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Chapter 10

Mahabharata English - ASWAMEDHA PARVA

“Indra said, “Even so it is; the might of Brahmanas is great and thereare none more powerful than Brahmanas, but I can never bear withequanimity the insolent pride of Avikshita’s son, and so shall I smitehim with my thunderbolt. Therefore, O Dhritarashtra, do thou according tomy direction repair to king Marutta attended by Samvarta, and deliverthis message to him–‘Do thou, O prince, accept Vrihaspati as thyspiritual preceptor, as otherwise, I shall strike thee with my terrificthunderbolt.'”

Vyasa said, “Then Dhritarashtra betook himself to that monarch’s courtand delivered this message to him from Vasava.”

Dhritarashtra said, “O lord of men, know that I am Dhritarashtra theGandharva, come here with the object [of] delivering to thee the messageof Indra. Do thou, O lion among kings, listen to the words which thehigh-souled lord of all the worlds meant for thee,–That one ofincomprehensible achievements (Indra) only said this much, ‘Do thouaccept Vrihaspati as thy officiating priest for the sacrifice, or if thoudo not comply with my request, I shall strike thee with my terrificthunderbolt.'”

Marutta said, “Thou, O Purandara, the Viswadevas, the Vasus and theAswins ye all know, that in this world there is no escape from theconsequences of playing false to a friend; it is a great sin like untothat of murdering a Brahman. Let Vrihaspati (therefore) officiate aspriest to that Mahendra the supreme Deva (god), the highest one wieldingthe thunderbolt, and O prince, Samvarta will act as my priest, as neitherhis (Indra’s) words, nor thine commend themselves to me.”

The Gandharva said, “Do thou, O lion among princes, listen to theterrible war-cry of Vasava roaring, in the heavens. Assuredly, and openlywill Mahendra hurl his thunderbolt at thee. Do thou therefore be-thinkthyself of thy good, for this is the time to do it.”

Vyasa said, “Thus accosted by Dhritarashtra, and hearing the roar ofhowling Vasava, the king communicated this intelligence to Samvartasteadfast in devotion and the highest of all virtuous men.”

Marutta said, “Verily this rain-cloud floating in the air indicates thatIndra must be near at present, therefore, O prince of Brahmanas, I seekshelter from thee. Do thou, O best of Brahmanas, remove this fear ofIndra from my mind. The Wielder of the thunderbolt is coming encompassingthe ten directions of space with his terrible and superhuman refulgenceand my assistants at this sacrificial assembly have been overcome withfright.

Samvarta said, “O lion among kings, thy fear of Sakra will soon bedispelled, and I shall soon remove this terrible pain by means of mymagic lore (incantation); be calm and have no fear of being overpoweredby India. Thou hast nothing to fear from the god of a hundred sacrifices.I shall use my staying charms, O king, and the weapons of all the godswill avail them not. Let the lightening flash in all the directions ofspace, and the winds entering into the clouds pour down the showers amidthe forests and the waters deluge the heavens and the flashes oflightning that are seen will avail not. Thou hast nothing to fear, letVasava pour down the rains and plast his terrific thunderbolt where hewill, floating among the watery masses (clouds) for thy destruction, forthe god Vahnni (Agni) will protect thee in every way, and make theeattain all the objects of thy desire.”

Marutta said, “This appalling crash of the thunderbolt together with thehowling of the winds, seem terrible to my ears and my heart is afflictedagain and again, O Brahmana, and my peace of mind is gone at present.”

Samvarta said, “O king, the feat in thy mind from this terriblethunderbolt will leave thee presently. I shall dispel the thunder by theaid of the winds, and setting aside all fear from thy mind, do thouaccept a boon from me according to thy heart’s desire, and I shallaccomplish it for thee.”

Marutta said, “I desire, O Brahmana, that Indra all on a sudden shouldcome in person at this sacrifice, and accept the oblation offered to him,and that all the other gods also come and take their own shares of theofferings and accept the libations of Soma offered to them.”

Samvarta said, “I have by the power of my incantations attracted Indra inperson to this sacrifice. Behold, O monarch, Indra coming with hishorses, and worshipped by the other gods hastening to this sacrifice.”

Then the lord of the Devas attended by the other gods and riding in hischariot drawn by the most excellent steeds, approached the sacrificialaltar of that son of Avikshit and drank the Soma libations of thatunrivalled monarch. And king Marutta with his priest rose to receiveIndra coming with the host of gods and well-pleased in mind, he welcomedthe lord of the Devas with due and foremost honours according to theSastras.

Samvarta said, “Welcome to thee, O Indra, by thy presence here, O learnedone, this sacrifice has been made grand. O slayer or Vala and Vritra. dothou again quaff this Soma juiced produced by me today.’

Marutta said, “Do thou look with kindness upon me, I bow unto thee, OIndra, by thy presence, my sacrifice has been perfected, and my life tooblessed with good results. O Surendra, this excellent Brahmana, theyounger brother of Vrihaspati is engaged in performing my sacrifices.”

Indra said. “I know thy priest, this highly energetic ascetic, theyounger brother of Vrihaspati, at whose invitation I have come to thissacrifice. I am, O monarch, well-pleased with thee and my resentmentagainst thee hath been destroyed.”

Samvarta said, “If, O prince of the Devas, thou art pleased with us, dothou thyself give all the directions for this sacrifice, and O Surendra,thyself ordain the sacrificial portions (for the gods), so that, O god,all the world may know that it hath been done by thee.”

Vyasa said, “Thus accosted by the son of Angira, Sakra himself gavedirections to all the gods to erect the hall of assembly, and a thousandwell-furnished excellent rooms looking grand as in a picture, andspeedily to complete the staircase massive and durable, for the ascent ofthe Gandharvas and Apsaras and to furnish that portion of the sacrificialground reserved for the dance of the Apsaras, like unto the palace ofIndra in the heaven. O king, thus directed, the renowned dwellers ofheaven speedily fulfilled the directions of Sakra. And then, O king,Indra well-pleased and adored, thus said to king Marutta,–O prince, byassociating with thee at this sacrifice, thine ancestors who have gonebefore thee, as well as the other gods have been highly gratified andhave accepted the oblations offered by thee. And now, O king, let theforemost of regenerate beings offer on the sacrificial altar a red bullappertaining to the Fire-god and a sacred and duly consecrated blue bullwith a variegated skin, appertaining to the Viswedevas. Then, O king, thesacrificial ceremony grew in splendour, wherein the gods themselvescollected the food, and Sakra, the lord of the gods, possessed of horses,and worshipped by the Brahmanas, became an assistant at the sacrifice.And then the high-souled Samvarta ascending the altar, and lookingradiant as the second embodiment of the blazing fire, loudly addressingthe gods with complaisance, offered oblations of clarified butter to thefire with incantation of the sacred hymns. And then the slayer of Valafirst drank the Soma juice, and then the assembly of other gods drankSoma. And then in happiness and with the king’s permission they returnedhome and well-pleased and delighted. Then that monarch, the slayer of hisenemies, with a delighted heart, placed heaps of gold on diverse spots,and distributing the immense wealth to the Brahmanas, he looked gloriouslike Kuvera, the god of wealth. And with a buoyant heart, the king filledhis treasury with different kinds of wealth, and with the permission ofhis spiritual preceptor, he returned (to his kingdom) and continued torule the entire realm extending to the borders of the sea. So virtuous inthis world was that king, at whose sacrifice such an enormous quantity ofgold vas collected, and now, O prince, thou must collect that gold andworshipping the gods with due rites, do thou perform this sacrifice.”

Vaisampayana continued, “Then the Pandava prince Yudhishthira wasdelighted on hearing this speech of the son of Satyavati (Vyasa), anddesirous of performing his sacrifice with those riches, he held repeatedconsultations with his ministers.”

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