Chapter 157

Mahabharata English - ANUSASANA PARVA

“Bhishma said, ‘Hearing these words of the god of wind, Arjuna remainedsilent. At this, the god of wind once more addressed him, saying, ‘Whenthe denizens of heaven, with Indra at their head, found themselves withinthe mouth of the Asura Mada, at that time Chyavana took away from themthe earth. Deprived previously of heaven and now shorn of the earth also,the gods became very cheerless. Indeed, those high-souled ones, afflictedwith grief, then threw themselves unreservedly upon the Grandsire’sprotection.’

“The gods said, ‘O thou that art adored by all creatures of the universe,the earth has been taken away from us by Chyavana, while we have beendeprived of heaven by the Kapas, O puissant one!’

“Brahmana said, ‘Ye denizens of heaven, do you, with Indra at your head,repair quickly and seek the protection of the Brahmanas. By gratifyingthem you will succeed in regaining both the regions as before.’ Thusinstructed by the Grandsire, the deities repaired to the Brahmanas andbecame suppliants for their protection. The Brahmanas replied, enquiring,’Whom shall we subjugate?’ Thus asked, the deities said unto them, ‘Do yesubjugate the Kapas.’ The Brahmanas then said, ‘Bringing them down on theearth first, we shall speedily subjugate them.’ After this, the Brahmanascommenced a rite having for its object the destruction of the Kapas. Assoon as this was heard of by the Kapas, they immediately despatched amessenger of theirs, named Dhanin, unto those Brahmanas. Dhanin, comingto them as they sat on the earth, thus delivered to them the message ofthe Kapas. The Kapas are even like you all! (They are not inferior to anyof you). Hence, what will be the effect of these rites which you seem tobe bent upon achieving? All of them are well-conversant with the Vedasand possessed of wisdom. All of them are mindful of sacrifices. All ofthem have Truth for their vow, and for these reasons all of them areregarded as equal to great Rishis. The goddess of Prosperity sports amongthem, and they, in their turn, support her with reverence. They neverindulge in acts of fruitless congress with their wives, and they nevereat the flesh of such animals as have not been killed in sacrifices. Theypour libations on the blazing sacrificial fire (every day) and ‘areobedient to the behests of their preceptors and seniors. All of them areof souls under perfect control, and never take any food without dividingit duly among their children. They always proceed on cars and othervehicles together (without any of them riding his own vehicle whileothers journey on foot). They never indulge in acts of congress withtheir spouses when the latter are in midst of their functional period.They all act in such a way as to attain to regions of felicity hereafter.Indeed, they are always righteous in their deeds. When women quick withchild or old men have not eaten, they never eat anything themselves. Theynever indulge in play or sports of any kind in the forenoon. They neversleep during the day. When the Kapas have these and many other virtuesand accomplishments, why, indeed, would you seek to subjugate them? Youshould abstain from the endeavour! Verily, by such abstention ye wouldachieve what is for your good.’

“The Brahmanas said, ‘Oh, we shall subjugate the Kapas! In this matter,we art one with the deities. Hence, the Kapas deserve slaughter at yourhands. As regards Dhanin, he should return whence he came! After this,Dhanin, returning to the Kapas, said unto them, ‘The Brahmanas are notdisposed to do you any good! ‘Hearing this, all the Kapas took up theirweapons and proceeded towards the Brahmanas. The Brahmanas, beholding theKapas advancing against them with the standards of their cars upraised,forthwith created certain blazing fires for the destruction of the Kapas.Those eternal fires, created with the aid of Vedic Mantras, havingeffected the destruction of the Kapas, began to shine in the firmamentlike so many (golden) clouds. The gods, having assembled together inbattle, slew many of the Danavas. They did not know at that time that itwas the Brahmanas who had effected their destruction. Then Narada ofgreat energy, coming there, O king, informed the deities how their foes;the Kapas, had been really slain by the Brahmanas of mighty energy (andnot by deities themselves). Hearing these words of Narada, the denizensof heaven became highly gratified. They also applauded those regenerateallies of theirs that were possessed of great fame. The energy andprowess of the deities then began to increase, and worshipped in all theworlds, they acquired also the boon of immortality!’ After the god ofwind had said these words, king Arjuna worshipped him duly and addressinghim answered in these words, ‘Hear, O mighty armed monarch, what Arjunasaid.’

“Arjuna said, O puissant god, always and by all means do I live for theBrahmanas! Devoted to them, I worship them always! Through the grace ofDattatreya I have obtained this might of mine! Through his grace have Ibeen able to accomplish great feats in the world and achieve high merit!Oh, I have, with attention, heard of the achievements, O god of the wind,of the Brahmanas with all their interesting details as recited by theetruly.’

“The god of wind said, ‘Do thou protect and cherish the Brahmanas, in theexercise of those Kshatriya duties which are thine by birth. Do thouprotect them even as thou protectest thy own senses! There is danger tothee from the race of Bhrigu! All that, however, will take place on adistant day.'”

Chapter 156
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