Mahabharata – Adi Parva – Adivansabatarana Parva – 59-64
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Introduction of Mahabharata
1Saunaka said: O child, O Souti, you have narrated to me this great and extensive history of the Brigu race from the birth of Brigu. I am much pleased with you.
2-3O son of Suta, I ask you now to recite to me that wonderful and varied narrations composed by Vyasa, which were recited by the illustrious Sadashyas in the intervals of the long-extending ceremony (Snake-sacrifice).
4O son of Suta, I wish to learn from you the object of those narrations. Therefore, recite them to me in full.
5Souti said: The Brahmanas spoke of many things, founded on the Vedas, in the internals of their duties, but Vyasa recited the wonderful and great history, called the Bharata.
6-7Saunaka said: — I desire to hear that sacred history, called Mahabharata, that spreader of the fame of the Pandavas, which Krishna Dwaiayana, asked by Janamejaya, caused to e duly recited in the intervals of the sacrifice.
8It was born in the ocean-like mind of the great Rishi of purified soul. O best of men, recite it to me, for, O son of Suta, my thirst has not been appeased by all that you have narrated.
9Souti said: I shall recite from the beginning the great and excellent history, called Mahaharata, composed by Krishna Dwaipayana.
10Listen to it! in full, O Brahmana, as I recite it. I myself feel a great pleasure in reciting it.