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Chapter 3

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Yudhishthira the son of Kunti, thus addressed bySaunaka, approached his priest and in the midst of his brothers said,’The Brahmanas versed in the Vedas are following me who am departing forthe forest.

Afflicted with many calamities I am unable to support them. Icannot abandon them, nor have I the power to offer them sustenance: Tellme, O holy one, what should be done by me in such a pass.’

“Vaisampayana said, ‘After reflecting for a moment seeking to find outthe (proper) course by his yoga powers, Dhaumya, that foremost of allvirtuous men, addressed Yudhishthira, in these words, ‘In days of old,all living beings that had been created were sorely afflicted withhunger. And like a father (unto all of them), Savita (the sun) tookcompassion upon them. And going first into the northern declension, thesun drew up water by his rays, and coming back to the southerndeclension, stayed over the earth, with his heat centered in himself. Andwhile the sun so stayed over the earth, the lord of the vegetable world(the moon), converting the effects of the solar heat (vapours) intoclouds and pouring them down in the shape of water, caused plants tospring up. Thus it is the sun himself, who, drenched by the lunarinfluence, is transformed, upon the sprouting of seeds, into holyvegetable furnished with the six tastes. And it is these which constitutethe food of all creatures upon the earth. Thus the food that supporteththe lives of creatures is instinct with solar energy, and the sun is,therefore, the father of all creatures. Do thou, hence, O Yudhishthira,take refuge even in him. All illustrious monarchs of pure descent anddeeds are known to have delivered their people by practising highasceticism. The great Karttavirya, and Vainya and Nahusha, had all, byvirtue of ascetic meditation preceded by vows, delivered their peoplefrom heavy afflictions. Therefore, O virtuous one, as thou art purifiedby the acts do thou likewise, entering upon a file of austerities. OBharata, virtuously support the regenerate ones.’

“Janamejaya said, ‘How did that bull among the Kurus, king Yudhishthira,for the sake of the Brahmanas adore the sun of wonderful appearance?”

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Listen attentively, O king, purifying thyself andwithdrawing thy mind from every other thing. And, O king of kings,appoint thou a time. I will tell thee everything in detail, And, Oillustrious one, listen to the one hundred and eight names (of the sun)as they were disclosed of old by Dhaumya to the high-souled son ofPritha. Dhaumya said, ‘Surya, Aryaman, Bhaga, Twastri, Pusha, Arka,Savitri. Ravi,

Gabhastimat, Aja, Kala, Mrityu, Dhatri, Prabhakara, Prithibi, Apa, Teja,Kha, Vayu, the sole stay, Soma, Vrihaspati, Sukra, Budha, Angaraka,Indra, Vivaswat, Diptanshu, Suchi, Sauri, Sanaichara, Brahma, Vishnu,Rudra, Skanda, Vaisravana, Yama, Vaidyutagni, Jatharagni, Aindhna,Tejasampati, Dharmadhwaja, Veda-karttri, Vedanga, Vedavahana, Krita,Treta, Dwapara, Kali, full of every impurity, Kala, Kastha, Muhurtta,Kshapa, Yama, and Kshana; Samvatsara-kara, Aswattha, Kalachakra,Bibhavasu, Purusha, Saswata, Yogin, Vyaktavyakta, Sanatana, Kaladhyaksha,Prajadhyaksha, Viswakarma, Tamounda, Varuna, Sagara, Ansu, Jimuta,Jivana, Arihan, Bhutasraya, Bhutapati, Srastri, Samvartaka, Vanhi,Sarvadi, Alolupa, Ananta, Kapila, Bhanu, Kamada, Sarvatomukha, Jaya,Visala, Varada, Manas, Suparna, Bhutadi, Sighraga, Prandharana,Dhanwantari, Dhumaketu, Adideva, Aditisuta, Dwadasatman, Aravindaksha,Pitri, Matri, Pitamaha, Swarga-dwara, Prajadwara, Mokshadwara,Tripistapa, Dehakarti, Prasantatman, Viswatman, Viswatomukha,Characharatman, Sukhsmatman, the merciful Maitreya. These are the hundredand eight names of Surya of immeasurable energy, as told by theself-create (Brahma). For the acquisition of prosperity, I bow down tothee, O Bhaskara, blazing like unto gold or fire, who is worshipped ofthe gods and the Pitris and the Yakshas, and who is adored by Asuras,Nisacharas, and Siddhas. He that with fixed attention reciteth this hymnat sunrise, obtaineth wife and offspring and riches and the memory of hisformer existence, and by reciting this hymn a person attaineth patienceand memory. Let a man concentrating his mind, recite this hymn. By doingso, he shall be proof against grief and forest-fire and ocean and everyobject of desire shall be his.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Having heard from Dhaumya these words suitableto the occasion, Yudhishthira the just, with heart concentrated withinitself and purifying it duly, became engaged in austere meditation, movedby the desire of supporting the Brahmanas. And worshipping the maker ofday with offerings of flowers and other articles, the king performed hisablutions. And standing in the stream, he turned his face towards the godof day. And touching the water of the Ganges the virtuous Yudhishthirawith senses under complete control and depending upon air alone for hissustenance, stood there with rapt soul engaged in pranayama.[7] Andhaving purified himself and restrained his speech, he began to sing thehymn of praise (to the sun).’

‘Yudhishthira said, “Thou art, O sun, the eye of the universe. Thou artthe soul of all corporeal existences. Thou art the origin of all things.Thou art the embodiment of the acts of all religious men. Thou art therefuge of those versed in the Sankhya philosophy (the mysteries of thesoul), and thou art the support of the Yogins. Thou art a door unfastenedwith bolts. Thou art the refuge of those wishing for emancipation. Thousustainest and discoverest the world, and sanctifiest and supportest itfrom pure compassion. Brahmanas versed in the Vedas appearing beforethee, adore thee in due time, reciting the hymns from the respectivebranches (of the Vedas) they refer. Thou art the adored of the Rishis.The Siddhas, and the Charanas and the Gandharvas and the Yakshas, and theGuhyakas, and the Nagas, desirous of obtaining boons follow thy carcoursing through the skies. The thirty-three gods[8] with Upendra(Vishnu) and Mahendra, and the order of Vaimanikas[9] have attainedsuccess by worshipping thee. By offering thee garlands of the celestialMandaras[10] the best of the Vidyadharas have obtained all their desires.The Guhyas and the seven orders of the Pitris–both divine andhuman–have attained superiority by adoring thee alone. The Vasus, theManilas, and the Rudras, the Sadhyas, the Marichipas, the Valikhilyas,and the Siddhas, have attained pre-eminence by bowing down unto thee.There is nothing that I know in the entire seven worlds, including thatof Brahma which is beyond thee. There are other beings both great andendued with energy; but none of them hath thy lustre and energy. Alllight is in thee, indeed, thou art the lord of all light. In thee are the(five) elements and all intelligence, and knowledge and asceticism andthe ascetic properties.[11] The discus by which the wielder of theSaranga[12] humbleth the pride of Asuras and which is furnished with abeautiful nave, was forged by Viswakarman with thy energy. In summer thoudrawest, by thy rays, moisture from all corporeal existences and plantsand liquid substances, and pourest it down in the rainy season. Thy rayswarm and scorch, and becoming as clouds roar and flash with lightning andpour down showers when the season cometh. Neither fire nor shelter, norwoolen cloths give greater comfort to one suffering from chilling blaststhan thy rays. Thou illuminest by thy rays the whole Earth with herthirteen islands. Thou alone are engaged in the welfare of the threeworlds. If thou dost not rise, the universe becometh blind and thelearned cannot employ themselves in the attainment of virtue, wealth andprofit. It is through thy grace that the (three) orders of Brahmanas,Kshatriyas and Vaisyas are able to perform their various duties andsacrifices.[13] Those versed in chronology say that thou art thebeginning and thou the end of a day of Brahma, which consisteth of a fullthousand Yugas. Thou art the lord of Manus and of the sons of the Manus,of the universe and of man, of the Manwantaras, and their lords. When thetime of universal dissolution cometh, the fire Samvartaka born of thywrath consumeth the three worlds and existeth alone And clouds of varioushues begotten of thy rays, accompanied by the elephant Airavata and thethunderbolt, bring about the appointed deluges. And dividing thyself intotwelve parts and becoming as many suns, thou drinkest up the ocean oncemore with thy rays. Thou art called Indra, thou art Vishnu, thou artBrahma, thou art Prajapati. Thou art fire and thou art the subtle mind.And thou art lord and the eternal Brahma. Thou art Hansa, thou artSavitri, thou art Bhanu, Ansumalin, and Vrishakapi. Thou art Vivaswan,Mihira, Pusha, Mitra, and Dharma. Thou art thousand-rayed, thou artAditya, and Tapana, and the lord of rays. Thou art Martanda, and Arka,and Ravi, and Surya and Saranya and maker of day, and Divakara andSuptasaspti, and Dhumakeshin and Virochana. Thou art spoken of as swiftof speed and the destroyer of darkness, and the possessor of yellowsteeds. He that reverentially adoreth thee on the sixth or the seventhlunar day with humility and tranquillity of mind, obtaineth the grace ofLakshmi. They that with undivided attention adore and worship thee, aredelivered from all dangers, agonies, and afflictions. And they that holdthat thou art everywhere (being the soul of all things) living long,freed from sin and enjoying an immunity from all diseases. O lord of allfood, it behoveth thee to grant food in abundance unto me who am desirousof food even for entertaining all my guests with reverence. I bow also toall those followers of thine that have taken refuge at thy feet–Matharaand Aruna and Danda and others, including Asani and Kshuva and theothers. And I bow also to the celestial mothers of all creatures, viz.,Kshuva and Maitri and the others of the class. O, let them deliver metheir supplient.’

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Thus, O great king, was the sun that purifier of theworld, adored (by Yudhishthira). And pleased with the hymn, the maker ofday, self-luminous, and blazing like fire showed himself to the son ofPandu. And Vivaswan said, ‘Thou shall obtain all that thou desirest. Ishall provide thee with food for five and seven years together. And, Oking, accept this copper-vessel which I give unto thee. And, O thou ofexcellent vows, as long as Panchali will hold this vessel, withoutpartaking of its contents fruits and roots and meat and vegetables cookedin thy kitchen, these four kinds of food shall from this day beinexhaustible. And, on the fourteenth year from this, thou shall regainthy kingdom.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Having said this, the god vanished away. Hethat, with the desire of obtaining a boon, reciteth this hymnconcentrating his mind with ascetic abstraction, obtaineth it from thesun, however difficult of acquisition it may be that he asketh for. Andthe person, male or female, that reciteth or heareth this hymn day afterday, if he or she desireth for a son, obtaineth one, and if riches,obtaineth them, and if learning acquireth that too. And the person maleor female, that reciteth this hymn every day in the two twilights, ifovertaken by danger, is delivered from it, and if bound, is freed fromthe bonds. Brahma himself had communicated this hymn to the illustriousSakra, and from Sakra was it obtained by Narada and from Narada, byDhaumya. And Yudhishthira, obtaining it from Dhaumya, attained all hiswishes. And it is by virtue of this hymn that one may always obtainvictory in war, and acquire immense wealth also. And it leadeth thereciter from all sins, to the solar region.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Having obtained the boon, the virtuous son ofKunti, rising from the water, took hold of Dhaumya’s feet and thenembraced his brother’s. And, O exalted one, wending then with Draupadi tothe kitchen, and adored by her duly, the son of Pandu set himself to cook(their day’s) food. And the clean food, however little, that was dressed,furnished with the four tastes, increased and became inexhaustible. Andwith it Yudhishthira began to feed the regenerate ones. And after theBrahmanas had been fed, and his younger brothers also, Yudhishthirahimself ate of the food that remained, and which is called Vighasa. Andafter Yudhishthira had eaten, the daughter of Prishata took whatremained. And after she had taken her meal, the day’s food becameexhausted.

‘And having thus obtained the boon from the maker of day, the son ofPandu, himself as resplendent as that celestial, began to entertain theBrahmanas agreeably to their wishes. And obedient to their priest, thesons of Pritha, on auspicious lunar days and constellations andconjunctions, performed sacrifices according to the ordinance, thescriptures, and the Mantras. After the sacrifices, the sons of Pandu,blessed by the auspicious rites performed by Dhaumya and accompanied byhim, and surrounded also by the Brahmanas set out for the woods ofKamyaka.'”

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