Chapter 111

Mahabharata English - UDYOGA PARAVA

“Garuda said, ‘O Brahmanas, since this quarter saveth from sin, and sinceone attaineth to salvation here, it is for this saying (Uttarana) powerthat it is called the north (uttara). And, O Galava, because the abode ofall the treasures of the north stretches in a line towards the east andthe west, therefore is the north sometimes called the central region(madhyama). And, O bull among the twice-born, in this region that issuperior to all, none can live that is unamiable, or of unbridledpassions, or unrighteous. Hither, in the asylum, known by the name ofVadari, eternally dwell Krishna who is Narayana’s self, and Jishnu thatmost exalted, of all male beings, and Brahman (the Creator). Hither, onthe breast of Himavat always dwelleth Maheswara endued with theeffulgence of the fire that blazeth up at the end of the Yuga. AsPurusha, he sporteth here with Prakriti (the universal mother). Except byNara and Narayana, he is incapable of being seen by the diverse classesof Munis, the gods with Vasava at their head, the Gandharvas, theYakshas, and the Siddhas. Though invested with Maya, him the eternalVishnu alone, of a thousand heads and thousand legs, can behold. It wasin this region that Chandramas (the moon) was installed into thesovereignty of the entire regenerate order. It was in this region, O thouforemost of all acquainted with Brahma, that Mahadeva first receiving heron his head, afterwards let (the sacred stream) Ganga fall from theheavens to the world of men. It was here that the Goddess (Uma) underwenther ascetic austerities from her desire of obtaining Maheswara (as herLord). It was in this region that Kama, the wrath (of Siva), Himavat, andUma, all together shone brilliantly. It was here, on the breast ofKailasa, O Galava, that Kuvera, was installed on the sovereignty of theRakshasas, the Yakshas, and the Gandharvas. It is in this region that(Kuvera’s gardens called) Chitraratha lie, and it is here that the asylumof (the Munis called the) Vaikhanasas is situate. It is here, O bullamong the twice-born, that the celestial stream called Mandakini, and themountain Mandara are to be seen. It is here that the gardens calledSaugandhi-kanaka are always guarded by the Rakshasas. Here are manyplains covered with grassy verdure, as also the plantain forest, andthose celestial trees called the Sautanakas. It is in this, region, OGalava, that the Siddhas, with souls ever under control and alwayssporting at will, have their fit abodes, abounding with every object ofenjoyment. It is here that the seven Rishis with Arundhati may be seen.It is here that the constellation Swati is to be seen, and it is herethat it first rises to the view. It is in this region that the GrandsireBrahman dwelleth in the vicinity of Yajna (sacrifice embodied). It is inthis quarter that the sun, the moon, and the other luminaries are seen torevolve regularly.

It is in this region, O foremost of Brahmanas, that those illustrious andtruth-speaking Munis called by the name of Dharma, guard the source ofthe Ganges. The origin and physical features and ascetic penances ofthese Munis are not known to all. The thousand dishes they use forserving the food offered in hospitality and the edibles also they createat will, are all a mystery, The man, O Galava, that passeth beyond thepoint guarded by these Munis, is certain, O foremost of Brahmanas, tomeet with destruction. None else, O bull among Brahmanas, save the divineNarayana, and the eternal Nara called also Jishnu, succeeded in passingbeyond the point so guarded. It is in this region that the mountains ofKailasa lie, the abode of Ailavila (Kuvera). It is here that the tenApsaras known by the name of Vidyutprabha had their origin. In covering,O Brahmana, the three worlds with three steps in the sacrifice of Vali(the Asura king), Vishnu had covered this whole northern region; and,accordingly, there is a spot here called Vishnupada. And it is so calledafter the footprint of Vishnu caused on that occasion. Here, in thisquarter, at a place called Usiravija, by the side of the golden lake,king Marutta performed, O foremost of Brahmanas, a sacrifice. It is herethat the brilliant and shining gold mines of Himavat exhibit themselvesto the illustrious and regenerate Rishi Jimuta. And Jimuta gave away thewhole of that wealth to the Brahmanas. And having given it away, thatgreat Rishi solicited them to call it after his own name. And hence thatwealth is known by the name of the Jaimuta gold. Here, in this region, Obull among Bharatas, the regents of the worlds, O Galava, every morningand evening, proclaim, ‘What business of what person shall we do?’ It isfor these, O foremost of Brahmanas, and other incidents, that thenorthern region is superior to all quarters. And because this region issuperior (uttara) to all, therefore, it is called the north (uttara). Thefour regions have thus, O sire, been, one after another described to theein details. Towards which quarter then dost thou desire to go? I amready, O foremost of Brahmanas, to show thee all the quarters of theearth!'”

Chapter 105
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