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Chapter 165

Mahabharata English - ANUSASANA PARVA

“Vaisampayana said, ‘That perpetuator of Kuru’s race, viz., Yudhishthirathe son of Pandu, desirous of obtaining such good as is destructive ofsins, questioned Bhishma who was lying on a bed of arrows, (in thefollowing words).’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘What, indeed, is beneficial for a person in thisworld? What is that by doing which one may earn happiness? By what mayone be cleansed of all one’s sins? Indeed, what is that which isdestructive of sins?’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘In this connection, the royal son of Santanu, Oforemost of men, duly recited the names of the deities unto Yudhishthirawho was desirous of hearing.’

“Bhishma said, ‘O son, the following names of the deities with those ofthe Rishis, if duly recited morning, noon, and evening, becomeefficacious cleansers of all sins. Acting with the aid of one’s senses(or knowledge and action), whatever sins one may commit by day or bynight or by the two twilights, consciously, or unconsciously one is sureto be cleansed therefrom and become thoroughly pure by reciting thesenames. One that takes those names has never to become blind or deaf;indeed, by taking those names, one always succeeds in attaining to whatis beneficial. Such a man never takes birth in the intermediate order ofbeings, never goes to hell, and never becomes a human being of any of themixed castes. He has never to fear the accession of any calamity. Whendeath comes, he never becomes stupefied. The master of all the deitiesand Asuras, resplendent with effulgence, worshipped by all creatures,inconceivable, indescribable, the life of all living beings, and unborn,is the Grandsire Brahma, the Lord of the universe. His chaste spouse isSavitri. Then comes that origin of the Vedas, the creator Vishnu,otherwise called Narayana of immeasurable puissance. Then comes thethree-eyed Lord of Lima; then Skanda the generalissimo of the celestialforces; then Visakha; then Agni the eater of sacrificial libations; thenVayu the god of wind; then Chandramas; then Aditya the god of the sun,endued with effulgence; then the illustrious Sakra the lord of Sachi; andYama with his spouse Dhumorna; and Varuna with Gauri; Kuvera the lord oftreasures, with his spouse Riddhi; the amiable and illustrious cowSurabhi; the great Rishi Visravas; Sankalpa, Ocean, Gangs: the othersacred Rivers; the diverse Maruts; the Valkhilyas crowned with success ofpenances; the island-born Krishna; Narada; Parvata; Viswavasu; the Hahas;the Huhus; Tumvuru; Chitrasena; the celestial messenger of widecelebrity; the highly blessed celestial maidens; the celestial Apsaras,Urvasi, Menaka, Rambha; Misrakesi, Alamvusha, Viswachi, Ghritachi,Panchachuda, Tilottama, the Adityas, the Vasus, the Aswins, the Pitris;Dharma (Righteousness); Vedic lore, Penances, Diksha, Perseverance (inreligious acts), the Grandsire, Day and Night, Kasyapa the son ofMarichi, Sukra, Vrihaspati, Mangala the son of Earth, Vudha, Rahu,Sanischara, the Constellations, the Seasons, the Months, the Fortnights,the Year, Garuda, the son of Vinata, the several Oceans, the sons ofKadru, viz., the Snakes, Satadru, Vipasa, Chandrabhaga, Saraswati,Sindhu, Devika, Prabhasa, the lakes of Pushkara, Ganga, Mahanadi, Vena,Kaveri, Narmada, Kulampuna Visalya, Karatoya, Amvuvahini. Sarayu,Gandaki, the great river Lohita, Tamra, Aruna, Vetravati, Parnasa,Gautami, the Godavari, Vena, Krishnavena, Dwija, Drishadvati, Kaveri,Vankhu, Mandakini Prayaga, Prabhasa, the sacred Naimisha, the spot sacredto Visweswara or Mahadeva, viz., Kasi, that lake of crystal water,Kurukshetra full of many sacred waters, the foremost of oceans (viz., theocean of milk), Penances, Gifts, Jamvumarga, Hiranwati, Vitasta, theriver Plakshavati, Vedasmriti, Vedavati, Malava, Aswavati, all sacredspots on Earth, Gangadwara, the sacred Rishikulya, the river Chitravaha,the Charmanwati, the sacred river Kausiki, the Yamuna, the riverBhimarathi, the great river Vahuda, Mahendravani, Tridiva Nilika,Saraswati, Nanda, the other Nanda, the large sacred lake, Gaya,Phalgutirtha Dharmarayana (the sacred forest) that is peopled with thedeities, the sacred celestial river, the lake created by the GrandsireBrahma which is sacred and celebrated over the three worlds, andauspicious and capable of cleansing all sins, the Himavat mountain enduedwith excellent herbs, the Vindhya mountain variegated with diverse kindsof metals, containing many Tirthas and overgrown with medicinal herbs.Meru, Mahendra, Malaya, Sweta endued with silver, Sringavat, Mandara,Nila, Nishada, Dardurna, Chitrakuta, Anjanabha, the Gandhamadanamountains; the sacred Somagiri, the various other mountains, the cardinalpoints of the compass, the subsidiary points, the Earth, all the trees,the Viswedevas, the Firmament, the Constellations, the Planets, and thedeities,–let these all, named and unnamed, rescue and cleanse us! Theman who takes the names of these becomes cleansed of all his sins. Byhymning their praises and gratifying them, one becomes freed from everyfear. Verily, the man who delights in uttering the hymns in praise of thedeities becomes cleansed of all such sins as lead to birth in impureorders. After this recital of the deities, I shall name those learnedBrahmanas crowned with ascetic merit and success and capable of cleaningone of every sin. They are Yavakrita and Raibhya and Kakshivat andAushija, and Bhrigu and Angiras and Kanwa, and the puissant Medhatithi,and Varhi possessed of every accomplishment. These all belong to theeastern region. Others, viz., Unmuchu, Pramuchu, all highly blessed,Swastyatreya of great energy, Agastya of great prowess, the son of Mitraand Varuna; Dridhayu and Urdhavahu, those two foremost and celebrated ofRishis,–these live in the southern region. Listen now to me as I namethose Rishis that dwell in the western region. They are Ushango with hisuterine brothers, Parivyadha of great energy, Dirghatamas, Gautama,Kasyapa, Ekata, Dwita, Trita, the righteous-souled son of Atri (viz.,Durvasa), and puissant Saraswat. Listen now to me as I name those Rishisthat worship the deities in sacrifices, dwelling in the northern region.They are Atri, Vasishtha, Saktri, Parasara’s son Vyasa of great energy;Viswamitra, Bharadwaja, Jamadagni, the son of Richika, Rama, Auddalaka,Swetaketu, Kohala, Vipula, Devala, Devasarman, Dhaumya, Hastikasyapa,Lomasa, Nachiketa, Lomaharsana, Ugrasravas, and Bhrigu’s son Chyavana.This is the tale of Rishis possessed of Vedic lore. They are primevalRishis, O king, whose names, if taken, are capable of cleansing one ofevery sin. After this I shall recite the names of the principal kings.They are Nriga, Yayati, Nahusha, Yadu, Puru of great energy, Sagara,Dhundhumara, Dilipa of great prowess, Krisaswa, Yauvanaswa, Chitraswa,Satyavat, Dushmanta, Bharata who became an illustrious Emperor over manykings, Yavana, Janaka, Dhrishtaratha, Raghu, that foremost of kings,Dasaratha, the heroic Rama, that slayer of Rakshasas, Sasavindu.Bhagiratha, Harischandra, Marutta, Dridharatha, the highly fortunateAlarka, Aila, Karandhama, that foremost of men, Kasmira, Daksha,Amvarisha, Kukura, Raivata of great fame, Kuru, Samvarana, Mandhatri ofunbaffled prowess, the royal sage Muchukunda, Jahnu who was much favouredby Janhavi (Ganga), the first (in point of time) of all kings, viz.,Prithu the son of Vena, Mitrabhanu, Priyankara, Trasadasyu, Sweta thatforemost of royal sages, the celebrated Mahabhisha, Nimi Ashtaka, Ayu,the royal sage Kshupa, Kaksheyu, Pratardana, Devodasa, Sudasa,Kosaleswara, Aila, Nala, the royal sage Manu, that lord of all creatures,Havidhara, Prishadhara, Pratipa, Santanu, Aja, the senior Varhi, Ikshwakuof great fame, Anaranya, Janujangha, the royal sage Kakshasena, and manyothers not named (in history). That man who rising at early dawn takesthe names of these kings at the two twilights, viz., at sunset andsunrise, with a pure body and mind and without distracted attention,acquires great religious merit. One should hymn the praises of thedeities, the celestial Rishis, and the royal sages and say, ‘These lordsof the creation will ordain my growth and long life and fame! Let nocalamity be mine, let no sin defile me, and let there be no opponents orenemies of mine! Without doubt, victory will always be mine and anauspicious end hereafter!'”

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