(Translated literally from the original sanskrit text)
Edited and published by Manmatha Nath Dutt, M.A. M.B.A.S. Rector, Keshub Academy. Author of the English Translations of the Ramayana, Vishnu Purana, Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhagavat Gita and other works.
Mahabharata – Adi Parva – Anukramanika Parva
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Contents of subject
0Having saluted the Supreme Deity (Narayana), and the highest of all male beings (Nara) and also the Goddess of Learning (Saraswati), let us cry success!
1-2One day when the great sages of hard austerities, who had been present at the twelve years’ sacrifice of Kulapati Saunaka, were comfortably sitting in the Naimisharanya, Rishi Lomharshana’s son, Ugrasrava, popularly known as Souti, well read in the Puranas, came to them with all humility.
3(Thereupon) desirous of hearing his wonderful stories, the ascetics addressed him who had come to their hermitage of Naimisharanya.
4Having been welcomed with due respect by those holy Rishis, Souti, with joined hands, asked them all how their devout penances were progressing.
5After the Rishis had taken their seats, Lomharshana’s son humbly took the seat assigned to him.
6Seeing that he had been comfortably seated and observing that he had had some rest after the fatigue, one of the Rishis started the conversation, saying:
7”O Lotus-eyed, whence have you come? Where have you been, Souti? Tell me, I ask you, (all the particulars of your travels).”
8When the accomplished speaker Souti was thus questioned, he gave before that great assembly of contemplative Rishis a full and proper reply in words becoming their nature.
9-11Souti said: “After listening to the various red and wonderful stories of the Mahabharata composed by Krishna Dwaipavana, those that were fully recited by Vaishampayana at the great snake-sacrifice held by that noble-hearted royal sage, the prince of all princes, the son of Parikshit, Janamejaya.
12(O holy Rishsis), I wandered about and visited many holy shrines and sacred waters, and came (at last) to Samantapanchaka, a place venerated by the twice born.
13And where in the days of yore the sons of Kuru and Pandu had fought a deadly battle, in which all the Chiefs of India joined one side or the other.
14-15Being anxious to see you (all), I have now come before your (august) presence. O Reverend Sages, to you who are all to me as Brahma, to you who are greatly learned and highly blessed, who shine with the fire of the Sun in this holy place of sacrifice, who are pure by sacred ablutions, who have performed and’ finished the deep meditation, who have kept up the sacred fire, who are beyond all cares to you, O twice born ones, what shall I speak?
16Shall I repeat to you the sacred stories of the Puranas, barring on religious precepts and worldly profit, or shall I recount to you the wonderful deeds of the great sages and saints and the sovereigns of mankind?”
17The Rishis replied: The Purana which was first told by the illustrious sage, Dwaipayana, and which was greatly esteemed by the celestials and Bramharishis when they heard it.
18And which, being full of various dictions and divisions, is (undoubtedly) the most eminent narrative (amongst all narratives) that exist, containing (as it does) subtle and logically combined meanings, enriched with (the essences of) the Vedas, is a sacred work.
19-21It is composed in beautiful language, and it includes all other works. It is explained by all Sastras and contains the sense of the four Vedas. (But Souti,) we desire to hear Bharata t the sacred history that drives away all fear, the holy composition of great. Vyasa, just as it was beautifully narrated at the great snake- sacrifice of Raja Janamejaya by Rishi Vaishampayana as directed by Krishna Dwaipayana himself.’’
22”Bowing. (most reverentially) my head to original first being Ishan, who is adored by all and to whom all make offerings who is the true unchangeable One, who is manifested and unmanifested, eternal and everlasting Brahma.
23Who is both non-existing and existing-non-existing, who is the (existing) universe, and still distinct from both the existing and the non-existing world, who is the originator of all, both high and low,
24Who is the ancient, great, undecaying One, who is Vishnu, the good and the goodness, who is worthy of all worship, pure add sinless, who is Hari, the lord of the faculties, the guide of all the moveable and the immoveable,
25(O Rishis) shall now describe to you the holly thoughts great Rishi of the wonderful deeds (the sage) Vyasa, who is worshipped by all of you here.
26Some bards have already sung this history and some again are teaching it to others, others will no doubt do the same hereafter on earth.
27It is a great source of knowledge all through the three worlds. It is possessed by the twice born both in detailed and compendious form.
28It is embellished with elegant expressions, with human and divine conversations, and; with various poetical measures. It is, therefore, the great delight of the learned.
29In this universe, when there was no brightness and no light, and when all was enveloped in darkness, there came into being a Mighty Egg, the one inexhaustible Seed of all created beings.
30-31It is called Mahadivya and was created fit the beginning of the Yuga. In it existed the true Light, Brahma, the eternal one the wonderful and inconceivable being the omnipresent, invisible and subtle cause the Entity and Non-entity-natured self.
32From this egg was born the Lord Pitamaha, Brahma, the one only Prajapati with Suraguru and Sthanu.
33With Manu, Ka and Parameshti with Pracheta and Daksha, and the seven sons of Daksha.
34Then also appeared twenty-one Prajaptis, and the man of inconceivable nature whom all the Rishis know. Then appeared the Sutadevas, the Adityas, the Vasus and the Aswinas.
35The Yakshas, the Sadyas, the Pisachas, the Gunyakas and the Pitris.
36Then were produced the wise and the most holy Brahmarishis and the numerous Rajarishis distinguished for every noble quality, then the water, the heavens, the earth, the air, the sky, and the points of the heavens.
37The years, the seasons, the months, the fortnights, and the day and night in succession.
38And again, at the end of the world and of the Yuga, whatever is seen in the universe, all created things, both animate and inanimate, will be turned into chaos.
39And at the beginning of other (news Yugas, all things will be again produced; and like the various fruits of the earth will succeed one another in the due order of their seasons.
40This mysterious wheel, which cause the destruction and production of all things, revolves thus perpetually in the world, without beginning and without an end.
41To cite a brief example, the generation of Devas, was thirty-three thousand, thirty three hundred and thirty three.
42The sons of Div were Brihadbhanus Chakshus, Atma, Vibhavasu, Savita, Richika, Arka, Bhanu, Ashabaha, and Ravi.
43Of these Vivaswans of old Mahya was the youngest whose son was Devabrata.
44Devabrata had one son, named Subrata who had three sons, namely Dasajyoti, Satajyoti and Sahasrajyoti, each of whom gave birth to innumerable offsprings.
45-46Famous Dasajyoti had ten thousands, Satajyoti had ten times that number and Sahasrajyoti, ten times the number of the offsprings of Satajyoti.
47From them descended the race of the Kurus, Yadus and Bharata, and also that of Yajati and Ikshwaku and all the Rajarishis. There were also produced numerous other generations.
48And innumerable creatures and their abodes. There were produced the threefold Mysteries, the Vedas, Yoga and Vijnana; Dharma, Art ha and Kama.
49The various books on Dharma, Artha and Kama; the rules for the conduct of mankind.
50The histories and discourses and various Srutis. These are the signs of this work (Mahabharata).
51All this, having been seen by Rishi Vyasa is mentioned hero in due order as a specimen of the book.
52Rishi Vyasa declared tins mass of knowledge in both abridged and detailed forms. The learned of the world wish to possess both the detailed and the abridged accounts.
53Some read the Bharata from the first Mantra, some from the story of Astika, some again from Uparichara, while some Brahmanas read the whole.
54Learned men display their various knowledge of Smritis in commenting on this composition. Some arc skilful in explaining it, while others in remembering it.
55The son of Satyavati (Vyasa) by penances and meditation, having classified the ever-lasting Veda, composed this holy history.
56When the learned and the strict vowed Brahmarishi, Dwaipayana Vyasa, the son of Parasara, completed this greatest of narrations, be began to consider now be could teach it to his pupils.
57Then did the Preceptor of the world, the possessor of the six attributes, Brahma, knowing the anxiety of Rishi Dwaipayana, come in person to the place where the Rishi was, so that he might gratify the Saint and benefit the people.
58When Vyasa, who was surrounded by all the classes of Munis, saw him, he was much surprised. Standing with his joined hands, lie bowed at his feet aid ordered a seat to be brought.
59Then going around to the side of the distinguished seat on which sat Hiranyagarba, he stood near it.
60Bat being commanded by Parameshti, Brahma, full of love, he sat down near the seat, smiling in joy.
61Then addressing Brahma, the greatly glorious Vyasa thus said: “ O Divine Brahma, a poem, which is greatly respected has been composed by me.
62(It contains) the mystery of the Vedas and other subjects that have been explained by me; (it contains) the various hymn§ of the Vedas, Upanishadas with their Angas.
63And a compilation of the Puranas, and the history which has been composed by me and named after the three divisions of time, namely, Past, Present and Future.
64And it contains the nature of decay, death, fear, disease, existence and nonexistence; a description of creeds, and the account of various modes of life.
65And it also contains the rules for the four castes and the essence of all the Puranas, an account of asceticism, and rules for the religious student, the dimensions of the earth, of the sun and moon.
66Planets, stars and Constellations and the length of the duration of the four Yugas, and it furthermore contains Rik, Saman, Yajur Vedas, the Adhyatma.
67Naya, orthoepy and pathology. Charity, Paskupata, and celestial and human births for particular purposes.
68ft contains description of pilgrimages and holy placed, of rivers, mountain, forests and seas.
69Of celestial retires, and of the Kalpas; the art of war, different lands of nations and the languages and the manners of the people.
70All this are been placed in this poem, but a writer for this work is not to be found on earth.
71Brahma said: “for your knowledge of the Divine Mystery, I have the highest regard for you amongst all the celebrated Rishis, who are famous for their holy lives.”
72I know, you have revealed in the language of truth the divine words, even from the first of them. You have called your present work, a poem, why should it be called a poem?
73There will be not poets in this world whose works will equal this poem, as the three other Asramas are never equal to the domestic Asrama.
74Let Ganesha be remembered, O Rishi, to write this poem. Souti said: Having thus spoken to Vyasa, Brahma
went away to his own place.
75-76Then began Vyasa to remember Ganesha in his mind. As soon he was thought of, the expeller of obstacles Ganesha who is always ready to fulfil the desires of his worshippers, came once to the place where Vyasa was seated.
77And when he had been saluted, and was seated, Vyasa addressed him thus, “O guide of the Ganas! be thou the writer of the Bharata which I have composed in my mind, but which I shall now repeat.”
78On hearing this, Ganesha thus re-replied: “I shall become the writer of your work, provided my pen is not made-to stop even for a moment.”
79And Vyasa told him: “Stop-Writing only when you will not be able to understand a passage.” Ganesha assented, by saying “Om”. He proceeded to write and Vyasa began to dictate.
80To take time to rest, Vyasa sometimes knit the knots of composition very close. Thus, he Went on dictating his work as he made engagement.
81-82Souti continued: “I know eight thousand eight hundred versed, so does Suka, and perhaps Sanjaya also know this number. O Muni, none is able to understand to this day the closely knits Slokas for the mysteriousness of their meanings.
83Even all-knowing Ganesha had to take time to think (over their meaning), while Vyasa continued to compose other verses in great numbers.
84The wisdom of this work, like the stick used for applying collyrium, has opened the eyes of the world which were covered by the darkness of ignorance.
85As the sun drives away the darkness, so does this Bharata, by its discourses on Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha, drive the ignorance of men.
86As the Full-Moon with its mild light opens the buds of the waterlily, so does this Purana with the light of Sruti expand the human intellect.
87The whole house of the womb of nature is properly and completely lighted by the lamp of history which destroys the darkness of ignorance.
88This work is a tree, the chapter of contents is its seed, the divisions Paulama and Astika are its roots, the Sambkava is its trunk, the books (Parva) Sava and Aranya are the roosting perches, Arani is the knitting knot.
89-90Virata and Udyoga the pith, Bhisma the main branch, Drona the leaves, Karna its beautiful flowers, Sailya their fragrance, Stri and Aishika are its cooling shades, Santi its great fruit,
91Ashwamedha is its immortal sap, Asramavasika the place where it crows, and Mausula is the epitome of the Vedas.
92This tree will be highly respected by all virtuous Brahmans. This tree of Bharata will be as inexhaustible as the clouds and be the means of livelihood of many illustrious poets.
93Sauti continued: I shall speak to you about the everlasting, fruitful and flowery productions of this true. They are of pleasant and pure taste, and they are to be tasted even by immortals.
94Requested by his own mother and the son of Ganga, Bhisma, the mighty and holy Krishna Dwaipayana became the father of three sons, who were like three fires, by the two wives of Vichitravirya.
95Having thus begotten Dhritarastra, Pandu and Vidura, he returned to his hermitage to prosecute these religious studies.
96The great Rishi Vyasa did not publish this Bharata to the world of mankind until these his sons were born, grown up and (died) (went on the supreme journey).
97When be was earnestly solicited by Janamejaya and thousands of Brahmanas, he taught it to his disciple Vaishampayana.
98Vaishampayana, sitting together with his comrades, recited the Bharata at the intervals of the Sacrifice, and he was repeatedly asked to proceed when he stopped.
99Vyasa has fully described the greatness of the Kuru race, virtues of Gandhari, the wisdom of Vidura and constancy of Kunti.
100He has also described the divinity of Vasudeva (Krishna), the goodness of the sons of Pandu, and the evil conduct of the sons of Dhritarastra.
101Vyasa originally compiled the Bharata, exclusive of episodes, in twenty-four thousand verses, and this much only is called by the learned as the real Bharata.
102He subsequently composed an epitome in one hundred and fifty verses, —an index of the chapters of contents.
103He first taught this epitome to his son Suka, and then to others of his disciples who had the same qualifications.
104He then completed another compilation, consisting of six hundred thousand slokas. Of these, thirty hundred thousands, are known in the world of Devas,
105Fifteen hundred thousands in the world of Pitris, fourteen hundred thousands in the world of Gandharvas, and one hundred thousands in the world of mankind.
106Narada recited them to the Devas, Devala to Pitris, and Suka to the Gandharvas, Yakshas and Rakshas.
107One of the pupils of Vyasa, Vaishampayana, a man of just principles, the first amongst the learned in the Vedas, recited them in this world of mankind. Know, I (Souti) have also recited one hundred thousand verses of this great work.
108Duryodhana is a great tree created out of passion, Kama is its trunk; Sakuni is its branches; Dushasana is its fruit and flowers, and weak Dhritarastra is its root.
109Yudhisthira is a great tree, created out of virtue and religion; Arjuna is its trunk; Bhima is its branches; two sons of Madri are its flowers and fruits; and Krishna, Brahma, and Brahmans are its roots.
110Pandu, after conquering many countries by his valour and wisdom, retired into a forest and took up his abode with the Rishis.
111As a sportsman he brought upon himself a very great misfortune by killing a stag when it was with its mate. Pandu’s misfortune served as a warning for the conduct of all the princes of his house as long as they lived,
112His two wives, (Kunti and Madri), according’ to the ordinance of the Sastras, admitted to their embraces the celestials, Dharma, Vayu, Sakra and two Aswinas, so that the race of Pandu might not be extinct.
113-114When these offsprings of the celestials were grown up under the care of their two mothers, and in the society of holy Rishis, in the midst of sacred groves and in the holy hermitage, they were taken by the Rishis into the presence of Dhritarastra and his sons. They followed them in the garb of Brahmacharis, and as students; their hairs were tied in knots on their heads.
115”Our these pupils,” said they, “ are your sons, your brothers and your friends. They are the Pandavas.” So saying they went away.
116When the Kuru people saw that they were introduced by Rishis as the sons of Pandu, the higher class amongst them loudly shouted with joy.
117Some, however, said they were not the sons of Pandu; others said they were. Some said how they could be the sons of Pandu who was dead long ago.
118Voices, however, were heard from all sides, crying: “They are welcome. Through divine providence, we see before us the sons of Pandu. Let their welcome be proclaimed.”
119-120When the acclamations of the people ceased, tremendous plaudits of invisible spirits were heard, echoing every point of the heavens. Showers of fragrant flowers fell, and conches and kettledrums were sounded. Such wonders happened when the princes arrived.
121The joyous cry, of the citizens in expression of their pleasure for the happy event, was so great that it reached the very heavens.
122Without any apprehension from any one, and much respected by all the people, the Pandavas lived there, having studied the whole of the Vedas and various other Sastras.
123The chief men of the city were highly pleased with the purity of Yudhisthira, the strength of Bhima, the gallantry of Arjuna.
124The submissiveness of Kunti to all her superiors, and the humility of Nakula and Sahadeva. All other people were rejoiced to see their heroism.
125A few years after, Arjuna, after performing a difficult feat of archery obtained the hands of Draupadi at the Sayamvara in the midst of a great assemblage of kings and princes.
126From that day he was very much respected by all men as a great bowman. Like the sum he appeared in the field of battle, and was difficult to be beheld by enemies.
127He defeated all the neighbouring potentates and chief tribes, and thus accomplished all that was necessary for the king (Yudhisthira) to perform the great Rajsuya Sacrifice.
128-129After killing Jarasandha, proud of his powers through the wise counsel of Krishna and by the prowess of Bhima and Arjuna, Yudhisthira acquired the right to perform the Rajasuya Sacrifice, which abounded in provisions and offerings and was full of transcendent merits.
130-132Duryodhana came to this sacrifice. When he saw on all sides the great wealth of the Pandavas, —the offerings, the precious stones, gold and jewels, elephants and horses; valuable textures, garments and mantles; shawls and furs, carpets made of the skin of the Rankava, —he was filled with envy, and became very angry.
133When he saw the hall of assembly, beautifully constructed by Maya after the celestial Court, he became exceedingly sorry.
134(To chagrin him more) when he was contused at certain architectural deceptions, Bhima sneered at him, before Vasudeva, saying he was of low birth.
135lt was represented to Dhritarastra that his son, notwithstanding he was partaking various objects of enjoyments and valuable things, was becoming pale, lean and meagre.
136Out of affection for him the blind king gave his son permission to play at dice (with the Pandavas). When Krishna came to know this, he became very angry.
137And being displeased, he did nothing to stop the dispute, but overlooked the fatal game and other horrible unjust deeds that were the result of it.
138In spite of Bhisma, Drona, Vidura and the son of Sardwan, Kripa, he made the Kskatryas kill one another in the great battle that followed.
139(At the end of the battle) Dhritarastra, hearing the news of the Pandavas success, and recollecting the vows that Duryodhana, Karna and Sukani had taken.
140Thought for a while and addressed Sanjaya thus: “Listen to me, O Sanjaya, listen to all I am now about to say. You will then find it is not fit to treat me with contempt.
141You are learned in Sastras t you are intelligent, and you arc possessed of wisdom. (Hear), my inclinations were never for war, nor did I feel pleasure in the destruction of my race.
142I felt no difference between my sons and the sons of Pandu.
143My own sons were way word, and they hated me, because I was old and blind I bore all on account of my miserable state, and for paternal affection. I was foolish and thoughtless, and Duryodhana grew in folly.
144My own son was a spectator of the great wealth of the powerful sons of Panda, and was sneered at for his awkwardness in entering into the hall.
145-146Being unwilling to bear all this, and at the same time being incapable of vanquishing the Pandavas m the field, he planned a most unjust game at dice, instead of being willing to obtain fortune by his own exertion and with the help of the king of Gandhara.
147Hear, O Sanjaya, all that happened afterwards and all that came to my knowledge. When you hear all that I say, recollecting everything, you will then know me to be a man having prophetic eyes.
148I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that Arjuna, having bent the bow, had pierced, the mark, and brought it to the ground, and, had carried away the princess Krishna in the presence of the assembled chiefs and potentates.
149I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that Subhadra of the Madu race had been forcibly carried away by Arjuna, and had been subsequently married by him in the city of Dwarka, and the two heroes of the Vrisni race, instead of being angry, had come to Indraprasta as friends.
150I had no hope of success, O Sanjava, when. I heard that Arjuna had satisfied Agni by giving him the forest of Khandava, preventing at the same time by his celestial arrows the downpour made by Indra, the king of the celestials.
151I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when 1 heard that the five Pandavas with their mother Kunti had escaped from the house of lac, and that Vidura had helped them in their escape.
132I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that Arjuna had obtained the hands of Draupadi by piercing the mark and the brave Panchalas had joined the Pandavas.
I53I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that the foremost king of the Maghada dynasty, the shining star of all the Kshatryas Jarasandha had been killed by Bhima alone with his bare arms.
154I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that the sons of Pandu had conquered all the chiefs and potentates in a general campaign, and had celebrated the victory by the performance of the grand sacrifice of Rajasuya.
155I had no hope of sucess, O Sanjaya, when I heard that weeping and sorrowing, Draupadi, in the season of her impurity had been dragged into court with but one cloth on, and treated as if she had none in this world, though she had her protectors.
156I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that the wicked wretch Dusyasana had been able to drag out only a heap of clothes without finding its end when he had attempted to strip her of her single cloth.
157I hid no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that Yudhisthira had been defeated by Saubala at dice and had been deprived of his kingdom as its result, but still he was attended by his powerful brothers.
158I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that the four Pandava brothers, weeping in sorrow, had followed their eldest brother and had tried every means to mitigate his discomfort.
159I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that Yudhisthira had been followed into wilderness by Snatakas and by holy Brahmanas.
160I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that, Aryuna, after pleasing in combat the god of gods, the three-eyed Siva Who appeared before him in the guise of a hunter, had obtained the great weapon pashupata.
161I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that the just and famous Arjuna had gone to the land of the celestials and had there obtained celestial weapons from Indra, the king of the gods.
162I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that Arjuna had then defeated the Kalakeyas and the Paulamas who were proud of the boon they had received from Shiva, and through which they had been Unconquerable even by celestials.
163I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that the chastiser o£ foes, Arjuna, had gone to the land of Indra to kill the Asuras and had come back successfully.
164I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that Bhima and other sons of Kunti, accompanied by Vaisravana, had come to that country which was inaccessible by other.
165I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that my sons were taken prisoners by the Gandharvas on their journey to Ottoshajatra, but were rescued by Arjuna.
166I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya. when I heard that Dharma had come in the guise of a Yaksha and asked some questions of Judhishtira.
167I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that my sons had failed to (dis¬ cover the Pandavas when they lived in disguise with Draupadi in the kingdom of Virata.
168I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that all the chief warriors of my side had been defeated by Arjuna on a single chariot while he was in the kingdom of Virata.
169I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that the king of Matsa (Virata) had offered his virtuous daughter Uttara to Arjuna, and Arjuna had accepted her for his son Abimanyu.
170I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that Yudhisthira, who was defeated at dice and deprived of his wealth, who was exiled and separated from his relatives and friends, had collected an army of seven Akshauhinis.
171I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that Vasudeva of the Madhu race, who covered the whole universe with his but one foot, had been heartily engaged to do good to the Pandavas.
172I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that Narada declared that Krishna and Arjuna are Nara and Narayana, and they had been seen together in the region of Brahma.
173I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that being anxious to bring about peace for the welfare of mankind, Krishna had come to the Kurus, but had gone away being unsuccessful in his mission.
174I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that Kama and Duryodhana had determined to make Krishna a prisoner, but he had shown the whole universe in himself.
175I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when i heard that Kunti had received consolation from him when she stood near his car, weeping in sorrow.
176I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that Vasudeva and Santanu’s son Bhisma were their advisers and Bharadwaya’s son Drona had pronounced blessings on them.
177I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that Kama had said to Bhisma, “I will not fight when you fight,” and so saying had gone away.
178I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that Vasudeva, Arjuna and powerful Gandiva, these three of fearful energy, had come together.
179I find no hope of success, O Sanjaya, When I heard that Krishna had shown Arjuna ill the worlds? Within himself when he, full of pity, sank down upon his chariot.
180I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that the great destroyer of foes, Bhisma, killing ten thousand car-warriors every day, had not killed any Pandava hero of note.
181I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that the virtuous son of Ganga, great Bhisma, had himself told the enemies of the means of his own death, and it had been joyfully adopted by the Pandavas.
182I had no hope of success, O Saniaya, when I heard that Arjuna, having placed Shikhandin before him on his chariot, had wounded the infinitely courageous and the unconquerable Bhisma.
183I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that, after reducing the Shomakas to a few, the old hero Bhisma had been overcome with innumerable wounds and was lying on arrows.
184I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that living been requested, Arjuna, piercing the ground, had allayed the thirst of Bhisma when be very much longed for water.
185I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that Vayu, with Indra and Surya, had united in alliance for the success of the Pandavas, and even the beasts of prey were putting us to fear.
186I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that Drona, though he displayed many modes of fight, had not killed any of the chief Pandavas.
187I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that the mighty car-warriors Sansaptakas, appointed to defeat Arjuna, had been all killed by him.
188I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that Subhadra’s brave son had singly penetrated into our Buha, impenetrable by others and defended by well-armed Drona himself.
189I had no hope of success. O Sanjaya, when I heard that our great car-warriors, being unable to defeat Arjuna, had enjoyed joy after jointly’ surrounded and slain the boy Abhimanyu.
190I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that the blind Kauravas were shouting with joy for killing Abhimanyu, and that Arjuna had taken his celebrated vow about Saindhava.
191I had no hope of success, O Shanjaya, when I heard that Arjuna had taken the vow of killing Saindhava, and he had fulfilled his vow in the presence of his enemies.
192I had no hope of success O Sanjaya, when I heard that Vasudeva, finding the horses of Arjuna fatigued, unyoked them in the field of battle, gave them water to drink, and re-yoking them, drove the chariot as before.
193I had no hope of success, O Saniaya, when I heard that Arjuna had kept back all his assailants when his horses were taken away for drink.
194I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that Yuyudhana of the Vrisni race went back to the place where Krishna and Arjuna were, after having thrown the army of Drona into disorder, having none to withstand the attack on account of powerful elephants.
195I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that Kama, having got Bhima in his power, had allowed him to escape only with some contemptuous terms and having dragged him with the end of his bow.
196I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that Drona, Kritavarma, Kripa, Kama, Ashwathama and Sallya had allowed Saindhava to be killed before their presence.
197I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that through the machinations of Krishna, the celestial weapon Sakti, given to Kama by Indra, had been hurled against Ghatatkacha of a dreadful face.
198I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that in the fight between Kama and Ghatatkacha, the Sakti had been hurled against Ghatatkacha by Kama, the weapon which should have certainly killed Arjuna.
199I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that Dhristadyumna, violating all the rules of war, had killed Drona while insensible on his chariot and bent on death.
200I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that Nakula, the son of Madri, had driven the chariot of the son of Drona all around the place, having engaged with him in a single combat before the whole army and proving himself fully equal to him.
201I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that Drona’s son had misused the weapon, named Narayana and had failed to kill the Pandavas.
202I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that Bhima had drunk the blood of his cousin Dushyasana and none was able to prevent him.
203I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when t heard that the exceedingly brave, and unconquerable in war, Kama had been killed by Arjuna in the war of brothers, which was mysterious even to celestials.
204I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that Yudhisthira had defeated the son of Drona, Dushyasana and fearful Kritavarma.
205I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that Yudhisthira had killed the king of Madra, who always challenged Krishna.
206I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that Suvala, the man of magic power and the root of the gaining and the feud, had been killed by Sahadeva.
207I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that Duryodhana, having been spent with fatigue, his strength being gone out and without even a chariot, had gone to a lake and had taken refuge in its waters.
208I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that the Pandavas accompanied by Krishna had gone to that lake ana had begun to address my son contemptuously, who was never able to put up with any affront.
209I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that while displaying various modes of attack and defence in a club-fight, he had been unjustly slain through the counsels of Krishna.
210I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that the sons of Drona and others had committed a horrible and infamous deed by killing the Panchalas and the sons of Draupadi in their sleep.
211I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that Ashwathama, having, been pursued by Bhima, had discharged the greatest of weapons, named Aishika, by which the son in the womb of Uttara was wounded.
212I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya when I heard the weapon Brahmasira, discharged by Aswathama, had been repelled by Arjuna with another weapon, on which he had uttered the word Sasti, and that Ashwathama had to surrender the Jewel that was on his head.
213I had no hope of success, O Sanjaya, when I heard that for wounding the son in the womb of Uttara both Krishna and Daipayana had cursed him.
214Alas! Ghandhari is to be pitied! She has lost all her children, grandchildren, parents, brothers, and kindred. A most difficult work has been performed by the Pandavas. A kingdom has been gained by them without a rival.
215Alas! I have heard that only ten persons are alive in this war on our side and seven on the side of the Pandavas. Eleven Akshauhinis of Kshatryas have been slain in this fearful battle,
216Utter darkness is all around me, a faintness comes over me. O Suta, consciousness is leaving me, my mind is distracted.
217Souti said: “Bewailing his fate thus, Dhritarastra was overcome with the greatest sorrow, and lost his senses for a time. But being revived, he addressed Sanjaya in these words.”
218Dhritarastra said: “After what has happened, O Sanjaya, I desire to abandon this life without any further delay. I do not see any good by keeping it alive any longer.”
219Souti said: “While thus talking and bewailing, sighing like a serpent and fainting every moment, the wise son of Gavalgana (Sanjaya) addressed the pitiable king of the earth in words instinct with deep meaning.”
220Sanjaya said: “From wise Narada and Vyasa you have heard, O King, of immensely powerful men, men of great exertions.
221Men born of great royal dynasties, men full of great qualities, men well-versed in the art of using celestial weapons.
222-223Men who, having conquered the world by righteous war and performing sacrifices with proper offerings, obtained fame in this world and finally succumbed to death.
224-227Such men were Saivya, the brave car-warrior Srinjaya, the great amongst all conquerors Suhatra, Rantideva, Kakshivanta, greatly glorious Damana, Valhaka, Sarjati, Ajita, Nala, Vishyamitra, the killer of enemies, the greatly strong Amvarisha, Maruta, Manu, Ikshwaku, Goya, Bharata, Parushurama, the son of Dasharatha Rama, Sashabindu, Bhagiratha, Krityavirja, Janamejaya, and Yayati of good deeds, who performed sacrifices, assisted by the celestials themselves, and by whose sacrificial altars and stakes the habitable and inhabitable regions of this earth were all over marked. When Saivya was much afflicted for the
loss of his children, (the histories of) these twenty-four Rajas were told to him in the olden time by the celestial sage, Narada.
228-229But besides these, other kings, who were great car-warriors, who were more powerful than the above, who were noble in mind and full of every good quality, had also fallen into the grasp of Death.
230-236They were Puru, Kuru, Yadu, Sura, Bishyagashya, Mabadyuti, Anuha, Yuvanashwa, Kakustha, Vikrami, Raghu, Vijaya, Vitihotra, Anga, Bhava, Sweta, Vrihatguru, Ushinara, Sbataratha, Kanka, Duliduha, Druma, Dambbodvaba, Para, Vena, Sagara, Sankriti, Nimi, Ajeya, Parashu, Pundra, Sambhu, Devavridha, Anagha, Debabhaya, Supratima, Supratika, Vrihadratha, Mahotshaha, Vinitatma, Sukratu, the King of Nishad Nala, Satyabrata, Santavaya, Sumitra, Subala, Janujangha, Anaranya, Arka, Pryavrattva, Shuchivrata, Balabandru, Niramarda, Kotusringa, Brihatbala, Dhristaketu, Brihatketu, Diptaketu, Niramaya, Abikshita, Chapala, Dhurta, Kritabandhu, Dridhishudhi, Mahapuransambhava, Pratanga, Paraha and Sruti. These kings, and hundreds and thousands others.
237-238Who were greatly powerful and wise, had met death like your sons, quitting immense wealth and pleasure.
239Even those men, who possessed all the noble virtues, and whose heavenly valour, generosity, magnanimity, faith, truth, purity, simplicity and mercy, are published in the Puranas by the sacred bards of great learning, gave up their lives.
240-241Your sons were wicked, envious, avaricious, of passionate temperament and vicious disposition; you are well-versed in the Sastras, you are intelligent and wise; those men whose understanding follows the dictates of the Sastras t never succumb to grief or misfortune.
242You know, O king, the severity and levity of fate. You know what anxiety you showed for the safety of your sons. Therefore, this grief is unbecoming of you. It is not fit for you to grieve for that which must happen.
243Who can avert by his cleverness the decrees of fate? None can go beyond the path marked for him by Providence.
244Existence and non-existence, pleasure and pain, come by Time.
245Time creates all things and Time destroys them all. Time bums all creatures and Time again extinguishes that fire.
246All things, good and bad, in the three worlds, arc created by Time. Time destroys them and Time creates them again.
247Time alone is awake when all is asleep. Time cannot be overcome by anyone. Time walks in everything without being retarded.
248Knowing that all things, past, present and future, are the outcome of Time, it is not fit for you to be overcome with grief.”
249Souti said: “Gavalgana’s son, (Sanjaya), having thus comforted the royal Dhritarastra, who was overwhelmed with grief for the death of his sons, restored peace to his mind.
250Great Dwaipavana composed a holy Upanishad on these facts; and it has been published to the world by the learned and sacred bards in the Puranas.
251The study of Bharata is such an act of piety that even he who reads only one line of a verse with reverence has his sins all destroyed.
252In this Bharata, sinless and immaculate Devas, Devarshis, and Brahman as have been described as well as Yakshas and great Nagas.
253In it has also the possessor of six attributes, the eternal Vasudeva, been described. He is true and just, pure and holy.
254In it is described the eternal Brahma, the great true light, whose great and divine deeds the wise and learned men declare,
255From whom has been produced the non-existent, and existent-non-existent universe with the principle of reproduction and progression, birth, death and rebirth.
256In it has also been described He who is Adhyatma t and who pertakes the attributes of the five elements, and He to whom unmanifested and other such words cannot be applied.
257And also He whom the Yotis, possessed of meditation and Tapa, behold in their hearts as the reflection of an image in a mirror.
258The man of faith, ever devoted, ever employed in the exercise of virtue, is freed from sin on reading this chapter of the Bharata.
259The believer who always hears this introductory chapter of the Bharata from the beginning, never meets with any difficulties (in this world).
260The man, who repeats any part of its introduction at the morning and evening twilights, at the time of repeating, is freed from sins collected during the day and night.
261In the body of Bharata this chapter is truth and ambrosia; as butter is among curds, and a Brahmana among bipeds,
262As Aranyaka among the Vedas, as ambrosia among medicines, as the ocean is great among all lakes, as cow among all quadrupeds.
253So is Bharata, among all histories. He, who causes to be recited by a Brahmana even one line of it during a Sradha, gives to the dead ancestors his offerings of food and drink which become inexhaustible.
264The Vedas are expounded by the aid of history and Purana.
265But the Veda is afraid of men of little learning, lest they hurt it. The learned man, who recites this Veda, (Bharata) gains advantage.
266Even the sin of killing embryo is destroyed of those who read it with reverence at every change of the moon.
267I tell you, the whole Bharata has been read by the man who reads this chapter. The man who with reverence hears every day these sacred words,
268-269Gains long life, and goes to heaven. In time gone by, the celestials met together and placed the four Vedas on one side and this Bharata on the other side of a scale, and the Bharata weighed heavier.
270From that time, it is called Mahabharata. It is considered superior to the Vedas, both in substance and gravity of import.
271It is called Mahabharata from this superiority in substance and gravity of import. He, who understands its real meaning, is freed from all sins.
272Tapa is not a sin, study is not a sin, the ordinances of the Vedas are not sins, the acquisition of wealth by exertion is not a sin; when they are abused, then do they become the sources of evil.