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Chapter 6

Mahabharata English - SABHAKRIYA PARVA
“Vaisampayana said,–At the conclusion of Narada’s words, kingYudhishthira the just worshipped him duly; and commanded by him themonarch began to reply succinctly to the questions the Rishi had asked.

“Yudhishthira said–‘O holy one, the truths of religion and morality thouhast indicated one after another, are just and proper. As regards myself,I duly observe those ordinances to the best of my power. Indeed, the actsthat were properly performed by monarchs of yore are, without doubt, tobe regarded as bearing proper fruit, and undertaken from solid reasonsfor the attainment of proper objects. O master, we desire to walk in thevirtuous path of those rulers that had, besides, their souls undercomplete control.”

“Vaisampayana continued,–“Yudhishthira, the son of Pandu, possessed ofgreat glory, having received with reverence the words of Narada andhaving also answered the Rishi thus, reflected for a moment. Andperceiving a proper opportunity, the monarch, seated beside the Rishi,asked Narada sitting at his ease and capable of going into every world atwill, in the presence of that assembly of kings, saying,–‘Possessed ofthe speed of mind, thou wanderest over various and many worlds created indays of yore by Brahma, beholding everything. Tell me, I ask thee, ifthou hast, O Brahmana, ever beheld before anywhere an assembly room likethis of mine or superior to it!’ Hearing these words of Yudhishthira thejust, Narada smilingly answered the son of Pandu in these sweet accents,–

“Narada said,–‘O child, O king I did neither see nor hear of ever beforeamongst men, any assembly room built of gems and precious stones likethis of thine, O Bharata. I shall, however, describe unto thee the roomsof the king of the departed (Yama), of Varuna (Neptune) of greatintelligence, of Indra, the King of Gods and also of him who hath hishome in Kailasha (Kuvera). I shall also describe unto thee the celestialSabha of Brahma that dispelleth every kind of uneasiness. All theseassembly rooms exhibit in their structure both celestial and humandesigns and present every kind of form that exists in the universe. Andthey are ever worshipped by the gods and the Pitris, the Sadhyas,(under-deities called Gana), by ascetics offering sacrifices, with soulsunder complete command, by peaceful Munis engaged without intermission inVedic sacrifices with presents to Brahmanas. I shall describe all theseto you if, O bull of the Bharata race, thou hast any inclinations tolisten to me!'”

“Vaisampayana continued,–“Thus addressed by Narada, the high-souled kingYudhishthira the just, with his brothers and all those foremost ofBrahmanas (seated around him), joined his hands (in entreaty). And themonarch then asked Narada, saying,–‘Describe unto us all those assemblyrooms. We desire to listen to thee. O Brahmana, what are the articleswith which each of the Sabhas are made of? What is the area of each, andwhat is the length and breadth of each? Who wait upon the Grandsire inthat assembly room? And who also upon Vasava, the Lord of the celestialsand upon Yama, the son of Vivaswana? Who wait upon Varuna and upon Kuverain their respective assembly rooms. O Brahmana Rishi, tell us all aboutthese. We all together desire to hear thee describe them. Indeed, ourcuriosity is great.’ Thus addressed by the son of Pandu, Narada replied,saying,–‘O monarch, hear ye all about those celestial assembly rooms oneafter another.”

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