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Chapter 8

Mahabharata English - BHISHMA PARVA

“Dhritarashtra said,–‘Tell me truly, O Sanjaya, the names of all theVarshas, and of all the mountains, and also of all those that dwell onthose mountains.

“Sanjaya said,–‘On the south of Sweta and the north of Nishadha, is theVarsha, called Romanaka. The men that are born there are all of whitecomplexion, of good parentage, and handsome features. And the men bornthere are also all without enemies. And they live, O king, for eleventhousand and five hundred years, being ever of cheerful hearts. On thesouth of Nishadha is the Varsha called Hiranmaya where is the rivercalled Hiranwati. There, O king, liveth that foremost of birds namedGaruda. And the people there, O monarch, are all followers of theYakshas, wealthy, and of handsome features. And, O king, the men thereare endued with great strength and have: cheerful hearts. And they livefor twelve thousand and five hundred years., O king, which is the measureof their lives. The mountains of Sringavat,[56] O ruler of men, havethree beautiful summits. One of these is made of jewels and gems, anotheris very wonderful, being made of all kinds of gems and adorned withpalatial mansions. There the self-luminous lady named Sandili alwaysliveth. On the north of Sringavat and up to the margin of the sea, Oking, the Varsha called Airavat. And because this jewelled mountain isthere, therefore is this Varsha superior to all. The sun giveth no heatthere and men are not subject to decay. And the moon there, with thestars, becoming the only source of light, covereth (the firmament).Possessing the radiance and complexion of the lotus, and endued with eyesthat resemble lotus-petals, the men born there have the fragrance of thelotus. With winkless eyes, and agreeable scent (emanating from theirbodies), they go without food and have their senses under control. Theyare all fallen from the region of the celestials, and are all, O king,without sin of any kind. And they live, O monarch, for thirteen thousandyears, that being. O best of the Bharatas, the measure of their lives.And so on the north of the milky ocean, the Lord Hari of unlimitedpuissance dwelleth on his car made of gold. That vehicle is endued witheight wheels, with numerous supernatural creatures stationed on it, andhaving the speed of the mind. And its complexion is that of fire, and itis endued with mighty energy and adorned with Jamvunada gold. He is theLord of all creatures, and is possessed, O bull of Bharata’s race, ofevery kind of prosperity. In him the universe merges (when dissolutioncomes), and from him it again emanates (when the creative desire seizeshim). He is the actor, and it is He that makes all others act. He, Omonarch, is earth, water, space, air, and fire. He is Sacrifice’s selfunto all creatures, and fire is His mouth.”

Vaisampayana continued,–“The high-souled king Dhritarashtra, thusaddressed by Sanjaya, became, O monarch, absorbed in meditation about hissons. Endued with great energy, he then, having reflected, said thesewords: ‘Without doubt, O Suta’s son, it is Time that destroyeth theuniverse. And it is Time that again createth everything. Nothing here iseternal. It is Nara and Narayana, endued with omniscience, thatdestroyeth all creatures.[57] The gods speak of him as Vaikuntha (ofimmeasurable puissance), while men call him Vishnu (one that pervadeththe Universe)!'”

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