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behooveth thee to do as thou art bid by the illustrious
Vyasa '.'^^ Thus addressed, that foremost one of Kuru's race,
along with all his brothers, became glad of soul, and gave
away millions of golden coins, in fact, trebling the Dakshina
ordained for the Horse-saci-ifice.'^ No other kirg will be able
to accomplish what the Kuru king accomplished on that occa-
sion after the manner of Marufcta.^^ Accepting that wealth,
the Island-born sage, Krishna, of great learning, gave it unto
the sacrificial priests, dividing it into four parts.-' Having
paid that wealth as the price of the Earth, Yudhishthira,
cleansed of his sins and assured of Heaven, rejoiced with his
brothers.-^ The sacrificial priests, having got that unlimited
quantity of wealth, distributed it among the Brahmanas gladly
and according to the desire of each recipient.^^ The Brah-
manas also divided amongst themselves, agreeably to Yudhish-
thira's permision, the diverse ornaments of gold that were in
the sacrificial compound, including the triumphal arches, the
stakes, the jars, and diverse kinds of vessels.^* After the
Brahmanas had taken as much as they desired, the wealth
that remained was taken away by Kshatriyas and Vaigyas
and Cudras and diverse tribes of Miechcchas."^ Thus gratified
with presents by king Yudhishthira of great intelligence, the
Brahmanas, filled with joy, returned to their respective
abodes.^^ The holy and illustrious Vyasa respectfully presented
his own share, which was very large, of that gold unto Kunti."
[ 29 ]



226 MAHABTlAnATA [Anugitd

Receiving that gift of affection from her father in-law, Pritha
became glad of heart and devoted it to the accomplishment of
diverse acts of merit.^^ King Yudhishthira, having bathed at
the conclusion of his sacrifice and become cleansed of all his
sins, shone in the midst of his brothers, honoured by all, like
the chief of the celestials in the midst of the denizens of
Heaven.-^ The sons of Pandu, surrounded by the assembled
kings, looked as beautiful, king, as the planets in the midst
of the stars.^" Unto those kings they made presents of vari-
ous jewels and gems, and elephants and horses and ornaments
of gold, and female slaves and cloths and large measures of
gold.^* Indeed, Pritha's son, by distributing that untold
wealth among the invited monarchs, shone, O king, like
Vaigravana, the lord of treasures.^^ Summoning next the
heroic king Vabhruvahana, Yudhishthira gave unto him diverse
kinds of wealth in profusion and gave him permission to re-
turn home.^^ The son of Pandu, for gratifying his sister
Dus(^.ala, established her infant grand-son in his paternal king-
dom.^* The Kuru king Yudhishthira, having a full control
over his senses, then dismissed the assembled kings all of whom
had been properly classed and honoured by him.*^^ The illus-
trious son of Pandu, that chastiser of foes, then duly wor-
shipped the high-souled Govinda and Valadeva of great might,
and the thousands of other Vrishni heroes having Pradyumna
for their first. Assisted by his brothers, he then dismissed
them for returning to Dwaraka.^""" Even thus was celebrat-
ed that sacrifice of king Yudhishthira the just, which was
distinguished by a profuse abundance of food and wealth and
jewels and gems, and oceans of wines of different kinds.^*^
There were lakes whose mire consisted of ghee, and mountains
of food. There were also, O chief of Bharata's race, miry
rivers made of drinks having the six kinds of taste.^^ Of
men employed in making and eating the sweetmeats called
Khandavaragas, and of animals slain for food, there was no



* «Suvibhaktan' implies that they were properly classed or grouped
80 that there was no dispute or dissatisfaction among them regarding
questions of precedence, — T.



Parva.] AcWAMEDni parva^ 227

end.**^ The vast space abounded with men inebriated with
wine, and with young ladies filled with joy. The extensive
grounds constantly echoed with the sounds of drums and the
blare of conchs. With all these, the sacrifice became exceed-
ingly delightful.'*^ 'Let agreeable things be given away,'—
'Let agreeable food be eaten,' — These were the sounds that
were repeatedly heard day and night in that sacrifice. It was
like a great festival, full of rejoicing and contented men.
People of diverse realms speak of that sacrifice to this day.**
Having showered wealth in torrents, and diverse objects of
desire, and jewels and gems, and drinks of various kinds, the
foremost one of Bharata's race, cleansed of all his sins, and
his purpose fulfilled, entered his capital."*^^

Section XC.

Janamejaya said, — "It behooveth theo to tell me of any
wonderful incident that occurred in the sacrifice of my grand-
Sires. ^

Vai^ampayana said, — "Hear, chief of kings, of a mos6
wonderful incident that occurred, puissant monarch, at the
conclusion of that great Horse-sacrifice.* After all the fore-
most of Brahmanas and all the kinsmen and relatives and
friends, and all the poor, the blind, and the helpless ones had
been gratified, O chief of Bharata's race,^ when the gifts made
in profusion were being spoken of on all sides, indeed, when,
flowers were rained down on the head of king Yudhishthira
the just,* a blue-eyed mungoose, sinless one, with one side
of his body changed into gold, came there and spoke in a
voice that was as loud and deep as thunder.^ Repeatedly
uttering such deep sounds and thereby frightening all animals
and birds, that proud denizen of a hole, with large body,
spoke in a human voice and said,® — 'Ye kings, this great
sacrifice is not equal to a prastha of powdered barley given

* Nilakantha explains that 'Khandavaraga' was made of Piper longum.
and dried ginger (powdered), and the juice of Phaseolus Mungo, with
sugar. Probably, it is identical with what is now called Iiungka ladd'Ut
in the bazars of Indian towns, — Ti



22S MA.iiABHARATA; [Anugittl

away by a liberal Brahmana of Kurukshetra who was observ-
ing the Unccha vow !'^ Hearing these words of the mungoope,
O king, all those foremost of Brahmanas became filled with
wonder.^ Ap|troaching the mungoose, they then asked him,
saying, — 'Whence hast thou come to this sacrifice, this re-
sort of the good and the pious ?® What is the extent of thy
might ? What thy learning ? And what thy refuge ? How
should we know thee that thus censurest this our sacrifice ?^*^
Without having disregarded any portion of the scriptures,
everything that should be done has been accomplished here
according to the scriptures and agreeably to reason, with the
aid of diverse sacrificial rites.^^ Those who are deserving of
worship have been duly worshipped here according to the way
pointed out by the scriptures. Libations have been poured on
the sacred fire with the aid of proper mantras. That which
should be given has been given away without pride.^^ The
regenerate class have been gratified Avith gifts of diverse kinds.
The Kshatriyas have been gratified with battles fought accord-
ing to just methods. The grandsires have been gratified Avith
Craddhas.** The Vaigyas have been gratified by the protec-
tion offered to them, and many foremost of women have been
gratified by accomplishing their desires. The Cudras have been
gratified by kind speeches, and others with the remnants of
the profuse wealth collected on the spot.** Kinsmen and rela-
tives have been gratified by the purity of behaviour displayed
by our king. The deities have been gratified by libations of
clarified butter and acts of merit, and dependants and follow-
ers by protection.*® That, therefore, which is true, do thou
truly declare unto these Brahmanas. Indeed, do thou declare
what is agreeable to the scriptures and to actual experience,
asked by the Brahmanas who are eager to know.-"" Thy words
seem to demand credit. Thou art wise. Thou bearest also a
celestial form. Thou hast come into the midst of learned Brah-
manas. It behooveth thee to explain thyself" Thus address-
ed by those regenerate persons, the mungoose, smiling, an-
swered them as follows. 'Ye regenerate ones, the words I have
uttered are not false. Neither have I spoken them from pride.'*®
That which I have said may have been heard by you all. Ye



Parva.] acwamedha parva. 229

foremost of regenerate persons, this sacrifice is not equal in
merit to the gift of a prastha of powdered barley.^^ Without
doubt, I should say this, ye foremost of Brahmanas. Listen
to me with undivided attention as I narrate what happened to
thee truly.-" Wonderful and excellent was the occurrence
that fell out. It was witnessed by me and its consequences
were felt by me. The incident relates to a liberal Brahmana
dwelling in Kurukshetra in the observance of the Unccha
vow.^^ In consequence of that incident he attained to Hea-
ven, ye regenerate ones, along with his wife and son and
daughter-in-law. And in consequence of what then happened
half my body became transformed into gold.'^^

"The Mungoose continued, — 'Ye regenerate ones, I shall
presently tell you what the excellent fruit was of the gift, made
by a Brahmana, of a very little measure (of powdered barley)
obtained by lawful means. ^'^ On that righteous spot of ground
known by the name of Kurukslietra, which is the abode of
many righteous persons, there lived a Brahmana in the obser-
vance of what is called the Unccha vow. That mode of living
is like unto that of the pigeon.*"* He lived there with his
wife and son and daughter-in-law and practised penances. Of
righteous soul, and with senses under complete control, he
adopted the mode of living that is followed by a pariot.^^ Of
excellent vows, he used to eat every day at the sixth division .-f
If there was nothing to eat at the sixth division of the day,
that excellent Brahmana would fast for that day and eat the
next day at the sixth division. On one occasion, ye Brah-
manas, there occurred a dreadful famine in the land. During
that time there was nothing stored in the abode of that right-
eous Brahmana. The herbs and plants were all dried up and
the whole realm became void of food-stores."^"-® When the
accustomed hours came for eating, the Brahmana had nothing
to eat. This occurred day after day. All the members of his
family were afflicted with hunger but were obliged to pass

* The unccha vow consists of subsisting upon grains of corn picked
up after thei manner (f the pigeon from the field after the cro]3s have
been cut and removed by the owners. — T.

t The day of 12 Lours iy dividei into 8 divisions,— T,



230 MAHABiiARATA [Amtgitcl

the days aa best they could. -° One day, in the month of
Jaishtha, while the Sun was in the meridiam, the Brahmana
was engaged in picking up grains of corn. Afflicted by heat
and hunger, he was practising even this penance.^** Unable to
obtain grains of corn, the Brahmana soon became worn out
with hunger and toil. Indeed, with all the members of his
family, he had no food to eat.^^ That best of Brahmanas
passed the days in great suffering. One day, after the sixth
division came, he succeeded in obtaining a prastha of barley .^^
That barley was then reduced by those ascetics to powder
for making what is called SaJdu of it. Having finished
their silent recitations and other daily rites, and having
duly poured libations on the sacred fire,^^ those ascetics divid-
ed that little measure of powdered barley amongst them-
selves so that the share of each came up to the measure of a
KudavaJ'^ As they were about to sit down for eating, there
came unto their abode a guest.^* Beholding the person who
came as a guest, all of them became exceedingly glad. Indeed,
seeing him, they saluted him and made the usual enquiries of
welfare.^^ They were of pure minds, self-restrained, and en-
dued with faith and control over the passions. Freed from
malice, they had conquered wrath. Possessed of piety, they
were never pained at the sight of other people's happiness.^*
They had cast off pride and haughtiness and anger. Indeed,
they were conversant with every dut}', ye foremost of regene-
rate ones ! Informing their guest of their own penances and
of the race or family to which they belonged, and ascertaining
from him in return those particulars, they caused that hungry
guest of theirs to enter their cottage. Addressing him they
said, — 'This is the Arghya for thee. This water is for washing
thy feet. There are scattered some Kuga grass for thy seat,
O sinless one.^^"^^ Here is some clean Salctiv acquired by law-
ful means, O puissant one ! Given by us, O foremost of re-
generate persons, do thou accept it !'^^ Thus addressed by
them, that Brahmana accepted the Kudava of powdered barley
that was offered to him and ate it all. But his hunger.



♦ A 'pvastha' is made up of fouv 'Kudavas.' A 'Kudava' is equal to
about twelve double liaudf uls. — T.



Parva.] acwamedha parva. 231

O king, was not appeased by what he ate.*** The Brahmana
in the observance of the Unccha vow, seeing that his guest's
hunger was still unappeased, began to think of what other
food he could place before him for gratifying him.*^ Then his
wife said unto him, — 'Let my share be given unto him ! Let
this foremost of regenerate persons be gratified and let him then
go whithersoever he will ''^" Knowing that his chaste wife
who said so was herself afflicted by hunger, that best of Brah-
manas could not approve of her share of the powdered barley
being given to the guest. *^ Indeed, that best of Brahmanas
possessed of learning, knowing from his own state that his
aged, toil-worn, cheerless,^* and helpless wife was herself afflict-
ed by hunger and seeing that lady who had been emaciated
into mere skin and bones was quivering with weakness,
addressed her and said, — 'O beautiful one, with even animals,
with even worms and insects,*" wives are fed and protected.
It behooveth thee not, therefore, to say so. The wife treats
her lord with kindness and feeds and protects him.*^ Every-
thing ap erfcaiuing to religion, pleasure, and wealth, careful
nursing, offspring for perpetuating the race, are all dependent
on the wife. Indeed, the merits of a person himself as also of
his deceased ancestors depend also on her.*^ The wife should
know her lord by his acts. A'erily, that man who fails to
protect his wife earns great infamy here and goes into Hell
hereafter. Such a man falls down from even a position of
great fame and never succeeds in acquiring regions of happi-
ness hereafter.'*^ Thus addressed, she answered him, saying, —
'0 regenerate one, our religious acts and wealth are united.
Do thou t;ike a fourth of this barley ! Indeed, be gratified
with me l*^ Truth, pleasure, religious merit, and Heaven
as acquirable by good qualities, of women, as also all the
objects of their desire, O foremost of regenerate ones, are de-
pendent on the husband.^® In the production of offspring
the mother contributes her blood. The father contributes his
seed. The husband is the highest deity of the wife. Through
the grace of the husband, women obtain both pleasure and
offspring as the reward." Thou art my Pati (lord) for the
protection thou givest me. Thou art my Bhartti for the



232 mahabiiarata. [Anugitci

means of sustenance thou givest me. Thou art, again, boon-
giver to me in consequence of thy having presented rse a son.
Do thou, therefore, (in return for so many favours), take my
share of the barley and give it unto the guest."^- Overcome
by decrepitude, thou art of advanced years. Afflicted by
hunger thou art exceedingly weakened. Worn out with fasts,
thou art very much emaciated. (If thou couldst part with thy
share, why should not I part with mine) ?'^^ Thus addressed
by her, he took her share of the powdered barley and address-
ing his guest, said, — '0 regenerate one, best of men, do thou
accept this measure of powdered barley as well !'^* The Brah-
mana, having accepted that quantity, immediately ate it up,
but his hunger was not yet appeased. Beholding him un-
gritified, the Brahmana in the observance of the Unccha vow
became thoughtful. ^^ His son then said unto him, — '0 best of
men, taking my share of the barley do thon give it to the
guest ! I regard this act of mine as one of great merit.
Therefore, I do it !^^ Thou shouldst be always maintained by
me with great care. Maintenance of the father is a duty
which the good always covet.^^ The maintenance of the father
in his old age is the duty ordained for the son. Even this is
the eternal criUi (audition) current in the three worlds, O
learned Rishi !^^ By barely living thou art capable of practis-
ing penances. The life breath is the great deity that resides
in the bodies of all embodied creatures !'*^®

"The father, at this, said, — 'If thou attainest to the age of
even a thousand years, thou wilt still seem to me to be only a
little child. Having begotten a son, the sire achieves success
through hint)."** puissant one, I know that the hunger of
children is very strong. I am old. I shall somehow succeed
in holding my life breaths. Do thou, son, become strong



* This Verse is rather oh , cure. I am not sure tliat I have under-
Btoofl it correctly. The spdms seeni-s to be this : thou art capable of
enduring much. Indeed, bj barely living, thou art capable of earning
religious merit, for life-breath is a ffreat deity. He should not be cast
off. 'I'hy life is at stake, fir if this guest be not gratified, the thought
of it will kill thco. Do thou, therefore, protect thy life by gratifying
this guest with my share of the barley. — T.



Farva.) acwamedha parva. 233

(by eating the food that has fallen to thy share).^^ Old and
decrepit as I am, son, hunger scarcely afflicts me. I have,
again, for many years, practised penances. I have no fear of
death.— «-

'The son said, — I am thy offspring. The Cruti declares
that one's offspring is called putra because one is rescued by
him. One's own self, again, takes birth as one's son. Do thou,
therefore, rescue thyself by thy own self (in the form of thy
son) ! — ^^

'The father said, — In form thou art like me. In conduct
and in self-restraint also thou art my like ! Thou hast been
examined on various occasions by me. I shall, therefore, ac-
cept thy share of the barley, son !" — Having said this, that
foremost of regenerate persons cheerfully took his son's share
of the barley and smilingly presented it to his regenerate
guest.^^ Having eaten that barley also, the guest's hunger
was not appeased. The righteous-souled host in the obser-
vance of the unccha vow became ashamed (at the thought that
he had nothing more to give).*'® Desirous of doing what was
agreeable to him, his chaste daughter in-law then, bearing her
share of the barley, approached him and said,**^ — Through thy
son, learned Brahmana, I shall obtain a son. Do thou,
therefore, take my share of the barley and give it unto this
guest '"^ Through thy grace, numerous regions of beatitude
will be mine for eternity. Through a grandson one obtains
those regions repairing whither one has not to endure any kind
of misery.®^ Like the triple aggregate beginning with Keli-
gion, or the triple aggregate of sacred fires, there is a triple
aggregate of everlasting Heavens, depending upon the son, the
grandson, and the great-grandson.'^*^ The son is called 'Putra
because he frees his sires from debt. Through sons and grand-
sons one always enjoys the happiness of those regions which are
reserved for the pious and the good. — '■'•

'The father-in-law said, — thou of excellent vows and
conduct, beholding thee wasted by wind and sun, deprived of
thy very complexion, emaciated, and almost destitute of con-
sciousness through hunger, how can I be such a transgressqr
against the rules of righteousness as to take thy share of the

t SO ]



234 MAHABHARATAi [Anugitci

barley ? auspicious damsel, it behooves thee not to say so,
for the sake of those auspicious results for which every family
must strive.*^""'^^ O auspicious damsel, how can I behold thee
at even this, the sixth division of the day, abstaining from food
and observing vows ? Thou art endued with purity and good
conduct and penances. Alas, even thou hast to pass thy days
in so much misery !^* Thou art a child, afflicted by hunger,
and belongest to the softer sex. Thou shouldst be always pro-
tected by me ! Alas, I have to see thee worn out with fasts,
thou that art the delighter of all thy kinsmen ! — ''^

'The daughter-in-law said, — Thou art the senior of my
senior, since thou art the deity of my deity ! Thou art verily
the god of my god. Do thou, therefore, puissant one, take
my share of the barley .'^^ My body, life-breaths, and religious
rites have all one yurpoFe, viz., the service of my senior.
Through thy grace, O learned Brahmana, I shall obtain many
regions of happiness hereafter !" I deserve to be looked after
by thee. Know, O regenerate one, that I am wholly devoted
to thee ! Cherishing also this thought, viz., that my happi-
ness is thy concern, it behooveth thee to take this my share
of the barley ! — ^^

'The father-in law said, — chaste lady, in consequence of
such conduct of thine thou wilt for ever shine in glory, for en-
dued with vows and steadiness in religious rites, thy eyes are
directed to that conduct which should be observed towards
seniors.'^® Therefore, O daughter-in-law, I shall take thy
share of the barley. Thou deservest not to be deceived by me,
reckoning all thy virtiies. Thou art truly, blessed damsel,
the foremost of all persons observing the duties of righteous-
ness !^° — Having said so unto her, the Brahmana took her
share of the barley and gave it unto his guest. At this the
guest became gratified with that high-souled Brahmana en-
dued with great piety .^^ With gratified soul, that first of re-
generate persons, possessed of great eloquence, who was none
else than the deity of Righteousness in a human form, then

* The sense is this : for the sake of tliose auspicious resalts after
which every family should strive, the dauglitor-in-haw should be well
treated. How then can I deprive thee of food ?— T.



Parva.] acwamedha parva! 255

addressed that foremost of Brahmanas and said,'" — best of
regenerate ones, I am exceedingly gratified with this pure gift
of thine, this gift of what was acquired by lawful means by
thee, and which thou didst freely part with, aggreably to the
rules of righteousness !^^ Verily, this gift of thine is being
bruited about in Heaven by the denizens of that happy region.
Behold, flowers have been rained down from the firmament on
the Earth I^* The celestial Rishis, the deities, the Gandhar-
vas, those who walk before the deities, and the celestial mes-
sengers, are all praising thee, struck with wonder at thy gift.^^
The regenerate Rishis who dwell in the regions of Brahma^
seated on their cars, are solicitous of obtaining thy sight. O
foremost of regenerate persons, go to Heaven !®* The Pitris
residing in their own region have all been rescued by them.
Others also who have not attained to the position of Pitris
have equally been rescued by thee for countless Yugas.^^ For
thy Brahmacharyya, thy gifts, thy sacrifices, thy penances,
and thy acts of piety done with a pure heart, go thou to
Heaven I^s thou of excellent vows, thou practisest penances
with great devotion. Thy gifts have, therefore, gratified the
deities highly, best of regenerate ones l^^ Since thou hast
made this gift, in a season of great difiiculty, with a pure
heart, thou hast, by this act of thine, conquered Heaven !^**
Hunger destroys one's wisdom and drives off one's righteous un-
derstanding. One whose intelligence is overwhelmed by hunger
casts off all fortitude.^^ He, therefore, that conquers hunger
conquers Heaven without doubt. One's righteousness is never
destroyed as long as one cherishes the inclination of making
gifts.^2 Disregarding filial affection, disregarding the affection
one feels for one's wife, and reckoning righteousness as the
foremost, thou hast paid no heed to the cravings of nature.^^
The acquisition of wealth is an act of slight merit. Its gift
to a deserving person is fraught with greater merit. Of still
greater merit is the (proper) time. Lastly, devotion (in the
matter of gift) is fraught with the highest merit.«* The door
of Heaven is very difficult to see. Through heedlessness men
fail to obtain a sight of it. The bar of Heaven's door has
cupidity for its seed. That bar is kept fastened by desire and



235 mahabharataJ [Aniigltl

affection. Verily, Heaven's door is unapproachable.^'^ Those
men who have subdued wrath and conquered their passions,



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