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Chapter 67

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Narada said, ‘Vena’s son, king Prithu, O Srinjaya, we hear, fell a preyto death, In the Rajasuya sacrifice he performed, the great Rishisinstalled him as Emperor (of the world). He vanquished all, and hisachievements, became known (all over the world). For this he came to becalled Prithu (the celebrated). And because he protected all people fromwounds and injuries, for this he became a true Kshatriya.[115] BeholdingVena’s son, Prithu, all his subjects said, We are highly pleased withhim. In consequence of this affection that he enjoyed of his subjects hecame to be called a Raja.[116] During the time of Prithu, the earth,without being cultivated, yielded crops in sufficiency. All the kine,again, yielded milk whenever they were touched. Every lotus was full ofhoney. The Kusa blades were all of gold, agreeable to the touch, andotherwise delightful. And the subjects of Prithu made clothes of theseblades and the beds also on which they lay. All the fruits were soft andsweet and like unto Amrita (in taste). And these constituted the food ofhis subjects, none amongst whom had ever to starve. And all men inPrithu’s time were hale and hearty. And all their wishes were crownedwith fruition. They had nothing to fear. On trees, or in caves, theydwelt as they liked. His dominions were not distributed into provincesand towns. The people lived happily and in joy as each desired. When kingPrithu went to the sea, the waves became solid. The very mountains usedto yield him openings that he might pass through them. The standard ofhis car never broke (obstructed by anything). Once on a time, the talltrees of the forest, the mountains, the gods, the Asuras, men, thesnakes, the seven Rishis, the Apsaras, and the Pitris, all came toPrithu, seated at his ease, and addressing him, said, ‘Thou art ourEmperor. Thou art our king. Thou art our protector and Father. Thou artour Lord. Therefore, O great king, give us boons after our own hearts,through which we may, for ever, obtain gratification and joy.’ Unto themPrithu, the son of Vena, said, So be it. Then taking up his Ajagavabow[117] and some terrible arrows the like of which existed not, hereflected for a moment. He then addressed the Earth, saying, ‘Comingquickly, O Earth! Yield to these the milk they desire. From that, blessedbe thou, I will give them the food they solicit.’ Thus addressed by him,the Earth said, ‘It behoveth thee, O hero, to regard me as thy daughter.’Prithu answered, So be it!–And then that great ascetic, his passionsunder control, made all arrangements (for milking the Earth. Then theentire assemblage of creatures began to milk the Earth). And first ofall, the tall trees of the forest rose for milking her, The Earth then,full of affection, stood there desiring a calf, a milker, and vessels(wherein to hold the milk). Then the blossoming Sala became the calf, theBanian became the milker, torn buds became the milk, and the auspiciousfig tree became the vessel. (Next, the mountains milked her). The Easternhill, whereon the Sun rises, became the calf; the prince of mountains,viz., Meru, became the milker; the diverse gems and deciduous herbsbecame the milk; and the stones became the vessels (for holding thatmilk). Next, one of the gods became the milker, and all things capable ofbestowing energy and strength became the coveted milk. The Asuras thenmilked the Earth, having wine for their milk, and using an unbaked potfor their vessel. In that act, Dwimurddhan became the milker, andVirochana, the calf. The human beings milked the Earth for cultivationand crops. The self-created Manu became their calf, and Prithu himselfthe milker. Next, the Snakes milked the Earth, getting poison as themilk, and using a vessel made of a gourd, Dhritarashtra became themilker, and Takshaka the calf. The seven Rishis, capable of producingeverything by their fiat,[118] then milked the Earth, getting the Vedasas their milk. Vrihaspati became the milker, the Chhandas were thevessel, and the excellent Soma, the calf. The Yakshas, milking the Earth,got the power of disappearance at will as the milk in an unbaked pot.Vaisravana (Kuvera) became their milker, and Vrishadhvaja their calf. TheGandharvas and the Apsaras milked all fragrant perfumes in a vessel madeof a lotus-leaf. Chitraratha became their calf, and the puissantViswaruchi their milker. The Pitris milked the Earth, getting Swaha astheir milk in a vessel of silver. Yama, the son of Vivaswat, became theircalf, and (the Destroyer Antaka) their milker. Even thus was the Earthmilked by that assemblage of creatures who all got for milk what theyeach desired. The very calves and vessels employed by them are existingto this day and may always be seen. The powerful Prithu, the son of Vena,performing various sacrifices, gratified all creatures in respect of alltheir desires by gifts of articles agreeable to their hearts. And hecaused golden images to be made of every article on earth, and bestowedthem all on the Brahmanas as his great Horse-sacrifice,[119] The kingcaused six and sixty thousand elephants to be made of gold, and all thosehe gave away unto the Brahmanas. And this whole earth also the kingcaused to be decked with jewels and gems and gold, and gave her away untothe Brahmanas. When he died, O Srinjaya, who was superior to thee asregards the four cardinal virtues and who, superior to thee, was,therefore, much superior to thy son thou shouldst not, saying ‘Oh,Swaitya, Oh, Swaitya,’ grieve for the latter who performed no sacrificeand made no sacrificial present.'”

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