Chapter 94

Mahabharata English - ADI PARVA

“Janamejaya said, ‘O adorable one, I desire to hear the histories ofthose kings who were descended from Puru. O tell me of each as he waspossessed of prowess and achievements. I have, indeed, heard that inPuru’s line there was not a single one who was wanting in good behaviourand prowess, or who was without sons.

O thou of ascetic wealth, I desireto hear the histories in detail of those famous monarchs endued withlearning and all accomplishments.’

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Asked by thee, I shall tell thee all about theheroic-kings in Puru’s line, all equal unto Indra in prowess, possessinggreat affluence and commanding the respect of all for theiraccomplishments.

“Puru had by his wife Paushti three sons, Pravira, Iswara, and Raudraswa,all of whom were mighty car-warriors. Amongst them, Pravira was theperpetuator of the dynasty. Pravira had by his wife Suraseni a son namedManasyu. And the latter of eyes like lotus-petals had his sway over thewhole Earth bounded by the four seas. And Manasyu had for his wifeSauviri. And he begat upon her three sons called Sakta, Sahana, andVagmi. And they were heroes in battle and mighty car-warriors. Theintelligent and virtuous Kaudraswa begat upon the Apsara Misrakesi tensons who were all great bowmen. And they all grew up into heroes,performing numerous sacrifices in honour of the gods. And they all hadsons, were learned in all branches of knowledge and ever devoted tovirtue. They are Richeyu, and Kaksreyu and Vrikeyu of great prowess;Sthandileyu, and Vaneyu, and Jaleyu of great fame; Tejeyu of greatstrength and intelligence; and Satyeyu of the prowess of Indra; Dharmeyu,and Sannateyu the tenth of the prowess of the celestials. Amongst themall, Richeyu became the sole monarch of the whole earth and was known bythe name of Anadhrishti. And in prowess he was like unto Vasava amongstthe celestials. And Anadhristi had a son of the name of Matinara whobecame a famous and virtuous king and performed the Rajasuya and thehorse-sacrifice. And Matinara had four sons of immeasurable prowess,viz., Tansu, Mahan, Atiratha, and Druhyu of immeasurable glory. (Amongstthem, Tansu of great prowess became the perpetrator of Puru’s line). Andhe subjugated the whole earth and acquired great fame and splendour. AndTansu begat a son of great prowess named Ilina. And he became theforemost of all conquerors and brought the whole world under hissubjection. And Ilina begat upon his wife Rathantara five sons withDushmanta at their head, all equal in might unto the five elements. Theywere Dushmanta, Sura, Bhima, Pravasu, and Vasu. And, O Janamejaya, theeldest of them, Dushmanta, became king. And Dushmanta had by his wifeSakuntala an intelligent son named Bharata who became king. And Bharatagave his name to the race of which he was the founder. And it is from himthat the fame of that dynasty hath spread so wide. And Bharata begat uponhis three wives nine sons in all. But none of them were like their fatherand so Bharata was not at all pleased with them. Their mothers,therefore, became angry and slew them all. The procreation of children byBharata, therefore, became vain. The monarch then performed a greatsacrifice and through the grace of Bharadwaja obtained a son namedBhumanyu. And then Bharata, the great descendant of Puru, regardinghimself as really possessing a son, installed, O foremost one ofBharata’s race, that son as his heir-apparent. And Bhumanyu begat uponhis wife, Pushkarini six sons named Suhotra, Suhotri, Suhavih, Sujeya,Diviratha and Kichika. The eldest of them all, Suhotra, obtained thethrone and performed many Rajasuyas and horse-sacrifices. And Suhotrabrought under his sway the whole earth surrounded by her belt of seas andfull of elephants, kine and horses, and all her wealth of gems of gold.And the earth afflicted with the weight of numberless human beings andelephants, horses, and cats, was, as it were, about to sink. And duringthe virtuous reign of Suhotra the surface of the whole earth was dottedall over with hundreds and thousands, of sacrificial stakes. And the lordof the earth, Suhotra, begat, upon his wife Aikshaki three sons, viz.,Ajamidha, Sumidha, and Purumidha. The eldest of them, Ajamidha, was theperpetuator of the royal line. And he begat six sons,–Riksha was born ofthe womb of Dhumini, Dushmanta and Parameshthin, of Nili, and Jahnu, Jalaand Rupina were born in that of Kesini. All the tribes of the Panchalasare descended from Dushmanta and Parameshthin. And the Kushikas are thesons of Jahnu of immeasurable prowess. And Riksha who was older than bothJala and Rupina became king. And Riksha begat Samvarana, the perpetuatorof the royal line. And, O king, it hath been heard by us that whileSamvarana, the son of Riksha, was ruling the earth, there happened agreat loss of people from famine, pestilence, drought, and disease. Andthe Bharata princes were beaten by the troops of enemies. And thePanchalas setting out to invade the whole earth with their four kinds oftroops soon brought the whole earth under their sway. And with their tenAkshauhinis the king of the Panchalas defeated the Bharata prince.Samvarana then with his wife and ministers, sons and relatives, fled infear, and took shelter in the forest on the banks of the Sindhu extendingto the foot of the mountains. There the Bharatas lived for a fullthousand years, within their fort. And after they had lived there athousand years, one day the illustrious Rishi Vasishtha approached theexiled Bharatas, who, on going out, saluted the Rishi and worshipped himby the offer of Arghya. And entertaining him with reverence, theyrepresented everything unto that illustrious Rishi. And after he wasseated on his seat, the king himself approached the Rishi and addressedhim, saying, ‘Be thou our priest, O illustrious one! We will endeavour toregain our kingdom.’ And Vasishtha answered the Bharatas by saying, ‘Om'(the sign of consent). It hath been heard by us that Vasishtha theninstalled the Bharata prince in the sovereignty of all the Kshatriyas onearth, making by virtue of his Mantras this descendant of Puru theveritable horns of the wild bull or the tusks of the wild elephants. Andthe king retook the capital that had been taken away from him and oncemore made all monarchs pay tribute to him. The powerful Samvarana, thusinstalled once more in the actual sovereignty of the whole earth,performed many sacrifices at which the presents to the Brahmanas weregreat.

“Samvarana begat upon his wife, Tapati, the daughter of Surya, a sonnamed Kuru. This Kuru was exceedingly virtuous, and therefore, he wasinstalled on the throne by his people. It is after his name that thefield called Kuru-jangala has become so famous in the world. Devoted toasceticism, he made that field (Kurukshetra) sacred by practisingasceticism there. And it has been heard by us that Kuru’s highlyintelligent wife, Vahini, brought forth five sons, viz., Avikshit,Bhavishyanta, Chaitraratha, Muni and the celebrated Janamejaya. AndAvikshit begat Parikshit the powerful, Savalaswa, Adhiraja, Viraja,Salmali of great physical strength, Uchaihsravas, Bhangakara and Jitarithe eighth. In the race of these were born, as the fruit of their piousacts seven mighty car-warriors with Janamejaya at their head. And untoParikshit were born sons who were all acquainted with (the secrets of)religion and profit. And they were named Kakshasena and Ugrasena, andChitrasena endued with great energy, and Indrasena and Sushena andBhimasena. And the sons of Janamejaya were all endued with great strengthand became celebrated all over the world. And they were Dhritarashtra whowas the eldest, and Pandu and Valhika, and Nishadha endued with greatenergy, and then the mighty Jamvunada, and then Kundodara and Padati andthen Vasati the eighth. And they were all proficient in morality andprofit and were kind to all creatures. Among them Dhritarashtra becameking. And Dhritarashtra had eight sons, viz., Kundika, Hasti, Vitarka,Kratha the fifth, Havihsravas, Indrabha, and Bhumanyu the invincible, andDhritarashtra had many grandsons, of whom three only were famous. Theywere, O king, Pratipa, Dharmanetra, Sunetra. Among these three, Pratipabecame unrivalled on earth. And, O bull in Bharata’s race, Pratipa begatthree sons, viz., Devapi, Santanu, and the mighty car-warrior Valhika.The eldest Devapi adopted the ascetic course of life, impelled thereto bythe desire of benefiting his brothers. And the kingdom was obtained bySantanu and the mighty car-warrior Valhika.

“O monarch, besides, there were born in the race of Bharata numberlessother excellent monarchs endued with great energy and like unto thecelestial Rishis themselves in virtue and ascetic power. And so also inthe race of Manu were born many mighty car-warriors like unto thecelestials themselves, who by their number swelled the Aila dynasty intogigantic proportions.'”

Chapter 95
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