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Chapter 11

Mahabharata English - SABHAKRIYA PARVA

“Narada said,–Listen to me, O child, as I tell thee of the assemblyhouse of the Grandsire, that house which none can describe, saying it issuch.

In the Krita (golden) age of old, O king, the exalted deity Aditya(once) came down from heaven into the world of men. Having seen beforethe assembly-house of Brahma the Self-created, Aditya was cheerfullywandering over the Earth in human form, desirous of beholding what couldbe seen here. It was on that occasion, O son of Pandu, that the god ofday spoke unto me, O bull of the Bharata race, of that celestial Sabha(assembly) of the Grandsire, immeasurable and immaterial andindescribable, as regards form and shape, and capable of delighting theheart of every creature by its splendour. Hearing, O bull of the Bharatarace, of the merits of that Sabha, I became, O king, desirous ofbeholding it. I then asked Aditya, saying,–O exalted one, I desire tobehold the sacred Sabha of the Grandsire. O lord of light, tell me, Oexalted one, by what ascetic penances, or by what acts, or by what charmsor by what rites, I may be enabled to behold that excellent sin-cleaningSabha.”–Hearing these words of mine, Aditya the god of day, the deity ofa thousand rays, answered me, O chief of the Bharata race, thus: Observethou, with mind rapt in meditation, the Brahma vow extending for athousand years. Repairing then to the breast of the Himavat, I commencedthat great vow, and after I had completed it the exalted and sinlessdeity Surya endued with great energy, and knowing no fatigue, took mewith him to the Sabha of the Grandsire. O king, it is impossible todescribe that Sabha, saying–it is such, for within a moment it assumes adifferent form that language fails to paint. O Bharata, it is impossibleto indicate its dimensions or shape. I never saw anything like it before.Ever contributing to the happiness of those within it, its atmosphere isneither cold nor warm. Hunger and thirst or any kind of uneasinessdisappear as soon as one goeth thither. It seems to be made up ofbrilliant gems of many kinds. It doth not seem to be supported oncolumns, it knoweth no deterioration, being eternal. That self effulgentmansion, by its numerous blazing, celestial indications of unrivalledsplendour, seems to surpass the moon, the sun and the fire in splendour.Stationed in heaven, it blazes forth, censuring as it were the maker ofthe day. In that mansion O king, the Supreme Deity, the Grand-sire of allcreated things, having himself created everything by virtue of hiscreative illusion, stayeth ever. And Daksha, Prachetas, Pulaha, Marichi,the master Kasyapa, Bhrigu, Atri, and Vasistha and Gautama, and alsoAngiras, and Pulastya, Kraut, Prahlada, and Kardama, these Prajapatis,and Angirasa of the Atharvan Veda, the Valikhilyas, the Marichipas;Intelligence, Space, Knowledge, Air, Heat, Water, Earth, Sound, Touch,Form, Taste, Scent; Nature, and the Modes (of Nature), and the elementaland prime causes of the world,–all stay in that mansion beside the lordBrahma. And Agastya of great energy, and Markandeya, of great asceticpower, and Jamadagni and Bharadwaja, and Samvarta, and Chyavana, andexalted Durvasa, and the virtuous Rishyasringa, the illustriousSanatkumara of great ascetic merit and the preceptor in all mattersaffecting Yoga; Asita and Devala, and Jaigishavya acquainted with truth;Rishava, Ajitasatru, and Mani of great energy; and the Science of healingwith its eight branches–all in their personified forms, O Bharata; themoon with all the stars and the stellar conjunctions; Aditya with all hisrays; the winds; the Sacrifices, the Declarations of purpose (insacrifices), the Vital principles,–these illustrious and vow-observingbeings in their personified forms, and many others too numerous tomention, attend all upon Brahma in that mansion. Wealth and Religion andDesire, and Joy, and Aversion, and Asceticism and Tranquillity–all waittogether upon the Supreme Deity in that palace. The twenty tribes of theGandharvas and Apsaras, as also their seven other tribes, and all theLokapalas (chief protectors of several regions), and Sukra, andVrihaspati, and Vudha, and Angaraka (Mangala), Sani, Rahu, and the otherplanets; the Mantras (of the Sama Veda), the special Mantras (of the sameVeda); (the rites of) Harimat and Vasumat, the Adityas with Indra, thetwo Agnis mentioned by name (viz. Agnisoma and Indragni), the Marutas,Viswakarman, and the Vasus, O Bharata; the Pitris, and all kinds ofsacrificial libations, the four Vedas. viz., Rig, Sama, Yajuh, andAtharva; all Sciences and branches of learning; Histories and all minorbranches of learning; the several branches of the Vedas; the planets, theSacrifices, the Soma, all the deities; Savitri (Gayatri), the seven kindsof rhyme; Understanding, Patience, Memory, Wisdom, Intelligence, Fame,Forgiveness; the Hymns of the Sama Veda; the Science of hymns in general,and various kinds of Verses and Songs; various Commentaries witharguments;–all in their personified forms, O king, and various Dramasand Poems and Stories and abridged Glosses–these also, and many otherswait upon the Supreme Deity in that Sabha, Kshanas, Lavas, Muhurtas, Day,Night, Fortnights, Months, the six Seasons, O Bharata, Years, Yugas, thefour kinds of Days and Nights (viz., appearing to man, to the Pitris, tothe gods, and to Brahma) and that eternal, indestructible,undeteriorating, excellent Wheel of Time and also the Wheel ofVirtue,–these always wait there. O Yudhishthira; and Aditi, Diti, Danu,Surasa, Vinata, Ira, Kalika, Suravi, Devi, Sarama, Gautami and thegoddesses Pradha, and Kadru;–these mothers of the celestials, andRudrani, Sree, Lakshmi, Bhadra, Shashthi, the Earth, Ganga, Hri, Swaha,Kriti, the goddess Sura, Sachi Pushti, Arundhati, Samvritti, Asa, Niyati,Srishti, Rati,–these and many other goddesses wait upon the Creator ofall. The Adityas, Vasus, Rudras, Marutas, Aswinas, the ViswadevasSadhyas, and the Pitris gifted with the speed of the mind; these all waitthere upon the Grandsire. And, O bull amongst men, know thou that thereare seven classes of Pitris, of which four classes have embodied formsand the remaining three without embodied forms. It is well known that theillustrious Vairajas and Agniswattas and Garhapattyas (three classes ofPitris) range in heaven. And those amongst the Pitris that are called theSomapas, the Ekasringras, the Chaturvedas, and the Kalas, are everworshipped amongst the four orders of men. Gratified with the Soma(juice), first, these gratify Soma afterwards. All these tribes of Pitriswait upon the Lord of the creation and cheerfully worship the SupremeDeity of immeasurable energy. And Rakshasas, Pisachas, the Danavas andGuhyakas; Nagas, Birds, and various animals; and all mobile and immobilegreat beings;–all worship the Grandsire. And Purandara the chief of thecelestials, and Varuna and Kuvera and Yama, and Mahadeva accompanied byUma, always repair thither. And, O king of kings, Mahasena (Kartikeya)also adoreth there the Grandsire. Narayana himself, and the celestialRishis, and those Rishis called Valakhillyas, and all beings born offemales and all those not born of females, and whatever else is seen inthe three worlds–both mobile and immobile, were all seen by me there,know O king. And eighty thousand Rishis with vital seed drawn up, and OPandu, fifty thousand Rishis having sons, were all seen by me there. Andall the dwellers in heaven repairing thither behold the Supreme Deitywhen they please, and worshipping him with a bow of their head returnwhence they came. And, O king of men, the Grandsire of all createdbeings, the Soul of the universe, the Self create Brahma of immeasurableintelligence and glory, equally kind unto all creatures, honoureth asthey deserve, and gratifieth with sweet speech and gift of wealth andother enjoyable articles, the gods, the Daityas, the Nagas, theBrahmanas, the Yakshas, the Birds, the Kaleyas, the Gandharvas, theApsaras, and all other exalted beings that came to him as his guests. Andthat delicious Sabha, O child, is always crowded with persons coming andgoing. Filled with every kind of energy, and worshipped by Brahmarshis,that celestial Sabha blazes forth with the graceful possessions of Brahmaand looks extremely handsome, O tiger among kings as this Sabha of yoursis unrivalled in the world of men, so is that Sabha of Brahma, seen by meunrivalled in all the worlds. I have seen these Sabhas, O Bharata, inregions of the celestials. This thy Sabha is unquestionably the foremostin the world of men!”

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