Mahabharata – Sabha Parva – Arghyaharana Parva – 36-39
– 36 –
Arghya-presentation to Krishna
1Vaishampayana said: On the last day of the sacrifice when the king (Yudhishthira) was to be sprinkled over with sacred water, the great Brahmana Rishis with (all) the monarchs(present there) entered the inner enclosure (of the sacrificial ground).
2-3Those illustrious and Mantra- knowing Rishis, with Narada at their head and with the royal sages seated at their ease looked like the celestialss seated in the mansion of Brahma in the company of the celestials Rishis, those Rishis of immeasurable energy, having then obtained leisure, started various topics of conversation.
4“This is so,” “This is not so.” “This is even so,” “This cannot be other wise,” thus did many of them engage in arguments with one another.
5Some amongst the disputants made the weaker arguments to appear stronger, and the stronger ones the weaker by their arguments based on Shastras.
6Some greatly intelligent disputants fell upon the position urged by others as hawks dart at meat thrown into the air.
7Some amongst them, learned in the interpretations of Shastras, and some others of rigid vows, well acquainted with every commentary and gloss, engaged themselves in pleasant conversations.
8That (sacrificial) plate for, crowded with the celestialss, Brahmanas and the great Rishis, all endued with the Vedas, looked as beautiful as the sky studded with the stars.
9O king, there was no Shudra or any man without vows near the inner (sacrificial) platform of Yudhishthira’s palace.
10Seeing the prosperity of the prosperous and intelligent Dharmaraja which was the result of that sacrifice, Narada became exceedingly happy.
11O ruler of men, seeing the assemblage of all Kshatriyas, (in that sacrifice), the Rishi Narada became thoughtful.
12O best of men, he recollected the words he had heard in the abode of Brahma; regarding the Angshavatarana, (incarnations of portions of every deity).
13O descendant of Kuru, knowing that assembly was an assembly of the celestialss, Narada thought in his mind the lotus-eyed Hari.
14-15He knew that the creator of every object, the exalted god of all gods, Narayana, who had formerly commanded the celestialss saying, “Take your births on earth and kill one another and then come back to heaven,” that chastiser of all the enemies of the celestialss, that subjugator of all hostile towns, had taken his birth in the Kshatriya order to fulfil his own purpose.
16The illustrious lord of the universe, Shambhu, Narayana, having thus commanded all the celestialss, had taken his birth in the race of Yadu.
17Having been bom in the Andhaka Vrishni race on earth, that foremost of all perpetuator of races was graced with great good fortune and was shinning like the moon among the stars.
18He whose prowess of arms was adored by the celestialss with Indra, that Hari, that chastiser of foes, was then living in the world of men in a human form.
19“Oh! what could be greater wonder than that the self-creates himself will take away (from earth) all these Kshatriyas endued with great strength.
20Thus reflected the omniscient Narada who knew that Hari, Narayana, (Krishna) was no other than the Supreme Being, whom every body worships with sacrifices.
21That foremost of all men, learned in the precepts of virtue, that greatly intelligent man (Narada), (thinking of all this), sat in the sacrifice of the intelligent Dharmaraja (Yudhishthira) with feelings of awe.
22O king, Bhishma then thus spoke to Dharmaraja Yudhishthira, “O descendant of Bharata, now offer Arghyas to the kings as each deserves”.
23-24O Yudhishthira, hear, the preceptor, the sacrificial priest, the relative,, the Snataka, the friend and the king, these are the six (classes of persons) who deserve to get the Arghya. The wise men have said that when any of there live with one for a full one year, he deserves to be worshipped with the presentation of Arghya. 25These kings have been staying with us for a very long time.
Therefore, O king, bring Arghya for each of them; and let the Arghya be first presented to him who is the foremost of all of them.
26Yudhishthira said: O descendant of Kuru, O grandsire, whom do you consider to be the foremost of these (men present here), and to whom should the Arghya be presented first. Tell me this.
27Vaishampayana said: O Descendant of Bharata, the son of Shantanu, Bhishma, settled it by his great intelligence that Krishna was the foremost of all on earth.
28Bhishma said: As sun shines among all luminous objects, so shines this (Krishna) among all (these kings and potentates) by his effulgence, strength and prowess.
29This sacrificial ground is illuminated and gladdened by Krishna like a sunless region by the sun and a airless region by the air.
30Vaishampayana said: Then commanded by Bhishma, the powerful Sahadeva proceeded to present in due form the excellent Arghya to the prince of the Vrishni race, (Krishna).
31Krishna also (agreed to) accept that worship according to the forms of the ordinance. But Shishupala could not bear that worship (proposed to be) offered to Vasudeva (Krishna).
32The greatly powerful Chedi-king (Shishupala), after reproving Bhishma and Dharmaraja (Yudhishthira) in the presence of that assembly, began to censure Vasudeva (Krishna).