“Bhishma said, ‘Having heard these words of king Janaka, Suka of cleansedsoul and settled conclusions began to stay in his Soul by his Soul,having of course seen Self by Self. His object being accomplished,he became happy and tranquil, and without putting further questions toJanaka, he proceeded northwards to the mountains of Himavat with thespeed of the wind and like the wind. These mountains abounded withdiverse tribes of Apsaras and echoed with many lofty sounds. Teeming withthousands of Kinnaras and Bhringarajas it was adorned, besides,with many Madgus and Khanjaritas and many Jivajivakas of variegated hue.And there were many peacocks also of gorgeous colours, uttering theirshrill but melodious cries. Many bevies of swans also, and many flightsof gladdened Kokilas too, adorned the place. The prince of birds, viz.,Garuda, dwelt on that summit constantly. The four Regents of the world,the deities, and diverse classes of Rishis, used always to come therefrom the desire of doing good to the world. It was there that thehigh-souled Vishnu had undergone the severest austerities for the objectof obtaining a son. It was there that the celestial generalissimo namedKumara, in his younger days, disregarding the three worlds with all thecelestial denizens, threw down his dart, piercing the Earth therewith.Throwing down his dart, Skanda addressing the universe, said,–If therebe any person that is superior to me in might, or that holds Brahmanas tobe dearer, or that can compare with me in devotion to the Brahmanas andthe Vedas, or that is possessed of energy like unto me, let him draw upthis dart or at least shake it!–Hearing this challenge, the three worldsbecome filled with anxiety, and all creatures asked one another,saying,–Who will raise this dart?–Vishnu beheld all the deities andAsuras and Rakshasas to be troubled in their senses and mind. Hereflected upon what should be the best to be done under thecircumstances. Without being able to bear that challenge in respect ofthe hurling of the dart, he cast his eyes on Skanda, the son of theFire-god. The pure-souled Vishnu caught hold of the blazing dart, withhis left hand, and began to shake it. When the dart was being thus shakenby Vishnu possessed of great might, the whole Earth with her mountains,forests, and seas, shook with the dart. Although Vishnu was fullycompetent to raise the dart, still he contented himself with only shakingit. In this, the puissant lord only kept the honour of Skanda intact.Having shaken it himself, the divine Vishnu, addressing Prahlada,said,–Behold the might of Kumara! None else in the universe can raisethis dart! Unable to bear this, Prahlada resolved to raise the dart. Heseized it, but was unable to shake it at all, Uttering a loud cry, hefell down on the hill-top in a swoon. Indeed, the son of Hiranya-kasipufell down on the Earth. Repairing towards the northern side of thosegrand mountains, Mahadeva, having the bull for his sign, had undergonethe austerest penances. The asylum where Mahadeva had undergone thoseausterities is encompassed on all sides with a blazing fire.Unapproachable by persons of uncleansed souls, that mountain is known bythe name of Aditya. There is a fiery girdle all around it, of the widthof ten Yojanas, and it is incapable of being approached by Yakshas andRakshasas and Danavas. The illustrious god of Fire, possessed of mightyenergy, dwells there in person employed in removing all impediments fromthe side of Mahadeva of great wisdom who remained there for a thousandcelestial years, all the while standing on one foot. Dwelling on the sideof that foremost of mountains, Mahadeva of high vows (by his penances)scorched the deities greatly. At the foot of those mountains, in aretired spot, Parasara’s son of great ascetic merit, viz., Vyasa, taughtthe Vedas unto his disciples. Those disciples were the highly blessedSumantra, Vaisampayana, Jaimini of great wisdom, and Paila of greatascetic merit. Suka proceeded to that delightful asylum where his sire,the great ascetic Vyasa, was dwelling, surrounded by his disciples.Seated in his asylum, Vyasa beheld his son approach like a blazing fireof scattered flames, or resembling the sun himself in effulgence. As Sukaapproached, he did not seem to touch the trees or the rocks of themountain. Completely dissociated from all objects of the senses, engagedin Yoga, the high-souled ascetic came, resembling, in speed, a shaft letfrom a bow. Born on the fire-sticks, Suka, approaching, his sire, touchedhis feet. With becoming formalities he then accosted the disciples of hissire. With great cheerfulness he then detailed to his father all theparticulars of his conversation with king Janaka. Vyasa the son ofParasara, after the arrival of his puissant son, continued to dwell thereon the Himavat engaged in teaching his disciples and his son. One day ashe was seated, his disciples, all well-skilled in the Vedas, having theirsenses under control, and endued with tranquil souls, sat themselvesaround him. All of them had thoroughly mastered the Vedas with theirbranches. All of them were observant of penances. With joined hands theyaddressed their preceptor in the following words.
“The disciples said, We have, through thy grace, been endued with greatenergy. Our fame also has spread. There is one favour that we humblysolicit thee to grant us. Hearing these words of theirs, the regenerateRishi answered them, saying, “Ye sons, tell me what that boon is which yewish I should grant you! Hearing this answer of their preceptor, thedisciples became filled with joy. Once more bowing their heads low untotheir preceptor and joining their hands, all of them in one voice said, Oking, these excellent words: If our preceptor has been pleased with us,then, O best of sages, we are sure to be crowned with success! We allsolicit thee, O great Rishi, to grant us a boon. Be thou inclined to begraceful to us. Let no sixth disciple (besides us five) succeed inattaining to fame! We are four. Our preceptor’s son forms the fifth. Letthe Vedas shine in only as five! Even this is the boon that wesolicit;–Hearing these words of his disciples, Vyasa, the son ofParasara, possessed of great intelligence, well-conversant with themeaning of the Vedas, endued with a righteous soul, and always engaged inthinking of objects that confer benefits on a person in the worldhereafter, said unto his disciples these righteous words fraught withgreat benefit: The Vedas should always be given unto him who is aBrahmana, or unto him who is desirous of listening to Vedic instructions,by him who eagerly wishes to attain a residence in the region of Brahman!Do ye multiply, Let the Vedas spread (through your exertions). The Vedasshould never be imparted unto one that has not formally become adisciple. Nor should they be given unto one who is not observant of goodvows. Nor should they be given for dwelling in one that is of uncleansedsoul. These should be known as the proper qualifications of persons thatcan be accepted as disciples (for the communication of Vedic knowledge).No science should be imparted unto one without a proper examination ofone’s character, as pure gold is tested by heat, cutting and rubbing,after the same manner disciples should be tested by their birth andaccomplishments. Ye should never set your disciples to tasks to whichthey should not be set, or to tasks that are fraught with danger. One’sknowledge is always commensurate with one’s understanding and diligencein study. Let all disciples conquer all difficulties, and let all of themmeet with auspicious success. Ye are competent to lecture on thescriptures unto persons of all the orders. Only ye should, whilelecturing, address a Brahmana, placing him in the van. These are therules in respect of the study of the Vedas. This again is regarded as ahigh task. The Vedas were created by the Self-born for the purpose ofpraising the deities therewith. That man who, through stupefaction ofintellect, speaks ill of a Brahmana well-conversant with the Vedas, iscertain to meet with humiliation in consequence of such evil-speaking. Hewho disregarding all righteous rules, solicits knowledge, and he who,disregarding the rules of righteousness, communicates knowledge, eitherof them falls off and instead of that affection which should prevailbetween preceptor and disciple, such, questioning and such communicationare sure to produce distrust and suspicion. I have now told ye everythingabout the way in which the Vedas should be studied and taught. Ye shouldact in this way towards your disciples, bearing these instructions inyour minds.'”