Also described is a tumultuous club fight and the death of Sakuni at the hands of Sahadeva. The Pandavas then capture the son of Drona. Stunned by the loss of her sons and agonizing over the sudden deaths of her father and brother. which neutralizes that of the enemy. after the Pandavas have retired from the day's fighting. deliberately breaks the thighs of King Duryodhana. Murder of the sleeping princes: I shall next describe the frightening events of the tenth book: in the evening. Srila Vyasadeva and others condemn the son of Drona. arrives at the scene. Lord Balarama. "It shall not be so!" and all of Asvatthamas curses and threats lose their power. 10. are saved. A succession of fierce chariot engagements finishes the best warriors who remain among the Kurus. his thighs broken. headed by Drauni. Bhima. ends the life of King Salya. and Drauni (Asvattham) journey on their chariots to see the angry King Duryodhana. the son of his beloved guru. but so blinded is he by pride that he childishly tries to counter-curse such exalted personalities. Sauptika Parva. headed by Dhrstadyumna. and every one of the Pandavas and their ministers!" Those three powerful men. along with Satyaki. All the other warriors of the Pandava army are killed in their sleep. although he is a great chariot fighter. Lord Krsna's older brother. Speaking insulting words. From some hunters Bhima receives information of Duryodhana's location. Draupadi sits down before her five husbands. When most of his army is slain and only a few soldiers remain. to come out of the lake and engage in a club fight with Bhima. who lies covered with blood on the battlefield. whose name indicates his frightening power. Duryodhana enters a lake and by controlling its waters is able to remain there for some time. The son of Drona is enraged at the sight. As the fight is going on. who depend fully on Lord Krsna. the great archer. takes up his club and furiously sets out behind the fleeing Asvatthama. seeing His beloved devotees in danger. . Salya leads: Next is the captivating narration known as the Salya Parva. and violently cut the jewel from his head. Moved by Draupadi's words and determined to please her. The holiness of the Sarasvati River even among holy places is explained. Krpa. Salya Parva. Arjuna throws a counter-missile. and that great chariot fighter swears to his friends. According to authorities. king of Madra. resolved to fast until death. Then Yudhisthira. king of justice. Frightened by Bhimasena and impelled by destiny. The club fight continues and Bhima. with his awful and devastating club blows. Drauni angrily releases his horrible weapon. takes command of the Kuru forces.9. their retinue. and all the sons of Draupadi as they sleep unsuspecting in their camp. Salya. "I shall not take this armor off my body until I have killed every last Pancala. then enter the Pandava camp in the dark of night and cruelly murder the Pancalas. who never tolerates an insult. bent on ridding the world of the Pandavas. which reveal the history of the famous Kuru dynasty. then says. Srila Vyasa composed this section in 59 chapters and 3. the amazing ninth book narrates many significant events. But Lord Krsna. Krtavarma.

but at times anger and bitterness overwhelm them. along with other relatives and intimate friends. following the scriptural injunctions. 11. is plunged into grief. son of Ganga. Dear sages. now the undisputed king of the Kuru dynasty. Enunciated herein are special instructions for emergency situations. thoroughly explains human affairs in terms of material and spiritual needs. These incidents make up the tenth book of the Mahabharata. ADI PARVA . they are sometimes forgiving. This section provokes compassion and tears when read by people of good and noble character. the Sauptika and the Aisika. this section contains 27 chapters and 775 verses. This section also provides an elaborate and attractive discussion of the principles that lead to spiritual salvation. The Women: Pity and sympathy are aroused in this section. These are the powerful and most piteous events of the eleventh book of the Mahabharata. Lessons: In this most elevated book. who is sorely afflicted at the killing of her sons and grandsons. brothers. containing a total of 870 verses. Peace: The twelfth book of the Mahabharata stimulates our intelligence with its profound discussion of ethical and spiritual principles. lying undisturbed on a bed of arrows. Kings and other leaders of nations who truly wish to govern their people well must seriously study these principles. overcomes his despondency by hearing Bhisma's conclusive analysis of spiritual principles. whose wealth is austerity. with careful reasoning in regards to the specific time and circumstances. Anusasana Parva. Yudhisthira. According to the author. Many women of the royal families see those who will never return---sons. 12. called the Sauptika Parva. in this book there are 339 chapters and 14. Santi Parva. But his grandfather Bhisma. Lord Krsna calms the fury of Gandhari. Then the very wise King Yudhisthira arranges for the bodies of all the slain monarchs to be cremated with full religious rites. and fathers. Funeral rites are then performed for all the slain kings with offerings of sacred water. brothers. By thoroughly understanding these teachings a man acquires complete knowledge of how to act in this world. the great soul Vyasa.525 verses. and he is thus restored to his original nature. and sons. Bhisma. He also explains the various results to be . In this section the learned sage has combined two Parvas. fully enlightens his tormented grandson with a unique discourse on the material and spiritual principles of life. Also in this section Prtha reveals the mystery of Karna's secret birth as her child. Stri Parva. As Dhrtarastra and Gandhari struggle with the death of their sons. in which the great soul Vyasa has enumerated 18 chapters.robbing him of his splendor. King Yudhisthira having taken part in a war that caused the death of many of his elders. The wise and learned are especially fond of this twelfth book of the Mahabharata. which tells of the heart-rending lament of the female kin of the fallen warriors.CHAPTER 02c 13. They gladly present it to Draupadi as tribute. all brave warriors----lying dead on the battlefield.

who is a seer of the truth. whom he had begotten with the Princess of Manipur. achieves the goal of life. Seeing him about to depart. In return the local ruler and his kingdom would receive full protection from hostile forces and economic subsidies in time of scarcity. and Dhrtarastra is able to see them. he thereby accepted the Pandavas' authority and agreed to pay taxes to the central Kuru government at a standard rate. and a personal duel ensued. their practical applications. has composed this section in 42 chapters and 1.700 verses. Bhisma further discusses the rules of human conduct. unknowingly.] Thus Arjuna accepts the challenges of many proud and angry princes and defeats them in battle. whom Lord Krsna brings back to life after his body is destroyed by a fiery weapon while he is still in his mother's womb. and step-brother Vidura to spend his last days in an asrama. along with the exalted Sanjaya. This thirteenth book. After this astonishing experience. they follow the ancient custom of inviting all other rulers to accept their authority or to challenge it through a personal duel. When the Pandavas become the most powerful rulers of the earth. whom she accepts as her spiritual masters. bringing their states under the unified Kuru administration. the saintly Prtha decides to give up living in the opulent kingdom of her son and to follow along. and therein the story of the mongoose is told. In the last part of her life she wants to fully dedicate herself to serving the selfrealized devotees of the Lord.320 verses. fixed in his spiritual principles. Life in the Asrama: Next is the fifteenth book. a saintly hermitage dedicated to spiritual progress. which relates how Dhrtarastra finally gives up all interest in political affairs and goes with his wife. how the Pandavas secure a treasury of gold needed to perform a sacrifice. Asrama-vasa Parva. the learned and self-controlled son of Gavalgana. The Great Offering: The next book. the fourteenth. in which there are 133 chapters and 3.achieved by various kinds of charity. The great sage Vyasa. relates the superb story of Samvarta and Marutta. 15. This very extensive discourse constitutes the Anusasana Parva. A leader who wished to challenge the Pandavas would seize the challenge horse. is composed of 146 chapters and 6. and the highest goal of truth. a seer of the truth. achieves spiritual perfection with his faithful wife. which concludes with Bhisma's attainment of the spiritual world. These are the topics of this most excellent and extraordinary book called the Asrama-vasa Parva. Gandhari. Srila Vyasa. The traditional challenge horse is released to roam freely all over the world. The recipients of charity and the ultimate principle that governs all types of charity are then described. with its conclusive knowledge of religious principles. the old king gives up his grief and. and the birth of Pariksit. . Asvamedhika Parva. followed by Arjuna. [If a local ruler allowed the horse to pass. 14. By the mercy of saintly Vyasa. Citrangada. understanding his soul to be eternal.506 verses. with his own son Babruvahana. has spoken this great and wonderful book. Yudhisthira then sees Narada Muni and hears from the sage about the extinction of the Vrsni dynasty. Arjuna is put into danger when he fights. This section also narrates the story of the great Asvamedha sacrifice. Vidura. King Dhrtarastra's sons and grandsons and other heroes and kings who have died and gone to the next world all briefly return to earth.

he sees not a single man of the Lord's family alive. states that in this section there are 3 chapters and 120 verses. Balarama. whom Arjuna is to protect. Srila Vyasa. experiences the greatest anguish. with a total of 200 verses. Sri Krsna and His brother. known as "The Great Departure. The Story of the Club: Next is the shocking story of how the princes of Lord Krsna's Yadu dynasty. all the celestial weapons he has used to assist Sri Krsna in His earthly mission no longer favor him. especially those of the Vrsni dynasty. These are the events of the Mausala Parva. In fact. and together with their godly wife. all tigers among men. . king of virtue. the sixteenth book of the Mahabharata. Heaven and the Spiritual World: The eighteenth book describes the ascent to the heavenly planets and beyond to the spiritual sky. The wives of the Vrsni heroes. where the Pandavas will take care of them.16. But he suffers grievous misfortune on the way and has to witness the defeat of his fabled Gandiva bow. has appeared in this world as his maternal cousin. (playing like ordinary human beings). In this section. that best of men. 17. Maha-prasthanika Parva. pure devotees of the Lord. and therefore Arjuna. The Great Departure: In the seventeenth book. who are very close to Sri Krsna. and elderly men of the Yadu dynasty. the heroic Yadu chief. and his heart becomes peaceful through detachment. suffer a devastating curse by brahmanas and perish near the shore of the ocean. whom he escorts on the way to the Kuru capital. and Yudhisthira. [Arjuna can then understand that all his legendary power has been granted Him by the Lord. whose treasure in life is austerity. and now that the Supreme Godhead is winding up His activities in this universe. Arriving in Hastinapura. Mausala Parva. which takes away all things. Arjuna understands the temporary nature of this world. Arjuna performs similar rites for all the slain warriors. These same mighty warriors have withstood the attacks of many weapons on the battlefield." the Pandavas. My dear ascetics. are taken away. having beaten each other to death in a drunken rage. there are 8 chapters and 300 verses. there are 5 chapters in this eighteenth book of the Mahabharata. arranges conventional funeral rites for the material bodies which Lord Krsna and Lord Balarama leave behind as they depart from this world in their eternal spiritual forms. Lord Krsna.] Encouraged by the words of Srila Vyasa. Thus when Arjuna arrives at Lord Krsna's capital. attain the supreme perfection of life. Seeing that the Yadu warriors have come to a violent end. Svarga Parva. children. renounce their opulent kingdom. and he is unable to help them. respecting Lord Krsna's desire to demonstrate the ideal human life. who is a seer of the truth. peacefully sets his mind on complete renunciation. Arjuna. he convinces his elder brother Yudhisthira that it is time to leave this world. This final parva provides information exceeding the range of ordinary human knowledge. Arjuna then departs Dvaraka. taking with him the ladies. 18. do not counteract the force of time. Draupadi. the time has also arrived for the Lord's associates to depart with Him. but then impelled by destiny they lose themselves in drink after a religious celebration and strike each other down with stalks of cane that turn into thunderbolts in their hands.

which explains the birth and activities of Lord Krsna. As a servant lives well by working for a noble master. who was griefstricken to see her child so unhappy. so why was he beaten?" No one . whether born of sperm. the son of Pariksit. ADI PARVA . There is also a supplementary work called the Harivamsa. Just as the three planetary systems are created from the five physical elements. and a terrible war took place that lasted for eighteen days." "Certainly you must have committed some offense. Indeed. lest it contaminate the sacrifice. All of these books constitute the Mahabharata with its various divisions. who were named Srutasena. Sarama asked him. "I was beaten by King Janamejaya's brothers. Ugrasena. A brahmana who knows the four Vedas. just as one can cross the vast saltwater ocean with the help of a good boat." said his mother. pure. so in this world truly meaningful conversation cannot be sustained without reference to this work. As the attractive workings of the mind are the foundation of all sensory activity. Janamejaya. but who does not know the Mahabharata is not considered a truly learned man. was performing a long sacrifice assisted by his three brothers. As all creatures." But the dog again said to his mother. or even look at it!" Hearing this. eggs. Because it destroys one's sins it is most auspicious. Seeing her son crying loudly. seeds. with their various topical divisions and philosophical treatises. "I didn't commit any offense! I didn't lick up the sacrificial butter. so this epic is the foundation of mankind's duties and virtues. is like a blissful literary ocean. The Mahabharata is immeasurable. so virtually all poetic inspiration finds its first source in this exalted narration. a dog approached the sacrificial arena. always function within space. Indeed. and Bhimasena. and sacred. just as one who hears the sweet song of the male kokila bird can find no pleasure in the screeching of a crow. This most excellent work. the Upanisads. or sweat. went at once to where the king and his brothers were performing a long sacrifice and angrily said to Janamejaya. Eighteen aksauhini armies assembled together. similarly the ancient history of this world as found in the Puranas must be understood within the context of this great work called Mahabharata.CHAPTER 03 Once in the land of Kuruksetra. Janamejaya's brothers beat the dog and drove it away. easily traversed if first we hear this chapter with its summary of the entire epic. desiring to fight. "Why are you crying? Who has beaten you?" The dog replied.I have now given a complete summary of all eighteen parvas. The dog went howling and crying to its mother. for one who faithfully hears this narration. so the best of poets have prospered by drawing upon this narration. Sarama. Sarama. ordinary literatures are no longer attractive. "This is my son! He didn't commit any offense. which explains the future. and another book. "and that's why they beat you. great of purpose and meaning. As the four brothers engaged in worship. for it flows from the lips of Dvaipayana Vyasa. As the body cannot be maintained without food. one who hears this history as it is being recited and understands its message has no need to bathe in the holy waters of Puskara Lake.

so I closed the breach with my own body. my son is a great ascetic. Go and close it!"' Thus addressed by his students. the king offered his respectful obeisances and said: "My lord." Thus addressed. "Because my son. the king's brothers did exactly as told. highly learned in Vedic wisdom. When I heard my master's voice. he called out to his disciple. sins committed against Lord Siva. he will give it.replied. that my son has made one private vow: that if any brahmana requests anything of him in charity. there is a breach in the dike. and held back the water with his own body. and because he is born of my seed. having thus instructed his brothers. Anxiously pondering the problem. that in the future an unforeseen danger will come into your life. "Here I am! I couldn't stop the water from coming over the dike. he finally thought of a solution. "I will do it!" And he at once climbed onto the dike. "Dear Janamejaya. I came . Janamejaya carefully observed the sage's son and realized that he was qualified to serve as the royal priest. then journeyed to the kingdom of Taksasila and brought it within the Kuru administration. then all of us will go there to find him. the king returned to his capital city and told his brothers. If you can tolerate this. Aruni. who was teaching three disciples: Upamanyu. Janamejaya. "O Aruni of Pancala." Taking Somasrava as his priest. where are you? Come here. lay down in the breach. and he is to be respected as our teacher. "I must tell you. King Janamejaya. Completing the sacrifice and returning to Hastinapura. which I have acquired by long austerities. of course. and Veda. "My lord. my son!" Hearing his teacher calling him. Janamejaya replied. He is fully qualified to relieve your family of all its sins---except. Janamejaya was overcome by confusion and grief. the boy's teacher. "All right. I now declare. "So be it!" he said to himself." Thus addressed by the celestial dog. so it shall be. 'There is a breach in the dike." So ordered by his teacher. The son of Pariksit was once hunting in a corner of his kingdom when he came upon a saintly asrama wherein a sage named Srutasrava lived with his beloved son. was severely beaten. he is endowed with my own power. Go and close it. asked his other disciples. the sage replied. "My lord. you may take him at once. he began to search tirelessly for a person who could neutralize the effects of his family's sin. "Where is Aruni of Pancala? Where did he go?" The students replied. Aruni of Pancala went to the dike but could not close the breach. you told him. In fact." Thus addressed by the sage. Aruni of Pancala. "I have chosen this young brahmana to be our royal priest. Ayodadhaumya. the teacher replied. Somasrava. During this period there lived a sage of the name Ayodadhaumya. ran to his teacher. and instructed him "My dear boy. he was conceived and grew in the womb of a serpent who once drank my semen. your son must be allowed to act as my priest. saying. Whatever he says must be done without question. Aruni of Pancala at once got up from the dike. The teacher called upon one of his students." When the teacher arrived in the general area of the dike. Some time later. who did nothing wrong. Approaching the boy's father. however." Faithfully hearing his words. and stood before him.

" said Upamanyu. But seeing that he was still rather fat. Upamanyu replied." The teacher replied." The teacher replied to him." Having given him this name. and at day's end he returned to his teacher's house. You are not to utilize such alms without first offering them to me. I give you all that I beg in my first shift." The student replied to his teacher. "Because you always obey my instructions. his teacher again said to him. standing before him and offering his respectful obeisances. the teacher said. Seeing that he was still quite heavy. 'one who stood up and let the water burst through'." The teacher replied. How do you maintain yourself now?" Thus addressed by his teacher. "My dear son Upamanyu. your teacher. "You are a student. how do you maintain yourself? You seem quite heavy. and then I live on whatever I collect in my second shift. Yet I am here my lord. to utilize the milk of the cows without my permission. How do you maintain yourself?" Upamanyu replied to his teacher. he stood before him and offered his respectful obeisances. the teacher then blessed his disciple. When you beg from the same people twice. the teacher said. By this method I maintain myself. you will be known by the name Uddalaka. Upamanyu herded the cows during the day." The teacher replied. Ayodadhaumya had another disciple named Upamanyu. You are much too anxious for food!" "So be it. you should take care of the cows. after the calves drink from their mother's teats. "My dear Gurudeva. and the water again burst through the dike. I maintain myself by drinking the milk of the cows. "Because you immediately got up when you heard me calling and thus caused the water to burst through the dike. Coming to his teacher's house at the end of day. "It is not correct for you. "That is still not the proper way to serve your guru. and he returned to herding the cows. saying. you disturb their livelihood in order to get your own. Upamanyu replied. and you do not beg a second time. and again he went about herding the cows. I drink the milky froth which the calves regurgitate." Uddalaka earned his teacher's blessings by faithful service and was allowed to graduate from the school and go where he desired. The teacher noticed that his disciple was still too heavy and said to him. Returning in the evening to his teacher's house. promising that he would be more careful. and offered respectful obeisances. Seeing that he was corpulent." . and still you are too fat. ready to serve you. you do not beg a second time.immediately. I take all the alms which you beg. you will achieve great fortune in life. "My dear Upamanyu. whom he ordered as follows: "My dear son Upamanyu." said Upamanyu obediently. You should beg once and offer the alms to your teacher." "So be it." said Upamanyu. He herded the cows and then came again to his teacher's house. "Sir. You shall understand all the Vedas and all the Dharma-sastras." "So be it. stood before him. and there is nothing left over. "I take all the alms that you beg. "My lord. as a student. the great books of knowledge. he stood before him and offered his respectful obeisances. "I maintain myself by begging alms. you do not drink the milk from the cows---and still you are too heavy! How do you maintain yourself now?" Thus addressed by his teacher. Please instruct me. "You do not keep the alms you beg for yourself." Accepting his teacher's instruction.

I praise you with these words. and therefore he doesn't return. drink the milk of his teacher's cows. When Upamanyu failed to return. "The turning wheel is one. May the two Asvins not despair of us and thus release that nectar. "The virtuous Asvins broke open the mountain and released the hidden cows. "How did you fall into the well?" The student replied. thus I fell into a well. with twelve spokes fastened to six rim sections. "Please pray to the twin Asvins. "The calves are very kind. Such are your excellent deeds that those who stole the cows of dawn bow to your mystic potency. He's been so long. "Hello! Upamanyu! Where are you? My son. his teacher said to the other students. nor would he beg for himself. for they are the physicians of the demigods. Coming forth at dawn." said Upamanyu. he ate the leaves of an arka tree." "So be it. shining and unlimited. even though placed in different cow pens. Forbidden by his teacher." Speaking thus. Once as Upamanyu wandered in the forest afflicted with hunger. the teacher went to the forest and began to call Upamanyu. Dear Asvins. You maintain yourself by disturbing the sustenance of the calves." The teacher replied to his student. such expert mystic power adorns you. Therefore you should not even drink the froth. promising to take greater care. Upamanyu shouted back: "Teacher! Hello! It's me! I've fallen in a well! The teacher asked him. or even take the froth left by the calves. The demigods who rule this world are addicted to that nectar. . please come!" Hearing his teacher calling him. Upamanyu began to pray to the two godly Asvins with the following hymns from the Rg Veda: "O twin Asvins. "Dear twin Asvins. and out of kindness toward you they spit out much more than they ought. "I ate the leaves of an arka tree which blinded me. O measureless beings. "Those 360 milking cows gave birth to a single calf and provided it milk. they have won the nectar of Indra. and a single nectar-bearing axle fitted to the hub. "I've restricted Upamanyu in so many ways that he must have become angry. But the leaves were so acrid and acidic that they caused a terrible burning in his eyes that left Upamanyu blind. you range and dwell everywhere within these worlds. And he continued to herd the cows without any concern for eating. he would not take a portion of his teacher's alms. "Dear Nasatya and Dasra. Yet this undying wheel turns and turns without a rim. Indeed. By day their deed was seen and their strength celebrated. "Seven hundred spokes are fastened to one hub. Pure celestial beings of beautiful effulgence. and twenty other spokes rest upon the wheel's rim. They will give you back your sight." Thus addressed by his teacher. he began to grope about the forest and fell into an open well. O ancient ones of wondrous luster who always precede us.The teacher replied. victorious friends in time of need. to bring good fortune. you swiftly weave on fine looms the bright light of day. and you Asvins took from them an enjoyable offering of hot milk. Having lost his sight. by your strength you freed the swallowed quail. with handsome noses you are like golden birds.

You shall regain your sight and achieve good fortune in life. it is you whom I praise and the garland of blue lotuses that you wear. I beg your forgiveness. hunger and thirst. but yours shall be golden. Even the cosmic lights shine in accord with your arrangements of color. but I would not dare eat this cake without offering it first to my guru." "So be it. by your encouragement truth goes forth. "O youthful Asvins. Returning to his home. All the Vedas will be revealed to you. After much time had passed. even without the gods. and by his guru's full satisfaction Veda achieved good fortune and perfect knowledge. With his teacher's permission. and was never stubborn or discourteous." Thus addressed." When Upamanyu had thus glorified the Asvins. Ayodadhaumya had another disciple named Veda. Upamanyu again replied to the Asvins. The guru was pleased with his student and told him. he entered the grhastha--asrama by accepting a wife and strictly following the religious principles for married life." Being thus addressed by the Asvins and regaining his sight. His teeth are dark like iron. Veda tolerated the miseries of heat and cold. "In the past your teacher prayed to us. you shall achieve good fortune in life. "My dear son Veda. just as you did. and they in turn invest all things with variegated colors. which he accepted and ate without offering it to his guru. "You have pleased us by your great dedication to your guru. and thus you will achieve good fortune. and human beings of the earth follow the path of those directions. explaining all that had happened. "Dear sirs. may we also live. O Nasatyas. He did not tell them say. As a new-born child takes the mother's teat. "This work must be done. immortal upholders of truth. Upamanyu replied." Thus Upamanyu passed his guru's test. One day the teacher instructed his student. the guru's house. and being pleased we awarded him a similar cake. gods. may a man whose life is finished live again through these prayers. "We are pleased with your sincere prayers." The two Asvins replied. so I'm sure this cake actually has the power to remove my blindness. "Just as the Asvins said. they came to him and said. having passed his guru's test. Veda took on three students of his own. completely devoted to serving his spiritual master. who then lived for a long time in the guru-kula." said Veda. You also should accept and eat this cake in the exact same way your teacher did. Now eat it. But I don't dare accept it without offering it first to my guru."You two Asvins first generate the ten directions. and to solve your problem we've brought you this medicinal cake. who freed the cows. as do human beings who act upon the earth. Veda fully satisfied his guru." or "You . "O Nasatyas. Eventually. but he was reluctant to order his disciples. Veda ended his long stay in the gurukula. and as they individually separate and expand equally outward." The two Asvins replied." Thus addressed. the sages. like a faithful ox yoked to a heavy load. so by submitting to you. The gods respect it. "You never speak lies. Indeed. Asvins. "You then transform all the hues of the universe. Upamanyu went at once to his teacher and respectfully greeted him. you should stay here for some time and serve in my house.

`If a person asks questions against religious principles. Please order me. A disciple must make an offering to his guru after completing his studies. my son. The man then spoke to Uttanka. my teacher gave me permission to return home. "Uttanka. and naturally she has become quite depressed about this situation. It is your duty. he requested his disciple Uttanka as follows: "My dear Uttanka. Veda departed and lived for some time away from home. and I wish to pay my debt to him by offering something that will also be pleasing to you. Thus one day. I want you to arrange for it so that nothing is lacking. You served me so nicely in accord with religious principles." Soon after. "Uttanka." Uttanka at once departed for the kingdom of Pausya. and I want to wear those earrings when I serve the brahmanas. 'I must offer something to my guru. Janamejaya and Pausya.' All right. Uttanka. Uttanka again approached his teacher and said. you may offer that.must serve your guru. "Your teacher's wife is in her fertile season." Having carefully instructed Uttanka.' "Although you have given me permission to return home." Thus addressed. He said to his student. and I bless you to achieve all success in life. My teacher never said to me. 'What can I offer you?' Whatever she requests." . then you may stay a while longer. and you will achieve all good fortune. if that is how you feel. Four days hence there will be a religious ceremony."' Some time later Uttanka's teacher returned from his trip. "My dear Uttanka. and upon learning what Uttanka had done was very pleased with him. I want to do something for you. I will not do the wrong thing. Make this arrangement so that I look nice on that occasion. "Respected lady. 'You are now authorized to perform sinful activities. I give you permission to go. knowing Veda to be a qualified brahmana." for he knew intimately the hardship of living in the guru-kula. "Even if you women say so. Eager to serve his guru. It is the time for her to beget a child. As he went along the path he saw an extremely large man mounted on an extraordinarily large bull. Uttanka replied to the women. you were ordered to provide whatever is needed. As the authorities say. After some time two kings. [After all. What gift shall I offer to my guru?" The teacher's wife replied. "My dear son Uttanka." Uttanka went to the teacher's wife and said. when Veda was about to depart to perform sacrificial duties for the kings. you should eat the dung of this bull. if anything is needed in my house while I'm away. go to my wife and ask her. what I can offer that will please you?" The teacher replied. both selected him as their royal priest to officiate at sacrifices. so many times you approach me to say. hostility will arise between them and one of them will die. the women of the community approached Uttanka and told him. "Sir." Thus addressed by his student. but her husband is far from home. the teacher replied. Uttanka lived in his teacher's house faithfully executing his instructions. One day. "Go to King Pausya and beg from his queen the two earrings she is wearing. tell me what I can do for you. and thus our love for each other has grown even stronger.] You must do this for your guru's wife!" Thus addressed. to help her conceive a child. and another speaks against those same principles. and he did not want to trouble his disciples by engaging them in service. Uttanka replied. please tell me. "Please tell me what I can do to please you.

He then said. "Yes. silently sipped water three times. the king of serpents. Previously your own teacher ate this dung. and mouth. "Taksaka. and he sat down facing east. for I do not see her there. "So be it!" and ate the dung and urine of the bull. When Uttanka arrived he found the king sitting. the queen took off her earings and offered them to him. After purifying all his bodily apertures with pure water. The queen cannot be seen by one who is in an impure state or by one who has not properly cleansed his body after eating. ADI PARVA . Remember if the last time you ate you failed to wash yourself properly. "I come to you seeking a boon. "I beg you to give me those two earrings for my guru." Thus addressed." Thus addressed." Pleased by Uttanka's saintly demeanor and reflecting that such a worthy recipient should not be refused. it is a fact that after eating I quickly washed my mouth and hands as I was walking. she will not grant an audience to an unclean person. Uttanka! Don't analyze the situation. Taksaka. so again he spoke to Pausya. "My lord. my lord. What may I do for you?" Uttanka said.CHAPTER 3a Uttanka thoroughly washed his hands." King Pausya replied. and therefore he approached him and greeted him respectfully by offering his blessings. But the man spoke to him again." The king respectfully greeted Uttanka and replied. "Then you must be in an impure state." . Pausya replied. "Yes. Since she is a chaste wife. Seeing Uttanka enter." said Uttanka. "It is not right for you to treat me with lies. "Welcome. Uttanka said. Kindly give them to me. rest assured. this is precisely the point: a person who is walking cannot properly wash himself." "Yes. Your queen is not in the inner quarters." Thus addressed. he entered the women's quarters and saw the queen." Uttanka thought for a moment and said. feet. meditating within his heart on purification. "Please go to my inner quarters and request them of the queen. is anxious to get these earrings.When addressed in this way. and wiped his face twice. Uttanka did not want to comply. the king of serpents. "I have come on behalf of my guru to beg of you the two earrings your queen is now wearing. Please tell me what I may do for you?" Uttanka replied. It would be most kind of you to give them to me. the queen stood up and offered him her respectful greetings. I am King Pausya. it is so. Again he continued on to the land of King Pausya. is not able to attack me. She then told him. "Just eat it." Pausya replied. Uttanka entered those quarters but did not see the queen. "My lady. so please carry them with great care!" Uttanka replied to the queen.

you will never have children. When you cursed me." The king agreed and fed him with food that was available." Saying this. just as wind-driven clouds. you shall become blind!" Pausya angrily replied. where he entered his own house. pour down their waters. You are a qualified guest. and finding it to be impure he said to the king. whose king is Airavata. But Uttanka noticed that the food was cold and mixed with hairs. shine forth in battle and pour down weapons. Uttanka decided to appeal to the Nagas through eloquent prayer in the hopes that they would quickly return the earrings. but the apparent mendicant relinquished his disguise and revealed his true form as Taksaka. "My Lord!" he cried." Uttanka replied. king of the serpents. On the road he saw a naked mendicant approaching him. Please forgive me. but at times he could see the mendicant and at times he could not. Now I should also be spared from your curse. Having been prepared by a woman who had let down her hair. Uttanka chased him and grabbed him. I cannot adjust my curse.] Thus he approached them and spoke these verses: "The serpents. but his heart is like the sharp edge of a razor'? That is a fact. and the serpent land was full of workplaces and sanctuaries. Uttanka took the two earrings and departed. handsomely crowned with pinnacles and turrets and built in various styles. he took her permission and returned to King Pausya and said. [Beholding what seemed to be a well-developed civilization. "I do not speak in vain. Do you not know the famous proverb: `The heart of a brahmana is as soft as newly churned butter.' but the food was in fact impure. and still I was willing to forgive you and adjust my curse. There were many recreational facilities. But the opposite is true for a ksatriya warrior. which could seriously harm me. "It was you who gave me impure food. "Because you vilify pure food you will never have children!" Pausya then inspected the food and saw that it was impure. both large and small. I think we have settled this matter. though his speech is like a sharp-edged razor. grabbed the earrings. for it boasted hundreds of palaces and mansions. and I want to take advantage of your presence and perform a sraddha ceremony to benefit my forefathers. "My lord. "I cannot take back my curse. Because my heart is sharp. "Because you don't see that you are giving me contaminated food. "It was in ignorance that we offered you cold food mixed with hairs. and fled. The king then begged Uttanka for mercy. My anger is still not appeased. "My dear King Pausya. You will go blind. Uttanka was about to drink some water when the mendicant rushed up. don't make me blind!" Uttanka replied. Right now I should like whatever food has already been prepared and offered to the Lord. Placing the two earrings on the ground. Uttanka pursued him through that very hole and reached the serpent realm. Now please leave my kingdom!" Uttanka replied. `Because you vilify pure food. His speech is as soft and pleasing as newly churned butter. . but you shall quickly regain your sight. so your curse will therefore not affect me. "I can stay for a short while. ablaze with lightning." Pausya replied. you said. The snake ruler sped through a large hole in the earth and reached the land of the mighty Naga serpents. it has been a long time since a truly deserving visitor has come here. Please stay with us a while. which seemed as though it were boundless." King Pausya replied.Having thus spoken to the queen. I am satisfied now. it was indeed mixed with hairs and was unclean.

28. I pray to Taksaka. who shatters the enemy's ramparts. My obeisances unto Indra!" When Uttanka finished his prayers. and as she sat combing her hair she thought. Frightened. to him who dwelt at Kuruksetra and in the Khandava forest. the man on the horse said to him. to the master of the cosmos. how can I possibly return in time?" Even as he was pondering. Uttanka then prayed to all of them with the following verses composed of Vedic hymns: "Ever rolling round the pole star is the wheel of time. "You have pleased me by this prayer. "Uttanka." "Blow into this horse through his vital air. those born of Airavata have shone like the sun in the heavens. bewildered. aspiring to lead the Nagas. He'll transport you in a moment to your teacher's house. the man said to him. He also saw six boys turning a wheel that had twelve spokes. He then beheld two women weaving a cloth they had mounted on a loom. destroyer of Namuci. "The cosmos is formed like a loom upon which two young girls endlessly weave their black and white threads. and. Six boys keep it turning in divisions of 24."Handsome. Taksaka quickly grabbed the two earrings and emerged from his house and said to Uttanka. lived in sacred Mahaddyuman. "Uttanka has not yet returned. to those privileged to go near him as well as those who stay off at a distance.008 serpents accompany him. known as Srutasena. "To retrieve the two earrings. slayer of Vrtra. "Please sir. How may I please you?" Uttanka replied. "May the Naga serpents come under my control. take these earrings." said the man. mounting the horse. the great soul who dresses himself in two dark garments. "Today is the special day when my teacher's wife wanted her gift. many-colored. and of checkered coils. "And Taksaka's youngest brother. son of Kadru. he who distinguishes truth from illusion." Uttanka accepted the offer. with its 360 spokes fixed in the center. His guru's wife had already taken her bath in preparation for the day's ceremony. "On the northern bank of the Ganges are many paths of the lordly Nagas. and humbled. lord of the three worlds. he looked about him and wondered what he should do. I offer obeisances. but then he remembered. Just then Uttanka entered and greeted his teacher's wife and presented her the two . and he saw a handsome man mounted on a horse. guardian of the planets. But I've come such a great distance. In that loom were black and white threads. Who but their leader Airavata could hope to move so freely in the fiery blaze of the neighboring sun? "When the serpent king named Dhrtarastra goes out walking. and who obtained for his mount the primordial steed who is born of the sea and empowered by Fire. tirelessly turning the cycles that bring forth all creatures and worlds." After Uttanka had thus prayed to the Nagas but still did not get back the two earrings. "Taksaka and Asvasena always live together. "To all whose elder brother is Airavata. he returned to his teacher's home. to him I bow always. and as Uttanka blew into the horse every opening in its body poured out smoking flames that threatened to engulf the entire serpent kingdom. and they dwell in Kuruksetra along the banks of the Iksumati River." and made up her mind to curse him." Uttanka took them back. mount this horse. "To the master of the thunderbolt.

There I saw two women weaving a cloth upon a loom that held black and white threads. The so-called dung you ate was actually nectar of the gods. "The bull you beheld while journeying to King Pausya's realm was the celestial elephant Airavata. welcome. That evil-minded serpent bit your father. That sinful one dared to do what should never have been done when he bit your father. the Naga king. "Those two women are Destiny and Fate. when Kasyapa tried to save your father from death. as I was traveling to the kingdom of Pausya I saw on the road a large bull and a man riding on its back. and then at just the right moment he spoke these words in a pleasing and articulate voice: "O best of kings. and desiring to repay the offense he had suffered he departed for Hastinapura. But please tell me if there is yet something to be done." Being thus addressed the king bestowed full honor upon his guest and replied as follows: "By properly caring for all creatures. and by his mercy you recovered the earrings and returned safely. O best of brahmanas. What could that have been? And I saw a man---who was he? What was that unusually large horse? Also. you may go with my blessings. and your father. and the man riding him was Lord Indra. You must show your love and gratitude toward your father. I am eager to hear your words. "Uttanka. and the horse is Agni." Uttanka then respectfully greeted his teacher. and you must now repay that wicked serpent. and the white and black threads are the days and nights. and I had to go to the land of the Nagas." Thus addressed. my dear student. and by thus eating godly nectar you could not be defeated in the serpent realm. that sinful Taksaka turned him away. but he was still angry at Taksaka. your teacher ate it. striking down a king who had upheld the noblest traditions of his saintly family. a most competent brahmana. and as he approached him Uttanka first offered traditional blessings for the king's continued victory over his foes. was felled like a tree struck by a thunderbolt.earrings. out of childish innocence you. the finest of monarchs. You shall attain good fortune. In my view the time has come to perform a duty that is sanctioned by Vedic principles. the king. disturbed my work. a king beyond all compare." Uttanka thus received his teacher's permission to graduate. Uttanka. Uttanka saw the undefeated Kuru monarch surrounded on all sides by his ministers. Taksaka is the lowest of serpents and is puffed--up with pride over his so-called strength. you've come here just in time. "it was Taksaka who killed your father. the noble sage. After all. who was a great soul. Taksaka. soon reached Hastinapura and went to meet King Janamejaya. I was set to curse you.' "Because of that I accepted the bull dung. are content to do something else. who said to him. "Now." Thus addressed by that noble ruler of men. She said to him. . Moreover. "Sir. who had never offended him. whose twelve months are the wheel's spokes. `Uttanka. I fulfill my duties as a ruler. who had just returned from complete victory in Taksasila. the best of pious men. god of fire. my child. "My dear Uttanka. The man very politely said to me. What took you so long?" Uttanka replied. then told the mighty monarch exactly what needed to be done. he teacher replied. You remained faithful. "O king of kings. Indra is my friend. Welcome. but your good fortune is now assured and you will achieve great success in life. although there is an urgent duty to be done. What was that? I also saw six boys turning a twelve-spoked wheel. eat this bull's dung. and the wheel itself is the cycle of a year. god of rain. I would like to hear what all this means. The handsome man is Parjanya. The six boys who turn the wheel are the six shortlived seasons." said Uttanka.

in this way you shall properly honor your father. and Gandharvas. as well as topics relating to demigods. your father studied all the sacred histories. ADI PARVA . placed obstacles in my path. we shall inquire about the highest truth. When our teacher takes his honored seat. a terrible anger toward Taksaka welled up within the king.6) The son of Romaharsana. Respectfully folding his hands. and fixed in regulated spiritual practice and is thus the most highly respected among all of us." Hearing these words. We heard them in the past from your . and you shall be the one to perform it! O king. which he knew so well. the best of brahmanas.CHAPTER 05 Saunaka said: Dear son. who with Suta Goswami in front were sitting on the sacrificial grounds. Seeing that the priests and assembly members. wise. He is honest. human beings. when I was busily engaged in serving my guru. then took his seat and spoke to Suta Goswami. you may speak on whatever topic that most excellent brahmana requests. He forthwith approached the successful and enlightened sages. you must burn that sinner in the blazing fire of sacrifice! Let there be a snake sacrifice. As the offering of pure butter brings the fire of sacrifice to a blaze. but let us wait for the exalted Saunaka. who is presently tending the sacrificial fire. Saunaka. He is fully conversant with spiritual topics. all of them strict in their vows. so did the words of Uttanka inflame the fire of rage within the heart of Janamejaya. and I shall attain something I very much desire. Suta had worked hard to learn the Puranic histories. that best of kings was overwhelmed with a bitter and searing grief. O sinless king."Maharaja. he said to the sages." Saunaka. Let us therefore first consider his preference in regards to our topic. without reason. demons. when he heard from Uttanka about his father's death. austere. snakes. even in the presence of Uttanka the king asked his wise and elderly minsters about his father's passage to the spiritual abode.CHAPTER 04 (5. firm in his vows. finished all his duties in their proper order and propitiated the demigods with the chanting of hymns and the forefathers with the offering of food. When that illustrious guru takes his seat and inquires from me. and a qualified teacher of Vedic scriptures such as the Aranyakas. who was famous for having mastered the sacred histories called Puranas. "Son of Romaharsana. We are eager to hear topics that connect us with the Supreme. "What do you desire to hear? On what shall I speak?" The sages replied. that wicked one. Saunaka is the leader of our community at this sacrifice. Indeed. serene. approached the sages as they were assisting their leader Saunaka in his twelve--year sacrifice at Naimisaranya. O ruler of the earth. O son of Romaharsana. I shall speak on variegated and sacred topics. were properly seated. have you also studied them all? These ancient histories tell spiritual tales of the first generations of wise men and as such have been recounted since ancient times." Suta Goswami replied: "So be it. Anguished over his father's death. He is a learned and expert brahmana. ADI PARVA . the leader of that saintly group.

the great soul Cyavana. . But simply by looking at her. took birth from the womb of Pramadvara. If this shapely woman. the Raksasa Puloma was excited and his heart was fully tormented by lust. Hear. Among all these histories. I shall take her from this asrama before your very eyes. those histories that great sages like Vaisampayana carefully studied and recited in the past were also thoroughly studied by my father and indeed by myself. who improperly accepted her. Now speak the truth!" Afraid to speak a lie. how did Bhrgu's son. for we are eager to hear from you. slowly and carefully. Speak the truth to one who so inquires. He was fully virtuous and always spoke the truth. I shall describe to you. who stands alone here. "Tell me. the most virtuous Sunaka. he yearned to kidnAdi Parva . and fearing too of Bhrgu's curse. a demonic Raksasa also named Puloma came to his asrama. Cyavana's son and heir was the virtuous sage Pramati. and so again and again he entreated the blazing sacrificial fire. While he was away. great among the upholders of virtue. you ever exist within all creatures as a witness to their piety and sin. Even the gods. Agni. as do Agni and the lords of the wind. I would first like to hear about the dynasty of Bhrgu. Fire began to speak. then tell me so. then you must declare it openly. and from Ruru. as it is found in the ancient histories. my dear sacred Fire. Noticing the sacrificial fire ablaze on the sacred ground. for you are the emblem of truth. You must declare the truth. is indeed Bhrgu's wife. so well known everywhere? Kindly explain this to me. the best of the enlightened sages. I believe this lady of lovely complexion to be the very woman I once chose as my wife. acquire his name. Bhrgu falsely took away my intended wife. who is your own great grandfather. The first descendent of Bhrgu was his own beloved son Cyavana. "O Agni. for he was devout in his worship and self-controlled. as the child grew normally in the womb of Puloma. Suta Goswami said: Bhrgu had a greatly beloved wife. you who are a dear descendent of the same Bhrgu. in whom he conceived a son endowed with Bhrgu's own potency. But her father gave her away to Bhrgu.Chapter that faultless woman. O brahmana. for I wish to steal her from this asrama. great seer. the Raksasa was overwhelmed by lust and lost his mind. Sunaka was a learned and famous ascetic. whose wife is this? I ask you on your honor. Pramati then begot Ruru in the womb of his wife Ghrtaci. O wise one. asking him the same question. O Fire. Suta Goswami said: O best of brahmanas. As soon as I hear from you that she is truly Bhrgu's wife. Bhrgu. that respectable and religious wife who always treated others fairly. When he entered the asrama and beheld the faultless wife of Bhrgu. led by Indra. Saunaka said: O son of a suta. Puloma. the original brahmana. the colorful history of the Bhrgu dynasty. master of the Vedas. the lovely Puloma welcomed him with typical forest fare like fruits and roots and other such eatables. O descendent of Bhrgu. pay tribute to that dynasty. Upon seeing the Raksasa arrive. then. O brahmana." The Raksasa was not sure if the woman was actually Bhrgu's wife. of that illustrious dynasty of Bhrgu. the demon asked the blazing fire. and if this is that same woman.father. My heart has always burned with rage because Bhrgu took that lovely-waisted woman who was first meant to be my wife. speak words of truth. revealing the identity of Bhrgu's wife. Please relate this story. left her at home and went out to perform a royal consecration.

"You.] Suta Goswami said: Upon hearing Agni's statement the demon assumed the form of a huge boar and seized Bhrgu's wife with the speed of the mind and the strength of the wind. formed a great river that followed her path. who told him your name? O sweet-smiling one. "the one who came forth. Tell me the truth. Although you already know it. and he began to comfort that chaste young lady. and he cursed Agni. he himself cared nothing for Vedic principles and considered his own selfish will to be the highest law. her eyes filled with tears. Upon seeing his son Cyavana and his furious wife. . is tainted by that very sin (of duplicity) without a doubt. As I cried out like a kurari bird. Please listen carefully. declaring. What. the demon let go of me as he burned to ashes and fell dead on the earth. but I am bound to honor brahmanas. the demon surely did not know that you were my wife. Shocked and aggrieved by this incident. then. the god of fire. Fire. the shapely Puloma quickly picked up Bhrgu's beloved child and ran. I spoke the facts. and even knowing does not speak.CHAPTER 07 (08) Suta Goswami continued: Cursed by Bhrgu. was born. witnessed Bhrgu's faultless wife crying out. Agni too grew angry. Seeing the river flowing along after her. a terrible wrath took hold of Bhrgu Muni. and spoke these words: "Brahmana! Why have you committed such a reckless act against me. Lord Brahma himself. as they issued forth. By his power. I shall clearly explain the situation." Simply seeing this powerful child rush forth from his mother's womb. it was Agni who surrendered me to the Raksasa. Who revealed your identity? My anger is such that I wish to curse him this very moment! Who is that person who does not fear my curse? Who committed this offense?" Puloma said: My lord. Thus Cyavana. is my crime? A witness who knowingly speaks lies when questioned ruins seven generations of his family. I was saved only by this son of yours. Lord Brahma named it "Bride's Brook." in the place where it ran towards the future asrama of her son Cyavana. whose teardrops. Bhrgu too became angry and asked his faithful Puloma. "When that Raksasa decided to steal you. when I strove to follow the law and spoke the truth impartially? When questioned. Releasing Bhrgu's wife. her child rolled furiously out of her womb and thus became known as Cyavana.CHAPTER 06 [Although the demonic Raksasa insisted that Agni speak the truth. shall eat all things!" ADI PARVA . And one who knows the truth in a matter of duty. the Raksasa burst into flames. the grandfather of all the worlds. "I also have the power to curse you. Suta Goswami said: Hearing this from Puloma. past and future. But as soon as he grabbed Puloma. the Raksasa led me away. he fell to the ground and burned to ashes.ADI PARVA . the powerful son of Bhrgu.

called Agni and spoke to him these gentle and immortal words. Thus religious offerings on the new moon and full moon days are meant for both the gods and the forefathers. and he departed to execute the instruction of the supreme demigod. and thus I am present in various forms of religious sacrifices. Being a universal controller and the consumer of sacrificial offerings. blameless in this matter. You sustain the three worlds and set the sacred rites in motion. such as the Agni-hotra. religious processes have collapsed. please make the sage's curse come true. "O exalted one. why should you now be so confused? You represent purity in this world. "The forefathers are offered sacrifice on the new moon day. but are worshiped separately on the moon days. following the Vedic rites." they said. Agni withdrew himself from all the obligatory religious sacrifices and rituals. "Bhrgu has cursed Agni without reason. There was thus no chanting of the sacred Om. hence I am considered to be the mouth of the thirty principle demigods and the forefathers. similarly all that you burn by your flames shall become pure. O mighty one. Do what needs to be done while we still have time.CHAPTER 08 Suta Goswami said: . please act so that religious ceremonies are not cut off. O lord of the world." Hearing their speech. with that same potency. And thus without Agni all creatures became very aggrieved. And Agni. are falling to ruin. be cursed to eat all things? It is Agni who eats the first portion of that which the whole world offers in sacrifice. and Svaha mantrasup6 \chftn rootnote rs20 rs18up6 \chftn mantra: a transcendental sound or Vedic hymn. and through my mouth they consume offerings of clarified butter. How can Agni. "All the hosts of demigods and forefathers are venerable authorities in this world." "So be it!" replied Agni to the grandsire. Brahma. The gods and sages happily departed. Thus even the demigods and forefathers are satisfied by offerings of clarified butter consumed within my flames. experienced the greatest happiness. and in other rituals and ceremonies. O blazing lord."By my mystic potency I divide myself into many flames. just as they had before. and all the sages began to perform the essential religious processes. Svadha. ADI PARVA . Vasat. meant for the welfare of the world: "You are the fountain of all planets and You are their end. including the Agni-hotra. the destruction of the demon Puloma. and the demigods on the full moon day. your flames will burn all things. "O Fire of awesome potency." The sages and gods then approached Lord Brahma and delivered the news of the curse on Agni and his withdrawal from religious ceremonies. and you pervade all creatures. Such is the very ancient history that arose from the cursing of Agni. The sages. In your manifestation as a gross material ingredient. And even the demigods and forefathers always make offerings through me. for they are generally worshiped as one. clean and unclean?" Reflecting on the matter. the mouth of the demigods. The gods in heaven and all the earthly communities rejoiced. the creator. But as the sun purifies all things by the touch of its rays. and the birth of the sage Cyavana. then. and thus the three worlds. can my mouth eat all things. then went to the demigods and spoke: "Now that fire is lost. How. Satra. his impurity cleansed. Makha. You shall not eat all things with all your bodies. Accept and consume the demigods' portion and your own when properly offered through your mouth in sacrifice. who grew very disturbed.

then by all the merit I possess let my beloved come back to life. did not see a sleeping snake stretched out before her. Seeing the child in such a condition. plunged its venom-smeared fangs deep into the body of that most careless girl. may my lovely Pramadvara rise up once more on this very day. while playing with her girlfriends. Ruru remembered his beloved Pramadvara and spoke these mournful words: "That delicate girl who lies on the earth arouses such grief in me and in all her relatives! What pain is there beyond this? If I have given charity in my life and practiced austerities. The sage awarded his daughter Pramadvara to Ruru and immediately set the wedding date for the time when the moon passes through the constellation known as as Uttara-phalguni. Leaving her infant daughter on a riverbank near the asrama of Sthulakesa. ADI PARVA . Thus impelled by time and destined to die." The religious Ruru beheld Pramadvara at Sthulakesa's asrama and fell completely in love with her. Dear brahmana. and the serpent." At that time. Pramati in turn begot Ruru in the womb of Ghrtaci. endowed with full beauty and character. that best of brahmanas Sthulakesa was filled with compassion and took the child home and cared for her at his asrama until she grew into a shapely and beautiful young woman. Bharadvaja. the son of Bhrgu. "the finest of charming ladies. Gautama. Please hear the story to its conclusion.11. so in return for all that. Sankhamekhala. and Ruru fled in anguish. Mahajanu. she fell to the ground unconscious and lifeless. fallen and unmoving on the earth yet somehow bright like a lotus. the tender-waisted virgin. quickly assembled there. Ruru went deep into the forest and cried out in pain. No sooner bitten. Pramati with his son. and other forest dwellers all arrived on the spot. Together with his friends. Once there was a noble sage of tremendous austerity and wisdom who was always dedicated to the welfare of all creatures. the young bride of lovely complexion. lost in dreamless sleep. Seeing the lifeless young girl. She who had possessed such a beautiful form was now unattractive to look upon. Her own father and other ascetics saw her there. he encouraged his father to request the girl's hand. A few days before the wedding. Kaunakutsa. begot in the womb of Sukanya the great soul Pramati of fiery power. Arstisena. she trampled it with her foot. felled by a serpent's venom. deeply compassionate. and Ruru begot Sanuka upon his wife Pramadvara. Menaka departed. His name was Sthulakesa. who abandoned the infant born to her in due course of time. the Gandharva king Visvavasu was known to have had intercourse with the celestial Menaka. likewise driven by deadly time. That great and mighty sage saw the infant girl shining with the beauty of a young goddess as she lay helpless and uncared for on the deserted riverbank. they cried out in heartfelt grief. Svastyatreya. I shall describe in detail the activities of the greatly powerful Ruru. From my very birth I have controlled myself and remained faithful to my vows.CHAPTER 09 (10. the great sage named his daughter Pramadvara.Cyavana. Recognizing her to be the most enchanting of women. or "one of coarse hair. again became most beautiful. Griefstricken and wailing piteously again and again. But as she lay on the earth. and thus Pramati went to see the famous Sthulakesa. Then all the important brahmanas.12) Suta Goswami continued: As the brahmanas sat there together. a date known to confer happiness upon lovers." A messenger of the gods then spoke: . Kusika. felled by a serpent's poison. O learned sage. or indeed if ever I properly worshiped my elders and teachers.

offer half of your own life to that girl. "I've done you no wrong today. You shall give up your life! .CHAPTER 10 Ruru said: My wife. In fact. for a mortal whose lifetime has passed can have no extension of that life. was once bitten by a snake. have already arranged a solution to this problem. born of a Gandharva and an Apsara. On the eagerly awaited day the fathers of the bride and groom happily performed the marriage and rejoiced.O Ruru. though dead. arise again with half of Ruru's duration of life. Suta Goswami said: As soon as the Lord of Justice had thus spoken. O virtuous one. I do hereby offer half my life to this chaste girl. who are great souls. Ruru said: What solution have the gods arranged? Tell me in truth. and picking up a weapon. endowed with half of Ruru's life. Once the learned brahmana Ruru. both most noble souls. my dear son. the gods. Remembering his pain. Any snake he saw filled him with cold fury. you whose wealth is austerity?" ADI PARVA . through his austerities." The Lord of Justice said: Messenger of the gods. The life of that poor girl. he would always kill any snake that came within his range. the words you speak out of sorrow are in vain. saw lying before him an aged lizard. and your bride Pramadvara shall again rise up. is now gone. do not in any way abandon your mind to grief. After so much anguish. O sky-traveler. Therefore. Now please let my dear one arise! Suta Goswami said: Thereupon the Gandharva king and the celestial messenger. and I shall do as you say. may Ruru's fair and noble wife Pramadvara. and if you accept it you will regain Pramadvara. so finely dressed in the garments of love. and thus it was pre-ordained (by the cosmic rulers) that in the future his life would be diminished by half for his wife's sake. but the lizard cried out. You must help me! The messenger of the gods said: O Ruru. having come to a great forest. Ruru said: O most excellent sky-traveller. the wife of Ruru. scion of Bhrgu. the lovely and chaste young Pramadvara arose as if from sleep. ascetic! Why then are you so enraged? Why angrily strike me. and thereafter I uttered this terrible vow: "I swear that I shall kill any snake I see!" Therefore I am going to kill you now. he vowed with firm determination to annihilate the snakes for their crooked ways. the furious brahmana struck the lizard. obtained a wife who was as delicate as the filaments of a lotus. approached the Lord of Justice and spoke to him these words: "O Lord of Justice. if you so approve. awaken endowed with half the duration of his life. each wishing the other well. whom I hold as dear to me as my own life. Raising a stick like the staff of Death. Ruru. Nevertheless. the very powerful Ruru had accumulated an excessive duration of life. if you so desire then may Pramadvara.

The duty of a warrior is not at all prescribed for you. I had a brahmana friend named Khagama. kindly tell me who you really are dressed in this lizard's body. to learn the Veda and its supplements. being terribly strict in his vows. the scriptures declare emphatically that a brahmana is born in this world to be always kind to others. My friend." You are that very Ruru. "That which I have already spoken can never prove false. I was a sage named Sahasrapat. you shall be quickly freed of this curse. My friend was a true ascetic who ever spoke the truth. Upon seeing him. "O reptile. why was that brahmana so angry that he cursed you? And for how long must you retain this body? ADI PARVA . and in much anxiety said to me. Lizards and snakes share the same troubles. One day. you must forgive me! I beg you to take back your curse!" Seeing that my mind was lost in fear. the exalted Ruru said to the lizard. In a most conciliatory manner. "so by my anger become yourself an impotent snake!" O ascetic. for you are a fellow ascetic whose only wealth is austerity. devastated. Ruru said: O excellent reptile. for your own happiness. it was only a joke. "My friend. A brahmana. May these words remain in your heart. dear friend. and as Khagama sat absorbed in a fire sacrifice I frightened him with it. but their purposes are different. for I knew well the power of his austerities. that nonaggression is the highest moral law for all living beings. he thought the lizard to be a sage in disguise and became quite wary of striking it. "Because you made this impotent snake just to frighten me. O brahmana." he raged. while we were both still in our youth. But hear from me. because a warrior . "There shall arise from Pramati a righteous son named Ruru. my heart was in utter turmoil. Ruru. They share identical sorrows.The lizard replied: O brahmana.CHAPTER 11 The lizard said: Once." I cried. and to lead all creatures to freedom from fear." The lizard said: Formerly. and he fainted away on the spot. that which I now speak. thinking them to be serpents. I will tell you then. who was accustomed to speaking sharply. the righteous son of Pramati. but their pleasures are different. therefore. In great confusion I stood before him. and thus when he regained consciousness his anger nearly burned me to ashes. he sighed deeply again and again. snakes that bite human beings are a different species altogether. being full of strength from his austerities. and in fact (even as I speak) I have now regained my original form. my hands folded in submission. It shall come to pass regardless. I playfully fashioned a snake out of straw. but because of a brahmana's curse I was forced to accept the body of a lizard. should never injure any living thing. you who are strict in your vows. Suta Goswami said: When Ruru heard these words. You should not attack lizards. You should therefore recognize the principles of justice and refrain from attacking lizards. "whatever I did to you was just to have a laugh.

formerly narrated this story at the request of the brahmanas. . and physically protect all creatures. the best of the twice-born. from the brahmanas who narrate it. I will narrate the story of Astika exactly as I heard it. In the past King Janamejaya was attempting to kill all the snakes in a sacrifice until finally the terrified serpents were saved by none other than a brahmana. a learned disciple of Vyasa. Ruru ran all about the forest searching. explained the entire story. hear from me the great story of Astika. And why did that excellent chanter of mantras. ADI PARVA . in which all your questions will be fully answered.14 Saunaka said: Please tell me why that tiger among kings. Ruru's father. and for what reason were they killed? Tell me also for what reason the brahmana Astika saved the serpents. Because you have similarly requested me. O virtuous Ruru. O excellent brahmana. liberate the snakes from the sacrificial fire? Whose son was that king who performed the snake sacrifice? And please tell me whose son was Astika. O Ruru. when thus requested. how did King Janamejaya kill the snakes. spell dread for the wicked. I want to hear the whole story.CHAPTER 13. until at last he fell exhausted upon the earth and slept. Hear from me. Romaharsana Suta. the best of the twiceborn? Suta Goswami said: O best of speakers. When he awoke. Astika. Maharaja Janamejaya. ADI PARVA . Saunaka said: I want to hear in detail this fascinating story of Astika. the sage vanished. Suta Goswami said: Thus speaking. tried to kill all the snakes in a snake sacrifice. the illustrious brahmana of old.CHAPTER 12 Ruru said: O best of the twice-born. Anxious to find the sage. My own father. Suta Goswami said: The elders who dwell here in Naimisaranya relate this ancient history narrated by Srila Vyasa. Saunaka. about the actual work of a ksatriya. The name of that sage was Astika.must wield the rod of punishment. The sage said: You shall hear all of the great story of Astika. he returned home and narrated the incident to his father and asked for an explanation. who was powerfully austere and in full command of the Vedas and their supplements.

noble sir. Once. was a descendant of the family of Yayavara. he slowly cried out three times. By offering them food and water which has been first offered to Visnu. Who are you. dear boy. which is being eaten away on all sides by an elusive rat who always stays in the hole. I shall continuously endeavor to find a wife according to this stipulation. and not otherwise. strict in his vows. By the destruction of our family line. for your welfare I will marry. by our order. Once while walking about he saw his own forefathers hanging upside down over a great hole. preferring rather to allow our family line to perish.Astika's father was a powerful sage. But he could not find a suitable woman. strictly controlling his senses. That. are residing in ghostly bodies or in hell. Dear child. Jaratkaru said: Although my mind has always been fixed on never taking a wife. then wandered about the earth searching for a wife with whom to share a home. they are released from their suffering condition. due to sinful activities. Attaining then the eternal abode. put all your effort into finding a wife and make up your mind to continue our family. for I myself am Jaratkaru! The forefathers said: For your own sake and for ours as well. Tell me what I may do for you now. O brahmana. and why are you hanging face down over this hole? You are held by a mere clump of grass. "I am begging a wife in charity!" . I shall do so. is your actual duty. If there are no children to make this offering then the forefathers must suffer fully the reactions to their activities. But if someone will do it. I shall accept with proper rites a virgin girl bearing my same name and only one who is happily given by her family in charity. I shall accept the offering of alms. That for us is the highest benefit. Our last living descendant is known as Jaratkaru. entering a forest and recalling the words of his forefathers. who are you who stands here before us? Why should you be so kind to wretched persons like us? Jaratkaru said: You are indeed my own forebears---my fathers and grandfathers." The forefathers said: We are the Yayavaras. My dear forefathers. thus becoming a great sage. and he always engaged in performing severe austerities. dear brahmana. He was celibate. In this world. neither by the fruits of virtue nor by heaps of austerities can one attain the rewards earned by the parents of good children. and why do you worry about us as if you were our own kin? We want to know. O son. we are now forced to enter into the earth. sages strict in our vows. Seeing them in such a condition. I doubt that anyone would entrust a wife to one as poor as I am. and not otherwise. That foolish one does not want to take a wife and beget good children. only if I find a wife under certain conditions. however. This eminent religious scholar. he elevated his seminal power and nourished his brain. "Who are you. the progenitors who rule mankind. Surely a child born from such a marriage will deliver all of you. strive with great effort. unflinching in his vows. equal in strength to the praja-patis. Jaratkaru asked. dear sirs. to preserve our family line. but we are so unfortunate that our unlucky descendent cares only for the ascetic life. O lord.up6 \chftn rootnote rs20 rs18up6 \chftn Good children are necessary to continue the family line to ensure that pinda or santified food will be offered to those forefathers who. may my forefathers rejoice! Suta Goswami said: That brahmana. Because of such a guardian of our family tradition we must hang here helpless like common criminals. Known as Jaratkaru. Therefore we are hanging over this hole.

Indeed. the thoughtful Jaratkaru went to the heavenly abode after a very long life. the widely celebrated Astika freed the snakes from their curse. amazing sisters who were gifted with great beauty. please speak as your father did! Suta Goswami continued: O long-lived Saunaka. please accept her! Suta Goswami said: O best of Vedic scholars.At that time. and his profound Vedic studies. the sacred fire shall burn you all at Janamejaya's sacrifice. the two excellent women felt an incomparable joy. the serpent Vasuki offered his sister to Jaratkaru. "Tell me the truth. O serpent. Being pleased with his religious wive. O best of the twice-born. By his austerities. a husband who was equal in glory to the Prajapati. the sages by his celibacy and study. You are a gentle man and speak just like your father. Having thus obtained Astika as his son and having accumulated unequalled religious merit. Fairminded and equal to all. And thus Jaratkaru married her according to the authorized rites." To appease that same curse the greatest of the serpents presented his sister to the ascetic sage. . and his forefathers with progeny. You recite these histories so nicely and with such graceful sounds and language that we are all very pleased. he became free of his many obligations. the snakes had been cursed earlier by their mother. naturally assuming that she had a different name. That greatsouled child was to become both an ascetic and a great master of the Vedic scriptures. his religious vows. The very wise ascetic then said to Vasuki. thereafter accompanied them to the heavenly planets. Named Kadru and Vinata. who had declared. Jaratkaru is also the name of my young sister. with much happines. but he did not accept her. what is your sister's name?" Vasuki said: My dear Jaratkaru. they both became wives of the primordial sage Kasyapa. my son. with your presentation. A son of the name Astika was born of the woman and her exalted husband. his mind fixed. whom we have been keeping for you. He saved the Nagas. Jaratkaru. So now. He satisfied the demigods with sacrifices of diverse remuneration. and many other snakes who were related to him through his mother. But when the sacrifice meant to annihilate all serpents was proceeding. "I can only take a wife who has my same name and who is offered freely. the descendant of Pandu. Prajapati Daksa had two brilliant and sinless daughters. and he also rescued his father's relatives by continuing their family line. offered them both a boon. what is to be narrated next? ADI PARVA . King Janamejaya. commenced a great offering known as the Sacrifice of Snakes. he drove away his parents' fear." thought the great soul Jaratkaru. Long ago. I shall tell you the story of Astika exactly as my father recited it in my presence.CHAPTER 14 Saunaka said: O Suta. Having removed the heavy burden carried by his forefathers. his maternal uncles. O tiger of the Bhrgus. Kasyapa. in the godly millennium. "Driven by the wind. Hearing of Kasyapa's joyful intention to let them choose an extraordinary boon. long after the race of snakes had been cursed by their own mother. who faithfully kept his vows. Thus have I duly recounted the story of Astika. your sire spoke in a way that always satisfied our desire to hear. resolute of vow. We hear from authorities that long. please recite again in detail this story of the intelligent saint Astika for we yearn to hear it.

mother. whom all the gods joyfully honor. at this time the two sisters saw coming towards them the stallion Uccaihsrava. then you must patiently await his birth. which is bathed in its own radiance." Having thus cursed his mother. Saunaka said: How and where did the demigods churn this nectar from which the king of horses. but from Vinata's two eggs her two sons were not to be seen. anxious to have children. Therefore you shall lose your freedom and for five hunred years remain the maidservant of the very woman you sought to rival. was ashamed. and Vinata hankered to have two sons who would exceed all of Kadru's sons in stamina. the sons of Kadru hatched from their eggs." Vinata felt that her purpose was satisfied and that somehow both sons would be of superior strength. it is like a wondrous golden ornament. Thus Vinata broke open one egg and saw therein her son. As soon as he appeared. took birth? Please tell us! Suta Goswami replied: There is a glowing mountain called Meru. After a long time Kadru produced one thousand eggs. indeed the finest of horses and the best of the swift. urging them to carry their embryos with utmost care. born from the churning of nectar. O brahmana. AP15 (16) Suta Goswami continued: O sage rich in austerity. Awesome beasts of prey . knowing that she could not have more. which will come after another five hunred years. that you have caused me to be deformed and weak. since she would have one thousand sons of equal prowess. the son cursed his mother. Popular with gods and Gandharvas. was beautiful and immensely powerful. ready to take his meal of eatables as ordained by the creator. Then Kasyapa. valor. Kadru too felt her purpose fulfilled. Their delighted assistants placed the two sisters' eggs in moist vessels. as Aruna.Kadru chose to create one thousand serpent sons. "Let me have at least one superior son. Vinata: "You were so greedy for a son. the son flew into outer space. the reddish light of dawn. Vinata then said to Kasyapa. it is immeasurable and can be approached only by those who are abundantly righteous. Her husband awarded her only one and a half of these desired sons. as you did mine. and Vinata produced two eggs. retired to the forest. the supreme jewel among horses. If you truly desire to get a son of unique prowess. that mighty ascetic. and spiritual influence. Both wives were delighted with their boons. Furious that his natural growth had been thus interrupted. Authorities say that the upper half of the child's body was fully developed. he left Vinata and flew up into the sky. O tiger of the Bhrgus. When the years had passed. where he is always seen. of such unusual strength and luster. That austere and godly woman. Indeed. it subdues the sun's own light with its dazzling golden peaks. who bore all the auspicious marks. consumer of snakes. all of equal strength. Fine beyond all other mountains. That ageless celestial steed. famished. Your other son will free you from servitude---that is. strength. In due course of time the mighty Garuda. but the lower half was not yet well formed. took birth. O leader of brahmanas. Vinata. where they remained for five hunred years. mother. if you don't break his egg and ruin his body and limbs.

who were already weak from the heat . who is also a plenary manifestation of the Supreme Godhead. for only when the great ocean is churned will the immortal nectar come forth. and its foundations extend just as many miles below the earth. Unattainable by most. and you will certainly obtain every healing herb and all manner of jewels." ADI PARVA . this mountain. Churn the ocean. the gods began to churn the vast waters of the sea. "the unlimited. Encouraged by Lord Brahma and ordered by Lord Narayana. lying beyond even their imagination. all the mighty demigods once met atop the Meru Mount. but together they could not lift it. The Daityas and Danavas were also anxious to drink the nectar. Apsaras. Akupara." The lord of waters replied. and for our sake let an effort be made to lift Mandara Mountain!" "So be it!" said Lord Visnu. The billows of smoke turned into clouds and poured rain and lightning upon the demigods. resounds with the songs of the most charming varieties of birds. Lush with tangled creepers. the demigods stood at the tail. Lord Ananta. seated in council. The great demons held one end of Vasuki. "We shall churn your waters to obtain immortal nectar. stood by Lord Narayana." "You. the mighty Ananta then rose up to assume the great task. and in the end you shall have nectar. sir. Being forcefully pulled up and down by the demigods as well. Standing tall. Vasuki repeatedly belched fire and smoke. and heavenly herbs illumine it. rich in rivers and forests. The inhabitants of heaven came together and. the Supreme Lord Narayana spoke to Lord Brahma: "The demigods and demons together must churn the waters of the ocean basin. a plenary expansion of the Personality of Godhead. the king of serpents. The gods then accompanied Lord Ananta to the ocean and said to the mighty sea. Mount Mandara. or eighty-eight thousand miles. and thus they too began to churn. O Bhargava." The tortoise agreed and freely offered his back. and fashioning Mount Mandara into a churning rod and using the celestial serpent Vasuki as a churning rope. Lord Indra then pressed down the mountain's peak with a tool. So they approached the seated Lord Visnu and Lord Brahma and said to them. O brahmana. As the gods thus meditated and discussed the matter in every conceivable way. O brahmana. The demigods wanted to take that mountain to use as a churning rod. began to discuss how they might obtain the celestial nectar. O gods. should kindly serve as the resting place for Mount Mandara. by His own strength the mighty Ananta lifted up that lord of mountains with all its forests and forest creatures. It stretches up to a height of eleven thousand yojanas. the gods thereupon went to that excellent mountain. To evoke blessings on their cause they rigidly observed religious rules and austerities.CHAPTER 16 Suta Goswami said: Having decided to use the Mandara Mountain as a churning rod. vibrating with the songs of many types of birds. which rises almost forever upward. "If you save me a portion of the nectar I shall be able to tolerate the heavy pounding of the twisting churning rod. and even the gods themselves." The gods and demons together then said to the tortoise king. Again and again Lord Ananta lifted the serpent's head and threw it down. it spreads up and over the vault of heaven. Scaling its bright and gem-studded peak. Mandara mountain was a popular resort for the Kinnaras. and alive with many species of tusked and toothy beasts. "May you two Lords kindly fix your good minds on our ultimate welfare. joining together.frequent that great mountain. and. and Lord Brahma agreed. which was adorned with soaring peaks and crowds of towering clouds.

Lord Indra. As the mountain continued to whirl. and then the goddess Liquor. who fled its flames. As the fire burned all around. to where the gods stood. a deep sound arose from within the sea like the mighty rumbling of thunder in the clouds. "It's mine! It's mine!" they cried. and by the hundreds they gave up their bodies in the nectar-filled sea. please grant them strength. The Lord's enchanting feminine incarnation. But now the water of the ocean mixed with the finest of juices and turned into milk. and then a swift white steed. but Lord Narayana engaged His mystic potency and assumed a stunningly beautiful feminine form and boldly went amid the demons. was born from the nectar. who was as fast as the mind. varieties of herbal juices and resins from mighty trees flowed from Mount Mandara into the ocean. Thereupon the cool-rayed moon. arose from the clarified butter of the milk ocean. extinguished it with rain showers." Brahma then spoke these words to Lord Narayana. bewildered the minds of the demons. stocked with birds. loud shouts arose from the demons. All manner of sealife were crushed by the great mountain. which had been touched and lifted by the Supreme Lord Ananta. Narayana. clad in white garments. which held the immortal nectar. including the Daityas and the strongest Nagas. Let everyone shake the waters! Let everyone whirl the Mandara Mountain round! Suta Goswami said: Hearing the words of Lord Narayana. Then. Next the Goddess of Fortune. The demigods then spoke to Lord Brahma. on gods and demons alike. the best of the demigods. joining together. as the gods and demons churned the ocean with Mount Mandara. From the highest peak on the mountain. whose swift tongues of flame swarmed Mandara Mountain like electric bolts of lightning surrounding bluish rainclouds. "My dear Lord Visnu. Then the handsome Lord Dhanvantari rose up from the ocean carrying a white Kamandalu pot. . We have been churning the ocean for so very long. and thus all the Daityas and Danavas became so attached to Her that without hestiation they presented Her the nectar. all went on the path of the sun. Indeed from the milk of these juices. The friction from the falling trees generated a fire. the gods would attain immortal status. and. and from that milk came butter. The Goddess of Fortune. and the white horse. for You are their only shelter." Lord Visnu replied: I do hereby grant strength to all who have seriously undertaken this task. have no more strength. meant for the chest of Lord Narayana. Thereupon. by the strength of that mountain. all of us. they powerfully churned the milk of the great ocean. varieties of sea creatures (otherwise condemned to dwell in lower species of life) were freed of their dull acquatic bodies. "We are utterly exhausted. Seeing this great wonder. who was sitting before them. Yet. huge trees. clamoring for the nectar.of their labors. the boon-giver. showers of flowers rained down and scattered garlands everywhere. Mohini-murti. the moon. and still the divine nectar does not come out of the sea. shining with a sublime effulgence. and from the flowing of molten gold. gorgeous and radiant. Except for God. The fire burned even the mighty elephants and lions. the goddess of Liquor. rose up from the ocean like a second sun with hundreds and thousands of rays. endowed with the virility of nectar. crashed into one another and tumbled down from its peaks. And the divine Kaustubha gem. All kinds of creatures gave up their mortal bodies in that blaze. everyone's strength was renewed.

therefore. "Cut them! Pierce him! Rush them! Bring them down! Charge now!" were the terrifying sounds heard all around. invincible. Again and again it fiercely fell upon the foe and ripped to shreds by the thousands the demonic offspring of Diti and Danu. than there came from the sky a second sun. Even as Rahu imbibed the nectar. then ensued between the gods and the demons. But the almighty Godhead. and with His arms. Just as the battle reached its deadliest and most tumultuous intensity. sounded the alarm. As they slayed one another on the battlefield with bronze and iron bludgeons. more frightening than any other. and variegated tools of destruction. shining greatly. and clubs. In that ferocious fight. Narayana. during lunar and solar eclipses. Near the ocean's shore a great battle. Broad-bladed missles and razor-barbed darts fell in cascades by the thousands and found their marks. swords. having obtained the immortal nectar from the hands of the Lord. there has existed a persistent enmity between Rahu's head. Lords Nara and Narayana charged into the fray. and the Sun and Moon. the Lord released it. For in this battle it sprang from the hand of the Supreme Personality Himself. The stalwart demons.CHAPTER 17 Suta Goswami said: -[Then. spears. Visnu. realizing they had been tricked.] the allied Daityas and Danavas grabbed their finest shields and different kinds of weapons and rushed the demigods.ADI PARVA . Lord Hari Himself then relinquished His unique feminine form and in His original spiritual body caused the Danavas to shake and tremble with His many awesome weapons. tormenting the foe. the great light of the disc. It hovered eerily in the air. It entered the Lord's infallible hand. Yet as the demigods drank the nectar they had longed for. . Lord Visnu. disguised as a demigod. knives. fell to the ground like a granite mountain peak. trident--severed heads fell continuously on the battlefield like streams of molten gold. the Asuras fell to the ground. their limbs smeared with blood. having removed the nectar from the best of the Danavas. which subsequently became a planet in the sky. Cries of distress arose everywhere as the foes cut each other to pieces with slashing weapons beneath a reddened sun. and supreme. seeing his blessed devotee Nara wield his celestial bow. vomiting blood profusely. awesome. the Danava Rahu. the uproar ascended to the heavens. Sudarsana Cakra shone like death's own special blaze. When the nectar reached the Danava's throat. anxious to save the demigods. drank it in the midst of a bewildering uproar. the flaming disc of terrifying effulgence. So also did razor-tipped javelins. successfully held it with the help of Nara (the Lord's eternal friend and devotee). Thus even to the present day. at once invoked His own disc. forcefully sliced off his decorated head with that whirling disc. severed by the disc. Slashed by the Lord's disc and wounded by swords. who wields the disc weapon. also began gulping it down. the Sun and Moon. like the trunks of elephants. the planet Rahu is attempting to swallow his two longstanding rivals. Since that time. No sooner did He remember His weapon. The great head of the Danava. and at close quarters with fists. then suddenly rushed with heart-stopping speed into the thickest ranks of the enemy and shattered them to oblivion. which devastates the demons. lay crushed on the battlefield like mountain peaks oozing the dyes and pigments of minerals. and the hosts of demigods. shaking the earth's surface. the blessed Lord. the razor-rimmed Sudarsana.

Hurtling through sky and earth like a luminous spectre. that Brahma himself took note of it. Still the demons would not relent. the king of horses is certainly white! What do you think. thundering pleasantly in sky and space and all around.All around it burned and licked like fire and forcibly cut down the demonic legions. And the water-bearing clouds.22) Suta Gosvami said: I have now fully explained to you how by churning. "Tomorrow we shall go and see!" However Kadru. But the great grandsire and the hosts of demigods as well. so that I will not be forced to become a maidservant. darkening the skies with his deadly feathered shafts. the Cakra drank the blood of battle.20. Lord Indra and the other demigods entrusted the nectar to Lord Visnu. as shiny black as pigment.21. did not obey her command. nectar was derived and an illustrious horse of unequaled prowess took birth. for it was won by His strength and He alone could protect it. and with their awesome strength they took to the skies. the fire of that sacrifice will burn you all!" So cruel was the curse uttered by Kadru. Like masses of clouds great forested mountains came hurtling down from the sky. issued this order to them: "Take the form of horsehairs. the race of snakes. The demigods. Let's bet on it.CHAPTER 18 (19. sailed away as they had come. Thereafter. ADI PARVA . "My dear sister. born in the Pandu line. wherein they shone like white clouds. breeding panic and terror as they collided tumultuously. spraying their severed peaks and ridges. Kadru replied: I think that horse has a black tail. and then we shall see for ourselves. With huge mountains crashing down all over her surface. thinking to engage her thousand sons in a corrupt scheme. my sweetly smiling sister. and punished the gods by hurling mountains upon them. and therefore she cursed them: "When the wise and saintly King Janamejaya. beyond even what fate had ordained. performs a snake sacrifice. And hearing the furious Sudarsana disc storming the sky. The demigods then carefully hid the nectar and celebrated their victory with the greatest of joy. desiring the . Suta Goswami said: Thus agreeing on the terms of the wager--.they returned to their home remarking. A great fear spread among the demonic armies. my fair sister? Say what color you think he is. Nara began to shatter the plummeting mountain peaks. and quickly enter the horse's tail. the earth with all her forests shook and trembled as both sides stormed each other unceasingly on the raging field of battle. Kadru said to Vinata.that the loser would be the servant of the winner--. returned Mount Mandara with all honor to its own land. Then with mighty arrows tipped in the finest gold. O passionate woman. the battered leaders of the Asuras entered within the earth or dived deeply into the salty sea. having won the coveted nectar and defeated their enemies. and we shall set a wager upon it. Observing the horse. And the loser will become the menial servant of the winner." But her sons. tell me at once--.what color is the horse Uccaih-srava?" Vinata said: Why.

the two sisters Kadru and Vinata. Yet even after a hunred years of austerity the illumined sage Atri could not approach the lowest and final depths of the inexhaustible sea. Frightening to all creatures is the foaming sea. ADI PARVA . Celestial. That sacred ocean. deep and wide as the sky and glowing with the flames of its submarine fires. the lord of the rivers. the treasurehouse of the waters. fierce cries of those who move within its waves. the sea is a dangerous place. assumed the form of a great boar and lifted the lost earth from within the sea. With their penetrating and virulent poison.CHAPTER 20 Suta Goswami continued: . It was deep and crowded with sharks and whale-swallowing timingilas. When the Supreme Personality. the sea gave birth to the Lord's own conch. Having thus seen the ocean crowded with fish. and thick with many thousands of beings of every form and shape. Thus the sea holds all beings in awe. for they observed how numerous indeed were the snakes. having wagered their personal freedom. a boundless and awesome storehouse of all the world's waters. The greatest source of jewels. when Lord Visnu of immeasurable prowess enters His transcendental mystic slumber. to which thousands of great rivers came constantly flowing in a flood of rivaling currents. the source of nectar for the gods. who was standing not far away. As they came toward him. stretches immeasureably to uncharted shores and offers oblations of water to the fire that flames from the mouth of the Ocean-mare. and simultaneously wishing to help all creatures. those sacred and wondrous waters of the sea are immeasureable and inconceivable. the sea is aroused and shakes.CHAPTER 19 Suta Goswami said: When night had turned to dawn and the rising sun had ushered in the new day. It is the master of the rivers. Controlled by the waxing and waning moon. roaring with the terrible cries of its water-going denizens. the sea appears everywhere to be dancing. That vast reflector of the sky was unending. allowed her word to stand. the dwelling place of the underground fire. As its handlike waves toss and turn. the sisters. the serpents were always inclined to bite others and possessed great for all creatures. He of immeasurable prowess. Pancajanya. sharks. Crowded with giant turtles and fierce crocodiles. At the beginning of the millennium. and waves. Whipped by the winds that assault its shore. Kadru and Vinata gazed at the great foaming sea. He left its waters shaking and turbid. they beheld the vast sea teeming with sharks and timingilas (enormous acquatics that swallow whales). yet it is a reservoir of jewels and a charming abode for the demigod Varuna and the Nagas. glistening. Seeing that snakes were so highly poisonous. which seem to shriek with the awesome. Govinda. and a prison for the demons. the sea waves rise up and cannot be approached. Kadru and Vinata then quickly flew across it. And yet the sea can be ghastly with its deep and swirling currents. Lord Brahma then bestowed upon the great soul Kasyapa the knowledge of counteracting snake poison. ADI PARVA . He lies down on the sea. went in a very nervous and irritable mood to see the horse Uccaihsrava.

CHAPTER 21 Suta Goswami continued: Then Garuda. "You possess waves of power. the fair-winged Garuda withdrew his frightening potency within himself. who soar both near and far. overwhelmed by the sun's burning rays. "You are an exalted sage. Seeing her . you are always successful. which lies on an ocean bay. who touch the clouds with his great strength. Poor Vinata was tormented by misery. you are our greatest means of deliverance. at his mother's request. that terrifying bird suddenly grew to an enormous size and took to the sky. and Garuda. for your past and future glory is not at all meager. Garuda. who (in the person of Garuda) sat before them in his cosmic form. As the sun when angered can scorch all creatures. crossed to the far side of the great ocean and approached his mother. ADI PARVA ." Thus praised by the demigods and hosts of sages.Moving swiftly. Your ascent is fearful. illuminating all the world and its creatures by your effulgent rays as if you were the sun. Vinata was tormented with grief. whose face was downcast with grief. we have come for shelter to you. who are so greatly powerful and can dispel darkness. and thus the mighty one took birth. broke his shell without his mother's help. all fainted. the bird of great stamina and strength. "My dear sister. Prostrating themselves. Then once upon a time. Meanwhile. for having lost the wager she was now bound to the life of a lowly servant. so can you burn all beings. who are magnanimous and unconquerable. We come before you. Kadru crossed over the sea with her sister Vinata and quickly alighted near the celestial horse. whose time had come. take me there!" Vinata then carried her sister Kadru. surpassing all that is fixed and fleeting in this world. What you are seeing is the powerful Garuda. The flying son of Vinata began to fly up towards the fiery sun. do not grow so fierce! Would you burn us all to ashes? Your great. Kadru called for Vinata. carried all the snakes. who was bowed in servitude. and said to her in the presence of her son. and the serpents. "Dear Fire. who was mother of the snakes. "O lord of birds. they said. you surpass the radiant sun. it is not as you think. who is equal to me in fiery strength. Seeing the many black hairs in the horse's tail. Kadru at once placed Vinata. the lord of birds! As powerful and fiery as the sun. Because your strength is irresistible. like the fire of annihilation. who traveled wherever he desired. Having lost her wager and become a menial servant. in a state of menial servitude. yet you are fair and just and never mean or weak. You are as strong as death. O courageous. the demigods and sages went up to Garuda and praised him with eloquent words. Upon seeing him. O Vinata. Vinata's second son. Shining forth like a blazing mass of fire. like the sacred fire consuming the offering of butter. Suta Goswami said: Thus addressed by Fire. "How extraordinary you are. The world has heard all about your fiery power. Indeed. demigods and all the creatures took shelter of the god of fire. subduers of the demons. the Nagas live on a most gorgeous and secluded island called Ramaniyaka. blazing mass is coming close!" Fire said: My dear demigods. sky-going Garuda. and you can stop the cycle of cosmic ages.

the creator and destroyer of planets. and you possess the power to release abundant waters. who is carried by bay horses. and they poured down huge quantities of water and thundered constantly in the sky as if roaring at one another. Because of you the twice-born men. the instant. "You are the awesome thunderbolt. and you are the great sea. the slayer of Namuci. dispelling darkness.CHAPTER 22 Suta Goswami said: Thus praised by Kadru. You alone are the cloud. For their good the learned brahmanas ever worship you. O lord of the demigods! My obeisances to you. the hour. months.CHAPTER 23 (24) Suta Goswami said: Carried by Garuda. and its whales and timingalas. Space itself seemed to be dancing in the frightening waves of water and wind. then covered the entire sky with masses of blue clouds ablaze with lightning. the serpents quickly reached a land surrounded by ocean water and vibrant with the songs of birds. for with your matchless flood of might you are recommended in the Vedic hymns. who are swallowers of whales. ADI PARVA .children in a dangerous condition. its sharks. you are everything to us. he who is adored and worshiped by the mightiest. and the flash of lightning in the sky. you joyfully drink the sacrificial Soma and the oblations duly offered you for the world's benefit. Lush with variegated forests of fruit-and flower-bearing trees. for you control the sun and fire. and the sky filled up with the most extraordinary clouds which roared with the greatest of sounds. O destroyer of armies! I bow to you. As Indra poured down rain. . "My obeisances to you. O best of the immortals! "You devastate the cities of your foes. You toss and scatter the hosts of clouds. for the very earth was being filled on all sides with water. for the clouds are resting on you. sworn to holy sacrifice. with its huge waves. the bright and dark fortnight of the lunar month. and the twinkling of an eye. Rain fell as never before. You are the light of all creatures. You are the sun-filled sky. Let your waters swell and carry to safety the serpents who are now tormented by the fiery sun. and you are the god unto whom I take shelter. "Great is your fame! Honored by the wise and praised by illustrious sages. You are the roaring rain cloud. study all the Vedas and their supplements. the wind. husband of Saci. Kadru at once prayed to Lord Indra. "You are the excellent and abundant earth with its forests and hills. Thus you are the lunar day. O thousand-eyed one. days and nights. seasons. as well as the years." ADI PARVA . the owner of nectar and lord of the moon. the snakes became jubilant. he whom no one else can conquer. Lord Indra. You are the very smallest measurements of time. that host of fish. "O divine one. as the heavens thundered with the sound of the clouds. You are the great and wonderful being! You are the king and the best of immortals! You represent Lord Visnu in this world. You alone can save us from all danger. which you wield as your matchless weapon. you of a thousand eyes.

who are courtesans to the gods. carried on bracing breezes of the cleanest air. that I may understand clearly. by what auspicious signs do I recognize a brahmana? Vinata said: If you swallow someone and he tears at your throat like a barbed hook and burns like a red--hot charcoal. fragrant sandalwood trees painted the sky with showers of blossoms. When food is served. I made a wager with my sister. even consider such an act! A brahmana is never to be killed by any creature. and thus I want to know what foods are proper for me to eat. "I am going to garner nectar. speak the truth. a brahmana when angered is like the sun or poison or a deadly weapon. That sacred island was dear to the Gandharvas. spoke these words to the serpents: "What must I obtain or learn. "Bring nectar by your own strength. You may eat them for your food and then bring back the nectar. for brahmanas are as pure as fire and just as deadly. a brahmana eats before all other creatures. Indeed. who are wild and degraded tribes that live by harassing and plundering innocent people. and you shall then be free of our service. Therefore take us to yet another island that is most charming and full of fresh water. mother. "O best of birds. Stirred by the wind. you see many charming places." Vinata replied: On a secluded ocean shore is the chief residence of the Nisadas. But you are never to harm a brahmana! Don't ever. in any circumstance. "For what reason. the best of birds. Garuda. Celestial scents wafted about the land. but her serpent sons cheated me with their trickery and I became the maidservant to that uncivilized woman. Entering the lovely woods. then. Suta Goswami said: . you should understand him to be an exalted brahmana.that land was well developed with charming houses and colorfully adorned with lotus-filled lakes of the most refreshing water. Alive with the songs of many birds. to free myself from my bondage to you? All of you. Vinata. for he is the father and spiritual guide to the people. and as the sweet flowers were strewn about in the air they fell like rain upon all the snakes who had amassed there. Garuda questioned further: Please tell me. what feat must I perform. sky-goer. Garuda said to his mother." Garuda thought over the matter and then said to his mother. the serpents sported with great pleasure and then said to the mighty Garuda. "Soaring here and there. the charming land gladdened the heart and gave great joy to the sons of Kadru. and also to the Apsaras. who entertain the gods with their music and songs. mother.CHAPTER 24 Suta Goswami said: Thus addressed by the serpents." ADI PARVA . saddened by her unhappiness. must I do what the serpents order me?" Vinata replied. He is the most important member of society. serpents!" Hearing these words the serpents said." Suta Goswami said: After his mother explained the reason for their joint servitude. There you will find many thousands of them. O sky-goer. my son.

"My wife is a Nisada woman. I can never kill a brahmana.CHAPTER 25 Suta Goswami continued: A brahmana and his wife had also entered Garuda's mouth and the saintly one began to burn Garuda's throat like a flaming coal. then hungrily closed his mouth and destroyed the Nisadas. Garuda next encountered his father. he departed for his chosen land. Indeed." Garuda answered: Take your Nisada lady with you and come out as fast as you can! Quickly. even if he has fallen from his vows and is engaged in sin. so that I shall have sufficient strength to bring the nectar. I am ever devoted to your peace and well-being. please come out quickly! I am opening my mouth for you. please point out another type of food I may eat." As Garuda urged him in this way. like birds in a gale-shaken forest flying desperately into the sky. blessed him with these words: "Let the wind guard your wings! Let the moon guard your back. the brahmana replied. rushed into it by the thousands.Although she knew of her son's matchless strength. He headed hungrily for the wicked Nisadas. Gathering together all the Nisadas. dear son. coming upon them like the great force of time. who was extremely ill-tempered. save yourself lest the fire of my belly digest you! Suta Goswami said: The learned brahmana and his Nisada wife promptly came out. my lord. Vinata. Travel a safe path. The king of birds greatly expanded his face and blocked all escape by the Nisadas." Kasyapa replied: There once lived an exalted sage named Vibhavasu. Therefore. I shall fetch the nectar this very day. ADI PARVA . who quickly fled the mouth of that great snake-eating bird. Garuda stirred great clouds of dust up into the sky and dried up the water in the ocean bay. which ends all worldly things. Mother instructed me to eat the Nisadas. Supratika did not like that the two . but she must be allowed to come out with me. so that you may be successful in your endeavor!" Upon hearing his mother's words. who was a great ascetic. who asked him if he was faring well. but after eating thousands of them I still am not satisfied. out of affection. dear son! Let fire guard your head! Let the sun guard you all around! My child. When the brahmana and his wife were out of his mouth. the tormentor of his foes and ruler of the sky. those voracious fish-eaters. whereupon he explained to his father the following: "The serpents have sent me to fetch nectar and I am determined to do it in order to free my mother from her bondage. But so wide was his mouth that the Nisadas. that lord of birds streched his wings and flew into the sky at the speed of mind. The mighty and ever--moving bird. the powerful Garuda lifted his wings and flew up into the sky. shaking the nearby hills. So space-traveling Garuda said to the brahmana. and after gratefully blessing Garuda with ever-increasing fortune. confused by the dust and wind. "O best of brahmanas. and his younger brother Supratika.

which hosted thousands of birds on its mountainous form. the wise do not encourage the division of wealth among those who strictly follow their holy teachers and scriptures and who sincerely wish each other well. Supratika said to his brother Vibhavasu." But as the powerful leader of birds alighted upon the tree. As the elephant thrashes about in the lake. who flew towards him at the speed of the mind. those two huge--bodied foes go on continuously with their old feud. and proud of their new size and strength they continued their mutual enmity. he started to alight on its celestial trees.brothers held their wealth in common. and holding them fast rose up high into the sky. Thus a divided people soon come to utter ruination." Thus cursed. "See here my great branch that stretches for eight hunred miles. and its mighty branch. "And you shall become a sea-going tortoise!" Thus the two brothers Supratika and Vibhavasu. Seeing him thus. Then foes in the guise of friends. You should immediately consume them both and free them from this useless plight. each struggling to conquer the other. Yet still you would have personal wealth. whose roots and shoots could fulfill all desires. one very grand and elderly banyan tree said to Garuda. tail. begin to create conflict and divide the community against itself. which is filled with many fish. cursed one another and were forced to become an elephant and tortoise. that you cannot be restrained. "There are many who out of foolishness ever wish to divide their property. Garuda the sky-goer then approached some gigantic trees of most handsome colors and shapes. until Vibhavasu said to his brother Supratika. and feet he falls upon the tortoise. each man cares only for his own riches. When wealth is divided. even at the cost of dividing our family! You are so stubborn. the powerful elephant curls his trunk. As soon as he gives his mighty roar. You should sit on that branch and then eat the elephant and the tortoise. the best of birds. "Therefore. and with all the combined force and fury of his tusks. and in fear they cried out to him. These two have gone completely mad from their constant fighting. but the strong winds from his wings made those very trees tremble. "Please don't break us!" Seeing the branches shake on those trees. that space-roaming bird of terrifying strength clamped down on the elephant with one claw and the tortoise with the other. trees with jeweled branches that bore gold and silver fruits. their minds bewildered by greed. broke under Garuda's extraordinary weight. trunk. and the tortoise is about twenty-four miles high and eighty miles in circumference. Their wicked anger caused them to take birth as animals. . I therefore curse you to become an elephant. Here in this very lake. the gigantic tortoise lying within the water rises up and causes the entire lake to tremble. and then carry out your own mission. dear brother. in fact. Supratika. even that great tree began to tremble. but once wealth is divided people become enchanted by their riches and fail to respect one another. still others take advantage and prey upon the community. Suta Goswami said: Thus hearing his father's words. "Realizing that people are now divided. and people thus become separated by holding separate wealth. Flying to the sacred land of Alamba. understanding the situation. Among those shining trees that stood surrounded by the waters of the sea. The elephant is about fourty-eight miles high and twice as long. One of them is that large and handsome elephant now coming towards us. covered with so many leaves. the mighty tortoise raises his head and charges to do battle with the elephant. and he constantly recommended dividing it.

unapproachable." Thereupon. even in their minds. who live by absorbing light. who achieved perfection through austerity. it snapped. Many trees whose branches were bedecked with golden flowers were struck by the falling branch and shook and flashed like rainclouds flashing with lightning. the unperishing peak known as Gandhamadana. So won't you please allow him to carry out his mission?" At these words of glorious Kasyapa. Anxious to set them down safely. who wielded mystic potency in his person. Garuda. Kasyapa saw his sky-going son. As if in a single moment. and understanding his intentions. thin strAdi Parva . Garuda flew about the skies as gently as possible. Garuda's actions are ultimately meant for the good of all creatures. Witnessing the arrival of his son. engaged in austerities. lest you suddenly find yourself in trouble. who could dry up the rivers and make the worlds tremble by his glance. Garuda finally approached the best of mountains. Thus out of compassion for the Valakhilyas. my lord. releasing showers of flowers." Kasyapa. but whenever he tried to land in that mountainous region he would break the mountains to pieces. Garuda first entered that great mountainous region with his mind and then speedily flew there with the branch. and tortoise. rearing his head like the staff of Brahma. who was inconceivable. for his son's sake. whose wealth is austerity. elephant. the sages gave up the branch and departed together for the pure Himalayan range in search of austerities. Kasyapa. who was filled with fiery and heroic strength. its trees came tumbling down. Even a long. lest they burn you. There he saw his father. making the great mountain sparkle. who shone with divine beauty. Resplendent as gold. but Garuda held on to it. who appeared like a great mountain peak. "O ascetics. the son of Vinata. where other livings beings cannot go. and from the sky he released the great branch and it fell with a loud sound. but he found no place to alight. Don't enrage the Valakhilyas. and frightening to all creatures. who was a cleaver of mountain peaks.Chapter cut from a hunred hides could not bind round the mighty branch Garuda carried as he flew. and minerals. he had reached the mountain described by his father. moving as swiftly as the mind and with the power of the wind. gold.000 miles. and as he smilingly looked upon that huge broken branch he observed the celestial Valakhilyas hanging from it face-down. In a short time. of a land where there are no brahmanas. the exalted Kasyapa spoke these words: "Son. crumbled in all directions. that ruler of birds then swooped down and grabbed the branch in his mouth. appeased the Valakhilyas. Lofty mountain peaks. who could not be threatened or conquered by the gods or demons. When they had gone. those trees shone forth as if stained with the reddish rays of the rising sun. Garuda flew to many lands. still holding the elephant and the tortoise. as relentless as blazing fire. which was as frightening as the face of death. brilliantly mixed with the minerals of the mountain. "My lord. . Struck by the winds from Garuda's wings. said to his father. Kasyapa told his son of an uninhabitated mountain. the best of those who fly. had come a distance of 800. his full mouth stretched by the branch.AP26 Suta Goswami said: As soon as Garuda touched that very strong branch of the tree with his two feet. whose valleys and caves are completely blocked off by snow. Fearful of harming them. pointing out to them the cause of his son's behavior. Kasyapa. where can I leave this branch? Tell me. that king of mountains shook. rich with jewels. don't do anything rash.

Indra's cherished thunderbolt weapon was disturbed and flashed with pain. and who has now come to take away the heavenly Soma juice. Sadhyas. was disturbed and frightened upon seeing these dangerous omens. signaling danger for the demigods. who performed a hunred great sacrifices. and in a determined effort they stood at their posts. and all manner of burning spears. and along with the other gods he went and spoke to the heavenly priest. Garuda. Rudras. . and meteors fell everywhere. the best of sky-goers. All the personal weapons of the Vasus. Ill-boding angry clouds thickly showered blood. adorned with celestial jewels. That winged being is the best of the strong. Brhaspati. Lord Indra then declared to the guardians of the celestial nectar. wielding his thunderbolt. a mighty sky-going creature who can take any shape at will. Brhaspati has told me that our foe possesses incomparable strength. and power. ill omens appeared. The cloudless sky roared menacingly. who had shattered the cities of the godless. the demigods were amazed. and he is capable of stealing the Soma juice. At that moment. smoking and flaming. "why have these great and ghastly omens suddenly arisen. brave hearts." Brhaspati said: O best of the gods. Holding all these glowing weapons. Thus the demigods made their stand on that grand battlefield that spread beyond the horizon. tridents. even in the great wars between the gods and the demons. Meteors. stood with bodies shining like kindled fire. Suta Goswami said: Hearing these words. Cyclonic winds whipped the world. plummeted from the skies in broad daylight. stood fearlessly with pure. so that it shone brightly in the pleasant rays of the sun. "My lord. and flawless swords. He is the son of Kasyapa Muni and Vinata. Indra himself stood with them. the skillful gods raised up by the thousands their finely-honed razor-edged weapons. courage. The garlands of the gods withered. crowding it with their hundreds and thousands of devastating clubs. it is by your fault and carelessness--you who performed one hunred sacrifices---and by the austerities of the Valakhilyas." he said. Adityas. Indeed. "A bold and powerful bird is trying to steal the Soma! I'm clearly warning you so that he doesn't take it by force. ate both the elephant and the tortoise. and flew up from the very top of the mountain at the speed of the mind. I think anything is possible for him. Wearing invaluable golden armor variously embellished with jewels. and Indra. and bludgeons. and all other gods began to attack one another. This had never happened before. could only rain down blood." Hearing this command. flaming weapons which sizzled and smoked with power. and their fiery power was extinguished. those celestial beings. Fixed in their resolve to guard the nectar. Even Lord Indra. that a wonderful being has taken birth. and swirling dust damaged the upraised crowns of the heavenly rulers. along with fighting clubs of awesome look. Maruts. god of gods. the shining hosts of gods. He can accomplish the impossible. unique in their strength. I do not see an emeny who could overcome us in battle. Every weapon was handsomely fitted to its owner's body.Then standing on that mountain peak. They raised whirling discs. battle axes. surrounding the prized nectar. They siezed all of their glaring.

and how was he so careless that by the austerities of the Valakhilyas. He then saw on the road a group of sages. of rigid vows. and thus weakened. your own determined plan should likewise not prove false. Let there thus arise among the race of birds a great being of exceeding strength and glory. the mighty Indra laughed at them and then insulted them by quickly stepping over their heads. one who can go where he wishes..CHAPTER 27 Saunaka said: O son of Romaharsana. may that dreaded being arise today by the fruit of our austerity!" When he learned of this solemn oath. Garuda. but because of having fasted. rich with austerities. each of whom was as small as the curved joint at the base of a thumb. you should not render false the word of Brahma. performer of a hunred sacrifices. Therefore. took birth as the son of sage Kasyapa? How did Garuda become so invincible that no living being can slay him? How does that great airborne creature take any shape he wills? How does his power grow at his mere wish? If the answers to these questions are to be found in the ancient Puranic histories. Hear from me what those learned ones wished to achieve: "Let there be another Indra. Please attend. and let there be mercy toward the king of the gods. endowed with all the strength he desires. hoping to pacify them. "a new ruler for all the gods. and the sages known as the Valakhilyas were also engaged. what was Indra's fault. Suta Goswami said: The topic on which you question me is indeed found in the Puranas. undertaking a mighty effort that would bring fear to proud Indra. Together they were carrying one small leaf and stem. Once the progenitor Kasyapaup6 \chftn rootnote rs20 rs18up6 \chftn Kasyapa is the father of Indra and other demigods. they struggled in the water that filled a cow's hoofprint. was much disturbed and went at once to Kasyapa. yet. bearing one hunred times the valor and strength of Indra. king of birds. the king of the gods. O brahmana. the Valakhilyas. please take command of this powerful sacrifice and do as you think proper. the tiny ascetics had almost sunk into their own limbs. desiring a son. Kasyapa employed Lord Indra in bringing wood for the sacred fire. Yet all of you ascetics are endeavoring to create another Indra. The honest Valakhilyas replied to him. and Gandharvas were assisting him. "Succeed it must!" The progenitor Kasyapa.ADI PARVA ." Thus requested by Kasyapa. the progenitor Kasyapa approached the Valakhilyas forthwith and asked them if their sacrifice was succeeding. was engaged in offering a sacrifice. who begs for it. and the sages. as were other demigods. O pious ones. said. A terrible anger arose within the sages. Swift as the mind. "It is by the order of Brahma that this current Indra occupies his post." vowed the sages with determination. The powerful Indra lifted a load befitting his might and thus without difficulty brought what appeared to be a mountain of firewood. bringing fear to the celestial king. The accomplished ascetics chanted with precision a variety of mantras. an Indra of the winged creatures. demigods. our endeavor to produce another Indra was also meant to bring you a son. offering them into the sacrificial fire. and at once they gave full expression to their fury. honored that best of sages. as I summarize the entire story. After hearing from the celestial king. Intoxicated with his own power and filled with pride. and said to him: "O progenitor. I would like to hear them." .

and the darkness now removed. Indra was relieved of his anxiety and returned to his celestial home. came swiftly upon the demigods. Kasyapa told her. Garuda. As the demigods spied his approach and noted his surpassing strength. wounded by the wings." The great Kasyapa. Among them stood Visvakarma. O Maruta! Be that your task!" The mighty wind at once drove away the dust. the celestial denizens proceded to shower every variety of weapon upon him. longed to have a son and she performed austerities with great devotion and observed the fast called Pumsavana (in which a wife who seeks progeny takes a vow to subsist temporarily on whole milk alone). iron bludgeons. Yet even as the legions of gods were attacking the great bird. the guardians of the nectar were separated from one another. and Vinata. attacking Garuda on all sides with spears. who with his most unusual strength protected the heavenly nectar. and struck fear into the hearts of all creatures.At that very time. then spoke to her again: "Bear these twin embryos with great care. they became utterly shaken and began to clasp one another and take hold of all their weapons. and talons. O child of the Bhrgu race. O best of the twice-born. your heroic son will be revered by all the world. however. and he tore at the gods with his wings. She then cleansed her body and in a purified state approached her husband. or deride them out of pride. of high reputation and kindly nature. As he soars through the heavens. for they are meant for glory. By the winds from his wings the great bird stirred up huge dust clouds that darkened the worlds and covered the gods. One of your sons shall make himself chief (Indra) of all winged creatures. with his thousands of eyes. "O goddess. Clad in armor. But never again can you thus insult sages learned in the Absolute. of all winged creatures. like the thundering of clouds. He fought a matchless battle against that lord of birds. her wish fulfilled. for you will be the mother of two heroic sons who will rule the three worlds. Then Lord Indra. let your worries be dispelled. the king of birds. was annointed as the chief ruler. flew high into the sky and hovered above the gods. bristling with powerful might. and in that tumult. son of Marici. the Indra himself." Hearing these words. for when they are angered their wrath is fierce and their words burn like poison.CHAPTER 28 Thereafter. The king of birds. you shall achieve your desire. "These two birds shall assist you as your brothers. in the midst of all this excitement. . Covered with dust. growing in power by his very will. the gods pressed in hard upon Garuda. hear now of his most extraordinary deeds." The progenitor Kasyapa then said to Lord Indra. you alone shall be Indra. Aruna and Garuda. slayer of great foes. and talons of Garuda. he let loose a powerful roar. quickly commanded the Wind. Daksa's lovely daughter Vinata. beak. mighty beyond imagining and as brilliant as lightning or fire. beak. but after fighting for a short time he was laid low. It is by the austerities of the Valakhilyas as well as my own desire that you will have two exalted sons who will be honored by all people. Aruna was crippled and became the dawn that heralds the sun. Garuda. became joyous and gave birth to two sons. Of the two. "Dispel this shower of dust. O destroyer of hostile cities. blinded and bewildered. the demigods could not see the attacking bird. Thus did Garuda throw the very heavens into disorder. ADI PARVA . No wrong will come to you by contact with them.

shining like a blazing fire. whose golden body glowed with the radiance of the sun and moon. clubs. this tormentor of foes extinguished the blazing conflagration with the river waters and then reduced his body to an extremely small size. with fiery faces. rimmed all around with razorsharp blades. Uluka. spilling their blood profusely. with the winged Renuka. and unspeakably dangerous. Fiery as the sun. stepped over them to pursue the nectar. so Garuda. Harassed and thrown here and there by Garuda. but he then saw fire all around. forcibly entered the well-guarded sanctuary where the nectar was housed. fiery eyes. cutting blaze. Yet behind the wheel lurked two extraordinary serpents of exceeding strength. ADI PARVA . The mighty and heroic son of Vinata carefully lifted . Indeed. The best of all who fly. covered their eyes with dust. the gods took to flight. and tongues like bolts of lightning. and as they all ran they repeatedly gazed back upon the great and powerful being with whom they were locked in battle. Always staring furiously with ranging. with the winged Nimesa. Thus routed by the Indra of birds. they could spew mortal poison with their very eyes. driving and battering them from all sides. having brought these great warriors to the ends of their lives. talons. The sky-ranging Garuda then did full battle with the brave Asva-kranda. The son of Vinata trampled them under his talons and immediately tore them to pieces then rushed in where the nectar lay. razor-sharp discs that sped like the sun. Propelled by powerful wings. then with Tapana.CHAPTER 29 Suta Goswami said: As river waters push their way into the sea. wounded by his nails and beak. and pointed beak. and then with Praruja and Praliha. the luckless person would be instantly burned to ashes. with the heroic Sura. Great in potency and in spirit. Garuda wished to enter the storehouse of the celestial nectar. Therein he beheld an ever-whirling iron wheel. and the Vasus and Rudras to the South. The Adityas ran to the West and the Asvinis to the North. raging like the mighty Siva at the moment when the millenium comes to an end and everything is annihilated. and flaming. and shrinking his body he spun in time with the deadly wheel and suddenly dashed through its spokes. and he fought back with wild vengeance. unblinking eyes. with a fearful wind whipping the sharp. he rushed hard upon the snakes. the celestial guards were nonetheless severely wounded by their mighty foe and poured out their blood like bursting clouds. they were so deadly that if even one of them merely beheld an intruder. Vainateyaup6 \chftn rootnote rs20 up6 \chftn Garuda. But the great bird saw a way through the wheel.tridents. and Svasana. For with the fire now extinguished. Garuda gazed upon the two guardians of nectar and before they could see him. the son of Vinata ripped apart his foes with his wings. Unseen. The great fire covered the skies and appeared to burn the very heavens with its flames. the Sadhyas and Gandharvas fled to the East. The fierce and fiery son of Vinata roared in the sky and hurled the gods all around with the power of his wings and breast. the horrible device had been well built by the gods to slice to pieces any who would steal the nectar. But the king of birds was not to be shaken. The great soul Garuda instantly made for himself ninety times ninety mouths and with these mouths very swiftly drank up many rivers and then speedily moved upon the fire.

and seas. Thus I cast off a single feather. "I shall give you whatever you desire" The high-flying bird chose his benediction and said. Even though you are the Lord. and Lord Indra. Indra--. and after accepting them Garuda addressed Lord Visnu: "I now offer a benediction to You. wrecking the razor-edged wheel. Without drinking a drop of nectar. thought to himself. even the mighty Indra. Garuda. The Lord thus fulfilled His promise. let there be friendship between us as you desire. I shall pay homage to that sage. "This bird is a magnificent being!" and said to Garuda. Garuda thereafter continued on his course. Regarding the extent of my power." [Garuda did not fully understand the identity of Lord Visnu.] The Lord thus said to the great bird. know that my prowess is great and irresistible. the best of airborne beings. Yet the saintly do not approve of the desire to glorify one's own strenth and to advertise one's own good qualities. he of beautiful feathers!" for they were amazed to behold the most handsome feather cast off by Garuda. please select a boon. so that Garuda could indeed remain above Him. he took to the sky in great haste. I shall reply to your question only because I have accepted you as my friend. Nor can I ever feel pain from the blows of your thunderbolt." ADI PARVA ." These boons were granted. "May I ever remain above you." Lord Krsna selected the mighty Garuda himself as His personal carrier." And all creatures declared. and to you. otherwise I would never speak my own praises without reason. I will simply say that all this world.CHAPTER 30 Sri Garuda said: My dear Lord Indra. Soundly struck by the thunderbolt of Indra. who was pleased with him for his unique accomplishment and selfless act. who has thousands of eyes. and including you. shouted out fiercely and then smiled and addressed Lord Indra in a gentle tone. Beholding such a wonder. As he cruised through the skies. (sage Dadichi). to the thunderbolt. "O Indra. [Garuda did not desire the nectar for hmself. since your thunderbolt was produced from the bones of a great sageup6 \chftn rootnote rs20 rs18up6 \chftn \plain \plain r228 Refer to Srimad Bhagavatam 6th canto. "Let this bird be known as Suparna. struck him with a devastating thunderbolt. considering him an enemy of the gods for having forcibly stolen the celestial nectar. Or you may understand my great strength in this way: if all the worlds .] and thus he again spoke to Lord Narayana these words: "May I be ageless and immortal even without taking the nectar. "I wish to comprehend the limits of your great and unparalleled strength. and therefore he asked to stay above the Lord. the heroic bird carried it quickly away and flew untiringly through the heavens. and I desire your eternal friendship. Garuda suddenly came upon the imperishable Lord Visnu. withholding the sunlight with his great wings.everything could hang from but a single quill of one of my feathers. forests. The Lord then placed the image of Garuda upon His chariot flag. though he did appreciate the Lord's immense power.the nectar and then. the limits of which you shall not be able to perceive. with its mountains. O best of birds.

" Garuda said: I brought the nectar for good reason. and enjoying most noble fame." Garuda." "So be it!" replied the serpents to Garuda. destroyer of the Danavas. "From today on my mother shall be free of servitude. repeatedly telling him. Offered the highest worship by all creatures of the sky. wearing his royal helmet. I could carry them all without feeling any fatigue. Completing all the auspicious rites. Vinata. you may then drink it. "Although I am the lord of all. The fair-winged Suparna experienced supreme happiness and celebrated with his mother in that sublime forest. then addressed the heroic Garuda." Suta Goswami said: Thus addressed. for I have fulfilled the promise you asked of me. for those to whom you would deliver it would do us harm. Garuda brought joy back to the life of his mother. and by the touch of celestial nectar Darbha grass became pure and sacred. "When you put down the nectar I shall take it. . Garuda began to remember the sons of Kadru. the serpents took their bath and chanted the necessary sacred hymns. but I shall not give it to anyone to drink. and as they left to take their baths Lord Indra at once grabbed the nectar and returned with it to his celestial kingdom. And so he replied. Now. they at once licked the Darbha grass where the nectar had stood. undoubtedly attains to the heavenly abode. O Garuda. O thousandeyed one. yet I shall beg from you this boon. since you have no actual need of this nectar. The glories of the great soul Garuda are so great that any person who regularly hears this story of the lord of the birds. Realizing that the entire stock of nectar had been stolen by counter-deception.were joined together. the tongues of snakes were thenceforth forked. and I shall place it for you on a covering of Kusa. and he recalled especially the trickery by which they had turned his innocent mother into a slave. the lord of the gods. and he thus began to follow Garuda. Please take from me whatever boon you desire. celebrated as Suparna. quickly reached the place where his mother awaited him and with great jubilation said to all the serpents. along with their moving and unmoving beings. Indra. O serpents. "I have brought this nectar. "May we always be the best of friends." Indra said: I am satisfied by these words you have spoken. who had thus spoken to him. authorized to feed on snakes. By that act. after you have bathed and performed all the auspicious rituals. they eagerly returned to that spot to claim the nectar. when I put the nectar down. having earned the merit and fruit of true piety. you should immediately come and steal it away. Suta Goswami said: O Saunaka. recited in an assembly of spiritually educated people. In the meantime. dedicated to the welfare of all creatures and himself the most opulent among of all beautiful and illustrious personalities. it should be given to me. that the mighty serpents become my food!" "So be it!" said Indra.grass.

CHAPTER 31 Sri Saunaka said: O son of Romaharsana. and you revealed the names of the two great birds who took birth as the sons of Vinata. Pinjaraka. Purna-damstra. indeed the tens of millions of serpents in this world. the most prominent snakes have now been described. Kona-vasana. Kotanaka. Kara-vira. So strict were His disciplinary vows that He ate nothing but air. keeping His senses constantly under control. then Karkara and Akarkara. and Srivaha. ADI PARVA . Samvartaka. But you have not given us the names of the serpents. Hasti-bhadra. then Apta. Mani-naga. O Suta. on the slopes of the Himalayas. Nahusa. Vali-sikha. Aryaka. I have not told you the names of all the serpents because they are so numerous. Their children and the descendants of their children are innumerable. Anila. Puspa-damstra. Then there are Kaliya. and Sala-potaka. and then Kaliyaka. and Apurana. Kurara. Pitharaka. you have explained why the serpents were cursed by their mother and why Vinata was cursed by her son. . Subahu. the millions. it is not possible to count the many thousands. and Asvatara. Sri Suta Goswami said: O learned ascetic. Elapatra. and Kundodara and Mahodara. Kambala. from birth the serpents were powerful and difficult to subdue. Finally. Sankha-naka and Spandaka. and Halika. Kadru and Vinata. and the two snakes known as Padma.CHAPTER 32 Sri Saunaka said: My dear Suta. Indeed. You also related how the sage Kasyapa gave a boon to his two wives. and Taksaka. Pindaraka. and we are eager to hear at least the names of the most important amoung them. Sabala. Tittiri. and Vamana. Prabha-kara. But listen now as I name the most important of them. In all these holy regions and sanctuaries He devoted himself exclusively to the spiritual path. Ksemaka. Sanka. Sankha-siras. who immediately left His mother Kadru and took to very severe austerities. Lord Sesa first went to the Gandha-madana mountain and there practiced austerities. Bahya-karna. Vrtta.ADI PARVA . and Vimala-pindaka. what did they proceed to do? Sri Suta Goswami said: Among those serpents was the widely renowned Lord Sesa. Elaka. Adika. Kunjara. Hasti-pada. O most excellent among the twice-born. O best of the twice-born. Kumudaksa. Sumano-mukha. Mukhara. Upon realizing the gravity of their mother's curse. Dadhi-mukha. my dear ascetic. an incarnation of Godhead. Airavata. Aparajita. Nila. The first born is Sesa. and the powerful Salipinda. Bilvapanduka. Jyotika. Kalmasa. Then come Karkotaka and Dhananjaya. Nisthyunaka. Musakada. Kauravya and Dhrta-rastra. He came to the lotus forest known as Puskararanya. Hema-guha. Mudgara-pindaka. The names of the other serpents will not be announced here because they are so numerous. Virajas. journeying thence to the holy places known as Badari and Gokarna. Kumuda. and after him Vasuki. and Haridraka. and for this reason I shall not recount them. Puskara and Salyaka. and Pingala.

this is the blessings I desire today.but how shall I avoid contact with serpents in My future lives? Lord Brahma said: My dear Sesa. what is this You are doing? You should rather do something that will benefit all creatures. seas. so shall I act. Naturally the powerful Garuda has no affection for them. Even as He performed his penances. forests. lord of creatures. and muscle now emaciated. O lord of all creatures. I know all about the conduct of Your brothers. O best of the serpents. Therefore I perform my austerities in seclusion. "O Sesa. by dedicating Myself completely to austerity I shall be free of this body (from such bad association)--. Lord Sesa said: O Grandfather. are so dull-minded! Grant that I shall never again have to live with them. even though Garuda is our own brother. tell me.that which You desire most--. you may deliver the world upon My head. the earth opened wide. and therefore I further bless You that Your unwavering mind will be increasingly fixed on such virtue. the serpents. Sri Suta Goswami said: And so in obedience to Brahma's command. Lord Brahma said: O very best of serpents. Sesa. They are forever envious of one another. and cities. There He stands. for in the past a solution to this problem was arranged. O sinless one. Therefore. for I find them intolerable.for I am so pleased with You that I wish to bestow upon You a benediction this very day.Once as Lord Sesa was practicing his awesome austerities. I shall indeed sustain the earth and keep it unwavering. O Grandfather. and I also know their great fear because of their mother's offensive curse. devoted to the highest truth. as if enemies. pleased by Your discipline and serenity. You must bear this earth. happened to spot Him. you are troubling the creatures of this world. holding the earth and all its circling seas upon His head. and austerity. take a boon from me--. Arise! Hold the world in place so that life be not disturbed! Lord Sesa said: As the boon-granting god. They utterly despise Garuda. matted locks and torn clothing. with all its mountains. skin. and covered with long. I now request You to carry out my command. Go now beneath the earth." Sesa replied: My lord. that great soul endowed with such mighty strength by the blessing of his father. all My brothers. the first-born and greatest of all serpents. Your keen intelligence is blessed to be always absorbed in virtue. Lord Brahma. what is in your heart that is troubling you for so long. they can never accept Vinata and her son. for she herself will grant You passage. the Grandfather said to Him. by thus sustaining the world You will give me great happiness. My dear Sesa. with His flesh. that My thoughts may ever take pleasure in goodness. Sesa. if you like. giving passage to Lord Sesa. that I shall not have to see them. Kasyapa. Lord Brahma said: O Sesa. which is meant for the welfare of all creatures. Lord Brahma said: . Yet You need not grieve for Your brothers. the universal Grandfather. for by the fire of your fierce austerity. mineral reservoirs. tranquility. master of the earth and universe has spoken.

O finest of serpents, O Lord of virtue, You alone are the celebrated Sesa. You alone, with your limitless coils, take the entire burden of this world, and thus sustain it, as do I myself or Indra, the slayer of Bala. Sri Suta Goswami said: The great snake Ananta Sesa thus resides beneath the earth, and by His unlimited might He alone sustains the world in obedience to the order of Brahma. Lord Brahma, the best of the demigods and grandfather of this universe, then granted Ananta friendship with Suparna, the son of Vinata.

Sri Suta Goswami said: Hearing his mother pronounce a curse on each of her serpent sons, the exalted serpent Vasuki at once began to reflect, "How can this curse be avoided?" He discussed all aspects of the matter with those brothers, headed by Airavata, who were dedicated to virtue. Sriman Vasuki said: We are all quite aware of the curse that has now been directed against us, and by discussing it together we shall try to find a way to save ourselves from it. There is a process of counteracting every curse--- but, my fellow serpents, when a curse is uttered by one's own mother there may be no way to nullify it. The same holds true when a curse is pronounced (and allowed) in the presence of Lord Brahma, the untiring and immeasurable creator, who is dedicated to truth. Therefore, my sinless brothers, when I heard our own mother curse us in the presence of the lord, my heart began to tremble. For even as she declared our utter ruin, the inexhaustible lord did not forbid or restrain her. We are therefore gathered here in council for the very salvation of the serpent race. Let not the time run out! By our discussion, we must find a way to save ourselves, as did the gods in ancient times when Agni was lost, having concealed himself in a cave. We must find a way to stop the sacrifice of Janamejaya, which is meant to destroy the serpents. Either the sacrifice must not occur or, if it does, it must fail in its purpose. Sri Suta Goswami said: The sons of Kadru who had gathered there gave their assent, and being masters of political strategy they at once began to formulate a practical plan. Some suggested, "Assuming the appearence of learned brahmanas, we snakes will beg a boon from Janamejaya, and when he agrees to grant it we shall say, 'May you not perform this sacrifice!"' But other serpents, thinking themselves wise, replied, "Being learned, all of us shall become the king's most respected advisors. He will naturally request our conclusive judgment in all affairs, and thus we shall advise him in such a way that the sacrifice will be stopped. Holding us in high regard, the learned king will question us about the value of such a sacrifice, and we shall reply that clearly there is none. With logic and reason we shall establish the priniciple that such a ritual would involve the king in many dangers and evils, both in this life and in the next, and that there should thus be no sacrifice.

"Or else, having identified the leading priest at the ceremony, he who knows the intricacies of a snake sacrifice and is bent on helping the king, a serpent will strike and kill this priest. When the priest conducting the sacrifice is killed, there can be no sacrifice. The king will have other priests who know how to perform a snake sacrifice, but we shall bite every one of them. In this way we shall surely accomplish our purpose." Hearing this, other snakes who were sworn to virtue then advised, "Your plan is unwise. Murdering brahmanas is not at all intelligent. In times of calamity, justice and virtue are the basis for achieving the highest peace; activity based on injustice casts the whole world into grief." Other snakes said, "Then let us take the form of clouds, flashing with lightning, and by releasing torrents of rain extinguish the sacrificial fire, even as it blazes." There were other prominent serpents who suggested, "Let us go to the sacrificial arena under cover of night and as soon as the priests are inattentive, immediately steal the sacrificial ladle, thus impeding the ceremony. Or during the sacrifice hundreds and thousands of snakes can bite everyone present and create panic. Or perhaps the serpents should contaminate all of the sanctified food with their own stool and urine." Then other snakes insisted, "We ourselves should become the king's priests for the sacrifice, and we can then impede the ceremony by demanding payment for our services. Having come under our control, the king will do as we desire." Others said, "When the king is sporting in the water, we should carry him to our palace and bind him. Thus the sacrifice will not take place." Other serpents, eager to help their race, offered this counsel, "We should immediately sieze the king and bite him. Then our work will be done. When the king is dead, all our problems will be cut off at their root." This last definitive strategy was heartily approved by all the snakes, and they said to their leader, Vasuki, "O king, if you approve this plan, let us immediately make the necessary arrangements." Having spoken thus, they respectfully fixed their gaze on Vasuki, ruler of the serpents. Carefully considering the matter, Vasuki said to the assembled snakes, "O serpents, I can not approve your plan, and I do not think it should be executed. Even though all assembled snakes have come to this conclusion, it does not appeal to me. And yet something must be done to save you, a fact that causes me great anxiety. For whatever we do, good or evil, now depends on me."

\plain r228 Sri Suta Goswami said: After patiently hearing the statements of all the serpents, who expressed their different views, and hearing Vasuki's response, Elapatra spoke these words: "Do not waste your time thinking that there will be no sacrifice, or that we can eliminate King Janamejaya, who is the cause of our great fear. Have you forgotten that he is a direct descendent of the Pandavas, and that he fights with the strength of his forefathers?

"My dear King Vasuki, we should rather recall that excellent wisdom which states that a man who is assailed by divine providence has no other recourse but to take shelter of that very same divine providence. It is by the will of providence that danger threatens us, and thus we shall only find our refuge in that same divine will. O best of the serpents, please hear my words. "When the curse was being cast, I was frightened, and I crawled onto the lAdi Parva Chapter of our mother. From there, my lord, I heard the gods speaking to themselves, for they were stunned and aggrieved by our mother's curse upon us. Approaching Lord Brahma on our behalf, they said `Fiery are these lordly snakes, and fiery too is their mother!' The gods then said to Lord Brahma: Grandfather, what manner of woman, after obtaining such dear sons, would curse them like this? None but the cruel Kadru, O lord of lords, and in your very presence! Morever you have now agreed to what she said, Grandfather, and we are anxious to know for what reason you did not restrain her from such cursing. Lord Brahma said: There are many snakes of frightening strength, who are cruel and filled with poison. Because I desire the welfare of all creatures, I did not stop Kadru from uttering her curse. Those serpents who are mordacious, vile, sinful, and ever poisononous will be destroyed, but not those who practice the rule of virtue --- the virtuous snakes will be saved. Now please learn from me how such virtuous serpents will be saved from calamity when the fated time arrives. There will appear a wise and noble sage named Jarat-karu in the family of the Yayavaras. He will be as potent as fire and in full control of his senses. A great ascetic by the name Astika will take birth as the son of Jarat-karu, and that boy will stop the sacrifice of snakes. Thereby will all the virtuous serpents be saved. The gods replied: O lord, in union with what woman will that excellent sage, the great and powerful ascetic of the name Jarat-karu, beget his exalted son? Lord Brahma said: That potent jewel of the twice-born, Jarat-karu, will beget his powerful son in a virgin girl of the same name. Elapatra said: "This is a proper solution!" said the gods to the Grandfather, and having thus spoken, they went on their way and Lord Brahma too took his leave. O Vasuki, I see now that your sister is named Jarat-karu, and so to avoid this danger, you must give her in charity to that sage of strict vows when he comes to request her hand. I have heard from authorities that this arrangement will be our salvation.

Srila Suta Goswami said:

O best of the twice-born, hearing the words of Elapatra all the serpents were filled with joy and they honored him by crying out, "sadhu! sadhu!" Thenceforth Vasuki, his heart filled with joy, carefully protected his sister Jarat-karu. Shortly threafter all the gods and demons churned Varuna's great ocean, and the mighty serpent Vasuki became the churning rope. Having thus accomplished their work, the gods, along with Vasuki, went to see the Grandsire, Lord Brahma, and said to him, "Dear lord, Vasuki fears his mother's curse and therefore he suffers greatly. He is very worried about his brother serpents, for the curse against them is like a thorn in his heart. O lord, please remove this painful thorn. This lord of the snakes, Vasuki, is always kind to us and always ready to help the gods. O lord of lords, show him your mercy and calm the fever in his mind." Lord Brahma said: My dear gods, it was I alone who previously entered the mind of the serpent Elapatra and inspired him to speak encouraging words to his fellow serpents. When the appointed time comes, this lord of serpents, Vasuki, must act to fulfill those words of Elapatra. For as Elapatra has declared, all the sinful serpents shall perish, but not those who are righteous. The sage Jarat-karu is born, and he is dedicated to the most severe austerities. In due time, Vasuki must offer his sister, who is also named Jarat-karu, to the sage. O gods, the salvation of the serpents shall come as the serpent Elapatra predicted, and not otherwise. Srila Suta Goswami said: Hearing the words of the Grandfather, Vasuki, lord of the snakes, assigned numerous qualified serpents to constantly observe the sage Jarat-karu, commanding them, "As soon as the great sage Jarat-karu desires to select a wife, you are to come at once and inform me, for this will be our salvation."

Sri Saunaka said: O son of Romaharsana, I would like to hear about the sage Jarat-karu, that great soul of whom you speak. He is celebrated in this world by the name Jarat-karu, but how did he get that name and what exactly does it signify? Kindly explain. Sri Suta Goswami replied: Jara is said to mean "weakening" or "destruction", and karu comes from the word daruna, meaning "frightening" or "terrible." The learned sage gradually emaciated his body with fierce austerities, until it became a fright to see, and thus, O brahmana, he became known as Jaratkaru. And Vasuki's sister received the same name for the very same reason. Upon hearing this, the devoted Saunaka could not help laughing and complimented Ugrasrava (Suta) for his clever explanation, saying, "Yes, that sounds right!" Sri Suta Goswami continued: For a very long time that learned sage, strict in his vows, devoted himself to austerities and did not hanker for a wife. Fixed in austerity, learned in the holy texts, free of fatigue and fear, Jarat-karu remained perfectly celibate and raised his seminal fluid to the brain, thus nourishing

his spiritual intellect. In this way, the great soul wandered all over the earth, never hankering to have a wife, for the very thought could not enter his mind. Then, when another time had come, there lived a celebrated king named Pariksit, who carried the glory of the Kuru dynasty. Like his great-grandfather Pandu, this mighty-armed king was the greatest bowman in the world and enjoyed going on the hunt, as did Pandu in the days of yore. Once that lord of the earth wandered about the forest, piercing deer, boars, hyena, buffalo, and other kinds of wild creatures. At a particular moment, he pierced a deer with a polished shaft and taking his bow on his back, followed the wounded animal into the deep woods. Holding his bow, he followed the stag all over the forest, and thus he resembled the mighty Lord Siva, who shot a sacrificial deer and followed it throughout the heavens. Never before had a deer shot by the king escaped with its life into the forest; this incident was surely an act of providence to bring the king back to heaven. The deer led the king far away into the deep forest, until, extremely fatigued and afflicted by thirst, he approached a forest sage who sat in a cow pasture, living off the abundant milk foam left by the calves who drank their mother's milk. The king, pained by hunger and exhausted, ran desperately up to the sage, who was strict in his vows, and holding up his bow, inquired from the saintly one, "Good brahmana, I am the King, Pariksit, the son of Abhimanyu. I shot a deer, but then it escaped me. Have you seen it?" The sage was fixed in a religious vow of silence and did not speak a single word in reply. Angered by this, the king raised up a dead snake with the tip of his bow, draped it on the shoulder of the sage, and stared at the holy man. But the sage would not speak a word, whether good or bad. Having released his anger, and seeing the condition of the sage, the king's mind became aggrieved. He then returned to his city, and the brahmana remained there in that very state. The sage had a son who, although young, possessed terrible strength, which he had developed by great austerities. The boy's name was Srngi. Although strict in his vows, he had a terrible temper that made him merciless. Srngi had been regularly engaged in worshiping the principal god, Lord Brahma, who is kind to all creatures, until finally after receiving Brahma's permission, young Srngi returned to his home. He was a haughty and ill-tempered boy whose anger could be as deadly as poison. One day, O brahmana, when he was playing and joking with his friend Krsa, also a sage's son, Krsa said to him, "You are certainly powerful and a great ascetic, but don't be proud, Srngi, because you father now wears a corpse around his shoulders. Do not say a single word when you are sporting with people of our calibre, who are perfect and self-realized sons of sages. To what avail are your so-called manliness and your proud words when you will soon behold your own father wearing a corpse?"

Sri Suta Goswami said: When the powerful Srngi thus heard that his venerable father was bearing a dead snake, his heart filled with anger and he burned in his rage. Glaring at Krsa, and giving up all kind and graceful speech, he demanded, "How is my father now wearing a dead snake?" Krsa said:

"Dear friend, King Pariksit was chasing deer in the forest, and just now he hung a dead snake on your father's shoulder." Srngi said: "What did my father do to displease that wicked king? Tell me the truth, Krsa, and beware of the power of my austerities." Krsa replied: "King Pariksit, the son of Abhimanyu, was hunting, and after piercing a deer with a feathered arrow he pursued it alone into the forest. As he wandered in that deep forest, the king could not find the deer, but he did see your father and inquired of him, but your father made no reply. The king, disturbed by hunger, thirst, and fatigue, inquired again and again from your father about the deer and asked him for water, but your father remained as silent and still as a stone pillar. He was practicing a vow of silence and would not reply. So the king, with the end of his bow, placed a dead snake on his shoulder. O Srngi, the king has gone back to his own city of Hastinapura, and your father, dedicated to his religious vows, remains even now in that same condition." Suta Goswami said: Hearing these words, the sage's son stood motionless with unblinking eyes that turned bright red with rage. The maddened child seemed to scorch the world with his anger. Overwhelmed with anger, he then touched water and furiously cursed the king with all his strength. Srngi said: That sinner of a king has dared to hang a dead snake on the shoulders of my dear, elderly father, who was struggling to perform his religious penances. Therefore on the seventh night hence, Taksaka, mightiest of serpents, impelled by the strength of my words and by the fullness of his own fury, will engage his fiery prowess and deadly poison against this sinful king, a despiser of brahmanas, who has brought infamy upon the Kuru dynasty. By my curse, Taksaka will deliver the king to the lord of death!" Suta Goswami said: Thus cursing the king, the angry Srngi returned to his father, who sat in a cow pasture wearing the dead snake. Beholding the dead serpent upon his father's shoulder he was again overwhelmed with anger, and tears of grief rolled down his cheeks. He said to him. "My dear father, when I heard that the evil monarch Pariksit had offended you, I became so angry that I invoked a terrible curse upon him. That worst of the Kurus has earned it! In seven days the best of serpents, Taksaka, will drag him to the most horrible abode of the lord of death!" O brahmana, the sorry father then replied to his enraged son, "My dear son, this does not please me. This is not the religious rule for ascetics, for the king is the best of men, and we are dwelling in his kingdom. He has always protected us according to the rules of justice. I do not condone his offense, but, my son, ascetics like us must nevertheless forgive a saintly king under all circumstances. If these laws of God are abused, they in turn will cause great injury without a doubt! "If the king does not protect us, anguish shall be our lot. My son, without the king it would be impossible for us to practice our religious life peacefully. When the kings protect us in accordance with the sacred law, we are free to cultivate virtue; and by the rule of virtue a portion of our piety thus belongs to the guardian king. And King Pariksit especially, who is just like his great-grandfather, has protected us well, precisely as a king should protect every creature born in his realm.

"He undoubtedly did not know that I was practicing a sacred vow and could not attend him. He must have been sorely afflicted by hunger and fatigue. Therefore, out of immaturity and impulsiveness you have performed an evil deed. No matter what the circumstance, it was wrong for us to curse the king. He did not deserve it."

Srngi said: O Father, if I have acted rashly, or even if I have committed a wicked deed, and whether I have pleased or displeased you, nevertheless that which I have already uttered cannot be changed. O Father! I must tell you that it will come to pass, for I am incapable of false speach, even when joking, much less while uttering a curse. The sage Samika said: I know of your terrible prowess, my son, that your words must come to pass. You have never uttered a false word, and your tragic curse upon the king cannot fail to act. It is always a father's duty, however, to correct even a grown son, so that the son acquires good character and a lasting reputation. What then of a mere child such as you, who has prospered by austerities and now acts like the lord of the world? Anger multiplies to excess in the hearts of great and powerful persons. You have distinguished yourself in the practice of religious principles, but observing that you are my son, and a mere boy, and that you have acted so rashly and impulsively, I see that it is my duty to correct you. You must become peaceful. Maintain yourself by collecting the simple eatables of the forest and give up your anger and thus you will never reject your religious principles. Anger plunders the hard-earned spiritual progress of those who endeavor for perfection, and those bereft of spiritual progress will never achieve their goal in life. When endeavoring spiritualists are able to forgive, their own equanimity will award them their desired perfection. This world can be enjoyed by the those who forgive, and the next world as well is only for those who forgive. Therefore, practice always a life of forgiveness, with your senses fully controlled. By such forgiveness you will some day achieve the spiritual planets, which lie beyond the world of Brahma and beyond the impersonal absolute. Despite this tragedy, my son, I must remain calm. I shall immediately do all I can by sending the following message to the king: O king, my young and immature son, seeing your offense to me, was unable to tolerate it, and now he has cursed you. Srila Suta Goswami said: That ascetic sage of noble vows gave the message to a disciple, and, his heart breaking with compassion, sent him to King Pariksit. He carefully instructed the disciple, a well-behaved and serious young man named Gaura-mukha, to inquire about the king's welfare and about the news of state affairs in general. Gaura-mukha went quickly to that ruler of men, who had benefitted the Kuru dynasty in so many ways. His arrival duly announced by the doorkeepers, he entered the king's palace. The brahmana Gaura-mukha was thereupon properly honored by the king, and after he was wellrested from his journey he accurately related to the monarch, in the presence of the royal ministers, the full and frightening message of the sage Samika, omitting nothing.

chief of the serpents. When he understood the sage Samika's sincere compassion upon him. The sage was unable to restrain his enraged son. moved toward the king he saw Kasyapa traveling with great determination in the same direction. and I shall indeed bite the ruler of the earth! Turn back! You have no power to cure a man bitten by me. and his heart was filled with sorrow for the sin he had committed upon the holy ascetic. Taksaka. "There is a most virtuous and self-controlled sage named Samika. . O glory of the Bharatas. O best of the twice-born. the king consulted with his ministers. would send the greatest of kings to the abode of the lord of death." Hearing these terrible words. he came to a decision. Dear and gentle brahmana. Taksaka said: I am that very Taksaka. O king." As soon as Gaura-mukha had left. the beloved king of the Kuru dynasty began to grieve. The king knew how to take good counsel. he performed all the duties of a saintly king. but for his offense against the sage. will consume with his poison the heroic king of the Kuru dynasty. O tiger among men. the learned Kasyapa came there to protect the life of the king with his medical skill. I shall immediately counteract the effect. without the knowledge of his father. None can mitigate the curse. said to the exalted sage Kasyapa. Understanding that the accomplished sage had been absorbed in meditation under a religious vow of silence."Dear king. and he placed all around him brahmanas who had perfected the chanting of Vedic mantras. and what is it that you are so anxious to do?" Kasyapa said: On this very day Taksaka. Transforming himself into an elderly brahmana. Thus I shall gain both material and spiritual benefit. He arranged for a well-protected platform with but a single support. with the tip of your bow you wrapped a dead snake around the sage's shoulders. I have made my calculations on the strength of my vast knowledge. Kasyapa said: I shall in fact cure the king! As soon as you bite him. and therefore. He sent Gaura-mukha back with this message: "May the holy Samika again grant me his mercy. but his son could not abide it. It is for this that I am going so quickly. who is peaceful and greatly austere and who lives in your kingdom. the greatest of serpents. he who earnestly desires your welfare has sent me to you. I shall counteract your poison." he said. He himself was tolerant of your deed. Having heard that on this seventh day the most powerful of serpents. On the seventh day. Noble as a god. as soon as that leader of the race of snakes bites the mighty Kuru king with his fiery poison. and together with his ministers. He also arranged for his security by bringing proper medicine and those who knew how to treat the diseased condition of the soul. along with his ministers. King Pariksit lamented only his sin against the sage and nothing more. "When the king is bitten by that powerful snake I shall counteract the feverish effects of the poison. his mind disturbed by his offense. The king was protected on all sides because he knew the principles of religion. the king's lament grew all the greater. O king. he thought. Taksaka. his grief and remorse grew still more. O brahmana. Situated on that platform. he has cursed you! On the seventh night hence Taksaka will certainly cause your death. "Where are you going so quickly. He was himself highly advanced in spiritual knowledge and thus he grieved not for his own passing away. the leader of serpents. and therefore the compassionate sage again and again urges you to care for your soul." As Taksaka.

Taksaka said: As much wealth as you seek from the king I shall give you now and more. Seeing the great soul Kasyapa restore life to the tree. Kasyapa. Before your eyes. the powerful serpent approached the large banyan tree and bit it. Once bitten by Taksaka and filled with his poison. With his divine knowledge the mighty sage could understand that the life of the king. O serpent. . O best of brahmanas.CHAPTER 39 Taksaka said: If you you have any power to cure someone bitten by me. for what purpose are you going to the king? What do you hope to gain? Whatever reward you hope to obtain from this powerful monarch. it appears that you can nullify my poison and that of other powerful serpents. born in the line of Pandu. now try to bring this tree back to life!" Although the tree was reduced to mere ashes by the mighty serpent's power. Srila Suta Goswami said: Even as the ruler of snakes was thus addressed by the great soul Kasyapa. your success will be doubtful. Try your best to save it. Srila Suta Goswami said: When the very powerful and wise Kasyapa heard these words of Taksaka. I shall bring it back to life. Kasyapa nevertheless collected all those ashes and then spoke these words: "O snake ruler. I shall bring this tree back to full life. and at last manifested the full-grown tree. and bite the tree. O ascetic. Taksaka said.ADI PARVA . precisely as it was before. the entire tree immediately burst into flames. the snake again spoke to Kasyapa. the noble seer. serpent. Show me the power of your mantras! Kasyapa said: Carry out your threat. I go thence to obtain wealth. which is spread all over the three worlds. then brought back to life a tree that had been turned into a heAdi Parva . but if you yourself give it to me. collected from Taksaka all the wealth he desired and departed. and your brilliant reputation. Before your very eyes. then gave it two leaves. behold the power of my science when it acts upon this noble tree. the best of the twice-born. even if it be something very difficult and rare to achieve." The exalted and learned Kasyapa. O learned sage. Taksaka quickly continued on toward the city of Hastinapura. When by this arrangement the great soul Kasyapa turned back. First he created a sapling. I shall burn this banyan tree with my poison. "O brahmana. had actually come to an end.Chapter of ashes. Kasyapa. Most learned one. Having burned the tree. If you try to save him. and his life is at an end." Kasyapa said: O serpent. he began to reflect deeply on the fate of the king. then revive a tree that I shall bite. adding twigs and branches. I myself shall give you. what you have done is truly amazing. then I shall return home as you desire." "This king is afflicted by a brahmana's curse. noble brahmana. But once you have bitten it. Desist and turn back. O ruler of snakes. will vanish like a sun which has lost its warm rays. "O best of brahmanas.

"My lord. "The sun is setting. or of death itself. The noble monarch accepted it all. and now at the end he folded his hands in supplication and spoke the following: "I have now achieved my purpose in life. The king had lived his entire life under the protection of Lord Visnu. and having spoken thus.1-10 ): King Pariksit spent his last days hearing about God from Sukadeva Goswami. all these sweet fruits the ascetics have brought. and wrapped himself around the great ruler. which had been given to the king. whose body was short with blackish eyes. But a young sage cursed me to die today." Suta Goswami said: . Indeed I am truly blessed because you have so mercifully taught me about the Supreme Lord. by my side. so let his words be true! May this insect be transformed into Taksaka and bite me so that he will not have uttered a lie. free of all desire. [Even though the king was detached from his fate. The ruler held up a fruit on which was a tiny copper-colored insect. Thus I shall give up my life. bringing the king a gift of darbha grass. moved by the will of God. the selfrealized and peaceful son of Vyasa.6. The saintly king had lost his external consciousness." Then the king. leaves. that best of kings then said to his ministers. and water. agreed with the king. Note to Chapter 39: The highly revered scripture Srimad Bhagavatam describes the king's last moments as follows (12. Suta Goswami said: Instructed by Taksaka. the monarch of men spoke to his ministers and well-wishing friends. now that my time is drawing near. and fruits. desired to take the fruits. Yet I am not surprised that a great soul in love with God has shown his mercy to a foolish king suffering the terrible miseries of this world. and now the king humbly approached his holy teacher and bowed his head upon the sage's feet. When the serpents disguised as ascetics had departed. Go to the king and make him accept this gift of fruit. As he continued to laugh. water. whom you have revealed to me. O Saunaka. "I will have to trick the king through some kind of magical process. I now have no fear of Taksaka or anyone else. grant me permission to give up my speech unto the Lord and to absorb my mind. who is without beginning or end. leaves. and He has soothed my heart and taken away my fear. the monarch then quickly placed the insect on his neck and laughed.On the way Taksaka heard that the great monarch was surrounded by persons expert in counteracting poison through mantras and medicines. and being prepared to ascend to his next life he desired to give up his mortal frame. Taksaka said: All of you must now carefully perform this duty. and water. in Him alone." The ministers. for my mind is now absorbed in God. What would be the best means?" Thereupon Taksaka dispatched to the king a group of serpents disguised as ascetics with an offering of fruits.] Taksaka began to think. "You should eat. Taksaka came out of the fruit. so there is no danger for me today from poison. and having received them with all the formalities due the sages he sent them on their way. "O holy one. Taking this fruit in his hands. with his ministers. his people were determined to save him. the snakes acted accordingly.

and everyone agreed that the king's son must succeed his father to the throne. and wherever he happened to be at sunset that place became his home for the night. observing that the king cut down like fire those who would pose a threat to the country. streaking bright as a lotus through the sky. Vapustama. the sage . With unusual strength he undertook religious duties that are most difficult for ordinary persons. Thus with a happy heart this powerful king. Free of attachment and doubt. ADI PARVA . having obtained such a handsome ruler as her husband. his consciousness was no longer in this world. When the great soul King Pariksit had thus departed from this world. his duty done. and Janamejaya joyfully accepted her. and so they approached the king of Kasi. The house burst into flames from the fire of the serpent's poison. joined with the ministers and performed all the funeral ceremonies meant to bestow blessings upon the king in his next life.CHAPTER 40 Suta Goswami said: When the ministers saw their monarch enwrapped by the serpent. whom all declared to be invincible. And after the king and all the sages had honored him. Sukadeva departed from that place. and as the king's men fled in fear it crumbled and fell as if struck by lightning. Overcome with grief. The saintly King Pariksit then sat down on the bank of the Ganges upon a seat of darbha grass with the tips of its stalks facing east and turned himself toward the north. Though still a young man Janamejaya was noble by nature. the best of rulers.Thus requested. as if to part the hair of heaven. and in their free moments gave him much delight. Thus Janamejaya. their faces turned white and they cried out in utter distress. to request his daughter.CHAPTER 41 Suta Goswami said: At that time the great and wise ascetic Jarat-karu wandered all over the world. and never again did he think of other women. the royal priest. the extraordinary serpent Taksaka. Thus traveling about. and acting in concert with royal ministers and priests he proved to be an excellent ruler of men. he sat as firmly as a tree and fixed his mind on the Supreme Soul. Suvarna-varma. ADI PARVA . for she was the joy and beauty of the king's palace. Likewise Vapustama. was appointed to lead the great Kuru empire. as a wife for the Kuru leader. loved him deeply. bathing in sacred lakes and rivers. Sitting there like a great yogi. and his life air ceased to move. The Kasi king agreed to give his daughter Vapustama to the Kuru hero after carefully studying his character and virtues. they saw the lord of serpents. the young hero of the Kuru dynasty. they scattered about. now felt him worthy to accept a royal bride. The residents of the royal capital then met together. sported with his wife amid lakes and blossoming woods. just as in ancient times Pururava enjoyed life upon obtaining the celestial Urvasi. This first-born son of Pariksit administered the kingdom exactly as his heroic great-grandfather Pandu had done. The ministers. fasting from food and consuming only air. Hearing the sound of the king's departure. the glorious son of Sri Vyasa gave his permission to King Pariksit. who was a self-realized brahmana.

kindly take a wife and beget children. But our problem cannot be eased by austerities. you thrive in your celibate life and thus you wish to deliver us from this calamity. almost out of our minds. which was once numerous and strong. I will happily do it!" Jarat-karu's forefathers replied: O best of brahmanas. nor is it the solution. good sir. and cast into utter ruination. to who we really are. for there is no thread. then I will do so. Or even if all my austerities are required to free you from this plight. is the great force of time. the cluster of grass from which you see us hanging is in fact our family line. and all of you will fall head first into this hole. but he is so avid to perform his austerities that we have been left to fall into this most miserable calamity: he has no wife. "I am very unhappy to see you here upside down. kindly help us and tell him for us. O holy man. O great one. Listen. nor does he have a single living relative. for it is our only living descendant. we still have one thread remaining. hanging here by a mere clump of grass whose fibres are being eaten away by the mouse who lives in the hole? There is but a single shoot left growing from this clump. but for all practical purposes he may as well not exist. to continue our family line. Those poor souls were weak from lack of food and yearned to be saved from that miserable hole. we are about to fall into a filthy hell because our family line has been interrupted. no offspring. O strong-willed man. is the sole reason we are hanging here. we are hanging over this hole. Now that you have seen us here. and he will only practice austerities. Although you must surely be famous in the world for your strength and kindness. that he proudly carries on. There is little remaining. So foolish is that boy. for we have been cut at the roots. "Who are you.caused his body to wither day by day. we do not know who you are. Our penances and piety have been in vain. "Your wretched forefathers are hanging upside-down over an abyss. brahmana. slowly wearing away that fool Jarat-karu. the only one!" O brahmana. Dear well wisher. we are the sages known as the Yayavaras. approached them and said. victims of a terrible misfortune! Tell me at once what I can do to help you. deprived of anyone to care for us. for we also enjoy the fruits of past austerities. Time has plundered our keen intellect. He is a master of all the Vedic literature. They were suspended over a abysmal pit by a clump of fibres that had been reduced to a single thread by a mouse who lived in the hole and daily nibbled away at the vanishing rope. so mercifully approaching us and grieving over our pitiable condition. You are rich in austerities. until one day he happened to behold his forefathers hanging upside down in a hole. and the plant fibers you see here are our descendants who continued the family line but were devoured. dear friend. That is not the problem. no son. Actually. mindless of how he affects us. If I can deliver you from this calamity by donating a quarter of my austerities. his penances will certainly not save us. dear friend. The mouse that you see. O best of holy teachers. strict in our vows yet fallen from the worlds of the pious by the destruction of our family line. The half-eaten fiber that you now witness. or even a third or a half. So diminished is our good fortune that our only surviving relative is an unfortunate fellow known as Jarat-karu. who appeared equally wretched. You must be a very fortunate and successful person indeed. Look at us! We are headed for hell like ordinary miscreants! . He will surely cut his way through before a long time. Jarat-karu. who is so absorbed in his severe austerities. and that too the mouse is steadily removing with his sharp teeth. good sirs. O brahmana. by time. then so be it. and thus our wits are not about us. yet you are the only remaining link of our family. Because of this alone we hang here over this hole. and so greedy is he to acquire the fruits of austerity.

and did not obtain a wife. and I shall accept her on the condition that I not bear the cost of her maintenance. speak to him in such a way that he will accept a lawful wife and beget children. hoping to obtain the gift of a suitable girl. my mind recoils from celibate life. Moreover. "Whatever creatures there are. I shall enter into family life only if permitted to do so under these conditions. "The girl meant to be my wife has the same name as me. why have you not taken a wife? Jarat-karu said: Dear forefathers. and thus I wander all over the world. the serpent lord summoned his sister. Yet as I see all of you hanging here like so many bats. However the sage did not accept her. please help us! ADI PARVA . friend. likewise cut down by time. is to practice celibacy and thus bring this body into the next world as well without ever passing semen. you must tell the ascetic Jarat-karu what you have seen here today. Jarat-karu lost himself in anguish and replied to his forefathers in a voice choked with tears of grief. O brahmana. for the opinion of the wise. who was bedecked with fine dress and ornaments." The forefathers replied: O son. Oh. and will be given freely as a religious offering. I will not bear the cost of her maintenance. he at once presented his sister as a religious offering to the great soul Jarat-karu. . whether walking about or rooted in the earth or invisible to my eyes. tell him everything. But he was old. for I have been everywhere. your immature and misguided son. You should punish me for my misdeeds. for God's sake. O brahmana. If any creature within the sound of my voice has such a daughter. arrived in the forest. bestow upon me such a girl!" Just then. O brahmana. no sacrifice. by God's grace alone did you happen to arrive at this place. or any other glorious means of purification equals the piety and holiness of preserving a God-conscious family. he too.but only if I find a virgin girl with the same name as mine. when Vasuki. Out of kindness to them. I beg all of you. Suta Goswami said: Having thus spoken to his forefathers. "I alone am that sinner Jarat-karu. I shall act for your happiness. until finally one day he entered a forest and cried out in utter despair. There will be a certain woman who will present herself to me as a religious offering. my life's goal. for he was thinking. Dear friend. Dear forefathers.When we have fallen there along with our own grandfathers and forefathers. the truth is that I shall not. please offer her to me. may you all hear my words! I was engaged in severe austerities when my poor suffering forefathers commanded me to get married. and as is your wish I shall doubtlessly enter family life --. and went with her to the sage. He at last grew hopeless. O forefathers. the muni Jarat-karut continued traveling about the earth. is that no austerity. Hearing the news. I am trying to marry. the king of snakes. though still driven by the plight of his forfathers. which has always been in my heart. Otherwise. the serpents who were closely watching Jarat-karu carefully noted his behavior and reported it to Vasuki.CHAPTER 42 Suta Goswami said: Hearing all this. dear Saunaka. Know that I am poor and wretched yet bound to obey my forefathers. will go straight to hell.

we have not even discussed her maintenance. so anxious to please her husband. but had done so to save his forefathers.] But despite her intense grief. and as the learned one slept the sun began to set over the hill. most learned in mantras. He seemed unhappy and tired. I shall renounce you and give up my residence in your house." Thus she made up her mind: "If I wake him. Please take seriously these words I speak to you. for he had sacred duties to perform at sunset. I shall take the responsibility to maintain your wife. he will surely become angry. the great sage. [Her entire race depended on her." ." she thought. It was not easy for him to act like a husband. [That saintly man had never wanted to marry. this most respectable woman. Thus the harsh terms of marriage left her shaken. senior by austerity. served the unhappy man with a devotion and skill as rare as the sight of a white crow. how can I avoid offending him? Let me consider which is worse for a religious man. the great ascetic Jarat-karu placed his head in the lAdi Parva Chapter of his wife and slept. so please accept her. she is dedicated to the practice of austerities. When her fertile season arrived. and besides. Vasuki's sister worried about her husband. and her name. Seeing that the day was ending. Like you. he asked for her name and said. he will sleep through the juncture of day and night and neglect the sacred duties that must be performed at twilight. Then." Hearing this. or correct or criticize me at any time." When Vasuki promised. "Vasuki. to neglect religious duties would be the worse of the two. Conceived by the most advanced of ascetics. like yours. You are an ascetic whose wealth is austerity. Some days after conception. is Jarat-karu. anger or neglect of his religious duties? Actually. Then to the praises of great sages. A bed was prepared with valuable coverings. and therefore I shall make every effort to see that her needs are taken care of and that she is well protected. and great in his vows. and the thoughtful lady feared that if he did not awaken he would transgress his religious principles. "So be it!" Just as she had promised. "What is my first duty. the sister of Vasuki purified her body and with perfect etiquette stood before her husband. she said to him. the embryo shone with the effulgence of the fire god and grew exactly like the waxing moon in the bright fortnight." Jarat-karu simply stood there meditating on his free life as an ascetic. the sister of the serpent lord was seized by a terrible anxiety. "I shall support my sister.CHAPTER 43 Suta Goswami said: Vasuki then spoke these words to the sage Jarat-karu: "This girl is my sister. There that virtuous soul. "to awake my husband or not? This saintly man is always melancholy.] Thus he established this rule with his wife: "You are never to do anything that displeases me. O son of Bhrgu. and her mission was clear: somehow she must satisfy her husband and beget by him a child who would stop King Janamejaya's dreaded sacrifice." Jarat-karu agreed to go to the serpent's home. but if I do not wake him. and he dwelled in those quarters in the constant company of his wife. I will not be responsible for maintaining this girl!" ADI PARVA . Jarat-karu took his wife to the brilliant residential quarters serpent lord had carefully designated for him. his mind divided over whether or not to accept her as a bride. O best of the twice-born. If you do anything that displeases me. She thus obtained from him a child who even in her womb glowed with the luster of fire. took the hand of Vasuki's sister in accord with religious rules and with the chanting of sacred hymns."She must not have the same name as me.

and the child they are all hoping for has not yet appeared. her eyes filled with tears. That slender princess simply stood there with hands folded.' Do not grieve for me. His forefathers and the serpents were delighted by the marriage. whose fierce austerities made him glow like fire. learned brahmana. and he will master the Vedas and all their supplementary branches. is vanishing into the western horizon. [It had never been his desire to marry. At this charming yet perilous moment you must ignite the sacred flames of sacrifice. but he had accepted a wife to please his forefathers. such a great soul suddenly decide to reject your sinless wife and go away?" Being so addressed. I beg your compassion! O saintly one. spoke these sweet words to the sleeping sage. the lovely and shapely Jarat-karu was overcome by anxiety and grief. "With my god-given voice. but our child is not yet born.Thus settling the matter in her mind." Thus addressed. O brahmana. If only I could have your child. the ascetic philosopher Jarat-karu spoke to his wife in fair and fitting words. who have done you no wrong! I have loved you and acted always for your good. my sacred union with you must not go in vain. but rather that you not violate your religious duties. the serpent princess Jarat-karu. if I fail to fulfill that purpose? O saintly one. and anxious to leave his serpent wife." Having spoken thus. You are a good woman. and there within their residential quarters she replied as follows: "I awoke you not out of contempt. but Jarat- . and both of us accepted it. the juncture of day and night. "O blessed woman. How can you. O serpent woman! No longer will I live in your presence. most fortunate one. "O shy and innocent lady. once I have departed. O serpent lady. my relatives would be saved. "You must arise. Our agreement was that nothing would be done to displease me. he said. struggling to regain her composure. What will Vasuki say to his foolish sister. Jarat-karu. dip your hands in water and perform the evening worship." Thus addressed. "It is not right for you who know the principles of virtue to abandon me. I have never spoken a lie. the powerful ascetic Jarat-karu was filled with anger. the devoted sister of Vasuki. This son of yours son will be the most saintly of sages. for the sandhya. whose voice was beautiful. Finally with a trembling heart she spoke. and she tried to reply to her husband. there is a child in your womb who is as brilliant as the god of fire. and I have lived happily with you. for the great sage had firmly decided to resume his practice of severe austerities. "My lord." Addressed thus. and in so doing he had also redeemed the race of pious serpents. felt her heart breaking. you have placed your seed within me. A religious man should not leave a religious wife. my relatives were cursed by their mother. the advanced ascetic Jarat-karu spoke to his wife with trembling lips. because I seek the good of my people. "You have insulted me. My lord. I married you for a noble purpose. the law-abiding Jarat-karu departed. I shall go just as I came. I know in my heart that the mighty sun does not dare set at the appointed time while I am sleeping. No one likes to live with a person who insults him. when I am gone tell your brother that 'my husband has left. and I tell you now that I shall leave. for the sun is setting. what to speak of one as strict about the rules as I am!" Hearing these words of her husband. so strict of vow. "O best of brahmanas. but her voice choked up with sobs and her mouth went dry. O shapely lady.

who found in him all the glory and grace of the gold-giving. ADI PARVA . O learned one. are you indeed with child from that best of sages? I pray that your marriage with that learned man was not fruitless. had said of him "Asti!. "Knowing how irritable your husband is. As he continued to mature. hearing the most discouraging news. was raised with utmost care in the house of the serpent king. that he ever spoke falsely. Even as a boy he carefully followed his vows. tell me all that your husband did and thus remove the terrible thorn that has lain so long in my heart. the lord of the gods. and other gifts. I do not recall. declaring "So be it!" That finest of serpents then honored his pregnant sister with an appropriate offering of encouraging and respectful words. for he was richly endowed with spiritual wisdom and goodness. O king. accepted his sister's words with the greatest of joy. the son of Cyavana. due to his excessive austerities. even in jest. because his father. Vasuki. Lord Brahma told me in the presence of the gods that your powerful son would surely save us from the snake sacrifice. upon leaving for the forest. 'You should not worry about the success of your mission. O best of brahmanas. trident-wielding Siva. and who was destined to vanquish the fears of his mother's and father's houses. If a son is born to you he will save the serpent race." At these words. dear sister. the greatly powerful embryo. Even so he dutifully conceived a child who would save both his forefathers and the race of serpents. Good woman. "You surely know. the sister of the snakes gave birth to a male infant who shone like a celestial child. and he shall be as resplendent as the blazing sun.karu had never wanted it. and he learned the Vedas and their branches from Bhargava. himself the most miserable of all.CHAPTER 45 The sage Saunaka said: . as soon as her husband departed. the reason for which I bestowed you on that man and the duty that was to be done.' "O brother. and her words gave new hope to the serpent lord. The child. In due time. he delighted the serpent race. but the extreme gravity of the matter forces me to question you in this way. Admittedly it is not proper for me to ask you about such affairs. Jarat-karu quickly went to her brother and told him exactly what had happened. wealth. The leader of snakes. The child was reared there in the palace of the serpent king. he said to me. your son will indeed take birth. said to his grieving sister. the exalted ascetic pointed to my womb and said. grew steadily in her womb like the waxing moon in the heavens. my husband left for the forest to perform austerities. Now may this terrible suffering in your heart be gone!" Hearing this. shining like the sun. ruler of the snakes. The world came to know him by the name of Astika. serpent woman.' and then departed. I shall not pursue him because he would be apt to curse me at any moment.] ADI PARVA . Good woman. 'It is." "He is!". so how could he tell a lie at a time when he was leaving his wife forever? Indeed. "When I questioned my husband about a child. of immeasureable intelligence. having thus spoken.CHAPTER 44 Suta Goswami said: O thriving ascetic. Jarat-karu replied to the suffering Vasuki.

nor a single ruler not loved by his subjects. to reign for one thousand years!" King Janamejaya said: In our family never was there a king who did not do good to the people. Janamejaya. When all the descendents of the Kuru dynasty were slain. Srila Suta Goswami said: O brahmana. by learning what his deeds were. Srila Suta Goswami said: O brahmana. in the course of time. and workers cheerfully performed their respective duties. and so he was loved by all the world. By directly hearing from you all about my father's life. King Janamejaya said: Gentlemen. Then a snake brought the king to his destined and unavoidable end. "Your father was a religious man. the unprotected. for I wish to hear the truth. He was equal and fair to all creatures and ruled like the fatherly gods who are patrons of mankind. met his death. and he protected the citizens with justice. "Your father organized human society into its natural divisions of varna and asrama. who knew fully the religious law. and for all creatures his handsome countenance shone like a second moon. and a humble servant of the elderly and senior. those learned ministers. "He was careful to avoid the six vices and possessed brilliant powers of discrimination. Hear now as I describe to you that conversation. Suta Goswami said: . a speaker of truth. and this was especially due to the exalted conduct of our forefathers and their utter devotion to duty. and he cared for all the creatures of his realm for sixty years. The king knew well the divine law. Your father was the greatest scholar of political science and ethics. mighty Pariksit took birth as the son of Abhimanyu and Uttara. a brilliant monarch who nourished and satisfied his people. He cared for the widowed. and you. and not a soul hated such a beautiful king. they all explained to him about the demise of his father. He was self-controlled. nor did he hate anyone. and all people worked according to their individual nature and ability. self-realized. merchants. Your very famous father. But how did my father meet his death? What were the circumstances? Please explain this to me as it is. have inherited this kingdom of the Kuru clan.Please tell me again in detail all that King Janamejaya said to his ministers when he questioned them about his father's journey to the divine kingdom. a great soul who cared for all of God's creatures. because they were so expertly engaged by that king. He guarded the earth goddess with unparalleled courage. "The king was endowed with all the noble qualities and dealt expertly with the practical and spiritual demands of kingship. O best of men. for he himself was justice personified. I shall walk the way of righteousness and I shall never meet with evil. "Teachers. brilliant of mind. you know how my father lived his life and how that very famous king. Maharaja Pariksit. Listen now to the deeds he performed in this world and how he went to his final destination. replied to the monarch in these words. O King. was well loved by Lord Krsna Himself. and the maimed. the poor. warriors. thus questioned by the great-spirited king. when the ministers were questioned by the king. "He studied the military science under the illustrious Saradvata and was steady in his prowess.

Though but a child in years. the greatest archer of his day. He was already sixty years of age and became exhausted and famished in the great forest when he saw nearby a learned sage. the king suddenly grew angry at the peaceful sage. pure in word and deed.CHAPTER 46 The ministers said: O best of kings. who had taken birth from a cow. and they were devoted to the young king's welfare. one free of envy and small-mindedness. [Since the world depended on such as them to uphold justice. your father. the angry Taksaka. Thus your father had insulted a respectable senior. This sage was pure and self-controlled. the boy quickly touched water and then directed these words at your father: "On the seventh night hence. O best of the Bharatas. having practiced for many lifetimes. just as the glorious Pandu was the greatest of bowmen in battle and thus protected the world. your father insulted him. The king did not realize that the holy sage was meditating and had taken a vow of silence. and worthy to give shelter to all creatures. Srngi was very powerful and possessed fearsome strength and a terrible temper. neither approving nor condemning the king's act. and did not become angry at the king. The leader of kings questioned the sage. The sage had a famous son named Srngi. With his father's permission he had gone to play. Srngi heard that although his father had done no wrong. Though still a young boy. He was the master of all his senses. Behold the power of my asceticism!" .] We remember well how your father would delegate to us all the affairs of state and then spend his time in the woods. he was a most learned man. Though the king repeatedly spoke to him. Afflicted by hunger and fatigue. with the end of his bow he lifted up a dead snake from the ground and placed it on the shoulder of that pure-hearted sage. your father did not know that the sage was fixed in meditation under a vow of silence. and blazing with power and rage. a most dedicated ascetic who regularly performed extraordinary deeds. as they had loved his father. Moving on foot. he pierced a deer with a feathered shaft and then quickly followed the deer as it fled into the deep forest. but simply remained there. the boy was mature in his asceticism. your father could not find the lost deer in the dense woods. his soul illumined by austerity. who sat as silent and still as a tree. O Janamejaya. leader of the Nagas. when he heard from a friend that his father had been insulted by your father. your father had wrapped a dead snake around his shoulders.All the ministers loved King Janamejaya. Indeed. The wise man did not speak to him. they replied as follows: "O king. ADI PARVA . so was his great-grandson. both Pandu and your father would often go to the forest to hunt and thus maintain their skills in sharp readiness. and having placed a snake on the sage's shoulder he returned to his own city. bound with a heavy sword and carrying a bow and quiver. Alas. will bring down that sinful man who flung down a dead snake upon my sinless spiritual master. free of selfish desire. Hearing of this incident. the sage's mighty son was filled with fury and cursed your father. Overcome with anger. bearing the snake on his shoulder. tiger among men. "Once as he wandered in the forest. the muni did not speak a single word. Being thus urged to speak by their monarch. perfecting his extraordinary talent with a bow. the exhausted king was afflicted with hunger. who sat silently in deep meditation.

for Taksaka shall bring you down with his fiery venom. The ministers said: Thus addressed by the serpent king. O king. took from Taksaka all the wealth he desired and turned back from his mission. who could have seen or heard them and reported the information to all of you? The ministers replied: Hear. O glorious ruler. Taksaka burned the greatest of monarchs with the fire of his poison. a certain man happened to be in that forest collecting firewood and had climbed up into a tall tree looking for dead and dry branches. O sinless one. Since they met on a deserted forest path. O best of kings. and he was burned to ashes along with the tree. as follows: "O lord of the earth. Kasyapa. Taksaka said: It is I who shall bite the king. O noble ruler. a devoted sage named Kasyapa desired to approach the king." When the serpent had thus spoken. O virtuous king. the best of the Kurus. and disguised as a fellow brahmana. Srngi went to his father. the man was then brought back to life. but why do you wish to bring him back to life? Tell me what you want. the man then returned to the city and recounted all that had happened between . but the serpent lord spied Kasyapa as he hurried along. The snake will not overcome the king with me there to help him. were installed on the royal throne for the glory and victory of the Kuru clan. how and from whom we came to know that the best of brahmanas and the most powerful of serpents actually met on a forest path. exalted among human creatures. by the power of the twice-born brahmana. The tiger among sages then sent word to your father. and I hasten to that very place. who sat peacefully. we have have described to you all these tragic events exactly as we saw and heard. Taksaka then took on yet another disguise and approached your righteous father. O earthly ruler." Taksaka spoke to the mighty sage with sweet words. the sage replied. and I shall give it to you immediately! Then go back to your home. the best of monarchs. you have been cursed by my son. hearing these terrible words your father was extremely concerned to end his life properly. therefore I go to the king. where are you going in such a hurry. Janamejaya. saying.Speaking thus. so please do what you must. Taksaka said to him." O Janamejaya. you should now take proper measures. O king. you may take even more from me and return at once to your home. having heard of the destruction of a king and the humiliation of this wise Uttanka. fully prepared for his destiny. and thereafter you. "I desire wealth. When the seventh day had arrived. Having thus stopped the learned brahmana. I am hurrying there because as soon as the snake bites the king I shall immediately neutralize the venom. along with the lordly tree. King Janamejaya said: First I want to hear about the conversation that took place between the lord of snakes and the brahmana Kasyapa. "Sir. "As much wealth as you would beg from the king. and seeing him in that same condition told him of the curse. and what is the task you wish to accomplish?" Kasyapa replied: The snake Taksaka is about to bite King Pariksit. Both the snake and the sage were unaware that the man was up in the tree. We have invented nothing. and he prepared himself for the serpent king Taksaka.

the wicked Taksaka slew my beloved father. yet out of sheer ignorance this snake turned back that exalted brahmana. If that be your desire.Taksaka and the brahmana. then swore that he would conduct a snake sacrifice. the saintly king envisioned the serpent Taksaka falling into the blazing mouth of the sacrificial fire. Calling for his priest and others learned in the science of sacrifice.CHAPTER 47 Suta Goswami said: Having made his statement and gained the approval of his ministers. "If Taksaka had simply carried out the words of Srngi and bitten the king. it is described in the ancient Puranas as the Snake Sacrifice. for I shall carry out the sacrifice!" O best of the twice-born. that my father might die. Please hear of my decision. for he dared to offer gifts to a brahmana. the very handsome son of Pariksit. priests then arranged for a careful survey of the king's land according to scriptural codes in order to find the most effective ground for sacrifice. there is a great sacrifice that was created by the gods as if to fulfill your very purpose. We have now explained to you exactly what happened. you who are a tiger among kings should now do as you wish. and I shall greatly please my own tortured soul. O ruler of men. we possess the necessary technology to carry it out. Do you know the process by which I can personally send Taksaka and his associates into the blazing fire of sacrifice? As he once burned my father with the fire of his poison. and thus he said to the brahmanas who were expert in chanting potent hymns. The ruler of the world. just as we heard it. then spoke these words: "Gentlemen. a tiger of the Bharata race. and under their guidance the . A long. burning breath issued from his handsome mouth and tears poured from his lotus eyes. "Gentlemen. so now in the same way I wish to burn that sinner to ashes. lost in grief. and great is his sin. Now kindly tell me how I may avenge that sin." Srila Suta Goswami said: O noble sage. and experts agree that only you. for now I shall avenge the murder of my father!" ADI PARVA . then said." The sacrificial priests replied: O king. hearing from you how my father left this world and journeyed to the kingdom above. Having heard this. my father would still be alive. "Please procure the necessary articles. by the mercy of Kasyapa and the good counsel of the ministers. my mind is now fixed in unbreakable determination. I shall now please the sage Uttanka. The wicked Taksaka cruelly attacked my father. And if the king had lived. King Janamejaya felt a searing pain in his heart. Taksaka is evil. and overcome with anguish he pounded his fist into his hand. and now he must pay for his deed. anxious to accomplish his mission. when thus addressed by his ministers. Suta Goswami said: Hearing the words of his ministers. the eloquent monarch. And I shall surely satisfy all of you. what would that snake have lost? Kasyapa was invincible and desired to save my father's life. are in a position to sponsor such a sacrifice. The priests were distinguished scholars and self-realized souls. as emperor.

precisely according to rule. Similarly present in . they poured the potent ghee into the blazing fire of sacrifice. should themselves be known to us. and each of the sacrificial priests carefully attended to his duties. the minds of all the chest-crawling serpents trembled with terror as snakes came flying and dropped into the sacrificial flames. a great portent arose which signaled that an obstacle would occur in the performance of the Snake Sacrifices. O best of the twice-born. they plunged into the wondrous fire. and still others. Quivering. The senior and learned brahmana named Kautsarya Jaimini served as the Udgata priest. chanting the deadly and irrevocable mantras. with their varieties of hues.sacrificial arena was properly constructed and with the greatest of opulence. Suta Goswami replied: Yes. As the sacrificial ground was being prepared. the mighty as well as the insignificant." Thus spoke the twice-born scholar. as were his son and disciples. Vyasadeva was present as an assembly member. shrieking in terror. old snakes. Gravely garbed in black robes. which caused such extreme fear and grief to the serpents? Dear Suta. broken and ruined by the club of a mother's curse. Some were as tiny as mice. who was learned in the ancient science. writhing in wretched pain and crying out to one another. their eyes reddened from smoke. were as furious as maddened bull elephants. their horrible venom. After the sacrificial area was properly measured and built in the most desireable way.CHAPTER 48 Sri Saunaka said: In the snake sacrifice of the learned Pandava king. born in the Cyavana dynasty and known to have excelled among Vedic scholars. and their awesome deadly power. The Hota priest at the sacrifice was the brahmana Canda-bhargava. others as thick as elephant trunks. a master builder of vast wisdom." The procedure of the Snake Sacrifice then began. Before this. Janamejaya. But all serpents. this ceremony will not be completed and a brahmana will be the cause. coiling wildly around one another with their heads and tails. ADI PARVA . Other assembly members were Uddalaka. Hearing these words before his consecration into the ceremony. bedecked with abundant jewels and grains. fell into the unyielding fire. As they proceeded to offer the race of snakes into the fiery mouth of sacrifice. kindly explain all this in detail. black snakes. for those powerful men. Sarngarava as the Brahma priest. gasping and hissing. blue snakes. I shall tell you at once the names of the priests and council members who served the king on that occasion. "Let no one who is unknown to me enter this area. having giant bodies and terrible strength. and tens of millions of helpless serpents meet their destruction. the king said to the royal gatekeeper. millions. fell into the mighty blaze. thus did hundreds of thousands. however. who knew all the technology of sacrifice. White snakes. the priests next blessed the king for the accomplishment of the Snake Sacrifice. spoke these words: "Considering the time and place in which the land survey was begun. thoroughly schooled in the art of construction. and attended by learned communities of respectable men. and Pancama. and Bodha-pingala the Adhvarya priest. and young snakes. Samathaka. who were the great sages who acted as the sacrificial priests? Who were the assembly members in that terrifying snake sacrifice. Sveta-ketu.

and therefore you need not fear. and Sama-saubhara. and remembering the instruction of the snake king Vasuki. as serpents incessantly burned in the tumultuous fire. Knowing that he had sinned. had immediately gone to the abode of Lord Indra. These and many other brahmanas. However. and Kahoda. Sister.the assembly were great sages such as Asita. our own grandfather Lord Brahma said in the past that your son Astika would put an end to this relentless sacrifice. and cooking horribly in the insatiable fire. In the past I secured the blessings of Lord Brahma for your sake. and conduct. There was also Vatsya. A terrible depression overtook the powerful serpent. and upon hearing of that grave mission I shall properly execute it. I am sinking away in utter confusion and my mind is spinning. that he must now save me and my dependants!" ADI PARVA . "O Taksaka. who is so highly regarded by the elders as the greatest knower of the Vedas. she told him. Deva-sarma. strict of vow. Taksaka. there is absolutely no danger for you from this snake sacrifice. upon hearing that King Janmejaya had been initiated into a snake sacrifice. Let your terrible anxiety be gone. My vision is lost and my heart is bursting. the time has now come for which I once gave you to the sage Jarat-karu. and Kuti-ghata. Narada. the twice-born Kunda-jathara. my brother gave me to your father with a mission. Devala. horrible serpents who were frightening to all creatures fell into the irresistible flames. my limbs are burning and I have no sense of where I am. Janamejaya. and save all our family! O glorious lady of the serpents. Today I shall fall helplessly into that blazing fire. There was the constant sound of shrieking snakes hovering in the air. It is now clear that I am going to the abode of the Lord of death. The sacrifice of Pariksit's son will go on until every one of us is dead. lord of the snakes. Atreya. You must do the needful!" Astika said: For what purpose did uncle give you to my father? Explain it to me truthfully. and with a trembling heart he spoke these words to his sister: "O blessed woman. and Sruta-srava the elder. tell your beloved child. Therefore. and thoroughly frightened. Maudgalya. and its time has now come. the mighty serpent explained to Lord Indra all that had happened. and he grieved deeply for the snakes who continued to plunge into the fire. spreading the stark odor of death. Sri Suta Goswami said: . distinguished for his austerity. scholarship. for so few of his associates were left alive. Indra was very pleased with his humble submission and said. But the great serpent Vasuki was most unhappy. the mighty snake rejoiced and dwelt happily in the abode of the lord. Streams of boiling fat and blood began to flow about.CHAPTER 49 Sri Suta Goswami said: Thereupon the Snake woman Jarat-karu called for her son. lord of the Nagas. "Son. Parvata. dear sister. were present as assembly members at the sacrifice led by Pariksit's son. Oh save us." Being thus reassured by Indra. As the priests offered oblations at this great ritualistic sacrifice of snakes.

not even in jest. and falsify it so I might win a wager with my sister Vinata. I have no sense of where I am. You have always been kind to others. Do you agree. and before the fated time of calamity had come he begot you within my womb. air. All the gods. and your bodies will dissolve back into the earth. Placing him at the front of their entourage. I have never spoken a lie. begged the Grandfather. as if to bring him back to life. Jarat-karu continued: My dear godly son. "even though my very freedom is at stake. and you must therefore save us from this danger. Vasuki. approved her words and said. Most noble one. sister to the serpent lord. who has undergone religious initiation. fire. and ether from which they came. having won the heavenly nectar. Vasuki heard the statement of Lord Brahma. a celestial fire. and your faith will never go in vain. king of the snakes. for you have nothing to fear. "O my lord. hearing these words. my son? Suta Goswami said: Thus adressed. whipped and driven by the god of wind. O greatest of serpents. I was given to your wise father to set the serpents free. lord of snakes. my brother approached the demigods for shelter. Uccaihsrava. agonized by the fate of his relatives. have full trust in me. "My dear children." As she thus cursed her serpent sons. along with Vasuki. ." Vasuki replied: O Astika. Be settled in mind. without exception. then presented me to your illustrious father. From there you will go to the land of the dead. you refuse to enter the tail of the king of horses." she said. but she grew furious with her sons and cursed them. Therefore I curse you. and I would hardly do so in a most serious matter such as this! My dear maternal uncle. I tell you this in truth. for I am tortured by that all-powerful curse. I shall go today to that noble King Janamejaya. He then spoke to the grief-stricken Vasuki. water. I am trembling and my heart is about to shatter. and I shall act in such a way that all good fortune will be yours. and satisfy him with words that offer real blessings. and thus they were all kindly disposed toward my brother. I shall deliver you from the curse. and when the churning of the ocean had been accomplished. that in the sacrifice of Janamejaya. Vasuki. will consume you. Astika agreed to his mother's request. Now the time has certainly arrived. the grandfather of the universe. "May this curse not act!" they pleaded. they all went to see Lord Brahma. so that the king's sacrifice will stop. Jarat-karu said: The goddess Kadru is understood to be the mother of all the serpents. Lord Brahma. and they will beget a brahmana son who will free the snakes from the curse. The gods had fulfilled their own purpose. and our marriage must not be in vain. "O Vasuki. "O wise and noble serpent king. beseeched the Grandsire for mercy. "So be it!" My dear son.Jarat-karu. may this cruel curse spoken by our mother not act upon us!" Lord Brahma replied: Saintly Jarat-karu will obtain a wife who will also be named Jarat-karu. You must especially save my brother from that terrible fire. and therefore with great determination she explained the situation to her son. dear uncle. yearned to help her relatives. Listen and you will know why.

O best of the Bharata race. is as good as Indra's hunred. begging to be granted entrance. Sri Vyasa. The greatest of sages. the scion of Ajamidha. determined to save the serpent race from utter extinction. is just like theirs. In fact. Believe me. O son of Pariksit. O son of Pariksit. As the pure brahmana Astika attempted to gain entry. may your sacrifice bring all good fortune to my loved ones. your sacrifice. Sasabindu.Astika said: O serpent lord. King Yudhisthira. is as good as theirs. in that place the lord of the waters worshiped his Maker. O son of Pariksit. and Vaisravana all performed sacrifice. and Rama Himself are known to have performed sacrifices. O son of Pariksit. he was stopped by the gatekeepers. Even still. Nrga. may your sacrifice bring all good fortune to my loved ones. Kings like Gaya. there is absolutely no reason for you to feel such anxiety. O best of the Bharata race. then went with great haste to the flourishing sacrifice of Janamejaya. Lord Indra performed a hunred sacrifices. may your sacrifice bring all good fortune to my loved ones. conducted a sacrifice wherein he personally performed the sacred functions. in the holy city of Prayaga. is as good as theirs. may your sacrifice bring all good fortune to my loved ones. the great sacrificial enterprise of Janamejaya was endowed with the best of personalities and the richest of paraphernalia. the son of Satyavati. as did the great progenitor. is equal to his. . He then generously praised the sacrifice. as did Harimedha and the pious king Rantideva. may your sacrifice bring all good fortune to my loved ones. with its all-powerful flames. Astika. is like unto his. I shall vanquish all danger from that blazing fire of sacrifice.CHAPTER 50 Sri Astika said: At the confluence of the sacred rivers Ganga and Yamuna. That horrible conflagration is like the very fire of annihilation. But yours. and having placed that burden on his own shoulders. Even in heaven one hears of the sacrifice performed by the son of a god. And yet your sacrifice. O best of the Bharata race. O best of the Bharata race. you have nothing to fear!" Sri Suta Goswami said: Having removed the terrible anxiety that raged like a fever in Vasuki's mind. Likewise. O son of Pariksit. filled with exalted assembly members who shone like the rays of the sun. O best of the Bharata race. the lord of the moon performed a sacrifice. for your sacrifice. O best of the Bharata race. But your sacrifice. Lord Yama performed sacrifices. ADI PARVA . And your sacrifice. O best of the Bharata race. Ajamidha. Arriving there Astika saw the fabulous sacrificial arena. O son of Pariksit. may your sacrifice bring all good fortune to my loved ones. O son of Pariksit. is equal to theirs. But your sacrifice. may your sacrifice bring all good fortune to my loved ones. best of the twice-born. but now a single sacrifice has equaled them. yet I shall destroy it.

Why. for your splendor shines like that of almighty Narayana. Your potency is like the potency of the sun. You are the abode of beauty and plenty. we understand your glorious position. In ascertaining justice and spiritual truth you are like Yama.Effulgent as fire or the sun. always deserves the respect of kings. kings like Khatvanga. You are as sturdy and competent as the great rulers of yore. and you control your anger like a second Vasista. I consider you equal to Indra in your ability to rule. I accept him as a learned elder and not as a mere child. there is no knowledge yet to be known. for in this world none but you can lead a sacrifice such as this. The members of the saintly assembly replied: A brahmana.CHAPTER 51 King Janamejaya said: Though young this boy speaks like a learned elder. the priests. his disciples traverse the entire world. and Dilipa. I am convinced that there is no priest in all the worlds equal to Srila Vyasa. leaves but a dark trail of ash and smoke. who in consuming all. each expert in his own priestly duties. I am ever satisfied by your determination. The mighty fire of such wondrous light. You carry yourself with the gravity of Valmiki. For them. Sri Suta Goswami said: . You are the monarch and the king of virtue. Therefore. the king. so that by his blessings Taksaka will come quickly into our fire. and in strict adherence to your vows you shine like the mighty Bhisma. though a child. I wish to grant him a boon. In this world of lost souls there is no monarch equal to you. O leader of men. especially when he is learned. You are equal in strength to Dambhodbhava. the lord of death for the wicked! In this world you are like Indra himself. the assembly members. and you expertly wield both hand weapons and missiles with the skill of Rama Himself. King Janamejaya observed the reactions of all those present and then spoke as follows. now consumes the offerings of your sacrifice. and I ask the brahmanas gathered here to extend me that privilege. ADI PARVA . the cosmic lord of justice. Nabhaga. Sri Suta Goswami said: Thus praised by young Astika. and charity offered to them shall never go in vain. you can hardly even be gazed upon by your rivals. the fire-god--indeed everyone became wholly satisfied. that great soul of golden seed. that godly fire. because you deliver the innocent creatures of the earth. and all good qualities come to you as to Lord Krsna Himself. for all potent religious rites have their resting place in you. Therefore you should grant this young sage all that he may desire. whose ignited flames whirl round to the right. With the splendor of Aurva and Trita and the menancing countenance of Bhagiratha. and your prowess is equal to that of Yayati and Mandhata. these priests sit around the sacrifice like the saints who attended Indra's own rites. who stands with thunderbolt in hand. who sits at this ceremony. none who cares for his people as you do. the enjoyer of oblations.

who wields the thunder bolt. The diligent priest then worshiped the holy fire with mantras. For Indra. the slayer of Jambha. the serpent Taksaka is quickly coming under your control. Srila Suta Goswami said: The great soul and Puranic scholar. spoke these words to his expert priests: "O twiceborn men. "We are duly performing the sacrifice. your sacrifice is proceeding properly. and we shall offer you a suitable!" The priests replied: O king. `Dwell here with me. helplessly twisting-.' Indra has said to him. that the snake ruler Taksaka is hiding in terror at the palace of Lord Indra. the annointed king burned with grief. who was not pleased with the progress of the ceremony.he who had promised all security to the serpent -. surrounded and praised by all the gods and followed by a train of menacing clouds.the so-called lord of snakes-. and all of you must endeavor with your combined might to bring my sacrifice to completion. yet finding no relief and knowing that the time was at hand to consumate the rite.came toward the sacrificial fire. throw him and Indra together into this fire-.' " Hearing this. "And together with the serpent king. let him quickly plunge into the blazing fire!" The Hota priest then intoned the words. Choose now that which you firmly desire within your heart. The furious Janamejaya. even if it is normally not to be given.gasping hot and acrid breaths. spoke out and said. has released him." when suddenly the Hota priest. The priests replied: O king. desiring the death of Taksaka. and I shall grant unto you that very thing. Taksaka. and then mighty Indra -. if the serpent Taksaka is indeed concealed under the custody of Indra. so that Taksaka is swiftly thrown into the fire. Indra had come in a heavenly airship. Befitting an exalted univeral ruler.The generous king was just about to tell Astika. for our mantras have broken his strength and pulled his body away. trembling with fear and unable to calm his panic-stricken mind. "Having carefully studied the Puranas. he encouraged the Hota priest. "You may select a boon and I shall grant it. jambhasya hanta! making Lord Indra himself. Lohitaksa. and those flames will never burn you. being questioned by the king. but Taksaka still has not come. that Indra has given a boon to that snake. O king. Therefore you should now grant a boon to that excellent brahmana. and thereupon Indra himself came. he confirmed what the brahmanas had said. `Stay close to me. The snake has fallen from Indra's lap. and you will hear the piercing sound of the snake as he screams in terror. He led an entourage of powerful Vidyadharas and gorgeous pleasure maidens. O lord. But Taksaka. I tell you. and the sacred fire confirms. "Yes. Now with his mind faint and ruined he comes through the sky toward us. let Indra come!" said the king. Janamejaya agreed and said: Though you appear a young boy your glory is great. the sacred books clearly inform us. an offering unto the fire. Listen." King Janamejaya replied to the priest: Taksaka is our mortal enemy. hid himself in Indra's outer garment. already knew all these things. well concealed. O leader of kings. Sri Suta Goswami said: . and now.

Please hear from me as I name them. cows and bulls-. silver. but please choose another boon. Silisalakara. Sukumara. at the very moment in which Taksaka. the lord of snakes. Konapa. hear of the snakes from the Kauravya dynasty. Now hear from me as I name the serpents born in the family of Taksaka: There was Pucchandaka. millions. O lord. hearing Astika's words. Veniskandha. . as I recite their names. Sarabha. if you grant me a wish. and Vegavahana. Munda. Kundala. Mudgara. Pindabhetta. Manasa. Sarana. Saha. my sacrifice must not stop!" Astika replied: Gold. Moda. Kumaraka.CHAPTER 52 Sri Saunaka said: O son of Romaharsana. O brahmana. Rabhenaka. he was not at all pleased and spoke these words to Astika. There names were Kotika. Purna. and Kaladantaka. Prakalana. was thus addressed. "May the brahmana have his wish!" ADI PARVA . I wish the best for you. I would like to hear all the names of those serpents who fell into the offering fire of the snake sacrifice. cows and bulls. The chief ones were blue. Srngavega. when the king. and Samhatangada.but please. The members of the sacrificial assembly were all learned Vedic scholars. entered the fire. brahmana. son of Pariksit. King Janamejaya. "Gold. and tens of millions of snakes fell in that fire. Now hear. There were so many that they cannot even be counted. Muka. many thousands. These serpents." Yet the young sage refused to ask for anything else. Ucchikha. I do not ask of you O king. Krsa. Vihanga. and white. Dhurtaka. and they all therefore joined together and said unto the king. O best of the twiceborn. red. Pramoda. silver. exactly which snakes from the family of Dhrtarastra perished therein. Let no more snakes fall into the fire!" O brahmana. These were Aindila. Virohana. O son of Bhrgu. Astika gave this command: "O Janamejaya. Pravepana. These serpents. Picchila. entered into the fire. born of the race of Taksaka. and Patara. was to fall into the sacrificial fire. Paravata. Paila. These serpents.anything else that pleases you. Halisaka. were swift as the wind and terribly poisonous. Pandara. Pata. Now. Bahuka. Harina. Kaksaka. then I wish that this sacrifice of yours cease. all from the family of Airavata. Sri Suta Goswami replied: O best of Vedic scholars. Balaheda. Mandalaka. Sasaroma. Hiranyavaha. appealed again and again to the eloquent brahmana: "O best of the twice-born. Sumana. Cakra. son of Pariksit. We do know however from the Smrti scriptures the names of the most important of those snakes who were offered to the sacrificial fire. Surasa. possessing huge and loathsome bodies full of deadly venom. entered the fire. born of the race of Vasuki.And so. Pariyatra. all that would I grant you as a boon-. First hear about the serpents in the dynasty of Vasuki. Konavega. Let this sacrifice of yours stop! That alone will benefit my mother's kin. Dranga.

Samrddha. were sacrificed by the hundreds of thousands. but still the terrified Taksaka would not fall into the fire. stayed in midair like a man frozen in fear in the midst of a circle of bulls. Astika must be satisfied. Rsabha. "Stay there!" The snake. and some had two heads. Sri Saunaka said: O Suta. [All the kings in his lineage were staunch devotees of the Supreme Lord. Pisanga. stunned and somewhat dazed. Vegavan Pindaraka. Svasana. for the deadly ritual overseen by Janamejaya.CHAPTER 53 Sri Suta Goswami said: We have heard from authorities that even as King Janamejaya. following the regular procedure. the king awarded significant wealth to all the hundreds and thousands of priests and assembly members. Maniskandha. Some of those serpents had seven heads. They had great bodies. while still others had five. Mundavedanga. the young sage did something extraordinary. Tarunaka. as that most powerful snake. but he remained hovering in the sky. Amahatha. Those ghastly creatures. Thus I have described. Raktanga. son of Pariksit. and others extended to a full sixteen miles. was encouraging the sage Astika with boons and benedictions. O brahmana. They could assume any form at will and go wherever they desired. Indeed. great power. Sumitra. Purnangada. Manava." As the king thus granted Astika his boon. that worthy descendant of Bharata. and all the later generations who fell into the blazing fire. the monarch decreed: "Let it be as Astika desires.] Following Vedic custom. Kutharamukha.They were Sankukarna. But they burned to death in that great sacrifice. and their terrible poison was like a blazing fire. Purnamukha. Citravedika. and may the prophetic words of the master builder come true. Bhairava. joyous applause and roars of approval spread in all directions. and seeing this. with poison like the fire of annihilation. King Janamejaya was filled with anxiety. those who brought fame to their race. his heart trembling. Parasara. King Janamejaya himself. slipped from the hand of Indra. The snake Taksaka had fallen from Indra's hand. Then at the strong urging of the council members. and Raksasa. and when they raised themselves up they stood like the peaks of mountains. Vata. Varahaka. and he rightly understood that the sudden end of his sacrifice was an arrangement of Providence. and he further bestowed fine gifts upon all . and Aruni. ADI PARVA . This sacrifice must now come to an end! The snakes shall be saved from harm. Mahahanu. The learned priests continued to offer abundant oblations into the blazing fire. son of Pariksit. Nor is it possible to enumerate all of their sons and grandsons. Sakuni. Pingalaka. Hari. Udraparaga. Prahasa. Astika turned to him and three times uttered the words. Varanaka. was pleased with this turn of events. Mecaka. the most important serpents. some of them stretched to a length of eight miles. ruined by a mother's curse that was sanctioned by the Creator. Komathaka. Pata. can it be that those wise brahmanas did not clearly recall the sacred hymns and for that reason Taksaka did not fall into the fire? Sri Suta Goswami said: Actually. But there were so many who died in that sacrifice that I cannot name them all. had now come to an end. Sarvasaranga.

O son of a sage. Sri Saunaka said: The Mahabharata has forever established the fame of the five sons of Pandu. you have thoroughly recited for me a glorious history. Srila Vyasa was a great sage and his own activities were glorious. and Krsna-dvaipayana Vyasa then regularly recited their story during the intervals of the sacrifice. O brahmana of excellent mind. and therefore. spent his days practicing virtue. Janamejaya. Now I would like to hear. regarding that excellent history composed by the great Vyasa. And so I shall inquire from you again. Kindly continue that recitaion. King Janamejaya inquired about them. and Astika too was satisfied. the glorious story of the Mahabharata. Sri Suta Goswami replied: During intervals in the sacrifice. you are certainly expert in this field as well. we wish to hear from you all these stories and subject matters that were regularly discussed among the exalted council members during the intervals of that most lengthy snake sacrifice. Sri Saunaka said: O son of Romaharsana. however. my son. It is a most righteous story because it causes goodness to flourish in the world. The king greatly honored him and bid him farewell as he departed for his home. leaving behind him worthy children and grandchildren. "You must come again and act as a council member in our great asvamedha Suta Goswami said: That best of brahmanas. officially signaling the end of the sacrifice. Sri Suta Goswami replied: Yes. from the beginning of the Bhrgu dynasty. the king graciously said to him. you have pleased me very much. As the sage took his leave. Having thus displayed genuine nobility. The great Vyasa. in the same systematic way. I shall recite to you from its beginning the great and transcendent history known as Mahabharata.CHAPTER 54 . who had predicted at the outset that the sacrifice would be stopped by a brahmana. Being an accomplished scholar. Thus have I narrated to you the actual story of Astika. always recited the story of Mahabharata. That mighty king presented magnificent gifts to the builder and bard Lohitaksa. I am enthusiatic to tell this history. One who thus recites or listens from the beginning this glorious tale of the learned Astika will have nothing to fear from serpents. dear son of a scholar. took the ritualistic avabhrtha bath. for he had performed his duty. O best of the saintly. relate to us now that magnificent history that arose from the oceanic mind of that powerful seer.everyone who had gathered for the sacrifice. having freed the snakes from the sacrifice designed to annihilate them. May you delight in its narration! ADI PARVA . The king's mind was thus at peace. and in due course of time he went to his destined end. O Suta. exactly as it was conceived by Krsna-dvaipayana Vyasa. strictly following the prescribed procedures. the brahmanas recited stories from the Vedas.

and procreation. who richly deserved the honor. Vedic study. you are learned in these matters. Honored by all the council members. was begotten by the maiden Kali and sage Parasara. son of Sakti. he begot Pandu. water to rinse his mouth. Thereupon. who was sitting nearby. and future. At birth. exactly how a conflict arose between the Kurus and the Pandavas. Srila Vyasa was visibly satisfied. present. O brahmana. following the scriptural law. He told how strife arose between the Kurus and Pandavas and how it brought destruction to a kingdom.Sri Suta Goswami continued: Hearing that Janamejaya had been initiated into the snake sacrifice. vows.CHAPTER 55 . whose minds were overwhelmed by some higher destiny. many annointed kings and expert godlike priests sat around the king. just as Indra offers to the priest of heaven. a poet and a seer of past. and all the assembled kings. In this elaborate rite. and Vidura in order to preserve the dynasty of Santanu. thoughtful gifts that engladden a guest. Vyasa honored them in turn. The greatest of all Vedic scholars. Vyasa. heir to Pandu's throne. Those men. the learned seer Krsnadvaipayana Vyasa approached the king. and he quickly stood up with all his associates and lovingly received him. the king offered the sage a magnificent golden seat. Vyasa then ordered his disciple Vaisampayana. Accepting the prize cow and the symbolic gestures of honor. Accompanied by his disciples. as you have heard it from me. for he made every effort to worship his grandfather's grandfather." Understanding the order of his teacher. "My lord. his council members. who had been so well received by the council members. Renowned for his extraordinary piety. With the instant consent of the assembly. just as it happened. Dhrtarastra. Janamejaya noted the sage's arrival. All these presents were properly presented to the venerable forefather Vyasa. "Please explain to him. The divine sage then looked upon the king and saw that he too was well. grandfather of the Pandavas. the first of kings. fasting. worshiped the sage whom all godly seers revere. Janamejaya folded his hands in reverence and seriously inquired from his illustrious forefather. nor in the power of his anger. No one could surpass him in his austerity. he who knew all the Vedic literature entered the snake sacrifice of saintly King Janamejaya and there beheld the monarch sitting amidst his council members. ADI PARVA . so tell me everything. and a fine cow. pure and truthful. Brhaspati. he divided the one Veda into four. from Janamejaya. the eminent brahmana then fully explained the ancient history to the monarch. offering him scented water to bathe his feet. on an island in the holy Yamuna River. He was a selfrealized sage. you were an eyewitness to the activities of the Pandavas and Kurus. King Janamejaya was also satisfied at heart. the king inquired all about his health and happiness. How did a conflict arise among those indefatigable men? How did the conflict lead to such a terrible war. were all my own forefathers. and sitting near the holy one." Hearing these words. I would so much like to hear about them from you. which finished the life of so many creatures? My lord. with their supplements and historical works. When the munificent Vyasa took his seat. like Indra surrounded by the gods. the celebrated Vyasa at once brought his body to maturity by his own will and then thoroughly studied the Vedas.

But their cousins the Kurus. My dear king. played with an entire kingdom at stake. Another time when Bhima was asleep. so Vidura always brought happiness to the five Pandavas. you are qualified to hear.Sri Vaisampayana said: Let me first offer my respectful obeisances unto my spiritual maser. burned with a jealous rage. you have inquired about these events. Entering a deep and deadly forest. the military science. and stamina. and I myself. "We are very anxious for this fighting to stop among you cousin brothers. Thus the Pandavas were saved from the burning mansion and fled in mortal fear. fixing my mind and intelligence in devotion to his lotus feet. living for some time in the house of a saintly brahmana. he burst his bonds and sprang out of the river without the slightest pain or trouble. Duryodhana ordered the construction of an inflammable house of lac and arranged for the apparently trusting Pandavas to dwell there. with the stomach of a wolf. digested the poison along with his food. Hear. After this the Pandavas journeyed with a group of devoted brahmanas to the kingdom of Pancala. Srila Vyasadeva. The Kuru princes tried by so many open and covert means to annihilate the Pandavas. Dhrtarastra. Hear of the great war that caused such untold destruction on the earth. but Bhima. and I shall explain them in full. When their father passed away. and all that I speak is authorized by him. but the Supreme Lord protected the sons of Pandu. Upon their arrival. and returned to his city. In all these wicked acts. when Bhima was soundly asleep at Pramana-koti. slayer of foes. their identity was now discovered and so the mighty sons of Pandu returned to the Kuru capital of Hastinapura. for in the future they would carry out His will. but Vidura warned the powerful Pandavas of the danger and dispatched a trusted engineer to dig a tunnel under the lacquer house. and how the Pandavas were then sent to live in the forest. feel my heart trembling and swelling with joy. they encountered the monstrous Raksaka named Hidimba. along with Saubala (Sakuni). how a conflict arose among the Kurus and Pandavas over a game of dice. then to save that brahmana's life Bhima slew the mighty demon Baka. Then again. where they soon became experts in Dhanurveda. seeing the Pandavas' extraordinary beauty. the heroic sons of Pandu then traveled with their mother to the town of Ekacakra. and there they won the hand of the princess Draupadi and dwelled for one year in her father's kingdom. Just as Lord Indra. Duryodhana tied him up. Remaining close together. Then he tried to burn it down with fire. always bestows happiness on the good people of earth. where they disguised themselves as brahmanas. and therefore we want you to . the heroic young sons of Pandu left their forest dwelling and returned to their ancestral home in the imperial capital. having now obtained an opportunity to recite my spiritual master's history of the Bharata race. King Dhrtarastra and Grandfather Bhisma told them. the sinful son of Dhrtarastra. O king. Duryodhana. O king. Thus the cruel Duryodhana and Karna. The noble sage Vyasa is renowned throughout the universe for his wisdom and immeasurable strength. worked in many ways to bring down the Pandavas and banish them from their royal home. courage. Duryodhana had poisonous black snakes bite him in every limb of his body. administered poison to Bhima. They could not bear seeing their cousins' wealth and fame. but Bhima with his terrible prowess angrily killed him. When Bhima awoke. from his heavenly abode. but Pandu's heroic son. Consulting with such advisers as Vrsa and Duhsasana and unobstructed by his father. the very wise Vidura was ever alert to save the Pandavas from harm and to undo the Kuru schemes. Having lived in hiding. threw him into the waters of the Ganges. did not die. O best of the Bharatas. Let me then offer my complete reverence to all the brahmanas assembled here with us and to all the learned and wise people gathered at this site. and their popularity with every citizen.

with the stipulation that for one additional year they would have to live somewhere within a kingdom without being discovered. with a large. dominating other kings by their strength of arms. the third-born of Pandu. always kills His enemies. thereafter sent his brother Arjuna to the forest. just as Lord Visnu. the lotus-eyed beauty of lovely speech.CHAPTER 56 King Janamejaya said: O best of brahmanas. In that fabulous building the foolish Duryodhana became greedy and. Arjuna. they punished those who would harm them. As Saci unites with Lord Indra or as the goddess of fortune unites with Lord Sri Krsna. there was conflict. Nakula took the West. Thus the god of fire gave Arjuna the extraordinary bow named Gandiva and two inexhaustible quivers of arrows. the loss of a kingdom. and the heroic Arjuna conquered the North. regaining their rightful kingdom. so did Subhadra happily unite with Arjuna. Thus in the past. went to see Lord Krsna in Dvaraka and there won the hand of the Lord's younger sister. and there was war. In the fourteenth year. No deed was too difficult for Arjuna as long as he was with Lord Krsna. they were honest and true to their word. O king. along with a chariot marked with the symbol of Hanuman. As the fradulent victor in the gambling match. tell the . Yudhisthira. Forgiving those who sought their shelter. he banished the Pandavas to the forest wilds for successive periods of seven and five years. These five brothers shone like the sun. satisfied the lord of fire. as you recite this fascinating story there arises within me an intense curiosity to hear it in greater detail.make your home in the region of Khandava-prastha. And together with the shining sun in the sky. ADI PARVA . O king. the slayer of his enemies. As the Khandava forest was being offered to Agni. Subhadra. O victorious king. you have briefly summarized the whole story of the Mahabharata and the extraordinary deeds of the Kuru warriors. and ultimate victory. and Sahadeva. Thus they were banished for a total of thirteen years. Please give up your anger toward the Kurus and go live in Khandava-prastha." The Pandavas accepted the order of their two elders. Please lord. which had been so greatly disturbed by the conflict. They were never overcome by lust or greed and were ever vigilant in their duties. the god of fire. For a particular reason. conquered the South. O sinless saint. the son of Pandu. Thus the Pandavas spread their circle of influence over the entire planet. well-organized system of roads. the Pandavas returned and asked that their kingdom and wealth be returned to them. where he lived for one full year plus one month. The mighty Bhimasena conquered the kingdoms to the East. king of virtue. Arjuna saved the great asura wizard Maya from the blaze. the sons of Pandu were wholly dedicated to justice. endowed with His limitless determination. which is well settled. and taking all their jewels and wealth they journeyed with all their well-wishing friends to the city of Khandava-prastha and resided there for many years. the earth was now radiant with the light of six suns. and in gratitude Maya constructed for the Pandavas a celestial assembly hall studded with all types of jewels. among great and tireless men. for they derived their power from their dedication to truth. O excellent king. In the Khandava forest. together with Lord Krsna. cheated Yudhisthira in a game of dice. a war in which the Pandavas destroyed all their enemies and killed King Duryodhana. with the help of Saubala. But they were denied. Then the fierce warrior.

generous. The Mahabharata should be heard repeatedly by a young king and his queen. Sri Vaisampayana said: I shall tell you what I have heard from my spiritual master. fame. long life. This most pious history shows the path of economic and moral development and trains the reader to function with complete and steady intelligence. mind. for my thirst to hear of the great deeds of my forefathers is not yet sated. This most potent son of Satyavati has narrated 100. Those who. when they saw that he was being cheated by their wicked cousins in a crooked gambling match? Yudhisthira knew well the principles of justice. Arjuna. But why did the innocent and powerful Pandavas. the son of Pandu. kindly explain all this to me exactly as it happened. when harassed by wicked men. a king can become victorious throughout the entire world and gain victory over his enemies. all mankind praises the Pandavas. For those who recite it. then. tolerate for so long the terrible harassment of their wicked foes? O best of brahmanas. In so doing he has glorified throughout the world the exalted sons of Pandu and other warriors who possessed abundant wealth and power. and so he composed a work that bestows wealth.000 verses describing the holy deeds of the sons of Pandu. and it is to be heard by one who seeks victory. because this great and auspicious history is the best sacrament for begetting a son. control his rage when put to such much trouble? How is it that Draupadi. and so it was certainly not for some trifling reason that they slew respectable seniors who normally are never to be killed. standing alone with Lord Krsna as his charioteer. a sage of boundless intellect. It leads to spiritual liberation. for it is a work composed by Srila Vyasa. but in full. could he tolerate such extreme and unwarranted suffering? How is it that Arjuna. without envy. that great rsi honored throughout the worlds. for he was the son of Dharma. Relate to me all the deeds done by those supreme warriors as they wandered about the earth. It is the most sacred among worldly books of wisdom and stands at the forefront of religious scriptures. and promotion to heaven.story again. How. the chaste devotee of Lord Krsna. A learned person who teaches this Krsna-veda to those who are openminded. their children will be obedient and their helpers eager to please them. even a very cruel man can most assuredly overcome all his sins. and at the same time leads people to pure existence. Krsna-dvaipayana Vyasa sought to help people attain holiness in their lives. For by the power of this literature. Learned persons who teach this history and those who hear it will both come to the spiritual platform and attain qualitative oneness with God. and not dogmatically atheistic will surely fulfill his purpose in life. sent so many entire armies to the land of the dead? O ascetic whose wealth is austerity. those tigers among men. and the two sons of Madri follow their eldest brother. the great soul of limitless might: Srila Vyasa. Indeed. . a tiger among men. truthful. O knower of justice. how could the mighty-armed Bhima. or words. and they will certainly not have to worry about their lives after death. it is the best of histories that are worthy to hear. now and in the future. Victory is the very name of this history. and it is therefore highly praised by sages. This ancient history is equal to the Vedas. did not burn them to ashes with her terrible glance. and he above all others followed those principles. Yudhisthira. for it is pure and transcendental. A person who regularly hears this history will quickly be released from reactions to all sins commited with body. even though she was certainly able to do so? How could Bhima. with the strength of ten thousand elephants. hear of the great lives of the Bharata kings will never be frightened by disease. even that of killing an embryo in the womb. Simply by hearing this history.

and one who simply understands this meaning of the words Maha-bharata is freed of all sin. you did perform great penances. and since you are now voluntarily obeying. If one recites even one quarter couplet of this work to brahmanas during the Sraddha ceremony for departed ancestors. and I grant you an extraordinary kingdom that is the very bosom of this earth. until Indra himself. so is the Mahabharata celebrated as a storehouse of riches. I speak of the fabled kingdom of Cedi. The philosopher Krsna-dvaipayana Vyasa worked continuously for three years to compose this extraordinary history. King Vasu traveled beyond the earth to the upper regions of the universe. which are meant for kings. his performance of Sraddha will provide everlasting benefit to his forefathers.] Although you live on earth and I in heaven. and those same sacred principles will sustain the entire world. economics. Follow your religious principles. ADI PARVA . which lacks nothing in natural resources." By the order of Indra. that sublime kingdom abounds with all the enjoyable things to be found on earth. the king agreed to rule the charming kingdom of Cedi. Ultimately he journeys to the spiritual world itself. and salvation may also be found in other works. Easy to defend. You will attain the pure. All sins unknowingly performed each day vanish simply upon hearing the narration of Mahabharata. devoted to the practice of austerities. O . A learned person who on holy days recites this work to brahmanas is cleansed of all sin and conquers the heavenly abode. filled with virtuous citizens and useful animals. you should carefully maintain those religious principles that will lead you to the higher planets. In the land of Cedi. who never failed to keep his vows. "one who goes to the heights. but that which is not to be found here in the Maha-bharata will not be found elsewhere. eternal planets of the pious simply by engaging in your prescribed duty as an act of service to God. O leader of the Bharatas. [Although your regimen was not authorized. Always engaged in the devotional service of the Lord. The religious principles should not be confused." Indra approached the king and with kind words convinced him to stop his austerities. The climate is mild and steady. came to see the king. "By his fiery penance this King Vasu is almost strong enough to seize my own position. O king. They are peaceful men and women who are happy to follow the laws of God.CHAPTER 57a Vaisampayana said: Once there was a virtuous king named Vasu. me your faith and penances will not go unrewarded. and there is abundant wealth in grains. I now accept you as my friend. It tells of the great (maha) lives of the Bharata kings. wielder of the thunderbolt. Dwell in the kingdom of Cedi. satisfaction of bodily needs. and so it is known as Mahabharata. That country is better than all other earthly kingdoms and is richly endowed with all sorts of wealth and jewels. and thus he became celebrated as Upari-cara. whatever is found here on the subjects of religion. for you are meant to protect that land. Once King Vasu put aside his weapons and began to live in an asrama. The inhabitants of Cedi are thoroughly honest and satisfied with their lives. Indra was worried and thought. It is a rich land.Just as the lord of the ocean and the Himalayan range are both renowned as reservoirs of jewels. Indra said: You are a king of the earth (and not a brahmana).

for you have achieved the greatest and richest of symbols. with gifts of land and other good works. a false word is never spoken. traveled about the heavens in the celestial airship given to him by Lord Indra. they continued to honor Lord Indra just as King Vasu had done. not even in jest. and wreaths. the Upward Mover. which was full of pearls and other wealth. And I give you the Vaijayanti Victory Garland of unfading lotus flowers. and he lustily blocked her waters. King Vasu. the celestial garland of Indra. become purified by the Indra rite." decided to enjoy the lovely goddess of that river. the "Uproarious One. Lord Indra departed. garlands. Thus the fame of King Vasu. all of which came to bear their names. rather they gladly serve their wise elders. handsome Gandharvas and lovely Apsaras would approach him and fulfill his desires. and after he had ruled for one year." Thus did mighty Indra happily confer great honor upon King Vasu. king of Cedi. Lord Indra gave the pious King Vasu a bamboo staff with two extraordinary powers: it bestowed whatever the king desired. King Vasu was a great soul. From that time on the most important rulers of earth followed King Vasu's example and performed the same celebration. fragrant scents. and each of the five sons established a long-lived dynasty. Such is the land of Cedi. weapons will never pierce you. Their father. Following Indra's instruction. jewels. Having given all of this. and even the lean cows give rich and abundant milk. Indra spoke to Vasu as follows: "O King of Cedi! From this time on. the king protected this earth through virtue and law. In Cedi. The children of Cedi do not squander their fathers' wealth. and as he traveled. Near the capital city of King Vasu there flowed a charming river called Suktimati. and by its power. and stationed in Cedi. . O king.who ever arrange this festival of Indra. Their cities will flourish and happiness will reign among their people. as much as by fulfulling wishes with gifts. Indra fully honored Vasu. and performing grand sacrificial rites. the monarch arranged for the wonderful bamboo staff to be stood upright on the earth. all earthly kings who perform this ceremony and joyfully honor me exactly as you have done will certainly gain opulence and victory for themselves and their citizens. Vasu performed the grand Indra festivities. And those men. and he honored King Indra with such affection that the lord of heaven felt jovial and affectionate toward the earthly ruler. This extraordinary vehicle will soon approach you. the ruler of heaven. Vaisampayana said: Finally. cows are never yoked to the plow. Seeing the splendid ceremony in his honor. All the citizens are devoted to their own duties. This celestial garland will sustain you in battle. embracing the river goddess. The king then begat five sons of fierce prowess and incomparable strength. and it fully protected all honest people. I grant you a most extraordinary boon so that nothing in this universe remain unknown to you. you will thus travel to the upper regions of the universe. and these fine sons established themselves in their own kingdoms and capital cities. meant for the pleasure of the gods. and certainly not otherwise. whereupon it became the focus of a great celebration honoring King Indra. Adorning the sacred staff with various banners. and you alone among mortal men will board that airship. O king. Like one of the gods. Finally. And loved by Indra. King Vasu assumed the throne of Cedi. I grant you now a divine crystal airship.king. this garland will be your emblem in this world. In fact. One day a mountain endowed with consciousness and named Kolahala. O respectful king. spread far and wide.

Carry this semen to my house and deliver it to my wife. For twelve days she had subsisted on whole milk and faithfully performed religious rites meant to calm the senses and purify the mind. and taking the leaf package in his talons he rose into the air and rushed off toward the king's palace. King Vasu could not disregard the order of his forefathers." Again and again King Vasu pondered what he should do. was already pregnant from Kolahala's embrace. even if he couldn't personally be with her. As he flew at tremendous speed.When the powerful King Vasu understood that Kolahala was raping the unwilling goddess. he could only remember his lovely Girika. King Vasu had a deep understanding of religious affairs and was expert in practical action. quickly grew into a lovely and gentle maiden named Girika. and that seed could not be wasted. the river goddess delivered to him her newborn babies. But as he moved along the path. please help me. Consecrating his seed with mantra. he sadly left at once for the forest. for she was endowed with extraordinary beauty like that of the Goddess of Fortune herself." and King Vasu loved her and made her his wife. she approached her husband and eagerly told him that the moment for conception was nigh. King Vasu felt semen spill out of his body. and though ardently desiring union with his young wife. and the lovely young Queen Girika. King Vasu was able to make the hawk understand the following: "O kind hawk. But the river goddess. Centuries of careful. he rushed to the spot and gave Kolahala a mighty kick. [Girika knew that if a woman's mind is filled with good and noble thoughts at the moment of conception. which was sworn to protect the innocent. and he immediately collected it in the leaf of a tree. the "mountainborn. for her season has come today. ADI PARVA .CHAPTER 57b The time of begetting had arrived. and she soon gave birth to a male and a female child. and the very saintly King Vasu agreed to take care of them. another hawk . "for lovely Girika's season has come. not on this special day when lovely Girika so much yearned for his child. longed for her husband's embrace. Grateful to the king for her deliverance." he thought. and she must not be frustrated. Girika. he saw a swift hawk resting nearby. cracking him open and releasing the blocked-up river and its goddess. With a bright face and chaste mind. she will beget an excellent child.] But on that very day." The hawk was capable of great speed. The generous king eventually established the male child as a powerful general of his armies. born of a goddess. Then he decided to send his semen to Girika. Suktimati. to procure sacrificial animals for the holy rites.] "I must not waste this powerful seed. before the king could lie with his wife his venerable forefathers came to him and ordered him to the forest for his family's sake.] The queen bathed her youthful body and dressed with new garments. and their noble children would preserve the indomitable House of Kuru. and the female child. Wandering about the enchanting forest. [King Vasu was born in the exalted Kuru dynasty. and in such a family marriages were arranged with painstaking care so that great women would combine with great men. devoted breeding were now preserved in the seed of King Vasu. [King Vasu intensely longed to lie down with his wife and therefore immediately prepared for the sacred act.

But I humbly ask you this: if my . the rival hawk rushed forward in attack. the cursed goddess Adrika. you must know that I am a virgin girl living under the protection of my father. How could I unite with you out here with all of them watching us?" Hearing this earnest plea. the mighty Parasara with his godly power at once created a dense fog that shrouded the entire area in darkness. "there are sages sitting on both sides of this sacred river. both quite human. that lovely girl with her innocent smile continued to be plagued for some time with scent of fish. "Good maiden. and he knew her to be the daughter of the religious king Vasu. Following the path of the perfected seers and the mystic Caranas." But because of her close connection with the killers of fish. Within these waters of the Yamuna was a romantic young goddess named Adrika. To serve her foster father. she returned to her position among the finest celestial courtesans. Ten months later some fishermen caught the accursed fish who was pregnant with the king's semen and about to give birth. was instantly freed from the brahmana's curse. desiring to cross the river. and nothing had prepared her for such an abrupt request as this. Unfortunately. "O king. But while they fought. Adrika was a celestial Apsara maiden. who was so extraordinarily lovely that even the perfected beings of higher planets would long for her company. whom a brahmana had cursed because of her misdeeds. but by the brahmana's curse she had fallen to earth from the higher planets and was forced to take birth as a fish within the Yamuna River." King Vasu accepted the male child." Thus having begotten the human twins and being cut up by the fisherman. ever devoted to truth. after giving birth to two human children. I know that you're a sinless man. the fishermen extracted from her belly a female and a male child. you will be freed from this curse.spied him and mistakenly thought the semen in the leaf to be the meat of a fallen prey. Thoroughly astonished. [Satyavati was still very young. "My lord. she relinquished her life as a fish and regained her celestial body. Upon seeing the beautiful sight of the maiden. and I believe in your mission. the female child born of the fish gave off a strong fishy odor. until one day the sage Parasara.] "My lord. "these two human children came out of a fish's belly. the wise Parasara desired to beget a child in her. the maiden spoke with simple shyness to the sage." she said. And the goddess. Hoping to steal the prey. the king's semen fell from out of the sky into the waters of the Yamuna River. and the two hawks fought fiercely in the sky. and she became known as Satyavati. in fact the best of the brahmanas. beautiful Satyavati would ply his boat across the waters of the Yamuna River. approached that young maiden. You may raise her. "the truthful one. Satyavati was astonished to see that Parasara was able to cover the entire region in fog. Thus when King Vasu's semen fell into the river. and so the king gave her back to the fishermen and told them: "This girl will be yours. who later became a most religious monarch named Matsya. therefore. for the exalted sage had a sacred duty to perform. tearing at each other with their sharp beaks. for previously the exalted brahmana had told her. glorified with all good qualities. Killing the fish and cutting her open. quickly approached it and swallowed it. If I have contact with you now." they said." The girl grew into a beautiful young lady of fine character. they rushed to tell King Vasu. Yet with all the wits of a king's daughter. her fish body cut to pieces by the fishermen. swimming about as a fish. my virginity will be spoiled. taking passengers from one side to the other.

"Mother. he became known as Dvaipayana. how can I possibly go home and face my father? How could I dare return to him under these conditions?" Satyavati glanced anxiously at the sage. Satyavati had in fact again become a virgin girl] She left her capable son on that island in the sacred Yamuna River. she gave birth at once to a powerful son. But in the next three ages. and I want to give you a boon. and people are longliving and powerful]. The godly Parasara returned to his own residence. for she had received an incomparable boon." Before his mother departed. for at once her body was adorned with a most enchanting fragrance. she revealed her desire that her lovely body possess a charming fragrance. and I shall grant it. Satyavati became celebrated on earth for her lovely aroma. [Dvaipayana knew that the earth cycles through four great ages. he fixed his mind on austerity. and he told her. she retired with the sage to an island in the Yamuna River.] [Parasara's son could not go back to his mother's home. revealed the history known as the Mahabharata. Therefore he divided the holy Veda into four parts so that all people could understand and follow the Book of Knowledge and attain a blessed life. by the influence of the age. "please consider my situation and do what is fair and proper. "Simply do as I desire. and because the boy was born and left on the Yamuna island. as it turns through its seasons." she said. which stained her otherwise perfect beauty. simply remember me and I shall immediately appear before you. Satyavati was filled with joy." [Upon hearing that he would truly restore her virginity.] Hearing the words of the sage. [The child did not grow day by day like an ordinary boy. Satyavati was delighted.] Standing respectfully before his mother. He desired (for the people of the current fallen age) the blessings of the Supreme Lord and of the saintly brahmanas who worship Him. and strength of mortal beings diminish by one fourth in each age." he said. for no one knew of Satyavati's connection with Parasara. . With perfect feminine charm.] "My dear Satyavati. Choose whatever you want. [For it is by austerity that the sages achieve spiritual power to guide and inspire humanity. Then the merciful Dvaipayana. whenever there is need. Tell me what you desire and you shall have it. By Parasara's blessings. "the island-born. the greatest of all holy teachers. who could perform such wonderful deeds. for men could perceive her delightful scent at a distance of eight miles. "My lord. and there joined with holy Parasara. "you are very kind and innocent. fathered by Parasara.virginity is spoiled. Have intercourse with me. even after our child is born. and it became the fifth division of the Vedas." Thus Dvaipayana took birth from the womb of Satyavati. and by the potency of Parasara. and the powerful sage immediately granted her wish. but rather upon taking birth he came at once to youthful maturity. the faithful son told her. Your smile is so lovely and pure. she could think of no further objection. In the Age of Truth all mankind gladly follows the laws of God." That most excellent sage Parasara was quite pleased by Satyavati's honest statement. for never in the past have my blessings ever failed. and I shall bless you to again become a virgin." r228uldb [Satyavati longed to be free forever of the awful fish scent. the religiosity. longevity.

whom all the world worships. the most sinful is the killing of a simple brahmana dedicated to the spiritual path. There was Vidura. the everlasting and unaging creator. yet He is never affected by material qualities. [Yamaraja is called Dharma because he punishes the sinful according to the laws of God. The wise know him as the inexhaustible Soul. So that the principles of virtue might flourish on the earth. and Paila. dragged down to the earth by the curse of a mystic sage. None would call him an ordinary man. He appeared in the dynasty of Andhaka and Vrsni. took birth by the sun-god himself in the womb of the virgin princess Kunti. the universal doer. which are thousands of times greater. not neutralized this one childish sin? Of all killing. and to me. a woman of the lowest class. the famous sage Ani-man-davya. Though not always visible to our conditioned eyes. he came to earth and spread his undying fame. who are sinful. Once." By that curse Dharma himself took birth in the womb of a sudra woman and assumed the form of Vidura. for he was born with celestial armor and dazzling earrings that illumined his handsome face. "I once pierced a little bird with a straw. It is through this unbroken chain that the great history called Mahabharata came to be known in this world. who took birth as the son of King Santanu from the womb of goddess Ganga. was falsely accused of theft and condemned in court to be pierced by a lance. Two heroes named Satyaki and Krtavarma. but as one of the godly Vasus. a Puranic scholar.] There was Bhisma. Jaimini. he revealed the lives of many great souls. took birth as faithful followers of the Supreme Lord and were endowed with enormous power. Then to show mercy on all the worlds. but I do not recall any other sin in my life. "When I was a small child. The great sage called upon the lord of death. born of Satyaka and Hrdika. the grandfather of all creatures. the essential being who is celebrated as Narayana. the lord of death." he told Yamaraja. and demanded an explanation. the royal secretary with the intelligence of a mature philosopher." That noble and munificent sage taught this knowledge to his disciples Sumantu. . supreme and untiring. appeared as the son of Vasudeva and Devaki.] But the sage angrily accused Yamaraja of improperly punishing him. to his own son Suka. and the inperishable Absolute Truth. I remember committing that sin. Karna. Yamaraja. the maker of the cosmos. a wise and virtuous man of impeccable behavior.CHAPTER 57/c [When Vyasa told the story of Mahabharata. the indestructible eternal being who spreads goodness throughout the worlds. the transcendental source of all that be. He is the almighty God without beginning or end. Sanjaya. Why have my penances. He is the supreme enjoyer. and both were consummate masters of all kinds of weapons. The Heroes of Mahabharata ADI PARVA . was born to Gavalgana. Therefore it is you. and the ultimate basis of the material world. He is the infinite and unchanging God. He transforms His own potency into the ingredients of this world. Vaisampayana.Thereafter Dvaipayana was celebrated throughout the world as Vyasa. Because of your own sin you will take birth in the womb of a sudrani. the Supreme Lord Visnu. of incomparable splendor. and yet you ordained that I be killed. "the compiler and arranger of the Veda. the military master. Bhisma was not an ordinary human being. Both possessed extraordinary knowledge in the use of missles.

whose shrewd son Sakuni. Radiant and pure.CHAPTER 58 King Janamejaya said: O brahmana. the disciple of Prahlada. Marut. Arjuna begot Abhimanyu in the womb of Subhadra. but later became a male when the Yaksa named Sthuna transformed her into a man in order to satisfy her desire for battle. In the conflict which consumed the House of Kuru. The learned Dhrtarastra begot a hundred sons. Draupadi. Sikhandi took birth as a daughter of King Drupada. so Dharma. and up from the sacrificial flames arose Prince Dhrstadyumna. and the twin Asvins. Bhima also begot Ghatotkaca in his wife Hidimba. the celestial physicians. and by the power of his fierce austerities the famous military professor Drona took birth from that seed. those who dominate this history.] When the great sage Bharadvaja happened to pass semen. Vaisampayana replied: . Strong kings also appeared on this earth. born of his two wives. Thus the powerful Krpa and his twin sister. While staying in the forest. When the embittered King Drupada vowed to kill Drona. Satanika. were all equal to the gods. Then from the same sacrificial altar Dhrstadyumna's powerful sister Draupadi took birth. Krpi became the wife of Drona. born to destroy the invincible Drona. King Pandu could not beget children. who were always eager to serve their elder brothers. from Arjuna came Srutakirti. O most fortunate one. wielding a bow and blazing like fire.[Other extraordinary births also occured. who like her brother was learned in worldly affairs. begot Bhima. the sister of Lord Krsna. ADI PARVA . and the fierce fighter Srutasena was born from Sahadeva. Krpi. from Nakula. incurred the wrath of the gods and thus became the wicked enemy of religion. Yudhisthira. Lord Indra begot handsome Arjuna. I wish to hear the entire story of those brilliant warriors you have just mentioned. I have mentioned here the principle rulers. mighty Bhima begot Sutasoma. begot Pandu's eldest son. took birth. like Nagnajita. the god of justice. and all five boys became masters of the military science. and their innumerable names could not be fully recounted in many thousands of years. The sage Gautama dropped his semen in a clump of bushes. The five Pandavas each begot a beautiful son in the womb of their common wife. Nakula and Sahadeva. and also of other outstanding kings you have not yet described. Plagued by a brahmana's curse. her body displayed the highest degree of feminine beauty. headed by Duryodhana. Pandu's five sons. but the noblest of them all was Yudhisthira. and they begot as their son that excellent wielder of weapons Asvatthama. The great sage Vyasa begot Dhrtarastra and the powerful Pandu in the wives of his departed brother. please fully explain why and how these Maha-rathas appeared on the earth like gods incarnate. called Saubala after his father. the monarch performed a fierce sacrifice. and Subala. King of Gandhara. begot the most handsome of the Pandavas. Vicitravirya. Subala also begot a daughter named Gandhari. and that seed also grew. he kept it in a pot. the most skillful wielder of weapons. lord of the wind. Yudhisthira begot Prativindhya. many hundreds and thousands of kings came to the field of battle intent on fighting. and this child became a worthy grandson of the great soul Pandu. and also Yuyutsu by a woman of a lower station.

By contact with the brahmanas. and of course to the godly people in whom they confide. and thus hundreds and thousands of variegated life forms flourished on the earth. but gave it freely to the pure and pious. But I shall explain it to you. the kings of the world. after first offering my obeisances unto the Creator of this world. and boys who had not reached physical maturity did not intimately know of young women. Many young women of the royal ksatriya families desired husbands and children. Brahmanas faithfully studied the books of knowledge: the Vedas. with the death of all the earth's monarchs there were no trained leaders to manage human affairs and protect innocent creatures. Having accomplished His mission. maddened by pride. With the rulers thus devoted to dharma. Moreover. we have heard that this topic is so confidential that it is known only to the gods. thousands of ksatriya ladies became pregnant as they desired and thereafter gave birth to male and female children of pure and powerful lineage. The rejuvenated monarchies ruled the ocean-bounded earth with all its mountains. the son of the murdered sage. had union with those women of the leading families. but only in the proper season. and ailing oxen were brought back to strength. the mighty Indra nourished the earth with pleasant rains that fell at the suitable times and places. and all mankind. and men sold their products fairly without false claims or measurements. but there were no princes or kings on the face of the earth to marry them. Lord Parasurama then gave up his weapons and retired to the mountainous country known as Mahendra. Once more a great dynasty of rulers arose on the earth. refusing to recite it for any price before those who were insincere or mean in their habits. At that time the four human communities lived in peace under the guidance of the learned brahmanas.] The eligible women of the royal families then approached the brahmanas. and with the blessings of the brahmanas they enjoyed long durations of life. Men approached their wives in the proper season and never because of lust. punishing them fairly. viciously rebelled against their holy teachers and cruelly murdered the leading sage.My dear king. All the earth's creatures conceived in the proper season. experienced the greatest joy. Upanisads. where He passed his days performing penance for the violence He had committed against the cruel kings. These gentle scholars would not sell their wisdom for profit. [In the aftermath of Parasurama's victory yet another problem arose on the earth. tried to regain their power] but Lord Parasurama cut them to pieces twentyone times. the saintly teachers of mankind. In devotion to God they begot powerful children who would uphold the sacred principles. and supplementary works. No ox was idle. Thus this fertile earth. The Supreme Lord incarnated as Parasurama. encircled by its seas. The brahmanas. and asked them for children. and only when necessary. Again and again the wicked descendants of these kings. and valleys. headed by the brahmans. Men did not milk cows whose calves still drank their milk. At such joyful sacrificial rites all the citizens carried away abundant charity to their heart's delight. Leaders cast off their lust and greed and carefully protected the citizens. but unlike their cruel forefathers these young monarchs strictly followed the principles of religion. Jamadagni. originally headed by Karta-viryarjuna. until He rid the earth of all its kings. Childhood death was unknown. forests. strict in their religious vows. The vaisya farmers plowed the earth with ox and brought forth abundant food. The faithful rulers ignited the fires of sacrifice and worshiped the Supreme Godhead and His saintly servants. was filled with long-lived living beings. . And never were they impelled by ordinary lust. and furiously cut down the wicked kings who had killed His father. conceived in obedience to the laws of God. [Long ago.

powerful and demonic creatures began to take birth from the wives of earthly kings. the primal demigod Brahma. As these demonic creatures continued to take birth on the earth. the progenitor who is known as Sambhu. the Daityas disguised themselves in many ways. and workers of the earth. not even the wind or the celestial serpents or the mighty mountains could hold up the earth. Indeed. and with devotion to dharma they faithfully performed their duties. and other four-legged creatures. Indeed. went for shelter to the grandfather of all created beings. master and origin of all created beings. Having fallen from their positions in the higher planets. goddess Bhumi told Brahma her troubles in front of all the leaders of the planets of the universe. for the socalled kings were maddened by the strength of their bodies. Unconcerned with the godly culture of the brahmanas. who administer the universe. Moving about by the hundreds and thousands. they threatened the sages who sat peacefully in their forest asramas. And the earth was filled with variegated living beings. that the Asuras began to appear among different creatures and communities. They harassed the teachers. as she was being so forcefully trampled by the demonic Danavas. and workers were all content to perform their God-given tasks (which arose from the natural propensity of each citizen). tortured by her burden and haunted by fear. rulers. buffalos. Women bore their babes. and all other creatures. She saw the untiring maker of this world surrounded by exalted souls like the godly Adityas. deer. Thus so much afflicted was the earth by the mighty Daityas who were haughty with their strength and armies. having carefully calculated that they could easily become the gods of the earth. celestial Gandharva musicians. then spoke to Mother Earth as follows: "O bountiful . Begging for shelter. cows. and as the creator of the universe. But then. So strong was the people's enthusiasm for virtue that virtue did not decline as often occurs among successful people. Bereft of their power and positions. camels. But Lord Brahma already knew her needs. O king. and they virtually surrounded the water-bounded earth. and heavenly pleasure maidens known as the Apsaras. great sages. fought their wicked cousins the Daityas and vanquished them. they began to slay the earth's creatures. merchants. the sons of Diti and Danu thus appeared in this world as monarchs.All mankind looked to dharma. tradersmen. endowed with great strength. So prosperous and sublime was this world that every man and woman claimed that the great Age of Truth had come again. trees gave their flowers and fruits. They were bold and haughty. the Daityas began to take birth on this planet. Thereupon the earth goddess herself. Once the godly Adityas. the divine law. As they all sang with great delight the praises of Lord Brahma. the earth herself could not bear the weight of their presence. saintly brahmanas. ready to crush those who would oppose them. elephants. O mighty one. teachers. how could he not be conscious. bringing it under their demonic rule. rulers. lord of the earth. for he is born directly from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. O Bharata. just as humankind was flourishing. he is the Lord's chief representative in the created cosmos. and cows bore their calves all in the proper season. and they brought terror to the world. And thus it happened. [Conducting their calculated invasion of the earth with brilliant precision.] Some of these demonic creatures even took birth as bulls. Mother Earth approached him and also sang his glories. that she approached Lord Brahma. asses. O best of monarchs. just as it had flourished millions of years before. and in many other forms. of the mental workings of all the gods and demons and of all people? Mighty Lord Brahma.

and so serious is your problem that to solve it I shall engage all of the celestial denizens. The celestial denizens thereupon began to successively descend from heaven to earth to destroy their wicked foes and save all the worlds. and various others creatures who devoured men alive. O best of the Bharatas. ADI PARVA . magical snakes. King Janamejaya said: I wish to hear now the truth about the origin of the gods and demons. I know why you have come to my presence. Indra instructed all the denizens of heaven and departed from the abode of Lord Narayana. please expand Yourself and descend!" And the Lord accepted his prayer." Hearing this statement from Lord Brahma.CHAPTER 59 Vaisampayana continued: After conversing with the Supreme Personality of Godhead Narayana. Lord Brahma himself. Indeed. [As the Lord's goddess. the demigods headed by Indra accepted his words as accurate and meaningful. who is the guru of the godly beings. Lord Indra then prayed to the Supreme Personality of Godhead." Having thus spoken to the earth. that they could not be killed either by the evil Danavas and Raksasas or by other cruel invaders. and His glowing complexion is swarthy. man-eating Raksasas. Eager to act on his instructions. He wears yellow silken garments. and His glistening eyes are wide and gorgeous. Vaikuntha. I would like to hear you explain the origin of all living beings. "O my Lord. O tiger among kings. cruel spirits. In order to cleanse the earth of its disease." Lord Brahma then summoned the hosts of Gandharvas and Apsaras and gave them his authoritative instructions: "All of you must take birth among the humankind in whatever family you desire. the demigods headed by Lord Indra agreed to descend to the earth by expanding a portion of themselves. the maker of creatures. then instructed all of the demigods. from the very beginning. Brahma transmitted to them the personal message of the Supreme Lord:] "In order to remove the burden of the earth. the residents of heaven thus took their birth accordingly in the dynasties of godly sages and kings and began to slay the wicked Danavas. so powerful were these descended gods. He slays the enemies of the godly. His navel is as lovely as a lotus. and giving her permission to leave. and to go everywhere on the earth through their empowered portions. Vaisampayana replied: . as well as all types of human beings and the Yaksas and Raksasas. on His spiritual planet. O king. even in their childhood. each of you is to take birth on the earth through your empowered expansions to stop the spread of the demonic forces. by expanding your personal potency. destroyer of the hostile. the Gandharavas and Apsaras. The Supreme Lord holds a disc and club in his hands. they approached the Supreme Lord Narayana. for you are a knower of all things. Hari.

and Bali's celebrated son was the great demon named Bana. who rule the cosmos. Savita. are different personalities. Vinata. Asvagriva.] Diti had one famous son named Hiranya-kasipu (who threatened the entire universe until Lord Visnu appeared and killed him). Vegavan. Naraka. Kupatha. and Visnu. Anayu's sister Kala. (he demigods Surya and Candra [the sun and moon]. Krodhahanta. or the"lady of time. These sons of Kala were renowned as Vinasana. He is actually the greatest of all. who was surely the daughter of Daksa. Ahara. Diti. Puloma. Krodha's sister Anayu had four sons who were prominent among the demonic Asuras. Pulastya. Asvasira. Marici's son is Kasyapa. The eldest was Prahlada (surprisingly a great saint and pure devotee of the Lord). and Candra. who. who were all daughters of Daksa. Virupaksa. Vivasvan. but unfortunately the sons of Diti were not godly. O king. and among all the demons they were specially known to punish their enemies. Vrsaparva. Gavistha. who were born among the gods. In fact they are considered to be the best of the Danavas. Then came Samhrada. her first. Rather they were the most wicked of creatures. Muni. Tvasta. and finally Sibi and Baskala. Pusa. and Candravimardana. The twelve Adityas are Dhata. Mrtapa. From these women arose a powerful and unending descent of sons and grandsons. Known as Brahma's "mental sons. Isrpa.born being King Vipracitti of widespread fame. They became highly celebrated in the world for their unusual strength. Suksma.First offering my obeisances unto the self-born creator of our universe. Ayahsira. Although Lord Visnu appears as the youngest and smallest son of Aditi. . Danayu. the heroic Pralamba. the mighty demon Satha. the powerful Tuhunda. and Nikumbha. Pulaha. Satrutapana. Anuhrada. Virocana's son was the uniquely powerful Bali. Danu's sister Simhika gave birth to a son named Rahu. Salabha." their names are Marici. Hara. Nicandra. Aditi is the first wife. Angira. Vira. Krodha." O Bharata. and the great asura Vrtra. or the "long-tongued. there are an additional ten sons of Danu who are celebrated for their great strength and stamina. Kala. Arista. Varuna. I shall now tell you their names. She had other sons named Sucandra. Indra. These four sons were Viksara. and Dirghajihva. It is well known that from the mind of Brahma six great sages take birth. The very name Krura means "cruel. Nikumbha. and their names are Ekaksa. the mighty Ayahsanku. cruelly cut down their enemies. and Krodhasatru. Amsa. Vatapi. Bhaga. Prahlada had three well-known sons named Virocana. and she gave birth to the twelve godly Adityas. Surya. [Aditi had a sister named Diti. Kumbha." gave birth to prominent sons who were as deadly as time itself. All these sons of Danu and their descendants are known as the Danavas.) O king. I shall gladly explain to you in full how the demigods and all other creatures and planets appear and disappear by the will of the Lord. Bala. Asvapati. Kesi. Durjaya. the sons and grandsons of these Danavas are practically innumerable. Sarabha. and Kratu. who always harasses the sun and moon. and he begot five sons. Ketuman. Simhika. Also known to be sons of Danu are Sambara. Diti's sister Danu had forty famous sons. Kapila. Namuci. Danu. Mitra. or the slaves of fury. Atri. The names of these thirteen ladies are Aditi. Asiloma. being demonic by nature. Ajaka. Svar-bhanu. who begot many varieties of creatures in his thirteen celestial wives. Gaganamurdha. Aryama. Kapatha. Simhika's sister Krura had innumerable sons and grandsons. Ekacakra." and all the descendants of Krodha were known as the Krodha-vasas. Candrahanta. Prava. Asva. being the Supreme Personality of Godhead. and Kadru. Anayu. Krodha. etc.

the godly beings. Barhi. Suparna. Atri. and Salisira. Gopati. who also became sacrificial priests of the demons: Tvastavara. These are the sixteen godly Gandharvasrs20up6 \chftn rootnote rs20 up6 \chftn deva-gandharvah born to the celestial lady named Muni. Prava also gave birth to godly Gandharvas. and after death he will go to a brilliant destination. Ratiguna. Varuna. Atibahu. and the sixteenth is Narada. Thus have I explained the origin of those bold and powerful demonic beings known as the Asuras. These Suras and Asuras had so many descendants that it is simply not possible. Prava gave birth to these daughters: Anavadya. by her contact with a heavenly sage. all of whom gave birth to extraordinary progeny. Ugrasena. Aruna. Kapila is the progenitrix of the brahmanas. Tulanagha. These four sons of Sukra were as brilliant as the sun. Kali the fifteenth. Purna. and Kulika. including a description of the Gandharavas. and Bhasi. systematically studies this narration of the universal lineage will obtain fine children. Anuvasa. Suryavarca. the well known Haha and Ahuhu. and Sucandra. Priya. and they taught their students about the world of Brahma. for they are virtually unlimited. Vasuki. and duration of life. and their names are:] Bhimasena. son of the primeval sage Bhrgu. Visvavasu. Arkaparna. This factual account comes from the ancient histories called the Puranas. Dhrtarastra. Misrakesi. Patravan. in the company of learned brahmanas. and they helped create the variegated population of the universe. cows. Kurma. O king. Those who are not envious should always hear and teach this universal history. Ananta. the well-known Prayuta. The very fortunate goddess Prava is also known to have given birth to a distinctly pious race of celestial pleasure maidens known as Apsaras. [Muni begot sixteen godly beings endowed with musical and artistic ability beyond human experience. and Tumburu have been recorded as four very prominent Gandharvas. Raksita. Subhaga. Suvrata. Subahu. as well as Tarksya. I have explained the origin of the wealth-giving cows and of the brahmanas who are ever engaged in pious work. Aristanemi. became the head priest of all the Asuras. [I will conclude by briefly mentioning the children of the other wives of Kasyapa. one who. Bhima. Taksaka the serpent. Indeed. Bhanu. O king. Counted among the mighty children of Kadru are Sesa. O Bharata. Gandharavas. the illustrious Purnasa. Anupa.] Vinata gave birth to Garuda and Aruna. wealth. Apsaras. and we shall be happy by hearing it. Subhuja. Asita. Like her sister Muni. and fame. Thus I have explained to you the origin of all created beings. and two others who were expert in chanting mantras. Brahma. Brahmacari. and heavenly beings such as the Rudras and Maruts. Pradyumna. Anuna. the creator. and Apsaras. Aruna. Sukra had four sons. Suparna. Aruni. Vidyutparna. and Varuni. and I have also explained the origin of the Suras. the very charming Rambha. and also of celestial nectar. prosperity. serpents. the illustrious ruler Citraratha who knew all things. for it will increase our piety. and Supriya. . These powerful women were all granddaughters of the creator. These Apsaras were known as Alambusa. According to the authoritative Puranas. birds. and their names were Siddha. is the fourteenth.Sukra. I shall now describe other creatures. to name all of them.

Brhaspati. Pusti. Of these. monkeys. respectively. the Moon. endeavor. self-realized sages. appeared as the son of Dhruva. and awareness. Thus he who was destined to beget many children became the child of the creator. Agni's son is the handsome Kumara. Pulastya. The wife of the great soul Daksa took birth from Brahma's left thumb. who is the youngest. who drives on this world. and the Lord of time. lions.ADI PARVA . who are known to be Kirti. Agni's other sons are Sakha. He offered ten of these girls in sacred mariage to the demigod Dharma. has twenty-seven wives. Anala. Soma. O protector of the earth. I shall tell you about them in detail: they are Dhara. Aha was the son of Rata. Aha. It is widely known in this world that Soma. twenty-seven to Indu. Santa. Atri. and so are Srama. Pratyusa and Prabhasa were both born from the womb of Prabhata. The sons of Dhara were Dravina and Huta-havyavaha. The six sons of Brahma are known to be Marici. O ruler of men. Isvara. Angira. Sthanu. and he married thirteen daughters to Kasyapa. and Muni. and Kratu. Anala. Dhruva. Lord Brahma. and Kimpurusas originated. the wives of Soma are governesses of the lunar mansions and regulate the livelihood of all the world's creatures. Lord Siva too. Hear from me now as I name the ten young ladies who became the wives of Dharma. Laksmi. all great and powerful sages. lord of the moon. who made his abode in a thicket of reeds. Prana. and the most powerful Bhava.CHAPTER 60 Sri Vaisampayana said: It is well known that six great sages took birth from the mind of Lord Brahma and became his sons. Medha. he is also known as Kartikeya. who are known throughout the universe. and Prabhasa. the famous Nirrti. fortune. lord of the wind. Dhrti. Engaged in coordinating the passage of time. who was learned in the spiritual science. or virtue. and Prajapati had eight sons. the deity of fire. O king. Uttathya. modesty. determination. Pulaha. at peace with themselves and learned in the Vedic science. From Pulaha. who brilliantly keep their vows. it is heard from authorities that Atri had many sons and that they were all great. Daksa the progenitor made his young daughters the object of his affection. conceived eleven celebrated sons named Mrgavyadha. and Ramana. Since Kumara was reared by Krttika. glory. intelligence. They became companions of the Sun and were celebrated throughout the three worlds. Ahibudhnya. All three steadily upheld their religious vows. the thoughtful creator. Sarva. for their names indicate. Soma's son was the radiant Varca. with all the divine rites. Buddhi. had Prajapati the progenitor as his son. Ajaikapat. and Mati. Visakha. From Kratu came sons equal to their father. Sraddha. These eleven are known as the Rudras. the illustrious Kapali. Kriya. . was born from Sandili. Dahana. the great warrior Pinaki. as ordained by the self-existent creator. lord of the heavenly moon. Anila. within his very powerful mind. known as the Vasus. Lajja. and Samvarta. Pratyusa. wholly devoted to a disciplined search for spiritual truth. the deer. Soma. Anila. the exalted seer Daksa took birth from the right thumb of Brahma. Angira had three sons. all of whom had flawless limbs. reason. and Kinnaras. Jyoti is known to be the son of Aha. tigers. Dhumra is the mother of Dhara and Dhruva. They are the doors to dharma. was born to Manasvini. was born to Svasa. named Sisira. nutrition. Having lost his sons to the spiritual path. and Naigamesa. faith. and the thoughtful husband begot in her fifty lotus-eyed daughters. who begot in Manohara three sons. From Pulastya came Raksasas.

and Kasyapa begot both the Suras and Asuras. and so are the descendants of Bhrgu and the Visva-devas. wise and fixed in his vows of celibacy and possessed of superb intelligence. O tiger of kings. Known as Dhata and Vidhata. They had thousands of sons and thus widely expanded the line of Bhrgu. and he was an exceptional ascetic of great power. Engaged directly by Lord Brahma. for the maintanence of all the world's creatures. When Bhrgu's son was thus engaged by the creator for the sustenance of the world. who was brilliant in austerity. and the architect of the gods. Desire. the blessed sage Bhrgu came out. As the greatest of craftsmen. Know that the Rudras. although the youngest. The sister . Piercing the heart of Brahma. It is this son. Aditi had twelve sons headed by Lord Indra. All the herbs and quadrapeds. and Vasus are each an individual community of gods. Savita's wife is the exalted Tvastri. he orbits the universe and watches over rain and drought. Human beings still earn their livelihoods from the skills introduced by that great soul. O Bharata. the eighth Vasu. Aurva's son was Rcika. the forefather of artisans. both of them thoughtful and wise. Breaking open her thigh. Arusi was the daughter of Manu. Sadhyas. observing a vow of celibacy. A master teacher and practitioner of the yoga system. their diverse communities. was not the least in His qualities. and Devala begot two forebearing sons. Thus. are attractive to all people. and his son was Jamadagni. Parasurama. son of Vinata. and they begot the exalted Visvakarma. Dharma lord of virtue appeared in a human like form meant to give joy to the world. and they sustain the world by their power. The great soul Jamadagni had four sons. endowed with fine qualities even as a child. who assumed the form of a mare and gave birth in the heavenly sky to the twin Asvins. Splitting Brahma's right breast.The wife of the wind was Siva. and their families. Aurva had a hundred sons who came after Jamadagni. the creator of thousands of arts and crafts. for He was expert in all weapons and missles. The son of Bhrgu is the learned scholar Sukra. Bhrgu then begot another faultless son named Cyavana. and a person who so recites them is liberated from all sins. Thus wise workers always honor the undying Visvakarma. The youngest was Lord Visnu. Marici's son is Kasyapa. danger and safety. their associates. and the wife of Peace was Attainment. and I shall now relate to you their lineage. along with the twin Asvins. and by the wind she bore two sons named Purojava and Avijnata-gati. and with His supreme controlling power He brought doom to all the warriors on the earth. It is known by authorities that Pratyusa fathered a saintly son named Devala. The sister of Brhaspati was an excellent woman who achieved perfection in mystic yoga and then wandered about the entire universe as a brahmacarini. his brother Aruna. Kasyapa is the origin of the world's creatures. Brahma had two other sons who still exert a visible influence on this world. and Joy. are counted among the Guhyakas. Maruts. The mighty Garuda. a sage's son who became the presiding deity of a planet. and deeply thoughtful. who angrily fell from the womb to save his mother. She finally became the wife of Prabhasa. Delight became the wife of Joy. and the lordly Brhaspati are all counted among the Adityas. His three prominent sons. These are the thirty-three principle demigods. Aurva took birth as her son. Desire's wife was Affection. and she became the wife of the thoughtful Cyavana. O king. Peace. the divisions of demigods are thus recited in sequence. and all creatures have depended on these great personalities. he became the guru of both the demons and the gods. he fashioned all types of ornaments and even celestial airships for the gods. they are situated with Manu. O monarch. thoroughly religious. in whom all the worlds reside.

O Bharata. Hari.CHAPTER 61 King Janamejaya said: My lord. obtains complete knowledge. Terror. Similarly. Also. Her mind-born sons are celestial horses that roam the heavens. while Anala gave birth to the seven kinds of trees that bear round fruits. and Sveta gave birth to Sveta. and from Mrgamanda came the bears. as his wife. and among them I shall first fully explain the descent of the Danavas. Irreligion took Nirrti. gave birth to the colorful parrots. are also called Nairrtas. thoughtful Suki. Raksasas. ADI PARVA . Laksmi. and other spotted cats. . and thus the Raksasas. Bhasi begot the vultures and other scavenger birds. O king. and the lovely Dhrtarastri begot the swans. geese. endowed with all good qualities. All of the deer took birth as offspring of Mrgi. a person who seriously listens to this narration is purified of sin. Kaki gave birth to the owls. Sri Vaisampayana said: The denizens of higher worlds did in fact appear among human beings. and other birds of prey. O knower of justice. Syeni. the goddess Jyestha became the wife of Varuna. Bhadramana bore as her son the mighty elephant Airavata. and Kadru brought forth the snakes. Calamity had three loathsome sons known as Fear. Sveta. who dwells in a lotus flower. I have now explained to you in detail the origin of all the great divisions of creatures. and discovers the highest goal of life. and Suki. O son of the greatest king. Surabhi. marsh deer. and the offspring of Hari were varieties of agile monkeys. O lord of men. O lord of men. leopards. endowed with sublime qualities and glorified with all good attributes. Calamity. Surasa bore the serpents. the offspring of Matangi are the elephants. Yaksas. which is the ruination of all beings. Sarduli gave birth to the lions and tigers. and other great-spirited beings who incarnated on the earth in the midst of mankind. as well to all the panthers. who are known throughout the universe as Kaki. O king. from within herself she gave birth to nine angry daughters named Mrgi. and Death. and yaks. and the famous Surasa. known to be the swift and mighty elephant who stands in a quarter of the sky. I would like to hear systematically and in truth about the birth and activities of demigods. Suki was the daughter of Anala. Bhasi. began to eat one another. Surabhi gave birth to two daughters: Rohini and the highly regarded Gandharvi. Two illustrious sons were also born to Vinata: Garuda and Aruna. Bhadramana. O king. man-eating demons. and she gave birth to two heroic and mighty sons named Sampati and Jatayu. Sarduli. When the the world's creatures. Dhrtarastri. and know that she gave birth to a son Bala and a spirituous beverage that delights the Suras. Matangi. eagles. who ends all creatures. The goddess Tamra gave birth to five children. and cakra-vakas. Begotten by Sukra. O best of the wise. and Syeni to the hawks. The cows then took birth from within Rohini. there arose irreligion. in their lust for food. Syeni was the wife of Aruna.of these two is the beautiful Goddess of Fortune. and the horses became sons of Gandharvi. who became the elephant of the gods. Mrgamanda. Danavas. and Surasa was the daughter of Kadru.

The mighty Asura named Viksara. the Asura Krodhahanta. became famous on earth as King Danda. a leader of men. and Graha. . Another well known and powerful Asura. The great Asura called Ekacakra became celebrated in this world as Prativindhya. The leading Asura named Nicandra.The Danava leader known as Vipracitti incarnated on the earth as King Jarasandha. and the second son after Viksara. The great Asura Candravinasana became the saintly monarch Janaki. The mighty Asura named Asvagriva became the earthly King Rocamana. The great and opulent Asura known as Mayura became celebrated as the earthly ruler Visva. Ketuman. O son of the Kurus. appeared on the earth as King Druma. and the great Asura and wonderful fighter named Virupaksa. the Bahlika king. O best of kings. Ajaka. The eminent Asura Candrahanta became the saintly monarch Sunaka. Diti's son. Asvasira. took birth as Suvastu. Another highly praised Asura named Krodhavardhana appeared in this world as King Dandadhara. Ayahsanku. The prominent Asura named Tuhunda incarnated on earth as the famous King Senabindu. named Isrpa. lived among the humankind as the saintly King Paurava. a leader of men. a descendent of Diti. The illustrious Danava named Hara. became King Hardikya. The great and handsome Asura who was celebrated as Asva became the courageous and invincible King Asoka. O king. in the line of Diti. Sibi. He who was Salabha the Second among the Asuras became Prahrada. Gaganamurdha. The great and handsome Asura who was celebrated as Svarbhanu took birth on the earth as the fierce monarch Ugrasena. took birth as Salya. The prominent Asura named Baskala became Bhagadatta. a ruler of men. a leader of men. was a great Asura who became the well-known king of Pamsu. The great Asura known as the mighty Gavistha came to earth as King Drumasena. who could sweep away his enemies. these took birth as most exalted kings. the younger brother of Prahlada Maharaja. became glorified on the earth as King Bahlika. the Danava leader called Dirghajihva became an earthly ruler known as Kasiraja. became well known on earth as King Citravarma. became an important and saintly king named Rsika. took birth as the lordly King Dhrstaketu. Know that the prominent Asura who was widely known as Mrtapa subsequently became King Pascimanupaka. of intelligence and fame. The great Asura son of Diti. O king. The strongest of the Asuras. eldest of Anayu's four sons. appeared again as Kratha. took birth in human society as King Sisupala. The great and hansome Asura who was celebrated as Vrsaparva became the earthly King Dirghaprajna. became King Vasumitra. became the opulent king named Munjakesa. O tiger of a king. eight took birth as earthly kings and ruled with the courage of tigers. took birth on earth as illustrious King Devadhipa. O king. O king. a lord among men. His younger brother named Asvapati. incarnated on the earth as King Amitauja. O king. became celebrated on earth as King Malla. The intelligent Nikumbha. The powerful Ahara. known as Hiranyakasipu. whose face was as handsome as the moon. senior in the line of Diti and handsome as the moon. His younger brother. the celebrated descendant of Diti. Prahlada Maharaja's youngest brother. a ruler of mankind. the younger brother of Vrsaparva. Samhrada. who could destroy whole armies of his enemies. Of Kalaka's sons. was widely known on earth as King Papajit. The illustrious Asura named Balavira became a ruler of men named Paundramatsyaka. His younger brother Suparna became Kalakirti. there were five mighty Asuras named Ayahsira. Celebrated Suksma. a ruler of the world. Candra. Sarabha. and Vegavan. O king. achieved fame on the earth as the ruler Brhanta. the illustrious leader of the Bahlikas. who harassed both the sun and the moon. the great Asura celebrated as Vrtra became the saintly King Maniman. The mighty Anuhrada. Simhi's son. undefeated in battle. becoming the great rulers of Kekaya.

Sumitra. that best of enlightened men. equal in splendor to the king of gods. The seventh from that group became King Samudrasena. and. the third was a grand Asura with mighty arms. and Brhatsena. and personified lust and anger-. and King Bhumipala. he was a hero and was painful to his enemies. came from the host of wind-gods. know that from the host of Rudras a superhuman sage by the name of Krpa took birth in this world. O Bharata. who. the illustrious sage and priest of the gods Drona was born as the son of Bharadvaja without having entered a woman's womb. O king. O king. who brought security to the House of Kuru. eminent among all saintly kings. from portions of Lord Siva. Subahu. Drona was the best of archers and the greatest teacher of all kinds of weapons. distinguished among the warrior class. the king of Kalinga. another fierce warrior took birth-. who appeared in this world as a Maha-ratha. and in the original Veda as well. eminent among saintly kings. and Rukmi. and Gomukha. Mahavira. O Bharata. a tiger of a king. Vatadhana. Know too that all the faults of the Dvapara Age became personified in King Sakuni. O ruler of men. the military science. who blazed like fire in the kingdom of his enemies. Kitaka. worked for the welfare of all beings. a warrior who was punishing in combat. a master of weapons. that he even fought with Lord Parasurama. and the lord of death. Maharaja. O king. O Kuru prince. the incarnation of Godhead who appeared in this world as a descendent of Bhrgu. it was thus from the host of Krodhavasas that this crowd of illustrious and mighty monarchs took birth on the earth. O tiger amoung kings.all mixed into one-. Siddhartha. that the incomparable King Krtavarma. Vayuvega. his feats were like those of Indra. the eighth of the Kaleyas was the virtuous Brhat. the famous Isvara. A knower of the Veda. Uddhava. So powerful was Bhisma. famous everywhere on the water-bounded earth as an expert in morality and practical action. King Viradhama. O king. He who was born in this world as King Devaka.the lotus-eyed son of Drona took birth in this world. and Vedic scholars recognize his proficiency in the Dhanur Veda. opulent King Nila. and the saintly King Drupada. Suvira. Bahlika. Krodha.the saintly king Virata. he could destroy an entire enemy and its allies. The second son. Kuhara. the kings of Karusaka. Ksema Ugratirtha. and Bhuriteja. Satyaki. O king. Known as Asvatthama. came from the same godly host and took birth in the world of men. and he caused his family to flourish. as well as a command from Indra. and he took birth on earth as a Nisada ruler with frightening prowess. Then. Durjaya. The youngest of them was the wise and eloquent Bhisma. Asadha. Ekalavya. Indeed. know that from a portion of Brhaspati. who was true to his word. who uplifted the Vrsni clan. known as the Maruts.The oldest of the eight Kaleyas was a grand Asura who took birth as the opulent ruler of Magadha. I have already described to you a group known as the Krodhavasas and they also took birth on the earth as heroic kings. the eight Vasus took birth from the womb of Ganga as royal sons of King Santanu. formerly was the chief ruler of the Gandharvas. Because of the curse of Vasista. a warrior of the highest caliber who could torment his foes in battle. and who punished his foes in battle. equal to Lord Indra. Matiman. And from that same host of wind-gods. Know. Their names were Nandika. He enjoyed wide fame and wielded extraordinary power. This exalted individual took birth among men. though fiery in battle. The fifth was a great and distinguished Asura who became famous as Mahauja. became the opulent King Aprajita. There were still others: Dantavaktra. Surasa. Vicitya. Karnavesta. . Srutayu. King Jayatsena. and another king named Janamejaya. Ksemadhurti. also came from the lords of the wind. The sixth was a great and learned Asura who gained prominence as Abhiru. The fourth son of this clan became celebrated as Sreniman.

a purehearted and truthful king of great strength and stamina. He who is the God of all gods. Many other celestial denizens also took birth in the family of Vasudeva through their empowered expansions and caused that holy family to flourish. Another goddess. By the order of Indra. However. and Arjuna as a portion of the king of gods. and others who will not be mentioned here. All were wont to perform acts of cruelty-. the personifications of Success and Determination. the wisest of men. Her entire body was endowed with auspicious and charming signs. Know too. O king. was a unique portion of the day-making god of the sun. and they now took birth as human beings. famous as Hamsa. Bhimasena as a portion of the Wind. On the other hand. this very lowest of men. and in private moments and places she captured the mind of the five best men in the world. Envious of the entire world. . a pure segment of these was born on earth. Her eyes were wide and soft like lotus petals. O best of the Bharatas. who degrades all humankind. laid all the world to waste when he ignited a raging inferno of war that consumed countless creatures. full of evil schemes and destined to create infamy for the House of Kuru. Morever. O king. a warrior of the highest such as Durmukha and Duhsaha. who rose up on this earth as monarchs mad for war. I have already described the community of celestial maidens called Apsaras. who possessed an incomparable beauty that attracted the entire world. you should also know that the five sons of Draupadi came from the celestial group called the Visvedevas. expanded the Kuru dynasty when he took birth as Gandharvapati. They numbered one hundred and were headed by Duhsasana. O king. To counter them great souls also rose up on earth and took their birth in the noble dynasty of the Yadus. and those sixteen thousand pure-hearted goddesses became the wives of Lord Narayana. demons. the eternal Lord Narayana. that Sanat-kumara appeared as the mighty Pradyumna. As sons of Pulastya they became the constant companions of Duryodhana. All the brothers of Duryodhana had been sons of Pulastya. also descended to earth. and although he possessed the eye of knowledge. She was neither too short nor very tall. the heroic son of the Moon. I have now described to you the descent to this world of empowered portions of the gods. who was both male and female. the Maha-ratha warrior born with armor built into his body. From a portion of Kali. appearing among human beings as a powerful prince named Vasudeva. took birth as Gandhari. evil-minded Duryodhana took birth. O king. became Arjuna's most celebrated son. The most exalted son of sage Atri-indeed the best of sons-. the long-armed and mighty Dhrtarastra appeared as the son of the learned sage Krsna-dvaipayana. O best of the Bharatas. Two goddessess. and that Sikhandi. Gandharvas.took birth in this world as saintly Vidura. who was the personified Thoughtfulness. know that King Yudhisthira took birth in this world as a portion of Justice. the daughter of King Subala. took birth as the mothers of those five men and were known as Kunti and Madri. as lovely as the invaluable Vaidurya gem. His younger brother was the widely known Pandu. and her hair was long and dark. and of the Raksasas. by his mother's error he was born blind. a special portion of the Goddess of Fortune took birth from a sacrificial altar and appeared on the surface of the earth as a faultless virgin in the family of King Drupada. O king. you may know that Karna. Apsaras.Arista's son. The divine Sesa appeared as the almighty Baladeva. He who was formerly Suvarca. this personification of strife. the sons of Pandu. and her body bore the exquisite fragrance of a blue lotus. was a portion of Fire. Portions of the twin Asvins appeared as Nakula and Sahadeva. For the sake of loving service. Abhimanyu. And know that the Maha-ratha Dhrstadyumna. was born from the race of Raksasas. her thighs were handsomely shaped.

and Raksasas. rulers. for he brought peace and happiness to both the cities and the country. that people did not have to labor to plow the earth or dig mines. In archery and in club. and as tolerant as the earth. noble Bharata. All resources were present in profusion. Sri Vaisampayana said: A hero named Duhsanta helped to establish the old Paurava dynasty. as unshakeable as the ocean. for he ruled all land between the jewel-bearing seas. people enjoyed rendering service. A devastator of enemies.CHAPTER 63 Sri Vaisampayana continued: . merchants. So rich and giving was the earth when Duhsanta ruled. whether settled by uncultured Mlecchas. his youthful body seemed built of thunderbolts. men begot children with noble aims. Duhsanta enjoyed sovereignty over all nations. from its very beginning. I have now heard from you a full description of how the gods. Now O learned one. When he was king. in splendor like the sun. O tiger among men. One who hears of the empowered incarnation of gods. for they understood that their labor was a sacrifice unto God.This narration of the empowered incarnations should be heard without envy. Duhsanta was an extraordinarly powerful warrior.CHAPTER 62 King Janamejaya said: O brahmana. food grains were plentiful. ADI PARVA . in the presence of all the saintly sages I wish to hear from you about the Kuru dynasty. and his domain. Teachers. My son. and thus fully understands how living beings appear and dissapear in this world. ADI PARVA . for the sincere listener will achieve fortune. and victory. demons. extended to the four ends of the earth. and workers all took pleasure in their own duties. is said to possess true wisdom and never falls down under the weight of worldly pains. this lord of men gained unquestioned victory on all the ocean-bounded lands. and the world was wealthy with jewels and gems. All the citizens found factual shelter in the king and thus lived without the slightest fear. He thus lived in a learned society where people considered spiritual principles and virtue to be their highest priority. and not out of lust. The people rejoiced in his rule. or civilized followers of varnasrama. In strength he was like a second Visnu. he was fully accomplished. they delighted in virtue. no fear of thieves existed. Gandharvas. along with the Gandharvas and Apsaras. farmers. Rain poured down in its due season. They did not covet the things of their neighbor.and sword-fighting. fame. good children. and Raksasas. not a single sinful man existed when Duhsanta was king. Holding sway over the four quarters of the earth. and thus their goodness and prosperity increased. descended to this earth. With his two arms he could drag the Mandara Mountain with its forests and groves. forest dwellers. nor was there even the slightest fear of hunger or crippling disease when he was lord of the country. whether on the back of an elephant or horse.

for it was filled with lovely Arka and Bilva bushes and Khadira trees. He brought down many packs of tigers who came within reach of his arrows. rocky soil. exausted and fallen on the earth. and the sounds of warriors slapping their bulging arms. Those who dare wish us ill will meet the strength of his arms and will cease to exist. the ruler of the abundant earth surged forward upon his chariot filling both heaven and earth with its threatening sound. on rolling. for the king had cut down the great and dangerous beasts. "This monarch is like a tiger among men. Being fascinated by all the genuine beauty and splendor of their king. swords. Afflicted with hunger and thirst. He knew the science of whirling a club in combat. On the roof gardens of fine palaces. Passing urine and stool and streaming blood. the deep rumbling of drums. Duhsanta. clubs. which poured down from that cloud of military might. This bull among men pierced some from afar with arrows. slaying varieties of fearsome beasts. Some ate the animals raw while others took the time to cook and cut the meat. with clubs and maces in their hands. they went to the dry rivers. the forest was filled with deer and many fearful forest creatures. their leaders slain. the trumpeting of battle elephants. the excited talk of the men. and thus they remarked to one another. their flocks dispersed. and who stopped even mighty elephants in their tracks. their hearts overcome by exertion. As Lord Visnu rides atop Garuda. Hundreds of warriors bearing swords and lances. the wise Duhsanta beheld a forest that resembled the Nandana woods of heaven. for he was the strongest of men. a joyful tumult arose as the monarch went splendidly forward. breaking them apart with his shafts. who was equal to Indra." Speaking thus. It was a vast forest with occasional high mountain plateaus that spread for many tens of miles. Duhsanta departed for the forest to hunt wild game. and crowded with excellent fruit trees like Kapittha and Dhava. brought devastation to that forest. curled up their trunks and quickly fled in fear. a tigerlike man. until at last the king bid them farewell. the warning rattle of chariot wheels. With his servant. who slew any man who harmed the citizens. and spears he roamed here and there. Though without a trace of man or water. the women praised the king with love and released showers of flowers upon his head. Covered by the rain of arrows. covered him at all times. and as their sound mixed with the stirring blasts of the conchshells. Herds of animals. With his fighting men so fond of battle. and he cut down with a single sword those deadly beasts who rushed near him. wounded by weapons. the proud whinnying of war-horses. whereupon they returned to their homes. for his prowess in battle is amazing. With javelins. they were immediately eaten by the starving warriors. cried out again and again in desperation. and mounts. For long distances the people of the town and country followed him. and others brandishing javelins and spears. maces. the wonderfully powerful king wrought havoc in that great and wild forest and the big beasts abandoned it. and fell down in a faint. the crowds of aristocratic ladies thought him to be a second thunderbolt-wielding Indra. killing wild forest beasts and birds of prey. these savage and noble elephants trampled many warriors as they fled. and he moved about the forest with immeasurable courage. He brought down some wild bull antelopes with his lance. Several mighty and maddened elephants. Already emaciated for lack of water. soldiers. . As leading brahmanas on all sides joyously praised his righteous rule with their poetic hymns.Once this mighty-armed king went to the dense forest accompanied by an imposing formation of troops and military vehicles and surrounded by hundreds of cavalry and elephants. These fighting men roared like lions. the forest was conspicuously filled with harmless buffalo. Riding along. ladies of the capital watched the heroic king whose deeds had brought him glory.

Cool breezes wafted all about. The mighty king contemplated the delicate art of the forest. Seeing all this the monarch became light-hearted and jubilant. and wafting away their flowery pollen. the king noticed an excellent and most pleasant hermitage that immediately captured his mind. the luscious groves stood tall and bright like banners floating on high masts. it shone like the spiritual world. interlaced with creepers that curled into natural cottages that delighted the mind. and her brilliant sandy shores were a sporting ground for bull elephants. bent low with the weight of flowering blooms. This enchanting woodland was endowed with so many agreeable qualities. and the king gazed upon it all. There were blossoming flowers of all seasons on the trees. with his extraordinary stamina and dedicated army. Bright as Indra's banner. having slain thousands of great beasts. There were rich green meadows and the melodious songs of soaring birds. and upon reaching the end of the forest. and bees hummed softly. Seeing the stature of the hermitage. the wind blew about the forest. Hunger and thirst were a problem now. the glorious trees happily reached out to the sky. Flowering creepers hummed with busy six-footed bees. Garbed in garments of many-colored flowers. But this king alone. with his numerous mounts. She gave life to the Kinnaras who resided there. Amid their shoots. Filled with a rich assortment of trees and bright with the blazing of sacrificial fires. and lordly snakes. vicious beasts of prey and gentle deer lived together in peace. In this forest there was not a single tree that did not give fruit or flower. and Cakravaka birds sported on her sandy banks. In the sublime ambience of that hermitage. Looking upon that forest with its jubilant birds. When he saw all this. there were many large temples graciously set on the broad river banks of the Malini River. As the handsome warrior king drew near the hermitage. a forest so lovely that it filled the king's mind with jubilation and his eyes with joy and affection. As if to welcome him. vibrant with the sweet melodies of the soaring birds. so thoroughly charming was that abode of saints. the king's heart knew great happiness. the king. Sacred mantras sounded over her currents. He beheld a river of the purest water firmly embracing the hermitage. which poured down a rainbow shower of fragrant blossoms again and again. nor was there a tree with thorns. Comfortably cool and fragrant. tigers. a surpassing beauty permeated the land. and the meadowland was exceedingly green and lush. he came to a wide desert. The great archer could not but enter such a supremely enchanting forest. crossed that barren land and came to another large forest that was filled with excellent hermitages. the hermitage was peopled by celestial Valakhilya sages and communities of saintly scholars. nor one that did not swarm with joyous bumblebees. and to the monkeys and bears that knew her waters. the numerous areas adorned with outpourings of flowers. She bore flowers and bubbles down her wavey currents. Birds filled the sky with song.ADI PARVA . Growing on the rich soil of a river valley. approaching the trees as if to enjoy their embrace. flowing like the life-giving mother of all living things. Carpets of flowers spread all about. the wind shook the flower-bearing trees. and to host the flames of sacrifice. the forest shone with flower-burdened trees whose colorful branches clasped around one another. birds cried out their sweet cries. All around that large forest land were elderly trees.CHAPTER 64 Sri Vaisampayana continued: Thereupon. whose spreading branches offered refreshing shade. and fruits adorned every nook and corner of the woods. and flowering trees grew in lush profusion. and of . entered another forest in search of big game. whose water was pure and full of pleasure and whose colorful canopy of song-birds added charm to the forest wherein ascetics lived.

he was still not satiated and wanted to see more. The king was eager to see the great ascetic Kanva. As he studied this brilliant asrama.the river that enclosed it. which seemed like a celestial garden. auspicious sounds in the air. As he watched the learned brahamanas worship in the temples dedicated to the Supreme Lord and His powerful representatives. the handsome hermitage indeed resembled the world of the creator. the king of the earth was astonished. The very best scholars of the Atharva Veda. chanted the Samhita hymns with exact meter. King Duhsanta. others had advanced knowledge of the societal division of labor. discard unsound challenges to this thesis. the king said to his men. the best of rulers felt that he was standing on the planet of Brahma the creator. Accompanied still by his counselor and priest. These sages were staunch and rigidly regulated in their habits. devoted to the chanting of mantras and dediciated to the performance of sacrifice. As he observed the hermitage. The best of worldly scholars were also present. so was that hermitage bejeweled by the Malini River with her lovely isles and banks. others who possessed a full and logical comprehension of the categorical analysis of the universe. each sage perfect in his field. There were also scholars who had mastered conjunction and compounding as well as the contextual significance of language. Placing his chariot and horses and infantry guard at the entrance to the forest retreat. who had learned to establish a thesis. eager to behold the saint whose accumlated austerities were inexhaustible. Seeing the beautiful varieties of seats and chairs. lovingly crafted with flowers. the monarch went forward to the sublime hermitage with only a counselor and priest to accompany him. realized that it was the home of a most exalted saint named Kanva. which was surrounded on all sides by saints and . and inflection. Everywhere he turned. of the line of Kasyapa. knowing that he possessed all good qualities and an indescribeable effulgence. with the sweet humming of bees and the songs of variegated flocks of birds. and with such vibrant. The hermitage was further glorified by learned scholars who knew the entire science of sacrifice and who executed it with the utmost sequential precision. ruler of the earth. and the hermitage resounded all around with the sounds of learning and knowledge. Having come to a hermitage that resembled the celestial gardens of Citraratha. and others practiced the religious principles of spiritual liberation. sequence." Simply by approaching the wooded retreat. which was protected from all sorts of evil by the austerities of Kanva and endowed with all the beauty and wealth of the ascetic life. the great warrior saw learned and self-controled sages who were strict in their vows. that ruler of men decided to enter. Here were scholars who specialized in methodologies of sanctifying sacrifices. the great warrior then entered the temple of Kanva. Stay here until I return. others who had mastered the sequences and phonetics of the science of sound. The king entered the great forest retreat. and then reach a perfect conclusion of knowledge of the Absolute Truth. which was alive with the cries of maddened peacocks. like unto a second world of Brahma. [for it is not proper to approach a holy man with soldiers and weapons]. the king forgot his hunger and thirst and experienced instead a deep satisfaction and joy. Other brahmanas beautifully chanted the hymns of spiritual purification. Putting aside all the visible traces of kingship. There were scholars who were inclined to precise argumentation. As the holy abode of Nara and Narayana is beautified by the sacred Ganges. whose wealth is austerity. the king then heard the most learned brahmanas precisely chanting the Rg Veda in the midst of sacrificial performances. and others who were doctors of all the Vedas. "I shall go see the peaceful sage Kanva. who were fully certified by the sacrificial experts. and their knowledge was immeasureable.

" Thus addressed by the king in that spiritual dwelling. where has the great one gone? Please tell me. Thus the king said to her. O king. lovely lady. and extremely enchanting." Sakuntala said: The great one is my father. a gorgeous maiden. came out of the asrama wearing the dress of a female ascetic. Sakuntala said: O king." King Duhsanta said: The blessed saint Kanva Muni practices strict celibacy. for he will be back soon and then you will see him. "I have come here to worship the exalted saint Kanva. water to wash his feet.ascetics who had taken mighty vows. so please remove my doubt. "Is anyone here?" and his voice thundered through the woods. but not that sage of rigid vows. After properly honoring the king and sincerely inquiring about his health. the king said unto her. "I am considered to be the daughter of the illustrious sage Kanva. purified by austerity and self-control. Kindly wait a moment. But upon reaching the secluded temple. please listen and I will tell you how I came to know the story of my birth and how I became the daughter of this great celibate sage. Finding the asrama empty. and observing now that each of her limbs was perfectly shaped. Seeing King Duhsanta. Hearing the king. she then inquired about the monarch's health and well-being. lovely maiden? I am very skeptical about your statement. he did not see the saint Kanva. She honored him with a proper seat. my heart has been stolen. and other gracious paraphernalia. who is an advanced and determined ascetic. just by seeing you. was radiant and gorgeous. as lovely as the Goddess of Fortune. the black-eyed maiden immediately said. "Please tell me how we can serve you. my fair one. pure. and who is taking care of you? Why have you come to this forest? You are so lovely and kind. Good woman. How then could you possibly be his daughter. Dharma himself might deviate from his religious path. O lovely lady. and thus the entire world worships him. "Welcome to our asrama. King Duhsanta could not help but notice that she was a beautiful young lady with raised hips and a fascinating smile. Her youthful body. he cried out. the young virgin smiled and spoke in a gentle voice. Sri Vaisampayana said: Not finding the sage present and being thus greeted instead by the tender virgin Sakuntala. so please speak to me. and he has left the asrama to gather fruits. famous for his knowledge of religious principles. A saintly brahmana once visited this asrama . I would like to know more about you. who are you. "O lovely maiden." Having been properly received by that maiden of sweet words and gentle voice." and received him with honor. Tell me where you have come from. ADI PARVA . This special sanctum was secluded.CHAPTER 65 Sri Vaisampayana continued: Thereafter the mighty-armed King Duhsanta left his few advisers behind and went on alone. she smiled shyly and said. Good woman.

Trisanka next appealed to Vasistha's one hundred sonsr228rs20 . and because he is constantly engaged in the most difficult austerities he has a terrible temper.and. Being grateful to Matanga. who had become a hunter. which is difficult to cross. and if he wished. Visvamitra then engaged him in such a powerful sacrifice that even you. please help me! Listen to what I am about to tell you. he simply created his own constellations with a wealth of stars. O king. Angry with the demigods. and his bad temper. He first requested the sage Vasistha to perform a great sacrifice for him. Formerly when that great soul was experiencing difficult times. for I will now repeat what the illustrious Kanva said to him: "Once in the past the powerful ascetic Visvamitra was performing severe austerities that greatly disturbed Lord Indra. you have so many divine qualities that you are the best of the Apsaras. `By his austerities this Visvamitra has become surcharged with so much power that he may push me from my ruling position and take my place. Angered by their refusal. he could squeeze mighty Mount Meru into a little ball and set it spinning. When the demigods again threw him down head-first. O mighty Indra. Yet he must not cause me to fall from my position! Approach him and incite him with desire for you. headed by the all-important Sravana. Visvamitra has caused a predicament that you must solve. Break his austerities! Do me this great favor.up6 \chftn rootnote rs20up6 \chftn Matanga. he changed the name of his river to the Para. How can a young woman like me simply go up and touch a sage who has conquered his senses and whose austerities have practically turned him into a blazing fire? How can one like me dare touch a man whose mouth is like a raging fire and whose tongue is like fatal time? O . I am very much afraid of a person who can perform such deeds. and when Vasistha refused. and invited all the demigods who refused to come. he can shake the entire earth by stamping his foot. with your beauty and youth. He asked Kanva about my birth. who shines like the sun. maintained Visvamitra's wife. When Visvamitra's time of scarcity was over and he again went to his own asrama. where Trisanka formed the Southern Cross constellation. He is so strict and unyielding in his austerities that he is virtually invincible. Visvamitra personally transported Trisanka to heaven by his own power. performed the sacrifice. who not only refused him but cursed him to become a hunter. Visvamitra took up Trisanka's cause. and with your fascinating smile and speech. also known as Trisanka. Lovely Menaka replied: As a great personality you know very well that he too is a personality of tremendous power. he created a huge river. With his power he can set fire to the planets. Visvamitra checked his fall and kept him suspened in the sky.' Indra thus became frightened and called the heavenly pleasure maiden. the saintly and religious King Matanga. was surprised to hear that I was Kanva's daugher. To keep himself clean. with the sweet movements of your body. you must attract Visvamitra and stop him from performing his austerities. "O shapely one. tell me how I should conduct myself so that Visvamitra does not become furious and burn me to ashes. how can I not worry? That great soul is so powerful that he even stole the beloved children of the almighty sage Vasista. Please hear. Dear Menaka.' and said to her. and which people now consider to be one of the most sacred rivers in the world. like you. When even you are so worried about his power and austerity. O kind woman. aspired to ascend to heaven in his mortal body. had to come in fear and drink the Soma at that rite. O thin-waisted girl. who reflected. `Menaka. Just see the strength and tenacity of Visvamitra! He was born first as a warrior but became a brahmana by force. the Kausiki. "The great ascetic Visvamitra. and thus he makes my heart shake. constantly practices the most frightening austerities. `Dear Menaka. O lord of the gods.

the one who feeds and maintains the child. According to religious principles. As planned. a wonderfully fragrant wind should blow over us. can a young womenup6 \chftn rootnote rs20 rs18up6 \chftn in my position not be frightened? Yet. Their long affair went by as if it were but a single day. Her duty done. He then invited her to join him. the one who saves the child's life. Upon her arrival.CHAPTER 66 Sri Sakuntala continued Kanva's story: Thus addressed by the Apsara maiden. I. and as soon as he had made the proper arrangements she went to the hermitage of Visvamitra. second. the shapely Menaka. and even as she looked on. let Manmatha. So too. now that you have so ordered me. O lord. she quickly fell to the ground and clung to her dress. the agitating god of love. the one who begets the child. still apprehensive. personally assist me. O lord of the gods. Because this girl was so well protected by the birds (who are known as Sakunta). and the best of sages clearly saw the indescribeable beauty of her youthful form. The birds were determined that meat-craving beasts not harm the child. gladly accepted. beheld the sage who had burned up his sins by austerities. she quickly returned to Indra's opulent planet. there are three kinds of fathers: first. Beholding the quality of her body. near the river Malini. of flawless form. as I begin to seduce the sage. and so they stayed there and carefully guarded Menaka's daughter. Visvamitra was executing even more austerities. Upon a lovely Himalayan plateau. Menaka appeared bewildered. I gave her the name Sakuntala. how can I not approach that sage? But please. How. She offered him respectful greetings and then began to play within his vision. the pupils of his eyes loom as large as the sun and moon. Menaka abandoned her on the bank of the Malini. Indra agreed to all that Menaka requested. As the wind revealed her celestial complexion. the Visvedevas. Lord Indra gave appropriate instructions to the ever-moving Wind. I brought her up as my own daughter. the exalted brahmana yearned to unite with her and thus fell under the control of sex desire. and third. Kanva. then. unable to cover herself. the two of them played together in the woods and enjoyed the pleasure of sex as they wished. think about my safety! For your own sake see that I am protected as I go to carry out my mission. The lord of death. Taking her with of the gods. and Menaka immediately departed with him. the sage begot in Menaka a daughter named Sakuntala. the Wind blew away her dress. As soon as the child was born. For a long time. the god of the moon. Morever. the great sages and Sadhyas. As she anxiously grabbed at her cloth. and she.all creatures are frightened by his power. it will be excellent if the wind-god scatters my dress and exposes me as I frolic in front of the sage. O king of the Devas. ADI PARVA . . which was as bright as the shining moon. by your mercy. the Valakhilyas-. smiling bashfully. went to that riverbank to cleanse myself and saw the infant girl lying there. lonely forest. a group of birds carefully protected her on all sides. Seeing the infant lying helpless in a lonely forest filled with lions and tigers. protected only by the birds in that beautiful.

Now. O king. the Raksasa. and glowing gems from many different countries. without consulting the parents. please be my wife by the Gandharva marriage. fine lady. My dear shy one. The Paisaca and Asura marriages are never to be practiced by those in the royal order. Manu. Therefore. the Gandharva marriage. I desire you and you also desire me. and this very day let my entire kingdom be yours. Sri Sakuntala said: Dear king. Just be my wife. O faultless one. Duhsanta said: O innocent girl of shapely form. One must be a true friend to oneself. I assure you that for kings the Gandharva and Raksasa marriages are perfectly in accord with religious principles. O lovely lady. has described the relative virtues of these different forms of marriage. There is thus no doubt about it. On this very day I shall bring you garlands of gold. in brief. you should give yourself to me now. are the Brahma. Become my wife. which takes place out of love. exactly as I heard it from my father. the Arsa. O gentle sage. my father has just now gone from the hermitage to gather some fruit. for my mind has already gone to you. Of the five. It is by following these rules that we know our duty and the proper means of practicing virtue. lovely girl. which. O most beautiful woman. it is very clear that you are actually a king's daughter. and anklets. by your own choice. Brahma's son. with lovely thighs as soft and round as a banana tree. three are proper and two improper. and finally the Paisaca. come to me by the Gandharva rite. religious codes recognize eight kinds of marriage. O beautiful one. is considered the best form of wedlock for men and women of the royal class. O maiden of lovely hips. even the Raksasa marriage is approved. the finest garments. Just tell me what I can do for you. and he will personally bestow me upon you. Sri Sakuntala said: . the Asura. AP67 King Duhsanta said: Judging from your words.Thus. For kings. and in her own innocent mind Sakuntala has accepted me as her father. both forms of marriage may be performed. for everyone must achieve his own goal in life. the Daiva. by the laws of God. wait a short time. Please. and he states that the first four are recommended for brahmanas. After all. earrings. and the Asura marriage is authorized for Vaisyas and Sudras. I want you to accept me. the Gandharva. the Prajapatya. Either separately or in combination. Therefore. [Sakuntala concluded:] That is how Kanva explained my birth to a great sage who had asked him about it. you should know that Sakuntala is actually my daughter. I fully accept Kanva as my father. you should thus know me to be Kanva's daughter. I have now explained to you the story of my birth. for I have never known my other father. Know that I stand here only for you. You should also know that the first six are considered proper for those in the royal order. O ruler of men. Please don't worry. I shall bring you lockets and bracelets and precious skins.

and if I am truly my own master when it comes to offering myself to a man. Now I beg you father. I know that a great and mighty soul will take birth in this world as your son. whatever you desire. But a minute after Duhsanta had left the hermitage Kanva returned. But by means of his great austerities Kanva had divine knowledge. bestow your mercy upon him and his counselors." Having thus spoken to Sakuntala. then. "Of course I will do it! And I shall take you to my own city.If this is actually the path of virtue (since we are both of the royal order). promise me in truth that you will grant what I now beg of you in this secluded place. but in his mind he worried about the girl's powerful father. But he said to her again and again. the best of men. "When that exalted ascetic hears the news. "What you of royal descent have done today. With such a royal entourage I shall bring you to my home. O shapely woman. I tell you this is the truth. the saintly king took her by the hand and according to the sacred law he lay down with her. chariots. It is said that for the royal order the Gandharva marriage is the best. and elephants. Duhsanta retraced his journey and entered his own city. as my husband. and he knew all that she had done. and so now for his sake. uniting with a man without my blessing. Duhsanta. his circle of influence will extend everywhere unimpeded. Pledge to me in truth." Kanva Muni said: I am already kindly disposed toward him for your sake. "I have chosen Duhsanta. that my son will be the crown prince. O best of the Purus. "My sweet-smiling one. for his circle will be the world. Then when he had rested she said to the thoughtful sage. what will he do?" worried the king. and he will rule all the water-bounded earth. Through spiritual vision he saw that the marriage had actually taken place in accord with religious principles. Sri Vaisampayana said: Without even considering the issue. and he loves you. Continuously turning the matter over in his mind. feeling shy and embarrassed. horses. is not against the law of God. my lovely daughter. Sakuntala. and she chose as her own boon that her husband's Paurava dynasty be ever devoted to God's will and that by the Lord's grace it not fall from kingship. When that great soul sets out to establish justice in the world. The sage had not returned and the monarch purposely did not wait for him. hear my proposal. who walked with faultless grace. then I will unite with you at once." Sakuntala then put down her father's load. did not go to greet him. and then comforted her and departed alone. sweet-smiling one." O Janamejaya. carefully laid out the fruit he had gathered. Sri Vaisampayana said: Sakuntala strongly desired Duhsanta's good. and therefore the great sage was pleased with his daughter. you have accepted a deeply religious man as your husband. promising her in this way the king departed. wherein a man and woman who love each other unite in a secluded place without ritual or mantra. the king replied to her. and devotedly washed his feet. Kanva. take from me a benediction. . great king. My lord. He said to her. for you deserve to be a king's wife. just as Duhsanta had stated. If I marry you. My dear Sakuntala. for you alone I shall send an escort of infantry. If it will be thus. the son who is born to me will be your successor as king. Duhsanta is a great soul and the finest of men. for there was no proper conveyance to carry a delicate woman such a long way to the king's city.

and he was endowed with courage." The child became known as Sarva-damana. who resembled a child of the gods.CHAPTER 68 Sri Vaisampayana said: When King Duhsanta had returned to his city. he froze at his son's touch and sat stiffly on his throne. and the young child placed his hands together in prayerful salutation and respectfully greeted the king. and power. and the ceremonies he performed would cause the child to prosper in every way. "because he tames everything. Therefore take her without delay to her husband. the official successor to the throne. for he is your father. and buffalo and tie them to the trees around Kanva's hermitage.a true son of Duhsanta." Sakuntala then turned to her son and said. placing Sakuntala and her child in front of them. and he had a large handsome head and great strength. she bore his seed for three full years and finally gave birth to a male child of immeasurable strength. "It is time for him to be coronated as the young king. The child had bright white and well crowned teeth." Having said this to her son.ADI PARVA . and other ceremonies designed to bless him throughout his life. You should now consecrate him as your successor. Seeing her husband sitting on the royal throne. Thereupon the resident's of Kanva's hermitage gave him a name. Sakuntala and her saintly escort arrived in Hatinapura. It does not look proper when women reside for a long time with their relatives. and moral principles. When the boy reached his sixth year. elephants. a boy as bright as burning fire." said the powerful sages." they said. she said. lions. stamina. . "Offer your respects to this faithful king. "Sakuntala is blessed with all the marks of a good wife. character. You must quickly take her and her child from this hermitage and deliver them immediately to her husband. she stood with head bowed in humility. The saintly grandfather knew well the process of purification." Kanva then said to his disciples. The wise Kanva personally performed the purificatory ceremonies for the child's birth. the saintly Kanva said to Sakuntala. and knowing his strength. Such an extended stay spoils their fame. He grew very quickly and was resplendant like a child of the gods. Taking her lotus-eyed son. she felt the greatest joy and bowed her head. as brilliant as the lord of heaven." "So be it. after making clear promises to the lovely Sakuntala. The boy's eyes opened wide with happiness. O King Janamejaya. After properly honoring him. handsome and generous-. He would climb up on these animals and playfully subdue them and then run all around them. the radiant mother finally left the beautiful forest where she had been raised and where she had known Duhsanta. Observing the child's superhuman feats. and he stared at his beloved father. But when the son of Sakuntala went and embraced the king. he began to capture tigers. and they departed for Hastinapura. "Be kind!" said the mother. who shone like the morning sun. wild boar. "Let him be called Sarva-damana. She was admitted to the royal palace and brought before the king with her young child. O king. and his hands were auspiciously marked with cakrasrs18up6 \chftn rootnote rs20 up6 \chftn Circular markings . "This is your son.

Anxiously pondering the situation. my husband. You should be happy and think. The Supreme Lord resides in everyone's heart. Filled with pain and outrage. and you. she gained control of herself and concealed her expressions of rage. boldly staring at her husband. who is born of the sun. You begot in me this child. dawn and dusk. From the corners of her eyes she shot fiery glances at the king. Now king. are certainly a witness to your heart. what sin will such a man not commit? Perhaps you think that we were alone when you loved me. and so indeed does the Lord within his heart." Do not instead humiliate me in this way. so why do you speak like that? Why do you say so indifferently that you don't know. Because you have a young child. degrade your own soul. The sun and moon. Do not. that there was no witness. drags away the wrongdoer for all the sin he has committed. But if a man is so stubbornly foolish that he will not satisfy the Lord. You may go or stay as you desire. wind and fire. "O lovely woman. and the god of justice-all of them know what men do. so why do you not hear me? If . for his own soul could do him no good. as if you were nothing more than a degraded man? Your heart knows what is true and what is false in this matter. holding in check the fiery power accumulated by a lifetime of austerity.But the king. lord of death. and He is the witness of our acts. remember the promise you made to me when we joined together at the hermitage of Kanva Muni. then even the lord of death." But the demigods know. "No one knows what I have done. intelligent woman was spoken to in that way. the heart. nearly unconscious with grief. I am speaking to you. Almost wild with anger. the knower of all that we do on the field of the body. the king said. as motionless as the trunk of a tree. please tell me your purpose in coming here. either in the realm of religion or romance or business. Maharaja. "My wife loves me so much that she came without waiting for a royal escort. had seen something that filled him with dread. Now do as you wish!" When that beautiful. even the gods will not help him. Whose woman are you. you must do unto him as you promised. I shall certainly try to help you. [Sri Sakuntala said:] You do know. O polluted ascetic? I do not recall having any connection with you. why do you ignore me as if I were an ordinary woman? I am not crying out into a void. the lord of death. but are you not aware of the omniscient Lord. "I do not remember. If a man degrades himself by giving his word and then acting otherwise. the source of all who dwells within our hearts? He who knows all that evil men do? Do you dare torture others in His presence? Having committed sin a man thinks. and her lovely curved lips trembled with fury. then Yama. as would any decent man. A person who presents himself as one thing when he is really another is a thief who robs himself of his own soul. Being lost to himself. as if to burn him to ashes. learned in the principles of religion. As I stand here in your court. he replied. Hearing these words from his wife and remembering all that had happened. Then. who is like a young god on earth. she flushed with shame and simply stood there stunned. my good man. she stopped for a moment and thought over the situation. O fortunate one. Your own wife has come and is now standing before you. heaven and earth. she angrily spoke these words. day and night. O best of men. but you will not honor her with a proper welcome and gifts. will pardon us and take away the wrong we have done." Sakuntala said: Be kind to us. great king! I shall tell you why we have come. therefore. Her eyes then turned copper-red with anger. for I accepted you as the lord of my life. If He is satisfied with our acts.

Since ancient times. She is a true wife whose husband is her life. Men with good wives rejoice in God's kindness. A faithful wife is the very best friend to her husband. and his virtue all depend on his wife. as his own mother. how could you not care for your own son? The pleasure one feels at the touch of fine garments. and in all sorts of tribulation. Indeed the son saves his father from the hell named Put. the source of birth. Because a father is born again through his son. and they are the most affectionate mothers when their man is in pain. Even when a man journeys through the darkest wilderness. what more is there for a father to relish? When your own son who loves you comes to you. on this very day your head will burst into a hundred pieces! It is within his wife that a husband enters and takes birth again from her womb in the form of his son. joy. If the wife is first to pass away. She is a true wife whose vow to her man is unbroken. Therefore he should see his wife. he finds rest and comfort in his wife. while running about and covered with dust from the earth. She is a true wife who is expert in household duties. A devoted wife ever accompanies her husband. even to the next world. He who has a good wife is a man to be trusted. and thus the creator has called a son putra. whom he begot in his devoted wife. he rejoices. just as those tormented by heat are relieved by cool water. or cool water cannot compare to the pleasure one feels by the touch of one's son when the child comes to . for they share a single destiny. And when the man is first to die. What power do even the saintly ones have to create progeny without a caring woman? When a son. comes and embraces his father's limbs. anxious to see your love. his love. scholars recognized this and therefore they named the wife jaya. for he clearly sees that his affection. When a man approaches his wife and begets a child. Loving women are eternally the sacred field in which one's good progeny arise. then. They are like fathers when it is time for religious duties to be performed. Heaven is assured to him for the good he does unto his family. for it is as if he beholds his own face in a mirror. A faithful wife brings morality. affectionate will not heed my words. that one should take the hand of a woman in marriage. a saintly wife follows after him. how can you possibly frown and reject him? Even the tiny ants care for their eggs and do not break them. even when I beg you like this. even when enraged. who is mother to his son. and prosperity to the home. he delivers his departed forefathers by creating a future generation of his family line. she waits in the next world for her husband. Wives who speak to their husbands with love are dear friends in solitude. An intelligent man. a man brings himself to life when he brings a son into this world. O king. Men with good wives know abundance and beauty. Thus a good and faithful wife is the best path for a man of this world. A faithful wife is the one who cares till the last breath. Intelligent men who burn in the anguish and anxiety of this world rejoice and find relief in their good wives. Duhsanta. will not speak unkindly to the woman who loves him. Men with good wives know how to manage a home. Being so learned in the principles of religion. It is for all these reasons. She is a true wife who bears good children. for a husband obtains a a true friend in this world and in the life to come. A faithful wife is half of her man. Men with good wives observe the holy days. When a father beholds his son.

and Ghrtaci. this child was born from your limbs. Visvaci. "My own strength and nourishment depend on you. the twice-born recite these verses from the holy Vedas: "You arise from all of my limbs. but it is not right for you to reject this child who is born of you. Oh." Duhsanta. Especially in my presence. I gave birth to this boy. my beloved. for you are born of my heart. Women are known to speak lies. is the best. You are my very self whom I call my son. O false ascetic! What are you in comparison to the great and mighty sage who begot you. Duhsanta. just as you see your own reflection in the clear water of a lake. You know very well that at the birth ceremony for sons. As a brahmana is best among the two-legged beings. the finest are Urvasi. O king. my husband! All right. Drawn away by a deer as you chased about on the hunt. Though you are one. was but a merciless courtesan who cast you down on a Himalayan peak as if you were a withered garland. stronger than a mere child. You must see my son as your own self. The Apsara Menaka gave birth to me on a Himalayan peak. and now by you. approached me. or to that famed Apsara Menaka? You are clearly a wretched woman who has taken the dress of an ascetic. Purvacitta.embrace his parent. you dare to speak in that way. for you have a son. Therefore. whom you brought to this world. As families pass on the perpetual fire within their house and from it ignite the sacred fire of sacrifice. and he is already very strong. let him touch you! There is no worldly happiness equal to the touch of one's son. And was not your father also merciless? Visvamitra was born from a royal mother. what evil work have I done in my past life that I should be rejected by my own parents in infancy. live most happily for a century of autumns. This beautiful boy is your son. you. born of Brahma. so has this child come from you. and a the guru best among those who are heavy with knowledge. You say that your son is a six year-old boy. and then the heartless woman abandoned me there and went away. O ascetic. O emperor. Of these. O Puru king. At the time of his birth. In such a short time. so who will have faith in your words? Your mother. Man has come from man. It is best that you leave. but his body is too large to be that age. Even granting that Menaka is the best of the Apsaras and that your father is the best of the great sages. in the religious home of her father. but he gave in to his personal desires and became greedy for the status of a brahmana. a virgin girl. so of all kinds of touch the touch of one's own son is best. as if I were another's child. Menaka. claim to be their child? You are not embarrassed to speak words that people will simply not believe. Sahajanya. they immediately take their children upon their lap. you have now become two. a loose woman who runs after men. and he will destroy all of your grief. a celestial voice declared that he will perform a hundred horse sacrifices. After three full years of pregnancy. We actually see that when men have traveled to other villages and then return to their homes. Of all the heavenly Apsaras. a cow most valuable among four-legged creatures. Duhsanta said: I do not recognize the son born to you. I do not recognize you. Menaka. Coming all the way from heaven to earth. for in you rests the unbroken line of our family. is a mystery to me. and kiss their heads and rejoice. may you live for a century of autumns. Sakuntala. if you reject me I shall go to a hermitage. the one named Menaka. how could he have grown up as high and sturdy as the trunk of a Sala tree? All that you say. she united with Visvamitra and bore me as her child. You may go where you will! . how can you.

then. O tiger among men. these thirty even follow after Menaka. purchased. the gods in heaven destroy his opulence. he thinks himself more handsome than others. O lord of the earth. he understands that he. you cannot see. and save their forefathers who have fallen into hell. Honesty was placed on a scale opposite one thousand horse sacrifices. O king. be equal to speaking the truth. is to be chosen over a hundred sons. while I wander the heavens. is the homely one. Sons are like sturdy ships of righteousness. Duhsanta. just as a pig eagerly eats excrement. My birth is higher than yours. Hear my words. Our forefathers say that a son is the foundation of the family tree and that he is our first duty. When a fool hears people speaking good and evil words. you must now protect religion. raised. one should never reject his own son.CHAPTER 69 Sri Sakuntala said: O king. and religious sacrifice is better than a hundred ponds. O sinless man. A wise person. One who is actually beautiful does not belittle anyone. . When pious people offer respect to the wise and elderly. just as a swan extracts precious milk from water.ADI PARVA . adopted. O king. for as soon as they are born they bring their fathers virtue and fame. I travel at will to the homes of Indra. But when he actually sees his ill-formed face in a mirror. does he cause a firm believer in God? When a man begets a son like this boy and then treats him with contempt. is an offender. and forgive any offense on my part. As long as a homely man does not see his face in the mirror. even when they are as tiny as mustard seeds. he feels great satisfaction. they experience pleasure. surely it is not right for you to reject your own son. there are five other kinds of sons: those obtained as a gift. Your own faults are as big as bael fruits. How much anxiety. but even seeing them. Yamaraja. takes the good words. Yet truth. Those who do not see the faults in others live happily. O king. Menaka is accepted among the thirty demigods. he prefers to take the evil words. Therefore. Even when berated by others. hearing people speak good and evil words. but when a wicked person criticizes others. the saintly speak well of their critics. and begotten in other women. but the pleasure of fools is to always look for such faults. and I speak it to teach you something. but a fool feels pleasure by reviling the pious. Yet there is nothing more ridiculous in this world than a wicked person who accuses saintly people of being wicked. constantly injuring others. Manu has said that in addition to the son one begets with his wife. and honesty was found to be greater. A man who has fallen from truth and virtue and who is like an angry. and your own soul! O lion of kings. behold my influence! That which I am about to state is the truth. and Varuna. But one who speaks too much and in a nasty way. You should try to understand that the difference between us is like that between the mighty Mount Meru and a tiny mustard seed. he feels remorse. not because I hate or envy you. You walk on the earth. venemous snake disturbs even an atheist. Better than a hundred sacrifices is a single son. Kuvera. When a good person criticizes others. truth. do not practice deceit! Better than a hundred wells is a single pond. and not others. you notice other people's faults. and he fails to achieve the worlds of the blessed. Learning all the Vedas and bathing in all the sacred waters may or may not. indeed. fill their minds with love.

[The public demands that a king act for the welfare of all. and counselors. But then.]" Now that the messenger of the gods had cleared the name of his son. Sri Vaisampayana said: Having spoken these words. care for this great soul who is the son of Sakuntala and Duhsanta. which would have ruined his life as a king. that he choose a wife who will serve the people and give him a worthy son. To pacify her wounded heart he said. for there is nothing higher than the truth. and so I would have lost my family. The king knew well the principles of religion.There is no higher virtue than speaking the truth.up6 \chftn rootnote rs20up6 \chftn "You must care for him" in Sanskrit: bhartavyo 'yam tvaya. who planted the seed of this child. Duhsanta. Care for your son. Do not break your covenant. Duhsanta! Be not unkind to Sakuntala! "The son who bears the father's seed will lift up his father from the abode of the lord of death.] . the jubilant king. What man is so bereft of goodness and fortune that while living he would give up a living son? O descendent of Puru. his heart ecstatic. The son cannot be separated from the father. [I spoke. Duhsanta. "Gentlemen. her own body is made into two. and in accord with those principles he bestowed full honors upon his wife. It is you. then I shall go. O king. The king indeed felt the greatest joy by the touch of his beloved son. People might have thought I was captivated by your feminine charm and thus united with you. which came from the celestial denizens. even as Duhsanta sat there surrounded by his priests. my union with you was unknown to the people. Sakuntala began to leave. hence Bharata. I acted as I did so that I could honor my promise to my wife that her son would be king and to avoid a great scandal that would have forced me to give up my family. for I will not unite with someone like you. an invisible voice spoke out to the king: "The mother is the vessel in which the father begets his son. and the royal poets praised him. " Hearing this command and declaration. people would have doubted the purity and circumstances of his birth. in the line of my forefathers. may you be united with truth! But if you are so fond of telling lies. nor would they even consider as crownprince a child born from that lust. Had I accepted my son simply on his mother's words. and do not believe in the value of honesty. O king. And even without you. I had already chosen this child of ours to be the next king. They would never accept as queen one chosen by a king's lust. By our command. rather. and he said to his priest and counselors. Learned brahmanas heartily welcomed the child. "When a wife gives birth to a son. whose four directions are crowned by the King of Mountains. Sakuntala has spoken the truth. my son will rule over the earth. Therefore let your son be known by the name Bharata. Therefore. for he is of his father. O king. I cannot give up my duties as king. "O goddess. for the world depends on us. And nothing in this world is more bitter than deceit. teachers. you are to care for this child. the Paurava king was filled with joy. and therefore our willingness to tell each other the truth is the highest covenant. and I desperately searched for a way both to save our relationship and to preserve the kingdom for our son. and therefore after lengthy reflection I acted as I did in order to establish your purity. took his son within his arms and kissed his head and embraced him with tender affection. as I did knowing that the gods themselves would send their messenger to defend the daughter of Menaka and her powerful son. take care of your son born of Sakuntala. or even on my own. to speak the truth is to stand with God. ministers. heed this declaration made by a messenger of the gods! Now I freely acknowledge this boy to be my own beloved son. therefore.

fame. for this will bring fortune. Daksa. As his great. the law-giver born of the sun. at the same time practicing the principles of the saints. thirteen to Kasyapa. in which appeared many famous and ancient kings who took the name of Bharata. who shone like gods on earth. in the line of King Bharata there were many mighty kings who were as noble and powerful as the gods themselves. O Bharata-. So devoted were these kings to the Supreme Lord that they were accepted by the people as genuine representatives of God on earth. the Yadavas. fiercely devoted to truth and rectitude. however. the great saint Narada taught them the highest transcendental knowledge. Thus he won for himself the very pinnacle of fame. Daksa gave ten daughters to the demigod Dharma. and by his intercourse with Virini he was able to beget a thousand sons. I shall describe the entire lineage. Therefore all is forgotten. begot fifty daughters. and long life to all who hear. From King Bharata springs the fame of the glorious Bharata dynasty. Indeed. Yet despite their great strength. In fact. he brought them under a unified and harmonious rule. but rather renounced the material world entirely. Duhsanta sincerely honored her with garments. Authorities still recall that in ancient times Praceta had ten sons who were supreme in power. and glorious dynasty that begins with the progenitor Daksa and continues through Manu. and he performed many religious sacrifices like those of Indra himself. But I shall mention the most important among them. all of them having the potency of great sages. even to common people who came as spectators. Therefore they did not follow their father in his career of begetting progeny. From them. When these thousand sons were gathered together. King Bharata gave billions of cows to Kanva Muni alone. O tiger of men. having spoken thus to his beloved queen. who were meant to help conduct material time. I shall now describe to you the pious. a mighty warrior who ruled the whole earth. to the lord of the moon. The wealthy king initiated a horse sacrifice at which valuable milking cows were widely distributed. so did the celebrated chariot of the great soul Bharata circle wide in this world. and twenty-seven.CHAPTER 70 Sri Vaisampayana said: O sinless king. still desiring to populate the world. the Pauravas. he engaged the sage Kanva to officiate at a sacrifice in which fabulous gifts were presented to all who participated. Kuru. Thereupon King Duhsanta consecrated the son of Sakuntala as Prince Bharata. Pracetasa Daksa took birth. Like Daksa before him. and from Daksa. successor to the throne. who. and drink. for the great Bharata kings cannot be counted. O most saintly woman. and all the Bharata kings." O Bharata. even if in your anger you spoke the most painful words to me. all creatures arose. Then the progenitor. ADI PARVA . Daksa was a brilliant thinker. This king was a true emperor. .kings of extraordinary good fortune. By Narada's mercy they corrrectly understood the temporary nature of this world and thus fixed their minds on spiritual salvation. they were burned up by a fire that shot down from a cloud. and food. This is the dynasty of Bharata. the grandfather of the world. he brought light and the rule of law to all people. Puru. Controlling the regional rulers of the earth. lord of the Maruts. It is not possible to mention all of their names. As the glowing sun circles wide in the heavens. auspicious. you did so because of your love. were strictly adherent to their religious vows."O beautiful-eyed one. unconquered chariot thundered through the land. like their father. Ajamidha.

the demigods. Narisyanta. Strictly following dharma. Sanat-kumara then descended from the planet of the creator. Vrddha-sarma. The wise Manu. he ruled like Indra. so that the rulers would know how to govern. We have heard from authorities that Ila was both Pururava's mother and father. Prsadhna the ninth. But the proud king would not hear of it. was a wise ruler of the earth who found strength in his devotion to truth. who rule the universe. there was cooperation among the brahmana teachers and the ksatriya rulers of this race. and their names were Ayus. son of Marici. headed by Lord Indra. they fought with one another and all perished. Nahusa. Six sons were born to this son of Ila through his connection with the goddess Urvasi. and Raksasas. while staying in the Gandharva planet with Urvasi. the unfortunate monarch lost his mind in the madness of power. the sacred law. and from Sarmistha. We have heard that Manu had fifty other sons of the warrior class who took birth on the earth. and Nabhagarista the tenth. Overwhelmed by age. So powerful was this king that he ruled and protected the forefathers. with Ila as the eighth. as well as the earthly teachers and kings. Druhyu. At the beginning. He thus ruled a very great kingdom according to the sacred law. and although he was a human being he was surrounded and assisted by nonhuman beings. The descendents of Manu became famous as the Manavas. Overcome by greed. Of these. and their names are Yati. and also Vivasvan. and Anu. for it is from Manu that teachers. O Bharata: "My dear sons. and the Lord's empowered representatives. son of Nahusa. he worshiped with extraordinary energy the God-conscious kings who preceded him. the best of his thirteen wives. From Devayani. and stamina. Unfortunately. with its branches. O king. and others of the human species had their origins. brought to earth the three fires especially recommended for use in sacrifice. son of Ayus. the wise Pururava took birth from Ila. Of these.Kasyapa. Iksvaku. took birth as the son of Vivasvan. Drdhayus. and explained to the monarch the proper relationship between teachers and rulers. Yadu and Turvasu took birth. daring. the king spoke these words to his sons Yadu. Yayati was never defeated. He begot in Devayani and Sarmistha. Panca. Yayati. Anu. Thereafter. took birth as the son of Martanda. great warrior sons who were glorified by all good qualities. the Adityas. Always devout. Their names were Vena. who instantly perished. Manu had ten sons who were powerful and highly devoted to the sacred duties of kingship. Intoxicated by his strength. Amavasu. O king. O king. brahmanas. sages. He ruled the world and offered sacrifice to the Supreme Lord with various types of ceremonies. and their names are Nahusa. Gandharvas. and he was particularly merciful to all creatures. Yama. or the race of men. lord of heaven. serpents. Vanayus. Defeating the denizens of heaven by his power. and Anenasa. Scholars report that Ayus had several sons by Svarbhanavi. Samyati. Kurusa. he ruled his subjects for what seemed like endless years. I . and at this the great sages became enraged and cursed the king. he forced the sages to give him taxes and carry him on their backs. Turvasu. Pururava waged war against learned brahmanas and took away their jewels as they cried out in protest. austerity. Rambha. Nabhaga. Ayati. became emperor of the world and derived great strength from his devotion to truth. It was the mighty Pururava who. and Uddhava. Nahusa begot six sons in Priyavasa. who rules the sun. O king. and the brahmana descendents of Manu preserved the book of knowledge. Druhyu. and Martanda appeared as the son of Yama. until this son of Nahusa was suddenly faced with a most horrible old age that robbed him of his beauty. Puru. and Saryati. begot in Aditi. Yayati. The illustrious Pururava became the lord of thirteen ocean islands. and Srutayus. the Lord Himself. Raji. the Veda. Dhrsnu. Dhiman. lord of death. and Puru were born. lord of men. warriors. Slaying thieves by the multitude.

" Yayati's sons. I wish to hear of this in detail. and after a long duration of time Yayati at last succumbed to the inexorable rule of time. Yadu. Puru. please tell me. said to his son Puru. "Please accept my old age so that I can enjoy sense gratification with your youth. While I was performing long sacrifices the sage Usana cursed me. It will be known as the Paurava dynasty after you. Please help me. Thus the king took to youthful enjoyment with Puru's youth. A serious conflict once arose between the godly Suras and their foes the Asuras over who would rule the three worlds and all their moving and non-moving creatures. "O king. and I will be able to fulfill my desires with a new and youthful body. who was a great soul." His eldest son. These two brahmanas. When the gods and demons met in battle. [Victory would depend on superior technology. You are the son who will carry on the dynasty. in order. with young ladies. "In you I now have a rightful heir. selected the son of Angira Muni as their priest. always opposed one another in a deep and bitter rivalry. and the Asuras chose the learned Sukra. I am bereft of the power to enjoy and am therefore suffering. then said. and it will be glorified throughout the world. taking strength from the many austerities he had performed in his life. and Puru ruled the kingdom with Yayati's old age. ADI PARVA . go and enjoy with my young body and experience the pleasures of youth. eager for victory. One of you should rule the kingdom with my old body. and at the end he would return his youth to Puru with many other blessings. nor was he a sinful man." That tiger among kings then consecrated Puru as the permanent ruler of the kingdom. headed by Yadu. son of Devayani.CHAPTER 71 King Janamejaya said: How did my ancestor Yayati. the saintly king invested his old age in his son Puru. and what can we do with our youth?" Yayati said to him. who still had not satisfied his desires. "What is to be done for you. both masters of Vedic rites. who was tenth in line from the Prajapati.] The gods. said to his father. my son. fulfilling my lusty desires as a young man. Also. of the kings who continued the dynasty of King Puru. but so expert was Sukra that by the strength of his knowledge he was able to bring back to life all the . therefore. whose great strength came from his devotion to truth. I shall now describe to you how that happened. my dear sons. who was most difficult to win as a wife? O best of brahmanas. Both Sukra and Vrsaparva selected him as their son-in-law. And at the end of a thousand years the unconquerable Yayati. I shall accept your old age and by your command govern the kingdom .] Now. and now although I strongly desire to enjoy women. Because you have inquired. the gods slew their demonic foes. marry Sukra's daughter.want to enjoy my life with youthful vigor. son of Nahusa." [Yayati's ultimate goal was not material pleasure. Sri Vaisampayana replied: Yayati was a saintly king who shone as if he were the king of gods. He had wanted to satisfy his desires so that he could finish his stay in the material world and go back to the spiritual world. for the supremely subtle Vedic science depended on competent sages who could manage its almost inconceivable intricacies. and how there was union between lovely Devayani and Yayati. but then the youngest son. refused to take their father's old age.

a brahmana of unfathomable power. the eldest son of Brhaspati. O Bharata. Devayani was a virgin in the full bloom of her youth. and no one has seen Kaca. for all his vast learning. Devayani at once spoke up to her father. my g uru.] "Kaca. the cows returned to their home without their herdsman. thus sent on a serious mission by the gods. and as soon as you satisfy Devayani with your character. There he protects the Danavas. they said to Kaca. There is no one but you who can win their favor. son of Brhaspati. they were both liberal brahmanas. could not revive them because he did not know the science of revival that Sukra knew so well. five hundred years passed while Kaca practiced his vow. and the sacred fire has not been ignited. Thereafter. and errands. son of Kavi. dancing.demonic Danavas. The science of revival rests with Sukra. and so too must I honor your father. and you will partake in all our shares. Seeing him alone and herding the cows in a lonely forest." said Kaca. committed to the same noble culture. O king. and upon seeing Sukra he spoke these words: "Sir. and he accepted the strict vow of celibacy enjoined by Sukra. I accept your request. and when they were alone together she would happily wait on the young brahmana who strictly kept his vow of celibacy. and thus Sukra replied. please allow me to study with you for a thousand years. until one day some wicked Danavas came to know that he was actually Kaca. fruits. You are still quite young and will be able to win the favor of that exalted sage and also of his beloved daughter Devayani. they killed Kaca. and I am the grandson of the sage Angira. In this way. for you are worthy of honor.without Kaca I cannot live!" Sukra replied: If he is dead. and Kaca satisfied and delighted her with flowers. "Please help us. You can find Sukra near the residence of King Vrsaparva. for we have always helped you. Seeing this. and playing on musical instruments. dear father. and seeing them return from the forest without Kaca. Kaca was at the height of his youth. he departed for the kingdom of Vrsaparva. Sri Vaisampayana said: . O Bharata. O brahmana. and he satisfied her by singing. My name is Kaca. Shaken by fear of the learned Sukra. Out of hatred for Brhaspati. the son of their enemies' priest. "My lord." Vaisampayana said: "So be it!" said Kaca to Sukra. At the height of this battle. the sun has already set. he went with haste to the city of the Asura king." [Although Brhaspati and Sukra stood on opposing sides. Brhaspati. Go to him and bring us that knowledge as quickly as possible. the Asuras gained the advantage and began to slay the gods. and selfcontrol. The cows have come home by themselves. In fact. they could not control their anger. and with a desire to protect the secret science. please accept me as your faithful student. daddy. you will surely obtain that science. and as the gods honored him. I shall practice strict celibacy under you. Devayani would lovingly sing along with him. Kaca accepted the vow for the time he had promised. and he strove to win the favor of his teacher and his teacher's daughter Devayani. Brhaspati. but their priest. It's clear that he has died. who then rose up and again waged war upon the Suras. and perform for us the greatest act of friendship. and the son of Brhaspati himself. I must honor you. hacked his body into pieces the size of sesame seeds." "So be it. and fed the pieces to the local jackals. kindness. skill. you are most welcome here. or else someone has killed him! I tell you the truth-. O Bharata. then I shall now call him here and bring him back to life. behavior. the gods felt the greatest despair. but he will not protect others.

O father. Then they offered the drink to Sukra. It appears that my austerities are not finished. But with you present here. the Asuras gave me to you in a cup of wine. The Danavas again spied him there and murdered him a second time. and such a heinous act will burn anyone. All the demigods and the entire universe must submit to the temporary nature of the material body. but now he has been killed again. burning my body. what must I do now to please you? Kaca can only live by my death. and now he is not to be seen. He was so alert and expert in everything he did. . to ashes." Kaca said: By your mercy. but their real desire is to ruin my position as a brahmana. exactly as it happened. and the great ascetic Brhaspati is his father. and therefore I shall stop eating and follow his path unto death." Sukra replied: My daughter. even Indra himself." and explained what had happened. A lady of your stature and religious education should not lament for a mortal man. Devayani. Kaca. now that Kaca is inside of me. How will I not not lament for one who is the son and grandson of sages? Why should I not cry? Kaca strictly followed his vow of celibacy and made austerity his only wealth. I remember everything. he can only appear again by splitting my stomach. "Father. "O brahmana. son of Brhaspati. which they dissolved in wine. and grinding it into powder. Kaca slowly began to call out from within his teacher's belly. after killing me. He replied. tell me how you have come to reside in my belly. the great and learned sage. He had been saved by the very science he had come to learn.Sukra then applied his knowledge of revival and called Kaca. Devayani said: But the most senior sage Angira is his grandfather. Kaca went to gather flowers for me. Thus summoned by the science known to his guru. for I must tolerate this horrible inconvenience. Kaca suudenly appeared there unharmed. Vaisampayana said: Urged on by Devayani. O learned Sukra. He was brought back to life by scientific means. When Kaca did not return. how can the mystic power of the demons overcome that of a brahmana? Sukra said: My dear child. Devayani again spoke to her father. "I was murdered. Those wrathful Danavas praise me with their prayers. and the brahmana Kaca again went to the forest. What can I do? Devayani. burning his body and grounding the remains and ashes into a fine powder. Let there be an end to this sinful crime! They have murdered a brahmana. Called by his teacher. again called Kaca. Sukra asked him. Sukra replied: The Asuras undoubtedly envy me. Some time later. has gone to the world of the departed. for they have murdered my sinless disciple. do not be so sad and do not cry. and he unwittingly drank it. Devayani happened to ask him to gather flowers for her. the beautiful Kaca is the one I love. son of Brhaspati. with great energy. His teacher's daughter asked him what had happened. my memory has not abandoned me.

Seeing now the handsome Kaca before him. He will be condemned in this world and in the next. for he has obtained the invaluable science of revival. He is a selfrealized soul whose power is virtually equal to that of Lord Brahma. Therefore." Having uttered those words." After living for a thousand years at the side of his g uru. if a brahmana is so foolish and bewildered that he dares to drink liquor. you are not Indra himself disguised as Kaca. Kaca received permission to leave and prepared to return to the abode of the gods.if. and spoke to them these words: "I tell you. ADI PARVA . the learned Sukra had suffered a terrible loss of consciousness. emerged from his right side. where there is no opportunity for happiness. The exalted Sukra then stood up in anger and made this solemn declaration: "From this day on. I will have no peace in this world. Kaca. The religious principle I have spoken is a boundary and limit for brahmanas throughout the universe. the saintly brahmanas who are faithful to their teachers. then called together the Danavas. that is. If Kaca dies. Sukra said: O son of Brhaspati. for I would take such trouble only for a brahmana who can then revive me. and all people of the world hear and witness the moral code I now ordain. fallen dead. at once revived him. for as you have been kind to Devayani she now adores you. so full of Vedic science. Become my son and bring me back to life. once I have departed from this body and you possess this science. "The guru is the giver of the highest knowledge. Kaca then saluted his guru and said to him. Vaisampayana said: Kaca received the entire science from his guru. Therefore those who do not honor their worshipable guru surely go to the sinful worlds called Apratistha. who had perfectly assimilated the Vedic science. and he will live by my side.Devayani said: There are two sorrows that would surely burn me up like fire: the death of Kaca and your destruction. and if you are destroyed I shall be unable to live. Let the gods. Take from me now the science of revival-. take the science. Kaca is now a perfected sage. the great soul Sukra. Seeing his guru. then it will be understood that he has deviated from his religious principles and is destroying the very tradition he is meant to teach. whose wits had been deranged by destiny. and then. you have achieved the greatest success. Danavas. No one else but a brahmana can come out of my stomach alive." Vaimsampayana said: By drinking wine. You are the only one whom I can so trust. be very careful to do everything properly and honestly. so did Kaca appear in a most beautiful form. an unfathomable treasure among the ascetics. and in that deluded state he had drunk the remnants of Kaca. just as I bring you back to life. splitting his teacher's stomach. . and he is the most precious of all treasures that one can possess. he fully realized the evil effects of drinking liquor. Dear child. As the waxing moon finally appears in its full splendor.CHAPTER 72 Sri Vaisampayana replied. having received this science from your g uru. that you have the brains of children.

O fiery woman. I have lived here happily and there is no bitterness within me. You are the daughter of my guru. and it was improper of you to curse me now. for you are more dear to your father. You said to me. O pure one. with due chanting of the sacred hymns. for I must go.His vow complete. Devayani said: If you are so anxious for piety. Just as I am to honor your father. by your knowledge. Morever. My dear lady of flawless limbs. But go ahead and curse me if you like! I speak the religious principles of sages. Devayani. who so beautifully keep your vows. so must I honor you even more. Devayani. please also remember. then. Kaca was about to depart for the abode of the gods when Devayani spoke to him. illustrious and saintly Angira. for I worship you above my own guru. austerity. O tender-browed woman. that you now refuse me. Knowing religious principles. Therefore I must honor and worship you. you cannot abandon the very one who has so faultlessly loved and worshiped you. you should love me as I love you. Wish me well on my journey and remember me with kindness. Kaca. but the knowledge will certainly work for that person to whom I teach it. just as I must always honor and worship your father as my lord. I declare that the knowledge you have acquired will never work for you! Kaca said: I refused you because you are the daughter of my guru. your father gave me permission to return to my home. "The knowledge will never work for you. and by all religious principles. the exalted son of Bhrgu. Now that you have completed your vow and obtained the science you so much sought. Vaisampayana said: . Therefore. not to offend you in any way. you should not make such proposals to me. and self-control. O radiant woman. and ever since that time? You know that I have treated you with the greatest friendship and affection." Kaca replied. how properly I behaved with you while you observed your vow of celibacy. than his very life. I have dwelled in the very same place as you. for in the course of our talks I have not violated the principles of religion. and having been released by his guru. by your noble work and family. Take my hand in proper marriage. do not speak to me of marriage. whose face is as bright as the moon. but rather the grandson of my father's guru. within Sukra's body. Kaca said: You. I take your leave. be merciful to me." and by your curse it will be so. Do you not remember the love I showed you when the Asuras repeatedly killed you. No son of a sage will ever take your hand in marriage. you are not my son. please. therefore. and therefore by the principles of religion you are my sister. good lady. Sukra. so am I to honor you exactly in that way. you shine among men. Always worship my guru attentively and without neglect. are now commanding me with an order that should not be given. I must always worship you. Devayani said: O best of brahmanas. "O grandson of saintly Angira. O ascetic. or to enjoy another woman. which we hold in common. whether for motives of love or piety. I therefore now declare that your desire will never be fulfilled. Just as my father reveres your grandfather. Knowing this well. so do I in turn revere and honor your father. Brhaspati.

was set on sin. the greatest of kings inquired from her in a very charming voice meant to console her. Seeing the maiden. [The girls were bathing. quickly went to the abode of Indra. but at the well's bottom he saw a young girl as radiant as the flames of a fire. arrived in the area eagerly hunting wild beasts. Sarmistha mistakenly grabbed the garments of Devayani. You are the daughter of one who begs.Having spoken thus to Devayani. overcome by violent anger. son of Nahusa. the Asura king to whom Sukra was priest. why do you go on so. Indra mixed and scattered all the clothes of those young virgin girls as they sported in the charming woods that resembled the celestial garden of Citraratha. You who shatter evil cities must now conquer the enemies. The leaders of the girls were Devayani. She knew very well that her friend would die in the well. I do not count you a worthy foe. learning the science from Kaca." Thus addressed by the assembled demigods." ADI PARVA . each girl picked up clothes from the spot where she had left hers. "Now is the time for you to show your courage. and Sarmistha. He noticed some women in a forest. Sarmistha said: When my father is sitting upon his throne or lying down at his leisure. Brhaspati: "Because you have performed a most wonderful feat on our behalf. ready and able to use weapons. O best of the Bharatas. and without any concern for Devayani she went to her home. headed by Indra. "Who are you with your bright red nails. Devayani said: Why do you take my clothes when you are supposed to be my disciple? Have you no proper manners. O child of a demon? Such behavior will do you no good. and accepts in charity. lord of the demigods. your dark complexion. Not knowing that Lord Indra had mixed up their clothes. daughter of Vrsaparva. they fulfilled their purpose. and he personally suffered from thirst. your fame will never die. you tremble before me. A quarrel between Devayani and Sarmistha immediately broke out over the clothes. your father stands humbly beneath him and incessantly offers him praises and recites his heroic deeds. and does not beg from anyone. Looking down that same well the son of Nahusa saw it had gone dry. "So be it!" and set out on his mission.CHAPTER 73 Sri Vaisampayana replied: When Kaca returned with his acquired knowledge. Coming out of the water. but Sarmistha threw her into a well and returned to her father's city. daughter of Sukra. gives in charity. Unarmed and alone. brooding and breathing . having duly honored his father. Soon after. beggar girl. Assembled together they said to Lord Indra. Sri Vaisampayana said: Devayani stood up as tall as she could and clung to her garments. Yayati. Indra replied. fallen in the well. O best of kings. the celestial denizens rejoiced.] and transforming himself into a wind. His charioteer and horses were exhausted. who am a king's daughter. and your elegant earrings made of the brightest gems? O learned woman. offers praises. joyfully spoke to Kaca. the demigods. and you will become a full shareholder in the opulence of the gods. Carefully observing his arrival. with the complexion of a goddess. the most prominent of the twice-born. Find someone to fight with. Kaca. but Sarmistha's mind. whereas I am the daughter of one who is praised.

you are free to go now. O gracious woman. Thus it is not fitting that you join with me. please bring at once my sweet-smiling daughter Devayani. Finding his daughter Devayani in the woods. "Madam. for I think you are a man of noble birth. Sri Vaisampayana said: Knowing the woman to be a brahmana. the daughter of Vrsaparva. and upon seeing the sage Sukra she blurted out in great anxiety. "My fair lady. and you are the daughter of a brahmana. O king. Sukra. her powerful father called for his daughter's maidservant and said." Hearing this. Sukra embraced .that very Sukra is my father. and taking her right hand. When many hours had passed and she did not return home. for your father has sent for you. "Please take me away with you quickly! I have fallen in love with you. is the spiritual master of the entire world." Thus addressed." Devayani replied: "[I have been cursed by Kaca. what are you are doing here? Tell me quickly. Devayani said: "Go quickly. At last the maidservant found her standing alone in terrible distress." King Yayati took leave of that shapely woman and returned to his own city. and said. and explain everything to my father. and I cannot marry a brahmana. carefully visiting all the places Devayani had gone that day with her girlfriends. I must inform you that your daughter Devayani was violently attacked in the forest by Sarmistha. Take hold of me and lift me out." At these words Devayani replied to the king. King Yayati said. exhausted and weeping." As soon as she was so addressed. "But dear lady. "O great and wise one. who was named Ghurnika. Your father. You accepted my hand.such heavy sighs? How did such a lovely young lady fall into this well covered with branches and grass? Whose daughter are you and who is looking after you? Please tell me everything!" Sri Devayani said: He who raised up the Asuras with his science when they were slain by the demigods-. the son of Nahusa quickly lifted her out of the hole. Just by seeing you. This entire situation therefore frightens me." Thus addressed. the innocent Devayani stood under the shelter of a tree and cried in anguish. and therefore by the sacred law you are meant to be my husband. of the evil act committed by Sarmistha. Tell him that from now on I shall not enter the city of Sarmistha's father. this is not proper for you. O king. When the son of Nahusa had departed. and later you will learn of his decision. with bright red nails. the maidservant quickly went to fetch her. Ghurnika. I know that you are a very peaceful and powerful man and doubtlessly very famous. Here is my right hand. Having easily rescued her from the well. Now you may take your leave." Sri Vaisampayana said: Ghurnika went immediately to the palace of the Asura king. Sukra immediately left the palace and in great anguish began to follow the path of his child into the forest. the king said. But he does not know that I am here. Therefore. I am born in a family of kings. for there is no more danger to you.] But if on my word you will not accept me today. you must lift me out of this well into which I have fallen. Devayani told her nurse. Vrsaparva. "Good woman. then I shall request you from my father.

being deprived himself of opulence. I suppose. Devayani. you are not the daughter of one who flatters and lives on charity. that one who repels the attack of anger with peace and self-control can thereby gain everything in life. is certain to achieve the actual goal of life. Devayani. and accepts in charity. as well as the weakness in insulting others. Please understand.the man who is free of anger is the greater. spoke to me with her raging red eyes-. and therefore someone took revenge on you. as well as King Yayati. the Absolute One that rules this world. daughter of Vrsaparva. One who restrains his anger when it strains forth. daughter of Vrsaparva. is said by saints to be a competent conductor of his life. Sri Devayani said: My dear father. when she said that you are the hired singer of the Asuras! Those are the sharp and cruel words that Sarmistha. said to me! It is certainly the truth. if I am the daughter of one who flatters and lives on charity. One who fully contains his anger and tolerates insulting words. listen carefully to what Sarmistha. . just as one controls a horse. and so does Lord Indra. ADI PARVA . Authorities say that the best place to live is among saintly persons who appreciate noble conduct and birth in a religious family. Vrsaparva knows that. But my point is this: one who desires to teach and help others should not tolerate improper behavior on the part of a student. A learned person should not live among those of wicked minds who blaspheme the proper conduct and noble descent of others. as a snake rejects old skin. and who accepts from no one!" That is what she said to me again and again." Devayani said: Whether this suffering is deserved or not. is the source of my strength. A wise person must not imitate the fighting that goes on bewteen foolish boys and girls who do not know what is truly strength and weakness. who though suffering does not make others suffer. begs. Of two men-."You are the daughter of one who flatters. who gives in charity. and another who is never angry at anyone-. I think you must have done something wrong. I no longer care to live among those whose behavior is so impure and disordered. and her eyes all red with anger. I may be a young girl. so full of ugly pride. daughter of Vrsaparva. you should understand clearly that a man who can always tolerate insulting words from his rivals can win everything in life.CHAPTER 74 The learned Sukra continued: Devayani. They all know that the inconceivable Brahman. is the true enjoyer of life. but I know the meaning of religious principles. that Sarmistha. The daughter of Vrsaparva spoke the cruelest and most dreadful words! In all the three worlds I do not think anyone more abominable than one who worships the opulence of his enemy. for your father is praised by all. then it is better I go and seek the favor of Sarmistha. and I also know the strength of tolerance. The learned Sukra said: My beautiful who performs a sacrificial offering every month for one hundred years. One who rejects the rush of anger with forgiveness. you are the daughter of one who need flatter no one.her in his arms and sadly said to her. but I am the daughter of one who is always praised. son of Nahusa. "By their own mistakes all people beget their own joy and sorrow. not he who lets loose the reins. My dear father. Therefore.

Vrsaparva. I wish to hear it not from you. The learned Sukra said: I am the master of whatever wealth the Daitya kings possess. for she is my very life. The learned Sukra said: Then go and jump in the sea. who was a religious scholar. Please. as you are my own master. O great Asura. do you know me to be a mere fool who speaks nonsense? Is that why you do not control your offenses but instead ignore them? King Vrsaparva said: O Bhargava. a descendant of Angira who never offended you. and who was always eager to serve. King Vrsaparva said: Good woman. O Bhargava. cows. or horses. Asuras! I am unable to tolerate this unkindness to my daughter. angrily approached Vrsaparva. you are its actual master. your father is always worthy of my highest praise and honor. I tell you this. King Vrsaparva said: O Bhargava. Remember. O king. exalted among the Bhrgus. we shall have no other recourse but to throw ourselves in the sea. and live with you. and especially now because of an attempt to kill my very own daughter.ADI PARVA . But sin will certainly bear its fruit. he said. if you are actually the master of the king's wealth. or run wherever you like. O Bhargava. sir. whatever wealth the Asura kings possess in this world. Sri Devayani said: My dear father. I know that neither injustice nor false speech can ever be found in you. for she is my beloved child. Indeed. "Irreligion does not produce its effect immediately. O sweet-smiling girl. if Devayani is pleased upon you. Sri Devayani said: . anything at all that you desire. as Brhaspati maintains the well-being of the demigods. whether in elephants. and without deliberating further. but rather let the king himself say it. you are the abode of justice and truth. as if it were a cow. If we do not see the reaction to injustice in the perpetrator. so I maintain all of you. that I shall reject you and your company! I shall not be able to reside in your country. then. Rather. then you must obtain the blessings of Devayani. You dared to kill him while he was a guest in my house! "Because of the killing of that innocent boy. be meciful to us. even if it is rare and difficult to obtain.CHAPTER 75 Sri Vaisampayana said: Thereupon Sukra. I shall give to you at once. we shall certainly see it in his children or grandchildren. If you abandon us now and go away. like heavy food that must act in the belly! "You arranged to kill Kaca. If you want me to remain. O Daitya.

"My dear father. Devayani said: Since I am the daughter of one who flatters and begs and lives on charity. I shall follow you wherever your father may send you to be married. Sarmistha will follow me there to continue her service.My desire is that Sarmistha. and that wherever my father may send me to be married. arise and bring Sarmistha at once! Whatever Devayani desires must be immediately provided. Devayani began to walk about and do whatever she liked. Sri Vaisampayana said: On her father's order. Sukra and Devayani must not go away because of me. O best of the twice-born. Sarmistha said: I am now your servant. and chewing the forest fruits. how will you. feeling very happy in the company of all her girlfriends. Yes. Devayani then spoke to her father. King Vrsaparva commanded a female attendent. each of the two bringing a thousand handmaidens. Whatever she may now desire. fair maiden. be my menial servant? Sarmistha said: By whatever means. All of them joyfully played in the woods. the illustrious Sukra. for you must now act for the welfare of your kind. the daughter of one who is flattered." Sri Vaisampayana said: The nurse then went to Sarmistha and said. become my menial servant. happened to arrive there in his pursuit . ADI PARVA ." Thus addressed by his daughter. "You. then quickly left the city and came before Devayani. O excellent king. there. the best of the twice-born. I am now satisfied and I will enter the city. Therefore. The great brahmana is about to reject all his Asura disciples because he is disturbed about what happened to Devayani. along witha thousand maidens. drinking sweet honey that exuded from spring flowers. "Get up. the fair-skinned Devayani went out with Sarmistha to the very same woods to play.CHAPTER 76 Sri Vaisampayana said: A long time later. Your deep knowledge and the power of your science will never fail. and I shall wait upon you with these thousand handmaidens. O innocent one. Reaching the same place as before. Sarmistha replied. eating varieties of good food. I must act for the welfare of my suffering kin. Sri Vaisampayana said: O best of kings. And again King Yayati. Sarmistha. whatever she may want I must now do. I shall follow you wherever your father may send you. when the daughter of Vrsaparva had thus sworn to become her menial servant. you are to perform it immediately. the son of Nahusa. surrounded by a thousand handmaidens and sitting in a palanquin. joyfully entered the city and was honored by all the demons.

and all their women. who are surrounded by two thousand other girls. Please. Yayati said: May I ask you two girls. Devayani said: I with my servant Sarmistha and my two thousand hand-maidens. now kindly permit me to go on my way. Yayati said: Please understand. kings cannot marry into your father's family. O tiger of men. and believe my words. about your names and families? Devayani said: I shall tell you. fair maiden. the daughter of the demon king Vrsaparva. O daugher of Sukra. Yayati said: . There he saw Devayani and Sarmistha. so you may consider this to be an arrangement of fate. as she sat among the lovely women. I wish all good unto you. What is your name. Do not trouble yourself with elaborate explanations. O passionate woman. is your friend and menial servant. He noticed that Sarmistha was engaged in serving Devayani by massaging her feet and attending on her in various ways. Dear son of Nahusa. I am a king and a king's son. Yayati said: As a celibate student I was privileged to hear and learn all of the Vedas. and your speech that of a learned man. and you may know me to be his daughter. adorned with celestial jewels and frolicking about the forest. marry me. and the kings and teachers are meant to work together in cooperation. Devayani. You have asked me many questions. This other girl is my friend and servant. widely known as Yayati. where are you from. Devayani said: What is your purpose in coming to this land. Yayati said: I am most curious to know how this girl of lovely complexion. Devayani said: Everything follows its destiny.of wild game. O king. that I do not deserve you. The guru of the Asuras is known to be Sukra. and I ask that you become my friend and my husband. O king? Was it your desire to take some lotuses from the lakes. drawn by fatigue he searched for good water to drink. Coming to the same spot as before. you are a sage and a sage's son. or were you rather hunting for game? Yayati said: I was out in search of wild game. am subservient to you. with her incomparable beauty. and who is your father? Kindly tell me. She is Sarmistha. Your beauty and dress are that of a king. and she waits on me wherever I go. He watched the sweet-smiling Devayani. Devayani said: The kingly class was created together with the brahmanas. the daughter of the Asura king. and I came here looking for water to drink.

O brahmana. lovely Devayani. Devayani said: Dear father. Devayani said: O son of Nahusa. poisonous snake or a fire blazing on all sides. and that is you! Yayati said: An experienced person knows that a brahmana is more dangerous than an angry. Yayati said: O Bhargava. How could any other man ever touch my hand? I am a thoughtful woman. Therefore. In this sacred union there should be no hesitation. take as your wife this slender. but they have different duties and religious principles because of their different levels of purity and spiritual knowledge. for together you will achieve . and the moment he heard the news Sukra came to see the king. and therefore I have chosen you. unless your father gives you to me. for I shall remove from you any taint of sin. I shall not marry you. how can you say that a brahmana is more dangerous than an angry.All four social divisions arise from the single body of the Supreme Lord. I now give her to you and ask that you accept her as your queen. Be satisfied now to marry this girl. not a single man had ever touched my hand until you took hold of me. Vaisampayana said: Devayani then quickly sent a message to her father. By the sacred rules of dharma. as my husband. Hence. but accepts her when she is freely offered. my marriage with a woman of superior status. my fine lady. when angered. Devayani said: Then marry me when my father bestows me upon you. Sukra said: I release you from this breach of law. Of the four divisions the brahmanas are the best. my beloved daughter has chosen you as her husband. this king is the son of Nahusa. I beg of you one boon. for I have chosen you. When Yayati saw that the great Sukra had arrived. and when I was trapped in the well he took my hand. Devayani said: O leader of men. the ruler of the earth bowed down to the learned brahmana and received him with folded hands and prayerful words of greeting. O king. O timid one. There is no danger for a man who does not ask for a woman. O son of Nahusa. I consider a brahmana to be more dangerous. for I shall not select any other man in the entire world as my husband. who is himself a sage. With all due obeisances unto you. destroys a kingdom with all its cities. You were the first. please give me to him. poisonous snake or a fire blazing on all sides? Yayati said: A poisonous snake kills one man. but a brahmana. Sukra said: O heroic one. and I have already been taken hold of by a sage's son. that this great violation of dharma. and a sword kills one man. not taint me with sin.

"Who dares touch a woman who resides in the house of Soma. give me a child. and drink. or Varuna. O son of Nahusa? No man will approach me! O king. you have always known me to be an attractive woman. the shapely Devayani became pregnant for the first time and gave birth to a boy. for it is my season. so why will you not help me who am filled with sorrow? Quickly. O king. Holding onto the branch of an Asoka tree that was covered with clusters of new blossoms. For many years the royal son of Nahusa enjoyed his life with Devayani. of royal descent and faithful conduct. yearning to see the man she would love as her husband. O lord of men. The king must give me the fruit of a son. passing his days as joyfully as a god. Feeling very lonely and confused. and with the permission of that great soul he joyfully returned to his city. saw that she had also reached the full maturity of her youth and that her season for begetting had come. Now I beg you. food." Sarmistha then freed her mind of lust and envy. but I have reached my full youth for nothing. You must always honor her in every way. she studied her face in a mirror. but I have not chosen a husband. Yayati respectfully circumambulated the sage. but you are not to call her to your bed.CHAPTER 77 Sri Vaisampayana said: Upon reaching his city. "O Asoka tree. and folding her hands in supplication she said. After a thousand years had passed. With Devayani's permission. make me have the same name as you by showing me the face of my lover. and it came to pass. Visnu. bathed. the daughter of Vrsaparva. I beseech you for your mercy. Seeing him alone in that secluded place. which shone in splendor like the city of the great Indra. ADI PARVA . He reached the spot where Sarmistha was standing and stood in front of her. "My fertile season has come. She began to think. Devayani simply chose the king as her husband. will also go with you. Sarmistha paused and then said. Would he agree. and went out to the grove. to come and see me in private?" At that time. but I have not chosen a husband. Yayati treated Sarmistha with much respect and gave the Asura princess an equal portion of fine garments. who lived in the midst of her thousand maidservants. That is my conclusion. I am going to do the exact same thing! I will also choose him as my husband. Sarmistha went right up to the king with a beautiful smile on her lips. that things be rightly done? Devayani has given birth to a son. the daughter of Vrsaparva. Yayati entered his palace and settled his new wife Devayani in the women's quarters.the greatest pleasure. even now. Yayati said: . Sarmistha. When her proper season had come. "My season for begetting has come. What is happening to me. and what should I do? And what can I do. Indra. or indeed in your house. she said. adorned herself with all her best jewels. he constructed a house near a small grove of Asoka trees and there he settled the daughter of Vrsaparva." Having thus spoken. the king happened to come out of his palace and went walking near the Asoka grove. This young girl Sarmistha. Vaisampayana said: At these words. your name means that you have no sorrow. Yama.

they earnestly honored one another and departed as they had come. Sarmistha said: Save me from irreligion. Oh.CHAPTER 78 Sri Vaisampayana said: O Bharata. I would then practice the most noble principles of virtue. I do not dare act falsely. I am the humble servant of not keep separate property. began to worry and was filled with grief over Sarmistha's situation. words spoken in jest do no serious harm. O king . After he had approached Sarmistha for union and taken her as much as he desired. O lord of men. nor do words spoken to women or at the time of a wedding or when life is about to be lost or when all one's fortune is being stolen. King Yayati said: A king has to be a model for all other people. not knowing the father's identity. three persons-. All right. even when less than the truth. A lie will damage one who speaks it to those joined with him in a common purpose. since my best friend has chosen you as her husband. the learned Sukra said. O king . Thus. with her lovely smile and charming brows. you should care for me also. But when I took away Devayani. and now you are begging from me. that lotus-eyed woman gave birth to a lotus-eyed son who shone like a child of the gods. so that she might prepare. Approaching Sarmistha. and if he speaks falsely his position will be lost. In due time. hearing that her unmarried girlfriend had given birth to a male child. but rather live under the protection of the husband. if a person is called as a witness and speaks falsely. By that contact Sarmistha.I know you as the faultless Daitya girl whose behavior has always been ideal. King Yayati said: I have taken a sacred vow to give charity to those who beg it from me. ADI PARVA . speaking less than the truth is not a sin. Whatever these three acquire is of the same patrimony. and a son-. obtained her first pregnancy from the highest of kings. a descendent of Bhrgu. "O Subhruup6 \chftn . Therefore. O king. I do not see a flaw the size of a needle point. Devayani said. O king . "Do not call the daughter of Vrsaparva to your bed. Sarmistha said: It is generally considered that a girl's own husband and the husband of her best friend are very close in her eyes. If in this life I could become the mother of your child. and the father. then. As far as your physical beauty is concerned. the sweetsmiling Devayani. it is almost like her own marriage. and keep me on the path of virtue.a wife. When her best girl friend is married. the king was convinced that she was correct. a servant. Even if I come to suffer the greatest misfortune. In these five circumstances. then he is said to be false and fallen. it is natural that I do also. and she in turn is under your control. please accept me! Sri Vaisampayana said: When addressed in this way. the master. tell me what I can do to please you. and he honored Sarmistha and taught her the sacred law for begetting." Sarmistha said: O king.

King Yayati begot two sons in Devayani. the boys kept pointing to that best of kings. gave birth to three boys named Druhyu. and the little boys then ran crying to their mother. I also chose him. and they explained that their mother was Sarmistha. convinced that everything was proper. Devayani said: If that is the case. O king . then I am not angry." After thus questioning the king. and I am telling you the truth. the name. sweet-smiling Devayani went out with Yayati to the deep forest. if in fact you obtained this child from the best and most senior of the twice-born. I do what is right and religious. By the principles of dharma. these splendid boys who are sons of the gods? Their brightness and beauty remind me of you. like the fiery sun. they all came up to the king. she began to inquire from the boys. Yadu and Turvasu. she said. Sarmistha. I am to respect and honor my saintly king. but even more than you. fair lady. and Puru. joking and laughing with one another for some time. Have you no fear?" Sarmistha said: O beautiful smiling woman. but the king would not receive them in front of Devayani. Don't you know this? Sri Vaisampayana said: . "My dear sons. I honor and respect you because you are older and better than I. I want to known the lineage. Anu. Seeing how much love the boys showed toward the king and understanding what had actually happened. as beautiful as gods. how could such a disaster take place out of lust for romance?" Sarmistha said: Some saintly person passed by here. playing without any cares. what I told you about the sage was true. When you chose the king. O sweet-smiling lady. and the parents of this sage. a most religious man who had mastered all the Vedas. what is the family name of your brahmana father? Explain to me truthfully.. He offered me a boon. so I do not fear you. O king . and there she saw three young boys. I want to hear it from you. Sarmistha said: He was blazing with strength and potency. Sri Vaisampayana said: When Sarmistha had relieved Devayani's anxiety with her story. daughter of Vrsaparva. "Whose children are these. Having spoken. the husband of a girl's best friend becomes her husband. Then the daughter of the learned Sukra returned to her palace. O sweet-smiling one. And I did not satisfy it in an illicit way.rootnote rs20 up6 \chftn A lady with lovely eyebrows. Sarmistha. the two old friends began to talk together. and seeing him before me I had no power to question him on all these matters. who were like a second Indra and Visnu. if this brahmana were someone familiar to us. the goddess Devayani then spoke to Sarmistha: "You are meant to serve me! Why did you do that which displeases me? You are fixed in the ways of the Asuras. and I begged him to fulfill my desire to beget a religious child. And by the saintly King Yayati. modest lady." With their forefingers. Then one day. Amazed by this. Devayani said: It would be quite nice. Thus my child is born of that sage. being a brahmani. Yayati. My desire was proper. Sarmistha.

the son of Nahusa. I will not live here any longer. but to me he has given only two sons! O learned one of the Bhrgu dynasty. you are subordinate to me. O son of Nahusa." Devayani suddenly rose up with tears in her eyes and quickly departed for the house of her father. The natural order has been overturned. it is nothing but thievery. Devayani then said. she respectfully greeted him. standing directly before him. trying to pacify her. then according to the learned he is killing the embryo. for once again Sarmistha. you have broken those principles for your pleasure! Therefore I curse you that invincible old age will immediately take hold of you. Seeing this. for you have treated me most unkindly.Hearing her words. I was afraid of committing an irreligious act and therefore. King Yayati said: O brahmana. my youthful desires to enjoy with Devayani have not been satisfied. O king. after carefully considering all these reasons. Immediately thereafter. and I acted in accord with religious principles. O lord of the Bhrgu line. if you so desire. O brahmana. he will inherit the kingdom and receive all the rewards of piety and fame. Sri Vaisampayana said: Cursed by the angry Sukra. Sri Sukra said: Knowing well the religious principles involved here. Without speaking a single word to the king. King Yayati said: O brahmana. . then and there gave up his youthful age and suddenly became a very old man. Sri Sukra said: Still. and since I gave you a specific instruction in this regard I should have been consulted if you wanted to act otherwise. the lady of lovely eyes quickly arrived in the presence of the learned Sukra. Yayati also paid his respects to the descendant of Bhrgu. I agreed to approach Sarmistha. King Yayati said: My lord. Yayati. the daughter of the Asura king begged me for a child in her proper season. that a man who does not give a child to a worthy woman who begs him for it commits the sin of killing the embryo. When an eligible woman yearning for a child begs a man in a private place and he does not approach her according to the sacred rules. However. the king became quite disturbed and followed her. Be merciful! Don't let this old age overcome me! Sri Sukra said: I do not speak falsely. Upon seeing her father. and there is chaos in the world. this king is celebrated as a knower of religious principles. I tell you she has given birth to three sons with King Yayati. O king . But her eyes were red with fury and she would not turn back. and thus old age has already come to you. Sukra. Dear father. When a person behaves falsely in matters of religion. the daughter of Vrsaparva. I had no other motive in my mind. "O king . you may transfer your old age to someone else. has offended me. please grant me that if one of my sons gives me his youth. Devayani said: Irreligion has conquered religion. but I tell you he has transgressed all morality. it is clearly stated in scripture by the brahmanas themselves.

[How shall I thus gain liberation from this world if I do not sate these desires?] "You. I shall give you back your youth. thin. and with your youth I will be able to finish enjoying the material sense objects. your children will be cut off from the noble Vedic culture. King Yayati said: Though you are born of my heart. and I shall take back my sin and my old age. And long life. and you will not suffer any further sin. old age. please take upon yourself my sin. and white hair have imposed themselves on me even though I did not have my fill of youth. weak. Yadu said: With old age. you will not offer me your youth. dear Yadu. father. whose way of living runs counter to the culture of the twice-born. along with the old age. After a full thousand years. feeding themselves on flesh. Turvasu. And it is covered with wrinkles.CHAPTER 79 Sri Vaisampayana said: Having become an old man and returned to his city. Foolish one. I will give you back your youth. and younger people. glory. and I shall take back my sin and my old age. you will be king of a people whose behavior and laws are utterly confused.Sri Sukra said: I shall transfer your old age as you wish. however. the very ones he maintained with his labor. and accept my old age. wrinkles. one's head and beard turn white. Yadu. There you will be king-. for old age ruins one's pleasure and enjoyment of life. "Yadu. and said to him. It destroys one's strength and beauty and devastates one's intelligence and stamina. Whichever of your sons gives you his youth. by the curse of the learned Sukra. They will lust after the wives of their own gurus and degrade themselves to the species of lower life. my dear son.among the sinful killers of animals who follow the customs of beasts. ADI PARVA . Therefore. take advantage of him. he will be king. and who are the lowest of mankind. I do not hanker for such old age. Turvasu. you will not offer me your youth. Always remember me and my command. Sri Vaisampayana said: Having thus cursed his son Turvasu. Turvasu said: I do not want to be old. King Yayati said: Though you are born of my heart. "Druhyu. At the end of one thousand years. Druhyu said: . and the body turns wretched and slack. O son of Nahusa. even though it destroys strength and beauty. and I shall take again my own sin and decrepitude. and unpleasant to see. Yayati called Sarmistha's son Druhyu and said to him. and with your youth I will be able to finish enjoying material sense objects. At the end of one thousand years I will give you back your youth. I also regret to say that your children will not receive a kingdom. beloved son. you must give me your own youth for a thousand years. should take upon yourself my sin and old age. King Yayati called his oldest and most celebrated son. An old person has no strength to do his work. and many fine children shall all be his. Therefore.

and at irregular times. After a full thousand years. I do not hanker for such a life of old age.An old man cannot enjoy riding on elephants or chariots or on horseback. sir. nor can he know the pleasures of women. my youth. O king. so that I may live for a thousand years with your youth. and you yourself will slip and fall before the sacrificial fire. he mercifully granted their desires. As a prominent king. King Yayati said: Though you are born of my heart. according to his taste and pleasure. however. Sri Vaisampayana said: Thus addressed. Even his voice quivers and cracks. all that his senses desired. and the greatest of kings began to enjoy. You will not be called king. and you will dwell where there is scarcity of roads and traveling is by ferry and boat.CHAPTER 80 Sri Vaisampayana said: Endowed with the youth of his son Puru. King Yayati said: Though you are born of my heart. Therefore. and to the exalted members of the twice-born community he gave whatever they needed. but following his enthusiasm. I shall accept. I shall carry out your words just as you have spoken them. and he pleased the forefathers with sraddha ceremonies for their benefit. Therefore you will have to accept the very problems of old age you have just mentioned. and you please take my youth from me and fulfill your desires as you like. you will not offer me your youth. Puru. I am not eager to accept old age. he did not violate the religious principles or enjoy what he should not. he enjoyed whatever and whenever he desired. "Maharaja. you will never achieve what you most desire. Anu said: An old man takes his food like a baby. and white hair have come upon me by the curse of the learned Sukra. but rather you and your followers will be known as Bhojas. I will give you back your youth. was quite satisfied. ADI PARVA . you must take upon yourself my sin and old age. you will not offer me your youth. my child. son of Nahusa. and they will have the kingdom. you are my beloved son. your sin and old age. and you will be the best. I shall pass my life as you have instructed me. old age. and I myself shall accept my own sin and old age. Druhyu. Dear child. so that for some time I may enjoy material sense objects with your youthful vigor. Nor can he offer sacrifice into the fire at the proper times. My son Anu. having given to you. Puru replied to his father without hestiation. and with my love I offer you this: your children will be endowed with all they desire. He satisfied the gods with sacrifices. you actually love me. wrinkles." King Yayati said: Puru. Puru. King Yayati. drooling. unclean. Covered by your old age and bearing your withered form. To the downtrodde. . according to Vedic principles. Your children will perish upon attaining their full youth. but I could not yet satisfy my youthful desires. you must accept my sin and decrepitude.

He therefore said to his son Puru." King Yayati. Puru deserves this kingdom. I am so pleased with you. and take the kingdom also. and he was followed by Turvasu. for it is he who bore my old age! Puru acted as a true son and fulfilled his father's wish. and Anu begot sons of the mleccha class. the mighty king counted the days and hours and realized that the time was up. Therefore I humbly entreat you good people. One who is against the father is not considered by saintly authorities to be a true son. I was insulted by Yadu and similarly by Turvasu. and may God bless you. then Anu. My dear Puru. Druhyu's sons were called the Bhojas. always acting for the good of his mother and father. and that is why I can in no way give him the kingdom. A son who abides by his father and mother is worthy to be called a son. then spoke out to the king. Seeing that the king desired to consecrate his youngest son. for you must always preserve the principles of justice. After giving over the kingdom to Puru. my son. Druhyu. deserves all good fortune. as the next ruler. did not carry out my command. From Yadu were born the Yadavas. A son who acts on the words of his mother and father. how can you pass over Yadu. It is Puru who obeyed my command and treated me with special consideration. Remembering that his youth was supposed to end in a thousand years. Puru. is a son on the proper path. the monarch grew sated and weary of wordly enjoyments. headed by the brahmanas. My youngest son will inherit my kingdom. He treated the laboring class with kind consideration.He gratified unexpected guests with food and drink. my lord. son of Nahusa. and only then Puru. and the criminals with stern repression. All of them showed me great disrespect. though he be the youngest. nothing further need be said. and even by Anu. The learned Sukra himself gave me a boon that whatever son of mine faithfully followed his father would become the next king and ruler of the earth. the grandson of Sukra and the eldest son of Devayani. the son of Nahusa then consecrated his son Puru as the new ruler of his kingdom. for he is the son who has pleased you. My eldest son. and instead award the kingdom to Puru? Yadu took birth as your eldest son. the king could again appreciate the sense objects. and without transgressing religious law. Take now your youth. I have experienced the sense objects as much as I desired. always desiring their welfare. Having attained all the good things he desired. and he encouraged the mercantile community by providing social and political security. King Yayati said: O citizens of all the social classes. and Puru took back his own youth. for you are the son who most pleased me. and well conscious of time. How can the youngest son deserve to pass over his older brothers and accept the kingdom? We bring this to your attention. Ultimately the king pleased all the citizens of the land by his strict adherence to the sacred law. members of the four social divisions. Yadu. "With your youtful vigor. "O lord. Next came Sarmistha's son Druhyu. and he ruled and protected the people like a new Indra incarnate. Sri Vaisampayana said: Inspired by the words of the citizens. he experienced the greatest material joy. let Puru be consecrated as your king! The people said: The son who demonstrates good qualities. headed by the brahmanas. following my enthusiasm at suitable times and places. he took religious intiation into the next phase of his life. and accompanied by brahmanas and ascetics. Strong and bold as a lion with his youthful body. all of you please hear my words. From Puru came the Paurava . and considering the boon given by Sukra. the king departed his city to dwell in the forest as a renunciant. the sons of Turvasu were the Yavanas. then accepted his old age.

Thereafter. Control of the state is now in your hands. ADI PARVA . and he was as brilliant as the shining sun. it is said. King Yayati ruled the wide earth and caused the Kuru dynasty to flourish. having thus installed his beloved son on the royal throne. and Sibi. as well as on the earth. He was equal to Lord Indra. I have heard from authorities that when King Yayati was cast out of heaven and was falling downward.dynasty. After consecrating his youngest son as king.] Dwelling in the forest. and father. in which you were born. Yayati went to the abode of the gods and joyfully dwelled in that happy land. Now he adopted the third stage of life. that he was promoted at the time of death to the heavenly planets. joyfully departed for the forest. he did not reach the surface of the earth but remained positioned in space. So serious was the king in his religious practice. humbly eating the remnants of others. king of the gods. Having sent away his other sons. just as it happened. son of Nahusa. with his . [In the first stage of his life as a young student. the king resided for a long time in the forest and subsisted on forest fruits and roots. and he lived off whatever he could glean from his austere environment. King Yayati was happy to come to this third stage of life. and you are to rule this kingdom for one thousand years. he carefully practiced the renounced life of vanaprastha. O king. He then adopted the third stage of life. called vanaprastha. the mighty king again reached the heavenly planets after having met with kings Vasumata. For thirty autumns the king lived on water and strictly controlled his speech and mind. Fortunately. to the far corners of the earth. The king lived in this way for a full thousand years. satisfying the forefathers and demigods with religious rites. His fame has spread wide and his glory is based on fact. with nothing omitted. for it is a pious story that vanquishes all the woes of sin. O saintly scholar. Then he married and entered the second stage of his life. Pratardana. Astaka. here in the presence of so many saints and sages. but after a relatively short time. That powerful man honored all his guests with forest fare that had first been offered to the Lord. that of a king. Lord Indra caused him to fall again to the earth. taming his senses and eating only the fruits and roots that grew in the forest. I shall explain to you the later history of Yayati in heaven. in which the husband and wife give up all family affairs and go to a sacred forest or hermitage to revive their pure spiritual consciousness. he resided in a hermitage with saintly brahmanas. He was indeed a great soul. Sri Vaisampayana said: Yes. was filled with joy.CHAPTER 81 Sri Vaisampayana said: King Yayati. his anger subdued. and I want to hear all about his activities in heaven and on earth. the son of Nahusa. Then for one year. husband. King Yayati. Strictly regulated. King Janamejaya said: By what act did that earthly ruler again achieve the heavenly abode? I desire to hear all this. he had lived as an austere and celibate brahmacari. and making regulated sacrificial offerings into the sacred fire. headed by Yadu.

For six months the king stood on one foot and consumed only air. and moving beyond the earth and outer space. a pandita. even in his wrath. but when a tolerant person is finally moved to wrath. and after some discussion with Yayati. the planet of the administrative gods. Indra asked: "What did you say to Puru when you awarded the kingdom to him and released him from the burden of old age." King Yayati said: I told him. Those same devotees will protect him from behind. And one who tolerates is better than an intolerant person. and the Vasus.CHAPTER 82 Sri Vaisampayana said: Having gone to the heavenly planets and dwelling thus in the abode of the gods. he went to the heavenly abode. never shoots those words that fall like arrows into the very heart of another soul. and for another year he performed the gruelling austerity of "five-fires" [lighting fires on all four sides and exposing himself to the blazing sun overhead throughout the heat of summer]. words that wound. and the tolerant one. while your brothers will be the rulers of uncivilized men who dwell in the far lands. that best of kings was honored by the celestial denizens such as the Sadhyas. tearing at them with his thorny tongue-know him to be the most unfortunate of all people. ever doing good. "A person who seeks progress on the spiritual path should act in such a way that he is honored to his face by the devotees of the Lord. we should not abuse others. the king ate only air. his anger burns up the abuser. Once Lord Indra happened to arrive in that place. the planet of the cosmic creator. It was thus that he acquired a pious fame. "Do not torment others or speak cruelly or sieze the little that a wretched person has or utter those words that so disturb another. to Brahmaloka. "All the land between the Ganga and Yamuna rivers is under your jurisdiction. for he bears evil calamity tightly bound to his mouth. and authorities say that he resided there for a long time.mind fully alert. You are the king of the middle portion of the earth. Tell me the truth. Thus a civilized person must follow the example of the Lord's devotees and always tolerate the insulting words of materialistic people. and words that take the speaker to the world of sin. the former king of the earth went from Devaloka. and whomever they strike begins to grieve day and night. Above the nonhuman creatures stand the humankind. Thus a wise person. and he who is wise will ever stand above one who lacks wisdom. enjoys the fruits of piety. he questioned the king." "When we are abused. determined to conquer the demands of the body as he had once conquered hostile kings. the Maruts. "One who is free of anger surpasses the angry. "Words that are like arrows fly from one's mouth. "A man who injures others with his harsh speech. Self-controlled. ADI PARVA . .

and thus even having fallen you will again regain your position. the Gandharvas. then grant me this one desire: let he who is now bereft of the heavenly abode fall into the midst of saintly devotees of the Lord. we shall therefore inquire first from you who have such enviable form and beauty. who is equal to you in the performance of austerity? King Yayati said: Lord Indra. a saintly king named Astaka.CHAPTER 83 Lord Indra said: Having finished all your family and kingly duties and having renounced your home. Yayati. like the best of sky-goers. the sun. you will fall as you desire into the midst of saintly devotees of the Lord. for we eagerly desire to know the truth of your fall. these higher planets must therefore come to an end for you. who protected the principles of devotional service to the Lord. the glowing sun. because you show disdain for persons who are actually equal to or better than you. as he emerges from shifting masses of darkening clouds."In all the three worlds there is no better way to win the hearts of others than to be a true friend to all creatures. never again show disdain for those who are your equals and superiors. if by my offenses to the gods. We assume you to be in a superior position and would not dare to question you first. king Yayati gave up the pious planets enjoyed by the king of the immortals. sages. as young and beautiful as Indra? By your own potency you are as luminous as fire. the human beings. One should honor the honorable. and even for those who may be more sinful than you. and why have you come here? . "Who are you. without actually understanding the real strength and quality of any of them. as radiant as the sun or fire. which resembles that of Indra. and never beg at any time. O king. I do not see anyone among the gods.who is this immeasureable being. and we wonder and guess-. But since you do not ask us who we are. and you seem to fly as you fall. Lord Indra said: O king. and seeing you descend the very road that leads to the gods. By your arrogance you have exhausted your piety. or Lord Visnu Himself. Lord Indra replied. all of us rise up at once to receive you. to be giving. O son of Nahusa. and as he was falling. falling into our midst? "Observing your power. and never words that cut and wound. and to speak sweet and gentle words. saw Yayati coming down and said to him. ADI PARVA . Thus one should always speak comforting words. Seeing you fall from the sun's path. Therefore I frankly ask you. give to others. Yayati. and humans. Gandharvas. I have actually lost my residence on the upper planets. Who is your leader. or even among the great sages who is equal to me in the performance of austerity. and today you will fall. Knowing all this. all of us are confused. you went to the forest. King Yayati said: O king of the gods. Sri Vaisampayana said: Thereupon.

CHAPTER 84 King Yayati said: I am Yayati. in austerity. can bother you here. King Yayati replied. and all conditions of life depend on the sanction of divine providence. Because of my disdain for all other creatures."Let all your fear be done! And give up all sorrow and confusion. the slayer of Bala. as the sun is the lord of illumination. I am falling straight down. who always speaks that which is favorable and desireable for the soul. they are the natural leaders of all moving and unmoving creatures. and keeps to his determination. both depend on divine providence and are not within our personal power. Know with certainty that you are in the company of the Lord's servants. for whether one enjoys material happiness or distress. association with the Lord's devotees is the basis for regaining that happy life. Thus we accept you not only as older in age. Authorities say that sin is undesirable because it goes against the progress of our activities and gradually leads us to a life of evil and suffering. and I shall not have it again soon. "For the Lord's servants who have fallen from their happy life. that one who is senior in years is to be honored. the son of Nahusa and the father of Puru. "As fire is the lord of heat and warming. Therefore. and no one. But one who resolves to act for the benefit of the soul and not just the body. you whose beauty equals that of the king of the gods. and I waited for you to greet me in deference to their rule. so for the Lord's servants. A living being should not burn with grief or rejoice over the material conditions of life. Remembering that destiny is very strong." ADI PARVA . for you are among persons who like yourself are devoted to the eternal path. Great and abundant wealth was certainly mine. for I remember that I will undoubtedly achieve that which the creator ordains for me . a sober person is not overwhelmed in any condition of life. or in age. I was expelled from the planets of the gods and perfected sages. My dear King Astaka. but in wisdom as well. Now you are properly situated. remembering that the soul is different from the body and that the body is placed in certain conditions by very strong destiny. it is also a fact that for the twice-born a more learned person is considered older and worthy of honor. King Astaka said: Although you said. however I might endeavor. can realize spiritual knowledge even while living in this world. I am never bewildered by danger. The twice-born always honor a person who is senior in knowledge. It is only because I am senior to you gentlemen in age that I did not first offer you a respectful greeting. O king. and that therefore you did not greet us in any way. one should never burn with grief or rejoice for temporary things. a guest who arrives is their lord. for the soul in this world has lost his freedom to do whatever he likes. Now. having deviated. but rather a sober person should always remain equal in both. as earth is the lord of planting. and with little pious credit. For when the saintly devotees unite. Therefore. the saintly do not follow the sinful path of materialistic persons but rather listen to the Lord within the heart. There are many different states of existence in this world of conditioned souls. nor do I experience any suffering in my mind. not even Lord Indra. One should not grieve when there is trouble or rejoice over material success.

the stalks of grass. Then you experienced many other planets. O noble kings. As I fell through inner space. indeed. My dear Astaka. I attained to all the planets and dwelled in each as long and as well as I desired. the woody tree-all must face their destined destruction. All creatures-. the egg-born. Thereupon I approached a superior planet that so few attain: the dazzling. you who were king in the Age of Truth? . where there are groves of the most gorgeous trees with flowers of pure. the cosmic lord. the fish in the sea. Explain everything exactly as it happened.CHAPTER 85 King Astaka said: Having lived in the paradise of Nandana for centuries beyond reckoning. I attained to the great planets and dwelled there for a thousand years. King Yayati said: I was a king in this world. the vegetables. sublime fragrance. "Go down! Go down! Go down!" That is as much as I know. and there I lived well for a thousand years. I heard the voices of the this world." I said to them. considering the impermanence of joy and sorrow. O king. and the curling smoke of holy sacrifice. I try to be alert to my spiritual progress and free myself of all anxiety over my temporary condition. Only their original spiritual nature remains. I dwelled there for a thousand years. I remained there. he is falling. I exhausted my pious merit and fell from the material paradise called Nandana. O lionlike king. I ruled the entire earth. Thus winning admission into the worlds of one demigod after another. even as I fell. the worms. the crawling things. I am eager to hear from you. After that life. why should I accept material suffering [as real]? Why should I endeavor [to get material happiness]? How can I avoid suffering? Rather. Please tell me. and in power and splendor I was not less than the controllers of the universe. and that now. ADI PARVA . From there I was able to approach a higher planet and enter the charming city of Lord Indra. and from there I approached a higher planet.the insects born of sweat. time beyond reckoning. Thus able to change my form at will. I dwelled for countless centuries with the celestial pleasure maidens in the paradise called Nandana. King Astaka said: Formerly you were a great king of the earth. until one day an official messenger of the gods appeared in a frightening form and in a deep voice called out to me. who out of their compassion lamented my fate: "How painful it is that Yayati has exhausted his pious merit. All the gods honored me. the stones. how could you forsake it and come again to the earth. and a long time passed. of the most important worlds you visited. attached to those godly pleasures. "Tell me how I can fall into the midst of saintly persons!" They pointed out to me your sacrificial ground. with its thousand gateways and its eight hundred-mile diameter. guided and reassured by the aroma of pure butter being offered into the fire. for you speak on religious principles like a self-realized soul dwelling within the field of the body. and assuming any form at will. unaging world of the Prajapati. even though he performed so many pious deeds and had such pious fame. and upon seeing it I quickly came here. and how long you remained in each.

. Or he may reside in water. they all fall back down to this earthly hell and flourish in different species to serve as food for herons. how does the soul then live and how does he return? Before this. in air. which is then released by the man and enters into a woman at the time of her passionate season. a process contaminated by lust and greed and personal ambition. The soul may also assume the form of a lordly tree. He falls to this earthly hell and does not reckon the countless years that pass. or beneath the surface of the earth. That is the sum and substance of going to material heaven. and how do they again enter the womb of a mother? King Yayati said: Coming to earth within a tearlike drop of rain. impelled by his flagrant attempts to enjoy the material world. King Yayati said: Wailing in utter grief. Thus he exists and enters the womb of a mother. so please explain to me. The soul takes on various bodies as a quadraped or biped. the soul is absorbed into a flowering or fruitbearing plant. King Astaka said: When the vultures. they fall in space for sixty thousand years-. dear king. Therefore people in this world should avoid the abominable process of promoting oneself to that realm. the soul enters his semen.others for eighty thousand years-. When souls begin their fall from the higher planets.and horrible man-eating Raksasas of heart-stopping visage who dwell in the earthly hell beat and harass them as they descend. for he may enter all the species of life. and when the plant is eaten by a man. or he may remain in the sky. A human being may reach that realm. all the cosmic rulers and the hosts of gods immediately reject him. tell me what else I should tell you. King Astaka said: Does the soul in the womb directly furnish himself another body. And what sort of qualifications enable one to go to which planets? Speak on these points. I had not heard the earth described as "another hell. Now that I have explained that.King Yayati said: Just as on earth people abandon kith and kin and dearest friends whose wealth is spent. But there are other miseries. Thus the soul again develops an embryonic body to ready himself for rebirth. for I believe you are a self-realized soul within the field of the body. and crows. or that of an herb. or. is his desire sufficient to cause the body to grow? I am asking this out of doubt. O king. but as soon as his piety is spent." King Yayati said: The soul rises from its deceased body and clearly returns to the earth. how do those poor souls continue to exist. and how do they arise in new bodies? What type of existence do they have. jackels. and white-necked birds of prey have thus ripped up the body. flies. as the soul enters a human womb. so it is in material heaven. their piety spent. King Astaka said: How do people exhaust their piety in that realm? My mind is extremely confused on this point. King Astaka said: Since horrible earthly Raksasas of heart-stopping visage beat and harass the sinful as they fall.

He perceives aroma with his nose. with all its limbs and organs? How does he acquire physical eyes and us from all danger. please explain all this precisely. the same system of bodily airs expands the embryo step by step. humility. What else would you ask? King Astaka said: My dear teacher. and following the pathway opened by the subtle airs he enters another womb. two legs. and the system of subtle airs within in the body then draws the semen well up into the female womb. and moods and feelings with the mind. O great soul. that is. I have explained everything to you fully. touch with his sense of touch. Having given up one body. Astaka. Those who have performed good deeds enter a good womb. Apparently the person has perished and no longer exists. tranquility. you should know this to be the aggregate of faculties found within the material body of that great being called the soul. honesty. . and learns to recognize all forms with his eyes. but I do not want to speak more of that. learning. but when performed proudly the same four activities create danger for the performer. and compassion toward all creatures. according to the specific size and nature of the womb. King Astaka said: When a person dies. O lionlike king. and his study of higher knowledge will bear no fruit. and worship-. The sinful take birth as worms and flies.. self-control. entering the womb of a mother and accepting a particular body. what can a mortal do to achieve the very best planets? Is it by austerity or by serious study? Being questioned by me. There. which are then consumed. for the saintly recognize and honor the saintly. he accepts another. Rather. Do not take pleasure when you are honored in this world. flavor with the tongue. try to satisfy the saintly persons. then even if he achieves the higher planets he will fall down. and do not grieve when you are insulted. for we all consider you to be a knower of the soul within the field of the body. Grabbing onto the human body. so how does he again awaken to consciousness? King Yayati said: Having given up his material body with loud cries and groans. austerity. who bears in this world a mortal covering. Four activities-. King Yayati said: Mixed in the juice of flowering plants. which fosters full development of the five senses and mind. his body is burned or buried.How does the soul attain full development of his body. the soul is born and perceives sound with his ears. and those who lived sinfully enter a sinful womb. For example. six legs. or is simply worn away by the elements. All of his good and evil deeds are then placed before him. the soul enters a state resembling sleep. But the saintly say that these qualities will all be ruined and defeated by darkness if one is taken over by pride. and materialistic persons cannot understand the value of a servant of the Lord. charity. how can a person gradually achieve the exalted planets of the righteous? King Yayati said: One should practice austerity. the soul enters within the semen. O lionlike king. etc. if a person devotes himself to study but then proudly thinks himself learned and uses his erudition to defeat and humiliate others. and full consciousness? Please explain the truth of all that we ask you.sacrifice. Living beings appear in bodies of four legs.

Having acquired money by virtuous means. nor does he ever own a home or dwelling. thoughtful sages recognize that their true shelter is in the primeval Lord. and he must always be inclined to study. giving to others.CHAPTER 86 King Astaka said: How can people who live as householders reach the worlds of the demigods? How do a mendicant and a student who is always serving his acaryaup6 \chftn rootnote rs20 up6 \chftn acarya: the venerable teacher. they achieve an effulgent form full of spiritual bliss and attain the supreme state of peace. Departing from this world. beginning with the student. selfcontrolled. and never causing others pain or suffering. He goes to different countries and lands. Therefore. traveling a short distance at a time. having first offered the food to the Supreme Lord and his representatives. Those who have retired from household life and gone to the forest. One who thus dwells in the forest and eventually leaves his body in the forest provides the rewards of piety not only for himself. King Yayati said: Let us go in order. or spiritual master.attain to the gods? Does a vanaprastha. and they take pride in Him. always avoiding deceit. but to ten generations of his family before him and to ten generations that come after him. their minds devoted to Him. Although such spiritual practices seem like darkness itself for the materialists. achieve the higher worlds? Nowadays there are many answers given to this question. should live by their own effort. it is precisely in that so-called darkness that the higher planets are attained. a householder should perform religious sacrifice. and should be eager to serve his teacher. the greatest happiness is realized. the demigods. Next is the life of a married man. In this way. and feed any guests who happen to visit his home. By carefully avoiding false pride. the vana prasthas. they live just like sages and thus achieve the highest perfection. and determined. A student should recite his lessons when called upon by his teacher. This is the ancient teaching for those living at home in family life. and never crazy or negligent. A mendicant in the stage of full renunciation must not maintain himself by any craft. ADI PARVA . a brahmacari. moving about without dependence on material arrangements. or student. and one's desires are fulfilled. A student should be gentle. and with very few possessions. freed from any type of material attachment. He should not take from others what they do not offer him. give in charity. He carefully controls his senses. without being reminded. King Astaka said: . Thus dwelling in the forest and strictly regulating their eating and other activites. He should get up before his teacher and lie down after him. an intelligent person who has gone to the forest should seriously endeavor to learn self-control during the so-called night of self-realization. settled on the spiritual path."One should give charity as I have! People should worship as I do! They should study like me! Look at my vow!" Such a proud mentality is most dangerous for our spiritual life and must always be avoided. becomes perfect.

bone. King Yayati said: One who turns his back on the village when living in the forest and turns away from the forest while living in the village is called a muni. and how many different kinds of austerities do they perform? Please explain this. one will achieve perfection in this world. Rather. By remaining fixed in austerity. it is the real meditation. And while living in the village. or a most thoughtful man. Before one has lived a long life. who lives among people working to fulfill their material desires but remains self-controlled--. like the sun and the moon. When a muni feels no anxiety for his maintenance and looks for his food like a cow. ADI PARVA . then one may practice some other austerity. and weak in flesh. for one is never to practice that which is tantamount to cruelty. having conquered this world. O ruler of men. emaciated.that is. Of the two types of sage. if one devotedly follows the laws of God. who will not honor and accept him? Thin from austerity. O king.CHAPTER 87 King Astaka said: Some sages live in a village and some go to the forest. without thinking of profit.then such a devoted life is the true honesty. cuts his nails. for we are eager to hear. King Astaka said: How does one living in the forest turn his back on the village? And how does one dwelling in the village turn his back on the forest? King Yayati said: The forest sage must not use anything from the village while living in the forest. and who controls his bodily senses becomes a muni. as well as all activities aimed at material gain. though one be penniless and positionless--. with innocent assurance. takes no support from his family. a sage turns his back on the forest and becomes a muni when he gives up the use of fire. completely fixed in self-control. then.How many types of renounced sages are there. and despite a low background now acts like a pure soul. bathes. If a person cleans his teeth. has no dwelling. and desires only loincloth and rags to cover his body. he goes on to conquer the planets beyond the earth. King Astaka said: . and blood. which will be first to attain equal status with the gods? King Yayati said: One who lives among householders but has no house. One who gives up all desires for sense gratification. and it is actual nobility. if the body grows weak or diseased one should try to continue one's practice of austerity. with only enough food to maintain his life. Authorities say that we are not to follow a path that leads to cruelty [to oneself or others]. he regains his original world and becomes eligible for immortal life. a mendicant who can live in the village and still remain pure will first achieve the godly life. when a muni finally transcends the duality of this world. Both run steadily in their path. and thus he turns his back on the village and becomes a muni. But if it is too difficult or painful. dresses appropriately.

In fact. King Astaka said: I give those planets to you--. I must now continue my fall to this earthly hell. Do not keep falling! Let all those worlds be yours. the Absolute Truth. Yet I chose to fall into the midst of saintly persons: all of you qualified men who are gathered below. persons like me are not brahmanas. the planetary rulers and priests are rushing me down. as I used to give it myself. nor can he beg his maintenance. for I deem you to be a knower of the field of spiritual principles. King Yayati said: O lion and leader of kings. and also as many forests. Not even a brahmana's wife should do so. What benefit could I hope to achieve. Whence have you come. When a learned king comes to misfortune by the order of divine providence. I obtained that benediction from Lord Indra. many higher planets await you. Just as I was about to fall to the earth.Who has sent you today as their messenger. full of purest butter and free of sorrow--. be they in heaven or middle space. A person like me who is ever mindful of virtue and fully aware of the sacred law cannot perform the . do not keep falling! O king. although I have knowledge of Brahman. King Astaka said: I request you. and therefore we do not accept charity. animals. but do not keep falling! King Yayati said: O leader of kings. a king should focus clearly on the spiritual principles and follow them. I must not do what noble kings never did before.all the worlds that are mine in heaven! O best of kings. and mountains. if each of those planets--. O valiant one. and in which direction lies your royal capital? King Yayati said: My piety spent. those worlds would last you forever. O saintly one? King Pratardana said: O handsome one. take them immediately. without hesitation! King Yayati said: A king of equal prowess. O king. King Pratardana said: I give those planets to you. if I have earned the right to any higher worlds in the middle sky or in heaven. Therefore. thrown from the heavens to come once more to earth. and you bear a beautiful garland. One who is not a brahmana should not be wretched and live by begging. O best of kings. I also would like to inquire from you if I. he will never try to flee his plight by inflicting cruelty on others. Pratardana. cannot desire the pious rewards of another. for even as I speak to all of you. that many planets await you in heaven and are yours. have earned any higher worlds either in the sky or heaven. Fully conscious of the glorious religious path.dripping with honey. Charity is always to be given to the twice-born brahmanas. O king? You are young and handsome and radiant.if each were to receive you for but seven days. for I too deem you to be a knower of this field of spiritual principles. Take them immediately. you should know that as many cows and horses as the creator has put on the earth. [then take those planets to break your fall]. whether they be in heaven or middle space. King Yayati said: O king.

if I have earned the right to enter any higher worlds. King Yayati said: O best of kings. Go to those planets. to be a knower of the field of spiritual principles. having given them to you. please accept my rights to those planets. I shall not journey to those worlds. and I do not remember ever making an unfair purchase. did you ever demean or refuse those who came to you seeking help and charity. For I too deem you. either in the middle sky or in heaven. request you [to take my future worlds]. King Yayati said: Since childhood. O saintly one? As King Yayati was thus speaking. nor within your heart. King Sibi said: I Sibi. so I must earn my own progress. If the purchase I proposed is not desireable. O best of kings. and there worship the Supreme. King Yayati said: As many worlds as there are. wherever the sun shines-. What benefit could I hope to achieve. O best of kings. then I shall simply give them to you. and those superior planets will host you unendingly. What benefit could I hope to achieve. then I will simply give them to you. If a sale is not desireable. or in all directions-. for they must all be yours. for I too deem you to be a knower of the field of spiritual principles. not by words. but do not keep falling! Let all the worlds be yours! O king. Thus you have earned admission to great celestial worlds that are as bright and beautiful as lightning and are alive with song. I shall not go to the worlds. I must not do what noble kings never did the sky. dear king. if I have earned a higher planet. I cannot .CHAPTER 88 King Vasumana said: I. in middle space or heaven. just as you are equal to Indra in your strength and influence and have thus earned an unending residence in the higher planets. great soul. Vasumana. the illustrious ruler Vasumana then addressed him. King Yayati said: O lord of men. known as Ausinara.that many are destined for your pleasure in heaven. King Sibi said: O king. ADI PARVA . please accept my rights to those planets. I must not do what noble kings have never done before. purchase them from me with a piece of straw. I hestiated to accept anything falsely acquired. King Vasumana said: I give you my rights to those planets.miserly act you have proposed. known as Rausadasvi. O saintly one? King Vasumana said: O king. ask you. on earth. if charity is completely repulsive to you.

tall and full of light. is my friend in every way. for I dare not do what I have never done before. austerity. since Indra.and tell me the truth-. and as they ascended the heavens. and whose son are you? Certainly no other king or brahmana in this world could accomplish what you have done. beauty. for I now reveal myself as your maternal grandfather. How then is Sibi passing our horses at such a terrific speed? King Yayati said: Sibi. shining forth like long flames of fire. gave all his acquired wealth to the Lord's mission. and I once ruled all the earth. shining forth like tall flames of fire. who shone like Indra and who was actually his maternal grandfather. King Astaka said: Look! There are five golden chariots! Whose are they? They are tall and full of light.all these qualities. whom do you serve.enjoy in a world that was earned and then given by another. and because he is embarassed to hear us glorify him. forgiveness. he has gone ahead in his chariot. O gentle king. King Astaka said: Dear king. dear Sibi. their shining devotion to sacred law covered the earth and sky. Charity. son of Nahusa and father of Puru. are to be found in the incomparable King Sibi. O king. We shall follow you when the time comes. truthfulness.where have you come from. I cannot welcome such a gift. whose mind never knew a malicious thought. Sri Vaisampayana said: Thereupon those great and devoted kings all boarded the chariots. but kindly give your gift to a truly worthy person. King Yayati said: All of us must go now. King Astaka said: I thought that I alone would be first to go to heaven. son of Usinara. justice. and asked him. and therefore Sibi is the best of all of us. have come to carry all of you. King Yayati said: These five golden chariots. O king-. if you do not welcome our gifts of the higher planets when each of us offers them. I am speaking confidential knowledge to my own people. and go courageously through the celestial skyways. together. Look! There is the pure path leading to the abode of God." King Yayati said: I am Yayati. Because this is his nature. I captured a hunred beautiful sacrificial horses . Thus. so that a greater man be saved. humility. devoted to truth and full of compassion. Having conquered the entire earth. King Yayati said: You are all saintly men. Sri Vaisampayana said: Then King Astaka again turned with intense curiosity to King Yayati. King Astaka said: Please get on this chariot. "I ask you. tolerance-. and we shall go to hell. the great soul. for it is together that we have gained admission to heaven. then all of us together shall present you our merit.

Of the four. They were Tamsu. The gods too received their share of my religious gifts. Pravira continued the dynasty. as you requested. each of unfathomable prowess. who was as daring as Indra. and all ten were devoted to sacrifice. the learned Satyepu. and his fame has filled the earth. and Ilina was victorious over the entire world. for their lives were glorious. without envy. These words of mine are not falsely spoken. all of whom were Maharathas. and all were heroes and Maharatha warriors. gold. Kaksepu. had four sons. was saved by the sons of his daughter. Sri Vaisampayana said: Thus that most exalted soul and king. and the greatest treasures. the powerful Krkanepu. Sanhanana. Sthalepu the Maharatha. He acted with extraordinary nobility. ADI PARVA . All ten had expert knowledge in all kinds of weapons. .CHAPTER 89 King Janamejaya said: My lord. explains our ascent to heaven to qualified brahmanas will receive from us the right to dwell on the very same godly planet. Sri Vaisampayana said: Yes. highly educated. Anadhrsti was the mother of these ten sons. Dharmepu. I shall explain to you. O ascetic sage. being the best warrior of his day. Raudrasva begot ten sons in an Apsara goddess. Atiratha. King Puru. who was as daring as the gods.on the plains and gave them to the brahmanas. whom I serve. begot in his wife Pausti three sons. I would like to hear about the kings who expanded the Puru dynasty. and they were all fully committed to the sacred law. Pravira. The heroic Tamsu begot Ilina as his son. begetting in his wife Syeni a heroic and masterful son. I gave hundreds and millions of cows alone. That is my conclusion. O king. and Vagmi were the three sons of Manasyu and his wife Sauviri. nor was there a weak or cowardly king. Maha. against whom no foe could stand. all of whom performed the great Rajasuya and Asvamedha sacrifices. I want to hear at length about the deeds of those kings. the lotus-eyed Manasyu. the mighty Tejepu. and giving up the earth he went to the heavenly planets. King Matinara. of their heroic strength and their qualities. and so was their wisdom. In this dynasty there never was a monarch who lacked good character. Vanepu. the mighty Tamsu. and the fire of sacrifice was ever blazing among the humankind. nor one bereft of worthy children. for all saintly and religious people ever honor the truth. who protected the four corners of the earth. of their numbers and conquests. founder of the dynasty. and Raudrasva. heroic. whose wealth is austerity. about the heroic kings who sustained the House of Puru with power equal to that of Indra. and the tenth. And in truth I say that all the godly beings. and their saintly abodes are worthy of my worship. Standilepu. Sannitepu. Their names were Rcepu. Subhru. Isvara. I gave this full and wide earth to the brahmanas in its entirety. and blessed with good children. with horses. the sages. the official head of the dynasty. Of these. and the incomparably effulgent Druhyu. the learned son of Rcepu. I declare that whoever. warriors of the highest category. In truth I say that both heaven and earth were mine. cows. won a brilliant reputation by conquering the earth.

He made his dwelling in the groves beside the large Sindhu River. Dhumini gave birth to Rksa. children. O Bharata. O king. O Bharata. When they had been living there for a thousand years. and Purumidha. such as the Raja-suya and the Asvamedha. and he consecrated Bhumanyu as the successor to the throne. for I am now going to try to regain my kingdom. O best of the Bharatas. marched against King Samvarana with ten full armies and defeated the Bharata king in battle. cattle. then himself begot a son named Vitatha. Bhumanyu. the exalted sage Vasistha approached them. Suhavi. and Suyaj. having quickly conquered the rest of the earth. O Janamejaya. Bhima. Aiksvaki gave birth to Ajamidha. also known as Rcika. Older than Jana and Rupina. As the people and their agriculture flourished. and then the king chose him to be their priest and adviser. and its abundance of multicolored jewels. had four sons. was ruling the abundant earth. for when Suhotra was king the land was full of elephants. you must become our royal priest. greeted him respectfully. Duhsanta. Sumidha. became the king. King Samvarana fled from his city with his wife. and Vasu. chariots. and he worshiped the Supreme Lord with many sacrifices. We hear from authorities that the kingdom was shattered by various kinds of calamities. a terrible devastation took place among the citizens. and Kesini to Jahnu.Ilina begot in his wife Rathantari five sons who were as solid as the five great elements: earth. and Vitatha was raised as the son of Bhumanyu. water. Seeing the sage. who is a pillar of your dynasty. and horses. and close friends. Because of the great danger. and prospering throngs of humankind. ministers. The eldest amoung them. Suhotra. the beloved descendent of Puru. but the king did not rejoice in his sons. and from Rksa was born Samvarana. the learned King Bharata was born. King Bharata. Bharata then worshiped the Lord with great sacrifices and obtained from sage Bharadvaj a son named Bhumanyu. the Pancala king. Rksa was declared to be the king. brought him gifts. Suhota. Suhotra held sway over the entire ocean-skirted earth. and sky. "Good sir. With her husband. cavalry. Prapurva. The earth seemed to sink under the heavy burden of her own abundance. Suhotra. and he sustained the dynasty. fire. and the Bharata warriors were stunned by the armies of their enemies. who had gone to some endeavor to journey there. Severe drought brought on famine and death. Jana. and respectfully told the resplendent seer all that happened to them. With his wife Puskarini. Ajamidha was senior among them. Shaking the earth with powerful elephants. the earth goddess shone in the company of her fellow gods. near an adjacent mountain. all the Bharatas immediately arose. and chariots. Nili to Duhsanta and Paramesthi. of immeasurable prowess. having obtained a son from the sage. O king. diseases spread rampantly. who was lord of the earth." . Their names were Duhsanta. and the lineage of the Kusikas springs from Jahnu. horses. named Suhotra. and he spread far and wide the great fame of the Bharata dynasty. inherited the kingdom. air. There the Bharatas lived in hardship for many long years. this lord of the earth. Vasistha lived with them for eight years. infantry. Bharata begot nine sons in three women. for he did not consider them worthy to carry on his work. Under his virtuous administration hunreds and thousands of religious shrines and sacrificial pillars decorated the land. then considered himself to be blessed with a worthy son. O Bharata. son of Rksa. eldest of the princes. with its plenitude of elephants. From Duhsanta and his wife Sakuntala. When Samvarana. Sura. himself begetting six sons in three women. All the great heroes who came to be known as the Pancalas descend from Duhsanta and Paramesthi. and Rupina.

Abhiraja. the mighty Citrasena. and again all the kings of the earth were made to bring tribute. mighty Salmala. and at the same time they were as spiritually-minded as godly sages. whose qualities manifested in their works and brought them glory. Citraratha. The first-born was Dhrtarastra. the mighty Jambunada. Vitarka. and I have carefully listened to you describe the generous and broad-minded kings of this dynasty. who resembled Indra. and they caused the dynasty of Ila to flourish. Ugrasena. Havihsrava. and the well-known Janamejaya. and the invincible Sumanyu. In the Bharata line. Uccaihsrava. he was anxious for self-realization and so he renounced his kingdom and went to the forest. Hasti. Indrasena. Susena. there were seven other mighty sons." they said. Santanu and the Maharatha Bahlika then received the kingdom. Bahlika. as the oldest son. We have heard that Kuru's learned wife Vahini bore him five sons. Kundala. and Bahlika. the Maharatha. and on the strength of his austerities that great ascetic king made Kuruksetra a holy land. Then Samvarana's austere wife Sauri gave birth to Kuru. and each was dedicated to the welfare of all creatures. Muni. the mighty son of Ajamidha again offered sacrifice to the Lord with many great ceremonies in which generous gifts were distributed to all the people. In that same line. the very splendid Nisadha. Their names were Devapi. O noble Bharata. Asvavan. many exalted monarchs arose.Vasistha uttered the sacred syllable Om. Among their descendants are many famous leaders. Under the tutelage of Vasistha. Each of them was expert in the principles of religion and government. Kundodara. by which he accepted the cause of the descendants of Bharata. But I . the heroic Sabalasva. followed by Pandu. Bhadrakara. Padati. O learned one. of the glorious beginnings of our family. We have heard that Vasistha then performed the sacred royal bathing cremony. All of the sons of Pariksit were expert in the principles of religion and government. Abhisvan. Dhrtarastra became the king. "He knows well the principles of justice. and his sons were Kundika. Jitari. Although Devapi. Having regained the earth. ADI PARVA . Their names are Kaksasena. and all the citizens chose the prince as successor to the throne. in the line of Manu other invincible godlike warriors took birth. Abhisvan's sons were Pariksit. The powerful sons of Janamejaya were celebrated throughout the world.] and from Pratipa three sons were born. [From Bhimasena. was heir to the throne. and Bhimasena. the great archer Pratipa took birth. Kratha. Viraja. King Samvarana again occupied the excellent city that was the former seat of King Bharata himself. It is by his name that the land of Kurujangala has become so famous throughout the world. Similarly.CHAPTER 90 King Janamejaya said: I have heard from you. Santanu. declaring the Paurava king Samvarana to be the rightful emperor of every king upon the wide surface of the earth. and the eighth. Vasati. headed by Janamejaya. O king. They were powerful Maharatha warriors. and the eighth.

Pururava. heroism. the daughter of Vrsaparva. and Rca took birth as their son. from Vivasvan. from Pururava. and from her Devatithi took birth. approached him and selected him as her husband. Sarvabhauma carried away the Kaikeyi princess Sunanda. Ayu. from the Prajapati Manu onward. Nahusa. Samyati married the beautiful daugher of Drsadvan named Varangi. powerful men? I have not heard enough of these heroes who possessed purity. By such devotion they developed truly exceptional qualities. Ahampati married the daughter of Krtavirya. and from her Aracina was born. From Daksa came Aditi. Please. from Manu. to discuss them is to savor a celestial ambrosia. and they are worthy of the highest praise. and this will purify the atmosphere of the entire world. It is well known that Janamejaya married Ananta of the Yadu dynasty. . Ilina begot in Rathantari five sons headed by Duhsanta. he retired to the forest. Rksa then married the daughter of Taksaka named Jvala and begot in her a son named Matinara. Manu. and Tamsu begot in Kalindi a son named Ilina. and Puru. from Aditi came Vivasvan. and from her Pracinvan was born. Ila. Duhsanta." Pracinvan then married Asmaki and begot in her a son named Samyati. and Akrodhana was born as their son. stamina. from Nahusa. Anu. Jayatsena then married the Vaidarbha princess named Susuva. and those of Puru are the Pauravas. people will be encouraged to lead a godly life. I heard this topic fully from Srila Vyasa. Rca married Sudeva of Anga and begot in her a son named Rksa. By hearing about them. the goddess of the river. Sarmistha. he is called Ayutanayi. Devatithi then married a princess of Videha named Maryada. sir. and Sarmistha. This son conquered the east up to the point where the sun rises. kindly tell me again at greater length this brilliant account. who would not be glad to hear of these saintly. from Ayu. Aracina married another Vaidarbha princess named Maryada. the daughter of Sukra. named Bhanumati. Yayati. Because he brought ten thousand men to sacrifice. but rather is inspired by their true greatness. The wife of Puru was named Kausalya. and daring. who completely explained the auspicious origins of your dynasty. Devayani. who performed three horse sacrifices. and from her was born Janamejaya. for they seriously dedicated their lives to the eternal and universal laws of God. and Ahampati was born as their son. The descendents of Yadu are the Yadavas. Now hear it from me. and from her Ayutanayi was born. The splendid fame of these kings and their wives is not fiction. not satisfied by such a brief telling of this truly enjoyable story. goodness. Mahabhauma in turn married the daughter of Prasenajit named Suyajna. Matinara performed a twelve-year sacrifice on the bank of the sacred Sarasvati River. The lineage coming down from these two ladies is as follows: Devayani gave birth to Yadu and Turvasu. Akrodhana married the Kalinga princess named Karandu. and therefore he was named Pracinvan. and when the sacrifice was finished Sarasvati herself. of course. from Ila. and Jayatsena was born as their son. and Sarvabhauma took birth as their son. Yayati had two wives. Therefore. Sri Vaisampayana said: Formerly. Having also worshipped the Lord by the grand Visvajita rite. the "owner of the East. O king. Ayutanayi married the daughter of Prthusrava named Bhasa. He then begot in her a son named Tamsu. power. daughter of Vrsaparva. gave birth to Druhyu. This history of saintly people creates enthusiasm for a godly life. and from her Mahabhauma was born. The lineage that descends from this noble couple is as follows: Sarasvati gave birth to a son named Tamsu by Matinara.

also known as Gandhakali. and from him descends another branch of the family tree. Suhotra married the daughter of Iksvaku named Suvarna. who came to be known as Bhisma. Dhrtarastra had one hunred sons by Gandhari. Viduratha married a princess of Magadha named Sampriya. and he at once stood before her and said. and from her Viduratha was born. Srila Vyasadeva. who was also called Pratipa. Among them the principal dynasty was preserved by Samvarana. and in Vimala and Rksa. She had two other sons by Santanu. Of the two. While still a boy Devapi retired to the forest for spiritual life. "Your brother Vicitravirya has gone to heaven childless. the goddess of the sacred Ganges River. There are two well-known verses from the story of Duhsanta and Sakuntala: "The mother is the container in which the father begets his son. Vikunthana married a Dasarha princess named Sudeva. Bhimasena in turn married a Kaikeyi princess named Sukumari. and a Gandhara princess." he replied and fathered three children. Bharata then married King Sarvasena's daughter. Citrangada became king." "The son who bears the father's seed will lift up his father from the abode of the lord of death. "What shall I do for you?" She told him. for he brought well-being to the bodies of the aged. who planted the seed of this child. Satyavati worried: "The dynasty of Duhsanta will be severed and lost. which was subsequently named after him.married Sakuntala. The son cannot be separated from the father. and he begot in her three sons named Devapi. and each of the sons became a king who founded a royal lineage. Thus the king was called Santanu. It is you. Pratipa then married a princess in the line of Sibi named Sunanda. Citrangada and Vicitravirya. and from her Pariksit was born. and from her Bharata took birth. Care for your son. O king.400 sons in a Kaikeyi princess. a Kasi princess named Sunanda. a Naga princess. but he was slain in his youth by a Gandharva also named Citrangada. the daughter of Visvamitra. Duhsanta! Do not be unkind to Sakuntala. and from her Bhumanyu took his birth. While Satyavati was still a virgin girl the sage Parasara begot in her an exalted child. who had received a boon to that effect from . Whatever aged person Santanu touched with his two hands would regain his youth and enjoy a happy life. and therefore Santanu became the ruler of the earth. who arranged to build the city of Hastinapura. and Vidura. for he is of his father." She thought of the sage Vyasadeva. and from her Bhimasena took birth. the two daughters of the Kasi king begotten in his wife Kausalya. Hasti married a princess of Trigarta named Yasodhara." A celestial voice commanded King Duhsanta: bharasva putram. Santanu. Be kind and beget a child on his behalf. Dhrtarastra. Sakuntala has spoken the truth. Then Vicitravirya became the king. Pandu. Vicitravirya married Ambika and Ambalika. Kuru then married a Dasarha princess named Subhangi. Samvarana married a princess in the line of Vivasvan named Tapati. and they begot a son named Arugvan. and from her Suhotra was born. In order to please his father Bhisma brought him the maiden Satyavati. Pariksit then married the daughter of Bahuda named Suyasa. and Bahlika. Arugvan also married a Magadha princess named Amrta. and from her was born Paryasrava. and from her was born Devavrata. and honored her as his mother. and from her Ajamidha was born. "Care for your son!" hence the child was called Bharata. and she bore him a son named Vikunthana. Ajamidha begot 2. Of these. Vicitrivirya left this world childless. and from her arose Hasti. but despite this marriage. Santanu married Ganga." "So be it. Bhumanyu married a Dasarha princess named Jaya. and from her Kuru was born.

and before you can taste the pleasure of union. After fleeing and then killing the demon Hidimba. Abhimanyu married Uttara. but they escaped with the help of Vidura. "I shall give life to this six-month-old embryo. Kunti and Madri. Struck by the arrows. and begot in her a son named Sarvaga. pale of complexion. and Sahadeva begot Srutakarma. and yet you struck me down. Madri insisted on following him and mounted his funeral pyre after saying to Kunti. The five Pandava brothers all begot sons in Draupadi. who were both jewels among women.Vyasadeva. the Lord told him "Because this child took birth when the Kuru dynasty was facing extinction (pariksine). "You know well that I was engaged in lawful activities. Srutakirti. and to Arjuna by Indra. Yudhisthira begot Prativindhya. the most prominent were Duryodhana. Yudhisthira also married Devika. you have slain me. Regaining their fortune. and his heart went out to her." The forest sages then brought Pandu's five sons and Kunti to the royal city of Hastinapura and entrusted them to Bhisma and Vidura." . where they won Draupadi as their wife. should carefully raise my twin sons. Having gone to Lord Krsna's city of Dvaraka. "Because of my whimsical act I have now come to this. whom he won in a Svayamvara ceremony. and begot in her a son named Suhotra. you will suddenly die!" Pandu. Kunti gave birth to Yudhisthira by the demigod Dharma. "You. and while there Bhima killed the Raksasa named Baka. who had not yet tasted the pleasure of union. Once Pandu saw Madri beautifully dressed. A plot was devised to burn them to death in a house of lacquer. Obtaining a wife from his mother's country. Pandu struck him down with his arrows." Reviving the infant. Pandu saw a sage disguised as a deer and mating with a doe (who was actually his ascetic wife). "Here is your co-wife. and Citrasena. Thereupon they all went to the capital of the Pancalas. Sahadeva married a Madri princess named Vijaya. Vikarna. I hear from authorities that a childless man can not achieve the higher planets. Finally he said to his spouse Kunti. Then." said Kunti. Therefore you also will undergo this same experience. Then Madri conceived Nakula and Sahadeva with the twin Asvinis. his name will be Pariksit. and a lifeless child was prematurely born to them. Once while hunting. and begot in her a son known as Yaudheya. they returned to their own country. who is childless. be kind and help her to also have progeny." "So be it. Bhima begot Sutasoma. Bhima married a Kasi princess named Baladhara. they went to the city of Ekacakra. the daughter of the Saibya King Govasana. Arjuna. Arjuna married the Lord's sister Subhadra and begot in her a son named Abhimanyu. O noble woman. instructed by Lord Krsna. Before I could even taste the pleasure of union. Kunti took the dead child on her lAdi Parva Chapter and the Lord said. Among Dhrtarastra's hunred sons. But upon touching her he lost his life. Duhsasana. Pandu was joyous and said to her. Nakula married a Cedi princess named Karenuvati and begot in her a son named Niramitra. Nakula." Thereafter. after heroically fighting for her hand. always avoided the curse and thus did not approach his two wives. For my sake you yourself must find a way to beget chilren. to Bhimasena by the Wind. These then are the eleven sons of the Pandavas. Satanika. Pandu had two wives. happened to come near. Bhimasena had begotten in the Raksasa woman Hidimba a son named Ghatotkaca. When the deer. Previous to that. the daughter of King Virata. the sage said to Pandu.

" [Though cursed to take birth on the earth. wore garments as luminous as the moon. the celestial Ganges. attained the heavenly abode. and pondering his plight. and so he collaborated with the Vedic scientists. and he wanted a father who was similarly dedicated to the Vedic culture. "King Pratipa is the best. you will have to take birth again among the mortal beings of the earth. the primeval creator of this universe. "My dear Vasus. that of Brahma."up6 \chftn rootnote rs18up6 \chftn Mahabhisa had achieved the higher planets by sacrifice and virtue. The greatest of river goddesses.CHAPTER 91 Vaisampayana said: Once in the dynasty of Iksvaku. "He is a brilliant monarch who is thoroughly religious. Then as Ganga was going down a celestial pathyway. even in the presence of holy Brahma. she saw the eight Vasus. there was born a king named Mahabhisa who ruled the earth. had also come to worship the venerable Brahma.Pariksit eventually married Madravati. as she is known. The lovely Ganga saw that her beauty had caused a great king to lose his self-control and fall from heaven. ADI PARVA . the wise brahmanas. [Even Brahma is not the Supreme God. why are you so pale and forlorn? Are you all right?" .] On one occasion Indra and his followers went to an even higher world. and after that you will again achieve the higher planets. married a princess of Videha. the holiest of river goddesses departed. and on the strength of his piety. Seeing such important gods in that condition the supreme river goddess inquired. and some sort of impurity had robbed them of their normal effulgence. where he experienced the celestial enjoyment of the higher beings who reside there. Thus the Puru and Pandava dynasty has been described. who frowned at Mahabhisa's lack of modesty and chided him: "Mahabhisa. Ganga." he said to himself. but when she entered the assembly a celestial wind shook those garments and raised them up. but Mahabhisa alone stared boldly at the lovely goddess. He desired to experience life on higher planets.] He began to consider all the different earthly kings whom he might accept as his father. who bore him a son named Asvamedha-datta. and one who faithfully hears of the lineage that began with Puru is freed of all the reactions to sin. [By carefully following Vedic science. of course. but their bodies looked battered. the best choice to be my father. Indeed they seemed to be thoroughly dejected. He always spoke the truth. exposing her flawless beauty. he satisfied Lord Indra. Immediately the hosts of gods turned their faces down at the embarrassing scene. Mahabhisa was given the right to select his own parents. many saintly kings were present. and Mahabhisa also was in attendance. [But like many great kings Mahabhisa was not satisfied with the pleasures of this world. Janamejaya begot in Vapustama two sons named Satanika and Sanku.] On that occasion. but he is certainly the greatest being in this universe. and his heroic deeds brought justice to the world. and their son was Janamejaya. where the inhabitants are far more advanced than the human beings of earth. Satanika.] Thus by the performance of a thousand Asvamedha rites and a hundred Vajapeya sacrifices. King Mahabhisa left the planet earth and traveled to the planet of Indra. so that he could easily return to the celestial planets.

" Thus addressed. As soon as we are born as your sons. just as you have stated it. and we can return at once to our real home in the higher planets. and with that combined prowess. therefore. I was thinking the same way. "[I want to know who my husband will be. Ganga said to the Vasus: "So be it!" and she added. what noble man will be your father?" The Vasus replied: A most virtuous soul named Santanu will appear in this world as the son of King Pratipa. Vasistha simply said that we had to take birth down there. Ganga said: O sinless Vasus. you travel throughout the three worlds [and thus you know how miserable is the earth compared to heaven].] Ganga said: I shall do what you ask.CHAPTER 92 Vaisampayana said: King Pratipa worked for the welfare of all living beings. but Santanu should have at least one son who lives. We do not wish to live on the earth. The Vasus said: Each of us shall contribute an eighth of our potency. Somehow we all became bewildered and crossed him while he was sitting concealed at his twilight rites. and that Santanu will be our father. His union with me should not go completely in vain. I shall give pleasure to Santanu and also grant what you godly Vasus desire. as they wished. for he is a realized speaker of the Absolute Truth. "Dear Ganga. . the great saint Vasistha Muni became angry with us for a small offense and has cursed us. Therefore your powerful son will be sonless. for we cannot enter the womb of an ordinary human woman. dear Ganga. The Vasus said: Ganga Devi. ADI PARVA . so that we can quickly atone for our offense. [We want to drown and be free of these miserable human bodies. and for his spiritual advancement he once sat on the banks of the holy Ganges and for many years chanted the Vedic hymns which describe and glorify the Absolute Truth. please come to earth as a human lady and become our mother. Therefore. Vaisampayana said: When the Vasus completed this agreement with Ganga.The godly Vasus replied.] Tell me. The moment we take birth the curse is finished. he did not say we had to stay there. you must throw us into the river waters. their minds were filled with joy. Vasistha grew furious and cursed us: `[Leave heaven!] All of you take birth in a [human] womb!' "There is no way to counteract Vasistha's curse. Santanu will have from you the son he desires. I agree. and they quickly went on their way. But no lineage will arise from him among the mortal beings. Yes.

As Ganga came out of the water. that transgression of Law would surely destroy me. O fair one. Moreover. which is the seat of a daughter-in-law. even as I am accepting you. and I could not describe the outstanding qualities of your family even in one hundred years. please understand that I've taken strict religious vows [and therefore I can only enjoy my own wife]. accept me.] O lovely one. Were I to surrender to your proposal. nor one who is not of my warrior race. my good woman. become my daughter-in-law. you will not grow old like human beings. but you rejected it. appeared before the king. Seeing the thoughtful young lady sitting on his lap. which was as wide and powerful as a Sala tree. and the Vasus had similarly fallen because they offended the great sage Vasista. The woman said: I am not an impure or improper woman who is not to be approached. O king. [Ganga knew that Pratipa was to be her future father-in-law. [Since you seem to be a goddess. You should know. "My good woman. fine woman. which is a seat for one's child or daughter-in-law.One day the lovely Ganga herself. . nor should he ever try to judge all that I may do.up6 \chftn rootnote rs20 up6 \chftn Ganga knew well that Pratipa spoke the truth. Therefore I will not make love to you. And yet your son must not investigate my own noble lineage. The woman said: O virtuous king. what can I do for you? What is it you desire?" She said: It is you I desire. Pratipa said: You urge me to engage in a pleasureable act. After all. that the left thigh is meant as a seat for one's lover. Santanu. If I may thus live with your son. after all. fine woman. Actually. and you may thus wait until my son is born and reaches the proper age for marriage. O king. it is because of your sincere devotion to God that I shall agree to enter your dynasty. you approached me and sat on my right thigh. I shall ever increase his joy. as if she were the Goddess of Fortune Herself. you chose to sit on my right thigh. King Pratipa said to her. the goddess of that sacred river. and she sat down on his right thigh. and she wanted to test his spiritual purity. O best of the Kurus. for I accept you on behalf of my future son. the illustrious House of Kuru. and he will have with me beloved and pious sons. you will find no fault in me. let it be so! I shall unite with your son. and I will never bring you misfortune. She also wanted from him his future son. but one that would violate my religious vow. and by these sons he will attain to the heavenly abode. Indeed. her most desirable body glowed with celestial beauty. Rather. the clever goddess went directly up to the saintly king as he studied the Vedas. for to reject women who are eager and in need is forbidden by the saintly. and in all her celestial beauty. for I am an eligible virgin girl. Certainly all earthly kings find shelter in you Kuru monarchs. for the saintliness of your dynasty is beyond compare. O shy one. Pratipa said: I cannot approach another woman for sex. Take me.] Thus with an innocent and lovely countenance. Mahabhisa had fallen from the higher planets for his improper conduct in the presence of Brahma. Good woman.

then I shall most certainly leave you at once. for you are beautiful and good. then by my order you must accept her. O noble Kuru. that the king of the world was satisfied. a woman approached me. King Pratipa entered the forest to prepare himself for the next life. Whatever I may do. As long as you act in that way. the king was astonished. and annointed him as king of the realm. playful goddess continued to glance at him. Mahabhisa was born to them." Having thus instructed his son. He took birth to extend the lineage of a peaceful father. O Kuru child. Then the king spoke to her with a kind and comforting voice. my son. you appear to be a child of the gods. If that fair-skinned lady comes to you in a secluded place. And when Santanu reached the maturity of his youth. seeking your good. but his thirst could not be quenched. Santanu ruled his kingdom wisely and his fame spread around the world. and so eager to please her husband. that fairest . as the king wandered alone on the river bank. whether it be good or bad." "So be it!" the king told her. Never say. joined by his wife. And Ganga behaved so well. O king. Each of her limbs was faultless. a Yaksi. She wore the finest garments. He was the best of kings. That splendid. "She is not to be questioned!" These words of warning stayed in his mind." Hearing the king's kind and gentle voice and seeing his smiling face. `Who are you? Who is your authority. I shall become your obedient queen. She was a goddess from heaven. my innocent child. and his hairs stood on end. and desiring to have a son by you. And simply by seeing that effulgent king walking there. which are frequented by perfected mystics and Caranas.Vaisampayana said: "So be it!" he said. fair woman?' Even if she does something that you feel should not be done. The king then awaited the birth of his son. at that time. My dear son. and within his heart he held firm to his promise. he saw an extraordinary woman who glowed intensely as if she were the Goddess of Fortune herself. and as he hunted stags and wild buffalo. But now. and she was adorned with celestial jewels. and was controlled by his desire for her. and Ganga felt the greatest joy. Once. for she was the goddess of the sacred river that travels throughout the universe. the best of royal warriors. and thus he spoke not a single word against her. whatever you may be. you must not try to stop me. for she had obtained the best of kings as her husband. he devoted himself to pious acts. or an earthly woman. she felt a strong affection for him. and remembering too her own promise to the Vasus. He was an accomplished archer and was always seen in the forests. He drank up her beauty with his eyes. and her skin was lustrous and fair like the bright whorl of a lotus. desiring you as her husband. O thin-wisted maiden. Pratipa. Santanu. generous. and thus he became Santanu. and she vanished on that very spot. as if he were her dearest friend. the blameless Ganga approached the king and gladdened his mind with the following words: "O earthly ruler. But if you should restrain me or speak unkindly to me. do not examine her. I will stay with you. if that woman accepts you as her husband. and noble. and thus. Seeing the perfection of her beauty. and when the couple was in their latter years. The beauty of her form was celestial. "Whether you are a goddess or a lady of the Danavas or the Gandharvas. a Pannagi. King Pratipa instructed his son as follows: "Once in the past. whether you are an Apsara. Please become my wife. then you must never question her. Santanu (before you were born). she was so lovely. he wandered alone along the banks of the Ganges. performed austerities to obtain a worthy son. or criticize me with unkind words. endowed with exquisite beauty. but she too could not satisfy her eyes. Santanu remembered well the indestructible worlds he had conquered by his former work. But please hear my words. for he was accustomed to hunt. Santanu came to his queen and enjoyed loving affairs with her. To be alone with him.

"Who are you? Who has taught you these things? Why do you kill your own sons? You child-killer! Don't commit this greatest of sins! Stop. for by this time he was filled with grief. Now your desire will be fulfilled. but my time with you has now expired. and so at their request I accepted that duty.] I wish the best for you. Ganga. the daughter of Jahnu. for he will live to carry out the greatest of vows. The king was very unhappy with this. but I must leave. [Only this one Vasu. By my actions they are now freed from the curse of the great soul Vasista. know that I promised the godly Vasus that as soon as they were born I would liberate them from their human birth. have given you this child. saying. [I knew how much you desired to go back to the higher planets.CHAPTER 93 Santanu said: You referred to the sage who cursed the Vasus as "Apava. you will return to the imperishable planets to live with the celestial beings. I will not kill this boy. according to our agreement. so Ganga delighted as much in Santanu. you wretched woman!" The woman said: You desire a son and actually you are an ideal father. By my agreement with the Vasus. She was expert in conjugal affairs and knew how to make her husband feel loved. and I sincerely wanted to help you. and therefore I accepted a human life. And all of Santanu's fortunes now depended on his ardent desire for Ganga. These exalted beings were cursed by Vasista Muni and were thus forced to take human births. Then his eighth son was born. She would allure him with coquettish gestures and charm him with romantic dancing. who shone like the king of the gods. "I do as you wish. always remember that I. and she behaved just like a most submissive wife to Santanu.of women had accepted a beautiful humanlike body. "Don't kill this boy!" he cried. The king finally spoke out to her. ADI PARVA . I have lived with you as your wife. will remain on the earth. In order to perform a duty for the gods. that lion among kings. and years were passing by. and his wife seemed to be laughing. They did not want anyone but you to be their father on the earth." Who indeed is that Apava? And what did the godly Vasus do wrong. Dear Santanu. fearing that his wife would leave him. but he did not say a word. There was no human mother who could properly give birth to them. I am Ganga Devi. Ganga pleased her husband in many ways. Santanu was overwhelmed by her supreme feminine qualities and became so attached to their loving affairs that he failed to notice that the many months. Ganga would immediately carry him to the river and throw him into the water. Dear Santanu. because you became the father of the eight godly Vasus and loved them as your sons. Our eight sons are the powerful demigods known as the Vasus. And as the king enjoyed his heavenly wife. But as soon as each son was born. and all of them shone like the immortal gods. Please protect your son. your eighth son.] Dear Santanu. the powerful king begot eight sons in Ganga's womb. and longed to have a son. my time on earth is over. fulfilling all his desires. But our son will remain. so that by his curse they all came to have human . As he enjoyed life with his wife." and thus drown her son in the waves of the Ganges. and I am served by all the great sages. seasons.

the son of Varuna. please explain this to me. vegetables. who was the best of men: "O noble Bharata. the most pious of sages. In fact. what did he do? What deed has caused him to stay and live in human society? The Vasus are lords of the entire world. Vaisampayanaa said: When thus addressed. Therefore Vasista is also known as Apava. in a region of forests rich in tasty fruits."up6 \chftn rootnote rs20 up6 \chftn from apah. you always do good to others. I have a girlfriend in human society who is a king's daughter. "`My powerful husband. but then informed his celestial wife as follows: "`Dear goddess. which was a favorite spot even for the gods and godly seers. Vasista Muni is the son of Varuna. she showed him the attractive desire-cow and pointed out its full. and that extraordinary cow came under his care. "son of the water. Her father. The great soul Vasista desired to use that cow. the goddess Ganga. Vasista's desire-cow is quite famous. is an as rama filled with gentle birds and animals and the flowers of all seasons. came to that forest. this entire celestial forest belongs to that sage. Then she alone among humankind will be free of old age and disease. "Her husband. "the waters. who was the Vasu named Dyau. The Vasus came with their wives and strolled all about the forest enjoying the charming hills and groves. "One day the eight godly Vasus. but to do good to the world. Ganga. you are so powerful. Fetching her husband. and the desire-cow grazed peacefully without any fear. the slender-waisted goddess. I want that cow more than anything else in the world!"' . You must do this for me. this excellent cow belongs to Vasista Muni. headed by Prthu. "At that time. The Vasu's wife was struck with wonder by the perfect behavior of the cow and the opulence it provided. performed his austeries. There. Jinavati is well known among human beings for her exquisite beauty. who was exceptionally attractive. whose name is Usinara. The inhabitants of that forest were happy to follow the laws of God. rich udder and handsome tail. King Santanu. not for any selfish purpose. it so happened that Daksa's powerful daughter named Surabhi. is a saintly king known for his honesty and wisdom. spoke to her powerful husband as follows: "`My darling. created a wonderful cow that gave not only milk but everything its owner desired. Vasistha. the cow was endowed with all desirable qualities. known as Jahnavi. O best of the gods. it is for her that I so much want this desire-cow and her calf. "Vasista's desire-cow lived peacefully with its master in that sacred forest where sages purified their lives through disciplined penances. the lovely wife of one of the Vasus was wandering in the forest and she saw the amazing desire-cow of Vasista Muni. Quickly take this cow away for me so that my girlfriend can drink its milk. Indeed.' "Hearing her husband's words. and roots. son of Varuna.bodies? And this child you have given me. I've heard that even an ordinary human being who drinks the sweet milk of this cow will live for ten thousand years without losing his youth. commented on the beauty and fine features of the cow. How could they take birth among human beings? O Jahnavi. the lord of mountains. the lord of the water. my beautiful one. and its behavior was excellent." "On the slopes of Meru. "`My dear faultless husband. spoke these words to her husband. Her name is Jinavati and she's so lovely and youthful. "Now. along with her husband Kasyapa.

"My dear Santanu. he again set his mind on the practice of austerity.]" Having explained all this to the king. by his divine vision. "`O Ganga. whose qualities were beyond measure. now born as our child. and the central story of this history begins with him. Vasista. Consequently he is very powerful. he cursed even the gods. "`Even though I spoke to you in anger. but the sage refused to grant their request. she went her way as she desired. Since it is Dyau who stole the cow. will remain for a long time in this world due to Vasista's curse. took away the cow. I will not make my words false by changing them. returned alone to his city. and when that seer of the Absolute was roused to fury. he will live a long life on the earth. the Vasu Dyau. and he cursed the eight Vasus: "`Since the Vasus have dared to steal that wonderful cow. But I will grant the following to the Vasu Dyau: He will take birth as a great-minded man. Accordingly he told the Vasus. burning with grief at the loss of his wife. And Santanu himself.' Thus the lordly Vasistha. you must throw us into the water so that we can come home to the higher planets. "one who has taken a Godly vow. But this Vasu. He soon understood. Her celestial child would become famous as Deva-vrata. `as soon as each of us is born. Suddenly rage overwhelmed him. however. They tried to appease Vasista so that he might withdraw his curse. along with his brothers headed by Prthu. but the great-minded one could not find his cow. will remain on the earth. headed by Dhara will be free from my curse within a single year. Now I shall describe the greatness of Santanu. for whose sake the others have been cursed. had acquired frightening power through his severe austerities in yoga. "Knowing they had been cursed. He was an exalted Bharata king. learned in all the books of knowledge. nor did Dyau forsee his own falldown as a result of stealing the sage's cow. [I will take him now and train him. O saintly king. and always devoted to dharma. Dyau."Hearing these words from his celestial wife and desiring to please her. the Vasus returned to the hermitage of that great soul and approached the seer. Thus the son of Santanu. who surpassed his father in good qualities. He had come to his own conclusion about what was best for the offenders. only this Vasu named Dyau. received two glorious names. the son of Ganga. they shall certainly fall from the higher planets and take birth among mankind. Indeed. he did not see his cow and her calf in the celestial forest. for he was expert in matters of justice and religion. "When the son of Varuna returned to his as rama and began gathering up fruits. the powerful sage departed. Vasista is an ascetic who has gathered a great wealth of austerity.' Therefore. son of Varuna. to save the poor Vasus from the pain of earthly life I acted as I did. the goddess Ganga vanished from his sight. Having cursed the eight Vasus. and the Vasus then approached me and begged me for a boon. the path of virtue.' "Having thus spoken to the eight Vasus. I acted properly. came fully under the sway of his wrath and cursed the Vasus. For his father's sake.' they said. that the cow had been led away by the Vasus. "`The seven Vasus." People would also called him Gangeya. taking the child with her. which of course I granted them. . he will renounce the pleasure of women and thus beget no offspring on earth. and later he will return to live with you as your son. Dyau was so much swayed by his lotus-eyed wife that he did not even stop to consider that the cow's owner. He therefore began searching throughout the forest. and a noble thinker.

and as frightening as death when aroused to anger. And to satisfy the demigods. The ruling kings and princes served the self-realized teachers. and teachers. The world was secure and safe under the protection of saintly kings. qualities such as selfcontrol. and his handsome neck was marked with three attractive lines like a well-formed conch. determination. Santanu moved with the ferocity of a maddened elephant. Expert both in religious affairs and practical action. the king himself took him under his wing. wisdom. it gave the people great pleasure to see him. simply for sport or out of malice. warriors. When challenged. honest. and the Supreme Lord Himself (who is the enjoyer of all sacrifices). when Santanu ruled the earth no one could whimsically kill a bird or beast. as an enlightened ruler of keen intelligence. There was no other king on earth equal to him in virtue. to guard the earthly realm. The king's shoulders were large and broad. and sages. the other world leaders annointed him as their king. the king initiated grand religious ceremonies and brought them to completion. modesty. fear. yet he always placed justice and virtue above his personal pleasure or gain. and laborers all performed their duties with care as an offering to God. Santanu clearly possessed all the excellent qualities of the Bharata kings. Such extraordinary qualities were present in the great soul named Santanu. speech was devoted to truth. and thus his entire kingdom bowed down as one to the Creator's will. Under Santanu's leadership. the kings of the earth remained free of distress. Whether man or animal. and exceptional power were ever present in that very best of men. When the best of Kuru lords ruled this world as the king of kings. the king carefully protected the law-abiding citizens and faithfully guarded the fabled Bharata dynasty. His honesty and religious devotion were legendary.CHAPTER 94 Vaisampayana said: Santanu was universally admired. As fiery as the sun. and thus by God's grace he was blessed with supreme opulence. and thinking directed toward charity and virtue. headed by Santanu. In that kingdom not a single creature met an unfair death. or any other creature. for they knew him to be the wisest and most fair-minded leader. by gods.ADI PARVA . and he neither envied nor unduly favored anyone. Santanu ruled all creatures equally. King Santanu dwelt in the charming capital city of Hastinapura and ruled this ocean-bounded earth. kings. The brahmanas automatically commanded the people's respect. Amid this most auspicious social climate. Casting off selfish desire. all of God's creatures found a kind and caring father in the king. Moreover. Yet even with his unlimited wealth he remained simple and straightforward. and thus all mankind progressed on the spiritual path. and thus even as he peacefully engaged in his own duties. Thus King Santanu preserved the glory and stature of the Bharata race. The laborers were loyal to their teachers and rulers. King Santanu was as handsome to see as the shining moon. the king was nevertheless as tolerant as the earth itself. and if anyone was unhappy or lost without shelter. and harassment. Santanu was steady in his submission to the laws of God. and wise. while merchants and farmers gladly followed the rulers. Born in the Bharata line. merchants. and worked honestly to assist the merchants and farmers. . charitableness. Indeed. as swift as the wind. and always awoke refreshed after sleeping peacefully at night. sages. The king gave generously in charity but restricted his personal sense gratification.

Vaisampayana said: When the goddess Ganga thus entreated the king. which was equal in splendor to the city of Indra. taught by Vasistaup6 \chftn rootnote rs18up6 \chftn The same Vasista who cursed Dyau had now knowingly instructed Dyau. when he noticed there was very little water in the great river. and looking about for the cause. Of course the lad was Santanu's own son. but he is also wise in the moral and practical affairs of kings. and so he left his opulent capital city and went to live in the forest. he proceeded to install his son as the heir to the Kuru throne. practical ability. Your powerful son. . King Santanu felt that all his desires had been richly fulfilled. In the meantime. had grown under his mother's care into an extraordinary child. but whatever weapons that sage has mastered are firmly in the grasp of this boy. but your son knows all of those scriptures in full.After enjoying the pleasure of women for thirty-six years. equal to Lord Indra in battle and deeply respected by the gods as well as the demons. taking her well-dressed boy in her right hand. and departed for his own city. "Please let me see him!" Ganga then revealed herself to the king in a most beautiful form. King Santanu found himself his excellent behavior. He is your own son. who had taken birth as Deva-vrata. O heroic Santanu. and he easily learned the military science by mastering both earthly and celestial weapons. great stamina and courage. and that just moments after his birth. himself. she appeared in such a way that the king could not recognize her. for it was a superhuman feat worthy of Indra himself. This extraordinary event made King Santanu begin to suspect that the boy was actually his own son. has now mastered the Vedas and their supplements. In fact. and sincere devotion to spiritual knowledge. the boy bewildered him with mystic power and quickly vanished from that place. take this young hero to your home. The son of Ganga was actually one of the celestial Vasus appearing in a human form. Before all the members of the royal family. The boy was employing celestial weapons as if he were Indra himself and was blocking the entire Ganges River with his powerful arrows. and he possessed great skill in the battle of chariots. The great sage Sukra has mastered many Vedic scriptures. The son of Angira is honored by gods and demons alike. Ganga was exquisitely adorned with jewels and spotless raiments. The fierce sage named Parasurama is so deadly in battle that no one can approach him. and thus he cried out to Ganga Devi. He is perfect in the use of arms and a master archer. One day King Santanu was walking along the Ganges. who shone like the sun. with a powerful physique. He is an extraordinary fighter. She then spoke to him as follows: Ganga said: O king. he equalled his father in every way-. hunting game. Santanu's only son. He had great strength. When he reached that city. he remembered too little of his son to recognize him now. the king was struck with wonder. quite large for his age. but whatever Vedic science is known to that child. Upon seeing his father. your great and mighty-armed son has fully understood in all its subtleties. here is the eighth son whom you previously begot in me. Santanu wondered why the water had suddenly stopped flowing in the holy Ganges. Devavrata. O king. Although the king had known her before. the wise king saw a beautiful young boy. kindly take him with you. O tiger among men. Seeing this boy completely block the great river with sharp and perfectly placed arrows. but since the wise king had seen him only once. he took his child. as strikingly handsome as Santanu himself. whom I place in your hands.

young lady. will be installed after you as ruler of the earth. I shall give it. Vaisampayana said: Though his body burned with desire. Santanu would not bestow such a boon upon the fisherman. King Santanu strongly desired her. "May I ask who you are. and by his acts he delighted the royal family. but he could not break his word. then on those terms I shall certainly give you my daughter. and I believe your word. "and to what family you belong? What are you doing here?" "I am a fisherman's daughter. Four more years passed as the powerful King Santanu enjoyed life with his son. The fisherman said: Dear king. Devavrata. If you grant me what I want. I do have a certain desire in my heart. and by his order my duty is to steer this boat and take passengers across the Yamuna River. the residents of the capital. Then one day as the king walked along the bank of the Yamuna River. Devavrata. whose body seemed to be divine. You're a saintly king who always speaks the truth. After this incident. However. since I shall never find another man as good as you. almost indescribeable fragrance. until he saw a young girl who was reared by fishermen. He's a very good man. and if you've actually fallen in love with my daughter and want her hand in religious marriage. and no one else. I may accept it or not. then please let me tell you what my desire is." said the king to the lotus-eyed girl. Why are you unhappy and always lamenting? It seems you are always pondering something. He went at once to her father and requested him to give his daughter in marriage. sweetness. Searching for its source the king wandered all about. and so he approached his father and spoke these words: "Dear king. and certainly not to his beloved son. Deva-vrata. [He had already promised the throne to his son. "Actually my father is the king of the fishermen. and the entire kingdom." Observing the beauty. his mind torn by grief. why don't you ever talk about it?" . O king. the son of Santanu." she replied. displayed excellent behavior and strictly followed the spiritual principles of life. That simple maiden was as lovely as a goddess in heaven. that lord of the earth headed back to Hastinapura. but I will never grant you that which should not be given. you have provided all kinds of prosperity and comfort to all the world's leaders and their citizens. He was all that a king could desire in a son. "The day my daughter was born. my daughter's son. when I hear what you want. "I knew that some day I would give this lovely girl to a suitable husband. Santanu could somehow bear the loneliness and pain of being without a wife. his own father. If it is proper to give. he smelled an extraordinary.] Thinking only of the fisherman's daughter. dear king. Devavrata saw that King Santanu continually lamented and was always meditating on something." Santanu said: Dear fisherman. he surpassed his own father in good qualities and displayed perfect knowledge of earthly weapons and extraterrestrial arms as well. In fact. and fragrance of the fisherman's daughter.Santanu's son quickly grew in fame." replied the leader of the fishermen.

[We fishermen have simply raised her.Thus addressed by his son. and your duty is to constantly bear arms.] So even when the celestial sage Asita requested to marry my daughter. Bless you. my beloved child. son. and I would not dare to accept another wife for nothing. just as you say I am. Santanu replied: "Without doubt. accompanied by a group of senior warriors. study of the three Vedas. Then Devavrata. You are a fierce warrior. somehow or other our family must not come to misfortune. the people can come to you for protection. "and you should believe what I am about to tell you. addressed Devavrata as he sat in the assembly of kings. Satyavati. and the offering of sacrifices with generous remuneration-. and an ideal son for any father. This is the everlasting message of the three Vedas. You alone are undoubtedly better than a hundred ordinary sons. is actually the daughter of a great king who is equal to you people in his fine qualities. And that is why my mind is torn by doubt. my sinless son. Hastily approaching a senior government minister who was a sincere friend to his father. even the performance of agni-hotra. Indeed. what to speak of a human being. day or night. that it is most important for mankind to have good children. Devavrata asked him to explain the actual cause of his father's grief. the great King Vasu.all of these together do not hold even a sixteenth of the merit of having a good son. you are courageous by nature and always intolerant of insult. and he took leave of his father to think deeply on the matter. My lord.] Therefore. To have a strong rival in this world is a bad thing. I only want that our great family not perish from this earth. Devavrata. but please understand that I must also consider the welfare of my daughter's son before I give my daughter in marriage. and you must give them shelter against all aggressors. It was from his seed that my respectable daughter was born." Devavrata was very intelligent. He would say `Among all the rulers of the world. say that to have but one son is like having no son at all. King Santanu. Devavrata. and it is even so for all creatures. I only desire the best for you. I am grieving over the ephemeral nature of this mortal world." he told the fisherman. [At any time. many times praised your father. I have revealed to you the real reason for my unhappiness. can never live in peace once you get angry with him. living or dead. gleaned from the greatest of the sacred histories. as the other Kuru warriors sat and listened. "My son. and addressed thus by the fisherman king he replied at once. went to personally request the fisherman's daughter for his father. "You are an honest man. I now declare . I have no doubt on this point. how will this family go on? Now. What can I say to you? It would be most desirable and very prestigious for anyone to marry into your great family. Santanu. and whoever gets you as his rival. "Of course this child.' [I took King Vasu's words very seriously.] Her real father. If and when you pass away. Santanu deserves to marry my daughter. Even Indra himself would regret missing such an opportunity. The fisherman welcomed the Kuru prince. You are a fine man. The problem is that in our great Bharata dynasty you are my only son and heir. I am always brooding. divine law. who would dare to make this vow." The son of Ganga could only think of his father's happiness. That's how I see it. The trusted minister then explained to the noble Kuru prince what had actually happened. and after properly honoring him. "O son of Ganga. There is no king. even if he's a Gandharva or an Asura. your death cannot come otherwise but by battle of arms. I turned down that exalted sage. Those who know the principles of dharma. "You are indeed a lord and a worthy representative of your father. that and nothing else is the problem with this proposed marriage. Santanu. Therefore. "And yet as the girl's father there is something I should tell you. dear boy. He told him how his father had begged for the hand of a fisherman's daughter and how the fisherman king had placed a condition on the marriage.

whether assembled together or speaking privately." Vaisampayana said: When the honest fisherman heard these words. the Kuru warriors glorified Santanu's son. along with the great sages. From this day on. there is yet something more to be done. "Bhisma! Bhisma!" they cried in wonder. When your powerful son is born. the difficult vow of celibacy. "You are indeed our lord. he made the following vow: Devavrata said: O fisherman king. You say that your daughter's son should have no rival. That is my greatest worry. for my father is waiting and we must go to our home. AP95 . hear now my words. turned to the celebrated Satyavati and said.that the son born to your daughter will become our lord and king. which I speak only out of a father's duty to his beloved daughter. which I speak for my father's sake in the presence of all these kings. "This man is Bhisma!" for bhisma means awesome. I accept brahmacarya. please mount my chariot. "I know that you are sworn to virtue and truth." Having thus spoken. I hereby renounce my father's throne. You are a just and religious man. But please hear from me the following words. and I have now decided the following in regard to my descendants. as Devavrata would henceforth be known. out of love for his father. Bhisma lifted the beautiful woman onto his chariot and departed. The kings who had accompanied him glorified his deeds. You have all power to decide how my daughter should be given. In the space between heaven and earth the celestial pleasure-maidens and the gods themselves. I shall have no wife or children on this earth. he again spoke to Devavrata. which were so difficult to perform. showered down flowers and cried out. but rather I shall attain the immortal worlds of the spiritual sky. "My dear mother. and so it shall be!" Hearing these grave words. Thus. "Yes I will now give you my daughter!" he said to Devavrata. he was filled with joy and his hairs stood on end. he explained everything to King Santanu. O fisherman. dear prince. who is a monarch of unfathomed splendor. and the vow you have taken in order to obtain my daughter Satyavati is indeed consistent with your exalted character. I have already renounced my father's kingdom in favor of your grandson. I have but one doubt and no other: you may yet have a son. Arriving in Hastinapura. And yet. the fisherman was still not satisfied. and Santanu's son had given up everything that a young prince could desire. and his life was sworn to honestly carry out his religious principles." Devavrata was determined to please his father. most respectable monarch. there will be no peace for my daughter's child. "This man is Bhisma!" Santanu was so satisfied upon seeing the difficult act Bhisma performed on his behalf that he awarded his son this blessing: Bhisma's death could only come at a moment of his own choosing. Indeed. Devavrata. My gentle prince. And Bhisma himself. when he understood the fisherman's decision. and indeed you know what is fair in this matter. repeating the words of the gods. being the worthy representative of your father. Santanu. Struggling to secure the kingdom for his grandson.

and the newborn prince was named Vicitravirya. and so powerful was Citrangada that he could challenge even the gods and demons. However. Several years later. would be choosing their husbands at a svayamvara ceremony. In that tumultuous and crushing battle. who were all as lovely as Apsara goddesses. arranged for the funeral rites. who had not even reached physical maturity. who was also named Citrangada. and those who challenged him were defeated in battle. Thus he properly honored Bhisma. with the approval of Satyavati. the mighty Santanu begot in his wife another warrior son. There on the bank of the Hiranvati River they fought for a full three years. . There was a powerful king of the Gandharvas. the leader of the Gandharvas went back to his own luminous planet. Bhisma.] He came and challenged the son of Satyavati. ADI PARVA . When he saw that his younger brother had reached his mature youth. before this child reached adolescence King Santanu passed away by the inexorable force of time. [The Gandharvas are generally far stronger than human beings. and some time after.Vaisampayana continued: When the royal wedding was over. Citrangada wanted to reaffirm the sovereignty of the Kuru dynasty. King Santanu settled his beautiful virgin bride in her personal quarters. and Bhisma in turn carefully protected the young prince. and a terrible fight ensued on the field of Kuruksetra between the Gandharva chief and the leader of the proud Kuru dynasty. and with great courage he subdued all the other kings of the earth. an intelligent and heroic son with superhuman prowess was born to Santanu and Satyavati. Then mighty-armed Bhisma installed on the Kuru throne the child Vicitravirya. so Bhisma with the approval of Satyavati managed the affairs of the Kuru dynasty. When Santanu had thus returned to the heavenly worlds. Bhisma began to think about Vicitravirya's marriage. When that most brilliant tiger of a king was struck down in battle. son of Santanu. showers of deadly weapons crowded the sky. The Gandharva king finally managed to employ his superior mystic strength and cut down the noble king of the Kurus. Having ended the life of Citrangada. and was outstanding even among the intelligent. and they named him Citrangada. Bhisma. Many simply accepted his authority. and thus he ruled the kingdom of his forefathers. Even in his youth he was learned in the books of wisdom and carefully followed their injunctions. son of Santanu. established Citrangada on the royal throne. Citrangada was dead and his brother still a child. Vicitravirya simply followed the instructions of Bhisma. He then heard that the three daughters of the Kasi king. the Kuru chief who was so skillful with arrows and bow. The Kuru monarch boldly asserted that no man on earth could equal him. and the Gandharva king was angry to hear that a mere human king was using his name.CHAPTER 96 Vaisampayana continued: O sinless king.

as we witness here today. As they tensed for battle. or with offerings of money. mighty Bhisma of the Kuru dynasty secured the three lovely princesses on his chariot. mounted their beautiful chariots. including the girls' own father (the king of Kasi). if you like. grabbing their lustrous and decorated shields. their brows were furrowed with indignation. completely devoted to his religious principles. and they are offered with rich doweries. and with the approval of Satyavati he clad himself in armor and went with a single chariot to Varanasi city. the maidens are to be adorned as nicely as can be done. Some men directly approach a beautiful woman without even speaking to the parents. and all three sisters. however. While the names of the kings were being announced by the thousands. and Bhisma also observed the three lovely young sisters. seeing his advanced age. while other parents offer their daughter to a powerful man who can properly defend her. Brandishing weapons. capital of the Kasi kingdom." Vaisampayana said: O Bharata. "He has grey hair and wrinkles. they attended this ceremony prepared to accept the most powerful of earthly kings. "He's an old man. With unimaginable fury they struck their arms and ground their teeth and lips." they declared to one another. hearing these words from the warriors. "The learned enjoin that a gift of eligible maidens is to be offered to good and qualified men called for that occasion. I shall now carry these young ladies away by force. For what reason would that Bharata leader come here and shamelessly compete for young girls? He falsely promised the world that he would not marry. he quickly departed. "What will he say now? We wrongly praised him for his so-called vow of celibacy. O king. and I claim to be that man. and I shall not turn back. After all. "Kings and princes. "Therefore. being the greatest of the Bharatas. while utter confusion filled the arena. Bhisma. These spirited kings. Bhisma grew wroth. and their eyes turned red with rage. Try your best to stop me. O earthly kings. intoxicated. O rulers of the earth. that pre-eminent fighter. He was in full control of the situation. equipped with all types of weapons. they hurriedly put on their armor. who were the objects of the kings' desire. They had come with high spirits to compete for the princesses. Indeed. There were illmannered kings who also derided Bhisma. or disordered in mind. who had come alone. At once the kings leaped up in rage from their seats." Having thus spoken to the assembled warriors. quickly yoked by their drivers with pure-bred horses that lifted the chariots in their eagerness for battle." they said. Some parents offer their daughter with a gift of a fine cow and bull. laughing with disdain. they pursued the Kuru lord as he departed alone on a single . Casting off their priceless ceremonial ornaments. and they much enjoy attending such ceremonies. I am ready to fight. simply placed the girls on his chariot and then turned to address the assembled kings with a voice as deep as thunder rumbling in the clouds. those most exquisite princesses observed Bhisma. Those who know the science of statecraft have said that a monarch obtains a most desireable wife when he defeats all other kings at a free and open svayamvara and thus takes away the woman he desires. There the son of Santanu saw kings everywhere. the elderly son of Santanu. and scholars even cite cases where men have obtained their desired women by secretly embracing them while they were sleeping. Greeting them with kind words and sheltering them on the chariot.Bhisma was the best of chariot fighters. Shining and bejeweled armor crashed like colliding stars. generally reserve their praises for the svayamvara marriage. were disturbed and moved away from him. and he had already decided to take the girls. as warriors rushed about in all directions. and we shall see whether you succeed or not.

and when he heard the kings shouting Salva's praises. and Salva's four celestial horses were immediately put into trouble. and they showered Salva with praise. Both were fiercely strong in battle. Bhisma once more departed with the virgin princesses toward the ancient city of the Bharatas. but he immediately cut the deadly darts to pieces before a single arrow could find its mark. Salva-raja. and each immediately attacked the other. All of the opposing kings had already begun to leave. "and I shall strike him down like mighty Garuda thrashing a lowly snake. Bhisma and Salva both roared like maddened bulls fighting to the death for a prized female. When Salva attempted a counterattack. Bhisma. the young king of Salva. The attacking kings simultaneously fired off ten thousand arrows at Bhisma. his speed of hand and skill in self-defense. quickly covered Santanu's divine son with hundreds and thousands of arrows. "This will be settled by the warrior code. and soon they admitted defeat. devoid of fear or confusion. Hastinapura. greatly admired among men. Bhisma was accustomed to victory. and the young girls would now marry into the great House of Kuru. who stood alone. defeated the younger Salva in the battle for the royal maidens. but when Salva suddenly challenged Bhisma. the angry son of Santanu cried out to his enemy. "Stand there! Stand there and we shall see!" "Take me where that king is standing. however. Bhisma had shown himself to be the best of warriors. hair-raising battle took place between the many kings and Bhisma. As the chariot rolled along. Bhisma was like a tiger in human frame. trembling with indignation. the assembled kings rushed back to the spot and became eager spectators to the impending fight. could not help but praise him. In a cold rage. Seeing Bhisma's superhuman feat. Santanu's son then went on the attack. Himself uninjured. Bhisma decided to spare his life. and Salva. son of Santanu. and Bhisma turned back his chariot. the assembled kings were amazed and cried out in praise of Salva's fighting skill. and within moments a tumultuous. All the rulers who had come to see the svayamvara ceremony also returned to their kingdoms. Once again he departed for the Kuru capital. he burned with anger like a smokeless fire. And seeing that Bhisma was the first to be put in distress. and he could crush his enemy when aroused. though enemies." he thought. Hearing the insulting words of Salva-raja. he began to exact a heavy toll of enemy kings. where .chariot. like rain clouds tirelessly buffeting a mountain. suddenly rushed up from behind to attack the son of Santanu. returned to his own capital city. the other chariot warriors. Thus Bhisma. "Stop! Stop you woman-hunter!" cried the mighty king. But Bhisma again checked all the enemy arrows with his own. striking each of the thousands of enemy kings with three arrows. the Kuru prince drove back his weapons and then dealt a death blow to Salva's charioteer. considered a master chariot fighter." At once the Kuru lord expertly fired the Varuna weapon. for Bhisma was a military master. To witness his speed of hand in battle thrilled the kings." Bhisma told his chariot driver. a leader kings. then struck down Salva's four fighting horses with a single weapon. that tiger among kings. the glorious chariot fighter turned his chariot back toward Salva. All the kings then surrounded Bhisma and showered relentless torrents of arrows down on him. Having conquered the kings in battle. He charged like a maddened bull elephant striking another bull in the thighs with his tusks in the heat of passion over a female.

By word and thought she was already given to another man. Vicitravirya steadily faded till he passed on to the abode of Yama. please do what is fair and proper. and after consulting with brahmanas learned in the Vedas. spoke the following words: "Previously. his strength was immeasurable. But like the inexorably setting sun. and he who had always devoted himself to virtue. Assisted by the best of the Kuru priests. the moral and spiritual principles prescribed for civilized persons. he dutifully brought home the beautiful princesses of Kasi. the oldest daughter of the Kasi king. "within my mind I had already accepted King Salva as my husband. Together with his stepmother. now became devoted to the pleasures of women. his two young wives were of dark-golden complexion. His loving relatives and friends fought desperately to save him and brought in the most highly qualified and trusted physicians. He then presented the two younger sisters. the lord of death. the chaste Amba. Indeed. the heartbroken son of Ganga carefully arranged for all the rites celebrated for the departed. Their deep red fingernails were long and graceful. with statuesque figures and silken. for as a celestial Vasu in human form. or like his younger sisters. you know the principles of dharma. Ambika and Ambalika. As his chariot moved steadily on toward the fabled land of the Kurus. Indeed. Arriving at Hastinapura. and at times like his own daughters.CHAPTER 97 Vaisampayana continued: . Satyavati. Bhisma carefully followed the rules of dharma. Bhisma was a man of impeccable virtue. crossing over charming rivers forests. he gave permission to Amba. "Although I took the three girls according to the warrior code. My father also wanted us to marry. and mountains covered with variegated trees. Bhisma. Convinced that they had married a worthy husband. Uninjured himself. and he carried himself with godly strength and bearing. and in consultation with Satyavati. the Kuru king was as handsome as the heavenly Asvins. this eldest princess is already attached to another man. ADI PARVA . I was supposed to formally choose Salva as my husband in the svayamvara ceremony.the Kuru king awaited him. Bhisma had punished his enemies in battle. to his younger brother Vicitravirya and had them wed according to Vedic principles. and now that you know my situation. to return to the man she desired. So attractive was Vicitravirya that virtually all women who saw him were struck by romantic desires. and Bhisma began to analyze the problem. But in the seventh year of their marriage Vicitravirya was suddenly struck down in the flower of his youth by deadly tuberculosis. He traveled without delay." Bhisma knew the principles of dharma. he treated the young ladies like his daughters-in-law. The women were all exceptionally qualified. Proud of his strength and beauty." she said. Vicitravirya took their hands in sacred marriage. Having thus exhibited his superhuman prowess. In accordance with dharma. and Bhisma had taken them with great courage. the learned Bhisma was all set to arrange his brother's marriage with the daughters of the Kasi king when the oldest daughter. and their hips and breasts were shapely and full. he had performed a superhuman feat for his brother Vicitravirya. they worshiped the gentle Vicitravirya. thinking. born from the womb of Ganga. curling hair." The Kasi princess thus addressed Bhisma as he sat in an assembly of learned brahmanas. he formally presented the three sisters to his younger brother Vicitravirya. and he had also accepted me.

water its taste.Grieving piteously for her lost sons. Satyavati joined with her two daughters-in-law to perform the religious rites for Vicitravirya. O Bhisma! Please give them both a child so that our family will survive after us. the powerful queen-mother. and lower planets! I also know that it was for my sake that you made your promise. was always faithful to the religious principles. His two queens. that thoughtful lady deeply deliberated on the dynastic line of her father and of Santanu. and the prosperity and happiness of the world was their constant meditation. are still young and beautiful and both desire sons. and the unbroken lineage of your father's House. Satyavati therefore approached the son of Ganga and spoke these words: "Your illustrious father. but one can never give up his word of honor once it has been freely given. [As a Kuru queen. and the king of dharma may even give up dharma itself. "Since all our hope now centers on you. Again and again Satyavati turned the matter over in her anguished mind. and in his absence you have the responsibility to maintain the memorial offerings. I repeat to you that same promise. Satyavati replied at once: "I know of your great determination to keep your word. you are just like the celestial sages Sukra and Angira. will be found in you. My poor son Vicitravirya was your own brother. Only you can rule the Bharata dynasty. that the dynasty's collapse was unthinkable for them. and as surely as honesty leads to a long life. The sun may stop shining. what you have spoken is undoubtedly a most important religious principle. You are also aware that it was because of you that I made the promise. After patiently hearing their statements. You have studied so many authorized scriptures. So deeply did the Kurus imbibe these grave duties. to give up my true promise. but I cannot bring myself. O great soul! Take my instruction and do what is right. and in your ability to act in times of trouble. "As surely as one goes to the higher planets by performing good deeds. Satyavati had lived her adult life at the side of the world's leader. And now. by any means. middle. He was a powerful man and he was very dear to you. Yet even in her wretched grief. the godly Bhisma replied: "My dear mother. I can see practically that in your determination to follow the laws of God. but all of Bhisma's intimate friends and advisors urged him to accept the Kuru throne and beget progeny to preserve the Kuru line. please do what I ask. "One may renounce the entire universe or a kingdom among the gods or whatever is beyond even these things. Your determination is so strong that if you so desired you could indeed create another universe with upper. for you understand dharma fully and its technical details as well. The king of the gods may give up his courage. I had to satisfy your father so that he would give you in marriage. Now. light its power to make us see. And now there was no ruler. Accept these two ladies according to the religious principles. and she reflected on how the religious principles would best be preserved. and the moon give up its cooling rays. most virtuous one. Let us install you on the royal throne." Not only Satyavati. there was no one else]. the chaste daughters of the Kasi king. But you also have to . After hearing from me. Satyavati. though still practically a child and with no children of his own. as you also desired. The earth may renounce its fragrance. he has gone to the heavenly planets. You know what is right and wrong. so it is certain that dharma. and the air its power to make us feel what we touch." Thus addressed by powerful Bhisma. King Santanu. Only Bhisma remained. who was like her own son. Do not bring your forefathers to ruin. real virtue. Protecting justice and religious freedom for all mankind were daily duties for the Kuru elders. the good name. and thus you comprehend the Vedas completely. in your willingness to help your family. but you know that I have given my word not to beget children. I wish to engage you in a most important duty.

firing awesome weapons that consumed the royal order. a ksatriya. You must carry the burden of your family! You must see to it that your forefathers's dynasty and virtue itself are not ruined." Grieving piteously for her lost sons. different from the Arjuna who is a friend of Lord Krsna. Bhisma spoke to her as follows: "Dear Queen. Brhaspati. united with strict. by following the actual religious principles for the royal order." Even when thus properly advised by Mamata. My dear queen. The Vedas conclude that a son belongs to the father who originally took the hand of the mother in marriage. I tell you that there is no room in here for two. and in view of the situation you must certainly desist at once. the child in the womb addresed him and said: "My dear little uncle. and children were born of their union. but when he approached her. thus considering the actual ways of this world.CHAPTER 98 Bhisma said: O illustrious lady. please hear and carry out these ancient principles with the help of learned priests who know how to achieve both material and spiritual welfare in times of emergency. Satyavati in her anguish thus tried to convince Bhisma to renege his sacred vow. he coursed the earth on his conquering chariot. [Twenty-one times the cruel monarchs rose to oppress the earth. [Thus the sons begotten by brahmana fathers still belonged to the royal class. Once Utathya's younger brother.] And twenty-one times the great soul Parasurama released his full range of arms. He slew the lord of the Haihayas and sliced off the ten hundred arms of Arjuna. Also there was a very learned sage known as Utathya. And again taking up his bow. self-controlled brahmanas.understand that there are special rules in times of emergency. she said to her most eloquent brother-in-law. Utathya's son is already in my womb. Rather. to fall down from his religious principles. whose wife was the highly respected Mamata. was outraged by the murder of his father." At this.up6 \chftn rootnote rs20 up6 \chftn This Arjuna is Karta-viryarjuna. You must not waste your semen. fixing the sacred law within their minds. driven by desire. Your semen is never to be spent in vain. As he discharged his semen. . being technically the sons of their slain warrior fathers. It is not very commendable for a man of the royal order. and he joined with his unwilling sister-in-law. so you must desist. until at last there was not a single ksatriya king on the face of the earth. try to understand--. approached the brahmanas. and even there. You should act in a way that will bring joy to your dearest friends. from all over the world. the mighty Brhaspati. he has studied the Veda with its six divisions. I shall explain to you how we can preserve the line of Santanu unbroken on earth. "I am already pregnant by your older brother. Lord Parasurama. who had already succumbed to desire. Finally. ADI PARVA . became attracted to Mamata. the mighty sage Brhaspati was furious. the royal order was reborn before the eyes of the world. but I came here first. Thereafter (to rejuvenate the royal order) all the ksatriya ladies. Jamadagni's son.] So the royal ladies. the greatly powerful priest of the gods. and in His terrible would destroy all our sacred principles. and by their faithful compliance with duty. was unable to pull back his senses. and he cursed the young son of Utathya who was still in the womb. O noble Brhaspati.

" but he was equal to Brhaspati in strength. ADI PARVA . headed by Kaksivat. and received the name Dirghatama. when the powerful king saw the eleven boys dutifully studying their lessons. "Limb. This child was called Anga. thinking that I was a blind old man." said the great sage. When Dirghatama agreed. Unfortunately. Queen Sudesna. the sage was born blind. felt it beneath herself to approach me. headed by Kaksivat. you will therefore enter into a long period of darkness. floated down the endless river through many towns and villages. rulers who were mighty and courageous. I begot all these boys. When he understood that the blind." By the curse of the illustrious seer Brhaspati. There are other such examples in this world of warriors. who had gone for his morning ablutions." because the saint begot him simply by touching the limbs of his mother. who was always devoted to truth.' Thereafter Sudesna gave birth to an extraordinary child who grew to be a saintly king. I will explain to you the proper way for our dynasty to grow and flourish. One day. he asked the sage: "Are these boys my sons?" "No. having heard this. it is you who must act so that you achieve what you desire." said Bali. and therefore she sent me one of her handmaids. . with a servant woman. to expand the lineage of his father. Bali then ordered his wife named Sudesna to approach the sage. Rather. supremely learned in the laws of God. "Long Darkness. she refused to go to him. in the womb of that servant woman. blind from birth. The pious King Bali. saw him just as the waves brought poor Dirghatama very close to the shore. Please hear what I have to say.CHAPTER 99 Bhisma said: Mother."Because at such a moment. Then. which is longed for by all creatures. We should arrange to bring a very qualified brahmana. King Bali was anxious to beget good children who could one day protect the citizens. "What is the use of this blind old man who lives at our expense?" said the merciless sons. "Kindly beget in my wives excellent children who are expert in both material and spiritual affairs?" Thus addressed by the king. until finally a wise and religious king named Bali. Bali again ordered Sudesna to approach him. "they are mine." Once again King Bali begged that excellent sage to give him an extraordinary son. But these sons were overcome by greed and illusion. old man was actually the great sage Dirghatama. saintly Dirghatama begot several sons. headed by Gautama. and he acquired an excellent reputation. and they calmly went back to their house. Dirghatama merely touched her limbs and then told her: `You will have a powerful son that always speaks the truth. who became great archers. born by brahmana fathers. and he can beget offspring in the wives of Vicitravirya. This time. whom we can pay if necessary. but when Sudesna learned that Dirghatama was blind and elderly. rescued Dirghatama from the river. she sent one of her handmaidens to the elderly seer. and they tossed their poor father onto a raft and sent him floating down the Ganges River. the potent sage agreed. "Most fortunate one. The pious sage begot eleven sons. Dirghatama. you spoke to me thus. he realized the sage could help him beget extraordinary children. Dear mother.

he began to speak with many sweet and gentle words. although previously my body had a strong fish odor. "Your proposal is perfectly consistent with our religious principles. and one day.] He then told me." When Bhisma thus heard Satyavati glorify her son. I did not dare to refuse him. and I shall appear before you. I will fix my mind on him this very moment. [I told him that there were many sages on both sides of the river who could see us. Moreover. You are truth itself. The liberated sage Parasara. I therefore think it an excellent idea. I also feared my father's displeasure.] But as I sat there in the boat. who is the greatest of those who uphold religious principles. who at that moment was reciting the Vedas. `Simply give birth to my child on this island in the Yamuna River. if ever you need me." she said in a shy and faltering voice. for everyone knew Dvaipayana Vyasa to be the holy sage who had divided the Veda and written down the ancient histories known as the Puranas. You are the real virtue of our family. Satyavati welcomed her son with great honor. "the island-born. when I had just reached my mature youth. When the wise sage understood that his mother had set her mind on him." said Bhisma. With your approval. If I order him. "Vyasa is the greatest brahmana.' A great seer who is an empowered devotee of the Supreme Lord then appeared as the son of Parasara. but he was a good man. Therefore.Vaisampayana said: Satyavati smiled and gave a nervous laugh. the book of knowledge. and thus he was called Dvaipayana. he joined his palms in prayerful veneration. after hearing my words. "and will certainly help our family. a leader among his people. he is also known as Krsna. on a river island. Then she tightly embraced him with her arms and moistened him . Considering the crisis we now face. do the needful. by his austerities. "What you say is true. He is thoroughly honest. Therefore my son is called Vyasa. I went alone on that boat. "[I asked him how I could go home to my father if my virginity were spoiled. Sin can not touch him because he is constantly engaged in loving service to the Supreme Lord. He owned a small boat. just set your mind on me. But as I was just a child. into four divisions so that all people could easily understand its message. desired to cross the Yamuna River and came on our boat. he said to me. "When Vyasa appeared in this world. "O virtuous one. the sage granted me the lovely fragrance I now enjoy. Therefore. he was struck with a strong desire.' O mighty Bhisma! If you so desire it. Vyasa himself will surely beget children in the wives of Vicitravirya." Dvaipayana is the divine seer who. `Mother. and you will again become a virgin. peaceful in mind. the sage overcame me with his splendor and brought me under his control. and because he is an empowered incarnation of Lord Krsna. and most austere. divided the Veda. and coming near me. Parasara at once created a dense fog that covered everyone's eyes. As I was taking that most noble thinker across the Yamuna. strictly following the Vedic rituals. I am going to tell you something that I hope will enable our family to grow and flourish. there is something I cannot avoid telling you. Bhisma. He was born to me. the "compiler and arranger" of the Veda. "My dear mighty-armed son. fearing that Parasara would curse me. he appeared before her within a moment. naturally with your approval. a virgin girl. And by his dark complexion." Thus with Bhisma's approval Satyavati fixed her mind on her son. my stepfather was a mere fisherman. and it is you whom we must follow and emulate. you are a worthy member of the Bharata family. O Bharata. "O Bharata. then he will beget excellent children in the wives of your brother. because I trust you. and having been promised the most rare gifts by him.

" Before Satyavati could reply to her son. there is no kind and do what I am about to ask you.with her tears. Vyasadeva accepted the honor as a religious duty. Ambika and Ambalika. both those godly women." she began. When Satyavati saw that her son was comfortably seated. so through me. or worship of deitiesup6 \chftn rootnote rs20 up6 \chftn Without a proper ruler. and Bhisma will raise him. How may I please you? Whatever your purpose was in calling me. [I live an ascetic's life of constant meditation. You not only know these principles. then the ladies will have to tolerate my unattractive appearence. carefully observing her son's face to note his response. but you are ever resolved to abide by them. similarly by His grace Vicitravirya is my youngest son. And as Bhisma is Vicitravirya's brother through their father. O sinless son. you are my first son. offered worship to Vyasa. Please give them progeny.] If these women can tolerate the austerity of my unpleasant smell. Bhisma. Satyavati said: In kingdoms without rulers. However. even though it is not the proper time. for this is the time-honored custom. and that he was in fine health. both in spiritual and worldly affairs. religious principles are lost and people fail to worship God or His representatives. for when the fisherman's daughter saw her son after long years of separation. who was a seer of the Supreme. Therefore please order me. Their intimate contact with me will constitute their vow and purification. and terrible suffering. You have the power to do it. Vyasa said: If I am to give a child at once.] And no woman who is not purified by spiritual vow can approach me. you are learned in the principles of religion. .by the word of Bhisma and at my request--. Just as. must first properly carry out a religious vow so that they will be purified. the head priest of the Kuru dynasty came and with the chanting of holy mantras. Beget children worthy of our family and culture so that this great House of Kuru may live. to perpetuate your brother's family and bestow mercy and protection upon all creatures--. how is it possible to sustain a kingless kingdom? Therefore beget a son. and that without doubt both father and mother are to be respected and obeyed by their children. by God's grace. Offending the demigods brings drought. who are like children of the gods. He is courageous in his devotion to truth. you are also Vicitravirya's brother. she could not check her tears. These two women desire to get sons by religious principles. my son. and I give little concern to my body. Here is Santanu's son. "Your younger brother left behind two lovely young wives. Therefore whatever you order me to do. disease. the demigods who control the cosmic affairs. he will not even entertain the thought of having children or ruling the kingdom. Therefore. "My wise son. Santanu. my dear son. that is what I have come to do. and I have full confidence in your judgment. I shall beget for my brother sons equal to the gods Mitra and Varuna. sprinkled her with holy water. my . she then spoke her mind. "everyone knows that children are born from their mother and father. your mother. Satyavati's first-born child bowed respectfully to his aggrieved mother. [Thus they will be able to conceive noble and virtuous children. and then the grand seer spoke to her these words: "Dear mother. I shall do it as you wish. Let one of those godly women get with a child immediately! My lord." Vyasa said: You are quite familiar with religious principles. for the cause of dharma. and to make true his word. as you also agree.

" Ambika. has been severed and virtually destroyed by the tragic death of my sons. and as a liberated sage he possessed knowledge beyond the ordinary senses. The flames of the lamps were lit. his mother. meeting privately with her. Please stay up and wait for him. [They were all strong and handsome rulers. the truthful seer. Ambika lay on a beautiful bed and began to think about Bhisma and the other heroes of the Kuru dynasty. In order to please his mother. then this very day let one of them conceive a fine son.CHAPTER 100 Vaisampayana continued: At the proper time. Ambika and. and she wondered if Vyasa was also like that. O lovely Ambika. Vyasa vanished from that spot. and all who were guests in the pious capital of the Kurus. Filled with hope. Vyasa had intercourse that night with the daughter of the Kasi king. came to her bed. Satyavati then approached her oldest daughter-in-law. gazed upon his tawny matted hair. "My son. Therefore he told me how our family could again flourish and continue to uphold virtue on the earth. who had first been instructed to beget in Ambika. ADI PARVA . "Dear daughter. Bhisma's proposal depends on you. The great Bharata line.strange appearence and dress. He will be learned and famous. your brother-in-law is here. the truthful sage told her. because his mother refused to open her eyes for even a moment as she engaged in the act of conception. she closed her eyes tightly. "You belong to a very noble family. Satyavati sumptuously fed the godly brahmanas and sages. the oldest widow of the fallen king. the most illustrious of monarchs. Later. Satyavati led her into the sleeping quarters and carefully told her these words: "Noble woman. after she had bathed." Hearing her mother-in-law's words. Bhisma understands how disturbed I am by this grave threat to his father's dynasty and fully shares my concern. "Ambika's son will possess the strength of ten thousand elephants. I am sorry to say that her son will be born blind." . Vaisampayana said: Having consented to his mother's proposal. Deliver this vanquished dynasty so that it lives on." said Satyavati. and as Ambika. and he will come to you tonight to beget a child.] Soon thereafter Vyasa. pleaded for Ambika's cooperation on the basis of religious principles and practical necessity. who was as lovely as a goddess. "and I speak to you on the basis of religious law. When his mother urged him to reply. Gradually she was persuaded that somehow or other she must help save the great Bharata lineage. and dark brown beard. Your son will surely lift the heavy burden that weighs down our family. and my body. Satyavati. But as long as he was present. approached him and anxiously inquired. However. in Ambika's fertile season. as Vyasa was leaving Ambika's room. and an intelligent king who will himself have a hundred powerful sons. beget a son as brilliant as the king of the gods himself. will Ambika give birth to a qualified prince?" Vyasa was most intelligent. his glowing eyes. Ambika refused to open her eyes and look upon him. had followed the law of dharma throughout her life. which has protected the earth since time immemorial.

and he departed. and so she did not close her eyes. Satyavati again engaged Vyasa with Ambika. agreed to approach his younger sister-in-law Ambalika. So anxious was that girl to please Vyasa. Seeing him leave. "You will be a servant no longer. in order that the Kuru dynasty might flourish. and for his freedom from lust and anger. gave birth to a blind son (who was named Dhrtarastra). you will now attain a most honored position in society. "As you wish. Vidura was the demigod Dharma. In due course of time the godly Ambalika gave birth to a son who was distinctly pale in complexion. This child. who shone like a child of the gods. but when she remembered the appearence and smell of the great sage she could not even bear the thought of having intercourse with him again. but. the oldest widow. departed." "So be it. And so Dvaipayana Vyasa. And the beautiful son who has entered your womb will dedicate his life to virtue. begot in the wives of Vicitravirya three sons as splendid as the children of the gods. in obedience to the very same Vedic rule. the maidservant got up at once and bowed down to him. an equally pale son will be born to you. In due course of time Ambika. would himself have five powerful sons. O Bharata king. Actually." Having thus spoken. and will be in fact the wisest of men. With his permission they sat down together. the universal minister of justice. Thereafter. he vanished from that spot. Having fulfilled his debt to his mother. forced to take birth on earth by the curse of a great sage named Mandavya. the Kosala princess." the great sage replied to his mother. Because of your devoted service. Ambika. the sage was fully satisfied by their intercourse and as he got up to leave." the great ascetic promised. the sons of Pandu. and she waited upon him with great respect. and just as before brought him to her presence. famous in history as the Pandavas. Ambika had a female servant who was as beautiful as an Apsara goddess. Vyasa.] The seer approached Ambalika. that most noble seer. son of Satyavati. Satyavati again fixed her mind on her son Vyasa. and Vyasa explained to her why this child would be pale. told her: "O lovely lady. "My son!" she cried out. . Thus the learned Vidura took birth as the son of Vyasa and the brother of Dhrtarastra and Pandu. an emperor who will carry on the normal traditions of your forefather's dynasty. because you have turned so pale upon seeing my deformed appearance. Vyasa told the girl. that he spent the entire night with her accepting her devoted service. "A blind king is not fit to rule the House of Kuru! You must give us a second king who can actually protect our family and manage this world properly. The goddess Satyavati then approached her younger daughter-in-law. "the pale one. seeing her pale with fright and morose. When the sage arrived. and he will be known thoughout the world as Pandu. and she dressed this servant with her own royal cloth and jewels and sent her to await Vyasa. when the time for begetting had come. though he shone with exceptional beauty. shrank at the sight of the sage. named Pandu. like her sister. At the end. and her skin turned white. Vyasa again met with his mother and explained to her the circumstances of Vidura's conception in the womb of Ambika's maidservant. The great sage. who was a divine personality. was afraid to argue with her mother-in-law. [Ambalika had seen that her sister's son was born blind. she again requested her son to beget another child. Vidura was to become celebrated in this world for his vast learning in the spiritual and political sciences.At these words Satyavati turned pale. Satyavati again anxiously questioned her son. When Satyavati understood what had happened. and after convincing Ambalika.

the sage maintained his religious vow of silence and spoke not a word. "I do not know what I have done. The guards then returned to the king and took their valuable reward. They arrested him and delivered him with the thieves to the king. who stood silently with upraised arms. the frightened thieves quickly concealed their booty in the sage's cottage and then hid themselves in the same spot. Steady in truthfulness and austerity. they said. The police then suspected the sage of complicity in the crime. Beneath a tree at the entrance to his asrama. What sin have you committed to be punished in this terrible way?" That tiger of a sage replied. but through his mystic power he was able to summon his fellow yogis to that place. They told the king exactly what they had seen. cursed to be born on the earth as Vidura? What did he do wrong? And who had the power to curse him to take birth from the womb of a maidservant? Vaisampayana replied: There was a celebrated brahmana named Mandavya who was determined on the spiritual path. together with the stolen property. he stood unmoving with upraised arms and observed a religious vow of silence. we have to follow them immediately!" Even when thus questioned. a band of thieves rushed into his asrama carrying stolen valuables. Seeing the sage. "It would be wrong to blame others for my suffering. true or false. the police happened upon the sage Mandavya and were astonished to see that after so many days he was still alive. the police captain anxiously questioned him. The king then sentenced the sage and the actual thieves: "Let them be put to death!" The government executioners. he knew all the religious law." the sage replied to his fellow ascetics. That night many saintly sages. but surely I and no one else am the cause of my suffering. came there from all directions and by their own mystic strength revealed themselves to Mandavya. Seeing him struggle to carry on his religious austerities even though suffering on a stake. Mandavya was a mighty yogi capable of great asceticism. assuming the form of birds. Followed closely by a large group of police." Shortly thereafter. how was Dharma. "Brahmana. Much time passed until one day. as the sage dutifully performed his penances. At that point the king's men searched the sage's asrama and quickly discovered the thieves. we want to hear it directly from you. which road did the thieves take? Whichever way they went. Mandavya was such a powerful yogi that not only did he keep himself alive. "O brahmana. and . impaled him on a lance and left him in that condition. the assembled sages were mortified and could hardly bear the sight. Griefstricken.ADI PARVA .CHAPTER 101 Janamejaya inquired from his teacher: O seer of the Absolute. not realizing that Mandavya was a holy ascetic. Although that most religious man remained impaled on the stake for a considerable time without food or drink. he still did not die. the lord of justice. to the police. just as the heavily armed policemen arrived there.

"I hereby establish as a principle of justice that henceforth there will be no heavy sin for children up to fourteen years of age. "out of ignorance and illusion I have greatly offended you. "O best of sages. For this act. you received that reaction. that he began to think of the stake in his body as a flower garland." Eventually that most learned sage went to see Yamaraja. or "Mandavya-of-the-lance. Dharma." Vaisampayana said: Because of his offense. "What evil deed have I committed? Why was I made to suffer such a sinful reaction? Why was I falsely accused and impaled on a lance? I can't understand it. So determined was he to carry on his religious duties. After this incident. you have exacted a very heavy punishment indeed. and he took birth as the noble Vidura from the womb of a sudra woman. After that they will be held responsible for their offenses. and always devoted to the welfare of the noble Kuru dynasty. the land of Kuru-ksetra. I beg that you not be angry with me. Mandavya blessed him with his mercy. who was still fixed on the lance. Unable to pull it out. Seeing Dharma sitting in his abode. he was far-seeing. who is also known as Dharma because he punishes the sinful according to the laws of God. with a portion of the stake still in his body. Please forgive me. and the grateful ruler at once tried to remove the loathesome stake. the king broke it off and a portion remained in the sage's body. Completely free of greed and anger and vastly learned in both spiritual and material affairs.the monarch instantly understood that Mandavya was a true and powerful ascetic. Dharma himself had to bear a sage's curse. and by such extraordinary penance he gained promotion to higher planets. for your own sin you will fall among the human beings of earth and take birth from the womb of a sudra woman! Ani-mandavya then declared. and he spoke to Dharma in a threatening voice. fell at Mandavya's feet and begged the sage. rains fell in the proper season. Yamaraja. the sage became known throughout the universe as Animandavya. for mercy and forgiveness. ADI PARVA .CHAPTER 102 Vaisampayana continued: When those three handsome boys were born. Grains grew up high toward the sky and yielded rich harvests. the Kuru family. The sage had acquired great power through his extraordinary austerities. O ascetic brahmana. the lord of death. Therefore. trees were thickly laden with flowers ." the king wept. however. the powerful Animandavya began to rebuke him. peaceful. Animandavya said: For a small offense. Answer me at once! " Dharma said: Previously you pierced small birds in their tail with a sharp blade of grass. which are extremely difficult to reach." Thus addressed by the king. Mandavya Muni then resumed his travels. and the region of Kuru-jangala---all three began to flourish. The king and his ministers rushed to the spot.

and their spirit of cooperation brought prosperity to all. The kingdom was fully protected from all danger by Bhisma. anger. In every country and state of the vast Kuru empire. courageous leaders. and as they helped each other grow and flourish. learned teachers. the members of the Kuru family built for the saintly brahmanas many villages. and the wise Vidura were completely protected by Bhisma. and pools as well as in her lovely mountains and groves. Under the protection of the great Kuru government. Unifying the surrounding states under their enlightened government. fruits were full with sweet nectar. elephant training. the two .and all fields of learning-. accept this gift!" and "Please. the Kuru nation surpassed all others. and they were true to their vows and eager to offer the fruits of their labor in sacrifice to the Supreme Creator. who acted strictly according to the Vedic injunctions. traders. and colleges. birds were ever in good spirits. and hundreds of palatial mansions that seemed to float like clouds on their landscaped grounds. as well as in the ancient accounts called Puranas-. Pandu was the supreme in archery. which was adorned with hundreds of areas for sacrificial performance. and following the laws of God. oxen. political science. and craftsman grew rich in the prosperous towns of the Kuru kingdom. Indeed. flowers increased in fragrance. And throughout the three worlds there was no one who could equal Vidura in the greatness and goodness of his character. people were free to relax and sport in the kingdom's many rivers. Thus in the houses of the Kuru leaders and in the homes of their followers. artists. Bhisma firmly established justice and virtue in the agreeable Kuru kingdom. all the citizens of the Kuru lands were satisfied and always in a festive mood. merchants. There were no thieves in that land. and auditoriums. sword and shield fighting. turrets. "Please. schools. The capital city of the Kurus shone beautifully with majestic gateways. come eat with us!" Since birth. performing religious ceremonies. it seemed as if the great Age of Truth had returned. steeples. as indeed in all directions. club fighting. horseback riding. Reaching physical maturity. horses. they showed themselves to be masters of archery. surpassing all other men. In such a pleasureable monarchy. Pandu. They dedicated themselves to their studies with strict vows and self-discipline. nor did anyone take delight in irreligious deeds. and ethics. or in his unfailing devotion to justice. until they became knowers of the Veda in all its divisions and supplements. and their citizens mingled freely with higher beings like the perfected sages and Caranas. forests. and camels happily carried their loads as beasts. called samskaras. Seeing that the young Kuru princes possessed noble character and carefully carried out their royal duties. lakes. recreational areas. decorated arches. In the histories.they studied and practiced untiringly. The people enjoyed giving charity. The three Kuru princes purified themselves with the Vedic ceremonies. In that generous land there was not a miser or a neglected woman to be found. Dhrtarastra excelled all others in physical strength. all equipped with wells. and honest citizens all became happy in the land of the Kurus. who treated them as his own sons. When the people realized that the threat to Santanu's dynasty had been powerfully dispelled. They tried to help and please one another. The citizens were devoid of conceit. which lead to goodness and self-realization. The southern branch of the Kuru dynasty enjoyed a peaceful rivalry with the northern branch. one could always hear people saying. virtue itself ruled the land. The Kuru capital of Hastinapura was a veritable ocean of prosperity rivaling the celestial abode of the mighty Indra. a popular saying arose throughout the land: "Among mothers of heroes. swimming ponds. and they became expert in all types of athletic and martial competition. and greed. Dhrtarastra.

All three girls received the finest education from their families. As far as I am concerned. without question you should simply consider the situation and do what you feel is best for the family. Finally. Of all men who know and practice justice. the Kuru grandsire. character. your grandmother Satyavati." King Subala's son Sakuni then escorted his sister. and so too the king of Madras. he agreed to give his faithful daughter to the young Dhrtarastra. what do you think about my proposal? Vidura said: You are our father. Gandhari. we should accept those princesses so that we may properly continue our family line. They are beautiful and chaste women who were fully protected by their fathers." Dhrtarastra (although the eldest prince) could not take over the kingdom because he was blind. Hastinapura is the best. to Hastinapura. she took a strip of cloth and wound it many times around her own eyes. Among countries. Kuru-jangala is the best." he thought. the capital of the Kurus. you are our mother. and you are our greatest teacher. 103 Bhisma said: Our celebrated family has rightly risen to glory by its noble qualities.daughters of Kasi are the best. and prestige of the Kuru family. Vaisampayana said: Bhisma heard that of the three princesses. Bhisma. Bhisma is the best. he began to carefully reconsider the nobility. I depend especially on you. Thus the House of Kuru coronated Pandu as lord of the earth. My dear Vidura. Therefore. I've heard there is a very nice princess in the Yadu dynasty who would be quite suitable for our family. nor could Vidura because he was born from the queen's maidservant. Son. Indeed. and of all cities. And when Gandhari heard that her father and mother had given her to the blind Kuru prince.up6 \chftn rootnote rs20 rs18up6 \chftn In the Vedic culture. young girls worship Lord Siva so that he will bless them with good husbands and nice children. and her fabulous dowry. King Subala was doubtful at first. and for that. Our forefathers were thoroughly religious kings. "How can he marry my beloved daughter?" But after this initial reaction. the great soul Vyasa. Prince Sakuni properly presented his sister and the numerous gifts to . So determined was she to be a devoted wife that she decided. despite serious difficulty. and I have again solidly established our dynasty through you three boys. "I shall not enjoy beyond my husband. King Subala's daughter. and thus this dynasty is sovereign over all the kings of the earth. Now. that he desired to marry Dhrtarastra to the king's daughter. the family line now depends on you. great souls who served and protected their family so well that our royal line has never been broken or vanquished. King Subala has a nice daughter. you are the wisest. "Dhrtarastra is blind. king of Gandhara. O dear and wise Vidura. had worshiped Lord Siva so nicely that the mighty demigod blessed her to give birth to a hunred sons. sent word to Subala. Similarly. Upon confirming this. I must arrange so that our family grows as broad and powerful as the ocean. and they are qualified to marry into our family.

who was strict in his vows but possessed a frightening temper and an inscrutable sense of propriety. The sister of King Sura's father had a son named Kuntibhoja who was unable to beget children. and her mind could think of only one thing: "What is to be done? What can I do to become virtuous?" Kunti was terrified to face her relatives. to float alone down the river. was the father of Vasudeva [who later became the father of Lord Krsna]. Prtha then gave birth to a heroic son destined to be the best of all who bear arms. and no woman on earth had beauty like hers. She was so completely devoted to her husband that she practically worshiped his family members and would not even speak about any man other than her husband and the members of his family. and said to her. manners. he gave the baby girl to his friend Kuntibhoja. Then Sakuni." Vasusena matured into a powerful and heroic youth who excelled in all kinds of weapons. Just then a man who was the respectable son of a chariot driver.the noble Kurus. After being honored by Bhisma. found the abandoned child and with his wife accepted the babe as his own son. Sura's daughter was named Prtha. [She wondered how the mantra worked. Kuntibhoja was a saintly king. and at once saw coming toward her the great light-maker. the Vrsni princess became wretched with worry. The two of them fashioned a name for the child: "This child has taken birth with riches. that most generous god returned to his celestial abode. who reveals all visible things. Foreseeing her need for a lawful means to overcome her future problems. The supremely splendid sun then returned to the girl her virginity." When the brahmana had thus instructed her. and activities. for he was born with a natural armor and glowing earrings that illuminated his face. Covered with armor. "Whichever god you summon with this mantra. One day this son would be famous throughout the world as Karna. Shapely Prtha gazed upon this wonder and was astonished. then gave her a child. and as his daughter began to grow up. "This girl is my first child. and so the mighty Sura promised to give his first child to his cousin. He was true to his . and to conceal (what she felt to be) her improper deed. and when she was alone decided to see for herself. maintainer of the world. Once Prtha was asked to take care of a fierce brahmana named Durvasa. a great soul who yearned for the gift of a child. the sage gave her a mantra endowed with mystic power. she sent her child. and the husband of Radha. Seeing her newborn son. Prtha made every effort to please the brahmana. and the resplendent sun. that god will bless you with a child. that chaste maiden of high reputation was filled with curiosity. arranged for his sister's wedding at an auspicious time. he engaged her in worshiping the Supreme Lord and respectfully serving guests who came to the palace. Lovely Gandhari satisfied all the Kurus with her good character. AP104 Vaisampayana said: King Sura. so his name shall be Vasusena. the leader of the Yadu dynasty. born with extraorindary armor and earrings. and he was fully satisfied with her service. he returned to his own city. Thus when Prtha was born.] Thus she summoned the sun-god. the handsome son of Subala. that handsome child of a god abounded in natural opulence." and acting as a true friend. and having given this. Sura declared. and he would stand and worship the sun-god until his back was burning.

but although she was in the full bloom of her radiant youth. Prtha. Pandu. Prtha was endowed with an extraordinary feminine grace.CHAPTER 105 Vaisampayana continued: The daughter of Kuntibhoja could take great vows and carry them out faithfully. a celestial snake. her entire body was filled with romantic desire. no suitable prince had dared to come forward to request her hand in marriage. ADI PARVA . the beloved Kuru prince who had the chest of a lion. The daughter of Kuntibhoja was radiantly beautiful. When she finally saw Pandu. When Pandu reached his own city. and her beauty was beyond compare. Pandu joined with Kuntibhoja's daughter in sacred marriage just as mighty Indra had joined with the goddess Paulomi. who maintains this world. handsome eyes as fearless as those of an angry bull. he also arranged for a powerful military escort colorfully bedecked with varieties of official flags and festoons. [Often at a Svayamvara ceremony the other kings would challenge the chosen groom to test his strength. was thoughtful about her future. thus accepting him alone as her beloved husband. there was a strong fluttering in her heart." Before. but now by this deed. Kunti's father then held an opulent wedding ceremony worthy of a king's daughter. or a man. that best of men. She possessed a natural goodness. and chariots. Great sages and qualified brahmanas escorted him into the majestic capital city. whether a Gandharva. his name was known to be Vasusena. so Pandu covered the splendor of all the other kings of the earth simply by standing in the festive arena. that thoughtful young lady beheld the tiger of all kings. whether he be a god. Out of the thousands of monarchs who eagerly courted her. When all the assembled kings heard that Kunti had chosen Pandu. and at the time when he chanted his prayers to the sun.word. In that royal assembly he seemed like a new Indra. "Whomever you desire to conquer. Acting through her father. Then when the day arrived. that person shall be no longer. married his daughter Kunti to Pandu. in the royal assembly. she called all the best kings and princes by having it announced that her father the king would give her away at a svayamvara ceremony. but not a single warrior dared step forward against the young Pandu. and her youthful body was a flawless creation. he was known as Vaikartana Karna. for she delighted in following the laws of God. on elephants. a lord of the earth. assumed the form of a brahmana and begged Vasusena for his natural armor and earrings. With fatherly concern for the royal couple. a demon. Once the effulgent Indra. shoulders like a bull elephant. As the sun covers the splendor of the innumerable stars. all the while blessing and . and in the middle of the arena. and then he honored his son-in-law with all kinds of valuable gifts and sent Pandu and his new wife back to the city of the Kurus. the great son of the Bharata clan. also known as Kunti. Indra gave him the sakti weapon and said. or a horrible Raksasa--. and large. he was met with an equally festive reception. Kunti took the ceremonial garland and shyly approached the Kuru king and placed it on his shoulders. and all agreed that his was a blessed life and that no one could estimate the fortune and happiness of a man who had gained such a qualified wife. Though discouraged at this whomever you angrily hurl this weapon. Karna cut off his bleeding armor and earrings and offered them with folded hands. they left that place as they had come. King Kuntibhoja. there was nothing that great soul and hero would not give to the brahmanas. Amazed at this act. and her steady mind was disturbed. horses.] Pandu accepted Kunti's hand with grace and charm. Kunti selected the young and powerful Pandu.

and goats and sheep. jubilant kings and royal ministers joined the citizens of town and country in praise of King Pandu. King Pandu saw to it that his wife Kunti was comfortably settled in their new home. but their glorious victory cry had perished." Thus with trusting hearts. [The kingdom of Magadha had grown wealthy and powerful by its constant aggression. Bhisma then arranged her marriage with that great soul. and steeped in wisdom was the fabled Bharata. bulls. the lion of Hastinapura. After completing brief formalities. in which the citizens of various states must also pay federal tax. The great ruler of Hastinapura graciously accepted all these offerings and again set out with his spirited mounts. Next Pandu went to Mithila and defeated the Videha army in battle. shoulders like a mighty elephant. along with the royal family. chariots. whom he cruelly harassed in many ways. was renowned throughout the three worlds as a woman of incomparable beauty. but now Pandu has again raised up that celebrated sound. coral. buffalo. handsome eyes as fearless as those of an angry bull. and he lashed out against the many enemies of the House of Kuru. When Pandu conquered all the kings of the world. When Pandu returned to the capital after conquering the entire world. and they were brought under Pandu's government and integrated into the central tax structure. Thus all the leaders of this abundant earth came before Pandu with their hands folded in respect. The kings also delivered asses. The wise Pandu was a tiger among men. [The people exclaimed:] "Santanu was a lion among kings.] Pandu now carried away the inflated treasury as well as many fine animals and soldiers. . all the citizens. with his blazing volleys of arrows. on Pandu's behalf. Pandu. but Pandu boldly struck him down in his royal palace. gold. and elephants. Pandu first marched upon the wicked Dasarnas and defeated them in battle. Satisfied with his marriages. The Kuru army was a colorful sight with its many bright banners whipping in the wind. Pandu established the glory of the Kurus by the frightening strength of his own two arms. She was acquired. was like a scorching fire. horses. chariots. camels. and finally returning to his capital city. for he had the chest of a lion. for only willing and professional soldiers would fight according to a stict code of etiquette. Pandu next directed this powerful force of elephants. Defeated kings were brought under the enlightened Kuru administration and made to pay taxes at a standard rate. who overshadows all other cosmic rulers. just like Indra. with the payment of a large treasure. and then in direct combat with the fighting men of Kasi. horses. Pandu fought like a lion for he knew that the honor of the Kuru dynasty rested on him. exactly like the states of a great nation. endowed with extraordinary strength and daring. touring and engladdening the lands of his kingdom. Pandu now desired to conquer the world. Young Pandu. and when the kings of men approached that fire they were burned to ashes. Throughout the earth all men who saw him were amazed. battles never involved innocent citizens. Suhma. Pandu's purpose was not to exploit or harass other kingdoms. and large. Hastinapura. bringing as tribute to the world's leader varieties of jewels. and a wealth of cows. Those who stole the royal lands and treasures of the Kurus now are dutiful subjects who pay tax to their lord. the rulers themselves unanimously agreed that Pandu alone was a great hero.rs18up6 2rootnote rs20up6 2rs20 For many years the followers of Vedic culture throughout the earth had lived together peacefully as a great. worldwide family. King Darva of Magadha was the declared enemy of all the world's kings. for Madri. precious pearls. In fact.praising him with beautiful hymns. The kings with their armies were devastated by Pandu and his army. were overwhelmed with happiness. Thereafter he journeyed with Devavrata Bhisma to the capital of Madra. and infantry toward the kingdom of Magadha. and Pundra. the daughter of the Madra ruler. and silver. and the shooting flames of his lances.

bulls. After consulting with his older brother. With great affection Ambalika embraced her mighty son Pandu. King Pandu. Pandu was large and handsome and a consummate master of weapons. Taking his wives. with its gorgeous beds and couches. Satyavati. sword. Kunti and Madri. There seemed to be unlimited herds of elephants. and his own mother. Pandu had brought the entire world back into order and had smashed cruel and wicked kingdoms. hundreds and thousands of precious gifts were offered to the teachers of mankind and to other respectable citizens. Although Pandu had truly conquered the world. At these powerful events. and he would spend most of his time away from the city engaged in hunting. just as Paulomi embraces Jayanta. wielding his arrows. Dhrtarastra. horses. Bhisma and the other Kurus could see no end to the fabulous wealth carried by the victorious army. Then Pandu gave great joy to his mother. Pandu was generous by nature. and cows as well. Pandu shone in that forest setting like Indra's lordly elephant in the midst of two she-elephants. and duly honored even the simple citizens of the town and country. and he fully satisfied his well-wishing friends with opulent gifts. and there were numberless camels and sheep and countless chariots and wagons. Pandu always liked to wander through the beautiful forests and woods. and he established a dwelling there in a forest of giant Sala trees. Pandu offered the wealth to Bhisma.Headed by Bhisma they all hurried out to meet him. the citizens of Hastinapura were thrilled to see that the their earth was crowded with many types of people who had returned with the victorious Pandu. he had now come home. Varieties of vehicles were being employed simply to carry the jewels and precious stones. . they considered him to be a god on earth. When Pandu caught sight of Bhisma. To the stirring sounds of hundreds of musical instruments being played together. and dressed in his fabulous armor. entered the royal city of Hastinapura. the best of men. Before they had gone very far. In that festive atmosphere. King Pandu especially enjoyed the delightful foothills and valleys south of the Himalayan range. he was nevertheless disinterested in a life of leisure and royal opulence. he left his palatial residence. Bhisma also pleased Satyavati by presenting her with a gift of beautiful gems won by Pandu. lifting the hearts of the citizens. Ambalika. Accompanied by his charming wives. and with the deep rumbling of kettle-drums. which were equal to a hundred horse sacrifices. but he did not keep them for himself. who was like his father. ADI PARVA .CHAPTER 106 Vaisampayana said: With his own hands Pandu had conquered great riches. When the simple inhabitants of the forest saw the heroic Bharata king with his two wives. With the vast wealth amassed by Pandu. and went to the forest. and he set aside riches for his wise brother Vidura. Kunti and Madri. His mission accomplished. he immediately came forward and offered respect at his feet. Approaching his beloved son. the mighty Bhisma shed tears of joy. and bow. Dhrtarastra performed the five great sacrifices that are ultimately meant to satisfy the Supreme Lord.

and so he arranged to bring her to the Kuru capital. you know the answers to my questions. Gandhari. The great sage Vyasa had blessed Gandhari to have one hundred sons. Bhisma decided that she was a most desirable bride for a Kuru prince. Vidura was especially admired by the Kuru royalty for his wisdom and kindness. and who ever walked in the path of righteousness? How is it that Pandu. Gandhari.Encouraged by Dhrtarastra. how did a hundred sons take birth from Gandhari? How long did it take to beget them all. Gandhari desperately thought of what to do. Vyasa then offered her a boon. Gradually. Now by his powerful vision he understood that Gandhari was about to destroy her embryo. to expand his royal lineage. who was eligible for marriage to a royal family. These five sons were all fathered by the gods themselves. then Dhrtarastra begot a hundred sons in his wife. though cursed by a saintly sage. Unable to bear her frustration. and seeing no progress in her own pregnancy. the chaste wife of Dhrtarastra. known as Vyasa. obtained five sons. her birth was similar to that of Vidura. Indeed. After two years of suffering. Gandhari carried her pregnancy for two full years. and in time she became pregnant by her husband Dhrtarastra. causing the embryo to fall out. fell from her womb. and she chose to have a hundred sons of the same character as her husband. After studying the matter. and still she was childless. AP107 Sri Vaisampayana said: O king. A hard lump of flesh. and with his faithful wife he begot fine sons who shared all the sublime qualities of their father. and so that . Kunti and Madri. like a red iron ball. this was the result. Meanwhile in the Kuru capital of Hastinapura. in detail these events as they actually took place. where he married her with the great-minded Vidura. the forest dwellers always brought to Pandu whatever he needed or desired. Vyasa blessed her as she desired. Gandhari was about to throw away the lump of flesh. happened to be troubled by hunger and fatigue. met him in that exhausted state and fully satisfied him with her devoted service. immediately carrying it to him even to the far ends of the forest. who was always devoted to his happiness. Sri Vaisampayana said: Once the great sage Dvaipayana. obtained from the gods five sons who were all Maharatha warriors? O ascetic whose wealth is austerity. for I never grow tired of hearing about my ancestors. all Maharatha warriors. she repeatedly struck her womb with great effort. Hearing that her sister-in-law Kunti had given birth to a son who was like a little sun-god. then. Pain and anger grew in her chest. through his two wives. and without saying anything to her husband. grief took hold of her mind. And Pandu. and who was the eldest of the boys? How was a single child born to Dhrtarastra from a merchant's daughter? And how could Dhrtarastra disregard in that way a wife like Gandhari. Explain. and his one hundred and first child was born from the daughter of a merchant. Bhisma heard that King Devaka had a beautiful young daughter named Parasavi. King Janamejaya said: O best of the twice-born.

also become a worthy king. My lord. "O king. And in the following month. you will commit a grievous mistake. and I am certain that he will bring nothing but fortune to our family. Although Duryodhana was the first son born to Gandhari and Dhrtarastra. his hundredand-first child. be satisfied with ninety-nine sons." Vyasadeva said: Dear daughter of Subala. you once blessed me to have a hundred children. Pandu's son Yudhisthira was clearly his senior. the moment his son was born. who was blind and always needed a nurse. Dhrtarastra was unable follow their advice. bewildered as he was by affection for his infant son." she said. "that Kunti was the first to have a son and that her child was as beautiful as the sun-god himself.eloquent sage quickly came to her and saw the fleshy mass. O king. and the whole world should be renounced to save one's soul. Vyasadeva then placed these embryos in the bowls filled with clarified butter and arranged for the bowls to be carefully guarded." No sooner had Dhrtarastra finished speaking. this mere lump of flesh has taken birth. "When I heard. But will my son Duryodhana. Yudhisthira. After serving the king for one year. for my hundred sons. Then we shall sprinkle cold water over this ball of flesh and keep it. "Let me first acknowledge that among the Kuru princes. the brahmanas. it divided itself in time into a 101 little embryos. Gandhari carefully followed the instructions of the great sage and eventually her first child. prepare a hundred bowls and fill them with clarified butter. But now. even when spoken in jest. the . tell me truly and precisely what the future is for my son. The arrangement thus completed. Sacrifice one to save the world and to protect your own family. One relative may be rejected to save the family. By his own excellent qualities he has earned the right to rule our kingdom. along with Bhisma and Vidura. I could not bear the frustration and struck down this embryo from my womb. Sri Vaisampayana said: When the fleshy ball was sprinkled with cold water. it is manifest from the signs that this son of yours will destroy the entire dynasty! If you want any peace for your family. in a carefully guarded place. he summoned learned brahmanas who could scientifically calculate the future of a newborn child. and so following the Vedic custom. each the size of a thumb. what are you planning to do?" Gandhari truthfully revealed her plan to the great sage. it is even so. Certainly whatever I promised you must come true. known as Duryodhana. A single village may be sacrificed to save the state." Even when thus addressed by Vidura and all the learned brahmanas. and one family may be given up to save a village. Vyasa instructed Gandhari that the pots should be opened only after a certain amount of time had elapsed. If you raise him as your son. He then said to her. when evil omens appeared in all directions. and we cannot speak even a word against him. for my words never prove false. said to Dhrtarastra. Jackels and other scavanging beasts began howling. and cannot be otherwise. along with the bowls. as well as a single daughter.up6 \chftn rootnote rs20 rs18up6 \chftn Dhrtarastra was anxious to know the future of his first son. and said to them. a merchant's daughter had taken care of the mighty-armed Dhrtarastra. we urge you to reject this child. along with the wise Vidura. "O daughter of Subala. being by birth the eldest Kuru prince. the great soul Vyasadeva returned to the mighty Himalaya mountains to continue his austerities. Quickly. who was born immediately after Yudhisthira. and observing such fearful signs everywhere. the son of Pandu. is the eldest. Indeed. All of you. took birth. Dhrtarastra called for many learned brahmanas. During the time that Gandhari had been suffering and incapacitated with the burden of her large and prolonged pregnancy. all of Dhrtarastra's hundred sons were born.

in addition to the hundred. As each new embryo appeared. and Gandhari had no other children after that. counting the pieces to make sure there were a hundred. the illustrious sage Dvaipayana Vyasa finished dividing the lump of flesh. also named Karana because of his mixed birth by a royal father and a mother of a vaisya. O sinless one. began to meditate on what it would be like to have a daughter. how was her daughter Duhsala born? Please tell me what happened. Now. I would feel the greatest satisfaction. if I have performed austerities. the more her desire grew. Gandhari's nurse placed them one by one into bowls filled with clarified butter. The more she thought about it. but if I just had one daughter in addition. the daughter of King Subala: "Dear lady. You have also mentioned that Dhrtarastra begot a son named Yuyutsu with a nurse born of the merchant community. The great ascetic Vyasa had sprinkled cold water on the lump of flesh. but now within her mind she felt a mother's natural affection for a daughter. family. thus dividing it into different living parts. able to fight alone with thousands of enemy warriors. Then my husband could enjoy the pious rewards given to those whose daughters beget good sons. I would certainly fulfill all my duties in life. you have raised a very good question. the famous and wise Yuyutsu. "There are a full hundred sons here and so I did not make you a false promise. please describe how that single daughter was born. but if I could have just one daughter. If saintly Vyasa divided the lump of flesh into one hundred parts. But somehow by the arrangement of providence there is one extra part. always firm in her religious vows. I am extremely curious to hear about this. As this continued the pious Gandhari. the seer of measureless might. Just one little daughter. I have been blessed with one hundred sons." he said. surrounded by my sons and my daughter's sons. then may I please have a daughter. and it shall become the daughter you so much desire. That lovely woman had been blessed to have a hundred sons.woman gave birth to his child. Each of these hunred sons would become masters of chariot fighting. Dhrtarastra had a hundred sons." Just as Gandhari was praying in that way. O learned sage. and she offered this prayer to God:] "If I have been truthful in life. But you have not explained about Dhrtarastra's daughter. Vaisampayana said: Dear descendant of Pandu. and I shall answer you. "the holy sage will fulfill his promise and I will have a hundred sons. or mercantile. (whom I'd marry with a fine son-in-law). or ignited the fire of sacrifice. to have a hundred sons. He then addressed Gandhari. "Undoubtedly." . my lord." she thought. [Gandhari's mind was fixed in her desire to have a daughter. younger than all her one hundred brothers. if ever I have pleased my respectable superiors. then. "Women cherish a special love for a son-in-law. to 107 *63 Janamejaya said: You have told us how by the mercy of saintly Vyasa. given charity. O fortunate woman. that Gandhari was blessed by Vyasadeva. Thus the learned Dhrtarastra begot a hundred warrior sons in the royal line along with a single lovely daughter named Duhsala [and an additional son begotten in a vaisya maiden]. App. would be so nice. It is well known.

Vikarna. Dhrtarastra arranged suitable wives for all of his sons. Kundabhedi. Drdhasandha. Vikata. Anadhrsya. Citrakundala. Suhasta. Ugra. Dirghabahu. Vira. Balavardhana. Ayobahu.CHAPTER 109 King Janamejaya said: O master of Vedic knowledge. Durmukha. And so. Satyasandha. Ugrayayina. and Sarasana. Kanakadhvaja. O brahmana. the well-known Sindhu king. Visalaksa. Ugrasrava. Ugrayudha. Kundodara.Vaisampayana said: The grand ascetic Vyasa then had one more pot full of clarified butter brought to that place. and the daughter Duhsala. as mighty as the king of the gods. sinless king. Mahodara. I have now explained to you how Gandhari gave birth to a single daughter named Duhsala. Mahabahu. Sulocana. Duhsaha. Duravara. Viraja. Kundasi. Citranga. Know that these are the names of Dhrtarastra's children. Sama. O Bharata. Carucitra. Suvarca. Aparajita. and also Nanda and Upananda. Drdhavarma. All were knowers of the Veda and learned in political and social science. Vivitsu. to Jayadratha. Virabahu. by the arrangement of the sage Vyasadeva. Vatavega. Nisangi. all of them were brilliant both in their education and in the aristocracy of their lineage. dear Bharata king. followed by Yuyutsu. Anudara. Drdhayudha. Bhimaratha. Now please describe the sons of Pandu. the human sons of Dhrtarastra took birth in a nonhuman and extraordinary way. Raudrakarma. Durvimocana. Drdhaksatra. and capable of fighting with many opponents at once. then Vinda. and he placed within it the embryo that was Gandhari's daughter. Urnunabha. And I have heard you systematically recite their names. Sunabha. the gods incarnated in this world by investing their own potency in the sons of Pandu. Duspradharsana. the eldest son was Duryodhana. Durdharsa. At the proper time. Panditaka. Senapati. with Gandhari's approval. carefully studying the nature and desire of each one and marrying them according to Vedic customs. and Karna. in order starting with the eldest. and Pasi. Bhimakarma. . you have told how. the hundred and first child. Citraksa. Viravi. Somakirti. Dusparajaya. Drdhahasta. Abhaya. Vivimsati. Balaki. expert in battle. Susena. Kavaci. Mahabahu. Dhrtarastra gave his only daughter. Duhsasana. and Saha. Subahu. Durmada. ADI PARVA . Senani. The hundred sons were all great warriors. Jalasandha. Adityaketu. Citravarma. Duspragaha. Sadahsuvak. Now tell me. Duskarna. for as mentioned by you. Kanakayu. Jarasandha. Duhsala. Indeed. Alolupa. And at the proper time. Dhanurgraha. Anuvinda. and Drdharatha. in the order of their birth. Suvarma. Sri Vaisampayana said: O kKing. Citrabana. what else shall I narrate to you? AP108 King Janamejaya said: O potent sage. Vyudhoru. who were great souls. Nagadanta. Bhimabala. Bhimavega. Bahvasi. Citra Upacitra. Durmarsana. Dandadhara. Duhsala. Asvasena. tell me the names of Dhrtarastra's son. Dirghalocana. O king.

Kings are allowed to kill deer when they do so without concealment or trickery. Pandu pierced both the deer and his female companion. he cried out to the king. That was the goal of our life. then it is Agastya's fault that you are being offered in sacrifice to God. The deer replied: Although you cite the example of Agastya. he was struck down by Pandu's arrows. and kings are also authorized to hunt wild animals. The deer was actually a sage's son who had grown powerful by practice of severe austerities. deadly arrows of golden shafts and handsome plumes. a family that has always been devoted to religious principles. Just as that young and mighty ascetic was having intercourse with his wife. Pandu said: But kings slay deer whether they are alert or not. Therefore you have done something that does not befit you.Therefore. for the begetting of life is a blessing for all. There he saw a large male deer about to mate with his doe. He knew that by Vedic sacrifice even an ordinary animal is quickly elevated and ultimately achieves liberation. King Pandu once entered a vast forested area that teemed with wild and dangerous beasts. using their sharp arrows and strength. The wise Kuru kings never caused suffering or harm to an innocent person. which he then consecrated and offered to all the appropriate deities. But you should have waited while I begot a child in my beloved wife.up6 \chftn rootnote rs20 up6 \chftn Agastya was a great soul who would never harm another living being. You took birth in the great Kuru dynasty. There are very specific times at which one is allowed to kill one's enemies. You did not have to be so cruel. What you have . something the whole world condemns. who had taken the shape of a lovely doe. All God's creatures desire to beget children. What truly wise man would slay a deer who was in the very act of begetting a child? We wanted to beget a religious child. Vaisampayana! Sri Vaisampayana said: While living in the woodlands. so why do you condemn me? The great sage Agastya. and with five quick. If you wish to blame someone for my act. O deer. I want to hear all about their birth. he fell to the ground in shock and anguish. You have committed the cruelest of all acts. The deer said: Even the most sinful men filled with lust and anger and lacking all reason and sanity would never act as cruelly as you have! Your judgment is not above the law! It is the law that is above you! Wisdom does not agree to purposes forbidden by law and providence. while seated in sacrifice. O narrate it. and realizing what had happened. you should not wrongly condemn me. Therefore. why do you condemn me? The deer said: I do not condemn you for my own sake simply because you were hunting deer. kings traditionally do not shoot their arrows at enemies who are caught in a moment of weakness. You know this to be the law. You took birth in a leading family. went to the deep forest and hunted for deer. wherever they find them. and now you have ruined everything. How could you be so overwhelmed by desire and greed that your mind could deviate so far from those principles? Pandu said: It is the function of kings to personally kill enemies in battle. for their deeds were superhuman. Giving out a human shriek.

in that very situation you will go to the world of the departed! And the lover with whom you lay in your final moment will follow you with great devotion as you fall into the hands of the lord of death. engaging in conjugal affairs with my wife. a married couple joined in the act of begetting. What have you done? O best of kings. you will suffer the very same fate. became absorbed in sex pleasure and by overindulgence that young king died childless. as I was hurled into distress. You fool! For that sin you must suffer. I am going to shave my head and cover my body with dust. They are trapped in the network of their selfish desires. at a time of happiness. Hear my words. O ruler of the Bharatas. the king was distraught. he and his wives lamented as if for their own kin. a simple sage who offended no one. I have no doubt.done will not lead you to heaven. I have heard that my father Vicitravirya. so will you. but because I did not conquer my own material desires I remained in bondage. I shall practice the most severe austerities and wander the world alone as a thoughtful mendicant. for you did not understand my identity. I am so wicked that even the gods have abandoned me! [I conquered the earth with military strength.] I am determined to seek salvation. I shall live in deserted houses or . the selfdisciplined and divine sage Dvaipayana begot me in my father's wife. come to a painful end. Therefore. always peaceful and kind to all creatures. a sage of unrivaled austerities. O Pandu. the same act of begetting will most surely bring your life to an end! I am Kindama. the griefstricken ascetic lost his life. and I foolishly lost myself in hunting. for bondage to this world is nothing but a great calamity. you slayed me when I was lost in conjugal desire. Vaisampayana said: Having spoken thus. for it is a most irreligious deed. staying each day beneath the shelter of a single tree. I declare that one day when you are helplessly driven by desire. you have struck me down. though born to religious parents. you who shine like a god should never have committed such an unholy act! Indeed it is you who are meant to subdue the perpetrators of cruelty. even as I was experiencing such happiness. Pandu said: People like me who lack spiritual advancement. [What a blessed birth was mine!] And yet today my degraded mind became absorbed in evil passion.CHAPTER 110 Vaisampayana said: Seeing the young sage pass away. ADI PARVA . whom all creatures must obey. Now I shall follow the imperishable path of my father Dvaipayana. who asked nothing from others. Agonizing over the the accidental killing of a saintly brahmana. I took the form of a stag and wandered with the deer in the deep woods. Indeed. Pandu! Because you have cruelly slain us. and you have learned the truth and meaning of the law from our scriptures. who seek money and pleasure without regard for the rights or happiness or others. I lived in this forest eating roots and wild fruit. enchanted by desire. for when you go to lie with your dear one. the sinful men who care nothing for civilized life. O Pandu. Nevertheless. nor will it spread your good fame. and in that instant Pandu fell into utter despair. You will not incur the sin of killing a brahmana. you know quite well about affairs with women. even though born in noble families. O wisest of men. Feeling embarassed among human beings. come to misfortune by their own foolish activities. who took the form of a doe.

Vaisampayana said: Speaking thus. Tell them all that Pandu is gone. Whether people ridicule or praise me. for I shall always look upon all God's creatures as my own beloved kin. "Everyone must be told of the changes in my life. my mother. O most learned one. Both of us are ready to fix our mind and senses on spiritual life. nor will I hate either of them. I should deviate from my spiritual principles. it will be the same to me. and only food that is fit to be offered to the Supreme Lord. for we are determined to follow you in this life and the next. which is controlled by no man. O lord of the earth. I shall never save for a future meal. I shall not hanker for anything in this mortal world. Speak to the noble Satyavati and Bhisma." Hearing of his decision to live in the forest as an ascetic. In all situations I will give up sense gratification. and there is no doubt about it. I will not wish good fortune to one and bad fortune to the other. Whether I receive food or not. I will not behave like one who is eager to live nor like one eager to die. I will not ridicule or frown upon any creature. I shall live like the sages who sit with half-opened eyes. King Pandu. victory and defeat---I shall not waver in the face of these worldly dualities. We have decided to give up material lust and enjoyment. even if I receive nothing I will not go to another house. I shall undergo this great austerity. lacking any dignity." Pandu said: . I shall treat all living things with equality.simply beneath a tree. I will not commit violence against any life. if you reject us we shall immediately give up our lives. I will always be of cheerful countenance and dedicate myself to the spiritual welfare of every living being. I shall not lament or rejoice for any material thing. and all our other relatives. I will never transgress this rule. deeply agrieved. those great souls so strict in their vows who drink the nectar of the gods. moving or unmoving. Tell all the senior and elderly citizens who have faithfully served us all their lives. Heat and cold. and nothing will please or displease me. I shall accept both ridicule and praise equally. I will overcome all the traps and pitfalls of this material world. all the priests of the royal family. the women replied with equal determination: "There are other stages of life for married people in which you can perform heavy austerities together with us. maintaining myself by these principles without anxiety. I shall be like the wind. your lawful wives. and we shall undergo serious austerities. If I tried to enjoy life like that. breathed heavily for a long time. he told them. or flatter any man for his favor. and the brahmanas. Having gone to seven houses. I will not welcome life or death. if a person is so greedy and low-minded that he sells himself to others for material gain. I will eat very little. Whatever food I obtain. Many people depend on me. you must inform the wise Vidura and King Dhrtarastra. Once each day I shall approach two and five families for alms. for adherence to this path will certainly free me from all fear. Free of all sins. Completely renounced and devoted to virtue. Never shall I live like a common dog. I must now completely transcend all those rituals and activities that men perform for material advancement. Carefully meeting the eyes of his beloved Kunti and Madri. If someone chops off one of my arms with an axe and someone else spreads luxurious sandalwood paste on my other arm. surely he follows the path of ordinary dogs. I will surely purify myself of my evil deeds. serving and flattering others so that they will care for my bodily needs. and if I receive nothing I will simply fast. so as gently as possible. happiness and distress. Thus shall I always live. nor will I claim anything to be mine. oblivious to the external world. gone alone to the forest. Undoubtedly you will be successful and reach the heavenly abode. Whether honored or dishonored.

Reaching the famous lake of the primeval monarch Indradyumna. If my senses overwhelm me. along the way eating only wild fruits. "and make it known that Pandu. and my body will grow thin from my meager diet. the great Kuru monarch took off his jeweled crown. and fatigue will be my constant companions. continuing their trek by crossing over the mighty Himalayan range and traveling up to Gandhamadana. I shall have to tolerate cold. and at times on the steep sides of mountains. He lived at times in hardship and at times with an abundance of natural gifts. ripened or not. he could not stop weeping for his younger brother. until this body is finished and I lie down in peace. I shall bathe in the river not only in summer. Pandu's followers and personal attendants made a terrible cry and sobbed in anguish. and not a glorious death. and I shall revere the Lord's empowered servants who manage this temporary world. Pandu and his women were protected by powerful higher beings such as the mystic Siddhas and liberated sages. Hunger." Hearing these heart-rending words from their beloved lord. Like sages. I am truly going to renounce all domestic comfort and concerns and perform severe austerities. All along the way. I shall never do anything to harm or displease the elderly who have retired to the forest for spiritual liberation. since your proposal is in accord with religious principles. they traveled next to Caitraratha and beyond that to Varisena. journeyed with Kunti and Madri to the mountain called Naga-sabha.CHAPTER 111 Vaisampayana said: . As I wander about the wilderness. bracelets. I shall immediately die. but in winter as well. nuts. Sometimes he stayed on smooth and easy earth. thirst. this time addressing his followers and personal attendants: "Go to Hastinapura.If that is what you have both decided. By all these difficult austerities I must conquer and dry up the senses before they conquer me. When the Kuru leader Dhrtarastra heard from them all that had happened in the deep forest. wind. I shall wander in the deep forest. medallion." he said sadly. has departed for the forest to live as a mendicant. I shall wear rags and skins and long matted hair." where he surrendered fully to the practice of religous austerity. nuts. not only in freezing winter but in scorching summer. In all my thoughts and activities spiritual progress will be my only goal. along with his faithful wives. I shall follow my vows strictly. without worldly riches or pleasure. they turned away from their monarch and ran to Hastinapura to deliver his final message. whom they adored. "Hundred Peaks. following my father Dvaipayana Vyasa. But I warn you. and earrings and he offered everything to the saintly brahmanas. Indeed. and heat. nourished on wild fruits. I'll sit by the fire. I shall worship my venerable forefathers and the Supreme Personality of Godhead. and with my words and thoughts and all that I collect. Nor will I disturb my countrymen or any of the simple village-dwellers. Shedding hot tears. then you may come along. and roots. Pandu then spoke again. dressed in treebark. the beloved Kuru prince. he crossed beyond to Hamsakuta and finally arrived at the mountain region called Satasrnga. Vaisampayana said: Having thus spoken to Kunti and Madri. With the fruits of the wilderness. I wish to follow the most severe of those injunctions. I will strictly follow the scriptural injunctions for renounced life in the forest. In the meantime Pandu. and roots. including his invaluable wardrobe as well as the wardrobe and jewels of his wives. ADI PARVA .

Mystic Siddhas and liberated sages like ourselves can make it across. perfectly executing religious austerities. appreciated his noble character and grew quite fond of him. How could your two wives possibly travel through Mountain King without collapsing on the way? Those fine ladies are the daughters of kings and are quite unaccustomed to such hardship. the leading sages of Hundred Peaks. places where the gods themselves. Once on a darkmoon night. Pandu bowed to their request. O Bharata king. both flat and hilly. prepared to leave that place. I am freed of my debts to the sages. who frequented the area. and so we will also journey there. I confess to you all that being childless causes me great anguish. the austere sages told him. O ascetics rich in austerity. the gods. In our previous journeys there. even I was begotten in my father's widow by a great soul. gods. By a similar arrangement. we have seen many lands that are difficult to cross. There are vast expanses of inaccessible terrain and zones of such heavy rainfall that even birds cannot cross. We are eager to see Lord Brahma. and to others he was a close friend. These great ascetics wished to see Lord Brahma. despite all of his austerities. or birds can live. the sages by study and penance. That is a fact. what to speak of other animals. We might add that they hardly deserve such pain and trouble. One satisfies the gods by performances of sacrifice. But since they were leaving.The mighty Pandu lived for some time in the region of Hundred Peaks. the sages. couldn't there be offspring from my wives? . Seeing the sages ready to depart. and they were all leaving together. Pandu at once yearned to go with them and quickly rose up from his seat." Hearing their words. Strapped with four kinds of debts. it is best that you not go. We'll be ascending Mountain King. Eager to reach the heavenly abode. and to other man---debts by the hundreds and thousands. "We are going very far to the north on our way to Brahma's abode. forefathers." The sages replied. but other than us only the wind goes through that land. With the blessings of those sages and after long practice. and humankind by kindness. and humankind. By law. but I still owe a debt to the forefathers. The senior sages loved him like their son and took care of him in every way. "There are lands enroute which are always cold---icy places where no trees." [Hearing the words of the sages whom he so deeply revered. "O eloquent masters. so strict in their vows. he forefathers by children and sraddha rites. and completely self-controlled in mind and senses. men are born in this world. and all the great souls will be there. Pandu said. as well as the Gandharvas and Apsaras. and impenetrable mountain canyons. Knowers of the law have established that a human being who does not acknowledge these debts at the proper time. They saw that Pandu was free of false pride. he revealed to them that which troubled his heart. the vast Himalayan region. "There will be a great meeting of saints on the planet of Lord Brahma. Thus it is to have progeny that noble men take birth in this world. Pandu achieved mastery in his religious austerities and became exactly like a powerful sage versed in the spiritual wisdom of the Vedas. have established exclusive recreational areas. sages.] Pandu said: O most fortunate sages. kindly tell me where you are all going. will not attain to the higher planets. We have seen there the famous gardens of Kuvera. Dear sages. To some residents of Hundred Peaks he was like a brother. then when his body perishes his forefathers also perish. animals. always eager to help others. but seeing this. he prepared to depart with his wives toward the north. The demigods. Higher beings like Siddhas and Caranas. If a man leaves no descendants. authorities say that there is no way to heaven for a childless man. for they have dues to pay to the forefathers. the undulating banks of mighty rivers. the creator of the universe. and for this I feel pain.

She was the wife of a powerful . then the child so born is accepted as the son of the mother and her lawful husband. learned men know well that raising a good. An intelligent man. that is why I want to send you today to conceive a child with someone who is equal to or better than me. Please hear of these. you will attain to happiness. I clearly see that as a childless man I myself shall not achieve the blessed worlds. In the fifth circumstance. a child begotten even with an unchaste wife is considered to be one's lawful heir. the son is begotten by a proper man. he could not beget a child. since the goal is already in sight. and six who are not lawful heirs. knowing well that because of the brahmana-deer's curse. the careful observation of regulative principles---it is said that even all these will not suffice to sanctify the life of a childless man. and thus it is enjoined in the sacred lawbooks. so my power to conceive a child has been ruined by his curse. We know it by divine sight. and so on. A child purchased or adopted is in the same category. I was cruel toward the brahmana-deer. after the father's death. enjoys a happy ending. Vaisampayana said: Hearing these words from the ascetic sages. O sweet-smiling woman. born of his lawfully wedded wife.] He then spoke to his lawful wife Kunti in a secluded part of the forest. But in the sight of the law.The ascetics said: O virtuous king. and if that fails she tries by the second method. but Pandu fixed their words in his mind. religious son is the best way to lead a pious life and enjoy all its attendant rewards. like unto gods. you must simply endeavor. the first is the father's own child. The fifth case is the brother's son. A woman should always try to have a child of the first kind. charity. he should raise a religious son or daughter. and as I ruined his act of begetting. "Knowing this well. there are six kinds of sons accepted as legitimate heirs to the family fortune. to beget good children is the very foundation of society. a son conceived in the mother by a fit man is a legitimate heir. In times of difficulty. or the third. The performance of sacrifice. undistracted. listen to this story of a royal lady named Saradandayani. A child given to another family does not inherit the family property. a man begets a child with a qualified young maiden according to religious principles. He confirms that even if a husband cannot beget with his own seed. A young person who approaches a couple and begs them to take care of him is considered the same. The great law-giver Svayambhuva Manu has declared this to be true. Sober authorities have therefore recognized that to raise good children is sanatana dharma. Dear son. paid with a fee by the impotent father. and the final instance is that of a child whom a man begets in the womb of an unqualified woman who is not his wife. Prtha: Of rightful heirs. O shy one. O tiger of men. by your acts you must accomplish what is ordained by providence. In the second case. Pandu absorbed himself in thought. Most respectable wife. a perpetual duty for civilized human beings. My dear Prtha. Finally. The fourth case is a child born from a woman who is already pregnant at the time of her marriage. a woman should always seek to unite with a superior man. I can never beget a child. because in this life. you certainly will have beautiful and sinless children. if a man is impotent and therefore allows his wife to conceive with another qualified man who is acting selflessly. until she obtains her child. In the fourth instance. and upon obtaining very qualified children. [The sages were gone. urging that celebrated woman to accept the right and necessary means to to beget children in times of difficulty: "My dear Kunti. and austerity. In the third case. due to my immaturity. This is my constant worry. Kunti.

Vyusitasva shone forth above all other men. headed by Indra. "Having conquered all other rulers. who was utterly devoted to religious principles. Vyusitasva was able to perform the Asva-medha sacrifice. Those who are learned in the ancient histories sing this song about the great king: . if we are to have a child. Now please hear from me. endowed with the strength of ten bull elephants. north. Similarly. "My dear husband. come to me. and when all these functions were complete. O tiger of a man. "Long ago there was an earthly king named Vyusitasva. ADI PARVA . along with the great sages. and which helps us on on the spiritual path. That lady begot three sons. which surpasses all creatures as it shines in the cool of early spring.ruler. by my order you also.CHAPTER 112 Vaisampayana said: Pandu was the world's leader. even in my mind. and west. you are a hero. So great was this king that he increased the prestige and influence of the famous Puru dynasty. heavenly nectar. "You know our sacred principles. It is by those principles that you accepted me as your true and religious wife. you alone. when her proper time had come. which the king's potent sacrifice had produced. and with him lit a sacrificial fire to worship the Supreme Lord. she bathed herself and went to a major crossroads to find a qualified father. which appeared to her as beautiful as the silver moon. she was ordered by her family elders to somehow beget a son who could maintain the family tradition. my beautiful and innocent wife. for I shall recite an ancient story. [You say I should approach a man who is better than you. And the saintly brahmanas were overwhelmed by the many priceless gifts they received from the great soul Vyusitasva. "Once while that great and religious man was performing sacrifice to the Supreme Lord. She selected a learned brahmana.] but what man on earth is better than you? You have such big and beautiful eyes. one night. should quickly arrange to conceive a child with a saintly brahmana who is even greater than me in his austerity and dedication to the religious path. who were all great warriors and leaders of men. I shall go with you to the heavenly abode. Dear Kunti. she joined with him in the religious act of conception. perfect in his spiritual practice. She fasted and performed various sacred rituals to cleanse her mind of lust." she said. That greatest of monarchs conquered all the kings of the east. and thus he became the powerful emperor of the world. south. looking into his eyes. she replied as follows to the powerful leader of the Kuru dynasty: "You should never speak to me in that way. headed by Durjaya. like the mighty sun. and when her husband could not give her a child. came to his ceremony. and you will beget in me heroic children. Indra himself became intoxicated by drinking the great supply of Soma. exacting taxes from them and bringing them under the control of Vedic law. and the middle provinces. the demigods. Hearing his words. in accord with our sacred law. I shall never. approach any man but you. Indeed. O mighty-armed Bharata. which is well known to Vedic scholars. but for Kunti he was her beloved husband. O beloved Kuru monarch.

O king. and go now! I shall give you the boon you desire. and within a short time he passed from this world like the inexorably setting sun. O lord of men. then unbearable grief will surely dry up my heart and overwhelm me. Be kind and show yourself to me!' "As Vyusitasva's wife cried for her husband. `Arise. and take me quickly from this place. you have the power to beget sons in me. In fact. I do not want to see the lonely face of luxury. On the eighth or the fourteenth day of the moon. and produced large quantities of the celestial beverage. when you have bathed. let that lovely smile return to your lips. Vyusitasva stretched out the Soma rites. at your time of fertility. At every moment. devoted to her husband and yearning for his child. Collecting countless jewels. And by contact with her husband's expired body that godly woman gave birth to seven illustrious sons. `you know that a woman is unfulfilled without a husband and child. O noble Bharata. and for that sin I have now been separated from you and left to suffer like a sinner in hell. from now on. by the strength of your austerities and devotion to God. wailed in agony. I shall never leave you and always obey your command. O leader of kings. I am wretched and helpless. History tells that they grew very attached to one another. suddenly an invisible voice spoke to her. O Bhadra. My beautiful husband.up6 \chftn rootnote rs20 up6 \chftn These brahmanas were austere by nature and would immediately redistribute their wealth for the benefit of all people. and wherever you go. you will never have to wait for me.' she wept. I will lie down on a barren mat of kusa grass. I want to go with you. praying to him again and again in many piteous ways and tightly clasping his dead body. Be kind to me.`Vyusitasva conquered this bountiful. O fierce leader of warriors. the three Salva kings and the four Madra monarchs. Vyusitasva became so completely absorbed in sexual affairs with his wife that he was eventually stricken with tuberculosis. lie down with me on your bed. Tears and grief have taken my life. O shapely woman. I shall be your shadow. water-bounded earth. " `Surely in some past life. It is you alone I long to see. without any kindness or mercy I separated loving companions. widowed and without child. hear from me how she cried out to her departed husband: `Most wise and virtuous man. and he governed all the citizens like a father caring for his own beloved children. for I shall beget children in you. Dear Pandu. I will follow along behind you. if from now on I cannot have you. dear Bhadra. was the most celebrated Kaksivati Bhadra. I shall act for your pleasure. "His poor wife Bhadra. did exactly as she was instructed. the goddess Bhadra. Be merciful and take me with you! I cannot bear to live even a moment without you. He worshiped the Supreme Lord and His empowered representatives with magnificent sacrifices at which he distributed fabulous wealth to the saintly teachers.CHAPTER 113 Vaisampayana continued: . O king. ADI PARVA . A woman who lives without her man does not live at all. death is better than life for a woman who has lost her beloved husband.' "His wife. O tiger among men. Similarly. O beloved lotus-eyed husband. for her life is nothing but misery. and without you anguish is my only companion. in good times and bad. just with your mind. whose beauty was unrivalled on earth.' "At these words.

O shapely one. the father. she is not to ignore her husband's request. by his spiritual strength. He did so out of anger. Uddalaka. We hear from authorities. Seeing his son Svetaketu so furious. but not other creatures. women who offend their husband by adultery commit a sin equal to killing the embryo in the womb. for that was the religious principle of those former days.' "But the sage's son could not tolerate this principle. that since then. that on the order of Saudasa.Thus addressed by Kunti. We also hear. which is also seen in the Purana scriptures. they were not faithful to their husbands. and yet their behavior was not irreligious. This brahmana is acting according to the principles of religion. must be done. But now I shall explain to you an interesting moral principle. you know that I myself was begotten in a similar way by Krsna-dvaipayana so that the Kuru dynasty might flourish. O fortunate lady. Just as cows and bulls mix freely. At all other times. the women of those remote times were by nature pure and innocent. It is an eternal rule that is very kind to women. you should carry out my lawful instruction. `My dear son. free of lust and uncorrupted by their contact with men. just the two of us!' Svetaketu happened to arrive on the scene." It is this Svetaketu. and he established a moral law for male and female among human beings. my lotus-eyed lady. The great sages recognized this purity of the people. "Dear Kunti. My lovely lady. `Come. O sweet-smiling one. that law has been in effect. the great souls who know the sacred law. O daughter of a king. it was thus Uddalaka's son Svetaketu who. don't become angry. "the enchantress. established these moral laws in the olden days. "Even today those of the animal species follow that ancient rule. Likewise. who established restrictions on human sexuality. "O faultless lady. replied to his godly wife in words imbued with that virtue. for it is an ancient rule known to the sages. and with the desire to please her husband. that which a husband says to his wife. "the sage of the white flag. Please hear from me. "Even today. so do the creatures of all species and social groups. a woman deserves to make her own decision. and their deed shall bring them to grief. "Once a brahmana grabbed the hand of Svetaketu's mother in the presence of her husband and ordered her. [Similarly. let us go. but whenever a woman comes into her fertile season. and I shall tell you how it came about." he began. he was like a god on earth. be it traditional or unusual. you are so strict in your chaste vow. O lotus-eyed. this principle exists among certain of the northern Kurus. that shy woman obtained from the sage a son named Asmaka. and when he saw his mother being led away as if by force he exploded with rage." went to the sage Vasista. "Dear daughter of a king. It was a golden age of highly advanced human beings. "King Vyusitasva did indeed accomplish all that you said. men were not jealous or possessive with women. Women were self-reliant in those remote times and could go where they liked and enjoy in their own way. And this very sin will arise for a wife who refuses when her husband enjoins her to have a child. Women of all social orders are unrestricted on the earth. Knowers of the law .] Therefore they honored this liberal law. "Long ago women were not at all restricted. hear from me in detail why and by whom our current moral code was established in this world. told him. A man will surely fall by the very same sin when he offends by adultery a devoted and religious wife. fine lady. From childhood. according to Vedic authority. O lovely one. King Pandu. The saintly persons recognize this to be the ancient rule. not long ago. his wife Madayanti. considering all these examples. shapely woman. without lust or rivalry. who knew the path of virtue. We have heard that there was a great sage named Uddalaka whose son was known as Svetaketu. Svetuketu declared: `From this day on.' "O timid one. Knowers of the sacred law know this to be the law.

O statuesque woman. seek the blessings of Dharma." Our little son will undoubtedly be the very image of justice for the Kurus. Tell me. willing or unwilling. O lovely-tressed lady. Once I received the fierce brahmana Durvasa. . the statuesque princess obtained as her son the best of all that breathe. virtue. Therefore. after a year of pregnancy. you must concentrate. "Good woman. And it is especially the case when the husband hankers for a son. "So be it!" She offered him her heartfelt obeisances and with his permission. respectfully circumambulated him. who is so strict in his vows.' O Bharata. good lady. When he is given to us by Dharma. who had conquered the cities of all impious kings: "While living as a young girl in my father's house. "This act was lawful. You know best what is right and true. ADI PARVA . Dear princess of faultless limbs. that excellent woman replied. his mind will never delight in adharma. I was engaged in serving the respected guests who came to our kingdom. Kunti quickly offered an oblation to Dharma and carefully chanted the mantra given to her years ago by Durvasa Muni. I beseech your mercy. His words are true. which god shall I summon? Know that I simply await your permission. `Whatever demigod you care to summon with this mantra. with your permission. and you know how I yearn to see my son.understand this principle. Joining with Dharma. Dhrtarastra's wife Gandhari still had not given birth to a child.CHAPTER 114 Vaisampayana said: My dear King Janamejaya. thus the world will conclude. Dharma would never join us in this endeavor. saintly king. broad woman. At that time Kunti summoned the unfailing Dharma so that she herself could become pregnant. He gave me a boon and revealed a set of mantras invested with mystic power. sweet-smiling one. our first priority." Determined to help her husband and to please him. you must act. for he among all the gods is devoted to virtue. Pandu said: This very day. for I am determined to carry out this mission. and at last that strict seer was satisfied. that brahmana thus spoke when I was still in my father's house. that is my situation. were it unjust or evil. making dharma. the lord of justice. who appeared in his true form as a devoted servant of the Lord. that lovely woman of tapering thighs then replied to her Pandu. It is moreover most difficult to understand what will please or displease him. and placing them on my head in supplication. With your help. Vaisampayana said: When Kunti was thus addressed by her husband. I shall summon a god with this mantra so that we may have a child. yet has lost his own power of begettting. injustice. Durvasa possesses frightening power and is extremely dangerous when displeased. O mighty. and the time has come. and by the rule! Bring to you the god Dharma. he will certainly come under your control. at my behest approach a brahmana who is greater than me in his vows and austerity and beget sons endowed with every noble quality. I made every possible effort to serve him nicely. I cup my red nailed hands like lotus petals. I will surely go to the blessed land reserved for the fathers of good sons. With reverence and mystic mantra. O statuesque lady. and he said this to me.

Indeed as Bhima bounced down the slope. and splendor. when the moon is especially benevolent and the stars foretell pious victory. Yes. the chief of the thirty principle demigods. If we carefully follow the laws of God and act at the proper time. Seeing his beloved son fall from his mother's lap. mind. a most amazing incident took place.Chapter and began to role down the slope. and his . and I shall thus obtain a mighty son. I shall perform very difficult austerities with my body. she went to visit various religious shrines in the area to obtain blessings on her baby. The infant Bhima fell from her lAdi Parva .Exactly at noon. an invisible voice spoke from the heavens: "Among all who faithfully follow the laws of God. The first-born son of Pandu will be known as Yudhisthira. On the very day that Bhima was born. determined to gain the favor of Lord Indra. He always carried his bow and arrows in order to protect his family in the dangerous jungle. standing on one leg without rest from sunrise to sunset. Pandu underwent a grueling austerity. Just as Kunti reached the foot of a mountain and stopped to rest. "the dreadful one. "It is said that a ksatriya king is pre-eminent in strength. And with utmost concentration. Soon after Vrkodara's birth Pandu again began to desire another son. "a son who will be most exalted in this world? Success in life depends both on God's blessings and our own honest endeavor. courage." Having obtained a virtuous child as his first son. "How can I have another excellent son. That excellent child will fulfill the mission of the gods. He struck the stone mountain with the strength of thunderbolts hurled by mighty Indra.Chapter and with his tender limbs pulverized masses of solid stone. Kunti had jumped up in terror. and from him was born a mighty-armed son named Bhima. Vayu. [Our sons will be leaders. [Surely Indra could give us the greatest son of all. strength. with the prowess of the gods. Bhima's surpassing strength would never fail. Indra is the chief.] Therefore. Pandu. Pandu had come running. and they must have ideal qualities. Lunging back into its cave. surely we can obtain His blessings. When the tiger attacked. solid stone shattered into hundreds of pieces. this child is undoubtedly the best. Pandu had been keenly watching his wife as she walked toward the mountain. Kunti gave birth to a son of glorious fame. the brahmanas. O lord of the abundant earth. Indeed. and at his birth a heavenly voice declared. a huge tiger suddenly emerged from a mountain cave and rushed with deadly speed toward the helpless mother and child." Pandu discussed his plan with the great sages and he then instructed Kunti to observe an auspicious vow for one year. at a most auspcious moment. After bathing him. Duryodhana also was born.] I shall make a special effort to satisfy Indra by performing austerities." he thought. choose for your boon a son who is the strongest of all men. O Bharata. "We have heard that among the demigods who manage our world. Fully endowed is he with fame. After a long time. the mortally wounded beast filled the cavern with his awful roars. As the huge tiger rushed to kill. He is said to possess immeasureable strength. and kindness. Kunti summoned the mighty wind-god." Being so instructed by her husband. but when he beheld the shattered stone he was struck with awe. Indeed Indra will give a most exalted son. Bhima once fell from his mother's lAdi Parva . nobility. forgetting that her child slept peacefully on her lap. "steady in battle. "Of all mighty men. and speech [to convince mighty Indra of our sincerity]. pulled back his handsome bow and pierced the tiger's body with three deadly arrows. Indra addressed the virtuous Kuru king: "I shall give you a son who will be celebrated throughout the universe. As soon as he was born." for he would act with terrifying power. Kunti had taken her son to a charming lake to bathe him. the mightiest has now taken birth. On the tenth day after his birth. Pandu again approached Kunti and said." and his fame as a monarch will spread throughout the universe. Still an infant." Indeed soon after his birth.

Angira. By the strength of his arms.own loved ones. and the king of gods came to her and begot Arjuna. the fifteenth was Kali. Pulaha. was born an invisible voice spoke out in such deep. we have received the mercy of the king of gods. Among them were Bhimasena. Urnayu. similarly your son Arjuna. the most fortunate Apsaras joyfully danced and lifted their voices in song. began to celebrate the birth of his earthly son. As soon as the child. Arjuna. Bhumanyu. led by handsome Tumburu. Kasyapa. and other denizens of heaven. and he will vanquish all who oppose him. And Atri. Gautama. Parjanya the fourteenth. Apsaras. Indeed. all the lords of creatures. as the tenth." Resting in the maternity room. These were the godly Gandharvas who there sang to the best of men. There was Marici. the noble Pandu said to Kunti. Thus this best of men will bring back the glory and opulence of his dynasty. your son will be fierce in battle like Parasurama himself. also Yugapa. There were the celestial serpent sons of Kadru. Brhaka. came too. Hearing these loud declarations. and Suryavarca as the seventh. Salisira was the thirteenth. there was Sad. and Suparna. and keeping them in his mind. invincible in battle. O Kunti. who is like Visnu Himself. Arjuna will be the very best of heroes. Vasista. and none will defeat him. and thus he will establish the authority of the Kuru dynasty. and also the illustrious Haha and Huhu. and the sixteenth Narada. O shapely wife. Brhad. And so Lord Indra himself. and a joyful tumult filled the skies. with jewels and all kinds of adornments. this child shall bring glory to your name. With wide-open eyes and all kinds of jewels and adornments. and he who rises when the great light-maker sets. "O sweet-smiling wife. Apsara maidens sang and danced in honor of the frightening warrior. "This powerful leader of his people will heroically conquer the regional rulers of the earth and then with his brothers perform three great religious sacrifices. and seers like Bharadvaja. and his deeds as glorious as those of primeval Visnu. Showers of flowers floated to earth from the heavenly abodes as communities of demigods and godly beings. progenitor of many creatures. call him now and beget a son who contains all the fire and might of the warrior race. "Just as the Supreme Lord Visnu gave ever-increasing pleasure to His mother Aditi [when He advented as Vamana]. and Karusa. And the Gandharvas. for he will secure unto himself the most advanced celestial weapons. the greatest joy arose among the learned ascetics of Hundred Peaks. loudly sang his glory. Jamadagni. and the seven great sages. . gathered to honor the exalted son of Prtha. that illustrious lady called Indra. Visvamitra. Bahuguna. and Dhrtarastra. Their names were Anuna. and Citraratha. who are gifted with the sweetest of songs. Kunti heard these most extraordinary words which Vayu himself vibrated in the sky. Indra. the god of fire will be fully satisfied by consuming all the creatures of the Khandava forest. dynamic. Ugrasena. Kasi." At these words. with all the demigods. Pulastya. Anavadya. along with the Kekayas and the warriors of Cedi. a great soul who will be strict in moral principles. Karsni. the Gandharvas. and Daksa. for I shall give unto you the first of sons. will increase your happiness more and more. great sages. He will subude Madra warriors." Hearing these words from Lord Indra. Celestial drums sounded forth. Brahmacari. for he will be as invincible as his mighty father. Gopati. Sucandra. Adorned in celestial garlands and garments. and the celebrated Karala. the godly sage. and great birds owing their lineage to Vinata. clear tones that the heavens resounded with the message: "O Kunti. shouting congratulations. Kratu. and exceedingly wondrous to behold. brilliant as the sun. Trnapa. Nandi. Visvavasu. Anagha. of wide fame. his power and courage will equal that of kings like Kartavirya and Sibi.

Visvaci. Sucika. Apakunda. Gunavara. burner of foes. and you willl attain the heavenly abode." Having thus spoken. Laksana. Supriya. the mighty Wind has appeared as your powerful son Bhima. the demigods then addressed that best of kings: "By the mercy of the Supreme Lord. but this time Kunti adamantly refused and spoke the following words: "Even in times of crisis. even if you have treated me unfairly. Karkotaka. all came and participated in the festivities. who will always crush the wicked. and Pinaki. Again. Pandu. the Visvedevas. Aruna. and Adrika. Sugandha. Surely there is none more pious than you. I have always taken the . Savita. Aristanemi. they heightened the glories of the son of Pandu. and Manorama. and Purvacitti. Pusa. the renowned Umloca and Pramloca completed a group of ten. Aja Ekapad. with Urvasi as the eleventh. Vasuki the serpent. Attending all around were the twin Asvins. Tvasta. Arjuna has appeared as your son. Asita. and they showed even greater affection and admiration for the sons of Pandu. and Punjikasthala. the lovely Madri. Pandu.CHAPTER 115 Vaisampayana continued: After Kunti and Gandhari gave birth to their children. "you are right. O Lord of the earth. I shall certainly become a fallen woman. Ghrtaci. endowed with all the potency of Lord Indra. Parjanya. for the gods themselves have become the fathers of your children. Bhaga. glowing like the flames of a fire: Dhata. was still not satiated. Devi.Priyamukhya. Kratusthala. acting through his empowered demigod agents. Suratha. Isvara. and Aruni. You are free of your debt to the forefathers. Subahu. Ksema. and Lord Visnu. the illustrious monarch requested his lovely and shapely wife Kunti to beget a child. Vivasvan." ADI PARVA . and the Sadhyas. Pleased with his worship. Ahi. If I approach another man. How can you think to violate my honor like this for the sake of another son. Amsa. and these maidens sang with wide and lovely eyes. Vidyutparna." said Pandu. Sesa. Sahajanya. and the large serpent Taksaka---these and many other serpents. Pandu himself happily worshiped the Supreme Lord and His appointed representatives. the renowned Nirrti. Sarva. overjoyed by his blessings. Tilottama. The sons of Vinata were present there: Tarksya. Parnika. for the merit of piety is yours to enjoy. there was Dahana. you speak like a madman. all the demigods departed as they had come. Pundarika. in a secluded place and spoke these words: "I have no complaint against you. Garuda. Mitra. approached her husband. the eight Vasus. Suvapu. but rather felt encouraged to pursue further his intense yearning for exalted children. Also present were Mrgavyadha. therefore. also Saci. Justice himself has taken birth as your first son. Menaka. Situated in the sky. A fifth time and I would become an ordinary harlot. Indra. Asitadhvaja. daughter of the Madra king. Kacchapa. Marici. Rambha. Varuna. The religious principle is exactly as you've stated it. King Pandu. Yudhisthira. and Pramathini. Misrakesi. All the Adityas were there. Kamya and Saradvati--. Agnika. authorities do not allow a woman to approach four different men. the mighty Marut wind-gods. Sthanu. Aryama. all the exalted sages of Hundred Peaks were astonished. endowed with fiery strength and terrible anger. Seeing this great wonder.all danced there in groups. and Alambusa. and Lord Bhava and the Rudras. and now by the mercy of Indra. Kapali. knowing as you do our religious principles? We should remember those principles!" "Yes. Budhnya.

O lovely lady. yet I have no children! It is our good fortune that Kunti has given you sons to preserve your family line.inferior role. strength. I am sorry. Vaisampayana said: Thereafter Pandu again spoke to Kunti in a secluded place and told her. I should not be ordered by you to do this. very unhappy. Lord Indra performed sacrifices. I didn't know that by calling two gods it was possible to get two sons at once. courage. and the greatest happiness was his. Therefore. and the younger Sahadeva. As with Pandu's other children. and kindness. and all would increase the prosperity and influence of the Kuru dynasty. requesting that Madri be allowed to use the special mantra again. beauty. large and small. and yet she obtained two children. Likewise all the saintly seers. O faultless woman.] Thus all five God-given sons were born to King Pandu. and he will undoubtedly bestow on you a child with qualities similar to his own. the middle son of Kunti. and daring. Kunti at once spoke to Madri." [Pandu agreed. the handsome physicians of the heavenly planets." Pandu said: My dear Madri. brahmanas. I accept personal responsibility to do this for you. the third. Because of my natural rivalry with Kunti. And the five Pandava boys were loved by all the sages who dwelled in Hundred Peaks. and the twin gods came at once and begot in Madri a set of twins. and ascetics underwent difficult tasks. you must carry out a supreme act of goodness so that I and our forefathers never lose the holy Pinda. But allow me to tell you what makes me very. and by all their saintly wives. you know that the desire for children is ever turning in my heart. Madri's two sons. Their bodies were marked with auspicious . Seeing that his sons were as handsome as gods and very powerful. perform this difficult task. Arjuna. until finally her mind settled on the twin Asvins. If she could possibly arrange for me to give you sons also." Hearing these words. I was so foolish. and wealth. but that is the nature of women. so do the twice-born knowers of mantras yet undertake grueling austerities and wait upon their gurus for the sake of a good name and glory. became known in this world as Nakula and Sahadeva. they are blessed with extraordinary splendor. Indeed. For the sake of your good name and glory. out of your love for me. Share the gift of progeny and attain to the highest glory. this would be the greatest blessing for me and good for you as well. "I invoked the mantra only once on her behalf. Madri began to carefully consider the matter. with the boat of your boon. Then Pandu again spoke to Kunti. though by right I was to be honored. all would be glorified for their heroic deeds. for the sake of true glory. As they sat alone together. each one year after the other. stamina. But now that I know your feelings. I'm sure that Kunti will carry out my instruction. I dared not ask you to do this because I was not certain whether you would be pleased with the idea or not. the joyful brahmanas bestowed the names: the eldest they called Yudhisthira. an invisible voice announced their glorious birth: "These two boys will surpass all orthers in their beauty. I fear that Madri will surpass me. and they declared the eldest twin of Madri to be Nakula." Thus addressed. Bhimasena. it is you who must take Madri across the river of her grief. the chaste Prtha replied. Kunti then faithfully chanted her powerful mantra." As these noble Kuru princes were born to Pandu. All five possessed great nobility. Although I am equal to these women. Even after achieving sovereignity. unequalled in their beauty. stamina. strength. and now. You are a good woman. I cannot bring myself to ask her. one time. "You must think of a deity. Each of them possessed great strength. Please give me that benediction. but if you are in any way pleased with me after all these years you should personally convince her. Somehow I feel cheated by that. Nor was I unhappy or jealous when I heard that Gandhari gave birth to a hunred sons. seeking a good reputation. "You must act to preserve my family and bring happiness to the world. the monarch rejoiced.

both the five Pandavas and the hundred sons of Dhrtarastra grew quickly. you ever seek their welfare and affection. and fruits. watching his five beautiful sons grow up in the great Himalaya forests. When King Pandu. Pandu then had the priest perform all the religious rites for the birth of his sons. Even as the Vrsnis and their friends were thus grieving. and he dispatched servants. roots. Pandu rejoiced. the members of the Vrsni dynasty. like lotus flowers quickly rising up in clear waters. He initiated them as serious students of the Vedic science. performed austerities. the best of brahmanas. and he sent the royal priest. O Vasudeva. Proud as lions. "When will we hear good news about Pandu?" they lamented. and silver. King Pandu began to wander about the woods with his faithful wife Madri. their hearts were torn by grief. and their necks were as strong as a lion's. together with many gifts appropriate for young boys. He has lived on forest vegetables. so much that as they heard and discussed the news of his condition. despite the brahmana's curse] had become the father of worthy sons. When all these gifts were ready. and fully devoted himself to mystic meditation on the form of the Lord within the heart. Remembering Kunti and Madri. was Kunti's brother and Pandu's brother-in-law. They were the natural leaders of society. So has the king lived. all of them were filled with joy. Vasudeva. "The mighty sons of Pandu must not be deprived of the proper religious ceremonies. Kunti and Madri were joyous. and Kasyapa did all that was required and all that was beneficial. the priest took them and departed. He cut the hair of those illustrious princes. Send the royal priest to them!" "So be it!" said Vasudeva. The lovely forest was alive with the fruits and flowers of blossoming coral and palm trees. he also sent cows. they heard that [Pandu.CHAPTER 116 Vaisampayan continued: Then. they possessed deadly skills with the bow and arrow. he received him with full honor. discussed among themselves as follows: "Frightened by a brahmana's curse. headed by Vasudeva. and they were as agreeable to the sight as the placid moon. Celebrating among themselves. saw that the royal priest Kasyapa. and they excelled in their studies. mango. with their friends and allies. As soon as the sons of Pandu came into this world. maidservants. Pandu journeyed to Hundred Peaks and there became an ascetic. and heavenly campaka. had come to them in the forest.signs. and he protected the boys with his own powerful hands. They walked with the confident gait of lions. dwelling with the sages. strictly observing the protocol. ADI PARVA . treating them as if they were their own children. In fact. and they praised Vasudeva.] And the many Vrsni warriors. the ascetic inhabitants of Hundred Peaks immediately accepted them within their community. Growing up in the holy Himalaya range. whose gaze was as fearless as that of a bull. gold. they spoke these words to Vasudeva. carefully controlled his senses. who had conquered the cities of his enemies. Once. at the height of spring when the forest was ablaze with colorful new blossoms. Meanwhile. and gifts for the home. shared a great love for Pandu. The colorful scenery sparkled with cooling . and as they grew to maturity their heroic deeds revealed their godly origins." [The Vrsni leader. the five constantly amazed the saints who resided there with them. glorybowers. So lovely and sensuous was that forest that it could enchant the mind of any creature.

As they came near the fallen king. that most virtuous king was joined to the inexorable workings of time. for he will not return. I could not treat your children like my own. noble lady. Madri was dressed in bright garments.] she moaned to herself: "My life is over! My life is finished!" Then she saw Pandu and Madri lying on the ground. O Pandu. But he would not turn back. Alone with Madri in that secluded dale. As if to end his life. rivers. his handsome face bright with affection. but I tried again and again to stop him. Madri. you . fell under the sway of mind-churning Cupid and went upon his beloved by force. Again and again her tormented cries pierced the forest sky until Kunti came running with all five boys to see what was wrong. and as Pandu contemplated the forest. You have seen Pandu's face in his rapture of desire. How could he be so agitated with desire that he would came to you in a secluded place? O Madri. I will act out my real character and thus. were meant to protect the king. for it had taken over his very life. I am going to follow our lord who has now passed way.] Take care of these children! Madri said: I must follow my husband. Do not turn me back. Kunti. "Come here alone! The children must stay where they are!" Hearing these words. She saw Pandu sporting there like a demigod. and Pandu remembered nothing of the curse as by force he went upon Madri in the act of love. and his desire now grew like a fire that flames up from the depths of its fuel. Tightly embracing the unfeeling king. The goddess writhed and struggled with all her strength to stop him. Pandu saw the same fire burn in Madri's heart. Kunti. throwing off his long fear of the curse. "I always protected him!" she sobbed. You should rise now! You can let go of him. My desires for him were not satisfied. even in the halls of Yamaraja? And were I to remain in this world. then the first reward is for the eldest. and even his ordinary awareness. Kunti held the children back and proceeded alone. Madri cried out to Kunti. but desire had already possessed him. [Knowing intuitively what had happened. Pandu observed his youthful wife walking along in her thin dress. Kunti turned to Madri. In that secluded forest the monarch pressed down his wife by force. you are far more fortunate than I. as revealed through time. as if he himself would make the brahmana's words come true. As my senior. and she wailed in pain. mind-meddling Cupid arose in his heart. you are blessed. O Kuru child. [for I shall die with Pandu on the funeral pyre. evil would truly lay hands on me. and as he peered into her lovely eyes he could no longer control his desire. even as he united with his wife. please let me do it! The great Bharata king was approaching me with desire at the moment of his death. in full control of himself." Kunti said: I am the oldest of his religious wives. How could you lust for him in this secluded forest? The poor king was always worried about the curse. [God is said to be the force of time which carries away all things in this world. the great Kuru monarch.] Destiny. How could you violate the curse?" [Trembling with pain. Madri wailed in agony.] "You of all people." Madri said: The king was allured by me. "and he was a self-realized soul. Therefore. you knew that the forest brahmana had cursed you. and every one of Kunti's limbs was siezed with sorrow. and if our years of faithful service are to bear fruit. that he lost his reason. How could I thwart his love. so harassed Pandu'ss senses and bewildered his intelligence.springs. Madri. from that which must come to be. and she followed behind him. and lotus-filled lakes.

and Gandhari and all the women of the royal palace all came out together. Bhisma then respectfully offered the kingdom and country to the great sages. that great ascetic. The bodies must be completely covered. headed by Duryodhana. for all the citizens were spiritually minded people. and entrust them to Bhisma and Dhrtarastra. has now left his young sons and wife under our care and has gone to the spiritual world. and in the midst of the mighty tumult. the men of the city. Seeing thatthe mass of people were sitting in complete silence. Kunti was joyful by nature. O noble woman. Delegations of women and warriors rode out on crowds of vehicles. seated themselves near the sages. and numbering one hunred. "King Pandu gave up his kingdom and country and came here to undertake austerities under the shelter of the ascetics. The oldest ascetic. and although she faced a long journey. groups of merchants and workers poured out of the city. That noble soul. for you can actually do it. placed the interest of Pandu's sons before their own and decided to leave their peaceful forest retreat and escort Pandu's family back to Hastinapura. the capital. came to greet the sages. In the same manner the capital residents and country folk bowed to the sages. eager to receive their distinguished guests according to the generous principles of sacred law. went out to see the ascetics. and sat near the Kauravas. As soon as the sun rose. All bowed their heads to the ground before the host of illustrious sages. and all the Kauravas. do me this kindness! Be careful. Somadatta Bahlika. along with brahmana men and their wives. accompanied by their wives. Taking the remains of his body.CHAPTER 117 Vaisampayana continued: The great and godly sages performed the avabhrtha bath to conclude the funeral rites for Pandu. son of Santanu. After all. Before much time had passed she found herself once again in Kuru-jangala. When the city folk heard that thousands of Caranas and learned sages had arrived. accompanied by godly Satyavati. So too Bhisma. touching their heads to the ground. the country of the Kurus. The illustrious lady approached the capital and arrived at the city gate known as Vardhamana. together with their royal priests. My body is to be burned on the funeral pyre along with that of the king. not a single person was jealous or disturbed. and of Madri's. Similarly. Vaisampayana said: Pandu was the best of men. kind and self-realized men dedicated to the welfare of all creatures. Pandu's famous mother. the ascetics departed immediately with Pandu's wife and sons.must take care of my boys like your sons. Dhrtarastra (the saintly king who had served with the eye of wisdom in Pandu's absence). Thereafter they came together and took counsel. and Vidura all came in person. well-adorned with colorful ornaments. the king was longing for me when he passed away. with his matted locks . The sons and heirs of Dhrtarastra. they were filled with wonder." The ascetics of Sata-srnga. Ambalika. and do what is best for the children! I see nothing else to be said. ADI PARVA . as an affectionate mother she thought about her children and the long road seemed very short. Now that famous woman hurriedly mounted his funeral pyre. and the daughter of the Madra king loved him with a sacred vow.

Pandu passed away to the blessed land of his fathers seventeen days ago. and so this son of his. jewels. tigers among men. Lord Indra begot in Kunti this boy Arjuna. and it shone with the finest garlands. the ruler of men named Pandu. so now following her example. and here are their excellent sons. Yudhisthira. was begotten by Dharma himself. And Madri begot twin sons by the twin Asvin gods. fully covered. honor. Men by the . who is most distinguished among powerful men. Sri Vaisampayana said: "So be it. give presents of animals. renounced pleasure and property and went hither to Hundred Peaks. let it be done at once! "Here are the remains of their bodies. The beautiful scene was enhanced by the the royal white umbrella. Whatever is to be done for her soul and his. a sacred offering in the mouth of the holy flame. the sages. the people were struck with the greatest of wonder. and as much as they need. "Knowing him to be on the funeral pyre. Madri too entered the fire. He lived a life of celibacy. arrange all the funeral rites for Pandu and see that they are worthy of a king. and kindness. they took him away. AP118 King Dhrtarastra said: Vidura. the mighty seer said. rejecting her own mortal life. for he was a glorious leader of men. Seeing his sons take birth. but rather rejoice in his praises. And take special care for Madri. Seeing the multitude of sages and perfected mystics vanish like a magical Gandharva city-in-the-sky. are the young boys standing here with bow and arrows. and when the rites for the departed are done. On behalf of Pandu and Madri. he arranged all the sacraments for Pandu in a most discreet area. and seeing them learn their Vedic lessons. It is his glory that he will defeat all the bow-wielding warriors of the world. Let these courageous young men and their mother be received with ceremony. Kunti always honors her superiors. and valuable jewels. the illustrious Pandu has again raised up and exalted the family of his forefathers. and flourish. grow.and deerskin. "He who was heir to the Kauravya throne. Her body must be so well covered that even the Wind and Sun cannot see her. he who raised up the Kuru nation. May we not grieve over Pandu. instantly vanished before the very eyes of the Kurus. and the stirring sounds of all kinds of instruments. She is with him now. white yak-tail fans. and different valuables to anyone in need. close friends. and covered it with cloth on all sides. may he who knew everything of virtue and justice. may the illustrious Pandu receive the sacred oblations offered to the departed fathers. and knowing the feelings of the other sages. stood up. you must honor Madri." Having spoken thus to the Kurus. and when the lion among kings was placed in an exquisitely adorned vehicle drawn by an honor guard of men. who lives in his five heroic sons. the god of justice! Similarly. together with the Caranas and Guhyakas. he felt happiness and love ever swell in his heart. the wind-god gave to that great soul and king a very powerful son named Bhima. garments. for he was a lion among kings. who were born like sons of the gods. the very pride of the Kuru dynasty. constantly devoted to the religious path. and royal ministers stood near in prayerful attendance on the departed one. Yet even as he walked the path of the saints. and together with Bhisma. whose bold prowess lies in his dedication to the highest truth. His relatives. and obtained the gift of good sons. They adorned his bier with all the best scents and garlands of the season. The royal priests quickly brought from the city blazing sacred fires headed by the Ajyahoma. with Madri at his side. having followed him to his world. with high spiritual motives. "Thus while living in the forest." said Vidura to his brother. Her two sons. fabrics.

they quickly sprinkled it with water from golden pots and then spread on the finest white sandalwood paste. and all of the Kauravas wailed from the depths of their grief. the funeral bier of Madri and Pandu. Pandu's mother cried out. all the capital residents and the countryfolk cried out at once with heart-rending sounds. . nor did anyone feel sound or healthy. the citizens took them along and entered the city of Hastinapura. Where will our monarch go now?" Crying out in grief. The greatest protector no longer protects us. all the government officials. were set ablaze. The sacrificial priests. themselves lamenting. then gave their permission. and all the Kuru women made the offering of sacred water for the departed. and the sight of his mother tore at their souls. the broad-minded Vidura. Teachers. the capital residents and countryfolk all felt as if their own friend and kin had died. sobbing and stricken with grief. padmaka. That night. as if their lives were leaving them. and many other costly fragrances. headed by the brahmanas. suddenly collapsed onto the earth. annointed with the purest yellow sandalwood. by the thousands. merchants. Bhisma. ADI PARVA . Vidura. Then for Pandu's sake. set down. their relatives. the pride of the Bharata line. let out their anguished cries. giving to the very best brahmanas excellent villages and heaps of jewels. Covered by the cloth. when the sons of Pandu had made their offering of sacred water and were pale and drawn from lamentation. Then they wrapped him up in sparkling white cloth produced in his own country. in a lovely corner of the forest on the bank of the Ganges. ever truthful. White robed sacrifial priests poured oblations into the flaming sacred fires that moved along in front of the funeral wagon. and bathed with the finest bath oils. with Bhisma and Vidura. and Tunga juice mixed with aloe. they lay there with them on the empty ground. finely adorned and scented with very fragrant sandalwood mixed with tunga. When the Pandavas. and all the citizens. Constantly grieving for the departed Bharata chief. For twelve nights the entire city. followed their fallen king. which was worthy of such a tiger among men. "My son! O God. and he shone even as he lay in his most valuable bed. "placing us in unending grief. Seeing the two bodies on fire. all the Pandavas. son of Santanu. and ever victorious." they cried. Seeing her fallen in such agony. and the rest of the family offered Pandu the sacred offering of food and nectar meant for the departed. that leader of men appeared as if still living.CHAPTER 119 Sri Vaisampayana said: Then Vidura. and workers. King Dhrtarastra. nor was there joy in a single heart. Then when his body had been adorned with all the finest scents. did not return to their homes. down to the little children. Joining mankind. surrounded the boys. There was no pleasure. remained there with the Pandavas. so that his charity might speed him to a godly destination. had cleansed themselves and put on new garments. the lion of kings. they brought (for distribution) large and shining white umbrellas and beautiful garments. Bhisma. King Dhrtarastra. and the bodies of the king and Madri. "He has left us. all the creatures. annointed with ghee.hundreds carried heaps of jewels by the hundreds and distributed them to those in need on behalf of Pandu. learned in the rituals for the departed. They fed the Kuru people and the qualified brahmanas by the thousands. my son!" and stunned with grief. O king. Then Bhisma. for they loved the king. even the poor animals. the young sons of Pandu simply lay down and slept there on the bare earth. rulers.

When the tree was struck so forcefully by Bhima." "So be it. hitting a target. she went to the forest. that a sinful mind arose in him. all alone. heads. they played with the sons of Dhrtarastra. But his cousins developed a terrible hatred for him. and they steadily grew. eating. Utterly infested with delusion. for the earth has lost her innocent youth. the dizzy boys immediately slipped and fell down with their armfuls of fruit. and in all the games that children play. in racing. would push and defeat them all. a terrible age is coming. living in their father's house. Although Bhima always competed with the sons of Dhrtarastra. and it will be the ruin of religion. that sinful man named Duryodhana began to constantly look for opportunities to assasinate the great soul Bhimasena. he would embrace ten of them with his arms. and taking her two daughters-in-law with her. he said to his mother. he would grab them by their legs. Observing that Bhimasena was becoming most renowned for his strength. Rather. Then. and his younger brother Arjuna. and since I cannot kill him fairly. and it will happen by the wicked counsel of your son. O best of the Bharatas. sacrifice. trained and destined to be fighters and kings. Bhimasena soundly defeated all the sons of Dhrtarastra. Let us take your sister. were trained in all the Vedic reformatory ceremonies meant to sanctify human life. which he in no way felt toward them. and faces. they all achieved the highest spiritual perfection." replied Ambika. In racing. Vyasadeva. scraping their knees. ever true to her vows. "Bhima is the mightiest of men. ." Having made up his mind. In combat. Bhima would strike the tree with his foot and make it shake. crowded and choking with hypocrisy. seeing the people bewildered with grief. living in the forest. When they would climb a tree to collect fruits. will all perish. who is tortured with grief over the death of her son Pandu. In their father's house. I do not want you to see the tragic devastation of your dynasty. even though they numbered 101. Dhrtarastra. though they tried to defeat him. Satyavati then received final permission from her stepson Bhisma. the boys could never win against Bhima. he acted with the natural enthusiasm of a young boy. those godly women performed the most difficult and frightening austerities. remain submerged in the water until they were almost drowning. pull them down. enjoying all the pleasures of a princely life. and his own mother Satyavati agonizing over the loss. I will destroy by trickery the middle son of Kunti and Pandu. "Ambika. Satyavati then entered the quarters of her daughter-in-law and said. let us go to the forest and seek the blessings of the Supreme Lord. So deluded was he by greed for power. with their relatives and grandsons." "So be it. With his great strength. in drills and gymnastics. and live in the forest with the ascetics. with little trouble. by capturing and locking up by force his older brother Yudhisthira. and if you think it is all right. and dreaded times are coming quickly upon us. we have heard that the Bharata men. and ideal conduct. but Vrkodara. this son of Dhrtarastra began to contemplate evil deeds. and holding their heads down. The Pandavas." she said. the Pandavas excelled their cousins. "You must go now. Playing in the water. one fierce warrior son of Dhrtarastra began to show a wicked attitude toward Pandu's second son. Take up the life of renunciation by linking yourself with God. and drag them yelling on the ground. and giving up their mortal bodies. Turning away from virtue. the Pandava boy would have them fight one another.At the completion of the sraddha ceremony for the departed. Bhima. and raising dust. Now each new day will bring greater sin. O Bharata king. he had no desire to hurt his cousins. All the sons of Dhrtarastra were very powerful boys. He would joyfully grab them by the tufts of hair above their ears as they played. and then release them. I shall rule the earth and all its riches. "The happy times are passed. in complete agreement with her son.

O king. King Dhrtarastra looked for a guru to educate the boys and eventually turned them over to Gautama. and so he told them what had happened. O tamer of the foe. Thus by various schemes and plots. they put on fresh clothes and attractive jewelry and silently enjoyed heaping plates of sumptuous food that satisfied all one's desires. eagerly entered their tents to rest. and when their play was finished. But Bhima had already eaten the food.CHAPTER 120 King Janamejaya said: Great brahmana. That most virulent poison could not produce any effect in Bhima. so deadly that to hear about it makes one's hair stand on end. so by serious austerity did that child acquire expertise in . for his broad-chested body was as hard as iron. and how did he acquire his expert knowledge of weapons? Sri Vaisampayana said: Once the great seer Gautama had a son who was born with arrows and hence was named Saradvan. Eager to bed down for the night. to engage in water sports. Just as by austerity. like that of Bhima himself. Another time. also known as Krpa. even mighty Bhima was fatigued. Duryodhana. and dizzy from drinking. son of Subala. and slept on the fertile land of Pramanakoti.Then. Seeing that the children's play was becoming too violent. but rather the Vedic texts which teach the military science. and Sakuni. The mind of this child was not inspired to study the religious texts of the Vedas. he climbed up on the raised earth where their tents were built. wanted to save the sons of Partha. the best of fighters. When day was done. That powerful prince had carried all the other boys during their games within the water. but staunchly following the advice of Vidura. the son of Kunti. for his body was so powerful that it consumed the poison. the Kuru princes. All the cousins went there. he simply digested it. Bhima then awoke and crushed all the snakes. Tired. tried to assasinate the sons of Pandu. a master of the Vedic literature. Duryodhana had large and colorful cloth tents erected on a bank of the Ganges near Pramana-koti. with sharp fangs and furious mood. ADI PARVA . exhausted from a long day of sports. He pushed him off the camping plateau down into the deep water below as it rushed by with fearful force. Karna. Duryodhana brought highly venemous serpents. O mighty king. dressed in white cloth. and without suffering any effect. How could he take birth from a clump of grass. Waking up within the rushing waves of the Ganges. Duryodhana then silently approached Bhima in the black of night and bound him up with strong cords made from crawling plants. slept unmoving like a dead body. the Pandavas discerned all that was happening. snapped apart the binding cords. who had taken birth from a clump of grass. son of a vaisya mother. and in the process struck his favorite chariot driver with the back of his hand. But even when those terrible serpents angrily sank their fangs into the softest parts of Bhima's body. O Bharata. the son of Pandu. kindly explain to me Krpa's origin. Having won all the contests and games. they could not pierce his skin. On another occasion. they did not expose their knowledge. the religious scholars master the Vedas. Yuyutsu. and had them bite deeply into all of the weak and mortal parts of Bhima's body. while Bhima slept. Duryodhana threw into Bhima's food fresh Kalakuta poison. and climbed out of the water.

Krpa became a great teacher. Seeing the Apsara maiden. Fallen in that clump of reeds. Leaving his hermitage and the lady behind. the son of Gautama. ever strict in his vows. Wholly dedicated to the Dhanur Veda (the military science)." thought the king. he had developed very heavy spiritual knowledge. ("lady mercy"). son of Gautama. It so happened that once the great. she enticed that son of Gautama. he determined the children to be offspring of a brahmana who had mastered the Dhanur Veda. But with the sudden transformations in his body. the lord of the celestials then dispatched a heavenly maiden named Jalapadi. he went back to his home. Once when King Santanu was off hunting. O Kaurava. and also the black deer skins. the sage unknowingly discharged semen. The girl had . All of a sudden. also called Gautama. "These two shall be my own children. shaking her garments and dragging them away. Ghrtaci herself.all kinds of weapons. Meanwhile. a wind blew past. Within a short time. Saradvan. the military science. Seeing too the bow and arrows that had fallen there. The illustrious sage. for simply by seeing that young girl. and taking the twins. or not as strong and noble as the gods could hope to control the mighty Kuru warriors and train them in the use of weapons. the sage went away. and he engaged them in the purifying religious rites. who had but a single cloth to cover a figure unmatched in this world. along with the Vrsnis and other kings who came from many countries. and he came to the king and explained everything about the birth and lineage of the twins. and his semen fell into a clump of reeds. king of the gods." He then raised them carefully. discovered that he had fathered two children. paramacarya. His prized bow and arrows slipped from his hands and fell to the ground. or lacking exalted qualities and keen knowledge of weapons. The king was filled with compassion. when he beheld an Apsara. son of Gautama. By his powerful austerities. ADI PARVA . O king. Thus he searched about for great teachers of archery and missile warfare renowned for their prowess. his whole body trembled. all learned the Dhanur Veda and achieved the exalted warrior status of Maharatha. the semen divided into two. and he showed the twins and the arrows to the king. rededicated himself to the Dhanur Veda. and the female Krpi. the son of Gautama stared with wide-open eyes. empowered by endless austerities. of the military art. No man of small intelligence. and he thus named the male child Krpa ("mercy"). and thus twins were born of Saradvan. having escaped the wiles of the Apsara maiden. where the Ganges enters the plains. "You must go and break the austierities of that sage!" She approached the charming hermitage of Saradvan. "I have carefully raised these two children out of a sense of mercy. one of his soldiers happened to see the twins lying in the forest. that sage of great learning stood his ground. Saradvan then taught his son the four branches of the Dhanur Veda and fully explained the use of all kinds of weapons. the son of Gautama greatly disturbed Lord Indra. and with his utmost self-discipline. telling her. From him. the sons of Dhrtarastra and the mighty Pandavas. and finding him with bow and arrows in hand. self-realized sage Bharadvaja happened to be in Hardwar. Because of his continuous austerities. declaring. who had just bathed. was busy in the work of sacrifice.CHAPTER 121 Sri Vaisampayana said: Bhisma sought a distinct excellence for his grandsons and desired for them self-discipline and selflessness.

all my gold and whatever wealth I had. Sri Drona said: O Bhargava. and various other weapons. Drona. taught the weapon of Fire to the lordly Agni-vesya. Once he heard that the great soul and warrior Parasurama. "You may thus know me to be Drona. gave his name. Drona decided to beg them in charity and also to beg for instruction in the political science. He thoroughly studied all the Vedas with their supplements. to the brahmanas. and to the king was born a son named Drupada. and I have come here seeking financial help. he sounded forth like Uccaihsrava. religion. and therefore his name will be Asvatthama." Lord Parasurama said: My dear ascetic. took the hand of Krpi. a leader among the brahmanas. "This child has sent forth his horselike sound in all directions. the great and mighty-armed ascetic departed. You choose. including the art of pulling them back even after they have been launched. the saintly son of Bharadvaja saw Lord Parasurama. by his father's command and by his own desire to have a son. O best of the Bharatas. Drona then said to Lord Parasurama. and they all headed for the glorious mountain called Mahendra. with all her towns and garlands of cities--all of the earth I have given to the sage Kasyapa. Seeing this. daughter of Saradvan. Agni-vesya then taught the same great weapon. my invaluable missiles. Thereupon. and she stood there exposed in all her wonderful youthful beauty. his senses fully quieted. All that I have left now is this body of mine. I have already given everything.been drinking." The learned Drona was very pleased with his son. son of Jamadagni. who had retired to that forest. was always fond of sacrifice. to Bharadvaja's son.up6 \chftn rootnote rs20 rs18up6 \chftn \plain r228 The word \plain ir228 drona\plain r228 means "pot. an invisible being standing within inner space said. Sri Vaisampayana said: . Approaching the Lord." etc. in sacred marriage. and respectfully greeted Him by offering his head on the ground at the Lord's lotus feet. with all the secrets related to their use. where Lord Parasurama had retired after annihilating the royal class. Krpi. the saintly Drona spilled his semen. Hearing this sound. and the illustrious Drona. and from that vessel the wise Drona took birth. for I place them at your disposal. till the ends of her oceans. When Prsata passed away. protector of the brahmanas. the Agneya. and the drink made her bold and careless. who was born on the day of glorification of the fire-god. Even the earth goddess herself. told of his birth in the line of Angira. there was a king named Prsata who was Bharadvaja's friend. bucket. Choose my weapons or my own body. and it was her fate to obtain Asvatthama as her son. Drona! What shall I offer you? Tell me quickly. the best of the righteous. Approaching Mahendra. The son of Prsata was a leader among all the princes. but the wise sage gathered up the spilt seed and placed it in a bucket or pot. accompanied by his disciples. and he used to always go to Bharadvaja's hermitage. having already slain his enemies. and he remained there where his son was born and devoted himself to the Dhanur Veda. fixed in their vows. the celestial stallion. sitting patiently. the grandaughter of Gautama. Powerful Bharadvaja. As soon as this child was born. the mighty-armed Drupada became sovereign king of the North Pancala. surrounded by his austere disciples. The exalted Bharadvaja then ascended to heaven. where he would play and study with Drona. you should kindly offer me all of your weapons. and self-control. Upon learning that Lord Parasurama possessed complete mastery of the Dhanur Veda and many divine weapons. Drona. desired to give all kinds of wealth to the brahmanas.

Now watch and see the strength of these arrows. the mighty Drona. "Look at that! Shame on your warrior srength! Shame on your skill with weapons! You who are born in the line of King Bharata cannot even get back your ball. which no other arrows possess. son of Prsata. for you come in such a forward manner and tell me that I am your intimate friend. Your intimate friendship with me was justified and proper in the past because we were both students in a similar situation. You should not depend so much on aging friendships. the ball fell into a well. Accepting it all. best of the twice-born. nor does a man with no chariot become a friend to a chariot warrior. But nowhere in this world do we ever see friendship that does not suffer the effects of aging. And not realizing that his old friend had acquired extraordinary weapons from Lord Parasurama. As they sported. and said. with their secret rules. ran happily about. for men themselves are worn out by time. and the entire military science. I have empowered them by chanting military mantras. I shall pierce your ball with a reed-arrow. "O king. and anger cuts it to pieces. nor can a weak man be a friend to a hero. son of Bharadvaja. approached Drupada. know me to be your friend Drona!" [Drupada was embarrassed by the raggedy brahmana who addressed him in such an intimate way." said Lord Parasurama. O simple one. you and I once enjoyed a friendship because it was practical at that time. O best of the twice-born. and I shall pierce that arrow with another."So be it. nor is it at all sound. the king replied to Drona unkindly. An unschooled man cannot be a friend to a scholar. Close friendships fade away in time. A poor man cannot be the friend of an affluent man. and that with another till I form a chain connecting your ball to my hand. and he gave to Drona all his weapons. the young princes. Seeing the boys endeavoring to get their ball. Setting his mind against the king of Pancala. your understanding of things is not very mature. and he went in great joy to see his dear friend Drupada. Drona. Nowhere at all. the capital of the Kuru leaders. and he pondered for a moment. coming out of the city together. but rather find new ones for yourself. the clever sage then journeyed to Hastinapura. Kings do not fraternize with non-royalty. ADI PARVA . and they found no means to get their ball back. playing and batting a ball with a stick. fury filled his heart. What need is there for a friend of the past? Sri Vaisampayana said: When the mighty Drona was thus addressed by King Drupada. thus became accomplished in weapons. acting as a brahmana in the line of Bhrgu. powerful Drona chuckled at the scene and rebuked them in a friendly way. do we find such friendship between exalted monarchs and those who are bereft of opulence and wealth. not however between the rich and the poor. Selfish desires pull it apart. What is the value of a friend of the past? When two people have similar wealth and are born in families of similar nobility." . As he was arriving. my dear king.CHAPTER 122 Sri Vaisampayana continued: Thereupon. Here is a handful of arrows made of reeds.] King Drupada said: Brahmana. then there can be friendship and marital ties between them.

and gathering together all his grandsons. Having seen this. for I was anxious to acquire skill in the Dhanur Veda. your understanding of things is not very mature." He turned . and when he installs me on the royal throne of Pancala.Eyes wide-open with wonder. then personally fetched him with much honor and questioned him in a delicate manner. The son of the Pancala king. and he began to think. `Now my purpose is fulfilled. nor does a man with no chariot become a friend to a chariot warrior. An unschooled man cannot be a friend to a scholar. "O brahmana. and Drona submitted all the reasons for his coming to Hastinapura. I set out to see once more my dear friend. that made my affection for him grow. the greatest of swordsmen. what I look like. they said to the man who rescued their ball with such skill. a powerful boy then named Yajna-sena. as a humble and celibate student with matted locks of hair." Bhisma and the sons of Pandu accepted him as guru. no one else can do that. I was also attached to his friendship.' "Because he said that to me. Nowhere at all. and what can we do to serve you?" Sri Drona said: Tell your grandfather Bhisma about me. and they all went and told their grandfather Bhisma exactly what the brahmana had said. Sri Vaisampayana continued: "So be it. he used to approach me to do kind things and speak kind words. That boy became my dear friend. fury filled my heart. and when I then heard that he had been installed as king. many years in fact. O Kauravya. we salute you. anxious to find qualified royal students." Bhisma. do we find such friendship between exalted monarchs and those who are bereft of opulence and wealth. when I had graduated from my study of weapons and had left school to seek an income for my family." they said. `My lord. and we associated together for a long time. "Approaching my old friend Drupada. I lived there with him for a very long time. my friend. for I wanted to master the military science. I said. I thought. and my royal pleasures will also be yours. he laughed at me as if I was most insignificant and said.' In a loving mood. I am the most dear son of my father. and what I have done. it is me. Hearing from the boys. He would say things. as he was now called. was also there. "Such a qualified person is the right man to teach these boys. He would say. and we studied together under our guru with great endeavor and concentration. and especially what he had done. Bhisma. nor is at all sound. `Drona. the boys looked on as Drona proceeded to pull up the ball. He is most intelligent and will correctly ascertain my identity. having come to him in a spirit of loving friendship. "Here are your disciples. Bhisma said. "O unfailing Bhisma. from our childhood up through our student years. O simple one. with varieties of riches. your friend!' As I stood there humbly. My property and wealth will be at your disposal. Bhisma. O tiger of men. What need is there for a friend of the past?' "When I was thus addressed by King Drupada. I swear to you. Bhisma knew that the brahmana was Drona. then. and I came straight here to the Kuru capital. the kingdom will be yours to enjoy. Who are you? How shall we address you." he began. and on the way I constantly remembered how we had lived together and all that he had promised me. "in the past I went to the great saint Agni-vesya to get skill in weapons. and he would always help me in any way he could. `Brahmana. Kings do not fraternize with non-royalty. for you to come in such a forward manner and tell me that I am your intimate friend.

everything over to Drona with proper protocol. despite Drona's warning to the cook. for they were eager to learn the use of weapons. on the backs of elephants and horses. and embracing him with affection. Maharaja. kings and princes from the Vrsni and Andhaka dynasties and from many other countries came to Drona. javelins. but then seeing Arjuna's devotion. the Nisadha king. Angry by nature." Thereafter. Once you have learned weapons. and on foot. "There is a task that needs to be done. Drona then kissed the head of Arjuna again and again.up6 \chftn rootnote rs18up6 \chftn Drona worried about the consequences of his revealing such potent knowledge to the future leader of an uncivilized people like the Nisadas. and it ever turns in my heart. hearing these words. but the master would not accept him as a student. 76. he wept tears of joy. and the great archer accepted the Kaurava princes as his disciples.CHAPTER 123 Sri Vaisampayana continued: Arjuna consistently endeavored to honor his guru. O Bharata. also came to Drona to accept him as guru. the great fighter. Once Drona called the cook to a private spot and told him. swords. The alleged son of a chariot driver. But then Arjuna. I declare this to you in truth!"up6 \chftn rootnote rs20 up6 \chftn It is said that Drona originally tried to favor his son and make him the pre-eminent warrior. Critical Edition) Drona then taught Arjuna the art of fighting upon chariots. promised to give to his guru all that he desired. and rising from bed he approached Arjuna. eager to learn the military Veda. The powerful Drona then taught the sons of Pandu to use all kinds of divine and human weapons. He thus became especially dear to Drona. Arjuna thus discovered the effect of constant practice and began to practice shooting at night. Drona heard the reverberating twang of the bow. and he strived to master the weapons with absolute dedication. . "I shall now endeavor in such a way that no other bowman in the world will be your equal. when Arjuna was eating by lamplight the wind blew and extinguished the lamp's flame. Were Drona to give the same advanced technology to the leader of an uncivilized people. but Arjuna continued to eat. because it was so accustomed to the act of eating. and wanting to defeat Arjuna and with the support of Duryodhana. his royal disciples would be discouraged and impeded in their responsible duties. Joining the sons of Pandu. (See App. lances. kings and princes assembled by the thousands. O innocent ones. you must execute that task for me. the master made this vow to Arjuna. who also approached Drona. He noticed that his hand was not baffled in finding his mouth. Hiranya-dhanu. had a son named Ekalavya. Drona said to them with great determination. When they were alone together in a secluded place and the disciples sat at his feet. He carefully instructed the son of Pandu in the battle of clubs. The Pandavas were factually qualified to govern the world. and in the art of combat that mixed different weapons. the best of brahmanas. he insulted the sons of Pandu. Witnessing Drona's skill." O ruler of the earth. Embracing him he said. the Kaurava princes remained silent. "Never give Arjuna food in the dark. out of consideration for the others. tell me in truth that you will. Radheya. and darts. ADI PARVA . and so.

O king. Ekalavya was pleased and said. my lord? May my guru command me! O best of Vedic scholars. the princes were humbled and praised the feat. His face jubilant and his mind free of remorse. striving hard to master the Dhanur Veda. By his unflinching endeavor for power and with a strange faith in his illicit deity. "Did you not embrace me once with affection and tell me in private these very words. there is nothing that I would not give my guru. the son of the Nisadha king." Drona replied. he sliced off his right thumb without any . just as it had taken place. Searching the forest for the forest-dweller who had shot the arrows." Hearing Drona's frightful words. Taking ambidextrous Arjuna along with him. the dog kept barking. When the heroic sons of Pandu saw the hound. the Pandavas found Ekalavya incessantly hurling his arrows. "If indeed you are my disciple. Drona said to Ekalavya. Ekalavya came forward. they inquired. Motivated by love for his teacher. he met Drona in a secluded place and said. with Drona's permission. Drona beheld Ekalavya smeared all over with dirt and filth. not recognizing him because of his strange appearance. they were utterly astonished [for all seven arrows had entered the dog's mouth before he could close it]. Presenting himself as Drona's disciple. O king. he stood before the great master with his hands folded in reverence. Realizing the extraordinary quickness required for such a feat. Ekalavya shot seven arrows into its mouth.[Yet even though Drona had turned him down. As the dog continued to bark at him. and with bow in hand. who was covered with dirt and dressed in a black deerskin. Ekalavya began to acquire unholy speed in the art of firing arrows. set out on their chariots to hunt in the forest.] The fierce warrior grabbed Drona's feet and placed his head upon them. that I am the son of Hiranya-dhanu. "Who are you sir. the son of the Nisada king. Then. and that I am a disciple of Drona. who were fierce warriors. the dog ran back to the Pandavas. each engaged in his own quest. the Nisadha king. all the Kuru and Pandava princes. Ekalavya kept his word. incessantly firing arrows. Ekalavya did not accept the decision of the master. taking along a dog. There happened to be one particular man who carried the paraphernalia of the Pandavas and followed behind them. One day. so quickly that they seemed to fly all at once. the foolish dog lost his direction while roaming about in the forest and approached Ekalavya. and whom do you serve?" Ekalavya replied: Please know. but] now Ekalavya worshiped Drona according to standard procedure. "What may I offer you. his garments ragged." Hearing this. that `no student of mine shall be better than you?' Why then is there now another student of yours. [Ekalavya had not actually obeyed Drona's order that he couldn't become his disciple. Arjuna in particular kept thinking of Ekalavya. who is a better warrior than I. Its mouth full of shafts. my dear warriors. He then immediately went to the forest and without the teacher's knowledge or consent crafted out of earthen clay a mystical form of Drona. without looking. As all the princes wandered about. and embraced his master's feet. Staring at the dark Nisadha man. Seeing Drona approaching him. for he always made true his vow. the Pandavas told Drona the entire amazing story. touched his head to the ground. better indeed than anyone in the world?" Drona thought for a moment and made his decision. his hair in matted locks. "Give me your right thumb. and verifying also by certain symptoms that the bowmen had aimed the arrows at the sound of the target. Sri Vaisampayana continued: Realizing his actual identity and returning home. then you must immediately give me my fee. he went to see the Nisadha prince.

hesitation and offered it to Drona.. "Instructions in Stories" (Gaudiya Mission 1936). Arjuna. and he was also satisfied. his main intention was to learn Dhanur Veda and become great. or perhaps it was not possible to become great without accepting a guru. The desire to become greater than the Vaisnavas is not devotion. and deeply. Dronacarya. for none could defeat Arjuna. Ekalavya's endeavor to learn Dhanur Veda and his desire to become great were not accepted by his guru. In this way he wanted to satisfy his own senses.) Devotion is simple and spontaneous. but there is a special consideration. To many people.H. guru. It was with these considerations that Ekalavya formed an imaginary or clay material form of the guru. Externally. we can see that Ekalavya considered mundane morality to be greater than transcendental devotion. Ekalavya's devotion to his guru is ideal. Arjuna was then free of his intense anxiety. and this is the principle of the Sahajiya sampradaya. and Vaisnava (the devotee of the Lord). He wanted to become great. Some may say that ultimately Ekalavya accepted the cruel order of his guru without a protest. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura gives the following commentary on the story of Ekalavya:up6 \chftn rootnote rs20 rs18up6 \chftn The translation from the original Bengali is by H..rs18up6 \chftn rootnote rs20 rs18up6 \chftn See note at end of chapter. O king. Krsna. But if we consider this issue more carefully. but not as quickly as before. and this sense of morality inspired Ekalavya to cut off his thumb. Bhakti-caru Svami. He did not offer it with spontaneous devotion.CHAPTER 123-c In his book of essays. But devotion is the effort to remain behind the Vaisnavas and to remain submissive to the . In the core of Ekalavya's heart.for whatever reason--when his gurudeva refused to teach him the art of Dhanur Veda. But Ekalavya did not like that.What was Ekalavya's fault? That should be considered. Actually. He then continued shooting arrows with his remaining fingers. If Ekalavya had unconditional and natural devotion for Hari (God).up6 \chftn rootnote rs20 up6 \chftn an absolutely essential trait for a respectable man of the time. ADI PARVA . then the guru. without a guru his work would not be considered bona fide. It is a moral code that when the guru wants some daksina one must offer it to him. Wearing the mask of guru-bhakti (devotion to the guru). and the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That was not his honest desire. By mundane consideration. this kind of desire to become great is a good desire. and the best of Vaisnavas. Ekalavya actually revolted against his guru. It is nondevotional. he desired to become better than the best of Vaisnavas. or was simply testing him-. He did not want to sacrifice himself to the will of his guru. would not have been dissapointed in Ekalavya's behavior. Arjuna. it was Ekalavya's duty to accept the instruction of his spiritual master. Whether his guru was actually considering him to be disqualified by birth in a low-class family. for Drona was now true to his word. (Otherise he would have accepted the guru's first order. entitled Upakhyane Upadesa.

against his guru's desire. Bhakti means to remain subordinate and submissive to the Lord's loving servants. That is what we should learn from the example of Ekalavya. Proficiency in performing activities is not a symptom of devotion to the guru. mundane. Dhananjaya. The demons also perform austerities. and the twins Nakula and Sahadeva surpassed all others in sword fighting. Duryodhana and Bhima. daring. Arjuna towered above all others. But Ekalavya was killed by the hand of Krsna. When his students had at last completed their studies. or guru-bhakti. If Ekalavya had been an unalloyed devotee of his guru. Ekalavya wanted to become greater than a Vaisnava. Arjuna showed Ekalavya his wrong approach to learning the Vedic science.CHAPTER 123-b [Sri Vaisampayana continued:] Drona had two disciples among the Kuru princes who were especially skillful in clubfighting. In weaponry as in affection for his teacher. Only the demons are killed by Krsna. Yudhisthira was the best charioteer but in overall skill. for in the use of weapons he had strength. "an outstanding chariot fighter. Hiranya-kasipu and Prahlada are the proof. Therefore we should never try to become greater than Vaisnavas and. and learned different sciences and devotions. wearing a mask of guru-bhakti. . To the limits of the seas. the Vaisnavas. actually become an impersonalist. and the demigods cannot perform austerities as much as the demons. O ruler of men. ADI PARVA . instead of approaching a bona fide guru. received the title Atiratha. was the finest. That's what finally happened to Ekalavya. eager to test their knowledge. by his skill and dedication. such an earnest disciple of the guru. People would have created their imaginary. Arjuna was celebrated as the natural chief of all other military leaders. Arjuna alone. So Arjuna took care that such an atheistic principle was not established. a leader of men. then the glories of impersonalism would have prevailed. he performed his duty with courage and in full knowledge of the Supreme. unconscious gurus. gathered them all together. Krsna always protects his devotees. It was actually a manifestastion of his causeless mercy toward Ekalavya and the whole world. He placed an artificial bird fashioned by craftsmen on top of a tree where the students could hardly see it and pointed it out as the target. That is why he was killed by Krsna and ultimately attained impersonal liberation. then Krsna would not have destroyed such a guru-bhakta. Although the same instructions in the use of weaponry were given to all the students. and consummate knowledge. Because of his strong devotional link to the Lord. Drona." But. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said that we cannot judge a devotee just by seeing his external austerities.Vaisnavas. the wicked sons of Dhrtarastra could not stand to see the superior strength displayed by Bhimasena or the perfect knowledge achieved by Arjuna. If Arjuna had not mercifully pointed that out to him. Arjuna. Asvatthama was best in mystic arts. Ekalavya wanted his skill to be greater than that acquired by learning the Vedic wisdom directly from a bona fide spiritual master. Devotees are always protected by Krsna. Therefore Arjuna was not envious of Ekalavya.

Arjuna: "Listen.Sri Drona said: Quickly. but all replied. the leader of the Angira line. and when I give the word let it fly!" Yudhisthira was thus the first to be tested. again and again Yudhisthira gave the same answer. or do you also see me and your brothers?" The son of Kunti replied. grabbed him by the shin. "Fasten your arrow. all of you take up your bows! Hurry now. "We see everything you have mentioned. releasing your arrow the very instant you hear my command! Now. as Yudhisthira. Drona embraced him." At this reply of Arjuna. aiming at this bird. A moment later the mighty teacher spoke again to the greatest Pandava warrior. the beloved Kuru prince. and he said in a scolding voice. headed by Bhima. then speak more about it. Drona was not pleased. asking the same questions. totally fixed on the word of his guru. do you see the bird on top of the tree?" "I see it. "Is it the tree only that you see." And all were similarly rebuked by the master. you must strike this target. "Shoot!" Arjuna shot his shaft without any hesitation. for you cannot hit the target!" The illustrious teacher then tested all the sons of Dhrtarastra. Then. headed by Duryodhana." Drona was pleased. Drona's hair stood on end out of sheer joy. bend your bow and wait for that moment. and within himself he considered King Drupada and his associates already defeated in battle. O best of the Bharatas. do just as I say. Sri Vaisampayana said: Thereupon Drona." "I only see the bird's head. and the kings of various countries. stood with his bowstring stretched. the ambidextrous Arjuna bent his bow into a circle and stood there aiming at the target. "Do you see the bird on the tree. a powerful crocodile living in those waters. fasten your arrows to the bows and take up your positions. O invincible one. smiling. As Drona bathed. awaiting his guru's command. Drona again said to him. sir. Although he was able to free himself. Drona called out to his disciples. A moment later. the best in the line of Angira. accompanied his disciples as they bathed in the Ganges. and you. one by one. I see neither you nor the tree. the terrifying warrior Arjuna struck the submerged beast with a rush of five razor-sharp shafts while the other princes were still rushing . prompted by destiny's hand. and the razor-sharp arrowhead cut off the head of the bird and knocked it to the ground. he stood aiming at the bird." Thus addressed. Seeing Arjuna execute his command perfectly." Drona pressed him on this very point. and he ordered Arjuna. As before. and firmly grasping his loud-sounding bow. or do you see me?" Arjuna replied. Drona paused for a moment and said to him. not its body. The instant I give the word you must cut off its head. "If you see the bird. and also my brothers as well as the bird. Then he tested his other disciples. "I see the bird. "Kill the crocodile and save me! Quickly!" The very instant his guru spoke these words. Drona paused for a moment and then said. some time later. as I command each of you. Dear sons." replied Yudhisthira to his teacher. "You may leave the shooting ring. "O son of noble men. Drona spoke to Dhananjaya. O best of the Bharatas. "I see the large tree. Drona. first commanded Yudhisthira.

equipped with all kinds of weapons. his guru again declared to him. do exactly as the learned guru commands. complete with the means for launching and withdrawing it. which was built of gold. the wise Bahlika. and in whatever place you like. "O mighty-armed one. Somadatta. It is said that there is no equal of this weapon in all the worlds. on the holy day of a venerable star. noble Kuru. Drona went outside followed by Vidura. and all the women of the king's family with their fully bedecked . Drona was delighted. without trees or bushes and gently sloping to the north. whose purpose was announced throughout the city. When Arjuna accepted the weapon. "Today I must sadly envy those men who have good eyes and who will thus be able to see my children perform heroic feats to demonstrate their skill in weapons. exactly according to scriptural codes. Seeing Arjuna in action. Cut into numerous pieces by Arjuna's arrows. promising his teacher with folded hands. Vyasadeva. the glorious Kunti. Gandhari." "So be it!" said the frightening Arjuna. Bhisma. ruler of the people. and Vidura: "O king. And he made proper facilities for the ladies. he made an offering to the Supreme. Heed this instruction: if ever any nonhuman enemy should put you into difficulty. the invincible brahmastra. in the presence of Krpa. fertile land. "Drona. and the wealthy families arranged for private palanquins. seeing that both the sons of Dhrtarastra and the sons of Pandu had acquired proficiency in the use of weapons. skilled workmen then constructed. Under no circumstances is it to be used against human beings. for if it is launched against an enemy of little strength the excess fire of this weapon can burn up the cosmos. "There is no man in this world who will equal you in a trial of bows. The countryfolk arranged large. Then the king's wife. high platforms for themselves. the king said. my righteous brother. your boys have fully assimilated the military science. so guard it carefully. just order me so that things can be arranged exactly as you want. and adorned with precious gems. and he deemed the son of Pandu to be the best of all his disciples.CHAPTER 124 Sri Vaisampayana said: O Bharata. take from me the best of all weapons. O eloquent king. and now." ADI PARVA . for there will be no other pleasure like this. O hero. On the site of the proposed arena. the king placed Bhisma and the noble professor Krpa in the front of his entourage and traveled with his ministers to his viewing palace. Drona then said to the great soul and fighter Arjuna. with your approval they should demonstrate to you what they have learned. That very learned Drona proceeded to locate and measure an area of flat. then you are to unleash this weapon and kill him in battle. On that land. you are a great teacher and have done a great job! Whenever you think is the best time." Taking permission from the king. the crocodile released Drona's shin and relinquished his life. When the day arrived. shaded by a canopy of interlaced pearls.about in utter confusion." With a jubilant mind. Vidura. a large palatial grandstand for the king and his associates. Drona spoke to Dhrtarastra.

Then Duryodhana and Bhima. Some people in the crowd ducked their heads in fear of being struck by a flying arrow. The four social orders. a white garland. and commanded the brahmanas learned in mantra to chant the auspicious hymns. . the princes strung their bows. and in hand-to-hand combat. "Sadhu! Sadhu!" as the stunning events unfolded. all the princes were filled with joy. and their quivers bound tightly to their bodies. and firmness of grip. their weapons like two big mountains with a single peak. the mighty young bulls of the Bharata race entered the arena. their belts tightened for action. eager to see the Kuru princes demonstrate their skill in arms. They themselves were annointed with red sandalwood paste. making a wonderful sound to honor all the people gathered there. they proceeded to formally honor in the traditional way both Drona and Krpa. and then special men entered the arena carrying varieties of weapons and gear. and white tilak marking his body. that assembly of humanity heaved and sounded like a great tossing sea. came down together. Wide-eyed with wonder. They chanted the holy hymns of the day. fixed arrows upon them. the experienced spectators studied their agility. the crowd was amazed. With the thrilling music of bands and the excited roar of the crowd. which were adorned with flowers that had been previously offered to the Deity. their armor fixed tightly about them. with Yudhisthira in the lead. and their eyes were red with the fire of determination. quickly came out of the city. steadiness. on chariots. Riding by on horses. As the princes competed with sword and shield. on elephant-back. Then the great teacher. Next. those fierce fighters took their weapons in hand. their strength only increased like that of two maddened bull elephants fighting for a willing female. Those great adolescent heroes then exhibited the most amazing weapons. as if they were seeing a magical Gandharva mansion in the sky. with their flawless clubs working away. When the two great professors conferred their blessings. Drona. and twanged their bow-strings. entered the very center of the stadium with his son. and they wore red garlands. Tightening their belts. All of them used red flags. like the moon attended by Mars entering brightly into the cloudless sky. The two mighty men circled each other to their left. while Kunti narrated to Gandhari. First they took up their bows. With various styles and facial expressions. garbed in white array. and they next offered respectful greetings to their mystical weapons. That most excellent of mighty men then made an offering unto God. joyfully went up to the viewing platform like the wives of the gods ascending holy Mount Meru. The princes came in order of age. horseback. The combatants then grabbed their swords and shields and. clubs in hand. daring. ever enlivened for combat. with white hair. struck with utter astonishment. crafted of refined gold. moving all over the field. blessing the moment. headed by the brahmanas and ksatriyas. tactics. With Drona's permission. As they faced one another. Observing the strength of the boys in wielding their bows and arrows. they pierced the targets with vollies of arrows beautifully marked with their names and released with agility and speed. and other people boldly stared at the exhibition. white moustache. with a white silk thread round his chest. The greatminded Vidura described to Dhrtarastra all the deeds of the young princes. and offering a respectful greeting to their teacher. The Kaurava princes honored their weapons with sacred flowers mixed with red sandalwood. hundreds and thousands of spectators would suddenly cry out. And the mighty princes went on exhibiting their routines---with bows. displayed the ways of swordsmanship just as they had been taught.attendents. suitable for the moment. They first proceeded to the center of the field. those two heavy-armed warriors were brazenly determined to show their masculine strength. maddened like lusty bulls.

by the weapon of the wind-god. and by the weapon of the lord of the rain. He has come down onto the field with his golden armor. loving tears ran down her chest and mixed with the milk that flowed from her breasts as she gazed upon her son." When Arjuna's mother. what is that mighty sound which makes the arena shake like a stormy sea? It has arisen suddenly from the stadium and pierces the very heavens. and that leader of men then joyfully said to Vidura. he let loose the wind. he released the clouds. son of Prtha!" Blessed by the words of his guru. it is because of Arjuna. Lord Krsna holds Arjuna to be as dear as His very self. he created water. and lightning. "Both Bhima and Duryodhana are highly trained and very powerful. Sri Vaisampayana said: When the uproarious arena somehow became settled. the best of strongmen. carrying his deadly bow. by the sea-lord's arm. Bhima!" cheered the people. the Personality of Godhead. he . Drona then entered the playing field of the arena. but his knowledge of noble conduct is a transcendental ocean. for the Lord is ever with him. Arjuna appeared like a sunset raincloud. the sons of Pandu. as wild as the fire of cosmic annihilation and as mighty as the ocean. who have arisen from the sacred kindling wood of that great lady Kunti. born from Indra and equal in splendor to Lord Visnu Himself-. conchshells trumpted. hero!" "Go. he who is first among those who wield all the weapons.may you behold now Arjuna. taking sides according to their affection. "He who is dearer to me than my own son. With the weapon of Fire. The great sound of the crowd filled Dhrtarastra's ears. the awesome warrior." Sri Vidura said: Maharaja. "There is the son of Kunti! That beautiful young man is the middle son of Pandu! He's actually the son of Indra himself! He will protect the Kuru kingdom! He's the best of all in his knowledge of weapons! He's the most religious of all the warriors! You may talk of noble men. By the weapon of earth. for he is the dearest friend of Lord Krsna Himself. Seeing the stadium shaking like a stormy sea. and the crowd has gone wild. I am blessed. "Go. the beloved son of Pandu and Kunti. There was a great commotion throughout the arena. and his quiver full. flashing with sunrays. Kunti. and the bands burst into music from every side of the stadium. rainbow. Kuru King!" "Come on. he spoke out in a voice as deep and resonant as the rumbling of great clouds. "O Ksatta. Arjuna came before the crowd in the full vigor of his youth. Garbed in golden armor. heard these unique praises voiced by the spectators. O learned one. Arjuna. he will certainly do. Thus whatever Arjuna promises. King Dhrtarastra said: I am fortunate. who slew evil Kamsa. Stopping the music. his arm and finger guards tightly fastened." Thus the son of the guru stopped the two warriors. and their sudden roaring and shouting at each new blow resounded throughout the arena. the crowd split into two factions. by these fiery warriors. stop them before a riot breaks out in the stadium. he created fire. the wise Drona said to his dear son Asvatthama. I am protected.ADI PARVA . who stood with upraised clubs.CHAPTER 125 Sri Vaisampayana said: With the Kuru prince in the arena against Bhima. then displayed the military skill acquired from his teacher.

The eldest son of Dhrtarastra shone like Indra surrounded by the hosts of gods. that military master showed wonderful feats to the audience. when suddenly from the area of the main gate came a mighty slapping of arms that resembled the clashing of thunderbolts. but without much real respect. Deadly Duryodhana rose to his feet.entered the earth. "Are the hills exploding? Or is the earth breaking asunder? Or has the sky filled up with thundering clouds?" These were the spontaneous thoughts of the stadium crowd. nor for a single moment did they take their eyes off Karna. and at the next moment he shrank it down. Destined for wide fame. and the elephant. and his brothers raised their clubs and stood with him. not knowing that he spoke to his own brother. the people gave way as into that broad stadium strode Karna. he stood at the ready. he spread hills before everyone's sight. One moment he expanded his body upwards. handsome with large. and in brilliance. the mighty Sun. Then the heroic prince buried twenty-one arrows into a hollow cow's horn as it swung about on a rope. Nor did Karna know the identity of his own father. Then Karna himself spoke out in an eloquent voice as deep and grave as the rumbling of clouds. This handsome child of the sun clearly possessed innumerable qualifications. [for the mother of both was Kunti. Club in hand. and by the weapon of internal placement. conqueror of cities. he moved like a proud-pacing mountain. whatever deeds you have performed here . The strong-armed warrior looked all about the arena and then offered his obeisances to Drona and Krpa. "Son of Prtha. Drona stood brilliantly like the glowing moon surrounded by the bright hand-constellation.CHAPTER 126 Sri Vaisampayana said: Wide-eyed with wonder. The crowd began filing out. Karna would lay low the hosts of his enemies. and his hundred strong brothers and Asvathama at once surrounded him. he went within and vanished from view. Endowed with consumate skill. ADI PARVA . he shone as bright as the sun and the moon. "Who is he?" they frantically asked one another. and Arjuna shot fire arrows into its mouth in such rapid succession that the arrows appeared to the crowd to be one continuous shaft. as everyone turned and stared at the main gate of the arena. beauty. that teacher's favorite pierced with varieties of arrows targets that were very delicate. He fought and lived with the power and courage of the lion. the bull. Karna was born from the virgin Kunti. and at the next moment he was again standing on the ground. An iron boar was made to move about the field. So mighty and awesome was the sound that people began to wonder. with a huge sword. Invested with the Sun's own virile strength. He was tall and straight like a golden palm tree. impenetrable. In this and similar ways. wide eyes. with a bow and club. ready to shatter the cities of the wicked. He addressed himself to Arjuna. the program was nearly finished. Surrounded by the five sons of Pandu. and in all ways troublesome. O king. a second later he was sitting on the chariot seat. barely visible. After the demonstration of Arjuna. and his youthful body was built as solid as that of a lion. and the musicians put down their instruments. as suspense and curiosity filled the air. Not a single person in that vast assembly moved. Girded tightly with sword and bow. begotten by the sharp-rayed light-maker. his face dazzling with the jeweled earrings and his body shielded by the mighty armor that were both with him at his birth. In an instant he went to the front of his chariot.] The child of the sun called out to the earth-born son of Indra. and luster. by the science of mountains.

Thus Arjuna could be seen covered by the shadow of Indra's clouds. and for an instant. and seeing her two sons fit with armor. sir. and don't be overwhelmed by what you are about to see. Sri Vaisampayana said: With Drona's consent. Arjuna called out to Karna. and those who speak their whim. Why these insults that are uttered by weaklings to comfort themselves? Speak with arrows. Duryodhana and his brothers joyfully embraced Karna and said to him. I shall perform better than you. you will attain those very worlds. and if I must accept some other boon. and Bhisma stayed on the side of Arjuna. for today with arrows I shall take off your head before the eyes of your guru. the Sun vanquished the clouds that came too near to his child Karna. son of Saradvan. performed all that Arjuna had done. Only the daughter of King Kuntibhoja understood that a fight to the death between blood brothers was about to take place. It is our good fortune that you have come. He is a Kuru prince. for he knew all of the sacred law. for justice depends on power. Two factions also arose among the ladies in the crowd. Seeing her in utter confusion. "This man here is the beloved son of Pandu. and there were profusions of rainbows and formations of shrieking cranes. bathed in the heat of the Sun. Seeing all this. went toward Karna for combat. mighty-armed one. Krpa. attain the worlds reserved for their kind. leadership goes to the strongest men. Seeing Lord Indra affectionately sending his signs to encourage his son Arjuna and forecast his victory. Embraced by Duryodhana and his brothers. Karna. and the youngest child of Prtha. Arjuna? Among the royal order. What is your complaint. Vidura. Sri Vaisampayana said: Feeling himself deeply insulted. I myself and the entire Kuru kingdom are at your full disposal. at that moment joy came to Duryodhana. Bharata. though not requested. mighty Karna. The sons of Dhrtarastra stayed on Karna's side of the field. conqueror of hostile cities. Duryodhana said: Enjoy with me all that princes enjoy! Do good to your friends. Then with Drona's official permission. then I would fight a duel with that son of Kunti named Arjuna. and put your foot on the head of those who wish us ill. "Those who enter though not invited. and Drona. who ever loved a fight. was an expert in the customs and rules of duel combat. to enjoy as you wish." Before Karna could even finish his words. the knower of all justice. and before everyone's eyes. and he will make battle . Thereupon the sky was suddenly covered by thundering clouds that flashed with lightning. "You are most welcome here. Karna took up his bow and arrows and stood ready for battle. for Arjuna and Karna were both her beloved sons. O tiger of men. tried to bring her to her senses by sprinkling her with water mixed with sandalwood." Karna said: I need nothing else but your friendship. So steady your mind. for I see that you are a true gentleman. whereas Karna was fully exposed. O Bharata. and thus she became faint with anxiety. O tamer of the enemy. she went through such agony that she could not follow anything that was happening. Slain now by me. and he thus said to the two warriors who stood with their large bows raised for action. the entire audience rose to its feet as if shot up by a machine. and quickly embraced by his brothers. Krpa." Karna said: This arena is open for all. O Bharata. Kunti came back to her senses. shame and anger pierced mighty Arjuna. who stood fixed like a mountain in the midst of that assembly of royal cousins.

son of Pandu. Seeing all this. "It shall be so!" and the two warriors happily embraced and felt the greatest joy." Thus addressed. again wetted his head.with you. Of heroes and rivers. the gods fashioned a thunderbolt to kill the Danavas. and breathing heavily he looked up at the day-making Sun. who stood before him. "You do not deserve death in battle from Arjuna. out of breath and held up by his rod." and embraced Karna and with his tears. still wet from the royal consecration. like a withered lotus flooded by the monsoon waters." When thus addressed. mighty-armed one. for he was now the new ruler of Anga. Karna's face bent down in shame.] Now it was Bhima who laughed and declared. by acts of heroism. bound by reverence for his father. Sri Vaisampayana said: That very moment. O tiger of kings. We hear from sages that Karttikeya is the son of Agni. "Vrkodara. take up the driving whip." replied Duryodhana.CHAPTER 127 Sri Vaisampayana said: Then with his upper cloth scattered about him. Adhiratha was embarassed and covered his feet with his cloth. put aside his bow and worshipfully bowed his head. "He's the son of a chariot driver. and endowed that maharatha warrior with riches. must now tell us the names of your mother and father and your royal line. Then to Karna. our religious scriptures conclude that a man becomes a king in three ways: by birth in a royal family. O son of a driver. which is appropriate for your family. such as the royal umbrella and yak-tail fan. Quickly. Then mighty Duryodhana leaped up in rage from the midst of his brothers. like a maddened elephant charging out from the midst of a lotus forest. concluded. Bhimasena. or perhaps he will not. installed him on a golden seat. Karna's lower lip trembled. From the bones of Dadhici. Why. learned brahmanas ceremonially annointed mighty Karna with sacred grains and flowers. "What could I give to you or do for you that would equal your gift of a kingdom? Say it. you are not worthy to enjoy the kingdom of Anga. If Arjuna does not wish to fight with a non-king. then I hereby install this man as king of the land of Anga. strength comes first. You lowest of men. the chariot-driver said. it is not right for you to speak such words! Among warriors. Even a fallen `friend of a warrior' deserves a fight. He then said to the Kuru king. and by leading an army. for you are like a dog that comes near the sacred fire to eat up the offering. from water arose fire. He then received the paraphernalia of kingship. and I shall certainly do it. ADI PARVA . and of . and he was honored with cries of victory. whose goals had been richly fulfilled. Thus addressed. the son of Prtha will set his bow against you. He spoke out to the terribly powerful Bhimasena." "I desire everlasting friendship with you. And you. Duryodhana said: Professor. Karna replied. it is hard to understand the original source. bathed him with water from golden pitchers. sir. Who are those leaders of men to whom you bring glory? As soon as we learn this. Karna. the fire that pervades all creatures." [Bhima had witnessed the unwarranted attempt of Karna and Duryodhana to humiliate and destroy his younger brother Arjuna. Adhiratha came trembling and sweating into the arena. Catching his sight. "My son!.

Then the Pandavas. that he demanded was this: "My dear students. all went back to their own homes. and Dronacarya himself was born from a pot. Some were saying "Arjuna!" Others were saying "Karna!" and others "Duryodhana!" The divine marks on Karna's body had proved to Kunti that the new king of Anga was her own son. O Bharata. Or if there is anyone born of man who will not tolerate what I have done. known as Yajnasena. he went out of the stadium. Karna himself. not merely the state of Anga! He deserves it by his ample prowess. ADI PARVA . Why. then either mounting his chariot or with his feet on the earth. for this shall be the highest daksina. it is known to the kings of this world that even the birth of you five brothers is most unusual. Duryodhana took Karna firmly by the hand. offer him payment in return for the education he had given them. As the people departed. The daksina." "So be it!" said the young warriors. Don't you see that he's as brilliant as the sun? "This man is a lord of men. with Drona. and bring him to me. O king. The origin of such an exalted god is shrouded in mystery. those powerful men brought him with his ministers before Drona. and Bhimasena. what need is there for a friend of the past?" . And even Yudhisthira began to think that there was no archer equal to Karna on the face of the earth. without exception. in face to face combat. you must capture Drupada. and his wealth was lost. for he was now a helpless prisoner. Having made friendship with Karna. Duryodhana's terrible fear of Arjuna suddenly vanished. Hence he is called Guha. But then the sun journeyed below the horizon.CHAPTER 128 Sri Vaisampayana said: Then Drona. "How could an ordinary doe give birth to a tiger? This man was born with earrings and armor built into his body. He deserves the whole earth as his kingdom. who had labored hard to master his weapons. and with the way lit up by the fire of lamps. [As you once said]. these are the the marks of divine birth. then saluted Duryodhana with exquisite words of praise. Drupada's pride was broken. Arresting Drupada. and they attacked and leveled the city of mighty Drupada. and by his relation to me. Remembering their enmity. "Famous brahmanas have taken birth from ksatriya mothers. they spoke in animated tones. Drona then said to the fallen king. having summoned his students. or payment. and many spectators [failing to recognize Duryodhana's evil motives] praised and cheered his words. king of Pancala. and of Rudra and of Ganga Devi. and you have been taken alive by your enemy. for I follow his command. and accompanied by Drona they went quickly on their chariots to secure that valuable gift for their guru. O king. and her secret love for him only increased. May you be blessed in your endeavor. for such is the affection of a mother. "I have quickly smashed your kingdom and city. Krpa. Guru Krpa was born from a clump of reeds. and the day was done.Krttika. insisted that all of them. Those powerful men went straight to the land of the Pancalas. let him bend the bow against me!" A great uproar swept through the stadium.

for that is the way of the great and mighty. and he dwelled in the fine capital city of Kampilya. Arjuna conquered in battle the capital of Ahicchatra and the surrounding country and delivered it as a gift to Drona. and with joy in his heart he honored his old friend and delivered to him half the kingdom.CHAPTER 129 Sri Vaisampayana said: Recognizing the superior strength of Bhimasena and the masterful skill of Arjuna. Drona came to a decision and said. seeing that the sons of Pandu were blessed with so many good qualities.Having spoken thus. Feeling himself helpless against the power of a brahmana. and I desire your everlasting love upon me. evilminded Duryodhana was consumed with envy. How then has he now become the king? Similarly. and therefore I award you a boon. The Pandavas learned everything of these plots. In our childhood. O brahmana. then know for certain that I am your friend. Drona. Indeed. for . King Drupada said: Your victory and your generosity are not surprising. ADI PARVA . son of Santanu. But Drupada was terribly depressed. Yudhisthira. Pancala. Bhisma. but on the advice of Vidura those tamers of enemies did not make an uprising or even reveal their knowledge. O mighty ksatriya. The residents of the capital city. in the town squares and in public assemblies. O king. but he had done him no real harm. for we brahmanas are forgiving. Drona at once released him. schemed in many ways with Duryodhana to assasinate the Pandavas. Well and good! We ourselves should immediately install on the royal throne the eldest Pandava. and laughing loudly at the fallen king. He saw no way to achieve victory with his warrior strength. Thus. I do feel love for you. O leader of men." they said. son of Subala. spoke of them wherever they met. had attacked and leveled his beautiful kingdom. And so Sun-born Karna and Sakuni. for he constantly remembered his feud with Drona and could not find peace. and I developed a strong affection for you. Drupada then ruled Makandi on the bank of the Ganges. on the other hand. If you agree. Take back half of your kingdom.up6 \chftn rootnote rs18up6 \chftn Drupada had unfairly rejected his old friend. I endeavored to gain your kingdom so that we might be friends. "Dhrtarastra has the eye of wisdom. "Do not fear for your life. "One who is not a king is not worthy to be a friend of kings. Drona settled into his new kingdom of Ahicchatra.] As Drupada fixed this thought in his mind. with its broad countryside. You are now king of the land on the southern bank of the Bhagirathi. and he will not accept the throne now or ever. "but he is physically blind and thus formerly that lord of the people did not receive the royal throne. I played with you in the hermitage. is a most honest man of great vows. Drupada found no joy or peace in a kingdom granted to him in charity by Drona. controlling the southern Pancalas as far south as the Carmanvati River. but formerly he declined the kingdom. I would pray to again have friendship with you. the king began to yearn for a son [who would regain his father's honor. Sri Vaisampayana said: When thus addressed by the king. and I am king on the northern bank. O Yajnasena. and therefore. O king.

Why. and to Dhrtarastra and his sons. we must arrange immediately to stop it! If you had been firm in your kingdom. "Pandu always followed religious principles. Formerly Pandu got the kingdom from his father by his own qualifications. as we feed off the charity of our rivals! O king. then surely we would have inherited that kingdom. Surely most of them will become our faithful friends and supporters. [Although you were the eldest son of the king] you did not have the necessary qualifications. . and [clearly he has no motive. I have heard the people gossiping. and duly honoring him. When they and all the citizens were so loved and honored by Pandu. the whole world knows how qualified the boy is. Dhrtarastra reflected for a moment and then said to Duryodhana. even what foods he liked to eat and the things he liked to do. And what shall we do? Deprived of royal lineage. Burning with jealousy. Once he is king. He is always truthful. There is nothing at all that I did not know about that man. And I might add that the royal treasury and its ministers are now firmly on my side. ADI PARVA . Yudhisthira will be most kind to Bhisma. they want Yudhisthira as their lord. that evil man was consumed with envy. since] he does not desire the kingdom. and he always acted for my happiness and well-being. He was kind to all our relatives.CHAPTER 130 Sri Vaisampayana said: Hearing his son. The people of this city want to inflict on us the greatest pain. dear father. O lord of the world. and he has the full backing of the citizens. hell shall ever be our lot. so you did not attain the royal throne. and they are speaking inauspicious words. Meeting alone with his father. O king. but he was especially good to me. how would they not kill us and all our men for Yudhisthira's sake?" Duryodhana said: I have already meditated on that very problem.though he is young in years. he could not stand the people's words. he spoke in anguish about the people's love for the Pandavas: "Dear father. we and our children shall be despised by the world. Firm in his vows. and in sheer torment he went to Dhrtarastra. and so on. Now if that man Yudhisthira is able to inherit Pandu's throne and all that goes with it. especially when he stands with so many faithful friends and allies? "Pandu always took personal care of the government ministers and the army. I have also seen that all the citizens are moved by money and position. he always offered me all that he had in his kingdom. He will honor them and bestow upon them all kinds of gifts and facilities. and he gave special attention to their sons and grandsons. and he is a truly compassionate man. and his son. And Pandu's son is every bit as good and religious as his father. he shows the behavior of a wise elder. then certainly his son will also get the throne. How can we possibly drag him down by force from the kingdom of his father and forefathers. and the people would have been powerless. Disrespecting you and Bhisma. Bhisma gives the same report. son of Santanu." When Duryodhana heard the people speak these words.

and the highly revered Gandhari: "Dear relatives. then these senior men of the Kuru dynasty. "there is going to be a very big convention. If we enact such a plan. Asvatthama. and indeed the whole world. That region is full of all kinds of jewels. for he will never renounce Drona or Drona's son. as soon as the kingdom is securely in my hands. the most enjoyable in the world. Krpa. then go there with your friends and followers and enjoy yourselves like the immortal gods. father. in honor of Lord Siva. "So be it. Neither Bhisma nor Drona nor Vidura nor Krpa will ever approve a plan to banish the Pandavas. and fit to be executed. the great-minded Vidura. but it's such a sinful thought. and thus you will shine in that city like the gods in heaven. Be confident and banish Pandu's sons and their mother to Varanavata on this very day." they said. if you boys would like to see the festivities in Varanavata." Then Yudhisthira quietly spoke these pathetic words to the very wise Bhisma. engaged by Dhrtarastra. Vidura's fortunes are bound to our own. Drona. And expert counselors. There will be no difficulty in this plan. by the order of Dhrtarastra. You may offer as many jewels as you like to the brahmanas and to all who sing the sacred songs. Tell them that it's for some other purpose. My dear Yudhisthira. By this action. Yudhisthira replied to his uncle. Duryodhana said: Bhisma is always neutral. and he alone has no power to harm us for their sake." Agreeing to Dhrtarastra's desire and realizing that Duryodhana had successfully won over the important men in the government. began to speak about a charming city called Varanavata: "In the town of Varanavata. I did not reveal it to anyone.CHAPTER 131 Sri Vaisampayana said: Then King Duryodhana and his younger brothers steadily captured all the government ministers with gifts of wealth and position. religious men. My son. "These men of mine are always talking. there's no doubt in this matter. son of Ambika. something that appears kind and reasonable. and they will not tolerate discrimination. After enjoying for some time there and experiencing the highest pleasure. Bahlika. who is his own nephew. When Dhrtarastra. a desire rose among the sons of Pandu to go there. and to Krpa. It's a most charming area!" Thus by the order of Dhrtarastra. again and again. you happy boys will come again to Hastinapura. destroy the horrible dart that has sunk in my heart and set such a fire of grief that I cannot sleep at night. we shall dwell for some time with our . about Varanavata. they continued to eulogize the region of Varanavata. Wherever his son stands. he said to the Pandavas. Kunti and her children may return. son of Saradvan. O Bharata. the Kuru Somadatta. sir. must quickly banish the Pandavas and send them to live in the city of Varanavata. King Dhrtarastra said: Duryodhana. there stands Drona. They say it's the most charming city in the world. will always remain united with those two. ADI PARVA . though he secretly sides with the Pandavas. Then. the Kuru leaders are all intelligent. will certainly consider us guilty of capital crimes. Drona's son stands with me.You. As the Pandavas heard more and more about the charming city of Varanavata. felt that a strong curiosity had been aroused in them. this very idea has been turning around in my own heart. They regard us on an equal level with the Pandavas.

with full confidence. whose soul was corrupted by evil. You must find hemp. However. in the city of Varanavata. everything should be arranged so that they live happily. and beds must be arranged for the Pandavas so that my father may be pleased. is now mine! And because it is mine. their faces became peaceful. butter. and having performed all the necessary duties. and so that neither they nor other men will notice that this house has been built to go up in flames. There is no one else I trust more than you. fortified with your blessings. When the Pandavas have burned to death. said to him. for you must destroy my enemies and save me from their wiles by a most clever means. resolved to carry out the will of Duryodhana. when you know that they are sleeping soundly. and by Dhrtarastra's order they will stay there for some time and enjoy the local festivities. and large quantities of lac. you should offer the Pandavas the greatest of honor and see that they live there with Kunti and her affectionate maid-servants. felt the greatest pleasure. and they came forward and blessed the Pandavas. With as much time as we have. will not suspect you. full of riches. O king. tree resin. There you must see to the construction of a very luxurious house with four stately halls. may you not have even a trace of misfortune!" Thus the Pandavas were blessed to obtain good fortune in their new kingdom. "Purocana. ADI PARVA . and in every respect! O beloved sons of Pandu. then you are to set fire by the door of the house. May all of you be pleased with this plan and benedict us with your auspicious words so that. bamboo. it is also yours and you must help me protect it. and he departed in a muledrawn chariot for the city of Varanavata. all that the citizens and our relatives will ever say about the Pandavas is that `They burned to death in their own house. and you must carry it out precisely as I say. this abundant earth. I shall explain it to you. and all types of wood implements throughout the house. O noble Bharata. no other associate with whom I can make alliance and consult as I can with you. "When the mansion has been built in this way. we shall never be overcome by evil. and clasping his right hand. oil. He left swiftly. Keep our meeting completely confidential. Duryodhana. dear friend. they deparated for Varanavata. The walls should be built of clay mixed with clarified butter. even if they investigate. . and whatever other flammable materials are available locally and provide all of them to the builders." When all the Kauravas heard Yudhisthira's words. He took his adviser Purocana aside. Do what you must so that you reach Varanavata on this very day. without fear or suspicion.people in the beautiful and bustling city of Varanavata.CHAPTER 132 Sri Vaisampayana said: When the king had thus spoken to the great-souled Pandavas. "May you always be healthy and happy on your journey with whomever you meet. See that the walls are covered with plaster. The house should be extremely well guarded and must adjoin the armoury. You must go in a swiftly moving chariot drawn by strong mules."' "And so it shall be!" promised Purocana to the wicked Kaurava. and he arranged everything exactly as ordered by King Dhrtarastra's son. "Dhrtarastra has ordered the Pandavas to Varanavata. saying. vehicles. Do everything in such a way that the Pandavas. Exquisite seats. "Place hemp.

King Dhrtarastra. the beloved of the Kurus.up6 \chftn rootnote rs18up6 \chftn r228rs20 Vidura was the smartest of the Kurus. who was learned in all the principles of justice and religion. be improperly driven from their home? In the old days. Having begged permission to leave from all the elder ladies." said all the people. and having circumambulated the venerable ones. the Pandavas. therefore we have sworn to do whatever he tells us without hestiation. The very wise Vidura and other Kuru leaders and citizens. then you will surely act for our happiness and welfare. Then. But now that King Pandu. the king of virtue. and he sees with unfair partiality. Vidura clearly saw the best means to protect both body and soul. Every one of us shall give up our homes and leave this fine city to go with Yudhisthira. the great soul Drona. and then please return to your homes. their hearts pulled by the sorrow of separation. "We have accepted the king as our father. The eldest Pandava is a sinless man who will never approve a sinful act. followed those tigers of men as they departed. These men rightfully received the kingdom from their father. Were it to be know before the departure for Varanavata that Vidura was extensively counseling them. It may have taken until then for him to collect and analyze the top-secret information. as our best teacher. But why does Bhisma allow all this injustice. so kindly circumambulate us. O noble Bharata. swearing their loyalty to Yudhisthira. and Vidura was already suspected of siding with them. and for some reason he did not tell King Yudhisthira earlier of the grave danger. Dhrtarastra will not tolerate the king's own sons. Then after circumambulating the princes and engladdening them with their heartfelt blessings. . grieving terribly for the sons of Pandu: "King Drtarastra is completely covered by darkness. alerted the leader of the Pandavas to the imminent danger.ADI PARVA . Also. were constantly under public and private scrutiny. As they were about to mount for the journey. that the best of the Bharatas. Duryodhana might have changed his plans. Yudhisthira. son of Santanu. the sons of Kunti." "So be it. they went back to the city. and that wise man. important world leaders. who are still like children.CHAPTER 133 Sri Vaisampayana said: The Pandavas yoked their chariots with pure-bred horses that ran like the wind. embraced their peers. and Dhrtarastra cannot tolerate that. nor will Bhima. We do know with certainty that Vidura chose to give his warning in a brief riddle at that moment for some good reason. and accepted respectful greetings from the younger generation. best of the strong. nor the son of Kunti Arjuna." When the grief-stricken and shrewd citizens had spoken thus. But we shall not tolerate this crime. some brahmanas there began to speak out fearlessly. was extremely pleased and said to them. And the two sons of Madri are mature and great in wisdom and would never do evil. who was trained to understand them. has gone to his blessed fate. the saintly king Vicitravirya. All of you are our well-wishing friends. engladden us with your heartfelt blessings. was just like a father to us. whom they regarded as their mothers. and of other venerable elders like Vidura and Krpacarya. Vidura. a saintly tiger of a man. spoke to his wise nephew. When the citizens had retired. who was also learned in the art of riddles. and they respectfully embraced the lotus feet of Bhisma. they felt sad to leave their family and friends. Thus they offered their heart-felt respect to all the senior Kurus. So bad is his intelligence that he cannot see the laws of God. and so was Pandu. they and all their ministers departed for Varanavata. When the time comes that we need your help.

he will not be subdued. leaders of the Bharata dynasty. and they entered the beautifully decorated and bustling city of Varanavata. then I would like to hear all about the conversation you had with him. the heroic princes immediately went to the homes of the brahmana. awaken. shone forth like the king of the gods. Upon arriving in Varanavata. O king. Circled by the citizens. We don't understand it. Honored by the citizens. Bhisma. they went toward the Pandavas. a weapon not of iron. the irresolute attain not the weal." I then said to Vidura. the faultless Pandavas honored them in turn. Finally they went to their own . This weapon does not strike the one who knows it and turns it against his enemy. The city residents. Then they all surrounded the Pandavas. "The eyeless know not the path. One who guards himself lives. it slays the underwood and strikes down the cold. the greatest of men. returned to his home. and said to him. ADI PARVA . A man who accepts the gift.s who were busily and happily engaged in their religious duties. thus alerted. Riding on thousands of vehicles of all kinds and carrying auspicious gifts as enjoined in the scriptures. reached the sons of Kunti and offered their blessings for the success of Pandu's sons. When Vidura. all the citizens came out of the city of Varanavata with joy and vigor." Having accompanied the Pandavas for a short stretch and given these instructions. The brothers similarly visited the homes of the city governors and the noble chariot warriors. who hated no one. They next paid respectful visits to the homes of the merchants and workers. "You will gain the abundant earth if you conquer your five senses. he knows the ways by the stars and finds his direction. and all the townspeople had gone back to their homes. Wandering about. Subduing the five with his mind. Kunti called her son Yudhisthira. "When Vidura spoke to you in the middle of the crowd. under the star of Rohini. they departed. given by those who are not close can be saved from the devouring fire by going to the refuge of the porcupine." Sri Vaisampayana said: On the eighth day of the month of Phalguna. eager to serve them in any way. granting them permission to begin their journey. and he also said that no path should be unknown to us. known as the Varanavatakas. If we are able to hear about it. the eyeless find not the direction. thunderbolt in hand. it seemed like he was not saying anything coherent. and in every house the Pandavas. But it does not burn the inhabitants of holes in the great hiding place. surrounded by the immortals. were honored by the cityfolk. they gazed upon the town and its people. Upon entering the city.CHAPTER 134 Sri Vaisampayana said: Hearing that the sons of Pandu had arrived. and there is nothing indecent. Yudhisthira. a tiger of a man. "It is all understood. and yet you agreed to his words. And he said to me."One must act to escape disaster by understanding a sharp weapon not made of iron that cuts the body to pieces. Vidura then circumambulated them and." King Yudhisthira said: Vidura told me that we must beware of poison and fire.

Partha. If he should be moved to fury. will have us murdered by his spies. acting very innocent and casual. honored by Purocana and enjoying the most luxurious furniture and household accessories. and Purocana was there to receive and welcome them. and that will be necessary when the time comes to flee. We will stay here for now. which was called Siva-grha. and he functions precisely on that basis. He is a fool who only cares about the desire of Duryodhana. We must cheat this wicked Purocana and his wicked master Duryodhana. and by the most violent and unpredictable means he will burn us to death. out of his greed for the kingdom. certainly Duryodhana. After staying there for ten nights. rope. just as the mystic Guhyakas enter fabled Mount Kailasa. then we had all better go back to our previous residence. clean. and valuable seats. he has already alerted me to it. and having seen this danger. O mighty one. rather.temporary lodging. Purocana offered them fine food and drink. and that will give us time to think of a sure way to escape. if he sees anxiety or fear in our faces. It was well constructed by expert craftsmen who are trusted servants of evil Purocana. those tigerlike men entered the house with their royal entourage. Vidura is very intelligent.' well built by our respectable teachers who are seem to be secret followers of Duryodhana." At Purocana's bidding. By this means. We have no position now. Hemp and resins were used to build this house. Sri Yudhisthira said: No. and carefully observing the house and smelling the subtle aroma of fat mixed with butter and lac. Now that he has apprised us. shining beds. We are bereft of a royal treasury. If Purocana discovers any clue to our real plan. Worshiped by the local townfolk. I feel we should live here for now. If we were burned alive. Purocana brought them to that inauspicious house. Therefore it is certain that by various means he will have us murdered. "the auspicious house. but he is surrounded by them.CHAPTER 135 . and by concealing our endeavor. bamboo and other materials have all been sprinkled with clarified butter. understanding that the sacred law demands it. and perhaps he would then rouse the Kauravas to anger for the atrocity. Bhimasena said: If you think this house was built to go up in flames. but his treasury is vast. but we will move here and there. who now wants to burn me alive when my guard is down. he occupies the capital. and the straw. and travel all over the country. concealing our whereabouts. perhaps our grandfather Bhisma would be enraged and not merely lament. "This residence is clearly made to go up in flames. Yudhisthira could expertly analyze the properties and qualities of things. the consuming fire will not burn us. Purocana does not fear public censure or the reactions to sin. on the other hand. we will acquire a good knowledge of all the roads and paths. We will show a keen interest in hunting. we have recognized this to be an `inauspicious house. then perhaps the other Kuru leaders would react in a similar fashion. Our enemies will think we are already lost. Let us begin at once to build a very well hidden hole in the earth. then he will act at once. he said to Bhimasena. We are without allies. the Pandavas dwelled there with their royal entourage. If. We must be very careful and dwell here in such a way that neither Purocana nor any of the local people discover us. we now flee in fear of being burned. ADI PARVA .

Nor could the residents of the city discover them. "I know. what can I do for you? Vidura told me in private. Vidura certainly knew previously of Purocana's wicked plan. so are you to us. please save us as the learned Vidura would. trustworthy. "I am aware that Purocana built this so-called home. and being a wicked. Now.' I say this to gain your trust. he constructed a large hole in the middle of the house. but you sir must work to save us from that fire. is the determined plan of Dhrtarastra's son. The sinful son of Dhrtarastra has a great treasury and allies. and Vidura told me. As Vidura is to us. O king. Yudhisthira was wise in the ways of men. When we are burned alive. he said to his brothers Bhima. to burn us to death. Your firm devotion to our cause is obvious. The crisis he had foreseen is now upon us. Pandava. and the twins. and seeing Purocana so joyful. "Vidura has sent me. that you are truly a well-wishing friend of Vidura. "Next door to us here is the fully equipped armoury of wicked Purocana. he constantly harasses us. Vidura spoke a few words to you in the dialect of the Mlecchas. and there is no need for a password from the learned Vidura for us to recognize you. and observing them to be fully confident and at ease. but they successfully deceived Purocana. Purocana will put fire in the door of your house. Partha. and therefore he took care to warn us. and you replied to him. on the pretext of a fondness for hunting." The excavator vowed to do it. `The Pandavas are leaders of the people." Dedicated to truth. Arjuna. ADI PARVA . `The Pandavas need help. but during the day. and that you are innocent. It's ramparts come flush against our big house. and always in anxiety though feigning satisfaction.CHAPTER 136 Sri Vaisampayana said: Seeing the Pandavas happily dwelling there for one full year. they wandered from one forest to another. and set about his task with zeal. Purocana rejoiced. with nothing in between. the Pandavas lived in the greatest distress. evilminded man. who was a professional excavator. We see no difference in you. I am expert at digging. what can I do for you? "On the fourteenth evening of the dark fortnight. then replied.' Please tell me. You must save us without exposing our plan to Purocana. as I have heard it. a most skillful excavator. but that cruel man is deceived. keeping their weapons near at hand. I think it is time to escape. on Duryodhana's order. and they are to be burned to death with their mother. Feigning confidence though having none. When you were leaving the city.' So tell me. except for one man. and one day he met the Pandavas in a secluded place and said. and always trying to please us. . we shall be true to you as we are to him. Duryodhana's desire will be fulfilled. who was a trusted adviser to Vidura. son of Kunti. `Have full faith in the Pandavas and try your best to help them. the excavator disguised the hole so well that it could not be detected. `So be it.Sri Vaisampayana said: There was a dear friend of Vidura. who practically lived in the doorway of the house. but with a deceptively small mouth so that it could be easily covered and the floor kept smooth and even. Digging out a trench. "Wicked Purocana is convinced that we fully trust him.' This. kind sir. All the Pandavas spent their nights in the house. Yudhisthira. Fearing evil-minded Purocana.

CHAPTER 137 Sri Vaisampayana said: When the night was over. does not really follow the religious principles. and returned late at night to their homes. tearing apart the earth with his two feet. The citizens said: Sinful and stupid Purocana. leaving six bodies here so we will escape unnoticed. who came to that affair to beg for food. the people saw from the remains of the house that it had been intentionally built with lacquer and that the minister Purocana had burned up in the blaze. and they could not find the energy to run. drinking. She and her sons became drunk and wild from drinking liquor. on the pretext of giving charity. Kunti arranged a huge reception to feed the saintly brahmanas. the mother of five sons. mighty Bhima moved swiftly along under cover of night. and surrounding the devastated house of lac. O mighty king. and Dhrtarastra did not forbid this murder." the people wailed. that evil-doer. Damn the foolish mind of Dhrtarastra. A roaring fire arose. arranged this to destroy the Pandavas. bristled with power and courage. nor does Drona. having passed the night without sleep in extreme anxiety.We shall ignite the armoury and burn up Purocana. they begged their leave from Kunti. son of Santanu. and his two powerful brothers Yudhisthira and Arjuna in his arms. escaping unnoticed through the tunnel under the house. and they arrived their wives. as if they were dead. breaking down trees. nor all the rest of the Kauravas. along with this house of lac. Sri Vaisampayana said: Thus the Varanataka people spoke to one another. The hand of destiny brought to that celebration a low-class Nisada woman. Meanwhile. "Without doubt. the faultless sons of Pandu who had such faith in him. ADI PARVA . the twins on his hips. when Bhima arose and ignited a blazing fire on the very spot where Purocana lay asleep. nor even Vidura or Krpa. every man and woman in the city rushed about the ruins looking for the beloved sons of Pandu. consuming the armoury and the house of lac. "Surely Duryodhana. and enjoying as they desired. had this house built and burned down and thus destroyed his own soul. His brain was so incredibly evil that he killed with fire the very best of men. and blazing ahead with the power of the wind. The mighty Pandavas and their mother were very disturbed and unhappy. until they collapsed in the house of lac and slept without a trace of consciousness. and taking his brothers and his mother. and all the city slept." That night. O king. engaged by Duryodhana. Placing his mother on his shoulder. they kept vigil throughout the night. We ourselves will send a message to the wicked . A noisy wind blew that night. When they finally extinguished the blaze. however. O king. So ferociously did it roar and burn that all the city awoke. with Dhrtarastra's knowledge his son has burned to death the heirs to Pandu's empire. who works through his counselor to burn the pure and innocent Pandavas! The only good thing is that wicked Purocana himself has burned to death. It is now clear that Bhisma. he pushed forward. After eating. Bhimasena. the Pandavas fled with their mother.

and we shall spend for it!" Having thus spoken. but Vidura lamented only briefly." Thus addressed by Yudhisthira. . they easily found their way by the stars. the mighty Bhima picked up his mother. sought safety to the south. who spoke for all the brothers.Dhrtarastra: `Your greatest desire is now fulfilled. You are the only one of us who has any strength left.CHAPTER 138 Bhima's Lament Sri Vaisampayana said: As Bhima quickly moved through the jungle. Bharata. and with great speed they made their way. burned to death. While helping to clean and purify the area. and we don't have the strength to go any farther. However. In the meantime. Arrange at once for large. for he knew the truth. "Today my beloved brother King Pandu has died and there will be no other like him. offered the holy water on behalf of the sons of Pandu. anything I can do to benefit the departed souls of the Pandavas and Kunti must be done. Heading steadily south. O king. pay homage to them in this tragic moment. the very same excavator who had built the tunnel covered the hole with debris so that it was unnoticed by the other men. that blew like the summer blasts in the months of Suci and Sukra. having escaped the city of Varanavata. his powerful thighs sent the trees and thickets whirling about. "What could be more miserable than for us to be here in this deep jungle? We have no idea where we are. The people of the town then sent word to Dhrtarastra that the Pandavas had burned to death in a fire along with the minister Purocana.' " Searching for the Pandavas. his speed and force left the Pandavas dizzy and dazed. spoke again to the great champion Bhimasena. stirring up winds. they removed the remains of the blaze and saw the Nisada woman with her five innocent sons. shattering branches. In these trying circumstances. and blinded by sleep. and keep going. Dhrtarastra lamented in great agony. magnificent urns for their remains and let all those who loved them. Kunti. O king. their energy spent. and demolishing the forest giants that grew from the earth and gave their fruits in the sky. We don't even know if Purocana has actually died in the fire. the son of Ambika. just like before. ADI PARVA . Immeasurable was Bhima's prowess. You have burned to death the sons of your own brother Pandu. the Pandavas. and with much endeavor. All the Kauravas cried and shrieked in the depths of anguish. pained by thirst. who were their friends. for his heroic sons have burned to death along with their poor mother! Men must go immediately to the city of Varanavata and offer the highest and final honors to those heroes and to the precious daughter of King Kuntibhoja. and as he went crashing through the forest. tearing out bushes that entered his path. and his brothers. Mighty Bhima made his own road by flattening the creepers and lordly trees. and surrounded by all his relatives. What can we possibly do to save ourselves from this danger without anyone seeing us or knowing that we're alive? Carry us again. and that mighty one raced forward. upon hearing this most shocking news of the destruction of the the sons of Pandu. Thereupon the dear sons of Pandu. for only you can go on forever like the wind. Dhrtarastra. they reached the deep jungle under cover of night.

More than once they crossed wide rivers with the boats of their arms, and on land they assumed disguises, fearing the son of Dhrtarastra. When the going was rough, on treacherous land and up the banks and mountain slopes, Bhima carried his glorious mother, whose body was most delicate. As evening settled in, those bulls of the Bharata race came to a corner of the vast forest where the forest fare of roots and fruits and even water was scarce, and where the birds and beasts were cruel and ghastly. Grim was that twilight, as horrible birds and beasts roamed all about, all directions fell blind with darkness, and unseasonable winds howled. Afflicted with fatigue and thirst, and irresistible sleep, the Kauravyas could not go any farther. Then Bhima, best of the Bharatas, entered a vast and frightening forest where no man lived, and he moved quickly to the shelter of a wide and charming banyan tree, where he placed down all the family and said, "I shall search for water here. My lord Yudhisthira, all of you should now rest. Water-going cranes are crying out their sweet songs, so I think there must be a large reservoir of water in this area." "Go ahead!" said the eldest brother, giving permission, and Bhima went to the place where the water-birds were crying out. There he drank good, clean water and took bath, O king, and with his upper cloth he gathered up drinking water for his family. He quickly returned the distance of several miles, eager to bring water to his mother. Seeing his mother and brothers sleeping there on the bare ground, Vrkodara was filled with unhappiness, and he grieved for them: "How ironic that in Varanavata, they could not fall asleep on the most costly beds, and now they sleep so soundly on the bare ground. Behold this lady, the sister of Vasudeva who crushed the hosts of wicked enemies, this Kunti, who is the daughter of King Kuntibhoja, and who is glorified by all the marks of divine and noble birth; the daughter-in-law of Vicitravirya, and the wife of the great soul Pandu; she who has always slept in palaces, and who shines like the bright whorl of the lotus; the most delicate of women, who by all rights deserves the costliest bedding. Just see her now so unfairly lying on the dirt of the earth! She bore her sons from the god of justice, from the king of heaven, and from the Wind, and now that same innocent woman lies exhausted on this bare land. What could be more heartbreaking for me than to see this, that I must now watch my own brothers, tigers among men, sleeping here on the empty ground? Whatever kingdom there may be in these three worlds, this king deserves to rule it, for it is he who knows the Law. How can that very king lie here exhausted on bare ground like a most wretched and vulgar man? And Arjuna, who has no equal among men in this world, whose divine hue is dark like a bluish rain cloud--- he too lies here on the empty land like a wretched one. What is sadder than this? And the twins, endowed with such beauty, like that of the celestial Asvins, they too take their rest on the hard surface of the earth as if they were the poorest of men. "A man who has no biased and scheming relatives to disgrace his family lives very happily in this world, like a tree that stands alone in a village. That single tree, full of leaves and fruits, becomes sacred to the village, and because it stands alone, without a jungle of relatives, the people honor and revere it. "Of course, those who have many courageous relatives, devoted to religious principles, they too live happily in this world, free of distress. Powerful, prosperous people who love and take care of their friends and family live by helping and depending on each other, like trees in a noble forest. But Dhrtarastra and his wicked son have driven us out of our home, and somehow by the instruction of Vidura we were not burned to death. And here we are under the shelter of a tree. What direction shall we take, now that we've come to the worst trouble of our lives?

"I seem to make out a city not too far from this forest. Someone had better keep guard while the others sleep, so I myself will stay awake. They will drink water later when they awaken and are rested and relaxed." Thus making up his mind, Bhima guarded his family throughout the night.

Sri Vaisampayana said: Not too far from the forest where the Pandavas slept lived a monstrous creature, a Raksasaup6 \chftn rootnote rs18up6 \chftn Raksasas are a species of powerful and demonic beings who feast on human flesh. named Hidimba who preyed on human flesh. Making his home in a huge Sala tree, he possessed great power and might, but his deformed features were hideous, with bright yellow eyes, a gaping mouth with sabre-like teeth, and an insatiable lust for human flesh. Afflicted by hunger, he was roaming the night when he happened to spy from a distance the sleeping Pandavas and their mother. Shaking his head with its harsh and grizzly hairs and scratching it with his fingers pointed upward, the Raksasa opened his great mouth wide and yawned, looking again and again toward the sleeping princes. The wicked giant, who preyed with terrible strength on human flesh, smelled the aroma of human meat and said to his sister, "After a long time, some food has come that I really like. My mouth is watering with relish, and my tongue is licking my lips. Finally I can sink my eight deadly, razor-sharp teeth into these juicy, fleshy bodies. I shall step over these human necks and rip open the jugular veins, and then I shall drink lots of hot, foaming blood. Go and find out who they are, sleeping so confidently in the forest. "The aroma of human meat is very strong, and it gives me great pleasure. Go kill all those humans and bring me their bodies. You have nothing to fear from them, for they sleep in my domain. We shall very nicely prepare the meat of these humans, and then we shall feast together. Quickly, do what I say!" Obeying her brother's order, the Raksasi monster, jumping from one tree to another, went swiftly to where the Pandavas slept, O best of the Bharatas. Arriving there, she saw the Pandavas and their mother, Prtha, sleeping on the ground, and she saw the invincible Bhimasena standing guard over them. But when she saw Bhimasena standing as tall and sturdy as the trunk of a Sala tree and incomparably handsome, the Raksasi desired him. "This dark, handsome man has powerful arms, and shoulders like a lion, and his body seems to glow. His neck is thick and precious like a conchshell, and his eyes are like the petals of a lotus. This man is fit to be my husband! I shall never execute the cruel order of my brother. The love a woman feels for her husband is much stronger than her friendship with a brother. If I kill these people, my brother and I will be satisfied for an hour or so, but if I don't kill them, I shall enjoy forever." Able to change her body at will, she then took the form of a gorgeous human female, adorned herself with celestial ornaments, and very slowly, like a bashful creeper, approached the mighty-armed Bhimasena. She smiled at him and said, "Where have you come from, noble man, and who are you? Who are the men who sleep here as handsome as gods? And who is this very delicate woman, tan and luminous, who has come here to the forest with you and lies

sleeping as securely as if she were in her own house? She doesn't know that the wild jungle is inhabited by Raksasas, and that a most wicked Raksasa named Hidimba dwells in this very place. That evil Raksasa is my brother, and he sent me here because he wants to eat all of your flesh, O divine one. But when I look upon you, who are as handsome as a child of the gods, I desire no one else for my husband. I tell you the truth. "Now that you know this, please treat me properly. My mind and body desire you, so accept me as I have accepted you. O innocent one, be my husband, and I shall save you from that man-eating Raksasa. Then, O mighty-armed, we shall live together, with the mountains as our citadel. I can fly through space and wander where I will. Come with me, and discover pleasure that you have never known before! Bhimasena said: My dear Raksasi, what man would abandon his mother, an older brother, and younger brothers like these when he has the power to protect them? How can a man like me hand over his sleeping brothers and mother as food for the Raksasas and go off pining for romance? The Raksasi said: Whatever you like I shall do. Wake them all up, and I shall gladly save all of you from the man-eating Raksasa. Bhimasena said: O Raksasi, my brothers and mother are peacefully sleeping in these woods, and I will not wake them all up out of fear of your wicked brother. O timid one, neither Raksasas, humans, Gandharvas, nor Yaksas can withstand my prowess, O lady of lovely eyes. Either go or stay, good woman. Do as you like, or send at once your man-eating brother, my thin beauty.

Sri Vaisampayana said: Noticing that his sister had been gone for a long time, Hidimba, lord of the Raksasas, descended from his tree and went to hunt the Pandavas. His arrogant, bulging eyes were red with rage. His hairs standing on end, the mighty demon stood so tall that his body bruised the clouds. Repeatedly throwing around his mighty arms, he smashed his palm with his fist, and ground together the sharpened fangs that lit up his hideous face. Seeing that awful monster coming to attack them, his sister Hidimba was terrorstruck and said to Bhimasena, "He's going to attack! He's a wicked man-eater, terribly cruel. You and your brothers must do exactly as I say. I have all the strength of the Raksasas, and I can go anywhere at will. Climb onto my hip, my hero, and I will take you away through the skyways. Please, mighty one! Wake up your sleeping brothers and your mother, and I will take all of you and flee through the celestial sky." Bhimasena said: Do not fear, shapely one. He is nothing in my presence. O thin-waisted lady, I shall kill him before your attentive eyes. This degraded Raksasa is no match for me, my timid one. Why, not even all the Raksasas combined can withstand my pressure in battle. Just look at my bulging arms, as wide as elephant trunks, my thighs as tough as iron beams, and my hard, massive

chest. Lovely lady, do not insult me by thinking that I am an ordinary human being, for you will see now, shapely one, that I am equal in prowess to Indra. Hidimba said: I am not insulting you, O tiger of men, for I see that you are as handsome as a god. But I have also seen the havoc wrought by this Raksasa upon human beings. Sri Vaisampayana said: O Bharata, as Bhimasena was thus speaking, the man-eating Raksasa heard his words and flew into a rage. Hidimba then saw that his sister had assumed a human form with a garland atop her head and a face as lustrous as the full moon. Her eyebrows, nose, and hair were all exquisite, her skin and nails most delicate, and she was dressed in very thin garments and adorned with all sorts of jewelry. Seeing her maintaining such a charming human form, the man-eater suspected her of lusting after a man, and this only fanned the fire of his wrath. In full fury the Raksasa bulged out his huge eyes at his sister, O noble Kuru, and rebuked her, "Who is this fool that obstructs me when I'm hungry? Hidimba! Are you so bewildered and deceived that you do not fear my rage? Damn you, shameless woman! Lusting after men! You disgust me, for you bring infamy to all the Raksasa lords who have come before us. Taking the side of these humans, you have unkindly offended me. I shall immediately kill all of them, and I shall kill you too!" Having spoken thus, Hidimba, his eyes red with rage and furiously gnashing his teeth, rushed upon Hidimba to kill her, but seeing this, mighty Bhima, best of fighters, shouted in a menacing voice, "Halt! Stand right there!"

Sri Vaisampayana said: Seeing the Raksasa raging at his sister, Bhimasena began to laugh and said to him, "Why should you wake up these people who are sleeping so peacefully? Come and attack me, you stupid man-eater. Hurry up! I've done you no wrong. You are the offender, but at least try your blows on me and don't strike a woman. "You stupid Raksasa, it is you who are the infamy of your family. This girl is an innocent child, and she could not help desiring me, for she was moved by the god of love who dwells within her body. By your command she came here, and upon seeing my God-given beauty, she immediately desired me. This shy woman does not defile your family. The fault was committed by Cupid, and when I am standing here, you wicked Raksasa, you are not going to strike a woman. Let's come together, man-eater, one on one, and I shall send you now to the abode of Yama, lord of death. Now, Raksasa, I'm going to pound your head into the ground till it shatters, as if it were smashed by the foot of a mighty elephant. Let the vultures and jackals be happy to drag your body on the earth, for this very day I shall slay you in battle. For too long you have defiled this forest, devouring innocent men, but now in one moment I shall free the forest of its painful pest. "Even though an elephant is as big as a hill, a powerful lions kills it and drags it over the land. So today your sister will see you killed and dragged by me across this earth. When I slay you, O disgrace of the Raksasas, the men who live in this forest will wander its woods free of harassment."

Hidimba said: What is all your useless roaring and boasting, son of man? First do all that you say and speak with action! Don't go on forever bragging in vain. You think you are strong and invincible, but you will now learn in battle that I am stronger than you. You offend me with your words, you fool, but I promise that I will not slaughter these people sleeping here so happily until I have first slaughtered you. But when I have drunk the blood of your limbs, then I shall slay these others, and I shall murder this woman who dares to disgust me. Sri Vaisampayana said: Having thus spoken, the man-eater grasped his own arms and with terrible fury rushed upon Bhimasena, the slayer of enemies. As the demon rushed upon him, swinging his deadly fist, Bhima, of frightening prowess, swiftly caught and held his arm and laughed at him. As the demon struggled in his mighty grasp, Bhima dragged him eight bowlengths from that spot as easily as a lion drags a petty animal. Held in the mighty grip of Pandu's son, the furious Raksasa wrapped his arms around Bhimasena and screamed out in a terrifying voice. Again powerful Bhima dragged him on the ground and said, "I don't want this noise to wake up my sleeping brothers." Bhima wanted to fight, and the two of them attacked and dragged one another with sheer power. Both the Raksasa and Bhima demonstrated extraordinary prowess, as they broke apart giant trees and tore apart the toughest jungle vines as furiously as two maddened bull elephants that have grown mighty for sixty years. Awakened by the great sound of the battle, the Pandavas and their mother awakened, opened their eyes, and saw the lady Hidimba standing before them.

Sri Vaisampayana said: Awaking and seeing before them the superhuman beauty of Hidimba, the tiger-like Pandavas and their mother Prtha became astonished. Studying her carefully, and amazed by her gorgeous features, Kunti spoke to her in words that were gentle, sweet, and comforting. "You are as bright as a child of the gods. Who is your guardian, and who are you, fair lady? Where do you come from, shapely woman, and what duty brought you here? Whether you are a venerable deity of this forest or an Apsara goddess, please explain everything to me. How is it that you are standing here before us?" Hidimba said: The forest that you are seeing, as vast and luminous as the blue rain-bearing clouds, is the residence of the Raksasa Hidimba, and it is my abode as well. You may know me to be the sister of that Raksasa lord. Noble lady, my brother wanted to kill you and your sons, and therefore he sent me here. I came here on the order of that cruel and wicked demon, but then I saw your powerful son, whose skin is like gold. Cupid moves in the heart of all beings, good woman, and he has put me under the control of your son. I chose your mighty son as my husband, and I tried to take him away, but he would not be controlled by me. Then, knowing that I had been gone for a long time, that man-eater came himself to kill all of your sons. But your intelligent son, who is my beloved, with his strength, stamina, and skill smashed my wicked brother and dragged him away [so the fight wouldn't disturb you]. Look, you can see

them there, roaring and tearing at each other, man against Raksasa, both of them full of power and courage. Sri Vaisampayana said: Hearing her words [and suddenly realizing that their brother Bhima was engaged in mortal combat], Yudhisthira, Arjuna, Nakula, and mighty Sahadeva all jumped to their feet and saw the two fighters clasping and dragging each other like two furious lions in a savage fight for victory. Holding and dragging one another, they raised a dust cloud like the smoke of a forest fire. Covered with earth and dust, they seemed like two mountains, and they shone like two great slopes covered with mountain dew. As Arjuna watched his brother struggling with the Raksasa, he laughed and whispered to him, "Bhima, don't be afraid, mighty-armed one. We were exhuasted and sleeping soundly, and we didn't know you were fighting with such a ferocious enemy. I'm here to help you, Partha, I shall fight with the Raksasa, and Nakula and Sahadeva will protect Mother." Bhima said: Just stay on the sideline and watch. And don't be confused by this exercise. There's no way he's going to live, now that he's come within the reach of my arms. Arjuna said: Bhima, why let this sinful Raksasa live so long? We have to leave soon; we can't stay here, O tamer of foes. End this fight before the western horizon turns red and the twilight begins, for in that eerie hour the Raksasas gain tremendous power. Hurry up, Bhima; don't play with him! Kill this horrible Raksasa before he works up his magical powers. Sri Vaisampayana said: Thus addressed by Arjuna, Bhima threw up the body of the ferocious Raksasa and whirled it around more than a hunred times. Bhimasena said: With useless meat you maintained your useless life and grew strong, but with a useless brain. You deserve a useless death! So now you will be useless no more! Arjuna said: If you consider the Raksasa to be a burden for you in this fight, then I can help you, but he must be killed instantly. Or I alone shall kill him, Bhima. You have done a good job and you're tired, so it's the right time for you to rest. Sri Vaisampayana said: Hearing these words from Arjuna, Bhimasena fumed with indignation and pulverized the demon against the hard ground, slaughtering him like a sacrificial animal. As Bhima dealt him death blows, the Raksasa blasted the air with horrible screams that filled the entire forest, echoing like a moist and booming kettledrum. The powerful and beloved son of Pandu then grasped the Raksasa's body firmly in his hands and broke it in half, delighting his anxious brothers. Seeing that Hidimba was dead, the Pandavas became wildly enthusiastic, and they honored Bhimasena, a tiger among men, who always tamed his foe. Having praised and honored the great soul Bhima of awesome prowess, Arjuna again spoke to him. "Bless you! I think, my lord, there's a city not far away from this foresy. Let us go there quickly so that Duryodhana does not discover us here." Everyone agreed, saying, "So be it,"

and those fierce warriors, tigers of men, took their mother and departed, and the Raksasa lady Hidimba went with them.

Sri Vaisampayana said: The Raksasa's sister, Hidimba, quickly fell at the feet of the Pandavas, and with obeisances to Kunti and the eldest brother, Yudhisthira, she honored all of them and said to Bhimasena, "Just by seeing you, I was captured by Cupid, and rejecting the cruel words of my brother, I took your side instead. And I saw your great feats when you battled the terrible, angry Raksasa. Please! I want to serve you and care for all your needs!" Bhimasena said: Raksasas remember their grudges and they resort to bewildering magic to avenge themselves. You are one of them, Hidimba! Go now the way of your brother! Yudhisthira said: Bhima, O tiger of men, even when you are angry you cannot kill a woman. Protect the sacred law, Pandava, and don't simply worry about protecting your body. The mighty demon came to kill us, but you cut him down. So what can his sister do to us, even if she is secretly angry? Sri Vaisampayana said: Folding her hands in a prayerful sign, Hidimba again turned to Kunti, and to Yudhisthira and Arjuna, and pleaded for their help. "O noble woman, you know how much women suffer when struck by the arrows of Cupid, and now, good woman, that pain has reached my heart because of Bhimasena. I tolerated the greatest sorrow, waiting for the right time, but now my time has come to be truly happy. Giving up my best friends, my duties, and my people, I chose this tiger of a man, your son, as my husband, good lady. Most honored woman, does this chosen man, and do you also, reject my proposal for a wedding because I speak as I do? Whether you consider me a fool or a devoted servant, O fortunate woman, please join me with your son in sacred marriage! Taking your son, who is as handsome as a god, I would go with him wherever we wish, and when my desire has been fulfilled, we shall return. Please have faith in me, fair lady. "If all of you just think of me, then I shall always come to you in times of trouble, and I will take these best of men across impassable roads. When you desire to travel with great spead, I shall carry all of you on my back. But now, please, give me your mercy so that Bhimasena will accept me. "It is said, `To escape disaster a man should save his life by whatever means is practical, and one who follows this rule must honor every practical means as his duty. This does not mean, however, that one should resort to evil acts, for even in distress one should maintain one's higher principles. One who knows this is the greatest student of virtue, for calamity often spells the ruin of religious principles and those who practice them. But virtue preserves one's life, and virtue is the giver of life, so whatever means one adopts to preserve one's virtue cannot be condemned.' " Yudhisthira said:

Although Hidimba had transformed her body into a beautiful feminine form. or ghatotkaca. in the waters of the holiest forests." Taking Bhimasena. Assuming the most beautiful feminine form. in inaccessible forests and on hilltops filled with flowering trees. the Raksasi. and they do in fact appear in many forms. Sri Vaisampayana said: Hidimba. Raksasa women give birth to their children on the same day they conceive. in the sacred groves of the gods. and thus the boy's name forever after was Ghatotkaca. she gave pleasure in all these places to the son of Pandu. and his power great. enchanting abodes always busy with the sounds of deer and birds. Making another covenant with Bhima. that best of the Raksasa race departed toward the north. Lord Indra himself had arranged the birth of this powerful child who in the future would cause the destruction of the exalted and invincible Karna. the boy was frightening to behold. Giving pleasure to Bhima in all these places. you may receive him as your husband before the sun has set. in charming lakes bedecked with blossoming lotus flowers. With his crooked eyes. The hairless child respectfully took his father's feet. then promised. which abound in the fruits and flowers of all seasons--in all these places Hidimba maintained a most beautiful form and delighted the Pandava. she went upon her way. His form was bhima. and in forests of giant Sala trees. He was a great archer. saying. and he surpassed all the witches and warlocks in mystic power. and that agreement has now expired. "It shall be so. in the lands of the ocean. for he was ever faithful to them. He had great speed. "We agreed to live together until our son was born. and at the speed of the mind. Bhimasena shall now take his bath and perform his daily rites. on the mountain cliffs. and conversing very sweetly. in the abodes of the mystic Guhyakas. as well as all the human beings. awesome. filled with jewels and gold. strolling through charming villages. Religion must be practiced as you've described it." said Hidimba to her husband. though apparently born from a human father. adorning herself with all manner of exquisite jewelry. hence ghata-utkaca. a huge body. The two parents next gave their child a name. Ghatotkaca then promised that whenever he was needed. the Pandavas. he would come to serve his father and uncles. on the banks of the celestial Manasa lake. Similarly. in the mountain rivers. great mouth. and great mystic power. and when he has taken the sacred marriage thread. Hidimba. a great hero with great stamina and strength in his arms. O king. in the shrines of the ascetics.It is exactly as you said. seeing always their interest. this mighty hero quickly assumed the features of a human adolescent. she traveled up into the sky and went with her husband to visit beautiful mountain peaks and sanctuaries of the gods. the Raksasi eventually gave birth to Bhimasena's mighty son. going from one to the other at the speed of the mind. Taking his leave. \qr . and he could easily subdue his enemies. Though an infant . and then the mighty young archer reverently touched the feet of his mother.on river islands and beaches where the sand was made of gems. They can assume any form at will. and attained pre-eminent skill with all weapons. "His bald head is as bright as a pot. his lips bright copper-red. but you must always bring Bhimasena back to us at night." said Bhima to the boy's motherrs20up6 \chftn rootnote rs20 rs18up6 \chftn ghata-bhasa-utkaca. You may travel with him during the days as much as your desire. his fanglike teeth very sharp. she was in fact a Raksasi. He had superhuman speed and strength. and thus her son bore her own original features. there's no doubt about it. and conchlike ears. Ghatotkaca was always devoted to his uncles. and they always held him dear. slender lady.

and along the way the lord encouraged his daughter-inlaw Kunti." Having thus spoken. that lord and saint. Your sons will rule and enjoy the kingdom of their father and forefathers. but when a child is suffering or very young. Sri Vaisampayana said: Thus encouraging the sons of Prtha. "You must all wait for me here.ADI PARVA . The Pandavas assumed the appearence of ascetics. They met on the way their grandfather. the sage Vyasa then said to Yudhisthira. He will conquer the whole earth by his virtue. and other celebrated rites. those tamers of foes. granting them wealth and happiness. Vyasa went directly with them to the city. "So be it!" Then that incarnation of Godhead Srila Vyasa. braiding their matted hair and garbing themselves with tree bark and deerskin. the relatives show him special affection. so listen now. went to another place by his own infallible will. By studying the Brahmana portion of the Vedas. in all of which abundant charity will be distributed. warriors of the highest caliber. which was called Ekacakra." O king. the Tri-gartas. they observed enchanting regions full of woods and lakes. and the moral treatise known as Niti-sastra. and settling them in the house of a brahmana. Traveling through the kingdoms of the Matsyas. Srila Vyasa said: I already knew within my mind. Close by is a lovely city where you will have no trouble. and by the strength of Bhimasena and Arjuna he will enjoy unrivaled sovereignity. for I shall come again. these tigers of men will offer sacrifice to the Supreme Lord through the Raja-suya. and he will rule over all the kings of the earth as the king of justice! He knows the sacred law. . for I desire to do the greatest good for you. for all this will eventually lead to your true happiness. all of you will know the greatest joy. and Kunti did the same. all the Vedic supplements. the great soul Krsna-dvaipayana Vyasa. and because of that affection I desire to act for your good. carrying their mother. I came. All the mighty Pandavas and their mother respectfully greeted him and stood with hands folded in veneration. You should not be discouraged. Knowing that. and they will show great kindness to their loving friends. Your sons and those of Madri are all maharathas. and the Kicakas. By understanding the place and time. and he is naturally the world's leader. Having conquered the earth. the greatest of earthly monarchs. the Pandavas and their mother stood with folded hands and said to the sage. for your child Yudhisthira is the son of Justice. At times they traveled hurriedly. and one day with their minds at peace they will delight and find happiness in their own kingdom. the Asvamedha. Therefore I now have greater affection for you Pandavas. hunting many deer. the Pancalas. Without doubt all of you boys [the Kurus and the Pandavas] are equal to me.CHAPTER 144 Sri Vaisampayana said: O king. who are set in their irreligious ways. those maharatha heroes journeyed quickly from one forest to another. they became knowers of the sacred law. and at times they moved completely at their leisure. Live there in disguise and wait for my return. my daughter. O noble Bharatas. "Push on with your life. how you were driven from your home by the sons of Dhrtarastra.

I will have done a good deed. After all. I am determined to help him. but I have no hope that I will achieve it. and he feels that he must do even more in return. a long time passed. it is normal to offer something to the host. Kunti heard a terrible cry of grief sounding throughout the brahmana's house. a person's character is measured by his gratitude. did go to Ekacakra. nonetheless a life without these things is considered the greatest misery. but they did not spend much time within the brahmana's house. To be greedy for wealth is the worst misery. Thereupon. for disguised as humble ascetics. without any strife. and when she heard the brahmana and his family wailing in anguish. O king. son. they again heard a cry of anguish coming from the brahmana and his wife. O best of brahmanas? Sri Vaisampayana said: Those great warriors. but his face was transformed in grief. son. to be alive is the hottest fever. When kindness is shown to a gentleman. and each son would enjoy what she set aside for him. It is quite clear that some tragedy has befallen this brahmana. Kunti was a very merciful person. Even if a person lives alone and does not worry about worldly piety. and if I can help him in his crisis. Every night they would deliver their alms to Kunti. prosperity. And one who falls in love with his money suffers the greatest pain of all . and if one actually acquires wealth. and daughter. whether I could not possibly do something to please the brahmana. and mighty Bhima would eat the other half. went to Ekacakra. "My son. and completely hidden from the sons of Dhrtarastra. Bhima said: We must find out what grief has arisen for this brahmana. and as they went about collecting alms. when the Bharata princes had gone out begging and Bhimasena had stayed behind to keep company with his mother. Sri Vaisampayana said: O lord of men. the sons of Kunti. they would see the charming varieties of forests. Some people say that salvation is the greatest thing. O mighty Bharata king. But what did the Pandavas do after that. he suffers even more. he never forgets it. for when people live happily as guests in another's home. My dear Bharata king. we are living very happily in the house of the brahmana. Kunti rushed into the inner quarters of the noble brahmana like a merciful cow whose calf has been trapped. There she saw the brahmana with his wife. and the rivers and lakes of that country. As those great souls thus spent their days there. all hell besets him. Her heart suddenly churning with sorrow. even if it be a most difficult task. The brahmana said: What a curse. To be alive is the greatest grief. to be born in a world where our dreams go unfulfilled and instead we suffer a pain that burns like fire. Four heroic brothers and Kunti herself would eat half of the food collected by begging. By their excellent character and qualities.CHAPTER 145 King Janamejaya said: Those great warriors. Once we know it. the sons of Kunti. the fascinating geological regions. the gentle lady called her son Bhima and said to him in a voice filled with kindness. we depend on others and take the deepest sorrow as our lot. One day. to be alive and working in this world surely means to choose among conflicting delusions. a godly woman with the mind of a saint. they went out begging. and bodily pleasure.ADI PARVA . we live as honored guests. as the two of them went on talking. And if a person acquires ordinary wealth. she could not bear it. I am always thinking. the Pandavas became a very agreeable sight for the people of the city.

In any case. She was ordained for me by my venerable father and mother. who has not even reached her full youth or developed the mature signs of womanhood. a saintly and faultless wife who is ever faithful. How could I dare abandon her? If I did that. So what pleasure is there in living here? You were so attached to your relatives that you did not listen to my words. son.when he inevitably parts with it. You know very well. yet if I sacrifice myself. relatives. they will all die without me. and friends. and so did your other seniors.for his own satisfaction. the mother of my children. and I cannot stand the pain. condemned by the wise. On the son rests one's hopes for higher worlds. for I am determined that I myself shall go to that place. To sacrifice any one of them would be an act of cruelty. how can I now sacrifice you. and she is like a mother to me. The only solution is that I perish. you are an educated woman from a noble family. even at the cost of her life. for I can no more endure this life. O damn! What will happen to me and my family? To die with all of them is best. a true friend arranged by the gods who has always helped me more than anyone in my life's progress. that in the past I tried to get you to leave for your own good. for all men must die. and my father was born and raised here. all you could say was. it is clear that they also will not have the strength to live. I would be rejecting my own soul. No matter how many times I begged you. and I have no power to escape it. ADI PARVA . Since time began. but my daughter is an innocent child. I aspire for higher planets where dwell my forefathers dwell. Ultimately. And yet if I leave them behind. I have always practiced religion together with my wife. learned in the spiritual science. Destruction of the material body is inevitable. "I was born and raised here. Therefore give up your anxiety through perfect spiritual knowledge. always restrained. but I can only achieve them through the goodness and piety of my daughter's son. simply to save my own life? And how could I ever bring myself to sacrifice my beloved daughter. I have fallen into such anguish. foolish woman. and under no circumstance should you lament like that. I cannot bear to lose any one of my own family and go on living myself like a cruel and heartless man. You are a brahmana. and eternal happiness. and now your own family must perish. and she has shared with me from the beginning all the duties and burdens of married people. a man cherishes all his possessions--his wife. and having accepted you in accordance with all our customs and wed you in sacred marriage with the chanting of mantras. I see no way to save myself from this disaster unless I flee to a safe place with my wife and children.CHAPTER 146 The brahmana's wife said: You should never lament like that. The exalted creator of this world has placed her in my care on behalf of her future husband. There should be no lamentation for that which is bound to perish. . and daughter--. but you did not listen to me. who is still a child. as if you were an ordinary man. My dear wife. And having brought her into this world. The soul itself is eternal and dependent only on God. brahmana lady." But your old father and mother went to heaven a long time ago. how could I dare abandon her? Some men think that a father has greater affection for his son than for his daughter. family lineage. and I would suffer in the tenebrous worlds of fallen spirits. but my love is the same for both my children. the supreme duty for a woman in this world is to do what is best for her faithful husband.

knowers of law say that the law definitely forbids the killing of women. the three of us will thus perish without a doubt. they will grow violent with me and take her by force. and when they lose their mother. and I forget my own soul in the company of polluted men. there is no question but that they will perish. They say that even Raksasas know these laws. I am prepared to give up my son. The sages know that a man wants children. it is I whom you must sacrifice. I have had my children. I only want your happiness. religious formulas. You are capable of nourishing and protecting our two children. O noble one. not to let the husband die and then try to take his place in their children's life. and take good care of our two children.Therefore by performing such an act. who is endowed with all your fine qualities. O best of brahmanas. Without you. and so he probably won't even kill me. for they will clearly increase your prosperity and virtue: you have now fulfilled with me the purpose for which a man seeks a wife. and all my relatives. and act yourself to save yourself. [considering the situation. I have given you a good daughter and a son. Putting the whole family on one side and you on the other. O brahmana. I shall bring you happiness. I shall now declare to you the religious principles that must guide our present actions. How will I give a good life to my children and keep myself on the path of righteousness? How will I be able to protect our daughter when she is pursued by proud and indecent men who are unworthy of marriage with our family? Just as birds eagerly chase a piece of meat that is thrown on the ground. and I am getting older. for I have received much love.] it is certainly desirable and beneficial for you and for our family. My two young children will have already lost their father. Grant me leave. so do all men pursue and exploit a woman who has no strong man to protect her. I will be disturbed by wicked men who will come lusting after me. and when I am thus despised by the people. Therefore. I cannot nourish and protect them as well as you. because I live only for your sake. I have enjoyed my life. losing my life will give me no pain. Therefore. your only daughter. Now. To live always for the good of her husband is far better for a woman than the practice of sacrificial rites. unable to satisfy the needs of the family. When I am forced to see your son grow up unlike his father. my daughter. I would simply suffer. And if I don't want to give them this virgin girl. Men will undoubtedly be killed. but the killing of women is doubtful. and I will not have the power to stay on the godly path that is so revered by the decent. and loving friends to free himself from trouble and woe. then I shall undoubtedly die. even though you have done so much for the family. for women it is the highest felicity and the noblest act to make the final journey before their husband. Bereft of you. fully approved by the Supreme and. you who know the law should send me there. How would the two young children survive. and all kinds of charity. In any case. and your daughter fallen into the hands of unworthy men. and I have practiced virtue in my life. That would certainly be the decision of rational people. property. austerities. how will I have the energy or authority to keep this young girl. all of us are not equal to you. and therefore I have no further debt to you. Do with me what must be done. on the path of her father and forefathers? How will I have the strength to instill good and necessary qualities in this young boy when he is fatherless and exploited all around? How will I teach him to care about religion as you do? Unworthy men will push me aside and go after your unprotected daughter. That which I desire to do is a religious act. like two fish in a lake gone dry. having borne loving children by you. and how would I live? Without you. and I shall gain undying glory both in this world and the next. and he wants a wife for the same reason. If you do not see to her religious education. as crows steal clarified butter from the arena of sacrifice. like the uncultured men who seek to force their way into the spiritual science. I shall be an unprotected widow with two small children. I have .

and that will create much suffering for them. Surrender me. "If you. and our two children. father. Either I shall set our family free (and by executing such a difficult duty my end will be beneficial to all). for it is I who should be given up. leaving me behind. and that is why the wise have named the child putra. Certainly if father goes to heaven. If you study the whole situation. Though losing me. the Lord will not punish you. Therefore you must consider me too. my little brother will perish. so please listen. `My child will save me one day. but it is most irreligious for women to betray their first husband. The sacred offerings to the forefathers will be cut off. or else. then wherever I go. and your religious duties [as a husband and father] will again be firmly established. Free yourself from this trouble. and I shall become a miserable creature. who were grieving beyond measure. Sri Vaisampayana said: When the husband was thus addressed by his wife. In the matter of an unavoidable duty. A son is the father's very soul. who without doubt am to be given up here.' That time has now come. through me you must save yourself. and if you go the next world. Now I will personally deliver my forefathers by saving the life of my father. and engage me according to our religious laws. their young daughter felt her entire body siezed by that same grief. when parents have children they think. me.CHAPTER 147 Sri Vaisampayana said: Listening to the words of her parents. you will find another woman. If I am left without my father and mother and brother. then our family line and the offerings to the ancestors will undoubtedly go on nicely. you will pass away. noble man. and for the family's sake. "Thus for my sake. "How is it that you are both so griefstricken that you wail as if there were no one to help you? I have something to say. and you two must save yourselves with my help. and she said to them. dear father. an unprotected and wretched young girl. . and thus by one. and I would then die in a most unnatural way. and a wife is his best friend. noble man. My gentle husband. all will be saved. he tightly embraced her. along with my mother and baby brother. it is not irreligious for men to take many wives. for I am like a boat that will take you across the ocean of grief. you will see how abominable it is for you to sacrifice yourself. and the greatest good will come to me from the sacred water offered by your hand to a departed daughter. if I am deprived of my father. O Bharata. That is why grandparents always long to have children from their daughters. and they silently shed tears in deep anguish. he will perish in a short time without doubt. ADI PARVA . My brother is just a child. but a daughter is simply trouble for her father.studied the whole situation and made my decision. Both in this world and in the next. According to our religious laws. best of brahmanas. After all. sacrifice me and protect yourself. Otherwise. are free and healthy. it is I whom you must surrender. I shall only find misery. then I shall go from misery to greater misery. your family. and then kindly do as I ask. Rather. a child is meant to save the family from the troubles of life. father. for religion's sake.

so that we are left to run around like dogs. and she went to them. hearing all his family crying. it is not at all easy to escape. Our official king lives in Vetrakiya." Hearing many such entreaties from the young girl. and my heart will be filled with joy. and after that a wife. but I must tell you that no human being can dispell our grief. begging food from others? Rather when you and the family are freed from this trouble and are all healthy and strong. sister!" and laughing. two buffaloes. One by one. and the entire state. our turn has come and it will destroy this family. He is an evil-minded maneater. we deserve our fate. it is because of him that we have no fear of other kings or creatures. the Raksasa kills him with his wife and children and immediately eats them. That powerful and demonic Raksasa king protects the city. for we have chosen the shelter of a bad king. indeed. Actually. and the child spoke out in the broken. "Daddy. But he has established a price for his protection: we must provide him a wagon-load of rice. ADI PARVA . Then. and the girl herself. unclear speech of the very young. He then took a straw in his hand and again spoke in a joyful tone. all wailed and wept. With all their saintly qualities. Whenever a man tries to get free of this atrocious duty. and then one should seek one's fortune.CHAPTER 148 Kunti Devi said: What is the cause of all this suffering? I want to know the facts. It is said that one should first find a good king. Unfortunately. the words you speak are to be expected from holy persons like you. I . and brought them back to life with words that were like the immortal nectar. and the person who delivers it to him." Kunti realized. mother! Don't you. then I shall dwell in the immortal world. You see. the father and mother. each person offers him his food. he went up to each of them one by one. who were almost dead with grief. One who gathers these three necessities will be able to maintain his relatives and children. and he rules the city and all the countryside. for I must now pay the price of the demon's food by providing one human being. after many years. don't."What could be more miserable than for you to go to heaven. who can tell the brahmanas what they must do? The brahmanas have their own mind. "Now is the time. The brahmana said: O ascetic woman. they blow about like the wind and go where they will like the birds. for we have chosen to live in the domain of a weakling king. Close to this city dwells a mighty Raksasa named Baka. if there is any way to drive away your grief I shall do it. and once I understand the situation. "I'll kill the man-eating Raksasa with this!" In spite of the misery that filled their hearts. upon hearing the mumbling speech of the little boy a great joy arose among them. don't cry. and now having fallen into the terrible calamity we are all suffering. the brahmana's tiny son opened his eyes wide. We are always in anxiety. After all. they are not subservient to anyone's will. but he has no plan whereby we might live in peace. but in the wrong order. I acquired all this. forever free of this demon. father. and when a person's turn comes. countryside.

I do not desire to be killed. telling him that he must execute this task. so it is best that I take my own life. My son has perfected the art of mantras. Nor is it that I don't love my own son. Sri Vaisampayana said: At these words of Kunti. no matter what. I see no way to get free from the Raksasa. my mind will not move from my conviction that sages such as you must be protected. I would dearly love every one of them. I shall go with all of my family to meet that Raksasa. and it is very. But this is not to be spoken to anyone. Even among the most low-born and irreligious women. He is powerful and can burn like fire. I shall absolutely not do that. brahmana. it is better that I take my own life. I should know what is best for me. And without the permission of his guru. but if I am killed by others. and between murdering a brahmana and killing myself. Thereupon. for surely people would desire to get this knowledge. even if my son were to teach his knowledge to another the science would not perform its function. I have sunk into the great ocean of grief. and that hungry monster will consume all of us together. very difficult to escape. which seemed to them like the life-giving nectar of the gods. It is better that I myself perish with my wife. to cause the death of one who is begging me for charity. I don't think that you or the children or your wife should go. and there is no atoning for such an act. My mind is convinced that he will deliver all the food to the Raksasa. Even if I had a hunred sons. Killing a brahmana is the greatest sin. Kunti Devi said: Learned brahmana. and then he will free himself. to sacrifice a person who has come to my home seeking shelter. "So be it. O brahmana. Were I to intentionally cause a brahmana's death. for I shall never allow the killing of a brahmana under any circumstances." . You have one little son and a saintly virgin daughter. I see no means of atonement for such a shameless act of cruelty. the brahmana and his wife joyfully welcomed her proposal. Kunti and the brahmana went and spoke to Bhima. The simple fact is that the Raksasa does not have the power to kill my son. I am guilty of no sin. We have already seen many strong and giant Raksasas do battle with my heroic son. In ancient times the great souls who understood religious duties in times of trouble stated that one must never perform an abominable act or an act of cruelty. He agreed and said. even if committed unknowingly. That is the opinion of the saintly sages. for there is clearly a means to get free from the Raksasa. I will never take his life to serve my own interest. I consider to be the supreme cruelty. and out of curiosity they would harass my sons. and one of them will take the offering on your behalf and go to the sinful Raksasa. I have five sons. The brahmana said: Though I wish to live. so it seems.CHAPTER 149 Kunti Devi said: You should in no way be depressed over this danger. and every one of them was killed. And I could never bring myself to sacrifice one of my friends.could never raise enough money to purchase a man who would sacrifice his own life to enrich his family. ADI PARVA . When a brahmana is a guest in my home. In just the same way. good woman. there is no such rule that a woman is to sacrifice herself and her son for a brahmana.

who is the best of the gods.Chapter onto the hillside. we were saved from the house of lac and from other wicked men.ADI PARVA . my child. and by that strength all of you. my son. Yudhisthira Maharaja [understanding the task] said: What is this rash enthusiasm that has led you to such a thoughtless act? The saintly do not recommend that a mother sacrifice her own son. I recalled the actual strength of Bhima. he asked her. a man is measured by his gratitude. There is no one with the strength of Bhima. will perform a great task to help the brahmana and set the city free. on my order Bhima. Duryodhana and Sakuni cannot lie down peacefully in their many mansions. he could stand up in battle to thunder-wielding Indra. The great power in Bhima's arms is equal to the strength of thousands of elephants. after Bhima had given his word. son of Pandu. we all sleep peacefully at night. which was stolen from us by wicked cousins. that we must do something for him in return. to repay our debt to the learned brahmana. Why do you want to give up your own son for the sake of someone else's son? By sacrificing your son. you have violated the moral codes of this world. bringing the alms they had gathered.CHAPTER 150 Sri Vaisampayana said: O Bharata. I now have full confidence in him. we are confident that we shall cut down the sons of Dhrtarastra and regain our rightful rule over this most abundant earth. nor will there be. saying. Here in this brahmana's house we have been living very happily. Because we depend upon his strength. By the strength of that mighty hero. who are yourselves like elephants. and we shall perform an act of great piety. he fell from my lAdi Parva . What were you thinking of that convinced you to abandon him? Could it not be that your intelligence was overcome by your many troubles and you lost your discrimination? Kunti Devi said: Yudhisthira. a burner of the foe. were carried out of Varanavata. knew his brother well. nor does it proceed from delusion. Sitting down with his mother in private. you need not lament for Bhima. By depending on his two arms. With careful thought I have determined our duty. Pandava. Why. This decision is not a result of greed or ignorance. and he could see from Bhima's appearence that something was happening. I have heard from authorities that a warrior who helps a brahmana in his hour of need attains to the planets where the pious dwell. and he is the one slew Purocana. nor did I reach my decision because of weak intelligence. Long ago. and I have correctly concluded. A warrior . and so strong was his body that his limbs pulverized the mountain stone. Such is Bhima's immeasureable strength and courage that just by thinking about him. A warrior who saves another warrior from death achieves widespread glory in this world and in the next. Yudhisthira. After all. and we shall take back our kingdom. that whatever is done for him is not forgotten. "What is Bhima about to do. just a few days after his birth. Having seen Bhima's great prowess in the house of lac and in the killing of Hidimba. and I made up my mind. "I will do it!" all the other Pandavas returned home. There will be two purposes acomplished: we shall repay our stay in this house. With proper intelligence. with all his awesome prowess? Has he received permission for something he desires to do here? Kunti Devi said: Yes.

and he is extremely wise. hearing Bhimasena's words. the Raksasa stood behind Kunti's son and slammed him in the back with both fists. O Bharata. that best of men stood up with all his enormous power. Then with a heart-stopping scream. Yudhisthira Maharaja said: You acted. and again rushed upon Bhima. the Pandava Bhimasena gathered the food and went to where the man-eater was waiting. But the mighty Pandava warrior again showed his contempt for the Raksasa. "Who is this stupid man who eats food sent for me before my very eyes? He must be eager to visit the lord of death!" Hearing this. Vyasadeva. has already declared this. Newly enraged. As the tree was furiously hurled at him. His body was huge. inviting him to come and eat the food. and rudely ignoring the Raksasa. Baka then rushed up to mighty Bhima and siezed him with his arms. By the great . who hurled them back at the Raksasa. Bhima himself began to eat the food. the mighty Raksasa uprooted a tree. the powerful Pandava called out his name. the man-eater raised his hands and rushed to kill Bhimasena. And a king who saves a laborer who has come to him begging for shelter will take birth in this world in a wealthy family that is honored by the government. Approaching the Raksasa's forest. He tightened his eyebrows. and washing his hands and mouth with water. powerful Bhima dragged him about.] Seeing that Bhimasena was eating food meant for him. he looked away and continued to eat. Bhima simply laughed. Thus a terrifying fight with trees arose between Baka and the Pandava. Wild with indignation. Thereupon the Raksasa. Proudly shouting his own name. the Raksasa opened his eyes wide and angrily said. this is the desireable course of action.CHAPTER 151 Sri Vaisampayana said: When the night had passed. and dragging him in turn. overjoyed at the opportunity to fight. O Kaurava son. smashing him with this weapon.who helps a merchant in battle will certainly gain popularity among the citizens of every country. mother. But we must seriously advise and restrain the brahmana so that the residents of the city do not discover us. came in a fit of rage to where Bhima was stationed. Bhima will surely slay that man-eater and return to us. the incarnation of Godhead. for without even looking up he continued to eat the food. and as demon writhed mightily in his grip. Thereupon the demon pulled many kinds of trees out of the earth and hurled them at Bhima. the man-eater was afflicted by intense fatigue. he did not even glance at the Raksasa and he went on eating his meal. and I see now that your plan is proper and well-conceived. which stood up like tridents. [Waiting for the demon. Therefore. and he seemed to shatter the earth as he came at great speed. ADI PARVA . and all the forest trees were ruined. powerful Bhima simply grabbed it and held it with his left hand and laughed loudly. Bhimasena then wrapped his own huge arms about the Raksasa. Bhima had gradually finished his meal. O king. and he chewed horribly on his lips. When Bhima was thus severely struck by the powerful demon. O Bharata. out of compassion for a suffering brahmana. Being hauled around by Bhima.

Then with his knee Bhima pushed hard on the demon's back. Clearly it was that saint who accomplished this feat for the good of the world. they went back into the city of Ekacakra and reported the news. elders. the Raksasas of that country became peaceful and could be seen moving about the city along with the humans who dwelled there. Seeing clearly that the Raksasa was coming to the end of his endurance. which resembled a mountain summit. and everyone offered prayers and worship to their deities. accompanied by their servants. they beheld the Raksasa lying dead on the ground.' He took the food and went toward Baka's forest. The best of sages declared to all the townspeople. I was weeping with my family when a very mighty brahmana with perfect knowledge of mantras saw me in that pitiable state." O Bharata. At daybreak. and laughing as if to encourage me that most noble brahmana bravely declared. when the Raksasas heard this command they replied. when the people began to walk outside the city gates. the very earth shook. the Raksasa's loyal followers rushed out of their homes. Bhima took the lifeless body of the man-eater and threw it down by the city gate and departed without being seen. The powerful Bhima calmed them down. the men of the city came there by the thousands with their wives. "So be it!" and accepted the terms of the treaty. ADI PARVA . Bhima explained to King Yudhisthira all that had happened. From that time on. blood flowed from his mouth." At this. Having killed the demon and returned to the house of the brahmana. They were all astonished at this superhuman deed. and young children to see the slain Baka. they pulverized gigantic trees. ripped asunder. . all the brahmanas and ksatriya princes were quite amazed. blood still oozing from his body. Although questioned repeatedly. As the demon screamed and bellowed in horrible anguish. As the horrible monster was being cracked apart. Thereafter. `I shall deliver this food to the evil Baka! Do not fear for my sake. Bhima broke him in two. and together with the merchants and workers they joyfully celebrated a festival in honor of the brahmanas.CHAPTER 152 Sri Vaisampayana continued: Terrified by the sound. O Bharata.power of the two fighters. O king. holding his neck with his right hand and siezing his waist cloth with his left. all the countryfolk came to the city to see the great wonder and the sons of Prtha continued to dwell in the very same place. Vrkodara slammed him against the ground and pounded him with his fists. Battling their way through the forest. the brahmana protected the Pandavas. That best of fighters then made them agree to the following treaty: "You Raksasas are never again to commit violence against human beings. Soon after. Then. He first inquired about the cause of my suffering and then about the misfortune of our city. Those who commit violence will immediately be killed in the same way as Baka. Seeing the frightful scene. O king. The citizens calculated whose turn it had been that day to feed the demon and approaching the brahmana inquired from him about the awesome event. for they were practically fainting with fright. "When ordered to feed the demon.

and mentioned how Draupadi. Young Drupada would always go to the sage's retreat and the powerful prince played and studied with . gave full honor to the visiting sage and offered him shelter in his home. The wandering holy man began to tell many stories. came to the brahmana's house to seek lodging. Janamejaya. describing their holy places. After some days had passed. as she stood on the river bank the wind came and stole away her clothes. a king who had a son named Drupada. the daughter of King Drupada. who had come there first and had just taken her bath. and his sister Draupadi arose from the middle of a sacrificial altar? How did Dhrstadyumna then learn all the weapons from the great archer Drona. the learned brahmana. they continued to dwell in the same place. Bharadvaja had a friend named Prsata. Just then. He then talked about various countries. Seeing her without any covering. the learned man mentioned that in the Pancala country the beautiful princess Draupadi would be holding a most extraordinary svayamvara to choose her husband. Once when he had come to the Ganges to bathe. Having vowed to receive all guests whom God sent to his home. studying the Absolute Truth in the house of the learned brahmana. that Drupada's son Dhrstadyumna took birth from the flames of a sacred fire. the sage began by explaining all about the birth of Princess Draupadi. the sage could not help but desire her. a leader of his community. He also described the unusual birth of Dhrstadyumna and Sikhandi. and thereafter Drona took birth from that pot as the son of the sage. O brahmana. there lived a mighty saint and ascetic named Bharadvaja who was most learned and faithful to his religious vows. Hearing the saintly one tell this most amazing news of world events. and how could two loving friends like Drona and Drupada become enemies? Who caused their friendship to break?" My dear king. another brahmana. ADI PARVA . was born from a great sacrifice. when the exalted Pandavas had thus urged him to speak. his mind was now entangled in the goddess. And as he finished his tale.CHAPTER 154 The brahmana said: Near the gateway of the Ganges [where the sacred river begins her earthly course]. and the diverse features of their capital cities. and all the noble Pandavas and Kunti worshiped him and sat down to hear.CHAPTER 153 King Janamejaya said: The Pandavas were truly tigers among men. and in his excitement semen spilled from his body. the deeds of their kings. Though he had carefully practiced celibacy since childhood. those noble men urged the sage to tell the stories again in detail. and the child thoroughly studied the Vedas with all their branches. without passing through a mother's womb.ADI PARVA . strict in his religious vows. "How did these wonderful events take place. The sage placed his seed in a pot. he saw the chaste Apsara Ghrtaci. After the slaying of Baka the Raksasa. what did they do next? Sri Vaisampayana said: Having slain Baka the Raksasa.

when the all the Pandavas had mastered their weapons through diligent practice. With his fierce new power." Later. There is something I desire that turns strongly in my heart. I strove to capture your kindom so that we could in fact be friends.Drona as his companion. "O noble twice-born. I am Drona. The brahmana said: That great insult. and he also awarded the professor all kinds of wealth. "When students have learned their weapons. Drona was jubilant. and approaching King Drupada he said. I request your friendship. born in the Bhrgu dynasty. Sri Drona said: Once again. which must be paid. Drona heard that Lord Parasurama had retired to the forest and desired to give all his wealth to the brahmanas." The five sons of Pandu then defeated Drupada in battle. must promise me that when you have learned your weapons you will give me what I desire. "I am your old friend. nor a chariot-less man to a chariot warrior. and you may know that I have come in need of money." Lord Parasurama said: All that is left to me now is my own body and my weapons. who lives in the city of Chatravati. they owe a debt to their teacher. Yajnasena. either my body or my weapons. The brahmana [continued speaking to the Pandavas]: Lord Parasurama. who accepted them and thus became a successful man." King Drupada said: An uneducated man cannot be a friend to a learned man. for he received from Parasurama the most highly regarded of all weapons. A non-king is not fit to be the friend of a king. and you. it is best that you give me all of your weapons and the technology to engage and withdraw them. He now excelled mankind. You will be king of all the land to the south of the Bhagirathi River. the brahmastra. never left the king's heart. the son of Bharadvaja was a tiger among men. The Kuru grandsire Bhisma gathered up his grandsons and presented them to the learned Drona to be his students. the expert Drona then assembled all his students said to them. the capital of the Kuru chiefs. arrested him.up6 \chftn rootnote rs18up6 \chftn Also known as Ahicchattra. . Sri Drona said: Sir. agreed to this request and presented all his weapons to Drona. and he went directly to Hastinapura. What need is there for a friend of the past? The brahmana continued: The intelligent Drona then and there made up his mind to sieze the kingdom of Pancala. and brought him with his ministers before Drona. though spoken in a minute's time. Drona again brought up the debt to the teacher and said: "The son of Prsata is a monarch named Drupada. Then Prsta passed away and Drupada became king. So the son of Bharadvaja went to him and said. O ruler of men. rs20 You must immediately take away his kingdom and offer it to me. nor a non-king to a king. Therefore. so you may select. brahmana. Determined to make Drupada suffer for his offense. and he grew morose and thin. and I shall rule the land to the north. my innocent boys.

for he yearned to pay back Drona." As his sons were born. seemed perfect for Drupada's purpose. but no matter how he tried he could find no way to counteract Drona's power. he easily defeated me. or whatever else is very dear to your mind. O king. "My older brother. do it for me and I shall give you ten millon cows. O illustrious brahmana. learning. He fretted over the situation. who was particularly firm in his vows. discipline. "Dear brahmana. son of Prsata.ADI PARVA ." Hearing these words from Upayaja and not liking them at all. who were brothers. "I do not care to perform such a rite. After ascertaining the strength and learning of both. praising the quality of the food again and again without the slightest disdain. so go to him. the wise king kept his feelings to himself. I have suffered so much because of my conflict with Drona. "My lord. and he constantly thought. Born in the family of Kasyapa. "I don't have outstanding children. seeking the very best of the twiceborn. to the younger brother. but he did not see them. Confident that they would save him from his plight. he submitted himself discreetly. Drupada. the sage replied to him. Upayaja. he came upon a sanctified dwelling of brahmanas wherein each sage was fully trained. and I saw my brother's improper behavior. when we had a quarrel between friends. as the king was wandering about the bank of the Ganges where it flows near the Yamuna River. and at the end of one year. Upayaja. O king. "What a shame are these relatives!" and he was forever sighing. He had faith that a powerful son would defend his father and mitigate the grief that afflicted his mind. . After carefully studying the matter. and I shall give you everything if you will only help me. After thinking over the matter. my brother would constantly eat other people's leftover alms. at the proper moment the exalted brahmana Upayaja said to Drupada in a gentle voice. and he will help you perform your sacrifice. and arranging all that he wanted. and none is more skilled in the deadly brahmastra weapon. The two brahmanas." To win his favor. there must be a process by which I can get a son who will kill Drona. the king honored the sage in the traditional way and then said to him. and greatly fortunate. and he journeyed to the dwellings of many a brahmana. particularly noticed two powerful sages named Yaja and Upayaja. peaceful and strict in their vows. who is now the chief military teacher of the Kuru empire. faithful to his religious vows. leaders of all the sages there. And when a person does not consider cleanliness in one thing. engage me in the rite of sacrifice. There were impurities clinging to the fruit. and I shall certainly give you eighty thousand cows. Therefore. while strolling in the forest by a waterfall. I have concluded that my brother is willing to work for profit. why should he in another? When we were living in our guru's house and studying the Vedas. the discouraged father said. Once. There is no warrior or commander on the earth who is equal to that wise son of Bharadvaja. satisfying all their desires. but he did not investigate the purity of the ground. I have no doubt about what I want. He ate an unclean fruit without any investigation. they were advanced in their studies of the Vedas. addressing him in a most pleasing tone. He is the greatest of Vedic scholars. Rendering him menial service. and deeds with his own warrior strength. he eagerly served them.CHAPTER 155 The brahmana said: King Drupada was a frustrated man. he went and worshiped the venerable saint Yaja and said to him. sages who had perfected the Vedic science of action. picked up a fruit that had fallen there." At this. I was following behind him. and you must now bring some happiness to my life. and offered him all that he might desire. Drupada continued to render him faithful service.

He repeatedly let out a thundering warrior cry. and there is no man on earth who can bear the terrible power of his weapons. It has been ordained by the creator that among brahmanas and kings a brahmana's power is greater. and I'm holding the sacred scents in my hands. Do that work for me. I must attain a son who is invincible. Yaja said: Your priest. Yaja. a king's son who will drive away the people's fear and banish the king's sorrow. saying. performed all the sacrificial rites with precision so that the process would be successful. The mighty ascetic Upayaja then briefed the king on the sacrificial procedure that would produce the son he desired. that first of brahmanas burns up those of the warrior class. her waist was as attractive as a sacred altar and everything about her was enchanting. is clearly unique. and arrows. has already cooked the oblation in the fire. who are greater than Drona. a bow. I have to rinse my mouth. they simply remove the body of his foe. daughter-in-law of Prsata." he said. and he is an extraordinary archer. I'm not quite prepared for the holy act. and I shall select for you ten million cows. glowing like the gods. as if he were Parasurama himself. "Now the glory of Pancala is born. queen." King Drupada. . He seems to be ordained to cut down the ruling class. All her limbs were lovely to behold. From the sky a great and invisible being declared. The child was radiant as fire and frightening to behold. as a favor to me. and when Drona lets fly his impenetrable network of arrows. and so I resort now to the power of brahmanas by approaching you." Yaja consented. "O king. Yaja urged him to participate. Her color and complexion were radiant." Finally Upayaja also promised to work the rite for the destruction of Drona. The son of Bharadvaja has a brilliant mind. you may come forward or stay there as you like. saying. determined to have a son who would kill Drona. With his brahmana's power he will doubtlessly strike down a warrior's strength. he made the sacrificial offering he had prepared so well. The brahmana said [to the Pandavas]: When Yaja had thus spoken. How then can it not fulfill the purpose of the rite? As for you. your son will be a mighty warrior of extraordinary fire and strength. "Like fire fed with the butter of rite. for twin children are ready to have you as their mother. Please wait. Yaja. the length of three outstretched arms. Yaja called upon Drupada's godly wife. for she was an immortal godly being who had taken human form as a Pancala princess. and joining the battle. for this child is born to kill Drona!" Then from the middle of the sacrificial altar arose a beautiful and blessed maiden. Yaja."His large bow. He wore a beautiful helmet and armor and was equipped with a sword." The godly queen replied: O brahmana. He mounted an excellent chariot and went forth on it. "exactly as you desire. "Come toward me. and all the people of Pancala who were present there joyously roared their approval." and he began to prepare for the sacrifice. who can bring down Drona in battle. Thus with the mere strength of a king. he shoots out his brahmana's power. I am wretched. sir. Though Upayaja was unwilling. for you are a supreme scholar in the Vedic science. Then at the end of the sacrifice. and Upayaja has blessed it with mantra. and from the fire of sacrifice arose a male child. "Do it for your older brother's sake. "So be it.

the Pandavas felt as if darts had pierced their hearts.No other woman on earth could match her supreme beauty. mighty warriors. We have never seen that place. "These two must not know anyone but me as their mother." Hearing this. O Kuru child. Yudhisthira. and said. wafted for many miles. so heavy were they with joy. they will not give us any more pleasure. my son. With full meditation the learned sages then gave names to the two children: "Because this boy is bold and daring (dhrsta) and fiercely courageous (dhrsnu) and because he follows the sacred law and was born from shining light (dyut). I think it good that we visit the land of the Pancalas. all the people of Pancala roared like a host of lions. "This best of all women is known as Krsna. "We have been living for a long time here in the brahmana's house. and because of her. seeing them so confused and almost unconscious. said to her son Yudhisthira. Yudhisthira Maharaja said: Whatever you think should be done." "So be it. brought the Pancala prince to his own home and gave him instruction in the military science.CHAPTER 156 Sri Vaisampayana said: Hearing all of this. I accept as the very best for us. And Drona." said Yaja. She came forth in an exquisitely mature body with lovely curving hips. equal to that of the blue lotus. O mighty one. twins were born to King Drupada. But I don't know if my younger brothers want to travel or not. Queen Prsati approached Yaja." Thus in a great sacrificial rite. He knew that the future as ordained by God cannot be avoided. In due time this thin-waisted woman will carry out the mission of the gods. terrible fear will arise among the rulers of the earth. I do not think it good for us to stay a long time in one place. Drona was a brilliant and liberal man. and the abundant earth could hardly bear their weight. "Because this girl will always call upon the name of Lord Krsna. And the fragrance of her body. nor can we go on collecting alms as before. and because her color is dark. the Pancalas are said to be a generous people who give freely in alms. If we see them again. Seeing the twins produced from the sacrifice. enjoying the charming city and collecting alms. Sri Vaisampayana said: . son. and all of them. and it will be quite a pleasant experience. and we have heard that King Drupada is very kind to brahmanas. the mighty son of Bharadvaja. so if you agree. this son of Drupada will be called Dhrstadyumna. let us go straight there. if of course you agree. and so he acted thus to preserve his own glory. and the moment she appeared an invisible voice declared. lost their normal composure and seemed to forget themselves. And we have seen all the lovely forests and groves again and again. and she is meant to bring many kings to ruin. for he desired to please the king. O enemy-tamer. she will be called Krsna. Then the ever truthful Kunti. ADI PARVA . eager to have her children.

ADI PARVA . carefully following the holy books? O mighty princes. and you may now choose a blessing from me. and. and so again and again she said to the lord. Thus honored by the Pandavas. `I desire a husband who has all good qualities. the greatly fortunate grandfather of the Pandavas. and to get a husband she began to perform austerities. the holy sage was pleased and. and after narrating for them many fascinating histories and tales. and she is as lovely as a goddess. is destined by the decree of Providence to be the wife of the five Pandavas. and this faultless maiden.' But the girl replied to Lord Siva. Then taking permission of the brahmana. and the twins about the trip. and tender brows. curving hips. with a thin waist. it will be just as you said. "Being satisfied with her.CHAPTER 158 . She was unhappy. an incarnation of the Godhead. the lord said to the ascetic maiden. do you honor without fail the saintly brahmanas and all those who are worthy of honor?" The saintly Vyasa. son of Satyavati. I am a giver of blessings. there was a great-souled sage whose daughter was endowed with all good qualities. for when you win that girl. but by her activities in a former life she suffered ill fortune and could not find a husband. "Once in a forest where ascetics dwell. enter the capital of Pancala. stood reverently before him with folded hands. he said." Having thus spoken. spoke to them out of his deep love for the family of Pandu. `Please give me just one husband. "Are you living according to the laws of God. mighty princes.' The eloquent Lord Siva then replied to her. the Pandavas. `My sweet child. those fierce princes rose up from their seats. you will have five husbands. She was very lovely. Kunti and her sons departed for the charming capital city of the great soul Drupada. Arjuna. Therefore.Kunti then spoke to Bhimasena.' "The girl was anxious to fulfill her wish. Seeing that he had come. and they all agreed. By her severe self-denial. respectfully greeting him. Her name is Krsna. then spoke to them about their religious life and their practical plans. Vyasadeva. for I wish all good upon you. `Five times you told me to give you a husband. she pleased Lord Siva. came to see them. and so when you have gone on to your next body. `Dear humble girl. in the line of King Prsata. greeting them in return and bidding them all sit down. offered their prostrate obeisances. that great ascetic. ADI PARVA . were living in disguise.' "Lord Siva again spoke to her in the finest language and said.' "That girl recently took birth in the family of King Drupada. you will be very happy without a doubt.CHAPTER 157 Sri Vaisampayana said: When those great souls. bid Kunti and her sons farewell and departed.

keeping her always in view in front of them. the Pandavas. the Gandharva king heard the noise. which stuck in his mind and drove that mighty being into a fierce rage. The powerful sons of Pandu traveled day and night until they reached the sacred Somasravayana. That is what Dvaipayana Vyasa has said about this river. I am proud and jealous. The Ganges flows freely from a golden peak in the Himalayas. only the first eighty moments are fit for you people to be about. If human beings in their selfish confusion come roaming about at those hours. Seeing the valiant Pandavas there with their mother. or drive people away from her. All the darkening time thereafter has been ordained for Yaksas. nor gods. for I am the dear friend of the great Kuvera. Rather. which the sinful can never cross. for it is certain that only weak and powerless men will obey you in the hour of your cruelty. Gandharvas. holding up a torch to illumine the path for safety. This forest along the Ganges. I recognize . As the Pandavas all came down to the water's edge. She is a sacred river. we and the Raksasas deal with those childish fools and drag them down. she goes to the waters of the sea. who have come here to the waters of the Bhagirathi? Know that I am the Gandharva Angaraparna.] admirable Arjuna went in front of them. and he was in the water with the ladies. and I live by my own power. and Raksasas to move about as they will. She is a godly river. busy at his sport. where a jealous Gandharva king had come to play in the water with his women. How can we not bathe in the pure waters of the Ganges as much as we desire? Her waters cannot be held obstructed by your mere words. Therefore scholars of the Vedic science condemn all men--though they be kings and armies--who come to these waters at night. he brandished his awful bow and said.Sri Vaisampayana said: Carefully protecting their mother. Gandharva. drove away every one of the arrows. he fired blazing arrows that shot out like deadly poisonous snakes. How could you even think to close off this river? That is not the eternal law. "Stay back where you are! Don't come close to me! Why do you not recognize me. also called Angaraparna. and the colorful settlement called Vaka wherein I dwell is also mine. who dares claim the ocean or the Himalaya mountain or this sacred river? We are ready with power. and she flows among the gods in heaven as the Ekaprava. "When the forbidding twilight is stained with red and early evening enters. Not even a dead body is allowed here. [As the sun set. They came to a lovely deserted stretch of the Ganges. Gandharva. The remaining time is meant for human beings to go as they please. strong as bulls. Angaraparna was furious. set out toward the north on the smooth and recommended roads. and bending back his bow. and we dare to approach you now at the wrong time. on earth she merges with the Alakananda. nor human beings. nor a living beast with horns. Arjuna said: These scare tactics are not effective with those who know their weapons. such attempts to frighten collapse like bubbles and foam when used on an expert fighter. in night or day or the time between. because her pure waters lead to the kingdom of God. is mine. Sri Vaisampayana said: Hearing these words. on the bank of the Ganges. and you cannot obstruct her. How then do you people dare come here? Arjuna said: You fool. But Arjuna. and she flows among the forefathers as the Vaitarani. and transforming into seven branches. whirling his torch like the finest of shields.

It is by this technology. for I have had the chance to know you. Gandharva! Don't worry. and not mere magic. gave it unto me. By this time the Gandharva was unconscious from the effect of the weapon. the best of brahmanas. I have achieved an excellent boon. desperate to save her husband's life. and I am giving up my former name Angaraparna. so listen carefully. the furious Pandava released his blazing Agneya weapon against the Gandharva. grants you immunity from all punishment.that all Gandharvas are superior to human beings. I have told you the lineage of this science. "he of the burnt chariot. Please. for by the power of this science we have become virtually indistinguishable from the gods. Brhaspati. And he. Sri Vaisampayana said: Having thus spoken. my fabulous chariot was burned to ashes. called Agneya. Yudhisthira. surrendered to Yudhisthira and begged for asylum. and I shall now give it all to the great soul who gave me back my life. and now I shall describe its power." Whatever knowledge I have of the military science I acquired by my previous austerities. the Guru of lord Indra. long ago gave this weapon. a younger. forgive and protect us and release my husband. what beautiful gifts does he not deserve? First I give to you the science known as Caksusi. Anything within the universe that a person wishes to see. Yudhisthira Maharaja said: Who would kill an enemy who has been defeated in battle and deprived of his glory. he may obtain this knowledge. . who gave it to Visvavasu. burning his chariot to ashes. the Kuru king. By the fire of your weapon. for so I have vowed. and his wife. Well. named Kumbhinasi. and so I. But even in defeat. but I present it to you. which was adorned with wreaths. Bharadvaja then taught it to Agnivesya. that we Gandharvas rise above the human kind. brother. Therefore I shall employ divine weapons. for I can no longer be proud of my strength or my name in the public assembly. Arjuna said: Take him. Stunned by the missle's heat and bereft of his chariot. The Gandharva lady said: O lord. "he of the wonderful chariot. I am a Gandharva woman. the mighty Gandharva tottered and fell head first toward the ground. and I have come to you for shelter. stronger man who holds divine weapons. O slayer of enemies. Go now. who was known as Citra-ratha. my name is Kumbinasi. With all my pride I tried to fight with Gandharva magic. especially one who is the husband of a good woman and who is no longer resisting? Arjuna. If this science falls into the hands of a coward. O king. But Arjuna siezed him by the hair on his head." have now earned the name Dagdha-ratha. who gave it to me. he may see with this science. release him. If a person stands on one foot for six months continuously. and exactly in the manner he desires. Gandharva. I beg you Maharaja. When a warrior saves the life of an enemy whom he has quickly stunned and defeated and who has come to him for shelter. Drona. though given by a guru it automatically vanishes. The Gandharva said: I admit defeat. unto Bharadvaja. and dragged him back to show his brothers. and Agnivesya delivered this fiery weapon of the gods to my guru. which Manu gave to Soma.

and honest work. Gandharvas. The mounts of the gods and Gandharvas exude a celestial fragrance. And simply by your desire. Gandharva. I do not want to take your science or wealth or even your accumulated knowledge. for thus does the mercantile class gain future wealth and heaven. a warrior's thunderbolt is his chariot. and they move at the speed of the mind. I am very moved by what you have done. is said to be the worker's thunderbolt. Arjuna said: Whether you have given these gifts out of love or in fear of your life. they do not diminish their speed. Even when their energy is spent. the Yaksas. nor did you place a priest before you. The Gandharva said: It is clearly seen that when people actually sit down together and unite in friendship. I myself have listened to godly sages like Narada narrate the histories of your wise forefathers. Warriors must also depend on their horses. and therefore those who drive the horses are called suta. Long ago. and thus our friendship will long endure. O best of the Bharata race. and then a hundred pieces. a thunderbolt was fashioned for Indra so that he could pull down the mighty demon Vrtra. ready to serve. tell me how people can be free of their fear of you Gandharvas. Now. When the thunderbolt struck Vrtra's head. O hero. I now wish to offer each of you five brothers a hundred horses of the type bred by the Gandharvas. Since then. These Gandharva horses change color at will and fly at the speed they desire. they derive a special pleasure. ADI PARVA . O tamer of enemies. for the illustrious son of Bharadvaja is known throughout the three worlds. Pisacas. my friend. the thunderbolt shattered into ten. I am familiar with your military professor who taught you the Dhanur Veda. Indeed. the thunderbolt of kings. why you attacked us as we traveled at night. though we are knowers of the Supreme. and may our alliance last forever. . The Gandharva said: You had no sacred fire or sacrificial offerings. Raksasas. too. it is common in this world that whatever brings one fulfillment in one's life is said to be an expansion of the original thunderbolt. Gandharva. they will appear before you.CHAPTER 159 Arjuna said: Tell me the reason. Vadava gave birth to the race of chariot steeds. And as I wander all about the ocean-skirted earth. Arjuna said: I then choose from you the gift of your horses.O best of men. Thus I attacked you. and human beings all discuss at length the glorious Kuru dynasty. and each god honored his piece of the divine weapon. You have given me the gift of life. O son of Pandu. done to satisfy the Supreme. I shall take from you the superb Agneya weapon. these horses will always honor your wish. I have witnessed the power of your family. and I therefore give you this science. and thus good horses that cannot be easily slain are. Thus spiritual knowledge is a brahmana's thunderbolt. The gods divided up the pieces of the thunderbolt. Uragas. charity is said to be the merchant's thunderbolt.

Partha. who are clean in body and mind. with handsome Mount Meru as its crown. A monarch who abides by the decision of his priest may aspire to attain all the oceanskirted earth. but listen now as I tell you the principles by which you gained your victory. he will be victorious in battle over all the creatures of the night if he is led by a saintly priest. I still attacked you on the riverbank. and that is why. At night. But even though a king may live a lusty life.CHAPTER 160 Arjuna said: As you spoke. who practices them in his own life. Actually. In the company of women. heroes who faithfully act for the good of all creatures. . O Tapathya. Thus it is not surprising that all you Pandava brothers are divine beings. they must engage self-controlled priests in the task. and who speak the truth should be the priests of kings. and he immediately tries to assert his own strength and prestige. I know that we sons of Kunti are called Tapatya after a woman named Tapati. and you are distinguished among those who lead such a life. you have defeated me in battle. great souls who excel in all the weapons. good man. a man cannot tolerate it when he sees that he has been slighted. Partha. the twin Asvins. and your own father. Although I knew this. O glory of the Kurus. you called me Tapatya. a story that had been heard throughout the universe.O tiger of the Kurus. no king who does not serve a brahmana will ever conquer the world through family alliances or naked heroism. Victory on earth and then promotion to heaven are assured for a king whose priest knows and speaks the principles of religion. as it actually happened and in its entirety. for your consciousness is fixed on the Supreme Soul. the Gandharva narrated to Arjuna. Kaunteya. for this story increases our enthusiasm to lead a religious life. Pandu---are the force behind the Kuru empire. A king who appoints and follows a fully qualified priest will gain all that he lacks and preserve all that he has. but I want to know what Tapatya actually means. Any ksatriya warrior who lives a promiscuous life should be opposed in battle at night. Those who know and follow the laws of God. Sri Vaisampayana said: Thus questioned. my dear Tapatya. we all desire to know the truth in this regard. Therefore. I know well that six mighty beings---the lord of justice. and I shall tell you why I referred to you as Tapatya. Listen to me now with single-minded attention. our strength very much increases. for there is no way he will keep his life. these forefathers of yours are truly the best among gods and men. and you have regularly practiced it. The Gandharva said: I will be glad to tell you this pleasurable story. Kauravya. understand that it is a kingdom led by brahmanas that can be preserved for a long time. whatever benefit men hope to achieve. my wife and I allowed ourselves to become so angry. and who is thus pure in spirit. ADI PARVA . who are devoted to the essence of the sixlimbed Veda. son of Kunti. the Wind. but who is she? Certainly. Indra. all of you possess a spiritual mind and intelligence. O glory of the Kurus. Celibacy in the service of God is the best religious principle.

thirst. nor was he aware of anything but her. as soon as the Sun would rise. so did all the citizens worship Samvarana. but then he reasoned that she must be the splendor of the sun. as Vedic teachers worship the rising sun. the bold king said to the glorious but shy girl. her character saintly. Simply by standing on that mountain plateau. He was alone. once that splendid king of wide fame went to hunt in a mountain wood. Her eyes were large and dark. the leader of the Kuru dynasty was King Samvarana. lineage. For his well-wishers. a tiger of a man. so did King Samvarana by his radiance light up the earth. Raksasas. Seeing that his daughter had reached the maturity of her youth and that she must be given in marriage. "Who are you. the handsome king appeared to be more agreeable than the moon and more fiery than the sun. Only with the greatest enterprise. the king realized how ordinary were the bodies of all other creatures. behavior. and as he roamed about. The monarch had been raised in a most noble family. Partha. felt that in all the three worlds there was no suitable husband who could equal her in beauty. Asuras. had the creator fashioned the beautiful sight of this woman. the king continued to roam the mountain on foot. He desired to give his daughter to Samvarana. the lord of the son decided to personally give his daughter to that most qualified and virtuous king. and the shape and proportion of her body was gorgeous. this girl. and exhaustion. And. Kauravya. and he came upon a large-eyed maiden unlike any other in this world. Each of her limbs was flawless. and anxiety filled his mind. had an incomparable daughter named Tapati. religious man whose beauty was unrivalled on earth. her father could find no peace.Vivasvan. and creepers that everything appeared to be bathed in gold. his incomparable horse could not endure the pace and. O mighty son of Kunti. or Gandharvas who had beauty like hers. bushes. a younger sister to Savitri. and this monarch used to always worship the Sun with offerings of garlands and arghya. There was not a single women among the gods. approached her and stood staring. and seeing that most noble girl he was pierced by the arrows of lust. shapely maiden? Why do you wander about here alone in this uninhabited forest. Yaksas. the sungod considered Samvarana a suitable husband for his daughter Tapati. and her moods both fiery and subdued at the proper times. and education. Beholding her beauty. The king analyzed from her beauty that she might be the Goddess of Fortune herself. Now. for as the sun lights up the heavens with his fiery rays. free of false pride. and ever day. Asuras. Kauravya. the sun-god. fallen to the earth. Partha. that excellent king born in a celebrated and noble family. Apsaras. her style of dress enchanting. for his eyes would not leave her. churning all the worlds of the gods. . and so was she. At that time. When his horse died. her behavior ideal. devoted herself to religious austerities and became famous throughout the three worlds. and that he had now achieved the perfection of his created eyes. He was eager to serve. the mighty son of Rksa. and even for those who wished him ill. her father. She had captured his mind and sight with the tight ropes of her excellent qualities. And so. Seeing him to be a grateful. and clean in body and mind. died suddenly on the mountain slope. who covers the firmament with his benevolent rays. The king never failed to perform his daily religious duties and executed various kinds of fasts and other austerities. Burning in the fierce fire of mindstirring Cupid. and he did not move from that place. and the mighty warrior. that popular Kuru monarch would honor him with real devotion. and who is taking care of you. O Bharata. Thus King Samvarana judged from her blessed wealth of beauty that there was no other girl like her in the world. for he worried about the marriage of his daugher. the dark-eyed woman so transformed the forest with its trees. The monarch thought that anything he had ever seen since his birth did not compare to the beauty of this woman. afflicted by hunger. and men. the Sun. Arjuna.

and her voice was sweet and gentle. then request my father to give me to you. the king thus spoke to the girl. with your large and lovely eyes. . just as I have completely captured your mind and your very life simply by your seeing me. or of those who dwell in Bhogavati. he grieved much in that lonely forest. I have no power to live alone with you. Lovely lady. As a young girl. Because of you. the pillar of the Kuru dynasty. and therefore I cannot go near you." Afflicted with desire in that deserted forest. O king. and your face is like the lotus or the moon. searching the forest for that girl whose eyes were like the soft petals of a forest-born lotus. you must save me by means of your love. for you are the most desireable jewel. noble king. or Gandharvas. The king ran all about like a wild man. my shy and lovely lady. Therefore. deluded by desire. If you love me. your every limb is lovely and perfect. I am so struck with desire for you that my very life would leave me. O shy one. Yaksas. be merciful to me! You with your big dark enchanting eyes--you cannot reject me when I so love you. for your beauty is maddening. with her full. Bless you. I do not think you a woman of the gods. he who had felled the hosts of his enemies now fell upon the surface of the earth. whose mind was devastated by desire for her. she revealed herself again to the king. the king looked up and saw the shapely woman standing in front of him. Accept me then as I have accepted you. As he lay there on the ground. good woman. said to her with anxious tones. Gentle girl. for I am a young girl under her father's care. Not finding her. Certainly women cannot protect themselves in this world. O tiger of kings. ADI PARVA . this desire pierces me with sharpened arrows.sweet-smiling one? All the limbs of your body are faultless creations. so have you stolen my heart and my very life.CHAPTER 161 The Gandharva said: When the king. and although you wear all the most desireable jewelry. for you shine like the lotus whorl. My life now depends on you--you whose speech is like the sweet song of the Kinnaras. when you shyly glance at me with your deep. Tapati said: I do not rule my own life. O king. and for a time the exalted Kuru king was senseless with grief. wide hips and a lovely smiling face. you yourself adorn your own adornments. and the king. Raksasas. enchanting eyes. that girl of such large and lovely eyes suddenly vanished from the spot as if she were a streak of lightning that flashes for but a moment in the clouds. rise. Now that most graceful girl did speak to the king. I am naturally dependent on my father. "O woman. But I do not rule my own body. She looked shyly at him with her dark. and therefore they must be cared for. but she did not say anything at all in reply. filled with the fire of mind-stirring Cupid. dark eyes. for the gandharva wedding is the most beautiful. You with your full wide hips and pure shining face--you must take me. And as the king yearned and begged for her love." Addressed in such a kind way. could not find her. whatever I have ever seen or heard of cannot compare to you. Come to me now by gandharva marriage. for the luster of your beauty is maddening. I have been helplessly siezed by the great snake of desire. "Please rise. woman. it is not right for you to let the world see you so bewildered. or of the Asuras.

Be submissive and please him with your austerities and religious vows. and he said to the king with kind and noble words. Thereafter. What young girl in all the worlds would not eagerly desire an affectionate husband like you. Now he bathed the king's head with cool. journeyed up into the heavens to meet with the mighty light-maker. when the mighty king had regained his strength and vigor. shining like the sun. the younger sister of Savitri and the daughter of Savita. I am Tapati. "I am Vasistha. for all good must come to you. "Do not fear. The minister was elderly in age and wisdom. who stood as tall as Indra's hoisted banner. the Sun. who was so enagaged in austerities. The minister's own feverish concern was relieved as he lifted the monarch. By the king's order. and the king again sat down on that mountain plain. who was his royal priest. The sage respectfully approached the resplendent sun and. he sent away the entire army but for the one minister. he stood on that fine mountain and raised up his arms. The king then cleansed himself and folded his hands in prayer. The virtuous Vasistha wanted to help the excellent king. who is born in such a famous and noble family? Now that things have come to this point. and the king again sank to the ground in that very place. and he lifted the king like a father raising his fallen son. as fragrant as lotuses. refreshing water. lord of the sun. Please tell me your desire in coming here. he who lights up the world." The dazzling Vivasvan. Quickly he came to his ruler bewildered out of love and raised from the earth the lord of earthly rulers. O sinless one. introduced himself. and he spoke to him. the learned sage finally came to him on the twelfth day. taking care not to touch the royal crown. great saint. folding his hands with respect and affection. replied to the exalted sage.CHAPTER 162 The Gandharva said: Having thus spoken. Then as the best of kings looked on. the army departed.CHAPTER 163 The sage Vasistha said: . then." The minister reasoned that the king must have been exhausted by hunger and thirst. Then the mighty King Samvarana mentally sought the exalted sage Vasistha. If he wishes to give me to you.Please don't misunderstand me. O tiger of men. dear king. and thus he who felled the enemies in battle had himself fallen on the bare ground. Seeing the grand archer without his steed and fallen on the earth. O mighty warrior. the faultless girl quickly rose into the sky and was gone. O noble warrior. When the king remained standing in that position day and night. and desiring to worship the Sun. and by a spiritual process he knew that Tapati had stolen the king's mind. His minister and traveling attendent found the king. saying. the king's trusted minister burned as if with fire. who was stunned with desire for the Sun's own daughter. ADI PARVA . The great sage was a God-realized soul." ADI PARVA . I shall always be your most obedient wife. lying now upon the earth in the vast and lonely forest. go and ask my father. "You are welcome. the exalted saint.

best of the self-disciplined. coming towards him with Vasistha." . the lord of heaven showered the rains as he had done before. you are the best of sages. The pure and exalted sage Vasistha arrived just when the king completed his difficult twelve-night religious observance. thinking only of Tapati. ADI PARVA . Arjuna glowed with full satisfaction. I must give her. their bodies all but dead. The king I represent is truly glorious. by worshiping the munificent shining god. for it was filled with starving. lord of the wind. the Sun was convinced. Gandharva lord. Vasistha returned to where the celebrated Kuru leader was waiting. The power of Vasistha's austerities awakened in him intense curiosity. and when he saw that child of the gods. the daughter of the sun. rivers. and the Kuru monarch relaxed and sported on the mountain like an immortal god. When the tiger of kings again entered his city. and a qualified husband for your daughter. O sky-traveler. a broad-minded man. on behalf of Samvarana I ask you for your daughter named Tapati. the god of heaven did not rain anywhere within the kingdom of Samvarana. Thus by his own austerity. his face as bright as the full moon. so why marry her to another?" Then the fiery Sun presented Tapati. the younger sister of Savitri. Partha.CHAPTER 164 Sri Vaisampayana said: Hearing the words of the Gandharva. the godly sage Vasistha went at once to the mighty king and brought the tiger of monarchs. with rites and remunerations like those offered by Indra. Granted his leave. back to his own city. was your ancestor. with her lovely smile. for he is knowledgeable both in spiritual and worldly affairs. Arjuna. who now set his mind on the Lord. joyless people who passed their days in anguish. and taking permission from Vasistha. he placed his faithful minister in charge of the town and country and the cavalry and army. And so. joined by his faithful wife Tapati. And the monarch. you are indeed Tapatya. King Samvarana begot a son named Kuru. because in Tapati. and that grand archer. that best of men took the hand of Tapati by the rules and rites of the holy path. With his beloved wife he enjoyed in the forests. who was that exalted saint who served as the royal priest to my ancestors? Explain this to me. and he replied. who had lived twelve years with Tapati. the glory of the Kurus. The city and country rejoiced with the greatest of joy. neither in the city nor in country. "I would like to hear the true history of the sage you call Vasistha. and lakes of that mountain for twelve years. Samvarana obtained the woman he loved. The saintly king then desired to relax and sport on that very slope with his beloved wife. Learning of this sorry state of the realm. and by the power of Vasistha. offered sacrifice to God for twelve years. he shone with jubilation." He congratulated the sage with these words: "Samvarana is the best of kings. The Gandharva said: At these words from Vasistha. and Tapati is the best of women. the forebear of your dynasty. to the great soul Vasistha. said to the Gandharva. On that glorious mountain frequented by gods and Gandharvas.O mighty sun. Please tell me. The capital of the departed king became like a city of ghosts. protected once again by the best of kings. and the illustrious sage dutifully accepted her on the king's behalf. The king was lost in romantic thoughts. Vasistha approved the king's plan and went his way. But during those twelve years. whose limbs were flawless. The glorious woman named Tapati. "Yes.

the great soul Vasistha owned a wish-yielding cow. you Pandavas must work under the guidance of a qualified brahmana priest. . water to rinse his hands and mouth. his throat parched. Partha. he came upon the asrama of Vasistha. the kings of Iksvaku's line gained sovereignity over the earth and protected this world. Arjuna. both of whom resided in holy asramas. in varieties that are to be chewed. "Fulfill these wishes!" she would yield all that was asked. received with honor the ideal prince Visvamitra. Noticing his arrival. And so. and his army with a full offering of delicacies that completely satisfied the guests. Weak from the strenuous chasing of deer. drunk. a crusher of enemies. A king who desires to rule the world must place spiritual values above all. The godly sage Vasistha made those noble kings offer sacrifice to God. When Visvamitra offended him. This pious soul had a son who raised huge mounted armies and who became known as Visvamitra. in the place called Kanyakubja. Therefore. the fortunate sage honored the king. By finding that self-controlled saint. his minister. Now. and sucked. just as Brhaspati engaged the gods. he kept his powerful rage within himself and was so magnanimous that he did not destroy the Kusikas.The Gandharva said: He was a person who conquered lust and anger. famous throughout the world for his devotion to justice and truth. a desireable brahmana who possesses the good qualities of a purified soul. and a meal of wholesome forest fare with pure butter. and see all creatures as part of God. O noble Pandava. Therefore. when the monarchs found Vasistha. Entering a beautiful wilderness. that excellent priest and noble seer.CHAPTER 165 Arjuna said: Why did such bitter feelings arise between Visvamitra and Vasistha. Stricken by the tragic loss of his sons and fully capable of destroying the culprit Visvamitra. a ruler must search for a priest who places his religious principles above everything and knows the spiritual essence of the Vedas. so that his kingdom will prosper in a spirit of justice. Once. It is said that lust and anger reverently massaged his feet. Once Visvamitra. She also yielded herbs found in the village and forest and of course milk. so listen carefully. And he did not overstep the lord of death to retrieve his departed sons from death's abode. whenever the cow was ordered. Vasistha. just as the great ocean does not cross over its boundaries. The Gandharva said: This ancient story of Vasistha is told throughout the universe. but with six different flavors. and I shall faithfully repeat it to you. One who is born to rule and desires to conquer the wide earth must first accept a priest. which are invincible even for the gods. gifts. they worshiped the Lord with sacrificial rites. And she gave eatables as tasty as nectar. She gave a special drink with the flavor of nectar and an unsurpassed elixir of longevity. Partha. went deep into the forest in pursuit of deer. the consummate sage. Please tell me all about it. O Kuru child. ADI PARVA . licked up. he pierced the stags and wild boars with his shafts. accompanied by his minister. there was a great king named Gadhi. offering him a footbath. he did not even consider such a violent act of retaliation.

so do as you wish at once. "O brahmana. Visvamitra said: I am a ksatriya warrior. when I am crying out. and you are a sage. fixed in his saintly vow. The Gandharva said: Shaken by fear of Visvamitra. Vasistha said: The strength of warriors is their prowess in battle. Coming straight back to the sage. which you are sounding again and again. offer me this cow. handsome tail. Happily praising Vasistha's milk-cow. her fat udder. Nandini nuzzled up close to Vasistha. the exalted sage. when the frightening soldiers of Visvamitra beat me with sticks and stones. receive my guests. three measures wide. her large frogeyes. The Gandharva said: At these words. and by the strength of the soldiers.then I shall not give up the duty of a warrior to be strong. noble cow. gentle Nandini began to bellow. Visvamitra said to the sage. beautiful horns. O best of the Bharatas. The cow said: . give me this agreeable cow and enjoy a kingdom. and though severely and continuously beaten. did not become agitated. her attractive build. Therefore. Partha. and exceedingly content. beaten with straps and sticks. Do not even analyze it. named Nandi. when the desire-cow was thus being attacked. devoted to austerity and scholarship. a warrior with powerful arms. pointed ears. even for ten million cows-. Nandi. for he could find not a single flaw in this most pleasing cow. she stood looking up at the holy one. By force you are being stolen from me. Visvamitra siezed the cow named Nandini. The cow said: My lord. therefore you may go if you like. she would not leave the hermitage. but the strength of brahmanas is their forgiveness. and I shall give you ten million cows. I cannot give her. even in return for your kingdom. and strong wide head and neck. and make offerings to my ancestors. and five measures around the girth) her fine flanks and thighs. for I am a brahmana. self-restrained brahmanas? You will not give me what I want. trained to tolerate. nor did he stray from his grave spiritual vision. As Vasistha's cow was driven away." Vasistha Muni said: Nandini the milk cow is necessary so that I can properly worship the Deity. Forgiveness possesses me. Great sage.The king gazed at that cow. with her perfect proportions (being six measures long. Vasistha Muni said: You are a king with an army. What courage is there in the peaceful. unprotected. I shall take your cow by force. or my own kingdom. He was astonished. Vasistha Muni said: I hear your cry. Partha. why do you remain indifferent? The Gandharva said: O Partha. who was as graceful as a swan and as radiant as the moon.

Visvamitra was frustrated and discouraged with his status as a warrior. just as they had driven the cow. and the Daradas and Mlecchas. . Witnessing this astonishing display of brahminical power. the Pahlavas. and he pervaded the worlds with his splendor. and is that why you speak to me thus? Until you reject me. Set upon by the furious hoardes of created warriors. his army was completely broken by mighty showers of weapons. her eyes blazed with fury and her fury grew stronger and stronger. before Visvamitra's eyes. But the furious soldiers of Vasistha did not kill a single warrior of Visvamitra. my lord. and he is going to steal her by force.Have I now been rejected. He went on to achieve perfection in his penance. no one can lead me away by force. until. Barbaras and Simhalas. the milk cow turned her head and neck up high and began to assume a menacing look. This man is binding your calf with strong rope. the conclusion is that austerity is strength. they could find no one to save them. and turning his back on worldly pleasures. he came face to face with a spiritually advanced sage who was the exalted son of Vasistha. until on a narrow path. Thus did Visvamitra achieve the status of a brahmana. for she was blinded by rage. Kiratas. Her eyes turned red with rage. and he drank with Indra the celestial Soma. and she bellowed out like the thundering of clouds. this fortunate and agreeable soul was the eldest of saintly Vasistha's hundred sons. The Gandharva said: [Vasistha then said] "Stay if you can!" Hearing these words from Vasistha. Her tail let fly a continuous and mighty shower of burning embers. I do not reject you. stay with me if you can. ADI PARVA . Vasistha said: Gentle one." Renouncing his flourishing kingdom and the shining wealth of a ruler. Visvamitra's great army was scattered before his eyes. As Visvamitra's army was driven back over twenty miles. and he said. From her backside she unleased wild barbarian warriors. Partha. scattering the army of Visvamitra in all directions. extracted from the rites of sacrifice. When another attempt was made to beat her with tipped straps and sticks and to drag her about. invincible in battle.CHAPTER 166 The Gandharva said: There was a king named Kalmasa-pada in the dynasty of Iksvaku. and his prowess was unique. and that crusher of foes roamed about piercing the stags and wild boars with his shafts. Sakti by name. O brahmana. From her urine she let loose the bloodthirsty Yavanas. The king. Dramidas. Visvamitra fixed his mind on the practice of austerity. and from her dung the Sabaras and Sakas. all of whom were fully covered with varieties of armor and armed with all kinds of weapons. Each of his soldiers was surrounded by five to seven of the enemy. until her whole body was blazing like the midday sun. for all people felt the fire of his newly kindled strength. and the entire army was driven about. "A warrior's strength is useless! The prowess of a brahmana is real strength! By studying strength and weakness. O noble Bharata. began to suffer from hunger and thirst. Once he left his city and went out to the forest to chase the deer. From her froth she sent out the Pundras. screaming in fear. wide enough for a single traveler.

and by the order of Visvamitra. the Raksasa was able to enter the king and possess him. pacified the twice-born man by saying. Knowing well the king's mind and condition. Thus when the king and Sakti were quarreling on the narow road. Then when the king had again gone out of the city. and hehurried off to the place where condemned prisoners were being executed. he stole some flesh from an executed criminal. "Then feed him human meat!" and repeated this instruction again and again. Now. Visvamitra waited until the king had returned to his city and then ordered a Raksasa to approach him. And once Visvamitra knew that the king was possessed by the Raksasa. Eager to gain something for himself. and in senseless fury the son of Vasistha cursed the exalted king. a sage of fierce austerity. he came to his senses. As stated before by Sakti. you lowest of kings!" Thus the did powerful Sakti curse the king. O tamer of enemies. and begged him for mercy." Having thus spoken. . and he is very hungry. filled with anxiety. which is not fit to eat. and entering the quarters of his women. and it so happened that Visvamitra had been following him through the forest. The cook. the mighty Visvamitra. Emboldened by the king's order. he will lust after human flesh and roam the earth. you will roam this earth. Partha. When the learned king was cursed by Sakti. a certain man of the twice-born community saw the monarch. who was also called Mitrasaha because he could withstand his enemies. the king angrily charged forward. he left that country. you dare to strike an ascetic! Therefore I declare that from this day on you shall become a man-eater! Greedy for human flesh. the powerful king. Thereafter the learned king was severely harassed by the Raksasa who had gone inside of him. I will send the food you requested. Stung by a blow from the king's whip. the monarch retired for the night. the powerful sage also gave in to anger. "So be it!" said the cook. came close to them."Get out of my way!" said the king. Now go. But the brahmana's words slipped the king's mind. Then the Raksasa within the king finally exerted his influence. and he quickly sent for a cook. Visvamitra recognized the sage as the son of saintly Vasistha. who was a rich patron of sacrifices. and as the sage gave way. nor would the king move out of respect for a sage. and the king. bewildered and like a Raksasa in his rage. As soon as I return to my home. he mixed it with rice and presented it to the hungry ascetic brahmana. but he was still able to protect himself by his own strength. Visvamitra made himself invisible. He did not get out of the way. took shelter of Sakti. Quickly cleaning and preparing the meat. brahmana. now dominated by the Raksasa. begged him for a meal with meat. That learned twice-born man looked at the food with his experienced eye and said. Visvamitra and Vasistha had been fighting over the king. the cook searched but could not find any meat. Rather. and he lost his senses." When the curse was thus uttered twice. O child of the Kurus." Thus addressed. reported to the king that meat was not to be found. The sage tried to pacify the king and informed him in gentle tones that it was rather the monarch's duty to let the sage go by. The wise king. and being hungry. the king departed. "Because that king gives me such nasty food. The Raksasa's strength now took hold of the king. "Sit down here for a moment. The sage stood by his rights and stayed on the path. feared and shunned by all creatures. Bharata. and from behind. a strange appetite will arise in that foolish man. without the least concern said to the cook. equal to his father in power. so go there and provide him a meal with meat. and came close to both of them. The king awoke at midnight. remembering his promise to the brahmana. struck the holy man with his whip. "You outcast king! Like a Raksasa. "This food is unfit to eat!" and he stared with a face that quivered with rage. to whom he explained the situation and gave this instruction: "The brahmana is waiting for me in that place. By the sage's curse. and the twice-born man waited. it grew very strong.

But the powerful ocean waves brought the sage back to the shore. the king said to him. the great sage next headed for the ocean. his daughter-in-law Adrsyanti followed along behind him unseen. full of ferocious crocodiles. But when he fell onto the stone. clear sound of Vedic recitation. exquisite and full. "Unfettered. he went back to his hermitage. and she fled into a hundred parts. Partha. wherefrom she became famous as the Satadru. "My name is Adrsyanti. tore out his life. rivers." Thereafter he lost his mind in sorrow and did not stay in one place. "I should drown myself in the water of this river. The brilliant sage then made up his mind to take his own life. this time sending him to the other sons of Vasistha. seeing what had happened. He was beside himself with grief. The exalted saint threw himself from the high peak of Mount Meru.CHAPTER 167 The Gandharva said: Thereupon." the girl replied." The sage then bound himself tightly with ropes and in utter despair sank down in the river's deep currents. Vasistha heard the loud. he ignited a fire in the deep forest. it received him like a pile of soft cotton. "Because you punished me with an unprecedented curse. He dropped himself into her waters. for as soon as he entered it the scorching flames became cool and refreshing. But that fine river felt the sage like the touch of fire. When he did not die from his fall." Speaking thus. I am the wife of Sakti. ADI PARVA . "Who is that following me?" he said. The lovely sound surprised the sage. as a lion consumes small and weak deer. falling headfirst onto the stone ground below. As he came near his asrama. Visvamitra again ordrered the Raksasa within the king's body. with the meaningful chanting of the six Vedic branches. the sage was filled with anguish and again went out of his hermitage. onto a level bank." . swollen with the new waters of the rainy season. carrying away many variegated trees that grew along her bank. Vasistha bore his grief as a great mountain bears its terrible burden of earth. named the river Vipasa. and deposited the sage. the "Hundred-runner. seeing the sage Sakti. now because of you I must begin to eat human flesh.Soon after. Free of his bonds. he suddenly siezed the sage. I am your daughter-in-law. The king then approached the hundred younger sons of the great soul Vasistha and furiously devoured them. for the holy one did not even consider destroying the family of Visvamitra. O slayer of rival armies. and he realized that someone was following him. "It is not possible to die!" and went back to his hermitage. seeing his hermitage bereft of his beloved boys. and binding a heavy stone about his neck he fell into the sea. Witnessing the death of Sakti. Overcome by grief. "Most noble sage." Realizing that despite his effort he was again on the land. and devoured him as a tiger consumes his desired prey. Bharata. He then saw a river. and the divine sage entered within it. Pandava. O slayer of enemies. Then the sage again saw a large river coming down from the Himalayan range. the river then cut his bonds. I am an ascetic engaged in austerity. Hearing that his sons had all been murdered by Visvamitra's plot. without the ropes. and again he began to think about suicide and said to himself. Frustrated at his failure to take his own life. he said. and lakes. but went to mountains. But the blazing fire did not burn him. the great sage got up and.

The Gandharva said: Seeing the king rushing to attack them. the king's real consciousness had been virtually swallowed up. immediately stopped him simply by uttering the vibration Hum! Then with water sanctified by mantra. who is making that beautiful sound. by the force of Vasistha's son. nor is he the lord of death. O glorious brahmana. At this time. For twelve years. and I am anxious to arrange sacrifices for you. don't ever again deride the brahmanas. and turned away from death. The King said: . The Gandharva said: At these words.Vasistha Muni said: Daughter. he has been studying the Vedas inside my womb. he saw King Kalmasapada sitting in the surrounding wilderness. the exalted seer Vasistha was jubilant. but then. There is nothing to fear from this Raksasa. dear sage. O leader of men. the king angrily rose up. "Great soul. son of Sudasa. and for twelve years. it is best that you go back and rule your kingdom. possessed by the fierce Raksasa. Sakti's faithful wife thus brought the sage out of his depression. the king saluted the sage with folded hands. Spying the sage. save me from this wicked man! The Raksasa wants to eat us! I know that's what he wants. Having regained his true consciousness. "My lord. as the dazzling sun lights up the sunset clouds. the king lit up the forest with his splendor. like the day-making sun at the time of eclipse. Seeing that man of cruel deeds in front of them. as he looked around his hermitage. best of Vedic scholars. O noble one. O sinless Arjuna. shining with prowess. reciting the Vedas with their branches? I once heard Sakti chant the Veda in that way. Adrsyanti was terrified and said to Vasistha. celebrated throughout the world for his prowess.CHAPTER 168 Vasistha Muni said: Don't be afraid. He is King Kalmasapada. The person you see standing in front of you is not a Raksasa at all. the lordly sage Vasistha. Adrsyanti said: He who chants is born of your son Sakti. in this whole world there is no one but you with the power to stop him. I am Saudasa. "Our family lives!" he said. please tell me." Vasistha Muni said: At this time. whatever you desire. My lord. But he now stays here and spreads terror in this remote corner of the forest. and went to attack Vasistha. the sage again consecrated the mighty king and liberated him from the ghastly Raksasa. the horrible Raksasa has grabbed a log and he's coming at us like Death himself with his terrible staff. Freed now from the Raksasa. Please let me know how I can serve you. and at the appropriate moment he said to the holy Vasistha." ADI PARVA . son of Prtha. daughter. O Bharata.

the monarch entered that city of pious deeds accompanied by the great soul Vasistha. I must tell you that your real daddy was eaten by a Raksasa in the forest. And when a son began to grow in her womb. just as the celestial denizens receive with jubilation the coming of the Lord. "Don't say `daddy! daddy! daddy!' The great sage is not your daddy! My beloved child. I tell you in truth that I would like to obtain from you a boon by which I can pay my debt to my ancestors in the royal line of Iksvaku. O blessed Kuru child. Adrsyanti. When after a very long time. who was destined to preserve the noble family. Without delay. All the citizens joyfully welcomed their king. When the king. Adrsyanti. said to him. The excellent sage Vasistha personally performed for his grandson all of the religious ceremonies that secure the blessings of God upon a newborn child. He is the most venerable father of your real daddy. the grand city filled the king's mind and heart with joy. for. who was also a great soul. healthy citizens. The religious-minded child considered Vasistha his father. and from his birth he treated the sage like his real father. Named Asmaka ("done by a stone"). the queen did not give birth to her son. as the autumn moon fills the heavens with its cooling rays. he gave permission. the child said to the saintly Vasistha. and his godly wife approached Vasistha." replied the truthful sage Vasistha to the mighty archer and king. With its spotless roads sprinkled with fragrant water and its high flying flags coloring the skies. this Indra of kings. staying in the hermitage. he became known in the world as Parasara. Once. they were as glorious as the rising sun with the lunar asterism called Pusya. departed for his hermitage. honored by the king. and I shall always honor the twice-born. and the people gazed upon them. It was in the proper season that the glorious sage Vasistha. the excellent sage. joined with that godly woman. which is celebrated throughout the worlds. Adrsyanti finally gave birth to Sakti's son. and beget for me a son who will cause the Iksvaku dynasty to flourish. O excellent brahmana. her child was born. the boy grew to be a saintly king and founded the city of Potana. Bustling with satisfied. her eyes full of tears. a great soul who was now freed of sin. strictly following the divine law. my innocent one. had entered the city. and thus after twelve years.CHAPTER 169 The Gandharva said: O king. the godly woman split her abdomen with a stone. The person you think is your daddy is not your daddy. The king then returned with Vasistha to the fine city of Ayodhya. best of Vedic scholars. The Gandharva said: "I must grant you your wish. "You are my daddy. in the presence of his mother. O king. who is endowed with the qualities of good character and beauty. I ask you to go unto my queen. I am steady in your instruction. and they all rose up to meet him. the city shone with its returning king like the celestial Amaravati shines in the presence of Indra. That most opulent king in turn filled Ayodhya with opulent gifts. ADI PARVA . And because the child gave Vasistha new life." ." Hearing her child say "daddy" with such feeling and in such a tender voice.O brahmana. I shall never again deride the powerful brahmanas. for he was a second Sakti. even while in the womb.

Grant us our eyes! ADI PARVA . his relatives needed goods for their sustenance. One of those ladies. That bull of a monarch sponsored many sacrifices for the Vedic scholars in the line of Bhrgu. Seeing the exalted child fixed in his radical thoughts. carried her radiant embryo in one of her beautiful thighs so that the child might live and cause her husband's family to flourish. When the brahmanas in the line of Bhrgu were being slaughtered in this way. Those warriors were like fires whose flames are extinguished. and he thought of ending all the worlds. Vasistha Muni said: Once there was a king on this earth known as Krtavirya. and all of them came . for deprived of all light they were almost unconscious with agony. but the Bhargava sage was not pacified. that powerful brahmana began to grow in strength through his awesome austerities aimed at the destuction of all the worlds. you and your son must be merciful to all of us. fearing the warriors. down to the children in the womb. all the men of the royal order went to them to solicit their favors. Knowing of the wealth that had been given to the noble brahmanas in Bhrgu's line.When his mother told him this. but the fire of his practice began to burn up the worlds of the gods. All of us will stop our wicked acts and leave you in peace. their wives fled in fear. the warriors then stumbled about the rough mountain terrain. my boy. Some of the brahmanas hid their limitless wealth in the ground. They were frustrated in their plans and terror-stricken. and he came upon a treasure. The angry warriors noticed that brahmana lady. and human beings. as a sign of respect. The mighty archers then went about the earth killing every brahmana. With fury and contempt they killed the brahmanas there with their sharpened arrows. and in his brilliant mind he decided that he must destroy this evil world that had taken away his father. and at the end of his Soma sacrifice the king satisfied the brahmanas with magnificent gifts of grains and wealth. Hear what it was. it so happened that a warrior was digging the earth around a brahmana's house. who glowed with her own effulgence. We beg you to deliver the royal order from destruction. and some simply gave it in charity to the kings. He wanted to please his forefathers by his awesome austerities. nor am I filled with anger. knowing of the danger from the warriors. Having lost their vision. my child. some gave it away to other sages. the young truthful sage was struck with bitter sorrow. blinding the warriors' eyes like the noonday sun. and they said to the glorious wife of a brahmana. Within his powerful mind. Desiring revenge for the massacre of the descendents of Bhrgu. Once when that tiger of a king had gone to the heavenly planets. my child. the mighty ascetic Vasistha restrained him with a particular argument. After that. But the child then opened his mother's thigh and came out. he then firmly decided that all the planets must be destroyed.CHAPTER 170 The wife of the brahmana said: I did not take away your eyes. "By your mercy the royal class may regain their sight. All the leading warriors then came there and saw the treasure. my child. even when they begged for mercy. Asuras. seeing other good reasons for such an act. This descendent of Bhrgu Having regained their sight. to the Himalayan mountains. The brahmanas are always allowed to eat first. the kings returned to their homes. His forefathers realized what he was doing. Their leader went to the brahmana lady for shelter and begged that faultless woman to give them back their sight. Please.

I realize that . and I cannot pass over your words. fury overcame me. A man who would tolerate anger that arose for good cause cannot fully protect his self-interest in the realms of religion. the greatest danger would arise for me. This fire. when our only desire was to pass on to the higher world? Death had no power to take us. in all the planets there will be no evil-doer. Therefore one of us buried the treasure in a brahmana's house and left it there so that we could create enmity with the warriors and anger them. if those who should have helped were so cowardly or indifferent that they would not disturb their own happy lives. When in this universe there is someone who forbids and stops the wicked. this plan you are trying to accomplish does not please us. "Dear son. When anger is applied to restrain the uncivilized and protect the civilized. It is not out of weakness that we allowed the warriors to cut us down. prosperity. but please restrain your anger and be merciful to all these worlds. If I lock it inside of me with my prowess. the mothers. boredom set upon us. They were heavy with child. now burns within me. born of fury. child. But if I too should neglect the evil of the world. If my fathers could not be saved. Rather. or even the seven great planets. and so we realized that we could not take our own lives. that powerful being is implicated in the act he did not stop. when our duration of life had grown very long. And in any case. and all the worlds and the gods who rule them stood by and forgave. nowhere to go in all the worlds. then my rage is for them. I heard a terrible shrieking when I was yet unborn and lay hidden in my mother's thigh. Withdraw your mind from this sinful plan of ending all the worlds. can disgrace the power of our austerity. What use did we have of earthly wealth. as their husbands and fathers and sons were being murdered by the ksatriyas. if my anger does not have an outlet.down from the Pitr planet and said to their illustrious child: "Aurva. and it wants to take the worlds away. None of these warriors. many people in this world persist in evil deeds. that lord. now that I have the power to act. and so we envisioned this means. Conquer this rising rage!" ADI PARVA . When a person with power knowing of an evil deed does not stop it. it has been properly applied. I did make a promise to destroy all the planets and I cannot make a false promise.CHAPTER 171 Aurva said: My dear fathers. No one at all came to help those wives of the Bhrgu sages when my saintly mother bore me in her thigh. It was the screaming of the womanfolk. dear son. although I spoke out of anger. and we all agreed upon it. even by the kings and gods who had the power to do so. and we ourselves wanted the warriors to kill us. Were my angry promise to prove false. and now I have gained the power to show and sound that rage in all the worlds! Yet you are my venerable fathers. like fire that burns the kindling stick. my child. the danger of sin. the power of your fierce austerities is plain to see. it will burn me. Yet when those lowest of warriors murdered even the helpless babes who slept in their mothers' wombs. and personal pleasure. those mothers! And the simple fathers in their fear found no shelter. A man who commits suicide cannot attain the worlds of the pious. But when the evil-doer never meets a person who forbids and checks him. I could not bear to live. dear child. its source. especially by kings who wish to attain entrance to heaven. it will burn me to ashes.

The forefathers said: This fire born of rage that burns within you. burned up the Raksasas. the saintly scholar withdrew his fury. As the shining rite proceeded with the appropriate offering of oblations. thus utilizing the waters to resolve his dilemna. Sakti. let the fire of your fury stay in the great ocean. you are a brahmana. and for me. O best of the twice-born. old and young alike. Therefore. Vasistha and all the sages there concluded that Parasara himself was lighting up the heavens like a second daymaking sun. affected by the killing of Raksasas. will nothing stop you? Are you actually enjoying the murder of all the Raksasas who have committed no crime against you and do not even know why they are being killed? Parasara. If you so desire. rain-cleansed sky. The potent sage. The Vedic scholars know that the furious fire became a giant horse-head. which aimed to destroy all the worlds. hoping to save the lives of the Raksasas. it lit up the vast sky like the sun shining forth in a clear. Vasistha Muni said: Thereupon Aurva released the fire of his fury into the great ocean. burning the waters. wishing to end that sacrifice. remembering constantly the murder of his fathe. "I must not make him break his second promise. the magnanimous sage Atri came to the assembly. Thereupon. tamer of the hostile. you also should not destroy the worlds. for by God's blessings you are a very wise man. the mighty sage Parasara sat in front like a fourth sacred fire. wherein three sacred fires blazed. the abode of Varuna. for your own good. and at the same time the planets and the gods who rule them will not come to ruin. Water is the essential part of all things. spoke out to Parasara. Parasara. "My dear son. innocent are devoted to the welfare of all creatures. And King Kalmasa-pada has been saved and even aspires to ascend to heaven. to kill the demons. that wants to take the worlds away. ADI PARVA . Therefore. you must release into the waters. and Kratu arrived at the large sacrifice. with his excellent knowledge of the Vedas. The mighty sage Parasara. then Pulastya. spitting the fire from its mouth and drinking the waters of the great ocean. Vasistha did not stop him from killing the Raksasas. Similarly Pulastya." In that sacrifice.CHAPTER 172 The Gandharva said: Thus addressed by the great soul Vasistha. son of Sakti. for the whole world is constituted of water. O best of the Bharatas. release the fire of your fury into the waters. knowing that there are higher duties and laws. then began to worship the Supreme through the sacrifice of wicked Raksasas. Pulaha. which few others could perform. brahmana. and therefore as my lords you must know what is best for the worlds. a most educated man. . he concluded. and yet you are committing the most irreligious act by annihilating all of the progeny I myself created as part of the Creator's plan. in the wide flames of sacrifice. for the worlds are resting on those waters.Thus your promise will come true. for having dissuaded him from his vow to destroy the worlds.

CHAPTER 173 Arjuna said: How did King Kalmasa-pada justify his decision to have his own wife conceive a child with his guru. But even as they ran. to the words that I shall now speak to you. covered by a canopy of variegated trees. the fiery king took his wife and left the city. and the sage now released it on a northern Himalayan slope. The potent fire had been gathered to kill sacrificially all the Raksasas. Possessed by the curse. O best of kings. He and his wife then roamed about the wilderness. and you should be aware of it and not commit an evil act. Seeing him. he wandered throughout that wilderness. who was an excellent Vedic scholar? The king. The brahmani was overwhelmed with rage. both were terrified. O mighty sage. I am not yet fulfilled. your grandfather Vasistha certainly knows all this to be true. you were engaged by Providence to painfully destroy these Raksasas in the fire of sacrifice. the king siezed the brahmana by force. for it periodically devours the Raksasas there and likewise the trees and stones. son of Sakti. within a deep forest. how the king was cursed by the great soul Sakti. The fire is still visible there even today. and there he saw a brahmana and his wife engaged in the sexual act. being a great soul. Seeing her husband captured. the king. whose words were confirmed by the wise Vasistha. "Listen. and without consummating their act they fled into the forest. would he arrange for the great soul Vasistha to approach a woman whom normally the guru should never approach? Kindly explain all this to me. but now let it be finished. and release my husband!" As she was thus crying out for mercy. Be merciful. and echoing with the frightening sounds of deadly animals. The Gandharva said: My dear Arjuna."All the sons of saintly Vasistha. had knowledge of spiritual principles as well as traditional morality. fixed in religious principles and always serving your guru. and they are joyfully celebrating with the gods. Now is the occasion of a religious ceremony. you were born in the royal dynasty of the Sun and are renowned all over the world as a sober man. Burning with grief and anguish over the atrocity against . have already entered the lord's heaven. and my husband has approached me to beget a child. O faithful man. Parasara. his eyes wild with rage. who had become very cruel in his acts. Arjuna. You have suffered a curse. ended his ritual. the brahmani said. O king. you have raised serious questions about the invincible Vasistha and King Mitrasaha. Give up this ceremony. which was full of varieties of deer herds and crowded with all kinds of creatures. so listen carefully as I answer you. for I am asking in earnest. son of Vasistha. invincible one. thick with all kinds of bushes. "O son of Sakti. for I have a great desire to beget a child. ADI PARVA . then. Why. devoured her husband as like a tiger consumes his wanted prey. who were younger brothers of Sakti. and may God bless you!" When thus addressed by Pulastya. and her single tear fell to the ground and became a blazing fire that lit up the entire area with brilliant light. Having come under the power of the curse. Once he was overcome with hunger and was searching for food when in that most troubled state he came to a waterfall cascading through the wild forest. I previously explained to you.

that noble king then recalled it. O mighty Arjuna. the glorious Vasistha witnessed all these events. and knowledge of mantras. and therefore I declare that Vasistha will lie with your wife and beget a son. that excellent Vedic scholar. Sri Vaisampayana said: Thereupon Arjuna presented his agneya weapon to the Gandharva with honor and protocol. therefore evil-minded one. Bewildered by the curse of the brahmana's wife. that brilliant woman born in the line of Angira entered into the sacred fire in the presence of the king. she angrily cursed the saintly king Kalmasa-pada in these words: "Vile man! Because you cruelly devoured my most venerable lord and protector before my eyes at a moment when I was unfulfilled. received them with water to wash their feet. the king had Vasistha lie with his wife. select him if you wish. O best of the Bharatas. and he was open-minded and generous. His name is Dhaumya. By his mystic knowledge. beauty. and forest fare of fruits and roots. and that son will inherit your throne. the saintly king was freed from the cursed life of a Raksasa. and he lamented piteously for what he had done. Now the Pandavas had serious hopes of regaining their kingdom and fortune and of winning the hand of the Pancala princess at her svayamvara. O lowest of kings. The five brothers and their mother." The Gandharva and the Pandavas respectfully bid each other farewell and departed at their pleasure from the charming bank of the Ganges. Later. ADI PARVA . one who knows the Vedas. O Bharata. at the time of action I shall take them. he did not at first remember the curse." Having thus cursed the king. for they had accepted the guidance of a brahmana. and he was equal to Brhaspati. handsome and eloquent.her husband. The Gandharva said: In the forest at sacred Utkocaka. and therefore point out a priest who would be suitable for us. strong. After a long time. intelligence. she stopped him. felt themselves well-protected. but hearing the words of his godly wife. Dhaumya considered that the heroic brothers had already regained their kingdom. in his potency. Dhaumya was certainly a most learned scholar of the Vedas. you too will at once lose your life. and vast austerities. for he was disqualified by the terms of the curse. the priest to the gods. and affectionately told him. He was an aristocratic brahmana. Gandharva. struck down by my curse should you ever approach your wife in her fertile season. And Dhaumya. "These horses should remain with you for now.CHAPTER 174 Arjuna said: All is known to you. fortune. in the company of their guru. and he agreed to become their priest. fame. May you fare well. The Pandavas went to the hermitage of the sage Dhaumya at sacred Utkocaka and chose him as their royal priest. "You have murdered the sons of the sage Vasistha. and devout as the gods . the younger brother of Devala performs austerities. For that reason. chivalrous. for he knew them to be as intelligent. and when he eagerly approached his wife Madanti in her fertile season.

then set out to see Draupadi and the divine festival. If he wrestles there. Thereupon. when Draupadi Krsna sees all you handsome boys standing there. and experienced the festival. he could win a big prize! Yudhisthira Maharaja said: . Traveling with their mother. Dhaumya engaged the Pandavas in holy sacrifice to that end. and her eyes are just like lotus petals. His sister is called Draupadi. reciters of legends and history. as good-looking as gods. including valuable stones and coins. The daughter of the great soul Drupada arose from a sacred altar. and food grains. making our way in one large group. He has powerful arms and took birth from a blazing fire of sacrifice. for all of them have studied the Vedas under their learned priests. and his arms are huge. seen the svayamvara. and bow. She is a young and very delicate lady. and intelligent also. With his keen knowledge of religious principles. ADI PARVA . where are you headed. and of all matters. He glows like fire. A grand svayamvara is going to take place there. be informed that we brothers have come from Ekacakra and are traveling with our mother. We ourselves are going there. There will be a most glorious and amazing festival there. The brahmanas said to the Pandavas. lovely to see. arrows. cows. great souls fixed in their vows. And who knows. tigers of men. the fiery foe of Drona born with armor. and most generous to the brahmanas. she might just choose one of you as her husband! This attractive brother of yours is very good-looking. Thus when you have seen and participated in the wondrous event and received charity. we shall then go as we please. The natural fragrance of her body is just like a blue lotus. you great souls will return with us from whence you came. The brahmanas said: You should all go at once to the palace of King Drupada in the land of Pancala. "Fellow brahmanas. with the full blessings of Dhaumya.CHAPTER 175 Sri Vaisampayana said: The five Pandava brothers. Kings and princes will be arriving there. and the aroma spreads for miles. and the king will be giving away a fortune in charity. Hoping for the blessing of victory. great chariot fighters who have mastered their weapons. and there is not a single flaw in the figure of that thin-waisted girl. to all who come. sword. the monarchs who come there will distribute all varieties of gifts. bards. who were disguised as celibate brahminical students. dancers. Young and handsome rulers from many countries will come together. they met on the road many brahmanas who were also going to that festival with their followers. She is the sister of Dhrstadyumna. After we have received all that charity. and we are going there to see her at her divine festival. The daughter of King Drupada is eagerly preparing for her svayamvara. Actors. and from where are you coming?" Yudhisthira Maharaja replied: O saintly ones who have seen the Lord. and powerful wrestlers will all come there from different countries.themselves. clean in their habits. those kingly men resolved to journey together to the svayamvara festival of the Pancala princess.

Yes, sir, we shall go with all of you to see that most prominent and divine festival, wherein the young princess will choose her prince.

Sri Vaisampayana said: My dear Janamejaya, when the Pandavas were thus invited by the brahmanas, they set out with them toward the kingdom of Pancala, ruled by King Drupada. On the way, O king, the Pandavas met that great and pure soul untouched by sin, Dvaipayana Vyasa. Having properly honored him, and being encouraged and comforted by him, they spoke for some time, and then with his permission, they went on their way to the kingdom of Drupada. The great warriors traveled at their leisure and set up camp wherever they encountered lovely lakes and forests. They took time to study Vedic literature and to maintain strict cleanliness, and thus their minds were gentle and their speech kind and pleasant. Eventually those Kuru princes reached the land of the Pancalas. After they had seen the city and the king's palace, the Pandavas made their residence in the house of a potter and fully adopted the activites of the brahmanas, collecting alms for their sustenance. So well did they play the part that the local people had not an inkling that those great heroes had arrived in their city. Now, it had always been the desire of King Drupada to give his daughter to Arjuna, but he did not reveal his wish. In his attempt to seek out the sons of Kunti, O Janamejaya, the Pancala king had arranged for a tough and unyielding bow and an artificial device suspended in the air, and within that contrivance the king placed a golden target. King Drupada said: Whoever can string this bow and with the bow and these arrows shoot through the hanging device and pierce the target wins my daughter's hand. Sri Vaisampayana said: King Drupada had this message announced all around, [knowing that only Arjuna could pass the test]. Hearing the king's challenge, O Bharata, all the kings of the world eagerly assembled in Drupada's city. The holy sages also came, eager to see the svayamvara, and all the Kuru princes, headed by Duryodhana, with his close friend Karna, arrived there to try for Draupadi's hand. Exalted brahmanas arrived from many countries, and the great soul Drupada welcomed and honored them as he did the contingents of monarchs. The local crowds roared like the tossing sea, as the visiting kings reached the fine city and settled in for the affair. Northeast of the town, on a flat and sanctified stretch of land, a beautiful stadium shone with much splendor, boasting luxurious viewing stands on all sides. A colorful canopy was stretched across the entire arena; a protective wall and moat encircled it. It was adorned with tall arched gateways, Hundreds of musical instruments filled the air with sound, priceless aloe perfumes scented the atmosphere, sandalwood water was sprinkled about, and colorful garlands of flowers added bright beauty to the scene.

The palatial pavillions on all sides of the stadium were of excellent construction and stood so high that they seemed to scrape the heavens like the peak of Mount Kailasa. They were covered in golden trellises and inlaid gorgeously with gems. Access to the upper stands was gradual and easy, and there were large seats and other furnishings completely upholstered with material not to be found in ordinary villages, for the fabrics and carpets were as white as swans and scented with the finest aloe, perfuming the air for miles. There were a hundred wide and unobstructed gateways, furnished with exquisite seats and sofas that were fashioned with varieties of valuable metals, as are the peaks of the Himalayas. All the kings, splendidly dressed, took their seats on the various levels of the pavillion, competing with one another for position and prestige. The citizens of the town and country saw that those mighty warriors were lionlike monarchs, ferocious in battle, but exceedingly kind to those who sought their shelter. Indeed they were loved by all their countrymen for their good and pious deeds, and those fortunate kings, tastefully scented with black aloe cologne, were devoted to the brahmanas and ruled their lands with saintly guidance. The citizens sought the satisfaction of seeing the chaste Princess Daraupadi, and so they took their seats in the opulent viewing areas. The Pandavas took their seat with the brahmanas and beheld the unparalleled opulence of the Pancala king. The gathering continued to grow for many days, O king, and it was magnificent. Jewels were freely given in charity, and professional actors and dancers performed. O best of the Bharatas, a large and beautiful gathering was present when, on the sixteenth day, it was time for Draupadi to appear. Her body freshly bathed and adorned with all the finest jewelry, she took in her hands the hero's cup, golden and exquisitely wrought, and descended into the arena. At that moment, the royal priest of the Pancalas, a pure brahmana learned in mantra, spread the sacred grass and fed the fire of sacrifice with oblations of clear butter. All was done precisely by the ancient rule. Having sated the fire of rite and the holy brahmanas, and having invoked blessings on the assembly, the royal priest then signalled for all the musicians to cease. When not a sound could be heard, O king, Dhrstadyumna went to the center of the arena, and in a voice as deep and grave as thunder rumbling in the clouds, he pronounced these graceful and meaningful words: "May all the kings hear me now! This is the bow, these are the arrows, and there is the target. With only five arrows at your disposal, you must send a shaft through the opening in that mechanical device and strike the target. "Of the man endowed with noble lineage, beauty, and strength who carries out this most difficult task, my sister Krsna shall today become the wife, and I speak the truth." Having spoken thus to the kings, the son of Drupada then turned to Draupadi and began to recite to her, so that all could hear, the name, lineage, and deeds of the assembled monarchs.

Prince Dhrstadyumna said: The one hundred sons of Dhrtarastra are celebrated as leaders of the warrior race, for they are powerful and heroic. Assembled here today are Duryodhana, Durvisaha, Durmukha, Duspradharsana, Vivimsati, and Vikarna; Saha, Duhsasana, Sama, Yuyutsu, Vatavega, and

Bhimavegadhara; Ugrayudha, Balaki, Kanakayus, Virocana, Sukundala, Citrasena, Suvarca, Kanakadhvaja, Nandaka, Bahusali, Kundaja, and Vikata. All these and many other sons of Dhrtarastra have come here with Karna seeking your hand. All the sons of the Gandhara king have gathered here, and their names are Sakuni, Bala, Vrsaka, and Brhadbala. Asvatthama and Bhoja are distinguished among all who wield weapons, and these two great souls, beautifully dressed, have come here because of you. Brhanta and Manimat, powerful Dandadhara, Sahadeva, Jayatsena, and Meghasandhi of Magadha; Virata with his two sons, Sankha and Uttara; Vardhaksemi, Suvarca, and King Senabindu; Abhibhu with his splendid son Sudama, Sumitra, Sukumara, Vrka, and Satyadhrti; Suryadhvaja, Rocamana, Nila, and Citrayudha; Amsuman, Cekitana, mighty Sreniman, fiery Candrasena, son of Samudrasena; Jalasandha, and father and son named Sudanda and Danda; Paundraka, who claims to be Vasudeva; heroic Bhagadatta, Kalinga, Tamralipta, and the ruler of Pattana; the gr