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also that resembled the Destroyer himself in prowess," I
desire to behold ! I wish to see the princess of Panchala,
whose conduct was always righteous. I wish not to stay
here. I tell you the truth." Ye foremost ones among the
deities, what is Heaven to me if I am dissociated from my
brothers ? That is Heaven where those brothers of mine
are. This, in my opinion, is not Heaven !^^

"The gods said, — 'If thou longest to be there, go then,
O son, without delay ! At the command of the chief of the
deities, we are ready to do what is agreeable to thee !' "^'

Vai9ampayana continued, — " Having said so, the gods
then orderd the celestial messenger, scorcher of foes, say-
ings — «Do thou show unto Yudhishthira his friends and kins-
jjjen !'^* — Then the royal son of Kunti and the celestial
messenger proceeded together, foremost of kings, to that
place where those chiefs of men (whom Yudhishthira had
wished to see) were." The celestial messenger proceeded
first, the king followed him behind. The path was inaus-
picious and difficult and trodden by men of sinful deeds."
It was enveloped in thick darkness, and covered with hair
and moss forming its grassy vesture. Polluted with the
stench of sinners, and miry with flesh and blood," it abound-
ed with gad-flies and stinging bees and gnats and was en-
dangened by the inroads of grisly bears. Rotting corpses lay
here and there." Overspread with bones and hair, it was
noisome with worms and insects. It was skirted all along with
a blazing fire." It was infested by crows and other birds. and
vultures, all having beaks of iron, as also by evil spirits with
long mouths pointed like needles. And it abounded with
inaccessible fastnesses like the Vindhya mountains.'^'' Hu-
man corpses were scattered over it, smeared with fat and
blood, with arms and thighs cut off, or with entrails torn out
and legs severed.^^ Along that path so disagreeable with the
stench of corpses and awful with other incidents, the right-


eous-souled king proceeded, filled with diverse thoughts.'*
He beheld a river full of boiling water and, therefore, difficult
to cross, as also a forest of trees whose leaves were sharp
swords and razors.'^' There were plains full of fine white
sand exceedingly heated, and rocks and stones made of iron.
There were many jars of iron all around, with boiling oil in
them.^* Many a Kuta-9almalika was there, with sharp
thorns and, therefore, exceedingly painful to the touch * The
son of Kunti beheld also the tortures inflicted upon sinful
men." Beholding that inauspicious region abounding with
every sort of foulness, Yudhishthira asked the celestial mess-
enger, saying, — 'How far shall we proceed along a path like
this?'^^ It behooveth thee to tell me where those brothers of
mine are. I desire also to know what region is this of the
gods !'" Hearing these words of king Yudhishthira the just,
the celestial messenger stopped in his course and replied, say-
ing, — 'Thus far is your way."* The denizens of Heaven com-
manded me that having come thus far, I am to stop ! If
thou art tired, O king of kings, thou mayst return with
me !'^" Yudhishthira, however, was exceedingly disconsolate
and stupified by the foul odor. Resolved to return, Bha-
rata, he retraced his steps.^** Afflicted by sorrow and grief,
the righteous-souled monarch turned back. Just at that
moment he heard piteous lamentations all around.'^ — '0 son
of Dharma, royal sage, thou of sacred origin, son of
Pandu, do thou stay a moment for favouring us l^^ At thy
approach, O invincible one, a delightful breeze hath begun to
blow, bearing the sweet scent of thy person ! Great hath
been our relief at this !^^ O foremost of kings, beholding
thee, O first of men, great hath been our happiness ! son
of Pritha, let that happiness last longer through thy stay here
for a few moments more !^* Do thou remain here, Bharata,
for even a short while ! As long as thou art here, O thou of
Kuru's race, torments cease to afflict us !'^^ These and many

* Kuta galmalika is a t^pecips of Calmali or the Bomhax Malaharicum
©f Roxburgh. It is •overed with sharp thorne and not even monkeya
can clinab it.— T,


similar words, uttered in piteous voices by persons in pain,
the kiiig heard in that region, wafted to his ears from every
side.^* Hearing those words of beings in woe, Yudhi^bihira
of compassionate heart exclaimed aloud, — 'Alas, how painiul !'
and the king stood still. ^^ The speeches of those woe-begcne
and afflicted persons seemed to the son of Pandu to be uttered
in voices that he had heard before although he could not
recognise them on that occasion."* Unable to recognise the
voices, Dharma's son, Yudhishthira, enquired, saying, — 'W ho
are you ? Why also do you stay here ?'*® Thus addressed,
they answered him from all sides, saying, — 'I am Kama !' — >
'I am Bhimasena !' — 'I am Arjuna I'*" — 'I am Nakula !' — 'I am
Sahadeva '' — 'I am Dhrishtadyumna I' — 'I am Draupadi !'—
'We are the sons of Draupadi !' — Even thus, O king, did
those voices .speak.**- Hearing those exclamations, O kirg,
uttered in voices of pain suitable to that place, the royal
Yudhishthira asked himself — 'What perverse destiny is this?*'
What are those sinful acts which were committed by those high-
souled beings viz., Kama and the sons of Draupadi, and the
slender-waisted princess of Panchala," so that their residence
has been assigned in this region of fostid smell and great woe ?
I am not aware of any transgression that can be attributed to
these persons of righteous deeds !** What is that act by
doing which Dhritarashtra's son, king Suyodhana, with all
his sinful followers, has become invested with such pros-
perity ?*^ Endued with prosperity like that of the great
Indra himself, he is highly adored. What is that act through
the consequen^^e of which these (high-souled ones) have fallen
into Hell?** AH of them were conversant with every duty,
were heroes, were devoted to truth and theVedas; were ob-
servant of Kshatriya practices; were righteous in their acts;
were performers of sacrifices ; and givers of large presents
unto Brahmanas !*^ Am I asleep or awake ? Am I conscious
or unconscious? Or, is all this a mental delusion due to dis-
orders of the brain V*^ Overwhelmed by sorrow and grief,
and with his senses agitated by anxiety, king Yudhishthira
indulged in such reflections for a long time.*® The royal son
of Dharma then gave way to great wrath. Indeed, Yudhish-


ihira then censured the gods as also Dharma himself." Afflict-
ed by the very foul odor, he addressed the celestial messenger,
saying, — 'Return to the presence of those whose messenger
thou art !" Tell them that I shall not go back to where they
are, but shall stay even here, since, in consequeiice of my
companionship, these afflicted brothers of mine have become-
comforted !'^* Thus addressed by the intelligent son of Pandu,
the celestial messenger returned to the place where the chief
of the deities Avas, viz., he of a hundred sacrifices/''^ He re-
presented unto him the acts of Yudhishthira. Indeed, O
ruler of men, he informed Indra of all that Dharma's son had

Section III.

VaiQampayana said, — "King Yudhishthira the just, the
son of Pritha, had not stayed there for more than a moment
when, O thou of Kuru's race, all the gods with Indra at their
head came to that spot.^ The deity of Righteousness, in his
embodied form, also came to that place where the Kuru
king was, for seeing that monarch.^ Upon the advent of
those deities of resplendent bodies and sanctified and noble
deeds, the darkness that had overwhelmed that region im-
mediately disappeared.® The torments undergone by beings
of sinful deeds were no longer seen. The river Vaitarani,
the thorny Calmali,* the iron jars, and the boulders of
rock, so terrible to behold, also vanished from sight. The
diverse repulsive corpses also, which the Kuru king had seen,
disappeared at the same time. ^ Then a breeze, delicicus and
fraught with pleasant perfumes, perfectly pure, ajid delight-
fully cool, O Bharata, began to blow on that spot in conse-
quence of the presence of the gods.® The Maruts, with
Indra, the Vasus with the twin A(;wins, the Sadhyas, the
Rudras, the Adityas, and the other denizens of Heaven,^ as
also the Siddhas and the great Rishis, all came there where
Dharma's royal son of great energy was.^ Then Cakra, the
lord of the deities, endued with blazing pro.sperity. addressed
Yudhishthira and comforting him, said,* — '0 Yudhishthira of


mighty arms, come, come, chief of men ! These illusions
have ended, O puissant one P° Success has heen attained by
thee, mighty-armed one, and eternal regions (of felicity)
have become thine ! Thou shouldst not yield to Avrath. Lis-
ten to these words of mine !" Hell, son, should, without
doubt, be beheld by every king. Of both good and bad ther©
is abundance, chief of men !" He who enjoys first the
fruits of his good acts must afterwards endure Hell. He, on
the other hand, who first endures Hell, must afterwards enjoy
Heaven.^' He whose sinful acts are many, enjoys Heaven
'first. It is for this, O king, that de^rous of doing thee good,
I caused thee to be sent for having a view of Hell.*" Thou
hadst, by a pretence, deceived Drona in the matter of his son.
Thou hast, in consequence thereof, been shown Hell by an
act of deception." After the manner of thyself, Bhima and
Arjuna, and Draupadi, have all been shown the place of
•sinners by an act of deception." Come, chief of men, all of
them have been cleansed of their sins !^^ All those kings who
had sided thee and who have been slain in battle, have all
attained to Heaven. Come and behold them, O foremost one
of Bharata's race !"' Kama, the mighty bowman, that fore-
most of all wielders of weapons, for whom thou art grieving,
has also attained to high success.^® Behold, puissant one,
that foremost of men, viz., the son of Surya ! He is in that
place which is his own, mighty-armed one ! Kill this grief
of thine, O chief of men !^° Behold thy brothers and others,
those kings, that is, who had espoused thy side. They have
all attained to their respective places (of felicity). Let the
fever of thy heart be dispelled !"^ Having endured a little
misery first, from this time, son of Kuru's race, do thou
sport with me in happiness, divested of grief and all thy
ailments dispelled !"^ mighty-armed one, do thou now enjoy,
O king, the rewards of all thy deeds of righteousness, of those
regions which thou hast acquired thyself by thy penances,

* Those whose evil acts outnumber the good, first enjoy Heaven.
The reverse is the case with those whose good acta outnuiuber the evil.
The latter endure Hell fifbt — T.


and of all thy gifts.^* Let deities and Gandharvas, and celes-
tial Apsaras, decked in pure robes and excellent ornaments,
wait upon and serve thee for thy happiness !^* Do thou, O
mighty-armed one, enjoy now those regions (of felicity) which
have become thine through the Rajasuya sacrifice performed
by thee and whose felicities have been enhanced by the sacri-
ficial scimitar employed by thee. Let the high fruits of thy
penances be enjoyed by thee !*^^ Thy regions, Yudhish-
thira, are above, far above, those of kings. They are equal
to those of Hari9chandra, son of Pritha ! Come, and sport
there in bliss !*' There where the royal sage Mandhatri is,
there where king Bhagiratha is, there where Dushmanta's son
Bharata is, there wilt thou sport in bliss \" Here is the
celestial river, sacred and sanctifying the three worlds. It is
called Heavenly Ganga. Plunging into it, thou wilt go to
thy own regions 'f^^ Having bathed in this stream, thou wil6
be divested of thy human nature. Indeed, thy grief dis-
pelled, thy ailments conquered, thou wilt be freed from all
enmities.'^^ While, Kuru king, the chief of the gods was
saying so unto Yudhishthira, the deity of Righteousness, in

his embodied form, then addressed his own son and said,^° O

king, I am greatly pleased, O thou of great wisdom, with thee,
O son, by thy devotion to me, by thy truthfulness of speech,
and forgiveness, and self-restraint !'^ This, indeed, is the third
test, O king, to which I put thee ! Thou art incapable, O
son of Pritha, of being swerved from thy nature or reason !'*
Before this, I had examined thee in the Dwaita woods by my
questions, when thou hadst come to that lake for recovering
a couple of fire sticks. Thou stoodst it well.^* Assuming the
shape of a dog, I examined thee once more, son, when thy
brothers with Draupadi had fallen dovvn.^* This has been thy
third test ; thou hast expressed thy wish to stay at Hell for
the sake of thy brothers. Thou hast become cleansed, O

* •Asi-riddhitan' means, as explained by Nilakantha, 'enhanced by
the (sacrificial) sword.' — T.

t Ganga has three courses. That in Heaven is called Suradhimi or
Mandakmi ; that in Earth is called Ganga ; and that in the nether re-
gions or Patala is called Bhogavati.— T.

[ 2 ]


highly blessed "one. Purified of sin, be thou happy !" son
of Prifcha, thy brothers, king, were not such as to deserve
Hell. All this has been an illusion created by the chief of
the gods.*' Without doubt,, all kings, son, must once be-
hold Hell. Hence hast thou for a little while been subjected
to this great affliction.*^ king, neither Arjuna, nor Bhima,
nor any of those foremost of men, viz,, the twins, nor Kama,
ever truthful in speech and possessed of great courage, could
be deserving of Hell for a long time.*® The princess Krishna
too, O Yudhishthira, could not be deserving of that place of
sinners. Come, come, O foremost one of the Bharatas, be-
hold Ganga who spreads her current over the three worlds !'**
Thus addressed, that royal sage, viz., thy grandsire, proceeded
with Dharma and all the other gods.*** Having bathed in
celestial river Ganga, sacred and sanctifying and ever adored
by the Rishis, he cast off his human body.** Assuming then a
celestial form, king Yudhishthira the just, in consequence of
that bath, became divested of all his enmities and grief.**
Surrounded by the deities, the Kuru king Yudhishthira then
proceeded from that spot. He was accompanied by Dharma,
and the great Rishis uttered his praises.** Indeed, he reached
that place where those foremost of men, those heroes, viz.,
the Pandavas and the Dhartarashtras, freed from (human)
•wrath, were enjoying each his respective status,"**

Section IV.

Vai(?ampSyana said,—" King Yudhishthira, thus praised
by the gods, the Maruts and the Rishis, proceeded to that
place where those foremost ones of Kuru's race were.* He
beheld Govinda endued with his Brahma-form. It resembled
that form of his which had been seen before and which, there-
fore, helped the recognition." Blazing forth in that form
of his, he was adorned with celestial weapons, such as the
terrible discus and others in their respective embodied forms.*'

* The celeatial -weapons are all animate btfiugs and have euibodied
forms of their own,— T,


He was being adored by the heroic Phalguna, who also was
endued with a blazing effulgence. The son af Kunti beheld
the slayer of Madhu in also his own form.* Those two fore-
most of Beings, adored by all the gods, beholding Yudhish-
thira, received him with proper honours.^ In another place,
the delighter of the Kurus beheld Kama, that foremost one
among all wielders of weapons, resembling a dozen Suryas in
splendour.' In another part he beheld Bhimasena of greaft
puissance, sitting in the midst of the Maruts, and endued
with a blazing form.*^ Ho was sitting by the side of the god
of wind in his embodied form. Indeed, he was then in a
celestial form endued with great beauty, and had attained to
the highest success.® In the place belonging to the A5wins,
the delighter of the Kurus beheld Nakula and Sahadeva, each
blazing with his own effulgence.' He also beheld the princess
of Panchala, decked in garlands of lotuses. Having attained
to Heaven, she was sitting there, endued with a form pos-
fjessed of solar splendour.^*' King Yudhishthira suddenly
wished to question her. Then the illustrious Indra, the chief
of the gods, spoke to him."— -'This one is Sree herself. Ifc
was for your sake that she took birth, as the daughter of
Drupada, among human beings, issuing not from any mother's
womb, Yudhishthira, endued with agreeable perfume and
capable of delighting the whole world." For your pleasure,
she was created by the wielder of the trident. She was born
in the race of Drupada and was enjoyed by you all.f " These
five highly blessed Gandharvas endued with the effulgence of
fire, and possessed of great energy, were, O king, the sons of
Draupadi and yourself." Behold Dhritarashtra, the king of
the Gandharvas, possessed of great wisdom. Know that this
one was the eldest brother of thy sire !" This one is thy

♦ 'Tenaiva &c.,' may mean that Bhima was seen in the same form
that he had while on Earth. Perhaps, what is meant is that all these,
viz., Govinda, Phalguna, Bhima, though now endued with blazing forms,
yet had strong resemblances to their respective forms on Earth.— T.

t 'Cula' is a lance. Mahadeva's weapon is a 'tri-^nla' or triden*.
Instead of every time calling it 'tri^ula,' it is sometimes named simpler
»3 '5ula.'— T.


eldesfc brother, the son of Kunti, endued with the effulgence
of fire. The son of Surya, thy eldest brother, the foremost of
man, even this one was known as the son of Radha." He
moves in the campany of Surya. Behold this foremost of
Beings ! Among the tribes of the Saddhyas, the gods, the
Vi^wedevas, and the Maruts," behold, king of kings, the
mighty car-warriors of the Vrishnis and the Andhakas, viz.,
those heroes having Satyaki for their first, and those mighty
ones among the Bhojas.^^ Behold the son of Subhadra, in-
vincible in battle, now staying with Soma. Even he is the
mighty bowman Abhimanyu, now endued with the gentle
effulgence of the great luminary of the night.^^ Here is the
mighty bow-man Pandu, now united with Kunti and Madri.
Thy sire frequently comes to me on his excellent car.^° Be-
hold the royal Bhishma, the son of Cantanu, now in the
inidst of the Vasus. Know that this one by the side of Vri-
haspati is thy preceptor Drona.^^ These and other kings, O
son of Pandu, who had warred on thy side now walk with
the Gandharvas or Yakshas or other sacred beings.^- Some
have attained to the status of Guhyakas, king. Having
Cast off their bodies, they have conquered Heaven by the
merit they had acquired through word, thought, and deed !' "^*

Section V.

Janamejaya said, — "Bhishma and Drona, those two high-
Souled persons, king Dhritarashtra, and Viratn. and Drupada,
and Oankha and Uttara,^ Dhrishtaketu and Jayatsena, and
king Satyajit, the sons of Duryodhana, and Cakuni the son
of Suvala,^ Kama's sons of great prowess, king Jayadratha,
Ghatotkacha and others whom thou hast not mentioned,' the
other heroic kings of blazing forms, — tell me for what period
they remained in Heaven.* foremost of regenerate persons,
was theirs an eternal place in Heaven ? What was the
end attained to by those foremost of men when their acts
came to an end ?*^ I desire to hear this, foremost of regene-

* Acts end when the r« wards or puuisbments attached to them come


rate persons, and, therefore, have I asked thee. Through thy
blazing penances thou seest all things !"•

Sauti said, — Thus questioned, that regenerate Rishi, re-
ceiving the permission of the high-souled Vyasa, set hi^mself
to answer the question of the king/

Vai^ampayana said, — "Every one, king of men, is not
capable of returning to his own nature at the end of his
deeds. Whether this is so or not, i?, indeed, a good ques-
tion asked by thee !*^ Hear, king, this which is a mys-
tery of the gods, chief of Bharata's race ! It was ex-
plained (to us) by Vyasa of mighty energy, celestial vision,
and great prowess,' that ancient ascetic, O Kauravya, who is
the son of Paragara and who always observes high vows, who
is of immeasurable understanding, who is omniscient, and
who, therefore, knows the end attached to all acts.^** Bhish">-
ma of mighty energy and great eflfulgence attained to the
status of the Vasus. Eight Vasus, chief of Bharata's race,
are now seen.t" Drona entered into Vrihaspati, that fore-

to an end. Generally, a portion of one's acts remains unexhausted. It
is in consequence of tliia unexhausted balance that rebirth takes place
and the happiness and misery one cBJoys and endures after such rebirth
is the effect of that balance — T.

* 'Na cakyam &c , prakritira patigantum* is the construction, aa
pointed out by Nilakantha. The question, therefore, that is asked is
this ; is every one capable of returning to his own nature at the end of
his deeds ? By return to one's own nature is meant the attainment of
Emancipation from re-birth. As said in the previous note, one's acta
are not all exhausted. A certain measure of happiness and misery is
enjoyed and endarei in the other world in consequence of one's acts in
this. A portion of one's acts must remain ; otherwise there can be no
re birth. The unexhausted remnant of one's acts leads to re-birth and
the happiness and the misery one enjoys and endures upon such re-birth.
What the king wishes to know, therefore, is this : what is the period
for which Bhishma and others are to enjoy Heaven ? Upon the ex-
haustion of that portion of their acts for which they are to enjoy Hea«
ven, is re-birth ordained for them in consequence, as usual, of the un^
exhaustfd balance ? Or, are all their acts to be exhausted and upon
Buch exhaustion they are to return to their own na-ture ? It is this
quertion that is asked and that is answered by the Eishi.— T.

t Bhishma was the Vasu nam.e4 Dau, Through Va^ishtha's - curse

14) MAHinHARlTA.

moat one of Atiglrasa's descendants. Hridika's son KritS'
varman entered the Maruts." Pradyumna entered Sanat-
kuraara whence he had issued.* Dhritarashtra obtained the
regions, so difficult of acquisition, that belong to the Lord of
treasures.^' The famous Gandhari obtained the same regions
with her husband Dhritarashtra. With his two wives, Pandu
proceeded to the abode of the great Indra.^* Both Virata
and Drupada, and king Dhrishtaketu, as also Nishatha,
Akrura, Camva, Bhanukanipa, and Viduratha,^^ and Bhuri-
<;ravas and Cana and king Bhuri, and Kansa, and Ugrasena,
and Vasudeva," and Uttara, that foremost of men, with his
brother Cankha, — all these foremost of persons entered the
deities." Soma's son of great prowess, named Varchas of
mighty energy, became Abhimanyu, the son of Phalguna,
that lion among men.^^ Having fought, agreeably to Ksha-
triya practices, with bravery such as none else had ever been
able to show, — that mighty-armed and righteous-souled being
entered Soma." Slain on the field of battle, foremost of
men, Kama entered Surya. Cakuni obtained absorption into-
Dwapara, and Dhrishtadyumna into the deity of fire.*° The
sons of Dhritarashtra were all Rakshasas of fierce might.
Sanctified by death caused by weapons, those high-souled be-
ings of great prosperity all succeeded in attaining to Hea-
ven.'* Both Kshattri and king Yudhishthira entered into
the god of Righteousness. The holy and illustrious Ananta
(who had taken birth as Valarama) proceeded to the region
below the Earth.'* Through the command of the Grandsire»
he, aided by his Yoga power, supported the Earth.f Vasudeva

he had to take birth as a man. Upon his death, he returned to his own
status ; that is, became a Vasu, and brought up their tale to eight.
Instead of existing in Heaven as a separate individual in the midst
of the Vasus, he became obsorbed into them and began to exist as
a Vasu, the eighth of their number. It was no case of Sio&lohija but
SwS.yujya. — T.

* All these, instead of existing as separate individuals, became ab-J
gorbed in those from whom they had issued or whose portions they
were.— T.

t The Karth is supposed to ba supported in space by Ananta, ths


was a portion of that eternal god of gods, called Naravana.
Accordingly, he entered into Naravana. ^^ Sixteen thousand
women had been married to Vasudeva as his wives. When
the time came, Janamejaya, they plunged into the Sara-
swati.'* Casting ofif their (human) bodies there, they re-

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