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gave unto the Brahmanas (invited to that sacrifice) everything
for which each of them cherished only a wish in his heart. 8 *
That foremost of rivers gave unto each where he was, amongsfc
those that were invited to the sacrifice, houses and beds and
food of the six different kinds of taste, and diverse other kinds
of things.** The Brahmanas regarded those valuable gifts
as made to them by the king. Cheerfully they rraised

164 MAHABHAUATA, [GadSl/udcih*

the monarch and bostowed their auspicious blessings upon
him. 98 The gods and the Gandharvas were all pleased with
the profusion of articles in that sacrifice. As regards human
beings, they were filled with wonder at sight of that profusion.*'
The illustrious Valadeva, of soul subdued and restrained and
cleansed, having the palmyra on his banner, distinguished by
great righteousness, and ever giving away the most valuable
things, then proceeded to that tirtha of fierce current called
Yag ishthapavaha." 97 *

Section XLII.

Janamejaya said, — "Why is the current of (the tirtha known
by the name of ) Vac/ishthapavaha so rapid ? For what reason
did the foremost of rivers bear away Vacishtha V What,
O lord, was the cause of the dispute between Vacishtha and
Vicvva mitra ? Questioned by me, thou of great wisdom,
tell me all this ! I am never satiated with hearing thee !"'

Vaicampayana said,— "A great enemity arose between Vi-
§wamitra and Vacishtha, Bharata, due to their rivalry in
respect of ascetic austerities. 8 The high abode of Vacishtha
was in the tirtha called Sthanu on the eastern bank of the
Siraswati. On the opposite bank was the asylum of the intelli-
gent Vicwamitra. 4 There, in that tirtha, monarch, Sthanu
(Mahadeva) had practised the austerest penances. Sages still
speak of those fierce feats. 5 Having performed a sacrifice there
and worshipped the river Saraswati, Sthanu established that
tirtha there. Hence it is knov/n by the name Sthanu-tivtha,
O lord. 6 In that tirtha, the celestials had, in days of yore,
O king, installed Skanda, that slayer of the enemies of the

* JJahdddnanitycts, — certain classes of gifts are called Mahadana y
BHch as horses, elephants, houses, boats, &c. None but the most super-
rior classes of Brahraanaa could accept such gifts, The theory is that
unless the receiver be pure, he cannot but be contaminated by accept-
ance. To this day, in frdddhas of Hindoos, such valuable gifts are
not accepted by good and respectable BiShmanas but are taken by per-
-sous- who have' lot t' their 'social position.— TV

Parva.] Calya parva; 165

gods, in the supreme command of their army. 7 Unto that
tirtha of the Saraswati, the great Rishi Vicwamitra, by the
aid of his austere penances, brought Vaicishtha. Listen to
that history.* The two ascetics Vicwamitra and Vacishtha,
O Bharata, evory day challenged each other very earnestly
in respect of the superiority of their penances.* The great
Manl Vicwamitra, burning (with jealousy) at sight of the
enerery of Vacishtha, began to reflect on the matter." Though
devoted to the performance of his duties, this, however, is the
resolution, Bharata, that he formed, viz., — 'This Saraswati
shall quickly bring, by force of her current, that foremost
of ascetics, viz., Vacishtha, to my presence. After he shall
have been brought hithor, I shall, without doubt, slay that
foremost of regenerate onos.' 11 "" Having settled this, the
illustrious and great Rishi Vicwamitra, with eyes red in wrath,
thought of that foremost of rivers." Thus remembered by the
ascetic, she became exceedingly agitated. The fair lady, how-
ever, repaired to that Rishi of great energy and great wrath. 14
Pale and trembling, Saraswati, with joined hands, appeared
before that foremost of sagos." Indeed, the lady was much
afflicted with grief, even like a woman who has lost her mighty
lord. And she said unto that best of sages, — 'Tell me what is
there that I shall do for thee !'" Filled with rage, the ascetie
said unto her, — 'Bring hither Vacishtha without delay, so that
I may slay him !' Hearing these words, the river became
agitated." With joined hands the lotus-eyed lady began to
tremble exceedingly in fear, like a creeper shaken by the wind."
Beholding the great river in that plight, the ascetic said unto
her, — 'Without my scruple, bring Vacishtha into my presence !'"
Hearing these words of his, and knowing the evil he intended
to do, and acquainted also with the prowess of Vacishtha that
was unrivalled on Earth, 30 she repaired to Vacishtha and in-
formed him of what the intelligent Vicwamitra had said unto
her. 81 Fearing the curse of both, she trembled repeatedly. In-
deed, her heart was on the grievous curse (that either of them
might denounce on her). She stood in terror of both." Seeing
her pale and'plunged into anxiety, .the righteous-souled Vacish-
tha, that foremost of men, king, 'said those Words unftTh-er."* 3

16$ HAHABHARATA, [Qaddyuddhy^t

"Vatjishtha laid, — '0 foremost of rivers, save thyself ! O
thou of rapid current, bear me away, otherwise Vicwamitra
will curse thee ! Do not feel any scruple.' 14 Hearing these
word? of that compassionate Rislti, the river began to think,
O Kauravya, as to what course would be best for her to fol-
low. 3 * Even these were the thoughts that arose in her mind, —
'Vacishtha showeth great compassion for me! It is proper for
me that I should serve him !'* 6 Beholding then that best of
Rishis (viz., Vacishtha) engaged in silent recitation (of man-
tras) on her bank, and seeing Kucika's son (Vicwamitra) also
engaged in homa, Saraswati thought, 97 — 'Even this is my
opportunity !' Then that foremost of rivers, by her current,
washed away one of her banks. 28 In washing away that bank,
she bore Vacjshtha away. While being borne away, king,
Vacishtha praised the river in these words ; 89 — 'From the Grand-
sire's (manasa) lake thou hast taken thy rise, Saraswati !
This whole universe is filled with thy excellent waters ! 80
Wending through the firmament, goddess, thou impartest
thy waters to the clouds ! All the waters are thee ! Through-
thee we exercise our thinking faculties!' 1 Thou art Pushti,
and Dytdi, Kirti, and Sidclhi and Umcl !* Thou art Speech, and
thou art Swaha !f This whole universe is dependent on thee ! It
is thou that dwellest in all creatures, in four forms !'" — Thus
praised by that great Rishi, Saraswati, O king, speedily bore
that 'Brahmana towards the asylum of Vicwamitra and re-
peatedly represented unto the latter the arrival of the former.**
Beholding Vacishtha thus brought before him by Saraswati,
Vicwamitra, filled with rage, began to look for a weapon where-
with to slay that Brahmana. 3 * Seeing him filled with wrath, the
river, from fear of (witnessing and aiding in) a Brahmana's
slaughter, quickly bore Vacishtha away to her eastern bank
once more. She thus had obeyed the words of both, although she
deceived the son of Gadhi by her act.*' Seeing that best of
Rishis, viz., Vacishtha, borne away, the vindictive Vic,wa-

* The respective embodiments of growth, splendour, fame, and ;
euccese ; the last is the supreme goddess, Civa's spouse. — T.
t A rnanfrd of great cffioacj. — T-

Farm.] «alta parya, 107

mitra, filled with wrath, addressed Saraswati, saying," — Since,
O foremost of rivers, thou hast gone away, having deceived
me, let thy current be changed into blood that is acceptable to
Jlxkshasas !'" Then, cursed by the intelligent Vicwamitra,
Saraswati flowed for a whole year, bearing blood mixed with
water. 8 ' The gods, the Gandfairvas, and the Apsaras, beholding
the Saraswati reduced to that plight, became filled with great
sorrow. 89 For this reason, king, the tirtha came to be called
Vagisldhapavclha on Earth. The foremost of rivers, however,
once more got back her own proper condition." 4 '

Section XLIII.

Vaicampayana said, — "Cursed by the intelligent Vi<jwa-
mitra in awger, Saraswati, in that auspicious and best of
tirthas, flowed, bearing blood in her current. 1 Then, king,
many Rilcshasas came, O Bharata, and lived happily there,
drinking the blood that flowed.* Exceedingly gratified with
that blood, cheerfully and without anxiety of any kind, they
danced and laughed there like persons that have (by merit)
attained to heaven. 1 After some time had passed away, some
Rishis, possessed of wealth of asceticism, came to the Sara-
swati, king, on a sojourn to her tirthas.* Those foremost of
Munis, having bathed in all the tirthas and obtained great
happiness, became desirous of acquiring more merit. Those
learned persons at last came, O king, to that tirtha where
the Saraswati ran a bloody current. Those highly blessed
ones, arriving at that frightful tirtha* saw the water of the
Saraswati mixed with blood and that innumerable Rdkshasas,
O monarch, were drinking it. 7 Beholding those Rdkshasas,
O king, those ascetics of rigid vows made great endeavours for
rescuing thf\ Saraswati from that plight.* Those blessed ones
of high vows, arrived there, invoked that foremost of rivers
and said these words unto her: 9 — 'Tell us the reason, auspi-
cious lady, why this lake in thee hath been afflicted with such
distress ! Hearing it, we shall endeavour (to restore it to its
proper condition).' Thu3 questioned, Saraswati, trembling us
she spoke, informed them of everything that hod occurred

W* MAHabharata. [Gaddyuddha

Seeing Jier afflicted with woe, those ascetics told her, 1 ' — 'We
have heard the reason. We have heard of thy curse, O sinless
lady! All of us shall exert ourselves !' ia Having said these
words unto that foremost of rivers, they then consulted with
one another, — 'All of us shall emancipate Saraswati from
her curse.' 18 Then all those Brahmanas, O king, worshipping
Mahadeva, that Lord of the universe and protector of all
creatures, with penances and vows and fasts and diverse kinds
of abstenances and painful observances, emancipated that fore-
most of rivers, viz., the divine Saraswati. 18 Beholding the
water of Saraswati purified by those Munis, the Rdksha-
sas (that had taken up there abode there), afflicted with hun-
ger, sought the protection of those Munis themselves. 17
Afflicted with hunger, the Rdkshasas, with joined hands, re-
peatedly said unto those ascetics filled with compassion, these
words, viz., 18 — All of us are hungry ! We have swerved from
eternal virtue ! That we are sinful in behavior is not of our free
will ! 19 Through the absence of your grace and through our own
evil acts, as also through the sexual sins of our women our
demerits increase and we have become Brahma- Rdkshasas !
So amongst Vaicyas and Cudras, and Kshatriyas, those that
hate and injure Brahmanas became Rdkshasas. 20 " il Ye best of
Brahmanas, make arrangements then for our relief! Ye are
competent to relieve all the words !'* 8 — Hearing these words of
theirs, those ascetics praised the great river. For the rescue
of those Rdkshasas, with rapt minds those ascetics said, 8 *
— 'The food over which one sneezed, that in which there are
worms and insects, that which may be mixed with any
leavings of dishes, that which is mixed with hair, that
which is trodden upon, that which is mixed with tears, —
shall form the portion of these Rdkshasas /'■ The learn-
ed man, knowing all this, shall carefully avoid these kinds
of food. He that shall take such food shall be regarded a3
eating the food of Rdkshasas /'-" — Having purified the tirtha,
in this way," those ascetics thus solicited that river for the
relief of those Rdkshasas.' 1 ' 1 Understanding the views of
those great Rishis, that foremost of rivers caused .her . body,
bull among men, tft- assume a' new shape called .ArunaY'.

Parva.] cai.ya pakva, 1G9

Bathing in that new river (a branch of the Saraswati) th«
Rikshisus cist off their bodies and went to heaven." Ascer-
taining all this, the chief of the celestials, (viz., Indra) of a
hundred sacrifices, bathed in that foremost of tirthas end be-
came cleansed of a grievous sin." 10

Janaincjaya said, — ''For what reason was Indra tainted
with the sin of Brahmanicide ? How also did he become
cleansed by bathing in that iirtha ?""

Vaicampayana said, — "Listen to that history, ruler of
men ! Listen to those occurrences as they happened ! Hear
how Vasava, in days of yore, broke his treaty with Namu-
chi !" (The Asuva) Namuchi, from fear of Vasava, had
entered a ray of the Sun. Indra then made friends with Namu-
chi and entered into a covenant with him, saying," — '0 fore-
most of Asurcts, I shall not slay thee, friend, with any-
thing that is wet or with anything that is dry ! I shall not
slay thee in the night or in the day ! I swear this to thee by
truth '" Having made this covenant, the lord Indra one day
beheld a fog. He then, king, cut off Namuchi's head, using
the foam of water (as his weapon)." The severed head of
Namuchi thereupon pursued Indra from behind, saying unto
him from a near point these words, — slayer of a friend,
O wretch !'•• Urged on incessantly by that head, Indra re-
paired to the Grandsire and informed him, in grief, of what
had occurred." The Supreme Lord of the universe said unto
him, — Performing a sacrifice, bathe with due rites, chief of
the celestials, in Arunii, that tirtha which saveth from the fear
of sin l 38 The water of that river, Cakra, hath been made
sacred by the Munis 1 Formerly the presence of that river at
its site was concealed. 3 ' The divine Saraswati, repaired to the
Aruna, and flooded it with her waters. This confluence of Sara-
swati and Aruna is highly sacred :*° Thither, O chief of the
celestials, perform a sacrifice ! Give away gifts in profusion !
Performing thy ablutions there, thou shalt be freed from thy
sin \' il Thus addressed, Cakra, at these words of Brahman,
O Janamejaya, performed in that abode of Saraswati diverse
sacrifices." Giving .away many gifts and bathing in that
tirtha, he of a hundred sacrifices, viz., the piercer of Vala,


170 mahamueata. [Gaddyuddha

duly performed certain sacrifices and then plunged in the
Aruna. 43 He became freed from the sin arising out of the
slaughter of a Brahmana. The lord of heaven then returned to
heaven with a joyful heart. 4 * The head of Namuchi also fell
into that stream, Bharata, and the Asara obtained many
eternal regions, G best of kings, that granted every \yish." 4S

Vaicampayana continued. — "The high-souled Valadeva, hav-
ing bathed in that tirtha and given away many kinds of
gifts, obtained great merit. Of righteous deeds, he then pro-
ceeded to the great tirtha of Soma. 48 There, in days of yore,
Soma himself, king of kings, had performed the Rajasuya
sacrifice. The high-souled Atri, that foremost of Brahmanas,
gifted with great intelligence, became the Hotri in that grand
sacrifice. Upon the conclusion of that sacrifice, a great battle
took place between the gods (on the one side) and the Dana-
vas, the Daiteyas, and the Rakshasas (on the other). That
fierce battle is known after the name of (the Asura) Taraka.
In that battle Skanda slew Taraka. 45 There, on that occasion,
(Skanda, otherwise called) Mahasena, that destroyer of Daityas,
obtained the command of the celestial forces. In that tirtha is
a gigantic AgiuatUta tree. Under its shade, Kartikeya, other-
wise called Kumara, always resides in person." 4 '

Section XLIV.

Janamejaya said, — "Thou hast described the merits of the
Saraswati, best of Brahmanas ! It behoveth thee, regener-
ate one, to describe to me the investiture of Kumara (by the
gods). 1 Great is the curiosity I feel. Tell me everything,
therefore, about the time when and the place where and the
manner in which the adorable and puissant lord Skanda was in-
vested (with the command of the celestial forces)! Tell me
also, O foremost of speakers, who they were that invested him
and who performed the actual rites, and how the celestial
generalissimo made a great carnage of the Daityas !" 2 " 1

Vaicampayana said, — "This curiosity that thou feelest is
worthy of thy birth in Kuril's raca. The words that I shall
speak, will, Janamejaya, conduce to thy pleasure ! 4 I shall

j?arva.] calya parva, IV I

narrate to thco the invostituro of Kumara and the prowess
of that high-soulcd one, since, O ruler of men, thou wishest to
hear it ! s In days of yore the vital seed of Mahegwara, coming
out, fell into a blazing fire. The consumer of everything, viz.,
the adorable Agni, could not burn that indestructible seed. 4
On the other hand, the bearer of sacrificial libations, in conse-
quence of that seed, became possessed of great energy and
splendour. He could not bear within himself that seed ef
mighty energy.' At the command of Brahman, the lord Agni,
approaching (the r; \ r er) Ganga, threw into her that divine seed
possessed of the effulgence »f the Sun. 8 Ganga also, unable
to hold it, cast it on the beautiful breast of Himavat that
is worshipped by the celestials. 9 Thereupon Agni's son began
to grow there, overwhelming all the worlds by his energy.
Meanwhile (the six) Krittikiis beheld that child of fiery
splendour. 18 Seeing that puissant lord, that high-souled son
of Agni, lying on a clump of heath, all the six Kirttikas, who
were desirous of a son, cried aloud, saying, — 'This child is
mine, this 'hild is mine !' u Understanding the state of mind of
those six mothers, the adorable lord Skanda sucked the breasts
of all, having assumed six mouths." Beholding that puissance
of the child, the Krittikas, those goddesses of beauti 'ul forms,
became filled with wonder.' 3 And since the adorable child had
been cast by the river Ganga upon the summit of Himavat,
that mountain looked beautiful, having, O delighter of the
Kurus, been transfomed into gold ! 14 With that growing child
the whole Earth became beautiful, and it was for this reason
that mountains (from that time) came to be producers of
gold." Possessed of great energy, the child came to be called
by the name of Kiirtikeya. At first he had been called by the
name of Gangeya. He became possessed of high ascetic powers. 1 *
Endued with self-restraint and asceticism and great energy,
the child grew up, monarch, into a person of highly agree-
able features like Soma himself. 17 Possessed of great beauty,
the child lay on that excellent and golden clump of heath,
adored and praised by Oandharvas and ascetics. 18 Celestial
girls, by thousand-;, conversant with celestial music and dance,
and of very beautiful features, praised him and danced bcfofl&e

172 MAHABHARATA. [Gaddyuddha,

him. 18 The foremost of all rivers, viz., Ganga, waited upon
that god. The Earth also, assuming great beauty, held the
child (on her lap). 80 The celestial priest Yrihaspati performed
the usual rites after birth, in respect of that child. The Vedas,
assuming a fourfold form, approached the child with joined
hands. 31 The Science of arms, with its four divisions, and all
the weapons, as also all kinds of arrows, came to him." One
day, the child, of great energy, saw that god of gods, viz.,
the lord of Uma, seated with the daughter of Himavat, amid
a swarm of ghostly creatures.* 3 Those ghostly creatures, of
emaciated bodies, were of wonderful features. They were ugly
and of ugly features, and wore awkward ornaments and marks.**
Their faces were like those of tigers and lions and bears and
cats and makaras. Others were of faces like those of scorpions ;
other's of faces like those of elephants and camels and owls.
And some had faces like those of vultures and jackals. 88 And
some there were that had faces like those of cranes and pigeons
and Kurus. And many amongst them had bodies like those of
dogs and porcupines and iguanas and goats and sheep and
cows. And some resembled mountains and some oceans, and
some stood with uplifted discs and maces for their weapons
And some looked like masses of antimony and some like white
mountains. The seven Mdtris also were present there, O
monarch. 87 And the Sdddkyas, the Vicivedevas, the Marnts,
the Vasus, the Pitrls, the Rudras, the Adityas, the Slddlias,
the Ddnavas, the birds,* 8 the self-born and adorable Brahman
with his sons, and Vishnu, and Cakra, all went thither for
beholding that child of unfading glory.*' And many of the
foremost of celestials and Gandharvas, headed by Narada. and
many celestial Blshis and Siddhas headed by Vrihaspati, 50 and
the fathers of the universe, those foremost ones, they that are
regarded as gods of the gods, and the Ycimas and the Dhamas,
all went there. 81 Endued with great strength, the child poss-
essed of great ascetic power, proceeded to the presence of that
Lord of the gods, (viz., Mahadeva), armed with trident and
Pindka. 1 * Seeing the child coming, the thought entered the
mind of £iva, as it did that of Himavat's daughter and that of
Gancra and of Agni, 88 as to whom amongst the four the child

Parva.] calya parva, 173

would first approach for honoring him or her. Each of them
thought, — 'He will come to me !'■* Understanding that this was
the expectation cherished by each of those four, he had recourse
to his Yoga powers and assumed at the same time four different
forms. 85 Indeed, the adorable and puissant lord assumed those
four forms in an instant. The three forms that stood behind
were Ciikha and Vicakha and Naigameya." The adorable and
puissant one, having divided his self into four forms, (pro-
ceeded towards the four that sat expecting him). The form
called Skanda of wonderful appearance proceeded to the spot
where Rudra was sitting. 87 Vicakha went to the spot where
the divine daughter of Himavat was. The adorable Cakha,
which is Kartikeya's Vdyu, form, proceeded towards Agni.
Naigameya, that child of fiery splendour, proceeded to the
presence of Ganga. 88 All those four forms, of similar appear-
ance, were endued with great effulgence. The four forms
proceeded calmly to the four gods and goddesses (already men-
tioned). All this seemed exceedingly wonderful. * 9 The gods,
the Ddnavas, and the RdJcshasas, made a loud noise at sight
of that exceedingly wonderful incident making the very hair
to stand on end.* Then Rudra and the goddess Uma and
Agni, and Ganga, all bowed unto the Grandsire, that Lord of
the Universe. 41 Having duly bowed unto him, bull among
kings, they said these words, monarch, from desire of doing
good unto Kartikoya : 41 — 'It behoveth thee, O Lord of the
gods, to grant to this youth, for the sake of our happiness,
some kind of s >vereignty that may be suitable to him and that
he may desire !' 48 — At this, the adorable Grandsire of all the
worlds, possessed of great intelligence, began to think within
his mind as to what he should bestow upon that youth. 4 * He
had formerly given away unto the formless ones (gods) all
kinds of wealth over which the high-souled celestials, the Gem-
dharvas, the Rctk*h<isas, ghosts, Yakshas, birds, and snakes
have dominion. Brahman, therefore, regarded that youth to
be fully entitled to that dominion (which had boon bestowed
upon the gods). 4 '"** Having reflected for a moment, the
Grandsire, ever mindful of the welfare of the gods, bestowed
upou him the status of a generalissimo among all creatures,

17-i makabharata, [Gadayuddlix

O Bharata ! 47 And the Grandsire further ordered all those
gods that were regarded as the chief of the celestials and other
formless beings to wait upon him. 4 * Then the gods headed
by Brahman, taking that youth with them, together came to
Himavat. 4 ' The spot they selected was the bank of the sacred
and divine Saras wati, that foremost of rivers, taking her rise
from Himavat, that Saraswati which, at Samantcqifmchaka,
is celebrated over the three worlds. 50 There, on the sacred
bank, possessing every merit, of the Saraswati, the gods and
the Gandharvas took their seats with hearts well pleased in
consequence of the gratification of all their desires." 51

Section XLV.

Vaicampayana said, — "Collecting all articles as laid down
in the scriptures for the ceremony of investiture, Vrihaspati
duly poured libations on the blazing fire. 1 Himavat gave a seat
which was adorned with many costly gems. Kartikeya was
made to sit on that auspicious and best of seats decked with ex-
cellent gems.* The gods brought thither all kinds of auspicious
articles, with due rites and mantra*, that were necessary for
a ceremony of the kind. 8 The diverse gods, viz., Indra and
Vishnu, both of great energy, and Surya and Chandramas, and
Dhatri, and Vidhatri, and Vayu, and Agni, 4 and Pushan, and
Bhaga, and Arvaman, and Anca, and Vivaswat, and Eudra of

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