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Chapter 84

Mahabharata English - ANUSASANA PARVA

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Thou hast, O grandsire, discoursed to me on the giftof kine that is fraught with great merit. In the case of kings observantof their duties, that gift is most meritorious. Sovereignty is alwayspainful. It is incapable of being borne by persons of uncleansed souls.In the generality of cases, kings fail to attain to auspicious ends. Byalways making, however, gifts of earth, they succeed in cleansingthemselves (of all their sins). Thou hast, O prince of Kuru’s race,discoursed to me on many duties. Thou hast discoursed to me on the giftsof kine made by king Nriga in days of old. The Rishi Nachiketa, inancient times, had discoursed on the merits of this act. The Vedas andthe Upanishads also have laid down that in all sacrifices,–in fact, inall kinds of religious acts,–the Dakshina should be earth or kine orgold. The Srutis, however, declare that in all Dakshinas, gold issuperior and is, indeed, the best. I desire, O grandsire, to hear theediscourse truly on this topic. What is gold? How did it spring up? Whendid it come into existence? What is its essence? Who is its presidingdeity? What are its fruits? Why is it regarded as the foremost of allthings? For what reason do men of wisdom applaud the gift of gold? Forwhat reason is gold regarded as the best Dakshinas in all sacrifices? Whyalso is gold regarded as a cleanser superior to earth itself and kine?Why, indeed, is it regarded so superior as a Dakshina? Do thou, Ograndsire, discourse to me on all this!’

“Bhishma said, Listen, O king, with concentrated attention to me as Irecite to thee in detail the circumstances connected with the origin ofgold as understood by me. When my father Santanu of great energy departedfrom this world, I proceeded to Gangadwara for performing his Sraddha.Arrived there, I commenced the Sraddha of my father. My mother Jahnavi,coming there, rendered me great help. Inviting many ascetics crowned withsuccess and causing them to take their seats before me, I commenced thepreliminary rites consisting of gifts of water and of other things.Having with a concentrated mind performed all preliminary rites as laiddown in the scriptures, I set myself to duly offer the obsequial cake. Ithen saw, O king, that a handsome arm, adorned with Angadas and otherornaments, rose up, piercing the ground, through the blades of Kusa grasswhich I had spread. Beholding that arm rise from the ground, I becamefilled with wonder. Indeed, O chief of Bharata’s race, I thought that myfather had come himself for accepting the cake I was about to offer.Reflecting then, by the light of the scriptures, the conviction soon cameupon me that the ordinance does occur in the Vedas that the cake shouldnot be presented into the hand of him whose Sraddha is performed. Eventhis was the conviction that took possession of my mind, viz., that theobsequial cake should never be presented in this world by a man into thevisible hand of the man whose obsequial rites are performed. The Pitrisdo not come in their visible forms for taking the cake. On the otherhand, the ordinance provides that it should be presented on the blades ofKusa grass spread on the earth for the purpose. I then, disregarding thathand which constituted an indication of my father’s presence, andrecollecting the true ordinance depending upon the authority of thescriptures respecting the mode of presenting the cake, offered the entirecake, O chief of the Bharatas, upon those blades of Kusa grass that werespread before me. Know, O prince of men, that what I did was perfectlyconsistent with the scriptural ordinance. After this, the arm of my sire,O monarch, vanished in our very sight. On that night as I slept, thePitris appeared to me in a dream. Gratified with me they said, O chief ofBharata’s race, even these words, ‘We have been pleased with thee, forthe indication thou hast afforded today of thy adherence to theordinance. It has pleased us to see that thou hast not swerved from theinjunctions of the scriptures. The scriptural ordinance, having beenfollowed by thee, has become more authoritative, O king. By such conductthou hast honoured and maintained the authority of thyself, thescriptures, the auditions of the Vedas, the Pitris and the Rishis, theGrandsire Brahman himself, and those seniors, viz., the Prajapatis.Adherence to the scriptures has been maintained. Thou hast today, O chiefof the Bharatas, acted very properly. Thou hast made gifts of earth andkine. Do thou make gifts of gold. The gifts of gold is very cleansing. Othou that art well-conversant with duties, know that by such acts ofthine, both ourselves and our forefathers will all be cleansed of all oursins. Such gifts rescue both ancestors and descendants to the tenthdegree of the person who makes them.’ Even these were the words that myancestors, appearing unto me in a dream, said unto me, I then awoke, Oking, and became filled with wonder. Indeed, O chief of Bharata’s race, Iset my heart then upon making gifts of gold. Listen now, monarch, to thisold history. It is highly praiseworthy and it extends the period of hislife who listens to it. It was first recited to Rama, the son ofJamadagni In former days Jamadagni’s son Rama, filled with great wrath,exterminated the Kshatriyas from off the face of the earth for thriceseven times. Having subjugated the entire earth the heroic Rama of eyeslike lotus-petals began to make preparations for performing aHorse-sacrifice, O king, that is praised by all Brahmanas and Kshatriyasand that is capable of granting the fruition of every wish. Thatsacrifice cleanses all creatures and enhances the energy and splendour ofthose who succeed in performing it. Endued with great energy, Rama, bythe performance of that sacrifice became purified. Having, however,performed that foremost of sacrifices, the high-souled Rama failed yet toattain to perfect lightness of heart. Repairing unto Rishis conversantwith every branch of learning as also the deities, Rama of Bhrigu’s racequestioned them. Filled with repentance and compassion, he addressedthem, saying, ‘Ye highly blessed ones, do ye declare that which is morecleansing still for men engaged in fierce deeds.’ Thus addressed by him,those great Rishis, fully acquainted with the Vedas and the scriptures,answered him, saying, ‘O Rama, guided by the authority of the Vedas, dothou honour all learned Brahmanas. Following this conduct for some timedo thou once more ask the regenerate Rishis as to what should be done bythee for cleansing thyself. Follow the advice which those persons ofgreat wisdom give.’ Repairing then to Vasishtha and Agastya and Kasyapa,that delighter of the Bhrigus, endued with great energy, asked them thatquestion, ‘Ye foremost of Brahmanas, even this is the wish that hasarisen in my heart. How, indeed, may I succeed in cleansing myself? Bywhat acts and rites may this be brought about? Or, if by gifts, what isthat article by giving away which this wish of mine may be accomplished?Ye foremost or righteous persons, if your minds be inclined to do me afavour, then do tell me, ye that are endued with wealth of asceticism,what is that by which I may succeed in cleansing myself.’

“The Rishis said, ‘O delighter of the Bhrigus, the mortal that has sinnedbecomes cleansed by making gifts of kine, of earth, and of wealth. Eventhis is what we have heard. There is another gift that is regarded as agreat cleanser. Listen to us, O regenerate Rishi, as we discourse on it.That article is excellent and is endued with wonderful aspect and is,besides, the offspring of Fire. In days of yore, the god Agni burnt allthe world. It has been heard by us that from his seed sprung gold ofbright complexion. It came to be celebrated under the name of goodcomplexioned. By making gifts of gold thou art sure to have thy wishcrowned with fruition. Then the illustrious Vasishtha in especial, ofrigid vows, addressing him, said, ‘Hear, O Rama, how gold, which has thesplendour of fire sprang into existence. That gold will confer merit onthee. In matters of gifts, gold is highly applauded. I shall also tellthee what is gold, whence it has come, and how it has come to be investedwith superior attributes. Listen to me, O thou of mighty arms, as Idiscourse upon these topics. Know this as certain that gold is of theessence of Fire and Soma. The goat is Fire (for it given, it leads to theregion of the deity of fire); the sheep is Varuna (for if leads to theregion of Varuna the lord of waters); the horse is Surya (for if leads tothe region of Surya); elephants are Nagas (for they lead to the world ofNagas); buffaloes are Asuras (for they lead to the region of Asuras);cocks and boars are Rakshasas (for they lead to the regions of theRakshasas), O delighter of the Bhrigus; earth is sacrifice, kine, water,and Soma (for it leads to the merits of sacrifice, and to the region ofkine, of the lord of waters and of Soma). Even these are the declarationsof the Smritis. Churning the entire universe, a mass of energy was found.That energy is gold. Hence, O regenerate Rishi, compared to all theseobjects (which I have named above) gold is certainly superior. It is aprecious thing, high and excellent.'[383] It is for this reason that thedeities and Gandharvas and Uragas and Rakshasas and human beings andPisachas hold it with care. All these beings, O son of Bhrigu’s race,shine in splendour, with the aid of gold, after converting it into crownsand armlets and diverse kinds of ornaments. It is also for this reasonthat gold is regarded as the most cleansing of all cleansing things suchas earth and kine and all other kinds of wealth, O prince of men. Thegift of gold, O puissant king, is the highest gift. It is distinguishedabove the gifts of earth, of kine, and of all other things, O thou thatart endued with the effulgence of an immortal, gold is an eternalcleanser. Do thou make gifts of it unto the foremost of Brahmanas as itis the foremost of cleansing things. Of all kinds of Dakshina, gold isthe best. They who make gifts of gold are said to be givers of allthings. Indeed, they who make gifts of gold come to be regarded as giversof deities. Agni is all the deities in one, and gold has Agni for itsessence. Hence it is that the person who makes gifts of gold gives awayall the deities. Hence, O chief of men, there is no gift higher than thegift of gold.’

“Vasishtha continued, ‘Hear once more, O regenerate Rishi, as I discourseupon it, the pre-eminence of gold, O foremost of all wielders of weapons.I heard this formerly in the Purana, O son of Bhrigu’s race. I representthe speech of Prajapati himself. After the wedding was over of theillustrious and high-souled Rudra armed with the trident, O son ofBhrigu’s race, with the goddess who became his spouse, on the breast ofthat foremost of mountains, viz., Himavat, the illustrious andhigh-souled deity wished to unite himself with the goddess. Thereupon allthe deities, penetrated with anxiety, approached Rudra. Bending theirheads with reverence and gratifying Mahadeva and his boon giving spouseUma, both of whom were seated together, they addressed Rudra, Operpetuator of Bhrigu’s race, saying, ‘This union, O illustrious andsinless one, of thine with the goddess, is a union of one endued withpenances with another of penances as severe! Verily, it is the union, Olord, of one possessed of very great energy with another whose energy isscarcely less! Thou, O illustrious one, art of energy that isirresistible. The goddess Uma, also is possessed of energy that isequally irresistible. The offspring that will result from a union likethis, will, without doubt, O illustrious deity, be endued with very greatmight. Verily, O puissant lord, that offspring will consume all things inthe three worlds without leaving a remnant. Do thou then, O lord of allthe universe, O thou of large eyes, grant unto these deities prostratedbefore thee, a boon from desire of benefiting the three worlds! Do thou,O puissant one, restrain this high energy of thine which may become theseed of offspring. Verily, that energy is the essence of all forces inthe three worlds. Ye two, by an act of congress, are sure to scorch theuniverse! The offspring that will be born of you two will certainly beable to afflict the deities! Neither the goddess Earth, nor theFirmament, nor Heaven, O puissant one, nor all of them together, will beable to bear thy energy, we firmly believe. The entire universe iscertain to be burnt through the force of thy energy. It behoveth thee, Opuissant one, to show us favour, O illustrious deity. That favourconsists in thy not begetting a son, O foremost of the deities, upon thegoddess Uma. Do thou, with patience, restrain thy fiery and puissantenergy!’ Unto the deities that said so the holy Mahadeva having the bullfor his sign, O regenerate Rishi, answered, saying, ‘So be it!’ Havingsaid so, the deity that has the bull for his vehicle, drew up his vitalseed. From that time he came to be called by the name, of Urdhvaretas(one that has drawn up the vital seed). The spouse of Rudra, however, atthis endeavour of the deities to stop procreation, became highlyincensed. In consequence of her being of the opposite sex (and,therefore, endued with little control upon her temper) she used harshwords, thus, ‘Since ye have opposed my lord in the matter of procreatinga child when he was desirous of procreating one upon me, as theconsequence of this act, ye deities, ye all shall become sonless. Verily,since ye have opposed the birth of issue from me, therefore, ye shallhave no offspring of your own.’ At the time this curse was denounced, Operpetuator of Bhrigu’s race, the deity of fire was not there. It is inconsequence of this curse of the goddess that the deities have becomechildless. Rudra, solicited by them, held in himself his energy ofincomparable puissance. A small quantity, however, that came out of hisbody fell down on the earth. That seed, falling on the earth, leaped intoa blazing fire and there began to grow (in size and power) mostwonderfully. The energy of Rudra, coming in contact with another energyof great puissance, became identified with it in respect of essence.Meanwhile, all the deities having Sakra at their head, were scorched agood deal by the Asura named Taraka. The Adityas, the Vasus, the Rudras,the Maruts, the Aswins, and the Sadhyas all became exceedingly afflictedin consequence of the prowess of that son of Diti. All the regions of thedeities, their beautiful cars, and their palatial mansions, and theretreats of the Rishis, were snatched away by the Asuras. Then thedeities and the Rishis, with cheerless hearts, sought the protection ofthe illustrious and puissant Brahman of unfading glory.'”

Chapter 83
Chapter 85
🙏 धर्म और आध्यात्म को जन-जन तक पहुँचाने में हमारा साथ दें| 🙏