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Chapter 93

Mahabharata English - ADI PARVA

“Vasumat said, ‘I am Vasumat, the son of Oshadaswa. I would ask thee, Oking, whether there are any worlds for me to enjoy as fruits of myreligious merits, in heaven or the firmament. Thou art, O high-souledone, acquainted with all holy regions.’

“Yayati answered, ‘There are as many regions for thee to enjoy in heavenas the number of places in the firmament, the Earth and the ten points ofthe universe illumined by the Sun.’

“Vasumat then said, ‘I give them to thee. Let those regions that are forme be thine. Therefore, though falling, thou shall not fall. If to acceptthem as gift be improper for thee, then, O monarch, buy them for a straw?’

“Yayati answered, ‘I do not remember having ever bought and sold anythingunfairly. This has never been done by other kings. How shall I thereforedo it?’

“Vasumat said, ‘If buying them, O king, be regarded by thee as improper,then take them as gilt from me. For myself I answer that I will never goto those regions that are for me. Let them, therefore, be thine.’

“Sivi then addressed the king thus, I am, O king, Sivi by name, the sonof Usinara. O father, are there in the firmament or in heaven any worldsfor me to enjoy? Thou knowest every region that one may enjoy as thefruit of his religious merit.’

“Yayati said, ‘Thou hast never, by speech or in mind, disregarded thehonest and the virtuous that applied to thee. There are infinite worldsfor thee to enjoy in heaven, all blazing like lightning.’ Sivi then said,’If thou regardest their purchase as improper, I give them to thee. Takethem all, O king! I shall never take them, viz., those regions where thewise never feel the least disquiet.’

Yayati answered, ‘O Sivi, thou hast indeed, obtained for thyself,possessed of the prowess of Indra, infinite worlds. But I do not desireto enjoy regions given to me by others. Therefore, I accept not thy gift.’

“Ashtaka then said, ‘O king, each of us has expressed his desire to givethee worlds that each of us has acquired by his religious merits. Thouacceptest not them. But leaving them for thee, we shall descend into theEarth-hell.’

“Yayati answered, ‘Ye all are truth-loving and wise. Give me that which Ideserve. I shall not be able to do what I have never done before.’

“Ashtaka then said, ‘Whose are those five golden cars that we see? Do menthat repair to these regions of everlasting bliss ride in them?’

“Yayati answered, ‘Those five golden cars displayed in glory, and blazingas fire, would indeed, carry you to regions of bliss.’

“Ashtaka said, ‘O king, ride on those cars thyself and repair to heaven.We can wait. We follow thee in time.’

“Yayati said, ‘We can now all go together. Indeed, all of us haveconquered heaven. Behold, the glorious path to heaven becomes visible.”

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Then all those excellent monarchs riding inthose cars set out for heaven for gaining admittance into it,illuminating the whole firmament by the glory of their virtues.’

“Then Ashtaka, breaking the silence asked, ‘I had always thought thatIndra was my especial friend, and that I, of all others, should firstobtain admittance into heaven. But how is it that Usinara’s son, Sivihath already left us behind?’

“Yayati answered, ‘This Usinara’s son had given all he possessed forattaining to the region of Brahman. Therefore, is he the foremost amongus. Besides, Sivi’s liberality, asceticism, truth, virtue, modesty,forgiveness, amiability, desire of performing good acts, have been sogreat that none can measure them!’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘After this, Ashtaka, impelled by curiosity,again asked his maternal grandfather resembling Indra himself, saying, ‘Oking, I ask thee, tell me truly, whence thou art, who thou art, and whoseson? Is there any other Brahmana or Kshatriya who hath done what thoudidst on earth?’ Yayati answered, ‘I tell thee truly, I am Yayati, theson of Nahusha and the father of Puru. I was lord of all the Earth. Yeare my relatives; I tell thee truly, I am the maternal grandfather of youall. Having conquered the whole earth, I gave clothes to Brahmanas andalso a hundred handsome horses fit for sacrificial offering. For suchacts of virtue, the gods became propitious to those that perform them. Ialso gave to Brahmanas this whole earth with her horses and elephants andkine and gold all kinds of wealth, along with a hundred Arbudas ofexcellent milch cows. Both the earth and the firmament exist owing to mytruth and virtue; fire yet burneth in the world of men owing to my truthand virtue. Never hath a word spoken by me been untrue. It is for thisthat the wise adore Truth. O Ashtaka, all I have told thee, Pratardana,and Vasumat, is Truth itself. I know it for certain that the gods and theRishis and all the mansions of the blessed are adorable only because ofTruth that characteriseth them all. He that will without malice duly readunto good Brahmanas his account of our ascension to heaven shall himselfattain to the same worlds with us.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘It was thus that the illustrious king Yayati ofhigh achievements, rescued by his collateral descendants, ascended toheaven, leaving the earth and covering the three worlds with the fame ofhis deeds.'”

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