Chapter 148

Mahabharata English - ANUSASANA PARVA

“Narada said, ‘At the conclusion of Mahadeva’s speech, loud roars wereheard in the firmament. Thunders bellowed, with flashes of lightening.The welkin was enveloped with blue and thick clouds. The deity of theclouds then poured pure water like to what he does in the season ofrains. A thick darkness set in. The points of the compass could no longerbe distinguished. Then on that delightful, sacred, and eternal breast ofthat celestial mountain, the assembled Rishis no longer saw the multitudeof ghostly beings that associate with Mahadeva. Soon, however, the welkincleared. Some of the Rishis set out for the sacred waters. Othersreturned whence they came. Verily, beholding that wonderful andinconceivable sight, they became filled with amazement. The discourse toobetween Sankara and Uma had been heard by them with the feelings. Thatforemost of all Beings, of whom the high-souled Sankara spoke to us onthat mountain, art Thou. Verily, thou art identical with Eternal Brahma.Some time also Mahadeva burnt Himavat with his energy. Thou too hastshown us a similar sight of wonder. Indeed, we have been put inremembrance of that fact by what we have witnessed today. O mighty-armedJanardana, I have thus, O puissant one, recited to thee the glory of thatgod of gods, viz., him that is called Kapardin or Girisa!’

“Bhishma continued, ‘Thus addressed by those denizens of asceticretreats, Krishna, the delighter of Devaki paid due honours unto allthose Rishis. Filled with delight, those Rishis once more addressedKrishna, saying, ‘O slayer of Madhu, do Thou repeatedly show Thyself tous at all times! O puissant one, Heaven itself cannot rejoice us so muchas a right of Thyself Everything that was said by the illustrious Bhava(regarding Thyself) is true. O crusher of foes, we have told Thee allabout that mystery. Thou art Thyself conversant with the truth of everytopic. Since, however, asked by us, it pleased Thee to ask us in return,we have, for that reason, recited everything (about the discourse ofBhava with Uma) to Thee for only pleasing Thee. There is nothing in thethree worlds that is unknown to Thee. Thou art fully conversant with thebirth and origin of all things, indeed, with everything that operates asa cause (for the production of other objects). In consequence of thelightness of our character, we are unable to bear (within ourselves theknowledge of) any mystery (without disclosing it).[583] Indeed, in Thypresence, O puissant one, we indulge in incoherences from the lightnessof our hearts. There is no wonderful thing that is unknown to Thee!Whatever is on earth, and whatever is in heaven, all is known to Thee! Wetake our leave of Thee, O Krishna, for returning to our respective abodesMayst Thou increase in intelligence and prosperity! O sire, Thou wiltsoon get a son like unto Thee or even more distinguished than Thyself. Hewill be endued with great energy and splendour. He will achieve greatfeats, and become possessed of puissance as great as Thine!'[584]

“Bhishma continued, ‘After this, the great Rishis bowed unto that god ofgods, that scion of Yadu’s race, that foremost of all Beings. They thencircumambulated Him and taking His leave, departed. As regards Narayana,who is endued with prosperity and blazing effulgence, He returned toDwaraka after having duly observed that vow of His. His spouse Rukminiconceived, and on the expiration of the tenth month a son was born ofher, possessed of heroism and honoured by all for his highly wonderfulaccomplishments. He is identical with that Kama (Desire) which exists inevery creature and which pervades every existent condition. Indeed, hemoves within the hearts of both gods and Asuras. This Krishna is thatforemost of all persons. Even he, endued with the hue of the clouds isthat four-handed Vasudeva. Through affection He has attached himself tothe Pandavas, and you also, ye sons of Pandu, have attached yourselves toHim. Achievements, Prosperity, Intelligence, and the path that leads toheaven, are all there where this one, viz., the illustrious Vishnu ofthree steps, is. He is the three and thirty gods with Indra at theirhead. There is no doubt in this. He is the one Ancient God. He is theforemost of all gods. He is the refuge of all creatures. He. is withoutbeginning and without destruction. He is unmanifest. He is thehigh-souled slayer of Madhu. Endued with mighty energy, He has takenbirth (among men) for accomplishing the purpose of the gods. Verily, thisMadhava is the expounder of the most difficult truths relating to Profitor Wealth, and he is also their achiever. O son of Pritha, the victorythou hast obtained over thy enemies, thy unrivalled achievements, thedominion thou hast acquired over the whole earth, are all due to thy sidehaving been taken up by Narayana. The fact of thy having got theinconceivable Narayana for thy protector and refuge, enabled thee tobecome an Adharyu (chief sacrificer) for pouring multitudes of kings aslibations on the blazing fire of battle. This Krishna was thy greatsacrificial ladle resembling the all-destroying fire that appears at theend of the Yuga. Duryodhana, with his sons, brothers and kinsmen, wasmuch to be pitied inasmuch as, moved by wrath, he made war with Hari andthe wielder of Gandiva. Many sons of Diti, many foremost of Danavas, ofhuge bodies and vast strength, have perished in the fire of Krishna’sdiscus like insects in a forest conflagration. How incapable then musthuman beings be of battling against that Krishna,–human beings who, Otiger among men, are destitute of strength and might! As regards Jaya, heis a mighty Yogin resembling the all-destroying Yuga-fire in energy.Capable of drawing the bow equally with both hands, he is always in thevan of fight. With his energy, O king, he has slain all the troops ofSuyodhana. Listen to me as I tell thee what Mahadeva having the bovinebull for the device on his standard had recited unto the ascetics on thebreast of the Himavat. His utterances constitute a Purana. Theadvancement of greatness, energy, strength, prowess, puissance, humility,and lineage that are in Arjuna can come up to only a third part of themeasure in which those attributes reside in Krishna. Who is there thatcan transcend Krishna in these attributes? Whether that is possible ornot, listen (and judge). There where the illustrious Krishna is, there isunrivalled Excellence.[585] As regards ourselves, we are persons oflittle understanding. Dependent upon the will of others, we areexceedingly unfortunate. Knowingly we betook ourselves to the eternalpath of death. Thou, however, art devoted to sincerity of conduct. Havingformerly pledged thyself against taking thy kingdom, thou didst not takeit, desirous of maintaining thy pledge.[586] O king, thou makest too muchof the slaughter of thy kinsmen and friends in battle (brought about, asthou believest, by thyself). Thou shouldst remember, however, O chastiserof foes, that it is not right to violate a pledge.[587] All those whohave fallen on the field of battle have really been slain by Time.Verily, all of us have been slain by Time. Time is, indeed, all-powerful.Thou art fully conversant with the puissance of Time. Afflicted by Time,it does not behove thee to grieve. Know that Krishna Himself, otherwisecalled Hari, is that Time with blood-red eyes and with club in hand. Forthese reasons, O son of Kunti, it does not behove thee to grieve for thy(slain) kinsfolk. Be thou always free, O delighter of the Kurus, fromgrief. Thou hast heard of the glory and greatness of Madhava as recitedby me. That is sufficient for enabling a good man to understand Him.Having heard the words of Vyasa as also of Narada endued with greatintelligence, I have discoursed to thee on the adorableness of Krishna. Ihave myself added; from my own knowledge, something to that discourse.Verily, I have discoursed also on the surpassing puissance of Krishna asrecited by Mahadeva, unto that conclave of Rishis (on the breast of theHimavat). The discourse too between Maheswara and the daughter ofHimavat, O Bharata, has been recited by me to thee. He who will bear inmind that discourse when emanating from a foremost person, he who willlisten to it, and he who will recite it (for other people’s hearing), issure to win what is highly beneficial. That man will find all his wishesfulfilled. Departing from this world he will ascend to Heaven. There isno doubt in this. That man who, desirous of obtaining what is beneficialfor himself, should devote himself to Janardana. O king of the Kurus, itbehoves thee also to always bear in mind those incidents of duty andrighteousness which were declared by Maheswara. if thou conduct thyselfaccording to those precepts, if thou bear the rod of chastisementrightly, if thou protect thy subjects properly, thou mayst be sure ofattaining to heaven. It behoves thee, O king, to protect thy subjectsalways according to the dictates of righteousness. The stout rod ofchastisement which the king bears has been said to be the embodiment ofhis righteousness or merit.[588] Hearing this discourse, fraught withrighteousness, between Sankara and Uma, that I have recited in thepresence of this righteous conclave, one should worship with reverencethat god having the bovine bull for the device on his banner. One thatbecomes even desirous of listening to that discourse should worshipMahadeva with reverence. Verily, the person that wishes to obtain what isbeneficial for him, should adore Mahadeva with a pure heart. Even this isthe command of the faultless and high-souled Narada. Even he hascommanded such worship of the great god, O son of Pandu, do thou obeythat command of Narada. O puissant king, even these are the wonderfulincidents that occurred on the sacred breast of the Himavat respectingVasudeva and Sthanu, O son of Kunti. Those occurrences flowed from thevery nature of those high-souled deities. Vasudeva, accompanied by thewielder of Gandiva, practised eternal penances in the retreat of Vadarifor ten thousand years.[589] Verily, Vasudeva and Dhananjaya, both ofeyes like lotus-petals, underwent severe austerities for the duration ofthree whole Yugas. I have learnt this from Narada and Vyasa, O king. Thelotus-eyed and mighty-armed Vasudeva, while yet a child (in human form)achieved the great feat of slaying Kansa for the relief of his kinsmen. Ido not venture, O son of Kunti, to enumerate the feats of this Ancientand Eternal Being, O Yudhishthira. Without doubt, O son, high and greatbenefits will be reaped by thee who ownest that foremost of all persons,viz., Vasudeva, for thy friend. I grieve for the wicked Duryodhana inrespect of even the next world to which he has gone. It was for him thatthe whole earth has been depopulated with her seeds and elephants.Indeed, through the fault of Duryodhana, of Karna, of Sakuni, and ofDuhsasana numbering the fourth, that the Kurus have perished.

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘While that foremost of men, viz., the son ofGanga, addressed him in this strain, the Kuru king (Yudhishthira)remained entirely silent in the midst of those high-souled persons (whohad assembled together for listening to the discourses of Bhishma). Allthe kings with Dhritarashtra amongst them became filled with wonder uponhearing the words of the Kuru grandsire. In their minds they worshippedKrishna and then turned towards him with hands joined in reverence. TheRishis also with Narada at their head, accepted and applauded the wordsof Bhishma and approved of them joyfully. These were the wonderfuldiscourses recited by Bhishma which Pandu’s son (Yudhishthira) with allhis brothers heard with joy. Some time after, when king (Yudhishthira)saw that Ganga’s son who had given away abundant wealth as presents untothe Brahmanas in the sacrifices performed by him, had rested and becomerefreshed, the intelligent king once more asked him as follows.'”

Chapter 146
Chapter 149
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