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Chapter 35

Mahabharata English - SABHAKRIYA PARVA

“Vaisampayana said,–On the last day of the sacrifice when the king wasto be sprinkled over with the sacred water, the great Brahmana Rishisever deserving of respectful treatment, along with the invited kings,entered together the inner enclosure of the sacrificial compound.

Andthose illustrious Rishis with Narada as their foremost, seated at theirease with those royal sages within that enclosure, looked like the godsseated in the mansion of Brahma in the company of the celestial Rishis.Endued with immeasurable energy those Rishis, having obtained leisure,started various topics of conversation. ‘This is so,’ ‘This is not so,”This is even so.’ ‘This cannot be otherwise,’–thus did many of themengage in discussions with one another. Some amongst the disputants, bywell-chosen arguments made the weaker position appear the stronger andthe stronger the weaker. Some disputants endued with great intelligencefell upon the position urged by others like hawks darting at meat thrownup into the air, while some amongst them versed in the interpretations ofreligious treatises and others of rigid vows, and well-acquainted withevery commentary and gloss engaged themselves in pleasant converse. And,O king, that platform crowded with gods, Brahmanas and great Rishislooked extremely handsome like the wide expanse of the firmament studdedwith stars. O monarch, there was then no Sudra near that platform ofYudhisthira’s mansion, nor anybody that was without vows.

“And Narada, beholding the fortunate Yudhisthira’s prosperity that wasborn of that sacrifice, became highly gratified. Beholding that vastconcourse all the Kshatriyas, the Muni Narada, O king of men, becamethoughtful. And, O bull amongst men, the Rishi began to recollect thewords he had heard of old in the mansion of Brahma regarding theincarnation on earth of portions of every deity. And knowing, O son ofthe Kuru race, that that was a concourse (of incarnate) gods, Naradathought in his mind of Hari with eyes like lotus-petals. He knew thatthat creator himself of every object one, that exalted of allgods–Narayana–who had formerly commanded the celestials, saying,–‘Beye born on earth and slay one another and come back to heaven’–thatslayer of all the enemies of the gods, that subjugator of all hostiletowns, in order to fulfil his own promise, had been born in the Kshatriyaorder. And Narada knew that the exalted and holy Narayana, also calledSambhu the lord of the universe, having commanded all the celestialsthus, had taken his birth in the race of Yadus and that foremost of allperpetuator of races, having sprung from the line of the Andhaka-Vrishnison earth was graced with great good fortune and was shining like the moonherself among stars. Narada knew that Hari the grinder of foes, whosestrength of arm was ever praised by all the celestials with Indra amongthem, was then living in the world in human form. Oh, the Self-Createwill himself take away (from the earth) this vast concourse of Kshatriyasendued with so much strength. Such was the vision of Narada theomniscient who knew Hari or Narayana to be that Supreme Lord whomeverybody worshipped with sacrifice. And Narada, gifted with greatintelligence and the foremost of all persons and conversant withmorality, thinking of all this, sat at that sacrifice of the wise kingYudhisthira the just with feelings of awe.

“Then Bhishma, O king, addressing king Yudhisthira the just, said, “OBharata, let Arghya (an article of respect) be offered unto the kings aseach of them deserveth. Listen, O Yudhishthira, the preceptor, thesacrificial priest, the relative, the Snataka, the friend, and the king,it hath been said are the six that deserve Arghya. The wise have saidthat when any of these dwell with one for full one year he deserveth tobe worshipped with Arghya. These kings have been staying with us for sometime. Therefore, O king, let Arghyas be procured to be offered unto eachof them. And let an Arghya be presented first of all unto him among thosepresent who is the foremost.

“Hearing these words of Bhishma, Yudhishthira said–‘O Grandsire, O thouof the Kuru race, whom thou deemest the foremost amongst these and untowhom the Arghya should be presented by us, O tell me.’

“Vaisampayana continued,–Then, O Bharata, Bhishma the son of Santanu,judged it by his intelligence that on earth Krishna was the foremost ofall. And he said–‘As is the sun among all luminous objects, so is theone (meaning Krishna) (who shines like the sun) among us all, inconsequence of his energy, strength and prowess. And this our sacrificialmansion is illuminated and gladdened by him as a sunless region by thesun, or a region of still air by a gust of breeze. Thus commanded byBhishma, Sahadeva endued with great prowess duly presented the firstArghya of excellent ingredients unto Krishna of the Vrishni race. Krishnaalso accepted it according to the forms of the ordinance. But Sisupalacould not bear to see that worship offered unto Vasudeva. And this mightyking of Chedi, reproving in the midst of that assembly both Bhishma and.Yudhishthira, censured Vasudeva thereafter.”

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