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Mahabharata English

Om! Having bowed down to Narayana and Nara, the most exalted male being,and also to the goddess Saraswati, must the word Jaya be uttered.

Om! After having bowed down to Narayana, and Nara, the most exalted malebeing, and also to the goddess Saraswati, must the word Jaya be uttered.

Om! Having bowed down to Narayana, and Nara the foremost of male beings,and the goddess Saraswati also, must the word Jaya be uttered.

OM! Having bowed down to Narayana, and Nara, the most exalted of malebeings, and also to the goddess Saraswati, must the word Jaya be uttered.

OM! HAVING BOWED down to Narayana, and Nara the most exalted of malebeings, and also to the goddess Saraswati, must the word Jaya be uttered.

OM! HAVING BOWED down to Narayana, and Nara, the most exalted of malebeings, and also to the goddess Saraswati, must the word ‘Jaya’ beuttered.

OM! HAVING BOWED down unto Narayan, and unto that most exalted of malebeings, viz., Nara, and unto the goddess Saraswati also, must the wordJaya be uttered.

Om! Having bowed down unto Narayana, and unto that most exalted of malebeings, Nara, and unto the goddess Sarasvati also, must the word Jaya beuttered.

Om! Having bowed down unto Narayana and Nara, the most exalted of malebeings, and the goddess Sarasvati, must the word Jaya be uttered.

Om! Having bowed down unto Narayana, and Nara the most exalted of malebeings, and unto the goddess Sarasvati, must the word Jaya be uttered!

Om! Having bowed down unto Narayana and Nara, the foremost of malebeings, and unto the goddess Sarasvati, must the word Jaya be uttered.

OM! HAVING BOWED down to Narayana, and Nara, the foremost of male beings,and unto the goddess Saraswati, must the word Jaya be uttered.

OM! HAVING BOWED down unto Narayana, and Nara the foremost of malebeings, and unto the goddess Saraswati, must the word Jaya be uttered.

OM! HAVING BOWED down unto Narayana, and Nara the foremost of malebeings, and unto the goddess Saraswati, must the word Jaya be uttered.

OM! AFTER HAVING bowed down to Narayana, and Nara, the foremost of men,and unto the goddess Saraswati also, must the word Jaya be uttered.

Om! Having bowed down unto Narayana, and to Nara, the foremost of men, asalso to the goddess Sarasvati, should the word “Jaya” be uttered.

Om! Having bowed down unto Narayana, and to Nara, the foremost of men, asalso to the goddess Sarasvati, should the word “Jaya” be uttered.

Om! Having bowed down into Narayana, and to Nara, the foremost of men, asalso to the goddess Sarasvati, should the word “Jaya” be uttered.

Sauti said, ‘And Ruru, on hearing those words, replied, ‘My wife, dear tome as life, was bit by a snake; upon which, I took, O snake, a dreadfulvow, viz., that I would kill every snake that I might come across.Therefore shall I smite thee and thou shalt be deprived of life.’

“Narada said,–‘Possessed of great splendour, the assembly house ofVaisravana, O king, is a hundred yojanas in length and seventy yojanas inbreadth. It was built, O king, by Vaisravana himself using his asceticpower.

“Dhritarashtra said, ‘O Muni of profound wisdom, it is even as thousayest! I know it well as do all these kings! Indeed, what thouconsiderest to be beneficial for the Kurus was pointed out to me, O Muni,by Vidura and Bhishma and Drona. And, if I deserve thy favour, and ifthou hast kindness for the Kurus, do thou exhort my wicked sonDuryodhana!’

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Then clad in a cowherd’s dress, and speaking thedialect of cowherds, Sahadeva came to the cowpen of Virata’s city.

“Indra said, This whole indestructible universe, O gods, hath beenpervaded by Vritra. There is nothing that can be equal to the task ofopposing him. I was capable of yore, but now I am incapable.

“Dhritarashtra said,–‘Tell me, O Sanjaya, of the period of life, thestrength, the good and bad things, the future, past and present, of theresidents, O Suta, of this Varsha of Bharata, and of the Himavat-varsha,as also of Hari-varsha, in detail.”

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Having addressed the Suta’s son in this way,Dhritarashtra, afflicted with excessive grief of heart and hopeless ofhis son’s victory, fell down on the ground.

“Sanjaya said, ‘After the fall of the mighty bowman Drona on that day, OBharata, and after the purpose had been baffled of that mightycar-warriors, viz., the son of Drona, and after the vasty army,

“Sanjaya said, ‘Beholding the army broken, the valiant king of theMadras, addressed his driver, saying, “Quickly urge these steeds enduedwith the fleetness of thought.

Vaishampayana said, “After that night had gone away, the driver ofDhrishtadyumna’s car gave intelligence to king Yudhishthira of the greatslaughter that had been caused during the hour of sleep.

Vaishampayana said, “Hearing these words of Vidura, that bull of Bharatasrace (Dhritarashtra) ordered his car to be yoked.

Bhimasena said, “Thy understanding, O king, has become blind to thetruth, like that of a foolish and unintelligent reciter of the Veda inconsequence of his repeated recitation of those scriptures.

“Yudhisthira said, ‘I wish to know, O royal sage, whether any fault isincurred by one who from interested or disinterested friendship impartsinstructions unto a person belonging to a low order of birth! Ograndsire, I desire to hear this, expounded to me in detail.

“Indra said, “Even so it is; the might of Brahmanas is great and thereare none more powerful than Brahmanas, but I can never bear withequanimity the insolent pride of Avikshita’s son, and so shall I smitehim with my thunderbolt.

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Thus addressed, O thou of Kuru’s race, by the oldking, the citizens and the inhabitants of the provinces stood sometimelike men deprived of consciousness.

“Vaisampayana said, ‘The monarch Santanu, the most adored of the gods androyal sages, was known in all the worlds for his wisdom, virtues, andtruthfulness (of speech).

“Yudhishthira said, ‘O best of regenerate ones, I desire again to hear ofthe achievements in detail of Agastya–that illustrious Rishi endued withgreat intelligence.'”

“Narada continued, ‘Here is that spacious and celebrated city of cities,called Hiranyapura, belonging to the Daityas and Danavas, possessing ahundred diverse kinds of illusion.

Sanjaya said, “Then Bhishma, the son of Santanu, went out with thetroops. And he disposed his own troops in mighty array calledSarvatobhadra.

“Sanjaya said, ‘Saying these words, king Duryodhana pierced Arjuna withthree shafts of great impetuosity and capable of penetrating into thevery vitals.

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Tell me, O grandsire, how kings desirous of victoryshould, O bull of Bharata’s race, lead their troops to battle even byoffending slightly against the rules of righteousness!’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘How was Nahusha plunged into distress? How was hehurled down on the earth? How, indeed, was he deprived of the sovereigntyof the gods? It behoveth thee to recite everything to me.’

“Vaisampayana said, ‘O monarch, after the nuptials were over, kingSantanu established his beautiful bride in his household. Soon after wasborn of Satyavati an intelligent and heroic son of Santanu namedChitrangada. He was endued with great energy and became an eminent man.

“Lomasa said, ‘Armed with the Vajra then, and supported by celestialsendued with great might, Indra then approached Vritra, who was thenoccupying the entire earth and the heaven.

“Narada said, ‘This region belongeth to the birds, all of whom possessexcellent feathers. They all subsist on snakes. They never feel anyfatigue in putting forth their prowess, or in making journeys, or inbearing burthens.

Sanjaya said, “Then the noble Abhimanyu of great energy, borne by hissteeds of a tawny hue, rushed at the mighty host of Duryodhana,scattering his arrowy showers like the clouds pouring torrents of rain.

“Sanjaya said, ‘Thy warriors, as soon as they beheld those foremost ofpersons of the Vrishni-Andhaka and the Kuru races, lost no time, eachstriving to be first, in proceeding against them from a desire ofslaughtering them.

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Of what disposition, of what behaviour, of whatform, how acoutred, and how armed should the combatants be in order thatthey may be competent for battle?’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Where do those foolish, wretched, and sinful men go,O chief of men, that steal or misappropriate such articles as belong toBrahmanas?’

“Vaisampayana said, ‘O thou of Kuru’s race, after Chitrangada was slain,his successor Vichitravirya being a minor, Bhishma ruled the kingdom,placing himself under the command of Satyavati. When he saw that hisbrother, who was the foremost of intelligent men, attained to majority, Bhishma set his heart upon marrying Vichitravirya.

“Lomasa said, ‘The Kalakeyas then having recourse to that receptacle ofwaters, which is the abode of Varuna, began their operations for thedestruction of the universe.

“Narada said, ‘The region where we now are is called Rasatala and is theseventh stratum below the Earth. Here dwelleth Surabhi, the mother of allkine, she, who was born of the Amrita.

Dhritarashtra said, “How, O Sanjaya, did Alamvusha resist in combat theheroic son of Arjuna smiting many of our mighty car-warriors in battle?

"Dhritarashtra, said, 'Describe to me, O Sanjaya, the diverse kinds ofstandards resplendent with great beauty, of both the Partha and ourwarriors (in that battle).' "Sanjaya said, 'Hear, O king, of the diverse kinds of standards of thosehigh-souled warriors. Listen to me as I describe their forms and names.Indeed, O king, upon the cars of those foremost of car-warriors were seendiverse kinds of standards that shone like blazing flames of fire. Madeof gold, or decked with gold,

“Yudhishthira said. ‘What are the well-known indications, O bull ofBharata’s race, of the (future) success of an army? I desire to knowthem.’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘O grandsire, it has been said that all pious menattain to the same region after death. Is it true, O Bharata, that thereis difference of position or status among them?’

“Vaisampayana said, ‘The unfortunate Satyavati then became plunged ingrief on account of her son. And after performing with herdaughters-in-law the funeral rites of the deceased, consoled, as best shecould, her weeping daughters-in-law and Bhishma, that foremost of allwielders of weapons.

“The celestials said, ‘Through thy favour it is that all born beings ofthe four kinds increase. And they being created, propitiate the dwellersof heaven by offerings made to the gods and the names of departedforefathers.

“Narada said, ‘This foremost of cities that thou beholdest and whichresembles the Amaravati of the chief of the celestials himself, is knownby the name of Bhogavati.

Dhritarashtra said, “How did those bulls among men, viz., that greatbowman Drona, and Dhananjaya the son of Pandu, encounter each other inbattle?

“Dhritarashtra said, ‘After Arjuna had got the ruler of the Sindhuswithin sight, what, O Sanjaya, did the Panchalas, attacked byBharadwaja’s son, do, encountering the Kurus?’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Tell me, O grandsire, how a kin should behavetowards foe that is mild, towards one that is fierce, and towards onethat has many allies and a large force.’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Thou hast discoursed to us on diverse kinds of gift,on tranquillity of soul, on Truth, on compassion, on contentment withone’s wedded wife, and the merits of gift.

“Bhishma continued, ‘In olden days, Rama, the son of Jamadagni, in angerat the death of his father, slew with his battle axe the king of theHaihayas. And Rama, by cutting off the thousand arms of Arjuna (theHaihaya king), achieved a most difficult feat in the world.

“Yudhishthira said, ‘O great saint! I am desirous of hearing in detailwhy it was that Vindhya, made senseless with wrath, suddenly began toincrease his bulk.'”

“Narada then said, ‘This one is the charioteer of the name of Matali. He
is besides a dear friend of Sakra. Pure in conduct, he hath an excellent
disposition and possesses numerous virtues. Endued with strength of mind,
he hath great energy and great might. He is the friend, counsellor, and
charioteer of Sakra. It has been seen in every battle that small is the
difference that exists between him and Vasava as regards prowess and
strength. In all the battles between the gods and Asuras, it is this
Matali that driveth, by his mind alone, that ever-victorious and best of
cars belonging to Indra, which is drawn by thousand steeds. Vanquished by
his management of the steeds, the enemies of the gods are subjugated by
Vasava by the use of his hands. Defeated before-hand by Matali, the
Asuras are subsequently slain by Indra. Matali hath an excellent
daughter, who in beauty is unrivalled in the world. Truthful and
possessed of every accomplishment, she is known by the name of Gunakesi.
He was searching the three worlds for an eligible bridegroom. O thou that
art possessed of the splendour of a celestial, thy grandson, Sumukha,
hath become acceptable to him as a husband for his daughter. If O best of
serpents, his proposal be acceptable to thee, quickly make up thy mind, O
Aryaka, to take his daughter in gift for thy grandson. As Lakshmi in
Vishnu’s house, or Swaha in that of Agni so let the slender-waisted
Gunakesi be a wife in thy race. Let Gunakesi, therefore be accepted by
thee for thy grandson, like Sachi for Vasava who deserveth her. Although
this youth hath lost his father, yet we choose him for his virtues, and
for the respectability of Airavata and thy own. Indeed, it is in
consequence of Sumukha’s merits, his disposition, purity, self-restraint
and other qualifications that Matali hath become himself desirous of
giving away his daughter unto him. It behoveth thee, therefore, to honour
“Kanwa continued, ‘Thus addressed by Narada, Aryaka beholding his
grandson elected as a bridegroom and remembering the death of his son was
filled with delight and sorrow at the same time. And he then addressed
Narada and said, ‘How, O celestial Rishi, can I desire Gunakesi for a
daughter-in-law’! It cannot be, O great Rishi, that thy words are not
highly honoured by me, for who is there that would not desire an alliance
with the friend of Indra? I hesitate, however, O great Muni, in
consequence of the instability of the very cause that would not make that
alliance lasting. O thou of great effulgence, the author of this youth,
viz., my son, hath been devoured by Garuda. We are afflicted with sorrow
on that account. But worse still, O lord, Vinata’s son, at the time of
leaving these regions, said, ‘After a month I will devour this Sumukha
also. Surely, it will happen as he hath said, for we know with whom we
have to deal. At these words, therefore, of Suparna we have become
“Kanwa continued, ‘Matali then said unto Aryaka, ‘I have formed a plan.
This thy grandson is elected by me as my son-in-law. Let this Naga then,
proceeding with me and Narada, come to the Lord of heaven the chief of
the celestials, O best of Nagas. I shall then endeavour to place
obstacles in the way of Suparna, and as a last resource, we will
ascertain the period of life that hath been vouchsafed to Sumukha.
Blessed be thou, O Naga, let Sumukha, therefore, come with me to the
presence of the Lord of the celestials.’ Saying this, they took Sumukha
with them, and all the four, endued with great splendour, coming to
heaven beheld Sakra the chief of the gods seated in all his glory. And it
so happened that the illustrious Vishnu of four arms was also present
there. Narada then represented the whole story about Matali and his
“Kanwa continued, ‘Hearing all that Narada said, Vishnu directed
Purandara, the Lord of the universe, saying, ‘Let Amrita be given to this
youth, and let him be made immortal like gods themselves. Let Matali, and
Narada, and Sumukha, O Vasava, all attain their cherished wish through
thy grace.’ Purandara, however, reflecting on the prowess of Vinata’s
son, said unto Vishnu, ‘Let Amrita be given unto him by thee.’ Thus
addressed, Vishnu said, ‘Thou art the Lord of all mobile and immobile
creatures. Who is there, O lord, that would refuse a gift that may be
made by thee’?’ At these words Sakra gave unto that Naga length of days.
The slayer of Vala and Vritra did not make him a drinker of Amrita.
Sumukha, having obtained that boon, became Sumukha[11] (in reality) for
his face was suffused with marks of joy. And having married Matali’s
daughter, he cheerfully returned home. And Narada and Aryaka also filled
with delight at the success of their object, went away, after having
worshipped the glorious chief of the celestials.'”

“Narada then said, ‘This one is the charioteer of the name of Matali. Heis besides a dear friend of Sakra. Pure in conduct, he hath an excellentdisposition and possesses numerous virtues.

Sanjaya said, “At mid-day, O king, happened a fierce battle, fraught withgreat carnage, between Bhishma and the Somakas.

“Sanjaya said, ‘Kshemadhurti, O monarch, pierced the advancingVrihatkshatra of great valour, that prince of the Kaikeyas, with manyarrows in the chest.

“Yudhishthira said, ‘How should a righteous king, who is opposed by hisown officers, whose treasury and army are no longer under his control,and who has no wealth, conduct himself for acquiring happiness?’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Man, it is said, is endued with a period of lifeextending for a hundred years, and with energy and might that areconsiderable.

“Bhishma, continued, ‘Listen, O mother, to me as I indicate the means bywhich the Bharata line may be perpetuated. Let an accomplished Brahmanabe invited by an offer of wealth, and let him raise offspring upon thewives of Vichitravirya.’

“Lomasa said, ‘That blessed saint, the son of Varuna, having reached thesea spake unto the assembled gods, and the saints gathered together,saying ‘I surely am going to drink up the ocean–that abode of the god ofwaters.

“Kanwa said, ‘Meanwhile, O Bharata, the mighty Garuda heard what hadhappened, viz., the bestowal by Sakra of length of days on the NagaSumukha.

Sanjaya said, “O tiger among men, Arjuna sent those Kshatriyas thatfollowed Susarman to the abode of the King of the Dead by means of hiswhetted shafts.

“Sanjaya said, ‘The illustrious son of Somadatta pierced each of the sonsof Draupadi, those great bowmen, with five arrows, and once more withseven arrows.

“The sage said, ‘If, on the other hand, O Kshatriya, thou thinkest thatthou hast any prowess still, I shall discourse to thee about that line ofpolicy which thou mayst adopt for recovering thy kingdom.

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Tell me, O chief of Bharata’s race, how the eldestbrother should behave towards his younger brothers and how the youngerbrothers should behave towards their eldest brother.’

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Soon after the monthly season of the princess ofKosala had been over, Satyavati, purifying her daughter-in-law with abath, led her into the sleeping apartment. There seating her upon aluxurious bed, she addressed her, saying, ‘O Princess of Kosala, thyhusband hath an elder brother who shall this day enter thy womb as thychild.

“Lomasa said, ‘Then gathered together, Brahma, the grandfather of men(thus) addressed, ‘Go ye, O gods! whither your pleasure may lead you, oryour desire conduct you.

“Janamejaya said, ‘Interminably wedded to evil, blinded by avarice,addicted to wicked courses, resolved upon bringing destruction on hishead,

“Sanjaya said, ‘Beholding Bhishma excited with wrath in battle,surrounded on all sides by the Pandavas like the Sun in the firmament.

“Sanjaya said, ‘Having fled away from Bhima, Alamvusha, in another partof the field, careered fearlessly in battle.

“The king said, ‘I do not desire, O Brahmana, to support life by deceitor fraud. I do not desire wealth, however great, which is to be earned byunrighteous means.

“Yudhishthira said, ‘The disposition is seen, O grandsire, in all theorders of men, including the very Mlechchhas, of observing fasts.

“Janamejaya said, ‘What did the god of justice do for which he wascursed? And who was the Brahmana ascetic from whose curse the god had tobe born in the Sudra caste?’

“Lomasa said, ‘O most righteous of kings! When he heard these words(proceeding) from the sky, he had faith therein, and did all that he wasdirected to do, O chief of the men of Bharata’s race!

“Narada said, ‘Thus addressed by Viswamitra of great intelligence Galavawas filled with such anxiety that he could not sit or lie down, or takehis food.

Sanjaya said, “Then thy sire, excited with wrath, began to strike theParthas and their troops all round, with excellent shafts of greatsharpness. And he pierced Bhima with twelve shafts, and Satyaki withnine.

“Dhritarashtra said, ‘Tell me, O Sanjaya, how Yuyudhana rushed againstthe son of Bharadwaja in battle. I feel a great curiosity to hear it.’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Thou hast, O scorcher of foes, described the courseof duties, the general conduct, the means of livelihood, with theirresults, of Brahmanas and Kshatriyas and Vaisyas and Sudras.

“Yudhishthira said, ‘O high-souled grandsire, thou hast duly discoursedto us on the subject of Sacrifices, including the merits in detail thatattach to them both here and hereafter.

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Thus asked, the tiger among Munis then answeredthose Rishis of ascetic wealth, ‘Whom shall I blame for this?

“Lomasa said, ‘That same king, of a powerful bow, standing at the head ofthe surrounding, (i.e., the occupant of an imperial throne) of a powerfulcar, (i.e., possessing every great fighting power) became the delight ofthe eyes and the soul of all the world.

“Garuda said, ‘O Galava, commanded I have been by God, who is the causeof all knowledge. I ask thee, towards which quarter shall I first takethee to see what lie there?

Sanjaya said, “While they were battling, the Sun set, O Bharata, aidthere came the dreadful hour of twilight and the battle could no longerbe seen.

“Sanjaya said, ‘That bull amongst the Sinis, viz., Satyaki, hearing thesewords o, full affection, agreeable, fraught with sweet sounds, opportune,delightful, and equitable that were uttered by king Yudhishthira thejust, replied unto him,

“Yudhishthira said, ‘The path of duty is long. It has also, O Bharata,many branches. What, however, according to thee, are those duties thatmost deserve to be practised? What acts, according to thee, are the mostimportant among all duties, by the practice of which I may earn thehighest merit both here and hereafter?’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Do thou tell me, O grandsire, of that which isregarded as the foremost of all Tirthas. Indeed, it behoveth thee toexpound to me what that Tirtha is which conduces to the greatestpurity.'[501]

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Upon the birth of those three children, Kurujangala,Kurukshetra, and the Kurus grew in prosperity. The earth began to yieldabundant harvest, and the crops also were of good flavour. And the cloudsbegan to pour rain in season and trees became full of fruits and flowers.

“Lomasa said, ‘The blessed God having heard what Bhagiratha had said, andwith a view to doing what was agreeable to the residents of heaven,replied to the king, saying, ‘So let it be.

“Garuda continued, ‘In days of yore, Vivaswat, having performed asacrifice, gave this quarter away as a present (Dakshina) unto hispreceptor, And it is for this that this region is known by the name ofDakshina (south).

Dhritarashtra said, “How did Sikhandin advance against the son of Gangain battle, and how did Bhishma also advance against the Pandavas? Say allthis unto me, O Sanjaya!”

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