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Chapter 4

Mahabharata English - ASWAMEDHA PARVA

“Yudhishthira said, ‘O righteous one, I am desirous of hearing thehistory of that royal sage Marutta. Do thou, O Dwaipayana, relate thisunto me, O sinless one.’

“Vyasa said, ‘O child, in the Krita age Manu was lord (of the Earth)wielding the sceptre. His son was known under the name of Prasandhi.Prasandhi had a son named Kshupa, Kshupa’s son was that lord (of men),king Ikshwaku. He, O king, had a hundred sons endowed with pre-eminentpiety. And all of them were made monarchs by king Ikshwaku. The eldest ofthem, Vinsa by name became the model of bowmen. Vinsa’s son, O Bharata,was the auspicious Vivinsa. Vivinsa, O king, had five and ten sons; allof them were powerful archers, reverencial to the Brahmanas and truthful,gentle and ever speaking fair. The eldest brother, Khaninetra, oppressedall his brothers. And having conquered the entire kingdom rid of alltroubles, Khaninetra could not retain his supremacy; nor were the peoplepleased with him. And dethroning him, they, O foremost of monarchs,invested his son Suvarcha with the rights of sovereignty and (havingeffected this) experienced joy (in their hearts). Seeing the reversessustained by his site as well as his expulsion from the empire, he wasever intent on bringing about the welfare of the people, being devoted tothe Brahmanas, speaking the truth, practising purity and restraining hissenses and thoughts. And the subjects were well pleased with thathigh-minded one constant in virtue. But he being constantly engaged invirtuous deeds, his treasures and vehicles became greatly reduced. And onhis treasury having become depleted, the feudatory princes swarming roundhim began to give him trouble. Being thus oppressed by many foes whilehis treasury, horses and vehicles were impoverished, the king underwentgreat tribulation along with his retainers and the denizens of hiscapital. Although his power waned greatly, yet the foes could not slaythe king, for his power, O Yudhishthira, was established inrighteousness. And when he had reached the extreme of misery along withthe citizens, he blew his hand (with his mouth), and from that thereappeared a supply of forces. And then he vanquished all the kings livingalong the borders of his dominions. And from this circumstance O king, hehath been celebrated as Karandhama. His son, (the first) Karandhama whowas born at the beginning of the Treta age, equalled Indra himself andwas endowed with grace, and invincible even by the immortals. At thattime all the kings were under his control; and alike by virtue of hiswealth and for his prowess, he became their emperor. In short, therighteous king Avikshit by name, became like unto Indra himself inheroism; and he was given to sacrifices, delight took in virtue and heldhis senses under restraint. And in energy he resembled the sun and inforbearance Earth herself; in intelligence, he was like Vrihaspati, andin calmness the mountain Himavat himself. And that king delighted thehearts of his subjects by act, thought, speech, self-restraint, andforbearance. He performed hundreds of horse-sacrifices, and the potentand learned Angira himself served him as priest. His son surpassed hissire in the possession of good qualities. Named Marutta, that lord ofkings was righteous and o great renown, an possessed the might of tenthousand elephants. He was like unto Vishnu’s second self. Desirous ofcelebrating a sacrifice, that virtuous monarch, coming to Mount Meru onthe northern side of Himavat, caused thousands of shining golden vesselsto be forged. There on a huge golden hill he performed the rites. Andgoldsmiths made basins and vessels and pans and seats without number. Andthe sacrificial ground was near this place. And that righteous lord ofEarth, king Marutta, along with other princes, performed a sacrificethere.'”

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