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Chapter 172

Mahabharata English - ADI PARVA

“Vaisampayana said, ‘After Vyasa had gone away, those bulls among men,the Pandavas, saluted the Brahmana and bade him farewell, and proceeded(towards Panchala) with joyous hearts and with their mother walkingbefore them.

Those slayers of all foes, in order to reach theirdestination, proceeded in a due northerly direction, walking day andnight till they reached a sacred shrine of Siva with the crescent mark onhis brow. Then those tigers among men, the sons of Pandu, arrived at thebanks of the Ganga. Dhananjaya, that mighty car-warrior, walking beforethem, torch in hand, for showing the way and guarding them (against wildanimals). And it so happened that at that time the proud king of theGandharvas, with his wives, was sporting in that solitary region in thedelightful waters of the Ganga. The king of the Gandharvas heard thetread of the Pandavas as they approached the river. On hearing the soundsof their foot-steps, the mighty Gandharvas were inflamed with wrath, andbeholding those chastisers of foes, the Pandavas, approach towards himwith their mother, he drew his frightful bow to a circle and said, ‘It isknown that excepting the first forty seconds the grey twilight precedingnightfall hath been appointed for the wandering of the Yakshas, theGandharvas and the Rakshasas, all of whom are capable of going everywhereat will. The rest of the time hath been appointed for man to do his work.If therefore, men, wandering during those moments from greed of gain,come near us, both we and the Rakshasas slay those fools. Therefore,persons acquainted with the Vedas never applaud those men–not even kingsat the head of their troops–who approach any pools of water at such atime. Stay ye at a distance, and approach me not. Know ye not that I ambathing in the waters of the Bhagirathi? Know that I am Angaraparna theGandharva, ever relying on my own strength! I am proud and haughty and amthe friend of Kuvera. This my forest on the banks of the Ganga, where Isport to gratify all my senses, is called Angaraparna after my own name.Here neither gods, nor Kapalikas, nor Gandharvas nor Yakshas, can come.How dare ye approach me who am the brightest jewel on the diadem ofKuvera?’

“Hearing these words of the Gandharva, Arjuna said, ‘Blockhead, whetherit be day, night, or twilight, who can bar others from the ocean, thesides of the Himalayas, and this river? O ranger of the skies, whetherthe stomach be empty or full, whether it is night or day, there is nospecial time for anybody to come to the Ganga–that foremost of allrivers. As regards ourselves endued with might, we care not when wedisturb thee. Wicked being, those who are weak in fighting worship thee.This Ganga, issuing out of the golden peaks of Himavat, falleth into thewaters of the ocean, being distributed into seven streams. They who drinkthe waters of these seven streams, viz., Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati,Vitashtha, Sarayu, Gomati, and Gandaki, are, cleansed of all their sins.O Gandharva, this sacred Ganga again, flowing through the celestialregion is called there the Alakananda, It hath again in the region of thePitris become the Vaitarani, difficult of being crossed by sinners, and,Krishna-Dwaipayana himself hath said so. The auspicious and celestialriver, capable of leading to heaven (them that touch its waters), is freefrom all dangers. Why dost thou then desire to bar us from it? This actof thine is not in consonance with eternal virtue. Disregarding thywords, why shall we not touch the sacred waters of the Bhagirathi freefrom all dangers and from which none can bar us?’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Hearing these words of Arjuna, Angaraparnabecame inflamed with wrath and drawing his bow to a circle began to shoothis arrows like venomous snakes at the Pandavas. Then Dhananjaya, the sonof Pandu, wielding a good shield and the torch he held in his hand,warded off all those arrows and addressing the Gandharva again said, ‘OGandharva, seek not to terrify those that are skilled in weapons, forweapons hurled at them vanish like froth. I think, O Gandharva, that yeare superior (in prowess) to men; therefore shall I fight with thee,using celestial weapons and not with any crooked means. This fiery weapon(that I shall hurl at thee), Vrihaspati the revered preceptor of Indra,gave unto Bharadwaja, from whom it was obtained by Agnivesya, and fromAgnivesya by my preceptor, that foremost of Brahmanas, Drona, who gave itaway to me.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Saying these words, the Pandava wrathfullyhurled at the Gandharva that blazing weapon made of fire which burnt theGandharva’s chariot in a trice. Deprived of consciousness by the force ofthat weapon, the mighty Gandharva was falling, head downward, from hischariot. Dhananjaya seized him by the hair of his head adorned withgarlands of flowers and thus dragged the unconscious Gandharva towardshis brothers. Beholding this, that Gandharva’s wife Kumbhinasi, desirousof saving her husband, ran towards Yudhishthira and sought hisprotection. The Gandharvi said, ‘O exalted one, extend to me thyprotection! O, set my husband free! O lord, I am Kumbhinasi by name, thewife of this Gandharva, who seeketh thy protection!’ Beholding her (soafflicted), the mighty Yudhishthira addressed Arjuna and said, ‘O slayerof foes, O child, who would slay a foe who hath been vanquished in fight,who hath been deprived of fame, who is protected by a woman, and who hathno prowess?’ Arjuna replied, saying, ‘Keep thou thy life, O Gandharva! Gohence, and grieve not I Yudhishthira, the king of the Kurus, commandethme to show thee mercy.’

“The Gandharva replied, ‘I have been vanquished by thee, I shall,therefore, abandon my former name Angaraparna (the blazing vehicle). Inname alone, O friend, I should not be boastful when my pride in mystrength hath been overcome: I have been fortunate in that I haveobtained thee; O Arjuna, that wielder of celestial weapons! I like toimpart to thee the power of (producing) illusions which Gandharvas alonehave. My excellent and variegated chariot hath been burnt by means of thyfiery weapon. I who had formerly been called after my excellent chariotshould now be called after my burnt chariot. The science of producingillusions that I have spoken of was formerly obtained by me by asceticpenances. That science I will today impart to the giver of my life-thyillustrious self! What good luck doth he not deserve who, afterovercoming a foe by his might, giveth him life when that foe asketh forit? This science is called Chakshushi. It was communicated by Manu untoSoma and by Soma unto Viswavasu, and lastly by Viswavasu unto me.Communicated by my preceptor, that science, having come unto me who amwithout energy, is gradually becoming fruitless. I have spoken to theeabout its origin and transmission. Listen now to its power! One may see(by its aid) whatever one wisheth to see, and in whatever way he liketh(generally or particularly). One can acquire this science only afterstanding on one leg for six months. I shall however, communicate to theethis science without thyself being obliged to observe any rigid vow. Oking, it is for this knowledge that we are superior to men. And as we arecapable of seeing everything by spiritual sight, we are equal to thegods. O best of men, I intend to give thee and each of thy brothers ahundred steeds born in the country of the Gandharvas. Of celestial colourand endued with the speed of the mind, those horses are employed inbearing the celestial, and the Gandharvas. They may be lean-fleshed butthey tire not, nor doth their speed suffer on that account. In days ofyore the thunderbolt was created for the chief of the celestials in orderthat he might slay (the Asura) Vritra with it. But hurled at Vritra’shead it broke in a thousand pieces. The celestials worship with reverencethose fragments of the thunderbolt. That which is known in the threeworlds as glory is but a portion of the thunderbolt. The hand of theBrahmana with which he poureth libations on the sacrificial fire, thechariot upon which the Kshatriya fighteth, the charity of the Vaisya, andthe service of the Sudra rendered unto the three other classes, are allfragments of the thunderbolt. It hath been said that horses, forming asthey do a portion of the Kshatriya’s chariot, are, on that account,unslayable. Again horses which form a portion of the Kshatriya’s chariot,are the offspring of Vadava. Those amongst them that are born in theregion of the Gandharvas can go everywhere and assume any hue and speedat the will of their owners. These horses of mine that I give thee willalways gratify thy wishes.”

“On hearing these words of the Gandharva, Arjuna said, ‘O Gandharva, iffrom satisfaction for having obtained thy life at my hands in a situationof danger, thou givest me thy science, and these horses, I would notaccept thy gift.’ The Gandharva replied, saying, ‘A meeting with anillustrious person is ever a source of gratification; besides thou hastgiven me my life. Gratified with thee, I will give thee my science. Thatthe obligation, however, may not all be on one side, I will take fromthee, O Vibhatsu, O bull in Bharata’s race, thy excellent and eternalweapon of fire!’

“Arjuna said, ‘I would accept thy horses in exchange for my weapon. Letour friendship last for ever. O friend, tell us for what we human beingshave to stand in fear of the Gandharvas. Chastisers of foes that we areand virtuous and conversant with the Vedas, tell us, O Gandharva, why intravelling in the night-time we have been censured by thee.’

“The Gandharva said, ‘Ye are without wives (though ye have completed theperiod of study). Ye are without a particular Asrama (mode of life).Lastly, ye are out without a Brahmana walking before, therefore, ye sonsof Pandu, ye have been censured by me. The Yakshas, Rakshasas,Gandharvas, Pisachas, Uragas and Danavas, are possessed of wisdom andintelligence, and acquainted with the history of the Kuru race. O hero, Ihave heard too from Narada and other celestial Rishis about the gooddeeds of your wise ancestors. I myself, too, while roaming over the wholeearth bounded by her belt of seas, have witnessed the prowess of thygreat race. O Arjuna, I have personal knowledge of thy preceptor, theillustrious son of Bharadwaja, celebrated throughout the three worlds forhis knowledge of the Vedas and the science of arms. O tiger in Kuru’srace, O son of Pritha, I also know Dharma, Vayu, Sakra, the twin Aswins,and Pandu,–these six perpetuators of Kuru race,–these excellentcelestials and human progenitors of you all. I also know that you fivebrothers are learned and high-souled, that ye are foremost of allwielders of weapons, that ye are brave and virtuous and observant ofvows. Knowing that your understanding and hearts are excellent and yourbehaviour faultless, I have yet censured you. For, O thou of Kuru’s race,it behoveth no man endued with might of arms to bear with patience anyill usage in the sight of his wife. Especially as, O son of Kunti, ourmight increaseth during the hours of darkness, accompanied by my wife Iwas filled with wrath. O best of vow-observing men, I have, however, beenvanquished by thee in battle. Listen to me as I tell thee the reasonsthat have led to my discomfiture. The Brahmacharya is a very superiormode of life, and as thou art in that mode now, it is for this, O Partha,that I have been defeated by thee in battle. O chastiser of foes, if anymarried Kshatriya fight with us at night, he can never escape, with life.But, O Partha, a married Kshatriya, who is sanctified with Brahma, andwho hath assigned the cares of his State to a priest, might vanquish! allwanderers in the night. O child of Tapati, men should therefore, everemploy learned priests possessing self-command for the acquisition ofevery good luck they desire. That Brahmana is worthy of being the king’spriest who is learned in the Vedas and the six branches thereof, who ispure and truthful, who is of virtuous soul and possessed of self-command.The monarch becometh ever victorious and finally earneth heaven who hathfor his priest a Brahmana conversant with the rules of morality, who is amaster of words, and is pure and of good behaviour. The king shouldalways select an accomplished priest in order to acquire what he hath notand protect what he hath. He who desireth his own prosperity should everbe guided by his priest, for he may then obtain ever the whole earthsurrounded by her belt of seas. O son of Tapati, a king, who is without aBrahmana, can never acquire any land by his bravery or glory of birthalone. Know, therefore, O perpetuator of Kuru’s race, that the kingdomlasteth for ever in which Brahmanas have power.'”

FOLLOW US ON:
Chapter 173
Chapter 171
🙏 धर्म और आध्यात्म को जन-जन तक पहुँचाने में हमारा साथ दें| 🙏