Pratap Chandra Roy.

The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (Volume 9) online

. (page 39 of 42)
Online LibraryPratap Chandra RoyThe Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (Volume 9) → online text (page 39 of 42)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

ascended to Heaven. Transformed into Apsaras, they ap-
proached the presence of Vasudeva.*^ Those heroic and
mighty car- warriors, viz., Ghatotkacha and others, who were
slain in the great battle, attained to the status, some of gods
and some of Yakshas.** Those that had fought on the side of
Duryodhana are said to have been Rakshasas. Gradually, O
king, they have all attained to excellent regions of felicity."
Those foremost of men have proceeded, some to the abode of
Indra, some to that of Kuvera of great intelligence, and some
to that of Varuna.** I have now tol^ thee, O thou of great
splendour, everything about the acts, Bharata, of both the
Kurus and the Pandavas."*'

Sauti said, — Hearing this, ye foremost of regenerate ones,
at the intervals of sacrificial rites, king Janamejaya became
filled with wonder.''* The sacrificial priests then finished
the rites that remained to go through. Astika, having res-
cued the snakes (from a fiery death), became filled with joy."
King Janamejaya then gratified all the Brahmanas with copi-
ous presents. Thus worshipped by the king, they returned
to their respective abodes.** Having dismissed those learned
Brahmanas, king Janamejaya came back from Taksha^ila to
the city named after the elephant." I have now told thee
everything that Vai9ampayana narrated, at the command of
Vyasa, unto the king at his snake sacrifice.^* Called a history,
it is sacred, sanctifying and excellent. It has been composed
by the ascetic Krishna, Brahmana, of truthful speech.^*
He is omniscient, conversant with all ordinances, possessed of
a knowledge of all duties, endued with piety, capable of per-,
ceiving what is beyond the ken of the senses, pure, having a
soul cleansed by penances,** possessed of the six high attri-

Blighty suake of interminable body. It was. at the command of the
Grftudoii-e Uiat Anauta placed the Earth on his head.— I,


butes, and devoted to Sankhya Yoga. He haa composed this,
beholding everything with a celestial eye that has been cleans-
ed (strengthened) by varied lore.*^ He has done this, desiring
to spread the fame, throughout the world, of the high-souled
Panda vas as also of other Kshatriyas possessed of abundant
wealth of energy.'® That learned man who recites this
history on sacred days in the midst of a listening auditory,
becomes cleansed of every sin, conquers Heaven, and attains
to the status of Brahma." Of that man who listens with
rapt attention to the recitation of the whole of this Veda com-
posed by (the Island-born) Krishna, a million sins, numbering
such grave ones as Brahmanicide and the rest, are washed
off.*° The Pitris of that man who recites even a small por-
tion of this history at a ^rdddha, obtain inexhaustible food
and drink.**^ The sins that one commits during the day by
one's senses or the mird are all washed off before evening by
reciting a portion of the Mahabharata.*' Whatever sins a
Brahmana may commit at night in the midst of women, are
all washed off before dawn by reciting a portion of the Maha-
bharata.** The high race of the Bharatas is its topic. Hence
it is called Bharata. And because of its grave import as also
of the Bharatas being its topic, it is tailed Mahdhharata.f**
He who is versed in interpretations of this great treatise, be-
comes cleansed of every sin. Such a man lives in righteous-
ness, wealth, and pleasure, and attains to Emancipation also,
O chief of Bharata's race !^** That which occurs here occurs
elsewhere. That which does not occur here occurs nowhere
else. This history is known by the name of Jaya. It should
be heard by every one desirous of Emancipation." It should
be read by Brahraanas, by kings, and by women quick with

* 'Pada' may also mean a single foot of a verse. In a ^loka there
are four padas. He, therefore, who recites even a foot of a single verse
of this history, confers upon his Pitris an inexhaustible stock of food
and drink — T.

I- 'Mahat' is high or great. 'Mahabharata,' therefore, means, a great
or high history of the Bharatas. — T.

J 'Nirukta' literally means an explanation of the especial terms of
the Vedas. — T.


clilldren. He that desires Heaven attains to Heaven ; and he
that desires victory attains to victory,*^ The woman quick
with child gets either a son or a daughter highly blessed.
The puissant Island-born Krishna, who will not have to
come back, and who is Emancipation incarnate, made an
abstract of the Bharata, moved by the desire of aiding the
cause of righteousness.**^ He made another compilation con-
sisting of sixty lakhs of verses.'*^ Thirty lakhs of these vv^ere
placed in the region of the deities. In Ihe region of the
Pitris, fifteen lakhs, it should be known, are current ; whila
in that of the Yak&has fourteen lakhs are in vogue.''" One
lakh is cur"ent among human beings. Narada recited the
Mahabharata to the gods ; Asita-Devala to the Pitris f- Cuka
to the Rakshasas and the Yakshas ; and Vai^aropayana to
human beings. This history is sacred, and of high import,
and regarded as equal to the Vedas.^^ That man, Cau-
naka, Avho hears this history, placing a Brahmana before
him, acquires both fame and the fruition of all his wishes.^*
He who, with fervid devotion, listens to a recitation of the
Mahabharata, attains (hereafter) to high success in conse-
quence of the merit that becomes his through understanding
even a very small portion thereof. All the sins of that man
who recites or listens to this history with devotion are
washed off.^*"^^ In former times, the great Rishi Vyasa,
having composed this treatise, caused his son Cuka to read
it with him, along with these four Verses.f^® — Thousands
of mothers and fathers, and hundreds of sons and wives arise
in the world and depart from it. Others will (arise and)
similarly depart. °' There are thousands of occasions for joy
and hundreds of occasions for fear. These affect only him
that is ignorant but never him that is wise.^® With uplifted
arms I am crying aloud but nobody hears me. From Right-

* 'Auagata' and 'Moksha' are thus explained by Nilakantha. — T.

t The four verses referred to are the 57th, 58th, 59th, and 60th
of this lesson. The printed Bombay text differs in some respects from
the Bengal text of this lesson. But carefully considering the differ-
ences, I have no doubt; that the Bengal text is genuine, and that the
Bombay text is vitiated. — T.

[ 3 ]


eousiiessiis Wealth as also Pleasure. Why should cot Right-
eousness, therefore, be courted ?^^ For the sake neither of
pleasure, nor of fear, nor of cupidity should any one cast off
Righteousness. Indeed, for the sake of even life one should
not cast off Righteousness. Righteousness is eternal. Pleasure
and Pain are not eternal. Jiva is eternal. The cause, how-
•cver, of Jiva's being invested with a body is not so.*"* — That
man who, waking up at dawn, reads this Savittri of the
Bharata, acquires all the rewards attached to a recitation of
this history and ultimately attains to the highest Brahma.***
As the sacred Ocean, as the Himavat mountain, are both re-
garded as mines of precious gems, even so is this Bharata
(regarded as a mine of precious gems).®" The man of learn-
ing, by reciting to others this Veda or Agama composed by
(the Island-born) Krishna, €arns wealth. There is no doubt
in this that he who, with rapt attention, recites this history
called Bharata, attains td high success.*^ What need has
that man of a sprinkling of the waters of Pushkara who
attentively listens to this Bharata, while it is recited to him ?
It represents the nectar that fell from the lips of the Island-
born. It is immeasurable, sacred, sanctifying, sin-cleansing,
«,nd auspicious."*^*

Section VI.

Janamejaya said, — "0 holy one, according to what rites
should the learned listen to the Bharata ? What are the
fruits (acquirable by hearing it) ? What deities are to be
worshipped during the several Pdranas If^ What should be
the gifts that on« should make, holy one, at every Parva
•or sacred day (during the continuance of the recitation) ?

* By 'Savittri' is meant anything as sacred as the 'Gfiyattri.' The
latter is, of course, the most sacred verse of the Vedas. The four
verses here set forth constitute the 'Savittri' or 'Gayattri' of the Bha-
rata. Their recitation is regarded as equivalent to a recitation of the
•whole compilation. — T.

t A Parana is so much of the text as is generally recited or read all
oue sitting. — T,


What should be the qualifications of the reciter to be engaged ?
Tell me all this !"*-

Vai^ampayana said, — "Hear, king, what that procedure-
is, and what the fruits, Bharata, are that will spring from-
one's listening (to a recitation of the Bharata). Even this,
O king of kings, is what thou askest me.^ The deities of
Heaven, ruler of Earth, came to this world for sport. Hav-
ing achieved their task, they ascended once more to Heaven.*
Listen to what I shall tell thee in brief. In the Mahabharata
is to be found the births of Rishis and deities on the Earth.^
In this treatise, called Bharata, foremost •ne of Bharata's-
race, are to be seen in one place the eternal Rudras, the
Saddhyas, and the Vi^wedevas ; the Idityas, the two deities
named the Agwins, the regents of the World, the great Rishis,.
the Guhyakas, the Gandharvas, the Nagas, the Vidyadharas,
the Siddhas, the diverse deities, the Self-born visible in a body,
with many ascetics ; the Hills and Mountains, Oceans and Seas
and Rivers ; the diverse tribes of Apsaras ; the Planets, the
Years, the Half-years, and the Seasons ; and the whole universe
of mobile and immobile entities, with all the gods and
Asuras.f'^"^ Hearing their celebrity, and in consequence of a
recitation of their names and achievements, a man, that has
committed even terrible sins, will be cleansed.^'* Having,
with a concentrated soul and cleansed body, heard this history
duly, from the beginning, and having reached its end, one
should make prdddha-oEenngs, Bharata, unto those (fore-
most of persons who have been mentioned in it). Unto the-
Brahmanas also, chief of Bharata's race, should, with due
devotion and according to one's power, be made^^'^- large
gifts and diverse kinds of gems, and kine, and vessels of
white brass for milking kine, and maidens decked with every
ornament,^*^ and possessed of every acomplishment suited to*

* A 'Parva' is a sacred day ; generally the day of the full mooiv
and the new moon are so called. — T.

+ The second line of 7 is read differently in the Bombay text, vis.,
"Swayambhuccha Munih Katyayano varah," meaning, "the Self-born-,
arid the ascetic Katyayana, that foremost of persons." Neither the
fjengal, nor the Bombay, reading, however, seems to be correct. — T.


enjoyment, as also diverse kinds of conveyances, beautiful man-
sions, plots of landj and cloths.-'* Aninjals also should be
given, such as horses and elephants in rut, and beds, and
covered conveyances borne on the shoulders of men, and well-
declced cars.^° Whatever objects occur in the house, of the
foremost kind, whatever wealth of great value occurs in it,
should be given away unto Brahmanas. Indeed, one should
give away one's ownself, wives, and children.^® One desirous
of hearing the Bharata, should hear it without a doubting
heart, with cheerfulness and joy ; and as he proceeds listening
to its recitation, he should, according to the extent of his
power, make gifts with great devotion.*^" Hear how a person
that is devoted to truth and sincerity, that is self-restrained,
pure (in mind), and observant of those acts which lead to
purity of body, that is endued with faith, and that has sub-
jugated wrath, attains to success (in the matter of a recita-
tion of the Bharata). ^^ He should appoint as reciter one
that is pure (of body), that is endued with good and pious
conduct, that should be robed in white, that should have a
complete mastery over his passions, that is cleansed of all
offences, that is conversant with every branch of learning,
that is endued with faith, that is free from malice,^^ that is
possessed of handsome features, that is blessed, self- restrained,
truthful, and v^rith passions under control, and that is beloved
of all for the gifts he makes and the honors of which he is
the possessor.^** The reciter, seated at his ease, free from all
bodily complaints, and with rapt attention, should recite the
text without too i;:uch slowness, without a labouring voice,

* 1 am not sure that I have correctly understood this Verse. I take
the consti-nclion to be this : Tasya (Bharatasya) gugrusuh, avikalpabah
Bumana, hrishtah (san), kramacah piiragagcha (san), gaktitah paraya
9raddhaya (cha), datum (yogyo bhavati). To tliis day, the person, in
■whose house the Bharata is recited, goes on making gifts either every
day or at important stages of the recitation. To quote a few instances :
■when the self-choice of Draupadi comes, costly gifts are made of every
Bort of article, as if the person causing the recitation is Drupada him-
Relf ; then, when Durvasas's "parana" comes, food of every sort has to
be given away, as if the householder is king Yudhishthira making pre-
parations for feeding tliat wrathful sage and his army of disciples.— T,


without being; Hast or quick, quietly, with sufficient energy,
without confusing the letters and words together, in a sweet
intonation and with such accent and emph:~.,sis as would in-
dicate the sense, giving full utterance to 'he three and sixty
letters of the alphabet froa* the eiglit places of their forma-
tion.*"^""^ Bowing unto Narayana, ai;d to Nara, that foremost
of men, as also to the goddess Saraswati, should the word
Jaya be uttered.^* Listening to the Bharata, king, when
recited, thou of Bharata's race, by a reader of this kind,
the listener, observant of vows the while and cleansed by
purificatory rites, acquires \aluable fruits.^* When the first
Parana is reached, the hearer should gratify Brahmanas with
presents of all desirable objects. By doing this, one obtains
the fruits of the Agnishtoma sacrifice."^ He acquires a large
(celestial) car teeming with diverse orders of Apsaras (that
wait upon him). With a glad heart, and with the deities in
his company, he proceeds to Heaven, his heart rapt (in feli-
city)."^ When the second Parana is reached, the hearer
acquires the fruits of the Atirdtra vow. Indeed, he ascends
a celestial car made entirely of precious gems."^ Wearing
celestial garlands and robes, and decked with celestial un-
guents and always shedding a celestial fragrance around, he
receives high honours in Heaven.'^ When the third Parana
is reached, he acquires the fruits of the Dwddacdhi vow.
Indeed, he resides in Heaven for myriads of years, like a
god."^ At the fourth tdrana he acquires the fruits of the
Vajapeya sacrifice. At the fifth, twice those fruits are his.
Ascending a celestial car that resembles the rising sun or a
blazing fire, and with the deties ibr his companions, he goes

* 'Asamsaktaksharapadam' means that one shonld not read the text
like a tangled chain. In no langiiage is it so difficult to avoid confus-
ing the letters and words together as in Sans^krit. Take up the printed
Bombay text. Each line is a series of letters, without the words
being marked off by spaces. The three and sixty letters are mentioned
in Panini's cikslia. "TvishashtiQchatuhshashtirva varnah cambhu-mate
matah, Prakrile Sanskrite chapi swayam proktah Swayambhuva, &c."
The eight places of utterance are the Chest, the Throat, the Head, the
Tongue-root, the Teeth, the Nose, the Lip, and the Palate, — T.


to Heaven and sports in felicity for myriads of years in the
abode of Indra.^""^^ At the sixth tdrana, twice, and at the
seventh, thrice those fruits become his. Ascending a celestial
car that resembles the summit of the Kailiisa mountains (in
beauty), that is equipb with an altar made of stones of lapis
lazuli and other precious gems, that is surrounded by beauti-
ful objects of diverse kinds, that is decked with gems and
corals, that moves at the will of the rider, and that teems
with waiting Apsaras, he roves through all the regions of
felicity, like a second deity of the Sun. At the eighth tdrana
he acquires the fruits of the Rajasuya sacrifice.^'*"^* He as-
cends a car as beautiful as the rising moon, and unto which
are yoked steeds white as the rays of the moon and endued
with the speed of thought.^^ He is served by women of the
foremost beauty and whose faces are more charming than the
moon. He hears the music of the garlands that encircle their
waists and the Nupuras encircling their ankles.^® Sleeping
with his head resting on the laps of women of transcendent
beauty, he awakes greatly refreshed. At the ninth Parana,
he acquires, Bharata, the fruits of that foremost of sacri-
fices, viz., the Horse-sacrifice.*'^ Ascending on a car equipt
with a chamber consisting of a top supported by columns of
gold, furnished with a seat made of stones of lapis lazuli,
with windows on all sides made of pure gold, and teeming
with waiting Apsaras and Gandharvas and other celestials,
he blazes forth in splendour.^® Wearing celestial garlands
and robes, and decked with celestial unguents, he sports in
bliss, with deities for his companions, in Heaven, like a
second deity himself.'^^"*^ Reaching the tenth Parana and
gratifying Brahmanas, he acquires a car which tinkles with
innumerable bells, which is decked with flags and banners,
which is equipt with a seat made of precious gems, which has
many arches made of lains lazuli, which has a net-work of
gold all round, which has turrets made of corals, which is
adorned with Gandharvas and Apsaras well skilled in singing,
and which is fit for the residence of the Righteous.""*^
Crowned with a diadem of the complexion of fire, decked with
ornaments of gold, his person smeared with celestial sandal-


paste, garnished with celestial wreaths, he roves through all
celestial regions, enjoying all celestial objects of enjoyment,
and endued with great splendour, through the grace of the
deities.**"*^ Thus accoutred, he receives high honours in
Heaven for many long years. With Gandharvas in his
company, for full one and twenty thousand years, he sports in
bliss with Indra himself in the abode of Indra. He roves at
pleasure every day through the diverse regions of the gods,
riding on celestial cars and conveyances, and surrounded by
celestial damsels of transcendent beauty. He is able to go to
the abode of the solar deity, of the lunar deity ,^^"*^ and of
Civa, king ! Indeed, he succeeds in living in the same
region with Vishnu himself. It is even so, monarch !
There is no doubt in this.*^ A person listening with faith,
becomes even so. My preceptor has said this. Unto the re-
citer should be given all such objects as he may wish.^° Ele-
phants and steeds and cars and conveyances, especially animals
and the vehicles they draw, a bracelet of gold, a pair of ear-
rings, sacred threads,^^ beautiful robes, and perfumes in es-
pecial (should be given). By worshipping him as a deity one
attains! to the regions of Vishnu.^" j^f^^^. ^j^-g j gj^^^jj (jg^jj^j.^

what should [email protected] given away, as each Parvan is reached of
the Bharata in course of its recitation,*" unto Brahmanas,
after ascertaining their birth, country, truthfulness, and great-
ness, O chief of Bharata's race, as also their inclination for
piety, and unto Kshatriyas too, king, after ascertainment
of similar particulars.f^* Causing the Brahmanas to utter
benedictions, the business of recitation should be begun.
When a Parvan is finished, the Brahmanas should be wor-
shipped to the best of one's power.^^ At first, the reciter,

* The Bombay text reads "Viprebbyah" for "Viprendre."— T.

t All the printed texts read "Ksliatriyanam" in the second line of
this verse. Gifts, however, are directed to be made unto Brahmanas
and not unto Kshatriyas. For the latter, acceptance of gifts is not
prescribed. Besides, in the following verses, the gifts are specially
declared to be made to Brahmanas. No mention occurs in them of any
obligation to make gifts unto Kshatriyas. I think, the true reading is
lost.— T.


cl'id in good robes and smeared with perfumed paste, should,

kingr. be duly fed with honev and frumentv of the best

kind.^® When tlie Astika Parva is being recited, Brah-

manas should be entertained with fruits and roots, and fru-

ment}^ and honey and clarified butter, and rice boiled with

raw sugar/^ When the Sabha Parva is being recited, Brah-

manas should be fed with Hahish.ya along with Ajyupas and

^■upas and Modakaa, king.*^^ When the Aranyaka Parva

is being recited, superior Brahraanas shoidd be fed with fruits

and roots. When the Arani Parva is reached, water- pots full

of water sliould he given away/® Many superior kinds of

delicious food, also rice and fruits and roots, and food possessed

of every agreeable attribute, should be presented unto the

Brahmanas.-f-®" During the recitation of the Virata Parva,

diverse kinds of robes should be given away ; and during that

of the Udyoga Parva, chief of the Bharatas, the twice-born

ones, after being decked with perfumes and garlands, should

be entertained with food possessed of every agreeable quality,

During the recitation of the Bhishma Parva, king of kings,

after giving them excellent cars and conveyances,*^"^^ food

should be given that is pure and well-cooked and possessed of

every desirable attribute. During the Drona Parva food of

very superior kind should be given to learned Brahmanas,**

as also beds, monarch, and bows and good swords. During

the recitation of the Kama Parva, food of the foremost kind,**

that is, besides, pure and well cooked, should be presented

unto the Brahmanas by the house-holder Avith rapt mind.

During the recitation of the Calya Parva, king of kings,

food with confectionery and rice boiled with raw sugar, as

also cakes of wheat and soothing and nutritive viands and

drinks should be presented. During the recitation of the

Gada Parva, Brahmanas should be entertained with food

♦ 'Habishya' is food consisting of rice and milk and sugar. It
should be without meat of any kind. 'Apupas' are cakes of flour of
wheat 'Pupas' are cakes of rice reduceJ to powder ; they are less rich
than tliose made of wheat-flour. 'Modakas' are confectionery. — T.

■•■ By 'tarpana' is meant such food or drink as is soothing aud nutri-
tive. It is a technical word used iu Chi^raka.— T,


ttiTiced with Mudga.*'^"'" During the recitation of the Stree
Parva, foremost of Brahmanas should be entertained with
gems and precious stones : and during the recitation of the
Aishika Parva, rice boiled in ghee should first be given,^'' and
then food pure and well-cooked, and possessed of every desir-
able quality, should be presented. During the recitation of
the Canti Parva, the Brahmanas should be fed with Habi'
Shya.'^ When the Agwamedhika Parva is reached, food pos-
sessed of every agreeable quality should be given ; and when
the A(jramavasika, is reached Brahmanas should be entertained
with Habishya.^^ When the Mausala is reached., scents and
garlands possessed of agreeable qualitiess houid be given away,
During the Mahaprasthanika, similar presents should be
niade, possessed of every quality of an agreeable kind.^**
When the Swarga Parva is reached, the Brahmanas should be
fed with Hubishya. Upon the conclusion of the Harivanca,
a thousand Brahmanas should be fed.''^ Unto each of them
should be presented a cow accompanied with a piece of gold.
Half of this should be presented to each poor man, O king.''^
Upon the conclusion of all the Parvas, the householder of
wisdom should give unto the reciter a copy of the Maha-
bharata with a piece of gold.^^ When the Harivanga Parva
is being recited, Brahmanas should be fed with frumenty
at each successive fdrana, king !^* Having finished all
the Parvas, one versed in the scriptures, robing himself in
white, wearing garlands, decked with ornaments, and pro-
perly purified, should place a copy of the Mahabharata on an
auspicious spot and cover it with a piece of silken cloth and
worsliip it, according to due rites, with scents and garlands,
offering each at a time.'^"'« Indeed, king, the several
volumes of this treatise should be worshipped ty one with
^evotion and concentrated mind. Offerings should be made

Online LibraryPratap Chandra RoyThe Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (Volume 9) → online text (page 39 of 42)