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Trailer for Wachowskis' "Jupiter Ascending," with Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis

Posted: December 10th, 2013 by WorstPreviews.com Staff
Trailer for WachowskisSubmit Comment
Warner Bros has unveiled the first trailer for its big-budget "Jupiter Ascending" sci-fi film, starring Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis, Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth, and James D'Arcy. Check it out below.

Plot: Jupiter Jones (Kunis) was born under a night sky, with signs predicting that she was destined for great things. Now grown, Jupiter dreams of the stars but wakes up to the cold reality of a job cleaning toilets and an endless run of bad breaks. Only when Caine (Tatum), a genetically engineered ex-military hunter, arrives on Earth to track her down does Jupiter begin to glimpse the fate that has been waiting for her all along - her genetic signature marks her as next in line for an extraordinary inheritance that could alter the balance of the cosmos.

The new movie is directed by Andy and Lana Wachowski (The Matrix) and is set to hit 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D theaters on July 25th, 2014.


Source: PeliBlog.com

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Displaying 171 comment(s) Profanity: Turn On
BJsforeveryone writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 4:37:53 AM

Seriously, those two turd nuggets have not made anything watchable since the first Matrix, so excuse me for doubting this project !!
Besides, what´s up with Tatums elf look ??
-Already tired of Mila Kunis :(
BlackDynamite writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 5:22:50 AM

Why does this "big budget" film look like medium budget trash?

Also, why are the Wachowskis still using older filming techniques? not a single wide shot in this trailer. you'd think with a film concerning other planets, you'd have some shots that convey the vastness of space, instead of making the film seem very tight
biniwoo writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 5:27:30 AM

I wonder... how will Sean Bean die in this one?
telur writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 5:29:38 AM

Andy and Lana Wachowski still have a job?
nuttie30xx writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 5:36:44 AM

been looking forward to this for a while i think it will be good
Cannon writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 5:47:25 AM

Well, Tatum looks absolutely rediculous (eyeliner?!) but the rest looks compelling enough, at least for some good spectacle. We'll just have to wait and see how the Wachowskis handle their "big ideas" in this one.

Venom1970 writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 5:54:54 AM

I think it looks pretty f*cking cool.

Anyone tired of looking at Mila Kunis definitely craves c*ck. Personally could look at her all day :)
cress writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 6:05:55 AM

@biniwoo. lol

Hard to judge by this short trailer. I'm interested, but CLOUD ATLAS looked promising as well, until I saw that clusterf*cking mess.
M. Bullitt writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 6:54:05 AM

"Jupiter Ascending"

Funny but I read "Cloud Atlas 2.0". Same difference to me.
boogiel writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 7:24:11 AM

Looks like a giant turd of a film. On the other hand, If they don't kill Sean Bean in this, maybe it will be watchable.
KillerCOck writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 7:44:45 AM

f*ckin weird cast
mrstretch writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 8:54:02 AM

Anal Wachowski
BadChadB33 writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:32:57 AM

minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:51:44 AM

Rather have my d*ck cut off and sewn to Lana's clit than watch this garbage.
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 11:06:34 AM

@Sleuth: no, the New 52 is utter sh*t. I used to read the Batman and Superman trade paperbacks and graphic novels, but after I realized I had read all of the "classic" story-lines, I divested myself of DC altogether. I refuse to read any of the new "Batman of Africa", or "Batman of Taiwan" Incorporated sh*t Grant Morrison created, for example, and the new Superman, with his silly-looking new suit, is just as bad if not worse.
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 11:38:26 AM

Sherlock BBC launch trailer

PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 11:39:01 AM

almost an hour till Godzilla trailer,ALEX

not 12hours
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 11:43:15 AM

Who is this Alex loser and why do we care?
M. Bullitt writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 11:43:35 AM

Words of the day from the new JCVD:

"Kanye West claims he's risking his life like a 'police officer or a soldier in war' because he could slip while dancing onstage."

Somebody should deprive this twat from oxygen!
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 11:47:35 AM

"Seriously, those two turd nuggets have not made anything watchable since the first Matrix, so excuse me for doubting this project !!"

You DO realize the reason The Matrix is their only good film is because they sat around for YEARS, compiling a list of cool sh*t they saw and read from books and movies, right?

You DO realize they ripped off Blade's bullet-time, and, AND, that they ripped off Morpheus' whole "real world" speech from what Blade said to his new-found big-foreheaded nurse girlfriend, right? Right?!

The Matrix is almost 99% ripped off from prominent films and books, and yet no one ever seems to notice or care, but then they stupidly wonder why those two mutants haven't made anything anywhere nearly as good as The Matrix.

minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 11:56:43 AM

Watched Gravity. Not impressed.

The movie relies on two gimmicks: immersive (and admittedly impressive, albeit erratically) space CGI (including annoyingly repetitive shots of 2001's floating pen, which was then done with a glass plate whereas Gravity did it with...CGI) and that old tearjerker chestnut "my daughter died and now I can't go on" cliche we last saw in The Descent.

The movie is also based on the premise Russia would use a missile to destroy a satellite, and then said destroyed satellite would obliterate every other satellite, including shuttles and space stations, like a rolling snowflake acc*mulating into an Aspen avalanche.

Basically Cuaron said "I want Open Water in space so I can shoot all these cool CGI space scenes, but I don't know how to do it" and his brother said "oh well, let's just blow everything up!".

Sad what passes for "intelligent" film-making these days, but hey, you can see it in IMAX...
PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 11:59:13 AM


Ya know what?
i dont give a sh*t about casting Brits in American roles anymore

throw some tits on c*mberbatch and cast him as WonderWoman for all i care
thats not homo-ish,right?

minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 12:03:22 PM

Why give him tits? He already has bigger breasts than Gal Gadot, but then again who doesn't?
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 12:09:50 PM

Time for a Highlight's Magazine game of "Can You Spot the Difference?"

RuGhi writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 12:13:31 PM

@Anyone out there…whats a good sci-fi i can watch this week. I need a good dose of good sci-fi that mega shark vs mechs shark post got me real depressed….
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 12:15:33 PM

^^What have you seen?
hellsing writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 12:17:39 PM

if sean bean is init we know at least one character that will die lol
PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 12:23:36 PM

BINIWOO already beat you HELLSING
thanks for playin,tho
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 12:29:59 PM

Sean Bean dying....that was a vintage cliche when he played The Hitcher...
PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 12:32:16 PM

mega shark vs mechs shark post got me real depressed….

so thats a 'no' for Red Water??
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 12:35:36 PM

Alex plays this


to Dustin and their cats.
PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 12:54:20 PM

'i feel like makin love'

dunna-DAH(M E O W !!!)
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 12:57:53 PM

PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 1:04:19 PM

Alex plays this


to Dustin and his cats
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 1:11:58 PM

"Also, why are the Wachowskis still using older filming techniques? not a single wide shot in this trailer. you'd think with a film concerning other planets, you'd have some shots that convey the vastness of space, instead of making the film seem very tight"

Yeah, I thought the same thing, as the trailer seems very...claustrophobic, but I doubt the actual film is cut to the same low-band specs as the trailer. Or so I hope, at least.
Džeko writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 1:15:36 PM

Godzilla 2014 trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECUbuBrbP1g
Stapes writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 1:22:46 PM

Stapes writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 1:23:29 PM

ah, Dzeko beat me to it.

But is it any wonder ANY one beat Alex to it?
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 1:32:20 PM

Wow, A Godzilla that screeches loud enough to not knock buildings down, and then proceeds to knock buildings down.

Pretty sure there's a yellow stick-it memo on the communal refrigerator of every major studio that reads "must remember to make uncreative derivative big-lizard-smashes-stuff movie at least once a decade".
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 1:39:21 PM

Forbes releases most overpaid actors list


Sandler takes the top spot.
Stapes writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 1:54:16 PM

speaking of the Jupiter trailer though... oh boy that looks super gay. No thanks.
Tanman32123 writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 3:58:54 PM

Damn someone beat me to the "Godzilla" news. What did you guys think of the last one? (American)
Tanman32123 writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 4:07:54 PM

Lmfaoo They really made this...

chogms1 writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 5:11:19 PM

Tatum is the love child of bowie and a vulcan+
Kunis hot as usual but prefer her in comedy's+
300 Xerxes guy looks like the Xerxes guy from 300
= still will pay the $19 in hope that Atlas was a brain fart

Deaft0ne writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 6:11:06 PM

Silly trailer, $2 theater for me because I try to see most new a sci-fi films at least once even though Cloud Atlas blew.

I think Tranny and Andy Wachowski just want to remake Dune already.
Deaft0ne writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 6:12:11 PM

PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 6:17:18 PM

if your wang is named The Running Man
dont hold your breath

*watching Gravity*
lots of clever quips and banter(i believe Clooney wrote himself)to get you attached to the characters

no way Clooney would talk this long to a chic his own age
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 6:17:51 PM

I can't believe you stooges are still paying to see movies in the theater. Wow. Are the big, dim screens, bubble-gummed hard-backed chairs and buckets of corned lard really worth it for you?

I watched Thor 2 and Gravity last night, for free, and you know what? I actually got my money's worth.
Deaft0ne writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 6:22:24 PM

$2 is way cheaper than $19, and I go on a weekday afternoon and never buy their disgusting popcorn anyways.
PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 6:23:20 PM

to all my AV geeks out there

i call on you to compile a video of Bullocks sexiest scenes with her audio from Gravity
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 6:25:17 PM

@Pornfly: what witty banter? Clooney making a fool of himself?

I hate to tell you but professional astronauts do not act or talk the way he acted and talked. Listen to Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, for example.

And to be honest I felt it was all forced and canned. Not very organic. Way too much exposition in the first scenes to give one of three characters some depth because they were going to die by the first quarter mark, and then Long-Legs Cute-Feet Bullock spends the rest of the film rambling in isolation.

I won't even mention that Clooney comes off like a glib, smirking playboy, which isn't a stretch since he;s has two role modes: the aforementioned playboy and the stony, cold, laconic bore. The other guy we never saw until he developed a acute case of holeintheheaditis and he said little beyond enough to lend the film a very thin patina of obligatory diversity.

Oh look, it's an Indian, or a Pakistani, or something or someone from a place that reeks of feces.

minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 6:26:59 PM

PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 6:28:06 PM

thats how i feel about the upcoming Justice League

Im so glad i didnt pay for POS Imean MOS

Snyder/DC/WB know that sheep will pay despite who is cast as WW/Batman/Flash

but real fans will not

Elvis,why are people stupid?
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 6:29:56 PM

two of three, not one.

Oh well. Screenrant doesn't let you edit your posts either.
PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 6:37:45 PM

I hate to tell you but professional astronauts do not act or talk the way he acted and talked.

as someone who thought he wanted to be an astronaut
i know that all too well

i found out the hard way (flying in S3B Viking)
that flying is not for me

i like to be able to pull over
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 6:38:58 PM

@porn: DC is working on the biggest clusterf*ck I've ever seen. It's like they're trying to ruin the f*cker, for whatever reason. I don't get it! Affleck? Why!? Gal Gadot? She looks NOTHING like Wonder Woman, beyond the dark hair, and Gadot is a brunette IIRC, and then this Homoa guy, who SUCKS at everything he does, unless it's a mindless wrecking machine like in Bullet to the Head, and even then you just want to replace him with a cardboard cutout of Fantastic Four's The Thing or the Kool-Aid man.

Christ, man, what the hell are they doing?

Anyway, Homoa would make an EXCELLENT Terminator, though, and if I was the director for the "reboot", or whatever they're calling that future POS, I'd take a look at the guy because he has "muscular, scary mindless robot" written all over his huge, mountain-ledge-like Neanderthal forehead.

Anyway, Man of Steel. Yeah, didn't pay either. Grabbed the Pirate Bay cam, suffered through the incessantly blurry, erratic camera moves, which were made worse by the way the guy filmed the screen, and then waited for the BluRay download, and which point I exhaled loudly and congratulated myself on not buying yet another Zack Snyder Bucket-O-sh*t.
Tanman32123 writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 6:40:10 PM

Lol porn..


I'll pass.
PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 6:40:34 PM

i would have paid for Thor2

first one felt more forced than a penis in a cat
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 6:45:30 PM

Thor 2 was decent, but contrived. Why was there a convergence on earth? Oh, that's right, because Thor has to get back to his woman.
Tanman32123 writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 6:47:19 PM


Looked up your link on those Amittyville pics. Wow, They really did a number on the place..

Oh, And I still haven't seen Thor 2, Kinda doubt I'll watch it anytime soon.
PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 6:47:33 PM

Ive seen the ScreenJunkies trailer for MOS more than the actual film

zero fun
zero magic
biggest disappointment since i left my door unlocked while getting ready to bone this puertorican/italian chic and her friend walked in and took her away because she had a boyfriend

choke on it and die Snyder!
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 6:52:00 PM

@Tanman: you think THAT'S something, you should see the house Albert Fish used to kill that little girl, then and now.

minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 6:53:31 PM

@Porn: Man of Steel is actually what I knew it would be, and it's good people can finally see Nolan's hollow vision without being blinded by the bling of his name in the director's chair.
PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 6:54:02 PM

Gal Gadot just opened the door for any f*ckin chic with a pretty face to audition for roles that are out of their league

Sean Young must be spinning in her grave
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 6:55:55 PM

Sean Young isn't dead.
PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 6:57:12 PM

can you imagine the perverse/morbid attraction the H.H. Holmes house would be if someone didnt have the decency to burn it to the ground??
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 7:00:19 PM

PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 7:06:01 PM

minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 7:06:28 PM

PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 7:12:40 PM

I'll check that clip out shortly,MINK

Sean Young isn't dead

you dont say
Deaft0ne writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 7:27:55 PM

She may as well be.

Also it's Momoa mink. I can see him as The Martian The Manhunter specifically because of his Cro-Magnon forehead. He seems like a nice guy in interviews and he was good on Game of Thrones.
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 7:34:00 PM

No, it's HOMOA, as he was properly nicknamed by one of the cast and crew of WorstPreviews. Don't recall who.

And it's Neanderthal, not Cro-Magnon. Cro-Magnons didn't differ much from modern humans relative to Neanderthals.

minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 7:34:57 PM


minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 7:40:01 PM

Homoa's a f*cking ugly untalented fag. How anyone can defend that guy after all the terrible sh*t he's made, I don't know, but just a few years ago you people of WP were bashing the guy relentlessly and without pity or mercy. Now you're his biggest fan, just like you did with Taters.

Christ. Either drop the kneejerk negativity or stick with it because slamming people before you see them perform only to sing their praise thereafter makes you stupid as f*ck, not to mention hypocritical.
PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 7:52:41 PM

Homoa as Conan??
on UPN maybe

Momoa merely being used for his physical attributes loaded with CGI &/or prosthetics?

i can dig it
but as long as he's not headlining
a fourth shelf/bottom shelf character is more his speed
again, with CGI/prosthetics
Venom1970 writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 7:56:34 PM

Now where is that cat?
Venom1970 writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 8:02:15 PM

LOL @ this thread.

minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 8:04:23 PM

Dustin likes quoting movies. In this scene, he's confronting his cat with a line from The Brave One: you ever been f*cked by a knife?
PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 8:04:56 PM

that H.H.Holmes piece is fascinating

ALEX could take a lesson from the amount of effort you put into the information you traffic into this place
Deaft0ne writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 8:06:40 PM

I don't care what another WP member said that would take anyone 1 second to come up with anyways.

The guy's name is Jason Momoa and the only total pile of sh*t he was in was the Conan The Barbarian remake. Bullet To The Head was at least 50% sh*t.

Tatum has been in waaay more as sh*t by comparison and he's been in more movies too!

Momoa looks like a mashup TBH. A Cro-Anderthal.
Tanman32123 writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 8:08:13 PM

Absolutely agree^

Mink entertains me one hell of a lot more then Alexs dumbass posts do. I'll have to Check out those later and discuss further. You know, Cause its not like this f*cking site will be updated by then
Deaft0ne writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 8:10:13 PM


Also, if Momoa plays The Martian The Manhunter in Justice League that will be actually the best casting for this clusterf*ck insofar as having the physical appearance for the character.

No one can say the same for Ben Affleck or Gil Gadot.
PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 8:11:08 PM


minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 8:14:40 PM

Momoa, Homoa, I call the guy what I want to call him. If he or his boyfriend's don't like it, tough sh*t. They can take a dump on my porch while I load my shotgun.

And Bullet to the Head was garbage. Terrible f*cking film. Momoa's acting throughout is nothing more than a bull in a china shop routine. That's it. You can see the steam poring from his flared nostrils while he stamps his hooves and prepares to charge the screen.

He's a cartoonish thug of a man who thinks he can be an actor because he took the few years he needed to beef up. He can't act and thinks he can fool the audiences into believing he has talent by superficially walking in Arnie's shoes like way too many roid-head talentless losers.

f*ck that guy and f*ck his Animaniac career.
Deaft0ne writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 8:16:54 PM

Agree to disagree, mink.
Donyae 420 writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 8:18:59 PM

and,uhh....what da f*ck was all that? Looked like the new matrix opening.
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 8:19:19 PM

And...Martian Manhunter looks nothing like Homoa. MM has a tapered dome and an ordinary face. He doesn't look like he should knocking over wooly mammoths using only stones. Homoa should play Lobo or something. That's way more his style and physical appearance.

Maybe Homoa can provide the voice, but there's a billion extant actors who can wear green face paint and red contacts and who have the talent to deliver a line that doesn't make the audience cringe in visceral pain.

Which begs the question: is DC REALLY going to try to push a green Martian past us and think we're going to take it seriously? Because Green lantern worked so well, right?
Donyae 420 writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 8:20:05 PM

Godzilla, best trailer of 2013.
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 8:22:14 PM

@Deaftone: I was referring to Neanderthals because of the guy's prominent brows. CMs didn't have prominent brows and many scientists now think they were no different from us "modern" humans.

What you're saying then is Homoa looks like a neolithic cave-dweller, which is what we would all look like without the benefit of scissors and razors.
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 8:25:10 PM

@Donyae: actually it might be The Wolf of Wall Street:


@Pornfly and Tanman: thanks, but it's easy to out-do the guy who does nothing.
PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 8:25:47 PM

Mamoa's Samosas

in your friendly neighborhood Connecticut's freezer section
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 8:32:17 PM

Fox shifts Dawn of the Planet of the Apes to Fast and Furious 7 Release Date

Deaft0ne writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 8:37:14 PM


Part of my partialism to Momoa may be in compsrison to the absurd-looking MM from Smallville that they never even showed in a clear shot to the viewer and when they finally did it was just Doug Morris in some pleather suit. Total trolling to the audience.

I remember MM like the comic version in the 80's and the Super Powers toy. I can see Momoa pulling it off.

Sometimes nostalgia ignores logic.
Venom1970 writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 8:39:48 PM

People rave about his role in Game Of Thrones, all you saw him do was f*ck and give snarly faces. Never fight which sucked. But I think was overrated.
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 8:40:25 PM

@Deaftone: I don't see how you or anyone else could see the guy as Martian Manhunter, though, and from what I've read elsewhere, seems Momoa isn't even up for that role, only that he's in talks with DC to take on a character like Vin is doing for Marvel. Could just as easily be Lobo or Lex Luther's enforcer. Or a voice for a character not yet disclosed.

The Martian Manhunter "thing" is, from what I can tell, merely more idle internet speculation.
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 8:41:55 PM

Momoa is the product of institutionalized lowered expectations.
Deaft0ne writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 9:01:21 PM

What image did you post pornfly?
BadChadB33 writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 9:05:45 PM

God, I gotta get more active with this site like I used to bed.
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 9:09:43 PM

@Deaftone: it was a "make mine mink" image.
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 9:11:23 PM

Pornfly posted the sixth image from the left in Google Images using the search terms "make mine mink".
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 9:12:09 PM

Or the second. Probably the second.

minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 9:12:59 PM

I'm bored.
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 9:19:54 PM

You gonna update the website, Alex, are you going to further cement your name as the sixth Stooge right behind the two terrible Joes?
Donyae 420 writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 9:56:40 PM

@Mink thanks, that sh*t was f*cking NICE!!
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:05:49 PM

@Donyae: you expected any less from Martin Scorsese? :D
Tanman32123 writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:07:28 PM

I'm bored as well..
PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:09:30 PM

almost an hour till Godzilla trailer,ALEX

not 12hours

did i call it
or what?

minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:13:36 PM

Terminator Reboot gets new title

Deaft0ne writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:14:22 PM


Lol that's hilarious, it sort of looks like it was drawn by the Rocky & Bullwinkle artist.
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:15:41 PM

Bad Boys 3 for new screenwriter

PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:17:14 PM

PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:17:50 PM

dont gimme none of yo jibba jabba
PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:18:37 PM

one fish two fish
catfish force fist
PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:20:54 PM

catsperm makes keyboards sticky
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:21:33 PM

@Deaftone: no sh*t. Horrible. I can draw way better than that and I couldn't get a job in film-related art if I cracked my nuts trying.

Makes me think it's less about what you know than who you blow.
Deaft0ne writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:23:00 PM

The Victoria's Secret™ Fashion Show is on CBS right now.

PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:25:21 PM

candy corn
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:25:44 PM

And I just sh*t my pants.
PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:26:11 PM

me wanna go home
PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:27:42 PM

the feline fist knows
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:28:04 PM

PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:28:19 PM

angry fur balls make good lovers
PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:29:58 PM

push push in the bush
PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:30:52 PM

Channing Tatum waxed Lana Wachowski's chrome pipe
PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:31:17 PM

cotton candy
PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:31:41 PM

PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:32:08 PM

hot dog water enemas
PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:32:47 PM

bacon grease flavored anal lube
PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:33:30 PM

lazy brown eye
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:33:42 PM

PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:34:50 PM

creamed corn
PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:35:29 PM

4 pounds of bacon grease gets ya 45 cents
PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:35:58 PM

stoopider ass-ending
PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:36:45 PM

big toenail clippings smell so good
PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:37:38 PM

red skidmarks
PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:38:24 PM

channing the taint-ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:39:01 PM

minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:39:29 PM

The Mahabharata


Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa



Translated into English Prose from the Original Sanskrit Text


Kisari Mohan Ganguli


Scanned at sacred-texts.com, 2003. Proofed at Distributed Proofing,
Juliet Sutherland, Project Manager. Additional proofing and formatting at
sacred-texts.com, by J. B. Hare.


The object of a translator should ever be to hold the mirror upto his
author. That being so, his chief duty is to represent so far as
practicable the manner in which his author's ideas have been expressed,
retaining if possible at the sacrifice of idiom and taste all the
peculiarities of his author's imagery and of language as well. In regard
to translations from the Sanskrit, nothing is easier than to dish up
Hindu ideas, so as to make them agreeable to English taste. But the
endeavour of the present translator has been to give in the following
pages as literal a rendering as possible of the great work of Vyasa. To
the purely English reader there is much in the following pages that will
strike as ridiculous. Those unacquainted with any language but their own
are generally very exclusive in matters of taste. Having no knowledge of
models other than what they meet with in their own tongue, the standard
they have formed of purity and taste in composition must necessarily be a
narrow one. The translator, however, would ill-discharge his duty, if for
the sake of avoiding ridicule, he sacrificed fidelity to the original. He
must represent his author as he is, not as he should be to please the
narrow taste of those entirely unacquainted with him. Mr. Pickford, in
the preface to his English translation of the Mahavira Charita, ably
defends a close adherence to the original even at the sacrifice of idiom
and taste against the claims of what has been called 'Free Translation,'
which means dressing the author in an outlandish garb to please those to
whom he is introduced.

In the preface to his classical translation of Bhartrihari's Niti Satakam
and Vairagya Satakam, Mr. C.H. Tawney says, "I am sensible that in the
present attempt I have retained much local colouring. For instance, the
ideas of worshipping the feet of a god of great men, though it frequently
occurs in Indian literature, will undoubtedly move the laughter of
Englishmen unacquainted with Sanskrit, especially if they happen to
belong to that class of readers who revel their attention on the
accidental and remain blind to the essential. But a certain measure of
fidelity to the original even at the risk of making oneself ridiculous,
is better than the studied dishonesty which characterises so many
translations of oriental poets."

We fully subscribe to the above although, it must be observed, the
censure conveyed to the class of translators last indicated is rather
undeserved, there being nothing like a 'studied dishonesty' in their
efforts which proceed only from a mistaken view of their duties and as
such betray only an error of the head but not of the heart. More than
twelve years ago when Babu Pratapa Chandra Roy, with Babu Durga Charan
Banerjee, went to my retreat at Seebpore, for engaging me to translate
the Mahabharata into English, I was amazed with the grandeur of the
scheme. My first question to him was,--whence was the money to come,
supposing my competence for the task. Pratapa then unfolded to me the
details of his plan, the hopes he could legitimately cherish of
assistance from different quarters. He was full of enthusiasm. He showed
me Dr. Rost's letter, which, he said, had suggested to him the
undertaking. I had known Babu Durga Charan for many years and I had the
highest opinion of his scholarship and practical good sense. When he
warmly took Pratapa's side for convincing me of the practicability of the
scheme, I listened to him patiently. The two were for completing all
arrangements with me the very day. To this I did not agree. I took a
week's time to consider. I consulted some of my literary friends,
foremost among whom was the late lamented Dr. Sambhu C. Mookherjee. The
latter, I found, had been waited upon by Pratapa. Dr. Mookherjee spoke to
me of Pratapa as a man of indomitable energy and perseverance. The result
of my conference with Dr. Mookherjee was that I wrote to Pratapa asking
him to see me again. In this second interview estimates were drawn up,
and everything was arranged as far as my portion of the work was
concerned. My friend left with me a specimen of translation which he had
received from Professor Max Muller. This I began to study, carefully
comparing it sentence by sentence with the original. About its literal
character there could be no doubt, but it had no flow and, therefore,
could not be perused with pleasure by the general reader. The translation
had been executed thirty years ago by a young German friend of the great
Pundit. I had to touch up every sentence. This I did without at all
impairing faithfulness to the original. My first 'copy' was set up in
type and a dozen sheets were struck off. These were submitted to the
judgment of a number of eminent writers, European and native. All of
them, I was glad to see, approved of the specimen, and then the task of
translating the Mahabharata into English seriously began.

Before, however, the first fasciculus could be issued, the question as to
whether the authorship of the translation should be publicly owned,
arose. Babu Pratapa Chandra Roy was against anonymity. I was for it. The
reasons I adduced were chiefly founded upon the impossibility of one
person translating the whole of the gigantic work. Notwithstanding my
resolve to discharge to the fullest extent the duty that I took up, I
might not live to carry it out. It would take many years before the end
could be reached. Other circ*mstances than death might arise in
consequence of which my connection with the work might cease. It could
not be desirable to issue successive fasciculus with the names of a
succession of translators appearing on the title pages. These and other
considerations convinced my friend that, after all, my view was correct.
It was, accordingly, resolved to withhold the name of the translator. As
a compromise, however, between the two views, it was resolved to issue
the first fasciculus with two prefaces, one over the signature of the
publisher and the other headed--'Translator's Preface.' This, it was
supposed, would effectually guard against misconceptions of every kind.
No careful reader would then confound the publisher with the author.

Although this plan was adopted, yet before a fourth of the task had been
accomplished, an influential Indian journal came down upon poor Pratapa
Chandra Roy and accused him openly of being a party to a great literary
imposture, viz., of posing before the world as the translator of Vyasa's
work when, in fact, he was only the publisher. The charge came upon my
friend as a surprise, especially as he had never made a secret of the
authorship in his correspondence with Oriental scholars in every part of
the world. He promptly wrote to the journal in question, explaining the
reasons there were for anonymity, and pointing to the two prefaces with
which the first fasciculus had been given to the world. The editor
readily admitted his mistake and made a satisfactory apology.

Now that the translation has been completed, there can no longer be any
reason for withholding the name of the translator. The entire translation
is practically the work of one hand. In portions of the Adi and the Sabha
Parvas, I was assisted by Babu Charu Charan Mookerjee. About four forms
of the Sabha Parva were done by Professor Krishna Kamal Bhattacharya, and
about half a fasciculus during my illness, was done by another hand. I
should however state that before passing to the printer the copy received
from these gentlemen I carefully compared every sentence with the
original, making such alterations as were needed for securing a
uniformity of style with the rest of the work.

I should here observe that in rendering the Mahabharata into English I
have derived very little aid from the three Bengali versions that are
supposed to have been executed with care. Every one of these is full of
inaccuracies and blunders of every description. The Santi in particular
which is by far the most difficult of the eighteen Parvas, has been made
a mess of by the Pundits that attacked it. Hundreds of ridiculous
blunders can be pointed out in both the Rajadharma and the Mokshadharma
sections. Some of these I have pointed out in footnotes.

I cannot lay claim to infallibility. There are verses in the Mahabharata
that are exceedingly difficult to construe. I have derived much aid from
the great commentator Nilakantha. I know that Nilakantha's authority is
not incapable of being challenged. But when it is remembered that the
interpretations given by Nilakantha came down to him from preceptors of
olden days, one should think twice before rejecting Nilakantha as a guide.

About the readings I have adopted, I should say that as regards the first
half of the work, I have generally adhered to the Bengal texts; as
regards the latter half, to the printed Bombay edition. Sometimes
individual sections, as occurring in the Bengal editions, differ widely,
in respect of the order of the verses, from the corresponding ones in the
Bombay edition. In such cases I have adhered to the Bengal texts,
convinced that the sequence of ideas has been better preserved in the
Bengal editions than the Bombay one.

I should express my particular obligations to Pundit Ram Nath Tarkaratna,
the author of 'Vasudeva Vijayam' and other poems, Pundit Shyama Charan
Kaviratna, the learned editor of Kavyaprakasha with the commentary of
Professor Mahesh Chandra Nayaratna, and Babu Aghore Nath Banerjee, the
manager of the Bharata Karyalaya. All these scholars were my referees on
all points of difficulty. Pundit Ram Nath's solid scholarship is known to
them that have come in contact with him. I never referred to him a
difficulty that he could not clear up. Unfortunately, he was not always
at hand to consult. Pundit Shyama Charan Kaviratna, during my residence
at Seebpore, assisted me in going over the Mokshadharma sections of the
Santi Parva. Unostentatious in the extreme, Kaviratna is truly the type
of a learned Brahman of ancient India. Babu Aghore Nath Banerjee also has
from time to time, rendered me valuable assistance in clearing my

Gigantic as the work is, it would have been exceedingly difficult for me
to go on with it if I had not been encouraged by Sir Stuart Bayley, Sir
Auckland Colvin, Sir Alfred Croft, and among Oriental scholars, by the
late lamented Dr. Reinhold Rost, and Mons. A. Barth of Paris. All these
eminent men know from the beginning that the translation was proceeding
from my pen. Notwithstanding the enthusiasm, with which my poor friend,
Pratapa Chandra Roy, always endeavoured to fill me. I am sure my energies
would have flagged and patience exhausted but for the encouraging words
which I always received from these patrons and friends of the enterprise.

Lastly, I should name my literary chief and friend, Dr. Sambhu C.
Mookherjee. The kind interest he took in my labours, the repeated
exhortations he addressed to me inculcating patience, the care with which
he read every fasciculus as it came out, marking all those passages which
threw light upon topics of antiquarian interest, and the words of praise
he uttered when any expression particularly happy met his eyes, served to
stimulate me more than anything else in going on with a task that
sometimes seemed to me endless.

Kisari Mohan Ganguli





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.

Ugrasrava, the son of Lomaharshana, surnamed Sauti, well-versed in the
Puranas, bending with humility, one day approached the great sages of
rigid vows, sitting at their ease, who had attended the twelve years'
sacrifice of Saunaka, surnamed Kulapati, in the forest of Naimisha. Those
ascetics, wishing to hear his wonderful narrations, presently began to
address him who had thus arrived at that recluse abode of the inhabitants
of the forest of Naimisha. Having been entertained with due respect by
those holy men, he saluted those Munis (sages) with joined palms, even
all of them, and inquired about the progress of their asceticism. Then
all the ascetics being again seated, the son of Lomaharshana humbly
occupied the seat that was assigned to him. Seeing that he was
comfortably seated, and recovered from fatigue, one of the Rishis
beginning the conversation, asked him, 'Whence comest thou, O lotus-eyed
Sauti, and where hast thou spent the time? Tell me, who ask thee, in

Accomplished in speech, Sauti, thus questioned, gave in the midst of that
big assemblage of contemplative Munis a full and proper answer in words
consonant with their mode of life.

"Sauti said, 'Having heard the diverse sacred and wonderful stories which
were composed in his Mahabharata by Krishna-Dwaipayana, and which were
recited in full by Vaisampayana at the Snake-sacrifice of the high-souled
royal sage Janamejaya and in the presence also of that chief of Princes,
the son of Pariksh*t, and having wandered about, visiting many sacred
waters and holy shrines, I journeyed to the country venerated by the
Dwijas (twice-born) and called Samantapanchaka where formerly was fought
the battle between the children of Kuru and Pandu, and all the chiefs of
the land ranged on either side. Thence, anxious to see you, I am come
into your presence. Ye reverend sages, all of whom are to me as Brahma;
ye greatly blessed who shine in this place of sacrifice with the
splendour of the solar fire: ye who have concluded the silent meditations
and have fed the holy fire; and yet who are sitting--without care, what,
O ye Dwijas (twice-born), shall I repeat, shall I recount the sacred
stories collected in the Puranas containing precepts of religious duty
and of worldly profit, or the acts of illustrious saints and sovereigns
of mankind?"

"The Rishi replied, 'The Purana, first promulgated by the great Rishi
Dwaipayana, and which after having been heard both by the gods and the
Brahmarshis was highly esteemed, being the most eminent narrative that
exists, diversified both in diction and division, possessing subtile
meanings logically combined, and gleaned from the Vedas, is a sacred
work. Composed in elegant language, it includeth the subjects of other
books. It is elucidated by other Shastras, and comprehendeth the sense of
the four Vedas. We are desirous of hearing that history also called
Bharata, the holy composition of the wonderful Vyasa, which dispelleth
the fear of evil, just as it was cheerfully recited by the Rishi
Vaisampayana, under the direction of Dwaipayana himself, at the
snake-sacrifice of Raja Janamejaya?'

"Sauti then said, 'Having bowed down to the primordial being Isana, to
whom multitudes make offerings, and who is adored by the multitude; who
is the true incorruptible one, Brahma, perceptible, imperceptible,
eternal; who is both a non-existing and an existing-non-existing being;
who is the universe and also distinct from the existing and non-existing
universe; who is the creator of high and low; the ancient, exalted,
inexhaustible one; who is Vishnu, beneficent and the beneficence itself,
worthy of all preference, pure and immaculate; who is Hari, the ruler of
the faculties, the guide of all things moveable and immoveable; I will
declare the sacred thoughts of the illustrious sage Vyasa, of marvellous
deeds and worshipped here by all. Some bards have already published this
history, some are now teaching it, and others, in like manner, will
hereafter promulgate it upon the earth. It is a great source of
knowledge, established throughout the three regions of the world. It is
possessed by the twice-born both in detailed and compendious forms. It is
the delight of the learned for being embellished with elegant
expressions, conversations human and divine, and a variety of poetical

In this world, when it was destitute of brightness and light, and
enveloped all around in total darkness, there came into being, as the
primal cause of creation, a mighty egg, the one inexhaustible seed of all
created beings. It is called Mahadivya, and was formed at the beginning
of the Yuga, in which we are told, was the true light Brahma, the eternal
one, the wonderful and inconceivable being present alike in all places;
the invisible and subtile cause, whose nature partaketh of entity and
non-entity. From this egg came out the lord Pitamaha Brahma, the one only
Prajapati; with Suraguru and Sthanu. Then appeared the twenty-one
Prajapatis, viz., Manu, Vasishtha and Parameshthi; ten Prachetas, Daksha,
and the seven sons of Daksha. Then appeared the man of inconceivable
nature whom all the Rishis know and so the Viswe-devas, the Adityas, the
Vasus, and the twin Aswins; the Yakshas, the Sadhyas, the Pisachas, the
Guhyakas, and the Pitris. After these were produced the wise and most
holy Brahmarshis, and the numerous Rajarshis distinguished by every noble
quality. So the water, the heavens, the earth, the air, the sky, the
points of the heavens, the years, the seasons, the months, the
fortnights, called Pakshas, with day and night in due succession. And
thus were produced all things which are known to mankind.

And what is seen in the universe, whether animate or inanimate, of
created things, will at the end of the world, and after the expiration of
the Yuga, be again confounded. And, at the commencement of other Yugas,
all things will be renovated, and, like the various fruits of the earth,
succeed each other in the due order of their seasons. Thus continueth
perpetually to revolve in the world, without beginning and without end,
this wheel which causeth the destruction of all things.

The generation of Devas, in brief, was thirty-three thousand,
thirty-three hundred and thirty-three. The sons of Div were Brihadbhanu,
Chakshus, Atma Vibhavasu, Savita, Richika, Arka, Bhanu, Asavaha, and
Ravi. Of these Vivaswans of old, Mahya was the youngest whose son was
Deva-vrata. The latter had for his son, Su-vrata who, we learn, had three
sons,--Dasa-jyoti, Sata-jyoti, and Sahasra-jyoti, each of them producing
numerous offspring. The illustrious Dasa-jyoti had ten thousand,
Sata-jyoti ten times that number, and Sahasra-jyoti ten times the number
of Sata-jyoti's offspring. From these are descended the family of the
Kurus, of the Yadus, and of Bharata; the family of Yayati and of
Ikshwaku; also of all the Rajarshis. Numerous also were the generations
produced, and very abundant were the creatures and their places of abode.
The mystery which is threefold--the Vedas, Yoga, and Vijnana Dharma,
Artha, and Kama--also various books upon the subject of Dharma, Artha,
and Kama; also rules for the conduct of mankind; also histories and
discourses with various srutis; all of which having been seen by the
Rishi Vyasa are here in due order mentioned as a specimen of the book.

The Rishi Vyasa published this mass of knowledge in both a detailed and
an abridged form. It is the wish of the learned in the world to possess
the details and the abridgement. Some read the Bharata beginning with the
initial mantra (invocation), others with the story of Astika, others with
Uparichara, while some Brahmanas study the whole. Men of learning display
their various knowledge of the institutes in commenting on the
composition. Some are skilful in explaining it, while others, in
remembering its contents.

The son of Satyavati having, by penance and meditation, analysed the
eternal Veda, afterwards composed this holy history, when that learned
Brahmarshi of strict vows, the noble Dwaipayana Vyasa, offspring of
Parasara, had finished this greatest of narrations, he began to consider
how he might teach it to his disciples. And the possessor of the six
attributes, Brahma, the world's preceptor, knowing of the anxiety of the
Rishi Dwaipayana, came in person to the place where the latter was, for
gratifying the saint, and benefiting the people. And when Vyasa,
surrounded by all the tribes of Munis, saw him, he was surprised; and,
standing with joined palms, he bowed and ordered a seat to be brought.
And Vyasa having gone round him who is called Hiranyagarbha seated on
that distinguished seat stood near it; and being commanded by Brahma
Parameshthi, he sat down near the seat, full of affection and smiling in
joy. Then the greatly glorious Vyasa, addressing Brahma Parameshthi,
said, "O divine Brahma, by me a poem hath been composed which is greatly
respected. The mystery of the Veda, and what other subjects have been
explained by me; the various rituals of the Upanishads with the Angas;
the compilation of the Puranas and history formed by me and named after
the three divisions of time, past, present, and future; the determination
of the nature of decay, fear, disease, existence, and non-existence, a
description of creeds and of the various modes of life; rule for the four
castes, and the import of all the Puranas; an account of asceticism and
of the duties of a religious student; the dimensions of the sun and moon,
the planets, constellations, and stars, together with the duration of the
four ages; the Rik, Sama and Yajur Vedas; also the Adhyatma; the sciences
called Nyaya, Orthoephy and Treatment of diseases; charity and
Pasupatadharma; birth celestial and human, for particular purposes; also
a description of places of pilgrimage and other holy places of rivers,
mountains, forests, the ocean, of heavenly cities and the kalpas; the art
of war; the different kinds of nations and languages: the nature of the
manners of the people; and the all-pervading spirit;--all these have been
represented. But, after all, no writer of this work is to be found on

"Brahma said. 'I esteem thee for thy knowledge of divine mysteries,
before the whole body of celebrated Munis distinguished for the sanctity
of their lives. I know thou hast revealed the divine word, even from its
first utterance, in the language of truth. Thou hast called thy present
work a poem, wherefore it shall be a poem. There shall be no poets whose
works may equal the descriptions of this poem, even, as the three other
modes called Asrama are ever unequal in merit to the domestic Asrama. Let
Ganesa be thought of, O Muni, for the purpose of writing the poem.'

"Sauti said, 'Brahma having thus spoken to Vyasa, retired to his own
abode. Then Vyasa began to call to mind Ganesa. And Ganesa, obviator of
obstacles, ready to fulfil the desires of his votaries, was no sooner
thought of, than he repaired to the place where Vyasa was seated. And
when he had been saluted, and was seated, Vyasa addressed him thus, 'O
guide of the Ganas! be thou the writer of the Bharata which I have formed
in my imagination, and which I am about to repeat."

"Ganesa, upon hearing this address, thus answered, 'I will become the
writer of thy work, provided my pen do not for a moment cease writing."
And Vyasa said unto that divinity, 'Wherever there be anything thou dost
not comprehend, cease to continue writing.' Ganesa having signified his
assent, by repeating the word Om! proceeded to write; and Vyasa began;
and by way of diversion, he knit the knots of composition exceeding
close; by doing which, he dictated this work according to his engagement.

I am (continued Sauti) acquainted with eight thousand and eight hundred
verses, and so is Suka, and perhaps Sanjaya. From the mysteriousness of
their meaning, O Muni, no one is able, to this day, to penetrate those
closely knit difficult slokas. Even the omniscient Ganesa took a moment
to consider; while Vyasa, however, continued to compose other verses in
great abundance.

The wisdom of this work, like unto an instrument of applying collyrium,
hath opened the eyes of the inquisitive world blinded by the darkness of
ignorance. As the sun dispelleth the darkness, so doth the Bharata by its
discourses on religion, profit, pleasure and final release, dispel the
ignorance of men. As the full-moon by its mild light expandeth the buds
of the water-lily, so this Purana, by exposing the light of the Sruti
hath expanded the human intellect. By the lamp of history, which
destroyeth the darkness of ignorance, the whole mansion of nature is
properly and completely illuminated.

This work is a tree, of which the chapter of contents is the seed; the
divisions called Pauloma and Astika are the root; the part called
Sambhava is the trunk; the books called Sabha and Aranya are the roosting
perches; the books called Arani is the knitting knots; the books called
Virata and Udyoga the pith; the book named Bhishma, the main branch; the
book called Drona, the leaves; the book called Karna, the fair flowers;
the book named Salya, their sweet smell; the books entitled Stri and
Aishika, the refreshing shade; the book called Santi, the mighty fruit;
the book called Aswamedha, the immortal sap; the denominated
Asramavasika, the spot where it groweth; and the book called Mausala, is
an epitome of the Vedas and held in great respect by the virtuous
Brahmanas. The tree of the Bharata, inexhaustible to mankind as the
clouds, shall be as a source of livelihood to all distinguished poets."

"Sauti continued, 'I will now speak of the undying flowery and fruitful
productions of this tree, possessed of pure and pleasant taste, and not
to be destroyed even by the immortals. Formerly, the spirited and
virtuous Krishna-Dwaipayana, by the injunctions of Bhishma, the wise son
of Ganga and of his own mother, became the father of three boys who were
like the three fires by the two wives of Vichitra-virya; and having thus
raised up Dhritarashtra, Pandu and Vidura, he returned to his recluse
abode to prosecute his religious exercise.

It was not till after these were born, grown up, and departed on the
supreme journey, that the great Rishi Vyasa published the Bharata in this
region of mankind; when being solicited by Janamejaya and thousands of
Brahmanas, he instructed his disciple Vaisampayana, who was seated near
him; and he, sitting together with the Sadasyas, recited the Bharata,
during the intervals of the ceremonies of the sacrifice, being repeatedly
urged to proceed.

Vyasa hath fully represented the greatness of the house of Kuru, the
virtuous principles of Gandhari, the wisdom of Vidura, and the constancy
of Kunti. The noble Rishi hath also described the divinity of Vasudeva,
the rectitude of the sons of Pandu, and the evil practices of the sons
and partisans of Dhritarashtra.

Vyasa executed the compilation of the Bharata, exclusive of the episodes
originally in twenty-four thousand verses; and so much only is called by
the learned as the Bharata. Afterwards, he composed an epitome in one
hundred and fifty verses, consisting of the introduction with the chapter
of contents. This he first taught to his son Suka; and afterwards he gave
it to others of his disciples who were possessed of the same
qualifications. After that he executed another compilation, consisting of
six hundred thousand verses. Of those, thirty hundred thousand are known
in the world of the Devas; fifteen hundred thousand in the world of the
Pitris: fourteen hundred thousand among the Gandharvas, and one hundred
thousand in the regions of mankind. Narada recited them to the Devas,
Devala to the Pitris, and Suka published them to the Gandharvas, Yakshas,
and Rakshasas: and in this world they were recited by Vaisampayana, one
of the disciples of Vyasa, a man of just principles and the first among
all those acquainted with the Vedas. Know that I, Sauti, have also
repeated one hundred thousand verses.

Yudhishthira is a vast tree, formed of religion and virtue; Arjuna is its
trunk; Bhimasena, its branches; the two sons of Madri are its full-grown
fruit and flowers; and its roots are Krishna, Brahma, and the Brahmanas.

Pandu, after having subdued many countries by his wisdom and prowess,
took up his abode with the Munis in a certain forest as a sportsman,
where he brought upon himself a very severe misfortune for having killed
a stag coupling with its mate, which served as a warning for the conduct
of the princes of his house as long as they lived. Their mothers, in
order that the ordinances of the law might be fulfilled, admitted as
substitutes to their embraces the gods Dharma, Vayu, Sakra, and the
divinities the twin Aswins. And when their offspring grew up, under the
care of their two mothers, in the society of ascetics, in the midst of
sacred groves and holy recluse-abodes of religious men, they were
conducted by Rishis into the presence of Dhritarashtra and his sons,
following as students in the habit of Brahmacharis, having their hair
tied in knots on their heads. 'These our pupils', said they, 'are as your
sons, your brothers, and your friends; they are Pandavas.' Saying this,
the Munis disappeared.

When the Kauravas saw them introduced as the sons of Pandu, the
distinguished class of citizens shouted exceedingly for joy. Some,
however, said, they were not the sons of Pandu; others said, they were;
while a few asked how they could be his offspring, seeing he had been so
long dead. Still on all sides voices were heard crying, 'They are on all
accounts welcome! Through divine Providence we behold the family of
Pandu! Let their welcome be proclaimed!' As these acclamations ceased,
the plaudits of invisible spirits, causing every point of the heavens to
resound, were tremendous. There were showers of sweet-scented flowers,
and the sound of shells and kettle-drums. Such were the wonders that
happened on the arrival of the young princes. The joyful noise of all the
citizens, in expression of their satisfaction on the occasion, was so
great that it reached the very heavens in magnifying plaudits.

Having studied the whole of the Vedas and sundry other shastras, the
Pandavas resided there, respected by all and without apprehension from
any one.

The principal men were pleased with the purity of Yudhishthira, the
courage of Arjuna, the submissive attention of Kunti to her superiors,
and the humility of the twins, Nakula and Sahadeva; and all the people
rejoiced in their heroic virtues.

After a while, Arjuna obtained the virgin Krishna at the swayamvara, in
the midst of a concourse of Rajas, by performing a very difficult feat of
archery. And from this time he became very much respected in this world
among all bowmen; and in fields of battle also, like the sun, he was hard
to behold by foe-men. And having vanquished all the neighbouring princes
and every considerable tribe, he accomplished all that was necessary for
the Raja (his eldest brother) to perform the great sacrifice called

Yudhishthira, after having, through the wise counsels of Vasudeva and by
the valour of Bhimasena and Arjuna, slain Jarasandha (the king of
Magadha) and the proud Chaidya, acquired the right to perform the grand
sacrifice of Rajasuya abounding in provisions and offering and fraught
with transcendent merits. And Duryodhana came to this sacrifice; and when
he beheld the vast wealth of the Pandavas scattered all around, the
offerings, the precious stones, gold and jewels; the wealth in cows,
elephants, and horses; the curious textures, garments, and mantles; the
precious shawls and furs and carpets made of the skin of the Ranku; he
was filled with envy and became exceedingly displeased. And when he
beheld the hall of assembly elegantly constructed by Maya (the Asura
architect) after the fashion of a celestial court, he was inflamed with
rage. And having started in confusion at certain architectural deceptions
within this building, he was derided by Bhimasena in the presence of
Vasudeva, like one of mean descent.

And it was represented to Dhritarashtra that his son, while partaking of
various objects of enjoyment and diverse precious things, was becoming
meagre, wan, and pale. And Dhritarashtra, some time after, out of
affection for his son, gave his consent to their playing (with the
Pandavas) at dice. And Vasudeva coming to know of this, became
exceedingly wroth. And being dissatisfied, he did nothing to prevent the
disputes, but overlooked the gaming and sundry other horried
unjustifiable transactions arising therefrom: and in spite of Vidura,
Bhishma, Drona, and Kripa, the son of Saradwan, he made the Kshatriyas
kill each other in the terrific war that ensued.'

"And Dhritarashtra hearing the ill news of the success of the Pandavas
and recollecting the resolutions of Duryodhana, Kama, and Sakuni,
pondered for a while and addressed to Sanjaya the following speech:--

'Attend, O Sanjaya, to all I am about to say, and it will not become thee
to treat me with contempt. Thou art well-versed in the shastras,
intelligent and endowed with wisdom. My inclination was never to war, not
did I delight in the destruction of my race. I made no distinction
between my own children and the children of Pandu. My own sons were prone
to wilfulness and despised me because I am old. Blind as I am, because of
my miserable plight and through paternal affection, I bore it all. I was
foolish alter the thoughtless Duryodhana ever growing in folly. Having
been a spectator of the riches of the mighty sons of Pandu, my son was
derided for his awkwardness while ascending the hall. Unable to bear it
all and unable himself to overcome the sons of Pandu in the field, and
though a soldier, unwilling yet to obtain good fortune by his own
exertion, with the help of the king of Gandhara he concerted an unfair
game at dice.

'Hear, O Sanjaya, all that happened thereupon and came to my knowledge.
And when thou hast heard all I say, recollecting everything as it fell
out, thou shall then know me for one with a prophetic eye. When I heard
that Arjuna, having bent the bow, had pierced the curious mark and
brought it down to the ground, and bore away in triumph the maiden
Krishna, in the sight of the assembled princes, then, O Sanjaya I had no
hope of success. When I heard that Subhadra of the race of Madhu had,
after forcible seizure been married by Arjuna in the city of Dwaraka, and
that the two heroes of the race of Vrishni (Krishna and Balarama the
brothers of Subhadra) without resenting it had entered Indraprastha as
friends, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that
Arjuna, by his celestial arrow preventing the downpour by Indra the king
of the gods, had gratified Agni by making over to him the forest of
Khandava, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that
the five Pandavas with their mother Kunti had escaped from the house of
lac, and that Vidura was engaged in the accomplishment of their designs,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Arjuna,
after having pierced the mark in the arena had won Draupadi, and that the
brave Panchalas had joined the Pandavas, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. When I heard that Jarasandha, the foremost of the royal line
of Magadha, and blazing in the midst of the Kshatriyas, had been slain by
Bhima with his bare arms alone, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that in their general campaign the sons of Pandu
had conquered the chiefs of the land and performed the grand sacrifice of
the Rajasuya, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard
that Draupadi, her voice choked with tears and heart full of agony, in
the season of impurity and with but one raiment on, had been dragged into
court and though she had protectors, she had been treated as if she had
none, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the
wicked wretch Duhsasana, was striving to strip her of that single
garment, had only drawn from her person a large heap of cloth without
being able to arrive at its end, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that Yudhishthira, beaten by Saubala at the game of
dice and deprived of his kingdom as a consequence thereof, had still been
attended upon by his brothers of incomparable prowess, then, O Sanjaya, I
had no hope of success. When I heard that the virtuous Pandavas weeping
with affliction had followed their elder brother to the wilderness and
exerted themselves variously for the mitigation of his discomforts, then,
O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success.

'When I heard that Yudhishthira had been followed into the wilderness by
Snatakas and noble-minded Brahmanas who live upon alms, then, O Sanjaya,
I had no hope of success. When I heard that Arjuna, having, in combat,
pleased the god of gods, Tryambaka (the three-eyed) in the disguise of a
hunter, obtained the great weapon Pasupata, then O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. When I heard that the just and renowned Arjuna after having
been to the celestial regions, had there obtained celestial weapons from
Indra himself then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard
that afterwards Arjuna had vanquished the Kalakeyas and the Paulomas
proud with the boon they had obtained and which had rendered them
invulnerable even to the celestials, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that Arjuna, the chastiser of enemies, having gone
to the regions of Indra for the destruction of the Asuras, had returned
thence successful, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard that Bhima and the other sons of Pritha (Kunti) accompanied by
Vaisravana had arrived at that country which is inaccessible to man then,
O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that my sons, guided by
the counsels of Karna, while on their journey of Ghoshayatra, had been
taken prisoners by the Gandharvas and were set free by Arjuna, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Dharma (the god of
justice) having come under the form of a Yaksha had proposed certain
questions to Yudhishthira then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When
I heard that my sons had failed to discover the Pandavas under their
disguise while residing with Draupadi in the dominions of Virata, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the principal men of
my side had all been vanquished by the noble Arjuna with a single chariot
while residing in the dominions of Virata, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. When I heard that Vasudeva of the race of Madhu, who covered
this whole earth by one foot, was heartily interested in the welfare of
the Pandavas, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard
that the king of Matsya, had offered his virtuous daughter Uttara to
Arjuna and that Arjuna had accepted her for his son, then, O Sanjaya, I
had no hope of success. When I heard that Yudhishthira, beaten at dice,
deprived of wealth, exiled and separated from his connections, had
assembled yet an army of seven Akshauhinis, then, O Sanjaya, I had no
hope of success. When I heard Narada, declare that Krishna and Arjuna
were Nara and Narayana and he (Narada) had seen them together in the
regions of Brahma, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard that Krishna, anxious to bring about peace, for the welfare of
mankind had repaired to the Kurus, and went away without having been able
to effect his purpose, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard that Kama and Duryodhana resolved upon imprisoning Krishna
displayed in himself the whole universe, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. Then I heard that at the time of his departure, Pritha
(Kunti) standing, full of sorrow, near his chariot received consolation
from Krishna, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard
that Vasudeva and Bhishma the son of Santanu were the counsellors of the
Pandavas and Drona the son of Bharadwaja pronounced blessings on them,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When Kama said unto Bhishma--I
will not fight when thou art fighting--and, quitting the army, went away,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Vasudeva and
Arjuna and the bow Gandiva of immeasurable prowess, these three of
dreadful energy had come together, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that upon Arjuna having been seized with
compunction on his chariot and ready to sink, Krishna showed him all the
worlds within his body, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard that Bhishma, the desolator of foes, killing ten thousand
charioteers every day in the field of battle, had not slain any amongst
the Pandavas then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that
Bhishma, the righteous son of Ganga, had himself indicated the means of
his defeat in the field of battle and that the same were accomplished by
the Pandavas with joyfulness, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success.
When I heard that Arjuna, having placed Sikhandin before himself in his
chariot, had wounded Bhishma of infinite courage and invincible in
battle, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the
aged hero Bhishma, having reduced the numbers of the race of shomaka to a
few, overcome with various wounds was lying on a bed of arrows, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that upon Bhishma's lying
on the ground with thirst for water, Arjuna, being requested, had pierced
the ground and allayed his thirst, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When Bayu together with Indra and Suryya united as allies for
the success of the sons of Kunti, and the beasts of prey (by their
inauspicious presence) were putting us in fear, then, O Sanjaya, I had no
hope of success. When the wonderful warrior Drona, displaying various
modes of fight in the field, did not slay any of the superior Pandavas,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the
Maharatha Sansaptakas of our army appointed for the overthrow of Arjuna
were all slain by Arjuna himself, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that our disposition of forces, impenetrable by
others, and defended by Bharadwaja himself well-armed, had been singly
forced and entered by the brave son of Subhadra, then, O Sanjaya, I had
no hope of success. When I heard that our Maharathas, unable to overcome
Arjuna, with jubilant faces after having jointly surrounded and slain the
boy Abhimanyu, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard
that the blind Kauravas were shouting for joy after having slain
Abhimanyu and that thereupon Arjuna in anger made his celebrated speech
referring to Saindhava, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard that Arjuna had vowed the death of Saindhava and fulfilled his vow
in the presence of his enemies, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that upon the horses of Arjuna being fatigued,
Vasudeva releasing them made them drink water and bringing them back and
reharnessing them continued to guide them as before, then, O Sanjaya, I
had no hope of success. When I heard that while his horses were fatigued,
Arjuna staying in his chariot checked all his assailants, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Yuyudhana of the
race of Vrishni, after having thrown into confusion the army of Drona
rendered unbearable in prowess owing to the presence of elephants,
retired to where Krishna and Arjuna were, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. When I heard that Karna even though he had got Bhima within
his power allowed him to escape after only addressing him in contemptuous
terms and dragging him with the end of his bow, then, O Sanjaya, I had no
hope of success. When I heard that Drona, Kritavarma, Kripa, Karna, the
son of Drona, and the valiant king of Madra (Salya) suffered Saindhava to
be slain, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that
the celestial Sakti given by Indra (to Karna) was by Madhava's
machinations caused to be hurled upon Rakshasa Ghatotkacha of frightful
countenance, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that
in the encounter between Karna and Ghatotkacha, that Sakti was hurled
against Ghatotkacha by Karna, the same which was certainly to have slain
Arjuna in battle, then, O Sanjaya. I had no hope of success. When I heard
that Dhristadyumna, transgressing the laws of battle, slew Drona while
alone in his chariot and resolved on death, then, O Sanjaya, I had no
hope of success. When I heard that Nakula. the son of Madri, having in
the presence of the whole army engaged in single combat with the son of
Drona and showing himself equal to him drove his chariot in circles
around, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When upon the death of
Drona, his son misused the weapon called Narayana but failed to achieve
the destruction of the Pandavas, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of
success. When I heard that Bhimasena drank the blood of his brother
Duhsasana in the field of battle without anybody being able to prevent
him, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the
infinitely brave Karna, invincible in battle, was slain by Arjuna in that
war of brothers mysterious even to the gods, then, O Sanjaya, I had no
hope of success. When I heard that Yudhishthira, the Just, overcame the
heroic son of Drona, Duhsasana, and the fierce Kritavarman, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the brave king of
Madra who ever dared Krishna in battle was slain by Yudhishthira, then, O
Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the wicked Suvala of
magic power, the root of the gaming and the feud, was slain in battle by
Sahadeva, the son of Pandu, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success.
When I heard that Duryodhana, spent with fatigue, having gone to a lake
and made a refuge for himself within its waters, was lying there alone,
his strength gone and without a chariot, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope
of success. When I heard that the Pandavas having gone to that lake
accompanied by Vasudeva and standing on its beach began to address
contemptuously my son who was incapable of putting up with affronts,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that while,
displaying in circles a variety of curious modes (of attack and defence)
in an encounter with clubs, he was unfairly slain according to the
counsels of Krishna, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I
heard the son of Drona and others by slaying the Panchalas and the sons
of Draupadi in their sleep, perpetrated a horrible and infamous deed,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Aswatthaman
while being pursued by Bhimasena had discharged the first of weapons
called Aishika, by which the embryo in the womb (of Uttara) was wounded,
then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the weapon
Brahmashira (discharged by Aswatthaman) was repelled by Arjuna with
another weapon over which he had pronounced the word "Sasti" and that
Aswatthaman had to give up the jewel-like excrescence on his head, then,
O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that upon the embryo in
the womb of Virata's daughter being wounded by Aswatthaman with a mighty
weapon, Dwaipayana and Krishna pronounced curses on him, then, O Sanjaya,
I had no hope of success.

'Alas! Gandhari, destitute of children, grand-children, parents,
brothers, and kindred, is to be pitied. Difficult is the task that hath
been performed by the Pandavas: by them hath a kingdom been recovered
without a rival.

'Alas! I have heard that the war hath left only ten alive: three of our
side, and the Pandavas, seven, in that dreadful conflict eighteen
Akshauhinis of Kshatriyas have been slain! All around me is utter
darkness, and a fit of swoon assaileth me: consciousness leaves me, O
Suta, and my mind is distracted."

"Sauti said, 'Dhritarashtra, bewailing his fate in these words, was
overcome with extreme anguish and for a time deprived of sense; but being
revived, he addressed Sanjaya in the following words.

"After what hath come to pass, O Sanjaya, I wish to put an end to my life
without delay; I do not find the least advantage in cherishing it any

"Sauti said, 'The wise son of Gavalgana (Sanjaya) then addressed the
distressed lord of Earth while thus talking and bewailing, sighing like a
serpent and repeatedly tainting, in words of deep import.

"Thou hast heard, O Raja, of the greatly powerful men of vast exertions,
spoken of by Vyasa and the wise Narada; men born of great royal families,
resplendent with worthy qualities, versed in the science of celestial
arms, and in glory emblems of Indra; men who having conquered the world
by justice and performed sacrifices with fit offerings (to the
Brahmanas), obtained renown in this world and at last succ*mbed to the
sway of time. Such were Saivya; the valiant Maharatha; Srinjaya, great
amongst conquerors. Suhotra; Rantideva, and Kakshivanta, great in glory;
Valhika, Damana, Saryati, Ajita, and Nala; Viswamitra the destroyer of
foes; Amvarisha, great in strength; Marutta, Manu, Ikshaku, Gaya, and
Bharata; Rama the son of Dasaratha; Sasavindu, and Bhagiratha;
Kritavirya, the greatly fortunate, and Janamejaya too; and Yayati of good
deeds who performed sacrifices, being assisted therein by the celestials
themselves, and by whose sacrificial altars and stakes this earth with
her habited and uninhabited regions hath been marked all over. These
twenty-four Rajas were formerly spoken of by the celestial Rishi Narada
unto Saivya when much afflicted for the loss of his children. Besides
these, other Rajas had gone before, still more powerful than they, mighty
charioteers noble in mind, and resplendent with every worthy quality.
These were Puru, Kuru, Yadu, Sura and Viswasrawa of great glory; Anuha,
Yuvanaswu, Kakutstha, Vikrami, and Raghu; Vijava, Virihorta, Anga, Bhava,
Sweta, and Vripadguru; Usinara, Sata-ratha, Kanka, Duliduha, and Druma;
Dambhodbhava, Para, Vena, Sagara, Sankriti, and Nimi; Ajeya, Parasu,
Pundra, Sambhu, and holy Deva-Vridha; Devahuya, Supratika, and
Vrihad-ratha; Mahatsaha, Vinitatma, Sukratu, and Nala, the king of the
Nishadas; Satyavrata, Santabhaya, Sumitra, and the chief Subala;
Janujangha, Anaranya, Arka, Priyabhritya, Chuchi-vrata, Balabandhu,
Nirmardda, Ketusringa, and Brhidbala; Dhrishtaketu, Brihatketu,
Driptaketu, and Niramaya; Abiksh*t, Chapala, Dhurta, Kritbandhu, and
Dridhe-shudhi; Mahapurana-sambhavya, Pratyanga, Paraha and Sruti. These,
O chief, and other Rajas, we hear enumerated by hundreds and by
thousands, and still others by millions, princes of great power and
wisdom, quitting very abundant enjoyments met death as thy sons have
done! Their heavenly deeds, valour, and generosity, their magnanimity,
faith, truth, purity, simplicity and mercy, are published to the world in
the records of former times by sacred bards of great learning. Though
endued with every noble virtue, these have yielded up their lives. Thy
sons were malevolent, inflamed with passion, avaricious, and of very
evil-disposition. Thou art versed in the Sastras, O Bharata, and art
intelligent and wise; they never sink under misfortunes whose
understandings are guided by the Sastras. Thou art acquainted, O prince,
with the lenity and severity of fate; this anxiety therefore for the
safety of thy children is unbecoming. Moreover, it behoveth thee not to
grieve for that which must happen: for who can avert, by his wisdom, the
decrees of fate? No one can leave the way marked out for him by
Providence. Existence and non-existence, pleasure and pain all have Time
for their root. Time createth all things and Time destroyeth all
creatures. It is Time that burneth creatures and it is Time that
extinguisheth the fire. All states, the good and the evil, in the three
worlds, are caused by Time. Time cutteth short all things and createth
them anew. Time alone is awake when all things are asleep: indeed, Time
is incapable of being overcome. Time passeth over all things without
being retarded. Knowing, as thou dost, that all things past and future
and all that exist at the present moment, are the offspring of Time, it
behoveth thee not to throw away thy reason.'

"Sauti said, 'The son of Gavalgana having in this manner administered
comfort to the royal Dhritarashtra overwhelmed with grief for his sons,
then restored his mind to peace. Taking these facts for his subject,
Dwaipayana composed a holy Upanishad that has been published to the world
by learned and sacred bards in the Puranas composed by them.

"The study of the Bharata is an act of piety. He that readeth even one
foot, with belief, hath his sins entirely purged away. Herein Devas,
Devarshis, and immaculate Brahmarshis of good deeds, have been spoken of;
and likewise Yakshas and great Uragas (Nagas). Herein also hath been
described the eternal Vasudeva possessing the six attributes. He is the
true and just, the pure and holy, the eternal Brahma, the supreme soul,
the true constant light, whose divine deeds wise and learned recount;
from whom hath proceeded the non-existent and existent-non-existent
universe with principles of generation and progression, and birth, death
and re-birth. That also hath been treated of which is called Adhyatma
(the superintending spirit of nature) that partaketh of the attributes of
the five elements. That also hath been described who is purusha being
above such epithets as 'undisplayed' and the like; also that which the
foremost yatis exempt from the common destiny and endued with the power
of meditation and Tapas behold dwelling in their hearts as a reflected
image in the mirror.

"The man of faith, devoted to piety, and constant in the exercise of
virtue, on reading this section is freed from sin. The believer that
constantly heareth recited this section of the Bharata, called the
Introduction, from the beginning, falleth not into difficulties. The man
repeating any part of the introduction in the two twilights is during
such act freed from the sins contracted during the day or the night. This
section, the body of the Bharata, is truth and nectar. As butter is in
curd, Brahmana among bipeds, the Aranyaka among the Vedas, and nectar
among medicines; as the sea is eminent among receptacles of water, and
the cow among quadrupeds; as are these (among the things mentioned) so is
the Bharata said to be among histories.

"He that causeth it, even a single foot thereof, to be recited to
Brahmanas during a Sradha, his offerings of food and drink to the manes
of his ancestors become inexhaustible.

"By the aid of history and the Puranas, the Veda may be expounded; but
the Veda is afraid of one of little information lest he should it. The
learned man who recites to other this Veda of Vyasa reapeth advantage. It
may without doubt destroy even the sin of killing the embryo and the
like. He that readeth this holy chapter of the moon, readeth the whole of
the Bharata, I ween. The man who with reverence daily listeneth to this
sacred work acquireth long life and renown and ascendeth to heaven.

"In former days, having placed the four Vedas on one side and the Bharata
on the other, these were weighed in the balance by the celestials
assembled for that purpose. And as the latter weighed heavier than the
four Vedas with their mysteries, from that period it hath been called in
the world Mahabharata (the great Bharata). Being esteemed superior both
in substance and gravity of import it is denominated Mahabharata on
account of such substance and gravity of import. He that knoweth its
meaning is saved from all his sins.

'Tapa is innocent, study is harmless, the ordinance of the Vedas
prescribed for all the tribes are harmless, the acquisition of wealth by
exertion is harmless; but when they are abused in their practices it is
then that they become sources of evil.'"


"The Rishis said, 'O son of Suta, we wish to hear a full and
circ*mstantial account of the place mentioned by you as Samanta-panchaya.'

"Sauti said, 'Listen, O ye Brahmanas, to the sacred descriptions I utter
O ye best of men, ye deserve to hear of the place known as
Samanta-panchaka. In the interval between the Treta and Dwapara Yugas,
Rama (the son of Jamadagni) great among all who have borne arms, urged by
impatience of wrongs, repeatedly smote the noble race of Kshatriyas. And
when that fiery meteor, by his own valour, annihilated the entire tribe
of the Kshatriyas, he formed at Samanta-panchaka five lakes of blood. We
are told that his reason being overpowered by anger he offered oblations
of blood to the manes of his ancestors, standing in the midst of the
sanguine waters of those lakes. It was then that his forefathers of whom
Richika was the first having arrived there addressed him thus, 'O Rama, O
blessed Rama, O offspring of Bhrigu, we have been gratified with the
reverence thou hast shown for thy ancestors and with thy valour, O mighty
one! Blessings be upon thee. O thou illustrious one, ask the boon that
thou mayst desire.'

"Rama said, 'If, O fathers, ye are favourably disposed towards me, the
boon I ask is that I may be absolved from the sins born of my having
annihilated the Kshatriyas in anger, and that the lakes I have formed may
become famous in the world as holy shrines.' The Pitris then said, 'So
shall it be. But be thou pacified.' And Rama was pacified accordingly.
The region that lieth near unto those lakes of gory water, from that time
hath been celebrated as Samanta-panchaka the holy. The wise have declared
that every country should be distinguished by a name significant of some
circ*mstance which may have rendered it famous. In the interval between
the Dwapara and the Kali Yugas there happened at Samanta-panchaka the
encounter between the armies of the Kauravas and the Pandavas. In that
holy region, without ruggedness of any kind, were assembled eighteen
Akshauhinis of soldiers eager for battle. And, O Brahmanas, having come
thereto, they were all slain on the spot. Thus the name of that region, O
Brahmanas, hath been explained, and the country described to you as a
sacred and delightful one. I have mentioned the whole of what relateth to
it as the region is celebrated throughout the three worlds.'

"The Rishis said, 'We have a desire to know, O son of Suta, what is
implied by the term Akshauhini that hath been used by thee. Tell us in
full what is the number of horse and foot, chariots and elephants, which
compose an Akshauhini for thou art fully informed.'

"Sauti said, 'One chariot, one elephant, five foot-soldiers, and three
horses form one Patti; three pattis make one Sena-mukha; three
sena-mukhas are called a Gulma; three gulmas, a Gana; three ganas, a
Vahini; three vahinis together are called a Pritana; three pritanas form
a Chamu; three chamus, one Anikini; and an anikini taken ten times forms,
as it is styled by those who know, an Akshauhini. O ye best of Brahmanas,
arithmeticians have calculated that the number of chariots in an
Akshauhini is twenty-one thousand eight hundred and seventy. The measure
of elephants must be fixed at the same number. O ye pure, you must know
that the number of foot-soldiers is one hundred and nine thousand, three
hundred and fifty, the number of horse is sixty-five thousand, six
hundred and ten. These, O Brahmanas, as fully explained by me, are the
numbers of an Akshauhini as said by those acquainted with the principles
of numbers. O best of Brahmanas, according to this calculation were
composed the eighteen Akshauhinis of the Kaurava and the Pandava army.
Time, whose acts are wonderful assembled them on that spot and having
made the Kauravas the cause, destroyed them all. Bhishma acquainted with
choice of weapons, fought for ten days. Drona protected the Kaurava
Vahinis for five days. Kama the desolator of hostile armies fought for
two days; and Salya for half a day. After that lasted for half a day the
encounter with clubs between Duryodhana and Bhima. At the close of that
day, Aswatthaman and Kripa destroyed the army of Yudishthira in the night
while sleeping without suspicion of danger.

'O Saunaka, this best of narrations called Bharata which has begun to be
repeated at thy sacrifice, was formerly repeated at the sacrifice of
Janamejaya by an intelligent disciple of Vyasa. It is divided into
several sections; in the beginning are Paushya, Pauloma, and Astika
parvas, describing in full the valour and renown of kings. It is a work
whose description, diction, and sense are varied and wonderful. It
contains an account of various manners and rites. It is accepted by the
wise, as the state called Vairagya is by men desirous of final release.
As Self among things to be known, as life among things that are dear, so
is this history that furnisheth the means of arriving at the knowledge of
Brahma the first among all the sastras. There is not a story current in
this world but doth depend upon this history even as the body upon the
foot that it taketh. As masters of good lineage are ever attended upon by
servants desirous of preferment so is the Bharata cherished by all poets.
As the words constituting the several branches of knowledge appertaining
to the world and the Veda display only vowels and consonants, so this
excellent history displayeth only the highest wisdom.

'Listen, O ye ascetics, to the outlines of the several divisions (parvas)
of this history called Bharata, endued with great wisdom, of sections and
feet that are wonderful and various, of subtile meaning
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:40:02 PM

The Mahabharata


Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa



Translated into English Prose from the Original Sanskrit Text


Kisari Mohan Ganguli


Scanned at sacred-texts.com, 2003. Proofed at Distributed Proofing,
Juliet Sutherland, Project Manager. Additional proofing and formatting at
sacred-texts.com, by J. B. Hare.


(Sabhakriya Parva)

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

"Vaisampayana said,--"Then, in the presence of Vasudeva, Maya Danava,
having worshipped Arjuna, repeatedly spoke unto him with joined hands and
in amiable words,--'O son of Kunti, saved have I been by thee from this
Krishna in spate and from Pavaka (fire) desirous of consuming me. Tell me
what I have to do for thee.

"Arjuna said,--'O great Asura, everything hath already been done by thee
(even by this offer of thine). Blest be thou. Go whithersoever thou
likest. Be kind and well-disposed towards me, as we are even kind to and
well-pleased with thee!'

"Maya said,--'O bull amongst men, what thou hast said is worthy of thee,
O exalted one. But O Bharata, I desire to do something for thee
cheerfully. I am a great artist, a Viswakarma among the Danavas. O son of
Pandu, being what I am, I desire to do something for thee.'

"Arjuna said,--'O sinless one, thou regardest thyself as saved (by me)
from imminent death. Even if it hath been so, I cannot make thee do
anything for me. At the same time, O Danava, I do not wish to frustrate
thy intentions. Do thou something for Krishna. That will be a sufficient
requital for my services to thee.'

Vaisampayana said,--"Then, O bull of the Bharata race, urged by Maya,
Vasudeva reflected for a moment as to what he should ask Maya to
accomplish. Krishna, the Lord of the universe and the Creator of every
object, having reflected in his mind, thus commanded Maya,--'Let a
palatial sabha (meeting hall) as thou choosest, be built (by thee), if
thou, O son of Diti, who art the foremost of all artists, desirest to do
good to Yudhishthira the just. Indeed, build thou such a palace that
persons belonging to the world of men may not be able to imitate it even
after examining it with care, while seated within. And, O Maya, build
thou a mansion in which we may behold a combination of godly, asuric and
human designs.'"

Vaisampayana continued,--"Having heard those words, Maya became
exceedingly glad. And he forthwith built a magnificent palace for the son
of Pandu like unto the palace of the celestials themselves. Then Krishna
and Partha (Arjuna) after having narrated everything unto king
Yudhishthira the just, introduced Maya unto him. Yudhishthira received
Maya with respect, offering him the honour he deserved. And, O Bharata,
Maya accepted that honour thinking highly of it. O monarch of the Bharata
race, that great son of Diti then recited unto the sons of Pandu the
history of the Danava Vrisha-parva, and that foremost of artists then,
having rested awhile, set himself after much thoughtful planning to build
a palace for the illustrious sons of Pandu. Agreeably to the wishes of
both Krishna and the sons of Pritha, the illustrious Danava of great
prowess, having performed on an auspicious day the initial propitiatory
rites of foundation and having also gratified thousands of well-versed
Brahmanas with sweetened milk and rice and with rich presents of various
kinds, measured out a plot of land five thousand cubits square, which was
delightful and exceedingly handsome to behold and which was favourable
for construction of a building well-suited to the exigencies of every


"Vaisampayana said,--"Janardana deserving the worship of all, having
lived happily at Khandavaprastha for some time, and having been treated
all the while with respectful love and affection by the sons of Pritha,
became desirous one day of leaving Khandavaprastha to behold his father.
That possessor of large eyes, unto whom was due the obeisance of the
universe, then saluted both Yudhishthira and Pritha and made obeisance
with his head unto the feet of Kunti, his father's sister. Thus revered
by Kesava, Pritha smelt his head and embraced him. The illustrious
Hrishikesa approached his own sister Subhadra affectionately, with his
eyes filled with tears, and spoke unto her words of excellent import and
truth, terse proper, unanswerable and fraught with good. The
sweet-speeched Subhadra also, saluting him in return and worshipping him
repeatedly with bent head, told him all that she wished to be conveyed to
her relatives on the paternal side. And bidding her farewell and uttering
benedictions on his handsome sister, he of the Vrishni race, next saw
Draupadi and Dhaumya. That best of men duly made obeisance unto Dhaumya,
and consoling Draupadi obtained leave from her. Then the learned and
mighty Krishna, accompanied by Partha, went to his cousins. And
surrounded by the five brothers, Krishna shone like Sakra in the midst of
the celestials. He whose banner bore the figure of Garuda, desirous of
performing the rites preparatory to the commencement of a journey,
purified himself by a bath and adorned his person with ornaments. The
bull of the Yadu race then worshipped the gods and Brahmanas with floral
wreaths, mantras, bows of the head, and excellent perfumes. Having
finished all these rites, that foremost of steady and virtuous persons
then thought of setting out. The chief of the Yadu race then came out of
the inner to the outer apartment, and issuing thence he made unto
Brahmanas, deserving of worship, offerings of vessel-fulls of curd and
fruits, and parched-grain and caused them to pronounce benedictions upon
him. And making unto them presents also of wealth, he went round them.
Then ascending his excellent car of gold endued with great speed and
adorned with banner bearing the figure of Tarkhya (Garuda) and furnished
also with mace, discus, sword, his bow Sharnga and other weapons, and
yoking thereunto his horses Saivya and Sugriva, he of eyes like lotuses
set out at an excellent moment of a lunar day of auspicious stellar
conjunction. And Yudhishthira, the king of the Kurus, from affection,
ascended the chariot after Krishna, and causing that best charioteer
Daruka to stand aside, himself took the reins. And Arjuna also, of long
arms, riding on that car, walked round Krishna and fanned him with a
white chamara furnished with a handle of gold. And the mighty Bhimasena
accompanied by the twin brothers Nakula and Sahadeva and the priests and
citizens all followed Krishna from behind. And Kesava, that slayer of
hostile heroes, followed by all the brothers, shone like a preceptor
followed by his favourite pupils. Then Govinda spoke unto Arjuna and
clasped him firmly, and worshipping Yudhisthira and Bhima, embraced the
twins. And embraced in return by the three elder Pandavas, he was
reverentially saluted by the twins. After having gone about half a Yojana
(two miles), Krishna, that subjugator of hostile towns, respectfully
addressed Yudhishthira and requested him, O Bharata, to stop following
him further. And Govinda, conversant with every duty, then reverentially
saluted Yudhishthira and took hold of his feet. But Yudhishthira soon
raised Kesava and smelt his head. King Yudhishthira the just, the son of
Pandu, having raised Krishna endued with eyes like lotus-petals and the
foremost of the Yadava race, gave him leave, saying,--'Good bye!' Then
the slayer of Madhu, making an appointment with them (about his return)
in words that were proper, and preventing with difficulty the Pandavas
from following him further on foot, gladly proceeded towards his own
city, like Indra going towards Amravati. Out of the love and affection
they bore him, the Pandavas gazed on Krishna as long as he was within
sight, and their minds also followed him when he got out of sight. And
Kesava of agreeable person soon disappeared from their sight, unsatiated
though their minds were with looking at him. Those bulls among men, the
sons of Pritha, with minds fixed on Govinda, desisted (from following him
further) and unwillingly returned to their own city in haste. And Krishna
in his car soon reached Dwaraka followed by that hero Satyaki. Then
Sauri, the son of Devaki, accompanied by his charioteer Daruka reached
Dwaraka with the speed of Garuda."

Vaisampayana continued,--"Meanwhile king Yudhishthira of unfading glory,
accompanied by his brothers and surrounded by friends, entered his
excellent capital. And that tiger among men, dismissing all his
relatives, brothers, and sons, sought to make himself happy in the
company of Draupadi. And Kesava also, worshipped by the principal Yadavas
including Ugrasena, entered with a happy heart his own excellent city.
And worshipping his old father and his illustrious mother, and saluting
(his brother) Valadeva, he of eyes like lotus-petals took his seat.
Embracing Pradyumna, Shamva, Nishatha, Charudeshna, Gada, Aniruddha and
Bhanu, and obtaining the leave of all the elderly men, Janardana entered
the apartments of Rukmini."


"Vaisampayana said,--"Then Maya Danava addressed Arjuna, that foremost of
successful warriors, saying,--'I now go with thy leave, but shall come
back soon. On the north of the Kailasa peak near the mountains of
Mainaka, while the Danavas were engaged in a sacrifice on the banks of
Vindu lake, I gathered a huge quantity of delightful and variegated vanda
(a kind of rough materials) composed of jewels and gems. This was placed
in the mansion of Vrishaparva ever devoted to truth. If it be yet
existing, I shall come back, O Bharata, with it. I shall then commence
the construction of the delightful palace of the Pandavas, which is to be
adorned with every kind of gems and celebrated all over the world. There
is also, I think, O thou of the Kuru race, a fierce club placed in the
lake Vindu by the King (of the Danavas) after slaughtering therewith all
his foes in battle. Besides being heavy and strong and variegated with
golden knobs, it is capable of bearing great weight, and of slaying all
foes, and is equal in strength unto an hundred thousand clubs. It is a
fit weapon for Bhima, even as the Gandiva is for thee. There is also (in
that lake) a large conch-shell called Devadatta of loud sound, that came
from Varuna. I shall no doubt give all these to thee. Having spoken thus
unto Partha, the Asura went away in a north-easterly direction. On the
north of Kailasa in the mountains of Mainaka, there is a huge peak of
gems and jewels called Hiranya-sringa. Near that peak is a delightful
lake of the name of Vindu. There, on its banks, previously dwelt king
Bhagiratha for many years, desiring to behold the goddess Ganga, since
called Bhagirathee after that king's name. And there, on its banks, O
thou best of the Bharatas, Indra the illustrious lord of every created
thing, performed one hundred great sacrifices. There, for the sake of
beauty, though not according to the dictates of the ordinance, were
placed sacrificial stakes made of gems and altars of gold. There, after
performing those sacrifices, the thousand-eyed lord of Sachi became
crowned with success. There the fierce Mahadeva, the eternal lord of
every creature, has taken up his abode after having created all the
worlds and there he dwelleth, worshipped with reverence by thousands of
spirits. There Nara and Narayana, Brahma and Yama and Sthanu the fifth,
perform their sacrifices at the expiration of a thousand yugas. There,
for the establishment of virtue and religion, Vasudeva, with pious
devotion, performed his sacrifices extending for many, many long years.
There were placed by Keshava thousands and tens of thousands of
sacrificial stakes adorned with golden garlands and altars of great
splendour. Going thither, O Bharata, Maya brought back the club and the
conch-shell and the various crystalline articles that had belonged to
king Vrishaparva. And the great Asura, Maya, having gone thither,
possessed himself of the whole of the great wealth which was guarded by
Yakshas and Rakshasas. Bringing them, the Asura constructed therewith a
peerless palace, which was of great beauty and of celestial make,
composed entirely of gems and precious stones, and celebrated throughout
the three worlds. He gave unto Bhimasena that best of clubs, and unto
Arjuna the most excellent conch-shell at whose sound all creatures
trembled in awe. And the palace that Maya built consisted of columns of
gold, and occupied, O monarch, an area of five thousand cubits. The
palace, possessing an exceedingly beautiful form, like unto that of Agni
or Suryya, or Soma, shone in great splendour, and by its brilliance
seemed to darken even the bright rays of the sun. And with the effulgence
it exhibited, which was a mixture of both celestial and terrestrial
light, it looked as if it was on fire. Like unto a mass of new clouds
conspicuous in the sky, the palace rose up coming into view of all.
Indeed, the palace that the dexterous Maya built was so wide, delightful,
and refreshing, and composed of such excellent materials, and furnished
with such golden walls and archways, and adorned with so many varied
pictures, and was withal so rich and well-built, that in beauty it far
surpassed Sudharma of the Dasarha race, or the mansion of Brahma himself.
And eight thousand Rakshasas called Kinkaras, fierce, huge-bodied and
endued with great strength, of red coppery eyes and arrowy ears,
well-armed and capable of ranging through the air, used to guard and
protect that palace. Within that palace Maya placed a peerless tank, and
in that tank were lotuses with leaves of dark-coloured gems and stalks of
bright jewels, and other flowers also of golden leaves. And aquatic fowls
of various species sported on its bosom. Itself variegated with
full-blown lotuses and stocked with fishes and tortoises of golden hue,
its bottom was without mud and its water transparent. There was a flight
of crystal stairs leading from the banks to the edge of the water. The
gentle breezes that swept along its bosom softly shook the flowers that
studded it. The banks of that tank were overlaid with slabs of costly
marble set with pearls. And beholding that tank thus adorned all around
with jewels and precious stones, many kings that came there mistook it
for land and fell into it with eyes open. Many tall trees of various
kinds were planted all around the palace. Of green foliage and cool
shade, and ever blossoming, they were all very charming to behold.
Artificial woods were laid around, always emitting a delicious fragrance.
And there were many tanks also that were adorned with swans and
Karandavas and Chakravakas (Brahminy ducks) in the grounds lying about
the mansion. And the breeze bearing the fragrance of lotuses growing in
water and (of those growing on land) ministered unto the pleasure and
happiness of the Pandavas. And Maya having constructed such a palatial
hall within fourteen months, reported its completion unto Yudhishthira."


"Vaisampayana said,--"Then that chief of men, king Yudhishthira, entered
that palatial sabha having first fed ten thousand Brahmanas with
preparations of milk and rice mixed with clarified butter and honey with
fruits and roots, and with pork and venison. The king gratified those
superior Brahmanas, who had come from various countries with food
seasoned with seasamum and prepared with vegetables called jibanti, with
rice mixed with clarified butter, with different preparations of
meat--with indeed various kinds of other food, as also numberless viands
that are fit to be sucked and innumerable kinds of drinks, with new and
unused robes and clothes, and with excellent floral wreaths. The king
also gave unto each of those Brahmanas a thousand kine. And, O Bharata,
the voice of the gratified Brahmanas uttering,--'What an auspicious day
is this! became so loud that it seemed to reach heaven itself. And when
the Kuru king entered the palatial sabha having also worshipped the gods
with various kinds of music and numerous species of excellent and costly
perfumes, the athletes and mimes and prize-fighters and bards and
encomiasts began to gratify that illustrious son of Dharma by exhibiting
their skill. And thus celebrating his entry into the palace, Yudhishthira
with his brothers sported within that palace like Sakra himself in
heaven. Upon the seats in that palace sat, along with the Pandavas,
Rishis and kings that came from various countries, viz., Asita and
Devala, Satya, Sarpamali and Mahasira; Arvavasu, Sumitra, Maitreya,
Sunaka and Vali; Vaka, Dalvya, Sthulasira, Krishna-Dwaipayana, and Suka
Sumanta, Jaimini, Paila, and the disciples of Vyasa, viz., ourselves;
Tittiri, Yajanavalkya, and Lomaharshana with his son; Apsuhomya, Dhaumya,
Animandavya; and Kausika; Damoshnisha and Traivali, Parnada, and
Varayanuka, Maunjayana, Vayubhaksha, Parasarya, and Sarika; Valivaka,
Silivaka, Satyapala, and Krita-srama; Jatukarna, and Sikhavat. Alamva and
Parijataka; the exalted Parvata, and the great Muni Markandeya;
Pavitrapani, Savarna, Bhaluki, and Galava. Janghabandhu, Raibhya,
Kopavega, and Bhrigu: Harivabhru, Kaundinya, Vabhrumali, and Sanatana,
Kakshivat, and Ashija, Nachiketa, and Aushija, Nachiketa, and Gautama;
Painga, Varaha, Sunaka, and Sandilya of great ascetic merit: Kukkura,
Venujangha, Kalapa and Katha;--these virtuous and learned Munis with
senses and souls under complete control, and many others as numerous, all
well-skilled in the Vedas and Vedangas and conversant with (rules of)
morality and pure and spotless in behaviour, waited on the illustrious
Yudhishthira, and gladdened him by their sacred discourses. And so also
numerous principal Kshatriyas, such as the illustrious and virtuous
Mujaketu, Vivarddhana, Sangramjit, Durmukha, the powerful Ugrasena;
Kakshasena, the lord of the Earth, Kshemaka the invincible; Kamatha, the
king of Kamvoja, and the mighty Kampana who alone made the Yavanas to
ever tremble at his name just as the god that wieldeth the thunder-bolt
maketh those Asuras, the Kalakeyas, tremble before him; Jatasura, and the
king of the Madrakas, Kunti, Pulinda the king of the Kiratas, and the
kings of Anga and Vanga, and Pandrya, and the king of Udhara, and
Andhaka; Sumitra, and Saivya that slayer of foes; Sumanas, the king of
the Kiratas, and Chanur the King of the Yavanas, Devarata, Bhoja, and the
so called Bhimaratha, Srutayudha--the king of Kalinga, Jayasena the king
of Magadha; and Sukarman, and Chekitana, and Puru that slayer of foes;
Ketumata, Vasudana, and Vaideha and Kritakshana: Sudharman, Aniruddha,
Srutayu endued with great strength; the invincible Anuparaja, the
handsome Karmajit; Sisupala with his son, the king of Karusha; and the
invincible youths of the Vrishni race, all equal in beauty unto the
celestials, viz., Ahuka, Viprithu, Sada, Sarana, Akrura, Kritavarman, and
Satyaka, the son of Sini; and Bhismaka, Ankriti, and the powerful
Dyumatsena, those chief of bowmen viz., the Kaikeyas and Yajnasena of the
Somaka race; these Kshatriyas endured with great might, all well-armed
and wealthy, and many others also regarded as the foremost, all waited
upon Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, in that Sabha, desirous of
ministering to his happiness. And those princes also, endued with great
strength, who dressing themselves in deer-skins learnt the science of
weapons under Arjuna, waited upon Yudhishthira. And O king, the princes
also of the Vrishni race, viz., Pradyumna (the son of Rukmini) and Samva,
and Yuyudhana the son of Satyaki and Sudharman and Aniruddha and Saivya
that foremost of men who had learnt the science of arms under Arjuna
these and many other kings, O lord of the Earth, used to wait on
Yudhishthira on that occasion. And that friend of Dhananjaya, Tumvuru,
and the Gandharva Chittasena with his ministers, any many other
Gandharvas and Apsaras, well-skilled in vocal and instrumental music and
in cadence and Kinnaras also well-versed in (musical) measures and
motions singing celestial tunes in proper and charming voices, waited
upon and gladdened the sons of Pandu and the Rishis who sat in that
Sabha. And seated in that Sabha, those bull among men, of rigid vows and
devoted to truth, all waited upon Yudhishthira like the celestials in
heaven waiting upon Brahma."


(Lokapala Sabhakhayana Parva)

"Vaisampayana said,--"While the illustrious Pandavas were seated in that
Sabha along with the principal Gandharvas, there came, O Bharata, unto
that assembly the celestial Rishi Narada, conversant with the Vedas and
Upanishadas, worshipped by the celestials acquainted with histories and
Puranas, well-versed in all that occurred in ancient kalpas (cycles),
conversant with Nyaya (logic) and the truth of moral science, possessing
a complete knowledge of the six Angas (viz., pronunciation, grammar,
prosody, explanation of basic terms, description of religious rites, and
astronomy). He was a perfect master in reconciling contradictory texts
and differentiating in applying general principles to particular cases,
as also in interpreting contraries by reference to differences in
situation, eloquent, resolute, intelligent, possessed of powerful memory.
He was acquainted with the science of morals and politics, learned,
proficient in distinguishing inferior things from superior ones, skilled
in drawing inference from evidence, competent to judge of the correctness
or incorrectness of syllogistic statements consisting of five
propositions. He was capable of answering successively Vrihaspati himself
while arguing, with definite conclusions properly framed about religion,
wealth, pleasure and salvation, of great soul and beholding this whole
universe, above, below, and around, as if it were present before his
eyes. He was master of both the Sankhya and Yoga systems of philosophy,
ever desirous of humbling the celestials and Asuras by fomenting quarrels
among them, conversant with the sciences of war and treaty, proficient in
drawing conclusions by judging of things not within direct ken, as also
in the six sciences of treaty, war, military campaigns, maintenance of
posts against the enemy and stratagems by ambuscades and reserves. He was
a thorough master of every branch of learning, fond of war and music,
incapable of being repulsed by any science or any course, of action, and
possessed of these and numberless other accomplishments. The Rishi,
having wandered over the different worlds, came into that Sabha. And the
celestial Rishi of immeasurable splendour, endued with great energy was
accompanied, O monarch, by Parijata and the intelligent Raivata and
Saumya and Sumukha. Possessing the speed of the mind, the Rishi came
thither and was filled with gladness upon beholding the Pandavas. The
Brahmana, on arriving there, paid homage unto Yudhishthira by uttering
blessings on him and wishing him victory. Beholding the learned Rishi
arrive, the eldest of the Pandavas, conversant with all rules of duty,
quickly stood up with his younger brothers. Bending low with humility,
the monarch cheerfully saluted the Rishi, and gave with due ceremonies a
befitting seat unto him. The king also gave him kine and the usual
offerings of the Arghya including honey and the other ingredients.
Conversant with every duty the monarch also worshipped the Rishi with
gems and jewels with a whole heart. Receiving that worship from
Yudhishthira in proper form, the Rishi became gratified. Thus worshipped
by the Pandavas and the great Rishis, Narada possessing a complete
mastery over the Vedas, said unto Yudhishthira the following words
bearing upon religion, wealth, pleasures and salvation.

"Narada said--'Is the wealth thou art earning being spent on proper
objects? Doth thy mind take pleasure in virtue? Art thou enjoying the
pleasures of life? Doth not thy mind sink under their weight? O chief of
men, continuest thou in the noble conduct consistent with religion and
wealth practised by thy ancestors towards the three classes of subjects,
(viz., good, indifferent, and bad)? Never injurest thou religion for the
sake of wealth, or both religion and wealth for the sake of pleasure that
easily seduces? O thou foremost of victorious men ever devoted to the
good of all, conversant as thou art with the timeliness of everything,
followest thou religion, wealth, pleasure and salvation dividing thy time
judiciously? O sinless one, with the six attributes of kings (viz.,
cleverness of speech, readiness in providing means, intelligence in
dealing with the foe, memory, and acquaintance with morals and politics),
dost thou attend to the seven means (viz., sowing dissensions,
chastisement, conciliation, gifts, incantations, medicine and magic)?
Examinest thou also, after a survey of thy own strength and weakness, the
fourteen possessions of thy foes? These are the country, forts, cars,
elephants, cavalry, foot-soldiers, the principal officials of state, the
zenana, food supply, computations of the army and income, the religious
treatises in force, the accounts of state, the revenue, wine-shops and
other secret enemies. Attendest thou to the eight occupations (of
agriculture, trade, &c), having examined, O thou foremost of victorious
monarchs, thy own and thy enemy's means, and having made peace with thy
enemies? O bull of the Bharata race, thy seven principal officers of
state (viz., the governor of the citadel, the commander of forces, the
chief judge, the general in interior command, the chief priest, the chief
physician, and the chief astrologer), have not, I hope, succ*mbed to the
influence of thy foes, nor have they, I hope, become idle in consequence
of the wealth they have earned? They are, I hope, all obedient to thee.
Thy counsels, I hope, are never divulged by thy trusted spies in
disguise, by thyself or by thy ministers? Thou ascertainest, I hope, what
thy friends, foes and strangers are about? Makest thou peace and makest
thou war at proper times? Observest thou neutrality towards strangers and
persons that are neutral towards thee? And, O hero, hast thou made
persons like thyself, persons that are old, continent in behaviour,
capable of understanding what should be done and what should not, pure as
regards birth and blood, and devoted to thee, thy ministers? O Bharata,
the victories of kings can be attributed to good counsels. O child, is
thy kingdom protected by ministers learned in Sastras, keeping their
counsels close? Are thy foes unable to injure it? Thou hast not become
the slave of sleep? Wakest thou at the proper time? Conversant with
pursuits yielding profit, thinkest thou, during the small hours of night,
as to what thou shouldst do and what thou shouldst not do the next day?
Thou settlest nothing alone, nor takest counsels with many? The counsels
thou hast resolved upon, do not become known all over thy kingdom?
Commencest thou soon to accomplish measures of great utility that are
easy of accomplishment? Such measures are never obstructed? Keepest thou
the agriculturists not out of thy sight? They do not fear to approach
thee? Achievest thou thy measures through persons that are trusted
incorruptible, and possessed of practical experience? And, O brave king.
I hope, people only know the measures already accomplished by thee and
those that have been partially accomplished and are awaiting completion,
but not those that are only in contemplation and uncommenced? Have
experienced teachers capable of explaining the causes of things and
learned in the science of morals and every branch of learning, been
appointed to instruct the princes and the chiefs of the army? Buyest thou
a single learned man by giving in exchange a thousand ignorant
individuals? The man that is learned conferreth the greatest benefit in
seasons of distress. Are thy forts always filled with treasure, food,
weapons, water, engines and instruments, as also with engineers and
bowmen? Even a single minister that is intelligent, brave, with his
passions under complete control, and possessed of wisdom and judgment, is
capable of conferring the highest prosperity on a king or a king's son. I
ask thee, therefore, whether there is even one such minister with thee?
Seekest thou to know everything about the eighteen Tirthas of the foe and
fifteen of thy own by means of three and three spies all unacquainted
with one another? O slayer of all foes, watchest thou all thy enemies
with care and attention, and unknown to them? Is the priest thou
honourest, possessed of humility, and purity of blood, and renown, and
without jealousy and illiberality? Hath any well-behaved, intelligent,
and guileless Brahmana, well-up in the ordinance, been employed by thee
in the performance of thy daily rites before the sacred fire, and doth he
remind thee in proper time as to when thy homa should be performed? Is
the astrologer thou hast employed skilled in reading physiognomy, capable
of interpreting omens, and competent to neutralise the effect of the
disturbances of nature? Have respectable servants been employed by thee
in offices that are respectable, indifferent ones in indifferent offices,
and low ones in offices that are low? Hast thou appointed to high offices
ministers that are guileless and of well conduct for generations and
above the common run? Oppressest thou not thy people with cruel and
severe punishment? And, O bull of the Bharata race, do thy ministers rule
thy kingdom under thy orders? Do thy ministers ever slight thee like
sacrificial priests slighting men that are fallen (and incapable of
performing any more sacrifices) or like wives slighting husbands that are
proud and incontinent in their behaviour? Is the commander of thy forces
possessed of sufficient confidence, brave, intelligent, patient,
well-conducted, of good birth, devoted to thee, and competent? Treatest
thou with consideration and regard the chief officers of thy army that
are skilled in every kind of welfare, are forward, well-behaved, and
endued with prowess? Givest thou to thy troops their sanctioned rations
and pay in the appointed time? Thou dost not oppress them by withholding
these? Knowest thou that the misery caused by arrears of pay and
irregularity in the distribution of rations driveth the troops to mutiny,
and that is called by the learned to be one of the greatest of mischiefs?
Are all the principal high-born men devoted to thee, and ready with
cheerfulness to lay down their lives in battle for thy sake? I hope no
single individual of passions uncontrolled is ever permitted by thee to
rule as he likes a number of concerns at the same time appertaining to
the army? Is any servant of thine, who hath accomplished well a
particular business by the employment of special ability, disappointed in
obtaining from thee a little more regard, and an increase of food and
pay? I hope thou rewardest persons of learning and humility, and skill in
every kind of knowledge with gifts of wealth and honour proportionate to
their qualifications. Dost thou support, O bull in the Bharata race, the
wives and children of men that have given their lives for thee and have
been distressed on thy account? Cherishest thou, O son of Pritha, with
paternal affection the foe that hath been weakened, or him also that hath
sought thy shelter, having been vanquished in battle? O lord of Earth,
art thou equal unto all men, and can every one approach thee without
fear, as if thou wert their mother and father? And O bull of the Bharata
race, marchest thou, without loss of time, and reflecting well upon three
kinds of forces, against thy foe when thou hearest that he is in
distress? O subjugator of all foes beginnest thou thy march when the time
cometh, having taken into consideration all the omens you might see, the
resolutions thou hast made, and that the ultimate victory depends upon
the twelve mandalas (such as reserves, ambuscades, &c, and payment of pay
to the troops in advance)? And, O persecutor of all foes, givest thou
gems and jewels, unto the principal officers of enemy, as they deserve,
without thy enemy's knowledge? O son of Pritha, seekest thou to conquer
thy incensed foes that are slaves to their passions, having first
conquered thy own soul and obtained the mastery over thy own senses?
Before thou marchest out against thy foes, dost thou properly employ the
four arts of reconciliation, gift (of wealth) producing disunion, and
application of force? O monarch, goest thou out against thy enemies,
having first strengthened thy own kingdom? And having gone out against
them, exertest thou to the utmost to obtain victory over them? And having
conquered them, seekest thou to protect them with care? Are thy army
consisting of four kinds of forces, viz., the regular troops, the allies,
the mercenaries, and the irregulars, each furnished with the eight
ingredients, viz., cars, elephants, horses, offices, infantry,
camp-followers, spies possessing a thorough knowledge of the country, and
ensigns led out against thy enemies after having been well trained by
superior officers? O oppressor of all foes, O great king, I hope thou
slayest thy foes without regarding their seasons of reaping and of
famine? O king, I hope thy servants and agents in thy own kingdom and in
the kingdoms of thy foes continue to look after their respective duties
and to protect one another. O monarch, I hope trusted servants have been
employed by thee to look after thy food, the robes thou wearest and the
perfumes thou usest. I hope, O king, thy treasury, barns, stables
arsenals, and women's apartments, are all protected by servants devoted
to thee and ever seeking thy welfare. I hope, O monarch, thou protectest
first thyself from thy domestic and public servants, then from those
servants of thy relatives and from one another. Do thy servants, O king,
ever speak to thee in the forenoon regarding thy extravagant expenditure
in respect of thy drinks, sports, and women? Is thy expenditure always
covered by a fourth, a third or a half of thy income? Cherishest thou
always, with food and wealth, relatives, superiors, merchants, the aged,
and other proteges, and the distressed? Do the accountants and clerks
employed by thee in looking after thy income and expenditure, always
appraise thee every day in the forenoon of thy income and expenditure?
Dismissest thou without fault servants accomplished in business and
popular and devoted to thy welfare? O Bharata, dost thou employ superior,
indifferent, and low men, after examining them well in offices they
deserve? O monarch, employest thou in thy business persons that are
thievish or open to temptation, or hostile, or minors? Persecutest thou
thy kingdom by the help of thievish or covetous men, or minors, or women?
Are the agriculturists in thy kingdom contented. Are large tanks and
lakes constructed all over thy kingdom at proper distances, without
agriculture being in thy realm entirely dependent on the showers of
heaven? Are the agriculturists in thy kingdom wanting in either seed or
food? Grantest thou with kindness loans (of seed-grains) unto the
tillers, taking only a fourth in excess of every measure by the hundred?
O child, are the four professions of agriculture, trade, cattle-rearing,
and lending at interest, carried on by honest men? Upon these O monarch,
depends the happiness of thy people. O king, do the five brave and wise
men, employed in the five offices of protecting the city, the citadel,
the merchants, and the agriculturists, and punishing the criminals,
always benefit thy kingdom by working in union with one another? For the
protection of thy city, have the villages been made like towns, and the
hamlets and outskirts of villages like villages? Are all these entirely
under thy supervision and sway? Are thieves and robbers that sack thy
town pursued by thy police over the even and uneven parts of thy kingdom?
Consolest thou women and are they protected in thy realm? I hope thou
placest not any confidence in them, nor divulgest any secret before any
of them? O monarch, having heard of any danger and having reflected on it
also, liest thou in the inner apartments enjoying every agreeable object?
Having slept during the second and the third divisions of the night,
thinkest thou of religion and profit in the fourth division wakefully. O
son of Pandu, rising from bed at the proper time and dressing thyself
well, showest thou thyself to thy people, accompanied by ministers
conversant with the auspiciousness or otherwise of moments? O represser
of all foes, do men dressed in red and armed with swords and adorned with
ornaments stand by thy side to protect thy person? O monarch! behavest
thou like the god of justice himself unto those that deserve punishment
and those that deserve worship, unto those that are dear to thee and
those that thou likest not? O son of Pritha, seekest thou to cure bodily
diseases by medicines and fasts, and mental illness with the advice of
the aged? I hope that the physicians engaged in looking after thy health
are well conversant with the eight kinds of treatment and are all
attached and devoted to thee. Happeneth it ever, O monarch, that from
covetousness or folly or pride thou failest to decide between the
plaintiff and the defendant who have come to thee? Deprivest thou,
through covetousness or folly, of their pensions the proteges who have
sought thy shelter from trustfulness or love? Do the people that inhabit
thy realm, bought by thy foes, ever seek to raise disputes with thee,
uniting themselves with one another? Are those amongst thy foes that are
feeble always repressed by the help of troops that are strong, by the
help of both counsels and troops? Are all the principal chieftains (of
thy empire) all devoted to thee? Are they ready to lay down their lives
for thy sake, commanded by thee? Dost thou worship Brahmanas and wise men
according to their merits in respect of various branches of learning? I
tell thee, such worship is without doubt, highly beneficial to thee. Hast
thou faith in the religion based on the three Vedas and practised by men
who have gone before thee? Dost thou carefully follow the practices that
were followed by them? Are accomplished Brahmanas entertained in thy
house and in thy presence with nutritive and excellent food, and do they
also obtain pecuniary gifts at the conclusion of those feasts? Dost thou,
with passions under complete control and with singleness of mind, strive
to perform the sacrifices called Vajapeya and Pundarika with their full
complement of rites? Bowest thou unto thy relatives and superiors, the
aged, the gods, the ascetics, the Brahmanas, and the tall trees (banian)
in villages, that are of so much benefit to people? O sinless one,
causest thou ever grief or anger in any one? Do priests capable of
granting thee auspicious fruits ever stand by thy side? O sinless one,
are thy inclinations and practices such as I have described them, and as
always enhance the duration of life and spread one's renown and as always
help the cause of religion, pleasure, and profit? He who conducteth
himself according to this way, never findeth his kingdom distressed or
afflicted; and that monarch, subjugating the whole earth, enjoyeth a high
degree of felicity. O monarch, I hope, no well-behaved, pure-souled, and
respected person is ever ruined and his life taken, on a false charge or
theft, by thy ministers ignorant of Sastras and acting from greed? And, O
bull among men, I hope thy ministers never from covetousness set free a
real thief, knowing him to be such and having apprehended him with the
booty about him? O Bharata, I hope, thy ministers are never won over by
bribes, nor do they wrongly decide the disputes that arise between the
rich and the poor. Dost thou keep thyself free from the fourteen vices of
kings, viz., atheism, untruthfulness, anger, incautiousness,
procrastination, non-visit to the wise, idleness, restlessness of mind,
taking counsels with only one man, consultation with persons unacquainted
with the science of profit, abandonment of a settled plan, divulgence of
counsels, non-accomplishment of beneficial projects, and undertaking
everything without reflection? By these, O king, even monarchs firmly
seated on their thrones are ruined. Hath thy study of the Vedas, thy
wealth and knowledge of the Sastras and marriage been fruitful?

"Vaisampayana continued,--After the Rishi had finished, Yudhishthira
asked,--"How, O Rishi, do the Vedas, wealth, wife, and knowledge of the
Sastras bear fruit?"

"The Rishi answered,--"The Vedas are said to bear fruit when he that hath
studied them performeth the Agnihotra and other sacrifices. Wealth is
said to bear fruit when he that hath it enjoyeth it himself and giveth it
away in charity. A wife is said to bear fruit when she is useful and when
she beareth children. Knowledge of the Sastras is said to bear fruit when
it resulteth in humility and good behaviour."

"Vaisampayana continued,--The great ascetic Narada, having answered
Yudhishthira thus, again asked that just ruler,-"Do the officers of thy
government, O king, that are paid from the taxes levied on the community,
take only their just dues from the merchants that come to thy territories
from distant lands impelled by the desire of gain? Are the merchants, O
king, treated with consideration in thy capital and kingdom, capable of
bringing their goods thither without being deceived by the false pretexts
of (both the buyers and the officers of government)?

Listenest thou always, O monarch, to the words, fraught with instructions
in religion and wealth, of old men acquainted with economic doctrines?
Are gifts of honey and clarified butter made to the Brahmanas intended
for the increase of agricultural produce, of kine, of fruits and flowers,
and for the sake of virtue? Givest thou always, O king, regularly unto
all the artisans and artists employed by thee the materials of their
works and their wages for periods not more than four months? Examinest
thou the works executed by those that are employed by thee, and
applaudest thou them before good men, and rewardest thou them, having
shewn them proper respect? O bull of the Bharata race, followest thou the
aphorisms (of the sage) in respect of every concern particularly those
relating to elephants, horses, and cars? O bull of the Bharata race, are
the aphorisms relating to the science of arms, as also those that relate
to the practice of engines in warfare--so useful to towns and fortified
places, studied in thy court? O sinless one, art thou acquainted with all
mysterious incantations, and with the secrets of poisons destructive of
all foes? Protectest thou thy kingdom from the fear of fire, of snakes
and other animals destructive of life, of disease, and Rakshasas? As
acquainted thou art with every duty, cherishest thou like a father, the
blind, the dumb, the lame, the deformed, the friendless, and ascetics
that have no homes. Hast thou banished these six evils, O monarch, viz.,
sleep, idleness, fear, anger, weakness of mind, and procrastination?'

"Vaisampayana continued,--The illustrious bull among the Kurus, having
heard these words of that best of Brahmanas, bowed down unto him and
worshipped his feet. And gratified with everything he heard, the monarch
said unto Narada of celestial form,--"I shall do all that thou hast
directed, for my knowledge hath expanded under thy advice!' Having said
this the king acted conformably to that advice, and gained in time the
whole Earth bounded by her belt of seas. Narada again spoke,
saying,--"That king who is thus employed in the protection of four
orders, Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Sudras, passeth his days
here happily and attaineth hereafter to the region of Sakra (heaven).'"


"Vaisampayana said,--At the conclusion of Narada's words, king
Yudhishthira the just worshipped him duly; and commanded by him the
monarch began to reply succinctly to the questions the Rishi had asked.

"Yudhishthira said--'O holy one, the truths of religion and morality thou
hast indicated one after another, are just and proper. As regards myself,
I duly observe those ordinances to the best of my power. Indeed, the acts
that were properly performed by monarchs of yore are, without doubt, to
be regarded as bearing proper fruit, and undertaken from solid reasons
for the attainment of proper objects. O master, we desire to walk in the
virtuous path of those rulers that had, besides, their souls under
complete control."

"Vaisampayana continued,--"Yudhishthira, the son of Pandu, possessed of
great glory, having received with reverence the words of Narada and
having also answered the Rishi thus, reflected for a moment. And
perceiving a proper opportunity, the monarch, seated beside the Rishi,
asked Narada sitting at his ease and capable of going into every world at
will, in the presence of that assembly of kings, saying,--'Possessed of
the speed of mind, thou wanderest over various and many worlds created in
days of yore by Brahma, beholding everything. Tell me, I ask thee, if
thou hast, O Brahmana, ever beheld before anywhere an assembly room like
this of mine or superior to it!' Hearing these words of Yudhishthira the
just, Narada smilingly answered the son of Pandu in these sweet accents,--

"Narada said,--'O child, O king I did neither see nor hear of ever before
amongst men, any assembly room built of gems and precious stones like
this of thine, O Bharata. I shall, however, describe unto thee the rooms
of the king of the departed (Yama), of Varuna (Neptune) of great
intelligence, of Indra, the King of Gods and also of him who hath his
home in Kailasha (Kuvera). I shall also describe unto thee the celestial
Sabha of Brahma that dispelleth every kind of uneasiness. All these
assembly rooms exhibit in their structure both celestial and human
designs and present every kind of form that exists in the universe. And
they are ever worshipped by the gods and the Pitris, the Sadhyas,
(under-deities called Gana), by ascetics offering sacrifices, with souls
under complete command, by peaceful Munis engaged without intermission in
Vedic sacrifices with presents to Brahmanas. I shall describe all these
to you if, O bull of the Bharata race, thou hast any inclinations to
listen to me!'"

"Vaisampayana continued,--"Thus addressed by Narada, the high-souled king
Yudhishthira the just, with his brothers and all those foremost of
Brahmanas (seated around him), joined his hands (in entreaty). And the
monarch then asked Narada, saying,--'Describe unto us all those assembly
rooms. We desire to listen to thee. O Brahmana, what are the articles
with which each of the Sabhas are made of? What is the area of each, and
what is the length and breadth of each? Who wait upon the Grandsire in
that assembly room? And who also upon Vasava, the Lord of the celestials
and upon Yama, the son of Vivaswana? Who wait upon Varuna and upon Kuvera
in their respective assembly rooms. O Brahmana Rishi, tell us all about
these. We all together desire to hear thee describe them. Indeed, our
curiosity is great.' Thus addressed by the son of Pandu, Narada replied,
saying,--'O monarch, hear ye all about those celestial assembly rooms one
after another."


"Narada said,--the celestial assembly room of Sakra is full of lustre. He
hath obtained it as the fruit of his own acts. Possessed of the splendour
of the sun, it was built, O scion of the Kuru race, by Sakra himself.
Capable of going everywhere at will, this celestial assembly house is
full one hundred and fifty yojanas in length, and hundred yojanas in
breadth, and five yojanas in height. Dispelling weakness of age, grief,
fatigue, and fear, auspicious and bestowing good fortune, furnished with
rooms and seats and adorned with celestial trees, it is delightful in the
extreme. There sitteth in that assembly room, O son of Pritha, on an
excellent seat, the Lord of celestials, with his wife Sachi endowed with
beauty and affluence. Assuming a form incapable of description for its
vagueness, with a crown on his head and bright bracelets on the upper
arms, attired in robes of pure white and decked with floral wreaths of
many hues, there he sitteth with beauty, fame, and glory by his side. And
the illustrious deity of a hundred sacrifices is daily waited upon. O
monarch, in that assembly by the Marutas in a body, each leading the life
of a householder in the bosom of his family. And the Siddhyas, celestial
Rishis, the Sadhyas in all, the gods, and Marutas of brilliant complexion
and adorned with golden garlands,--all of them in celestial form and
decked in ornaments, always wait upon and worship the illustrious chief
of the immortals, that mighty represser of all foes. And O son of Pritha,
the celestial Rishis also, all of pure souls, with sins completely washed
off and resplendent as the fire, and possessed of energy, and without
sorrow of any kind, and freed from the fever of anxiety, and all
performers of the Soma sacrifice, also wait upon and worship Indra. And
Parasara and Parvata and Savarni and Galava; and Sankha, and the Muni,
Gaursiras, and Durvasa, and Krodhana and Swena and the Muni Dhirghatamas;
and Pavitrapani, Savarni, Yajnavalkya and Bhaluki; and Udyalaka,
Swetaketu, and Tandya, and also Bhandayani; and Havishmat, and Garishta,
and king Harischandra; and Hridya, Udarshandilya. Parasarya, Krishivala;
Vataskandha, Visakha, Vidhatas and Kala. Karaladanta, Tastri, and
Vishwakarman, and Tumuru; and other Rishis, some born of women and others
living upon air, and others again living upon fire, these all worship
Indra, the wielder of the thunderbolt, the lord of all the worlds. And
Sahadeva, and Sunitha, and Valmiki of great ascetic merit; and Samika of
truthful speech, and Prachetas ever fulfilling their promises, and
Medhatithi, and Vamadeva, and Pulastya, Pulaha and Kratu; and Maruta and
Marichi, and Sthanu of great ascetic merit; and Kakshivat, and Gautama,
and Tarkhya, and also the Muni Vaishwanara; and the Muni Kalakavrikhiya
and Asravya, and also Hiranmaya, and Samvartta, and Dehavya, and
Viswaksena of great energy; and Kanwa, and Katyayana, O king, and Gargya,
and Kaushika;--all are present there along with the celestial waters and
plants; and faith, and intelligence, and the goddess of learning, and
wealth, religion, and pleasure; and lightning. O son of Pandu; and the
rain-charged clouds, and the winds, and all the loud-sounding forces of
heaven; the eastern point, the twenty seven fires conveying the
sacrificial butter, Agni and Soma, and the fire of Indra, and Mitra, and
Savitri, and Aryaman; Bhaga, Viswa the Sadhyas, the preceptor
(Vrihaspati), and also Sukra; and Vishwavasu and Chitrasena, and Sumanas,
and also Taruna; the Sacrifices, the gifts to Brahmanas, the planets, and
the stars, O Bharata, and the mantras that are uttered in sacrifices--all
these are present there. And, O King, many Apsaras and Gandharvas, by
various kinds of dances and music both instrumental and vocal, and by the
practice of auspicious rites, and by the exhibition of many feats of
skill, gratify the lord of the celestials--Satakratu--the illustrious
slayer of Vala and Vritra. Besides these, many other Brahmanas and royal
and celestial Rishis, all resplendent as the fire, decked in floral
wreaths and ornaments, frequently come to and leave that assembly, riding
on celestial cars of various kinds. And Vrihaspati and Sukra are present
there on all occasions. These and many other illustrious ascetics of
rigid wows, and Bhrigu and the seven Rishis who are equal, O king, unto
Brahma himself, come to and leave that assembly house, riding on cars
beautiful as the car of Soma, and themselves looking as bright therein as
Soma himself. This, O mighty armed monarch, is the assembly house, called
Pushkaramalini, of Indra of a hundred sacrifices that I have seen. Listen
now to the account of Yama's assembly house."


"Narada said,--'O Yudhisthira, I shall now describe the assembly house of
Yama, the son of Vivaswat, which, O son of Pritha, was built by
Viswakarma. Listen now to me. Bright as burnished gold, that assembly
house, O monarch, covers an area of much more than a hundred yojanas.
Possessed of the splendour of the sun, it yieldeth everything that one
may desire. Neither very cool nor very hot, it delighteth the heart. In
that assembly house there is neither grief nor weakness of age, neither
hunger nor thirst. Nothing disagreeable findeth a place there, nor any
kind of evil feelings there. Every object of desire, celestial or human,
is to be found in that mansion. And all kinds of enjoyable articles, as
also of sweet, juicy, agreeable, and delicious edibles in profusion that
are licked, sucked, and drunk, are there, O chastiser of all enemies. The
floral wreaths in that mansion are of the most delicious fragrance, and
the trees that stand around it yield fruits that are desired of them.
There are both cold and hot waters and these are sweet and agreeable. In
that mansion many royal sages of great sanctity and Brahmana sages also
of great purity, cheerfully wait upon, O child, and worship Yama, the son
of Vivaswat. And Yayati, Nahusha, Puru, Mandhatri, Somaka, Nriga; the
royal sage Trasadasyu, Kritavirya, Sautasravas; Arishtanemi, Siddha,
Kritavega, Kriti, Nimi, Pratarddana, Sivi, Matsya, Prithulaksha,
Vrihadratha, Vartta, Marutta, Kusika, Sankasya, Sankriti, Dhruva,
Chaturaswa, Sadaswormi and king Kartavirya; Bharata and Suratha, Sunitha,
Nisatha, Nala, Divodasa, and Sumanas, Amvarisha, Bhagiratha; Vyaswa,
Vadhraswa, Prithuvega, Prithusravas, Prishadaswa, Vasumanas, Kshupa, and
Sumahavala, Vrishadgu, and Vrishasena, Purukutsa, Dhwajin and Rathin;
Arshtisena, Dwilipa, and the high-souled Ushinara; Ausinari, Pundarika,
Saryati, Sarava, and Suchi; Anga, Rishta, Vena, Dushmanta, Srinjaya and
Jaya; Bhangasuri, Sunitha, and Nishada, and Bahinara; Karandhama,
Valhika, Sudymna, and the mighty Madhu; Aila and the mighty king of earth
Maruta; Kapota, Trinaka, and Shadeva, and Arjuna also. Vysawa; Saswa and
Krishaswa, and king Sasavindu; Rama the son of Dasaratha, and Lakshmana,
and Pratarddana; Alarka, and Kakshasena, Gaya, and Gauraswa; Rama the son
of Jamadagnya, Nabhaga, and Sagara; Bhuridyumna and Mahaswa, Prithaswa,
and also Janaka; king Vainya, Varisena, Purujit, and Janamejaya;
Brahmadatta, and Trigarta, and king Uparichara also; Indradyumna,
Bhimajanu, Gauraprishta, Nala, Gaya; Padma and Machukunda, Bhuridyumna,
Prasenajit; Aristanemi, Sudymna, Prithulauswa, and Ashtaka also; a
hundred kings of the Matsya race and hundred of the Vipa and a hundred of
the Haya races; a hundred kings of the name of Dhritarashtra, eighty
kings of the name of Janamejaya; a hundred monarchs called Brahmadatta,
and a hundred kings of the name of Iri; more than two hundred Bhishmas,
and also a hundred Bhimas; a hundred Prativindhyas, a hundred Nagas, and
a hundred Palasas, and a hundred called Kasa and Kusa; that king of kings
Santanu, and thy father Pandu, Usangava, Sata-ratha, Devaraja,
Jayadratha; the intelligent royal sage Vrishadarva with his ministers;
and a thousand other kings known by the name of Sasa-vindu, and who have
died, having performed many grand horse-sacrifices with large presents to
the Brahmanas--these holy royal sages of grand achievements and great
knowledge of the Sastras, wait upon, O King, and worship the son of
Vivaswat in that assembly house. And Agastya and Matanga, and Kala, and
Mrityu (Death), performers of sacrifices, the Siddhas, and many Yogins;
the Prtris (belonging to the classes--called Agniswattas, Fenapa,
Ushampa, Swadhavat, and Verhishada), as also those others that have
forms; the wheel of time, and the illustrious conveyer himself of the
sacrificial butter; all sinners among human beings, as also those that
have died during the winter solstice; these officers of Yama who have
been appointed to count the allotted days of everybody and everything;
the Singsapa, Palasa, Kasa, and Kusa trees and plants, in their embodied
forms, these all, O king, wait upon and worship the god of justice in
that assembly house of his. These and many others are present at the
Sabha of the king of the Pitris (manes). So numerous are they that I am
incapable of describing them either by mentioning their names or deeds. O
son of Pritha, the delightful assembly house, moving everywhere at the
will of its owner, is of wide extent. It was built by Viswakarma after a
long course of ascetic penances. And, O Bharata, resplendent with his own
effulgence, it stands glorified in all its beauty. Sannyasis of severe
ascetic penance, of excellent vows, and of truthful speech, peaceful and
pure and sanctified by holy deeds, of shining bodies and attired in
spotless robes, decked with bracelets and floral garlands, with ear-rings
of burnished gold, and adorned with their own holy acts as with the marks
of their order (painted over their bodies), constantly visit that Sabha
(Assembly). Many illustrious Gandharvas, and many Apsaras fill every part
of that mansion with music; both instrumental and vocal and with sounds
of laughter and dance. And, O son of Pritha, excellent perfumes, and
sweet sounds and garlands of celestial flowers always contribute towards
making that mansion supremely blest. And hundreds of thousands of
virtuous persons, of celestial beauty and great wisdom, always wait upon
and worship the illustrious Yama, the lord of created beings in that
assembly house. Such, O monarch, is the Sabha, of the illustrious king of
the Pitris! I shall now describe unto the assembly house of Varuna also
called Pushkaramalini!"


'Narada said--O Yudhishthira, the celestial Sabha of Varuna is
unparalleled in splendour. In dimensions it is similar to that of Yama.
Its walls and arches are all of pure white. It hath been built by
Viswakarma (the celestial architect) within the waters. It is surrounded
on all sides by many celestial trees made of gems and jewels and yielding
excellent fruits and flowers. And many plants with their weight of
blossoms, blue and yellow, and black and darkish, and white and red, that
stand there, or excellent bowers around. Within those bowers hundreds and
thousands of birds of diverse species, beautiful and variegated, always
pour forth their melodies. The atmosphere of that mansion is extremely
delightful, neither cold nor hot. Owned by Varuna, that delightful
assembly house of pure white consists of many rooms and is furnished with
many seats. There sitteth Varuna attired in celestial robe, decked in
celestial ornaments and jewels, with his queen, adorned with celestial
scents and besmeared with paste of celestial fragrance. The Adityas wait
upon and worship the illustrious Varuna, the lord of the waters. And
Vasuki and Takshaka, and the Naga called Airavana; Krishna and Lohita;
Padma and Chitra endued with great energy; the Nagas called Kamvala and
Aswatara; and Dhritarashtra and Valahaka; Matimat and Kundadhara and
Karkotaka and Dhananjaya; Panimat and the mighty Kundaka, O lord of the
Earth; and Prahlada and Mushikada, and Janamejaya,--all having auspicious
marks and mandalas and extended hoods;--these and many other snakes. O
Yudhishthira, without anxiety of any kind, wait upon and worship the
illustrious Varuna. And, O king, Vali the son of Virochana, and Naraka
the subjugator of the whole Earth; Sanghraha and Viprachitti, and those
Danavas called Kalakanja; and Suhanu and Durmukha and Sankha and Sumanas
and also Sumati; and Ghatodara, and Mahaparswa, and Karthana and also
Pithara and Viswarupa, Swarupa and Virupa, Mahasiras; and Dasagriva,
Vali, and Meghavasas and Dasavara; Tittiva, and Vitabhuta, and Sanghrada,
and Indratapana--these Daityas and Danavas, all bedecked with ear-rings
and floral wreaths and crowns, and attired in the celestial robes, all
blessed with boons and possessed of great bravery, and enjoying
immortality, and all well of conduct and of excellent vows, wait upon and
worship in that mansion the illustrious Varuna, the deity bearing the
noose as his weapon. And, O king, there are also the four oceans, the
river Bhagirathee, the Kalindi, the Vidisa, the Venwa, the Narmada of
rapid current; the Vipasa, the Satadu, the Chandrabhaga, the Saraswati;
the Iravati, the Vitasta, the Sindhu, the Devanadi; the Godavari, the
Krishnavenwa and that queen of rivers the Kaveri; the Kimpuna, the
Visalya and the river Vaitarani also; the Tritiya, the Jeshthila, and the
great Sone (Soane); the Charmanwati and the great river Parnasa; the
Sarayu, the Varavatya, and that queen of rivers the Langali, the
Karatoya, the Atreyi, the red Mahanada, the Laghanti, the Gomati, the
Sandhya, and also the Trisrotasi--these and other rivers which are all
sacred and are world-renowned places of pilgrimage, as also other rivers
and sacred waters and lakes and wells and springs, and tanks, large or
small, in their personified form, O Bharata, wait upon and worship the
lord Varuna. The points of the heavens, the Earth, and all the Mountains,
as also every species of aquatic animals, all worship Varuna there. And
various tribes of Gandharvas and Apsaras, devoted to music, both vocal
and instrumental, wait upon Varuna, singing eulogistic hymns unto him.
And all those mountains that are noted for being both delightful and rich
in jewels, wait (in their personified forms) in that Sabha, enjoying
sweet converse with one another. And the chief minister of Varuna,
Sunabha by name, surrounded by his sons and grandsons, also attend upon
his master, along with (the personified form) of a sacred water calle
PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:40:56 PM

who's got the cat nipple?
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:41:18 PM

The Mahabharata


Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa



Translated into English Prose from the Original Sanskrit Text


Kisari Mohan Ganguli


Scanned at sacred-texts.com, 2003. Proofed at Distributed Proofing,
Juliet Sutherland, Project Manager. Additional proofing and formatting at
sacred-texts.com, by J. B. Hare.


(Aranyaka Parva)

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

"Janamejaya said, 'O thou foremost of regenerate ones, deceitfully
defeated at dice by the sons of Dhritarashtra and their counsellors,
incensed by those wicked ones that thus brought about a fierce animosity,
and addressed in language that was so cruel, what did the Kuru princes,
my ancestors--the sons of Pritha--(then) do? How also did the sons of
Pritha, equal unto Sakra in prowess, deprived of affluence and suddenly
over whelmed with misery, pass their days in the forest? Who followed the
steps of those princes plunged in excess of affliction? And how did those
high souled ones bear themselves and derive their sustenance, and where
did they put up? And, O illustrious ascetic and foremost of Brahmanas,
how did those twelve years (of exile) of those warriors who were slayers
of foes, pass away in the forest? And undeserving of pain, how did that
princess, the best of her sex, devoted to her husbands, eminently
virtuous, and always speaking the truth, endure that painful exile in the
forest? O thou of ascetic wealth tell me all this in detail, for, O
Brahmana, I desire to hear thee narrate the history of those heroes
possessed of abundant prowess and lustre. Truly my curiosity is great.'

"Vaisampayana said, 'Thus defeated at dice and incensed by the wicked
sons of Dhritarashtra and their counsellors, the sons of Pritha set out
from Hastinapura. And issuing through Vardhamana gate of the city, the
Pandavas bearing their weapons and accompanied by Draupadi set out in a
northernly direction. Indrasena and others, with servants numbering
altogether fourteen, with their wives, followed them on swift cars. And
the citizens learning of their departure became overwhelmed with sorrow,
and began to censure Bhishma and Vidura and Drona and Gautama. And having
met together they thus addressed one another fearlessly.

'Alas, our families, we ourselves, and our homes are all gone, when the
wicked Duryodhana, backed by the son of Suvala, by Karna and Dussasana,
aspireth to this kingdom. And, Oh, our families, our (ancestral) usages,
our virtue and prosperity, are all doomed where this sinful wretch
supported by wretches as sinful aspireth to the kingdom! And, Oh, how can
happiness be there where these are not! Duryodhana beareth malice towards
all superiors, hath taken leave of good conduct, and quarreleth with
those that are near to him in blood. Covetous and vain and mean, he is
cruel by nature. The whole earth is doomed when Duryodhana becometh its
ruler. Thither, therefore, let us proceed whither the merciful and
high-minded sons of Pandu with passions under control and victorious over
foes, and possessed of modesty and renown, and devoted to pious
practices, repair!'

"Vaisampayana said, 'And saying this, the citizens went after the
Pandavas, and having met them, they all, with joined hands, thus
addressed the sons of Kunti and Madri.

'Blest be ye! Where will ye go, leaving us in grief? We will follow you
whithersoever ye will go! Surely have we been distressed upon learning
that ye have been deceitfully vanquished by relentless enemies! It
behoveth you not to forsake us that are your loving subjects and devoted
friends always seeking your welfare and employed in doing what is
agreeable to you! We desire not to be overwhelmed in certain destruction
living in the dominions of the Kuru king. Ye bulls among men, listen as
we indicate the merits and demerits springing respectively from
association with what is good and bad! As cloth, water, the ground, and
sesame seeds are perfumed by association with flowers, even so are
qualities ever the product of association. Verily association with fools
produceth an illusion that entangleth the mind, as daily communion with
the good and the wise leadeth to the practice of virtue. Therefore, they
that desire emancipation should associate with those that are wise and
old and honest and pure in conduct and possessed of ascetic merit. They
should be waited upon whose triple possessions, viz., knowledge (of the
Vedas), origin and acts, are all pure, and association with them is even
superior to (the study of the) scriptures. Devoid of the religious acts
as we are, we shall yet reap religious merit by association with the
righteous, as we should come by sin by waiting upon the sinful. The very
sight and touch of the dishonest, and converse and association with them;
cause diminution of virtue, and men (that are doomed to these), never
attain purity of mind. Association with the base impaireth the
understanding, as, indeed, with the indifferent maketh it indifferent,
while communion with the good ever exalteth it. All those attributes
which are spoken of in the world as the sources of religious merit, of
worldly prosperity and sensual pleasures, which are regarded by the
people, extolled in the Vedas, and approved by the well-behaved, exist in
you, separately and jointly! Therefore, desirous of our own welfare, we
wish to live amongst you who possess those attributes!

"Yudhishthira said, 'Blessed are we since the people with the Brahmanas
at their head, moved by affection and compassion credit us with merits we
have not. I, however, with my brothers, would ask all of you to do one
thing. Ye should not, through affection and pity for us, act otherwise!
Our grandfather Bhishma, the king (Dhritarashtra), Vidura, my mother and
most of my well-wishers, are all in the city of Hastinapura. Therefore,
if ye are minded to seek our welfare, cherish ye them with care, uniting
together as they are overwhelmed with sorrow and afflictions. Grieved at
our departure, ye have come far! Go ye back, and let your hearts be
directed with tenderness towards the relatives I entrust to you as
pledges! This, of all others, is the one act upon which my heart is set,
and by doing this ye would give me great satisfaction and pay me your
best regards!

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Thus exhorted by Yudhishthira the just, the
people in a body set up a loud wail exclaiming,--Alas, O king! And
afflicted and overwhelmed with sorrow on remembering the virtues of
Pritha's son, they unwillingly retraced their steps asking leave of the

'The citizens having ceased to follow, the Pandavas ascended their cars,
and setting out reached (the site of) the mighty banian tree called
Pramana on the banks of the Ganges. And reaching the site of the banian
tree about the close of the day, the heroic sons of Pandu purified
themselves by touching the sacred water, and passed the night there. And
afflicted with woe they spent that night taking water alone as their sole
sustenance. Certain Brahmanas belonging to both classes, viz., those that
maintained the sacrificial fire and those that maintained it not, who
had, with their disciples and relatives, out of affection followed the
Pandavas thither also passed the night with them. And surrounded by those
utterers of Brahma, the king shone resplendent in their midst. And that
evening, at once beautiful and terrible, those Brahmanas having lighted
their (sacred) fires, began to chant the Vedas and hold mutual converse.
And those foremost of Brahmanas, with swan-sweet voices spent the night,
comforting that best of Kurus--the king."


"Vaisampayana said, 'When that night passed away and day broke in, those
Brahmamas who supported themselves by mendicancy, stood before the
Pandavas of exalted deeds, who were about to enter the forest. Then king
Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, addressed them, saying, "Robbed of our
prosperity and kingdom, robbed of everything, we are about to enter the
deep woods in sorrow, depending for our food on fruits and roots, and the
produce of the chase. The forest too is full of dangers, and abounds with
reptiles and beasts of prey. It appeareth to me that ye will certainly
have to suffer much privation and misery there. The sufferings of the
Brahmanas might overpower even the gods. That they would overwhelm me is
too certain. Therefore, O Brahmana, go ye back whithersoever ye list!'

"The Brahmanas replied, 'O king, our path is even that on which ye are
for setting out! It behoveth thee not, therefore, to forsake us who are
thy devoted admirers practising the true religion! The very gods have
compassion upon their worshippers,--specially upon Brahmanas of regulated

"Yudhishthira said, 'We regenerate ones, I too am devoted to the
Brahmanas! But this destitution that hath overtaken me overwhelmed me
with confusion! These my brothers that are to procure fruits and roots
and the deer (of the forest) are stupefied with grief arising from their
afflictions and on account of the distress of Draupadi and the loss of
our kingdom! Alas, as they are distressed, I cannot employ them in
painful tasks!'

"The Brahmanas said, 'Let no anxiety, O king, in respect of our
maintenance, find a place in thy heart! Ourselves providing our own food,
we shall follow thee, and by meditation and saying our prayers we shall
compass thy welfare while by pleasant converse we shall entertain thee
and be cheered ourselves.'

"Yudhishthira said, 'Without doubt, it must be as ye say, for I am ever
pleased with the company of the regenerate ones! But my fallen condition
maketh me behold in myself an object of reproach! How shall I behold you
all, that do not deserve to bear trouble, out of love for me painfully
subsisting upon food procured by your own toil? Oh, fie upon the wicked
sons of Dhritarashtra!'

"Vaisampayana continued. 'Saying this, the weeping king sat himself down
upon the ground. Then a learned Brahmana, Saunaka by name versed in
self-knowledge and skilled in the Sankhya system of yoga, addressed the
king, saying, 'Causes of grief by thousands, and causes of fear by
hundreds, day after day, overwhelm the ignorant but not the wise. Surely,
sensible men like thee never suffer themselves to be deluded by acts that
are opposed to true knowledge, fraught with every kind of evil, and
destructive of salvation. O king, in thee dwelleth that understanding
furnished with the eight attributes which is said to be capable of
providing against all evils and which resulteth from a study of the Sruti
(Vedas) and scriptures! And men like unto thee are never stupefied, on
the accession of poverty or an affliction overtaking their friends,
through bodily or mental uneasiness! Listen, I shall tell the slokas
which were chanted of old by the illustrious Janaka touching the subject
of controlling the self! This world is afflicted with both bodily and
mental suffering. Listen now to the means of allaying it as I indicate
them both briefly and in detail. Disease, contact with painful things,
toil and want of objects desired.--these are the four causes that induce
bodily suffering. And as regards disease, it may be allayed by the
application of medicine, while mental ailments are cured by seeking to
forget them yoga-meditation. For this reason, sensible physicians first
seek to allay the mental sufferings of their patients by agreeable
converse and the offer of desirable objects And as a hot iron bar thrust
into a jar maketh the water therein hot, even so doth mental grief bring
on bodily agony. And as water quencheth fire, so doth true knowledge
allay mental disquietude. And the mind attaining ease, the body findeth
ease also. It seemeth that affection is the root of all mental sorrow. It
is affection that maketh every creature miserable and bringeth on every
kind of woe. Verily affection is the root of all misery and of all fear,
of joy and grief of every kind of pain. From affection spring all
purposes, and it is from affection that spring the love of worldly goods!
Both of these (latter) are sources of evil, though the first (our
purposes) is worse than the second. And as (a small portion of) fire
thrust into the hollow of a tree consumeth the tree itself to its roots,
even so affection, ever so little, destroyeth both virtue and profit. He
cannot be regarded to have renounced the world who hath merely withdrawn
from worldly possessions. He, however, who though in actual contact with
the world regardeth its faults, may be said to have truly renounced the
world. Freed from every evil passion, soul dependent on nothing with such
a one hath truly renounced the world. Therefore, should no one seek to
place his affections on either friends or the wealth he hath earned. And
so should affection for one's own person be extinguished by knowledge.
Like the lotus-leaf that is never drenched by water, the souls of men
capable of distinguishing between the ephemeral and the everlasting, of
men devoted to the pursuit of the eternal, conversant with the scriptures
and purified by knowledge, can never be moved by affection. The man that
is influenced by affection is tortured by desire; and from the desire
that springeth up in his heart his thirst for worldly possessions
increaseth. Verily, this thirst is sinful and is regarded as the source
of all anxieties. It is this terrible thirst, fraught with sin that
leaneth unto unrighteous acts. Those find happiness that can renounce
this thirst, which can never be renounced by the wicked, which decayeth
not with the decay of the body, and which is truly a fatal disease! It
hath neither beginning nor end. Dwelling within the heart, it destroyeth
creatures, like a fire of incorporeal origin. And as a faggot of wood is
consumed by the fire that is fed by itself, even so doth a person of
impure soul find destruction from the covetousness born of his heart. And
as creatures endued with life have ever a dread of death, so men of
wealth are in constant apprehension of the king and the thief, of water
and fire and even of their relatives. And as a morsel of meat, if in air,
may be devoured by birds; if on ground by beasts of prey; and if in water
by the fishes; even so is the man of wealth exposed to dangers wherever
he may be. To many the wealth they own is their bane, and he that
beholding happiness in wealth becometh wedded to it, knoweth not true
happiness. And hence accession of wealth is viewed as that which
increaseth covetousness and folly. Wealth alone is the root of
niggardliness and boastfulness, pride and fear and anxiety! These are the
miseries of men that the wise see in riches! Men undergo infinite
miseries in the acquisition and retention of wealth. Its expenditure also
is fraught with grief. Nay, sometimes, life itself is lost for the sake
of wealth! The abandonment of wealth produces misery, and even they that
are cherished by one's wealth become enemies for the sake of that wealth!
When, therefore, the possession of wealth is fraught with such misery,
one should not mind its loss. It is the ignorant alone who are
discontented. The wise, however, are always content. The thirst of wealth
can never be assuaged. Contentment is the highest happiness; therefore,
it is, that the wise regard contentment as the highest object of pursuit.
The wise knowing the instability of youth and beauty, of life and
treasure-hoards, of prosperity and the company of the loved ones, never
covet them. Therefore, one should refrain from the acquisition of wealth,
bearing the pain incident to it. None that is rich free from trouble, and
it is for this that the virtuous applaud them that are free from the
desire of wealth. And as regards those that pursue wealth for purposes of
virtue, it is better for them to refrain altogether from such pursuit,
for, surely, it is better not to touch mire at all than to wash it off
after having been besmeared with it. And, O Yudhishthira, it behoveth
thee not to covet anything! And if thou wouldst have virtue, emancipate
thyself from desire of worldly possessions!'

"Yudhishthira said, 'O Brahmana, this my desire of wealth is not for
enjoying it when obtained. It is only for the support of the Brahmanas
that I desire it and not because I am actuated by avarice! For what
purpose, O Brahmana, doth one like us lead a domestic life, if he cannot
cherish and support those that follow him? All creatures are seen to
divide the food (they procure) amongst those that depend on them.[1] So
should a person leading a domestic life give a share of his food to Yatis
and Brahmacharins that have renounced cooking for themselves. The houses
of the good men can never be in want of grass (for seat), space (for
rest), water (to wash and assuage thirst), and fourthly, sweet words. To
the weary a bed,--to one fatigued with standing, a seat,--to the thirsty,
water,--and to the hungry, food should ever be given. To a guest are due
pleasant looks and a cheerful heart and sweet words. The host, rising up,
should advance towards the guest, offer him a seat, and duly worship him.
Even this is eternal morality. They that perform not the Agnihotra[2] not
wait upon bulls, nor cherish their kinsmen and guests and friends and
sons and wives and servants, are consumed with sin for such neglect. None
should cook his food for himself alone and none should slay an animal
without dedicating it to the gods, the pitris, and guests. Nor should one
eat of that food which hath not been duly dedicated to the gods and
pitris. By scattering food on the earth, morning and evening, for (the
behoof of) dogs and Chandalas and birds, should a person perform the
Viswedeva sacrifice.[3] He that eateth the Vighasa, is regarded as eating
ambrosia. What remaineth in a sacrifice after dedication to the gods and
the pitris is regarded as ambrosia; and what remaineth after feeding the
guest is called Vighasa and is equivalent to ambrosia itself. Feeding a
guest is equivalent to a sacrifice, and the pleasant looks the host
casteth upon the guest, the attention he devoteth to him, the sweet words
in which he addresseth him, the respect he payeth by following him, and
the food and drink with which he treateth him, are the five Dakshinas[4]
in that sacrifice. He who giveth without stint food to a fatigued
wayfarer never seen before, obtaineth merit that is great, and he who
leading a domestic life, followeth such practices, acquireth religious
merit that is said to be very great. O Brahmana, what is thy opinion on

"Saunaka said, 'Alas, this world is full of contradictions! That which
shameth the good, gratifieth the wicked! Alas, moved by ignorance and
passion and slaves of their own senses, even fools perform many acts of
(apparent merit) to gratify in after-life their appetites! With eyes open
are these men led astray by their seducing senses, even as a charioteer,
who hath lost his senses, by restive and wicked steeds! When any of the
six senses findeth its particular object, the desire springeth up in the
heart to enjoy that particular object. And thus when one's heart
proceedeth to enjoy the objects of any particular sense a wish is
entertained which in its turn giveth birth to a resolve. And finally,
like unto an insect falling into a flame from love of light, the man
falleth into the fire of temptation, pierced by the shafts of the object
of enjoyment discharged by the desire constituting the seed of the
resolve! And thenceforth blinded by sensual pleasure which he seeketh
without stint, and steeped in dark ignorance and folly which he mistaketh
for a state of happiness, he knoweth not himself! And like unto a wheel
that is incessantly rolling, every creature, from ignorance and deed and
desire, falleth into various states in this world, wandering from one
birth to another, and rangeth the entire circle of existences from a
Brahma to the point of a blade of grass, now in water, now on land, and
now against in the air!

'This then is the career of those that are without knowledge. Listen now
to the course of the wise they that are intent on profitable virtue, and
are desirous of emancipation! The Vedas enjoin act but renounce (interest
in) action. Therefore, shouldst thou act, renouncing Abhimana,[5]
performance of sacrifices, study (of the Vedas), gifts, penance, truth
(in both speech and act), forgiveness, subduing the senses, and
renunciation of desire,--these have been declared to be the eight
(cardinal) duties constituting the true path. Of these, the four first
pave the way to the world of the pitris. And these should be practised
without Abhimana. The four last are always observed by the pious, to
attain the heaven of the gods. And the pure in spirit should ever follow
these eight paths. Those who wish to subdue the world for purpose of
salvation, should ever act fully renouncing motives, effectually subduing
their senses, rigidly observing particular vows, devotedly serving their
preceptors, austerely regulating their fare, diligently studying the
Vedas, renouncing action as mean and restraining their hearts. By
renouncing desire and aversion the gods have attained prosperity. It is
by virtue of their wealth of yoga[6] that the Rudras, and the Sadhyas,
and the Adityas and the Vasus, and the twin Aswins, rule the creatures.
Therefore, O son of Kunti, like unto them, do thou, O Bharata, entirely
refraining from action with motive, strive to attain success in yoga and
by ascetic austerities. Thou hast already achieved such success so far as
thy debts to thy ancestors, both male and female concerned, and that
success also which is derived from action (sacrifices). Do thou, for
serving the regenerate ones endeavour to attain success in penances.
Those that are crowned with ascetic success, can, by virtue of that
success, do whatever they list; do thou, therefore, practising asceticism
realise all thy wishes."


"Vaisampayana said, 'Yudhishthira the son of Kunti, thus addressed by
Saunaka, approached his priest and in the midst of his brothers said,
'The Brahmanas versed in the Vedas are following me who am departing for
the forest. Afflicted with many calamities I am unable to support them. I
cannot abandon them, nor have I the power to offer them sustenance: Tell
me, O holy one, what should be done by me in such a pass.'

"Vaisampayana said, 'After reflecting for a moment seeking to find out
the (proper) course by his yoga powers, Dhaumya, that foremost of all
virtuous men, addressed Yudhishthira, in these words, 'In days of old,
all living beings that had been created were sorely afflicted with
hunger. And like a father (unto all of them), Savita (the sun) took
compassion upon them. And going first into the northern declension, the
sun drew up water by his rays, and coming back to the southern
declension, stayed over the earth, with his heat centered in himself. And
while the sun so stayed over the earth, the lord of the vegetable world
(the moon), converting the effects of the solar heat (vapours) into
clouds and pouring them down in the shape of water, caused plants to
spring up. Thus it is the sun himself, who, drenched by the lunar
influence, is transformed, upon the sprouting of seeds, into holy
vegetable furnished with the six tastes. And it is these which constitute
the food of all creatures upon the earth. Thus the food that supporteth
the lives of creatures is instinct with solar energy, and the sun is,
therefore, the father of all creatures. Do thou, hence, O Yudhishthira,
take refuge even in him. All illustrious monarchs of pure descent and
deeds are known to have delivered their people by practising high
asceticism. The great Karttavirya, and Vainya and Nahusha, had all, by
virtue of ascetic meditation preceded by vows, delivered their people
from heavy afflictions. Therefore, O virtuous one, as thou art purified
by the acts do thou likewise, entering upon a file of austerities. O
Bharata, virtuously support the regenerate ones.'

"Janamejaya said, 'How did that bull among the Kurus, king Yudhishthira,
for the sake of the Brahmanas adore the sun of wonderful appearance?"

"Vaisampayana said, 'Listen attentively, O king, purifying thyself and
withdrawing thy mind from every other thing. And, O king of kings,
appoint thou a time. I will tell thee everything in detail, And, O
illustrious one, listen to the one hundred and eight names (of the sun)
as they were disclosed of old by Dhaumya to the high-souled son of
Pritha. Dhaumya said, 'Surya, Aryaman, Bhaga, Twastri, Pusha, Arka,
Savitri. Ravi,

Gabhastimat, Aja, Kala, Mrityu, Dhatri, Prabhakara, Prithibi, Apa, Teja,
Kha, Vayu, the sole stay, Soma, Vrihaspati, Sukra, Budha, Angaraka,
Indra, Vivaswat, Diptanshu, Suchi, Sauri, Sanaichara, Brahma, Vishnu,
Rudra, Skanda, Vaisravana, Yama, Vaidyutagni, Jatharagni, Aindhna,
Tejasampati, Dharmadhwaja, Veda-karttri, Vedanga, Vedavahana, Krita,
Treta, Dwapara, Kali, full of every impurity, Kala, Kastha, Muhurtta,
Kshapa, Yama, and Kshana; Samvatsara-kara, Aswattha, Kalachakra,
Bibhavasu, Purusha, Saswata, Yogin, Vyaktavyakta, Sanatana, Kaladhyaksha,
Prajadhyaksha, Viswakarma, Tamounda, Varuna, Sagara, Ansu, Jimuta,
Jivana, Arihan, Bhutasraya, Bhutapati, Srastri, Samvartaka, Vanhi,
Sarvadi, Alolupa, Ananta, Kapila, Bhanu, Kamada, Sarvatomukha, Jaya,
Visala, Varada, Manas, Suparna, Bhutadi, Sighraga, Prandharana,
Dhanwantari, Dhumaketu, Adideva, Aditisuta, Dwadasatman, Aravindaksha,
Pitri, Matri, Pitamaha, Swarga-dwara, Prajadwara, Mokshadwara,
Tripistapa, Dehakarti, Prasantatman, Viswatman, Viswatomukha,
Characharatman, Sukhsmatman, the merciful Maitreya. These are the hundred
and eight names of Surya of immeasurable energy, as told by the
self-create (Brahma). For the acquisition of prosperity, I bow down to
thee, O Bhaskara, blazing like unto gold or fire, who is worshipped of
the gods and the Pitris and the Yakshas, and who is adored by Asuras,
Nisacharas, and Siddhas. He that with fixed attention reciteth this hymn
at sunrise, obtaineth wife and offspring and riches and the memory of his
former existence, and by reciting this hymn a person attaineth patience
and memory. Let a man concentrating his mind, recite this hymn. By doing
so, he shall be proof against grief and forest-fire and ocean and every
object of desire shall be his.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Having heard from Dhaumya these words suitable
to the occasion, Yudhishthira the just, with heart concentrated within
itself and purifying it duly, became engaged in austere meditation, moved
by the desire of supporting the Brahmanas. And worshipping the maker of
day with offerings of flowers and other articles, the king performed his
ablutions. And standing in the stream, he turned his face towards the god
of day. And touching the water of the Ganges the virtuous Yudhishthira
with senses under complete control and depending upon air alone for his
sustenance, stood there with rapt soul engaged in pranayama.[7] And
having purified himself and restrained his speech, he began to sing the
hymn of praise (to the sun).'

'Yudhishthira said, "Thou art, O sun, the eye of the universe. Thou art
the soul of all corporeal existences. Thou art the origin of all things.
Thou art the embodiment of the acts of all religious men. Thou art the
refuge of those versed in the Sankhya philosophy (the mysteries of the
soul), and thou art the support of the Yogins. Thou art a door unfastened
with bolts. Thou art the refuge of those wishing for emancipation. Thou
sustainest and discoverest the world, and sanctifiest and supportest it
from pure compassion. Brahmanas versed in the Vedas appearing before
thee, adore thee in due time, reciting the hymns from the respective
branches (of the Vedas) they refer. Thou art the adored of the Rishis.
The Siddhas, and the Charanas and the Gandharvas and the Yakshas, and the
Guhyakas, and the Nagas, desirous of obtaining boons follow thy car
coursing through the skies. The thirty-three gods[8] with Upendra
(Vishnu) and Mahendra, and the order of Vaimanikas[9] have attained
success by worshipping thee. By offering thee garlands of the celestial
Mandaras[10] the best of the Vidyadharas have obtained all their desires.
The Guhyas and the seven orders of the Pitris--both divine and
human--have attained superiority by adoring thee alone. The Vasus, the
Manilas, and the Rudras, the Sadhyas, the Marichipas, the Valikhilyas,
and the Siddhas, have attained pre-eminence by bowing down unto thee.
There is nothing that I know in the entire seven worlds, including that
of Brahma which is beyond thee. There are other beings both great and
endued with energy; but none of them hath thy lustre and energy. All
light is in thee, indeed, thou art the lord of all light. In thee are the
(five) elements and all intelligence, and knowledge and asceticism and
the ascetic properties.[11] The discus by which the wielder of the
Saranga[12] humbleth the pride of Asuras and which is furnished with a
beautiful nave, was forged by Viswakarman with thy energy. In summer thou
drawest, by thy rays, moisture from all corporeal existences and plants
and liquid substances, and pourest it down in the rainy season. Thy rays
warm and scorch, and becoming as clouds roar and flash with lightning and
pour down showers when the season cometh. Neither fire nor shelter, nor
woolen cloths give greater comfort to one suffering from chilling blasts
than thy rays. Thou illuminest by thy rays the whole Earth with her
thirteen islands. Thou alone are engaged in the welfare of the three
worlds. If thou dost not rise, the universe becometh blind and the
learned cannot employ themselves in the attainment of virtue, wealth and
profit. It is through thy grace that the (three) orders of Brahmanas,
Kshatriyas and Vaisyas are able to perform their various duties and
sacrifices.[13] Those versed in chronology say that thou art the
beginning and thou the end of a day of Brahma, which consisteth of a full
thousand Yugas. Thou art the lord of Manus and of the sons of the Manus,
of the universe and of man, of the Manwantaras, and their lords. When the
time of universal dissolution cometh, the fire Samvartaka born of thy
wrath consumeth the three worlds and existeth alone And clouds of various
hues begotten of thy rays, accompanied by the elephant Airavata and the
thunderbolt, bring about the appointed deluges. And dividing thyself into
twelve parts and becoming as many suns, thou drinkest up the ocean once
more with thy rays. Thou art called Indra, thou art Vishnu, thou art
Brahma, thou art Prajapati. Thou art fire and thou art the subtle mind.
And thou art lord and the eternal Brahma. Thou art Hansa, thou art
Savitri, thou art Bhanu, Ansumalin, and Vrishakapi. Thou art Vivaswan,
Mihira, Pusha, Mitra, and Dharma. Thou art thousand-rayed, thou art
Aditya, and Tapana, and the lord of rays. Thou art Martanda, and Arka,
and Ravi, and Surya and Saranya and maker of day, and Divakara and
Suptasaspti, and Dhumakeshin and Virochana. Thou art spoken of as swift
of speed and the destroyer of darkness, and the possessor of yellow
steeds. He that reverentially adoreth thee on the sixth or the seventh
lunar day with humility and tranquillity of mind, obtaineth the grace of
Lakshmi. They that with undivided attention adore and worship thee, are
delivered from all dangers, agonies, and afflictions. And they that hold
that thou art everywhere (being the soul of all things) living long,
freed from sin and enjoying an immunity from all diseases. O lord of all
food, it behoveth thee to grant food in abundance unto me who am desirous
of food even for entertaining all my guests with reverence. I bow also to
all those followers of thine that have taken refuge at thy feet--Mathara
and Aruna and Danda and others, including Asani and Kshuva and the
others. And I bow also to the celestial mothers of all creatures, viz.,
Kshuva and Maitri and the others of the class. O, let them deliver me
their supplient.'

"Vaisampayana said, 'Thus, O great king, was the sun that purifier of the
world, adored (by Yudhishthira). And pleased with the hymn, the maker of
day, self-luminous, and blazing like fire showed himself to the son of
Pandu. And Vivaswan said, 'Thou shall obtain all that thou desirest. I
shall provide thee with food for five and seven years together. And, O
king, accept this copper-vessel which I give unto thee. And, O thou of
excellent vows, as long as Panchali will hold this vessel, without
partaking of its contents fruits and roots and meat and vegetables cooked
in thy kitchen, these four kinds of food shall from this day be
inexhaustible. And, on the fourteenth year from this, thou shall regain
thy kingdom.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Having said this, the god vanished away. He
that, with the desire of obtaining a boon, reciteth this hymn
concentrating his mind with ascetic abstraction, obtaineth it from the
sun, however difficult of acquisition it may be that he asketh for. And
the person, male or female, that reciteth or heareth this hymn day after
day, if he or she desireth for a son, obtaineth one, and if riches,
obtaineth them, and if learning acquireth that too. And the person male
or female, that reciteth this hymn every day in the two twilights, if
overtaken by danger, is delivered from it, and if bound, is freed from
the bonds. Brahma himself had communicated this hymn to the illustrious
Sakra, and from Sakra was it obtained by Narada and from Narada, by
Dhaumya. And Yudhishthira, obtaining it from Dhaumya, attained all his
wishes. And it is by virtue of this hymn that one may always obtain
victory in war, and acquire immense wealth also. And it leadeth the
reciter from all sins, to the solar region.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Having obtained the boon, the virtuous son of
Kunti, rising from the water, took hold of Dhaumya's feet and then
embraced his brother's. And, O exalted one, wending then with Draupadi to
the kitchen, and adored by her duly, the son of Pandu set himself to cook
(their day's) food. And the clean food, however little, that was dressed,
furnished with the four tastes, increased and became inexhaustible. And
with it Yudhishthira began to feed the regenerate ones. And after the
Brahmanas had been fed, and his younger brothers also, Yudhishthira
himself ate of the food that remained, and which is called Vighasa. And
after Yudhishthira had eaten, the daughter of Prishata took what
remained. And after she had taken her meal, the day's food became

'And having thus obtained the boon from the maker of day, the son of
Pandu, himself as resplendent as that celestial, began to entertain the
Brahmanas agreeably to their wishes. And obedient to their priest, the
sons of Pritha, on auspicious lunar days and constellations and
conjunctions, performed sacrifices according to the ordinance, the
scriptures, and the Mantras. After the sacrifices, the sons of Pandu,
blessed by the auspicious rites performed by Dhaumya and accompanied by
him, and surrounded also by the Brahmanas set out for the woods of


"Vaisampayana said,--"After the Pandavas had gone to the forest,
Dhritarashtra the son of Amvika, whose knowledge was his eye,[14] became
exceedingly sorrowful. And seated at his ease the king addressed these
words to the virtuous Vidura of profound intelligence, 'Thy understanding
is as clear as that of Bhargava.[15] Thou knowest also all the subtleties
or morality, and thou lookest on all the Kauravas with an equal eye. O,
tell me what is proper for me and them. O Vidura, things having thus
taken their course, what should we do now? How may I secure the goodwill
of the citizens so that they may not destroy us to the roots? O, tell us
all, since thou art conversant with every excellent expedient.'

"Vidura said, 'The three-fold purposes, O king (viz., profit, pleasure,
and salvation), have their foundations in virtue, and the sages say that
a kingdom also standeth on virtue as its basis. Therefore, O monarch,
according to the best of thy power, cherish thou virtuously thy own sons
and those of Pandu. That virtue had been beguiled by wicked souls with
Suvala's son at their head, when thy sons invited the righteous
Yudhishthira and defeated him in the match at dice. O king, of this deed
of utter iniquity I behold this expiation whereby, O chief of the Kurus,
thy son, freed from sin, may win back his position among good men. Let
the sons of Pandu, obtain that which was given unto them by thee. For,
verily, even this is the highest morality that a king should remain
content with his own, and never covet another's possessions. Thy good
name then would not suffer nor would family dissensions ensue, nor
unrighteousness be thine. This then is thy prime duty now,--to gratify
the Pandavas and disgrace Sakuni. If thou wishest to restore to thy sons
the good fortune they have lost, then, O king, do thou speedily adopt
this line of conduct. If thou dost not act so, the Kurus will surely meet
with destruction, for neither Bhimasena nor Arjuna, if angry, will leave
any of their foes unslain. What is there in the world which is
unattainable to those who cannot among their warriors Savyasachin skilled
in arms; who have the Gandiva, the most powerful of all weapons in the
world, for their bow; and who have amongst them the mighty Bhima also as
a warrior? Formerly, as soon as thy son was born, I told thee,--Forsake
thou this inauspicious child of thine. Herein lieth the good of thy
race.--But thou didst not then act accordingly. Nor also, O king, have I
pointed out to thee the way of thy welfare. If thou doest as I have
counselled, thou shalt not have to repent afterwards. If thy son consent
to reign in peace jointly with the sons of Pandu, passing thy days in joy
thou shalt not have to repent. Should it be otherwise, abandon thou thy
child for thy own happiness. Putting Duryodhana aside, do thou install
the son of Pandu in the sovereignty, and let, O king, Ajatasatru, free
from passion, rule the earth virtuously. All the kings of the earth,
then, like Vaisyas, will, without delay, pay homage unto us. And, O king,
let Duryodhana and Sakuni and Karna with alacrity wait upon the Pandavas.
And let Dussasana, in open court, ask forgiveness of Bhimasena and of the
daughter of Drupada also. And do thou pacify Yudhishthira by placing him
on the throne with every mark of respect. Asked by thee, what else can I
counsel thee to do? By doing this, O monarch, thou wouldst do what was

'Dhritarashtra said, 'These words, O Vidura, then thou hast spoken in
this assembly, with reference to the Pandavas and myself, are for their
good but not for ours. My mind doth not approve them. How hast thou
settled all this in thy mind now? When thou hast spoken all this on
behalf of the Pandavas, I perceive that thou art not friendly to me. How
can I abandon my son for the sake of the sons of Pandu? Doubtless they
are my sons, but Duryodhana is sprung from my body. Who then, speaking
with impartiality, will ever counsel me to renounce my own body for the
sake of others? O Vidura, all that thou sayest is crooked, although I
hold thee in high esteem. Stay or go as thou likest. However much may she
be humoured, an unchaste will forsaketh her husband.'

"Vaisampayana said, O king, saying this Dhritarashtra rose suddenly and
went into the inner apartments. And Vidura, saying 'This race is doomed'
went away to where the sons of Pritha were.'"


"Vaisampayana said, 'Desirous of living in the forest, those bulls of the
Bharata race, the Pandavas, with their followers, setting out from the
banks of the Ganges went to the field of Kurukshetra. And performing
their ablutions in the Saraswati, the Drisadwati and the Yamuna, they
went from one forest to another, travelling in an westernly direction.
And at length they saw before them the woods, Kamyaka, the favourite
haunt of Munis, situated by a level and wild plain on the banks of the
Saraswati. And in those woods, O Bharata, abounding in birds and deer,
those heroes began to dwell, entertained and comforted by the Munis. And
Vidura always longing to see the Pandavas, went in a single car to the
Kamyaka woods abounding in every good thing. And arriving at Kamyaka on a
car drawn by swift steeds, he saw Yudhishthira the just, sitting with
Draupadi at a retired spot, surrounded by his brothers and the Brahmanas.
And seeing Vidura approach from a distance with swift steps, the virtuous
king addressed brother, Bhimasena, saying, 'With what message doth
Kshatta come to us? Doth he come hither, despatched by Sakuni, to invite
us again to a game of dice? Doth the little-minded Sakuni intend to win
again our weapons at dice? O Bhimasena, challenged by any one addressing
me,--Come, I am unable to stay. And if our possession of the Gandiva
becomes doubtful, will not the acquisition of our kingdom also be so.'

"Vaisampayana said, 'O king, the Pandavas then rose up and welcomed
Vidura. And received by them, that descendant of the Ajamida line
(Vidura) sat in their midst and made the usual enquiries. And after
Vidura had rested awhile, those bulls among men asked him the reason of
his coming. And Vidura began to relate unto them in detail everything
connected with the bearing of Dhritarashtra the son of Amvika.'

"Vidura said, 'O Ajatasatru, Dhritarashtra called me, his dependant,
before him and honouring me duly said, 'Things have fared thus. Now, do
thou tell me what is good for the Pandavas as well as for me. I pointed
out what was beneficial to both the Kauravas and Dhritarashtra. But what
I said was not relished by him, nor could I hit upon any other course.
What I advised was, O Pandavas, highly beneficial, but the son of Amvika
heeded me not. Even as medicine recommendeth itself not to one that is
ill, so my words failed to please the king. And, O thou without a foe, as
all unchaste wile in the family of a man of pure descent cannot be
brought back to the path of virtue, so I failed to bring Dhritarashtra
back. Indeed, as a young damsel doth not like a husband of three score,
even so Dhritarashtra did not like my words. Surely, destruction will
overtake the Kuru race, surely Dhritarashtra will never acquire good
fortune. For, as water dropped on a lotus-leaf doth not remain there, my
counsels will fail to produce any effect to Dhritarashtra. The incensed
Dhritarashtra told me, O Bharata, go thou thither where thou likest Never
more shall I seek thy aid in ruling the earth or my capital,--O best of
monarchs, forsaken by king Dhritarashtra, I come to thee for tendering
good counsel. What I had said in the open court, I will now repeat unto
thee. Listen, and bear my words in mind,--that wise man who bearing all
the gross wrong heaped upon him by his enemies, patiently bideth his
time, and multiplieth his resources "even as men by degrees turn a small
fire: into a large one, ruleth alone this entire earth. He that (in
prosperity) enjoyeth his substance with his adherents findeth in them
sharers of his adversity,--this is the best means of securing adherents,
and it is said that he that hath adherents, winneth the sovereignty of
the world! And, O Pandava, divided thy prosperity with thy adherents,
behave truthfully towards them, and converse with them agreeably! Share
also your food with them! And never boast thyself in their presence! This
behaviour increaseth the prosperity of kings!'

"Yudhishthira said, 'Having recourse to such high intelligence,
undisturbed by passion, I will do as thou counsellest! And whatever else
thou mayst counsel in respect of time and place, I will carefully follow


"Vaisampayana said, 'O king, after Vidura had gone to the abode of the
Pandavas, Dhritarashtra, O Bharata, of profound wisdom, repented of his
action. And thinking of the great intelligence of Vidura in matters
connected with both war and peace, and also of the aggrandisement of the
Pandavas in the future, Dhritarashtra, pained at the recollection of
Vidura, having approached the door of the hall of state fell down
senseless in the presence of the monarchs (in waiting) And regaining
consciousness, the king rose from the ground and thus addressed Sanjaya
standing by, 'My brother and friend is even like the god of justice
himself! Recollecting him today, my heart burneth in grief! Go, bring
unto me without delay my brother well-versed in morality!' Saying this,
the monarch wept bitterly. And burning in repentance, and overwhelmed
with sorrow at the recollection of Vidura, the king, from brotherly
affection, again addressed Sanjaya saying, 'O Sanjaya, go thou and
ascertain whether my brother, expelled by my wretched self through anger,
liveth still! That wise brother of mine of immeasurable intelligence hath
never been guilty of even the slightest transgression, but, on the other
hand, he it is who hath come by grievous wrong at my hands! Seek him, O
wise one, and bring him hither; else, O Sanjaya, I will lay down my life!"

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Hearing these words of the king, Sanjaya
expressed his approbation, and saying 'So be it,' went in the direction
of the Kamyaka woods. And arriving without loss of time at the forest
where the sons of Pandu dwelt, he beheld Yudhishthira clad in deer-skin,
seated with Vidura, in the midst of Brahmanas by thousands and guarded by
his brothers, even like Purandara in the midst of the celestials! And
approaching Yudhishthira, Sanjaya worshipped him duly and was received
with due respect by Bhima and Arjuna and the twins. And Yudhishthira made
the usual enquiries about his welfare and when he had been seated at his
ease, he disclosed the reason of his visit, in these words, 'King
Dhritarashtra, the son of Amvika, hath, O Kshatta! remembered thee!
Returning unto him without loss of time, do thou revive the king! And, O
thou best of men, with the permission of these Kuru princes--these
foremost of men--it behoveth thee, at the command of that lion among
kings, to return unto him!

Vaisampayana continued, 'Thus addressed by Sanjaya, the intelligent
Vidura, ever attached to his relatives, with the permission of
Yudhishthira returned to the city named after the elephant. And after he
had approached the king, Dhritarashtra of great energy, the son of
Amvika, addressed him, saying, 'From my good luck alone, O Vidura, thou,
O sinless one, of conversant with morality, hast come here remembering
me! And, O thou bull of the Bharata race, in thy absence I was beholding
myself, sleepless through the day and the night, as one that hath been
lost on earth!' And the king then took Vidura on his lap and smelt his
head, and said, 'Forgive me, O sinless one, the words in which thou wert
addressed by me!' And Vidura said, 'O king, I have forgiven thee. Thou
art my superior, worthy of the highest reverence! Here am I, having come
back, eagerly wishing to behold thee! All virtuous men, O tiger among
men, are (instinctively) partial towards those that are distressed! This,
O king, is scarcely the result of deliberation! (My partiality to the
Pandavas proceedeth from this cause)! O Bharata, thy sons are as dear to
me as the sons of Pandu, but as the latter are now in distress, my heart
yearneth after them!

"Vaisampayana continued, 'And addressing each other thus in apologetic
speeches, the two illustrious brothers, Vidura and Dhritarashtra, felt
themselves greatly happy!'"


"Vaisampayana said, 'Hearing that Vidura had returned, and that the king
had consoled him, the evil-minded son of Dhritarashtra began to burn in
grief. His understanding clouded by ignorance, he summoned the son of
Suvala, and Karna and Dussasana, and addressed them saying, 'The learned
Vidura, the minister of the wise Dhritarashtra, hath returned! The friend
of the sons of Pandu, he is ever engaged in doing what is beneficial to
them. So long as this Vidura doth not succeed in inducing the king to
bring them back, do ye all think of what may benefit me! If ever I behold
the sons of Pritha return to the city, I shall again be emaciated by
renouncing food and drink, even though there be no obstacle in my path!
And I shall either take poison or hang myself, either enter the pyre or
kill myself with my own weapons. But I shall never be able to behold the
sons of Pandu in prosperity!

"Sakuni said, 'O king, O lord of the earth, what folly hath taken
possession of thee! The Pandavas have gone to the forest, having given a
particular pledge, so that what thou apprehendest can never take place! O
bull of the Bharata race, the Pandavas ever abide by the truth. They will
never, therefore, accept the words of thy father! If however, accepting
the commands of the king, they come back to the capital, violating their
vow, even this would be our conduct, viz., assuming, an aspect of
neutrality, and in apparent obedience to the will of the monarch, we will
closely watch the Pandavas, keeping our counsels!'

"Dussasana said, 'O uncle of great intelligence, it is even as thou
sayest! The words of wisdom thou utterest always recommend themselves to
me!'"Karna said, 'O Duryodhana, all of us seek to accomplish thy will
and, O king, I see that unanimity at present prevaileth among us! The
sons of Pandu, with passions under complete control, will never return
without passing away the promised period. If, however, they do return
from failing sense, do thou defeat them again at dice.'

"Vaisampayana said, 'Thus addressed by Karna, king Duryodhana with
cheerless heart, averted his face from his counsellors. Marking all this,
Karna expanding his beautiful eyes, and vehemently gesticulating in
anger, haughtily addressed Duryodhana and Dussasana and Suvala's son
saying, 'Ye princes, know ye my opinion! We are all servants of the king
(Duryodhana) waiting upon him with joined palms! We should, therefore, do
what is agreeable to him! But we are not always able to seek his welfare
with promptness and activity (owing to our dependence on Dhritarashtra)!
But let us now, encased in mail and armed with our weapons, mount our
cars and go in a body to slay the Pandavas now living in the forest!
After the Pandavas have been quieted and after they have gone on the
unknown journey, both ourselves and the sons of Dhritarashtra will find
peace! As long as they are in distress, as long as they are in sorrow, as
long as they are destitute of help, so long are we a match for them! This
is my mind!'

'Hearing those words of the charioteer's son, they repeatedly applauded
him, and at last exclaimed, 'Very well!' And saying this each of them
mounted his car, and sanguine of success, they rushed in a body to slay
the sons of Pandu. And knowing by his spiritual vision that they had gone
out, the master Krishna-Dwaipayana of pure soul came upon them, and
commanded them to desist. And sending them away, the holy one, worshipped
by all the worlds, quickly appeared before the king whose intelligence
served the purposes of eye-sight, and who was then seated (at his ease).
And the holy one addressed the monarch thus.'"


"Vyasa said, 'O wise Dhritarashtra, hear what I say! I will tell thee
that which is for the great good of all the Kauravas! O thou of mighty
arms, it hath not pleased me that the Pandavas have gone to the forest
dishonestly defeated (at dice) by Duryodhana and others! O Bharata, on
the expiration of the thirteenth year, recollecting all their woes, they
may shower death-dealing weapons, even like virulent poison, upon the
Kauravas! Why doth thy sinful son of wicked heart, ever inflamed with
ire, seek to slay the sons of Pandu for the sake of their kingdom? Let
the fool be restrained; let thy son remain quiet! In attempting to slay
the Pandavas in exile, he will only lose his own life. Thou art as honest
as the wise Vidura, or Bhishma, or ourselves, or Kripa, or Drona, O thou
of great wisdom, dissension with one's own kin are forbidden, sinful and
reprehensible! Therefore, O king, it behoveth thee to desist from such
acts! And, O Bharata, Duryodhana looketh with such jealousy towards the
Pandavas that great harm would be the consequence, if thou didst not
interfere. Or let this wicked son of thine, O monarch, along and
unaccompanied, himself go to the forest and live with the sons of Pandu.
For then, if the Pandavas, from association, feel an attachment for
Duryodhana, then, O king of men, good fortune may be thine. (This,
however, may not be)! For it hath been heard that one's congenital nature
leaveth him not till death. But what do Bhishma and Drona and Vidura
think? What also dost thou think? That which is beneficial should be done
while there is time, else thy purposes will be unrealised.'"


"Dhritarashtra said, 'O holy one, I did not like this business of
gambling, but, O Muni, I think, I was made to consent to it drawn by
fate! Neither Bhishma, nor Drona, nor Vidura, nor Gandhari liked this
game at dice. No doubt, it was begot of folly. And, O thou who delightest
in the observance of vows, O illustrious one, knowing everything yet
influenced by paternal affection, I am unable to cast off my senseless
son, Duryodhana!'

"Vyasa said, 'O king, O son of Vichitravirya, what thou sayest is true!
We know it well that a son is the best of all things and that there is
nothing that is so good as a son. Instructed by the tears of Suravi,
Indra came to know that the son surpasseth in worth other valuable
possessions. O monarch, I will, in this connection, relate to thee that
excellent and best of stories, the conversation between Indra and Suravi.
In days of yore, Suravi, the mother of cows was once weeping in the
celestial regions. O child, Indra took compassion upon her, and asked
her, saying, 'O auspicious one! why dost thou weep? Is everything well
with the celestials? Hath any misfortune, ever so little, befallen the
world of men or serpents?' Suravi replied, 'No evil hath befallen thee
that I perceive. But I am aggrieved on account of my son, and it is
therefore, O Kausika, that I weep! See, O chief of the celestials, yonder
cruel husbandman is belabouring my weak son with the wooden stick, and
oppressing him with the (weight of the) plough, in consequence of which
my child agitated with agony is falling upon the ground and is at the
point of death. At sight of this, O lord of the celestials, I am filled
with compassion, and my mind is agitated! The one that is the stronger of
the pair is bearing his burthen of greater weight (with ease), but, O
Vasava, the other is lean, and weak and is a mass of veins and arteries!
He beareth his burthen with difficulty! And it is for him that I grieve.
See, O Vasava, sore inflicted with the whip, and harassed exceedingly, he
is unable to bear his burthen. And it is for him that, moved by grief, I
weep in heaviness of heart and these tears of compassion trickle down my

"Sakra said, 'O fair one, when thousands of thy son are (daily)
oppressed, why dost thou grieve for one under infliction?' Suravi
replied. 'Although I have a thousand offspring, yet my affections flow
equally towards all! But, O Sakra, I feel greater compassion for one that
is weak and innocent!'

"Vyasa continued, 'Then Indra having heard these words of Suravi, was
much surprised, and O thou of the Kuru race, he became convinced that a
son is dearer than one's life! And the illustrious chastiser of Paka
thereupon suddenly poured there a thick shower and caused obstruction to
the husbandman's work. And as Suravi said, thy affections, O king,
equally flow towards all thy sons. Let them be greater towards those that
are weak! And as my son Pandu is to me, so art thou, O son, and so also
Vidura of profound wisdom! It is out of affection that I tell you all
this! O Bharata, thou art possessed of a hundred and one sons, but Pandu
hath only five. And they are in a bad plight and passing their days in
sorrow. How may they save their lives, how may they thrive such thoughts
regarding the distressed sons of Pritha continually agitate my soul! O
king of the earth, if thou desirest all the Kauravas to live, let thy son
Duryodhana make peace with the Pandavas!'"


"Dhritarashtra said, 'O Muni of profound wisdom, it is even as thou
sayest! I know it well as do all these kings! Indeed, what thou
considerest 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 if
thou hast kindness for the Kurus, do thou exhort my wicked son

"Vyasa said, 'O king, after having seen the Pandava brothers, here cometh
the holy Rishi Maitreya, with the desire of seeing us. That mighty Rishi,
O king, will admonish thy son for the welfare of this race. And, O
Kauravya, what he adviseth must be followed undoubtingly, for if what he
recommendeth is not done, the sage will curse thy son in anger.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Saying this, Vyasa departed, and Maitreya made
his appearance. And the king with his son respectfully received that
way-worn chief of Munis, with offerings of the Arghya and other rites.
And king Dhritarashtra, the son of Amvika, in words of respect thus
addressed the sage, 'O holy one, hath journey from the Kuru-jangala been
a pleasant one? Are those heroes, the five Pandavas living happily? Do
those bulls of the Kuru race intend to stay out their time? Will the
brotherly affection of the Kauravas ever be impaired?'

"Maitreya said, 'Setting out on a pilgrimage to the different shrines, I
arrived at Kuru-jangala, and there I unexpectedly saw Yudhishthira the
just in the woods of Kamyaka. And, O exalted one, many Munis had come
there to behold the high-souled Yudhishthira, dwelling in an ascetic
asylum, clad in deer-skin and wearing matted locks. It was there, O king
of kings, that I heard of the grave error committed by thy sons and the
calamity and terrible danger arisen from dice that had overtaken them.
Therefore, it is that I have come to thee, for the good of the Kauravas,
since, O exalted one, my affection is great for thee and I am delighted
with thee! O king, it is not fit that thy sons should on any account
quarrel with one another, thyself and Bhishma living. Thou art, O king,
the stake at which bulls are tied (in treading cord), and thou art
competent to punish and reward! Why dost thou overlook then this great
evil that is about to overtake all? And, O descendant of the Kurus, for
those wrongs that have been perpetrated in thy court, which are even like
the acts of wretched outcasts, thou art not well-thought amongst the

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Then turning to the wrathful prince Duryodhana,
the illustrious Rishi Maitreya addressed him in these soft words, 'O
mighty-armed Duryodhana, O best of all eloquent men, O illustrious one,
give heed unto the words I utter for my good! O king, seek not to quarrel
with the Pandavas! And, O bull among men, compass thou thy own good as
also of the Pandavas, of the Kurus and of the world! All those tigers
among men are heroes of high prowess in war, gifted with the strength of
ten thousand elephants, with bodies hard as the thunderbolt, holding fast
by their promises, and proud of their manliness! they have slain the
enemies of the celestials--those Rakshasas capable of assuming any form
at will, such as were headed by Hidimva and Kirmira! When those
high-souled ones went from hence that Rakshasa of fierce soul obstructed
their nocturnal path even like an immoveable hill. And even as a tiger
slayeth a little deer, Bhima, that foremost of all endued with strength,
and ever delighted in fight, slew that monster. Consider also, O king,
how while out on his campaign of conquest, Bhima slew in battle that
mighty warrior, Jarasandha, possessing the strength of ten thousand
elephants. Related to Vasudeva and having the sons of king Drupada as
their brothers-in-law, who that is subject to decrepitude and death would
undertake to cope with them in battle? O bull of the Bharata race, let
there be peace between thee and Pandavas! Follow thou my counsels and
surrender not thyself to anger!

'O king, thus admonished by Maitreya, Duryodhana began to slap his thigh
resembling the trunk of the elephant, and smilingly began to scratch the
ground with his foot. And the wicked wretch spake not a word, but hung
down his head. And, O monarch, beholding Duryodhana thus offer him a
slight by scratching the earth silently, Maitreya became angry. And, as
if commissioned by fate, Maitreya, the best of Munis, overwhelmed by
wrath, set his mind upon cursing Duryodhana! And then, with eyes red in
anger, Maitreya, touching water, caused the evil-minded son of
Dhritarashtra, saying, 'Since, slighting me thou declinest to act
according to my words, thou shalt speedily reap the fruit of this thy
insolence! In the great war which shall spring out of the wrongs
perpetrated by thee, the mighty Bhima shall smash that thigh of thine
with a stroke of his mace!

'When the Muni had spoken so, king Dhritarashtra began to pacify the
sage, in order that what he had said might not happen. But Maitreya said,
'O king, if thy son concludeth peace with the Pandavas, this curse of
mine, O child, will not take effect, otherwise it must be as I have said!'

"Vaisampayana said, 'Desirous of ascertaining the might of Bhima, that
foremost of kings, the father of Duryodhana, then asked Maitreya,
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:41:40 PM

The Mahabharata


Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa



Translated into English Prose from the Original Sanskrit Text


Kisari Mohan Ganguli


Scanned at sacred-texts.com, 2003. Proofed at Distributed Proofing,
Juliet Sutherland, Project Manager. Additional proofing and formatting at
sacred-texts.com, by J. B. Hare.


(Pandava-Pravesa Parva)

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

Janamejaya said, "How did my great-grandfathers, afflicted with the fear
of Duryodhana, pass their days undiscovered in the city of Virata? And, O
Brahman, how did the highly blessed Draupadi, stricken with woe, devoted
to her lords, and ever adoring the Deity[1], spend her days unrecognised?"

Vaisampayana said, "Listen, O lord of men, how thy great grandfathers
passed the period of unrecognition in the city of Virata. Having in this
way obtained boons from the god of Justice, that best of virtuous men,
Yudhishthira, returned to the asylum and related unto the Brahmanas all
that had happened. And having related everything unto them, Yudhishthira
restored to that regenerate Brahmana, who had followed him the churning
staff and the fire-sticks he had lost. And, O Bharata, the son of the god
of Justice, the royal Yudhishthira of high soul then called together all
his younger brothers and addressed them, saying, 'Exiled from our
kingdom, we have passed twelve years. The thirteenth year, hard to spend,
hath now come. Do thou therefore, O Arjuna, the son of Kunti, select some
spot where we may pass our days undiscovered by our enemies.'"

Arjuna replied, "Even by virtue of Dharma's boon, we shall, O lord of
men, range about undiscovered by men. Still, for purposes of residence, I
shall mention some spots that are both delightful and secluded. Do thou
select some one of them. Surrounding the kingdom of the Kurus, are, many
countries beautiful and abounding in corn, such as Panchala, Chedi,
Matsya, Surasena, Pattachchara, Dasarna, Navarashtra, Malla, Salva,
Yugandhara, Saurashtra, Avanti, and the spacious Kuntirashtra. Which of
these, O king, wouldst thou choose, and where, O foremost of monarchs,
shall we spend this year?"

Yudhishthira said "O them of mighty arms, it is even so. What that
adorable Lord of all creatures hath said must become true. Surely, after
consulting together, we must select some delightful, auspicious, and
agreeable region for our abode, where we may live free from fear. The
aged Virata, king of the Matsyas, is virtuous and powerful and
charitable, and is liked by all. And he is also attached to the Pandavas.
Even in the city of Virata, O child, we shall, O Bharata, spend this
year, entering his service. Tell me, ye sons of the Kuru race, in what
capacities ye will severally present yourselves before the king of the

Arjuna said, "O god among men, what service wilt thou take in Virata's
kingdom? O righteous one, in what capacity wilt thou reside in the city
of Virata? Thou art mild, and charitable, and modest, and virtuous, and
firm in promise. What wilt thou, O king, afflicted as thou art with
calamity, do? A king is qualified to bear trouble like an ordinary
person. How wilt thou overcome this great calamity that has overtaken

Yudhishthira replied, "Ye sons of the Kuru race, ye bulls among men, hear
what I shall do on appearing before king Virata. Presenting myself as a
Brahmana, Kanka by name, skilled in dice and fond of play, I shall become
a courtier of that high-souled king. And moving upon chess-boards
beautiful pawns made of ivory, of blue and yellow and red and white hue,
by throws of black and red dice. I shall entertain the king with his
courtiers and friends. And while I shall continue to thus delight the
king, nobody will succeed in discovering me. And should the monarch ask
me, I shall say, 'Formerly I was the bosom friend of Yudhishthira.' I
tell you that it is thus that I shall pass my days (in the city of
Virata). What office wilt thou, O Vrikodara, fill in the city of Virata?"


Bhima said, "I intend to present myself before the lord of Virata as a
cook bearing the name of Vallabha. I am skilled in culinary art, and I
shall prepare curries for the king, and excelling all those skilful cooks
that had hitherto dressed his food I shall gratify the monarch. And I
shall carry mighty loads of wood. And witnessing that mighty feat, the
monarch will be pleased. And, O Bharata, beholding such superhuman feats
of mine, the servants of the royal household will honour me as a king.
And I shall have entire control over all kinds of viands and drinks. And
commanded to subdue powerful elephants and mighty bulls, I will do as
bidden. And if any combatants will fight with me in the lists, then will
I vanquish them, and thereby entertain the monarch. But I shall not take
the life of any of them. I shall only bring them down in such way that
they may not be killed. And on being asked as regards my antecedent I
shall say that--Formerly I was the wrestler and cook of Yudhishthira.
Thus shall I, O king, maintain myself."

Yudhishthira said, "And what office will be performed by that mighty
descendant of the Kurus, Dhananjaya, the son of Kunti, that foremost of
men possessed of long arms, invincible in fight, and before whom, while
he was staying with Krishna, the divine Agni himself desirous of
consuming the forest of Khandava had formerly appeared in the guise of a
Brahmana? What office will be performed by that best of warriors, Arjuna,
who proceeded to that forest and gratified Agni, vanquishing on a single
car and slaying huge Nagas and Rakshasas, and who married the sister of
Vasuki himself, the king of the Nagas? Even as the sun is the foremost of
all heat-giving bodies, as the Brahmana is the best of all bipeds, as the
cobra is the foremost of all serpents, as Fire is the first of all things
possessed of energy, as the thunderbolt is the foremost of all weapons,
as the humped bull is the foremost of all animals of the bovine breed, as
the ocean is the foremost of all watery expanses, as clouds charged with
rain are the foremost of all clouds, as Ananta is the first of all Nagas,
as Airavata is the foremost of all elephants, as the son is the foremost
of all beloved objects, and lastly, as the wife is the best of all
friends, so, O Vrikodara, is the youthful Gudakesa, the foremost of all
bowmen. And O Bharata, what office will be performed by Vibhatsu, the
wielder of Gandiva, whose car is drawn by white horses, and who is not
inferior to Indra or Vasudeva Himself? What office will be performed by
Arjuna who, dwelling for five years in the abode of the thousand-eyed
Deity (Indra) shining in celestial lustre, acquired by his own energy the
science of superhuman arms with all celestial weapons, and whom I regard
as the tenth Rudra, the thirteenth Aditya, the ninth Vasu, and the tenth
Graha, whose arms, symmetrical and long, have the skin hardened by
constant strokes of the bowstring and cicatrices which resemble those on
the humps of bulls,--that foremost of warriors who is as Himavat among
mountains, the ocean among expanses of water, Sakra among the celestial,
Havya-vaha (fire) among the Vasus, the tiger among beasts, and Garuda
among feathery tribes!"

Arjuna replied, "O lord of the Earth, I will declare myself as one of the
neuter sex. O monarch, it is, indeed difficult to hide the marks of the
bowstring on my arms. I will, however, cover both my cicatrized arms with
bangles. Wearing brilliant rings on my ears and conch-bangles on my
wrists and causing a braid to hang down from my head, I shall, O king,
appear as one of the third sex, Brihannala by name. And living as a
female I shall (always) entertain the king and the inmates of the inner
apartments by reciting stories. And, O king, I shall also instruct the
women of Virata's palace in singing and delightful modes of dancing and
in musical instruments of diverse kinds. And I shall also recite the
various excellent acts of men and thus conceal myself, O son of Kunti, by
feigning disguise. And, O Bharata should the king enquire, I will say
that, I lived as a waiting maid of Draupadi in Yudhishthira's palace.
And, O foremost of kings, concealing myself by this means, as fire is
concealed by ashes, I shall pass my days agreeably in the palace of

Vaisampayana continued, "Having said this, Arjuna, that best of men and
foremost of virtuous persons, became silent. Then the king addressed
another brother of his."[2]


Yudhishthira said, "Tender, possessed of a graceful presence, and
deserving of every luxury as thou art, what office wilt thou, O heroic
Nakula, discharge while living in the dominions of that king? Tell me all
about it!"

Nakula said, "Under the name of Granthika, I shall become the keeper of
the horses of king Virata. I have a thorough knowledge (of this work) and
am skilful in tending horses. Besides, the task is agreeable to me, and I
possess great skill in training and treating horses; and horses are ever
dear to me as they are to thee, O king of the Kurus. At my hands even
colts and mares become docile; these never become vicious in bearing a
rider or drawing a car.[3] And those persons in the city of Virata that
may enquire of me, I shall, O bull of the Bharata race, say,--Formerly I
was employed by Yudhishthira in the charge of his horses. Thus disguised,
O king, I shall spend my days delightfully in the city of Virata. No one
will be able to discover me as I will gratify the monarch thus![4]

Yudhishthira said, "How wilt thou, O Sahadeva, bear thyself before that
king? And what, O child, is that which thou wilt do in order to live in

Sahadeva replied, "I will become a keeper of the kine of Virata's king. I
am skilled in milking kine and taking their history as well as in taming
their fierceness. Passing under the name of Tantripal, I shall perform my
duties deftly. Let thy heart's fever be dispelled. Formerly I was
frequently employed to look after thy kine, and, O Lord of earth, I have
a particular knowledge of that work. And, O monarch, I am well-acquainted
with the nature of kine, as also with their auspicious marks and other
matters relating to them. I can also discriminate bulls with auspicious
marks, the scent of whose urine may make even the barren being forth
child. Even thus will I live, and I always take delight in work of this
kind. Indeed, no one will then be able to recognise me, and I will
moreover gratify the monarch,"

Yudhishthira said, "This is our beloved wife dearer to us than our lives.
Verily, she deserveth to be cherished by us like a mother, and regarded
like an elder sister. Unacquainted as she is with any kind of womanly
work, what office will Krishna, the daughter of Drupada, perform?
Delicate and young, she is a princess of great repute. Devoted to her
lords, and eminently virtuous, also, how will she live? Since her birth,
she hath enjoyed only garlands and perfume? and ornaments and costly

Draupadi replied, "There is a class of persons called Sairindhris,[5] who
enter the services of other. Other females, however (that are
respectable) do not do so. Of this class there are some. I shall give
myself out as a Sairindhri, skilled in dressing hair. And, O Bharata, on
being questioned by the king, I shall say that I served as a waiting
woman of Draupadi in Yudhishthira's household. I shall thus pass my days
in disguise. And I shall serve the famous Sudeshna, the wife of the king.
Surely, obtaining me she will cherish me (duly). Do not grieve so, O

"Yudhishthira said, "O Krishna, thou speakest well. But O fair girl, thou
wert born in a respectable family. Chaste as thou art, and always engaged
in observing virtuous vows, thou knowest not what is sin. Do thou,
therefore, conduct thyself in such a way that sinful men of evil hearts
may not be gladdened by gazing at thee."


Yudhishthira said, "Ye have already said what offices ye will
respectively perform. I also, according to the measure of my sense, have
said what office I will perform. Let our priest, accompanied by
charioteers and cooks, repair to the abode of Drupada, and there maintain
our Agnihotra fires. And let Indrasena and the others, taking with then
the empty cars, speedily proceeded to Dwaravati. Even this is my wish.
And let all these maid-servants of Draupadi go to the Panchalas, with our
charioteers and cooks. And let all of them say,--We do not know where the
Pandavas have gone leaving us at the lake of Dwaitavana."

Vaisampayana said, "Having thus taken counsel of one another and told one
another the offices they would discharge, the Pandavas sought Dhaumya's
advice. And Dhaumya also gave them advice in the following words, saying,
Ye sons of Pandu, the arrangements ye have made regarding the Brahmanas,
yours friends, cars, weapons, and the (sacred) fires, are excellent. But
it behoveth thee, O Yudhishthira, and Arjuna specially, to make provision
for the protection of Draupadi. Ye king, ye are well-acquainted with the
characters of men. Yet whatever may be your knowledge, friends may from
affection be permitted to repeat what is already known. Even this is
subservient to the eternal interests of virtue, pleasure, and profit. I
shall, therefore speak to you something. Mark ye. To dwell with a king
is, alas, difficult. I shall tell you, ye princes, how ye may reside in
the royal household, avoiding every fault. Ye Kauravas, honourably or
otherwise, ye will have to pass this year in the king's palace,
undiscovered by those that know you. Then in the fourteenth year, ye will
live happy. O son of Pandu, in this world, that cherisher and protector
of all beings, the king, who is a deity in an embodied form, is as a
great fire sanctified with all the mantras. [6] One should present
himself before the king, after having obtained his permission at the
gate. No one should keep contact with royal secrets. Nor should one
desire a seat which another may covet. He who doth not, regarding himself
to be a favourite, occupy (the king's) car, or coach, or seat, or
vehicle, or elephant, is alone worthy of dwelling in a royal household.
He that sits not upon a seat the occupation of which is calculated raise
alarm in the minds of malicious people, is alone worthy of dwelling in a
royal household. No one should, unasked offer counsel (to a king). Paying
homage in season unto the king, one should silently and respectfully sit
beside the king, for kings take umbrage at babblers, and disgrace laying
counsellors. A wise person should not contact friendship with the king's
wife, nor with the inmates of the inner apartments, nor with those that
are objects of royal displeasure. One about the king should do even the
most unimportant acts and with the king's knowledge. Behaving thus with a
sovereign, one doth not come by harm. Even if an individual attain the
highest office, he should, as long as he is not asked or commanded,
consider himself as born-blind, having regard to the king's dignity, for
O repressers of foes, the rulers of men do not forgive even their sons
and grandsons and brothers when they happen to tamper with their dignity.
Kings should be served with regardful care, even as Agni and other god;
and he that is disloyal to his sovereign, is certainly destroyed by him.
Renouncing anger, and pride, and negligence, it behoveth a man to follow
the course directed by the monarch. After carefully deliberating on all
things, a person should set forth before the king those topics that are
both profitable and pleasant; but should a subject be profitable without
being pleasant, he should still communicate it, despite its
disagreeableness. It behoveth a man to be well-disposed towards the king
in all his interests, and not to indulge in speech that is alike
unpleasant and profitless. Always thinking--I am not liked by the
king--one should banish negligence, and be intent on bringing about what
is agreeable and advantageous to him. He that swerveth not from his
place, he that is not friendly to those that are hostile to the king, he
that striveth not to do wrong to the king, is alone worthy to dwell in a
royal household. A learned man should sit either on the king's right or
the left; he should not sit behind him for that is the place appointed
for armed guards, and to sit before him is always interdicted. Let none,
when the king is engaged in doing anything (in respect of his servants)
come forward pressing himself zealously before others, for even if the
aggrieved be very poor, such conduct would still be inexcusable.[7] It
behoveth no man to reveal to others any lie the king may have told
inasmuch as the king bears ill will to those that report his falsehoods.
Kings also always disregard persons that regard themselves as learned. No
man should be proud thinking--I am brave, or, I am intelligent, but a
person obtains the good graces of a king and enjoys the good things of
life, by behaving agreeably to the wishes of the king. And, O Bharata,
obtaining things agreeable, and wealth also which is so hard to acquire,
a person should always do what is profitable as well as pleasant to the
king. What man that is respected by the wise can even think of doing
mischief to one whose ire is great impediment and whose favour is
productive of mighty fruits? No one should move his lips, arms and
thighs, before the king. A person should speak and spit before the king
only mildly. In the presence of even laughable objects, a man should not
break out into loud laughter, like a maniac; nor should one show
(unreasonable) gravity by containing himself, to the utmost. One should
smile modestly, to show his interest (in what is before him). He that is
ever mindful of the king's welfare, and is neither exhilarated by reward
nor depressed by disgrace, is alone worthy of dwelling in a royal
household. That learned courtier who always pleaseth the king and his son
with agreeable speeches, succeedeth in dwelling in a royal household as a
favourite. The favourite courtier who, having lost the royal favour for
just reason, does not speak evil of the king, regains prosperity. The man
who serveth the king or liveth in his domains, if sagacious, should speak
in praise of the king, both in his presence and absence. The courtier who
attempts to obtain his end by employing force on the king, cannot keep
his place long and incurs also the risk of death. None should, for the
purpose of self-interest, open communications with the king's enemies.[8]
Nor should one distinguish himself above the king in matters requiring
ability and talents. He that is always cheerful and strong, brave and
truthful, and mild, and of subdued senses, and who followeth his master
like his shadow, is alone worthy to dwell in a royal household. He that
on being entrusted with a work, cometh forward, saying,--I will do
this--is alone worthy of living in a royal household. He that on being
entrusted with a task, either within the king's dominion or out of it,
never feareth to undertake it, is alone fit to reside in a royal
household. He that living away from his home, doth no remember his dear
ones, and who undergoeth (present) misery in expectation of (future)
happiness, is alone worthy of dwelling in a royal household. One should
not dress like the king, nor should one indulge, in laughter in the
king's presence nor should one disclose royal secrets. By acting thus one
may win royal favour. Commissioned to a task, one should not touch bribes
for by such appropriation one becometh liable to fetters or death. The
robes, ornaments, cars, and other things which the king may be pleased to
bestow should always be used, for by this, one winneth the royal favour.
Ye children, controlling your minds, do ye spend this year, ye sons of
Pandu, behaving in this way. Regaining your own kingdom, ye may live as
ye please."

Yudhishthira said, "We have been well taught by thee. Blessed be thou.
There is none that could say so to us, save our mother Kunti and Vidura
of great wisdom. It behoveth thee to do all that is necessary now for our
departure, and for enabling us to come safely through this woe, as well
as for our victory over the foe."

Vaisampayana continued, "Thus addressed by Yudhishthira, Dhaumya, that
best of Brahmanas, performed according to the ordinance the rites
ordained in respect of departure. And lighting up their fires, he
offered, with mantras, oblations on them for the prosperity and success
of the Pandavas, as for their reconquest of the whole world. And walking
round those fires and round the Brahmanas of ascetic wealth, the six set
out, placing Yajnaseni in their front. And when those heroes had
departed, Dhaumya, that best of ascetics, taking their sacred fires, set
out for the Panchalas. And Indrasena, and others already mentioned, went
to the Yadavas, and looking after the horses and the cars of the Pandavas
passed their time happily and in privacy."


Vaisampayana said, "Girding their waists with swords, and equipped with
finger-protectors made of iguana skins and with various weapons, those
heroes proceeded in the direction of the river Yamuna. And those bowmen
desirous of (speedily) recovering their kingdom, hitherto living in
inaccessible hills and forest fastnesses, now terminated their
forest-life and proceeded to the southern bank of that river. And those
mighty warriors endued with great strength and hitherto leading the lives
of hunters by killing the deer of the forest, passed through Yakrilloma
and Surasena, leaving behind, on their right, the country of the
Panchalas, and on their left, that of the Dasarnas. And those bowmen,
looking wan and wearing beards and equipped with swords, entered Matsya's
dominions leaving the forest, giving themselves out as hunters. And on
arriving at that country, Krishna addressed Yudhishthira, saying, 'We see
footpaths here, and various fields. From this it appears that Virata's
metropolis is still at a distance. Pass we here what part of the night is
still left, for great is my fatigue."

Yudhishthira answered, "O Dhananjaya of Bharata's race, do thou take up
Panchali and carry her. Just on emerging from this forest, we arrive at
the city."

Vaisampayana continued, "Thereupon like the leader of a herd of
elephants, Arjuna speedily took up Draupadi, and on coming to the
vicinity of the city, let her down. And on reaching the city, Ruru's son
(Yudhishthira), addressed Arjuna, saying, 'Where shall we deposit our
weapons, before entering the city? If, O child, we enter it with our
weapons about us, we shall thereby surely excite the alarm of the
citizens. Further, the tremendous bow, the Gandiva, is known to all men,
so that people will, without doubt, recognise us soon. And if even one of
us is discovered, we shall, according to promise, have to pass another
twelve years in the forest.'"

Arjuna said, "Hard by yon cemetery and near that inaccessible peak is a
mighty Sami tree, throwing-about its gigantic branches and difficult to
ascend. Nor is there any human being, who, I think, O Pandu's son, will
espy us depositing our arms at that place. That tree is in the midst of
an out-of-the way forest abounding in beasts and snakes, and is in the
vicinity of a dreary cemetery. Stowing away our weapons on the Sami tree,
let us, O Bharata, go to the city, and live there, free from anxiety!"

Vaisampayana continued, "Having O bull of the Bharata race spoken thus to
king Yudhishthira the just, Arjuna prepared to deposit the weapons (on
the tree). And that bull among the Kurus, then loosened the string of the
large and dreadful Gandiva, ever producing thundering twang and always
destructive of hostile hosts, and with which he had conquered, on a
single car, gods and men and Nagas and swelling provinces. And the
warlike Yudhishthira, that represser of foes, unfastened the undecaying
string of that bow with which he had defended the field of Kurukshstra.
And the illustrious Bhimasena unstrung that bow by means of which that
sinless one had vanquished in fight the Panchals and the lord of Sindhu,
and with which, during his career of conquest, he had, single-handed,
opposed innumerable foes, and hearing whose twang which was like unto the
roar of the thunder or the splitting of a mountain, enemies always fly
(in panic) from the field of battle. And that son of Pandu of coppery
complexion and mild speech who is endued with great prowess in the field,
and is called Nakula in consequence of his unexampled beauty in the
family, then unfastened the string of that bow with which he had
conquered all the regions of the west. And the heroic Sahadeva also,
possessed of a mild disposition, then united the string of that bow with
which he had subjugated the countries of the south. And with their bows,
they put together their long and flashing swords, their precious quivers,
and their arrows sharp as razors. And Nakula ascended the tree, and
deposited on it the bows and the other weapons. And he tied them fast on
those parts of the tree which he thought would not break, and where the
rain would not penetrate. And the Pandavas hung up a corpse (on the
tree), knowing that people smelling the stench of the corpse would
say--here sure, is a dead body, and avoid the tree from a distance. And
on being asked by the shepherds and cowherds regarding the corpse, those
repressers of foes said unto them, 'This is our mother, aged one hundred
and eighty years. We have hung up her dead body, in accordance with the
custom observed by our forefathers.' And then those resisters of foes
approached the city. And for purposes of non-discovery Yudhisthira kept
these (five) names for himself and his brothers respectively, viz., Jaya,
Jayanta, Vijaya, Jayatsena, and Jayatvala. Then they entered the great
city, with the view to passing the thirteenth year undiscovered in that
kingdom, agreeably to the promise (to Duryodhana)."


Vaisampayana said, "And while Yudhishthira was on his way to the
delightful city of Virata, he began to praise mentally the Divine Durga,
the Supreme Goddess of the Universe, born on the womb of Yasoda, and fond
of the boons bestowed on her by Narayana, sprung from the race of cowherd
Nanda, and the giver of prosperity, the enhancer (of the glory) of (the
worshipper's) family, the terrifier of Kansa, and the destroyer of
Asuras,--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 is
always decked in celestial garlands and attired in celestial robes,--who
is armed with scimitar and shield, and always rescues the worshipper sunk
in sin, like a cow in the mire, who in the hours of distress calls upon
that eternal giver of blessings for relieving him of their burdens. And
the king, desirous with his brothers of obtaining a sight of the Goddess,
invoked her and began to praise her by reciting various names derived
from (approved) hymns. And Yudhishthira said, 'Salutations to thee, O
giver of boons. O thou that art identical with Krishna, O maiden, O thou
that hast observed the vow of Brahmacharya, O thou of body bright as the
newly-risen Sun, O thou efface beautiful as the full moon. Salutations to
thee, O thou of four hands and four faces, O thou of fair round hips and
deep bosom, O thou that wearest bangles made of emeralds and sapphires, O
thou that bearest excellent bracelets on thy upper arm. Thou shinest, O
Goddess, as Padma, the consort of Narayana. O thou that rangest the
etherial regions, thy true form and thy Brahmacharya are both of the
purest kind. Sable as the black clouds, thy face is beautiful as that of
Sankarshana. Thou bearest two large arms long as a couple of poles raised
in honour of Indra. In thy (six) other arms thou bearest a vessel, a
lotus, 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 of
purity. Thou art decked with a pair of well-made ears graced with
excellent rings. O Goddess, thou shinest with a face that challengeth the
moon in beauty. With an excellent diadem and beautiful braid with robes
made of the bodies of snakes, and with also the brilliant girdle round
thy hips, thou shinest like the Mandara mountain encircled with snakes.
Thou shinest also with peac*ck-plumes standing erect on thy head, and
thou hast sanctified the celestial regions by adopting the vow of
perpetual maiden-hood. It is for this, O thou that hast slain the
Mahishasura, [9] that thou art praised and worshipped by the gods for the
protection of the three worlds. O thou foremost of all deities, extend to
me thy grace, show me thy mercy, and be thou the source of blessings to
me. Thou art Jaya and Vijaya, and it is thou that givest victory in
battle. Grant me victory, O Goddess, and give me boons also at this hour
of 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 and
animal sacrifice. Capable of going everywhere at will, and bestowing
boons on thy devotees, thou art ever followed in thy journeys by Brahma
and the other gods. By them that call upon thee for the relief of their
burdens, and by them also that bow to thee at daybreak on Earth, there is
nothing that cannot be attained in respect either of offspring or wealth.
And because thou rescuest people from difficulties whether when they are
afflicted in the wilderness or sinking in the great ocean, it is for this
that thou art called Durga[10] by all. Thou art the sole refuge of men
when attacked by robbers or while afflicted in crossing streams and seas
or in wilderness and; forests. Those men that remember thee are never
prostrated, O great Goddess. Thou art Fame, thou art Prosperity, thou art
Steadiness, thou art Success; thou art the Wife, thou art men's
Offspring, thou art Knowledge, and thou art the Intellect. Thou art the
two Twilights, the Night Sleep, Light--both solar and lunar, Beauty,
Forgiveness, Mercy, and every other thing. Thou dispellest, worshipped by
the devotees their fetters, ignorance, loss of children and loss of
wealth, disease, death, and fear. I, who have been deprived of my
kingdom, seek thy protection. And as I bow to thee with bended head, O
Supreme Goddess, grant me protection, O thou of eyes like lotus leaves.
And be thou as boon-giving Truth unto us that are acting according to
Truth. 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 Goddess
showed herself unto him. And approaching the king, she addressed him in
these words, 'O mighty armed king, listen, O Lord, to these words of
mine. Having vanquished and slain the ranks of the Kauravas through my
grace, victory in battle will soon be thine. Thou shalt again lord it
over 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 the
world who will recite my attributes and achievements will be freed from
their 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 of
dangers from foes, in forests or in inaccessible deserts, in seas or
mountain fastnesses, there is nothing that they will not obtain in this
world. And ye sons of Pandu, he will achieve success in every business of
his that will listen to, or himself recite with devotion, this excellent
hymn. And through my grace neither the Kuru's spies, nor those that dwell
in the country of the Matsyas, will succeed in recognising you all as
long as ye reside in Virata's city!' And having said these words unto
Yudhishthira, that chastiser of foes, and having arranged for the
protection of the sons of Pandu, the Goddess disappeared there and then."


Vaisampayana said, "Then tying up in his cloth dice made of gold and set
with lapis lazuli, and holding them below his arm-pit, king
Yudhishthira,--that illustrious lord of men--that high-souled perpetuator
of the Kuru race, regarded by kings, irrepressible in might, and like
unto a snake of virulent poison,--that bull among men, endued with
strength and beauty and prowess, and possessed of greatness, and
resembling in form a celestial though now like unto the sun enveloped in
dense clouds, or fire covered with ashes, first made his appearance when
the famous king Virata was seated in his court. And beholding with his
followers that son of Pandu in his court, looking like the moon hid in
clouds and possessed of a face beautiful as the full moon, king Virata
addressed his counsellors and the twice-born ones and the charioteers and
the Vaisyas and others, saying, "Enquire ye who it is, so like a king
that looketh on my court for the first time. He cannot be a Brahmana.
Methinks he is a man of men, and a lord of earth. He hath neither slaves,
nor cars, nor elephants with him, yet he shineth like the very Indra. The
marks on his person indicate him to be one whose coronal locks have
undergone the sacred investiture. Even this is my belief. He approacheth
me without any hesitation, even as an elephant in rut approacheth an
assemblage of lotuses!'

"And as the king was indulging in these thoughts, that bull among men,
Yudhishthira, came before Virata and addressed him, saying, 'O great
king, know me for a Brahmana who, having lost his all hath come to thee
for the means of subsistence. I desire, O sinless one, to live here
beside thee acting under thy commands,[11] O lord. The king then,
well-pleased, replied unto him saying, 'Thou art welcome. Do thou then
accept the appointment thou seekest!' And having appointed the lion among
kings in the post he had prayed for, king Virata addressed him with a
glad heart, saying, 'O child, I ask thee from affection, from the
dominions of what king dost thou come hither? Tell me also truly what is
thy name and family, and what thou hast a knowledge of.'"

Yudhishthira said, "My name is Kanka, and I am a Brahmana belonging to
the family known by the name of Vaiyaghra. I am skilled in casting dice,
and formerly I was a friend of Yudhishthira."

Virata replied, "I will grant thee whatever boon thou mayst desire. Do
thou rule the Matsyas.--I shall remain in submission to thee. Even
cunning gamblers are liked by me. Thou, on the other hand, art like a
god, and deservest a kingdom."

Yudhishthira said, "My first prayer, O lord of earth, is that I may not
be involved in any dispute (on account of dice) with low people. Further,
a person defeated by me (at dice) shall not be permitted to retain the
wealth (won by me). Let this boon be granted to me through thy grace."

Virata replied, "I shall certainly slay him who may happen to displease
thee, and should be one of the twice-born ones, I shall banish him from
my dominions. Let the assembled subjects listen! Kanka is as much lord of
this realm as I myself, Thou (Kanka) shalt be my friend and shalt ride
the same vehicles as I. And there shall also be at thy disposal apparel
in plenty, and various kinds of viands and drinks. And thou shalt look
into my affairs, both internal and external. And for thee all my doors
shall be open. When men out of employ or of strained circ*mstances will
apply to thee, do thou at all hours bring their words unto me, and I will
surely give them whatever they desire. No fear shall be thine as long as
thou residest with me."

Vaisampayana said, "Having thus obtained an interview with Virata's king,
and received from him boons, that heroic bull among men, began to live
happily, highly regarded by all. Nor could any one discover him as he
lived there."


Vaisampayana said, "Then another endued with the dreadful strength and
blazing in beauty, approached king Virata, with the playful gait of the
lion. And holding in hand a cooking ladle and a spoon, as also an
unsheathed sword of sable hue and without a spot on the blade, he came in
the guise of a cook illumining all around him by his splendour like the
sun discovering the whole world. And attired in black and possessed of
the strength of the king of mountains, he approached the king of the
Matsyas and stood before him. And beholding that king-like person before
him, Virata addressed his assembled subjects saying, 'Who is that youth,
that bull among men, with shoulders broad like those of a lion, and so
exceedingly beautiful? That person, never seen before, is like the sun.
Revolving the matter in my mind, I cannot ascertain who he is, nor can I
with even serious thoughts guess the intention of that bull among men (in
coming here). Beholding him, it seems to me that he is either the king of
the Gandharvas, or Purandara himself. Do ye ascertain who it is that
standeth before my eyes. Let him have quickly what he seeks.' Thus
commanded by king Virata, his swift-footed messengers went up to the son
of Kunti and informed that younger brother of Yudhishthira of everything
the king had said. Then the high-souled son of Pandu, approaching Virata,
addressed him in words that were not unsuited to his object, saying, 'O
foremost of kings, I am a cook, Vallava by name. I am skilled in dressing
dishes. Do thou employ me in the kitchen!'"

Virata said, "I do not believe, O Vallava, that cooking is thy office.
Thou resemblest the deity of a thousand eyes; and in grace and beauty and
prowess, thou shinest among these all as a king!"

Bhima replied, "O king of kings, I am thy cook and servant in the first
place. It is not curries only of which I have knowledge, O monarch,
although king Yudhishthira always used in days gone by to taste my
dishes. O lord of earth, I am also a wrestler. Nor is there one that is
equal to me in strength. And engaging in fight with lions and elephants,
I shall, O sinless one, always contribute to thy entertainment."

Virata said, "I will even grant thee boons. Thou wilt do what thou
wishest, as thou describest thyself skilled in it. I do not, however,
think, that this office is worthy of thee, for thou deservest this
(entire) earth girt round by the sea. But do as thou likest. Be thou the
superintendent of my kitchen, and thou art placed at the head of those
who have been appointed there before by me."

Vaisampayana continued, "Thus appointed in the kitchen, Bhima soon became
the favourite of king Virata. And, O king, he continued to live there
unrecognised by the other servants of Virata as also by other people!"


Vaisampayana said, "Binding her black, soft, fine, long and faultless
tresses with crisped ends into a knotted braid, Draupadi of black eyes
and sweet smiles, throwing it upon her right shoulders, concealed it by
her cloth. And she wore a single piece of a black and dirty though costly
cloth. And dressing herself as a Sairindhri, she began to wander hither
and thither in seeming affliction. And beholding her wandering, men and
women came to her hastily and addressed her, saying, 'Who are you? And
what do you seek?' And she replied, 'I am a king's Sairindhri. I desire
to serve any one that will maintain me.' But beholding her beauty and
dress, and hearing also her speech that was so sweet, the people could
not take her for a maid-servant in search of subsistence. And it came to
pass that while looking this way and that from the terrace, Virata's
beloved queen, daughter of the king of Kekaya, saw Draupadi. And
beholding her forlorn and clad in a single piece of cloth, the queen
addressed her saying, 'O beautiful one, who are you, and what do you
seek?' Thereupon, Draupadi answered her, saying, 'O foremost of queen, I
am Sairindhri. I will serve anybody that will maintain me.' Then Sudeshna
said, 'What you say (regarding your profession) can never be compatible
with so much beauty. (On the contrary) you might well be the mistress of
servants both, male and female. Your heels are not prominent, and your
thighs touch each other. And your intelligence is great, and your navel
deep, and your words solemn. And your great toes, and bust and hips, and
back and sides, and toe-nails, and palms are all well-developed. And your
palms, soles, and face are ruddy. And your speech is sweet even as the
voice of the swan. And your hair is beautiful, and your bust shapely, and
you are possessed of the highest grace. And your hips and bust are plump.
And like a Kashmerean mare you are furnished with every auspicious mark.
And your eye-lashes are (beautiful) bent, and your nether-lip is like the
ruddy ground. And your waist is slender, and your neck bears lines that
resemble those of the conch. And your veins are scarcely visible. Indeed,
your countenance is like the full moon, and your eyes resemble the leaves
of the autumnal lotus, and your body is fragrant as the lotus itself.
Verily, in beauty you resemble Sri herself, whose seat is the autumnal
lotus. Tell me, O beautiful damsel, who thou art. Thou canst never be a
maidservant. Art thou a Yakshi, a Goddess, a Gandharvi, or an Apsara? Art
thou the daughter of a celestial, or art thou a female Naga? Art thou the
guardian goddess of some city, a Vidyadhari, or a Kinnari,--or art thou
Rohini herself? Or art thou Alamvusha, or Misrakesi, Pundarika, or
Malini, or the queen of Indra, or of Varuna? Or, art thou the spouse of
Viswakarma, or of the creative Lord himself? Of these goddesses who art
renowned in the celestial regions, who art thou, O graceful one?'

"Draupadi replied, 'O auspicious lady, I am neither a goddess nor a
Gandharvi, nor a Yakshi, nor a Rakshasi. I am a maid-servant of the
Sairindhri class. I tell thee this truly. I know to dress the hair to
pound (fragrant substances) for preparing unguents, and also to make
beautiful and variegated garlands. O beauteous lady, of jasmines and
lotuses and blue lilies and Champakas. Formerly I served Krishna's
favourite queen Satyabhama, and also Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas
and the foremost beauty of the Kuru race. I wander about alone, earning
good food and dress; and as long as I get these, I continue to live in
the place where they are obtainable. Draupadi herself called me Malini
(maker of garlands).'

"Hearing this, Sudeshna said, 'I would keep thee upon my head itself, if
the doubt did not cross my mind that the king himself would be attracted
towards thee with his whole heart. Attracted by thy beauty, the females
of the royal household and my maids are looking at thee. What male person
then is there that can resist thy attraction? Surely, O thou of
well-rounded hips, O damsel of exquisite charms, beholding thy form of
superhuman beauty, king Virata is sure to forsake me, and will turn to
thee with his whole heart. O thou of faultless limbs, O thou that art
endued with large eyes casting quick glances, he upon whom thou wilt look
with desire is sure to be stricken. O thou of sweet smiles, O thou that
possessest a faultless form, he that will behold thee constantly, will
surely catch the flame. Even as a person that climbs up a tree for
compassing his own destruction, even as the crab conceives for her own
ruin, I may, O thou of sweet smiles, bring destruction upon myself by
harbouring thee.'

"Draupadi replied, 'O fair lady, neither Virata nor any other person will
be able to have me, for my five youthful husbands, who are Gandharvas and
sons of a Gandharva king of exceeding power, always protect me. None can
do me a wrong. It is the wish of my Gandharva husbands that I should
serve only such persons as will not give me to touch food already
partaken of by another, or tell me to wash their feet. Any man that
attempts to have me like any common woman, meeteth with death that very
night. No one can succeed in having me, for, O beautiful lady, O thou of
sweet smiles, those beloved Gandharvas, possessed of great energy and
mighty strength always protect me secretly.'

"Sudeshna said, 'O thou that bringest delight to the heart, if it is as
thou sayest, I will take thee into my household. Thou shalt not have to
touch food that hath been partaken of by another, or to wash another's

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Thus addressed by Virata's wife, O Janamejaya,
Krishna (Draupadi) ever devoted to her lords, began to live in that city.
Nor could anyone ascertain who in reality she was!'"


"Vaisampayana said, 'Then clad in a cowherd's dress, and speaking the
dialect of cowherds, Sahadeva came to the cowpen of Virata's city. And
beholding that bull among men, who was shining in splendour, the king was
struck with amazement. And he directed his men to summon Sahadeva. And
when the latter came, the king addressed him, saying, 'To whom dost thou
belong? And whence dost thou come? And what work dost thou seek? I have
never seen thee before. O bull among men, tell me truly about thee.'

'Having come before the king that afflicter of foes, Sahadeva answered in
accents deep as the roar of the cloud, 'I am a Vaisya, Arishtanemi by
name. I was employed as a cowherd in the service of those bulls of the
Kuru race, the sons of Pandu. O foremost of men, I intend now to live
beside thee, for I do not know where those lions among kings, the sons of
Pritha, are. I cannot live without service, and, O king, I do not like to
enter into the service of anyone else save thee.'

"Hearing these words, Virata said, 'Thou must either be a Brahmana or a
Kshatriya. Thou lookest as if thou wert the lord of the entire earth
surrounded by the sea. Tell me truly, O thou that mowest down thy foes.
The office of a Vaisya is not fit for thee. Tell me from the dominions of
what king thou comest, and what thou knowest, and in what capacity thou
wouldst remain with us, and also what pay thou wouldst accept.'

"Sahadeva answered, 'Yudhishthira, the eldest of the five sons of Pandu,
had one division of kine numbering eight hundred and ten thousand, and
another, ten thousand, and another, again, twenty thousand, and so on. I
was employed in keeping those cattle. People used to call me Tantripala.
I know the present, the past, and the future of all kine living within
ten Yojanas, and whose tale has been taken. My merits were known to that
illustrious one, and the Kuru king Yudhishthira was well-pleased with me.
I am also acquainted with the means which aid kine in multiplying within
a short time, and by which they may enjoy immunity from disease. Also
these arts are known to me. I can also single out bulls having auspicious
marks for which they are worshipped by men, and by smelling whose urine,
the barren may conceive.'

"Virata said, 'I have a hundred thousand kine divided into distinct
herds. All those together with their keepers, I place in thy charge.
Henceforth my beasts will be in thy keep.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Then, O king, undiscovered by that monarch,
that lord of men, Sahadeva, maintained by Virata, began to live happily.
Nor did anyone else (besides his brothers) recognise him.'"


"Vaisampayana said, 'Next appeared at the gate of the ramparts another
person of enormous size and exquisite beauty decked in the ornaments of
women, and wearing large ear-rings and beautiful conch-bracelets overlaid
with gold. And that mighty-armed individual with long and abundant hair
floating about his neck, resembled an elephant in gait. And shaking the
very earth with his tread, he approached Virata and stood in his court.
And beholding the son of the great Indra, shining with exquisite lustre
and having the gait of a mighty elephant,--that grinder of foes having
his true form concealed in disguise, entering the council-hall and
advancing towards the monarch, the king addressed all his courtiers,
saying, 'Whence doth this person come? I have never heard of him before.'
And when the men present spoke of the newcomer as one unknown to them,
the king wonderingly said, 'Possessed of great strength, thou art like
unto a celestial, and young and of darkish hue, thou resemblest the
leader of a herd of elephants. Wearing conch-bracelets overlaid with
gold, a braid, and ear-rings, thou shinest yet like one amongst those
that riding on chariots wander about equipped with mail and bow and
arrows and decked with garlands and fine hair. I am old and desirous of
relinquishing my burden. Be thou like my son, or rule thou like myself
all the Matsyas. It seemeth to me that such a person as thou can never be
of the neuter sex.'

"Arjuna said, 'I sing, dance, and play on instruments. I am proficient in
dance and skilled in song. O lord of men, assign me unto (the princess)
Uttara. I shall be dancing-master to the royal maiden. As to how I have
come by this form, what will it avail thee to hear the account which will
only augment my pain? Know me, O king of men, to be Vrihannala, a son or
daughter without father or mother.'

"Virata said, 'O Vrihannala, I give thee what thou desirest. Instruct my
daughter, and those like her, in dancing. To me, however, this office
seemeth unworthy of thee. Thou deserves! (the dominion of) the entire
earth girt round by the ocean.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'The king of the Matsyas then tested Vrihannala
in dancing, music, and other fine arts, and consulting with his various
ministers forthwith caused him to be examined by women. And learning that
this impotency was of a permanent nature, he sent him to the maiden's
apartments. And there the mighty Arjuna began giving lessons in singing
and instrumental music to the daughter of Virata, her friends, and her
waiting-maids, and soon won their good graces. And in this manner the
self-possessed Arjuna lived there in disguise, partaking of pleasures in
their company, and unknown to the people within or without the palace.'"


"Vaisampayana said, 'After a while, another powerful son of Pandu was
seen making towards king Virata in haste. And as he advanced, he seemed
to everyone like solar orb emerged from the clouds. And he began to
observe the horses around. And seeing this, the king of the Matsyas said
to his followers, 'I wonder whence this man, possessed of the effulgence
of a celestial, cometh. He looks intently at my steeds. Verily, he must
be proficient in horse-lore. Let him be ushered into my presence quickly.
He is a warrior and looks like a god!' And that destroyer of foes then
went up to the king and accosted him, saying, 'Victory to thee, O king,
and blest be ye.' As a trainer of horses, I have always been highly
esteemed by kings. I will be a clever keeper of thy horses.'

"Virata said, 'I will give thee vehicles, wealth, and spacious quarters.
Thou shalt be the manager of my horses. But first tell me whence thou
comest, who thou art, and how also thou happenest to come here. Tell us
also all the arts thou art master of.' Nakula replied, 'O mower of
enemies, know that Yudhishthira is the eldest brother of the five sons of
Pandu. I was formerly employed by him to keep his horses. I am acquainted
with the temper of steeds, and know perfectly the art of breaking them. I
know also how to correct vicious horses, and all the methods of treating
their diseases. No animal in my hands becometh weak or ill. Not to speak
of horses, even mares in my hands will never be found to be vicious.
People called me Granthika by name and so did Yudhishthira, the son of

"Virata said, 'Whatever horses I have, I consign to thy care even from
today. And all the keepers of my horses and all my charioteers will from
today be subordinate to thee. If this suits thee, say what remuneration
is desired by thee. But, O thou that resemblest a celestial, the office
of equerry is not worthy of thee. For thou lookest like a king and I
esteem thee much. The appearance here hath pleased me as much as if
Yudhishthira himself were here. Oh, how does that blameless son of Pandu
dwell and divert himself in the forest, now destitute of servants as he

"Vaisampayana continued, 'That youth, like unto a chief of the
Gandharvas, was treated thus respectfully by the delighted king Virata.
And he conducted himself there in such a manner as to make himself dear
and agreeable to all in the palace. And no one recognised him while
living under Virata's protection. And it was in this manner then the sons
of Pandu, the very sight of whom had never been fruitless, continued to
live in the country of the Matsyas. And true to their pledge those lords
of the earth bounded by her belt of seas passed their days of incognito
with great composure notwithstanding their poignant sufferings.'"


(Samayapalana Parva)

"Janamejaya said, 'While living thus disguised in the city of the
Matsyas, what did those descendants of the Kuru race endued with great
prowess, do, O regenerate one!'

"Vaisampayana said, 'Hear, O king, what those descendants of Kuru did
while they dwelt thus in disguise in the city of the Matsyas, worshipping
the king thereof. By the grace of the sage Trinavindu and of the
high-souled lord of justice, the Pandavas continued to live unrecognised
by others in the city of Virata. O lord of men, Yudhishthira, as courtier
made himself agreeable to Virata and his sons as also to all the Matsyas.
An adept in the mysteries of dice, the son of Pandu caused them to play
at dice according to his pleasure and made them sit together in the
dice-hall like a row of birds bound in a string. And that tiger among
men, king Yudhishthira the Just, unknown to the monarch, distributed
among his brothers, in due proportion, the wealth he won from Virata. And
Bhimasena on his part, sold to Yudhishthira for price, meat and viands of
various kinds which he obtained from the king. And Arjuna distributed
among all his brothers the proceeds of worn-out cloths which he earned in
the inner apartments of the palace. And Sahadeva, too, who was disguised
as a cowherd gave milk, curds and clarified butter to his brothers. And
Nakula also shared with his brothers the wealth the king gave him,
satisfied with his management of the horses. And Draupadi, herself in a
pitiable condition, looked after all those brothers and behaved in such a
way as to remain unrecognized. And thus ministering unto one another's
wants, those mighty warriors lived in the capital of Virata as hidden
from view, as if they were once more in their mother's womb. And those
lords of men, the sons of Pandu, apprehensive of danger from the son of
Dhritarashtra, continued to dwell there in concealment, watching over
their wife Draupadi. And after three months had passed away, in the
fourth, the grand festival in honour of the divine Brahma which was
celebrated with pomp in the country of the Matsyas, came off. And there
came athletes from all quarters by thousands, like hosts of celestials to
the abode of Brahma or of Siva to witness that festival. And they were
endued with huge bodies and great prowess, like the demons called
Kalakhanjas. And elated with their prowess and proud of their strength,
they were highly honoured by the king. And their shoulders and waists and
necks were like those of lions, and their bodies were very clean, and
their hearts were quite at ease. And they had many a time won success in
the lists in the presence of kings. And amongst them there was one who
towered above the rest and challenged them all to a combat. And there was
none that dared to approach him as he proudly stalked in the arena. And
when all the athletes stood sad and dispirited, the king of the Matsyas
made him fight with his cook. And urged by the king, Bhima made up his
mind reluctantly, for he could not openly disobey the royal behest. And
that tiger among men then having worshipped the king, entered the
spacious arena, pacing with the careless steps of a tiger. And the son of
Kunti then girded up his loins to the great delight of the spectators.
And Bhima then summoned to the combat that athlete known by the name of
Jimuta who was like unto the Asura Vritra whose prowess was widely known.
And both of them were possessed of great courage, and both were endued
with terrible prowess. And they were like a couple of infuriate and
huge-bodied elephants, each sixty years old. And those brave tigers among
men then cheerfully engaged in a wrestling combat, desirous of
vanquishing each other. And terrible was the encounter that took place
between them, like the clash of the thunderbolt against the stony
mountain-breast. And both of them were exceedingly powerful and extremely
delighted at each other's strength. And desirous of vanquishing each
other, each stood eager to take advantage of his adversary's lapse. And
both were greatly delighted and both looked like infuriate elephants of
prodigious size. And various were the modes of attack and defence that
they exhibited with their clenched fists.[12] And each dashed against the
other and flung his adversary to a distance. And each cast the other down
and pressed him close to the ground. And each got up again and squeezed
the other in his arms. And each threw the other violently off his place
by boxing him on the breast. And each caught the other by the legs and
whirling him round threw him down on the ground. And they slapped each
other with their palms that struck as hard as the thunderbolt. And they
also struck each other with their outstretched fingers, and stretching
them out like spears thrust the nails into each other's body. And they
gave each other violent kicks. And they struck knee and head against
head, producing the crash of one stone against another. And in this
manner that furious combat between those warriors raged on without
weapons, sustained mainly by the power of their arms and their physical
and mental energy, to the infinite delight of the concourse of
spectators. And all people, O king, took deep interest in that encounter
of those powerful wrestlers who fought like Indra and the Asura Vritra.
And they cheered both of them with loud acclamations of applause. And the
broad-chested and long-armed experts in wrestling then pulled and pressed
and whirled and hurled down each other and struck each other with their
knees, expressing all the while their scorn for each other in loud
voices. And they began to fight with their bare arms in this way, which
were like spiked maces of iron. And at last the powerful and mighty-armed
Bhima, the slayer of his foes, shouting aloud seized the vociferous
athlete by the arms even as the lion seizes the elephant, and taking him
up from the ground and holding him aloft, began to whirl him round, to
the great astonishment of the assembled athletes and the people of
Matsya. And having whirled him round and round a hundred times till he
was insensible, the strong-armed Vrikodara dashed him to death on the
ground. And when the brave and renowned Jimuta was thus killed, Virata
and his friends were filled with great delight. And in the exuberance of
his joy, the noble-minded king rewarded Vallava then and there with the
liberality of Kuvera. And killing numerous athletes and many other men
possessed of great bodily strength, he pleased the king very much. And
when no one could be found there to encounter him in the lists, the king
made him fight with tigers and lions and elephants. And the king also
made him battle with furious and powerful lions in the harem for the
pleasure of the ladies. And Arjuna, too, pleased the king and all the
ladies of the inner apartments by singing and dancing. And Nakula pleased
Virata, that best of kings, by showing him fleet and well-trained steeds
that followed him wherever he went. And the king, gratified with him,
rewarded him with ample presents. And beholding around Sahadeva a herd of
well-trained bullocks, Virata that bull among men, bestowed upon him also
wealth of diverse kinds. And, O king, Draupadi distressed to see all
those warriors suffer pain, sighed incessantly. And it was in this way
that those eminent persons lived there in disguise, rendering services
unto king Virata.'"


(Kichaka-badha Parva)

"Vaisampayana said, 'Living in such disguise, those mighty warriors, the
sons of Pritha, passed ten months in Matsya's city. And, O monarch,
although herself deserving to be waited upon by others, the daughter of
Yajnasena, O Janamejaya, passed her days in extreme misery, waiting upon
Sudeshna. And residing thus in Sudeshna's apartments, the princess of
Panchala pleased that lady as also the other females of the inner
apartments. And it came to pass that as the year was about to expire, the
redoubtable Kichaka, the Commander of Virata's forces, chanced to behold
the daughter of Drupada. And beholding that lady endued with the
splendour of a daughter of the celestials, treading the earth like a
goddess, Kichaka, afflicted with the shafts of Kama, desired to possess
her. And burning with desire's flame, Virata's general came to Sudeshna
(his sister) and smilingly addressed her in these words, 'This beauteous
lady had never before been seen by me in king Virata's abode. This damsel
maddens me with her beauty, even as a new wine maddens one with its
fragrance. Tell me, who is this graceful and captivating lady possessed
of the beauty of
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:42:16 PM

The Mahabharata


Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa



Translated into English Prose from the Original Sanskrit Text


Kisari Mohan Ganguli


Scanned at sacred-texts.com, 2004. Proofed by John Bruno Hare, October




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

"Vaisampayana said, 'Then those valiant descendants of Kuru, who belonged
to the same party (with Virata), having joyfully celebrated the nuptials
of Abhimanyu and rested themselves that night, presented themselves at
dawn, well pleased, in the court of Virata, And the chamber of the king
of the Matsya was full of riches, and variegated with choice gems and
precious stones, with seats methodically arranged, adorned with garlands,
and filled with fragrance. And those mighty monarchs of men all came to
that place, And on the seats in front sat the two kings Virata and
Drupada. And the revered and aged rulers of the earth, and Valarama and
Krishna along with their father, all sat there. And close to the king of
Panchala was seated the great hero of the race of Sini, together with the
son of Rohini. And side by side with the king of the Matsya sat Krishna
and Yudhishthira, and all the sons of king Drupada, and Bhima and Arjuna,
and the two sons of Madri, and Pradyumna and Samva, both valiant in
battle, and Abhimanyu with Virata's sons. And those princes, the sons of
Draupadi, rivalling their fathers in valour, strength, grace, and
prowess, sat upon excellent seats inlaid with gold. And when those mighty
heroes wearing shining ornaments and robes had set themselves down, that
gorgeous assembly of kings looked beautiful like the firmament spangled
with resplendent stars. And those valiant men, assembled together, having
conversed with one another upon various topics, remained for some time in
a pensive mood, with their eyes fixed upon Krishna. And at the end of
their talk, Krishna drew their attention to the affairs of the Pandavas.
And those powerful kings together listened to Krishna's speech, pregnant
and lofty. And Krishna said, It is known to you all, how this
Yudhishthira was deceitfully defeated at dice by the son of Suvala, and
how he was robbed of his kingdom and how a stipulation was made by him
concerning his exile in the forest. And capable as they were of
conquering the earth by force, the sons of Pandu remained firm in their
plighted faith. And accordingly for six and seven years these
incomparable men accomplished the cruel task imposed upon them. And this
last, the thirteenth year, was exceedingly hard for them to pass. Yet
unrecognised by any one they have passed it, as known to you, suffering
unendurable hardships of various kinds. This is known to you all. These
illustrious men have spent the thirteenth year, employed in menial
service of others. This being so, it is for you to consider what will be
for the good of both Yudhishthira and Duryodhana, and what, as regards
the Kurus and the Pandavas, will be consistent with the rules of
righteousness and, propriety and what will meet with the approbation of
all. The virtuous king Yudhishthira would not unrighteously covet even
the celestial kingdom. But righteously he would accept the rule even of a
single village. How the sons of Dhritarashtra fraudulently robbed him of
his paternal kingdom, and how he hath passed a life of unendurable
hardships, are known to all the kings assembled here. The sons of
Dhritarashtra are incapable of overcoming by strength Arjuna, the son of
Pritha. Nevertheless, king Yudhishthira and his friends have no other
desire than the good of Dhritarashtra's son. These brave sons of Kunti,
and the two sons of Madri, ask for only what they themselves, achieving
victory in battle, had won from the defeated kings. You, no doubt, know
full well how those enemies of the Pandavas--with the object of
possessing themselves of the kingdom, endeavoured by various means to
destroy them, when they were yet mere boys. So wicked and rancorous they
were. Consider, how grasping they are and how virtuous Yudhishthira is.
Consider also the relationship that exists between them. I beseech you
all to consult together and also think separately. The Pandavas have
always had a regard for truth. They have fulfilled their promise to the
very letter. If now treated wrongfully by the sons of Dhritarashtra, they
would slay them all though banded together. They have friends, who, on
being informed of their unworthy treatment at the hands of others, would
stand by them, engaged in fight with their persecutors, and willingly
slay them even if they should lose their own lives for it. If you suppose
them to be too few to be capable of winning a victory over their enemies,
you must know that united together and followed by their friends, they
would, no doubt, try their utmost to destroy those enemies. What
Duryodhana thinks is not exactly known, nor what he may do. When the mind
of the other side is not known, what opinion can be formed by you as to
what is best to be done? Therefore, let a person, virtuous and honest and
of respectable birth, and wary,--an able ambassador, set out to beseech
them mildly for inducing them to give half the kingdom to Yudhishthira.
Having listened to the speech of Krishna, marked by prudence and a regard
for virtue and showing a pacific and impartial spirit, his elder brother
then addressed the assembly bestowing high encomiums on the words of the
younger brother.'"


"Baladeva said, 'You have all listened to the speech of him who is the
elder brother of Gada, characterised as it is by a sense of virtue and
prudence, and salutary alike to Yudhishthira and king Duryodhana. These
valiant sons of Kunti are ready to give up half their kingdom, and they
make this sacrifice for the sake of Duryodhana. The sons of
Dhritarashtra, therefore, should give up half of the kingdom, and should
rejoice and be exceedingly happy with us that the quarrel can be so
satisfactorily settled. These mighty persons having obtained the kingdom
would, no doubt, be pacified and happy, provided the opposite party
behave well. For them to be pacified will redound to the welfare of men.
And I should be well-pleased if somebody from here, with the view of
pacifying both the Kurus and the Pandavas, should undertake a journey and
ascertain what is the mind of Duryodhana and explain the views of
Yudhishthira. Let him respectfully salute Bhishma the heroic scion of
Kuru's race, and the magnanimous son of Vichitravirya, and Drona along
with his son, and Vidura and Kripa, and the king of Gandhara, along with
the Suta's son. Let him also pay his respects to all the other sons of
Dhritarashtra, to all who are renowned for strength and learning, devoted
to their proper duties, heroic, and conversant with signs of the times.
When all these persons are gathered together and when also the elderly
citizens are assembled, let him speak words full of humility and likely
to serve the interests of Yudhishthira, At all events, let them not be
provoked, for they have taken possession of the kingdom with a strong
hand. When Yudhishthira had his throne, he forgot himself by being
engaged in gambling and was dispossessed by them of his kingdom. This
valiant Kuru, this descendant of Ajamida, Yudhishthira, though not
skilled in dice and though dissuaded by all his friends, challenged the
son of the king of Gandhara, an adept at dice, to the match. There were
then at that place thousands of dice-players whom Yudhishthira could
defeat in a match. Taking however, no notice of any of them, he
challenged Suvala's son of all men to the game, and so he lost. And
although the dice constantly went against him, he would still have Sakuni
alone for his opponent. Competing with Sakuni in the play, he sustained a
crushing defeat. For this, no blame can attach to Sakuni. Let the
messenger make use of words characterised by humility, words intended to
conciliate Vichitravirya's son. The messenger may thus bring round
Dhritarashtra's son to his own views. Do not seek war with the Kurus;
address Duryodhana in only a conciliatory tone, The object may possibly
fail to be gained by war, but it may be gained by conciliation, and by
this means also it may be gained enduringly.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'While that valiant scion of Madhu's race was
even continuing his speech, the gallant son of the race of Sini suddenly
rose up and indignantly condemned the words of the former by these words
of his.'


"Satyaki said, 'Even as a man's heart is, so doth he speak! Thou art
speaking in strict conformity with the nature of thy heart. There are
brave men, and likewise those that are cowards. Men may be divided into
these two well defined classes. As upon a single large tree there may be
two boughs one of which beareth fruits while the other doth not, so from
the self-same line of progenitors may spring persons that are imbecile as
well as those that are endowed with great strength O thou bearing the
sign of a plough on thy banner, I do not, in sooth, condemn the words
thou hast spoken, but I simply condemn those, O son of Madhu, who are
listening to thy words! How, indeed, can he, who unblushingly dares
attach even the slightest blame in the virtuous king Yudhishthira be
permitted to speak at all in the midst of the assembly? Persons clever in
the game of dice challenged the magnanimous Yudhishthira unskilled as he
is in play, and confiding in them he was defeated! Can such persons be
said to have virtuously won the game? If they had come to Yudhishthira
while playing in this house with his brothers and defeated him there,
then what they would have won would have been righteously won. But they
challenged Yudhishthira who was bound in conscience to follow the rules
observed by the military caste, and they won by a trick. What is there in
this conduct of theirs that is righteous? And how can this Yudhishthira
here, having performed to the utmost the stipulations entered into by way
of stakes in the play, freed from the promise of a sojourn in the forest,
and therefore entitled to his ancestral throne, humble himself? Even if
Yudhishthira coveted other people's possessions, still it would not
behove him to beg! How can they be said to be righteous and not intent on
usurping the throne when, although the Pandavas have lived out their
sojourn of concealment unrecognised, they still say that the latter had
been recognised? They were besought by Bhishma and the magnanimous Drona,
but they would not yet consent to give back to the Pandavas the throne
that belongeth to them by right of birth. The means with which I would
beseech them would be sharp arrows. I shall fight and with a strong hand
force them to prostrate themselves at the feet of the illustrious son of
Kunti. If, however, they do not bow at the feet of the wise Yudhishthira,
then they and their partisans must go to the regions of Yama. When
Yuyudhana (myself) is enraged and resolved to fight, they, to be sure,
are unequal to withstand his impetus, as mountains are unable to resist
that of the thunderbolt. Who can withstand Arjuna in fight, or him who
hath the discus for his weapon in battle, or myself as well? Who can
withstand the unapproachable Bhima? And who, having regard for his life,
would come near the twin brothers who firmly grasp their bows and
resemble the death-dealing Yama in intelligence? Who would approach
Dhrishtadyumna, the son of Drupada, or these five sons of the Pandavas
who have added lustre to Draupadi's name, rivalling their fathers in
valour, equal to them in every respect and full of martial pride, or him
of the powerful bow, Subhadra's son, irresistible by even the gods
themselves; or Gada, or Pradyumna, or Samva, resembling Yama or the
thunderbolt or fire? We shall slay Dhritarashtra's son and Sakuni and
Karna in battle, and place the Pandava on the throne. There is no sin in
slaying them that are bent on slaying us: but to be a beggar before foes
is both impious and infamous. I ask you to be diligent in doing that
which is heartily desired by Yudhishthira. Let Pandu's son get back the
kingdom resigned by Dhritarashtra! Either Yudhishthira should get back
his kingdom this very day or all our enemies shall lie down on the earth
slain by me!'


"Drupada said, 'O mighty-armed one, it will, without doubt, be even as
thou hast said! Never will Duryodhana give up the kingdom by peaceful
means, and Dhritarashtra, who dotes on his son, will follow him in his
wish. And so will Bhishma and Drona from imbecility, and Karna and Sakuni
from folly. The words of Valadeva command themselves to my judgment; the
course pointed out by him should, indeed, be followed by a man who
desires peaceful settlement. But Duryodhana should never be addressed in
mild words. Vicious by nature, he, I believe cannot be brought to reason
by mildness. In respect of an ass, mildness is in place; but in respect
of animals of the bovine species, severity should be resorted to. If any
one were to speak mild words to Duryodhana, vicious by nature that wicked
wight would consider the speaker to be an imbecile person. If a mild
course is adopted towards him, the fool will think that he has won. Let
us do even this, let us make preparations; let us send word to our
friends that they may collect an army for us. Let speedy messengers go to
Salya, and Dhrishtaketu, and Jayatsena, and the prince of the Kekayas.
Duryodhana also, on his part, will send word to all the kings,
Rightminded persons, however, respond to the request of those that first
beseech them. Therefore, I ask you to make haste in first preferring your
suit to these rulers of men. Meseems that a great undertaking is awaiting
us. Quickly send word to Salya, and to the kings under him, and to king
Bhagadatta of immeasurable valour residing on the eastern sea-coast, and
to fierce Hardikya, and Ahuka, and the king of the Mallas of powerful
understanding, and Rochamana. Let Vrihanta be summoned and king
Senavindu, and Vahlika and Mudjakesa and the ruler of the Chedis, and
Suparsva, Suvahu; and that great hero, Paurava; and also the kings of the
Sakas, the Pahlavas, and the Daradas, and Surari, and Nadija, and king
Karnavest, and Nila, and the valiant king Viradharman; and Durjaya, and
Dantavakra, and Rukmi, and Janamejaya; and Ashada and Vayuvega, and king
Purvapali; and Bhuritejas, and Devaka, and Ekalaya with his sons; and
also the kings of the Krausha race, and the valiant Kshemamurti, and the
kings of the Kamboja and the Richika tribes, and of the western
sea-coast; and Jayatsena and the king of Kashi, and the rulers of the
land of the five rivers, and the proud son of Kratha, and the rulers of
the mountain regions, and Janaki, and Susarman and Maniman, and
Potimatsyaka, and the valiant Dhrishtaketu, and the ruler of the kingdom
of Pansu; and Paundra, and Dandadhara, and the brave Vrihatsena; and
Aparajita, and Nishada and Srenimat and Vasumat; and Vrihadvala of great
strength, and Vahu the conqueror of hostile cities; and the warlike king
Samudrasena with his son; and Uddhava, and Kshemaka and king Vatadhana;
and Srutayus, and Dridhayus, and the gallant son of Salwa; and the king
of the Kalingas, and Kumara, unconquerable in battle. Speedily send word
to these. This is what recommends itself to me. And let this my priest,
learned Brahmana, be sent, O king, to Dhritarashtra. Tell him the words
he is to say and what Duryodhana should be told; and how Bhishma is to be
addressed, and how Drona, that best of car-warriors!"


"Krishna said, 'These worlds are worthy of the chief of the Somaka tribe,
and are calculated to promote the interests of Pandu's son of
immeasurable strength. As we are desirous of adopting a politic course,
this is, no doubt, our first duty; a man acting otherwise would be a
great fool. But our relationship to both the Kurus and the Pandus is
equal, howsoever these two parties may behave with each other. Both you
and we have been invited here on the occasion of a marriage. The marriage
having now been celebrated, let us go home well-pleased. You are the
foremost of kings, both in years and learning; and here we all, no doubt
are as if your pupils. Dhritarashtra has always entertained a great
respect for you; and you are also a friend of the preceptors Drona and
Kripa. I, therefore, ask you to send a message (to the Kurus) in the
interests of the Pandavas. We all resolve even upon this that you should
send a message unto them. If that chief of the Kuru race should make
peace on equitable terms, then the brotherly feelings between the Kuras
and the Pandus will sustain no injury. If on the other hand, the son of
Dhritarashtra should wax haughty and from folly refuse to make peace,
then, having summoned others, summon us too. The holder of Gadiva then
will be fired with wrath and the dull-headed and wicked Duryodhana, with
his partisans and friends, will meet his fate.'

"Vaisampayana said, 'King Virata, then having honoured Krishna, sent him
home with his followers and relatives. And after Krishna had set out for
Dwaraka, Yudhishthira and his followers, with king Virata, began to make
preparations for war. And Virata and his relatives sent word to all the
monarchs, and king Drupada also did the same. And at the request of those
lions of the Kuru race, as also of the two kings of the Matsyas and the
Panchalas, many lords of the earth possessed of great strength, came to
the place with cheerful hearts. And when the sons of Dhritarashtra heard
that the Pandavas had collected a large army, they also assembled many
rulers of the earth. And, O king, at that time the whole land became
thronged with the rulers of the earth who were marching to espouse the
cause of either the Kurus or the Pandavas. And the land was full of
military bands composed of four kinds of forces. And from all sides the
forces began to pour in. And the goddess Earth with her mountains and
forests seemed to tremble beneath their tread. And the king of the
Panchalas, having consulted the wishes of Yudhishthira, despatched to the
Kurus his own priest, who was old both in years and understanding.'


"Drupada said, 'Of beings those that are endowed with life are superior.
Of living beings those that are endowed with intelligence are superior.
Of intelligent creatures men are superior. Of men the twice-born are
superior. Of the twice-born, students of the Veda are superior. Of
students of the Veda those of cultured understanding are superior. Of
cultured men practical persons are superior. And finally, of practical
men those knowing the Supreme Being are superior. You, it seems to me,
are at the very top of those that are of cultured understanding. You are
distinguished both for age and learning. You are equal in intellect to
either Sukra or Vrihaspati, the son of Angiras. You know what kind of man
the chief of the Kuru race is, and what kind of man also is Yudhishthira,
the son of Kunti. It was with Dhritarashtra's knowledge that the Pandavas
were-deceived by their opponents. Though instructed by Vidura he yet
follows his son! Sakuni advisedly challenged Yudhishthira to a gambling
match although the latter was unskilled in gambling while the former was
an adept in it. Unskilled in play, Yudhishthira was guileless and firm in
following the rules of the military order. Having thus cheated the
virtuous king Yudhishthira, they will, by no means, voluntarily yield up
the kingdom. If you speak words of righteousness unto Dhritarashtra, you
will certainly gain the hearts of his fighting men. Vidura also will make
use of those words of yours and will thus alienate the hearts of Bhishma,
and Drona, and Kripa, and others. When the officers of state are
alienated and fighting men are backward, the task of the enemy will be to
gain back their hearts. In the meantime, the Pandavas will, with ease and
with their whole hearts, address themselves in preparing the army and in
collecting stores. And when the enemy's adherents are estranged, and
while you are hanging about them, they will surely not be able to make
adequate preparations for war. This course seems expedient in this wise.
On your meeting with Dhritarashtra it is possible that Dhritarashtra may
do what you say. And as you are virtuous, you must therefore act
virtuously towards them. And to the compassionate, you must descant upon
the various hardships that the Pandavas have endured. And you must
estrange the hearts of the aged persons by discoursing upon the family
usages which were followed by their forefathers. I do not entertain the
slightest doubt in this matter. Nor need you be apprehensive of any
danger from them, for you are a Brahmana, versed in the Vedas; and you
are going thither as an ambassador, and more specially, you are an aged
man. Therefore, I ask you to set out without delay towards the Kauravas
with the object of promoting the interests of the Pandavas, timing your
departure under the (astrological) combination called Pushya and at that
part of the day called Jaya.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Thus instructed by the magnanimous Drupada, the
virtuous priest set out for Hastinapura (the city called after the
elephant). And that learned man, well-versed in the principles of the
science of politics, started with a following of disciples towards the
Kurus for the sake of promoting the welfare of Pandu's sons.'


"Vaisampayana said, 'Having despatched the priest to the city called
after the elephant they sent messengers to the kings of various
countries. And having sent messengers to other places, the Kuru hero
Dhananjaya, that bull among men and son of Kunti, himself set out for
Dwaraka. And after Krishna and Valadeva, the descendants of Madhu, had
both departed for Dwaraka with all the Vrishnis, the Andhakas and the
Bhojas, by hundreds, the royal son of Dhritarashtra had, by sending
secret emissaries, furnished himself with information of all the doings
of the Pandavas. And learning that Krishna was on his way, the prince
went to the city of Dwaraka by means of fine horses possessing the speed
of the wind, and taking with him a small number of troops. And on that
very day the son of Kunti and Pandu, Dhananjaya, also speedily arrived at
the beautiful city of the Anarta land. And the two scions of the Kuru
race, those tigers among men, on arriving there saw that Krishna was
asleep, and drew near him as he lay down. And as Krishna was sleeping,
Duryodhana entered the room, and sat down on a fine seat at the head of
the bed. And after him entered that wearer of the diadem the magnanimous
Arjuna. And stood at the back of the bed, bowing and joining his hands.
And when the descendant of Vrishni, Krishna awoke, he first cast his eyes
on Arjuna. And having asked them as to the safety of their journey, and
having fitly bestowed his greetings upon them, the slayer of Madhu
questioned them as to the occasion of their visit. Then Duryodhana
addressed Krishna, with a cheerful countenance, saying, It behoveth you
to lend me your help in the impending war. Arjuna and myself are both
equally your friends. And, O descendant of Madhu, you also bear the same
relationship to both of us. And today, O slayer of Madhu, I have been the
first to come to you. Right-minded persons take up the cause of him who
comes first to them. This is how the ancients acted. And, O Krishna, you
stand at the very top of all right-minded persons in the world, and are
always respected. I ask you to follow the rule of conduct observed by
rightminded men.' Thereat Krishna replied, 'That you have come first, O
king, I do not in the least doubt. But, O king, the son of Kunti,
Dhananjaya, has been first beheld by me. On account of your first
arrival, and on account of my having beheld Arjuna first, I shall, no
doubt, lend my assistance, O Suyodhana, to both. But it is said that
those who are junior in years should have the first choice. Therefore,
Dhananjaya, the son of Kunti, is entitled to first choice. There is a
large body of cowherds numbering ten crores, rivalling me in strength and
known as the Narayanas, all of whom are able to fight in the thick of
battle. These soldiers, irresistible in battle, shall be sent to one of
you and I alone, resolved not to fight on the field, and laying down my
arms, will go to the other. You may, O son of Kunti, first select
whichever of these two commends itself to you. For, according to law, you
have the right to the first choice.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Thus addressed by Krishna, Dhananjaya the son
of Kunti selected Kesava who was not to fight on the battle-field, even
Narayana himself, the slayer of foes, increate, born among men at his own
will,--the foremost of all Kshatriyas and above all the gods and the
Danavas. And Duryodhana selected for himself that entire army (composed
of the Narayanas). And, O descendant of Bharata, having obtained those
troops numbering thousands upon thousands, he was exceedingly delighted,
although he knew that Krishna was not on his side. And having secured
that army possessed of terrible prowess, Duryodhana went to the son of
Rohini of great strength, and explained to him, the object of his visit.
The descendant of Sura in reply addressed the following words to
Dhritarashtra's son, 'Thou shouldst remember, O tiger among men, all that
I said at the marriage ceremony celebrated by Vitrata. O thou delighter
of the race of Kuru, for thy sake I then contradicted Krishna and spoke
against his opinions. And again and again I alluded to the equality of
our relationship to both the parties. But Krishna did not adopt the views
I then expressed; nor can I separate myself from Krishna for even a
single moment. And seeing that I cannot act against Krishna even this is
resolution formed by me, viz., that I will fight neither for Kunti's sons
nor for you. And, O bull of the Bharatas, born as thou art in Bharata's
race that is honoured by all the kings, go and fight in accordance with
the rules of propriety.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Thus addressed, Duryodhana embraced that hero
wielding a plough for his weapon of battle, and although knowing that
Krishna had been taken away from his side, he yet regarded Arjuna as
already vanquished. And the royal son of Dhritarashtra then went to
Kritavarman. And Kritavarman gave him a body of troops numbering an
Akshauhini. And surrounded by that military host, terrible to behold, the
Kaurava marched forth delighting his friends. And after Duryodhana had
departed, Krishna, the Creator of the world, clad in yellow attire,
addressed Kiritin, saying, 'For what reason is it that you have selected
me who will not fight at all?'

"Thereupon Arjuna answered, 'I question not that you are able to slay
them all. I also am alone capable of slaying them, O best of men. But you
are an illustrious person in the world; and this renown will accompany
you. I also am a suitor for fame; therefore, you have been selected by
me. It hath been always my desire to have you for driving my car. I,
therefore, ask you to fulfil my desire cherished for a long time.'

"Vasudeva's son thereupon said, It beseems thee well, O Kunti's son, that
thou measurest thyself with me. I will act as thy charioteer; let thy
wish be fulfilled.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Then with a glad heart, Kunti's son,
accompanied by Krishna as well as by the flower of the Dasarha race, came
back to Yudhishthira.'


"Vaisampayana said, 'O king, having learnt the news from the messengers,
Salya, accompanied by a large body of troops and by his sons, all of whom
were mighty in battle, was coming to the Pandavas. His encampment covered
an area of one and a half yojana, so large was the force owned by that
best of men. He was the master, O king, of an Akshauhini and had great
prowess and valour. And there were in his army heroes bearing armour of
various colours, with diverse kinds of banners and bows and ornaments and
cars and animals, all wearing excellent garlands, and various robes and
ornaments. And hundreds and thousands of foremost of Kshatriyas were the
leaders of his troops, dressed and decorated in the manner of their
native land. And he proceeded by slow marches, giving rest to his troops,
towards the place where the Pandava was. And the creatures of the earth
felt oppressed and the earth trembled under the tread of his troops. And
king Duryodhana, hearing that magnanimous and mighty hero was on his way,
hastened towards him and paid him honours, O best of the Bharata race and
caused finely decorated places of entertainment to be constructed at
different spots for his reception, on beautiful sites, and whither many
artists were directed to entertain the guests. And those pavilions
contained garlands and meat and the choicest viands and drinks, and wells
of various forms, capable of refreshing the heart, and tanks of various
forms, and edibles, and roomy apartments. And arriving at those
pavilions, and waited upon like a very god by the servants of Duryodhana
located at different spots, Salya reached another house of entertainment
resplendent as a retreat of the celestials. And there, greeted with
choice creature-comforts fit for beings superior to man, he deemed
himself superior even to the lord himself of the gods and thought meanly
of Indra as compared with himself. And that foremost of Kshatriyas,
well-pleased, asked the servants, saying, 'Where are those men of
Yudhishthira, who have prepared these places of refreshment? Let those
men who made these be brought to me. I deem them worthy of being rewarded
by me. I must reward them, let it so please the son of Kunti!' The
servants, surprised, submitted the whole matter to Duryodhana. And when
Salya was exceedingly pleased and ready to grant even his life,
Duryodhana, who had remained concealed, came forward and showed himself
to his maternal uncle. And the kind of the Madras saw him and understood
that it was Duryodhana who had taken all the trouble to receive him. And
Salya embraced Duryodhana and said, 'Accept something that you may

"Duryodhana thereupon said, 'O thou auspicious one, let thy word be true,
grant me a boon. I ask thee to be the leader of all my army.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'And hearing this, Salya said, 'Be it so! What
else is to be done?' And the son of Gandhari repeated again and again,
'It is done.' And Salya said, 'O Duryodhana, O best of men, go to thy own
city. I shall proceed to pay a visit to Yudhishthira, the subduer of
foes. O king, I shall speedily come back, O ruler of men. That best of
men, Pandu's son Yudhishthira, must, by all means, be visited by me.' And
bearing this Duryodhana said, 'O king, O ruler of the earth, having seen
the Pandava, come speedily back. I depend entirely upon thee, O king of
kings. Remember the boon that thou hast granted me.' And Salya answered,
'Good betide thee! I shall come speedily back. Repair to thy own city, O
protector of men.' And then those two kings Salya and Duryodhana embraced
each other. And having thus greeted Salya, Duryodhana came back to his
own city. And Salya went to inform the sons of Kunti of that proceeding
of his. And having reached Upaplavya, and entered the encampment, Salya
saw there all the sons of Panda. And the mighty-armed Salya having met
the sons of Panda, accepted as usual water for washing his feet, and the
customary gifts of honour including a cow. And the king of the Madras,
that slayer of foes, first asked them how they were, and then with great
delight embraced Yudhishthira, and Bhima, and Arjuna, and the sons of his
sister the two twin-brothers. And when all had sat down, Salya spoke to
Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, saying, 'O tiger among kings, O thou
delighter of the race of Kuru, is it all well with thee? O best of
victors, how fortunately hast thou spent the term of thy residence in the
wilderness, O king, O lord of monarchs, it was an exceedingly hard task
that thou hast performed by dwelling in the wilderness together with thy
brothers and this noble lady here. And awfully difficult task again was
that sojourn of thine,--the period of concealment,--which task also thou
hast performed, O descendant of Bharata; for one pulled down from a
throne it is nothing but hardship that awaits him. O king, where is there
any happiness for him! O afflicter of thy foes, in compensation for all
this vast misery wrought by Dhritarashtra's son, thou wilt attain to
proportional happiness after having killed thy foes, O great king, O lord
of men, the ways of the world are known to thee. Therefore, O my son,
thou art never guided by avarice in any of thy dealings. O descendant of
Bharata, do thou treat on the foot-prints of ancient saintly kings. My
son, Yudhishthira, be steady in the path of liberality, and
self-abnegation, and truth. And, O royal Yudhishthira, mercy and self
control, and truth and universal sympathy, and everything wonderful in
this world, are to be found in thee. Thou art mild, munificent,
religious, and liberal, and thou regardest virtue as the highest good. O
king, many are the rules of virtue that prevail amongst men, and all
those are known to thee. O my son, O afflicter of foes, thou knowest in
fact everything relating to this world. O king, O best of Bharata's race,
how lucky it is that thou hast come out of this difficulty of thine. How
lucky, O king, O foremost of monarchs, O lord, it is that I see thee, so
virtuous a soul, a treasure-house of righteousness, freed with thy
followers from this.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Then, O descendant of Bharata, the king spoke
of his meeting with Duryodhana and gave a detailed account regarding that
promise of his and that boon granted by himself. And Yudhishthira said, O
valiant king, it has been well-done by thee that being pleased at heart
thou hast plighted thy truth to Duryodhana. But good betide thee, O ruler
of the earth, I ask thee to do one thing only. O king, O best of men,
thou wilt have to do it solely for my sake, though it may not be proper
to be done. O valiant one, hear what I submit to thee. O great king, thou
art equal to Krishna on the field of battle. When, O best of kings, the
single combat between Karna and Arjuna will take place, I have no doubt
thou wilt have to drive Karna's car. On that occasion, if thou art
inclined to do good to me, thou must protect Arjuna. O king, thou must
likewise so act that the Suta's son Karna may be dispirited and the
victory may be ours. Improper it no doubt is; but, O my uncle, for all
that thou must do it. Salya said, 'Good betide thee. Listen, O son of
Panda. Thou tellest me to so act that the vile son of the Suta may be
dispirited in fight. To be sure, I shall be his charioteer' on the field,
for he always considers me equal to Krishna. O tiger like descendant of
Kuru, I shall certainly speak to him, when desirous of fighting on the
field of battle, words contradictory and fraught with harm to him, so
that bereft of pride and valour, he may be easily slain by his
antagonist. This I tell thee truly. Asked by thee to do it, this I am
determined to do, O my son. Whatever else I may be able to bring about, I
shall do for thy good. Whatever troubles were suffered by thee together
with Draupadi on the occasion of the game at dice, the rude inhuman words
uttered by the Suta's son, the misery inflicted by the Asura Jata and by
Kichaka, O illustrious one, all the miseries experienced by Draupadi,
like those formerly experienced by Damayanti,--will all, O hero, end in
joy. Thou shouldst not be aggrieved at this; for Destiny is all powerful
in this world; and, O Yudhishthira, high-minded persons have to endure
miseries of various kinds, nay, even the gods themselves, O king, have
suffered misfortunes. O king, O descendant of Bharata, it is narrated
that the high-minded Indra, the chief of the celestials, had to endure
together with his wife very great misery, indeed.'


"Yudhishthira said, 'O foremost of monarchs, I wish to know how it was
that great and unparalleled misery had to be endured by the illustrious
Indra together with his queen.'

"Salya said, 'Listen, O king, to me as I relate this ancient story of the
events of former days,--how, O descendant of Bharata, misery befell Indra
and his wife. Once Twashtri, the lord of creatures and the foremost of
celestials, was engaged in practising rigid austerities. And it is said
that from antipathy to Indra he created a son having three heads. And
that being of universal form possessed of great lustre hankered after
Indra's seat. And possessed of those three awful faces resembling the
sun, the moon, and the fire, he read the Vedas with one mouth, drank wine
with another, and looked with the third as if he would absorb all the
cardinal points. And given to the practice of austerities, and mild being
and self-controlled, he was intent upon a life of religious practices and
austerities. And his practice of austerities, O subduer of foes, was
rigid and terrible and of an exceedingly severe character. And beholding
the austerities, courage, and truthfulness of this one possessed of
immeasurable energy, Indra became anxious, fearing lest that being should
take his place. And Indra reflected, 'How may he be made to addict
himself to sensual enjoyments; how may he be made to cease his practice
of such rigid austerities? For were the three-headed being to wax strong,
he would absorb the whole universe.' And it was thus that Indra pondered
in his mind; and, O best of Bharata's race, endued with intelligence, he
ordered the celestial nymphs to tempt the son of Twashtri. And he
commanded them, saying, 'Be quick, and go without delay, and so tempt him
that the three-headed being may plunge himself into sensual enjoyment to
the utmost extent. Furnished with captivating hips, array yourselves in
voluptuous attires, and decking yourselves in charming necklaces, do ye
display gestures and blandishments of love. Endued with loveliness, do ye
tempt him and alleviate my dread. I feel restless in my heart, O lovely
damsels. Avert ye, ladies, this awful peril that hangs over me. Good
betide you.'

"Then the nymphs said, 'O Indra, O slayer of Vala, we shall so endeavour
to allure him that thou wilt have nothing to fear at his hands. That very
receptacle of austerities, sitting now as if scorching everything with
his eyes, O god, we are going together to tempt. We shall try to bring
him under our control, and to put an end to your fears.'

"Salya continued, 'Commanded by Indra, they then went to the three-headed
being. And arriving there, those lovely damsels tempted him with various
gestures of love, displaying their fine figures. But engaged in the
practice of exceedingly severe austerities, although he looked at them,
yet he was not influenced by desire. Of subdued senses he was like the
ocean, full to the brim, in gravity. And the nymphs after having tried
their best, came back to Indra. And they all with joined hands spoke to
the lord of the celestials, saying, 'O, that unapproachable being is
incapable of being disturbed by us. O highly gifted being, thou mayst do
what now may seem proper to thee.' The high-minded Indra honoured the
nymphs and then dismissed them reflecting, O Yudhishthira, solely upon
other means of destroying his foe. And endued with intelligence, he fixed
upon a contrivance for destroying the three-headed being. And he said,
'Let me today hurt my thunderbolt at him. By this means he will speedily
be killed. Even a strong person should not overlook a rising foe,
contemptible though he may be.' And thus reflecting upon the lessons
inculcated in treatises of learning, he was firmly resolved upon slaying
that being. Then Indra, enraged, hurled at the three-headed being his
thunderbolt which looked like fire and was terrible to behold, and which
inspired dread. And forcibly struck by that thunderbolt, he was slain and
fell down, as falls on the earth the loosened summit of a hill. And
beholding him slain by the thunderbolt, and lying down huge as a hill,
the chief of the celestials found no peace, and felt as if scorched by
the effulgent appearance of the dead; for though slain, he had a blazing
and effulgent appearance and looked like one alive. And, strange to say,
though lifeless, his heads seemed to be alive as they were beheld lying
low on the field. And exceedingly afraid of that lustre, Indra remained
plunged in thought. And at that time, O great king, bearing an axe on his
shoulder, a carpenter came to the forest and approached the spot where
lay that being. And Indra, the lord of Sachi, who was afraid, saw the
carpenter come there by chance. And the chastiser of Paka said unto him
immediately, 'Do this my behest. Quickly cut off this one's heads.' The
carpenter thereupon said, 'His shoulders are broad: this axe will not be
able to cut them off. Nor shall I be able to do what is condemned by
righteous persons.' And Indra said, 'Do not fear, quickly do what I say.
At my command thy axe shall equal the thunderbolt.' The carpenter said,
'Whom am I to take thee to be who hast done this frightful deed today?
This I wish to learn, tell me the exact truth.' And Indra said, 'O
carpenter, I am Indra, the chief of the gods. Let this be known to thee.
Do thou act just as I have told thee. Do not hesitate, O carpenter! The
carpenter said, 'O Indra, how is it that thou art not ashamed of this thy
inhuman act? How it is that thou hast no dread of the sin of slaying a
Brahmana, after having slain this son of a saint?' Indra said, 'I shall
afterwards perform some religious ceremony of a rigorous kind to purify
myself from this taint. This was a powerful enemy of mine whom I have
killed with my thunderbolt. Even now I am uneasy, O carpenter; I, indeed,
dread him even now. Do thou quickly cut off his heads, I shall bestow my
favour upon thee. In sacrifices, men will give thee the head of the
sacrificial beast as thy share. This is the favour I confer on thee. Do
thou quickly perform what I desire.'

"Salya said, 'Hearing this, the carpenter, at the request of the great
Indra, immediately severed the heads of the three-headed one with his
axe. And when the heads were cut off, out flew therefrom a number of
birds, viz., partridges, quails and sparrows. And from the mouth
wherewith he used to recite the Vedas and to drink the Soma-juice, came
out partridges in quick succession. And, O king, O son of Pandu, from the
mouth with which he used to look at the cardinal points as if absorbing
them all, a number of quails came forth. And from that mouth of the
three-headed being which used to drink wine, out flew a number of
sparrows and hawks. And the heads having been cut off Indra was freed
from his trepidation, and went to heaven, glad at heart. And the
carpenter also went back to his house. And the slayer of Asuras, having
killed his foe, considered his object gained. Now when the lord of
creatures, Twashtri, heard that his son had been slain by Indra, his eyes
became red with ire, and he spoke the following words, 'Since Indra hath
killed my son who had committed no offence at all, who was constantly
engaged in the practice of austerities, who was merciful, possessed of
self-control, and of subdued passions, therefore, for the destruction of
Indra, I will create Vritra. Let the worlds behold what power I possess,
and how mighty is the practice of austerities! Let that inhuman,
wicked-minded lord of the gods also witness the same!' And saying this,
that enraged one, famous for his austerities, washed his mouth with
water, made offerings on the fire, created the terrible Vritra, and spoke
to him, saying, 'O destined slayer of Indra, grow in might even from the
strength of my austere rites.' And that Asura grew in might, towering
towards the firmament, and resembling the son of fire. And he asked,
'Risen like the doomsday sun, what am I to do?' 'Kill Indra,' was the
reply. And then he departed towards the celestial regions. And next
ensued a great fight between Vritra and Indra, both fired with wrath. And
there took place a terrible combat, O best of Kuru's race. And the heroic
Vritra seized the celestial lord who had performed a hundred sacrifices.
And filled with wrath, he whirled Indra and threw him into his mouth. And
when Indra was swallowed up by Vritra, the terrified senior gods,
possessed of great might, created Jrimbhika to kill Vritra. And as Vritra
yawned and his mouth opened the slayer of the Asura, Vala contracted the
different parts of his body, and came out from within Vritra's mouth. And
thenceforth the yawn attaches itself to the living breath of animated
beings in three worlds. And the gods rejoiced at the egress of Indra. And
once again commenced the terrible fight between Vritra and Indra, both
full of ire. And it was waged for a long while, O best of Bharata's race.
And when Vritra, inspired with the mighty spirit of Twashtri and himself
endowed with strength, got the upper hand in fight, Indra turned back And
on his retreat, the gods became exceedingly distressed. And all of them
together with Indra were overpowered by the might of Twashtri. And they
all consulted with the saints, O descendant of Bharata. And they
deliberated as to what was proper to be done, and were overwhelmed with
dread. And seated on the top of the Mandara mountain, and bent on killing
Vritra, they only bethought themselves of Vishnu, the indestructible one.'


"Indra said, This whole indestructible universe, O gods, hath been
pervaded by Vritra. There is nothing that can be equal to the task of
opposing him. I was capable of yore, but now I am incapable. What good
betide you, can I do? I believe him to be unapproachable. Powerful and
magnanimous, possessing immeasurable strength in fight, he would be able
to swallow up all the three worlds with the gods, the Asuras, and the
men. Therefore, hear ye dwellers of heaven, this is my resolution.
Proceeding to the abode of Vishnu, in company with that high-souled Being
must we consult, and ascertain the means of slaying this ruthless wretch.'

"Salya continued, 'Indra having thus spoken, the gods with that host of
Rishis repaired to the mighty god Vishnu to place themselves under
the-protection of that protector of all. And afflicted with the dread of
Vritra, they said unto the Supreme Lord of the deities. Thou hadst in
former times covered the three worlds with three steps. Thou hadst
procured the ambrosial food, O Vishnu, and destroyed the Asuras in
battle. Thou didst bind the great Asura Vali and hadst raised Indra to
the throne of heaven. Thou art the lord of the gods, and this entire
universe is pervaded by thee. Thou art the God, the mighty Deity, saluted
by all persons. Be thou the refuge of all the celestials together with
Indra, O best of gods. The whole universe, O slayer of Asuras, hath been
pervaded by Vritra. And Vishnu said, 'I am no doubt bound to do what is
for your good. I shall, therefore, tell you of a contrivance whereby he
may be annihilated. Do ye with the Rishis and the Gandharvas repair to
the place where Vritra that bearer of a universal form is and adopt
towards him a conciliatory policy. You will thus succeed in overthrowing
him. By virtue of my power, victory, ye gods, will be won by Indra, for,
remaining invisible, I shall enter into his thunderbolt, that best of
weapons. O foremost of gods, depart ye with the Rishis and the
Gandharvas. Let there be no delay in effecting a peace between Indra and

"Salya continued, 'When he had thus spoken, the Rishis and the celestials
placed Indra at their head, and uniting together, went away. Approaching
Indra they behold Vritra glowing and resplendent as if scorching the ten
points, and swallowing all the three worlds, and resembling the sun or
the moon. And then the Rishis, came up to Vritra and spoke to him in
conciliatory terms, saying, 'O thou unconquerable being, the whole of
this universe hath been pervaded by thy energy. Thou art not able however
to overpower Indra, O best of mighty beings. A long period hath now
elapsed since you began to fight. All beings, with the gods and the
Asuras and men, are suffering from the effects of the fight. Let there be
eternal friendship between thee and Indra. Thou shalt be happy and shall
dwell eternally in Indra's regions.' And the mighty Vritra having heard
the words of the saints, bowed his head unto them. And the Asura (thus)
spoke, 'What you, O highly-gifted beings, and also all these Gandharvas
are saying, I have heard. Ye stainless beings, hear also what I have got
to say. How can there be peace between us two, Indra and myself? How can
there be friendship, ye gods, between two hostile powers?' The Rishis
said, 'Friendship among righteous persons happens at a single meeting. It
is a desirable object. Thereafter will happen what is fated to be. The
opportunity of forming friendship with a righteous person should not be
sacrificed. Therefore, the friendship of the righteous should be sought.
The friendship of the righteous is (like) excellent wealth, for he that
is wise would give advice when it is needed. The friendship of a good
person is of great use; therefore, a wise person should not desire to
kill a righteous one. Indra is honoured by the righteous, and is the
refuge of magnanimous persons, being veracious and unblamable, and knows
what virtue is, and is possessed of a refined judgment. Let there be
eternal friendship between thee and Indra, as described above. In this
way, have faith (in him); let not thy heart be differently inclined.'

"Salya said, 'Hearing these words of the great Rishis, the illustrious
Asura spoke to them, 'No doubt, the Rishis, endued with supernatural
powers, are to be respected by me. Let what I am going to say, ye gods,
be performed in its entirety; then I shall do everything that (these)
best of Brahmanas have said to me. Ye lords of the Brahmana race, ordain
so that Indra himself or the gods do not kill me by what is dry, or wet;
by stone, or by wood; by a weapon fit for close fight, or by a missile;
in the day time, or at night. On those terms eternal peace with Indra
would be acceptable to me,--Very good! was what the Rishis told him, O
best of Bharata race.' Thus peace having been concluded, Vritra was very
much pleased. And Indra also became pleased though constantly occupied
with the thought of killing Vritra. And the chief of the deities passed
his time in search of a loophole, uneasy (in mind). And on a certain day
when it was evening and the hour awful, Indra caught sight of the mighty
Asura on the coast of the sea. And he bethought himself of the boon that
was granted to the illustrious Asura, saying, 'This is the awful evening
time; it is neither day, nor night; and this Vritra, my enemy, who hath
stripped me of my all, must undoubtedly be killed by me. It I do not kill
Vritra, this great and mighty Asura of gigantic frame, even by deceit, it
will not go well with me.' And as Indra thought of all this, bearing
Vishnu in mind he beheld at that instant in the sea a mass of froth as
large as a hill. And he said, 'This is neither dry, nor wet, nor is it a
weapon; let me hurl it at Vritra. Without doubt, he will die
immediately.' And he threw at Vritra that mass of froth blended with the
thunderbolt. And Vishnu, having entered within that froth, put an end to
the life of Vritra. And when Vritra was killed, the cardinal points were
free from gloom; and there also blew a pleasant breeze; and all beings
were much pleased. And the deities with the Gandharvas and Yakshas and
Rakshasas, with the great snakes and saints, glorified the mighty Indra
with various laudatory hymns. And saluted by all beings, Indra spoke
words of encouragement to all. And his heart was glad as also that of
everyone of the gods for having killed the foe. And knowing the nature of
virtue, he worshipped Vishnu, the most praiseworthy of all objects in the
world. Now when the mighty Vritra, terrible to the gods, was killed,
Indra became overpowered by falsehood, and he became exceedingly sad; and
he was also overpowered by the sin of Brahmanicide on account of having
killed the three-headed son of Twashtri. And he betook himself to the
confines of the worlds, and became bereft of his senses and
consciousness. And overpowered by his own sins, he could not be
recognised. And he lay concealed in water, just like a writhing snake.
And when the lord of celestials, oppressed with the dread of
Brahmanicide, had vanished from sight, the earth looked as if a havoc had
passed over it. And it became treeless, and its woods withered; and the
course of rivers was interrupted; and the reservoirs lost all their
water; and there was distress among animals on account of cessation of
rains. And the deities and all the great Rishis were in exceeding fear;
and the world had no king, and was overtaken by disasters. Then the
deities and the divine saints in heaven, separated from the chief of the
gods, became terrified, and wondered who was to be their king. And nobody
had any inclination to act as the king of the gods.'


"Salya said, 'Then all the Rishis and the superior gods said, "Let the
handsome Nahusha be crowned as king of the gods. He is powerful and
renowned, and devoted to virtue ever more.' And they all went and said to
him, 'O lord of the earth, be thou our king.' And Nahusha intent on his
welfare, spoke to those gods and saints accompanied by the progenitors
(of mankind), 'I am feeble; I am not capable of protecting you; it is a
powerful person who should be your king; it is Indra who hath always been
possessed of strength.' And all the gods, led by the saints, spoke again
to him, 'Aided by the virtue of our austerities, rule thou the kingdom of
heaven. There is no doubt that we have all our respective fears. Be
crowned, O lord of monarchs, as the king of heaven. Whatever being may
stand within thy sight, whether he be a god, an Asura, a Yaksha, a saint,
a Pitri, or a Gandharva, thou shalt absorb his power and (thereby) wax
strong. Always placing virtue before (all other things), be thou the
ruler of the worlds. Protect also the Brahmarsis (Brahmana saints) and
the gods in heaven.' Then, O lord of monarchs, Nahusha was crowned king
in heaven. And placing virtue before (everything else), he became the
ruler of all the worlds. And though always of a virtuous disposition, yet
when he obtained that precious boon and the kingdom of heaven, Nahusha
assumed a sensual turn of mind. And when Nahusha became the king of the
gods, he surrounded himself with celestial nymphs, and with damsels of
celestial birth, and took to enjoyments of various kinds, in the Nandana
groves, on mount Kailasa, on the crest of Himavat, on Mandara. the White
hill Sahya, Mahendra and Malaya, as, also upon seas and rivers. And he
listened to various divine narratives that captivated both the ear and
the heart, and to the play of musical instruments of different sorts, and
to sweet vocal strains. And Viswavasu and Narada and bevies of celestial
nymphs and bands of Gandharvas and the six seasons in living shapes,
attended upon the king of the gods. And fragrant breezes, refreshingly
cool, blew round him. And while that wretch was thus enjoying himself, on
one occasion the goddess who was the favourite queen of Indra came in his
sight. And that vicious soul, having looked at her, said to the
courtiers, 'Why doth not this goddess, the queen of Indra, attend upon
me? I am the monarch of the gods, and also the ruler of the worlds. Let
Sachi make haste and visit me at my house.' Saddened at hearing this, the
goddess said to Vrihaspati, 'Protect me, O Brahmana, from this Nahusha. I
come to you as my refuge. You always say, O Brahmana, that I have got on
my person all the auspicious marks, being the favourite of the divine
king; that I am chaste, devoted to my lord, and destined never to become
a widow. All this about me you have said before. Let your words be made
true. O possessor of great powers, O lord, you never spoke words that
were vain. Therefore, O best of Brahmanas, this that you have said ought
to be true.' Then Vrihaspati said to the queen of Indra who was beside
herself through fear, 'What thou hast been told by me will come to be
true, be sure, O goddess. Thou shalt see Indra, the lord of the gods, who
will soon come back here. I tell thee truly, thou hast no fear from
Nahusha; I shall soon unite thee with Indra.' Now Nahusha came to hear
that Indra's queen had taken refuge with Vrihaspati, the son of Angiras.
And at this, the king became highly enraged.'


"Salya said, 'Seeing Nahusha enraged, the gods led by the saints spoke
unto him, 'Who was now their king of awful mien? O king of gods, quit thy
wrath. When thou art in wrath, O lord, the Universe, with its Asuras and
Gandharvas, its Kinnaras, and great snakes, quaketh. Quit this wrath,
thou righteous being. Persons like thee do not put themselves out. That
goddess is another person's wife. Be pacified, O lord of gods! Turn back
thy inclination from the sin of outraging another's wife. Thou art the
king of gods, prosperity to thee! Protect thy subjects in all
righteousness?' So addressed, he heeded not the saying rendered senseless
by lust. And the king spoke to the gods, in allusion to Indra, 'Ahalya of
spotless fame, the wife of a saint, was outraged by Indra while her
husband was alive. Why did ye not prevent him? Many were the deeds of
inhumanity, of unrighteousness, of deceit, committed by Indra in former
times. Why did ye not prevent him? Let the goddess do my pleasure; that
would be her permanent good. And so the same will ever more rebound to
your safety, ye gods!'

"The gods said, 'We shall bring to thee the queen of Indra even as thou
hast laid the command, 'O lord of heaven! Quit this wrath, thou valiant
soul! Be pacified, O lord of gods!'

"Salya continued, 'Thus having spoken to him, the gods with the saint
went to inform Vrihaspati and the queen of Indra of the said news. And
they said, 'We know, O foremost of Brahmanas, that the queen of Indra
hath betaken herself to thy house, for protection, and that thou hast
promised her protection, O best of divine saints! But we, the gods and
Gandharvas and saints, beseech thee, O thou of great lustre, to give up
the queen of Indra to Nahusha. Nahusha, the king of gods, of great
effulgence, is superior to Indra. Let her, that lady of choice figure and
complexion, choose him as her lord!' Thus addressed, the goddess gave
vent to tears; and sobbing audibly, she mourned in piteous accents. And
she spoke to Vrihaspati, 'O best of divine saints, I do not desire
Nahusha to be my lord. I have betaken myself to thy protection, O
Brahmana! Deliver me from this great peril!'

"Vrihaspati said, 'My resolution is this, I shall not abandon one that
hath sought my protection. O thou of unblamable life, I shall not abandon
thee, virtuous as thou art and of a truthful disposition! I do not desire
to do an improper act, specially as I am a Brahmana knowing what
righteousness is, having a regard for truth, and aware also of the
precepts of virtue. I shall never do it. Go your ways, ye best of gods.
Hear what hath formerly been sung by Brahma with regard to the matter at
hand. He that delivereth up to a foe of a person terrified and asking for
protection obtaineth no protection when he himself is in need of it. His
seed doth not grow at seed-time and rain doth not come to him in the
season of rains. He that delivereth up to a foe a person terrified and
asking for protection never succeedeth in anything that he undertaketh;
senseless as he is, he droppeth paralysed from heaven; the god refuse
offerings made by him. His progeny die an untimely death and his
forefathers always quarrel (among themselves). The gods with Indra and
their head dart the thunderbolt at him. Know it to be so, I shall not
deliver up this Sachi here, the queen of Indra, famous in the world as
his favourite consort. O ye best of gods, what may be for both her good
and mine I ask you to do. Sachi I shall never deliver up!'

"Salya continued, 'Then the gods and the Gandharvas said these words to
the preceptor of the gods, 'O Vrihaspati, deliberate upon something that
may be conformable to sound policy!' Vrihaspati said, 'Let this goddess
of auspicious looks ask for time from Nahusha in order to make up her
mind to his proposal. This will be for the good of Indra's queen, and of
us as well. Time, ye gods, may give rise to many impediments. Time will
send time onward. Nahusha is proud and powerful by virtue of the boon
granted to him!'

"Salya continued, 'Vrihaspati having spoken so, the gods, delighted then
said, 'Well hast thou said, O Brahmana. This is for the good of all the
gods. It is no doubt so. Only, let this goddess be propitiated.' Then the
assembled gods led by Agni, with a view to the welfare of all the worlds,
spoke to Indra's queen in a quiet way. And the gods said, 'Thou art
supporting the whole universe of things mobile and immobile. Thou art
chaste and true: go thou to Nahusha. That vicious being, lustful after
thee, will shortly fall: and Indra, O goddess, will get the sovereignty
of the gods!' Ascertaining this to be the result of that deliberation,
Indra's queen, for attaining her end, went bashfully to Nahusha of awful
mien. The vicious Nahusha also, rendered senseless by lust, saw how
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:42:54 PM

The Mahabharata


Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa



Translated into English Prose from the Original Sanskrit Text


Kisari Mohan Ganguli


Scanned at sacred-texts.com, January, 2004. Proofed by John Bruno Hare.




(Jamvu-khanda Nirmana Parva)

OM! HAVING BOWED down to Narayana, and Nara, the most exalted of male
beings, and also to the goddess Saraswati, must the word 'Jaya' be

Janamejaya said,--"How did those heroes, the Kurus, the Pandavas, and the
Somakas, and the high-souled kings assembled together from various
countries, fight?"

Vaisampayana said,--"Listen thou, O lord of the earth, how those
heroes,--the Kurus, the Pandavas, and the Somakas,--fought on the sacred
plain of the Kurukshetra.[1] Entering Kurukshetra, the Pandavas endued
with great might, along with the Somakas, advanced, desirous of victory,
against the Kauravas. Accomplished in the study of the Vedas, all (of
them) took great delight in battle. Expectant of success in battle, with
their troops (they) faced the fight. Approaching the army of
Dhritarashtra's son, those (warriors) invincible in battle[2] stationed
themselves with their troops on the western part (of the plain), their
faces turned towards the east. Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, caused
tents by thousands to be set up according to rule, beyond the region
called Samantapanchaka. The whole earth seemed then to be empty, divested
of horses and men, destitute of cars and elephants, and with only the
children and the old left (at home). From the whole area of Jamvudwipa
over which the sun sheds his rays,[3] was collected that force, O best of
kings. Men of all races,[4] assembled together, occupied an area
extending for many Yojanas over districts, rivers, hills, and woods. That
bull among men, king Yudhishthira, ordered excellent food and other
articles of enjoyment for all of them along with their animals. And
Yudhishthira fixed diverse watch-words for them; so that one saying this
should be known as belonging to the Pandavas. And that descendant of
Kuru's race also settled names and badges for all of them for recognition
during time of battle.

"Beholding the standard-top of Pritha's son, the high-souled son of
Dhritarashtra, with a white umbrella held over his head, in the midst of
a thousand elephants, and surrounded by his century of brothers, began
with all the kings (on his side) to array his troops against the son of
Pandu. Seeing Duryodhana, the Panchalas who took delight in battle, were
filled with joy and blew their loud-sounding conches and cymbals of sweet
sounds. Beholding those troops so delighted, Pandu's son and Vasudeva of
great energy had their hearts filled with joy. And those tigers among
men, Vasudeva and Dhananjaya, seated on one car, having felt great joy,
both blew their celestial conches. And hearing the blare of Gigantea and
the loud blast of Theodotes belonging unto the two, the combatants
ejected urine and excreta. As other animals are filled with fear on
hearing the voice of the roaring lion, even so became that force upon
hearing those blasts. A frightful dust arose and nothing could be seen,
for the sun himself, suddenly enveloped by it, seemed to have set.[5] A
black cloud poured a shower of flesh and blood over the troops all
around. All this seemed extraordinary. A wind rose there, bearing along
the earth myriads of stony nodules, and afflicting therewith the
combatants by hundreds and thousands. (For all that), O monarch, both
armies, filled with joy, stood addrest for battle, on Kurukshetra like
two agitated oceans. Indeed, that encounter of the two armies was highly
wonderful, like that of two oceans when the end of the Yuga is arrived.
The whole earth was empty, having only the children and the old left (at
home), in consequence of that large army mustered by the Kauravas.[6]
Then the Kurus, the Pandavas, and the Somakas made certain covenants, and
settled the rules, O bull of Bharata's race, regarding the different
kinds of combat. Persons equally circ*mstanced must encounter each other,
fighting fairly. And if having fought fairly the combatants withdraw
(without fear of molestation), even that would be gratifying to us. Those
who engaged in contests of words should be fought against with words.
Those that left the ranks should never be slain.[7] A car-warrior should
have a car-warrior for his antagonist; he on the neck of an elephant
should have a similar combatant for his foe; a horse should be met by a
horse, and a foot-soldier, O Bharata; should be met by a foot-soldier.
Guided by considerations of fitness, willingness, daring and might, one
should strike another, giving notice. No one should strike another that
is unprepared[8] or panic-struck. One engaged with another, one seeking
quarter, one retreating, one whose weapon is rendered unfit, uncased in
mail, should never be struck. Car-drivers, animals (yoked to cars or
carrying weapons) men engaged in the transport of weapons,[9] players on
drums and blowers of conches should never be struck. Having made these
covenants, the Kurus, and the Pandavas, and the Somakas wondered much,
gazing at each other. And having stationed (their forces thus), those
bulls among men, those high-souled ones, with their troops, became glad
at heart, their joy being reflected on their countenances."


Vaisampayana said,--"Seeing then the two armies (standing) on the east
and the west for the fierce battle that was impending, the holy Rishi
Vyasa, the son of Satyavati, that foremost of all persons acquainted with
the Vedas, that grandsire of the Bharatas, conversant with the past, the
present, and the future, and beholding everything as if it were present
before his eyes, said these words in private unto the royal son of
Vichitravirya who was then distressed and giving way to sorrow,
reflecting on the evil policy of his sons.

"Vyasa said,--'O king, thy sons and the other monarchs have their hour
arrived.[10] Mustered in battle they will kill one another. O Bharata,
their hour having come, they will all perish. Bearing in mind the changes
brought on by time, do not yield thy heart to grief. O king, if thou wish
to see them (fighting) in battle, I will, O son, grant thee vision.
Behold the battle."

"Dhritarashtra said,--'O best of regenerate Rishi, I like not to behold
the slaughter of kinsmen. I shall, however, through thy potency hear of
this battle minutely."

Vaisampayana continued.--"Upon his not wishing to see the battle but
wishing to hear of it, Vyasa, that lord of boons, gave a boon to Sanjaya.
(And addressing Dhritarashtra he said),--'This Sanjaya, O king, will
describe the battle to thee. Nothing in the whole battle will be beyond
this one's eyes.' Endued, O king with celestial vision, Sanjaya will
narrate the battle to thee. He will have knowledge of everything.
Manifest or concealed, (happening) by day or by night, even that which is
thought of in the mind, Sanjaya shall know everything. Weapons will not
cut him and exertion will not fatigue him. This son of Gavalgani will
come out of the battle with life. As regards myself, O bull of Bharata's
race, the fame of these Kurus, as also of all the Pandavas, I will
spread. Do not grieve. This is destiny, O tiger among men. It behoveth
thee not to give way to grief. It is not capable of being prevented. As
regards victory, it is there where righteousness is.'"

Vaisampayana continued,--"That highly-blessed and holy grandsire of the
Kurus, having said so, once more addressed Dhritarashtra and
said,--'Great will the slaughter be, O monarch, in this battle. I see
here also (numerous) omens indicative of terror. Hawks and vultures, and
crows and herons, together with cranes, are alighting on the tops of
trees and gathering in flocks. These birds, delighted at the prospect of
battle, are looking down (on the field) before them. Carnivorous beasts
will feed on the flesh of elephants and steeds. Fierce herons, foreboding
terror, and uttering merciless cries, are wheeling across the centre
towards the southern region. In both the twilights, prior and posterior,
I daily behold, O Bharata, the sun during his rising and setting to be
covered by headless trunks. Tri-coloured clouds with their extremities
white and red and necks black, charged with lightning, and resembling
maces (in figure) envelope the sun in both twilights. I have seen the
sun, the moon, and the stars to be all blazing. No difference in their
aspect is to be noted in the evening. I have seen this all day and all
night. All this forbodes fear. On even the fifteenth night of the
lighted-fortnight in (the month of) Kartika, the moon, divested of
splendour, became invisible, or of the hue of fire, the firmament being
of the hue of the lotus. Many heroic lords of earth, kings and princes,
endued with great bravery and possessed of arms resembling maces, will be
slain and sleep lying down on the earth. Daily I notice in the sky during
night time the fierce cries of battling boars and cats.[11] The images of
gods and goddesses sometimes laugh, sometimes tremble, and sometimes
again these vomit blood through their mouths and sometimes they sweat and
sometimes fall down. O monarch! drums, without being beaten, give sounds,
and the great cars of Kshatriyas move without (being drawn by) animals
yoked to them. Kokilas, wood-peckers, jaws, water-c*cks, parrots, crows,
and peac*cks, utter terrible cries. Here and there, cavalry soldiers,
cased in mail, armed with weapons, send forth fierce shouts. At sun-rise
flights of insects, by hundreds are seen. In both twilights, the cardinal
quarters seem to be ablaze, and the clouds, O Bharata, shower dust and
flesh. She, O king, who is celebrated over the three worlds and is
applauded by the righteous, even that (constellation) Arundhati keepeth
(her lord) Vasistha on her back. The planet Sani also, O king, appeareth
afflicting (the constellation) Rohini. The sign of the deer in the Moon
hath deviated from its usual position. A great terror is indicated. Even
though the sky is cloudless, a terrible roar is heard there. The animals
are all weeping and their tears are falling fast.'"


"Vyasa said,--'Asses are taking births in kine. Some are having sexual
pleasure with mothers. The trees in the forests are exhibiting
unseasonable flowers and fruits. Women quick with child, and even those
that are not so, are giving birth to monsters. Carnivorous beasts,
mingling with (carnivorous) birds, are feeding together. Ill-omened
beasts, some having three horns, some with four eyes, some with five
legs, some with two sexual organs, some with two heads, some with two
tails, some having fierce teeth, are being born, and with mouths wide
open are uttering unholy cries. Horses with three legs, furnished with
crests, having four teeth, and endued with horns, are also being born. O
king! in thy city is also seen that the wives of many utterers of Brahma
are bringing forth Garudas and peac*cks. The mare is bringing forth the
cow-calf and the bitch is bringing forth, O king, jackals and c*cks, and
antelopes and parrots are all uttering inauspicious cries.[12] Certain
women are bringing forth four or five daughters (at a time), and these as
soon as they are born, dance and sing and laugh. The members of the
lowest orders are laughing and dancing and singing, and thus indicating
direful consequences. Infants, as if urged by death, are drawing armed
images, and are running against one another, armed with clubs, and
desirous of battle are also breaking down the towns (they erect in
sport). Lotuses of different kinds and lilies are growing on trees.
Strong winds are blowing fiercely and the dust ceaseth not. The earth is
frequently trembling, and Rahu approacheth towards the sun. The white
planet (Ketu) stayeth, having passed beyond the constellation Chitra. All
this particularly bodeth the destruction of the Kurus. A fierce comet
riseth, afflicting the constellation Pusya. This great planet will cause
frightful mischief to both the armies. Mars wheeleth towards Magha and
Vrihaspati (Jupiter) towards Sravana. The Sun's offspring (Sani)
approaching towards the constellation Bhaga, afflicteth it. The planet
Sukra, ascending towards Purva Bhadra, shineth brilliantly, and wheeling
towards the Uttara Bhadra, looketh towards it, having effected a junction
(with a smaller planet). The white planet (Ketu), blazing up like fire
mixed with smoke, stayeth, having attacked the bright constellation
Jeshtha that is sacred to Indra. The constellation Dhruva, blazing
fiercely, wheeleth towards the right. Both the Moon and the Sun are
afflicting Rohini. The fierce planet (Rahu) hath taken up its position
between the constellations Chitra and Swati.[13] The red-bodied (Mars)
possessed of the effulgence of fire, wheeling circuitously, stayeth in a
line with the constellation Sravana over-ridden by Vrihaspati. The earth
that produceth particular crops at particular seasons is now covered with
the crops of every season.[14] Every barley-stalk is graced with five
ears, and every paddy-stalk with a hundred. They that are the best of
creatures in the worlds and upon whom depends the universe, viz., kine,
when milked after the calves have their suck, yield only blood. Radiant
rays of light emanate from bows, and swords blaze forth brilliantly. It
is evident that the weapons behold (before them) the battle, as if it
were already arrived. The hue of weapons and the water, as also of coats
of mail and standards, is like that of fire. A great slaughter will take
place. In this battle,[15] O Bharata, of the Kurus with the Pandavas, the
earth, O monarch, will be a river of blood with the standards (of
warriors) as its rafts. Animals and birds on all sides, with mouths
blazing like fire, uttering fierce cries, and displaying these evil
omens, are foreboding terrible consequences. A (fierce) bird with but one
wing, one eye, and one leg, hovering over the sky in the night, screameth
frightfully in wrath, as if for making the hearers vomit blood? It
seemeth, O great king, that all weapons are now blazing with radiance.
The effulgence of the constellation known by the name of the seven
high-souled Rishis, hath been dimmed. Those two blazing planets, viz.,
Vrihaspati and Sani, having approached the constellation called Visakha,
have become stationary there for a whole year. Three lunations twice
meeting together in course of the same lunar fortnight, the duration of
the latter is shortened by two days.[16] On the thirteenth day therefore,
from the first lunation, according as it is the day of the full moon or
the new moon, the moon and the sun are afflicted by Rahu. Such strange
eclipses, both lunar and solar, forebode a great slaughter.[17] All the
quarters of the earth, being overwhelmed by showers of dust, look
inauspicious. Fierce clouds, portentous of danger, drop bloody showers
during the night. Rahu of fierce deeds is also, O monarch, afflicting the
constellation Kirtika. Rough winds, portending fierce danger, are
constantly blowing. All these beget a war characterised by many sad
incidents.[18] The constellations are divided into three classes. Upon
one or another of each class, a planet of evil omen has shed its
influence, foreboding terrible dangers.[19] A lunar fortnight had
hitherto consisted of fourteen days, or fifteen days (as usual), or
sixteen days. This, however, I never knew that the day of new-moon would
be on the thirteenth day from the first lunation, or the day of full-moon
on the thirteenth day from the same. And yet in course of the same month
both the Moon and the Sun have undergone eclipses on the thirteenth days
from the day of the first lunation.[20] The Sun and the Moon therefore,
by undergoing eclipses on unusual days,[21] will cause a great slaughter
of the creatures of the earth. Indeed, Rakshasas, though drinking blood
by mouthful, will yet not be satiated. The great rivers are flowing in
opposite directions. The waters of rivers have become bloody. The wells,
foaming up, are bellowing like bulls.[22] Meteors, effulgent like Indra's
thunder-bolt, fall with loud hisses.[23] When this night passeth away,
evil consequences will overtake you. People, for meeting together, coming
out of their houses with lighted brands, have still to encounter a thick
gloom all round.[24] Great Rishis have said that in view of such
circ*mstances the earth drinks the blood of thousands of kings. From the
mountains of Kailasa and Mandara and Himavat thousands of explosions are
heard and thousands of summits are tumbling down. In consequence of the
Earth's trembling, each of the four oceans having swelled greatly, seems
ready to transgress its continents for afflicting the Earth.[25] Fierce
winds charged with pointed pebbles are blowing, crushing mighty trees. In
villages and towns trees, ordinary and sacred, are falling down, crushed
by mighty winds and struck by lightning. The (sacrificial) fire, when
Brahmanas pour libations on it, becomes blue, or red, or yellow. Its
flames bend towards the left, yielding a bad scent, accompanied by loud
reports. Touch, smell, and taste have, O monarch, become what they were
not. The standards (of warriors), repeatedly trembling are emitting
smoke. Drums and cymbals are throwing off showers of coal-dust. And from
the tops of tall trees all around, crows, wheeling in circles from the
left, are uttering fierce cries. All of them again are uttering frightful
cries of pakka, pakka and are perching upon the tops of standards for the
destruction of the kings. Vicious elephants, trembling all over, are
running hither and thither, urinating and ejecting excreta. The horses
are all melancholy, while the elephants are resorting to the water.
Hearing all this, let that be done which is suitable, so that, O Bharata,
the world may not be depopulated.'"

Vaisampayana continued,--"Hearing these words of his father,
Dhritarashtra said,--'I think all this hath been ordained of old. A great
slaughter of human beings will take place. If the kings die in battle
observing the duties of the Kshatriya order, they will then, attaining to
the regions reserved for heroes, obtain only happiness. These tigers
among men, casting away their lives in great battle, will win fame in
this and great bliss for ever in the next world.'

Vaisampayana continued,--"O best of kings, thus addressed by his son
Dhritarashtra, that prince of poets, the Muni (Vyasa) concentrated his
mind in supreme Yoga. Having contemplated for only a short space of time,
Vyasa once more said,--'Without doubt, O king of kings, it is Time that
destroyeth the universe. It is Time also that createth the worlds. There
is nothing here that is eternal. Show the path of righteousness to the
Kurus, to thy kinsmen, relatives, and friends. Thou art competent to
restrain them. The slaughter of kinsmen hath been said to be sinful. Do
not do that which is disagreeable to me. O king, Death himself hath been
born in the shape of thy son. Slaughter is never applauded in the Vedas.
It can never be beneficial. The usages of one's race are as one's own
body. Those usages slay him that destroyeth them. For the destruction of
this race and of those kings of the earth it is Time that maketh thee
deviate into the wrong path like one in distress, although thou art
competent (to walk along the path of righteousness). O king, in the shape
of thy kingdom hath calamity come to thee. Thy virtue is sustaining a
very great diminution.[26] Show what righteousness is unto thy sons. O
thou that art invincible, of what value is that kingdom to thee which
bringeth sin to thee? Take care of thy good name, thy virtue, and thy
fame. Thou wilt then win heaven. Let the Pandavas have their kingdom, and
let the Kauravas have peace."

"While that best of Brahmanas was saying these words in a sorrowful tone,
Dhritarashtra, the son of Ambika, accomplished in speech, once more
addressed him, saying.---'My knowledge of life and death is similar to
thine. The truth is known to me as regards these. Man, however, in what
concerns his own interests, is deprived of judgment. O sire, know me to
be one who is an ordinary person. Of immeasurable power thou art. I pray
thee to extend thine towards us. Of soul under complete control, thou art
our refuge and instructor. My sons are not obedient to me, O great Rishi.
My understanding too is not inclined to commit sin.[27] Thou art the
cause of the fame, the achievements, and the inclination for virtue, of
the Bharatas. Thou art the reverend grandsire of both the Kurus and the

"Vyasa said,--'O royal son of Vichitravirya, tell me freely what is in
thy mind. I will remove thy doubts."

"Dhritarashtra said,--'O holy one, I desire to hear from thee of all
those indications that happen unto those that become victorious in

"Vyasa said,--'The (sacred) fire assumes a cheerful radiance. Its light
ascends upwards. Its flame bends towards the right. It blazes up without
being smoky. The libations poured on it yield a fragrant scent. It is
said that these are the indications of future success. The conches and
cymbals yield sounds that are deep and loud. The Sun as well as the Moon
gives pure rays. It is said that these are the indications of future
success. Crows, whether stationary or on their wings, utter cries that
are agreeable. They again that are behind, urge the warriors to advance;
while they that are ahead, forbid all advance.[28] Where vultures, swans,
parrots, cranes, and wood-peckers utter delightful cries, and wheel
towards the right, the Brahmanas say that their victory in battle is
certain. They whose divisions, in consequence of ornaments, coats of
mail, and standards, or the melodious neigh of their steeds, become
resplendent and incapable of being gazed at, always conquer their foes.
They who utter cheerful shouts, those warriors, O Bharata, whose energies
are not damped and whose garlands do not fade, always cross the ocean of
battle. They who utter cheerful shouts having penetrated into the
divisions of the foe, who utter even kind words,[29] to the enemy, and
who, before striking, forewarn the foe, win victory. The objects of
hearing, vision, taste, touch, and smell, without undergoing any change
for the worse, become auspicious. This also is another indication of a
victorious army, viz., there is joy among the combatants at all time.
This also is another indication of success, viz. the winds that blow, the
clouds, and the birds, all become favourable; while the clouds (so
favourable) and the rain-bows drop beneficial showers. These, O king, are
the indications of armies to be crowned with victory, while O monarch,
all these become otherwise in the case of those that are about to be
destroyed. Whether the army be small or large, cheerfulness, as an
attribute of the combatants, is said to be a certain indication of
victory. One soldier, struck with panic, can cause even a large army to
take fright and fly. And when an army, struck with panic, takes to
flight, it causes even heroic warriors to take fright. If a large army is
once broken and put to rout, it cannot like a herd of deer disordered in
fright or a mighty current of water be easily checked. If a large army is
once routed, it is incapable of being rallied; on the other hand,
beholding it broken, even those well-skilled in battle, O Bharata, become
heartless. Beholding soldiers struck with fear and flying, the panic
spreads in other directions, and soon, O king, the whole army is broken
and flies in all directions. And when an army is routed, even brave
leaders, O king, at the head of large divisions consisting of the four
kinds of forces, are incapable of rallying them. An intelligent man,
always exerting himself with activity, should strive (to win success) by
the aid of means. It is said that that success which is won by
negotiation and other means is the very best. That which is achieved by
producing disunion (among the foe) is indifferent. While that success, O
king, which is won by battle, is the worst. In battle are many evils, the
initial one, as it is said, being slaughter. Even fifty brave men who
know one another, who are underpressed, who are free from family ties,
and who are firmly resolved, can crush a large army. Even five, six,
seven men, who are unretreating, win victory. Vinata's son Garuda, O
Bharata, beholding even a large concourse of birds, asketh not the aid of
many followers (to vanquish them). The strength in number, therefore of
an army is not always the cause of victory. Victory is uncertain. It
depends on chance. Even they that become victorious have to sustain


Vaisampayana said,--"Having said these words unto Dhritarashtra, Vyasa
took his departure. And Dhritarashtra also, having heard those words,
began to reflect in silence. And having reflected for only a short space
of time, he began to sigh repeatedly. And, soon, O bull of Bharata's
race, the king asked Sanjaya of soul worthy of praise,--saying,--'O
Sanjaya, these kings, these lords of earth, so brave and taking delight
in battle, are for smiting one another with weapons of diverse kinds,
being prepared to lay down their very lives for the sake of earth.
Incapable of being restrained, they are, indeed, smiting one another for
increasing the population of Yama's domain. Desirous of prosperity
connected with the possession of earth they are incapable of bearing one
another. I, therefore, think that earth must be possessed of many
attributes. Tell me all these, O Sanjaya, Many thousands, many millions,
many tens of millions, many hundreds of millions, heroic men have come
together at Kurujangala. I desire to hear, O Sanjaya, with accurate
details, about the situation and dimensions of those countries and cities
from which they have come. Through the potency of that regenerate Rishi
Vyasa of immeasurable energy, thou art endued with the lamp of celestial
perception and the eye of knowledge.

"Sanjaya said,--'O thou of great wisdom, I will recount to thee the
merits of earth according to my knowledge. Behold them with thy eye of
wisdom. I bow to thee, O bull of Bharata's race. Creatures in this world
are of two kinds, mobile and immobile. Mobile creatures are of three
kinds according to their birth, viz., oviparous, viviparous, and those
engendered by heat and damp. Of mobile creatures, O king, the foremost
are certainly those called viviparous. Of viviparous creatures the
foremost are men and animals. Animals, O king, of diverse forms, are of
fourteen species. Seven have their abodes in the woods, and seven of
these are domestic. Lions, tigers, boars, buffaloes, and elephants as
also bears and apes, are, O king, regarded as wild. Kine, goats, sheep,
men, horses, mules, and asses,--these seven amongst animals are reckoned
as domestic by the learned. These fourteen, O king, complete the tale of
domestic and wild animals, mentioned, O lord of earth, in the Vedas, and
on which the sacrifices rest. Of creatures that are domestic, men are
foremost, while lions are the foremost of those that have their abode in
the woods. All creatures support their life by living upon one another.
Vegetables are said to be immobile, and they are of four species viz.,
trees, shrubs, creepers, creeping plants existing for only a year, and
all stemless plants of the grass species.[30] Of mobile and immobile
creatures, there are thus one less twenty; and as regards their universal
constituents, there are five. Twenty-four in all, these are described as
Gayatri (Brahma) as is well-known to all.[31] He who knows these truly to
be the sacred Gayatri possessed of every virtue, is not liable, O best of
the Bharatas, to destruction in this world. Everything springeth from the
earth and everything, when destroyed, mergeth into the Earth. The Earth
is the stay and refuge of all creatures, and the Earth is eternal. He
that hath the Earth, hath the entire universe with its mobile and
immobile population. It is for this that longing for (the possession of
the) Earth, kings slay one another.'"


"Dhritarashtra said,--'The names of rivers and mountains, O Sanjaya, as
also of provinces, and all other things resting on the earth, and their
dimensions, O thou that are acquainted with the measures of things of the
earth in its entirety and the forests, O Sanjaya, recount to me in

"Sanjaya said,--'O great king, all things in the universe, in consequence
of the presence (in them) of the five elements, have been said to be
equal by the wise. These elements, are space, air, fire, water, and
earth. Their (respective) attributes are sound, touch, vision, taste, and
scent. Every one of these elements possesses (in addition to what is
especially its own) the attribute or attributes of that or those coming
before it. The earth, therefore, is the foremost of them all, possessing
as it does the attributes of all the other four, besides what is
specially its own, as said by Rishis acquainted with truth.[32] There are
four attributes, O king, in water. Scent does not exist in it. Fire has
three attributes viz., sound, touch, and vision. Sound and touch belong
to air, while space has sound alone. These five attributes, O king, exist
(in this way) in the five principal elements depending on which all
creatures in the universe exist. They exist separately and independently
when there is homogeneity in the universe.[33] When, however, these do
not exist in their natural state but with one another, then creatures
spring into life, furnished with bodies. This is never otherwise. The
elements are destroyed, in the order of the one succeeding, merging into
the one that proceeds; and they spring also into existence, one arising
from the one before it.[34] All of these are immeasurable, their forms
being Brahma itself. In the universe are seen creatures consisting of the
five elements. Men endeavour to ascertain their proportions by exercising
their reason. Those matters, however, that are inconceivable, should
never be sought to be solved by reason. That which is above (human)
nature is an indication of the inconceivable.

"'O son of Kuru's race, I will, however, describe to thee the island
called Sudarsana. This island, O king, is circular and of the form of a
wheel. It is covered with rivers and other pieces of water and with
mountains looking like masses of clouds, and with cities and many
delightful provinces. It is also full of trees furnished with flowers and
fruits, and with crops of diverse kinds and other wealth. And it is
surrounded on all sides with the salt ocean. As a person can see his own
face in a mirror, even so is the island called Sudarsana seen in the
lunar disc. Two of its parts seem to be a peepul tree, while two others
look like a large hare. It is surrounded on all sides with an assemblage
of every kind of deciduous plants. Besides these portions, the rest is
all water. What remains I will describe to thee shortly. The rest I will
speak of afterwards. Listen now to this that I describe in brief.[35]"


"Dhritarashtra said.---"Thou art intelligent, O Sanjaya, and acquainted
with the truth (about everything). Thou hast duly given a description of
the island in brief. Tell us now of the island in detail. Tell us now of
the dimension of the expanse of land that lies in the portion looking
like a hare. Thou mayst then speak of the portion resembling peepul tree."

Vaisampayana said,--"Thus addressed by the king, Sanjaya began to say.

"Sanjaya said,--'Stretching from east to west, are these six mountains
that are equal[36] and that extend from the eastern to the western ocean.
They are Himavat, Hemakuta, that best of mountains called Nishadha, Nila
abounding with stones of lapis lazuli, Sweta white as the moon, and the
mountains called Sringavat composed of all kinds of metals.[37] These are
the six mountains, O king, which are always the resorts of Siddhas and
Charanas. The space lying between each of these measures a thousand
Yojanas, and thereon are many delightful kingdoms. And these divisions
are called Varshas, O Bharata. In all those kingdoms reside creatures of
diverse species. This (the land where we are) is in the Varsha that is
called after Bharata. Next to it (northwards) is the Varsha called after
Himavat. The land that is beyond Hemakuta is called Harivarsha, South of
the Nila range and on the north of the Nishadha is a mountain, O king,
called Malyavat that stretches from east to west. Beyond Malyavat
northwards is the mountain called Gandhamadana.[38] Between these two
(viz., Malyavat and Gandhamadana) is a globular mountain called Meru made
of gold. Effulgent as the morning sun, it is like fire without smoke.[39]
It is eighty-four thousand Yojanas high, and, O king, its depth also is
eighty-four Yojanas. It standeth bearing the worlds above, below and
transversely. Besides Meru are situated, O lord, these four islands,
viz., Bhadraswa, and Ketumala, and Jamvudwipa otherwise called Bharata,
and Uttar-Kuru which is the abode of persons who have achieved the merit
of righteousness. The bird Sumukha, the son of Suparna, beholding that
all the birds on Meru were of golden plumage, reflected that he should
leave that mountain inasmuch as there was no difference between the good,
middling, and bad birds. The foremost of luminaries, the sun, always
circ*mambulates Meru, as also the moon with (his) attendant
constellation, and the Wind-god too. The mountain, O king, is endued with
celestial fruits and flowers, and it is covered all over with mansions
made of furnished gold. There, on that mountain, O king, the celestials,
the Gandharvas, the Asuras, and the Rakshasas, accompanied by the tribes
of Apsaras, always sport. There Brahman, and Rudra, and also Sakra the
chief of the celestials, assembled together, performed diverse kinds of
sacrifices with plentiful gifts. Tumvuru, and Narada and Viswavasu, and
the Hahas and the Huhus, repairing thither, adored the foremost of the
celestials with diverse hymns. The high-souled seven Rishis, and Kasyapa
the lord of creatures, repair thither, blessed be thou, on every parva
day.[40] Upon the summit of that mountain, Usanas, otherwise called the
Poet, sporteth with the Daityas (his disciples).[41] The jewels and gems
(that we see) and all the mountains abounding in precious stones are of
Meru. Therefrom a fourth part is enjoyed by the holy Kuvera. Only a
sixteenth part of that wealth he giveth unto men. On the northern side of
Meru is a delightful and excellent forest of Karnikaras, covered with the
flowers of every season,[42] and occupying a range of hills. There the
illustrious Pasupati himself, the creator of all things, surrounded by
his celestial attendants and accompanied by Uma, sporteth bearing a chain
of Karnikara flowers (on his neck) reaching down to his feet, and blazing
with radiance with his three eyes resembling three risen suns. Him
Siddhas truthful in speech, of excellent vows and austere ascetic
penances, can behold. Indeed, Maheswara is incapable of being seen by
persons of wicked conduct. From the summit of that mountain, like a
stream of milk, O ruler of men, the sacred and auspicious Ganga,
otherwise called Bhagirathi, adored by the most righteous, of universal
form and immeasurable and issuing out with terrific noise, falleth with
impetuous force on the delightful lake of Chandramas.[43] Indeed that
sacred lake, like an ocean, hath been formed by Ganga herself. (While
leaping from the mountains), Ganga, incapable of being supported by even
the mountains, was held for a hundred thousand years by the bearer of
Pinaka on his head.[44] On the western side of Meru, O king, is
Ketumala.[45] And there also is Jamvukhanda. Both are great seats of
humanity, O king.[46] There, O Bharata, the measure of human life is ten
thousand years. The men are all of a golden complexion, and the women are
like Apsaras. And all the residents are without sickness, without sorrow,
and always cheerful. The men born there are of the effulgence of melted
gold. On the summits of Gandhamadana, Kuvera the lord of the Guhyakas,
with many Rakshasas and accompanied by tribes of Apsaras, passeth his
time in joy. Besides Gandhamadana there are many smaller mountains and
hills. The measure of human life there is eleven thousand years. There, O
king, the men are cheerful, and endued with great energy and great
strength and the women are all of the complexion of the lotus and highly
beautiful. Beyond Nila is (the Varsha called) Sweta, beyond Sweta is (the
Varsha called) Hiranyaka. Beyond Hiranyaka is (the Varsha called)
Airavata covered with provinces. The last Varsha in the (extreme) north
and Bharata's Varsha in the (extreme) south are both, O king, of the form
of a bow. These five Varshas (viz., Sweta, Hiranyaka, Elavrita,
Harivarsha, and Haimavat-varsha) are in the middle, of which Elavrita
exists in the very middle of all. Amongst these seven Varshas (the five
already mentioned and Airavata and Bharata) that which is further north
excels the one to its immediate south in respect of these attributes,
viz., the period of life, stature, health, righteousness, pleasure, and
profit. In these Varshas, O Bharata, creatures (though of diverse
species) yet, live together. Thus, O king, is Earth covered with
mountains. The huge mountains of Hemakuta are otherwise called Kailasa.
There, O king, Vaisravana passeth his time in joy with his Guhyakas.
Immediately to the north of Kailasa and near the mountains of Mainaka
there is a huge and beautiful mountain called Manimaya endued with golden
summits. Beside this mountain is a large, beautiful, crystal and
delightful lake called Vindusaras with golden sands (on its beach). There
king Bhagiratha, beholding Ganga (since) called after his own name,
resided for many years. There may be seen innumerable sacrificial stakes
made of gems, and Chaitya tree made of gold. It was there that he of a
thousand eyes and great fame won (ascetic) success by performing
sacrifices. There the Lord of all creatures, the eternal Creator of all
the worlds, endued with supreme energy surrounded by his ghostly
attendants, is adored. There Nara and Narayana, Brahman, and Manu, and
Sthanu as the fifth, are (ever present). And there the celestial stream
Ganga having three currents,[47] issuing out of the region of Brahman,
first showed herself, and then dividing herself into seven streams,
became Vaswokasara, Nalini, the sin-cleansing Saraswati, Jamvunadi, Sita,
Ganga and Sindhu as the seventh. The Supreme Lord hath (himself) made the
arrangement with reference to that inconceivable and celestial stream. It
is there that[48] sacrifices have been performed (by gods and Rishis) on
a thousand occasions after the end of the Yuga (when creation begins). As
regards the Saraswati, in some parts (of her course) she becometh visible
and in some parts not so. This celestial sevenfold Ganga is widely known
over the three worlds. Rakshasas reside on Himavat, Guhyakas on Hemakuta,
and serpents and Nagas on Nishadha, and ascetics on Gokarna. The Sweta
mountains are said to be the abode of the celestial and the Asuras. The
Gandharvas always reside on Nishadhas, and the regenerate Rishis on Nila.
The mountains of Sringavat also are regarded as the resort of the

"'These then, O great king, are the seven Varshas of the world as they
are divided. Diverse creatures, mobile[49] and immobile, are placed in
them all. Diverse kinds of prosperity, both providential and human, are
noticeable in them. They are incapable of being counted. Those desirous,
however, of their own good believe (all this), I have now told thee of
that delightful region (of land) of the form of a hare about which thou
hadst asked me. At the extremities of that region are the two Varshas,
viz., one on the north and the other on the south. Those two also have
now been told to thee. Then again the two islands Naga-dwipa and
Kasyapa-dwipa are the two ears of this region of the form of a hare. The
beautiful mountains of Maleya, O king, having rocks like plates of
copper, form another (prominent) part of Jamvudwipa that having its shape
resembling a hare.'"


"Dhritarashtra said,--'Tell me, O Sanjaya, thou of great intelligence, of
the regions to the north and the east side of Meru, as also of the
mountains of Malyavat, in detail.[50]

"Sanjaya said,--'On the south of the Nila mountain and the northern side
of Meru are the sacred Northern Kurus, O king, which are the residence of
the Siddhas. The trees there bear sweet fruits, and are always covered
with fruits and flowers. All the flowers (there) are fragrant, and the
fruits of excellent taste. Some of the trees, again, O king, yield fruits
according to (the) will (of the plucker). There are again some other
trees, O king, that are called milk-yielding. These always yield milk and
the six different kinds of food of the taste of Amrita itself. Those
trees also yield cloths and in their fruits are ornaments (for the use of
man). The entire land abounds with fine golden sands. A portion of the
region there, extremely delightful, is seen to be possessed of the
radiance of the ruby or diamond, or of the lapis lazuli or other jewels
and gems.[51] All the seasons there are agreeable and nowhere does the
land become miry, O king. The tanks are charming, delicious, and full of
crystal water. The men born there have dropped from the world of the
celestials.[52] All are of pure birth and all are extremely handsome in
appearance. There twins (of opposite sexes) are born and the women
resemble Apsaras in beauty. They drink the milk, sweet as Amrita, of
those milk-yielding trees (already mentioned). And the twins born there
(of opposite sexes) grow up equally. Both possessed of equal beauty, both
endued with similar virtues, and both equally dressed, both grow up in
love, O monarch, like a couple of chakrabakas. The people of that country
are free from illness and are always cheerful. Ten thousand and ten
hundred years they live, O king, and never abandon one another. A class
of birds called Bharunda, furnished with sharp beaks and possessed of
great strength, take them up when dead and throw them into mountain
caves. I have now described to thee, O king, the Northern Kurus briefly.

"I will now describe to thee the eastern side of Meru duly. Of all the
regions there, the foremost, O king, is called Bhadraswa, where there is
a large forest of Bhadra-salas, as also a huge tree called Kalamra. This
Kalamra, O king, is always graced with fruits and flowers. That tree
again is a Yojana in height and is adored by Siddhas[53] and the
Charanas. The men there are all of a white complexion, endued with great
energy, and possessed of great strength. The women are of the complexion
of lilies, very beautiful, and agreeable to sight. Possessed of radiance
of the moon,[54] and white as the moon, their faces are as the full-moon.
Their bodies again are as cool as the rays of the moon and they are all
accomplished in singing and dancing. The period of human life there, O
bull of the Bharata's race, is ten thousand years. Drinking the juice of
the Kalamra they continue youthful for ever. On the south of Nila and the
north of Nishadha, there is a huge Jamvu tree that is eternal. Adored by
the Siddhas and Charanas, that sacred tree granteth every wish. After the
name of that tree this division hath ever been called Jamvudwipa. O bull
of Bharata race, a thousand and a hundred Yojanas is the height of that
prince of trees, which touches the very heavens, O king of men. Two
thousand and five hundred cubits measure the circ*mference of a fruit of
that tree which bursts when ripe. In falling upon the earth these fruits
make a loud noise, and then pour out, O king, a silvery juice on the
ground. That juice of the Jamvu, becoming, O king, a river, and passing
circuitously round Meru, cometh to the (region of the) Northern Kurus. If
the juice of that fruit is quaffed, it conduces to peace of mind. No
thirst is felt ever after, O king. Decrepitude never weakens them. And
there a species of gold called Jamvunada and used for celestial
ornaments, very brilliant and like the complexion of Indragopoka insects,
is produced. The men born there are of the complexion of the morning sun.

"'On the summit of Malyavat is always seen, O bull of Bharata's race, the
fire called Samvataka which blazeth forth at the end of the Yuga for the
destruction of the universe. On Malyavat's summit towards the east are
many small mountains and Malyavat, O king, measures eleven thousand[55]
Yojanas. The men born there are of the complexion of gold. And they are
all fallen from the region of Brahman and are utterers of Brahma. They
undergo the severest of ascetic austerities, and their vital seed is
drawn up. For the protection of creatures they all enter the sun.
Numbering sixty-six thousand, they proceed in advance of Aruna,
surrounding the sun. Heated with the sun's rays for sixty-six thousand
years, they then enter the lunar disc.'"


"Dhritarashtra said,--'Tell me truly, O Sanjaya, the names of all the
Varshas, and of all the mountains, and also of all those that dwell on
those mountains.

"Sanjaya said,--'On the south of Sweta and the north of Nishadha, is the
Varsha, called Romanaka. The men that are born there are all of white
complexion, of good parentage, and handsome features. And the men born
there are also all without enemies. And they live, O king, for eleven
thousand and five hundred years, being ever of cheerful hearts. On the
south of Nishadha is the Varsha called Hiranmaya where is the river
called Hiranwati. There, O king, liveth that foremost of birds named
Garuda. And the people there, O monarch, are all followers of the
Yakshas, wealthy, and of handsome features. And, O king, the men there
are endued with great strength and have: cheerful hearts. And they live
for twelve thousand and five hundred years., O king, which is the measure
of their lives. The mountains of Sringavat,[56] O ruler of men, have
three beautiful summits. One of these is made of jewels and gems, another
is very wonderful, being made of all kinds of gems and adorned with
palatial mansions. There the self-luminous lady named Sandili always
liveth. On the north of Sringavat and up to the margin of the sea, O
king, the Varsha called Airavat. And because this jewelled mountain is
there, therefore is this Varsha superior to all. The sun giveth no heat
there and men are not subject to decay. And the moon there, with the
stars, becoming the only source of light, covereth (the firmament).
Possessing the radiance and complexion of the lotus, and endued with eyes
that resemble lotus-petals, the men born there have the fragrance of the
lotus. With winkless eyes, and agreeable scent (emanating from their
bodies), they go without food and have their senses under control. They
are all fallen from the region of the celestials, and are all, O king,
without sin of any kind. And they live, O monarch, for thirteen thousand
years, that being. O best of the Bharatas, the measure of their lives.
And so on the north of the milky ocean, the Lord Hari of unlimited
puissance dwelleth on his car made of gold. That vehicle is endued with
eight wheels, with numerous supernatural creatures stationed on it, and
having the speed of the mind. And its complexion is that of fire, and it
is endued with mighty energy and adorned with Jamvunada gold. He is the
Lord of all creatures, and is possessed, O bull of Bharata's race, of
every kind of prosperity. In him the universe merges (when dissolution
comes), and from him it again emanates (when the creative desire seizes
him). He is the actor, and it is He that makes all others act. He, O
monarch, is earth, water, space, air, and fire. He is Sacrifice's self
unto all creatures, and fire is His mouth."

Vaisampayana continued,--"The high-souled king Dhritarashtra, thus
addressed by Sanjaya, became, O monarch, absorbed in meditation about his
sons. Endued with great energy, he then, having reflected, said these
words: 'Without doubt, O Suta's son, it is Time that destroyeth the
universe. And it is Time that again createth everything. Nothing here is
eternal. It is Nara and Narayana, endued with omniscience, that
destroyeth all creatures.[57] The gods speak of him as Vaikuntha (of
immeasurable puissance), while men call him Vishnu (one that pervadeth
the Universe)!'"


"Dhritarashtra said,--'Tell me truly (O Sanjaya) of this Varsha that is
called after Bharata, where this senseless force hath been collected, in
respect of which this my son Duryodhana hath been so very covetous, which
the sons of Pandu also are desirous of obtaining, and in which my mind
too sinketh. O, tell me this, for thou art, in my judgment endued with

"Sanjaya said,--'Listen to me, O king The sons of Pandu are not covetous
about this country. On the other hand, it is Duryodhana that is covetous,
and Sakuni the son of Suvala, as also many other Kshatriyas who are
rulers of the provinces, who being covetous of this country are not able
to bear one another. I will now will thee, O thou of Bharata's race, of
the tract of land known by Bharata's name. This land is the beloved one
of Indra, and, O thou of Bharata's race, this land, O monarch, that is
called after Bharata, is also the beloved land of Manu, the son of
Vivaswat, of Prithu, of Vainya, of the high-souled Ikshwaku, of Yayati,
of Amvarisha, of Mandhatri, of Nahusha, of Muchukunda, of Sivi the son of
Usinara, of Rishava, of Ila, of king Nriga, of Kusika, O invincible one,
of the high-souled Gadhi, of Somaka, O irrepressible one, and of Dilipa,
and also, O monarch, of many other mighty Kshatriyas. I will now, O
chastiser of foes, describe to thee that country as I have heard of it.
Listen to me, O king, as I speak of what thou hast asked me. Mahendra,
Malaya, Sahya, Suktimat, Rakshavat, Vindhya, and Paripatra,--these seven
are the Kala-mountains[58] (of Bharatvarsha). Besides these, O king,
there are thousands of mountains that are unknown, of hard make, huge,
and having excellent valleys. Besides these there are many other smaller
mountains inhabited by barbarous tribes. Aryans and Mlecchas, O Kauravya,
and many races, O lord, mixed of the two elements, drink the waters of
the following rivers, viz., magnificent Ganga, Sindhu, and Saraswati; of
Godavari, and Narmada, and the large river called Yamuna; of
Dhrishadwati, and Vipapa, and Vipasa and Sthulavaluka; of the river
Vetravati, and that other one called Krishna-vena; of Iravati, and
Vitasta, and Payosyini, and Devika; of Vedasmrita and Vedavati, and
Tridiva, and Ikshumalavi;[59] of Karishini, and Chitravaha, and the river
called Chitrasena; of Gomati, and Dhutapada and the large river called
Gandaki[60], of Kausiki, and Nischitra, and Kirtya, and Nichita, and
Lohatarini;[61] of Rashasi and Satakumbha, and also Sarayu; of
Charmanwati, and Vetravati,[62] and Hastisoma, and Disa; of the river
called Saravati, and Venna, and Bhimarathi; of Kaveri, and Chuluka, and
Vina, and Satavala; of Nivara, and Mahila, and Suprayoga, O king; of
Pavitra, and Kundala, and Rajani, and Puramalini; of Purvabhirama, and
Vira, and Bhima, and Oghavati; of Palasini, and Papahara, and Mahendra,
and Patalavati, of Karishini, and Asikni, and the large river Kusachira:
of Makari, and Pravara, and Mena, and Hema, and Dhritavati; of Puravati,
and Anushna, and Saivya, and Kapi, O Bharata; of Sadanira, and Adhrishya,
and the mighty stream Kusadhara; of Sadakanta, and Siva, and Viravati; of
Vatsu, and Suvastu, and Kampana with Hiranwati; of Vara, and the mighty
river Panchami, of Rathachitra, and Jyotiratha, and Viswamitra, and
Kapinjala; of Upendra, and Vahula, and Kuchira, and Madhuvahini: of
Vinadi, and Pinjala, and Vena, and the great river Pungavena; of Vidisa
and Krishna-vena, and Tamra, and Kapila, of Salu, and Suvama, the
Vedaswa, and the mighty river Harisrava; of Sighra, and Pischala, and the
river Bharadwaji, of the river Kausiki, and Sona, and Chandrama; of
Durgamantrasila, and Brahma-vodhya, and Vrihadvati; of Yaksha, and Rohi,
and Yamvunadi; of Sunasa and Tamasa, and Dasi, and Vasa, and Varuna, and
Asi; of Nila, and Dhrimati, and the mighty river Parnasa; of Pomasi, and
Vrishabha, and Brahma-meddhya, and Vrihaddhani. These and many other
large rivers, O king, such as Sadonirmaya and Krishna, and Mandaga, and
Mandavahini; and Mahagouri, and Durga, O Bharata; and Chitropala.
Chitraratha, and Manjula, and Vahini; and Mandakini, and Vaitarani, and
Kosa, and Mahanadi; and Suktimati, and Ananga, and Pushpaveni, and
Utpalavati; and Lohitya, Karatoya, and Vrishasabhya; and Kumari, and
Rishikullya and Marisha, and Saraswati; and Mandakini, and Supunya,
Sarvasanga, O Bharata, are all mothers of the universe and productive of
great merit. Besides these, there are rivers, by hundreds and thousands,
that are not known (by names), I have now recounted to thee, O king, all
the rivers as far as I remember.

"After this, listen to the names of the provinces as I mention them. They
are the Kuru-Panchalas, the Salwas, the Madreyas, the Jangalas, the
Surasena, the Kalingas, the Vodhas, the Malas, the Matsyas, the
Sauvalyas, the Kuntalas, the Kasi-kosalas, the Chedis, the Karushas, the
Bhojas, the Sindhus, the Pulindakas, the Uttamas, the Dasarnas, the
Mekalas, the Utkalas; the Panchalas, the Kausijas, the Nikarprishthas,
Dhurandharas; the Sodhas, the Madrabhujingas, the Kasis, and the
further-Kasis; the Jatharas, the Kukuras, O Bharata; the Kuntis, the
Avantis, and the further-Kuntis; the Gomantas, the Mandakas, the Shandas,
the Vidarbhas, the Rupavahikas; the Aswakas, the Pansurashtras, the
Goparashtras, and the Karityas; the Adhirjayas, the Kuladyas, the
Mallarashtras, the Keralas, the Varatrasyas, the Apavahas, the Chakras,
the Vakratapas, the Sakas; the Videhas, the Magadhas, the Swakshas, the
Malayas, the Vijayas, the Angas, the Vangas, the Kalingas, the
Yakrillomans; the Mallas, the Suddellas, the Pranradas, the Mahikas, the
Sasikas; the Valhikas, the Vatadhanas, the Abhiras, the Kalajoshakas; the
Aparantas, the Parantas, the Pahnabhas, the Charmamandalas; the
Atavisikharas, the Mahabhutas, O sire; the Upavrittas, the Anupavrittas,
the Surashatras, Kekayas; the Kutas, the Maheyas, the Kakshas, the
Samudranishkutas; the Andhras, and, O king, many hilly tribes, and many
tribes residing on lands laying at the foot of the hills, and the
Angamalajas, and the Manavanjakas; the Pravisheyas, and the Bhargavas, O
king; the Pundras, the Bhargas, the Kiratas, the Sudeshnas, and the
Yamunas, the Sakas, the Nishadhas, the Anartas, the Nairitas, the
Durgalas, the Pratimasyas, the Kuntalas, and the Kusalas; the Tiragrahas,
the Ijakas, the Kanyakagunas, the Tilabharas, the Samiras, the
Madhumattas, the Sukandakas; the Kasmiras, the Sindhusauviras, the
Gandharvas, and the Darsakas; the Abhisaras, the Utulas, the Saivalas,
and the Valhikas; the Darvis, the Vanavadarvas, the Vatagas, the
Amarathas, and the Uragas; the Vahuvadhas, the Kauravyas, the Sudamanas,
the Sumalikas; the Vadhras, the Karishakas, the Kalindas, and the
Upatyakas; the Vatayanas, the Romanas, and the Kusavindas; the Kacchas,
the Gopalkacchas, the Kuruvarnakas; the Kiratas, the Varvasas, the
Siddhas, the Vaidehas, and the Tamraliptas; the Aundras, the Paundras,
the Saisikatas, and the Parvatiyas, O sire.

"'There are other kingdoms, O bull of Bharata's race, in the south. They
are the Dravidas, the Keralas, the Prachyas, the Mushikas, and the
Vanavashikas; the Karanatakas, the Mahishakas, the Vikalpas, and also the
Mushakas; the Jhillikas, the Kuntalas, the Saunridas, and the
Nalakananas; the Kankutakas, the Cholas, and the Malavayakas; the
Samangas, the Kanakas, the Kukkuras, and the Angara-marishas; the
Samangas, the Karakas, the Kukuras, the Angaras, the Marishas: the
Dhwajinis, the Utsavas, the Sanketas, the Trigartas, and the Salwasena;
the Vakas, the Kokarakas, the Pashtris, and the Lamavegavasas; the
Vindhyachulakas, the Pulindas, and the Valkalas; the Malavas, the
Vallavas, the further-Vallavas, the Kulindas, the Kalavas, the Kuntaukas,
and the Karatas; the Mrishakas, the Tanavalas, the Saniyas; the Alidas,
the Pasivatas, the Tanayas, and the Sulanyas; the Rishikas, the
Vidarbhas, the Kakas, the Tanganas, and the further-Tanganas. Among the
tribes of the north are the Mlecchas, and the Kruras, O best of the
Bharatas; the Yavanas, the Chinas, the Kamvojas, the Darunas, and many
Mleccha tribes; the Sukritvahas, the Kulatthas, the Hunas, and the
Parasikas; the Ramanas, and the Dasamalikas. These countries are,
besides, the abodes of many Kshatriya, Vaisya, and Sudra tribes. Then
again there are the Sudra-abhiras, the Dardas, the Kasmiras, and the
Pattis; the Khasiras; the Atreyas, the Bharadwajas, the Stanaposhikas,
the Poshakas, the Kalingas, and diverse tribes of Kiratas; the Tomaras,
the Hansamargas, and the Karamanjakas. These and other kingdoms are on
the east and on the north. O lord, alluding to them briefly I have told
thee all. Earth, if its resources are properly developed according to its
qualities and prowess, is like an ever-yielding[63] cow, from which the
three-fold fruits of virtue, profit and pleasure, may be milked. Brave
kings conversant with virtue and profit have become covetous of Earth.
Endued with activity, they would even cast away their lives in battle,
from hunger of wealth. Earth is certainly the refuge of creatures endued
with celestial bodies as also of creatures endued with human bodies.[64]
Desirous of enjoying Earth, the kings, O chief of the Bharatas, have
become like dogs that snatch meat from one another. Their ambition is
unbounded, knowing no gratification.[65] It is for this that the Kurus
and the Pandavas are striving for possession of Earth, by negotiation,
disunion, gift, and battle, O Bharata. If Earth be well looked after, it
becometh the father, mother, children, firmament and heaven, of all
creatures, O bull among men.'"


"Dhritarashtra said,--'Tell me, O Sanjaya, of the period of life, the
strength, the good and bad things, the future, past and present, of the
residents, O Suta, of this Varsha of Bharata, and of the Himavat-varsha,
as also of Hari-varsha, in detail."

"Sanjaya said,--'O bull of Bharata's race, four Yugas set in Bharata's
Varsha, viz., Krita, Treta, Dwapara, and Kali. The Yuga that sets in
first is Krita. O Lord; after the expiry of Krita comes Treta; after
expiry of Treta comes Dwapara; and after that last of all, sets in Kali.
Four thousand years, O best of the Kurus, are reckoned as the measure of
life, O best of kings, in the Krita epoch. Three thousand years is the
period in Treta, O ruler of men. At present in Dwapara, persons live on
Earth for two thousand years. In Kali, however, O bull of Bharata's race,
there is no fixed limit of life's measure, in so much that men die while
in the womb, as also soon after birth. In the Krita age, O king, men are
born and beget children, by hundreds and thousands, that are of great
strength and great power, endued with the attribute of great wisdom, and
possessed of wealth and handsome features. In that age are born and
begotten Munis endued with wealth of asceticism, capable of great
exertion, possessed of high souls, and virtuous, and truthful in speech.
The Kshatriyas also, born in that age are of agreeable features,
able-bodied, possessed of great energy, accomplished in the use of the
bow, highly skilled in battle and exceedingly brave. In the Treta age, O
king, all the Kshatriya kings were emperors ruling from sea to sea. In
Treta are begotten brave Kshatriyas not subject to any one, endued with
long lives, possessed of heroism, and wielding the bow in battle with
great skill. When Dwapara sets in, O king, all the (four) orders born
become capable of great exertion, endued with great energy, and desirous
of conquering one another. The men born in Kali, O king, are endued with
little energy, highly wrathful, covetous, and untruthful. Jealousy,
pride, anger, deception, malice and covetousness, O Bharata, are the
attributes of creatures in the Kali age. The portion that remains, O
king, of this the Dwapara age, is small, O ruler of men. The Varsha known
as Haimavat is superior to Bharatavarsha, while Harivarsha is superior to
Hainavatvarsha, in respect of all qualities.'


(Bhumi Parva)

"Dhritarashtra said,--'Thou hast, O Sanjaya, duly described Jamvukhanda
to me. Tell me now its dimensions and extent truly. Tell me also, O
Sanjaya, of the extent of the ocean of Sakadwipa, and Kusadwipa, of
Salmalidwipa and Kraunchadwipa, truly and without leaving anything and
tell me also, O son of Gavalgani, of Rahu and Soma and Surya.'

"Sanjaya said,--'There are, O king, many islands, over which the Earth
extended. I will describe to thee, however, only seven islands, and the
moon, and the sun, and the planet (Rahu), also. The Jamvu mountain, O
king, extends over full eighteen thousand and six hundred Yojanas. The
extent of the salt ocean is said to be twice this. That ocean is covered
with many kingdoms, and is adorned with gems and corals. It is, besides,
decked with many mountains that are variegated with metals of diverse
kinds. Thickly peopled by Siddhas and Charanas, the ocean is circular in

"I will now tell thee truly of
PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:43:15 PM

my crotch smells like tater tots
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:43:51 PM

The Mahabharata


Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa



Translated into English Prose from the Original Sanskrit Text


Kisari Mohan Ganguli


Scanned at sacred-texts.com, 2004. Proofed by John Bruno Hare, October


(Dronabhisheka Parva)

OM! HAVING BOWED down unto Narayan, and unto that most exalted of male
beings, viz., Nara, and unto the goddess Saraswati also, must the word
Jaya be uttered.

"Janamejaya said, 'Hearing that his sire Devavrata of unrivalled vigour
and sturdiness, and might, energy and prowess, had been slain by
Sikhandin, the prince of the Panchalas, what, indeed, O regenerate Rishi,
did the powerful king Dhritarashtra with eyes bathed in tears do? O
illustrious one, his son (Duryodhana) wished for sovereignty after
vanquishing those mighty bowmen, viz., the sons of Panda, through Bhishma
and Drona and other great car-warriors. Tell me, O thou that hast wealth
of asceticism, all that he, of Kura's race, did after that chief of all
bowmen had been slain.'

"Vaisampayana said, 'Hearing that his sire had been slain, king
Dhritarashtra of Kura's race filled with anxiety and grief, obtained no
peace of mind. And while he, of Kura's race, was thus continually
brooding over that sorrow, Gavalgana's son of pure soul once more came to
him. Then, O monarch, Dhritarashtra, the son of Amvika, addressed
Sanjaya, who had that night come back from the camp to the city called
after the elephant. With a heart rendered exceedingly cheerless in
consequence of his having heard of Bhishma's fall, and desirous of the
victory of his sons, he indulged in these lamentations in great distress.'

"Dhritarashtra said, 'After having wept for the high-souled Bhishma of
terrible prowess, what, O son, did the Kauravas, urged by fate, next do?
Indeed, when that high-souled and invincible hero was slain, what did the
Kauravas do, sunk as they were in an ocean of grief? Indeed, that
swelling and highly efficient host of the high-souled Pandavas, would, O
Sanjaya, excite the keenest fears of even the three worlds. Tell me,
therefore, O Sanjaya, what the (assembled) kings did after Devavrata,
that bull of Kura's race, had fallen.'

"Sanjaya said, 'Listen, O king, with undivided attention, to me as I
recite what thy sons did after Devavrata had been killed in battle. When
Bhishma, O monarch, of prowess incapable of being baffled, was slain, thy
warriors as also the Pandavas both reflected by themselves (on the
situation). Reflecting on the duties of the Kshatriya order, they were
filled with wonder and joy; but acting according to those duties of their
own order, they all bowed to that high-souled warrior. Then those tigers
among men contrived for Bhishma of immeasurable prowess a bed with a
pillow made of straight shafts. And having made arrangements for
Bhishma's protection, they addressed one another (in pleasant converse).
Then bidding Ganga's son their farewell and walking round him, and
looking at one another with eyes red in anger, those Kshatriyas, urged by
fate, once more went out against one another for battle. Then by the
blare of trumpets and the beat of drums, the divisions of thy army as
also those of the foe, marched out. After the fall of Ganga's son, O
king, when the best part of the day had passed away, yielding to the
influence of wrath, with hearts afflicted by fate, and disregarding the
words, worthy of acceptance, of the high-souled Bhishma, those foremost
ones of Bharata's race went out with great speed, armed with weapons. In
consequence of thy folly and of thy son's and of the slaughter of
Santanu's son, the Kauravas with all the kings seemed to be summoned by
Death himself. The Kurus, deprived of Devavrata, were filled with great
anxiety, and resembled a herd of goats and sheep without a herdsman, in a
forest abounding with beasts of prey. Indeed, after the fall of that
foremost one of Bharata's race, the Kuru host looked like the firmament
divested of stars, or like the sky without the atmosphere, or like the
earth with blasted crops, or like an oration disfigured by bad
grammar,[1] or like the Asura host of old after Vali had been smitten
down, or like a beautiful damsel deprived of husband,[2] or like a river
whose waters have been dried up, or like a roe deprived of her mate and
encompassed in the woods by wolves; or like a spacious mountain cave with
its lion killed by a Sarabha.[3] Indeed, O chief of the Bharatas, the
Bharata host, on the fall of Ganga's son, became like a frail boat on the
bosom of the ocean, tossed by a tempest blowing from every side.
Exceedingly afflicted by the mighty and heroic Pandavas of sure aim, the
Kaurava host, with its steeds, car-warriors and elephants much troubled,
became exceedingly distressed, helpless, and panic-stricken. And the
frightened kings and the common soldiers, no longer relying upon one
another, of that army, deprived of Devavrata, seemed to sink into the
nethermost region of the world. Then the Kauravas remembered Karna, who
indeed, was equal to Devavrata himself. All hearts turned to that
foremost of all wielders of arms, that one resembling a guest resplendent
(with learning and ascetic austerities). And all hearts turned to him, as
the heart of a man in distress turneth to a friend capable of relieving
that distress. And, O Bharata, the kings then cried out saying, Karna!
Karna! The son of Radha, our friend, the son of a Suta, that one who is
ever prepared to lay down his life in battle! Endued with great fame,
Karna, with his followers and friends, did not fight for these ten days.
O, summon him soon!' The mighty-armed hero, in the presence of all the
Kshatriyas, during the mention of valiant and mighty car-warriors, was by
Bhishma classed as an Ardha-ratha, although that bull among men is equal
to two Maharathas! Even thus was he classed during the counting of Rathas
and Atirathas, he that is the foremost (of all Rathas and Atirathas), he
that is respected by all heroes, he that would venture to fight even with
Yama, Kuvera, Varuna, and Indra. Through anger caused by this, O king, he
had said unto Ganga's son these words: 'As long as thou livest, O thou of
Kuru's race, I will never fight! if thou, however, succeedest in slaying
the sons of Pandu in great battle, I shall, O Kaurava, with Duryodhana's
permission, retire into the woods. If, on the other hand, thou, O
Bhishma, slain by the Pandavas, attainest to heaven, I shall then, on a
single car, slay all of them, whom thou regardest as great car-warriors.'
Having said this, mighty-armed Karna of great fame, with thy son's
approval, did not fight for the first ten days. Bhishma, of great prowess
in battle and of immeasurable might, slew, O Bharata, a very large number
of warriors belonging to Yudhishthira's army. When, however, that hero of
sure aim and great energy was slain, thy sons thought of Karna, like
persons desirous of crossing a river thinking, of a boat. Thy warriors
and thy sons, together with all the kings, cried out, saying, Karna! And
they all said, 'Even this is the time for the display of his prowess.'
Our hearts are turned to that Karna who derived his knowledge of weapons
from Jamadagni's son, and whose prowess is incapable of being resisted!
He, indeed, O king, is competent to save us from great dangers, like
Govinda always saving the celestials from great dangers.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Unto Sanjaya who was thus repeatedly applauding
Karna, Dhritarashtra sighing like a snake, said those words.'

"Dhritarashtra said, '[I understand] that the hearts of all of you are
turned towards Vikartana's son Karna, and that all of you, saw that son
of Radha, that hero of the Suta caste, ever prepared to lay down his life
in battle. I hope that hero of prowess incapable of being baffled, did
not falsify the expectations of Duryodhana and his brothers, all of whom
were then afflicted with grief and fear, and desirous of being relieved
from their danger. When Bhishma, that refuge of Kauravas, was slain,
could Karna, that foremost of bowmen, succeed in filling up the gap
caused? Filling up that gap, could Karna fill the foe with fear? Could he
also crown with fruit the hopes, entertained by my sons, of victory?'"


"Sanjaya said, 'Then Adhiratha's son of the Suta caste, knowing that
Bhishma had been slain, became desirous of rescuing, like a brother, thy
son's army from the distress into which it had fallen, and which then
resembled a boat sunk in the fathomless ocean. [Indeed], O king, having
heard that that mighty car-warrior and foremost of men, that hero of
unfading glory, viz., Santanu's son, had been thrown down (from his car),
that grinder of foes, that foremost of all wielders of bows, viz., Karna,
soon came (to the field of battle). When the best of car-warriors, viz.,
Bhishma, was slain by the foe, Karna speedily came there, desirous of
rescuing the Kuru host which resembled a boat sunk in the ocean, like a
sire desirous of rescuing his children.'

"And Karna (addressing the soldiers) said, 'That Bhishma who possessed
firmness, intelligence, prowess, vigour, truth, self-restraint, and all
the virtues of a hero, as also celestial weapons, and humidity, and
modesty, agreeable speech, and freedom from malice, that ever-grateful
Bhishma, that slayer of the foes of Brahmanas, in whom were these
attributes as permanently as Lakshmi in the moon, alas, when that
Bhishma, that slayer of hostile heroes, hath received his quietus, I
regard all other heroes as already slain. In consequence of the eternal
connection (of all things) with work, nothing exists in this world that
is imperishable. When Bhisma of high vows hath been slain, who is there
that would take upon himself to say with certitude that tomorrow's sun
will rise? When he that was endued with prowess equal to that of the
Vasus, he that was born of the energy of the Vasus, when he, that ruler
of the earth, hath once more been united with the Vasus, grieve ye,
therefore, for your possessions and children for this earth and the
Kurus, and this host.'[4]

"Sanjaya continued, 'Upon the fall of that boon-giving hero of great
might, that lord of the world, viz., Santanu's son of great energy, and
upon the (consequent) defeat of the Bharatas, Karna, with cheerless heart
and eyes filled with tears, began to console (the Dhartarashtras).
Hearing these words of Radha's son, thy sons, O monarch, and thy troops,
began to wail aloud and shed copious tears of grief corresponding with
the loudness of those wails.[5] When, however, the dreadful battle once
more took place and the Kaurava divisions, urged on by the Kings, once
more set up loud shouts, that bull among mighty car-warriors, viz.,
Karna, then addressed the great car-warriors (of the Kaurava army) and
said words which caused them great delight: In this transient world
everything is continually flitting (towards the jaws of Death). Thinking
of this, I regard everything as ephemeral. When, however, all of you were
here, how could Bhishma, that bull among the Kurus, immovable as a hill,
be thrown down from his car? When that mighty car-warrior, viz., the son
of Santanu, hath been overthrown, who even now lieth on the ground like
the Sun himself dropped (from the firmament), the Kuru kings are scarcely
competent to bear Dhananjaya, like trees incapable of bearing the
mountain-wind. I shall, however, now protect, as that high-souled one
did, this helpless Kuru host of cheerless mien, whose foremost warriors
have already been slain by the foe. Let this burden now devolve on me. I
see that this universe is transient, since that foremost of heroes hath
been slain in battle. Why shall I then cherish any fear of battle?
Coursing, therefore, on the field I shall despatch those bulls of Kuru's
race (viz., the Pandavas) to Yama's abode by means of my straight shafts.
Regarding fame as the highest object in the world, I shall slay them in
battle, or, slain by the foe, shall sleep on the field. Yudhishthira is
possessed of firmness, intelligence, virtue, and might. Vrikodara is
equal to a hundred elephant in prowess, Arjuna is young and is the son of
the chief of the celestials. The Pandava host, therefore, is not capable
of being easily defeated by the very celestials. That force in which are
the twins, each resembling Yama himself, that force in which are Satyaki
and the son of Devaki, that force is like the jaws of Death. No coward,
approaching it, can come back with life. The wise oppose swelling ascetic
power with ascetic austerities, so should force be opposed by force.
Verily, my mind is firmly fixed upon opposing the foe and protecting my
own party, O charioteer, I shall today certainly resist the might of the
enemy, and vanquish him by repairing only to the field of battle. I will
not tolerate this intestine feud. When the troops are broken, he that
cometh (for aiding) in the endeavour to rally is a friend. I shall either
achieve this righteous feat worthy of an honest man, or casting off my
life shall follow Bhishma. I shall either slay all my foes united
together, or slain by them proceed to the regions reserved for heroes. O
charioteer, I know that even this is what I should do, when women and
children cry for help, or when Duryodhana's prowess sustains a check.
Therefore, I shall today conquer the foe. Reckless of my very life in
this terrible battle, I shall protect the Kurus and slay the sons of
Pandu. Slaying in battle all my foes banded together, I shall bestow
(undisputed) sovereignty on Dhritarashtra's son. Let my armour,
beautiful, made of gold, bright, and radiant with jewels and gems, be
donned; and my head-gear, of effulgence equal to that of the sun; and my
bows and arrows that resemble fire, poison, or snakes. Let also sixteen
quivers be tied (to my car) at the proper places, and let a number of
excellent bows be procured. Let also shafts, and darts and heavy maces,
and my conch, variegated with gold, be got ready. Bring also my
variegated, beautiful, and excellent standard, made of gold, possessed of
the effulgence of the lotus, and bearing the device of the elephant's
girth, cleaning it with a delicate cloth, and decking it with excellent
garlands and a network of wires.[6] O charioteer's son, bring me also,
with speed, some fleet steeds of the hue of tawny clouds, not lean, and
bathed in water sanctified with mantras, and furnished with trappings of
bright gold. Bring me also, with speed, an excellent car decked with
garlands of gold, adorned gems, bright as the sun or the moon, furnished
with every necessary, as also with weapons, and unto which are yoked
excellent animals. Bring me also a number of excellent bows of great
toughness, and a number of excellent bow-strings capable of smitting (the
foe), and some quivers, large and full of shafts and some coats of mail
for my body. Bring me also, with speed, O hero, every (auspicious)
article needed for occasions of setting out (for battle), such as vessels
of brass and gold, full of curds. Let garlands of flowers be brought, and
let them be put on the (proper) limbs of my body. Let drums also be
beaten for victory! Go, O charioteer, quickly to the spot where the
diadem-decked (Arjuna), and Vrikodara, and Dharma's son (Yudhishthira),
and the twins, are. Encountering them in battle, either I shall slay
them, or, being slain by them, my foes, I shall follow Bhishma. Arjuna,
and Vasudeva, and Satyaki, and the Srinjayas, that force, I think, is
incapable of being conquered by the kings. If all-destroying Death
himself with unremitting vigilance, were to protect Kiritin, still shall
I slay him, encountering him in battle, or repair myself to Yama's abode
by Bhishma's track. Verily, I say, that I will repair into the midst of
those heroes. Those (kings) that are my allies are not provokers of
intestine feuds, or of weak attachment to me, or of unrighteous souls.'

"Sanjaya continued, Riding on an excellent and costly car of great
strength, with an excellent pole, decked with gold, auspicious, furnished
with a standard, and unto which were yoked excellent steeds that were
fleet as the wind, Karna proceeded (to battle) for victory. Worshipped by
the foremost of Kuru car-warriors like Indra by the celestials, that
high-souled and fierce bowman, endued with immeasurable energy like the
Sun himself, upon his car decked with gold and jewels and gems, furnished
with an excellent standard, unto which were yoked excellent steeds, and
whose rattle resembled the roll of the clouds, proceeded, accompanied by
a large force, to that field of battle where that bull of Bharata's race
(Bhishma) had paid his debt to nature. Of beautiful person, and endued
with the splendour of fire, that great bowman and mighty car-warrior,
viz., the son of Adhiratha, then mounted on his own beautiful car
possessed of the effulgence of fire, and shone like the lord of the
celestials himself riding on his celestial car.'"


"Sanjaya said, 'Beholding the grandsire, viz., the venerable Bhishma,
that destroyer of all the Kshatriyas, that hero of righteous soul and
immeasurable energy, that great bowman thrown down (from his car) by
Savyasachin with his celestial weapons, lying on a bed of arrows, and
looking like the vast ocean dried up by mighty winds, the hope of thy
sons for victory had disappeared along with their coats of mail and peace
of mind. Beholding him who was always an island unto persons sinking in
the fathomless ocean in their endeavours to cross it, beholding that hero
covered with arrows that had coursed in a stream as continuous as that of
Yamuna, that hero who looked like Mainaka of unbearable energy thrown
down on the earth by the great Indra, that warrior lying prostrate on the
earth like the Sun dropped down from the firmament, that one who looked
like the inconceivable Indra himself after his defeat of old by Vritra,
that depriver of all warriors of their senses, that foremost of all
combatants, that signal of all bowmen, beholding that hero and bull among
men, viz., thy sire Bhishma of high vows, that grandsire of the Bharatas
thrown down in battle and lying covered with Arjuna's shafts, on a hero's
bed. Adhiratha's son (Karna) alighted from his car, in great affliction,
filled with grief, and almost senseless. Afflicted (with sorrow), and
with eyes troubled with tears, he proceeded on foot. Saluting him with
joined palms, and addressing him reverentially, he said, 'I am Karna!
Blessed be thou! Speak to me, O Bharata, in sacred and auspicious words,
and look at me, opening thy eyes. No man certainly enjoyeth in this world
the fruits of his pious deeds, since thou, reverend in years and devoted
to virtue, liest slain on the ground. O thou that art the foremost one
amongst the Kurus, I do not see that there is any one else among them,
who is competent (like thee) in filling the treasury, in counsels, in the
matter of disposing the troops in battle array, and in the use of
weapons, Alas, he that was endued with a righteous understanding, he that
always protected the Kurus from every danger, alas, he, having slain
numberless warriors, proceedeth to the region of the Pitris. From this
day, O chief of the Bharatas, the Pandavas, excited with wrath, will
slaughter the Kurus like tigers slaying deer. Today the Kauravas,
acquainted with the force of Gandiva's twang, will regard Savyasachin,
like the Asuras regarding the wielder of the thunder-bolt, with terror.
Today the noise, resembling that of heaven's thunder, of the arrows shot
from Gandiva, will inspire the Kurus and other kings with great terror.
Today, O hero, like a raging conflagration of fierce flames consuming a
forest, the shafts of Kiritin will consume the Dhartarashtras. In those
parts of the forest through which fire and wind march together, they burn
all plants and creepers and trees. Without doubt, Partha is even like a
surging fire, and, without doubt, O tiger among men, Krishna is like the
wind. Hearing the blare of Panchajanya and the twang of Gandiva all the
Kaurava troops, O Bharata, will be filled with fear. O hero, without
thee, the kings will never be able to bear the rattle of the ape-bannered
car belonging to that grinder of foes, when he will advance (upon them).
Who amongst the kings, save thyself, is competent to battle with that
Arjuna whose feats, as described by the wise, are all superhuman?
Superhuman was the battle that he fought with the high-souled (Mahadeva)
of three eyes. From him he obtained a boon that is unattainable by
persons of unsanctified souls. Delighted in battle, that son of Pandu is
protected by Madhava. Who is there that is competent to vanquish him who
could not be vanquished by thee before, although thou, endued with great
energy, hadst vanquished Rama himself in battle, that fierce destroyer of
the Kshatriya race, worshipped, besides, by the gods and the Danavas?
Incapable of putting up with that son of Pandu, that foremost of heroes
in battle, even I, with thy permission, am competent to slay, with the
force of my weapons, that brave and fierce warrior who resembleth a snake
of virulent poison and who slayeth his foes with his glances alone!'"


"Sanjaya said, 'Unto him who was talking thus, the aged Kuru grandsire
with a cheerful heart, said these words adapted to both time and place:
'Like the ocean unto rivers, like the Sun unto all luminous bodies, like
the righteous unto Truth, like a fertile soil unto seeds, like the clouds
unto all creatures, be thou the refuge of thy relatives and friends! Like
the celestials upon him of a thousand eyes, let thy kinsmen depend on
thee. Be thou the humiliator of thy foes, and the enhancer of the joys of
thy friends. Be thou unto the Kauravas as Vishnu unto the dwellers of
heaven. Desirous of doing what was agreeable to Dhritarashtra's son, thou
didst with the might and prowess of own arms, O Karna, vanquish the
Kamvojas having proceeded to Rajpura. Many kings, amongst whom Nagnajit
was the foremost, while staying in Girivraja, as also the Amvashthas, the
Videhas, and the Gandharvas, were all vanquished by thee. The Kiratas,
fierce in battle, dwelling in the fastness of Himavat, were formerly, O
Karna, made by thee to own Duryodhana's sway. And so also, the Utpalas,
the Mekalas, the Paundras, the Kalingas, the Andhras, the Nishadas, the
Trigartas, and the Valhikas, were all vanquished by thee, O Karna, in
battle. In many other countries, O Karna, impelled by the desire of doing
good to Duryodhana, thou didst, O hero, vanquish many races and kings of
great energy. Like Duryodhana, O child, with his kinsmen, and relatives,
and friends, be thou also the refuge of all the Kauravas. In auspicious
words I command thee, go and fight with the enemy. Lead the Kurus in
battle, and give victory unto Duryodhana. Thou art to us our grandson
even as Duryodhana is. According to the ordinance, all of us also are as
much thine as Duryodhana's![7]The wise, O foremost of men, say that the
companionship of the righteous with the righteous is a superior
relationship to that born of the same womb. Without falsifying,
therefore, thy relationship with Kurus, protect thou the Kaurava host
like Duryodhana, regarding it as thy own.

"Hearing these words of his, Vikartana's. son Karna, reverentially
saluting Bhishma's feet, (bade him farewell) and came to that spot where
all the Kaurava bowmen were. Viewing that wide and unparalleled
encampment of the vast host, he began to cherish (by words of
encouragement) those well-armed and broad-chested warriors. And all the
Kauravas headed by Duryodhana were filled with joy. And beholding the
mighty-armed and high-souled Karna come to the field and station himself
at the head of the whole army, for battle, the Kauravas received him with
loud shouts and slapping of arm-pits and leonine roars and twang of bows
and diverse other kinds of noise.'"


"Sanjaya said, 'Beholding that tiger among men, viz., Karna, mounted on
his car, Duryodhana, O king, filled with joy, said these words, 'This
host, protected by thee, hath now, I think, got a proper leader. Let
that, however, be settled now which is proper and within our power.'

'Karna said, 'Tell us thyself, O tiger among men, for thou art the wisest
of kings. Another can never see so well what should be done as one seeth
it whose concern it is. Those kings are all desirous of listening to what
thou mayst have to say. I am sure that no improper words will be uttered
by thee.'

"Duryodhana, said, 'Bhishma was our commander possessed (as he was) of
years, prowess, and learning and supported by all our warriors. That
high-souled one, O Karna, achieving great glory and slaying large numbers
of my enemies protected us by fair fight for ten days. He achieved the
most difficult of feats. But now that he is about to ascend to heaven,
whom, O Karna, dost thou think fit to our commander after him? Without a
leader, an army cannot stay in battle for even a short while. Thou art
foremost in battle, like a boat without a helmsman in the waters. Indeed,
as a boat without a helmsman, or a car without a driver, would go
anywhere, so would the plight be of a host that is without a leader. Like
a merchant who falleth into every kind of distress when he is
unacquainted with the ways of the country he visits, an army that is
without a leader is exposed to every kind of distress. Look thou,
therefore, among all the high-souled warriors of our army and find out a
proper leader who may succeed the son of Santanu. Him whom thou wouldst
regard as a fit leader in battle, him, all of us, without doubt, will
together make our leader.'

"Karna said, 'All these foremost of men are high-souled persons. Every
one of them deserveth to be our leader. There is no need of any minute
examination. All of them are conversant with noble genealogies and with
the art of smiting; all of them are endued with prowess and intelligence,
all of them are attentive and acquainted with the scriptures, possessed
of wisdom, and unretreating from battle.[8] All, however, cannot be
leaders at the same time. Only one should be selected as leader, in whom
are special merits. All of these regard one another as equals. If one
amongst them, therefore, be honoured, others will be dissatisfied, and,
it is evident, will no longer fight for thee from a desire of benefiting
thee. This one, however, is the Preceptor (in arms) of all these
warriors; is venerable in years, and worthy of respect. Therefore, Drona,
this foremost of all wielders of weapons, should be made the leader. Who
is there worthy of becoming a leader, when the invincible Drona, that
foremost of persons conversant with Brahma, is here, that one who is
equal to Sukra or Vrihaspati himself? Amongst all the kings in thy army,
O Bharata, there is not a single warrior who will not follow Drona when
the latter goeth to battle.[9] This Drona is the foremost of all leaders
of forces, the foremost of all wielders of weapons, and the foremost of
all intelligent persons. He is, besides, O king, thy preceptor (in arms).
Therefore, O Duryodhana, make this one the leader of thy forces without
delay, as the celestials made Kartikeya their leader in battle for
vanquishing the Asuras.'"


"Sanjaya said, 'Hearing these words of Karna, king Duryodhana. then said
this unto Drona who was staying in the midst of the troops.'

"Duryodhana said, 'For the superiority of the order of thy birth, for the
nobility of thy parentage, for thy learning, years and intelligence, for
also thy prowess, skill, invincibility, knowledge of worldly matters,
policy, and self-conquest, by reason also of thy ascetic austerities and
thy gratitude, superior as thou art as regards every virtue, among these
kings there is none who can make so good a leader as thou. Protect thou,
therefore, ourselves, like Vasava protecting the celestials. Having thee
for our leader, we desire, O best of Brahmanas, to vanquish our foes. As
Kapali amongst the Rudras, Pavaka among the Vasus, Kuvera among the
Yakshas, Vasava among the Maruts, Vasishtha among Brahmanas, the Sun
amongst luminous bodies, Yama among the Pitris, Varuna among aquatic
creatures, as the Moon among the stars, and Usanas among the sons of
Diti, so art thou the foremost of all leaders of forces. Be thou,
therefore, our leader. O sinless one, let these ten and one Akshauhinis
of troops be obedient to thy word of command. Disposing these troops in
battle array, slay thou our foes, like Indra slaying the Danavas. Proceed
thou art the head of us all, like Pavaka's son (Kartikeya) at the head of
the celestial forces. We will follow thee to battle, like bulls following
a bovine leader. A fierce and great bowman as thou art, beholding thee
stretching the bow at our head. Arjuna will not strike. Without doubt, O
tiger among men, if thou becomest our leader, I will vanquish
Yudhishthira with all his followers and relatives in battle.'

"Sanjaya continued, 'After Duryodhana had uttered these words, the kings
(in the Kaurava army) all cried victory to Drona. And they delighted thy
son by uttering a loud leonine shout. And the troops, filled with joy,
and with Duryodhana at their head, desirous of winning great renown,
began to glorify that best of Brahmanas. Then, O king, Drona addressed
Duryodhana fin those words.'"


"Drona said, 'I know the Vedas with their six branches. I know also the
science of human affairs. I am acquainted also with the Saiva weapon, and
diverse other species of weapons. Endeavouring to actually display all
those virtues which ye, desirous of victory, have attributed to me, I
will fight with the Pandavas. I will not, however, O king, be able to
slay the son of Prishata. O bull among men, he hath been created for my
slaughter. I will fight with the Pandavas, and slay the Somakas. As
regards the Pandavas, they will not fight with me with cheerful hearts.'

"Sanjaya continued, 'Thus permitted by Drona, the son, O king, then made
him the commander of his forces according to the rites prescribed in the
ordinance. And the kings (in the Katirava army) headed by Duryodhana
performed the investiture of Drona in the command of the forces, like the
celestials headed by India in days of yore performing the investiture of
Skanda. After Drona's installation in the command, the joy of the army
expressed itself by the sound of drums and the loud blare of conchs. Then
with cries such as greet the ears en a festive day, with auspicious
invocations by Brahmanas gratified with cries of Jaya uttered by foremost
of Brahmanas, and with the dance of mimes, Drona was duly honoured. And
Kaurava warriors regarded the Pandayas as already vanquished.'

"Sanjaya continued. 'Then that mighty car-warrior, viz., Bharadwaja's
son, having obtained the command, arrayed the troops in order of battle,
and went out with thy sons from desire of fighting the foe. And the ruler
of the Sindhus, and the chief of the Kalingas, and thy son Vikarna, clad
in mail, took up their position on the right wing (of Drona). And Sakuni,
accompanied by many foremost of horsemen battling with bright lances and
belonging to the Gandhara tribe, proceeded, acting as their support. And
Kripa, and Kritavarman, and Chitrasena, and Vivinsati headed by
Duhsasana, strove vigorously for protecting the left wing. And the
Kamvojas headed by Sudakshina, and the Sakas, and the Yavanas, with
steeds of great fleetness, proceeded, as the latter's support. And the
Madras, the Trigartas the Amvashthas, the Westerners, the Northerners,
the Malavas, the Surasenas, the Sudras the Maladas, the Sauviras, the
Kaitavas, the Easterners, and the Southerners placing thy son
(Duryodhana) and the Suta's son (Karna) at their head, forming the rear
guard, gladdened warriors of their own army, added to the strength of the
(advancing) force, Vikartana's son Karna proceeded at the head of the
bowmen.[10] And his blazing and large and tall standard bearing the
advice of the elephant's rope, shone with an effulgence like that of the
Sun, gladdening his own divisions. Beholding Karna, none regarded the
calamity caused by Bhishma's death. And the kings, along with the Kurus,
all became freed from grief. And large numbers of warriors, banded
together, said unto one another, 'Beholding Karna on the field, the
Pandavas will never be able to stand in battle. Indeed, Karna is quite
competent to vanquish in battle the very gods with Vasava at their head.
What need be said, therefore, for the sons of Pandu who are destitute of
energy and prowess? The mighty-armed Bhishma spared the Parthas in
battle. Karna, however, will slay them in the fight with his keen
shafts.' Speaking unto one another thus and filled with joy, they
proceeded, applauding and worshipping the son of Radha. As regards our
army, it was arrayed by Drona in the form of a Sakata (vehicle); while
the array of our illustrious foes, O king, was in the form of a Krauncha
(crane), as disposed, O Bharata, by king Yudhishthira the just in great
cheerfulness. At the head of their array were those two foremost of
persons viz., Vishnu and Dhananjaya, with their banner set up, bearing
the device of the ape. The hump of the whole army and the refuge of all
bowmen, that banner of Partha, endued with immeasurable energy, as it
floated in the, sky, seemed to illumine the entire host of the
high-souled Yudhishthira. The banner of Partha, possessed of great
intelligence, seemed to resemble the blazing Sun that riseth at the end
of the Yuga for consuming the world. Amongst bowmen, Arjuna is the
foremost; amongst bows, Gandiva is the foremost amongst creature Vasudeva
is the first; and amongst all kinds of discs, Sudarsana is the first.
Bearing these four embodiments of energy, that car unto which were yoked
white steeds, took up its position in the front of the (hostile) army,
like the fierce discus upraised (for striking). Thus did those two
foremost of men stand at the very head of their respective forces, viz.,
Karna at the head of thy army, and Dhananjaya at the head of the hostile
one. Both excited with wrath, and each desirous of slaying the other,
Karna and Arjuna looked at each other in that battle.'

"Then when that mighty car-warrior, viz.. Bharadwaja's son, proceeded to
battle with great speed, the earth seemed to tremble with loud sounds of
wailing. Then the thick dust, raised by the wind resembling a canopy of
tawny silk, enveloped the sky and the sun. And though the firmament was
cloudless, yet a shower fell of pieces of flesh, bones, and blood. And
vultures and hawks and cranes and Kankas, and crows in thousands, began
continually to fall upon the (Kaurava) troops. And jackals yelled aloud;
and many fierce and terrible birds repeatedly wheeled to the left of thy
army, from desire of eating flesh and drinking blood,[11] and many
blazing meteors, illuminating (the sky), and covering large areas with
their tails, fell on the field with loud sound and trembling motion. And
the wide disc of the sun O monarch, seemed to emit flashes of lightning
with thundering noise, when commander of the (Kaurava) army set out.
These and many other portents, fierce and indicating a destruction of
heroes, were seen during the battle. Then commenced the encounter between
the troops of the Kurus and the Pandavas, desirous of slaying each other.
And so loud was the din that it seemed to fill the whole earth. And the
Pandavas and the Kauravas, enraged with each other and skilled in
smiting, began to strike each other with sharp weapons, from desire of
victory. 'Then that great bowman of blazing effulgence rushed towards the
troops of the Pandavas with great impetuosity, scattering hundreds of
sharp arrows. Then the Pandavas and the Srinjayas, beholding Drona rush
towards them, received him, O king, with showers upon showers (in
distinct sets) of arrows. Agitated and broken by Drona, the large host of
the Pandavas and the Panchalas broke like rows of cranes by force of the
wind. Invoking into existence many celestial weapons in that battle,
Drona, within a very short time, afflicted the Pandavas and the
Srinjayas. Slaughtered by Drona, like Danavas by Vasava, the Panchalas
headed by Dhrishtadyumna trembled in that battle. Then that mighty
car-warrior, viz., Yajnasena's son (Dhrishtadyumna), that hero acquainted
with celestial weapons, broke, with his arrowy showers, the division of
Drona in many places. And the mighty son of Prishata baffling with his
own arrowy showers the showers of arrows shot by Drona, caused a great
slaughter among the Kurus. The mighty-armed Drona then, rallying his men
in battle and gathering them together, rushed towards the son of
Prishata. He then shot at Prishata's son a thick shower of arrows, like
Maghavat excited with rage showering his arrows with great force upon the
Danavas, Then the Pandavas and the Srinjayas, shaken by Drona with his
shafts, repeatedly broke like a herd of inferior animals attacked by a
lion. And the mighty Drona coursed through the Pandava force like a
circle of fire. All this, O king, seemed highly wonderful. Mounted on his
own excellent car which (then) resembled a city coursing through the
skies, which was furnished with every necessary article according to
(military) science, whose banner floated on the air, whose rattle
resounded through the field, whose steeds were (well) urged, and the
staff of whose standard was bright as crystal, Drona struck terror into
the hearts of the enemy and caused a great slaughter among them.'"


"Sanjaya said, 'Beholding Drona thus slaying steeds and drivers and
car-warriors and elephants, the Pandavas, without being troubled,
encompassed him on all sides. Then king Yudhishthira, addressing
Dhrishtadyumna and Dhananjaya, said unto them, 'Let the pot-born (Drona)
be checked, our men surrounding him on all sides with care.' Thus
addressed those mighty car-warriors, viz., Arjuna and Prishata's son,
along with their followers, all received Drona as the latter came. And
the Kekaya princes, and Bhimasena, and Subhadra's son and Ghatotkacha and
Yudhishthira, and the twins (Nakula and Sahadeva), and the ruler of the
Matsyas, and the son of Drupada, and the (five) sons of Draupadi, all
filled with joy, and Dhrishtaketu, and Satyaki, and the wrathful
Chitrasena, and the mighty car-warrior, Yuyutsu, and many other kings, O
monarch, who followed the sons of Pandu, all achieved diverse feats in
keeping with their lineage and prowess. Beholding then that host
protected in that battle by those Pandava warriors, Bharadwaja's son,
turning his eyes in wrath, cast his looks upon it. Inflamed with rage,
that warrior, invincible in battle, consumed, as he stood upon his car,
the Pandava host like the tempest destroying vast masses of clouds.
Rushing on all sides at car-warriors and steeds and foot-soldiers and
elephants, Drona furiously careered over the field like a young man,
though bearing the weight of years. His red steeds, fleet as the wind,
and of excellent breed, covered with blood, O king, assumed a beautiful
appearance. Beholding that hero of regulated vows, felling them like Yama
himself inflamed with wrath, the soldiers of Yudhishthira fled away on
all sides. And as some fled away and other rallied, as some looked at him
and others stayed on the field, the noise they made was fierce and
terrible. And that noise causing delight to heroes and enhancing the
fears of the timid, filled the whole sky and the earth. And once more
Drona, uttering his own name in battle, made himself exceedingly fierce,
scattering hundreds of arrows among the foes. Indeed, the mighty Drona,
though old, yet acting like a young man, careered like Death himself, O
sire, amid the divisions of Pandu's son. That fierce warrior cutting off
heads and arms decked with ornaments, made the terraces of many cars
empty and uttered leonine roars. And in consequence of those joyous
shouts of his, as also of the force of his shafts, the warriors, O lord,
(of the hostile army) trembled like a herd of cows afflicted by cold. And
in consequence of the rattle of his car and the stretching of his
bow-string and the twang of his bow, the whole welkin resounded with a
loud noise. And the shaft., of that hero, coursing in thousands from his
bow, and enveloping all the points of the compass, fell upon the
elephants and steeds and cars and foot-soldiers (of the enemy). Then the
Panchalas and the Pandavas boldly approached Drona, who, armed with his
bow of great force, resembled a fire having weapons for its flames. Then
with their elephants and foot-soldiers and steeds he began to despatch
them unto the abode of Yama. And Drona made the earth miry with blood.
Scattering his mighty weapons and shooting his shafts thick on every
side, Drona soon so covered all the points of the compass, that nothing
could be seen except his showers of arrows. And among foot-soldiers and
cars and steeds and elephants nothing could be seen save Drona's arrows.
The standard of his car was all that could be seen, moving like flashes
of lightning amid the cars.[12] Of soul incapable of being depressed,
Drona then, armed with bow and arrows, afflicted the five princes of
Kekaya and the ruler of the Panchalas and then rushed against the
division of Yudhishthira. Then Bhimasena and Dhananjaya and the grandson
of Sini, and the sons of Drupada, and the ruler of Kasi, viz., the son of
Saivya, and Sivi himself, cheerfully and with loud roars covered him with
their arrows. Shafts in thousands, decked with wings of gold, shot from
Drona's bow, piercing through the bodies of the elephants and the young
horses of those warriors, entered the earth, their feathers dyed with
blood. The field of battle, strewn with cars and the prostrate forms of
large bands of warriors, and of elephants and steeds mangled with shafts,
looked like the welkin covered with masses of black clouds. Then Drona,
desirous of the prosperity of thy sons, having thus crushed the divisions
of Satyaki, and Bhima, and Dhananjaya and Subhadra's son and Drupada, and
the ruler of the Kasi, and having ground many other heroes in battle,
indeed, that high-souled warrior, having achieved these and many other
feats, and having, O chief of the Kurus, scorched the world like the Sun
himself as he rises at the end of the Yuga, proceeded hence, O monarch,
to heaven. That hero possessed of golden car, that grinder of hostile
hosts, having achieved mighty feats and slain in thousands the warriors
of the Pandava host in battle, hath at last been himself slain by
Dhrishtadyumna. Having, in fact, slain more than two Akshauhinis of brave
and unreturning warriors, that hero endued with intelligence, at last,
attained to the highest state. Indeed, O king, having achieved the most
difficult feats, he hath, at last, been slain by the Pandavas and the
Panchalas of cruel deeds. When the preceptor was slain in battle, there
arose in the welkin, O monarch, a loud uproar of all creatures, as also
of all the troops. Resounding through heaven and earth and the
intermediate space and through the cardinal and the subsidiary
directions, the loud cry 'O Fie!'--of creatures; was heard. And the gods,
the Pitris, and they that were his friends, all beheld that mighty
car-warrior, viz., the son of Bharadwaja, thus slain. The Pandavas,
having won the victory, uttered leonine shouts. And the earth trembled
with those loud shouts of theirs.'"


"Dhritarashtra said, 'How did the Pandavas and the Srinjayas slay Drona
in battle,--Drona. who was so accomplished in weapons amongst all
wielders of arms? Did his car break (in course of the fight)? Did his bow
break while he was striking (the foe)? Or, was Drona careless at the time
when he met with his death-blow? How, indeed, O child, could Prishata's
son, (viz., Dhrishtadyumna) the prince of the Panchalas, slay that hero
incapable of being humiliated by enemies, who scattered thick showers of
shafts furnished with wings of gold, and who was endued with great
lightness of hand, that foremost of Brahmanas, who was accomplished in
everything, acquainted with all modes of warfare, capable of shooting his
shafts to a great distance, and self-restrained, who was possessed of
great skill in the use of weapons and armed with celestial weapons, that
mighty warrior, of unfading glory, who was always careful, and who
achieved the fiercest feats in battle? It is plain, it seems to me, that
destiny is superior to exertion, since even brave Drona hath been slain
by the high-souled son of Prishata, that hero in whom were the four kinds
of weapons, alas, thou sayest that that Drona, that preceptor in
bowmanship, is slain. Hearing of the slaughter of that hero who used to
ride his bright car covered with tiger skins and adorned with pure gold.
I cannot drive away my grief. Without doubt, O Sanjaya, no one dies of
grief caused by another's calamity, since, wretch that I am, I am yet
alive although I have heard of Drona's death. Destiny I regard to be all
powerful, exertion is fruitless. Surely, my heart, hard as it is, is made
of adamant, since it breaketh not into a hundred pieces, although I have
heard of Drona's death. He who was waited up-on by Brahmanas and princes
desirous of instruction in the Vedas and divination and bowmanship, alas,
how could he be taken away by Death? I cannot brook the overthrow of
Drona which is even like the drying up of the ocean, or the removal of
Meru from its site, or the fall of the Run from the firmament. He was a
restrainer of the wicked and a protector of the righteous. That scorcher
of foes who hath given up his life for the wretched Duryodhana, upon
whose prowess rested that hope of victory which my wicked sons
entertained, who was equal to Vrihaspati or Usanas himself in
intelligence, alas, how was he slain? His large steeds of red hue,
covered with net of gold, fleet as the wind and incapable of being struck
with any weapon in battle, endued with great strength, neighing
cheerfully, well-trained and of the Sindhu breed, yoked unto his car and
drawing the vehicle excellently, always preserving in the midst of
battle, did they become weak and faint? Coolly bearing in battle the roar
of elephants, while those huge creatures trumpeted at the blare of conchs
and the beat of drums, unmoved by the twang of bows and showers of arrows
and other weapons, foreboding the defeat of foes by their very
appearance, never drawing long breaths (in consequence of toil), above
all fatigue and pain, how were those fleet steeds that drew the car of
Bharadwaja's son soon over-powered? Even such were the steeds yoked unto
his golden car. Even such were the steeds yoked thereto by that foremost
of human heroes. Mounted on his own excellent car decked with pure gold,
why, O son, could he not cross the sea of the Pandava army? What feat
were achieved in battle by Bharadwaja's son, that warrior who always drew
tears from other heroes, and upon whose knowledge (of weapons) all the
bowmen of the world rely? Firmly adhering to truth, and endued with great
might, what, indeed, did Drona do in battle? Who were those car-warriors
that encountered that achiever of fierce deeds, that foremost of all
wielders of the bow, that first of heroes, who resembled Sakra himself in
heaven? Did the Pandava fly away beholding him of the golden car and of
mighty strength who invoked into existence celestial weapons? Or, did
king Yudhishthira the just, with his younger brothers, and having the
prince of Panchala (Dhrishtadyumna) for his binding chord,[13] attack
Drona, surrounding him with his troops on all sides? Verily, Partha must
have, with his straight shafts, checked all the other car-warriors, and
then Prishata's son of sinful deeds must have surrounded Drona. I do not
see any other warrior, save the fierce Dhrishtadyumna protected by
Arjuna, who could have compassed the death of that mighty hero? It seems
that when those heroes, viz., the Kekayas, the Chedis, the Karushas, the
Matsyas, and the other kings, surrounding the preceptor, pressed him
exceedingly like ants pressing upon a snake, while he was engaged in some
difficult feat, the wretched Dhrishtadyumna must have slain him then.
This is what, I think. He who, having studied the four Vedas with their
branches and the histories forming the fifth (Veda), became the refuge of
the Brahmanas, as the ocean is of rivers, that scorcher of foes, who
lived both as a Brahmana and as a Kshatriya, alas, how could that
Brahmana, reverend in years, meet with his end at the edge of a weapon?
Of a proud spirit, he was yet often humiliated and had to suffer, pain on
my account. However undeserving of it, he yet attained at the hands of
Kunti's son, the fruit of his own conduct.[14] He, upon whose feats
depend all wielders of bows in the world, alas, how could that hero,
firmly adhering to truth and possessed of great skill, be slain by
persons desirous of affluence? Foremost in the world like Sakra himself
in heaven, of great might and great energy, alas, how could he be slain
by the Parthas, like the whale by the smaller fish? He, from whose
presence no warrior desirous of victory could ever escape with life, he
whom, while alive, these two sounds never left, viz., the sound of the
Vedas by those desirous of Vedic lore, and the twang of bows caused by
those desirous of skill in bowmanship, he who was never cheerless, alas,
that tiger among men, that hero endued with prosperity and never
vanquished in battle, that warrior of prowess equal to that of the lion
or the elephant, hath been slain. Verily, I cannot bear the idea of his
death. How could Prishata's son, in the sight of the foremost of men,
slay in battle that invincible warrior whose might was never humiliated
and whose fame was never tarnished? Who were they that fought in Drona's
van, protecting him, standing by his side? Who proceeded in his rear and
obtained that end which is so difficult of attainment? Who were those
high-souled warriors that protected the right and the left wheels of
Drona? Who were in the van of that hero while he struggled in battle? Who
were they that, reckless of their lives on that occasion, met with death
which stood face to face with them? Who were those heroes that went in
the last journey in Drona's battle? Did any of those Kshatriyas that were
assigned for Drona's protection, proving false, abandon that hero in
battle? Was he slain by the foe after such desertion and while alone?
Drona would never, from fear, show his back in battle, however great the
danger. How then was he slain by the foe? Even in great distress, O
Sanjaya, an illustrious person should do this, viz., put forth his
prowess according to the measure of his might. All this was in Drona; O
child, I am losing my senses. Let this discourse be suspended for a
while. After regaining my senses I will once more ask thee, O Sanjaya!'"


"Vaisampayana said, 'Having addressed the Suta's son in this way,
Dhritarashtra, afflicted with excessive grief of heart and hopeless of
his son's victory, fell down on the ground. Beholding him deprived of his
senses and fallen down, his attendants sprinkled him with perfumed and
cold water, fanning him the while. Seeing him fallen, the Bharata ladies
O king, surrounded him on all sides and gently rubbed him with their
hands. And slowly raising the king from the ground, those royal ladies,
their voices chocked with tears, seated him on his seat. Seated, the King
continued to be under the influence of that swoon. And he remained
perfectly motionless, while they fanned him standing around. And a
tremour then passed over the monarch's body and he slowly regained his
senses. And once more he began to interrogate Gavalgana's son of the Suta
caste about the incidents, as they occured in the battle.'

"Dhritarashtra said, [That Ajatasatru] who, like the risen sun,
dispelleth darkness by his own light; who rusheth against a foe as a
swift and angry elephant with rent temples, incapable of being vanquished
by hostile leaders of herds, rusheth against a rival proceeding with
cheerful face towards a female of the species in rust, O, what warriors
(of my army) resisted that Ajatasatru as he came, for keeping him away
from Drona?[15] That hero, that foremost of persons, who hath slain many
brave warriors (of my army) in battle, that mighty-armed and intelligent
and courageous prince of unbaffled prowess, who, unassisted by any one,
can consume the entire host of Duryodhana by means of his terrible
glances alone, that slayer by his sight, that one bent on winning
victory, that bowman, that hero of unfading glory, that self-restrained
monarch who is revered by the whole world, O, who were those heroes (of
my army) that surrounded that warrior?[16] That invincible prince, that
bowman of unfading glory, that tiger among men, that son of Kunti, who
advancing with great celerity came upon Drona, that mighty warrior who
always achieves grand feats against the foe, that hero of gigantic fame
and great courage, who in strength is equal to ten thousand elephants, O,
what brave combatants of my army surrounded that Bhimasena as he rushed
upon my host? When that car-warrior of exceeding energy, viz., Vibhatsu,
looking like a mass of clouds, came, emitting thunderbolts like the
clouds themselves, shooting showers of arrows like Indra pouring rain,
and making all the points of the compass resound with the slaps of his
palms and the rattle of his car-wheels, when that hero whose bow was like
the lightning's flash and whose car resembled a cloud having for its
roars the rattle of its wheels (when that hero came) the whizz of whose
arrows made him exceedingly fierce, whose wrath resembles an awful cloud,
and who is fleet as the mind or the tempest, who always pierces the foe
deep into his very vitals, who, armed with shafts, is terrible to look
at, who like Death himself bathes all the points of the compass with
human blood in profusion, and who, with fierce uproar and awful visage,
wielding the bow Gandiva incessantly pours on my warriors headed by
Duryodhana shafts whetted on stone and furnished with vultures' feathers,
alas, when that hero of great intelligence came upon you, what became the
state of your mind? When that warrior having the huge ape on his banner
came, obstructing the welkin with dense showers of arrows, what became
that state of your mind at sight of that Partha? Did Arjuna advance upon
you, slaying your troops with the twang of the Gandiva and achieving
fierce feats on the way? Did Duryodhana take, with his shafts, your
lives, like the tempest destroying gathering masses of clouds or felling
forests of reeds, blowing through them? What man is there that is capable
of bearing in battle the wielder of the Gandiva? Hearing only that he is
stationed at the head of the (hostile) force, the heart of every foe
seems to rend in twain. In that battle in which the troops trembled and
even heroes were struck with fear, who were they that did not desert
Drona, and who were those cowards that abandoned him from fear? Who were
they that, reckless of their lives met Death himself, standing face to
face with them, in the shape of Dhananjaya, who hath vanquished even
superhuman combatants in battle? My troops are incapable of bearing the
impetus of that warrior having white steeds yoked unto his car and the
twang of Gandiva, that resembles the roll of the very clouds. That car
which has Vishnu himself for its driver and Dhananjaya for its warrior,
that car I regard to be incapable of being vanquished by the very gods
and the Asuras united together. Delicate, young, and brave, and of a very
handsome countenance, that son of Pandu who is gifted with intelligence
and skill and wisdom and whose prowess incapable of being baffled in
battle, when Nakula with loud noise and afflicting all hostile warriors,
rushed at Drona, what heroes (of my army) surrounded him? When Sahadeva
who resembles an angry snake of virulent poison, when that hero owning
white steeds and invincible in battle, observant of laudable vows,
incapable of being baffled in his purposes, gifted with modesty, and
never vanquished in fight, came upon us, what heroes (of our army)
surrounded him? That warrior who, having crushed the mighty host of the
Sauvira king, took for his wife the beautiful Bhoja maiden of symmetrical
limbs, that bull among men, viz., Yuyudhana, in whom are always truth and
firmness and bravery and Brahmacharya, that warrior gifted with great
might, always practising truth, never cheerless, never vanquished, who in
battle is equal to Vasudeva and is regarded as his second self, who,
through Dhananjaya's instructions, hath become foremost in the use of
arrows, and who is equal to Partha himself in weapons, O, what warrior
(of my army) resisted that Satyaki, for keeping him away from Drona? The
foremost hero among the Vrishnis, exceedingly brave among all bowmen,
equal to Rama himself in (knowledge and the use of) weapons and in
prowess and fame, (know, O Sanjaya, that) truth and firmness,
intelligence and heroism, and knowledge of Brahma, and high weapons, are
all in him (Satyaki) of the Satwata race, as the three worlds are in
Kesava. What heroes (of my army), approaching that mighty bowman,
Satyaki, possessed of all those accomplishments and incapable of being
resisted by the very gods, surrounded him? The foremost among the
Panchalas, possessed of heroism, high-born and the favourite of all
high-born heroes, ever achieving good deeds in battle, viz., Uttamaujas,
that Prince ever engaged in the welfare of Arjuna, born for only my evil,
equal unto Yama, or Vaisaravana, or Aditya, or Mahendra, or Varuna, that
prince regarded as a mighty car-warrior and prepared to lay down his life
in the thick of battle, O, what heroes (of my army) surrounded him? Who
(amongst my warriors) opposed Dhrishtaketu, that single warrior amongst
the Chedis who, deserting them, hath embraced the side of the Pandavas,
while he rushed upon Drona? Who resisted the heroic Ketumat for keeping
him away from Drona, the brave Ketumat who slew prince Durjaya while the
latter had taken shelter in Girivraja? What heroes (of my army)
surrounded Sikhandin, that tiger among men, who knows the merits and
demerits (in his own person) of manhood and femininity, that son of
Yajnasena, who is always cheerful in battle, that hero who became the
cause of the high-souled Bhishma's death in battle, when he rushed
towards Drona? That foremost hero of the Vrishni race, that chief of all
bowmen, that brave warrior in whom all accomplishments exist in a greater
degree than in Dhananajaya himself, in whom are ever weapons and truth
and Brahmacharya, who is equal to Vasudeva in energy and Dhananjaya in
strength, who in splendour is equal to Aditya and in intelligence to
Vrihaspati, viz., the high-souled Abhimanyu, resembling Death himself
with wide-open mouth, O what heroes (of my army) surrounded him when he
rushed towards Drona? That youth of vigorous understanding, that slayer
of hostile heroes, viz., Subhadra's son, O, when he rushed towards Drona,
what became the state of your mind? What heroes surrounded those tigers
among men, viz., the sons of Draupadi, when they rushed in battle against
Drona like rivers rushing towards the sea? Those children who, giving up
all (childish) sports for twelve years, and observing excellent vows,
waited upon Bhishma for the sake of weapons, those children, viz.,
Kshatranjaya and Kshatradeva and Kshatravarman and Manada, those heroic
sons of Dhrishtadyumna, O, who resisted them, seeking to keep them away
from Drona? He whom the Vrishnis regarded as superior in battle to a
hundred car-warriors, O, who resisted that great bowman, viz., Chekitana,
for keeping him away from Drona? Those five Kekaya brothers, virtuous and
possessed of prowess, incapable of being baffled, resembling (in hue) the
insects called Indragopakas, with red coats of mail, red weapons and red
banners, those heroes that are the maternal cousins of the Pandavas and
that always wish for victory unto the latter, O, what heroes (of my army)
surrounded those valiant princes when they rushed towards Drona for
slaying him? That lord of battle, that foremost of bowmen, that hero of
unbaffled aim and great strength, that tiger among men, viz., Yuyutsu,
whom many wrathful kings battling together for six months at Varanavata
from desire of slaying him could not vanquish, and who in battle at
Varanasi overthrew with a broad-headed arrow that mighty car-warrior,
viz., the prince of Kasi, desirous of seizing (at a Swayamvara) a maiden
for wife, O, what hero (of my army) resisted him? That mighty bowman,
viz., Dhrishtadyumna, who is the chief counsellor of the Pandavas, who is
engaged in doing evil to Duryodhana, who was created for Drona's
destruction, O, what heroes (of my army) surrounded him when he came
towards Drona, breaking through all my ranks and consuming all my
warriors in battle? That foremost of all persons conversant with weapons,
who has been reared almost on Drupada's lap, O, what warriors (of my
army) surrounded that Sikhandin protected by (Arjuna's) weapons, for
keeping him away from Drona? He who encompassed this earth by the loud
rattle of his car as by a leathern belt, that mighty car-warrior and
foremost of all slayers of foes, who, as (a substitute for) all
sacrifices, performed, without hindrance, ten Horse sacrifices with
excellent food and drink and gifts in profusion, who ruled his subjects
as if they were his children, that Usinara's son who in sacrifices gave
away kine countless as th
PORN-FLY writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:44:23 PM


no,its just Alex and Dustin
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:44:25 PM

The Mahabharata


Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa



Translated into English Prose from the Original Sanskrit Text


Kisari Mohan Ganguli


Scanned and Proofed by Mantra Caitanya. Additional proofing and
formatting at sacred-texts.com, by J. B. Hare, October 2003.


Om! Having bowed down unto Narayana, and unto that most exalted of male
beings, Nara, and unto the goddess Sarasvati also, must the word Jaya be

Vaishampayana said, "After Drona had been slain, O monarch, the royal
warriors (of the Kaurava army) headed by Duryodhana, with hearts filled
with great anxiety, all repaired to Drona's son. Lamenting the loss of
Drona, and deprived of energy in consequence of their cheerlessness, they
sat around the son of Sharadvata's daughter, afflicted with grief.
Comforted for a little while by considerations founded upon the
scriptures, when night came, those rulers of Earth proceeded to their
respective tents. Those lords of Earth, however, O thou of Kuru's race,
could feel no happiness in their abodes. Thinking of that immense
slaughter, they could not also sleep. The Suta's son (Karna), and king
Suyodhana and Duhshasana and Shakuni, in special, could not compose
themselves to sleep. Those four passed that night together in
Duryodhana's tent, reflecting upon the woes they had inflicted upon the
high-souled Pandavas. Formerly they had brought Draupadi, plunged into
woe on account of the match at dice, into the assembly. Recollecting it
they experienced great regret, their hearts being filled with anxiety.
Thinking of those sufferings inflicted (upon the Pandavas) in consequence
of the gambling match they passed that night in sorrow, O king, as if it
were really a hundred years. Then when morning came, observing the
dictates of the ordinance, all of them duly went through the customary
rites. Having gone through these customary rites, and comforted to some
extent, O Bharata, they ordered their troops to be arrayed, and then came
out for battle, having made Karna their generalissimo by tying the
auspicious thread round his wrists, and having caused many foremost of
brahmanas, by presents of vessels of curds, clarified butter, akshatas,
coins of gold, kine, jewels and gems, and costly robes, to pray for their
victory, and having caused heralds and musicians, and panegyrists to
adore them with hymns about victory. The Pandavas also, O king, having
gone through their morning rites, issued from their camp, resolved on
battle. Then commenced a fierce battle, making the hair to stand on end,
between the Kurus and the Pandavas, each desirous of vanquishing the
other. During the commandership of Karna, the battle that took place
between the Kuru and the Pandava troops was exceedingly fierce and lasted
for two days. Then Vrisha (Karna) having made an immense slaughter of his
enemies in battle, was at last slain in the sight of the Dhartarashtras,
by Arjuna. Then Sanjaya, repairing to Hastinapura told Dhritarashtra all
that had happened at Kurujangala."

Janamejaya said, "Having heard of the fall of Bhishma and that other
mighty car-warrior, Drona, the old king Dhritarashtra the son of Ambika
had been afflicted with great grief. How, O foremost of brahmanas, could
he, plunged into grief, support his life having heard of the death of
Karna, that well-wisher of Duryodhana? How indeed, could that descendant
of Kuru support his life when he, upon whom that monarch had rested the
hope of his sons' victory, had fallen? When the king did not lay down his
life even after hearing of Karna's death, I think that it is very
difficult for men to yield up life even under circ*mstances of great
grief! O brahmana, when the king did not yield up his life after hearing
of the fall of the venerable son of Shantanu, of Bahlika and Drona and
Somadatta and Bhurishrava, as also other friends and his sons and
grandsons, I think, O regenerate one, that the act of yielding up one's
life is exceedingly difficult! Tell me all these in detail and as they
actually happened! I am not satiated with hearing the high achievements
of my ancestors!"


Vaishampayana said, "Upon the fall of Karna, O monarch, the son of
Gavalgana, with a cheerless heart, set out that night for Nagapura, on
steeds that rivalled the wind in speed. Arrived at Hastinapura, with a
heart filled with deep anxiety, he proceeded to Dhritarashtra's abode
which no longer teemed with kinsmen and friends. Beholding the king
deprived of all energy by grief, joining his hands he worshipped, with a
bend of his head, the monarch's feet. Having duly worshipped king
Dhritarashtra, he uttered an exclamation of woe and then began, 'I am
Sanjaya, O lord of Earth! Art thou not happy? I hope thou art not
stupefied, having through thy own faults fallen into such distress?
Counsels for thy good had been uttered by Vidura and Ganga's son and
Keshava. I hope thou feelest no pain now, remembering thy rejection of
those counsels? Counsels for thy good had also been uttered in the
assembly by Rama and Narada and Kanwa and others. I hope thou feelest no
pain now, remembering their rejection by thee? I hope thou feelest no
pain, remembering the slaughter in battle, by the foe, of Bhishma and
Drona and others, those friends that were ever engaged in thy good?' Unto
the Suta's son who with joined hands was telling him so, the monarch
afflicted with grief and drawing a long and hot breath, said these words.

"Dhritarashtra said, 'Hearing, O Sanjaya, of the fall of the heroic son
of Ganga, that warrior of all celestial weapons, as also of the fall of
that foremost of all bowmen, Drona, my heart feeleth great pain! That
hero endued with great energy and born of the Vasus themselves, who slew
every day 10,000 car-warriors clad in mail, that high-souled one unto
whom Bhrigu's son had given the highest weapons, that warrior who in his
childhood had been trained in the science of the bow by Rama, alas, even
he hath been slain by Yajnasena's son Shikhandi protected by the
Pandavas! At this my heart is greatly pained! That hero through whose
grace those mighty car-warriors, the royal sons of Kunti, as also many
other lords of Earth, have become maharathas, alas, hearing of the
slaughter of that great bowman of sure aim, Drona, by Dhrishtadyumna, my
heart is exceedingly pained! Those two had not in the world a person
equal to them in (knowledge and use of) the four kinds of weapons! Alas,
hearing of the slaughter of these two, Bhishma and Drona, in battle my
heart is exceedingly pained! That warrior who had not in the three worlds
a person equal to him in knowledge of weapons, alas, hearing of the
slaughter of that hero, Drona, what did the people of my side do? After
the high-souled son of Pandu, Dhananjaya, exerting himself with prowess,
had despatched unto Yama's abode the strong force of the samsaptakas,
after the Narayana weapon of the intelligent son of Drona had been
baffled, and after the (Kaurava) divisions had begun to fly away, what,
indeed, did the people of my side do? I think that, after Drona's death
my troops, flying away and sinking in an ocean of grief, resembled
shipwrecked mariners struggling on the bosom of the vast deep. What also,
O Sanjaya, became the colour of the faces of Duryodhana, and Karna, and
Kritavarma the chief of the Bhojas and Shalya, the ruler of the Madras,
and of my remaining sons, and of the others, when the Kuru divisions fled
away from the field? Tell me all this as it truly happened in battle, O
son of Gavalgana, and describe to me the prowess put forth by the
Pandavas and the warriors of my side!"

"Sanjaya said, 'O sire, hearing all that has happened unto the Kauravas
through thy fault, thou shouldst not feel any anguish! He that is wise
never feeleth any pain at what Destiny bringeth! And since Destiny is
unconquerable, human purposes may or may not become attainable. Hence, he
that is wise never feeleth pain on the acquisition or the reverse of the
objects cherished by him.

"Dhritarashtra said, 'I do not feel great pain, O Sanjaya! I regard all
this to be the result of Destiny! Tell me all that thou wishest!'"


"Sanjaya said, 'Upon the fall of the great bowman Drona, thy sons, those
mighty car-warriors, became pale and deprived of their senses. Armed with
weapons, all of them, O monarch, hung down their heads. Afflicted with
grief and without looking at one another, they stood perfectly silent.
Beholding them with such afflicted countenances, thy troops, O Bharata,
themselves perturbed by grief, vacantly gazed upwards. Seeing Drona slain
in battle, the weapons of many of them, O king, dyed with blood, dropped
from their hands. Innumerable weapons, again, O Bharata, still retained
in the grasp of the soldiers, seemed in their pendent attitude, to
resemble falling meteors in the sky. Then king Duryodhana, O monarch,
beholding that army of thine thus standing as if paralysed and lifeless,
said, "Relying upon the might of your army I have summoned the Pandavas
to battle and caused this passage-at-arms to commence! Upon the fall of
Drona, however, the prospect seems to be cheerless. Warriors engaged in
battle all die in battle. Engaged in battle, a warrior may have either
victory or death. What can be strange then in this (viz., the death of
Drona)? Fight ye with faces turned towards every direction. Behold now
the high-souled Karna, the son of Vikartana, that great bowman of mighty
strength, careering in battle, using his celestial weapons! Through fear
of that warrior in battle, that coward, viz., Dhananjaya, the son of
Kunti, always turns back like a small deer at the sight of a lion! It is
he who, by the ordinary methods of human battle, brought the mighty
Bhimasena endued with the strength of 10,000 elephants to that plight! It
is he who, uttering a loud roar, slew with his invincible dart the brave
Ghatotkaca of a 1,000 illusions and well-acquainted with celestial
weapons! Behold today the inexhaustible might of arms of that intelligent
warrior of sure aim and invincible energy! Let the sons of Pandu behold
today the prowess of both Ashvatthama and Karna resembling that of Vishnu
and Vasava! All of you are singly able to slay the sons of Pandu with
their troops in battle! How much more then are you capable, when united
together, of that feat! Endued with great energy and accomplished in
weapons, you will today behold one another engaged in the achievement of
mighty tasks!'"

"Sanjaya continued, 'Having said these words, O sinless one, thy son
Duryodhana, with his brothers, made Karna the generalissimo (of the Kuru
army). Obtaining the command, the mighty car-warrior Karna, so fierce in
battle, uttered loud roars and fought with the foe. He caused, O sire, a
great carnage among the Srinjayas, the Pancalas, the Kekayas, and the
Videhas. From his bow issued innumerable lines of arrows, one close
behind the wings of another, like flights of bees. Having afflicted the
Pancalas and the Pandavas endued with great activity, and slain thousands
of warriors, he was at last slain by Arjuna!"


Vaishampayana said, "Hearing this intelligence, O monarch, Dhritarashtra
the son of Ambika, feeling the acme of grief, regarded Suyodhana to be
already dead. Exceedingly agitated, the king fell down on the Earth like
an elephant deprived of its senses. When that foremost of the monarchs,
greatly agitated, fell down on the Earth, loud wails were uttered, O best
of the Bharatas, by the ladies (of the royal household). That noise was
so loud that it seemed to fill the entire Earth. Immersed in a deep ocean
of woe, the Bharata ladies, with hearts exceedingly agitated and scorched
by grief, wept aloud. Approaching the king, Gandhari, O bull of Bharata's
race, and the other ladies of the household, all fell down on the earth,
deprived of their senses. Then Sanjaya, O king, began to comfort those
ladies stricken with grief, bathed in tears, and reft of consciousness.
Comforted (by Sanjaya), those ladies began to tremble repeatedly like a
plantain grove shaken by the wind. Vidura also, sprinkling that
descendant of Kuru with water, began to comfort the puissant monarch who
had knowledge only for his eye. Slowly restored to consciousness, and
understanding that the ladies of the household were there, the king, O
monarch, remained perfectly silent for some time like one reft of reason.
Having reflected then for some time, and repeatedly drawn long breaths,
the king censured his own sons and applauded the Pandavas. Censuring also
his own intelligence and that of Shakuni the son of Subala, the king,
having reflected for a long time, began to tremble repeatedly.
Controlling his mind once more, the king, with sufficient fortitude,
questioned his charioteer Sanjaya the son of Gavalgana.

"Dhritarashtra said, 'I have heard, O Sanjaya, all that thou hast said.
Hath my son Duryodhana, O Suta, who is ever desirous of victory, already
gone to Yama's abode, despairing of success? Tell me truly, O Sanjaya,
all this even if thou wilt have to repeat it!'"

Vaishampayana continued, "Thus addressed by the king, O Janamejaya, the
Suta said unto him, 'The mighty car-warrior Vaikartana, O monarch, hath
been slain with his sons and brothers, and other Suta warriors, all of
whom were mighty bowmen ready to lay down their lives in battle!
Duhshasana also hath been slain by the renowned son of Pandu. Indeed, his
blood also hath been, from wrath, drunk by Bhimasena in battle!'"


Vaishampayana said, "Hearing these words, O monarch, Ambika's son
Dhritarashtra, with heart agitated by grief, addressed his driver
Sanjaya, saying, 'Though the evil policy, O sire, of my son of little
foresight, Vikartana's son hath been slain! This intelligence is cutting
the very core of my heart! I am desirous of crossing this sea of grief!
Remove my doubts, therefore, by telling me who are still alive and who
are dead amongst the Kurus and the Pandavas!'

"Sanjaya said, 'Endued with great prowess and invincible in battle,
Bhishma the son of Shantanu, O king, having slain large numbers of
Srinjayas and Pancalas, hath been slain after ten days. The mighty and
invincible bowman Drona of the golden car, having slaughtered the Pancala
divisions in battle, hath been slain. Having slaughtered the half of what
remained after the carnage by Bhishma and the illustrious Drona,
Vikartana's son Karna hath been slain. Endued with great strength, O
monarch, prince Vivingsati, having slain hundreds of Anarta warriors in
battle, hath been slain. Thy heroic son Vikarna, deprived of steeds and
weapons, stood, facing the foe, remembering the duties of Kshatriyas.
Remembering the many foul wrongs inflicted upon him by Duryodhana, and
bearing in mind his own vow, Bhimasena hath slain him. Possessed of great
might, Vinda and Anuvinda, the two princes of Avanti, after achieving the
most difficult feats, have gone to Yama's abode. That hero who had under
his sway ten kingdoms, having Sindhu for their chief, him who was ever
obedient to thee, Jayadratha of mighty energy, O king, Arjuna hath slain
after vanquishing eleven akshauhinis of troops with his keen arrows.
Endued with great activity and incapable of being easily defeated in
battle, the son of Duryodhana, ever obedient to his sire's commands, hath
been slain by the son of Subhadra. The brave son of Duhshasana, possessed
of mighty arms and fierce in battle, hath been despatched to Yama's abode
by Draupadi's son exerting himself with great prowess! The ruler of the
Kiratas and other dwellers of the lowlands on the seacoast, the much
respected and dear friend of the chief of the celestials himself, the
virtuous king Bhagadatta, who was ever devoted to Kshatriya duties, hath
been despatched to Yama's abode by Dhananjaya exerting himself great with
prowess. The kinsman of the Kauravas, the son of Somadatta, the brave and
celebrated Bhurishrava, O king, hath been slain by Satyaki in battle. The
Amvashtha king Srutayus, that foremost of Kshatriyas, who used to career
in battle most fearlessly, hath been slain by Arjuna. Thy son Duhshasana,
accomplished in arms and invincible in battle, and who was always
wrathful, hath, O monarch, been slain by Bhimasena. Sudakshina, O king,
who had many thousands of wonderful elephants, hath been slain in battle
by Arjuna. The ruler of the Kosolas, having slain many hundreds of foes,
hath himself been despatched to Yama's abode by Subhadra's son exerting
himself with prowess. Having fought with many thousands of foes and with
the mighty car-warrior Bhimasena himself, thy son Citrasena hath been
slain by Bhimasena. The brave younger brother of the ruler of the Madras,
that enhancer of the fears of foes, that handsome warrior armed with
sword and shield, hath been slain by Subhadra's son. He who was equal to
Karna himself in battle, Karna's son Vrishasena, accomplished in arms, of
mighty energy and steady prowess, hath, in the very sight of Karna, been
despatched to Yama's abode by Dhananjaya who put forth his prowess
remembering the slaughter of his own son Abhimanyu and bearing in mind
the vow he had made. That lord of Earth, Srutayus, who always displayed a
deep-rooted antipathy towards the Pandavas, hath been slain by Partha who
reminded him of that antipathy before taking his life. Shalya's son of
great prowess, O sire, Rukmaratha, hath, O king, been slain in battle by
Sahadeva although the former happened to be the latter's brother, having
been the son of the latter's maternal uncle. The old king Bhagiratha, and
Vrihatkshatra the ruler of the Kaikeyas both endued with great prowess
and might and energy, have been slain. Bhagadatta's son, O king who was
possessed of great wisdom and great strength, hath been slain by Nakula
who always careers in battle with the activity of the hawk. Thy grandsire
Bahlika, possessed of great might and prowess, hath, with all his
followers, been slain by Bhimasena. The mighty Jayatsena the son of
Jarasandha, the prince of the Magadhas, O king, hath been slain in battle
by the high-souled son of Subhadra. Thy son Durmukha, O king, as also thy
other son Dussaha, that mighty car-warrior, both of whom were regarded as
heroes, have been slain by Bhimasena with his mace. Durmarshana and
Durvisaha and the mighty car-warrior Durjaya, having achieved the most
difficult feats, have gone to Yama's abode. The two brothers Kalinga and
Vrishaka, who were invincible in battle, having achieved very difficult
feats have gone to Yama's abode. Thy counsellor Vrishavarman of the Suta
caste, endued with great energy, hath been despatched to Yama's abode by
Bhimasena exerting himself with prowess. So also king Paurava who was
endued with the might of 10,000 elephants, hath, with all his followers,
been slain by Pandu's son Arjuna. The Vasatis, O king, numbering 2,000,
effectual smiters of all, as also the Surasenas endued with prowess, have
all been slain in battle. The Abhishahas, clad in mail, capable of
smiting effectually, and fierce in battle, also the Sivis, those foremost
of car-warriors, with the Kalingas, have all been slain. Those other
heroes also, (the Narayana Gopas) who live and grew in Gokula, who were
exceedingly wrathful in battle, and who never retreated from the field
have been slain by Savyasaci. Many thousands of Srenis, as also the
samsaptakas, approaching Arjuna, have all repaired to the abode of Yama.
Thy two brothers-in-law, viz., the princes Vrishaka and Achala, who were
endued with great prowess, have for thy sake been slain by Savyasaci.
King Shalva of mighty arms and fierce deeds, who was a great bowman both
in name and feats, hath been slain by Bhimasena. Oghavat, O king, and
Vrishanta, fighting together in battle and exerting themselves with great
vigour for the sake of their ally, have both repaired to Yama's abode. So
also that foremost of car-warriors, viz., Kshemadhurti, O monarch, hath
been slain in battle by Bhimasena with his mace. So also that great
bowman, viz., the mighty king Jalasandha, after causing an immense
carnage, hath been slain by Satyaki in battle. That prince of Rakshasas,
viz., Alayudha, unto whose vehicle were yoked asses (of monstrous shape)
hath been despatched to Yama's abode by Ghatotkaca exerting himself with
great prowess. Radha's son of the Suta caste, and those mighty
car-warriors who were his brothers, and the Kaikeyas, the Malavas, the
Madrakas the Dravidas of fierce prowess, the Yaudheyas, the Lalittyas,
the Kshudrakas, the Usinaras, the Tundikeras, the Savitriputras, the
Easterners, the Northerners, the Westerners, and the Southerners, O sire,
have all been slain by Savyasaci. Large bands of foot-soldiers, myriads
upon myriads of steeds, large number of car-warriors, and many huge
elephants, have been slain. Many heroes also, with standards and weapons,
and with armour and attire and ornaments, and endued with perseverance
and possessed of high birth and good conduct, have been slain in battle
by Partha who is never fatigued with exertion. Others, endued with
immeasurable might, and desirous of slaying their foes, (have met with a
similar fate). These and many other kings, numbering thousands, with
their followers, have, O monarch, been slain in battle. That which thou
askest me I am answering now. Even thus did the destruction take place
when Arjuna and Karna fought. Even as Mahendra slew Vritra, and Rama slew
Ravana; even as Krishna slew Naraka or Mura in battle; even as the mighty
Rama of Bhrigu's race slew the heroic Kartavirya, invincible in battle,
with all his kinsmen and friends, after fighting a terrible battle
celebrated through the three worlds; even as Skanda slew (the Asura)
Mahisha, and Rudra slew (the Asura) Andhaka, even so hath Arjuna, O king,
in single combat, slain, with all his kinsmen, that foremost of smiters,
viz., Karna, who was invincible in battle and upon whom the
Dhartarashtras had placed their hopes of victory, and who was the great
cause of the hostility with the Pandavas! Pandu's son hath now
accomplished that which at one time thou couldst not believe him capable
of accomplishing, although, O monarch, well-meaning friends failed not to
apprise thee of it. That calamity, fraught with great destruction, hath
now come! Thou, O king wishing them well, hast heaped those evils on the
heads of thy covetous sons! The fruit of those evils is now manifesting


"Dhritarashtra said, 'Thou hast, O son, mentioned the names of those of
my side that have been slain in battle by the Pandavas. Tell me now, O
Sanjaya, the names of those amongst the Pandavas that have been slain by
the people of my side!'

"Sanjaya said, 'The Kuntis possessed of great prowess in battle, endued
with great energy and great might, have been slain in fight by Bhishma,
with all their kinsmen and advisers. The Narayanas, the Valabhadras, and
hundreds of other heroes, all devoted (to the Pandavas) have been slain
in battle by the heroic Bhishma. Satyajit, who was equal to the
diadem-decked Arjuna himself in battle as regards energy and might, hath
been slain in battle by Drona of sure aim. Many mighty bowmen among the
Pancalas, all of whom were skilled in battle, encountering Drona, have
repaired to Yama's abode. So the two kings Virata and Drupada, both
venerable in years, who exerted themselves with great prowess for their
ally, have, with their sons, been slain in battle by Drona. That
invincible hero, viz., Abhimanyu, who, though a child in years, was still
equal in battle to Arjuna or Keshava or Baladeva, O lord, that, warrior
who was highly accomplished in battle, after making an immense slaughter
of the foe, was at last encompassed by six foremost of car-warriors and
slain by them. Unable to resist Arjuna himself, they thus slew Arjuna's
son! Deprived of his car, that hero, viz., the son of Subhadra, still
stayed in battle, remembering the duties of a Kshatriya. At last, O king,
Duhshasana's son slew him on the field. The slayer of the Patachchatras,
viz., the handsome son of Amvashtha, surrounded by a large force, had put
forth all his prowess for the sake of his allies. Having made a great
slaughter among the foe, he was encountered by Duryodhana's son, the
brave Lakshmana, in battle and despatched to Yama's abode. The mighty
bowman Vrihanta, accomplished in arms and invincible in battle, hath been
despatched to Yama's abode by Duhshasana, exerting himself with great
prowess. The two kings Manimat and Dandadhara, both of whom were
invincible in battle and had put forth their prowess for their allies,
have been slain by Drona. Ansumat the ruler of the Bhojas, that mighty
car-warrior at the head of his own forces, hath been despatched to Yama's
abode by Drona exerting himself with great prowess. Citrasena, the ruler
of the sea-coast, with his son, O Bharata, hath been forcibly despatched
by Samudrasena to Yama's abode. Another ruler of a maritime country,
viz., Nila, and Vyaghradatta of great energy, have both, O king, been
despatched to Yama's abode by Ashvatthama. Citrayudha and Citrayodhin,
after making a great slaughter, have both been slain in battle by Vikarna
exerting himself with great prowess and displaying diverse manoeuvres of
his car. The chief of the Kaikeyas, who was equal to Vrikodara himself in
battle and surrounded by Kaikeya warriors, has been slain by Kaikeya, the
brother by the brother. Janamejaya of the hilly country, endued with
great prowess and accomplished in encounters with the mace, hath, O king,
been slain by thy son Durmukha. Those two foremost of men, viz., the
brothers Rochamana, like two brilliant planets, have together been
despatched to heaven by Drona with his shafts. Many other kings, O
monarch, endued with great prowess, have fought (for the Pandavas) Having
achieved the most difficult feats, all of them have gone to Yama's abode.
Purujit and Kuntibhoja, the two maternal uncles of Savyasaci, have been
despatched by Drona with shafts to such regions as are attained by death
in battle. Abhibhu the Kasis, at the head of many of his followers, hath
been obliged by Vasudana's son to lay down his life in battle. Yudhamanyu
of immeasurable prowess, and Uttamauja of great energy, after slaying
hundreds of heroic warriors, have themselves been slain by our men. The
Pancala prince Mitravarman, O Bharata, those two foremost of bowmen, have
been despatched to Yama's abode by Drona. Shikhandi's son Kshatradeva,
that foremost of warriors, possessed of great bravery, hath, O king, been
slain by thy grandson Lakshmana, O sire! The two heroes Sucitra and
Citravarman, who were sire and son and endued with great might, and who
careered fearlessly in battle, have been slain by Drona. Vardhakshemi, O
monarch, who was like the ocean at full tide, having had his weapons
exhausted in battle, hath at last obtained undisturbed peace. That
foremost of Sutas, viz., Senavindu, having consumed many foes in battle,
hath, at last, O king been slain by Bahlika. Dhrishtaketu, O monarch,
that foremost of car-warriors among the Cedis, after accomplishing the
most difficult feats, hath repaired to the abode of Yama. Similarly, the
heroic Satyadhriti, endued with great prowess, having made a great
slaughter in battle for the sake of the Pandavas, has been despatched to
Yama's abode. That lord of Earth, viz., Suketu, the son of Shishupala,
having slain many foes, hath at last been slain by Drona in battle.
Virata's son Sankha, as also Uttara of great strength, having
accomplished the most difficult feats, have repaired to Yama's abode.
Similarly, Satyadhriti of the Matsyas, and Madiraswa of great energy, and
Suryadatta possessed of great prowess, have all been slain by Drona with
his shafts. Srenimat also, O monarch, having fought with great prowess
and accomplished the most difficult feats, hath repaired to Yama's abode.
Similarly, the chief of the Magadhas, that slayer of hostile heroes,
endued with great energy and acquainted with the highest weapons,
sleepeth on the field of battle, slain by Bhishma. Vasudana also, having
made an immense carnage in battle, has been despatched to Yama's abode by
Bharadwaja's son exerting himself with great prowess. These and many
other mighty car-warriors of the Pandavas have been slain by Drona
exerting himself with great energy. I have now told them all that thou
hadst asked me.'"


"Dhritarashtra said, 'When all the foremost of my warriors, O Sanjaya
have perished, I do not think that the remnant of my army will not
perish! When those two heroes, those two mighty bowmen, those two
foremost of the Kurus, Bhishma and Drona, have been slain, what use can I
any longer have with life? I cannot also brook the death of Radha's son,
that ornament of battle, the might of whose arms was as great as that of
10,000 elephants! O foremost of speakers, tell me now, O Suta, who are
yet alive in my army after the death of all the foremost heroes! Thou
hast told me the names of those that have fallen. It seems, however, to
me that those who are still alive are almost all dead!'

"Sanjaya said, 'That hero O king, to whom Drona, that foremost of
brahmanas, imparted many blazing, celestial, and mighty weapons of the
four kinds, that mighty car-warrior, possessed of skill and lightness of
hands, that hero of firm grasp, strong weapons, and powerful shafts, that
high-souled son of Drona, capable of shooting to a great distance, is
still on the field, desirous of battling for thy sake. That dweller of
the Anarta country, that son of Hridika, that mighty car-warrior, that
foremost one among the Satwatas, that chief of the Bhojas, Kritavarma,
accomplished in arms, is on the field, desirous of battle. Artayana's
son, dauntless in battle, that first of warriors, that foremost of all
yet on thy side, he, that abandoned his own sister's sons, the Pandavas,
for making his own words true, that hero endued with great activity who
promised in the presence of Yudhishthira that he would in battle depress
the proud spirit of Karna, that invincible Shalya, who is equal unto
Sakra himself in energy, is still on the field, desirous of battling for
thy sake. Accompanied by his own force consisting of Ajaneyas,
Saindhavas, mountaineers, dwellers of riparian regions, Kambojas, and
Vanayus, the king of the Gandharas stayeth on the field, desirous of
battling for thy sake. Sharadvata's son called Gautama, O king, endued
with mighty arms and capable of fighting with diverse weapons in diverse
beautiful ways, taking up a beautiful and large bow capable of bearing
great strain, stayeth on the field, desirous of battle. That mighty
car-warrior, the son of the ruler of the Kaikeyas, riding on a goodly car
equipped with standard and goodly steeds, stayeth on the field, O chief
of Kuru's race, for battling for thy sake. Thy son also, that foremost of
heroes in Kuru's race, Purumitra, O king, riding on his car possessed of
the effulgence of fire or the Sun, stayeth on the field, like the Sun
himself shining brilliantly in the cloudless firmament. Duryodhana also,
endued with great energy, in the midst of an elephant force and
accompanied by many foremost of combatants, stayeth on his car adorned
with gold, desirous of engaging in battle. In the midst of many kings,
that foremost of men, possessed of the splendour of a lotus, looked
resplendent in his beautiful armour of gold like a fire with little smoke
or the Sun emerged from the clouds. So also thy sons Sushena, armed with
sword and shield, and the heroic Satyasena, are staying with Citrasena,
their hearts full of joy and themselves desirous of battle. Endued with
modesty, the Bharata princes Citrayudha, Srutavarman, and Jaya, Dala, and
Satyavrata, and Dussala, all of whom are possessed of great might, stay
on the field, desirous of battle. The ruler of the Kaitavyas, that prince
proud of his courage, and capable of fearlessly careering in battle and
slaying his foes, possessing foot-soldiers and cavalry, and elephants and
cars, stayeth on the field, desirous of battling for thy sake. The heroic
Srutayu and Srutayudha, and Citrangada and Citravarman, those foremost of
men, those proud warriors capable of smiting effectually and possessed of
sureness of aim, stay on the field, desirous of battle. The high-souled
Satyasandha, the son of Karna, stayeth on the field, desirous of battle.
Two other sons of Karna, possessing a knowledge of high weapons and
endued with great lightness of hands, are both staying, O king, at the
head of forces that are large and incapable of being pierced by warriors
of little energy, desirous of battling for thy sake. Accompanied by these
heroes and by many other foremost of warriors, O king, that are possessed
of immeasurable might, the Kuru king (Duryodhana) is staying like a
second Indra in the midst of his elephant division in expectation of

"Dhritarashtra said, 'Thou hast told me duly all that are alive both
amongst us and the foe. From this I plainly see on which side the victory
will be. Indeed, it may be inferred from the facts.'"

Vaishampayana continued, "While saying this, Dhritarashtra the son of
Ambika, having learnt that only a small portion of his army was alive,
for all his foremost of warriors had died, felt his heart to be
exceedingly agitated by grief. The king swooned away. Partially restored
to his senses, he addressed Sanjaya, saying, 'Wait for a moment!' And the
king said, 'O son, having heard of this dire calamity, my heart is
greatly agitated. My senses are being stupefied, and my limbs are about
to be paralysed!' Having said these words, Dhritarashtra the son of
Ambika, that lord of earth, lost his senses and fell down on the earth."


Janamejaya said, "Having heard of Karna's fall and the slaughter of his
sons, what, O foremost of regenerate ones, did the king say, after he had
been a little comforted? Indeed, poignant was the grief that he
experienced, arising from the calamity that befell his sons! Tell me, I
ask thee, all that the king said on that occasion!"

Vaishampayana said, "Hearing of the slaughter of Karna that was
incredible and astounding, that was dreadful and capable of paralysing
the senses of all creatures, that looked like the downfall of Meru, or a
never-to-be-believed clouding of the intellect of the wise Shukra, or the
defeat of Indra of terrible feats at the hands of his foes, or the
falling down on the Earth of the resplendent Sun from the firmament, or a
scarcely-to-be-comprehended drying up of the ocean, that receptacle of
inexhaustible waters, or the annihilation, perfectly astounding, of the
earth, the firmament, the points of the compass, and the waters, or the
fruitlessness of acts both virtuous and sinful, king Dhritarashtra,
having earnestly reflected for some time on it, thought that his army had
been annihilated. Thinking that other creatures also, as unslayable as
Karna, would meet with a similar fate, king Dhritarashtra the son of
Ambika, scorched with grief and sighing like a snake, with limbs almost
palsied, long breaths, highly cheerless, and filled with melancholy,
began to lament, saying, 'Oh!' and 'Alas!' And the king said, 'O Sanjaya,
the heroic son of Adhiratha was endued with the prowess of the lion or
the elephant! His neck was as thick as that of a bull, and his eyes,
gait, and voice were like the bull's! Of limbs as hard as the
thunderbolt, that young man, like a bull never flying away from a bull,
never desisted from battle even if his foe happened to be the great Indra
himself! At the sound of his bow-string and palms and at the whizz of his
arrowy showers men and steeds and cars and elephants fled away from
battle. Relying upon that mighty-armed one, that slayer of large bands of
foes, that warrior of unfading glory, Duryodhana had provoked hostilities
with those mighty car-warriors, the sons of Pandu! How then could Karna,
that foremost of car-warriors, that tiger among men, that hero of
irresistible onset, be forcibly slain by Partha in battle? Relying on the
might of his own arms, he always disregarded Keshava of unfading glory,
and Dhananjaya, and the Vrishnis, and all other foes! Often did he use to
say unto the foolish, avaricious crestfallen, kingdom-coveting, and
afflicted Duryodhana even such words as these, "Alone, I shall, in
battle, throw down from their foremost of cars, those two invincible
warriors united together, the wielder of sarnga and the wielder of
gandiva!" He had subjugated many invincible and mighty foes--the
Gandharas, the Madrakas, the Matsyas, the Trigartas, the Tanganas, the
Khasas, the Pancalas, the Videhas, the Kulindas, the Kasi-kosalas, the
Suhmas, the Angas, the Nishadhas, the Pundras, the Kichakas, the Vatsas,
the Kalingas, the Taralas, the Asmakas, and the Rishikas. Subjugating all
these brave races, by means of his keen and whetted arrows equipped with
kanka feathers, that foremost of car-warriors, Radha's son, had caused
all of them to pay tribute to us for the aggrandisement of Duryodhana.
Alas, how could that warrior acquainted with celestial weapons, that
protector of armies, Karna the son of Vikartana, called also Vrisha, of
mighty energy, be slain in battle by his foes, the heroic and mighty sons
of Pandu? As Indra is the foremost of gods, Karna was the foremost of
men. In the three worlds no third person has been heard of by us to be
like them. Amongst steeds, Uccaisravas is the foremost; amongst Yakshas,
Vaishravana is the foremost; amongst celestials, Indra is the foremost;
amongst smiters, Karna was the foremost. Unvanquished by even the most
heroic and the mightiest of monarchs, he had, Duryodhana's
aggrandisement, subjugated the whole earth. The ruler of Magadha, having
by conciliation and honours obtained Karna for a friend, had challenged
all the Kshatriyas of the world, except the Kauravas and the Yadavas, to
battle. Hearing that Karna hath been slain by Savyasaci in single combat,
I am plunged in an ocean of woe like a wrecked vessel in the vast deep!
Indeed, hearing that that foremost of men, that best of car-warriors,
hath been slain in single combat, I am sinking in an ocean of grief like
a person without a raft in the sea! When, O Sanjaya, I do not die of such
grief, I think my heart is impenetrable and made of something harder than
the thunderbolt. Hearing of the defeat and humiliation of kinsmen and
relatives and allies, who else in the world, O Suta, save my wretched
self, would not yield up his life? I desire to have poison or fire or a
fall from the summit of a mountain, I am unable, O Sanjaya, to bear this
heavy load of grief!'"


"Sanjaya said, 'The world regards thee to be equal to Yayati the son of
Nahusha, in beauty, birth, fame, asceticism, and learning! Indeed, in
learning, thou art, O king, like a great rishi, highly accomplished and
crowned with success! Summon thy fortitude! Do not yield to grief!'

"Dhritarashtra said, 'I think destiny is supreme, and exertion fruitless
since even Karna, who was like a shala tree, hath been slain in battle!
Having slaughtered Yudhishthira's army and the large throngs of the
Pancala car-warriors, having scorched all the points of the compass by
means of his arrowy showers, having stupefied the Parthas in battle like
the wielder of the thunderbolt stupefying the asuras, alas, how could
that mighty car-warrior, slain by the foe, fall down on the earth like a
large tree uprooted by the tempest? Indeed, I do not behold the end of my
sorrows like a drowning man unable to see the end of the ocean. My
anxieties are increasing, I do not desire to live, hearing of Karna's
death and Phalguni's victory! Indeed O Sanjaya, I regard the slaughter of
Karna to be highly incredible. Without doubt, this hard heart of mine is
made of the essence of adamant, for it does not burst into a 1,000
fragments upon hearing of the fall of Karna! Without doubt, the gods
ordained, before (my birth), a very long life for me, since sore
distressed on hearing of the death of Karna, I do not die! Fie, O
Sanjaya, on this life of one that is destitute of friends. Brought today,
O Sanjaya, to this wretched plight, miserably shall I have to live, of
foolish understanding that I am, pitied by all! Having formerly been the
honoured of the whole world, how shall I, O Suta, live, overridden by
foes? From pain to greater pain and calamity, have I come, O Sanjaya, in
consequence of the fall of Bhishma and Drona and the high-souled Karna! I
do not see that anyone (of my army) will escape with life when the Suta's
son hath been slain in battle! He was the great raft, O Sanjaya, to my
sons! That hero, having shot innumerable arrows, hath been slain in
battle! What use have I of life, without that bull among men? Without
doubt, the son of Adhiratha, afflicted with arrows, fell down from his
car, like a mountain-peak riven by the fall of thunder! Without doubt,
bathed in blood, he lieth, adorning the Earth, like an elephant slain by
an infuriate prince of elephants! He who was the strength of the
Dhartarashtras, he who was an object of fear to the sons of Pandu, alas,
he viz., Karna, that pride of all bowman, hath been slain by Arjuna! He
was a hero, a mighty bowman, the dispeller of the fears of my sons! Alas,
that hero, reft of life, lieth (on the earth), like mountain struck down
by Indra! The fulfilment of Duryodhana's wishes is even like locomotion
to one that is lame, or the gratification of the poor man's desire, or
stray drops of water to one that is thirsty! Planned in one way, our
schemes end otherwise. Alas, destiny is all powerful, and time incapable
of being transgressed! Was my son Duhshasana, O Suta, slain, while flying
away from the field, humbled (to the dust), of cheerless soul, and
destitute of all manliness? O son, O Sanjaya, I hope he did no dastardly
act on that occasion? Did not that hero meet with his death like the
other kshatriyas that have fallen? The foolish Duryodhana did not accept
Yudhishthira's constant advice, wholesome as medicine, against the
propriety of battle. Possessed of great renown, Partha, when begged for
drink by Bhishma then lying on his arrowy bed, pierced the surface of the
earth! Beholding the jet of water caused by the son of Pandu, the
mighty-armed (Bhishma, addressing Duryodhana), said, "O sire, make peace
with the Pandavas! Hostilities ceasing, peace will be thine! Let the war
between thyself and thy cousins end with me! Enjoy the earth in
brotherliness with the sons of Pandu!" Having disregarded those counsels,
my child is certainly repenting now. That has now come to pass which
Bhishma of great foresight said. As regards myself, O Sanjaya, I am
destitute of counsellors and reft of sons! In consequence of gambling, I
am fallen into great misery like a bird shorn of its wings! As children
engaged in sport, O Sanjaya, having seized a bird and cut off its wings,
merrily release it, but the creature cannot achieve locomotion in
consequence of its winglessness; even so have I become, like a bird shorn
of its wings! Weak, destitute of every resource, without kinsmen and
deprived of relatives and friends, cheerless and overpowered by enemies,
to which point of the compass shall I go? He who vanquished all the
Kambojas and the Amvashthas with the Kaikeyas, that puissant one, who,
having for the accomplishment of his purpose vanquished the Gandharas and
the Videhas in battle, subjugated the whole Earth for the sake of
Duryodhana's aggrandisement, alas, he hath been vanquished by the heroic
and strong Pandavas endued with mighty arms! Upon the slaughter, in
battle, of that mighty bowman, Karna, by the diadem-decked (Arjuna), tell
me, O Sanjaya, who were these heroes that stayed (on the field)! I hope
he was not alone and abandoned (by friends) when slain in battle by the
Pandavas? Thou hast, O sire, told me, before this, how our brave warriors
have fallen. With his powerful shafts Shikhandi felled in battle that
foremost of all wielders of weapons, viz., Bhishma, who did nothing to
repel the attack. Similarly, Sanjaya, Drupada's son Dhrishtadyumna,
uplifting his scimitar, slew the mighty bowman Drona who, already pierced
with many arrows, had laid aside his weapons in battle and devoted
himself to Yoga. These two were both slain at a disadvantage and
especially by deceit. Even this is what I have heard about the slaughter
of Bhishma and Drona! Indeed, Bhishma and Drona, while contending in
fight, were incapable of being slain in battle by the wielder of the
thunderbolt himself by fair means. This that I tell thee is the truth! As
regards Karna, how, indeed, could Death touch him, that hero equal unto
Indra himself, while he was engaged in shooting his manifold celestial
weapons? He unto whom in exchange for his earrings, Purandara had given
that foe slaying, gold-decked, and celestial dart of the splendour of
lightning,--he who had, lying (within his quiver) amid sandal-dust, that
snake-mouthed celestial arrow decked with gold, equipped with goodly
wings, and capable of slaying all foes, he who, disregarding those heroic
and mighty car-warriors having Bhishma and Drona at their head, had
acquired from Jamadagni's son the terrible brahmastra, that mighty-armed
one, who, having seen the warriors with Drona at their head afflicted
with arrows and turn away from the field, had cut off with his keen
shafts the bow of Subhadra's son, he who, having in a trice deprived the
invincible Bhimasena endued with the might of 10,000 elephants and the
speed of the wind, of his car, had laughed at him,--he who, having
vanquished Sahadeva by means of his straight shafts and made him carless,
slew him not from compassion and considerations of virtue,--he who, with
Shakra's dart, slew that prince of rakshasas, Ghatotkaca, who from desire
of victory, had invoked a 1,000 kinds of illusions,--he whose feats in
battle, filling Dhananjaya with fear, had made the latter for such a long
period avoid a single combat with him,--alas, how could that hero be
slain in battle? How could he be slain by foes unless one of these had
happened to him viz., the destruction of his car, the snapping of his
bow, and the exhaustion of his weapons? Who could vanquish that tiger
among men, like a real tiger, endued with great impetuosity, Karna, while
shaking his formidable bow and shooting therefrom his terrible shafts and
celestial weapons in battle? Surely, his bow broke, or his car sank in
the earth, or his weapons became exhausted, since thou tellest me that he
is slain! I do not, indeed, see any other cause for (explaining) his
slaughter! That high-souled one who had made the terrible vow "I will not
wash my feet till I slay Phalguni," that warrior through whose fear that
bull among men, king Yudhishthira the just, had not, in the wilderness,
for thirteen years continuously, obtained a wink of sleep,--that
high-souled hero of great prowess relying upon whose valour my son had
forcibly dragged the wife of the Pandavas to the assembly, and there in
the midst of that conclave, in the very sight of the Pandavas and in the
presence of the Kurus, had addressed the princess of Pancala as the wife
of slaves, that hero of the Suta caste, who in the midst of the assembly
had addressed Krishna, saying, "All thy husbands, O Krishna, that are
even like sesamum seeds without kernel, are no more, therefore, seek some
other husband, O thou of the fairest complexion!" and in wrath had caused
her to listen to other expressions equally harsh and rude, how was that
hero slain by the foe? He who had said unto Duryodhana even these words,
viz., "If Bhishma who boasteth of his prowess in battle or Drona who is
invincible in fight, doth not, from partiality, slay the sons of Kunti, O
Duryodhana, even I will slay them all, let the fever of thy heart be
dispelled!" who also said, "What will (Arjuna's) gandiva and the two
inexhaustible quivers do to that shaft of mine, smeared with cool
sandal-paste, when it will course through the welkin?" alas, how could
that warrior possessed of shoulders broad as those of the bull be slain
by Arjuna? He who, disregarding the fierce touch of the arrows shot from
gandiva had addressed Krishna, saying, "Thou hast no husbands now" and
glared at the Pandavas, he who, O Sanjaya, relying on the might of his
own arms, had entertained no fear, for even a moment, of the Parthas with
their sons and Janardana,--he, I think, could not possibly meet with
death at the hands of the very gods with Vasava at their head rushing
against him in fury, what then need I say, O sire, of the Pandavas? The
person could not be seen competent to stay before the son of Adhiratha,
while the latter, putting on his fences, used to touch the bowstring! It
was possible for the Earth to be destitute of the splendour of the Sun,
of the Moon, or of fire, but the death of that foremost of men, who never
retreated from battle, could not be possible. That foolish child of mine,
of wicked understanding, who having got Karna, as also his brother
Duhshasana, for his ally, had made up his mind for the rejection of
Vasudeva's proposals, surely, that wight, beholding the slaughter of the
bull-shouldered Karna and of Duhshasana, is now indulging in
lamentations! Seeing Vikartana's son slain in single combat by Savyasaci,
and the Pandavas crowned with victory, what indeed, did Duryodhana say?
Seeing Durmarshana slain in battle and Vrishasena also, and seeing his
host break when slaughtered by mighty car-warriors, beholding also the
kings (of his army) turn back their faces, intent on flight, and his
car-warriors already fled, I think that son of mine is now indulging in
lamentations! Beholding his host dispirited, what, indeed, did the
ungovernable, proud, and foolish Duryodhana, with passions not under
control, say? Having himself provoked such fierce hostility though
dissuaded by all his friends what, indeed, did Duryodhana, who has
suffered a great loss in battle of friends and followers, say? Beholding
his brother slain in battle by Bhimasena, and upon his blood being drunk,
what indeed, did Duryodhana say? My son had, with the ruler of the
gandharvas, said, "Karna will slay Arjuna in battle!" When he saw that
Karna slain, what indeed, did he say? What, O sire, did Shakuni, the son
of Subala, who had formerly been filled with joy after going through the
match at dice and cheating the son of Pandu, say when he saw Karna slain?
What did that mighty car-warrior among the Satwatas, that great bowman,
Kritavarma the son of Hridika, say when he saw Vaikartana slain? Endued
with youth, possessed of a handsome form, agreeable to the sight, and
celebrated throughout the world, what, O Sanjaya, did Ashvatthama, the
intelligent son of Drona, upon whom brahmanas and kshatriyas and vaishyas
who are desirous of acquiring the science of arms wait, for protections,
say when he saw Karna slain? What did Sharadvata's son Kripa, O sire, of
Gotama's race, that foremost of car-warriors, that teacher of the science
of arms, say when he saw Karna slain? What did the mighty leader of the
Madras warriors, that king of the Madras, the great bowman Shalya of the
Sauvira clan, that ornament of assemblies, that foremost of car-warriors
(temporarily) engaged in driving the car, say when he saw Karna slain?
What also did all the other warriors, difficult of defeat in battle,
those lords of earth that came to fight, say, O Sanjaya, when they behold
Vaikartana slain? After the fall of the heroic Drona, that tiger among
car-warriors that bull among men, who, O Sanjaya, became the heads of the
several division in their order? Tell me, O Sanjaya, how that foremost of
car-warriors, Shalya the ruler of the Madras, became engaged in driving
the car of Vaikartana! Who were they that guarded the right wheel of the
Suta's son while the latter was engaged in fight, and who were they that
guarded his left wheel, and who were they that stood at the rear of that
hero? Who were those heroes that did not desert Karna, and who were those
mean fellows that ran away? How was the mighty car-warrior Karna slain
amidst your united selves? How also did those mighty car-warriors, the
brave Pandavas, advance against him shooting showers of shafts like the
clouds pouring torrents of rain? Tell me also, O Sanjaya, how that mighty
shaft, celestial and foremost of its species, and equipped with a head
like that of a serpent became futile! I do not, O Sanjaya, see the
possibility of even a small remnant of my cheerless host being saved when
its leaders have been crushed! Hearing of the slaughter of those two
heroes, those two mighty bowmen, Bhishma and Drona, who were ever ready
to lay down their lives for my sake, what use have I of life? Again and
again I am unable to endure that Karna, the might of whose arms equalled
that of 10,000 elephants, should be slain by the Pandavas! Tell me, O
Sanjaya, all that occurred in the battle between the brave warriors of
the Kauravas and their foes, after the death of Drona! Tell me also how
the sons of Kunti fought the battle with Karna, and how that slayer of
foes received his quietus in the fight!'"


"Sanjaya said, 'After the fall of the mighty bowman Drona on that day, O
Bharata, and after the purpose had been baffled of that mighty
car-warriors, viz., the son of Drona, and after the vasty army, O
monarch, of the Kauravas had fled away, Partha, having arrayed his own
troops, stayed on the field with his brothers. Perceiving him staying on
the field, thy son, O bull of Bharata's race, seeing his own army running
away, rallied them with great courage. Having caused his divisions to
take up their stand, thy son, O Bharata, relying on the might of his
arms, fought for a long time with his foes, the Pandavas, who, having
gained their end, were filled with joy and had been struggling for hours
together. On the approach there of the evening twilight, he caused the
troops to be withdrawn. Having caused the withdrawal of their troops, and
having entered their own encampment, the Kauravas held with one another a
consultation about their own welfare, seated like the celestials on
costly couches overlaid with rich coverlets, and on excellent seats and
luxurious beds. Then king Duryodhana, addressing those mighty bowmen in
agreeable and highly sweet expression, spoke the following words suited
to the occasion.

"'Duryodhana said, "Ye foremost of intelligent men, declare all of you,
without delay, your opinions! Under these circ*mstances, ye kings, what
is necessary and what is still more necessary?'"

"Sanjaya continued, 'When that prince of men had spoken those words,
those lions among men, seated on their thrones, made various gestures
expressive of their desire of battle. Observing the indications of those
who were all desirous of pouring their lives as libations on the
battle-fire, and beholding the monarch's face radiant as morning Sun, the
preceptor's son endued with intelligence and accomplished in speech, said
these words: "Enthusiasm, opportunity, skill and policy,--these are the
means declared by the learned, to be capable of accomplishing all ends.
They are, however, dependent on destiny. Those foremost of men we had on
our side, equal unto the celestials, mighty car-warriors all, possessed
of policy, devoted, accomplished, and loyal, have been slain. For all
that we should not despair of victory. If all these means be properly
applied, even destiny may be made propitious. All of us, therefore, O
Bharata, shall install Karna, that foremost of men, endued besides with
every accomplishment, in the command of the army! Making Karna our
commander, we shall crush our foes. This Karna is endued with great
might; he is a hero, accomplished in weapons, and incapable of defeat in
battle. Irresistible as Yama himself, he is quite competent to vanquish
our foes in battle!" Hearing these words from the preceptor's son, O
king, at that time, built great hopes on Karna. Cherishing the hope in
his heart that after the fall of Bhishma and Drona, Karna would vanquish
the Pandavas, and comforted (by it), O Bharata, Duryodhana then, filled
with joy at having heard those words of Ashvatthama, steadying his mind
and relying on the might of his arms, said unto Radha's son, O monarch,
these words that were fraught with affection and regard, and that were
true, delightful, and beneficial to himself: "O Karna, I know thy
prowess, and the great friendship thou bearest to me! For all that, O
mighty-armed one, I shall address the certain words that are for my good!
Having heard them, O hero, do that which may appear desirable to thee!
Thou art endued with great wisdom, and thou art even my supreme refuge!
Those two Atirathas that were my Generals, viz., Bhishma and Drona, have
been slain. Be thou my General, thou that art mightier than they! Both of
those great bowmen were advanced in years. They were, besides, partial to
Dhananjaya. Still both those heroes were respected by me, O son of Radha,
at thy word! Viewing his relationship of grandsire unto them, the sons of
Pandu, O sire, were spared in dreadful battle by Bhishma for ten
successive days! Thyself also having laid aside thy weapons, the valiant
Bhishma was slain in great battle by Phalguni with Shikhandi before him!
After that great bowman had fallen and betaken himself to his bed of
arrows, it was at thy word, O tiger among men, that Drona was made our
leader! By him also were the sons of Pritha spared, in consequence, as I
think, of their relationship unto him of pupils. That old man also has
been slain by Dhrishtadyumna more speedily. I do not see, even on
reflection, another warrior equal to thee in battle,--thee, that is,
whose prowess could not be measured by even those two foremost of
warriors that have been slain in the fight! Without doubt, thou alone
today art competent to win victory for us! Before, in the middle, and
later on, thou hast accordingly acted for our good. Therefore, like a
leader, it behoveth thee, in this battle, to bear the burden thyself.
Thyself install thy own self in the Generalship. Like the celestial
generalissimo, the lord Skanda of unfading prowess, (supporting the
celestial army), do thou support this Dhartarashtra host! Like Mahendra
slaying the Danavas, destroy thou all the throngs of our foes! Beholding
thee staying in battle, the Pandavas, those mighty car-warriors, will,
with the Pancalas, fly away from battle, like the Danavas at sight of
Vishnu. Do thou, therefore lead this vast force! When thou shalt stand
resolved on the field, the Pandavas of wicked hearts, the Pancalas, and
the Srinjayas, will all fly away with their friends. As the risen Sun,
scorching everything by his energy, destroyeth the thick gloom, even so
do thou destroy our foes!'"

"Sanjaya continued, 'Strong became that hope, O king, in the heart of thy
son, viz., that where Bhishma and Drona had been slain, Karna would
vanquish the Pandavas. Cherishing that hope within his heart, he said
unto Karna, "O Suta's son, Partha never wishes to fight, standing before
thee!" Karna said, "I have, O son of Gandhari, said before in thy
presence, even these words, vanquish all the Pandavas with their sons and
Janardana!' I shall become thy General. In this there is no doubt.
Tranquilise thyself, O monarch I Consider the Pandavas to be already

"Sanjaya continued, 'Thus addressed, O monarch, king Duryodhana then
stood up with all the monarchs, like He of a hundred sacrifices with the
gods, for honouring Karna with the command of the army, like the
celestials for honouring Skanda. Then, O monarch, all the kings headed by
Duryodhana, desirous of victory, installed Karna in the command,
according to the rites enjoined by the ordinance. With golden and earthen
jars filled to the brim with water and sanctified with mantras, with
tusks of elephants and horns of rhinoceroses and mighty bulls, with other
vessels decked with jewels and gems, with also fragrant herbs and plants,
and with other articles collected in abundance, Karna, seated at his ease
on a seat made of udumvara wood and overlaid with silken cloth, was
invested with the command, according to the rites in the scriptures.
Brahmanas, kshatriyas, vaishyas, and respectable shudras, praised that
high-souled one after he was bathed on that excellent seat. Thus
installed in the command, O king, that slayer of foes, the son of Radha,
caused, by presents of Niskas and kine and other wealth, many foremost of
brahmanas to utter blessings on him. "Vanquish the Parthas with Govinda
and all their followers," even these were the words that the eulogists
and the brahmanas said (unto him), O bull among men! (And they also said)
"Slay the Parthas and the Pancalas, O son of Radha, for our victory, like
risen Sun ever destroying Darkness with his fierce rays! The son of Pandu
with Keshava are not able to even look at the shafts shot by thee, like
owls unable to gaze at the burning rays of the Sun! The Parthas with the
Pancalas are incapable of standing before thee armed with weapons, like
the danavas before Indra in battle!" Installed in the command, Radha's
son of incomparable splendour looked resplendent in beauty and radiance
like a second Sun. Having installed the son of Radha (thus) in the
command of the army, thy son, urged on by Death, regarded himself as one
who had his purpose accomplished. That chastiser of foes, Karna, also, O
king, having obtained the command, ordered the troops to be arrayed, at
the rise of the Sun. Surrounded by thy sons, O Bharata, Karna looked
resplendent like Skanda surrounded by the celestials, in the battle
having Saraka for its evil root.'"


"Dhritarashtra said, 'After
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:44:46 PM

The Mahabharata


Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa



Translated into English Prose from the Original Sanskrit Text


Kisari Mohan Ganguli


Scanned and Proofed by Mantra Caitanya. Additional proofing and
formatting at sacred-texts.com, by J. B. Hare, October 2003.


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

Janamejaya said, "After Karna had thus been slain in battle by Savyasaci,
what did the small (unslaughtered) remnant of the Kauravas do, O
regenerate one? Beholding the army of the Pandavas swelling with might
and energy, what behaviour did the Kuru prince Suyodhana adopt towards
the Pandavas, thinking it suitable to the hour? I desire to hear all
this. Tell me, O foremost of regenerate ones, I am never satiated with
listening to the grand feats of my ancestors."

Vaishampayana said, "After the fall of Karna, O king, Dhritarashtra's son
Suyodhana was plunged deep into an ocean of grief and saw despair on
every side. Indulging in incessant lamentations, saying, 'Alas, oh Karna!
Alas, oh Karna!' he proceeded with great difficulty to his camp,
accompanied by the unslaughtered remnant of the kings on his side.
Thinking of the slaughter of the Suta's son, he could not obtain peace of
mind, though comforted by those kings with excellent reasons inculcated
by the scriptures. Regarding destiny and necessity to be all-powerful,
the Kuru king firmly resolved on battle. Having duly made Shalya the
generalissimo of his forces, that bull among kings, O monarch, proceeded
for battle, accompanied by that unslaughtered remnant of his forces.
Then, O chief of Bharata's race, a terrible battle took place between the
troops of the Kurus and those of the Pandavas, resembling that between
the gods and the Asuras. Then Shalya, O monarch, having made a great
carnage in battle at last lost a large number of his troops and was slain
by Yudhishthira at midday. Then king Duryodhana, having lost all his
friends and kinsmen, fled away from the field of battle and penetrated
into the depths of a terrible lake from fear of his enemies. On the
afternoon of that day, Bhimasena, causing the lake to be encompassed by
many mighty car-warriors, summoned Duryodhana and having obliged him to
come out, slew him speedily, putting forth his strength. After
Duryodhana's slaughter, the three car-warriors (of the Kuru side) that
were still unslain (Ashvatthama and Kripa and Kritavarma), filled with
rage, O monarch, slaughtered the Pancala troops in the night. On the next
morning Sanjaya, having set out from the camp, entered the city (the Kuru
capital), cheerless and filled with grief and sorrow. Having entered the
city, the Suta Sanjaya, raising his arms in grief, and with limbs
trembling, entered the palace of the king. Filled with grief, O tiger
among men, he wept aloud, saying, 'Alas, O king! Alas, all of us are
ruined by the slaughter of that high-souled monarch. Alas, Time is
all-powerful, and crooked in his course, since all our allies, endued
with might equal to that of Shakra himself, have been slain by the
Pandavas.' Seeing Sanjaya come back to the city, O king, in that
distressful plight, all the people, O best of kings, filled with great
anxiety, wept loudly, saying, 'Alas, O king! The whole city, O tiger
among men, including the very children, hearing of Duryodhana's death,
sent forth notes of lamentation from every side. We then beheld all the
men and women running about, deeply afflicted with grief, their senses
gone, and resembling people that are demented.' The Suta Sanjaya then,
deeply agitated, entered the abode of the king and beheld that foremost
of monarchs, that lord of men, having wisdom for his eyes. Beholding the
sinless monarch, that chief of Bharata's race, seated, surrounded by his
daughters-in-law and Gandhari and Vidura and by other friends and kinsmen
that were always his well-wishers, and engaged in thinking on that very
subject--the death of Karna--the Suta Sanjaya, with heart filled with
grief, O Janamejaya, weepingly and in a voice choked with tears, said
unto him, 'I am Sanjaya, O tiger among men. I bow to thee, O bull of
Bharata's race. The ruler of the Madras, Shalya, hath been slain.
Similarly, Subala's son Shakuni, and Uluka, O tiger among men, that
valiant son of the gamester (Shakuni), have been slain. All the
Samsaptakas, the Kambojas together with the Sakas, the Mlecchas, the
Mountaineers, and the Yavanas, have also been slain. The Easterners have
been slain, O monarch, and all the Southerners. The Northerners have all
been slain, as also the Westerners, O ruler of men. All the kings and all
the princes have been slain, O monarch. King Duryodhana also has been
slain by the son of Pandu after the manner he had vowed. With his thighs
broken, O monarch, he lieth now on the dust, covered with blood.
Dhrishtadyumna also hath been slain, O king, as also the vanquished
Shikhandi. Uttamauja and Yudhamanyu, O king, and the Prabhadrakas, and
those tiger among men, the Pancalas, and the Cedis, have been destroyed.
The sons have all been slain as also the (five) sons of Draupadi, O
Bharata. The heroic and mighty son of Karna, Vrishasena, hath been slain.
All the men that had been assembled have been slain. All the elephants
have been destroyed. All the car-warriors, O tiger among men, and all the
steeds, have fallen in battle. Very few are alive on thy side, O lord. In
consequence of the Pandavas and the Kauravas having encountered each
other, the world, stupefied by Time, now consists of only women. On the
side of the Pandavas seven are alive, they are the five Pandava brothers,
and Vasudeva, and Satyaki and amongst the Dhartarashtras three are so,
Kripa, Kritavarma, and Drona's son, that foremost of victors. These three
car-warriors, O monarch, are all that survive, O best of kings, of all
the akshauhinis mustered on thy side, O ruler of men. These are the
survivors, O monarch, the rest have perished. Making Duryodhana and his
hostility (towards the Pandavas) the cause, the world, it seems, hath
been destroyed, O bull of Bharata's race, by Time.'"

Vaishampayana continued, "Hearing these cruel words, Dhritarashtra, that
ruler of men, fell down, O monarch, on the earth, deprived of his senses.
As soon as the king fell down, Vidura also, of great fame, O monarch,
afflicted with sorrow on account of the king's distress, fell down on the
earth. Gandhari also, O best of kings, and all the Kuru ladies, suddenly
fell down on the ground, hearing those cruel words. That entire conclave
of royal persons remained lying on the ground, deprived of their senses
and raving deliriously, like figures painted on a large piece of canvas.
Then king Dhritarashtra, that lord of earth, afflicted with the calamity
represented by the death of his sons, slowly and with difficulty regained
his life-breaths. Having recovered his senses, the king, with trembling
limbs and sorrowful heart, turned his face on every side, and said these
words unto Kshattri (Vidura). 'O learned Kshattri, O thou of great
wisdom, thou, O bull of Bharata's race, art now my refuge. I am lordless
and destitute of all my sons.' Having said this, he once more fell down,
deprived of his senses. Beholding him fallen, all his kinsmen that were
present there sprinkled cold water over him and fanned him with fans.
Comforted after a long while, that lord of earth, afflicted with sorrow
on account of the death of his sons, remained silent, sighing heavily, O
monarch, like a snake put into a jar. Sanjaya also wept aloud, beholding
the king so afflicted. All the ladies too, with Gandhari of great
celebrity, did the same. After a long while, O best of men,
Dhritarashtra, having repeatedly swooned, addressed Vidura, saying, 'Let
all the ladies retire, as also Gandhari of great fame, and all these
friends. My mind hath become greatly unsettled.' Thus addressed, Vidura,
repeatedly trembling, slowly dismissed the ladies, O bull of Bharata's
race. All those ladies retired, O chief of the Bharatas, as also all
those friends, beholding the king deeply afflicted. Then Sanjaya
cheerlessly looked at the king, O scorcher of foes, who, having recovered
his senses, was weeping in great affliction. With joined hands, Vidura
then, in sweet words, comforted that ruler of men who was sighing


Vaishampayana said, "After the ladies had been dismissed, Dhritarashtra,
the son of Ambika, plunged into grief greater than that which had
afflicted him before, began, O monarch, to indulge in lamentations,
exhaling breaths that resembled smoke, and repeatedly waving his arms,
and reflecting a little, O monarch, he said these words.

"Dhritarashtra said, 'Alas, O Suta, the intelligence is fraught with
great grief that I hear from thee, that the Pandavas are all safe and
have suffered no loss in battle. Without doubt, my hard heart is made of
the essence of thunder, since it breaketh not upon hearing of the fall of
my sons. Thinking of their ages, O Sanjaya, and of their sports in
childhood, and learning today that all of them have perished, my heart
seems to break into pieces. Although in consequence of my blindness I
never saw their forms, still I cherished a great love for them in
consequence of the affection one feels for his children. Hearing that
they had passed out of childhood and entered the period of youth and then
of early manhood, I became exceedingly glad, O sinless one. Hearing today
that have been slain and divested of prosperity and energy, I fail to
obtain peace of mind, being overwhelmed with grief on account of the
distress that has overtaken them. Come, come, O king of kings
(Duryodhana) to me that am without a protector now! Deprived of thee, O
mighty-armed one, what will be my plight? Why, O sire, abandoning all the
assembled kings dost thou lie on the bare ground, deprived of life, like
an ordinary and wretched king? Having been, O monarch, the refuge of
kinsmen and friends, where dost thou go now, O hero, abandoning me that
am blind and old? Where now, O king, is that compassion of thine, that
love, and that respectfulness? Invincible as thou wert in battle, how,
alas, hast thou been slain by the Parthas? Who will now, after I will
have waked from sleep at the proper hour, repeatedly address me in such
endearing and respectful words as, "O father, O father," "O great king,"
"O Lord of the world" and affectionately clasping my neck with moistened
eyes, will seek my orders, saying, "Command me, O thou of Kuru's race."
Address me, O son, in that sweet language once more. O dear child, I
heard even these words from thy lips, "This wide earth is as much ours as
it is of Pritha's son. Bhagadatta and Kripa and Shalya and the two
princes of Avanti and Jayadratha and Bhurishrava and Sala and Somadatta
and Bahlika and Ashvatthama and the chief of the Bhojas and the mighty
prince of Magadha and Vrihadvala and the ruler of the Kasi and Shakuni
the son of Subala and many thousands of Mlecchas and Sakas and Yavanas,
and Sudakshina the ruler of the Kambojas and the king of the Trigartas
and the grandsire Bhishma and Bharadwaja's son and Gotama's son (Kripa)
and Srutayush and Ayutayush and Satayush of great energy, and Jalasandha
and Rishyasringa's son and the Rakshasa Alayudha, and the mighty-armed
Alambusa and the great car-warrior Subala--these and numerous other
kings, O best of monarchs, have taken up arms for my sake, prepared to
cast away their very lives in great battle, stationed on the field amidst
these, and surrounded by my brothers, I will fight against all the
Parthas and the Pancalas and the Cedis, O tiger among kings, and the sons
of Draupadi and Satyaki and Kunti-Bhoja and the rakshasa Ghatotkaca. Even
one amongst these, O king, excited with rage, is able to resist in battle
the Pandavas rushing towards him. What need I say then of all these
heroes, every one of whom has wrong to avenge on the Pandavas, when
united together? All these, O monarch, will fight with the followers of
the Pandavas and will slay them in battle. Karna alone, with myself, will
slay the Pandavas. All the heroic kings will then live under my sway. He,
who is their leader, the mighty Vasudeva, will not, he has told me, put
on mail for them, O king." Even in this way, O Suta, did Duryodhana often
use to speak to me. Hearing what he said, I believed that the Pandavas
would be slain in battle. When, however, my sons stationed in the midst
of those heroes and exerting themselves vigorously in battle have all
been slain, what can it be but destiny? When that lord of the world, the
valiant Bhishma, having encountered Shikhandi, met with his death like a
lion meeting with his at the hands of a jackal, what can it be but
destiny? When the Brahmana Drona, that master of all weapons offensive
and defensive, has been slain by the Pandavas in battle, what can it be
but destiny? When Bhurishrava has been slain in battle, as also Somadatta
and king Bahlika, what can it be but destiny? When Bhagadatta, skilled in
fight from the backs of elephants, has been slain, and when Jayadratha
hath been slain, what can it be but destiny? When Sudakshina has been
slain, and Jalasandha of Puru's race, as also Srutayush, and Ayutayush,
what can it be but destiny? When the mighty Pandya, that foremost of all
wielders of weapons, has been slain in battle by the Pandavas, what can
it be but destiny? When Vrihadvala has been slain and the mighty king of
the Magadhas, and the valiant Ugrayudha, that type of all bowmen; when
the two princes of Avanti (Vinda and Anuvinda) have been slain, and the
ruler also of the Trigartas, as also numerous Samsaptakas, what can it be
but destiny? When king Alambusa, and the Rakshasas Alayudha, and
Rishyasringa's son, have been slain, what can it be but destiny? When the
Narayanas have been slain, as also the Gopalas, those troops that were
invincible in battle, and many thousands of Mlecchas, what can it be but
destiny? When Shakuni, the son of Subala, and the mighty Uluka, called
the gamester's son, that hero at the head of his forces, have been slain,
what can it be but destiny? When innumerable high-souled heroes,
accomplished in all kinds of weapons offensive and defensive and endued
with prowess equal to that of Shakra himself, have been slain, O Suta,
when Kshatriyas hailing from diverse realms, O Sanjaya, have all been
slain in battle, what can it be but destiny? Endued with great might, my
sons and grandsons have been slain, as also my friends and brethren, what
can it be but destiny? Without doubt, man takes his birth, subject to
destiny. That man who is possessed of good fortune meets with good. I am
bereft of good fortune, and, therefore, am deprived of my children, O
Sanjaya. Old as I am, how shall I now submit to the sway of enemies? I do
not think anything other than exile into the woods to be good for me, O
lord. Deprived of relatives and kinsmen as I am, I will go into the
woods. Nothing other than an exile into the woods can be better for me
who am fallen into this plight and who am shorn of my wings, O Sanjaya.
When Duryodhana had been slain, when Shalya has been slain, when
Duhshasana and Vivingsati and the mighty Vikarna have been slain, how
shall I be able to bear the roars of that Bhimasena who hath alone slain
a hundred sons of mine in battle? He will frequently speak of the
slaughter of Duryodhana in my hearing. Burning with grief and sorrow, I
shall not be able to bear his cruel words.'"

Vaishampayana continued, "Even thus that king, burning with grief and
deprived of relatives and kinsmen, repeatedly swooned, overwhelmed with
sorrow on account of the death of his sons. Having wept for a long while,
Dhritarashtra, the son of Ambika, breathed heavy and hot sighs at the
thought of his defeat. Overwhelmed with sorrow, and burning with grief,
that bull of Bharata's race once more enquired of his charioteer Sanjaya,
the son of Gavalgana, the details of what had happened.

"Dhritarashtra said, 'After Bhishma and Drona had been slain, and the
Suta's son also overthrown, whom did my warriors make their
generalissimo? The Pandavas are slaying without any delay everyone whom
my warriors are making their generalissimo in battle. Bhishma was slain
at the van of battle by the diadem-decked Arjuna in the very sight of all
of you. Even thus was Drona slain in the sight of all of you. Even thus
was the Suta's son, that valiant Karna, slain by Arjuna in the sight of
all the kings. Long before, the high-souled Vidura had told me that
through the fault of Duryodhana the population of the Earth would be
exterminated. There are some fools that do not see things even though
they cast their eyes on them. Those words of Vidura have been even so
unto my foolish self. What Vidura of righteous soul, conversant with
attributes of everything, then said, hath turned out exactly, for the
words he uttered were nothing but the truth. Afflicted by fate, I did not
then act according to those words. The fruits of that evil course have
now manifested themselves. Describe them to me, O son of Gavalgana, once
more! Who became the head of our army after Karna's fall? Who was that
car-warrior who proceeded against Arjuna and Vasudeva? Who were they that
protected the right wheel of the ruler of the Madras in battle? Who
protected the left wheel of that hero when he went to battle? Who also
guarded his rear? How, when all of you were together, could the mighty
king of the Madras, as also my son, be slain, O Sanjaya, by the Pandavas?
Tell me the details of the great destruction of the Bharatas. Tell me how
my son Duryodhana fell in battle. Tell me how all the Pancalas with their
followers, and Dhrishtadyumna and Shikhandi and the five sons of
Draupadi, fell. Tell me how the (five) Pandavas and the two Satwatas
(Krishna and Satyaki), and Kripa and Kritavarma and Drona's son, have
escaped with life. I desire to hear everything about the manner in which
the battle occurred and the kind of battle it was. Thou art skilled, O
Sanjaya, in narration. Tell me everything.'"


"Sanjaya said, 'Hear, O king, with attention, how that great carnage of
the Kurus and the Pandavas occurred when they encountered each other.
After the Suta's son had been slain by the illustrious son of Pandu, and
after thy troops had been repeatedly rallied and had repeatedly fled
away, and after a terrible carnage had taken place, O foremost of men, of
human beings in battle subsequent to Karna's death, Partha began to utter
leonine roars. At that time a great fear entered the hearts of thy sons.
Indeed, after Karna's death, there was no warrior in thy army who could
set his heart upon rallying the troops or displaying his prowess. They
then looked like ship-wrecked merchants on the fathomless ocean without a
raft to save themselves. When their protector was slain by the
diadem-decked Arjuna, they were like persons on the wide sea desirous of
reaching some shore of safety. Indeed, O king, after the slaughter of the
Suta's son, thy troops, struck with panic and mangled with arrows, were
like unprotected men desirous of a protector or like a herd of deer
afflicted by a lion. Vanquished by Savyasaci, they retired in the evening
like bulls with broken horns or snakes shorn of their fangs. Their
foremost of heroes slain, themselves thrown into confusion and mangled
with keen arrows, thy sons, O king, upon the slaughter of the Suta's son,
fled away in fear. Deprived of weapons and coats of mail, all of them
lost their senses and knew not in which direction to fly. Casting their
eyes on all sides in fear, many of them began to slaughter one another.
Many fell down or became pale, thinking, "It is me whom Vibhatsu is
pursuing!" "It is me whom Vrikodara is pursuing!" Some riding on fleet
steeds, some on fleet cars, and some on fleet elephants, many great
car-warriors fled away from fear, abandoning the foot-soldiers. Cars were
broken by elephants, horsemen were crushed by great car-warriors, and
bands of foot-soldiers were smashed and slain by bodies of horses as
these fled away from the field. After the fall of the Suta's son, thy
troops became like stragglers from a caravan in a forest abounding with
robbers and beasts of prey. Some elephants whose riders had been slain,
and others whose trunks had been cut off, afflicted with fear, beheld the
whole world to be full of Partha. Beholding his troops flying away
afflicted with the fear of Bhimasena Duryodhana then, with cries of "Oh!"
and "Alas!" addressed his driver, saying, "If I take up my post at the
rear of the army, armed with my bow, Partha then will never be able to
transgress me. Urge the steeds, therefore, with speed. When I will put
forth my valour in battle, Dhananjaya the son of Kunti will not venture
to transgress me like the ocean never venturing to transgress its
continents. Today, slaying Arjuna with Govinda, and the proud Vrikodara,
and the rest of my foes, I will free myself from the debt I owe to
Karna." Hearing these words of the Kuru king, so becoming a hero and an
honourable man, his driver slowly urged those steeds adorned with
trappings of gold. At that time many brave warriors deprived of elephants
and steeds and cars, and 25,000 foot-soldiers, O sire, proceeded slowly
(for battle). Then Bhimasena, filled with wrath, and Dhrishtadyumna the
son of Prishata, encompassing those troops with the assistance of four
kinds of forces, destroyed them with shafts. All of them fought
vigorously with Bhima and Prishata's son. Many amongst them challenged
the two Pandava heroes, mentioning their names. Surrounded by them in
battle, Bhima became enraged with them. Quickly descending from his car,
he began to fight, armed with his mace. Relying on the might of his own
arms, Vrikodara the son of Kunti, who was on his car, observant of the
rules of fair fight, did not fight with those foes who were on the
ground. Armed then with that heavy mace of his that was made entirely of
iron and adorned with gold and equipped with a sling, and that resembled
the Destroyer himself as he becomes at the end of Yuga, Bhima slew them
all like Yama slaughtering creatures with his club. Those foot-soldiers,
excited with great rage, having lost their friends and kinsmen, were
prepared to throw away their lives, and rushed in that battle towards
Bhima like insects towards a blazing fire. Indeed, those warriors, filled
with rage and invincible in battle, approaching Bhimasena, suddenly
perished like living creatures at the glance of the Destroyer. Armed with
sword and mace, Bhima careered like a hawk and slaughtered those 25,000
warriors of thine. Having slain that brave division, the mighty Bhima, of
prowess incapable of being baffled, once more stood, with Dhrishtadyumna
before him. Meanwhile, Dhananjaya of great energy proceeded towards the
car-division (of the Kurus). The twin sons of Madri and the mighty
car-warrior Satyaki, all endued with great strength, cheerfully rushed
against Shakuni with great speed from desire of slaying him. Having slain
with keen shafts the numerous cavalry of Shakuni, those Pandava heroes
quickly rushed against Shakuni himself, whereupon a fierce battle was
fought there. Then Dhananjaya, O king, penetrated into the midst of the
car-division of the Kauravas, stretching his bow Gandiva celebrated over
the three worlds. Beholding that car having white steeds yoked unto it
and owning Krishna for its driver coming towards them, with Arjuna as the
warrior on it, thy troops fled away in fear. Deprived of cars and steeds
and pierced with shafts from every side, 25,000 foot-soldiers proceeded
towards Partha and surrounded him. Then that mighty car-warrior amongst
the Pancalas (Dhrishtadyumna) with Bhimasena at his head, speedily slew
that brave division and stood triumphant. The son of the Pancala king,
the celebrated Dhrishtadyumna, was a mighty bowman possessed of great
beauty and a crusher of large bands of foes. At sight of Dhrishtadyumna
unto whose car were yoked steeds white as pigeons and whose standard was
made of a lofty Kovidara, the troops fled away in fear. The celebrated
sons of Madri, with Satyaki among them, engaged in the pursuit of the
Gandhara king who was quick in the use of weapons, speedily appeared to
our view. Chekitana and the (five) sons of Draupadi, O sire, having slain
a large number of thy troops, blew their conchs. Beholding all the troops
flying away with their faces from the field, those (Pandava) heroes
pursued and smote them like bulls pursuing vanquished bulls. Then the
mighty Savyasaci, the son of Pandu, beholding a remnant of thy army still
keeping their ground, became filled with rage, O king. Suddenly, O
monarch, he shrouded that remnant of thy forces with arrows. The dust,
however, that was then raised enveloped the scene, in consequence of
which we could not see anything. Darkness also spread over the scene, and
the field of battle was covered with arrows. Thy troops, O monarch, then
fled away in fear on all sides. When his army was thus broken, the Kuru
king, O monarch, rushed against both friends and foes. Then Duryodhana
challenged all the Pandavas to battle, O chief of Bharata's race, like
the Asura Vali in days of yore challenging all the celestials. The
Pandavas then, uniting together and filled with rage, upbraiding him
repeatedly and shooting diverse weapons, rushed against the roaring
Duryodhana. The latter, however, fearlessly smote his foes with shafts.
The prowess that we then saw of thy son was exceedingly wonderful, since
all the Pandavas together were unable to transgress him. At this time
Duryodhana beheld, staying at a little distance from him, his troops,
exceedingly mangled with shafts, and prepared to fly away. Rallying them
then, O monarch, thy son, resolved on battle and desirous of gladdening
them, addressed those warriors, saying, "I do not see that spot on plain
or mountain whither, if you fly, the Pandavas will not slay you. What is
the use then in flight? The Pandava army hath now been reduced to a small
remnant. The two Krishnas have been exceedingly mangled. If all of us
make a stand here, we are certain to have victory. If, however, you fly
away, breaking your array, the Pandavas, pursuing your sinful selves,
will slay all of you. Death in battle, therefore, is for our good. Death
in the field of battle while engaged in fight according to Kshatriya
practices is pleasant. Such death produces no kind of grief. By
encountering such a death, a person enjoys eternal happiness in the other
world. Let all the Kshatriyas assembled here listen to me. It were better
that they should even submit to the power of the angry Bhimasena than
that they should abandon the duties practised by them from the days of
their ancestors. There is no act more sinful for a Kshatriya than flight
from battle. You Kauravas, there is not a better path to heaven than the
duty of battle. The warrior acquires in a day regions of bliss (in the
other world) that take many long years for others to acquire." Fulfilling
those words of the king, the great Kshatriya car-warriors once more
rushed against the Pandavas, unable to endure their defeat and firmly
resolved to put forth their prowess. Then commenced a battle once more,
that was exceedingly fierce, between thy troops and the enemy, and that
resembled the one between the gods and the Asuras. Thy son Duryodhana
then, O monarch, with all his troops, rushed against the Pandavas headed
by Yudhishthira.'"


"Sanjaya said, 'Beholding the fallen boxes of cars, as also the cars of
high-souled warriors, and the elephants and foot-soldiers, O sire, slain
in battle, seeing the field of battle assume an aspect as awful as that
of the sporting ground of Rudra, observing the inglorious end obtained by
hundreds and thousands of kings, witnessing also the prowess of Partha
after the retreat of thy son with grief-stricken heart and when thy
troops, filled with anxiety and fallen into great distress, O Bharata,
were deliberating as to what they should next do, hearing also the loud
wails of the Kaurava warriors that were being crushed, and marking the
displayed and disordered tokens of great kings, the Kuru leader Kripa of
great energy, possessed of years and good conduct and filled with
compassion, and endued with eloquence, approached king Duryodhana, and
angrily said these words unto him, "O Duryodhana, listen, O Bharata, to
these words that I will say unto thee. Having heard them, O monarch, do
thou act according to them, O sinless one, if it pleases thee. There is
no path, O monarch, that is better than the duty of battle. Having
recourse to that path, Kshatriyas, O bull of the Kshatriya order, engage
in battle. He who lives in the observance of Kshatriya practices fights
with son, sire, brother, sister's son, and maternal uncle, and relatives,
and kinsmen. If he is slaughtered in battle, there is great merit in it.
Similarly, there is great sin in it if he flies from the field. It is for
this that the life of a person desirous of living by the adoption of
Kshatriya duties is exceedingly terrible. Unto thee, as regards this, I
will say a few beneficial words. After the fall of Bhishma and Drona and
the mighty car-warrior Karna, after the slaughter of Jayadratha and thy
brothers, O sinless one, and thy son Lakshmana, what is there now for us
to do? They upon whom we had rested all burdens of sovereignty we had
been enjoying, have all gone to regions of blessedness attainable by
persons conversant with Brahma, casting off their bodies. As regards
ourselves, deprived of those great car-warriors possessed of numerous
accomplishments, we shall have to pass our time in grief, having caused
numerous kings to perish. When all those heroes were alive, even then
Vibhatsu could not be vanquished. Having Krishna, for his eyes, that
mighty-armed hero is incapable of being defeated by the very gods. The
vast (Kaurava) host, approaching his Ape-bearing standard that is lofty
as an Indra's pole (set up in the season of spring) and that is effulgent
as Indra's bow, hath always trembled in fear. At the leonine roars of
Bhimasena and the blare of Panchajanya and the twang of Gandiva, our
heart will die away within us. Moving like flashes of lightning, and
blinding our eyes, Arjuna's Gandiva is seen to resemble a circle of fire.
Decked with pure gold, that formidable bow as it is shaken, looks
lightning's flash moving about on every side. Steeds white in hue and
possessed of great speed and endued with the splendour of the Moon or the
Kasa grass, and that run devouring the skies, are yoked unto his car.
Urged on by Krishna, like the masses of clouds driven by the wind, and
their limbs decked with gold, they bear Arjuna to battle. That foremost
of all persons conversant with arms, Arjuna, burned that great force of
thine like a swelling conflagration consuming dry grass in the forest in
the season of winter. Possessed of the splendour of Indra himself, while
penetrating into our ranks, we have seen Dhananjaya to look like an
elephant with four tusks. While agitating thy army and inspiring the
kings with fear, we have seen Dhananjaya to resemble an elephant
agitating a lake overgrown with lotuses. While terrifying all the
warriors with the twang of his bow, we have again seen the son of Pandu
to resemble a lion inspiring smaller animals with dread. Those two
foremost of bowmen in all the worlds, those two bulls among all persons
armed with the bow, the two Krishnas, clad in mail, are looking
exceedingly beautiful. Today is the seventeenth day of this awful battle,
O Bharata, of those that are being slaughtered in the midst of this
fight. The diverse divisions of thy army are broken and dispersed like
autumnal clouds dispersed by the wind. Savyasaci, O monarch, caused thy
army to tremble and reel like a tempest-tossed boat exposed on the bosom
of the ocean. Where was the Suta's son, where was Drona with all his
followers, where was I, where wert thou, where was Hridika's son, where
thy brother Duhshasana accompanied by his brothers (when Jayadratha was
slain)? Upon beholding Jayadratha and finding him within the range of his
arrows, Arjuna, putting forth his process upon all thy kinsmen and
brothers and allies and maternal uncles, and placing his feet upon their
heads, slew king Jayadratha in the very sight of all. What then is there
for us to do now? Who is there among thy troops now that would vanquish
the son of Pandu? That high-souled warrior possesses diverse kinds of
celestial weapons. The twang, again, of Gandiva robbeth us of our
energies. This army of thine that is now without a leader is like a night
without the Moon, or like a river that is dried up with all the trees on
its banks broken by elephants. The mighty-armed Arjuna of white steeds
will, at his pleasure, career amid this thy masterless host, like a
blazing conflagration amid a heap of grass. The impetuosity of those two,
Satyaki and Bhimasena, would split all the mountains or dry up all the
oceans. The words that Bhima spoke in the midst of the assembly have all
been nearly accomplished by him, O monarch. That which remains
unaccomplished will again be accomplished by him. While Karna was
battling before it, the army of the Pandavas, difficult to be defeated,
was vigorously protected by the wielder of Gandiva. You have done many
foul wrongs, without any cause, unto the righteous Pandavas. The fruits
of those acts have now come. For the sake of thy own objects thou hadst,
with great care, mustered together a large force. That vast force, as
also thyself, O bull of Bharata's race, have fallen into great danger.
Preserve thy own self now, for self is the refuge of everything. If the
refuge is broken, O sire, everything inhering thereto is scattered on
every side. He that is being weakened should seek peace by conciliation.
He that is growing should make war. This is the policy taught by
Brihaspati. We are now inferior to the sons of Pandu as regards the
strength of our army. Therefore, O lord, I think, peace with the Pandavas
is for our good. He that does not know what is for his good, or (knowing)
disregards what is for his good, is soon divested of his kingdom and
never obtains any good. If, by bowing unto king Yudhishthira sovereignty
may still remain to us, even that would be for our good, and not, O king,
to sustain through folly defeat (at the hands of the Pandavas).
Yudhishthira is compassionate. At the request of Vichitravirya's son and
of Govinda, he will allow you to continue as king. Whatever Hrishikesa
will say unto the victorious king Yudhishthira and Arjuna and Bhimasena,
all of them will, without doubt, obey. Krishna will not, I think, be able
to transgress the words of Dhritarashtra of Kuru's race, nor will the son
of Pandu be able to transgress those of Krishna. A cessation of
hostilities with the sons of Pritha is what I consider to be for thy
good. I do not say this unto thee from any mean motives nor for
protecting my life. I say, O king, that which I regard to be beneficial.
Thou wilt recollect these words when thou wilt be on the point of death
(if thou neglectest them now)." Advanced in years, Kripa the son of
Saradwat said these words weepingly. Breathing long and hot breaths, he
then gave way to sorrow and almost lost his senses.'"


"Sanjaya said, 'Thus addressed by the celebrated grandson of Gotama, the
king (Duryodhana), breathing long and hot breaths, remained silent, O
monarch. Having reflected for a little while, the high-souled son of
Dhritarashtra, that scorcher of foes, then said these words unto
Saradwat's son Kripa, "Whatever a friend should say, thou hast said unto
me. Thou hast also, whilst battling, done everything for me, without
caring for thy very life. The world has seen thee penetrate into the
midst of the Pandava divisions and fight with the mighty car-warriors of
the Pandavas endued with great energy. That which should be said by a
friend hast been said by thee. Thy words, however, do not please me, like
medicine that ill pleases the person that is on the point of death. These
beneficial and excellent words, fraught with reason, that thou, O
mighty-armed one, hast said do not seem acceptable to me, O foremost of
Brahmanas. Deprived by us of his kingdom (on a former occasion), why will
the son of Pandu repose his trust on us? That mighty king was once
defeated by us at dice. Why will he again believe my words? So also,
Krishna, ever engaged in the good of the Parthas, when he came to us as
an envoy, was deceived by us. That act of ours was exceedingly
ill-judged. Why then, O regenerate one, will Hrishikesa trust my words?
The princess Krishna, while standing in the midst of the assembly, wept
piteously. Krishna will never forget that act of ours, nor that act, the
deprivation of Yudhishthira by us of his kingdom. Formerly, it was heard
by us that the two Krishnas have the same heart between them and are
firmly united with each other. Today, O lord, we have seen it with our
eyes. Having heard of the slaughter of his sister's son, Keshava passeth
his nights in sorrow. We have offended him highly. Why will he forgive us
then? Arjuna also, in consequence of Abhimanyu's death, hath become very
miserable. Even if solicited, why will he strike for my good? The second
son of Pandu, the mighty Bhimasena, is exceedingly fierce. He has made a
terrible vow. He will break but not bend. The heroic twins, breathing
animosity against us, when clad in mail and armed with their swords,
resemble a pair of Yamas. Dhrishtadyumna and Shikhandi have drawn their
swords against me. Why will those two, O best of Brahmanas, strive for my
good? While clad in a single raiment and in her season, the princess
Krishna was treated cruelly by Duhshasana in the midst of the assembly
and before the eyes of all. Those scorchers of foes, the Pandavas, who
still remember the naked Draupadi plunged into distress, can never be
dissuaded from battle.

"'"Then again, Krishna, the daughter of Drupada, is in sorrow, undergoing
the austerest of penances for my destruction and the success of the
objects cherished by her husbands, and sleepeth every day on the bare
ground, intending to do so till the end of the hostilities is attained.
Abandoning honour and pride, the uterine sister of Vasudeva (Subhadra) is
always serving Draupadi as veritable waiting woman. Everything,
therefore, hath flamed up. That fire can never be quenched. Peace with
them hath become impossible in consequence of the slaughter of Abhimanyu.
Having also enjoyed the sovereignty of this earth bounded by the ocean,
how shall I be able to enjoy, under favour of the Pandavas, a kingdom in
peace? Having shone like the Sun upon the heads of all the kings, how
shall I walk behind Yudhishthira like a slave? Having enjoyed all
enjoyable articles and shown great compassion, how shall I lead a
miserable life now, with miserable men as my companions? I do not hate
those mild and beneficial words that thou hast spoken. I, however, do not
think that this is the time for peace. To fight righteously is, O
scorcher of foes, what I regard to be good policy. This is not the time
for acting like a eunuch. On the other hand, that is time for the battle.
I have performed many sacrifices. I have given away Dakshinas to
Brahmanas, I have obtained the attainment of all my wishes. I have
listened to Vedic recitations. I have walked upon the heads of my foes.
My servants have all been wellcherished by me. I have relieved people in
distress. I dare not, O foremost of regenerate ones, address such humble
words to the Pandavas. I have conquered foreign kingdoms. I have properly
governed my own kingdom. I have enjoyed diverse kinds of enjoyable
articles. Religion and profit and pleasure I have pursued. I have paid
off my debt to the Pitris and to Kshatriya duty. Certainly, there is no
happiness here. What becomes of kingdom, and what of good name? Fame is
all that one should acquire here. That fame can be obtained by battle,
and by no other means. The death that a Kshatriya meets with at home is
censurable. Death on one's bed at home is highly sinful. The man who
casts away his body in the woods or in battle after having performed
sacrifices, obtains great glory. He is no man who dies miserably weeping
in pain, afflicted by disease and decay, in the midst of crying kinsmen.
Abandoning diverse objects of enjoyment, I shall now, by righteous
battle, proceed to the regions of Shakra, obtaining the companionship of
those that have attained to the highest end. Without doubt, the
habitation of heroes of righteous behaviour, who never retreat from
battle, who are gifted with intelligence and devoted to truth, who are
performers of sacrifices, and who have been sanctified in the sacrifice
of weapons, is in heaven. The diverse tribes of Apsaras, without doubt,
joyfully gaze at such heroes when engaged in battle. Without doubt, the
Pitris behold them worshipped in the assembly of the gods and rejoicing
in heaven, in the company of Apsaras. We will now ascend the path that is
trod by the celestials and by heroes unreturning from battle, that path
which has been taken by our venerable grandsire, by the preceptor endued
with great intelligence, by Jayadratha, by Karna, and by Duhshasana. Many
brave kings, who had exerted themselves vigorously for my sake in this
battle, have been slain. Mangled with arrows and their limbs bathed in
blood, they lie now on the bare Earth. Possessed of great courage and
conversant with excellent weapons, those kings, who had, again, performed
sacrifices as ordained in the scriptures, having cast off their life
breaths in the discharge of their duties, have now become the denizens of
Indra's abode. They have paved the way (to that blessed region). That
road will once more be difficult in consequence of the crowds of heroes
that will hurry along it for reaching that blessed goal. Remembering with
gratitude the feats of those heroes that have died for me, I desire to
pay off the debt I owe them, instead of fixing my heart upon kingdom. If,
having caused my friends and brothers and grandsires to be slain, I save
my own life, the world will without doubt, censure me. What kind of
sovereignty will that be which I will enjoy, destitute of kinsmen and
friends and well-wishers, and bowing down unto the son of Pandu? I, who
have lorded it over the universe in that way, will now acquire heaven by
fair fight. It will not be otherwise." Thus addressed by Duryodhana, all
the Kshatriyas there applauded that speech and cheered the king, saying,
"Excellent, Excellent." Without at all grieving for their defeat, and
firmly resolved upon displaying their prowess, all of them, being
determined to fight, became filled with enthusiasm. Having groomed their
animals, the Kauravas, delighting at the prospect of battle, took up
their quarters (for the night) at a spot a little less than two Yojanas
distant from the field. Having reached the Sarasvati of red waters on the
sacred and beautiful table-land at the foot of Himavat, they bathed in
that water and quenched their thirst with it. Their spirits raised by thy
son, they continued to wait (on their resting ground). Once more rallying
their own selves as well as one another, all those Kshatriyas, O king,
urged by fate, waited (in their encampment).'"


"Sanjaya said, 'On that table land at the foot of Himavat, those
warriors, O monarch, delighting at the prospect of battle and assembled
together, passed the night. Indeed, Shalya and Chitrasena and the mighty
car-warrior Shakuni and Ashvatthama and Kripa and Kritavarma of the
Satwata race, and Sushena and Arishtasena and Dhritasena of great energy
and Jayatsena and all these kings passed the night there. After the
heroic Karna had been slain in battle, thy sons, inspired with fright by
the Pandavas desirous of victory, failed to obtain peace anywhere else
than on the mountains of Himavat. All of them then, O king, who were
resolved on battle, duly worshipped the king and said unto him, in the
presence of Shalya, these words, "It behoveth thee to fight with the
enemy, after having made some one the generalissimo of thy army,
protected by whom in battle we will vanquish our foes." Then Duryodhana,
without alighting from his car (proceeded towards) that foremost of
car-warriors, that hero conversant with all the rules of battle
(Ashvatthama), who resembled the Destroyer himself in battle. Possessed
of beautiful limbs, of head well covered, of a neck adorned with three
lines like those in a conch shell, of sweet speech, of eyes resembling
the petals of a full blown lotus, and of a face like that of the dignity
of Meru, resembling the bull of Mahadeva as regards neck, eyes, tread,
and voice, endued with arms that were large, massive, and well-joined,
having a chest that was broad and well-formed, equal unto Garuda or the
wind in speed and might, gifted with a splendour like that of the rays of
the Sun, rivalling Usanas himself in intelligence and the Moon in beauty
and form and charms of face, with a body that seemed to be made of a
number of golden lotuses, with well-made joints, of well-formed thighs
and waist and hips, of beautiful fingers, and beautiful nails, he seemed
to have been made by the Creator with care after collecting one after
another all the beautiful and good attributes of creation. Possessed of
every auspicious mark, and clever in every act, he was an ocean of
learning. Ever vanquishing his foes with great speed, he was incapable of
being forcibly vanquished by foes. He knew, in all its details, the
science of weapons consisting of four padas and ten angas. He knew also
the four Vedas with all their branches, and the Akhyanas as the fifth.
Possessed of great ascetic merit, Drona, himself not born of woman,
having worshipped the Three-eyed deity with great attention and austere
vows, begat him upon a wife not born of woman. Approaching that personage
of unrivalled feats, that one who is unrivalled in beauty on Earth, that
one who has mastered all branches of learning, that ocean of
accomplishments, that faultless Ashvatthama, thy son told him these
words, "Thou, O preceptor's son, art today our highest refuge. Tell us,
therefore, who is to be the generalissimo of my forces now, placing whom
at our head, all of us, united together, may vanquish the Pandavas?"

"'(Thus addressed), the son of Drona answered, "Let Shalya become the
leader of our army. In descent, in prowess, in energy, in fame, in beauty
of person, and in every other accomplishment, he is superior. Mindful of
the services rendered to him, he has taken up our side, having abandoned
the sons of his own sister. Owning a large force of his own, that
mighty-armed one is like a second (Kartikeya, the) celestial
generalissimo. Making that king the commander of our forces, O best of
monarchs, we will be able to gain victory, like the gods, after making
the unvanquished Skanda their commander." After Drona's son had said
these words, all the kings stood, surrounding Shalya, and cried victory
to him. Having made up their minds for battle, they felt great joy. Then
Duryodhana, alighting from his car, joined his hands and addressing
Shalya, that rival of Drona and Bhishma in battle, who was on his car,
said these words, "O thou that art devoted to friends, that time has now
come for thy friends when intelligent men examine persons in the guise of
friends as to whether they are true friends or otherwise. Brave as thou
art, be thou our generalissimo at the van of our army. When thou wilt
proceed to battle, the Pandavas, with their friends, will become
cheerless, and the Pancalas will be depressed."

"'Shalya answered, "I will, O king of the Kurus, accomplish that which
thou askest me to accomplish. Everything I have--my life breath, my
kingdom, my wealth--is at thy service."

"'Duryodhana said, "I solicit thee with offer of the leadership of my
army, O maternal uncle. O foremost of warriors, protect us incomparably,
even as Skanda protected the gods in battle. O foremost of kings, thyself
cause thy own self to be installed in the command as Pavaka's son
Kartikeya in the command of (the forces of) the celestials. O hero, slay
our foes in battle like Indra slaying the Danavas."'"


"Sanjaya said, 'Hearing these words of the (Kuru) king, the valiant
monarch (Shalya), O king, said these words unto Duryodhana in reply, "O
mighty-armed Duryodhana, listen to me, O foremost of eloquent men. Thou
regardest the two Krishnas, when on their car, to be the foremost of
car-warriors. They are not, however, together equal to me in might of
arms. What need I say of the Pandavas? When angry, I can fight, at the
van of battle, with the whole world consisting of gods, Asuras, and men,
risen up in arms. I will vanquish the assembled Parthas and the Somakas
in battle. Without doubt, I will become the leader of thy troops. I will
form such an array that our enemies will not be able to overmaster it. I
say this to thee, O Duryodhana. There is no doubt in this." Thus
addressed (by Shalya), king Duryodhana cheerfully poured sanctified
water, without losing any time, O best of the Bharatas, on the ruler of
the Madras, in the midst of his troops, according to the rites ordained
in the scriptures, O monarch. After Shalya had been invested with the
command, loud leonine roars arose among thy troops and diverse musical
instruments also, O Bharata, were beat and blown. The Kaurava warriors
became very cheerful, as also the mighty car-warriors among the Madrakas.
And all of them praised the royal Shalya, that ornament of battle,
saying, "Victory to thee, O king. Long life to thee! Slay all the
assembled foes! Having obtained the might of thy arms, let the
Dhartarashtras endued with great strength, rule the wide Earth without a
foe. Thou art capable of vanquishing in battle the three worlds
consisting of the gods, the Asuras, what need be said of the Somakas and
the Srinjayas that are mortal?" Thus praised, the mighty king of the
Madrakas obtained great joy that is unattainable by persons of unrefined

"'Shalya said, "Today, O king, I will either slay all the Pancalas with
the Pandavas in battle, or, slain by them, proceed to heaven. Let the
world behold me today careering (on the field of battle) fearlessly.
Today let all the sons of Pandu, and Vasudeva, and Satyaki, and the sons
of Draupadi, and Dhrishtadyumna, and Shikhandi, and all the Prabhadrakas,
behold my prowess and the great might of my bow, and my quickness, and
the energy of my weapons, and the strength of my arms, in battle. Let the
Parthas, and all the Siddhas, with the Charanas behold today the strength
that is in my arms and the wealth of weapons I possess. Beholding my
prowess today, let the mighty car-warriors of the Pandavas, desirous of
counteracting it, adopt diverse courses of action. Today I will rout the
troops of the Pandavas on all sides. Surpassing Drona and Bhishma and the
Suta's son, O lord, in battle, I will career on the field, O Kauravas,
for doing what is agreeable to thee."'

"Sanjaya continued, 'After Shalya had been invested with the command, O
giver of honours, no one among thy troops, O bull of Bharata's race, any
longer felt any grief on account of Karna. Indeed, the troops became
cheerful and glad. They regarded the Parthas as already slain and brought
under the power of the ruler of the Madras. Having obtained great joy,
thy troops, O bull of Bharata's race, slept that night happily and became
very cheerful. Hearing those shouts of thy army, king Yudhishthira,
addressing him of Vrishni's race, said these words, in the hearing of all
the Kshatriyas, "The ruler of the Madras, Shalya, that great bowman who
is highly regarded by all the warriors hath, O Madhava, been made the
leader of his forces by Dhritarashtra's son. Knowing this that has
happened, do, O Madhava, that which is beneficial. Thou art our leader
and protector. Do that which should next be done." Then Vasudeva, O
monarch, said unto that king, "I know Artayani, O Bharata, truly. Endued
with prowess and great energy, he is highly illustrious. He is
accomplished, conversant with all the modes of warfare, and possessed of
great lightness of hand. I think that the ruler of the Madras is in
battle equal to Bhishma or Drona or Karna, or perhaps, superior to them.
I do not, O ruler of men, even upon reflection, find the warrior who may
be a match for Shalya while engaged in fight. In battle, he is superior
in might to Shikhandi and Arjuna and Bhima and Satyaki and
Dhrishtadyumna, O Bharata. The king of the Madras, O monarch, endued with
the prowess of a lion or an elephant, will career fearlessly in battle
like the Destroyer himself in wrath amongst creatures at the time of the
universal destruction. I do not behold a match for him in battle save
thee, O tiger among men, that art possessed of prowess equal to that of a
tiger. Save thee there is no other person in either heaven or the whole
of this world, who, O son of Kuru's race, would be able to slay the ruler
of the Madras while excited with wrath in battle. Day after day engaged
in fight, he agitates thy troops. For this, slay Shalya in battle, like
Maghavat slaying Samvara. Treated with honour by Dhritarashtra's son,
that hero is invincible in battle. Upon the fall of the ruler of the
Madras in battle, thou art certain to have victory. Upon his slaughter,
the vast Dhartarashtra host will be slain. Hearing, O monarch, these
words of mine now, proceed, O Partha, against that mighty car-warrior,
the ruler of the Madras. Slay that warrior, O thou of mighty arms, like
Vasava slaying the Asura Namuchi. There is no need of showing any
compassion here, thinking that this one is thy maternal uncle. Keeping
the duties of a Kshatriya before thee, slay the ruler of the Madras.
Having crossed the fathomless oceans represented by Bhishma and Drona and
Karna, do not sink, with thy followers, in the print of a cow's hoof
represented by Shalya. Display in battle the whole of thy ascetic power
and thy Kshatriya energy. Slay that car-warrior." Having said these
words, Keshava, that slayer of hostile heroes, proceeded to his tent in
the evening, worshipped by the Pandavas. After Keshava had gone, king
Yudhishthira the just, dismissing all his brothers and the Somakas,
happily slept that night, like an elephant from whose body the darts have
been plucked out. All those great bowmen of the Pancalas and Pandavas,
delighted in consequence of the fall of Karna, slept that night happily.
Its fever dispelled, the army of the Pandavas, abounding with great
bowmen and mighty car-warriors having reached the shore as it were,
became very happy that night, in consequence of the victory, O sire, it
had won by the slaughter of Karna.'"


"Sanjaya said, 'After that night had passed away, king Duryodhana then,
addressing all thy soldiers, said, "Arm, you mighty car-warriors!"
Hearing the command of the king, the warriors began to put on their
armour. Some began to yoke their steeds to their cars quickly, others ran
hither and thither. The elephants began to be equipped. The foot-soldiers
began to arm. Others, numbering thousands, began to spread carpets on the
terraces of cars. The noise of musical instruments, O monarch, arose
there, for enhancing the martial enthusiasm of the soldiers. Then all the
troops, placed in their proper posts, were seen, O Bharata, to stand,
clad in mail and resolved to make death their goal. Having made the ruler
of the Madras their leader, the great car-warriors of the Kauravas,
distributing their troops, stood in divisions. Then all thy warriors,
with Kripa and Kritavarma and Drona's son and Shalya and Subala's son and
the other kings that were yet alive, met thy son, and arrived at this
understanding, that none of them would individually and alone fight with
the Pandavas. And they said, "He amongst us that will fight, alone and
unsupported, with the Pandavas, or he that will abandon a comrade engaged
in fight, will be stained with the five grave sins and all the minor
sins." And they said, "All of us, united together, will fight with the
foe." Those great car-warriors, having made such an understanding with
one another placed the ruler of the Madras at their head and quickly
proceeded against their foes. Similarly, all the Pandavas, having arrayed
their troops in great battle, proceeded against the Kauravas, O king, for
fighting with them on every side. Soon, O chief of the Bharatas, that
host, whose noise resembled that of the agitated ocean, and which seemed
to be wonderful in consequence of its cars and elephants, presented the
aspect of the vast deep swelling with its surges.'

"Dhritarashtra said, 'I have heard of the fall of Drona, of Bhishma and
of the son of Radha. Tell me now of the fall of Shalya and of my son.
How, indeed, O Sanjaya, was Shalya slain by king Yudhishthira the just?
And how was my son Duryodhana slain by Bhimasena of great might?'

"Sanjaya said, 'Hear, O king, with patience, of the destruction of human
bodies and the loss of elephants and steeds, as I describe (to thee) the
battle. The hope became strong, O king, in the breasts of thy sons that,
after Drona and Bhishma and the Suta's son had been overthrown, Shalya, O
sire, would slay all the Parthas in battle. Cherishing that hope in his
heart, and drawing comfort from it, O Bharata, thy son Duryodhana,
relying in battle upon that mighty car-warrior, the ruler of the Madras,
regarded himself as possessed of a protector. When after Karna's fall the
Parthas had uttered leonine roars, a great fear, O king, had possessed
the hearts of the Dhartarashtras. Assuring him duly, the valiant king of
the Madras, having formed, O monarch, a grand array whose arrangements
were auspicious in every respect, proceeded against the Parthas in
battle. And the valiant king of the Madras proceeded, shaking his
beautiful and exceedingly strong bow capable of imparting a great
velocity to the shafts sped from it. And that mighty car-warrior was
mounted upon the foremost of vehicles, having horses of the Sindhu breed
yoked unto it. Riding upon his car, his driver made the vehicle look
resplendent. Protected by that car, that hero, that brave crusher of foes
(Shalya), stood, O monarch, dispelling the fears of thy sons. The king of
the Madras, clad in mail, proceeded at the head of the array, accompanied
by the brave Madrakas and the invincible sons of Karna. On the left was
Kritavarma, surrounded by the Trigartas. On the right was Gautama (Kripa)
with the Sakas and the Yavanas. In the rear was Ashvatthama surrounded by
the Kambojas. In the centre was Duryodhana, protected by the foremost of
the Kuru warriors. Surrounded by a large force of cavalry and other
troops, Subala's son Shakuni, as also the mighty car-warrior Uluka,
proceeded with the others. The mighty bowmen amongst the Pandavas, those
chastisers of foes, dividing themselves, O monarch, into three bodies,
rushed against thy troops. Dhrishtadyumna and Shikhandi and the mighty
car-warrior Satyaki proceeded with great speed against the army of
Shalya. Then king Yudhishthira, accompanied by his troops, rushed against
Shalya alone, from desire of slaughtering him, O bull of Bharata's race.
Arjuna, that slayer of large bands of foes, rushed with great speed
against that great bowman Kritavarma and the Samsaptakas. Bhimasena and
the great car-warriors among the Somakas rushed, O monarch, against
Kripa, desirous of slaughtering their foes in battle. The two sons of
Madri, accompanied by their troops, proceeded against Shakuni and the
great car-warrior Uluka at the head of their forces. Similarly, thousands
upon thousands of warriors of thy army, armed with diverse weapons and
filled with rage, proceeded against the Pandavas in that battle.'

"Dhritarashtra said, 'After the fall of the mighty bowmen Bhishma and
Drona and the great car-warrior Karna, and after both the Kurus and the
Pandavas had been reduced in numbers, and when, indeed, the Parthas,
possessed of great prowess, became once more angry in battle, what, O
Sanjaya, was the strength of each of the armies?'

"Sanjaya said, 'Hear, O king, how we and the enemy both stood for battle
on that occasion and what was then the strength of the two armies. 11,000
cars, O bull of Bharata's race, 10,700 elephants, and full 200,000
horses, and three millions of foot, composed the strength of thy army.
6,000 cars, 6,000 elephants, 10,000 horses, and one million of foot, O
Bharata, were all that composed the remnant of the Pandava force in the
battle. These, O bull of Bharata's race, encountered each other for
battle. Having distributed their forces in this way, O monarch,
ourselves, excited with wrath and inspired with desire of victory,
proceeded against the Pandavas, having placed ourselves under the command
of the ruler of the Madras. Similar, the brave Pandavas, those tigers
among men, desirous of victory, and the Pancalas possessed of great fame,
came to battle. Even thus, O monarch, all those tigers among men,
desirous of slaughtering their foes, encountered one another at dawn of
day, O lord. Then commenced a fierce and terrible battle between thy
troops and the enemy, the combatants being all engaged in striking and
slaughtering one another.'"


"Sanjaya said, 'Then commenced the battle between the Kurus and the
Srinjayas, O monarch, that was as fierce and awful as the battle between
the gods and the Asuras. Men and crowds of cars and elephants, and
elephant-warriors and horsemen by tho
minkowski writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 10:45:11 PM

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PORN-FLY writes:
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PORN-FLY writes:
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PORN-FLY writes:
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Tanman32123 writes:
on December 10th, 2013 at 11:12:27 PM

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PORN-FLY writes:
on December 11th, 2013 at 12:55:46 AM

The Mahabharata or Mahābhārata (Sanskrit: महाभारतम्, Mahābhāratam, pronounced [məɦaːˈbʱaːrət̪əm]) is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Ramayana.

Besides its epic narrative of the Kurukshetra War and the fates of the Kaurava and the Pandava princes, the Mahabharata contains much philosophical and devotional material, such as a discussion of the four "goals of life" or purusharthas.
Among the principal works and stories that are a part of the Mahabharata are the Bhagavad Gita, the story of Damayanti, an abbreviated version of the Ramayana, and the Rishyasringa, often considered as works in their own right.

Traditionally, the authorship of the Mahabharata is attributed to Vyasa.
There have been many attempts to unravel its historical growth and compositional layers. The oldest preserved parts of the text are thought to be not much older than around 400 BCE, though the origins of the epic probably fall between the 8th and 9th centuries BCE.
The text probably reached its final form by the early Gupta period (c. 4th century).
The title may be translated as "the great tale of the Bhārata dynasty".
According to the Mahabharata itself, the tale is extended from a shorter version of 24,000 verses called simply Bhārata.

The Mahabharata is the longest epic poem in the world and many a times described as "longest poem ever written".
Its longest version consists of over 100,000 shloka or over 200,000 individual verse lines (each shloka is a couplet), and long prose passages.
About 1.8 million words in total, the Mahabharata is roughly ten times the length of the Iliad and the Odyssey combined, or about four times the length of the Ramayana.
W. J. Johnson has compared the importance of the Mahabharata to world civilization to that of the Bible, the works of Shakespeare, the works of Homer, Greek drama, or the Qur'an.
alleyg21 writes:
on December 11th, 2013 at 6:21:58 PM

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