Chapter 347

Mahabharata English - SANTI PARVA

Vaisampayana said, ‘Having heard these words of Nara and Narayana, theRishi Narada became filled with devotion towards the Supreme Being.Indeed, with his whole soul he devoted himself to Narayana. Havingresided for a full thousand years in the retreat of Nara and ‘Narayana,having beheld the immutable Hari, and heard the excellent discoursehaving Narayana for its topic, the celestial Rishi repaired to his ownretreat on the breast of Himavat, Those foremost of ascetics viz., Naraand Narayana, however continued to reside in their delightful retreat ofVadari, engaged in the practice of the severest austerities. Thou artborn in the race of the Pandavas. Thou art of immeasurable energy. Operpetuator of the race of the Pandavas, having listened to thisdiscourse on Narayana from the beginning, thou hast certainly beencleansed of all thy sins and thy soul has been sanctified. His is neitherthis world nor the world hereafter, O best of kings, who hates instead ofloving and reverencing the immutable Hari. The ancestors of that personwho hates Narayana, who is the foremost of deities, and is otherwisecalled Hari, sink into hell for eternity. O tiger among men, Vishnu isthe soul of all beings. How, then, can Vishnu be hated, for in hating himone would hate one’s own self. He who is our preceptor, viz., the RishiVyasa, the son of Gandhavati, has himself recited this discourse unto uson the glory of Narayana, that glory which is the highest and which isimmutable. I heard it from him and have recited it to thee exactly as Iheard it, O sinless one. This cult, with its mysteries and its abstractof details, was obtained by Narada, O king, from that Lord of theuniverse, viz., Narayana himself. Even such are the particulars of thisgreat cult. I have, before this, O foremost of kings, explained it tothee in the Hari-Gita, with a brief reference to its ordinances.[1892]Know that the Island-born Krishna, otherwise called Vyasa, is Narayana onEarth. Who else than he, O tiger among kings, could compile such atreatise as the Mahabharata? Who else than that puissant Rishi coulddiscourse upon the diverse kinds of duties and cults for the observanceand adoption of men? Thou hast resolved upon performing a greatsacrifice. Let that sacrifice of thine proceed as determined by thee.Having listened to the diverse kinds of duties and cults, let thyHorse-sacrifice go on.”

Sauti continued, That best of kings, having heard this great discourse,began all those rites that are laid down in the ordinance, for thecompletion of his great sacrifice. Questioned by thee, O Saunaka, I haveduly recited to thee and all these Rishis that are denizens of theNaimisha forest, that great discourse having Narayana for its topic.Formerly Narada had recited it to my preceptor in the hearing of manyRishis and the sons of Pandu and in the presence of Krishna and Bhishmaalso.[1893] The Supreme deity Narayana is the Lord of all the foremost ofRishis, and of the three worlds. He is the upholder of Earth herself ofvast proportions. He is the receptacle of the Srutis and of the attributeof humility. He Is the great receptacle of all those ordinances thatshould be practised for attaining to tranquillity of heart, as also ofall those that go by the name of Yama. He is always accompanied by theforemost of regenerate persons. Let that great deity be thy refuge. Hariever does what is agreeable and beneficial to the denizens of heaven. Heis always the slayer of such Asuras (as become troublesome to the threeworlds). He is the receptacle of penances. He is possessed of great fame.He is the slayer of the Daityas known by the name of Madhu and Kaitabha.He is the ordainer of the ends that are attained to by persons acquaintedwith and observant of scriptural and other duties. He dispels the fearsof all persons. He takes the foremost of those offerings that arededicated in sacrifices. He is thy refuge and protection. He is enduedwith attributes. He is freed from attributes. He is endued with aquadruple form. He shares the merits arising from the dedication of tanksand the observance of similar religious rites. Unvanquished and possessedof great might, it is He that always ordains the end approachable by theSoul alone, of Rishis of righteous deeds. He is the witness of theworlds. He is unborn. He is the one ancient Purusha. Endued with thecomplexion of the Sun, He is the Supreme Lord, and he is the refuge ofall. Do all of you bow your heads unto Him since He who sprang from thewaters (viz., Narayana himself) bends his head unto Him.[1894] He is theorigin of the universe. He is that Being who is called Amrita. He isminute. He is the refuge upon whom all things depend. He is the one Beingto whom the attribute of immutability attaches. The Sankhyas and Yogins,of restrained souls, hold Him who is eternal in their understandings.

Chapter 348
Chapter 346
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