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Chapter 6

Mahabharata English - VIRATA PARVA

Vaisampayana said, “And while Yudhishthira was on his way to thedelightful city of Virata, he began to praise mentally the Divine Durga,the Supreme Goddess of the Universe, born on the womb of Yasoda, and fondof the boons bestowed on her by Narayana, sprung from the race of cowherdNanda, and the giver of prosperity, the enhancer (of the glory) of (theworshipper’s) family, the terrifier of Kansa, and the destroyer ofAsuras,–and saluted the Goddess–her who ascended the skies when dashed(by Kansa) on a stony platform, who is the sister of Vasudeva, one who isalways decked in celestial garlands and attired in celestial robes,–whois armed with scimitar and shield, and always rescues the worshipper sunkin sin, like a cow in the mire, who in the hours of distress calls uponthat eternal giver of blessings for relieving him of their burdens. Andthe king, desirous with his brothers of obtaining a sight of the Goddess,invoked her and began to praise her by reciting various names derivedfrom (approved) hymns. And Yudhishthira said, ‘Salutations to thee, Ogiver of boons. O thou that art identical with Krishna, O maiden, O thouthat hast observed the vow of Brahmacharya, O thou of body bright as thenewly-risen Sun, O thou efface beautiful as the full moon. Salutations tothee, O thou of four hands and four faces, O thou of fair round hips anddeep bosom, O thou that wearest bangles made of emeralds and sapphires, Othou that bearest excellent bracelets on thy upper arm. Thou shinest, OGoddess, as Padma, the consort of Narayana. O thou that rangest theetherial regions, thy true form and thy Brahmacharya are both of thepurest kind. Sable as the black clouds, thy face is beautiful as that ofSankarshana. Thou bearest two large arms long as a couple of poles raisedin honour of Indra. In thy (six) other arms thou bearest a vessel, alotus, a bell, a noose, a bow, a large discus, and various other weapons.Thou art the only female in the universe that possesses! the attribute ofpurity. Thou art decked with a pair of well-made ears graced withexcellent rings. O Goddess, thou shinest with a face that challengeth themoon in beauty. With an excellent diadem and beautiful braid with robesmade of the bodies of snakes, and with also the brilliant girdle roundthy hips, thou shinest like the Mandara mountain encircled with snakes.Thou shinest also with peacock-plumes standing erect on thy head, andthou hast sanctified the celestial regions by adopting the vow ofperpetual maiden-hood. It is for this, O thou that hast slain theMahishasura, [9] that thou art praised and worshipped by the gods for theprotection of the three worlds. O thou foremost of all deities, extend tome thy grace, show me thy mercy, and be thou the source of blessings tome. Thou art Jaya and Vijaya, and it is thou that givest victory inbattle. Grant me victory, O Goddess, and give me boons also at this hourof distress. Thy eternal abode is on Vindhya–that foremost of mountains.O Kali, O Kali, thou art the great Kali, ever fond of wine and meat andanimal sacrifice. Capable of going everywhere at will, and bestowingboons on thy devotees, thou art ever followed in thy journeys by Brahmaand the other gods. By them that call upon thee for the relief of theirburdens, and by them also that bow to thee at daybreak on Earth, there isnothing that cannot be attained in respect either of offspring or wealth.And because thou rescuest people from difficulties whether when they areafflicted in the wilderness or sinking in the great ocean, it is for thisthat thou art called Durga[10] by all. Thou art the sole refuge of menwhen attacked by robbers or while afflicted in crossing streams and seasor in wilderness and; forests. Those men that remember thee are neverprostrated, O great Goddess. Thou art Fame, thou art Prosperity, thou artSteadiness, thou art Success; thou art the Wife, thou art men’sOffspring, thou art Knowledge, and thou art the Intellect. Thou art thetwo Twilights, the Night Sleep, Light–both solar and lunar, Beauty,Forgiveness, Mercy, and every other thing. Thou dispellest, worshipped bythe devotees their fetters, ignorance, loss of children and loss ofwealth, disease, death, and fear. I, who have been deprived of mykingdom, seek thy protection. And as I bow to thee with bended head, OSupreme Goddess, grant me protection, O thou of eyes like lotus leaves.And be thou as boon-giving Truth unto us that are acting according toTruth. And, O Durga, kind as thou art unto all that seek thy protection,and affectionate unto all thy devotees, grant me protection!'”

Vaisampayana continued, “Thus praised by the son of Pandu, the Goddessshowed herself unto him. And approaching the king, she addressed him inthese words, ‘O mighty armed king, listen, O Lord, to these words ofmine. Having vanquished and slain the ranks of the Kauravas through mygrace, victory in battle will soon be thine. Thou shalt again lord itover the entire Earth, having made thy dominions destitute of thorns.And, O king, thou shalt also, with thy brothers, obtain great happiness.And through my grace, joy and health will be thine. And they also in theworld who will recite my attributes and achievements will be freed fromtheir sins, and gratified. I will bestow upon them kingdom, long life,beauty of person, and offspring. And they, O king, who will invoke me,after thy manner, in exile or in the city, in the midst of battle or ofdangers from foes, in forests or in inaccessible deserts, in seas ormountain fastnesses, there is nothing that they will not obtain in thisworld. And ye sons of Pandu, he will achieve success in every business ofhis that will listen to, or himself recite with devotion, this excellenthymn. And through my grace neither the Kuru’s spies, nor those that dwellin the country of the Matsyas, will succeed in recognising you all aslong as ye reside in Virata’s city!’ And having said these words untoYudhishthira, that chastiser of foes, and having arranged for theprotection of the sons of Pandu, the Goddess disappeared there and then.”

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