Chapter 150

Mahabharata English - ANUSASANA PARVA

“Yudhishthira said, ‘O grandsire, O thou of great wisdom, O thou that artconversant with all branches of knowledge, what is that subject of silentrecitation by reciting which every day one may acquire the merit ofrighteousness in a large measure? What is that Mantra for recitationwhich bestows success if recited on the occasion of setting out on ajourney or in entering a new building, or at the commencement of anyundertaking, or on the occasion of sacrifices in honour of the deities orof the Pitris? It behoveth thee to tell me what indeed, what Mantra itis, which propitiates all malevolent influences, or leads to prosperityor growth, or protection from evil, or the destruction of foes, or thedispelling of fears, and which, at the same time, is consistent with theVedas.’

“Bhishma said, ‘Hear, O king, with concentrated, attention, what thatMantra is which was declared by Vyasa. It was ordained by Savitri and ispossessed of great excellence. It is capable of cleansing a personimmediately of all his sins. Hear, O sinless one, as I recite to thee theordinances in respect of that Mantra. Indeed, O chief of the sons ofPandu, by listening to those ordinances, one becomes cleansed of allone’s sins. One who recites this Mantra day and night becomes neverstained by sin. I shall now declare it to thee what that Mantra is. Dothou listen with concentrated attention. Indeed, the man that hears itbecomes endued with long life, O prince, and attaining to the fruition ofall his wishes, sports in felicity both here and hereafter. This Mantra,O king, was daily recited by the foremost of royal sages devoted to thepractice to Kshatriya duties and steadily observant of the vow of truth.Indeed, O tiger among kings, those monarchs who, with restrained sensesand tranquil soul, recite this Mantra every day, succeed in acquiringunrivalled prosperity–Salutations to Vasishtha of high vows after havingbowed with reverence unto Parasara, that Ocean of the Vedas! Salutationsto the great snake Ananta, and salutations to all those who are crownedwith success, and who are of unfading glory! Salutations to the Rishis,and unto Him that is the Highest of the High, the god of gods, and thegiver of boons unto all those that are foremost. Salutations unto Him ofa thousand heads, Him that is most auspicious, Him that has a thousandnames, viz., Janardana! Aja. Ekapada, Ahivradhna, the unvanquishedPinakin, Rita Pitrirupa, the three-eyed Maheswara, Vrishakapi, Sambhu,Havana, and Iswara–these are the celebrated Rudras, eleven in number,who are the lords of all the worlds. Even these eleven high-souled oneshave been mentioned as a hundred in the Satarudra (of the Vedas). Ansa,Bhaga, Mitra, Varuna the lord of waters, Dhatri, Aryaman, Jayanta,Bhaskara, Tvashtri, Pushan, Indra and Vishnu, are said to comprise a taleof twelve. These twelve are called Adityas and they are the sons ofKasyapa as the Sruti declares. Dhara, Dhruva, Some, Savitra. Anila,Anala, Pratyusha, and Prabhava, are the eight Vasus named in thescriptures, Nasataya and Dasra are said to be the two Aswins. They arethe sons of Martanda born of his spouse Samjna, from whose nostrils theycame out. After this I shall recite the names of those who are thewitnesses of all acts in the worlds. They take note of all sacrifices, ofall gifts, of all good acts. Those lords among the deities beholdeverything although they are invisible. Indeed, they behold all the goodand bad acts of all beings. They are Mrityu, Kala, the Viswedevas, thePitris endued with forms, the great Rishis possessed of wealth ofpenances, the Munis, and others crowned with success and devoted topenances and emancipation. These of sweet smiles, bestow diverse benefitsupon those men that recite their names. Verily, endued with celestialenergy, they bestow diverse regions of felicity created by the Grandsireupon such men. They reside in all the worlds and attentively note allacts. By reciting the names of those lords of all living creatures, onealways becomes endued with righteousness and wealth and enjoyments incopious measure. One acquires hereafter diverse regions of auspiciousnessand felicity created by the Lord of the universe. These three and thirtydeities, who are the lords of all beings as also Nandiswara of huge body,and that pre-eminent one who has the bull for the device on his banner,and those masters of all the worlds, viz., the followers and associatesof him called Ganeswara, and those called Saumyas, and called the Rudras,and those called the Yogas, and those that are known as the Bhutas, andthe luminaries in the firmament, the Rivers, the sky, the prince of birds(viz., Garuda), all those persons on earth who have become crowned withsuccess in consequence of their penances and who are existing in animmobile or mobile form, the Himavat, all the mountains, the four Oceans,the followers and associates of Bhava who are possessed of prowess equalto that of Bhava himself, the illustrious and ever-victorious Vishnu, andSkanda, and Ambika,–these are the great souls by reciting whose namewith restrained senses, one becomes cleansed of all sins. After this Ishall recite the names of those foremost Rishis who are known as Manavas.They are Yavakrita, and Raibhya, and Arvavasu, and Paravasu, and Aushija,and Kakshivat, and Vala the son of Angiras. Then comes Kanwa the son ofthe Rishi Medhatithi, and Varishada. All these are endued with the energyof Brahma and have been spoken of (in the scriptures) as creators of theuniverse. They have sprung from Rudra and Anala and the Vasus. Byreciting their names people obtain great benefits. Indeed, by doing gooddeeds on earth, people sport in joy in heaven, with the deities. TheseRishis are the priests of Indra. They live in the east. That man who,with rapt attention, recites the names of these Rishis, succeeds inascending to the regions of Indra and obtaining great honours there.Unmachu, Pramchu, Swastyatreya of great energy, Dridhavya, Urdhvavahu,Trinasoma, Angiras, and Agastya of great energy, the son ofMitravaruna,–these seven are the Ritwiks of Yama the king of the dead,and dwell in the southern quarter. Dridheyu and Riteyu, and Pariyadha ofgreat fame, and Ekata, and Dwita, and Trita–the last three endued withsplendour like that of the sun,–and Atri’s son of righteous soul, viz.,the Rishi Saraswata,–these seven who had acted as Ritwiks in the greatsacrifice of Varuna–have taken up their abodes in the western quarter.Atri, the illustrious Vasishtha, the great Rishi Kasyapa, Gotama,Bharadwaja, Viswamitra, the son of Kusika, and Richika’s fierce sonJamadagni of great energy,–these seven are the Ritwiks of the Lord oftreasures and dwell in the northern quarter. There are seven other Rishisthat live in all directions without being confined to any particular one.They, it is, who are the inducers of fame and of all this beneficial tomen, and they have been sung as the creators of the worlds. Dharma, Kama,Kala, Vasu, Vasuki, Ananta, and Kapila,–these seven are the upholders ofthe world. Rama, Vyasa, Drona’s son Aswatthaman, are the other Rishis(that are regarded as the foremost). These are the great Rishis asdistributed into seven groups, each group consisting of seven. They arethe creators of that peace and good that men enjoy. They are said to bethe Regents of the several points of the compass. One should turn one’sface to that direction in which one of these Rishis live if one wishes toworship him. Those Rishis are the creators of all creatures and have beenregarded as the cleansers of all. Samvarta, Merusavarna, the righteousMarkandeya, and Sankhya and Yoga, and Narada and the great RishiDurvasa,–these are endued with severe penance and great self-restraint,and are celebrated over the three worlds. There are others who are equalto Rudra himself. They live in the region of Brahman. By naming them withreverence a sonless man obtains a son, and a pool man obtains wealth.Indeed, by naming them, one acquires success in religion, and wealth andpleasure. One should also take the name of that celebrated king who wasEmperor of all the earth and equal to a Prajapati, viz., that foremost ofmonarchs, Prithu, the son of Vena. The earth became his daughter (fromlove and affection). One should also name Pururavas of the Solar race andequal unto Mahendra himself in prowess. He was the son of Ila andcelebrated over the three worlds. One should, indeed, take the name ofthat dear son of Vudha. One should also take the name of Bharata, thathero celebrated over the three worlds. He also who in the Krita ageadored the gods in a grand Gomedha sacrifice, viz., Rantideva of greatsplendour, who was equal unto Mahadeva himself, should be named. Enduedwith penances, possessed of every auspicious mark, the source of everykind of benefit to the world, he was the conqueror of the universes. Oneshould also take the name of the royal sage Sweta of illustrious fame. Hehad gratified the great Mahadeva and it was for his sake that Andhaka wasslain. One should also take the name of the royal sage Bhagiratha ofgreat fame, who, through the grace of Mahadeva, succeeded in bringingdown the sacred river from heaven (for flowing over the earth andcleansing all human beings of their sins). It was Bhagiratha who causedthe ashes of the sixty thousand sons of Sagara to be overflowed with thesacred waters of Ganga and thereby rescued them from their sin. Indeed,one should take the names of all these that were endued with the blazingeffulgence of fire, great beauty of person, and high energy. Some of themwere of awe-inspiring forms and great might. Verily, one should take thenames of these deities and Rishis and kings, those lords of theuniverse,–who are enhancers of fame. Sankhya, and Yoga which is highestof the high, and Havya and Kavya and that refuge of all the Srutis, viz.,Supreme Brahma, have been declared to be the sources of great benefit toall creatures. These are sacred and sin-cleansing and have been spoken ofvery highly. These are the foremost of medicines for allaying alldiseases, and are the inducers of the success in respect of all deeds.Restraining one’s senses, one should, O Bharata, take the names of these,morning and evening. It is these that protect. It is these that showerrain. It is these that shine and give light and heat. It is these thatblow. It is these that create all things. These are regarded as theforemost of all, as the leaders of the universe, as highly clever in theaccomplishment of all things, as endued with forgiveness, as completemasters of the senses. Indeed, it has been said that they dispel all theevils to which human beings are subject. These high-souled ones are thewitnesses of all good and bad deeds. Rising up in the morning one shouldtake their names, for by this, one is sure to acquire all that is good.He who takes the names of them becomes freed from the fear of fires andof thieves. Such a man never finds his way obstructed by any impediment.By taking the names of these high-souled ones, one becomes free from baddreams of every kind. Cleared from every sin, such men take birth inauspicious families. That regenerate person who, with restrained senses,recites these names on the occasions of performing the initiatory ritesof sacrifices and other religious observances, becomes, as theconsequence thereof, endued with righteousness, devoted to the study ofthe soul, possessed of forgiveness and self-restraint, and free frommalice. If a man that is afflicted with disease recites them, he becomesfreed from his sin in the form of disease. By reciting them within ahouse, all evils are dispelled from the inmates. By reciting them withina field, the growth is helped of all kinds of crops. Reciting them at thetime of setting out on a journey, or while one is away from one’s home,one meets with good fortune. These names lead to the protection of one’sown self, of one’s children and spouses, of one’s wealth, and of one’sseeds, and plants. The Kshatriya who recites these names at the time ofjoining a battle sees destruction overtake his foes and good fortunecrown him and his party. The man who recites these names on the occasionsof performing the rites in honour of the deities or the Pitris, helps thePitris and deities eat the sacrificial Havya and Kavya. The man thatrecites them becomes freed from fear of diseases and beasts of prey, ofelephants and thieves. His load of anxiety becomes lightened, and hebecomes freed from every sin. By reciting these excellent Savitri Mantrason board a vessel, or in a vehicle, or in the courts of kings, oneattains to high success. There where these Mantras are recited, fire doesnot burn wood. There children do not die, nor snakes dwell. Indeed, atsuch places, there can be no fear of the king, nor of Pisachas andRakshasas.[607] Verily, the man who recites these Mantras ceases to haveany fear of fire or water or wind or beasts of prey. These SavitriMantras, recited duly, contribute to the peace and well-being of all thefour orders. Those men who recite them with reverence become freed fromevery sorrow and at last attain to a high end. Even these are the resultsachieved by them that recite these Savitri Mantras which are of the formof Brahma. That man who recites these Mantras in the midst of kine seeshis kine become fruitful. Whether when setting out on a journey, orentering a house on coming back, one should recite these Mantras on everyoccasion. These Mantras constitute a great mystery of the Rishis and arethe very highest of those which they silently recite. Even such are theseMantras unto them who practise the duty of recitation and pour libationson the sacrificial fire. This that I have said unto thee is the excellentopinion of Parasara. It was recited in former days unto Sakra himself.Representing as it does Truth or Eternal Brahman. I have declared it infull to thee. It constitutes that heart of all creatures, and is thehighest Sruti. All the princes of the race of Soma and of Surya, viz.,the Raghavas and the Kauravas, recite these Mantras every day afterhaving purified themselves, These constitute the highest end of humancreatures. There is rescue from every trouble and calamity in the dailyrecitation of the names of the deities of the seven Rishis, and ofDhruva. Indeed, such recitation speedily frees one from distress. Thesages of olden times, viz., Kasyapa, Gotama, and others, and BhriguAngiras and Atri and others, and Sukra, Agastya, and Vrihaspati, andothers, all of whom are regenerate Rishis, have adored these Mantras.Approved of by the son of Bharadwaja, these Mantras were attained by thesons of Richika. Verily, having acquired them again from Vasishtha, Sakraand the Vasus went forth to battle and succeeded in subjugating theDanavas. That man who makes a present of a hundred kine with their hornscovered with plates of gold unto a Brahmana possessed of much learningand well-conversant with the Vedas, and he who causes the excellentBharata story to be recited in his house every day, are said to acquireequal merits. By reciting the name of Bhrigu one’s righteousness becomesenhanced. By bowing to Vasishtha one’s energy become enhanced. By bowingunto Raghu, one becomes victorious in battle. By reciting the praises ofthe Aswins, one becomes freed from diseases. I have thus, O king, toldthee of the Savitri Mantras which are identical with eternal Brahman. Ifthou wishest to question me on any other topic thou mayst do so. I shall,O Bharata, answer thee.'”

Chapter 149
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