Acara Kandha 145-153
– 145 –
1Brahma said: -Now hear me narrate the story of the Mahabharatam. It is so called (Bharatam) from the fact of Krsna’s espousing the cause the Paridavas in battle, for relieving the earth of its weight of sin (Bhubhara).
2Brahma sprang out of the lotus navel of Hari. The son of Brahma was Atri. The son of Atri was the Moon-God, and in the line that sprang from him was born Purtra.
3Pururava begot on the nymph Urvasi a son, named Ayu. Yayati, Bharata, Kuru, and Santanu were of the race of Ayu. The divinely wise Bisma was the son of Santanu by his wife Gang.
4-5This Santanu had two other sons named Citrangada and Vicitravirya by his wife Satyavati. This Citrangada was killed in battle by a Gandharva of the same name.
6The second son Vicitravirya married Ambika and Ambalika, the daughters of the king of Kasi. After the death of Vicitravirya, the holy Vyasa begot sons on the wives of Vicitravirya.
7-9Ambika became the mother of Dhritarastra; Ambalika, of Pandu; and Bhujisya of Vidura. Dhritarastra had. a hundred sons by his wife Gandhari such as Duryodhana, etc., while the five sons who were begotten on Kunti and Madri, the two wives of Pandu, were Yudhishthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakala and Sahadeva.
10By a preordinance of fate there sprang up a hitter animosit between the Kurus (sons of Dhritarashtra) and the Pandava (sons of Pandu). Duryodhana, a man of fickle temperament and unstable principles, was not slow to devise means for harrassing the Pandavas.
11He attempted to kill them by burning them down in a house of shellac.
12The guileless Pandavas, saved through the merit of their faith and innocence, sojourned to the village of Ekacakra, and took shelter in the house of a Brahmana. These mighty Pandavas stayed for a while in the house of that Brahmana, and while there, the redoubtable Bhimasena killed the monster Baka.
13Thence they went to the country of Pancala and married DraupadI, the princess of that country, whose hands had to be on by a competition in skilful archery, and by showing matchless proficiency in that art.
14In the meantime, Dhrtarashtra, who had been prevailed upon by Bhishma and Drona to grant them the sovereignty of half the kingdom called the Pandavas over to his capital, and installed them as kings in the city of Indraprastha.
15Then the self-controlled Pandavas caused a splendid pavilion to be raised at Indraprastha, and there they celebrated the Rajasuya sacrifice. At Dwaraka, Arjuna wedded his bride Subhadra, the sister of Krishna, and secured the friendship of that great personage, who stood by him as his staunchest ally all through life.
16From the Fire-God Arjuna obtained a car named Nandighosha, the invincible bow named Gandiva, the inexhaustible quiver, and a suit of unpierceable armour.
17-19With Krishna as his second and with the help of this invincible bow Arjuna was able to appease the hunger of the Fire-God. In his campaigns of world conquest, Arjuna defeated many kings, and made over their treasures to his brother Yudhishthira, the Master of Politics and statecraft. In a fraudulent game of dice, Duryodhana managed to win all that belonged to Yudhishthira, and, through the machination of the evil-souled Kama and Sakuni, persuaded him to continue the play, pledging a residence incognito for one year out of an exile of twelve as his stake.
20Yudhishthira lost this last stake and went out as a voluntary exile in the company of his faithful and devoted brothers and their beloved Draupadi, Dhaumya and a concourse of other holy sages.
21-22For one year they lived incognito in the house of the king of Virat, serving as cowherds and menials in his household. After one year, they declared themselves, and asked for their moiety of the country, or a proprietary right in only five villages in its stead, which Duryodhana, in an evil hour and through the machination of his evil grained courtiers, refused to grant.
23-24The five brothers, thus insulted and ousted of their legitimate birthright, began to collect troops and secure powerful allies. With an army of seven Akshauhinis of soldiers they met Duryodhana at the head of eleven Akshauhuins at the field of Kurukshetra. So, there ensued a cruel and dreadful war between the Kurus and the Pandavas similar to the one that was waged by the gods against the demons of yore.
25Bhishma was the leader of Duryodhana’s forces just as the hostilities commenced, while the armies of the Pandavas were led by Sikhandi. Sikhandi chose out Bhisma the commandant of the Kaurava forces as his opponent in battle, which lasted for ten consecutive days, the archers posted against archers, and swordsmen and spearsmen picked against soldiers similarly equipped as themselves.
26-27Bhishma, pierced through and through by the arrows of Sikhandi and Arjuna, saw that the swum had just then entered the summer solstice, and having meditated upon the divine self of the mace bearing Deity and discoursed on many a topic of ethical and political philosophy, propitiated his departed Manes with suitable oblations; and the spirit of that brave and righteous soldier, who had never swerved from truth in his life, joyfully abandoned its earthly tenement and merged itself in that infinite joy, knowledge and purity, which the wise men worship as the Supreme Brahma.
28-29Then Drona the preceptor of the race of Kuru, took up the command of the Kaurava’s army, and went out to fight the valiant Dhrstadyumna, the commander of the Pandava’s troops. For five days the battle reged furious and undecided, and many gallant chiefs fell on both the sides like sear leaves before the.winter wind. Drona sadly dejected by the news of his son’s death, fell an easy victim to the sword thursts of Dhrstadyumna.
30After that, Karna became the leader of the Kuru’s forces, and picked out Arjuna as his opponent in battle. For two days the battle raged furious, and victory oscillated between the banners of the Kurus and the Pandavas. At last, Kama, tossed about like a weed in the seating sea of Arjuna’s arrows, breathed his last and entered the region of the Sun-God.
31After that, Salya, was elected commander of the Kuru’s forces and fell at the hands of Yudhishthira at the middle of the day of battle.
32Then Duryodhana, mad with despair and ignominy, club in hand, towards the redoubtable Bhimasena, like the God of Death bent on stifling out the life of Time and Space.
33But the redoubtable Bhimasena proved too much of a match for him and killed him quick with one stroke of his deadly club. After that, Asvatthama, the son of Drona, determined to storm the Pandava’s camp by surprise at night, and to annihilate the Pandava-army while peacefully lulled in the lap of sleep.
34Bent on avenging the death of his father Drona, he stealthily entered the Pandava’s camp, and brooding over the death of his illustrious progenitor, he severed with his sword the heads of Dhrishtadyumna and the five sons of Draupadi.
35Arjuna, maddened by the agonizing wailings of Draupadi, took the fugitive miscreant a captive, and cut out of his (Asvatthama’s) head the famous gem with the means of his Aisika-weapon.
36Yudhisthira consoled the widows of the killed warriors and performed funeral obsequies in honour of his departed friends, relations and cognates.
37-38Yudhishthira, consoled and advised by Bhishma in his last moments, ascended the throne, and ruled the kingdom according to the injunctions of the Scriptures. He propitiated the God Vishnu by celebrating a Horse-Sacrifice, and having heard of the annihilation of the race of Yadava by that cursed club, made over the sovereignty to his grandson Parikshita, and ascended to the region of Vishnu in the company of his brother, while repeating the sacred named of that Deity.
39After that, for the furtherance of the divine good, as well as for the punishment of the wicked and elevation of the righteous, the God Vasudeva was incarnated on earth.
40Vishnu will incarnated again as Kalki in Sambhal village, He ride on a white horse and will destroy the ill-doers.
41He comes down on earth, at intervals of centuries and in the shape of man, to chastise the wrong-doers and to set right the path of truth and piety.
42-43In the twentieth Manvantara (age of the twentieth Manu), he sprang out, in the guise of Dhanvantari, of the ocean of milk, as it was churned by the gods and demons for the divine ambrosia, and taught the science of life (Medical Science) to Susruta, the son of Visvamitra. He, who bears of the genesis (evolution) of this grand idealist and his adjunct ideas, goes to heaven after death.