Mahabharata II

SECTION II

“The Rishis said, ‘O son of Suta, we wish to hear a full and

circumstantial 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

circumstance 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 meanings and logical

connections, and embellished with the substance of the Vedas.

‘The first parva is called Anukramanika; the second, Sangraha; then

Paushya; then Pauloma; the Astika; then Adivansavatarana. Then comes the

Sambhava of wonderful and thrilling incidents. Then comes Jatugrihadaha

(setting fire to the house of lac) and then Hidimbabadha (the killing of

Hidimba) parvas; then comes Baka-badha (slaughter of Baka) and then

Chitraratha. The next is called Swayamvara (selection of husband by

Panchali), in which Arjuna by the exercise of Kshatriya virtues, won

Draupadi for wife. Then comes Vaivahika (marriage). Then comes

Viduragamana (advent of Vidura), Rajyalabha (acquirement of kingdom),

Arjuna-banavasa (exile of Arjuna) and Subhadra-harana (the carrying away

of Subhadra). After these come Harana-harika, Khandava-daha (the burning

of the Khandava forest) and Maya-darsana (meeting with Maya the Asura

architect). Then come Sabha, Mantra, Jarasandha, Digvijaya (general

campaign). After Digvijaya come Raja-suyaka, Arghyaviharana (the robbing

of the Arghya) and Sisupala-badha (the killing of Sisupala). After these,

Dyuta (gambling), Anudyuta (subsequent to gambling), Aranyaka, and

Krimira-badha (destruction of Krimira). The Arjuna-vigamana (the travels

of Arjuna), Kairati. In the last hath been described the battle between

Arjuna and Mahadeva in the guise of a hunter. After this

Indra-lokavigamana (the journey to the regions of Indra); then that mine

of religion and virtue, the highly pathetic Nalopakhyana (the story of

Nala). After this last, Tirtha-yatra or the pilgrimage of the wise prince

of the Kurus, the death of Jatasura, and the battle of the Yakshas. Then

the battle with the Nivata-kavachas, Ajagara, and Markandeya-Samasya

(meeting with Markandeya). Then the meeting of Draupadi and Satyabhama,

Ghoshayatra, Mirga-Swapna (dream of the deer). Then the story of

Brihadaranyaka and then Aindradrumna. Then Draupadi-harana (the abduction

of Draupadi), Jayadratha-bimoksana (the release of Jayadratha). Then the

story of ‘Savitri’ illustrating the great merit of connubial chastity.

After this last, the story of ‘Rama’. The parva that comes next is called

‘Kundala-harana’ (the theft of the ear-rings). That which comes next is

‘Aranya’ and then ‘Vairata’. Then the entry of the Pandavas and the

fulfilment of their promise (of living unknown for one year). Then the

destruction of the ‘Kichakas’, then the attempt to take the kine (of

Virata by the Kauravas). The next is called the marriage of Abhimanyu

with the daughter of Virata. The next you must know is the most wonderful

parva called Udyoga. The next must be known by the name of ‘Sanjaya-yana’

(the arrival of Sanjaya). Then comes ‘Prajagara’ (the sleeplessness of

Dhritarashtra owing to his anxiety). Then Sanatsujata, in which are the

mysteries of spiritual philosophy. Then ‘Yanasaddhi’, and then the

arrival of Krishna. Then the story of ‘Matali’ and then of ‘Galava’. Then

the stories of ‘Savitri’, ‘Vamadeva’, and ‘Vainya’. Then the story of

‘Jamadagnya and Shodasarajika’. Then the arrival of Krishna at the court,

and then Bidulaputrasasana. Then the muster of troops and the story of

Sheta. Then, must you know, comes the quarrel of the high-souled Karna.

Then the march to the field of the troops of both sides. The next hath

been called numbering the Rathis and Atirathas. Then comes the arrival of

the messenger Uluka which kindled the wrath (of the Pandavas). The next

that comes, you must know, is the story of Amba. Then comes the thrilling

story of the installation of Bhishma as commander-in-chief. The next is

called the creation of the insular region Jambu; then Bhumi; then the

account about the formation of islands. Then comes the ‘Bhagavat-gita’;

and then the death of Bhishma. Then the installation of Drona; then the

destruction of the ‘Sansaptakas’. Then the death of Abhimanyu; and then

the vow of Arjuna (to slay Jayadratha). Then the death of Jayadratha, and

then of Ghatotkacha. Then, must you know, comes the story of the death of

Drona of surprising interest. The next that comes is called the discharge

of the weapon called Narayana. Then, you know, is Karna, and then Salya.

Then comes the immersion in the lake, and then the encounter (between

Bhima and Duryodhana) with clubs. Then comes Saraswata, and then the

descriptions of holy shrines, and then genealogies. Then comes Sauptika

describing incidents disgraceful (to the honour of the Kurus). Then comes

the ‘Aisika’ of harrowing incidents. Then comes ‘Jalapradana’ oblations

of water to the manes of the deceased, and then the wailings of the

women. The next must be known as ‘Sraddha’ describing the funeral rites

performed for the slain Kauravas. Then comes the destruction of the

Rakshasa Charvaka who had assumed the disguise of a Brahmana (for

deceiving Yudhishthira). Then the coronation of the wise Yudhishthira.

The next is called the ‘Grihapravibhaga’. Then comes ‘Santi’, then

‘Rajadharmanusasana’, then ‘Apaddharma’, then ‘Mokshadharma’. Those that

follow are called respectively ‘Suka-prasna-abhigamana’,

‘Brahma-prasnanusana’, the origin of ‘Durvasa’, the disputations with

Maya. The next is to be known as ‘Anusasanika’. Then the ascension of

Bhishma to heaven. Then the horse-sacrifice, which when read purgeth all

sins away. The next must be known as the ‘Anugita’ in which are words of

spiritual philosophy. Those that follow are called ‘Asramvasa’,

‘Puttradarshana’ (meeting with the spirits of the deceased sons), and the

arrival of Narada. The next is called ‘Mausala’ which abounds with

terrible and cruel incidents. Then comes ‘Mahaprasthanika’ and ascension

to heaven. Then comes the Purana which is called Khilvansa. In this last

are contained ‘Vishnuparva’, Vishnu’s frolics and feats as a child, the

destruction of ‘Kansa’, and lastly, the very wonderful ‘Bhavishyaparva’

(in which there are prophecies regarding the future).

The high-souled Vyasa composed these hundred parvas of which the above is

only an abridgement: having distributed them into eighteen, the son of

Suta recited them consecutively in the forest of Naimisha as follows:

‘In the Adi parva are contained Paushya, Pauloma, Astika, Adivansavatara,

Samva, the burning of the house of lac, the slaying of Hidimba, the

destruction of the Asura Vaka, Chitraratha, the Swayamvara of Draupadi,

her marriage after the overthrow of rivals in war, the arrival of Vidura,

the restoration, Arjuna’s exile, the abduction of Subhadra, the gift and

receipt of the marriage dower, the burning of the Khandava forest, and

the meeting with (the Asura-architect) Maya. The Paushya parva treats of

the greatness of Utanka, and the Pauloma, of the sons of Bhrigu. The

Astika describes the birth of Garuda and of the Nagas (snakes), the

churning of the ocean, the incidents relating to the birth of the

celestial steed Uchchaihsrava, and finally, the dynasty of Bharata, as

described in the Snake-sacrifice of king Janamejaya. The Sambhava parva

narrates the birth of various kings and heroes, and that of the sage,

Krishna Dwaipayana: the partial incarnations of deities, the generation

of Danavas and Yakshas of great prowess, and serpents, Gandharvas, birds,

and of all creatures; and lastly, of the life and adventures of king

Bharata–the progenitor of the line that goes by his name–the son born

of Sakuntala in the hermitage of the ascetic Kanwa. This parva also

describes the greatness of Bhagirathi, and the births of the Vasus in the

house of Santanu and their ascension to heaven. In this parva is also

narrated the birth of Bhishma uniting in himself portions of the energies

of the other Vasus, his renunciation of royalty and adoption of the

Brahmacharya mode of life, his adherence to his vows, his protection of

Chitrangada, and after the death of Chitrangada, his protection of his

younger brother, Vichitravirya, and his placing the latter on the throne:

the birth of Dharma among men in consequence of the curse of Animondavya;

the births of Dhritarashtra and Pandu through the potency of Vyasa’s

blessings (?) and also the birth of the Pandavas; the plottings of

Duryodhana to send the sons of Pandu to Varanavata, and the other dark

counsels of the sons of Dhritarashtra in regard to the Pandavas; then the

advice administered to Yudhishthira on his way by that well-wisher of the

Pandavas–Vidura–in the mlechchha language–the digging of the hole, the

burning of Purochana and the sleeping woman of the fowler caste, with her

five sons, in the house of lac; the meeting of the Pandavas in the

dreadful forest with Hidimba, and the slaying of her brother Hidimba by

Bhima of great prowess. The birth of Ghatotkacha; the meeting of the

Pandavas with Vyasa and in accordance with his advice their stay in

disguise in the house of a Brahmana in the city of Ekachakra; the

destruction of the Asura Vaka, and the amazement of the populace at the

sight; the extra-ordinary births of Krishna and Dhrishtadyumna; the

departure of the Pandavas for Panchala in obedience to the injunction of

Vyasa, and moved equally by the desire of winning the hand of Draupadi on

learning the tidings of the Swayamvara from the lips of a Brahmana;

victory of Arjuna over a Gandharva, called Angaraparna, on the banks of

the Bhagirathi, his contraction of friendship with his adversary, and his

hearing from the Gandharva the history of Tapati, Vasishtha and Aurva.

This parva treats of the journey of the Pandavas towards Panchala, the

acquisition of Draupadi in the midst of all the Rajas, by Arjuna, after

having successfully pierced the mark; and in the ensuing fight, the

defeat of Salya, Kama, and all the other crowned heads at the hands of

Bhima and Arjuna of great prowess; the ascertainment by Balarama and

Krishna, at the sight of these matchless exploits, that the heroes were

the Pandavas, and the arrival of the brothers at the house of the potter

where the Pandavas were staying; the dejection of Drupada on learning

that Draupadi was to be wedded to five husbands; the wonderful story of

the five Indras related in consequence; the extraordinary and

divinely-ordained wedding of Draupadi; the sending of Vidura by the sons

of Dhritarashtra as envoy to the Pandavas; the arrival of Vidura and his

sight to Krishna; the abode of the Pandavas in Khandava-prastha, and then

their rule over one half of the kingdom; the fixing of turns by the sons

of Pandu, in obedience to the injunction of Narada, for connubial

companionship with Krishna. In like manner hath the history of Sunda and

Upasunda been recited in this. This parva then treats of the departure of

Arjuna for the forest according to the vow, he having seen Draupadi and

Yudhishthira sitting together as he entered the chamber to take out arms

for delivering the kine of a certain Brahmana. This parva then describes

Arjuna’s meeting on the way with Ulupi, the daughter of a Naga (serpent);

it then relates his visits to several sacred spots; the birth of

Vabhruvahana; the deliverance by Arjuna of the five celestial damsels who

had been turned into alligators by the imprecation of a Brahmana, the

meeting of Madhava and Arjuna on the holy spot called Prabhasa; the

carrying away of Subhadra by Arjuna, incited thereto by her brother

Krishna, in the wonderful car moving on land and water, and through

mid-air, according to the wish of the rider; the departure for

Indraprastha, with the dower; the conception in the womb of Subhadra of

that prodigy of prowess, Abhimanyu; Yajnaseni’s giving birth to children;

then follows the pleasure-trip of Krishna and Arjuna to the banks of the

Jamuna and the acquisition by them of the discus and the celebrated bow

Gandiva; the burning of the forest of Khandava; the rescue of Maya by

Arjuna, and the escape of the serpent,–and the begetting of a son by

that best of Rishis, Mandapala, in the womb of the bird Sarngi. This

parva is divided by Vyasa into two hundred and twenty-seven chapters.

These two hundred and twenty-seven chapters contain eight thousand eight

hundred and eighty-four slokas.

The second is the extensive parva called Sabha or the assembly, full of

matter. The subjects of this parva are the establishment of the grand

hall by the Pandavas; their review of their retainers; the description of

the lokapalas by Narada well-acquainted with the celestial regions; the

preparations for the Rajasuya sacrifice; the destruction of Jarasandha;

the deliverance by Vasudeva of the princes confined in the mountain-pass;

the campaign of universal conquest by the Pandavas; the arrival of the

princes at the Rajasuya sacrifice with tribute; the destruction of

Sisupala on the occasion of the sacrifice, in connection with offering of

arghya; Bhimasena’s ridicule of Duryodhana in the assembly; Duryodhana’s

sorrow and envy at the sight of the magnificent scale on which the

arrangements had been made; the indignation of Duryodhana in consequence,

and the preparations for the game of dice; the defeat of Yudhishthira at

play by the wily Sakuni; the deliverance by Dhritarashtra of his

afflicted daughter-in-law Draupadi plunged in the sea of distress caused

by the gambling, as of a boat tossed about by the tempestuous waves. The

endeavours of Duryodhana to engage Yudhishthira again in the game; and

the exile of the defeated Yudhishthira with his brothers. These

constitute what has been called by the great Vyasa the Sabha Parva. This

parva is divided into seventh-eight sections, O best of Brahmanas, of two

thousand, five hundred and seven slokas.

Then comes the third parva called Aranyaka (relating to the forest) This

parva treats of the wending of the Pandavas to the forest and the

citizens, following the wise Yudhishthira, Yudhishthira’s adoration of

the god of day; according to the injunctions of Dhaumya, to be gifted

with the power of maintaining the dependent Brahmanas with food and

drink: the creation of food through the grace of the Sun: the expulsion

by Dhritarashtra of Vidura who always spoke for his master’s good;

Vidura’s coming to the Pandavas and his return to Dhritarashtra at the

solicitation of the latter; the wicked Duryodhana’s plottings to destroy

the forest-ranging Pandavas, being incited thereto by Karna; the

appearance of Vyasa and his dissuasion of Duryodhana bent on going to the

forest; the history of Surabhi; the arrival of Maitreya; his laying down

to Dhritarashtra the course of action; and his curse on Duryodhana;

Bhima’s slaying of Kirmira in battle; the coming of the Panchalas and the

princes of the Vrishni race to Yudhishthira on hearing of his defeat at

the unfair gambling by Sakuni; Dhananjaya’s allaying the wrath of

Krishna; Draupadi’s lamentations before Madhava; Krishna’s cheering her;

the fall of Sauva also has been here described by the Rishi; also

Krishna’s bringing Subhadra with her son to Dwaraka; and Dhrishtadyumna’s

bringing the son of Draupadi to Panchala; the entrance of the sons of

Pandu into the romantic Dwaita wood; conversation of Bhima, Yudhishthira,

and Draupadi; the coming of Vyasa to the Pandavas and his endowing

Yudhishthira with the power of Pratismriti; then, after the departure of

Vyasa, the removal of the Pandavas to the forest of Kamyaka; the

wanderings of Arjuna of immeasurable prowess in search of weapons; his

battle with Mahadeva in the guise of a hunter; his meeting with the

lokapalas and receipt of weapons from them; his journey to the regions of

Indra for arms and the consequent anxiety of Dhritarashtra; the wailings

and lamentations of Yudhishthira on the occasion of his meeting with the

worshipful great sage Brihadaswa. Here occurs the holy and highly

pathetic story of Nala illustrating the patience of Damayanti and the

character of Nala. Then the acquirement by Yudhishthira of the mysteries

of dice from the same great sage; then the arrival of the Rishi Lomasa

from the heavens to where the Pandavas were, and the receipt by these

high-souled dwellers in the woods of the intelligence brought by the

Rishi of their brother Arjuna staving in the heavens; then the pilgrimage

of the Pandavas to various sacred spots in accordance with the message of

Arjuna, and their attainment of great merit and virtue consequent on such

pilgrimage; then the pilgrimage of the great sage Narada to the shrine

Putasta; also the pilgrimage of the high-souled Pandavas. Here is the

deprivation of Karna of his ear-rings by Indra. Here also is recited the

sacrificial magnificence of Gaya; then the story of Agastya in which the

Rishi ate up the Asura Vatapi, and his connubial connection with

Lopamudra from the desire of offspring. Then the story of Rishyasringa

who adopted Brahmacharya mode of life from his very boyhood; then the

history of Rama of great prowess, the son of Jamadagni, in which has been

narrated the death of Kartavirya and the Haihayas; then the meeting

between the Pandavas and the Vrishnis in the sacred spot called Prabhasa;

then the story of Su-kanya in which Chyavana, the son of Bhrigu, made the

twins, Aswinis, drink, at the sacrifice of king Saryati, the Soma juice

(from which they had been excluded by the other gods), and in which

besides is shown how Chyavana himself acquired perpetual youth (as a boon

from the grateful Aswinis). Then hath been described the history of king

Mandhata; then the history of prince Jantu; and how king Somaka by

offering up his only son (Jantu) in sacrifice obtained a hundred others;

then the excellent history of the hawk and the pigeon; then the

examination of king Sivi by Indra, Agni, and Dharma; then the story of

Ashtavakra, in which occurs the disputation, at the sacrifice of Janaka,

between that Rishi and the first of logicians, Vandi, the son of Varuna;

the defeat of Vandi by the great Ashtavakra, and the release by the Rishi

of his father from the depths of the ocean. Then the story of Yavakrita,

and then that of the great Raivya: then the departure (of the Pandavas)

for Gandhamadana and their abode in the asylum called Narayana; then

Bhimasena’s journey to Gandhamadana at the request of Draupadi (in search

of the sweet-scented flower). Bhima’s meeting on his way, in a grove of

bananas, with Hanuman, the son of Pavana of great prowess; Bhima’s bath

in the tank and the destruction of the flowers therein for obtaining the

sweet-scented flower (he was in search of); his consequent battle with

the mighty Rakshasas and the Yakshas of great prowess including Hanuman;

the destruction of the Asura Jata by Bhima; the meeting (of the Pandavas)

with the royal sage Vrishaparva; their departure for the asylum of

Arshtishena and abode therein: the incitement of Bhima (to acts of

vengeance) by Draupadi. Then is narrated the ascent on the hills of

Kailasa by Bhimasena, his terrific battle with the mighty Yakshas headed

by Hanuman; then the meeting of the Pandavas with Vaisravana (Kuvera),

and the meeting with Arjuna after he had obtained for the purpose of

Yudhishthira many celestial weapons; then Arjuna’s terrible encounter

with the Nivatakavachas dwelling in Hiranyaparva, and also with the

Paulomas, and the Kalakeyas; their destruction at the hands of Arjuna;

the commencement of the display of the celestial weapons by Arjuna before

Yudhishthira, the prevention of the same by Narada; the descent of the

Pandavas from Gandhamadana; the seizure of Bhima in the forest by a

mighty serpent huge as the mountain; his release from the coils of the

snake, upon Yudhishthira’s answering certain questions; the return of the

Pandavas to the Kamyaka woods. Here is described the reappearance of

Vasudeva to see the mighty sons of Pandu; the arrival of Markandeya, and

various recitals, the history of Prithu the son of Vena recited by the

great Rishi; the stories of Saraswati and the Rishi Tarkhya. After these,

is the story of Matsya; other old stories recited by Markandeya; the

stories of Indradyumna and Dhundhumara; then the history of the chaste

wife; the history of Angira, the meeting and conversation of Draupadi and

Satyabhama; the return of the Pandavas to the forest of Dwaita; then the

procession to see the calves and the captivity of Duryodhana; and when

the wretch was being carried off, his rescue by Arjuna; here is

Yudhishthira’s dream of the deer; then the re-entry of the Pandavas into

the Kamyaka forest, here also is the long story of Vrihidraunika. Here

also is recited the story of Durvasa; then the abduction by Jayadratha of

Draupadi from the asylum; the pursuit of the ravisher by Bhima swift as

the air and the ill-shaving of Jayadratha’s crown at Bhima’s hand. Here

is the long history of Rama in which is shown how Rama by his prowess

slew Ravana in battle. Here also is narrated the story of Savitri; then

Karna’s deprivation by Indra of his ear-rings; then the presentation to

Karna by the gratified Indra of a Sakti (missile weapon) which had the

virtue of killing only one person against whom it might be hurled; then

the story called Aranya in which Dharma (the god of justice) gave advice

to his son (Yudhishthira); in which, besides is recited how the Pandavas

after having obtained a boon went towards the west. These are all

included in the third Parva called Aranyaka, consisting of two hundred

and sixty-nine sections. The number of slokas is eleven thousand, six

hundred and sixty-four.

“The extensive Parva that comes next is called Virata. The Pandavas

arriving at the dominions of Virata saw in a cemetery on the outskirts of

the city a large shami tree whereon they kept their weapons. Here hath

been recited their entry into the city and their stay there in disguise.

Then the slaying by Bhima of the wicked Kichaka who, senseless with lust,

had sought Draupadi; the appointment by prince Duryodhana of clever

spies; and their despatch to all sides for tracing the Pandavas; the

failure of these to discover the mighty sons of Pandu; the first seizure

of Virata’s kine by the Trigartas and the terrific battle that ensued;

the capture of Virata by the enemy and his rescue by Bhimasena; the

release also of the kine by the Pandava (Bhima); the seizure of Virata’s

kine again by the Kurus; the defeat in battle of all the Kurus by the

single-handed Arjuna; the release of the king’s kine; the bestowal by

Virata of his daughter Uttara for Arjuna’s acceptance on behalf of his

son by Subhadra–Abhimanyu–the destroyer of foes. These are the contents

of the extensive fourth Parva–the Virata. The great Rishi Vyasa has

composed in these sixty-seven sections. The number of slokas is two

thousand and fifty.

“Listen then to (the contents of) the fifth Parva which must be known as

Udyoga. While the Pandavas, desirous of victory, were residing in the

place called Upaplavya, Duryodhana and Arjuna both went at the same time

to Vasudeva, and said, “You should render us assistance in this war.” The

high-souled Krishna, upon these words being uttered, replied, “O ye first

of men, a counsellor in myself who will not fight and one Akshauhini of

troops, which of these shall I give to which of you?” Blind to his own

interests, the foolish Duryodhana asked for the troops; while Arjuna

solicited Krishna as an unfighting counsellor. Then is described how,

when the king of Madra was coming for the assistance of the Pandavas,

Duryodhana, having deceived him on the way by presents and hospitality,

induced him to grant a boon and then solicited his assistance in battle;

how Salya, having passed his word to Duryodhana, went to the Pandavas and

consoled them by reciting the history of Indra’s victory (over Vritra).

Then comes the despatch by the Pandavas of their Purohita (priest) to the

Kauravas. Then is described how king Dhritarashtra of great prowess,

having heard the word of the purohita of the Pandavas and the story of

Indra’s victory decided upon sending his purohita and ultimately

despatched Sanjaya as envoy to the Pandavas from desire for peace. Here

hath been described the sleeplessness of Dhritarashtra from anxiety upon

hearing all about the Pandavas and their friends, Vasudeva and others. It

was on this occasion that Vidura addressed to the wise king Dhritarashtra

various counsels that were full of wisdom. It was here also that

Sanat-sujata recited to the anxious and sorrowing monarch the excellent

truths of spiritual philosophy. On the next morning Sanjaya spoke, in the

court of the King, of the identity of Vasudeva and Arjuna. It was then

that the illustrious Krishna, moved by kindness and a desire for peace,

went himself to the Kaurava capital, Hastinapura, for bringing about

peace. Then comes the rejection by prince Duryodhana of the embassy of

Krishna who had come to solicit peace for the benefit of both parties.

Here hath been recited the story of Damvodvava; then the story of the

high-souled Matuli’s search for a husband for his daughter: then the

history of the great sage Galava; then the story of the training and

discipline of the son of Bidula. Then the exhibition by Krishna, before

the assembled Rajas, of his Yoga powers upon learning the evil counsels

of Duryodhana and Karna; then Krishna’s taking Karna in his chariot and

his tendering to him of advice, and Karna’s rejection of the same from

pride. Then the return of Krishna, the chastiser of enemies from

Hastinapura to Upaplavya, and his narration to the Pandavas of all that

had happened. It was then that those oppressors of foes, the Pandavas,

having heard all and consulted properly with each other, made every

preparation for war. Then comes the march from Hastinapura, for battle,

of foot-soldiers, horses, charioteers and elephants. Then the tale of the

troops by both parties. Then the despatch by prince Duryodhana of Uluka

as envoy to the Pandavas on the day previous to the battle. Then the tale

of charioteers of different classes. Then the story of Amba. These all

have been described in the fifth Parva called Udyoga of the Bharata,

abounding with incidents appertaining to war and peace. O ye ascetics,

the great Vyasa hath composed one hundred and eighty-six sections in this

Parva. The number of slokas also composed in this by the great Rishi is

six thousand, six hundred and ninety-eight.

“Then is recited the Bhishma Parva replete with wonderful incidents. In

this hath been narrated by Sanjaya the formation of the region known as

Jambu. Here hath been described the great depression of Yudhishthira’s

army, and also a fierce fight for ten successive days. In this the

high-souled Vasudeva by reasons based on the philosophy of final release

drove away Arjuna’s compunction springing from the latter’s regard for

his kindred (whom he was on the eve of slaying). In this the magnanimous

Krishna, attentive to the welfare of Yudhishthira, seeing the loss

inflicted (on the Pandava army), descended swiftly from his chariot

himself and ran, with dauntless breast, his driving whip in hand, to

effect the death of Bhishma. In this, Krishna also smote with piercing

words Arjuna, the bearer of the Gandiva and the foremost in battle among

all wielders of weapons. In this, the foremost of bowmen, Arjuna, placing

Shikandin before him and piercing Bhishma with his sharpest arrows felled

him from his chariot. In this, Bhishma lay stretched on his bed of

arrows. This extensive Parva is known as the sixth in the Bharata. In

this have been composed one hundred and seventeen sections. The number of

slokas is five thousand, eight hundred and eighty-four as told by Vyasa

conversant with the Vedas.

“Then is recited the wonderful Parva called Drona full of incidents.

First comes the installation in the command of the army of the great

instructor in arms, Drona: then the vow made by that great master of

weapons of seizing the wise Yudhishthira in battle to please Duryodhana;

then the retreat of Arjuna from the field before the Sansaptakas, then

the overthrow of Bhagadatta like to a second Indra in the field, with the

elephant Supritika, by Arjuna; then the death of the hero Abhimanyu in

his teens, alone and unsupported, at the hands of many Maharathas

including Jayadratha; then after the death of Abhimanyu, the destruction

by Arjuna, in battle of seven Akshauhinis of troops and then of

Jayadratha; then the entry, by Bhima of mighty arms and by that foremost

of warriors-in-chariot, Satyaki, into the Kaurava ranks impenetrable even

to the gods, in search of Arjuna in obedience to the orders of

Yudhishthira, and the destruction of the remnant of the Sansaptakas. In

the Drona Parva, is the death of Alambusha, of Srutayus, of Jalasandha,

of Shomadatta, of Virata, of the great warrior-in-chariot Drupada, of

Ghatotkacha and others; in this Parva, Aswatthaman, excited beyond

measure at the fall of his father in battle, discharged the terrible

weapon Narayana. Then the glory of Rudra in connection with the burning

(of the three cities). Then the arrival of Vyasa and recital by him of

the glory of Krishna and Arjuna. This is the great seventh Parva of the

Bharata in which all the heroic chiefs and princes mentioned were sent to

their account. The number of sections in this is one hundred and seventy.

The number of slokas as composed in the Drona Parva by Rishi Vyasa, the

son of Parasara and the possessor of true knowledge after much

meditation, is eight thousand, nine hundred and nine.

“Then comes the most wonderful Parva called Karna. In this is narrated

the appointment of the wise king of Madra as (Karna’s) charioteer. Then

the history of the fall of the Asura Tripura. Then the application to

each other by Karna and Salya of harsh words on their setting out for the

field, then the story of the swan and the crow recited in insulting

allusion: then the death of Pandya at the hands of the high-souled

Aswatthaman; then the death of Dandasena; then that of Darda; then

Yudhishthira’s imminent risk in single combat with Karna in the presence

of all the warriors; then the mutual wrath of Yudhishthira and Arjuna;

then Krishna’s pacification of Arjuna. In this Parva, Bhima, in

fulfilment of his vow, having ripped open Dussasana’s breast in battle

drank the blood of his heart. Then Arjuna slew the great Karna in single

combat. Readers of the Bharata call this the eighth Parva. The number of

sections in this is sixty-nine and the number of slokas is four thousand,

nine hundred and sixty-tour.

“Then hath been recited the wonderful Parva called Salya. After all the

great warriors had been slain, the king of Madra became the leader of the

(Kaurava) army. The encounters one after another, of charioteers, have

been here described. Then comes the fall of the great Salya at the hands

of Yudhishthira, the Just. Here also is the death of Sakuni in battle at

the hands of Sahadeva. Upon only a small remnant of the troops remaining

alive after the immense slaughter, Duryodhana went to the lake and

creating for himself room within its waters lay stretched there for some

time. Then is narrated the receipt of this intelligence by Bhima from the

fowlers: then is narrated how, moved by the insulting speeches of the

intelligent Yudhishthira, Duryodhana ever unable to bear affronts, came

out of the waters. Then comes the encounter with clubs, between

Duryodhana and Bhima; then the arrival, at the time of such encounter, of

Balarama: then is described the sacredness of the Saraswati; then the

progress of the encounter with clubs; then the fracture of Duryodhana’s

thighs in battle by Bhima with (a terrific hurl of) his mace. These all

have been described in the wonderful ninth Parva. In this the number of

sections is fifty-nine and the number of slokas composed by the great

Vyasa–the spreader of the fame of the Kauravas–is three thousand, two

hundred and twenty.

“Then shall I describe the Parva called Sauptika of frightful incidents.

On the Pandavas having gone away, the mighty charioteers, Kritavarman,

Kripa, and the son of Drona, came to the field of battle in the evening

and there saw king Duryodhana lying on the ground, his thighs broken, and

himself covered with blood. Then the great charioteer, the son of Drona,

of terrible wrath, vowed, ‘without killing all the Panchalas including

Drishtadyumna, and the Pandavas also with all their allies, I will not

take off armour.’ Having spoken those words, the three warriors leaving

Duryodhana’s side entered the great forest just as the sun was setting.

While sitting under a large banian tree in the night, they saw an owl

killing numerous crows one after another. At the sight of this,

Aswatthaman, his heart full of rage at the thought of his father’s fate,

resolved to slay the slumbering Panchalas. And wending to the gate of the

camp, he saw there a Rakshasa of frightful visage, his head reaching to

the very heavens, guarding the entrance. And seeing that Rakshasa

obstructing all his weapons, the son of Drona speedily pacified by

worship the three-eyed Rudra. And then accompanied by Kritavarman and

Kripa he slew all the sons of Draupadi, all the Panchalas with

Dhrishtadyumna and others, together with their relatives, slumbering

unsuspectingly in the night. All perished on that fatal night except the

five Pandavas and the great warrior Satyaki. Those escaped owing to

Krishna’s counsels, then the charioteer of Dhrishtadyumna brought to the

Pandavas intelligence of the slaughter of the slumbering Panchalas by the

son of Drona. Then Draupadi distressed at the death of her sons and

brothers and father sat before her lords resolved to kill herself by

fasting. Then Bhima of terrible prowess, moved by the words of Draupadi,

resolved, to please her; and speedily taking up his mace followed in

wrath the son of his preceptor in arms. The son of Drona from fear of

Bhimasena and impelled by the fates and moved also by anger discharged a

celestial weapon saying, ‘This is for the destruction of all the

Pandavas’; then Krishna saying. ‘This shall not be’, neutralised

Aswatthaman’s speech. Then Arjuna neutralised that weapon by one of his

own. Seeing the wicked Aswatthaman’s destructive intentions, Dwaipayana

and Krishna pronounced curses on him which the latter returned. Pandava

then deprived the mighty warrior-in-chariot Aswatthaman, of the jewel on

his head, and became exceedingly glad, and, boastful of their success,

made a present of it to the sorrowing Draupadi. Thus the tenth Parva,

called Sauptika, is recited. The great Vyasa hath composed this in

eighteen sections. The number of slokas also composed (in this) by the

great reciter of sacred truths is eight hundred and seventy. In this

Parva has been put together by the great Rishi the two Parvas called

Sauptika and Aishika.

“After this hath been recited the highly pathetic Parva called Stri,

Dhritarashtra of prophetic eye, afflicted at the death of his children,

and moved by enmity towards Bhima, broke into pieces a statue of hard

iron deftly placed before him by Krishna (as substitute of Bhima). Then

Vidura, removing the distressed Dhritarashtra’s affection for worldly

things by reasons pointing to final release, consoled that wise monarch.

Then hath been described the wending of the distressed Dhritarashtra

accompanied by the ladies of his house to the field of battle of the

Kauravas. Here follow the pathetic wailings of the wives of the slain

heroes. Then the wrath of Gandhari and Dhritarashtra and their loss of

consciousness. Then the Kshatriya ladies saw those heroes,–their

unreturning sons, brothers, and fathers,–lying dead on the field. Then

the pacification by Krishna of the wrath of Gandhari distressed at the

death of her sons and grandsons. Then the cremation of the bodies of the

deceased Rajas with due rites by that monarch (Yudhishthira) of great

wisdom and the foremost also of all virtuous men. Then upon the

presentation of water of the manes of the deceased princes having

commenced, the story of Kunti’s acknowledgment of Karna as her son born

in secret. Those have all been described by the great Rishi Vyasa in the

highly pathetic eleventh Parva. Its perusal moveth every feeling heart

with sorrow and even draweth tears from the eyes. The number of sections

composed is twenty-seven. The number of slokas is seven hundred and

seventy-five.

“Twelfth in number cometh the Santi Parva, which increaseth the

understanding and in which is related the despondency of Yudhishthira on

his having slain his fathers, brothers, sons, maternal uncles and

matrimonial relations. In this Parva is described how from his bed of

arrows Bhishma expounded various systems of duties worth the study of

kings desirous of knowledge; this Parva expounded the duties relative to

emergencies, with full indications of time and reasons. By understanding

these, a person attaineth to consummate knowledge. The mysteries also of

final emancipation have been expatiated upon. This is the twelfth Parva

the favourite of the wise. It consists of three hundred and thirty-nine

sections, and contains fourteen thousand, seven hundred and thirty-two

slokas.

“Next in order is the excellent Anusasana Parva. In it is described how

Yudhishthira, the king of the Kurus, was reconciled to himself on hearing

the exposition of duties by Bhishma, the son of Bhagirathi. This Parva

treats of rules in detail and of Dharma and Artha; then the rules of

charity and its merits; then the qualifications of donees, and the

supreme ride-regarding gifts. This Parva also describes the ceremonials

of individual duty, the rules of conduct and the matchless merit of

truth. This Parva showeth the great merit of Brahmanas and kine, and

unraveleth the mysteries of duties in relation to time and place. These

are embodied in the excellent Parva called Anusasana of varied incidents.

In this hath been described the ascension of Bhishma to Heaven. This is

the thirteenth Parva which hath laid down accurately the various duties

of men. The number of sections, in this is one hundred and forty-six. The

number of slokas is eight thousand.

“Then comes the fourteenth Parva Aswamedhika. In this is the excellent

story of Samvarta and Marutta. Then is described the discovery (by the

Pandavas) of golden treasuries; and then the birth of Parikshit who was

revived by Krishna after having been burnt by the (celestial) weapon of

Aswatthaman. The battles of Arjuna the son of Pandu, while following the

sacrificial horse let loose, with various princes who in wrath seized it.

Then is shown the great risk of Arjuna in his encounter with Vabhruvahana

the son of Chitrangada (by Arjuna) the appointed daughter of the chief of

Manipura. Then the story of the mongoose during the performance of the

horse-sacrifice. This is the most wonderful Parva called Aswamedhika. The

number of sections is one hundred and three. The number of slokas

composed (in this) by Vyasa of true knowledge is three thousand, three

hundred and twenty.

“Then comes the fifteenth Parva called Asramvasika. In this,

Dhritarashtra, abdicating the kingdom, and accompanied by Gandhari and

Vidura went to the woods. Seeing this, the virtuous Pritha also, ever

engaged in cherishing her superiors, leaving the court of her sons,

followed the old couple. In this is described the wonderful meeting

through the kindness of Vyasa of the king (Dhritarashtra) with the

spirits of his slain children, grand-children, and other princes,

returned from the other world. Then the monarch abandoning his sorrows

acquired with his wife the highest fruit of his meritorious actions. In

this Parva, Vidura after having leaned on virtue all his life attaineth

to the most meritorious state.

“The learned son of Gavalgana, Sanjaya, also of passions under full

control, and the foremost of ministers, attained, in the Parva, to the

blessed state. In this, Yudhishthira the just met Narada and heard from

him about the extinction of the race of Vrishnis. This is the very

wonderful Parva called Asramvasika. The number of sections in this is

forty-two, and the number of slokas composed by Vyasa cognisant of truth

is one thousand five hundred and six.

“After this, you know, comes the Maushala of painful incidents. In this,

those lion-hearted heroes (of the race of Vrishni) with the scars of many

a field on their bodies, oppressed with the curse of a Brahmana, while

deprived of reason from drink, impelled by the fates, slew each other on

the shores of the Salt Sea with the Eraka grass which (in their hands)

became (invested with the fatal attributes of the) thunder. In this, both

Balarama and Kesava (Krishna) after causing the extermination of their

race, their hour having come, themselves did not rise superior to the

sway of all-destroying Time. In this, Arjuna the foremost among men,

going to Dwaravati (Dwaraka) and seeing the city destitute of the

Vrishnis was much affected and became exceedingly sorry. Then after the

funeral of his maternal uncle Vasudeva the foremost among the Yadus

(Vrishnis), he saw the heroes of the Yadu race lying stretched in death

on the spot where they had been drinking. He then caused the cremation of

the bodies of the illustrious Krishna and Balarama and of the principal

members of the Vrishni race. Then as he was journeying from Dwaraka with

the women and children, the old and the decrepit–the remnants of the

Yadu race–he was met on the way by a heavy calamity. He witnessed also

the disgrace of his bow Gandiva and the unpropitiousness of his celestial

weapons. Seeing all this, Arjuna became despondent and, pursuant to

Vyasa’s advice, went to Yudhishthira and solicited permission to adopt

the Sannyasa mode of life. This is the sixteenth Parva called Maushala

The number of sections is eight and the number of slokas composed by

Vyasa cognisant of truth is three hundred and twenty.

“The next is Mahaprasthanika, the seventeenth Parva.

“In this, those foremost among men the Pandavas abdicating their kingdom

went with Draupadi on their great journey called Mahaprasthana. In this,

they came across Agni, having arrived on the shore of the sea of red

waters. In this, asked by Agni himself, Arjuna worshipped him duly,

returned to him the excellent celestial bow called Gandiva. In this,

leaving his brothers who dropped one after another and Draupadi also,

Yudhishthira went on his journey without once looking back on them. This

the seventeenth Parva is called Mahaprasthanika. The number of sections

in this is three. The number of slokas also composed by Vyasa cognisant

of truth is three hundred and twenty.

“The Parva that comes after this, you must know, is the extraordinary one

called Svarga of celestial incidents. Then seeing the celestial car come

to take him, Yudhishthira moved by kindness towards the dog that

accompanied him, refused to ascend it without his companion. Observing

the illustrious Yudhishthira’s steady adherence to virtue, Dharma (the

god of justice) abandoning his canine form showed himself to the king.

Then Yudhishthira ascending to heaven felt much pain. The celestial

messenger showed him hell by an act of deception. Then Yudhishthira, the

soul of justice, heard the heart-rending lamentations of his brothers

abiding in that region under the discipline of Yama. Then Dharma and

Indra showed Yudhishthira the region appointed for sinners. Then

Yudhishthira, after leaving the human body by a plunge in the celestial

Ganges, attained to that region which his acts merited, and began to live

in joy respected by Indra and all other gods. This is the eighteenth

Parva as narrated by the illustrious Vyasa. The number of slokas

composed, O ascetics, by the great Rishi in this is two hundred and nine.

“The above are the contents of the Eighteen Parvas. In the appendix

(Khita) are the Harivansa and the Vavishya. The number of slokas

contained in the Harivansa is twelve thousand.”

These are the contents of the section called Parva-sangraha. Sauti

continued, “Eighteen Akshauhinis of troops came together for battle. The

encounter that ensued was terrible and lasted for eighteen days. He who

knows the four Vedas with all the Angas and Upanishads, but does not know

this history (Bharata), cannot be regarded as wise. Vyasa of immeasurable

intelligence, has spoken of the Mahabharata as a treatise on Artha, on

Dharma, and on Kama. Those who have listened to his history can never

bear to listen to others, as, indeed, they who have listened to the sweet

voice of the male Kokila can never hear the dissonance of the crow’s

cawing. As the formation of the three worlds proceedeth from the five

elements, so do the inspirations of all poets proceed from this excellent

composition. O ye Brahman, as the four kinds of creatures (viviparous,

oviparous, born of hot moisture and vegetables) are dependent on space

for their existence, so the Puranas depend upon this history. As all the

senses depend for their exercise upon the various modifications of the

mind, so do all acts (ceremonials) and moral qualities depend upon this

treatise. There is not a story current in the world but doth depend on

this history, even as body upon the food it taketh. All poets cherish the

Bharata even as servants desirous of preferment always attend upon

masters of good lineage. Even as the blessed domestic Asrama can never be

surpassed by the three other Asramas (modes of life) so no poets can

surpass this poem.

“Ye ascetics, shake off all inaction. Let your hearts be fixed on virtue,

for virtue is the one only friend of him that has gone to the other

world. Even the most intelligent by cherishing wealth and wives can never

make these their own, nor are these possessions lasting. The Bharata

uttered by the lips of Dwaipayana is without a parallel; it is virtue

itself and sacred. It destroyeth sin and produceth good. He that

listeneth to it while it is being recited hath no need of a bath in the

sacred waters of Pushkara. A Brahmana, whatever sins he may commit during

the day through his senses, is freed from them all by reading the Bharata

in the evening. Whatever sins he may commit also in the night by deeds,

words, or mind, he is freed from them all by reading Bharata in the first

twilight (morning). He that giveth a hundred kine with horns mounted with

gold to a Brahmana well-posted up in the Vedas and all branches of

learning, and he that daily listeneth to the sacred narrations of the

Bharata, acquireth equal merit. As the wide ocean is easily passable by

men having ships, so is this extensive history of great excellence and

deep import with the help of this chapter called Parva sangraha.”

Thus endeth the section called Parva-sangraha of the Adi Parva of the

blessed Mahabharata.

SECTION III

(Paushya Parva)

Sauti said, “Janamejaya, the son of Parikshit, was, with his brothers,

attending his long sacrifice on the plains of Kurukshetra. His brothers

were three, Srutasena, Ugrasena, and Bhimasena. And as they were sitting

at the sacrifice, there arrived at the spot an offspring of Sarama (the

celestial bitch). And belaboured by the brothers of Janamejaya, he ran

away to his mother, crying in pain. And his mother seeing him crying

exceedingly asked him, ‘Why criest thou so? Who hath beaten thee? And

being thus questioned, he said unto his mother, ‘I have been belaboured

by the brothers of Janamejaya.’ And his mother replied, ‘Thou hast

committed some fault for which hast thou been beaten!’ He answered, ‘I

have not committed any fault. I have not touched the sacrificial butter

with my tongue, nor have I even cast a look upon it.’ His mother Sarama

hearing this and much distressed at the affliction of her son went to the

place where Janamejaya with his brothers was at his long-extending

sacrifice. And she addressed Janamejaya in anger, saying, ‘This my son

hath committed no fault: he hath not looked upon your sacrificial butter,

nor hath he touched it with his tongue. Wherefore hath he been beaten?’

They said not a word in reply; whereupon she said, ‘As ye have beaten my

son who hath committed no fault, therefore shall evil come upon ye, when

ye least expect it.’

“Janamejaya, thus addressed by the celestial bitch, Sarama, became

exceedingly alarmed and dejected. And after the sacrifice was concluded

returned to Hastinapura, and began to take great pains in searching for a

Purohita who could by procuring absolution for his sin, neutralise the

effect of the curse.

“One day Janamejaya, the son of Parikshit, while a-hunting, observed in a

particular part of his dominions a hermitage where dwelt a certain Rishi

of fame, Srutasrava. He had a son named Somasrava deeply engaged in

ascetic devotions. Being desirous of appointing that son of the Rishi as

his Purohita, Janamejaya, the son of Parikshit, saluted the Rishi and

addressed him, saying, ‘O possessor of the six attributes, let this thy

son be my purohita.’ The Rishi thus addressed, answered Janamejaya, ‘O

Janamejaya, this my son, deep in ascetic devotions, accomplished in the

study of the Vedas, and endued with the full force of my asceticism, is

born of (the womb of) a she-snake that had drunk my vital fluid. He is

able to absolve thee from all offences save those committed against

Mahadeva. But he hath one particular habit, viz. he would grant to any

Brahmana whatever might be begged of him. If thou canst put up with it,

then thou take him.’ Janamejaya thus addressed replied to the Rishi, ‘It

shall be even so.’ And accepting him for his Purohita, he returned to his

capital; and he then addressed his brothers saying, ‘This is the person I

have chosen for my spiritual master; whatsoever he may say must be

complied with by you without examination.’ And his brothers did as they

were directed. And giving these directions to his brothers, the king

marched towards Takshyashila and brought that country under his authority.

“About this time there was a Rishi, Ayoda-Dhaumya by name. And

Ayoda-Dhaumya had three disciples, Upamanyu, Aruni, and Veda. And the

Rishi bade one of these disciples, Aruni of Panchala, to go and stop up a

breach in the water-course of a certain field. And Aruni of Panchala,

thus ordered by his preceptor, repaired to the spot. And having gone

there he saw that he could not stop up the breach in the water-course by

ordinary means. And he was distressed because he could not do his

preceptor’s bidding. But at length he saw a way and said, ‘Well, I will

do it in this way.’ He then went down into the breach and lay down

himself there. And the water was thus confined.

“And some time after, the preceptor Ayoda-Dhaumya asked his other

disciples where Aruni of Panchala was. And they answered, ‘Sir, he hath

been sent by yourself saying, ‘Go, stop up the breach in the water-course

of the field,’ Thus reminded, Dhaumya, addressing his pupils, said, ‘Then

let us all go to the place where he is.’

“And having arrived there, he shouted, ‘Ho Aruni of Panchala! Where art

thou? Come hither, my child.’ And Aruni hearing the voice of his

preceptor speedily came out of the water-course and stood before his

preceptor. And addressing the latter, Aruni said, ‘Here I am in the

breach of the water-course. Not having been able to devise any other

means, I entered myself for the purpose of preventing the water running

out. It is only upon hearing thy voice that, having left it and allowed

the waters to escape, I have stood before thee. I salute thee, Master;

tell me what I have to do.’

“The preceptor, thus addressed, replied, ‘Because in getting up from the

ditch thou hast opened the water-course, thenceforth shalt thou be called

Uddalaka as a mark of thy preceptor’s favour. And because my words have

been obeyed by thee, thou shalt obtain good fortune. And all the Vedas

shall shine in thee and all the Dharmasastras also.’ And Aruni, thus

addressed by his preceptor, went to the country after his heart.

“The name of another of Ayoda-Dhaumya’s disciples was Upamanyu. And

Dhaumya appointed him saying, ‘Go, my child, Upamanyu, look after the

kine.’ And according to his preceptor’s orders, he went to tend the kine.

And having watched them all day, he returned in the evening to his

preceptor’s house and standing before him he saluted him respectfully.

And his preceptor seeing him in good condition of body asked him,

‘Upamanyu, my child, upon what dost thou support thyself? Thou art

exceedingly plump.’ And he answered, ‘Sir, I support myself by begging’.

And his preceptor said, ‘What is obtained in alms should not be used by

thee without offering it to me.’ And Upamanyu, thus told, went away. And

having obtained alms, he offered the same to his preceptor. And his

preceptor took from him even the whole. And Upamanyu, thus treated, went

to attend the cattle. And having watched them all day, he returned in the

evening to his preceptor’s abode. And he stood before his preceptor and

saluted him with respect. And his preceptor perceiving that he still

continued to be of good condition of body said unto him, ‘Upamanyu, my

child, I take from thee even the whole of what thou obtainest in alms,

without leaving anything for thee. How then dost thou, at present,

contrive to support thyself?’ And Upamanyu said unto his preceptor, ‘Sir,

having made over to you all that I obtain in alms, I go a-begging a

second time for supporting myself.’ And his preceptor then replied, ‘This

is not the way in which thou shouldst obey the preceptor. By this thou

art diminishing the support of others that live by begging. Truly having

supported thyself so, thou hast proved thyself covetous.’ And Upamanyu,

having signified his assent to all that his preceptor said, went away to

attend the cattle. And having watched them all day, he returned to his

preceptor’s house. And he stood before his preceptor and saluted him

respectfully. And his preceptor observing that he was still fat, said

again unto him, ‘Upamanyu, my child, I take from thee all thou obtainest

in alms and thou dost not go a-begging a second time, and yet art thou in

healthy condition. How dost thou support thyself?’ And Upamanyu, thus

questioned, answered, ‘Sir, I now live upon the milk of these cows.’ And

his preceptor thereupon told him, ‘It is not lawful for thee to

appropriate the milk without having first obtained my consent.’ And

Upamanyu having assented to the justice of these observations, went away

to tend the kine. And when he returned to his preceptor’s abode, he stood

before him and saluted him as usual. And his preceptor seeing that he was

still fat, said, ‘Upamanyu, my child, thou eatest no longer of alms, nor

dost thou go a-begging a second time, not even drinkest of the milk; yet

art thou fat. By what means dost thou contrive to live now? And Upamanyu

replied, ‘Sir, I now sip the froth that these calves throw out, while

sucking their mother’s teats.’ And the preceptor said, ‘These generous

calves, I suppose, out of compassion for thee, throw out large quantities

of froth. Wouldst thou stand in the way of their full meals by acting as

thou hast done? Know that it is unlawful for thee to drink the froth.’

And Upamanyu, having signified his assent to this, went as before to tend

the cows. And restrained by his preceptor, he feedeth not on alms, nor

hath he anything else to eat; he drinketh not of the milk, nor tasteth he

of the froth!

“And Upamanyu, one day, oppressed by hunger, when in a forest, ate of the

leaves of the Arka (Asclepias gigantea). And his eyes being affected by

the pungent, acrimonious, crude, and saline properties of the leaves

which he had eaten, he became blind. And as he was crawling about, he

fell into a pit. And upon his not returning that day when the sun was

sinking down behind the summit of the western mountains, the preceptor

observed to his disciples that Upamanyu was not yet come. And they told

him that he had gone out with the cattle.

“The preceptor then said, ‘Upamanyu being restrained by me from the use

of everything, is, of course, and therefore, doth not come home until it

be late. Let us then go in search of him.’ And having said this, he went

with his disciples into the forest and began to shout, saying, ‘Ho

Upamanyu, where art thou?’ And Upamanyu hearing his preceptor’s voice

answered in a loud tone, ‘Here I am at the bottom of a well.’ And his

preceptor asked him how he happened to be there. And Upamanyu replied,

‘Having eaten of the leaves of the Arka plant I became blind, and so have

I fallen into this well.’ And his preceptor thereupon told him, ‘Glorify

the twin Aswins, the joint physicians of the gods, and they will restore

thee thy sight.’ And Upamanyu thus directed by his preceptor began to

glorify the twin Aswins, in the following words of the Rig Veda:

‘Ye have existed before the creation! Ye first-born beings, ye are

displayed in this wondrous universe of five elements! I desire to obtain

you by the help of the knowledge derived from hearing, and of meditation,

for ye are Infinite! Ye are the course itself of Nature and intelligent

Soul that pervades that course! Ye are birds of beauteous feathers

perched on the body that is like to a tree! Ye are without the three

common attributes of every soul! Ye are incomparable! Ye, through your

spirit in every created thing, pervade the Universe!

“Ye are golden Eagles! Ye are the essence into which all things

disappear! Ye are free from error and know no deterioration! Ye are of

beauteous beaks that would not unjustly strike and are victorious in

every encounter! Ye certainly prevail over time! Having created the sun,

ye weave the wondrous cloth of the year by means of the white thread of

the day and the black thread of the night! And with the cloth so woven,

ye have established two courses of action appertaining respectively to

the Devas and the Pitris. The bird of Life seized by Time which

represents the strength of the Infinite soul, ye set free for delivering

her unto great happiness! They that are in deep ignorance, as long as

they are under delusions of their senses, suppose you, who are

independent of the attributes of matter, to be gifted with form! Three

hundred and sixty cows represented by three hundred and sixty days

produce one calf between them which is the year. That calf is the creator

and destroyer of all. Seekers of truth following different routes, draw

the milk of true knowledge with its help. Ye Aswins, ye are the creators

of that calf!

“The year is but the nave of a wheel to which is attached seven hundred

and twenty spokes representing as many days and nights. The circumference

of this wheel represented by twelve months is without end. This wheel is

full of delusions and knows no deterioration. It affects all creatures

whether to this or of the other worlds. Ye Aswins, this wheel of time is

set in motion by you!

“The wheel of Time as represented by the year has a nave represented by

the six seasons. The number of spokes attached to that nave is twelve as

represented by the twelve signs of the Zodiac. This wheel of Time

manifests the fruits of the acts of all things. The presiding deities of

Time abide in that wheel. Subject as I am to its distressful influence,

ye Aswins, liberate me from that wheel of Time. Ye Aswins, ye are this

universe of five elements! Ye are the objects that are enjoyed in this

and in the other world! Make me independent of the five elements! And

though ye are the Supreme Brahma, yet ye move over the Earth in forms

enjoying the delights that the senses afford.

“In the beginning, ye created the ten points of the universe! Then have

ye placed the Sun and the Sky above! The Rishis, according to the course

of the same Sun, perform their sacrifices, and the gods and men,

according to what hath been appointed for them, perform their sacrifices

also enjoying the fruits of those acts!

“Mixing the three colours, ye have produced all the objects of sight! It

is from these objects that the Universe hath sprung whereon the gods and

men are engaged in their respective occupations, and, indeed, all

creatures endued with life!

“Ye Aswins, I adore you! I also adore the Sky which is your handiwork! Ye

are the ordainers of the fruits of all acts from which even the gods are

not free! Ye are yourselves free from the fruits of your acts!

“Ye are the parents of all! As males and females it is ye that swallow

the food which subsequently develops into the life creating fluid and

blood! The new-born infant sucks the teat of its mother. Indeed it is ye

that take the shape of the infant! Ye Aswins, grant me my sight to

protect my life!”

The twin Aswins, thus invoked, appeared and said, ‘We are satisfied. Here

is a cake for thee. Take and eat it.’ And Upamanyu thus addressed,

replied, ‘Your words, O Aswins, have never proved untrue. But without

first offering this cake to my preceptor I dare not take it.’ And the

Aswins thereupon told him, ‘Formerly, thy preceptor had invoked us. We

thereupon gave him a cake like this; and he took it without offering it

to his master. Do thou do that which thy preceptor did.’ Thus addressed,

Upamanyu again said unto them, ‘O Aswins, I crave your pardon. Without

offering it to my preceptor I dare not apply this cake.’ The Aswins then

said, ‘O, we are pleased with this devotion of thine to thy preceptor.

Thy master’s teeth are of black iron. Thine shall be of gold. Thou shall

be restored to sight and shall have good fortune.’

“Thus spoken to by the Aswins he recovered his sight, and having gone to

his preceptor’s presence he saluted him and told him all. And his

preceptor was well-pleased with him and said unto him, ‘Thou shalt obtain

prosperity even as the Aswins have said. All the Vedas shall shine in

thee and all the Dharma-sastras.’ And this was the trial of Upamanyu.

“Then Veda the other disciple of Ayoda-Dhaumya was called. His preceptor

once addressed him, saying, ‘Veda, my child, tarry some time in my house

and serve thy preceptor. It shall be to thy profit.’ And Veda having

signified his assent tarried long in the family of his preceptor mindful

of serving him. Like an ox under the burthens of his master, he bore heat

and cold, hunger and thirst, at all times without a murmur. And it was

not long before his preceptor was satisfied. And as a consequence of that

satisfaction, Veda obtained good fortune and universal knowledge. And

this was the trial of Veda.

“And Veda, having received permission from his preceptor, and leaving the

latter’s residence after the completion of his studies, entered the

domestic mode of life. And while living in his own house, he got three

pupils. And he never told them to perform any work or to obey implicitly

his own behests; for having himself experienced much woe while abiding in

the family of his preceptor, he liked not to treat them with severity.

“After a certain time, Janamejaya and Paushya, both of the order of

Kshatriyas, arriving at his residence appointed the Brahman. Veda, as

their spiritual guide (Upadhyaya). And one day while about to depart upon

some business related to a sacrifice, he employed one of his disciples,

Utanka, to take charge of his household. ‘Utanka’, said he, ‘whatsoever

should have to be done in my house, let it be done by thee without

neglect.’ And having given these orders to Utanka, he went on his journey.

“So Utanka always mindful of the injunction of his preceptor took up his

abode in the latter’s house. And while Utanka was residing there, the

females of his preceptor’s house having assembled addressed him and said,

‘O Utanka, thy mistress is in that season when connubial connection might

be fruitful. The preceptor is absent; then stand thou in his place and do

the needful.’ And Utanka, thus addressed, said unto those women, ‘It is

not proper for me to do this at the bidding of women. I have not been

enjoined by my preceptor to do aught that is improper.’

“After a while, his preceptor returned from his journey. And his

preceptor having learnt all that had happened, became well-pleased and,

addressing Utanka, said, ‘Utanka, my child, what favour shall I bestow on

thee? I have been served by thee duly; therefore hath our friendship for

each other increased. I therefore grant thee leave to depart. Go thou,

and let thy wishes be accomplished!’

“Utanka, thus addressed, replied, saying, “Let me do something that you

wish, for it hath been said, ‘He who bestoweth instruction contrary to

usage and he who receiveth it contrary to usage, one of the two dieth,

and enmity springeth up between the two.–I, therefore, who have received

thy leave to depart, am desirous of bringing thee some honorarium due to

a preceptor. His master, upon hearing this, replied, ‘Utanka, my child,

wait a while.’ Sometime after, Utanka again addressed his preceptor,

saying, ‘Command me to bring that for honorarium, which you desire.’ And

his preceptor then said, ‘My dear Utanka, thou hast often told me of your

desire to bring something by way of acknowledgment for the instruction

thou hast received. Go then in and ask thy mistress what thou art to

bring. And bring thou that which she directs.’ And thus directed by his

preceptor Utanka addressed his preceptress, saying, ‘Madam, I have

obtained my master’s leave to go home, and I am desirous of bringing

something agreeable to thee as honorarium for the instruction I have

received, in order that I may not depart as his debtor. Therefore, please

command me what I am to bring.’ Thus addressed, his preceptress replied,

‘Go unto King Paushya and beg of him the pair of ear-rings worn by his

Queen, and bring them hither. The fourth day hence is a sacred day when I

wish to appear before the Brahmanas (who may dine at my house) decked

with these ear-rings. Then accomplish this, O Utanka! If thou shouldst

succeed, good fortune shall attend thee; if not, what good canst thou

expect?’

“Utanka thus commanded, took his departure. And as he was passing along

the road he saw a bull of extraordinary size and a man of uncommon

stature mounted thereon. And that man addressed Utanka and said, ‘Eat

thou of the dung of this bull.’ Utanka, however, was unwilling to comply.

The man said again, ‘O Utanka, eat of it without scrutiny. Thy master ate

of it before.’ And Utanka signified his assent and ate of the dung and

drank of the urine of that bull, and rose respectfully, and washing his

hands and mouth went to where King Paushya was.

‘On arriving at the palace, Utanka saw Paushya seated (on his throne).

And approaching him Utanka saluted the monarch by pronouncing blessings

and said, ‘I am come as a petitioner to thee.’ And King Paushya, having

returned Utanka’s salutations, said, ‘Sir, what shall I do for thee?’ And

Utanka said, ‘I came to beg of thee a pair of ear-rings as a present to

my preceptor. It behoveth thee to give me the ear-rings worn by the

Queen.’

“King Paushya replied, ‘Go, Utanka, into the female apartments where the

Queen is and demand them of her.’ And Utanka went into the women’s

apartments. But as he could not discover the Queen, he again addressed

the king, saying, ‘It is not proper that I should be treated by thee with

deceit. Thy Queen is not in the private apartments, for I could not find

her.’ The king thus addressed, considered for a while and replied,

‘Recollect, Sir, with attention whether thou art not in a state of

defilement in consequence of contact with the impurities of a repast. My

Queen is a chaste wife and cannot be seen by any one who is impure owing

to contact with the leavings of a repast. Nor doth she herself appear in

sight of any one who is defiled.’

“Utanka, thus informed, reflected for a while and then said, ‘Yes, it

must be so. Having been in a hurry I performed my ablutions (after meal)

in a standing posture.’ King Paushya then said, ‘Here is a transgression,

purification is not properly effected by one in a standing posture, not

by one while he is going along.’ And Utanka having agreed to this, sat

down with his face towards the east, and washed his face, hands, and feet

thoroughly. And he then, without a noise, sipped thrice of water free

from scum and froth, and not warm, and just sufficient to reach his

stomach and wiped his face twice. And he then touched with water the

apertures of his organs (eyes, ears, etc.). And having done all this, he

once more entered the apartments of the women. And this time he saw the

Queen. And as the Queen perceived him, she saluted him respectfully and

said, ‘Welcome, Sir, command me what I have to do.’ And Utanka said unto

her, ‘It behoveth thee to give me those ear-rings of thine. I beg them as

a present for my preceptor.’ And the Queen having been highly pleased

with Utanka’s conduct and, considering that Utanka as an object of

charity could not be passed over, took off her ear-rings and gave them to

him. And she said, ‘These ear-rings are very much sought after by

Takshaka, the King of the serpents. Therefore shouldst thou carry them

with the greatest care.’

“And Utanka being told this, said unto the Queen, ‘Lady, be under no

apprehension. Takshaka, Chief of the serpents, is not able to overtake

me.’ And having said this, and taking leave of the Queen, he went back

into the presence of Paushya, and said, ‘Paushya, I am gratified.’ Then

Paushya said to Utanka, ‘A fit object of charity can only be had at long

intervals. Thou art a qualified guest, therefore do I desire to perform a

sraddha. Tarry thou a little. And Utanka replied, ‘Yes, I will tarry, and

beg that the clean provisions that are ready may be soon brought in.’ And

the king having signified his assent, entertained Utanka duly. And Utanka

seeing that the food placed before him had hair in it, and also that it

was cold, thought it unclean. And he said unto Paushya, ‘Thou givest me

food that is unclean, therefore shalt thou lose thy sight.’ And Paushya

in answer said, ‘And because dost thou impute uncleanliness to food that

is clean, therefore shalt thou be without issue.’ And Utanka thereupon

rejoined, ‘It behoveth thee not, after having offered me unclean food, to

curse me in return. Satisfy thyself by ocular proof.’

“And Paushya seeing the food alleged to be unclean satisfied himself of

its uncleanliness. And Paushya having ascertained that the food was truly

unclean, being cold and mixed with hair, prepared as it was by a woman

with unbraided hair, began to pacify the Rishi Utanka, saying, ‘Sir, the

food placed before thee is cold, and doth contain hair, having been

prepared without sufficient care. Therefore I pray thee pardon me. Let me

not become blind.’ And Utanka answered, ‘What I say must come to pass.

Having become blind, thou mayst, however, recover the sight before long.

Grant that thy curse also doth not take effect on me.’ And Paushya said

unto him, ‘I am unable to revoke my curse. For my wrath even now hath not

been appeased. But thou knowest not this. For a Brahmana’s heart is soft

as new-churned butter, even though his words bear a sharp-edged razor. It

is otherwise in respect of these with the Kshatriya. His words are soft

as new-churned butter, but his heart is like a sharp-edged tool, such

being the case, I am unable, because of the hardness of my heart, to

neutralise my curse. Then go thou thy own way.’ To this Utanka made

answer, “I showed thee the uncleanliness of the food offered to me, and I

was even now pacified by thee. Besides, saidst thou at first that because

I imputed uncleanliness to food that was clean I should be without issue.

But the food truly unclean, thy curse cannot affect me. Of this I am

sure.’ And Utanka having said this departed with the ear-rings.

“On the road Utanka perceived coming towards him a naked idle beggar

sometimes coming in view and sometimes disappearing. And Utanka put the

ear-rings on the ground and went for water. In the meantime the beggar

came quickly to the spot and taking up the ear-rings ran away. And Utanka

having completed his ablutions in water and purified himself and having

also reverently bowed down to the gods and his spiritual masters pursued

the thief with the utmost speed. And having with great difficulty

overtaken him, he seized him by force. But at that instant the person

seized, quitting the form of a beggar and assuming his real form, viz.,

that of Takshaka, speedily entered a large hole open in the ground. And

having got in, Takshaka proceeded to his own abode, the region of the

serpents.

“Now, Utanka, recollecting the words of the Queen, pursued the Serpent,

and began to dig open the hole with a stick but was unable to make much

progress. And Indra beholding his distress sent his thunder-bolt (Vajra)

to his assistance. Then the thunder-bolt entering that stick enlarged

that hole. And Utanka began to enter the hole after the thunder-bolt. And

having entered it, he beheld the region of the serpents infinite in

extent, filled with hundreds of palaces and elegant mansions with turrets

and domes and gate-ways, abounding with wonderful places for various

games and entertainments. And Utanka then glorified the serpents by the

following slokas:

“Ye Serpents, subjects of King Airavata, splendid in battle and showering

weapons in the field like lightning-charged clouds driven by the winds!

Handsome and of various forms and decked with many coloured ear-rings, ye

children of Airavata, ye shine like the Sun in the firmament! On the

northern banks of the Ganges are many habitations of serpents. There I

constantly adore the great serpents. Who except Airavata would desire to

move in the burning rays of the Sun? When Dhritarashtra (Airavata’s

brother) goes out, twenty-eight thousand and eight serpents follow him as

his attendants. Ye who move near him and ye who stay at a distance from

him, I adore all of you that have Airavata for your elder brother.

“I adore thee also, to obtain the ear-rings, O Takshaka, who formerly

dwelt in Kurukshetra and the forest of Khandava! Takshaka and Aswasena,

ye are constant companions who dwell in Kurukshetra on the banks of the

Ikshumati! I also adore the illustrious Srutasena, the younger brother of

Takshaka, who resided at the holy place called Mahadyumna with a view to

obtaining the chiefship of the serpents.

“The Brahmana Rishi Utanka having saluted the chief serpents in this

manner, obtained not, however, the ear-rings. And he thereupon became

very thoughtful. And when he saw that he obtained not the ear-rings even

though he had adored the serpents, he then looked about him and beheld

two women at a loom weaving a piece of cloth with a fine shuttle; and in

the loom were black and white threads. And he likewise saw a wheel, with

twelve spokes, turned by six boys. And he also saw a man with a handsome

horse. And he began to address them the following mantras:

“This wheel whose circumference is marked by twenty-four divisions

representing as many lunar changes is furnished with three hundred

spokes! It is set in continual motion by six boys (the seasons)! These

damsels representing universal nature are weaving without intermission a

cloth with threads black and white, and thereby ushering into existence

the manifold worlds and the beings that inhabit them! Thou wielder of the

thunder, the protector of the universe, the slayer of Vritra and Namuchi,

thou illustrious one who wearest the black cloth and displayest truth and

untruth in the universe, thou who ownest for thy carrier the horse which

was received from the depths of the ocean, and which is but another form

of Agni (the god of fire), I bow to thee, thou supreme Lord, thou Lord of

the three worlds, O Purandara!’

“Then the man with the horse said unto Utanka, ‘I am gratified by this

thy adoration. What good shall I do to thee?’ And Utanka replied, ‘Even

let the serpents be brought under my control.’ Then the man rejoined,

‘Blow into this horse.’ And Utanka blew into that horse. And from the

horse thus blown into, there issued, from every aperture of his body,

flames of fire with smoke by which the region of the Nagas was about to

be consumed. And Takshaka, surprised beyond measure and terrified by the

heat of the fire, hastily came out of his abode taking the ear-rings with

him, and said unto Utanka, ‘Pray, Sir, take back the ear-rings.’ And

Utanka took them back.

“But Utanka having recovered his ear-rings thought, ‘O, this is that

sacred day of my preceptress. I am at a distance. How can I, therefore,

show my regard for her? And when Utanka was anxious about this, the man

addressed him and said, ‘Ride this horse, Utanka, and he will in a moment

carry thee to thy master’s abode.’ And Utanka having signified his

assent, mounted the horse and presently reached his preceptor’s house.

“And his preceptress that morning after having bathed was dressing her

hair sitting, thinking of uttering a curse on Utanka if he should not

return within time. But, in the meantime, Utanka entered his preceptor’s

abode and paid his respects to his preceptress and presented her the

ear-rings. ‘Utanka’, said she, ‘thou hast arrived at the proper time at

the proper place. Welcome, my child; thou art innocent and therefore I do

not curse thee! Good fortune is even before thee. Let thy wishes be

crowned with success!’

“Then Utanka waited on his preceptor. And his preceptor said, ‘Thou art

welcome! What hath occasioned thy long absence?’ And Utanka replied to

his preceptor, ‘Sir, in the execution of this my business obstruction was

offered by Takshaka, the King of serpents. Therefore I had to go to the

region of the Nagas. There I saw two damsels sitting at a loom, weaving a

fabric with black and white threads. Pray, what is that? There likewise I

beheld a wheel with twelve spokes ceaselessly turned by six boys. What

too doth that import? Who is also the man that I saw? And what the horse

of extraordinary size likewise beheld by me? And when I was on the road I

also saw a bull with a man mounted thereon, by whom I was endearingly

accosted thus, ‘Utanka, eat of the dung of this bull, which was also

eaten by thy master?’ So I ate of the dung of that bull according to his

words. Who also is he? Therefore, enlightened by thee, I desire to hear

all about them.’

“And his preceptor thus addressed said unto him, ‘The two damsels thou

hast seen are Dhata and Vidhata; the black and white threads denote night

and day; the wheel of twelve spokes turned by the six boys signified the

year comprising six seasons. The man is Parjanya, the deity of rain, and

the horse is Agni, the god of fire. The bull that thou hast seen on the

road is Airavata, the king of elephants; the man mounted thereon is

Indra; and the dung of the bull which was eaten by thee was Amrita. It

was certainly for this (last) that thou hast not met with death in the

region of the Nagas; and Indra who is my friend having been mercifully

inclined showed thee favour. It is for this that thou returnest safe,

with the ear-rings about thee. Then, O thou amiable one, I give thee

leave to depart. Thou shall obtain good fortune.’

“And Utanka, having obtained his master’s leave, moved by anger and

resolved to avenge himself on Takshaka, proceeded towards Hastinapura.

That excellent Brahmana soon reached Hastinapura. And Utanka then waited

upon King Janamejaya who had some time before returned victorious from

Takshashila. And Utanka saw the victorious monarch surrounded on all

sides by his ministers. And he pronounced benedictions on him in a proper

form. And Utanka addressed the monarch at the proper moment in speech of

correct accent and melodious sounds, saying, ‘O thou the best of

monarchs! How is it that thou spendest thy time like a child when there

is another matter that urgently demandeth thy attention?'”

“Sauti said, ‘The monarch Janamejaya, thus addressed, saluting that

excellent Brahmana replied unto him, ‘In cherishing these my subjects I

do discharge the duties of my noble tribe. Say, what is that business to

be done by me and which hath brought thee hither.’

“The foremost of Brahmanas and distinguished beyond all for good deeds,

thus addressed by the excellent monarch of large heart, replied unto him,

‘O King! the business is thy own that demandeth thy attention; therefore

do it, please. O thou King of kings! Thy father was deprived of life by

Takshaka; therefore do thou avenge thy father’s death on that vile

serpent. The time hath come, I think, for the act of vengeance ordained

by the Fates. Go then avenge the death of thy magnanimous father who,

being bitten without cause by that vile serpent, was reduced to five

elements even like a tree stricken by thunder. The wicked Takshaka,

vilest of the serpent race, intoxicated with power committed an

unnecessary act when he bit the King, that god-like father, the protector

of the race of royal saints. Wicked in his deeds, he even caused Kasyapa

(the prince of physicians) to run back when he was coming for the relief

of thy father. It behoveth thee to burn the wicked wretch in the blazing

fire of a snake-sacrifice. O King! Give instant orders for the sacrifice.

It is thus thou canst avenge the death of thy father. And a very great

favour shall have also been shown to me. For by that malignant wretch, O

virtuous Prince, my business also was, on one occasion, obstructed, while

proceeding on account of my preceptor.”

“Sauti continued, The monarch, having heard these words, was enraged with

Takshaka. By the speech of Utanka was inflamed the prince, even as the

sacrificial fire with clarified butter. Moved by grief also, in the

presence of Utanka, the prince asked his ministers the particulars of his

father’s journey to the regions of the blessed. And when he heard all

about the circumstances of his father’s death from the lips of Utanka, he

was overcome with pain and sorrow.

And thus endeth the section called Paushya of the Adi Parva of the

blessed Mahabharata.”

SECTION IV

(Pauloma Parva)

‘UGRASRAVA SAUTI, the son of Lomaharshana, versed in the Puranas, while

present in the forest of Naimisha, at the twelve years’ sacrifice of

Saunaka, surnamed Kulapati, stood before the Rishis in attendance. Having

studied Puranas with meticulous devotion and thus being thoroughly

acquainted with them, he addressed them with joined hands thus, ‘I have

graphically described to you the history of Utanka which is one of the

causes of King Janamejaya’s Snake-sacrifice. What, revered Sirs, do ye

wish to hear now? What shall I relate to you?’ The holy men replied, ‘O

son of Lomaharshana, we shall ask thee about what we are anxious to hear

and thou wilt recount the tales one by one. Saunaka, our revered master,

is at present attending the apartment of the holy fire. He is acquainted

with those divine stories which relate to the gods and asuras. He

adequately knoweth the histories of men, serpents, and Gandharvas.

Further, O Sauti, in this sacrifice that learned Brahmana is the chief.

He is able, faithful to his vows, wise, a master of the Sastras and the

Aranyaka, a speaker of truth, a lover of peace, a mortifier of the flesh,

and an observer of the penances according to the authoritative decrees.

He is respected by us all. It behoveth us therefore to wait for him. And

when he is seated on his highly respected seat, thou wilt answer what

that best of Dwijas shall ask of thee.’

“Sauti said, ‘Be it so. And when the high-souled master hath been seated

I shall narrate, questioned by him, sacred stories on a variety of

subjects.” After a while that excellent Brahmana (Saunaka) having duly

finished all his duties, and having propitiated the gods with prayers and

the manes with oblations of water, came back to the place of sacrifice,

where with Sauti seated before was the assembly of saints of rigid vows

sitting at ease. And when Saunaka was seated in the midst of the Ritwiks

and Sadhyas, who were also in their seats, he spake as followeth.”

SECTION V

(Pauloma Parva continued)

“Saunaka said, ‘Child, thy father formerly read the whole of the Puranas,

O son of Lomaharshana, and the Bharata with Krishna-Dwaipayana. Hast thou

also made them thy study? In those ancient records are chronicled

interesting stories and the history of the first generations of the wise

men, all of which we heard being rehearsed by thy sire. In the first

place, I am desirous of hearing the history of the race of Bhrigu.

Recount thou that history, we shall attentively listen to thee.”

“Sauti answered, ‘By me hath been acquired all that was formerly studied

by the high-souled Brahmanas including Vaisampayana and repeated by them;

by me hath been acquired all that had been studied by my father. O

descendant of the Bhrigu race, attend then to so much as relateth to the

exalted race of Bhrigu, revered by Indra and all the gods, by the tribes

of Rishis and Maruts (Winds). O great Muni, I shall first properly

recount the story of this family, as told in the Puranas.

“The great and blessed saint Bhrigu, we are informed, was produced by the

self-existing Brahma from the fire at the sacrifice of Varuna. And Bhrigu

had a son, named Chyavana, whom he dearly loved. And to Chyavana was born

a virtuous son called Pramati. And Pramati had a son named Ruru by

Ghritachi (the celestial dancer). And to Ruru also by his wife

Pramadvara, was born a son, whose name was Sunaka. He was, O Saunaka, thy

great ancestor exceedingly virtuous in his ways. He was devoted to

asceticism, of great reputation, proficient in law, and eminent among

those having a knowledge of the Vedas. He was virtuous, truthful, and of

well-regulated fare.’

“Saunaka said, ‘O son of Suta, I ask thee why the illustrious son of

Bhrigu was named Chyavana. Do tell me all.’

“Sauti replied, ‘Bhrigu had a wife named Puloma whom he dearly loved. She

became big with child by Bhrigu. And one day while the virtuous continent

Puloma was in that condition, Bhrigu, great among those that are true to

their religion, leaving her at home went out to perform his ablutions. It

was then that the Rakshasa called Puloma came to Bhrigu’s abode. And

entering the Rishi’s abode, the Rakshasa saw the wife of Bhrigu,

irreproachable in everything. And seeing her he became filled with lust

and lost his senses. The beautiful Puloma entertained the Rakshasa thus

arrived, with roots and fruits of the forest. And the Rakshasa who burnt

with desire upon seeing her, became very much delighted and resolved, O

good sage, to carry her away who was so blameless in every respect.

‘My design is accomplished,’ said the Rakshasa, and so seizing that

beautiful matron he carried her away. And, indeed, she of agreeable

smiles, had been betrothed by her father himself, to him, although the

former subsequently bestowed her, according to due rites, on Bhrigu. O

thou of the Bhrigu race, this wound rankled deep in the Rakshasa’s mind

and he thought the present moment very opportune for carrying the lady

away.

“And the Rakshasa saw the apartment in which the sacrificial fire was

kept burning brightly. The Rakshasa then asked the flaming element ‘Tell

me, O Agni, whose wife this woman rightfully is. Thou art the mouth of

gods; therefore thou art bound to answer my question. This lady of

superior complexion had been first accepted by me as wife, but her father

subsequently bestowed her on the false Bhrigu. Tell me truly if this fair

one can be regarded as the wife of Bhrigu, for having found her alone, I

have resolved to take her away by force from the hermitage. My heart

burneth with rage when I reflect that Bhrigu hath got possession of this

woman of slender waist, first betrothed to me.'”

“Sauti continued, ‘In this manner the Rakshasa asked the flaming god of

fire again and again whether the lady was Bhrigu’s wife. And the god was

afraid to return an answer. ‘Thou, O god of fire,’ said he, residest

constantly within every creature, as witness of her or his merits and

demerits. O thou respected one, then answer my question truly. Has not

Bhrigu appropriated her who was chosen by me as my wife? Thou shouldst

declare truly whether, therefore, she is my wife by first choice. After

thy answer as to whether she is the wife of Bhrigu, I will bear her away

from this hermitage even in sight of thee. Therefore answer thou truly.'”

“Sauti continued, ‘The Seven flamed god having heard these words of the

Rakshasa became exceedingly distressed, being afraid of telling a

falsehood and equally afraid of Bhrigu’s curse. And the god at length

made answer in words that came out slowly. ‘This Puloma was, indeed,

first chosen by thee, O Rakshasa, but she was not taken by thee with holy

rites and invocations. But this far-famed lady was bestowed by her father

on Bhrigu as a gift from desire of blessing. She was not bestowed on thee

O Rakshasa, this lady was duly made by the Rishi Bhrigu his wife with

Vedic rites in my presence. This is she–I know her. I dare not speak a

falsehood. O thou best of the Rakshasas, falsehood is never respected in

this world.'”

SECTION VI

(Pauloma Parva continued)

“Sauti said, ‘O Brahmana, having heard these words from the god of fire,

the Rakshasa assumed the form of a boar, and seizing the lady carried her

away with the speed of the wind–even of thought. Then the child of

Bhrigu lying in her body enraged at such violence, dropped from his

mother’s womb, for which he obtained the name of Chyavana. And the

Rakshasa perceiving the infant drop from the mother’s womb, shining like

the sun, quitted his grasp of the woman, fell down and was instantly

converted into ashes. And the beautiful Pauloma, distracted with grief, O

Brahmana of the Bhrigu race, took up her offspring Chyavana, the son of

Bhrigu and walked away. And Brahma, the Grandfather of all, himself saw

her, the faultless wife of his son, weeping. And the Grandfather of all

comforted her who was attached to her son. And the drops of tears which

rolled down her eyes formed a great river. And that river began to follow

the foot-steps of the wife of the great ascetic Bhrigu. And the

Grandfather of the worlds seeing that river follow the path of his son’s

wife gave it a name himself, and he called it Vadhusara. And it passeth

by the hermitage of Chyavana. And in this manner was born Chyavana of

great ascetic power, the son of Bhrigu.

“And Bhrigu saw his child Chyavana and its beautiful mother. And the

Rishi in a rage asked her, ‘By whom wast thou made known to that Rakshasa

who resolved to carry thee away? O thou of agreeable smiles, the Rakshasa

could not know thee as my wile. Therefore tell me who it was that told

the Rakshasa so, in order that I may curse him through anger.’ And

Pauloma replied, ‘O possessor of the six attributes! I was identified to

the Rakshasa by Agni (the god of fire). And he (the Rakshasa) bore me

away, who cried like the Kurari (female osprey). And it was only by the

ardent splendour of this thy son that I was rescued, for the Rakshasa

(seeing this infant) let me go and himself falling to the ground was

turned into ashes.’

“Sauti continued, ‘Bhrigu, upon hearing this account from Pauloma, became

exceedingly enraged. And in excess of passion the Rishi cursed Agni,

saying, ‘Thou shalt eat of all things.'”

So ends the sixth section called “the curse on Agni” in the Adi Parva.

SECTION VII

(Pauloma Parva continued)

“Sauti said, ‘the god of fire enraged at the curse of Bhrigu, thus

addressed the Rishi, ‘What meaneth this rashness, O Brahmana, that thou

hast displayed towards me? What transgression can be imputed to me who

was labouring to do justice and speak the truth impartially? Being asked

I gave the true answer. A witness who when interrogated about a fact of

which he hath knowledge, representeth otherwise than it is, ruineth his

ancestors and descendants both to the seventh generation. He, too, who,

being fully cognisant of all the particulars of an affair, doth not

disclose what he knoweth, when asked, is undoubtedly stained with guilt.

I can also curse thee, but Brahmanas are held by me in high respect.

Although these are known to thee, O Brahmana, I will yet speak of them,

so please attend! Having, by ascetic power, multiplied myself, I am

present in various forms, in places of the daily homa, at sacrifices

extending for years, in places where holy rites are performed (such as

marriage, etc.), and at other sacrifices. With the butter that is poured

upon my flame according to the injunctions prescribed in the Vedas, the

Devas and the Pitris are appeased. The Devas are the waters; the Pitris

are also the waters. The Devas have with the Pitris an equal right to the

sacrifices called Darshas and Purnamasas. The Devas therefore are the

Pitris and the Pitris, the Devas. They are identical beings, worshipped

together and also separately at the changes of the moon. The Devas and

the Pitris eat what is poured upon me. I am therefore called the mouth of

the Devas and the Pitris. At the new moon the Pitris, and at the full

moon the Devas, are fed through my mouth, eating of the clarified butter

that is poured on me. Being, as I am, their mouth, how am I to be an

eater of all things (clean and unclean)?

“Then Agni, alter reflecting for a while, withdrew himself from all

places; from places of the daily homa of the Brahmanas, from all

long-extending sacrifices, from places of holy rites, and from other

ceremonies. Without their Oms and Vashats, and deprived of their Swadhas

and Swahas (sacrificial mantras during offerings), the whole body of

creatures became much distressed at the loss of their (sacrificial) fire.

The Rishis in great anxiety went to the gods and addressed them thus, ‘Ye

immaculate beings! The three regions of the universe are confounded at

the cessation of their sacrifices and ceremonies in consequence of the

loss of fire! Ordain what is to be done in tins matter, so that there may

be no loss of time.’ Then the Rishis and the gods went together to the

presence of Brahma. And they represented to him all about the curse on

Agni and the consequent interruption of all ceremonies. And they said, ‘O

thou greatly fortunate! Once Agni hath been cursed by Bhrigu for some

reason. Indeed, being the mouth of the gods and also the first who eateth

of what is offered in sacrifices, the eater also of the sacrificial

butter, how will Agni be reduced to the condition of one who eateth of

all things promiscuously?’ And the creator of the universe hearing these

words of theirs summoned Agni to his presence. And Brahma addressed Agni,

the creator of all and eternal as himself, in these gentle words, ‘Thou

art the creator of the worlds and thou art their destroyer! Thou

preserves! the three worlds and thou art the promoter of all sacrifices

and ceremonies! Therefore behave thyself so that ceremonies be not

interrupted. And, O thou eater of the sacrificial butter, why dost thou

act so foolishly, being, as thou art, the Lord of all? Thou alone art

always pure in the universe and thou art its stay! Thou shall not, with

all thy body, be reduced to the state of one who eateth of all things

promiscuously. O thou of flames, the flame that is in thy viler parts

shall alone eat of all things alike. The body of thine which eateth of

flesh (being in the stomach of all carnivorous animals) shall also eat of

all things promiscuously. And as every thing touched by the sun’s rays

becometh pure, so shall everything be pure that shall be burnt by thy

flames. Thou art, O fire, the supreme energy born of thy own power. Then,

O Lord, by that power of thine make the Rishi’s curse come true. Continue

to ‘receive thy own portion and that of the gods, offered at thy mouth.’

‘Sauti continued, ‘Then Agni replied to the Grandfather, ‘So be it.’ And

he then went away to obey the command of the supreme Lord. The gods and

the Rishis also returned in delight to the place whence they had come.

And the Rishis began to perform as before their ceremonies and

sacrifices. And the gods in heaven and all creatures of the world

rejoiced exceedingly. And Agni too rejoiced in that he was free from the

prospect of sin.

“Thus, O possessor of the six attributes, had Agni been cursed in the

days of yore by Bhrigu. And such is the ancient history connected with

the destruction of the Rakshasa, Pauloma and the birth of Chyavana.'”

Thus endeth the seventh section of the Pauloma Parva of the Adi Parva of

the blessed Mahabharata.

SECTION VIII

(Pauloma Parva continued)

“Sauti said, ‘O Brahmana, Chyavana, the son of Bhrigu, begot a son in the

womb of his wife Sukanya. And that son was the illustrious Pramati of

resplendent energy. And Pramati begot in the womb of Ghritachi a son

called Ruru. And Ruru begot on his wife Pramadvara a son called Sunaka.

And I shall relate to you in detail, O Brahmana, the entire history of

Ruru of abundant energy. O listen to it then in full!

“Formerly there was a great Rishi called Sthulakesa possessed of ascetic

power and learning and kindly disposed towards all creatures. At that

time, O Brahmana sage, Viswavasu, the King of the Gandharvas, it is said,

had intimacy with Menaka, the celestial dancing-girl. And the Apsara,

Menaka, O thou of the Bhrigu race, when her time was come, brought forth

an infant near the hermitage of Sthulakesa. And dropping the newborn

infant on the banks of the river, O Brahmana, Menaka, the Apsara, being

destitute of pity and shame, went away. And the Rishi, Sthulakesa, of

great ascetic power, discovered the infant lying forsaken in a lonely

part of the river-side. And he perceived that it was a female child,

bright as the offspring of an Immortal and blazing, as it were, with

beauty: And the great Brahmana, Sthulakesa, the first of Munis, seeing

that female child, and filled with compassion, took it up and reared it.

And the lovely child grew up in his holy habitation, the noble-minded and

blessed Rishi Sthulakesa performing in due succession all the ceremonies

beginning with that at birth as ordained by the divine law. And because

she surpassed all of her sex in goodness, beauty, and every quality, the

great Rishi called her by the name of Pramadvara. And the pious Ruru

having seen Pramadvara in the hermitage of Sthulakesa became one whose

heart was pierced by the god of love. And Ruru by means of his companions

made his father Pramati, the son of Bhrigu, acquainted with his passion.

And Pramati demanded her of the far-famed Sthulakesa for his son. And her

foster-father betrothed the virgin Pramadvara to Ruru, fixing the

nuptials for the day when the star Varga-Daivata (Purva-phalguni) would

be ascendant.

“Then within a few days of the time fixed for the nuptials, the beautiful

virgin while at play with companions of her own sex, her time having

come, impelled by fate, trod upon a serpent which she did not perceive as

it lay in coil. And the reptile, urged to execute the will of Fate,

violently darted its envenomed fangs into the body of the heedless

maiden. And stung by that serpent, she instantly dropped senseless on the

ground, her colour faded and all the graces of her person went off. And

with dishevelled hair she became a spectacle of woe to her companions and

friends. And she who was so agreeable to behold became on her death what

was too painful to look at. And the girl of slender waist lying on the

ground like one asleep–being overcome with the poison of the snake-once

more became more beautiful than in life. And her foster-father and the

other holy ascetics who were there, all saw her lying motionless upon the

ground with the splendour of a lotus. And then there came many noted

Brahmanas filled with compassion, and they sat around her. And

Swastyatreya, Mahajana, Kushika, Sankhamekhala, Uddalaka, Katha, and

Sweta of great renown, Bharadwaja, Kaunakutsya, Arshtishena, Gautama,

Pramati, and Pramati’s son Ruru, and other inhabitants of the forest,

came there. And when they saw that maiden lying dead on the ground

overcome with the poison of the reptile that had bitten her, they all

wept filled with compassion. But Ruru, mortified beyond measure, retired

from the scene.'”

So ends the eighth section of the Pauloma Parva of the Adi Parva of the

blessed Mahabharata.

SECTION IX

(Pauloma Parva continued)

“Sauti said, ‘While those illustrious Brahmanas were sitting around the

dead body of Pramadvara, Ruru, sorely afflicted, retired into a deep wood

and wept aloud. And overwhelmed with grief he indulged in much piteous

lamentation. And, remembering his beloved Pramadvara, he gave vent to his

sorrow in the following words, ‘Alas! The delicate fair one that

increaseth my affliction lieth upon the bare ground. What can be more

deplorable to us, her friends? If I have been charitable, if I have

performed acts of penance, if I have ever revered my superiors, let the

merit of these arts restore to life my beloved one! If from my birth I

have been controlling my passions, adhered to my vows, let the fair

Pramadvara rise from the ground.

“And while Ruru was indulging in these lamentations for the loss of his

bride, a messenger from heaven came to him in the forest and addressed

him thus, ‘The words thou utterest, O Ruru, in thy affliction are

certainly ineffectual. For, O pious man, one belonging to this world

whose days have run out can never come back to life. This poor child of a

Gandharva and Apsara has had her days run out! Therefore, O child, thou

shouldst not consign thy heart to sorrow. The great gods, however, have

provided beforehand a means of her restoration to life. And if thou

compliest with it, thou mayest receive back thy Pramadvara.’

“And Ruru replied, O messenger of heaven! What is that which the gods

have ordained. Tell me in full so that (on hearing) I may comply with it.

It behoveth thee to deliver me from grief!’ And the celestial messenger

said unto Ruru, ‘Resign half of thy own life to thy bride, and then, O

Ruru of the race of Bhrigu, thy Pramadvara shall rise from the ground.’

‘O best of celestial messengers, I most willingly offer a moiety of my

own life in favour of my bride. Then let my beloved one rise up once more

in her dress and lovable form.’

“Sauti said, ‘Then the king of Gandharvas (the father of Pramadvara) and

the celestial messenger, both of excellent qualities, went to the god

Dharma (the Judge of the dead) and addressed him, saying, ‘If it be thy

will, O Dharmaraja, let the amiable Pramadvara, the betrothed wife of

Ruru, now lying dead, rise up with a moiety of Ruru’s life.’ And

Dharmaraja answered, ‘O messenger of the gods, if it be thy wish, let

Pramadvara, the betrothed wife of Ruru, rise up endued with a moiety of

Ruru’s life.’

“Sauti continued, ‘And when Dharmaraja had said so, that maiden of

superior complexion, Pramadvara, endued with a moiety of Ruru’s life,

rose as from her slumber. This bestowal by Ruru of a moiety of his own

span of life to resuscitate his bride afterwards led, as it would be

seen, to a curtailment of Ruru’s life.

“And on an auspicious day their fathers gladly married them with due

rites. And the couple passed their days, devoted to each other. And Ruru

having obtained such a wife, as is hard to be found, beautiful and bright

as the filaments of the lotus, made a vow for the destruction of the

serpent-race. And whenever he saw a serpent he became filled with great

wrath and always killed it with a weapon.

“One day, O Brahmana, Ruru entered an extensive forest. And there he saw

an old serpent of the Dundubha species lying stretched on the ground. And

Ruru thereupon lifted up in anger his staff, even like to the staff of

Death, for the purpose of killing it. Then the Dundubha, addressing Ruru,

said, ‘I have done thee no harm, O Brahmana! Then wherefore wilt thou

slay me in anger?'”

So ends the ninth section of the Pauloma Parva of the Adi Parva of the

blessed Mahabharata.

SECTION X

(Pauloma Parva continued)

Sauti said, ‘And Ruru, on hearing those words, replied, ‘My wife, dear to

me as life, was bit by a snake; upon which, I took, O snake, a dreadful

vow, viz., that I would kill every snake that I might come across.

Therefore shall I smite thee and thou shalt be deprived of life.’

“And the Dundubha replied, ‘O Brahmana, the snakes that bite man are

quite different in type. It behoveth thee not to slay Dundubhas who are

serpents only in name. Subject like other serpents to the same calamities

but not sharing their good fortune, in woe the same but in joy different,

the Dundubhas should not be slain by thee under any misconception.’

“Sauti continued, ‘And the Rishi Ruru hearing these words of the serpent,

and seeing that it was bewildered with fear, albeit a snake of the

Dundubha species, killed it not. And Ruru, the possessor of the six

attributes, comforting the snake addressed it, saying, ‘Tell me fully, O

snake, who art thou thus metamorphosed?’ And the Dundubha replied, ‘O

Ruru! I was formerly a Rishi by name Sahasrapat. And it is by the curse

of a Brahmana that I have been transformed into a snake. And Ruru asked,

‘O thou best of snakes, for what wast thou cursed by a Brahmana in wrath?

And how long also will thy form continue so?'”

And so ends the tenth section of the Pauloma Parva of the Adi Parva.

next

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