Hamro dharma

Mahabht 14 Aswamedha P.


(Aswamedhika Parva)

OM! HAVING BOWED down unto Narayana, and Nara the foremost of male
beings, and unto the goddess Saraswati, must the word Jaya be uttered.

“Vaisampayana said, “After the king Dhritarashtra had offered libations
of water (unto the manes of Bhisma), the mighty-armed[1] Yudhishthira,
with his senses bewildered, placing the former in his front, ascended the
banks (of the river), his eyes suffused with tears, and dropt down on the
bank of the Ganga like an elephant pierced by the hunter. Then incited by
Krishna, Bhima took him up sinking. ‘This must not be so,’ said Krishna,
the grinder of hostile hosts. The Pandavas, O king, saw Yudhishthira, the
son of Dharma, troubled and lying on the ground, and also sighing again
and again. And seeing the king despondent and feeble, the Pandavas,
overwhelmed with grief, sat down, surrounding him. And endowed with high
intelligence and having the sight of wisdom, king Dhritarashtra,
exceedingly afflicted with grief for his sons, addressed the monarch,
saying,–‘Rise up, O thou tiger among the Kurus. Do thou now attend to
thy duties. O Kunti’s son, thou hast conquered this Earth according to
the usage of the Kshatriyas. Do thou now, O lord of men, enjoy her with
thy brothers and friends. O foremost of the righteous, I do not see why
thou shouldst grieve. O lord of the Earth, having lost a hundred sons
like unto riches obtained in a dream, it is Gandhari and I, who should
mourn. Not having listened to the pregnant words of the high-souled
Vidura, who sought our welfare, I, of perverse senses, (now) repent. The
virtuous Vidura, endowed with divine insight, had told me,–‘Thy race
will meet with annihilation owing to the transgressions of Duryodhana. O
king, if thou wish for the weal of thy line, act up to my advice. Cast
off this wicked-minded monarch, Suyodhana, and let not either Karna or
Sakuni by any means see him. Their gambling too do thou, without making
any fuss suppress, and anoint the righteous king Yudhishthira. That one
of subdued senses will righteously govern the Earth. If thou wouldst not
have king Yudhishthira, son of Kunti, then, O monarch, do thou,
performing a sacrifice, thyself take charge of the kingdom, and regarding
all creatures with an even eye, O lord of men, do thou let thy kinsmen. O
thou advancer of thy kindred, subsist on thy bounty.’ When, O Kunti’s
son, the far-sighted Vidura said this, fool that I was I followed the
wicked Duryodhana. Having turned a deaf ear to the sweet speech of that
sedate one, I have obtained this mighty sorrow as a consequence, and have
been plunged in an ocean of woe. Behold thy old father and mother, O
king, plunged in misery. But, O master of men, I find no occasion for thy


“Vaisampayana said, “Thus addressed by the intelligent king Dhritarashtra
Yudhishthira, possessed of understanding, became calm. And then Kesava
(Krishna) accosted him,–‘If a person indulges excessively in sorrow for
his departed forefathers, he grieves them. (Therefore, banishing grief),
do thou (now) celebrate many a sacrifice with suitable presents to the
priests; and do thou gratify the gods with Soma liquor, and the manes of
thy forefathers with their due food and drink. Do thou also gratify thy
guests with meat and drink and the destitute with gifts commensurate with
their desires. A person of thy high intelligence should not bear himself
thus. What ought to be known hath been known by thee; what ought to be
done, hath also been performed. And thou hast heard the duties of the
Kshatriyas, recited by Bhishma, the son of Bhagirathi, by Krishna
Dwaipayana, Narada and Vidura. Therefore thou shouldst not walk the way
of the stupid; but pursuing the course of thy forefathers, sustain the
burthen (of the empire). It is meet that a Kshatriya should attain heaven
for certain by his (own) renown. Of heroes, those that came to be slain
never shall have to turn away (from the celestial regions). Renounce thy
grief, O mighty sovereign. Verily, what hath happened was destined to
happen so. Thou canst in no wise see those that have been slain in this
war.–Having said this unto Yudhishthira, prince of the pious, the
high-spirited Govinda paused; and Yudhishthira answered him thus, ‘O
Govinda, full well do I know thy fondness for me. Thou hast ever favoured
me with thy love and thy friendship. And, O holder of the mace and the
discus. O scion of Yadu’s race, O glorious one, if (now) with a pleased
mind thou dost permit me to go to the ascetic’s retreat in the woods,
then thou wouldst compass what is highly desired by me. Peace find I none
after having slain my grand-father, and that foremost of men, Karna, who
never fled from the field of battle. Do thou, O Janarddana, so order that
I may be freed from this heinous sin and that my mind may be purified. As
Pritha’s son was speaking thus, the highly-energetic Vyasa, cognisant of
the duties of life, soothing him, spoke these excellent words, My child,
thy mind is not yet calmed; and therefore thou art again stupefied by a
childish sentiment. And wherefore, O child, do we over and over again
scatter our speech to the winds? Thou knowest duties of the Kshatriyas,
who live by warfare. A king that hath performed his proper part should
not suffer himself to be overwhelmed by sorrow. Thou hast faithfully
listened to the entire doctrine of salvation; and I have repeatedly
removed thy misgivings arising out of desire. But not paying due heed to
what I have unfolded, thou of perverse understanding hast doubtless
forgotten it clean. Be it not so. Such ignorance is not worthy of thee. O
sinless one, thou knowest all kinds, of expiation; and thou hast also
heard of the virtues of kings as well as the merits of gifts. Wherefore
then, O Bharata, acquainted with every morality and versed in all the
Agamas, art thou overwhelmed (with grief) as if from ignorance?'”


“Vyasa said, ‘O Yudhishthira, thy wisdom, I conceive, is not adequate.
None doth any act by virtue of his own power. It is God. who engageth him
in acts good or bad, O bestower of honour. Where then is the room for
repentance? Thou deemest thyself as having perpetrated impious acts. Do
thou, therefore, O Bharata, harken as to the way in which sin may be
removed. O Yudhishthira, those that commit sins, can always free
themselves from them through penance, sacrifice and gifts. O king, O
foremost of men, sinful people are purified by sacrifice, austerities and
charity. The high-souled celestials and Asuras perform sacrifices for
securing religious merit; and therefore sacrifice are of supreme
importance. It is through sacrifices that the high-souled celestials had
waxed so wondrously powerful; and having celebrated rites did they
vanquish the Danavas. Do thou, O Yudhishthira, prepare for the Rajasuya,
and the horse-sacrifice, as well as, O Bharata, for the Sarvamedha and
the Naramedha.[2] And then as Dasaratha’s son, Rama, or as Dushmanta’s
and Sakuntala’s son, thy ancestor, the lord of the Earth, the exceedingly
puissant king Bharata, had done, do thou agreeably to the ordinance
celebrate the Horse-sacrifice with Dakshinas. Yudhishthira replied,
‘Beyond a doubt, the Horse-sacrifice purifieth princes. But I have a
purpose of which it behoveth thee to hear. Having caused this huge
carnage of kindred, I cannot, O best of the regenerate ones, dispense
gifts even on a small scale; I have no wealth to give. Nor can I for
wealth solicit these juvenile sons of kings, staying in sorry plight,
with their wounds yet green, and undergoing suffering. How, O foremost of
twice-born ones, having myself destroyed the Earth can I, overcome by
sorrow, levy dues for celebrating a sacrifice? Through Duryodhana’s
fault, O best of ascetics, the kings of the Earth have met with
destruction, and we have reaped ignominy. For wealth Duryodhana hath
wasted the Earth; and the treasury of that wicked-minded son of
Dhritarashtra is empty. (In this sacrifice), the Earth is the Dakshina;
this is the rule that is prescribed in the first instance. The usual
reversal of this rule, though sanctioned, is observed, by the learned as
such. Nor, O ascetic, do I like to have a substitute (for this process).
In this matter, O reverend sir, it behoveth thee to favour me with thy
counsel’. Thus addressed by Pritha’s son, Krishna Dwaipayana, reflecting
for a while, spoke unto the righteous king,–‘This treasury, (now)
exhausted, shall be full. O son of Pritha, in the mountain Himavat (The
Himalayas) there is gold which had been left behind by Brahmanas at the
sacrifice of the high-souled Marutta.'[3] Yudhishthira asked, ‘How in
that sacrifice celebrated by Marutta was so much gold amassed? And, O
foremost of speakers, when did he reign?’ Vyasa said ‘If, O Pritha’s son,
thou art anxious to hear concerning that king sprung from the Karandhama
race, then listen to me as I tell thee when that highly powerful monarch
possessed of immense wealth reigned.'”


“Yudhishthira said, ‘O righteous one, I am desirous of hearing the
history of that royal sage Marutta. Do thou, O Dwaipayana, relate this
unto me, O sinless one.’

“Vyasa said, ‘O child, in the Krita age Manu was lord (of the Earth)
wielding the sceptre. His son was known under the name of Prasandhi.
Prasandhi had a son named Kshupa, Kshupa’s son was that lord (of men),
king Ikshwaku. He, O king, had a hundred sons endowed with pre-eminent
piety. And all of them were made monarchs by king Ikshwaku. The eldest of
them, Vinsa by name became the model of bowmen. Vinsa’s son, O Bharata,
was the auspicious Vivinsa. Vivinsa, O king, had five and ten sons; all
of them were powerful archers, reverencial to the Brahmanas and truthful,
gentle and ever speaking fair. The eldest brother, Khaninetra, oppressed
all his brothers. And having conquered the entire kingdom rid of all
troubles, Khaninetra could not retain his supremacy; nor were the people
pleased with him. And dethroning him, they, O foremost of monarchs,
invested his son Suvarcha with the rights of sovereignty and (having
effected this) experienced joy (in their hearts). Seeing the reverses
sustained by his site as well as his expulsion from the empire, he was
ever intent on bringing about the welfare of the people, being devoted to
the Brahmanas, speaking the truth, practising purity and restraining his
senses and thoughts. And the subjects were well pleased with that
high-minded one constant in virtue. But he being constantly engaged in
virtuous deeds, his treasures and vehicles became greatly reduced. And on
his treasury having become depleted, the feudatory princes swarming round
him began to give him trouble. Being thus oppressed by many foes while
his treasury, horses and vehicles were impoverished, the king underwent
great tribulation along with his retainers and the denizens of his
capital. Although his power waned greatly, yet the foes could not slay
the king, for his power, O Yudhishthira, was established in
righteousness. And when he had reached the extreme of misery along with
the citizens, he blew his hand (with his mouth), and from that there
appeared a supply of forces. And then he vanquished all the kings living
along the borders of his dominions. And from this circumstance O king, he
hath been celebrated as Karandhama. His son, (the first) Karandhama who
was born at the beginning of the Treta age, equalled Indra himself and
was endowed with grace, and invincible even by the immortals. At that
time all the kings were under his control; and alike by virtue of his
wealth and for his prowess, he became their emperor. In short, the
righteous king Avikshit by name, became like unto Indra himself in
heroism; and he was given to sacrifices, delight took in virtue and held
his senses under restraint. And in energy he resembled the sun and in
forbearance Earth herself; in intelligence, he was like Vrihaspati, and
in calmness the mountain Himavat himself. And that king delighted the
hearts of his subjects by act, thought, speech, self-restraint, and
forbearance. He performed hundreds of horse-sacrifices, and the potent
and learned Angira himself served him as priest. His son surpassed his
sire in the possession of good qualities. Named Marutta, that lord of
kings was righteous and o great renown, an possessed the might of ten
thousand elephants. He was like unto Vishnu’s second self. Desirous of
celebrating a sacrifice, that virtuous monarch, coming to Mount Meru on
the northern side of Himavat, caused thousands of shining golden vessels
to be forged. There on a huge golden hill he performed the rites. And
goldsmiths made basins and vessels and pans and seats without number. And
the sacrificial ground was near this place. And that righteous lord of
Earth, king Marutta, along with other princes, performed a sacrifice


“Yudhishthira said, ‘O best of speakers, how that king became so
powerful? And how, O twice-born one, did he obtain so much gold? And
where now, O reverend sire, is all his wealth? And, O ascetic, how can we
secure the same?’

“Vyasa thereupon said,–‘As the numerous offspring of the Prajapati
Daksha, the Asuras and the Celestials challenged each other (to
encounter), so in the same way Angira’s sons, the exceedingly energetic
Vrihaspati and the ascetic, Samvarta, of equal vows, challenged each
other, O king. Vrihaspati began to worry Samvarta again and again. And
constantly troubled by his elder brother, he, O Bharata, renouncing his
riches, went to the woods, with nothing to coyer his body save the open
sky.[4] (At that time), Vasava having vanquished and destroyed the
Asuras, and obtained the sovereignty of the celestial regions had
appointed as his priest Angira’s eldest son, that best of Brahmanas,
Vrihaspati. Formerly Angira was the family-priest of king Karandhama.
Matchless among men in might, prowess and character; powerful like unto
Satakratu, righteous souled and of rigid vows, O king, he had vehicles,
and warrior, and many adherents, and superb and costly bedsteads,
produced through dint of meditation by the breath of his mouth. And by
his native virtues, the monarch had brought all the princes under his
sway. And having lived as long as he desired, he ascended to the heaven
in his corporal embodiment. And his son named Avikshit–conqueror of
foes,–righteous like unto Yayati, brought all the Earth under his
dominion. And both in merit and might the king resembled his sire. He had
a son named Marutta, endowed with energy, and resembling Vasava himself.
This earth clad in oceans; felt herself drawn towards him. He always[5]
used to defy the lord of the celestials; and O son of Pandu, Vasava also
defied Marutta. And Marutta,–master of Earth–was pure and possessed of
perfections. And in spite of his striving, Sakra could not prevail over
him. And incapable of controlling him, he riding on the horse, along with
the celestials summoning Vrihaspati, spoke to him thus, ‘O Vrihaspati, if
thou wishest to do what is agreeable to me, do not perform priestly
offices for Marutta on behalf of the deities or the ancestral Manes. I
have, O Vrihaspati, obtained the sovereignty of the three worlds, while
Marutta is merely the lord of the Earth. How, O Brahmana, having acted as
priest unto the immortal king of the celestials, wilt thou unhesitatingly
perform priestly function unto Marutta subject to death? Good betide
thee! Either espouse my side or that of the monarch, Marutta or forsaking
Marutta, gladly come over to me.–Thus accosted by the sovereign of the
celestials, Vrihaspati, reflecting for a moment, replied unto the king of
the immortals. Thou art the Lord of creatures, and in thee are the worlds
established, And thou hast destroyed Namuchi, Viswarupa and Vala. Thou, O
hero, alone encompassest the highest prosperity of the celestials, and, O
slayer of Vala, thou sustainest the earth as well as the heaven. How, O
foremost of the celestials, having officiated as thy priest, shall I, O
chastiser of Paka, serve a mortal prince. Do thou listen to what I say.
Even if the god of fire cease to cause heat and warmth, or the earth
change its nature, or the sun ceases to give light, I shall never deviate
from the truth (that I have spoken).

Vaisampayana continued,–‘On hearing this speech from Vrihaspati Indra
became cured of his envious feelings, and then praising him he repaired
to his own mansion.’


“Vyasa said, ‘The ancient legend of Vrihaspati and the wise Marutta is
cited in this connection. On hearing of the compact made by Angira’s son
Vrihaspati with the lord of the gods (Indra), king Marutta made the
necessary preparations for a great sacrifice. The eloquent grandson of
Karandhama, (Marutta) having conceived the idea of a sacrifice in his
mind, went to Vrihaspati and addressed him thus, ‘O worshipful ascetic, I
have intended to perform the sacrifice which thou didst propose to me
once on a previous occasion and in accordance with thy instructions, and
I now desire to appoint thee as officiating priest in this sacrifice, the
materials whereof have also been collected by me.–O excellent one, thou
art our family priest, therefore do thou take those sacrificial things
and perform the sacrifice thyself.’

Vrihaspati said, ‘O lord of the earth, I do not desire to perform thy
sacrifice. I have been appointed as priest by the Lord of the gods
(Indra) and I have promised to him to act as such.’

Marutta said, ‘Thou art our hereditary family priest, and for this reason
I entertain great regard for thee, and I have acquired the right of being
assisted at sacrifices by thee, and therefore it is meet that thou
shouldst officiate as priest at my sacrifice.’

Vrihaspati said, ‘Having, O Marutta, acted as priest to the Immortals,
how can I act as such to mortal men, and whether thou dost depart hence
or stay, I tell thee, I have ceased to act as priest to any but the
Immortals. O thou of mighty arms, I am unable to act as thy priest now.
And according to thy own desire, thou canst appoint any one as thy priest
who will perform thy sacrifice.’

Vyasa said, ‘Thus told, king Marutta became confused with shame, and
while returning home with his mind oppressed by anxiety, he met Narada on
his way. And that monarch on seeing the divine Rishi Narada stood before
him with due salutation, with his hands clasped together. Then Narada
addressing him thus said,–O royal sage, thou seemest to be not
well-pleased in thy mind; is all well with thee? Where hast thou been, O
sinless one, and whence the cause of this thy mental disquietude? And, O
king, if there be no objection to thy telling it to me, do thou, O best
of kings, disclose (the cause of thy anxiety) to me, so that, O prince, I
may allay the disquietude of thy mind with all my efforts.’

Vaisampayana continued, ‘Thus addressed by the great Rishi Narada, king
Marutta informed him of the rebuff he had received from his religious

Marutta said, ‘Seeking for a priest to officiate at my sacrifice, I went
to that priest of the Immortals, Vrihaspati, the son of Angira, but he
did not choose to accept my offer. Having met with this rebuff from him,
I have no desire to live any longer now, for by his abandoning me thus, I
have, O Narada, become contaminated with sin.’

Vyasa said, ‘Thus told by that king, Narada, O mighty prince, made this
reply to him with words which seemed to revive that son of Avikshit.’

Narada said, ‘The virtuous son of Angira, Samvarta by name is wandering
over all the quarters of the earth in a naked state to the wonder of all
creatures; do thou, O prince, go to him. If Vrihaspati does not desire to
officiate at thy sacrifice, the powerful Samvarta, if pleased with thee,
will perform thy sacrifice.’

Marutta said, ‘I feel as if instilled with new life, by these thy words,
O Narada, but O the best of speakers, do thou tell me where I can find
Samvarta, and how I can remain by his side, and how I am to act so that
he may not abandon me, for I do not desire to live if I meet with a
rebuff from him also.’

Narada said, ‘Desirous of seeing Maheswara, O prince, he wanders about at
his pleasure in the city of Varanasi, in the garb of a mad man. And
having reached the gate of that city, thou must place a dead body
somewhere near it, and the man who shall turn away on seeing the corpse,
do thou, O prince, know that man to be Samvarta, and knowing him, do thou
follow his footsteps wheresoever that powerful man chooses to go and
finding him (at length) in a lonely place thou must seek his protection
with thy hands clasped together in supplication to him. And if he
enquires of thee as to the person who has given thee the information
about his own self, do thou tell him that Narada has informed thee about
Samvarta. And if he should ask thee to follow me, thou must tell him
without any hesitation, that I have entered into the fire.’

Vyasa said, ‘Having signified his assent to the proposal of Narada, that
royal sage after duly worshipping him, and taking his permission,
repaired to the city of Varanasi, and having reached there, that famous
prince did as he had been told, and remembering the words of Narada, he
placed a corpse at the gate of the city. And by coincidence, that
Brahmana also entered the gate of the city at the same time. Then on
beholding the corpse, he suddenly turned away. And on seeing him turn
back, that prince, the son of Avikshit followed his footsteps with his
hands clasped together, and with the object of receiving instruction from
him. And then finding him in a lonely place, Samvarta covered the king
with mud and ashes and phlegm and spittle. And though thus worried and
oppressed by Samvarta, the king followed that sage with his hands clasped
together in supplication and trying to appease him. At length overcome
with fatigue, and reaching the cool shade of a sacred fig tree with many
branches, Samvarta desisted from his course and sat himself to rest.’


“Samvarta said, ‘How hast thou come to know me, and who has referred thee
to me, do thou tell this to me truly, if thou wishest me to do what is
good to thee. And if thou speak truly, thou shalt attain all the objects
of thy desire, and shouldst thou tell a lie, thy head shall be riven in a
hundred pieces.’

Marutta said, ‘I have been told by Narada, wandering on his way, that
thou art the son of our family-priest, and this (information) has
inclined my mind (towards thee), with exquisite satisfaction.’

Samvarta said, ‘Thou hast told this to me truly. He (Narada) knows me to
be a performer of sacrifices. Now tell me where is Narada living at

Marutta said, ‘That prince of celestial saints (Narada) having given me
this information about thee, and commended me to thy care, has entered
into the fire.’

Vyasa said, ‘Hearing these words from the king (Marutta) Samvarta was
highly gratified, and he said (addressing Marutta). ‘I too am quite able
to do all that.’ Then, O prince, that Brahmana, raving like a lunatic,
and repeatedly scolding Marutta with rude words, again accosted him thus,
‘I am afflicted with a cerebral disorder, and, I always act according to
the random caprices of my own mind. Why art thou bent upon having this
sacrifice performed by a priest of such a singular disposition? My
brother is able to officiate at sacrifices, and he has gone over to
Vasava (Indra), and is engaged in performing his sacrifices, do thou
therefore have thy sacrifice performed by him. My elder brother has
forcibly taken away from me all my household goods and mystical gods, and
sacrificing clients, and has now left to me only this physical body of
mine, and, O son of Avikshit, as he is worthy of all respect from me, I
cannot by any means officiate at thy sacrifice, unless with his
permission. Thou must therefore go to Vrihaspati first, and taking his
permission thou canst come back to me, if thou hast any desire to perform
a sacrifice, and then only shall I officiate at thy sacrifice.’

Marutta said, ‘Do thou listen to me, O Samvarta, I did go to Vrihaspati
first, but desiring the patronage of Vasava, he did not wish to have me
as his sacrificer. He said, ‘Having secured the priesthood of the
Immortals, I do not desire to act for mortals, and, I have been forbidden
by Sakra (Indra) to officiate at Marutta’s sacrifice, as he told me that
Marutta having become lord of the earth, was always filled with a desire
to rival him.’ And to this thy brother assented by saying to the Slayer
of Vala (Indra),–Be it so. Know thou, O best of ascetics, that as he had
succeeded in securing the protection of the Lord of the Celestials, I
repaired to him with gratified heart, but he did not agree to act as my
priest. And thus repulsed, I now desire to spend all I possess, to have
this sacrifice performed by thee, and to outstrip Vasava by the merit of
thy good offices. As I have been repulsed by Vrihaspati for no fault of
mine, I have now no desire, O Brahmana, to go to him to seek his aid in
this sacrifice.”

Samvarta said, ‘I can certainly, O king, accomplish all that thou
desirest, if only thou agree to do all that I shall ask thee to do, but I
apprehend that Vrihaspati and Purandara (Indra) when they will learn that
I am engaged in performing thy sacrifice, will be filled with wrath, and
do all they can to injure thee. Therefore, do thou assure me of thy
steadfastness, so as to ensure my coolness and constancy, as otherwise.
if I am filled with wrath against thee, I shall reduce (destroy) thee and
thy kindred to ashes.”

Marutta said, ‘If ever I forsake thee, may I never attain the blessed
regions as long as the mountains shall exist, and the thousand-rayed sun
continue to emit heat: if I forsake dice, may I never attain true wisdom,
and remain for ever addicted to worldly (material) pursuits.”

Samvarta said, “Listen, O son of Avikshit, excellent as it is the bent of
thy mind to perform this act, so too, O king, have I in my mind the
ability to perform the sacrifice, I tell thee, O king, that thy good
things will become imperishable, and that thou shalt lord it over Sakra
and the Celestials with Gandharvas. For myself, I have no desire to amass
wealth or sacrificial presents, I shall only do what is disagreeable to
both Indra and my brother, I shall certainly make thee attain equality
with Sakra, and I tell thee truly that I shall do what is agreeable to


“Samvarta said, “There is a peak named Munjaban on the summits of the
Himalaya mountains, where the adorable Lord of Uma (Mahadeva) is
constantly engaged in austere devotional exercises. There the mighty and
worshipful god of great puissance, accompanied by his consort Uma, and
armed with his trident, surrounded by wild goblins of many sorts,
pursuing his random wish or fancy, constantly resides in the shade of
giant forest trees, or in the caves, or on the rugged peaks of the great
mountain. And there the Rudras, the Saddhyas, Viswedevas, the Vasus,
Yama, Varuna, and Kuvera with all his attendants, and the spirits and
goblins, and the two Aswins, the Gandharvas, the Apsaras, the Yakshas, as
also the celestial sages, the Sun-gods, as well as the gods presiding
over the winds, and evil spirits of all sorts, worship the high-souled
lord of Uma, possessed of diverse characteristics. And there, O king, the
adorable god sports with the wild and playful followers of Kuvera,
possessed of weird and ghostly appearances. Glowing with its own
splendour, that mountain looks resplendent as the morning sun. And no
creature with his natural eyes made of flesh, can ever ascertain its
shape or configuration, and neither heat nor cold prevails there, nor
doth the sun shine nor do the winds blow. And, O king, neither doth
senility nor hunger, nor thirst, nor death, nor fear afflict any one at
that place. And, O foremost of conquerors, on all sides of that mountain,
there exist mines of gold, resplendent as the rays of the sun. And O
king, the attendants of Kuvera, desirous of doing good to him, protect
these mines of gold from intruders, with uplifted arms. Hie thee thither,
and appease that adorable god who is known by the names of Sarva, Bedha,
Rudra, Sitikantha, Surapa, Suvarcha, Kapardi, Karala, Haryyaksha, Varada,
Tryaksha, Pushnodantabhid, Vamana, Siva, Yamya, Avyaktarupa, Sadvritta,
Sankara, Kshemya, Harikesa, Sthanu, Purusha, Harinetra, Munda, Krishna,
Uttarana, Bhaskara, Sutirtha, Devadeva, Ranha, Ushnishi, Suvaktra,
Sahasraksha, Midhvan, Girisa, Prasanta, Yata, Chiravasa, Vilwadanda,
Siddha, Sarvadandadhara, Mriga, Vyadha, Mahan, Dhanesa, Bhava, Vara,
Somavaktra, Siddhamantra, Chakshu, Hiranyavahu, Ugra, Dikpati, Lelihana,
Goshtha, Shiddhamantra, Vrishnu, Pasupati, Bhutapati, Vrisha,
Matribhakta, Senani, Madhyama, Sruvahasta, Yati, Dhanwi, Bhargava, Aja,
Krishnanetra, Virupaksha, Tikshnadanshtra, Tikshna, Vaiswanaramukha,
Mahadyuti, Ananga, Sarva, Dikpati, Bilohita, Dipta, Diptaksha, Mahauja,
Vasuretas, Suvapu, Prithu, Kritivasa, Kapalmali, Suvarnamukuta, Mahadeva,
Krishna, Tryamvaka, Anagha, Krodhana, Nrisansa, Mridu, Vahusali, Dandi,
Taptatapa, Akrurakarma, Sahasrasira, Sahasra-charana, Swadha-swarupa,
Vahurupa, Danshtri, Pinaki, Mahadeva, Mahayogi, Avyaya, Trisulahasta,
Varada, Tryamvaka, Bhuvaneswara, Tripuraghna, Trinayana, Trilokesa,
Mahanja, Sarvabhuta-prabhava, Sarvabhuta-dharana, Dharanidhara, Isana,
Sankara, Sarva, Siva, Visveswara, Bhava, Umapati, Pasupati, Viswarupa,
Maheswara, Virupaksha, Dasabhuja, Vrishavadhwaja, Ugra, Sthanu, Siva,
Rudra, Sarva, Girisa, Iswara, Sitakantha, Aja, Sukra, Prithu, Prithuhara,
Vara, Viswarupa, Virupaksha, Vahurupa, Umapati, Anangangahara, Hara,
Saranya, Mahadeva, Chaturmukha. There bowing unto that deity, must thou
crave his protection. And thus, O prince, making thy submission to that
high-souled Mahadeva of great energy, shalt thou acquire that gold. And
the men who go there thus, succeed in obtaining the gold. Thus
instructed, Marutta, the son of Karandhama, did as he was advised. And
made superhuman arrangements for the performance of his sacrifice. And
artisans manufactured vessels of gold for that sacrifice. And Vrihaspati
too, hearing of the prosperity of Marutta, eclipsing that of the gods,
became greatly grieved at heart, and distressed at the thought that his
rival Samvarta should become prosperous, became sick at heart, and the
glow of his complexion left him, and his frame became emaciated. And when
the lord of the gods came to know that Vrihaspati was much aggrieved, he
went to him attended by the Immortals and addressed him thus.”


“Indra said, “Dost thou, O Vrihaspati, sleep in peace, and are thy
servants agreeable to thee, dost thou seek the welfare of the gods, and
do the gods, O Brahmana, protect thee?”

Vrihaspati said, “I do sleep in peace in my bed. O Lord of the gods, and
my servants are to my liking and I always seek the welfare of the gods,
and they cherish me well.”

Indra said, “Whence then is this pain, mental or physical, and why art
thou pale and altered in appearance (complexion) at present? Tell me, O
Brahmana, who those people are, who have caused thee pain, so that I may
kill them all.”

Vrihaspati said, “O Indra, I have heard that Marutta will perform a great
sacrifice at which exquisite presents will be given by him (to Brahmanas)
and that at his sacrifice Samvarta will act as the officiating priest,
and therefore do I desire that he may not officiate as priest at that

Indra said, “Thou, O Brahmana, hast attained all the object of thy desire
when thou hast become the excellent priest of the gods, versed in all the
sacred hymns, and hast overreached the influence of death and dotage,
what can Samvarta do to thee now?”

Vrihaspati said, “Prosperity of a rival is always painful to one’s
feelings, and for this reason too, thou dost with try attendant gods
persecute the Asuras with their with and kin, and kill the most
prosperous among them; hence, O Lord of the gods, am I changed in
appearance at the thought that my rival is prospering, therefore, O
Indra, do thou, by all means, restrain Samvarta and king Marutta.”

Indra turning to Agni said, “Do thou, O Jataveda, following my direction,
go to king Marutta to present Vrihaspati to him, and say unto him that
this Vrihaspati will officiate at his sacrifice and make him immortal.”

Agni said, “I shall presently, O adorable one, repair thither as thy
messenger, to present Vrihaspati to king Marutta; and to make Indra’s
words true, and to show respect to Vrihaspati, Agni departed.”

Vyasa said, “Then the high-souled fire-god went on his errand,
devastating all the forests and trees, like unto the mighty wind, roaring
and revolving at random at the end of the winter season.”

Marutta said, “Behold! I find the fire-god come in his own embodiment,
this day, therefore do thou, O Muni, offer him a seat and water, and a
cow, and water for washing the feet.”

Agni said, “I accept thy offerings of water, seat, and water for washing
the feet, O sinless one, do thou know me as the messenger of Indra, come
to thee, in accordance with his directions.”

Marutta said, “O Fire-god, is the glorious Lord of the Celestials happy,
and is he pleased with us, and are the other gods loyal to him? Do thou
enlighten me duly on all these points.”

Agni said, “O lord of the earth, Sakra is perfectly happy, he is pleased
with thee, and wishes to make thee free from senility, and all the other
gods are loyal to him. Do thou, O king, listen to the message of the Lord
of the Celestials. And the object for which he has sent me to thee is to
present Vrihaspati to Marutta. O prince, let this priest (of the
Celestials) perform thy sacrifice, and make thee, who art only a mortal,
attain immortality.”

Marutta said, “This twice-born Brahmana Samvarta will perform my
sacrifice, and I pray to Vrihaspati, that he having acted as priest to
Mahendra (Indra), it does not look well for him now to act as priest to
mortal men.”

Agni said, “If this Vrihaspati officiate as thy priest, then shalt thou
by the blessings of Devaraja (Indra) attain the highest region in the
celestial mansion and attaining fame shalt thou certainly conquer the
heavenly region. And, O lord of men, if Vrihaspati act as thy priest,
thou shalt be able to conquer all the regions inhabited by men, and the
heavenly regions, and all the highest regions created by Prajapati and
even the entire kingdom of the gods.”

Samvarta said, “Thou must never come again thus to present Vrihaspati to
Marutta: for know, O Pavaka, (Agni) if thou dost, I losing my temper,
will burn thee with my fierce evil eyes.”

Vyasa said, “Then Agni apprehending destruction by fire, and trembling
like the leaves of the Aswattha tree (Ficus religiosa), returned to the
gods, and the high-souled Sakra seeing that carrier of oblations (Agni)
in the company of Vrihaspati said as follows:

Indra said, “O Jataveda (Agni), didst thou go to present Vrihaspati to
Marutta according to my direction? What did that sacrificing king say
unto thee and did he accept my message?”

Agni said, “Thy message was not acceptable by Marutta and when urged by
me, he clasping the hands of Vrihaspati, repeatedly said, that Samvarta
would act as his priest. And he also observed that he did not desire to
attain the worldly and the heavenly regions and all the highest regions
of Prajapati, and that if he were so minded, he would accept the terms of

Indra said, “Do thou go back to that king and meeting him, tell him these
words of mine, full of significance, and if he obey them not, I shall
strike him with my thunderbolt.”

Agni said, “Let this king of the Gandharvas repair thither as thy
messenger, O Vasava, for, I am afraid to go thither myself. Know, O
Sakra, that highly incensed Samvarta, used to ascetic practices, told me
these words in a rage. ‘I shall burn thee with my fierce evil eyes if
thou on any account come again here to present Vrihaspati to king

Sakra said, “O Jataveda, it is thou who dost burn all other things and
there is none else who can reduce thee to ashes. All the world is afraid
to come in contact with thee. O carrier of oblations, these words of
thine are worthy of no credence.”

Agni said, “Thou, O Sakra, hast encompassed the dominion of the heaven
and the earth and the firmament by the might of thy own arms, but even
thus how could Vritra (of old) wrest from thee the sovereignty of the
celestial regions?”

Indra said, “I can reduce my foes to submission and can even reduce the
size of a mountain to an atom, if I will it. But, O Vahnni, as I do not
accept the libation of Soma if offered by a foe, and as I do not strike
the weak with my thunderbolt, Vritra seemed to triumph over me for a
time. But who among mortals can live in peace by creating feud with me. I
have banished the Kalakeyas to the earth, and removed the Danavas from
heaven, and have terminated the existence of Prahlada in heaven. Can
there be any man who can live in peace by provoking my enmity?”

Agni said, “Dost thou, O Mahendra, remember that in olden times when the
sage Chyavana officiated at the sacrifice of Saryati with the twin gods
Aswins and himself appropriated the Soma offering alone, thou wert filled
with wrath, and when bent upon preventing Saryati’s sacrifice, thou didst
violently strike Chyavana with thy thunderbolt? But that Brahmana, O
Purandara, giving way to passion, was able by the power of his devotions
to seize and hold fast by hand with thy thunder-bolt in it. And in a
rage, he again created a terrible looking enemy of thine, the Asura named
Mada assuming all shapes, on beholding whom thou didst shut thine eyes
with fear, whose one huge jaw was placed on earth, and the other extended
to the celestial regions, and who looked terrible with his thousand sharp
teeth extending over a hundred Yojanas, and had four prominent ones
thick-set, and shining like a pillar of silver, and extending over two
hundred Yojanas. And when grinding his teeth he pursued thee with his
terrible and uplifted pike with the object of killing thee. Thou on
beholding that terrible monster, presented a (pitiful) spectacle to all
the by-standers. Then, O slayer of Danavas, overcome with fear of the
monster, with thy hands clasped in supplication, thou didst seek the
protection of the great sage. The might of Brahmanas, O Sakra, is greater
than that of the Kshatriyas. None are more powerful than Brahmanas and
knowing duly, as I do, the power of Brahmanas, I do not, O Sakra, desire
to come in conflict with Samvarta.”


“Indra said, “Even so it is; the might of Brahmanas is great and there
are none more powerful than Brahmanas, but I can never bear with
equanimity the insolent pride of Avikshita’s son, and so shall I smite
him with my thunderbolt. Therefore, O Dhritarashtra, do thou according to
my direction repair to king Marutta attended by Samvarta, and deliver
this message to him–‘Do thou, O prince, accept Vrihaspati as thy
spiritual preceptor, as otherwise, I shall strike thee with my terrific

Vyasa said, “Then Dhritarashtra betook himself to that monarch’s court
and delivered this message to him from Vasava.”

Dhritarashtra said, “O lord of men, know that I am Dhritarashtra the
Gandharva, come here with the object [of] delivering to thee the message
of Indra. Do thou, O lion among kings, listen to the words which the
high-souled lord of all the worlds meant for thee,–That one of
incomprehensible achievements (Indra) only said this much, ‘Do thou
accept Vrihaspati as thy officiating priest for the sacrifice, or if thou
do not comply with my request, I shall strike thee with my terrific

Marutta said, “Thou, O Purandara, the Viswadevas, the Vasus and the
Aswins ye all know, that in this world there is no escape from the
consequences of playing false to a friend; it is a great sin like unto
that of murdering a Brahman. Let Vrihaspati (therefore) officiate as
priest to that Mahendra the supreme Deva (god), the highest one wielding
the thunderbolt, and O prince, Samvarta will act as my priest, as neither
his (Indra’s) words, nor thine commend themselves to me.”

The Gandharva said, “Do thou, O lion among princes, listen to the
terrible war-cry of Vasava roaring, in the heavens. Assuredly, and openly
will Mahendra hurl his thunderbolt at thee. Do thou therefore be-think
thyself of thy good, for this is the time to do it.”

Vyasa said, “Thus accosted by Dhritarashtra, and hearing the roar of
howling Vasava, the king communicated this intelligence to Samvarta
steadfast in devotion and the highest of all virtuous men.”

Marutta said, “Verily this rain-cloud floating in the air indicates that
Indra must be near at present, therefore, O prince of Brahmanas, I seek
shelter from thee. Do thou, O best of Brahmanas, remove this fear of
Indra from my mind. The Wielder of the thunderbolt is coming encompassing
the ten directions of space with his terrible and superhuman refulgence
and my assistants at this sacrificial assembly have been overcome with

Samvarta said, “O lion among kings, thy fear of Sakra will soon be
dispelled, and I shall soon remove this terrible pain by means of my
magic lore (incantation); be calm and have no fear of being overpowered
by India. Thou hast nothing to fear from the god of a hundred sacrifices.
I shall use my staying charms, O king, and the weapons of all the gods
will avail them not. Let the lightening flash in all the directions of
space, and the winds entering into the clouds pour down the showers amid
the forests and the waters deluge the heavens and the flashes of
lightning that are seen will avail not. Thou hast nothing to fear, let
Vasava pour down the rains and plast his terrific thunderbolt where he
will, floating among the watery masses (clouds) for thy destruction, for
the god Vahnni (Agni) will protect thee in every way, and make thee
attain all the objects of thy desire.”

Marutta said, “This appalling crash of the thunderbolt together with the
howling of the winds, seem terrible to my ears and my heart is afflicted
again and again, O Brahmana, and my peace of mind is gone at present.”

Samvarta said, “O king, the feat in thy mind from this terrible
thunderbolt will leave thee presently. I shall dispel the thunder by the
aid of the winds, and setting aside all fear from thy mind, do thou
accept a boon from me according to thy heart’s desire, and I shall
accomplish it for thee.”

Marutta said, “I desire, O Brahmana, that Indra all on a sudden should
come in person at this sacrifice, and accept the oblation offered to him,
and that all the other gods also come and take their own shares of the
offerings and accept the libations of Soma offered to them.”

Samvarta said, “I have by the power of my incantations attracted Indra in
person to this sacrifice. Behold, O monarch, Indra coming with his
horses, and worshipped by the other gods hastening to this sacrifice.”

Then the lord of the Devas attended by the other gods and riding in his
chariot drawn by the most excellent steeds, approached the sacrificial
altar of that son of Avikshit and drank the Soma libations of that
unrivalled monarch. And king Marutta with his priest rose to receive
Indra coming with the host of gods and well-pleased in mind, he welcomed
the lord of the Devas with due and foremost honours according to the

Samvarta said, “Welcome to thee, O Indra, by thy presence here, O learned
one, this sacrifice has been made grand. O slayer or Vala and Vritra. do
thou again quaff this Soma juiced produced by me today.’

Marutta said, “Do thou look with kindness upon me, I bow unto thee, O
Indra, by thy presence, my sacrifice has been perfected, and my life too
blessed with good results. O Surendra, this excellent Brahmana, the
younger brother of Vrihaspati is engaged in performing my sacrifices.”

Indra said. “I know thy priest, this highly energetic ascetic, the
younger brother of Vrihaspati, at whose invitation I have come to this
sacrifice. I am, O monarch, well-pleased with thee and my resentment
against thee hath been destroyed.”

Samvarta said, “If, O prince of the Devas, thou art pleased with us, do
thou thyself give all the directions for this sacrifice, and O Surendra,
thyself ordain the sacrificial portions (for the gods), so that, O god,
all the world may know that it hath been done by thee.”

Vyasa said, “Thus accosted by the son of Angira, Sakra himself gave
directions to all the gods to erect the hall of assembly, and a thousand
well-furnished excellent rooms looking grand as in a picture, and
speedily to complete the staircase massive and durable, for the ascent of
the Gandharvas and Apsaras and to furnish that portion of the sacrificial
ground reserved for the dance of the Apsaras, like unto the palace of
Indra in the heaven. O king, thus directed, the renowned dwellers of
heaven speedily fulfilled the directions of Sakra. And then, O king,
Indra well-pleased and adored, thus said to king Marutta,–O prince, by
associating with thee at this sacrifice, thine ancestors who have gone
before thee, as well as the other gods have been highly gratified and
have accepted the oblations offered by thee. And now, O king, let the
foremost of regenerate beings offer on the sacrificial altar a red bull
appertaining to the Fire-god and a sacred and duly consecrated blue bull
with a variegated skin, appertaining to the Viswedevas. Then, O king, the
sacrificial ceremony grew in splendour, wherein the gods themselves
collected the food, and Sakra, the lord of the gods, possessed of horses,
and worshipped by the Brahmanas, became an assistant at the sacrifice.
And then the high-souled Samvarta ascending the altar, and looking
radiant as the second embodiment of the blazing fire, loudly addressing
the gods with complaisance, offered oblations of clarified butter to the
fire with incantation of the sacred hymns. And then the slayer of Vala
first drank the Soma juice, and then the assembly of other gods drank
Soma. And then in happiness and with the king’s permission they returned
home and well-pleased and delighted. Then that monarch, the slayer of his
enemies, with a delighted heart, placed heaps of gold on diverse spots,
and distributing the immense wealth to the Brahmanas, he looked glorious
like Kuvera, the god of wealth. And with a buoyant heart, the king filled
his treasury with different kinds of wealth, and with the permission of
his spiritual preceptor, he returned (to his kingdom) and continued to
rule the entire realm extending to the borders of the sea. So virtuous in
this world was that king, at whose sacrifice such an enormous quantity of
gold vas collected, and now, O prince, thou must collect that gold and
worshipping the gods with due rites, do thou perform this sacrifice.”

Vaisampayana continued, “Then the Pandava prince Yudhishthira was
delighted on hearing this speech of the son of Satyavati (Vyasa), and
desirous of performing his sacrifice with those riches, he held repeated
consultations with his ministers.”


Vaisampayana said, “When Vyasa of wonderful achievements had concluded
his speech to the king, the highly-puissant son of Vasudeva (Krishna)
also addressed him. Knowing the king, the son of Pritha, afflicted in
mind, and bereft of his relatives and kinsmen slain in battle, and
appearing crest-fallen like the sun darkened eclipse, or fire smothered
by smoke, that prop of the Vrishni race (Krishna), comforting the son of
Dharma, essayed to address him thus.”

Vasudeva said, “All crookedness of heart leads to destruction
(perdition?) and all rectitude leads to Brahman (spiritual excellence).
If this and this only is the aim and object of all true wisdom, then what
can mental distraction do (to one who understands this)? Thy Karma has
not yet been annihilated, nor have thy enemies been subjugated, for thou
dost not yet know the enemies that are still lurking within thine own
flesh. I shall (therefore) relate to thee truly as I have heard it, the
story of the war of Indra with Vritra as it took place. In ancient times
the Prithivi (earth), O king, was encompassed by Vritra, and by this
abstraction of earthly matter, the seat of all odour, there arose bad
odours on all sides, and the Performer of a hundred sacrifices (Indra),
being much enraged by this act, hurled his thunderbolt at Vritra. And
being deeply wounded by the thunderbolt of mighty Indra, Vritra entered
into the (waters), and by doing so he destroyed their property. The
waters being seized by Vritra, their liquid property left them. At this
Indra became highly enraged and again smote him with his thunderbolt. And
he (Vritra) smitten by the thunderbolt by the most powerful Indra betook
himself to the Jyoti (luminous matter) and abstracted its inherent
property. The luminous matter being overwhelmed by Vritra and its
property, colour and form being thereby lost, the wrathful Indra again
hurled his thunderbolt at him. And thus wounded again by Indra of
immeasurable power, Vritra entered all on a sudden into the Vayu (gaseous
matter). and thereafter made away with its inherent property. And this
matter being overpowered by Vritra and its property, viz., touch being
lost, Indra became again filled with wrath and flung his thunderbolt at
him. And wounded therein by the mighty (Indra), he overwhelmed the Akasa
(ether), and took away its inherent property, and the Akasa being
overwhelmed by Vritra, and its property, sound being destroyed, the god
of a hundred sacrifices highly incensed, again smote him with his
thunderbolt. And thus smitten by the mighty Indra, he suddenly entered
into his (Sakra’s) body, and took away its essential attributes. And
overtaken by Vritra, he was filled with great illusion. And, O venerable
sir, the mightiest of Bharata’s race, we have heard that Vasistha
comforted Indra (when he was thus afflicted) and that the god of a
hundred sacrifices slew Vritra in his body by means of his invisible
thunderbolt, and know, O prince, that this religious mystery was recited
by Sakra to the great sages, and they in turn told it to me.”


“Vasudeva said, “There are two kinds of ailments, physical and mental.
They are produced by the mutual action of the body and mind on each
other, and they never arise without the interaction of the two. The
ailment that is produced in the body, is called the physical ailment, and
that which has its seat in the mind, is known as the mental ailment. The
cold, the warm (phlegm and bile) as well as the windy humours, O king,
are the essential transformations generated in the physical body, and
when these humours are evenly distributed, and are present in due
proportions, they are said to be symptomatic of good health. The warm
humour is acted upon (allayed) by the cold, and the cold by the warm. And
Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas are the attributes of the soul, and it is said by
the learned that their presence in due proportions indicates health (of
the mind). But if any of the three preponderates, some remedy is enjoined
(to restore the equilibrium). Happiness is overcome by sorrow, and sorrow
by pleasure. Some people while afflicted by sorrow, desire to recall
(past) happiness, while others, while in the enjoyment of happiness,
desire to recall past sorrow. But thou, O son of Kunti, dost neither
desire to recall thy sorrows nor thy happiness; what else dost thou
desire to recall barring this delusion of sorrow? Or, perchance, O son,
of Pritha, it is thy innate nature, by which thou art at present
overpowered. Thou dost not desire to recall to thy mind the painful sight
of Krishna standing in the hall of assembly with only one piece of cloth
to cover her body, and while she was in her menses and in the presence of
all the Pandavas. And it is not meet that thou shouldst brood over thy
departure from the city, and thy exile with the hide of the antelope for
thy robe, and thy wanderings in the great forest, nor shouldst thou
recall to thy mind the affliction from Jatasura, the fight with
Chitrasena, and thy troubles from the Saindhavas. Nor it is proper, O son
of Pritha, and conqueror of thy foes, that thou shouldst recall the
incident of Kichaka’s kicking Draupadi, during the period of thy exile
passed in absolute concealment, nor the incidents of the fight which took
place between thyself and Drona and Bhishma. The time has now arrived,
when thou must fight the battle which each must fight single-handed with
his mind. Therefore, O chief of Bharata’s race, thou must now prepare to
carry the struggle against thy mind, and by dint of abstraction and the
merit of thine own Karma, thou must reach the other side of (overcome)
the mysterious and unintelligible (mind). In this war there will be no
need for any missiles, nor for friends, nor attendants. The battle which
is to be fought alone and single-handed has now arrived for thee. And if
vanquished in this struggle, thou shalt find thyself in the most wretched
plight, and O son of Kunti, knowing this, and acting accordingly, shalt
thou attain success. And knowing this wisdom and the destiny of all
creatures, and following the conduct of thy ancestors, do thou duly
administer thy kingdom.”


“Vasudeva said, “O scion of Bharata’s race, salvation is not attained by
foregoing the external things (like kingdom, etc), it is only attained by
giving up things which pander to the flesh (body). The virtue and
happiness which are attainable by the person who has renounced only the
external objects, but who is at the same time engrossed by passions and
weakness of the flesh, let these be the portion of our enemies. The word
with two letters is Mrit-yu (death of the soul or perdition), and the
word with three letters is Sas-wa-ta (Brahman) or the eternal spirit. The
consciousness that this or that thing is mine, or the state of being
addicted to worldly objects is Mrityu and the absence of that feeling is
Saswatam. And these two, Brahman and Mrityu, O king, have their seats in
the souls of all creatures, and remaining unseen, they, without doubt,
wage war with each other. And if, O Bharata, it be true that no creature
is ever destroyed, then one doth not make oneself guilty of the death of
a creature by piercing (destroying) its body. What matters the world to a
man, if having acquired the sovereignty of the whole earth with its
mobile and immobile creation, he does not become attached to it, or
engrossed in its enjoyment. But the man who having renounced the world,
has taken to the life of the recluse in the forest, living on wild roots
and edibles, if such a man, O son of Pritha, has a craving for the good
things of the world, and is addicted to them, he may be said to bear
Mrityu (death) in his mouth. Do thou, O Bharata, watch and observe the
character of thy external and internal enemies, (by means of thy
spiritual vision), And the man who is able to perceive the nature of the
eternal reality is able to overreach the influence of the great fear
(perdition). Men do not look with approbation upon the conduct of those
who are engrossed in worldly desires and there is no act without having a
desire (at its root) and all (Kama) desires are, as it were, the limbs
(offshoots) of the mind. Therefore, wise men knowing this subjugate their
desires. The Yogi who holds communion with the Supreme Spirit, knows Yoga
to be the perfect way (to salvation) by reason of the practices of his
many former births. And remembering that, what the soul desires, is not
conducive to piety and virtue, but that the suppression of the desires is
at the root of all true virtue, such men do not engage in the practice of
charity, Vedic learning, asceticism and Vedic rites whose object is
attainment of worldly prosperity, ceremonies, sacrifices, religious rules
and meditation, with the motive of securing any advantage thereby. By way
of illustration of this truth, the sages versed in ancient lore, recite
these Gathas called by the name of Kamagita, do thou O Yudhishthira,
listen to the recital of them in detail. (Kama says) No creature is able
to destroy me without resorting to the proper methods (viz., subjugating
of all desires and practice of Yoga etc.) If a man knowing my power,
strive to destroy me by muttering prayers etc., I prevail over him by
deluding him with the belief that I am the subjective ego within him. If
he wish to destroy me by means of sacrifices with many presents, I
deceive him by appearing in his mind as a most virtuous creature amongst
the mobile creation, and if he wish to annihilate me by mastering the
Vedas and Vedangas, I over reach him by seeming to his mind to be the
soul of virtue amongst the immobile creation. And if the man whose
strength lies in truth, desire to overcome me by patience, I appear to
him as his mind, and thus he does not perceive my existence, and if the
man of austere religious practices, desire to destroy me by means of
asceticism, I appear in the guise of asceticism in his mind, and thus he
is prevented from knowing me, and the man of learning, who with the
object of attaining salvation desires to destroy me, I frolic and laugh
in the face of such a man intent on salvation. I am the everlasting one
without a compeer, whom no creature can kill or destroy. For this reason
thou too, O prince, divert thy desires (Kama) to Virtue, so that, by this
means, thou mayst attain what is well for thee. Do thou therefore make
preparations for the due performance of the horse sacrifice with
presents, and various other sacrifices of great splendour, and
accompanied with presents. Let not therefore grief overpower thee again,
on beholding thy friends lying slain on the battlefield. Thou canst not
see the men slain in this battle alive again. Therefore shouldst thou
perform magnificent sacrifices with presents, so that thou mayst attain
fame in this world, and reach the perfect way (hereafter).”


“Vaisampayana said, “With such speeches as these, was the royal saint
Yudhishthira, bereft of his friends, consoled by those sages of great
ascetic merits. And O monarch, that lord of men exhorted by the
worshipful Viswarasraba himself, and by Dwaipayana (Vyasa), Krishna
Devasthana, Narada, Bhima, Nakula, Krishna (Draupadi), Sahadeva, and the
sharpwitted Vijaya, as well as by other great men, and Brahmanas versed
in the Sastras, became relieved of all mental affliction and sorrow
arising from the death of his dear relations. And that monarch
Yudhishthira after performing the obsequial ceremonies of his departed
friends, and honouring the Brahmanas and Devas (gods), brought the
kingdom of the earth with its girdle of oceans, under his sway. And that
prince of Kuru’s race having regained his kingdom, with a tranquil mind,
thus addressed Vyasa, Narada and the other sages who were present. I have
been comforted by the words of so great, ancient and aged saints as
yourselves, and I have now no cause left for the least affliction. And
likewise, I have attained great wealth, with which I may worship the
gods. Therefore, with your assistance, I shall now perform the sacrifice,
O the best of regenerate beings. We have heard that those (Himalayan)
regions are full of wonders. Therefore, O Brahmana, saint and grandsire
do thou so ordain that under thy protection we may safety reach the
Himalaya mountains, the performance of my sacrifice being entirely within
thy control, and then the adorable celestial saint Narada and Devasthana
have also addressed exquisite and well-meaning words for our well being.
No unlucky man in times of great tribulation and distress, has ever the
good fortune to secure the services of such preceptors and friends
approved by all virtuous men. Thus addressed by the king, those great
saints, bidding the king and Krishna and Arjuna to repair to the
Himalayan regions, then and there vanished in the presence of the
assembled multitude, and the king, the lordly son of Dharma, then seated
himself there for a while. And the Pandavas then in consequence of the
death of Bhishma, were engaged in performing his funeral ceremonies. And
their time, while thus engaged, seemed too long in passing and performing
the last rites to the mortal remains of Bhishma, Karna and other foremost
Kauravas, they gave away large presents to Brahmanas. And then the
foremost descendant of Kuru again performed with Dhritarashtra the
funeral rites (of the heroes slain in battle), and having given away
immense wealth to the Brahmanas, the Pandava chief with Dhritarashtra in
advance, made this entry into the city of Hastina Nagar, and consoling
his lordly uncle, possessed of eyes of wisdom, that virtuous prince
continued to administer the earth with his brothers.


Janamejaya said, ‘O the best of regenerate beings, when the Pandavas had
reconquered and pacified their kingdom, what did the two warriors,
Vasudeva and Dhananjaya do?

Vaisampayana said, ‘O lord of the earth, Vasudeva and Dhananjaya were
highly pleased when the Pandavas had succeeded in regaining and pacifying
their dominions, and they deported themselves with great satisfaction,
like unto Indra and his consort in the celestial regions, and amidst
picturesque woodland sceneries, and tablelands of mountains, and sacred
places of pilgrimage, and lakes and rivers, they travelled with great
pleasure like the two Aswins in the Nandana garden of Indra. And, O
Bharata, the high-souled Krishna and the son of Pandu (Dhananjaya)
entering the beautiful hall of assembly at Indraprastha, whiled away
their time in great merriment. And there, O prince, they passed their
time in recounting the stirring incidents of the war, and the sufferings
of their past lives. And those two high-souled ancient sages, glad at
heart, recited the genealogy of the races of saints and gods. Then
Kesava, knowing the full import of all matters, addressed Partha in a
sweet and beautiful speech of excellent style and import. And then
Janarddana comforted the son of Pritha afflicted by the death of his
sons, and thousands of other relatives. And he of great ascetic merit and
knowing the science of all things having duly consoled him, Arjuna rested
for a while, as if a great burden had been removed from his own person.
Then Govinda (Krishna) consoling Arjuna with sweet speech addressed these
well-reasoned words to him.

Vasudeva said, ‘O Arjuna, the terror of thine enemies, this whole earth
has been conquered by the king, the son of Dharma, relying on the power
of thy arms. And O the best of men, the virtuous king Yudhishthira now
enjoys the sovereignty of the earth without a rival, by the might of
Bhimasena and the twin brothers. O thou who knowest what virtue is, it
was by righteousness alone that the king has been able to regain his
kingdom free from all enemies (thorns), and it was by the action of
righteousness that king Suyodhana has been killed in battle, and, O son
of Pritha and pillar of the Kuru race, the wicked sons of Dhritarashtra,
avaricious, always rude in speech, and bent upon an unrighteous course of
conduct, having been exterminated with their followers, the king, the son
of Dharma and lord of the earth, now peaceably enjoys the entire kingdom
of the earth with thy aid, and I too, O son of Pandu, have been
pleasantly whiling away my time in thy company, amidst woodland scenes. O
terror of thine enemies, what more need I tell thee, but that where thou
and Pritha, and the king, the son of Dharma, and the mighty Bhimasena and
the two sons of Madri are, there am I attracted with exquisite delight. O
descendant of Kuru, in these delightful and sacred and heaven-like halls
of assembly a long time hath fleeted away in thy company without my
seeing Vasudeva, Valadeva and other leaders of the Vrishni race. And now
I am desirous of repairing to the city of Dwaravati. Do thou therefore, O
most valorous of men, assent to my departure. When king Yudhishthira was
smitten heavily with affliction, I with Bhishma, have recited to him many
appropriate legends suited to the occasion with a view of assuaging his
grief, and the pliant and high-minded Yudhishthira, though our sovereign
and versed in all lore paid due heed to our words. That son of Dharma
honours truth, and is grateful and righteous, therefore will his virtue
and good sense and the stability of his power always endure. And now, O
Arjuna, if it pleases thee, do thou go to that high-minded prince and
tell him of my intention to depart from this place. For, O thou of mighty
arms, even if death cometh to me, I am unwilling to do anything that may
displease him, leaving alone my going to the city of Dwaravati. O son of
Pritha and descendant of Kuru, I now tell thee truly, desiring to do only
what is good and agreeable to thee, and there can be nothing equivocal in
it in any way, that the necessity for my staying here no longer exists,
because, O Arjuna, that monarch the son of Dhritarashtra bath been slain
with his armies and attendants, and the earth, my friend, with its girdle
of seas and its mountains and woods and forests, and the kingdom of the
Kuru king filled with various gems, have passed under the sway of that
wise son of Dharma. And O foremost prince of Bharata’s race, may that
virtuous prince administer the entire kingdom of the earth in
righteousness, and with the respect and approbation of numerous
high-souled Siddhas, and having his praises always extolled by the court
heralds. Do thou, O chieftain of Kuru’s race, accompany me to-day to the
presence of the king, the great aggrandiser of the Kuru race, and sound
him of my intended return to Dwaraka. As Yudhishthira the high-souled
king of the Kurus always commands my love and respect, I have, O son of
Pritha, placed this my body and all the wealth that I have in my house,
at his disposal. And O prince Partha (son of Pritha), when this earth has
come under thy sway and that of the worshipful Yudhishthira of excellent
character, there no longer remains any necessity for my staying here
except for my affection for thee. And O monarch, when the redoubtable
Arjuna had been thus accosted by the noble-hearted Janarddana, he,
showing all the honours due to him, sorrowfully replied by merely saying
‘be it so.’


(Anugita Parva)

“Janamejaya said, “When the high-souled Kesava and Arjuna after slaying
their enemies repaired to the assembly rooms, what conversation, O
regenerate one, took place between them?’

Vaisampayana said, “The son of Pritha (Arjuna), having recovered his own
kingdom, joyously spent his time, without doing anything else, in the
company of Krishna, his heart filled with delight, in that palace of
celestial beauty. One day, those two listlessly proceeded to a particular
part of the palace that looked, O king, like a veritable portion of
Heaven. Themselves filled with delight, they were then surrounded by
their relatives and attendents. Pandu’s son, Arjuna, filled with joy in
the company of Krishna, surveyed that delightful mansion, and then
addressed his companion, saying, ‘O–mighty-armed one, thy greatness
became known to me upon the approach of the battle. O son of Devaki, thy
form also, as the Lord of the universe, then became known to me! What thy
holy self said unto me at that time, O Kesava, through affection, has all
been forgotten by me, O chief of men, in consequence of the fickleness of
my mind. Repeatedly, however, have I been curious on the subject of those
truths. Thou again, O Madhava, wilt repair to Dwaraka soon.’

Vaisampayana continued, ‘Thus addressed by him, Krishna of mighty energy,
that foremost of speakers, embraced Phalguna and replied unto him as

‘Vasudeva said, ‘I made thee listen to truths that are regarded as
mysteries. I imparted to thee truths that are eternal. Verily, I
discoursed to thee on Religion in its true form and on all the eternal
regions. It is exceedingly disagreeable to me to learn that thou didst
not, from folly, receive what I imparted. The recollection of all that I
told thee on that occasion will not come to me now. Without doubt, O son
of Pandu, thou art destitute of faith and thy understanding is not good.
It is impossible for me, O Dhananjaya, to repeat, in detail, all that I
said on that occasion. That religion (about which I discoursed to thee
then) is more than sufficient for understanding Brahma. I cannot
discourse on it again in detail. I discoursed to thee on Supreme Brahma,
having concentrated myself in Yoga. I shalt now, however, recite to thee
an old history upon the same topic. O foremost of all persons, observant
of duty, listen to everything I now say, so that, with an understanding
adapted to my teaching, thou mayst succeed in attaining to the highest
end. O chastiser of foes, on one occasion, a Brahmana came to us from the
regions of Heaven. Of irresistible energy, he came from the regions of
the Grandsire. He was duly reverenced by us. Listen. O son of Pritha,
without yielding to scruples of any kind, to what he, O chief of
Bharata’s race, said, in answer to our enquiries, agreeably to heavenly

The Brahmana said, That which thou askest me, O Krishna, connected with
the religion of Moksha (Emancipation), led by thy compassion for all
creatures (and not for thy own good),–that, indeed, which destroys all
delusion, O thou that art possessed of supreme puissance[6] I shall now
tell thee duly, O slayer of Madhu. Do thou listen with concentrated
attention as I discourse to thee, O Madhava. A Brahmana of the name of
Kasyapa, possessed of penances and the foremost of all persons conversant
with duties, came to a certain other Brahmana who had become conversant
with all the mysteries of religion.[7] Indeed, the latter had mastered
all the knowledge which the scriptures teach respecting the departure and
reappearance of beings and possessed that direct knowledge of all things
which Yoga gives. He was well skilled in the truths of all topics
relating to the world. He had mastered the truth about pleasure and pain.
He knew the truth about birth and death, and understood the distinctions
between merit and demerit. He was a beholder of the ends attained to by
embodied creatures high and low in consequence of their acts. He lived
like one emancipated from the world. Crowned with ascetic success and
possessed of perfect tranquillity of soul, he had all his senses under
complete control. He seemed to blaze with the resplendence of Brahma and
was capable of going everywhere at will. He knew the science of
disappearing at will from before the eyes of all. He used to rove in the
company of invisible Siddhas and celestial musicians. He used to sit and
converse with them on some spot retired from the bustle of humanity. He
was as unattached to all things as the wind. Kasyapa having heard of him
truly, desired to see him. Possessed of intelligence, that foremost of
all Brahmanas, approached the sage. Himself possessed of penances,
Kasyapa, moved by the desire of acquiring merit, fell, with a rapt heart,
at the feet of the sage when he had seen all those wonderful attributes.
Filled with wonder at the sight of those extraordinary accomplishments,
Kasyapa began to wait upon that foremost of all Brahmanas, with the
dutiful reverence of a disciple waiting upon his preceptor and succeeded
in propitiating him. By his devotion, O scorcher of foes, rendering to
hint the obedience due from a disciple to a preceptor, Kasyapa gratified
that Brahmana who possessed all these accomplishments and was endued,
besides, with scriptural learning and excellent conduct. Gratified with
Kasyapa, that Brahmana one day addressed him cheerfully and spoke as
follows, with an eye to the highest success. Listen to those words, O
Janarddana, as I repeat them.

“–‘The ascetic crowned with success said,’–By diverse acts, O son, as
also by the aid of merit, mortal creatures attain to diverse ends here
and residence in Heaven. Nowhere is the highest happiness; nowhere can
residence be eternal. There are repeated falls from the highest regions
acquired with such sorrow. In consequence of my indulgence in sin, I had
to attain to diverse miserable and inauspicious ends, filled as I was
with lust and wrath, and deluded by cupidity. I have repeatedly undergone
death and rebirth. I have eaten diverse kinds of food, I have sucked at
diverse breasts. I have seen diverse kinds of mothers, and diverse
fathers dissimilar to one another. Diverse kinds of happiness have been
mine and diverse kinds of misery, O sinless one. On diverse occasions
have I been separated from what was agreeable and united with what was
disagreeable. Having earned wealth with great toil I have had to put up
with its loss. Insults and excessive misery I have received from king and
relatives. Mental and physical pain, of great severity, have been mine.
Humiliations I have undergone, and death and immurement under
circumstances of great severity. Falls into Hell have been mine, and
great tortures in the domains of Yama. Decrepitude and diseases have
repeatedly assailed me, and calamities, as frequent, in copious measure.
In this world I have repeatedly undergone all those afflictions that flow
from a perception of all pairs of opposites. After all this, one day,
overwhelmed with sorrow, blank despair came upon me. I took refuge in the
Formless. Afflicted as I was with great distress, I gave up the world
with all its joys and sorrows.[8] Understanding then this path, I
exercised myself in it in this world. Afterwards, through tranquillity of
soul, I attained to this success that thou seest. I shall not have to
come to this world again (after my departure hence). Verily, till I
attain to absorption into eternal Brahman, till, in fact, the final
dissolution of the universe, I shall look on those happy ends that will
be mine, and on those beings that constitute this universe.[9] Having
acquired this excellent success, I shall, after departing from this
world, proceed, to what is above it (i.e., Satyaloka) and thence to what
is higher (i.e., absorption into Brahman). Verily, I shall attain to the
condition, which is unmanifest aspect of Brahman. Let no doubt be thine
as regards this. O scorcher of foes, I shall not return to this world of
mortal creatures. O thou of great wisdom, I have become gratified with
thee. Tell me what I shall do for thee. The time has come for the
accomplishment of that purpose for which thou hast come hither. Verily, I
know that object for which thou hast sought me. I shall soon depart from
this world. Hence it is that I have given thee this hint. O thou of great
wisdom and experience, I have been highly gratified with thee for thy
behaviour. Do thou question me. I shall discourse on what is beneficial
to thee, agreeably to thy desire. I think thy intelligence is great.
Indeed, I applaud it much, for it was with the aid of that intelligence
that thou wert able to recognise me. Surely, O Kasyapa, thou art
possessed of great intelligence.’


“Vasudeva said, touching the feet of that sage, the Brahmana asked him
some questions that were exceedingly difficult to answer. That foremost
of all righteous persons then discoursed on those duties that were
referred to.

‘Kasyapa said, ‘How does the body dissolve away, and how is another
acquired? How does one become emancipated after passing through a
repeated round of painful rebirths? Enjoying Prakriti for sometime, how
does Jiva cast off the particular body (which Prakriti gives)? How does
Jiva, freed from the body, attain to what is different from it (viz.,
Brahman)? How does a human being enjoy (and endure the fruits of) the
good and bad acts done by him? Where do the acts exist of one that is
devoid of body?[10]

‘The Brahmana said,–Thus urged by Kasyapa, the emancipated sage answered
those questions one after another. Do thou listen to me, O scion of the
Vrishi race, as I recite to thee the answers he made.’

‘–The Emancipated sage said, ‘Upon the exhaustion of those acts capable
of prolonging life and bringing on fame which are done in a particular
body that Jiva assumes, the embodied Jiva, with the span of his life
shortened, begins to do acts hostile to life and health. On the approach
of destruction, his understanding turns away from the proper course. The
man of uncleansed soul, after even a correct apprehension of his
constitution and strength and of the season of both his own life and of
the year, begins to eat at irregular intervals and to eat such food as is
hostile to him.[11] At such a time he indulges in practices that are
exceedingly harmful. He sometimes eats excessively and sometimes abstains
altogether from food. He eats bad food or bad meat or takes bad drinks,
or food that has been made up of ingredients incompatible with one
another. He eats food that is heavy in excess of the measure that is
beneficial, or before the food previously taken has been digested. He
indulges in physical exercise and sexual pleasure in excess of the due
measure, or through avidity for work, suppresses the urgings of his
corporeal organism even when they become pronounced. Or, he takes food
that is very juicy, or indulges in sleep during daytime. Food that is not
properly digested, of itself excites the faults, when the time comes.[12]
From such excitement of the faults in his body, he gets disease ending in
death itself. Sometimes the person engages in perverse or unnatural acts
like hanging (for bringing about his death). Through these causes the
living body of the creature dissolves away. Understand correctly the
manner as I declare it to thee.[13] Urged on by the Wind which becomes
violent, the heat in the body, becoming excited and reaching every part
of the body one after another, restrains all the (movements of the) vital
breaths. Know truly that excited all over the body, the heat becomes very
strong, and pierces every vital part where life may be said to reside. In
consequence of this, Jiva, feeling great pain, quickly takes leave of its
mortal casement. Know, O foremost of regenerate persons, that when the
vital parts of the physical organism become thus afflicted, Jiva slips
away from the body, overwhelmed with great pain. All living creatures are
repeatedly afflicted with birth and death. It is seen, O chief of
Brahmanas, that the pain which is felt by a person when casting off his
bodies is like what is felt by him when first entering the womb or when
issuing out of it. His joints become almost dislocated and he derives
much distress from the waters (of the womb).[14] Urged on by (another)
violent wind, the wind that is in the body becomes excited through cold,
and dissolves away the union of matter (called the body) into its
respective elements numbering five.[15] That wind which resides in the
vital breaths called Prana and Apana occurring within this compound of
the five primal elements, rushes upwards, from a situation of distress,
leaving the embodied creature. It is even thus that the wind leaves the
body. Then is seen breathlessness. The man then becomes destitute of
heat, of breath, of beauty, and of consciousness. Deserted by Brahman
(for Jiva is Brahman), the person is said to be dead. By those ducts
through which he perceives all sensuous objects, the bearer of the body
no longer perceives them. It is the eternal Jiva who creates in the body
in those very duets the life-breaths that are generated by food. The
elements gathered together become in certain parts firmly united. Know
that those parts are called the vitals of the body. It is said so in the
Sastras. When those vital parts are pierced, Jiva, rising up, enters the
heart of the living creature and restrains the principle of animation
without any delay. The creature then, though still endued with the
principle of consciousness, fails to know anything. The vital parts being
all overwhelmed, the knowledge of the living creature becomes overwhelmed
by darkness. Jiva then, who has been deprived of everything upon which to
stay, is then agitated by the wind. He then, deeply breathing a long and
painful breath, goes out quickly, causing the inanimate body to tremble.
Dissociated from the body, Jiva, however, is surrounded by his acts. He
becomes equipped on every side with all his auspicious acts of merit and
with all his sins. Brahmanas endued with knowledge and equipped with the
certain conclusions of the scriptures, know him, from indications, as to
whether he is possessed of merit or with its reverse. Even as men
possessed of eyes behold the fire-fly appearing and disappearing amid
darkness, men possessed of the eye of knowledge and crowned with success
of penances, behold, with spiritual vision, Jiva as he leaves the body,
as he is reborn, and as he enters the womb. It is seen that Jiva has
three regions assigned to him eternally. This world where creatures dwell
is called the field of action. Accomplishing acts good or bad, all
embodied creatures attain to the fruits thereof. In consequence of their
own acts, creatures acquire even here superior or inferior enjoyments.
Doers of evil deeds here, in consequence of those acts of theirs, attain
to Hell. This condition of sinking with head downwards, in which
creatures are cooked, is one of great misery. It is such that a rescue
therefrom is exceedingly difficult. Indeed; one should strive hard for
saving oneself from this misery. Those regions where creatures dwell when
they ascend from this world I shall now declare truly. Do thou listen to
me with attention. By listening to what I say, thou shalt attain to
firmness of understanding and a clear apprehension of (good and bad)
acts. Know that even those are the regions of all creatures of righteous
deeds, viz., the stellar worlds that shine in the firmament, the lunar
disc, and the solar disc as well that shines in the universe in its own
light. Upon the exhaustion, again, of their merits, they fall away from
those regions repeatedly. There, in Heaven itself, is distinction of
inferior, superior, and middling felicity. There, in Heaven itself, is
discontent at sight of prosperity more blazing than one’s own. Even these
are the goals which I have mentioned in detail. I shall, after this,
discourse to you on the attainment by Jiva of the condition of residence
in the womb. Do thou hear me, with concentrated attention, O regenerate
one, as I speak to thee!’


“–The Brahmana said, ‘The acts, good and bad, that a Jiva does are not
subject to destruction. Upon attainment of body after body, those acts
produce fruits corresponding with them.[16] As a fruit-bearing tree, when
the season comes of productivity, yields a large quantity of fruit,
similarly merit, achieved with a pure heart, yields a large crop (of
felicity). After the same fashion, sin, done with a sinful heart,
produces a large crop of misery. The Soul (or Jiva), placing the mind
ahead, addresses himself to action. Hear then how Jiva, equipt with all
his acts and overwhelmed with lust and wrath, enters the womb. The vital
seed, mixed with blood, enters the womb of females and becomes the field
(of Jiva), good or bad, born of (his) acts. In consequence of his
subtlety and the condition of being unmanifest, Jiva does not become
attached to anything even after attaining to a body. Therefore, he is
called Eternal Brahman.[17] That (viz., Jiva or Brahman) is the seed of
all creatures. It is in consequence of Him that living creatures live.
That Jiva, entering all the limbs of the foetus part by part, accepting
the attribute of mind, and residing within all the regions that belong to
Prana, supports (life). In consequence of this, the foetus becoming
endued with mind begins to move its limbs.[18] As liquified iron, poured
(into a mould), takes the form of the mould, know that the entrance of
Jiva into the foetus is even such. As fire, entering a mass of iron,
heats it greatly, do thou know that the manifestation of Jiva in the
foetus is such. As a lamp, burning in a room, discovers (all things
within it), after the same manner mind discovers the different limbs of
the body.[19] Whatever acts, good or bad, Jiva does in a former body,
have certainly to be enjoyed or endured by him. By such enjoyment and
endurance former acts are exhausted, and other acts, again, accumulate,
till Jiva succeed in acquiring a knowledge of the duties included in that
contemplation which leads to Emancipation. Regarding this, I shall tell
thee those acts by which Jiva, O best of men, while coursing through a
repeated round of re-births, becomes happy, Gifts, observances of
austerity, Brahmacharyya, bearing Brahman according to the ordinances
laid down, self-restraint, tranquillity, compassion for all creatures,
restraint of passions, abstentions from cruelty as also from
appropriating what belongs to others, refraining from doing even mentally
all acts that are false and injurious to living creatures on the Earth,
reverently serving mother and father, honouring deities and guests,
worship of preceptors, pity, purity, constant restraint of all organs,
and causing of all good acts, are said to constitute the conduct of the
good. From observance of such conduct, arises Righteousness which
protects all creatures eternally. Such conduct one would always behold
among persons that are good. Verily, such conduct resides there
eternally. That course of practices to which persons of tranquil souls
adhere indicates Righteousness. Among them is thrown that course of
practices which constitutes eternal Righteousness. He who would betake
himself to that Righteousness would never have to attain to a miserable
end. It is by the conduct of the good that the world is restrained in the
paths of Righteousness when it falls away. He that is a Yogin is
Emancipated, and is, therefore, distinguished above these (viz., the
good).[20] Deliverance from the world takes place, after a long time, of
one who acts righteously and well on every occasion as he should. A
living creature thus always meets with the acts done by him in a former
life. All these acts constitute the cause in consequence of which he
comes into this world in a state different from his true form.[21] There
is a doubt in the world as regards the question. By what was the
acceptance (by Jiva) of a body first determined. The Grandsire of all the
worlds, viz., Brahma having first formed a body of his own, then created
the three worlds, in their entirety, of mobile and immobile creatures.
Having first himself assumed a body, he then created Pradhana. That
Pradhana is the material cause of all embodied creatures, by whom is all
this covered and whom all came to know as the highest. This that is seen
is said to be destructible; while the other is immortal and
indestructible. This that (is seen) is said to be Kshara (the
destructible); that, however, which is Para (the other) is the Immortal,
(as also) Akshara (the Indestructible). Of each Purusha taken
distributively, the whole is duality among these three.[22] Seen first
(to appear in an embodied form) Prajapati (then) created all the primal
elements and all immobile creatures. Even this is the ancient audition.
Of that (acceptance of body), the Grandsire ordained a limit in respect
of time, and migrations among diverse creatures and return or rebirth.
All that I say is proper and correct, like to what a person who is endued
with intelligence and who has seen his soul, would say on this topic of
previous births.[23] That person who looks upon pleasure and pain as
inconstant, which, indeed, is the correct view, who regards the body as
an unholy conglomeration, and destruction as ordained in action, and who
remembers that what little of pleasure there is, is really all pain, will
succeed in crossing this terrible ocean of worldly migration that is so
difficult to cross. Though assailed by decrepitude and death and disease,
he that understands Pradhana beholds with all equal eye that
Consciousness which dwells in all beings endued with consciousness.
Seeking the supreme seat, he then becomes utterly indifferent to all
(other) things. O best of men, I shall now impart instruction to thee,
agreeably to truth, concerning this. Do thou, O learned Brahmana,
understand in completeness that which constitutes the excellent
knowledge, as I declare it, of that indestructible seat.–‘”


“–The Brahmana said, ‘He who becomes absorbed in the one receptacle (of
all things), freeing himself from even the thought of his own identity
with all things,–indeed, ceasing to think of even his own
existence,–gradually casting off one after another, will succeed in
crossing his bonds.[24] That man who is the friend of all, who endures
all, who is attached to tranquillity, who has conquered all his senses,
who is divested of fear and wrath, and who is of restrained soul.
succeeds in emancipating himself. He who behaves towards all creatures as
towards himself, who is restrained, pure, free from vanity and divested
of egoism is regarded as emancipated from everything. He also is
emancipated who looks with an equal eye upon life and death, pleasure and
pain, gain and loss, agreeable and disagreeable. He is in every way
emancipated who does not covet what belongs to others, who never
disregards any body, who transcends all pairs of opposites, and whose
soul is free from attachment. He is emancipated who has no enemy, no
kinsman, and no child, who has cast off religion, wealth, and pleasure,
and who is freed from desire or cupidity. He becomes emancipated who
acquires neither merit nor demerit, who casts off the merits and demerits
accumulated in previous births, who wastes the elements of his body for
attaining to a tranquillised soul, and who transcends all pairs of
opposites. He who abstains from all acts, who is free from desire or
cupidity, who looks upon the universe as unenduring or as like an
Aswattha tree, ever endued with birth, death and decrepitude, whose
understanding is fixed on renunciation, and whose eyes are always
directed towards his own faults, soon succeeds in emancipating himself
from the bonds that bind him.[25] He that sees his soul void of smell, of
taste and touch, of sound, of belongings, of vision, and unknowable,
becomes emancipated.[26] He who sees his soul devoid of the attributes of
the five elements to be without form and cause, to be really destitute of
attributes though enjoying them, becomes emancipated.[27] Abandoning,
with the aid of the understanding, all purposes relating to body and
mind, one gradually attains to cessation of separate existence, like a
fire unfed with fuel.[28] One who is freed from all impressions, who
transcends all pairs of opposites, who is destitute of all belongings,
and who uses all his senses under the guidance of penances, becomes
emancipated.[29] Having become freed from all impressions, one then
attains to Brahma which is Eternal and supreme, and tranquil, and stable,
and enduring, and indestructible. After this I shall declare the science
of Yoga to which there is nothing superior, and how Yogins, by
concentration, behold the perfect soul.[30] I shall declare the
instructions regarding it duly. Do thou learn from me those doors by
which directing the soul within the body one beholds that which is
without beginning and end.[31] Withdrawing the senses from their objects,
one should fix the mind upon the soul; having previously undergone the
severest austerities, one should practise that concentration of mind
which leads to Emancipation.[32] Observant of penances and always
practising concentration of mind, the learned Brahmana, endued with
intelligence, should observe the precepts of the science of Yoga,
beholding the soul in the body. If the good man succeeds in concentrating
the mind on the soul, he then, habituated to exclusive meditation,
beholds the Supreme soul in his own soul. Self-restrained, and always
concentrated, and with all his senses completely conquered, the man of
cleansed soul, in consequence of such complete concentration of mind,
succeeds in beholding the soul by the soul. As a person beholding some
unseen individual in a dream recognises him, saying,–This is he,–when
he sees him after waking, after the same manner the good man having seen
the Supreme Soul in the deep contemplation of Samadhi recognises it upon
waking from Samadhi.[33] As one beholds the fibrous pith after extracting
it from a blade of the Saccharum Munja, even so the Yogin beholds the
soul, extracting it from the body. The body has been called the Saccharum
Munja, and the fibrous pith is said to stand for the soul. This is the
excellent illustration propounded by persons conversant with Yoga. When
the bearer of a body adequately beholds the soul in Yoga, he then has no
one that is master over him, for he then becomes the lord of the three
worlds.[34] He succeeds in assuming diverse bodies according as he
wishes. Turning away decrepitude and death, he neither grieves nor
exults. The self-restrained man, concentrated in Yoga, can create (for
himself) the godship of the very gods. Casting off his transient body he
attains to immutable Brahma.[35] No fear springs up in him at even the
sight of all creatures falling victims to destruction (before his eyes).
When all creatures are afflicted,–he can never be afflicted by any one.
Devoid of desire and possessed of a tranquil mind, the person in Yoga is
never shaken by pain and sorrow and fear, the terrible effects that flow
from attachment and affection. Weapons never pierce him; death does not
exist for him. Nowhere in the world can be seen any one that is happier
than he. Having adequately concentrated his soul, he lives steadily on
himself. Turning off decrepitude and pain and pleasure, he sleeps in
comfort. Casting off this human body he attains to (other) forms
according to his pleasure. While one is enjoying the sovereignty that
Yoga bestows, one should never fall away from devotion to Yoga.[36] When
one, after adequate devotion to Yoga, beholds the Soul in oneself, one
then ceases to have any regard for even him of a hundred sacrifices
(Indra).[37] Hear now how one, habituating oneself to exclusive
meditation, succeeds in attaining to Yoga. Thinking of that point of the
compass which has the Sun behind it, the mind should be fixed, not
outside, but in the interior of that mansion in which one may happen to
live. Residing within that mansion, the mind should then, with all its
outward and inward (operations), behold in that particular room in which
one may stay. At that time when, having deeply meditated, one beholds the
All (viz., Brahman, the Soul of the universe), there is then nothing
external to Brahman where the mind may dwell. Restraining all the senses
in a forest that is free from noise and that is uninhabited, with mind
fixed thereon, one should meditate on the All (or universal Brahman) both
outside and inside one’s body. One should meditate on the teeth, the
palate, the tongue, the throat, the neck likewise; one should also
meditate on the heart and the ligatures of the heart![38]

“The Brahmana continued, ‘Thus addressed by me, that intelligent
disciple, O slayer of Madhu, once more asked me about this religion of
Emancipation that is so difficult to explain. How does this food that is
eaten from time to time become digested in the stomach? How does it
become transformed into juice? How, again, into blood? How does it
nourish the flesh, the marrow, the sinews, the bones? How do all these
limbs of embodied creatures grow? How does the strength grow of the
growing man? How occurs the escape of all such elements as are not
nutritive, and of all impurities separately? How does this one inhale and
again, exhale? Staying upon what particular part does the Soul dwell in
the body? How does Jiva, exerting himself, bear the body? Of what colour
and of what kind is the body in which he dwells again (leaving a
particular body)? O holy one, it behoveth thee to tell me all this
accurately, O sinless one,–even thus was I interrogated by that learned
Brahmana, O Madhava. I replied unto him, O thou of mighty arms, after the
manner I myself had heard, O chastiser of all foes. As one placing some
precious object in one’s store-room should keep one’s mind on it, so,
placing the mind within one’s own body, one should then, restraining all
the senses, seek after the Soul, avoiding all heedlessness. One would,
becoming always assiduous in this way and gratified with one’s own self,
within a very short time attain to that Brahma by beholding which one
would become conversant with Pradhana.[39] He is not capable of being
seized by the eye; nor even by all the senses.[40] It is only with the
lamp of the mind that great Soul can be seen. He has hands and feet on
all sides; he has ears on all sides; he dwells, pervading all things in
the world.[41] Jiva beholds the Soul as extracted from the body (like the
stalk from a blade of Saccharum Munja, when knowledge comes). Then
casting off Brahma as invested with form, by holding the mind in the
body, he beholds Brahma as freed from all attributes.[42] He sees the
Soul with his mind, smiling as it were at the time. Depending upon that
Brahma, he then attains to Emancipation in me.[43] O foremost of
regenerate ones, all this mystery has now been declared by me. I ask thy
permission, for I shall leave this spot. Do thou (also) go withersoever
thou pleasest. Thus addressed by me, O Krishna, on that occasion, that
disciple of mine, endued with austere penances, that Brahmana of rigid
vows, went away according to his pleasure.

“Vasudeva continued, ‘That best of Brahmanas, O son of Pritha, having
said these words unto me, on that occasion, properly relating to the
religion of Emancipation, disappeared then and there. Has this discourse
been heard by thee, O son of Pritha, with mind directed solely towards
it? Even this was what thou didst hear on that occasion while thou wert
on thy car. It is my opinion, O son of Pritha, that this is difficult of
being comprehended by one whose understanding is confused, or who has
acquired no wisdom by study, or who eats food incompatible with his body,
or whose Soul is not purified.[44] O chief of Bharata’s race, this is a
great mystery among the deities that has been declared (to thee). At no
time or place, O son of Pritha, has this been heard by man in this world.
O sinless one, no other man than thyself is deserving of hearing it. It
is not, at this time, capable of being easily understood by one whose
inner soul is confused. The world of the deities is filled, O son of
Kunti, with those who follow the religion of actions. The cessation of
the mortal form (by practising the religion of inaction) is not agreeable
to the deities.[45] That goal, O son of Pritha, is the highest which is
constituted by eternal Brahman where one, casting off the body, attains
to immortality and becomes always happy. By adhering to this religion,
even they who axe of sinful birth, such as women and Vaisyas and Sudras,
attain to the highest goal. What need be said then, O son of Pritha, of
Brahmanas and Kshatriyas possessed of great learning, always devoted to
the duties of their own orders and who are intent on (the acquisition of)
the region of Brahma? This has been laid down with the reasons (on which
it rests); and also the means for its acquisition; and its complete
attainment and fruit, viz., Emancipation and the ascertainment of the
truth regarding pain. O chief of Bharata’s race, there is nothing else
that is fraught with happiness greater than this. That mortal, O son of
Pandu, who, endued with intelligence, and faith, and prowess, renounces
as unsubstantial what is regarded as substantial by the world, succeeds
within a short time in obtaining the Supreme by these means. This is all
that is to be said,–there is nothing else that is higher than this. Yoga
takes place in his case, O son of Pritha, who devotes himself to its
constant practice for a period of six months.'”


“Vasudeva said, ‘In this connection is cited the ancient narrative, O son
of Pritha, of the discourse that took place between a married couple. A
certain Brahmana’s spouse, beholding the Brahmana, her husband who was a
complete master of every kind of knowledge and wisdom, seated in
seclusion, said unto him,–Into what region shall I go, depending on thee
as my husband,–thee that art seated, having cast off all (religious)
acts, that art harsh in thy conduct towards me, and that art so
undiscerning?[46] It has been heard by us that a wife attains to those
regions which are acquired by her husband. What, indeed, is the goal that
I shall attain, having obtained thee for my husband?–Thus questioned,
that Brahmana of tranquil soul then said unto her, smilingly,–O blessed
dame, I am not offended with these words of thine, O sinless one.
Whatever acts exist that are adopted with the aid of others, that are
seen (in consequence of their grossness), and that are true, are done as
acts by men devoted to acts.[47] Those persons that are destitute of
knowledge, only store delusion by acts. Freedom from acts, again, is
incapable of being attained in this world for even a moment. From birth
to the attainment of a different form, action good or bad, and
accomplished by acts, mind, or speech, exists in all beings. Those paths
(of action) which are characterised by visible objects (such as
Soma-juice and ghee for libations) being destroyed by Rakshasas, turning
away from them I have perceived the seat (of the soul) that is in the
body, without the aid of the soul.[48] There dwells Brahma transcending
all pairs of opposites; there Soma with Agni: and there the urger of the
understanding (viz., Vayu) always moves, upholding all creatures.[49] It
is for that seat that the Grandsire Brahman and others, concentrated in
Yoga, worship the Indestructible. It is for that seat that men of
learning and excellent vows, of tranquil souls, and of senses completely
vanquished, strive.[50] That is not capable of being smelt by the sense
of smell; nor tasted by the tongue; or touched by the organs of touch. It
is by the mind that that is attained. It is incapable of being conquered
by the eye. It transcends the sense of hearing. It is destitute of scent,
taste, touch, and form as attributes. It is that from which proceeds the
well-ordained universe, and it is that upon which it rests. The
life-breaths called Prana and Apana and Samana and Vyana and Udana flow
from it, and it is that into which they again enter. The breaths Prana
and Apana move between Samana and Vyana. When the soul sleeps, both
Samana and Vyana are absorbed.[51] Between Apana and Prana, Udana dwells,
pervading all. Hence, Prana and Apana do not desert a sleeping person. In
consequence of its controlling all the life-winds, the controlling breath
is called Udana. Hence, utterers of Brahman undergo penances which have
myself for their goal.[52] In the midst of all those life-breaths that
swallow up one another and move within the body, blazes forth the fire
called Vaiswanara made up of seven flames. The nose, the tongue, the eye,
the skin, the ear which numbers the fifth, the mind, and the
understanding,–these are the seven tongues of that Vaiswanara’s flame.
That which is smelt, that which is seen, that which is drunk, that which
is touched, as also that which is heard, that which is thought of, and
that which is understood,–these are the seven sorts of fuel for me. That
which smells, that which eats, that which sees, that which touches, that
which hears numbering the fifth; that which thinks, and that which
understands,–these are the seven great officiating priests. Behold, O
blessed one, learned sacrificers duly casting seven libations in seven
ways in the seven fires, viz., that which is smelt, that which is drunk,
that which is seen, that which is touched, as also that which is heard,
that which is thought of, and that which is understood, create them in
their own wombs.[53] Earth, Wind, Ether, Water, and Light numbering as
the fifth, Mind, and Understanding–these seven are called wombs (of all
things). All the attributes which constitute the sacrificial offerings,
enter into the attribute that is born of the fire, and having dwelt
within that dwelling became reborn in their respective wombs. Thither
also, viz., in that which generates all beings, they remain absorbed
during the period for which dissolution lasts. From that is produced
smell, from that is produced taste, from that is produced colour, and
from that is produced touch; from that is produced sound; from that
arises doubt; and from that is produced resolution. This is what is known
as the sevenfold creation. It is in this very way that all this was
comprehended by the ancients. By the three full and final libations, the
full become full with light.'”


“The Brahmana said, ‘In this connection is cited the following ancient
story. Do thou understand, of what kind the institution is of the ten
Hotris (sacrificing priests). The ear, the skin, the two eyes, the
tongue, the nose, the two feet, the two hands, the genital organ, the
lower duct, and speech,–these, O beautiful one, are the ten sacrificing
priests. Sound and touch, colour and taste, scent, speech, action,
motion, and the discharge of vital seed, of urine and of excreta, are the
ten libations. The points of the compass, Quarters, Wind, Sun, Moon,
Earth, Fire, Vishnu, Indra, Prajapati, and Mitra,–these, O beautiful
one, are the ten (sacrificial) fires. The ten organs (of knowledge and
action) are the sacrificing priests. The libations, O beautiful one, are
ten. The objects of the senses are the fuel that are cast into these ten
fires,[54] as also the mind, which is the ladle, and the wealth (viz.,
the good and bad acts of the sacrificer). What remains is the pure,
highest knowledge. We have heard that all this universe was well
differentiated (from Knowledge). All objects of knowledge are Mind.
Knowledge only perceives (i.e., discovers the Mind without being attached
to it). The knower (or Jiva), encased in subtle form, lives within the
gross body that is produced by the vital seed. The bearer of the body is
the Garhapatya fire. From that is produced another. Mind is the Ahavaniya
fire. Into it is poured the oblation. From that was produced the Veda (or
Word); (then was born Mind); Mind (desirous of creation) sets itself on
the Veda (or the Word). Their arises form (or colour) undistinguished by
particular colours. It runs towards the Mind.'”[55]

“The Brahmana’s wife said, ‘Why did Word first arise and why did Mind
arise afterwards, seeing that Word starts into existence after having
been thought upon by Mind? Upon that authority can it be said that Mati
(Prana) takes refuge in Mind. Why, again, in dreamless slumber, though
separated from Mind, does not Prana apprehend (all objects)? What is that
which restrains it then?'”[56]

“The Brahmana said, ‘The Apana breath, becoming the lord (i.e., bringing
the Prana under its control), in consequence of such lordship over it,
makes it identical with itself. That restrained motion of the Prana
breath (which for the time becomes identical with that of the Apana) has
been said to be the motion of the mind. Hence the mind is dependent upon
Prana, not Prana upon the mind. Therefore, in dreamless slumber, upon the
disappearance of mind, Prana does not disappear. But since thou askest me
a question about word and mind, I shall, therefore, relate to thee a
discourse between them. Both Word and Mind, repairing to the Soul of
matter,[57] asked him,–Do thou say who amongst us is superior. Do thou,
O puissant one, dispel our doubt.–On that occasion, the holy one made
this answer.–The mind undoubtedly (is superior). Unto him Word said,–‘I
yield to thee the fruition of all thy desires!'[58]

“The Brahmana said, ‘Know that I have two minds, immovable and movable.
That which is immovable is, verily, with me; the movable is in your
dominion.[59] That mind is verily called movable which, in the form of
Mantra, letter, or voice, is referable to your dominion. Hence, thou art
superior (to the other mind which concerns itself with only the external
world). But since, coming of thy own accord, O beautiful one, thou
enterest into the engagement (about the fruition of all wishes),
therefore, filling myself with breath, I utter thee.[60] The goddess Word
used always to dwell between Prana and Apana. But, O blessed one, sinking
into Apana, though urged upwards, in consequence of becoming dissociated
from Prana, she ran to Prajapati and said,–Be gratified with me, O holy
one.–The Prana appeared, once more fostering Word. Hence, Word,
encountering deep exhalation, never utters anything. Word always flows as
endued with utterance or unendued with it.[61] Amongst those two, Word
without utterance is superior to Word with utterance. Like a cow endued
with excellent milk, she (Word without utterance) yields diverse kinds of
meaning. This one always yields the Eternal (viz., Emancipation),
speaking of Brahman. O thou of beautiful smiles, Word is a cow, in
consequence of her puissance which is both divine and not divine. Behold
the distinction of these two subtle forms of Word that flow.'”[62]

“The Brahmana’s wife said, ‘What did the goddess of Word then say, in
days of old, when, though impelled by the Wish to speak, Speech could not
come out?'”

“The Brahmana said, ‘The Word that is generated in the body by Prana,
then attains to Apana from Prana. Then transformed into Udana and issuing
out of the body, envelops all the quarters, with Vyana. After that, she
dwells in Samana. Even in this way did Word formerly speak. Hence Mind,
in consequence of being immovable, is distinguished, and the goddess
Word, in consequence of being movable, is also distinguished.”‘


“The Brahmana said, ‘In this connection is cited the ancient story, O
blessed one, of what the institution is of the seven sacrificing priests.
The nose, the eye, the tongue, the skin, and the ear numbering the fifth,
the mind, and the understanding,–these are the seven sacrificing priests
standing distinctly from one another. Dwelling in subtle space, they do
not perceive one another. Do thou, O beautiful one, know these
sacrificing priests that are seven by their nature.'”

“The Brahmana’s wife said, ‘How is it that dwelling in subtle space,
these do not perceive one another? What are their (respective) natures, O
holy one? Do thou tell me this, O lord.'”

“The Brahmana said, ‘Not knowing the qualities (of any object) is
ignorance (of that object); while knowledge of the qualities is (called)
knowledge (of the object which possesses those qualities). These seven
never succeed in apprehending or knowing the qualities of one another.
The tongue, the eye, the ear too, the skin, the mind, and the
understanding, do not succeed in apprehending smells. It is the nose
alone that apprehends them. The nose, the tongue, the ear also, the skin,
the mind, and the understanding, never succeed in apprehending colours.
It is the eye alone that apprehends them. The nose, the tongue, the eye
too, the ear, the understanding, and the mind, never succeed in
apprehending sensations of touch It is the skin alone that apprehends
them. The nose, the tongue, the eye, the skin, the mind, and the
understanding, never succeed in apprehending sounds. It is the ear alone
that apprehends them. The nose, the tongue, the eye, the skin, the ear,
and the understanding never succeed in apprehending doubt. It is the mind
that apprehends it. The nose, the tongue, the eye, the skin, the ear, and
the mind, never succeed in apprehending determination (certainty in
respect of knowledge). It is the understanding alone that apprehends it.
In this connection, is cited, O beautiful lady, this ancient narrative of
a discourse between the senses and the mind.’

“The mind said, ‘The nose does not smell without me. (Without me) the
tongue does not apprehend taste. The eye does not seize colour, the skin
does not feel touch, the ear does not apprehend sound, when deprived of
me. I am the eternal and foremost one among all the elements. It always
happens that destitute of myself, the senses never shine, like
habitations empty of inmates or fires whose flames have been quenched.
Without me, all creatures fail to apprehend qualities and objects, with
even the senses exerting themselves, even as fuel that is wet and dry
(failing to ignite a fire).’

“Hearing these words, the Senses said, ‘Even this would be true as thou
thinkest in this matter, if, indeed, thou couldst enjoy pleasures without
either ourselves or our objects.[63] What thou thinkest, would be true,
if, when we are extinct, there be gratification and support of life, and
a continuation of thy enjoyments, or, if, when we are absorbed and
objects are existing, thou canst have thy enjoyments by thy desire alone,
as truly as thou hast them with our aid. If, again, thou deemest thy
power over our objects to be always complete, do thou then seize colour
by the nose, and taste by the eye. Do thou also take smell by the ear,
and sensations of touch by the tongue. Do thou also take sounds by the
skin, and likewise touch by the understanding. They that are powerful do
not own the dominion of any rules. Rules exist for those only that are
weak. Do thou seize enjoyments unenjoyed before; it behoves thee not to
enjoy what has been tasted before (by others). As a disciple repairs to a
preceptor for the sake of (acquiring) the Srutis, and then, having
acquired the Srutis, dwells on their import (by obeying their
injunctions), even so dost thou regard as thine those objects which are
shown by us, past or future, in sleep or in wakefulness. Of creatures,
again, that are of little intelligence, when their mind becomes
distracted and cheerless, life is seen to be upheld upon our objects
discharging their functions.[64] It is seen also that a creature, after
having formed even innumerable purposes and indulged in dreams, when
afflicted by the desire to enjoy, runs to objects of sense at once.[65]
One entering upon enjoyments depending on mental purposes alone and
unconnected with actual objects of sense, always meets with death upon
the exhaustion of the life-breaths, like an enkindled fire upon the
exhaustion of fuel. True it is that we have connections with our
respective attributes; true it is, we have no knowledge of one another’s
attributes. But without us thou canst have no perception. Without us no
happiness can come to thee.'”


“The Brahmana said, ‘In this connection, O blessed lady, is cited the
ancient story of what kind the institution is of the five sacrificing
priests. The learned know this to be a great principle that Prana and
Apana and Udana and Samana and Vyana are the five sacrificing priests.'”

“The Brahmana’s wife said, ‘That naturally there are seven sacrificing
priests is what was my former conviction. Let the great principle be
declared to ‘me as to how, verily, the number is five of the sacrificing

‘The Brahmana said, ‘The wind nursed by Prana afterwards takes birth in
Apana. The wind nursed in Apana then becomes developed into Vyana. Nursed
by Vyana, the wind is then developed into Udana. Nursed in Udana, the
wind is then generated as Samana. Those good beings in days of yore asked
the first-born Grandsire, saying–Do thou say who amongst us is the
foremost. He (whom thou wilt indicate) will be our chief.’

“Brahmana said, ‘He upon whose extinction all the life-breaths become
extinct in the bodies of living creatures, he upon whose moving they
move, is verily the foremost (among you). Do ye go where ye like.’

“Prana said, ‘Upon my extinction all the life-breaths become extinct in
the bodies of living creatures. Upon my moving they once more move. I am
(therefore) the foremost. Behold, I go into extinction!’

“The Brahmana continued, ‘Prana then became extinct and once more moved
about. Then Samana and Udana also, O blessed one, said these words–Thou
dost not dwell here, pervading all this, as we do. Thou art not the
foremost amongst us, O Prana. (Only) Apana is under thy dominion. Prana
then moved about, and unto him Apana spoke.’

“Apana said, ‘When I become extinct, all the life-winds become extinct in
the bodies of living creatures. When I move about, they again move about.
I am, therefore, the foremost. Behold, I go into extinction!’

“The Brahmana continued, ‘Unto Apana who said so, both Vyana and Udana
said–O Apana, thou art not the foremost. (Only) Prana is under thy
dominion. Then Apana began to move about. Vyana once more addressed him
saying, I am the foremost of all (the life-winds). Listen, for what
reason. When I become extinct, all the life-winds become extinct in the
bodies of living creatures. When I move about, they once more move about.
I am (therefore) the foremost. Behold, I go into extinction!’

“The Brahmana continued, ‘Then Vyana went into extinction and once more
began to move about. At this, Prana and Apana and Udana and Samana
addressed him, saying, ‘Thou art not the foremost among us, O Vyana!
(Only) Samana is under thy dominion–Vyana then began to move about and
Samana said unto him,–I am the foremost of you all. Listen, for what
reason. When I become extinct, all the life-winds become extinct in the
bodies of living creatures. When I begin to move about, they once more
move about. Hence, I am the foremost. Behold, I go into extinction! Then
Samana began to move about. Unto him Udana said, I am the foremost of all
the life-winds. Listen, for what reason. When I become extinct, all the
life-winds become extinct in the bodies of living creatures. When I move
about they once more move about. Hence, I am the foremost. Behold, I go
into extinction!–Then Udana, after having gone into extinction, began
once more to move about, Prana and Apana and Samana and Vyana said, unto
him, O Udana, thou art not the foremost one among us, only Vyana is under
thy dominion.’

“The Brahmana continued, ‘Unto them assembled together, the Lord of
creatures, Brahma, said, ‘No one of you is superior to others. Ye are all
endued with particular attributes. All are foremost in their own spheres,
and all possess special attributes. Thus said unto them, that were
assembled together, the Lord of all creatures. There is one that is
unmoving, and one that is moving. In consequence of special attributes,
there are five life-winds. My own self is one. That one accumulates into
many forms. Becoming friendly unto one another, and gratifying one
another, depart in peace. Blessings to ye, do ye uphold one another!'”


“The Brahmana said, ‘In this connection is cited the ancient story of the
discourse between Narada and the Rishi Devamata.’

“Devamata said, ‘What verily, comes first into existence, of a creature
that takes birth? Is it Prana, or Apana, or Samana, or Vyana, or Udana?’

“Narada said, ‘By whatever the creature is created, that first comes unto
him which is other (or separate from him). The life winds are to be known
as existing in pairs, viz., those that move transversely, upwards, and

“Devamata said, ‘By whom (among the life-winds) is a creature produced?
Who (amongst) them comes first? Do thou tell me what the pairs are of the
life-winds, that move transversely, upwards, and downwards.’

“Narada said, ‘From Sankalpa (wish) arises Pleasure. It also arises from
sound. It arises also from taste; it arises too from colour. From the
semen, united with blood, first flows Prana. Upon the semen being
modified by Prana, flows Apana. Pleasure arises from the semen as well.
It arises from taste also. This is the form (effect) of Udana. Pleasure
is produced from union. Semen is generated by desire. From desire is
produced the menstrual flow. In the union of semen and blood, generated
by Samana and Vyana, the pair that consists of Prana and Apana, enters,
moving transversely and upwards, Vyana and Samana both form a pair that
moves transversely. Agni (fire) is all the deities. Even this is the
teaching of the Veda. The knowledge of Agni arises in a Brahmana with
intelligence. The smoke of that fire is of the form of (the attribute
called) Darkness. The attribute that is known by the name of Passion is
in its ashes. The quality of goodness arises from that portion of the
fire into which the oblation is poured.[66] They that are conversant with
sacrifices know that Samana and Vyana are from the attribute of Goodness.
Prana and Apana are portions of the oblation (of clarified butter).
Between them is the Fire. That is the excellent form (or seat) of Udana,
as the Brahmanas know. Listen as I say which is distinct from the pairs.
Day and Night constitute a pair. Between them is the Fire. That is the
excellent seat of Udana as the Brahmanas know. The existent and the
non-existent form a pair. Between them is the Fire. That is the excellent
seat of Udana as the Brahmanas know. First is Samana; then Vyana. The
latter’s function is managed through it (viz., Samana). Then, secondly,
Samana once more comes into operation. Only Vyana exists for
tranquillity. Tranquillity is eternal Brahman. This is the excellent seat
of Udana as the Brahmanas know.'”[67]


“The Brahmana said, ‘In this connection is recited the ancient story of
what the institution is of the Chaturhotra (sacrifice). The ordinances
are now being duly declared of that in its entirety. Listen to me, O
amiable lady, as I declare this wonderful mystery. The agent, the
instrument, the action and Emancipation,–these, O beautiful lady, are
the four sacrificing priests by whom the universe is enveloped. Hear in
its entirety the assignment of causes (relating to this topic). The nose,
the tongue, the eye, the skin, the ear numbering the fifth, the mind, and
the understanding,–these seven should be understood as being caused by
(the knowledge of) qualities. Smell, taste, colour, sound, touch,
numbering the fifth, the objects of the mind, and the objects of the
understanding, these seven are caused by action. He who smells, he who
eats, he who sees, he who speaks, he who hears, numbering the fifth, he
who thinks, and he who understands–these seven should be known as caused
by the agent. Possessed of qualities, these enjoy their own qualities,
agreeable or disagreeable.[68] As regards the Soul, that is destitute of
qualities. These seven are the causes of Emancipation. With them that are
learned and possessed of sufficient understanding, the qualities, which
are in the position of deities, eat the oblations, each in its proper
place, and agreeably to what has been ordained. The person who is
destitute of learning, eating diverse kind of food, becomes seized with
the sense of mineness.[69] Digesting food for himself, he becomes ruined
through the sense of mineness. The eating of food that should not be
eaten, and the drinking of wine, ruin him. He destroys the food (he
takes), and having destroyed that food, he becomes destroyed himself. The
man of learning, however, being possessed of puissance, destroys his food
for reproducing it. The minutest transgression does not arise in him from
the food he takes. Whatever is thought of by the mind, whatever is
uttered by speech, whatever is heard by the ear, whatever is seen by the
eye, whatever is touched by the (sense of) touch, whatever is smelt by
the nose, constitute oblations of clarified butter which should all,
after restraining the senses with the mind numbering the sixth, be poured
into that fire of high merits which burns within the body, viz., the
Soul.[70] The sacrifice constituted by Yoga is going on as regards
myself. The spring whence that sacrifice proceeds is that which yields
the fire of knowledge. The upward life-wind Prana is the Stotra of that
sacrifice. The downward life-wind Apana is its Sastra. The renunciation
of everything is the excellent Dakshina of that sacrifice. Consciousness,
Mind, and Understanding–these becoming Brahma, are its Hotri, Adhwaryyu,
and Udgatri. The Prasastri, his Sastra, is truth.[71] Cessation of
separate existence (or Emancipation) is the Dakshina. In this connection,
people conversant with Narayana recite some Richs. Unto the divine
Narayana were animals offered in days of yore.[72] Then are sung some
Samanas. On that topic occurs an authority. O timid one, know that the
divine Narayana is the soul of all.'”


“The Brahmana said, ‘There is one Ruler. There is no second beside him.
He that is Ruler resides in the heart. I shall speak now of him. Impelled
by Him, I move as directed, like water along an inclined plane. There is
one Preceptor. There is no second beside him. He resides in the heart,
and of him I shall now speak. Be instructed by that preceptor; they who
are always endued with feelings of animosity are like snakes. There is
one kinsman. There is no second beside him. He resides in the heart of
him I shall now speak. Instructed by him, kinsmen become possessed of
kinsmen, and the seven Rishis, O son of Pritha, shine in the firmament.
There is one dispeller. There is no second beside him. He resides in the
heart. Of him I shall now speak. Having lived with that instructor under
the proper mode of living, Sakra attained to the sovereignty of all the
worlds.[73] There is one enemy. There is no second beside him. He resides
in the heart. Of him I shall now speak. Instructed by that preceptor all
snakes in the world are always endued with feelings of animosity. In this
connection is cited the ancient story of the instruction of the snakes,
the deities, and the Rishis by the Lord of all creatures. The deities and
the Rishis, the snakes, and the Asuras, seated around the Lord of all
creatures, asked him, saying,–Let that which is highly beneficial for us
be declared. Unto them that enquired about what is highly beneficial, the
holy one uttered only the word Om, which is Brahman in one syllable.
Hearing this, they ran away in various directions. Amongst them that thus
ran in all directions from desire of self-instruction, the disposition
first arose in snakes of biting. Of the Asuras, the disposition, born of
their nature for ostentations, pride arose. The deities betook themselves
to gifts, and the great Rishis to self-restraint. Having repaired to one
teacher, and having been instructed (refined) by one word, the snakes,
the deities, the Rishis, and the Danavas, all betook themselves to
diverse different dispositions. It is that one who hears himself when
speaking, and apprehends it duly. Once, again, is that heard from him
when he speaks. There is no second preceptor.[74] It is in obedience to
his counsels that action afterwards flows. The instructor, the
apprehender, the hearer, and the enemy, are pleased within the heart. By
acting sinfully in the world it is he that becomes a person of sinful
deeds. By acting auspiciously in the world, it is he who becomes a person
of auspicious deeds. It is he who becomes a person of unrestrained
conduct by becoming addicted to the pleasures of sense, impelled by
desire. It is he who becomes a Brahmacharin by always devoting himself to
the subjugation of his senses. It is he, again, that casts off vows and
actions and takes refuge on Brahman alone. By moving in the world,
identifying himself the while with Brahman, he becomes a Brahmacharin.
Brahman. is his fuel; Brahman is his fire; Brahman is his origin; Brahman
is his water; Brahman is his preceptor: he is rapt in Brahman.
Brahmacharyya is even so subtle, as understood by the wise. Having
understood it, they betook themselves to it, instructed by the


“The Brahmana said, ‘Having crossed that impassable fastness (the world)
which has purposes for its gadflies and mosquitoes, grief and joy for its
cold and heat, heedlessness for its blinding darkness, cupidity and
diseases for its reptiles, wealth for its one danger on the road, and
lust and wrath its robbers, I have entered the extensive forest of

“The wife of the Brahmana said, ‘Where is that foremost, O thou of great
wisdom? What are its trees? What its rivers? What its mountains and
hills? How far is that forest?’

“The Brahmana said, ‘There exists nothing that is separate from it. There
is nothing more delightful than it. There is nothing that is unseparated
from it. There is nothing more afflicting than it. There is nothing
smaller than that. There is nothing vaster than that. There is nothing
minuter than that. There is no happiness that can resemble it. Regenerate
persons, entering into it, at once transcend both joy and sorrow. They
(then) never stand in fear of any creature, nor does any creature stand
in fear of them. In that forest are seven large trees, seven fruits, and
seven guests. There are seven hermitages, seven (forms of) Yoga
concentration, and seven (forms) of initiation. Even this a description
of that forest.[76] The trees which stand filling that forest, produce
excellent flowers and fruits of five colours. The trees which stand there
filling that forest, produce flowers and fruits that are of excellent
colours and that are, besides, of two kinds. The trees which stand there
filling that forest, produce flowers and fruits that are endued with
fragrance and that are, besides, of two colours. The trees which stand
there filling that forest, produce flowers and fruits that are possessed
of fragrance and that are, besides, of one colour. The two trees which
stand filling that forest, produce many flowers and fruits that are of
unmanifest colours. There is one fire here, possessed of a good mind.
That is connected with Brahmana. The five senses are the fuel here. The
seven forms of Emancipation flowing from them are the seven forms of
Initiation. The qualities are the fruits, and the guests eat those
fruits. There, in diverse places, the great Rishis accept hospitality.
When they, having been worshipped, become annihilated, then another
forest shines forth. In that forest, Intelligence is the tree;
Emancipation is the fruit; Tranquillity is the shade of which it is
possessed. It has knowledge for its resting house, contentment for its
water, and the Kshetrajna for its sun. Its end cannot be ascertained
upwards, downwards, or horizontally. Seven females always dwell there,
with faces downwards, possessed of effulgence, and endued with the cause
of generations. They take up all the different tastes from all creatures,
even as inconstancy sucks up truth. In that itself dwell, and from that
emerge, the seven Rishis who are crowned with ascetic success, with those
seven having Vasishtha for their foremost. Glory, effulgence, greatness,
enlightenment, victory, perfection, and energy, these seven always follow
this same like rays following the sun. Hills and mountains also exist
there, collected together; and rivers and streams bearing waters in their
course, waters that are born of Brahma. And there happens a confluence
also of streams in the secluded spot for sacrifice. Thence those that are
contented with their own souls proceed to the Grandsire. Those whose
wishes have been reduced, whose wishes have been directed to excellent
vows, and whose sins have been burnt off by penances, merging themselves
in their souls, succeed in attaining to Brahman. Tranquillity is praised
by those who are conversant with the forest of knowledge. Keeping that
forest in view, they take birth so as not to lose courage. Even such is
that sacred forest that is understood by Brahmanas, and understanding it,
they live (in accordance with the ordinance), directed by the


“The Brahmana said, ‘I do not smell scents. I do not perceive tastes. I
do not see colours. I do not touch. I do not likewise hear the diverse
sounds (that arise). Nor do I entertain purposes of any kind. It is
Nature that desires such objects as are liked; it is Nature that hates
such objects as are disliked. Desire and aversion spring from Nature,
after the manner of the upward and the downward life-winds when souls
have entered animate bodies. Separated from them are others; in them are
eternal dispositions; (these as also) the soul of all creatures, Yogins
would behold in the body. Dwelling in that, I am never attached to
anything through desire and wrath, and decrepitude and death. Not having
any desire for any object of desire, and not having any aversion for any
evil, there is no taint on my natures, as there is no taint of a drop of
water on (the leaves of) the lotus. Of this constant (principle) which
looks upon diverse natures, they are inconstant possessions.[77] Though
actions are performed, yet the assemblage of enjoyments does not attach
itself to them, even as the assemblage of rays of the sun does not attach
to the sky. In this connection is recited an ancient story of a discourse
between an Adhwaryu and a Yati. Do thou hear it, O glorious lady.
Beholding an animal sprinkled with water at a sacrificial ceremony, a
Yati said unto the Adhwaryu seated there these words in censure,–This is
destruction of life! unto him the Adhwaryu said in reply,–This goat will
not be destroyed. The animal (sacrificed) meets with great good, if the
Vedic declaration on this subject be true. That part of this animal which
is of earth will go to earth. That part of this one which is born of
water, will enter into water. His eye will enter the sun; his ear will
enter the different points of the horizon; his life-winds will enter the
sky. I who adhere to the scriptures incur no fault (by assisting at the
killing of this animal).’

“The Yati said, ‘If thou beholdest such good to the goat in this
dissociation with (his) life-winds, then this sacrifice is for the goat.
What need hast thou for it? Let the brother, father, mother, and friend
(of this goat) give thee their approval in this. Taking him (to them) do
thou consult them. This goat is especially dependent. It behoveth thee to
see them who can give their consent in this. After hearing their consent;
the matter will become fit for consideration. The life-winds of this goat
have been made to return to their respective sources. Only the inanimate
body remains behind. This is what I think. Of those who wish to enjoy
felicity by means of the inanimate body (of an animal) which is
comparable with fuel, the fuel (of sacrifice) is after all the animal
himself. Abstention from cruelty is the foremost of all deities. Even
this is the teaching of the elders. We know this is the proposition,
viz.,–No slaughter (of living creatures).–If I say anything further,
(it will then appear that) diverse kinds of faulty actions are capable of
being done by thee. Always abstaining from cruelty to all creatures is
what meets with our approbation. We establish this from what is directly
perceptible. We do not rely on what is beyond direct perception.’

“The Adhwaryu said, ‘Thou enjoyest the properties of smell which belong
to the earth. Thou drinkest the tastes which appertain to water. Thou
seest colours which belong to lighted bodies. Thou touchest the
properties which, have their origin in wind. Thou hearest the sounds
which have their origin in space (or ether). Thou thinkest thoughts with
the mind. All these entities, thou art of opinion, have life. Thou dost
not then abstain from taking life. Really, thou art engaged in slaughter.
There can be no movement without slaughter. Or, what dost thou think, O
regenerate one.’

“The Yati said, ‘The Indestructible and the Destructible constitute the
double manifestation of the soul. Of these the Indestructible is existed.
The Destructible is said to be exceedingly non-existent.[78] The
life-wind, the tongue, the mind, the quality of goodness, along with the
quality of passion, are all existent. The Atman is above these forms and
hence is without duality and hope. As regards one that is freed from
these existent objects, that transcends all pairs of opposites, that does
not cherish any expectation, that is alike to all creatures, that is
liberated from the idea of meum, that has subjugated his self, and that
is released from all his surroundings,–for him no fear exists from any

“The Adhwaryu said, ‘O foremost of intelligent men, one should reside
with those that are good. Hearing thy opinion my understanding shines
with light. O illustrious one, I come to thee, believing thee to be a
god; and I say I have no fault, O regenerate one, by performing these
rites with the aid of Mantras!'[80]

“The Brahmana continued, ‘With this conclusion, the Yati remained silent
after this. The Adhwaryu also proceeded with the great sacrifice, freed
from delusion. The Brahmanas understand Emancipation, which is
exceedingly subtle, to be of this kind and having understood it, they
live accordingly directed by the Kshetrajna, that beholder of all


“The Brahmana said, ‘In this connection is cited the ancient story, O
lady, of the discourse between Karttaviryya and the Ocean. There was a
king of the name of Karttaviryya-Arjuna who was endued with a thousand
arms. He conquered, with his bow, the Earth, extending to the shores of
the ocean. It has been heard by us that, once on a time, as he was
walking on the shores of the sea, proud of his might, he showered
hundreds of shafts on that vast receptacle of waters. The Ocean, bowing
down unto him, said, with joined hands,–Do not, O hero, shoot thy shafts
(at me)! Say, what shall I do to thee. With these mighty arrows shot by
thee, those creatures which have taken shelter in me are being killed, O
tiger among kings. Do thou, O lord, grant them security.’

“Arjuna said, ‘If any wielder of the bow exists that is equal to me in
battle, and that would stand against me in the field, do thou name him to

“The Ocean said, If thou hast heard, O king, of the great Rishi
Jamadagni, his son is competent to duly receive thee as a guest.–Then
that king proceeded, filled with great wrath. Arrived at that retreat, he
found Rama himself. With his kinsmen he began to do many acts that were
hostile to Rama, and caused much trouble to that high-souled hero. Then
the energy, which was immeasurable of Rama blazed forth, burning the
troops of the foe, O lotus-eyed one. Taking up his battle-axe, Rama
suddenly put forth his power, and hacked that thousand-armed hero, like a
tree of many branches. Beholding him slain and prostrated on the earth,
all his kinsmen, uniting together, and taking up their darts, rushed at
Rama, who was then seated, from all sides. Rama also, taking up his bow
and quickly ascending on his car, shot showers of arrows and chastised
the army of the king. Then, some of the Kshatriyas, afflicted with the
terror of Jamadagni’s son, entered mountain-fastnesses, like deer
afflicted by the lion. Of them that were unable, through fear of Rama, to
discharge the duties ordained for their order, the progeny became
Vrishalas owing to their inability to find Brahmanas.[81] In this way
Dravidas and Abhiras and Pundras, together with the Savaras, became
Vrishalas through those men who had Kshatriya duties assigned to them (in
consequence of their birth), falling away (from those duties). Then the
Kshatriyas that were begotten by the Brahmanas upon Kshatriya women that
had lost their heroic children, were repeatedly destroyed by Jamadagni’s
son. The slaughter proceeded one and twenty times. At its conclusion a
bodiless voice, sweet and proceeding from heaven, and which was heard by
all people, spoke to Rama, ‘O Rama, O Rama, desist! What met it dost thou
see, O son, in thus destroying repeatedly these inferior Kshatriyas?'[82]
In this way, O blessed dame, his grandsires, headed by Richika, addressed
that high-souled one, saying. ‘Do thou desist.’ Rama, however, unable to
forgive the slaughter of his sire, replied unto those Rishis saying, ‘It
behoves you not to forbid me.’ The Pitris then said, ‘O foremost of all
victorious men, it behoves thee not to slay these inferior Kshatriyas. It
is not proper that thyself, being a Brahmana, should slay these kings.'”


“The Pitris said, ‘In this connection is cited this old history. Having
heard it, thou shouldst act according to it, O foremost of all regenerate
persons. There was a royal sage of the name Alarka endued with the
austerest of penances. He was conversant with all duties, truthful in
speech, of high soul, and exceedingly firm in his vows. Having, with his
bow, conquered the whole Earth extending to the seas, and thereby
achieved an exceedingly difficult feat, he set his mind on that which is
subtle. While sitting at the root of a tree, his thoughts, O thou of
great intelligence, abandoning all those great feats, turned towards that
which is subtle.’

“Alarka said, ‘My mind has become strong. Having conquered the mind,
one’s conquest becomes permanent. Though surrounded by foes, I shall
(henceforth) shoot my arrows at other objects. Since in consequence of
its unsteadiness, it sets all mortals to accomplish acts, I shall shoot
very sharp-pointed shafts at the mind.’

“The mind said, ‘These arrows, O Alarka, will never pierce me through.
They will pierce only thy own vital parts, Thy vital parts being pierced,
thou shalt die. Do thou look out for other arrows with which to destroy
me.’ Hearing these words and reflecting upon them, he said as follows.

“Alarka said, ‘Smelling very many perfumes, the nose hankers after them
only. Hence I shall shoot whetted arrows at the nose.’

“The nose said, ‘These arrows will never cross through me, O Alarka. They
will pierce only thy own vital parts, and thy vital parts being pierced,
thou shalt die. Do thou look for other arrows with which to destroy me.’

Hearing these words and reflecting upon them, he said as follows.

“Alarka said, This one (viz., the tongue), enjoying savoury tastes,
hankers after them only. Hence I shall shoot whetted shafts at the

“The tongue said, ‘These arrows, O Alarka, will not cross through me.
They will only pierce thy own vital parts and thy vital parts being
pierced, thou shalt die. Do thou look for other arrows with which to
destroy me.’ Hearing these words and reflecting upon them, he said as

“Alarka said, ‘The skin, touching diverse objects of touch, hankers after
them only. Hence, I shall tear off the skin with diverse arrows equipt
with the feathers of the Kanka.’

“The skin said, ‘These arrows will not, O Alarka, cross through me. They
will pierce thy own vital parts only, and thy vital parts being pierced,
thou shalt die. Do thou look for other arrows with which to destroy me.’
Hearing these words and reflecting on them, he said as follows.

“Alarka said, ‘Hearing diverse sounds, (the ear) hankers after them only.
Hence, I shall shoot whetted shafts at the ear.’

“The ear said, ‘These arrows will not, O Alarka, cross through me. They
will pierce thy own vital parts only, and thy vital parts being pierced,
thou shalt die. Do thou then look for other arrows with which to destroy
me.’ Hearing these words and reflecting upon them, he said as follows.

“Alarka said, ‘Seeing many colours, the eye hankers after them only.
Hence, I shall destroy the eye with sharp-pointed arrows.’

“The eye said. ‘These arrows will not, O Alarka, cross through me at all.
They will pierce thy own vital parts only, and thy vital parts being
pierced, thou shalt die. Do thou then look for other arrows with which to
destroy me!’ Hearing these words and reflecting upon them, he said as

“Alarka said, ‘This (viz., the understanding) forms many determinations
with the aid of ratiocination. Hence, I shall shoot whetted arrows at the

“The understanding said, ‘These arrows will not, O Alarka, cross through
me at all. They will pierce thy vital parts only, and thy vital parts
being pierced, thou shalt die. Do thou then look for other arrows with
which to destroy me!’

“The Brahmana continued, ‘Then Alarka, employing himself, even there, on
penances difficult to perform and exceedingly austere, failed to obtain,
by the high power (of his penances) arrows for casting at these seven.
Endued with puissance, he then, with mind well concentrated, began to
reflect. Then O best of regenerate ones, Alarka, that foremost of
intelligent men, having reflected for a long time, failed to obtain
anything better than Yoga. Setting his mind on one object, he remained
perfectly still, engaged in Yoga.[83] Endued with energy, he quickly slew
all the senses with one arrow, having entered by Yoga into his soul and
thereby attained to the highest success. Filled with wonder, that royal
sage then sang this verse: Alas, it is a pity that we should have
accomplished all acts that are external! Alas, that we should have,
endued with the thirst for enjoyment, courted (the pleasures of)
sovereignty before now! I have learnt this afterwards. There is no
happiness that is higher than Yoga.–Do thou know this, O Rama. Cease to
slay the Kshatriyas. Do thou practise the austerest of penances. Thou
wilt then attain to what is good.–Thus addressed by his grandsires,
Jamadagni’s son practised the austerest penances, and having practised
them, that highly blessed one attained to that success which is difficult
to reach.'”


“The Brahmana said, ‘There are three foes in the world. They are said to
be ninefold, agreeably to their qualities. Exultation, satisfaction, and
joy,–these three qualities appertain to Goodness.[84] Cupidity, wrath,
and hatred, these three qualities are said to appertain to Passion.
Lassitude, procrastination, and delusion, these three qualities appertain
to darkness. Cutting these with showers of arrows, the man of
intelligence, free from procrastination, possessed of a tranquil soul,
and with his senses under subjection, ventures to vanquish others.[85] In
this connection, persons conversant with (the occurrence of) ancient
cycles recite some verses which were sung in days of old by king
Amvarisha who had acquired a tranquil soul. When diverse kinds of faults
were in the ascendant and when the righteous were afflicted, Amvarisha of
great fame put forth his strength for assuming sovereignty.[86] Subduing
his own faults and worshipping the righteous, he attained to great
success and sang these verses.–I have subdued many faults. I have killed
all foes. But there is one, the greatest, vice which deserves to be
destroyed but which has not been destroyed by me! Urged by that fault,
this Jiva fails to attain to freedom from desire. Afflicted by desire,
one runs into ditches without knowing it. Urged by that fault, one
indulges in acts that are forbidden. Do thou cut off, cut off, that
cupidity with sharp-edged swords. From cupidity arise desires. From
desire flows anxiety. The man who yields to desire acquires many
qualities that appertain to passion. When these have been acquired, he
gets many qualities that appertain to Darkness. In consequence of those
qualities, he repeatedly takes birth, with the bonds of body united, and
is impelled to action. Upon the expiration of life, with body becoming
dismembered and scattered, he once meets with death which is due to birth
itself.[87] Hence, duly understanding this, and subduing cupidity by
intelligence, one should desire for sovereignty in one’s soul. This is
(true) sovereignty. There is no other sovereignty here. The soul,
properly understood, is the king. Even these were the verses sung by king
Ambarisha of great celebrity, on the subject of sovereignty which he kept
before him,–that king who had cut off the one foremost fault viz.,


“The Brahmana said, ‘In this connection is cited the old narrative, O
lady, of the discourse between a Brahmana and (king) Janaka. King Janaka
(on a certain occasion), desirous of punishing him, said unto a Brahmana
who had become guilty of some offence, ‘Thou shalt not dwell within my
dominions.’ Thus addressed, the Brahmana replied unto that best of kings,
saying, ‘Tell me, O king, what the limits are of the territories subject
to thee. I desire, O lord, to dwell within the dominions of another king.
Verily, I wish to obey thy behest, O lord of Earth, agreeably to the
scriptures.–Thus addressed by that celebrated Brahmana, the king,
hearing repeated and hot sighs, said not a word in reply. Like the planet
Rahu overwhelming the Sun, a cloudedness of understanding suddenly
overwhelmed that king of immeasurable energy as he sat plunged in
thought. When that cloudedness of understanding passed away and the king
became comforted, he spoke after a short while these words unto that

“Janaka said, ‘Although a (large) inhabited tract is subject to me within
this ancestral kingdom of mine, yet I fail to find my dominion, searching
through the whole Earth. When I failed to find it on the Earth, I then
searched Mithila (for it). When I failed to find it in Mithila, I then
searched for it among my own children. When I failed to find it even
there, a cloudedness of understanding came over me. After that
cloudedness of understanding passed away, intelligence came back to me.
Then I thought that I have no dominion, or that everything is my
dominion. Even this body is not mine, or the whole Earth is mine. At the
same time, O best of regenerate persons, I think that that is as much
mine as it is of others. Do thou, therefore, dwell (here) as long as thy
choice leads thee, and do thou enjoy as long as thou pleasest.’

“The Brahmana said, ‘When there is a large inhabited tract in thy
ancestral kingdom, tell me, depending upon what understanding, has the
idea of meum been got rid of by thee. What also is that understanding
depending upon which thou hast come to the conclusion that everything
constitutes thy dominion? What, indeed, is the notion through which thou
hast no dominion, or everything is thy dominion?’

“Janaka said, ‘All conditions here, in all affairs, have been understood
by me to be terminable. Hence, I could not find that which should be
called mine.[88] (Considering) whose is this, I thought of the Vedic text
about anybody’s property, I could not, therefore, find, by my
understanding, what should be (called) mine.[89] Depending upon this
notion, I got rid of idea of mineness. Hear now what that notion is
depending upon which I came to the conclusion that I have dominion
everywhere. I do not desire for my own self those smells that are even in
my nose. Therefore, the earth, subjugated by me, is always subject to
me.[90] I do not desire for my own self those tastes that exist in
contact with even my tongue. Therefore, water, subjugated by me, is
always subject to me. I do not desire for my own self the colour or light
that appertains to my eye. Therefore, light subjugated by me, is always
subject to me. I do not desire for my own self those sensations of touch
which are in contact with even my skin. Therefore, the wind, subjugated
by me, is always subject to me. I do not desire for my own self those
sounds which are in contact with even my ear. Therefore sounds,
subjugated by me, are always subject to me. I do not desire for my own
self the mind that is always in my mind. Therefore the mind, subjugated
by me, is subject to me. All these acts of mine are for the sake of the
deities, the Pitris, the Bhutas, together with guests.[91]–The Brahmana
then, smiling, once more said unto Janaka,–Know that I am Dharma, who
have come here today for examining thee. Thou art verily the one person
for setting this wheel in motion, this wheel that has the quality of
Goodness for its circumference, Brahmin for its nave, and the
understanding for its spokes, and which never turns back!'”[92]


“The Brahmana said, ‘I do not, O timid one, move in this world in that
manner which thou, according to thy own understanding, censurest. I am a
Brahmana possessed of Vedic knowledge, I am emancipated. I am a forest
recluse. I am an observer of the duties of a house-holder. I observe
vows. I am not what thou seest me in good and bad acts. By me is pervaded
everything that exists in this universe. Whatever creatures exist in the
world, mobile or immobile, know that I am the destroyer of them all, even
as fire is (the destroyer) of all kinds of wood. Of sovereignty over the
whole Earth or over Heaven (on the one hand), or this knowledge (of my
identity with the universe), this knowledge is my wealth.[93] This is the
one path for Brahmanas, by which they who understand it proceed to
house-holds, or abodes in the forest, or residence with preceptors, or
among mendicants.[94] With numerous unconfused symbols, only one
knowledge is worshipped. Those who, whatever the symbols and modes of
life to which they adhere, have acquired an understanding having
tranquillity for its essence, attain to that one entity even as numerous
rivers all meeting the Ocean.[95] The path is traversable with the aid of
the understanding and not of this body. Actions have both beginning and
end, and the body has actions for its bonds.[96] Hence, O blessed lady,
thou needst have no apprehension in respect of the world hereafter. With
thy heart intent upon the real entity, it is my soul into which thou wilt


“The Brahmana’s wife said, ‘This is incapable of being understood by a
person of little intelligence as also by one whose soul has not been
cleansed. My intelligence is very little, and contracted, and confused.
Do thou tell me the means by which the knowledge (of which thou speakest)
may be acquired. I wish to learn from thee the source from which this
knowledge flows.’

“The Brahmana said, ‘Know that intelligence devoted to Brahman, is the
lower Arani; the preceptor is the upper Arani; penances and conversance
wit tithe scriptures are to cause the attrition. From this is produced
the fire of knowledge.’

“The Brahmana’s wife said, ‘As regards this symbol of Brahman, which is
designated Kshetrajna, where, indeed, occurs a description of it by which
it is capable of being seized?’

“The Brahmana said, ‘He is without symbols, and without qualities.
Nothing exists that may be regarded as his cause. I shall, however, tell
thee the means by which he can be seized or not. A good means may be
found; viz., perception of hearing, etc. as flowers are perceived by
bees. That means consists of an understanding cleansed by action. Those
whose understandings have not been so cleansed, regard that entity,
through their own ignorance, as invested with the properties of knowledge
and others.[97] It is not laid down that this should be done, of that
this should not be done, in the rules for achieving Emancipation,–those,
that is, in which a knowledge of the soul arises only in him who sees and
hears.[98] One should comprehend as many parts, unmanifest and manifest
by hundreds and thousands, as one is capable of comprehending here.
Indeed, one should comprehend diverse objects of diverse import, and all
objects of direct perception. Then will come, from practice (of
contemplation and self-restraint, etc.), that above which nothing

“The holy one continued, ‘Then the mind of that Brahmana’s wife, upon the
destruction of the Kshetrajna, became that which is beyond Kshetrajna, in
consequence of the knowledge of Kshetra.'[100]

“Arjuna said, ‘Where, indeed, is that Brahmana’s wife, O Krishna, and
where is that foremost of Brahmanas, by both of whom was such success
attained. Do thou, tell me about them, O thou of unfading glory.’

“The blessed and holy one said, ‘Know that my mind is the Brahmana, and
that my understanding is the Brahmana’s wife. He who has been spoken of
as Kshetrajna is I myself, O Dhananjaya!”‘


“Arjuna said, ‘It behoveth thee to expound Brahma to me,–that which is
the highest object of knowledge. Through thy favour, my mind is delighted
with these subtle disquisitions.’

“Vasudeva said,–‘In this connection is recited the old history of the
discourse between a preceptor and his disciple on the subject of Brahman.
Once on a time, O scorcher of foes, an intelligent disciple questioned a
certain Brahmana of rigid vows who was his preceptor, as he was seated
(at his ease), saying,–What, indeed, is the highest good? Desirous of
attaining to that which constitutes the highest good, I throw myself at
thy feet, O holy one. O learned Brahmana, I solicit thee, bending my
head, to explain to me what I ask.–Unto that disciple, O son of Pritha,
who said so, the preceptor said,–O regenerate one, I shall explain to
thee everything about which thou mayst have any doubts.–Thus addressed,
O foremost one of Kuru’s race, by his preceptor, that disciple who was
exceedingly devoted to his preceptor, spoke as follows, with joined
hands. Do thou hear what he said, O thou of great intelligence.’

“The Disciple said, ‘Where am I? Whence art thou? Explain that which is
the highest truth. From what source have sprung all creatures mobile and
immobile? By what do creatures live? What is the limit of their life?
What is truth? What is penance, O learned Brahmana? What are called
attributes by the good? What paths are to be called auspicious? What is
happiness? What is sin? O holy one, O thou of excellent vows, it behoves
thee to answer these questions of mine, O learned Rishi, correctly,
truly, and accurately. Who else is there in this world than thee that is
capable of answering these questions? Do thou answer them, O foremost of
all persons conversant with duties. My curiosity is great. Thou art
celebrated in all the worlds as one well skilled in the duties relating
to Emancipation. There is none else than thou that is competent to remove
all kinds of doubts. Afraid of worldly life, we have become desirous of
achieving Emancipation.’

“Vasudeva said, ‘Unto that disciple who had humbly sought his instruction
and put the questions duly, who was devoted to his preceptor and
possessed of tranquillity, and who always behaved in a manner that was
agreeable (to his instructor), who lived so constantly by the side of his
instructor as to have almost become his shadow, who was self-restrained,
and who had the life of a Yati and Brahmacharin, O son of Pritha, that
preceptor possessed of intelligence and observant of vows, duly explained
all the questions, O foremost one of Kuru’s race, O chastiser of all

“The preceptor said, ‘All this was declared (In days of old) by Brahma
himself (the Grandsire of all the worlds). Applauded and practised by the
foremost of Rishis, and depending on a knowledge of the Vedas, it
involves a consideration of what constitutes the real entity. We regard
knowledge to be the highest object, and renunciation as the best penance.
He who, with certainty, knows the true object of knowledge which is
incapable of being modified by circumstances, viz., the soul abiding in
all creatures, succeeds in going whithersoever he wishes and comes to be
regarded as the highest. That learned man who beholds the residence of
all things in one place and their severance as well, and who sees unity
in diversity, succeeds in freeing himself from misery. He who does not
covet anything and does not cherish the idea of mineness with regard to
anything, comes to be regarded, although residing in this world, as
identifiable with Brahman, He who is conversant with the truth about the
qualities of Pradhana (or Nature), acquainted with the creation of all
existent objects, divested of the idea of mineness, and without pride,
succeeds, without doubt, in emancipating himself. Understanding properly
that great tree which has the unmanifest for its seed sprout, and the
understanding for its trunk, and high consciousness of self for its
branches, and the senses for the cells whence its twigs issue, and the
(five) great elements for its flower-buds, and the gross elements for its
smaller boughs, which is always endued with leaves, which always puts
forth flowers, and upon which all existent objects depend, whose seed is
Brahman, and which is eternal,–and cutting all topics with the sharp
sword of knowledge, one attains to immortality and casts off birth and
death. The conclusions with regard to the past, present, and future, etc,
and religion, pleasure and wealth, which are all well known to conclaves
of Siddhas, which appertain to remote cycles, and which are, indeed,
eternal, I shall declare to thee, O thou of great wisdom. These
constitute what is called Good. Men of wisdom, understanding them in this
world, attain to success. In days of old, the Rishis Vrihaspati and
Bharadwaja, and Gautama and Bhargava, and Vasishtha and Kasyapa, and
Viswamitra, and Atri, assembled together for the purpose of asking one
another. They thus assembled together after having travelled over all
paths and after they had got tired with the acts each of them had done.
Those regenerate persons, placing the sage son of Angiras at their head,
proceeded to the region of the Grandsire. There they beheld Brahma
perfectly cleansed of all sin. Bowing their heads unto that high-souled
one who was seated at his ease, the great Rishis, endued with humility,
asked him this grave question regarding the highest good. How should a
good man act? How would one be released from sin? What paths are
auspicious for us? What is truth, and what is sin? By what action are the
two paths, northern and southern, obtained? What is destruction? What is
Emancipation? What is birth and what is death of all existent objects? I
shall tell thee, O disciple, what the Grandsire, thus addressed, said
unto them, conformably to the scriptures. Do thou listen.’

“Brahma said, ‘It is from Truth that all creatures, mobile and immobile,
have been born. They live by penance (of action). Understand this, O ye
of excellent vows. In consequence of their own actions they live,
transcending: their own origin.[101] For Truth, when united with
qualities, becomes always possessed of five indications. Brahman is
Truth. Penance is truth. Prajapati is truth. It is from Truth that all
creatures have sprung. Truth is the universe of being. It is for this
that Brahmanas who are always devoted to Yoga, who have transcended wrath
and sorrow, and who always regard Religion as the causeway (along which
every one must pass for avoiding the morass below), take refuge in Truth.
I shall now speak of those Brahmanas who are restrained by one another
and possessed of knowledge, of the orders, and of those who belong to the
four modes of life. The wise say that Religion or duty is one, (though)
having four quarters. Ye regenerate ones, I shall speak to ye now of that
path which is auspicious and productive of good. That path has constantly
been trod over by men possessed of wisdom in order to achieve an identity
with Brahman. I shall speak now of that path which is the highest and
which is exceedingly difficult of being understood. Do you understand, in
all its details, ye highly blessed ones, what is the highest seat. The
first step has been said to be the mode of life that appertains to
Brahmacharins. The second step is domesticity. After this is the
residence in the woods. After that it should be known is the highest
step, viz., that relating to Adhyatma.[102] Light, ether (or space), sun,
wind, Indra, and Prajapati,–one sees these as long as one does not
attain to Adhyatma. I shall declare the means (by which that Adhyatma may
be attained). Do ye first understand them. The forest mode of life that
is followed by ascetics residing in the woods and subsisting upon fruits
and roots and air is laid down for the three regenerate classes. The
domestic mode of life is ordained for all the orders. They that are
possessed of wisdom say that Religion or duty has Faith for its (chief)
indication. Thus have I declared to you the paths leading to the deities.
They are adopted by those that are good and wise by their acts. Those
paths are the causeways of piety. That person of rigid vows who adopts
any one of these modes separately, always succeeds in time to understand
the production and destruction of all creatures. I shall now declare,
accurately and with reasons, the elements which reside in parts in all
objects. The great soul, the unmanifest, egoism (consciousness of
identity), the ten and one organs (of knowledge and action), the five
great elements, the specific characteristics of the five elements,–these
constitute the eternal creation. The number of elements has been said to
be four and twenty, and one (more). That person of wisdom who understands
the production and destruction of all these elements, that man among all
creatures, never meets with delusion. He who understands the elements
accurately, all the qualities, all the deities, succeeds in cleansing
himself of all sin. Freed from all bonds, such a man succeeds in enjoying
all regions of spotless purity.'”[103]


“Brahma said, ‘That which is unmanifest, which is indistinct,
all-pervading, everlasting, immutable, should be known to become the city
(or mansion) of nine portals, possessed of three qualities, and
consisting of five ingredients. Encompassed by eleven including Mind
which distinguishes (objects), and having Understanding for the ruler,
this is an aggregate of eleven.[104] The three ducts that are in it
support it constantly. These are the three Nadis. They run continually,
and have the three qualities for their essence: Darkness, Passion, and
Goodness. These are called the (three) qualities. These are coupled with
one another. They exist, depending on one another. They take refuge in
one another, and follow one another. They are also joined with one
another. The five (principal) elements are characterised by (these) three
qualities. Goodness is the match of Darkness. Of Goodness the match is
Passion. Goodness is also the match of Passion, and of Goodness the match
is Darkness. There where Darkness is restrained, Passion is seen to flow.
There where Passion is restrained, Goodness is seen to flow. Darkness
should be known to have the night (or obscurity) for its essence. It has
three characteristics, and is (otherwise) called Delusion. It has
unrighteousness (or sin) also for its indication, and it is always
present in all sinful acts. This is the nature of Darkness and it appears
also as confined with others. Passion is said to have activity for its
essence. It is the cause of successive acts. When it prevails, its
indication, among all beings, is production. Splendour, lightness, and
faith,–these are the form, that is light, of Goodness among all
creatures, as regarded by all good men. The true nature of their
characteristics will now be declared by me, with reasons. These shall be
stated in aggregation and separation. Do ye understand them. Complete
delusion, ignorance; illiberality, indecision in respect of action,
sleep, haughtiness, fear, cupidity, grief, censure of good acts, loss of
memory,–unripeness of judgment, absence of faith, violation of all rules
of conduct, want of discrimination, blindness, vileness of behaviour,
boastful assertions of performance when there has been no performance,
presumption of knowledge in ignorance, unfriendliness (or hostility),
evilness of disposition, absence of faith, stupid reasoning, crookedness,
incapacity for association, sinful action, senselessness, stolidity,
lassitude, absence of self-control, degradation,–all these qualities are
known as belonging to Darkness. Whatever other states of mind, connected
with delusion, exist in the world, all appertain to Darkness. Frequent
ill-speaking of other people, censuring the deities and the Brahmanas,
illiberality, vanity, delusion, wrath, unforgiveness, hostility towards
all creatures, are regarded as the characteristics of Darkness. Whatever
undertakings exist that are unmeritorious (in consequence of their being
vain or useless), what gifts there are that are unmeritorious (in
consequence of the unworthiness of the donees, the unreasonableness of
the time, the impropriety of the object, etc.), vain eating,–these also
appertain to Darkness. Indulgence in calumny, unforgiveness, animosity,
vanity, and absence of faith are also said to be characteristics of
Darkness. Whatever men there are in this world who are characterised by
these and other faults of a similar kind, and who break through the
restraints (provided by the scriptures), are all regarded as belonging to
the quality of Darkness. I shall now declare the wombs where these men,
who are always of sinful deeds, have to take their birth. Ordained to go
to hell, they sink in the order of being. Indeed, they sink into the hell
of (birth in) the brute creation. They become immobile entities, or
animals, or beasts of burden; or carnivorous creatures, or snakes, or
worms, insects, and birds; or creatures, of the oviparous order, or
quadrupeds of diverse species; or lunatics, or deaf or dumb human beings,
or men that are afflicted by dreadful maladies and regarded as unclean.
These men of evil conduct, always exhibiting the indications of their
acts, sink in Darkness. Their course (of migrations) is always downwards.
Appertaining to the quality of Darkness, they sink in Darkness. I shall,
after this, declare what the means are of their improvement and ascent;
indeed, by what means they succeed in attaining to the regions that exist
for men of pious deeds. Those men who take birth in orders other than
humanity, by growing up in view of the religious ceremonies of Brahmanas
devoted to the duties of their own order and desirous of doing good to
all creatures, succeed, through the aid of such purificatory rites, in
ascending upwards. Indeed, struggling (to improve themselves), they at
last attain to the same regions with these pious Brahmanas. Verily, they
go to Heaven. Even this is the Vedic audition.[105] Born in orders other
than humanity and growing old in their respective acts, even thus they
become human beings that are, of course, ordained to return. Coming to
sinful births and becoming Chandalas or human beings that are deaf or
that lisp indistinctly, they attain to higher and higher castes, one
after another in proper turn, transcending the Sudra order, and other
(consequences of) qualities that appertain to Darkness and that abide in
it in course of migrations in this world.[106] Attachment to objects of
desire is regarded as great delusion. Here Rishis and Munis and deities
become deluded, desirous of pleasure. Darkness, delusion, the great
delusion, the great obscurity called wrath, and death, that blinding
obscurity, (these are the five great afflictions). As regards wrath, that
is the great obscurity (and not aversion or hatred as is sometimes
included in the list). With respect then to its colour (nature), its
characteristics, and its source, I have, ye learned Brahmanas, declared
to you, accurately and in due order, everything about (the quality of)
Darkness. Who is there that truly understands it? Who is there that truly
sees it? That, indeed, is the characteristic of Darkness, viz., the
beholding of reality in what is not real. The qualities of Darkness have
been declared to you in various ways. Duly has Darkness, in its higher
and lower forms, been described to you. That man who always bears in mind
the qualities mentioned here, will surely succeed in becoming freed from
all characteristics that appertain to Darkness.'”


“Brahman said, ‘Ye best of beings, I shall now declare to you accurately
what (the quality of) Passion is. Ye highly blessed ones, do you
understand what those qualities are that appertain to Passion, Injuring
(others), beauty, toil, pleasure and pain, cold and heat, lordship (or
power), war, peace, arguments, dissatisfaction, endurance,[107] might,
valour, pride, wrath, exertion, quarrel (or collision), jealousy, desire,
malice, battle, the sense of meum or mineness, protection (of others),
slaughter, bonds, and affliction, buying and selling, lopping off,
cutting, piercing and cutting off the coat of mail that another has
worn,[108] fierceness, cruelty, villifying, pointing out the faults of
others, thoughts entirely devoted to worldly affairs, anxiety, animosity,
reviling of others, false speech, false or vain gifts, hesitancy and
doubt, boastfulness of speech, dispraise and praise, laudation, prowess,
defiance, attendance (as on the sick and the weak), obedience (to the
commands of preceptors and parents), service or ministrations, harbouring
of thirst or desire, cleverness or dexterity of conduct, policy
heedlessness, contumely, possessions, and diverse decorations that
prevail in the world among men, women, animals, inanimate things, houses,
grief, incredulousness, vows and regulations, actions with expectation
(of good result), diverse acts of public charity, the rites in respect of
Swaha salutations, rites of Swadha and Vashat, officiating at the
sacrifices of others, imparting of instruction, performance of
sacrifices, study, making of gifts, acceptance of gifts, rites of
expiation, auspicious acts, the wish to have this and that, affection
generated by the merits of the object for which or whom it is felt,
treachery, deception, disrespect and respect, theft, killing, desire of
concealment, vexation, wakefulness, ostentation, haughtiness, attachment,
devotion, contentment, exultation, gambling, indulgence in scandal, all
relations arising out of women, attachment to dancing, instrumental music
and songs–all these qualities, ye learned Brahmanas, have been said to
belong to Passion. Those men on Earth who meditate on the past, present,
and the future, who are devoted to the aggregate of three, viz.,
Religion, Wealth, and Pleasure, who acting from impulse of desire, exult
on attaining to affluence in respect of every desire, are said to be
enveloped by Passion. These men have downward courses. Repeatedly reborn
in this world, they give themselves up to pleasure. They covet what
belongs to this world as also all those fruit, that belong to the world
hereafter. They make gifts, accept gifts, offer oblations to the Pitris,
and pour libations on the sacrificial fire. The qualities of Passion have
(thus) been declared to you in their variety. The course of conduct also
to which it leads has been properly described to you. The man who always
understands these qualities, succeeds in always freeing himself from all
of them which appertain to Passion.'”


“Brahmana said, ‘I shall, after this discourse to you on that excellent
quality which is the third (in the order of our enumeration). It is
beneficial to all creatures in the world, and unblamable, and constitutes
the conduct of those that are good. Joy, satisfaction, nobility,
enlightenment, and happiness, absence of stinginess (or liberality),
absence of fear, contentment, disposition for faith, forgiveness,
courage, abstention from injuring any creature, equability, truth,
straightforwardness, absence of wrath, absence of malice, purity,
cleverness, prowess, (these appertain to the quality of Goodness). He who
is devoted to the duty of Yoga, regarding knowledge to be vain, conduct
to be vain, service to be vain, and mode of life to be vain, attains to
what is highest in the world hereafter. Freedom from the idea of meum,
freedom from egoism, freedom from expectations, looking on all with an
equal eye, and freedom from desire,–these constitute the eternal
religion of the good. Confidence, modesty, forgiveness, renunciation,
purity, absence of laziness, absence of cruelty, absence of delusion,
compassion to all creatures, absence of the disposition to calumniate,
exultation, satisfaction, rapture, humility, good behaviour, purity in
all acts having for their object the attainment of tranquillity,
righteous understanding, emancipation (from attachments), indifference,
Brahmacharyya, complete renunciation, freedom from the idea of meum,
freedom from expectations, unbroken observance of righteousness, belief
that gifts are vain, sacrifices are vain, study is vain, vows are vain,
acceptance of gifts is vain, observance of duties is vain, and penances
are vain–those Brahmanas in this world, whose conduct is marked by these
virtues, who adhere to righteousness, who abide in the Vedas, are said to
be wise and possessed of correctness of vision. Casting off all sins and
freed from grief, those men possessed of wisdom attain to Heaven and
create diverse bodies (for themselves). Attaining the power of governing
everything, self-restraint, minuteness, these high-souled ones make by
operations of their own mind, like the gods themselves dwelling in
Heaven. Such men are said to have their courses directed upwards. They
are veritable gods capable of modifying all things. Attaining to Heaven,
they modify all things by their very nature. They get whatever objects
they desire and enjoy them.[109] Thus have I, ye foremost of regenerate
ones, described to you what that conduct is which appertains to the
quality of goodness. Understanding these duly, one acquires whatever
objects one desires. The qualities that appertain to goodness have been
declared particularly. The conduct which those qualities constitute has
also been properly set forth. That man who always understands these
qualities, succeeds in enjoying the qualities without being attached to


“Brahmana said, ‘The qualities are incapable of being declared as
completely separate from one another. Passion and Goodness and Darkness
are seen existing in a state of union. They are attached to one another.
They depend on one another. They have one another for their refuge. They
likewise follow one another. As long as goodness exists, so long does
Passion exist. There is no doubt in this. As long as Darkness and
Goodness exist, so long does Passion exist. They make their journey
together, in union, and moving collectively. They, verily, move in body,
when they act with cause or without cause. Of all these which act with
one another, however, much they may differ in their development, the
manner in which their increase and diminution take place will now be
declared. There where Darkness exists in an increased measure, in the
lower creatures (for example), Passion exists in a smaller measure and
Goodness in a measure that is still less. There where Passion exists in a
copious measure, in creatures of middle course, Darkness exists in a
smaller measure and Goodness in a measure that is still less. There where
Goodness exists in a copious measure, in creatures of upward courses,
Darkness should be known to exist in a small measure and Passion in a
measure that is still less. Goodness is the spring that causes the
modifications of the senses. It is the great enlightener. No duty has
been laid down that is higher than Goodness. They who abide in Goodness
proceed upwards. They who abide in Passion remain in the middle. They who
abide in Darkness, being characterised by qualities that are low, sink
downwards. Darkness occurs in the Sudra; Passion in the Kshatriya; and
Goodness, which is the highest, in the Brahmana. The three qualities
exist even thus in the three orders. Even from a distance, the three
qualities of darkness and Goodness and Passion, are seen to exist in a
state of union and more collectively. They are never seen in a state of
separation.[110] Beholding the sun rising, men of evil deeds become
inspired with fear. Travellers on their way become afflicted with heat,
and suffer distress. The Sun is Goodness developed, men of evil deeds
represent Darkness; the heat which travellers on their way feel is said
to be a quality of Passion. The sun representing light is Goodness; the
heat is the quality of Passion; the shading (or eclipse) of the sun on
Parvana days should be known to represent Darkness. Even thus, the three
qualities exist in all luminous bodies. They act by turns in diverse
places in diverse ways. Among immobile objects, the quality of Darkness
exists in a very large measure. The qualities appertaining to Passion are
those properties of theirs which undergo constant changes. Their
oleaginous attributes appertain to Goodness.[111] The Day should be
understood as threefold. The Night has been ordained to be threefold. So
also are fortnight, months, years, seasons, and conjunctions.[112] The
gifts that are wide are threefold. Threefold is sacrifice that flows.
Threefold are the worlds; threefold the deities; threefold is knowledge;
and threefold the path or end. The past, the Present. and the Future;
Religion, Wealth. and Pleasure. Prana, Apana, and Udana; these also are
fraught with the three qualities. Whatever object exists in this world,
everything in it is fraught with the three qualities. The three qualities
act by turns in all things and in all circumstances. Verily, the three
qualities always act in an unmanifest form. The creation of those three,
viz., Goodness, Passion, and Darkness is eternal. The unmanifest,
consisting of the three qualities, is said to be darkness, unperceived,
holy, Constant. unborn, womb, eternal. Nature, change or modification,
destruction, Pradhana, production, and absorption, undeveloped, not small
(i.e., vast), unshaking, immovable, fixed, existent, and non-existent.
All these names should be known by those who meditate on matters
connected with the soul. That person who accurately knows all the names
of the unmanifest, and the qualities, as also the pure operations (of the
qualities), is well conversant with the truth about all distinctions and
freed from the body, becomes liberated from all the qualities and enjoys
absolute happiness.'”


“Brahmana said, ‘From the unmanifest first sprang Mahat (the Great Soul)
endued with great intelligence, the source of all the qualities. That is
said to be the first creation. The Great Soul is signified by these
synonymous words–the Great Soul, Intelligence, Vishnu, Jishnu, Sambhu of
great valour, the Understanding, the means of acquiring knowledge, the
means of perception, as also fame, courage, and memory. Knowing this, a
learned Brahmana has never to encounter delusion. It has hands and feet
on every side, it has ears on every side. It stands, pervading everything
in the universe. Of great power, that Being is stationed in the heart of
all. Minuteness, Lightness and Affluence, are his. He is the lord of all,
and identical with effulgence, and knows not decay. In Him are all those
who comprehend the nature of the understanding, all those who are devoted
to goodness of disposition, all those who practise meditation, who are
always devoted to Yoga, who are firm in truth, who have subdued their
senses, who are possessed of knowledge, who are freed from cupidity, who
have conquered wrath, who are of cheerful hearts, who are endued with
wisdom, who are liberated from ideas of meum (and teum), and who are
devoid of egoism. All these, freed from every kind of attachment, attain
to the status of Greatness. That person who understands that holy and
high goal, viz., the Great Soul, becomes freed from delusion. The
self-born Vishnu becomes the Lord in the primary creations. He who thus
knows the Lord lying in the cave, the Supreme, Ancient Being, of
universal form, the golden one, the highest goal of all persons endued
with understanding,–that intelligent man lives, transcending the


“Brahmana said, ‘That Mahat who was first produced is called Egoism. When
it sprang up as I, it came to be called as the second creation. That
Egoism is said to be the source of all creatures, for these have sprung
from its modifications. It is pure effulgence and is the supporter of
consciousness. It is Prajapati. It is a deity, the creator of deities,
and of mind. It is that which creates the three worlds. It is said to be
that which feels–I am all this.–That is the eternal world existing for
those sages who are contented with knowledge relating to the soul, who
have meditated on the soul, and who have won success by Vedic study and
sacrifices. By consciousness of soul one enjoys the qualities. That
source of all creatures, that creator of all creatures, creates (all
creatures) even in this way. It is that which causes all changes. It is
that which causes all beings to move. By its own light it illuminates the
universe likewise.'”


‘Brahmana said, From Egoism were verily born the five great elements.
They are earth, air, ether, water, and light numbering the fifth. In
these five great elements, in the matter of the sound, touch, colour,
taste, and smell, all creatures become deluded. When at the close of the
destruction of the great elements, the dissolution of the universe
approaches, ye that are possessed of wisdom, a great fear comes upon all
living creatures. Every existent object is dissolved into that from which
it is produced. The dissolution takes place in an order that is the
reverse of that in which creation takes place. Indeed, as regards birth,
they are born from one another. Then, when all existent objects, mobile
and immobile, become dissolved, wise men endued with powerful memory
never dissolve. Sound, touch, colour, taste, and smell numbering the
fifth, are effects. They are, however, inconstant, and called by the name
of delusion. Caused by the production of cupidity, not different from one
another, without reality, connected with flesh and blood, and depending
upon one another, existing outside the soul, these are all helpless and
powerless. Prana and Apana, and Udana and Samana and Vyana,–these five
winds are always closely attached to the soul. Together with speech,
mind, and understanding, they constitute the universe of eight
ingredients. He whose skin, nose, ear, eyes, tongue, and speech are
restrained, whose mind is pure, and whose understanding deviates not
(from the right path), and whose mind is never burnt by those eight
fires, succeeds in attaining to that auspicious Brahman to which nothing
superior exists. Those which have been called the eleven organs and which
have sprung from Egoism, I shall now, ye regenerate ones, mention
particularly. They are the ear, the skin, the two eyes, the tongue, the
nose numbering the fifth, the two feet, the lower duct, the organ of
generation, the two hands, and speech forming the tenth. These constitute
the group of organs, with mind numbering as the eleventh. One should
first subdue this group. Then will Brahman shine forth (in him). Five
amongst these are called organs of knowledge, and five, organs of action.
The five beginning with the ear are truly said to be connected with
knowledge. The rest, however, that are connected with action, are without
distinction. The mind should be regarded as belonging to both. The
understanding is the twelfth in the top. Thus have been enumerated the
eleven organs in due order. Learned men, having understood these, think
they have accomplished everything. I shall, after this, enumerate all the
various organs. Space (or Ether) is the first entity. As connected with
the soul, it is called the ear. As connected with objects, that is sound.
The presiding deity (of this) is the quarters. The Wind is the second
entity. As connected with the soul, it is known as the skin. As connected
with objects, it is known as objects of touch; and the presiding deity
there is touch. The third is said to be Light. As connected with the
soul, it is known as the eye. As connected with objects, it is colour;
and the sun is its deity. The fourth (entity) should be known as Water.
As connected with the soul, it is said to be the tongue. As connected
with objects, it is taste, and the presiding deity there is Soma. The
fifth entity is Earth. As connected with the soul, it is said to be the
nose. As connected with objects, it is scent; and the presiding deity
there is the wind. Thus has the manner been declared of how the five
entities are divided into sets of three. After this I shall declare
everything about the diverse (other) organs. Brahmanas conversant with
the truth say that the two feet are mentioned as connected with the soul.
As connected with objects, it is motion; and Vishnu is there the
presiding deity. The Apana wind, whose motion is downward, as connected
with the soul, is called the lower duct. As connected with objects, it is
the excreta that is ejected; and the presiding deity there is Mitra. As
connected with the soul, the organ of generation is mentioned, the
producer of all beings. As connected with objects, it is the vital seed;
and the presiding deity is Prajapati. The two hands are mentioned as
connected with the soul by persons conversant with the relations of the
soul. As connected with objects, it is actions; and the presiding deity
there is Indra. Next, connected with the soul is speech which relates to
all the gods. As connected with objects, it is what is spoken. The
presiding deity there is Agni. As connected with the soul, the mind is
mentioned, which moves within the soul of the five elements.[113] As
connected with objects, it is the mental operation; and the presiding
deity is Chandramas (moon). As connected with the soul is Egoism, which
is the cause of the whole course of worldly life. As connected with
objects, it is consciousness of self; and the presiding deity there is
Rudra. As connected with the soul is the understanding, which impels the
six senses. As connected with objects, it is that which is to be
understood, and the presiding deity there is Brahma. Three are the seats
of all existent objects. A fourth is not possible. These are land, water,
and ether. The mode of birth is fourfold. Some are born of eggs; some are
born of germs which spring upwards, penetrating through the earth; some
are born of filth; and some are born of fleshy balls in wombs. Thus is
the mode of birth seen to be of four kinds, of all living creatures. Now,
there are other inferior beings and likewise those that range the sky.
These should be known to be born of eggs as also those which crawl on
their breasts. Insects are said to be born of filth, as also other
creatures of a like description. This is said to be the second mode of
birth and is inferior. Those living creatures that take birth after the
lapse of some time, bursting through the earth, are said to be germ-born
beings, ye foremost of regenerate persons. Creatures of two feet or of
many feet and those which move crookedly, are the beings born of wombs.
Among them are some that are deformed, ye best of men. The eternal womb
of Brahma should be known to be of two kinds, viz., penance and
meritorious acts. Such is the doctrine of the learned.[114] Action should
be understood to be of various kinds, such as sacrifice, gifts made at
sacrifices, and the meritorious duty of study for every one that is born;
such is the teaching of the ancients. He who duly understands this, comes
to be regarded as possessed of Yoga, ye chief of regenerate persons. Know
also that such a man becomes freed too from all his sins. I have thus
declared to you duly the doctrine of Adhyatma.[115] Ye Rishis conversant
with all duties, a knowledge of this is acquired by those who are
regarded as persons of knowledge. Uniting all these together, viz., the
senses, the objects of the senses, and the five great entities, one
should hold them in the mind.[116] When everything is attenuated (by
absorption) in the mind, one no longer esteems the pleasures of life.
Learned men, whose understandings are furnished with knowledge, regard
that as true happiness.[117] I shall after this, tell thee of
renunciation with respect to all entities by means, gentle and hard,
which produces attachment to subtle topics and which is fraught with
auspiciousness. That conduct which consists in treating the qualities is
not qualities, which is free from attachment, which is living alone,
which does not recognise distinctions, and which is full of Brahman, is
the source of all happiness.[118] The learned man who absorbs all desires
into himself from all sides like the tortoise withdrawing all its limbs,
who is devoid of passion, and who is released from everything, becomes
always happy. Restraining all desires within the soul, destroying his
thirst, concentrated in meditation, and becoming the friend of good heart
towards all creatures, he succeeds in becoming fit for assimilation with
Brahman. Through repression of all the senses which always hanker after
their objects, and abandonment of inhabited places, the Adhyatma fire
blazes forth in the man of contemplation. As a fire, fed with fuel,
becomes bright in consequence of the blazing flames it puts forth, even
so, in consequence of the repression of the senses, the great soul puts
forth its effulgence. When one with a tranquil soul beholds all entities
in one’s own heart, then, lighted by one’s own effulgence, one attains to
that which is subtler than the subtle and which is unrivalled in
excellence. It is settled that the body has fire for colour, water for
blood and other liquids, wind for sense of touch, earth for the hideous
holder of mind (viz., flesh and bones, etc.), space (or ether) for sound;
that it is pervaded by disease and sorrow; that it is overwhelmed by five
currents; that it is made up of the five elements; that it has nine doors
and two deities;[119] that it is full of passion; that it is unfit to be
seen (owing to its unholy character); that it is made up of three
qualities; that it has three constituent elements, (viz., wind, bile and
phelgm); that it is delighted with attachments of every kind, that it is
full of delusions.[120] It is difficult of being moved in this mortal
world, and it rests on the understanding as its support. That body is, in
this world, the wheel of Time that is continually revolving.[121] That
(body), indeed, is a terrible and unfathomable ocean and is called
delusion. It is this body which stretches forth, contracts, and awakens
the (whole) universe with the (very) immortals.[122] By restraining the
senses, one casts off lust, wrath, fear, cupidity, enmity, and falsehood,
which are eternal and, therefore, exceedingly difficult to cast off.[123]
He who has subjugated these in this world, viz., the three qualities and
the five constituent elements of the body, has the Highest for his seat
in Heaven. By him is Infinity attained. Crossing the river, that has the
five senses for its steep banks, the mental inclinations for its mighty
waters, and delusion for its lake, one should subjugate both lust and
wrath. Such a man freed from all faults, then beholds the Highest,
concentrating the mind within the mind and seeing self in self.
Understanding all things, he sees his self, with self, in all creatures,
sometimes as one and sometimes as diverse, changing form from time to
time.[124] Without doubt he can perceive numerous bodies like a hundred
lights from one light. Verily he is Vishnu, and Mitra, and Varuna, and
Agni, and Prajapati. He is the Creator and the ordainer: he is the Lord
possessed of puissance, with faces turned in all directions. In him, the
heart of all creatures, the great soul, becomes resplendent. Him all
conclaves of learned Brahmanas, deities and Asuras, and Yakshas, and
Pisachas, the Pitris, and birds, and bands of Rakshasas, and bands of
ghostly beings, and all the great Rishis, praise.'”


“Brahmana said, ‘Among men, the royal Kshatriya is (endued with) the
middle quality. Among vehicles, the elephant (is so); and among denizens
of the forest the lion; among all (sacrificial) animals, the sheep; among
all those that live in holes, is the snake; among cattle, the bovine
bull; among females, the mule.[125] There is no doubt in this that in
this world, the Nyagrodha, the Jamvu, the Pippala, the Salmali, and
Sinsapa, the Meshasringa, and the Kichaka, are the foremost ones among
trees.[126] Himavat, Patipatra, Sahya, Vindhya, Trikutavat, Sweta, Nila,
Bhasa, Koshthavat, Guruskandha, Mahendra and Malayavat,–these are the
foremost of mountains. Likewise the Maruts are the foremost of the Ganas.
Surya is the lord of all the planets, and Chandramas of all the
constellations. Yama is the lord of the Pitris; Ocean is the lord of all
rivers. Varuna is the king of the waters. Indra is said to be the king of
the Maruts. Arka is the king of all hot bodies, and Indra of all luminous
bodies. Agni is the eternal lord of the elements, and Vrihaspati of the
Brahmanas. Soma is the lord of (deciduous) herbs, and Vishnu is the
foremost of all that are endued with might. Tashtri is the king of
Rudras, and Siva of all creatures. Sacrifice is the foremost of all
initiatory rites, and Maghavat of the deities. The North is the lord of
all the points of the compass; Soma of great energy is the lord of all
learned Brahmanas. Kuvera is the lord of all precious gems, and Purandara
of all the deities. Such is the highest creation among all entities.
Prajapati is the lord of all creatures. Of all entities whatever, I, who
am full of Brahman, am the foremost. There is no entity that is higher
than myself or Vishnu. The great Vishnu, who is full of Brahman, is the
king of kings over all. Know him to be the ruler, the creator, the
uncreated Hari. He is the ruler of men and Kinnaras and Yakshas and
Gandharvas, and Snakes and Rakshasas, and deities and Danavas and Nagas.
Among those that are followed by persons full of desire is the great
goddess Maheswari of beautiful eyes. She is otherwise called by the name
of Parvati. Know that the goddess Uma is the foremost and the most
auspicious of women. Among women that are a source of pleasure, the
foremost are the Apsaras who are possessed of great splendour.[127] Kings
are desirous of acquiring piety, and Brahmanas are causeways of piety.
Therefore, the king should always strive to protect the twice-born ones.
Those kings in whose dominions good men languish are regarded as bereft
of the virtues of their order. Hereafter they have to go into wrong
paths. Those kings in whose dominions good men are protected, rejoice in
this world and enjoy happiness hereafter. Verily, those high-souled ones
attain to the highest seat. Understand this, ye foremost of regenerate
ones. I shall after this state the everlasting indications of duties.
Abstention from injury is the highest duty. Injury is an indication of
unrighteousness. Splendour is the indication of the deities. Men have
acts for their indications. Ether (or space) has sound for its
characteristic. Wind has touch for its characteristic. The characteristic
of lighted bodies is colour, and water has taste for its characteristic.
Earth, which holds all entities, has smell for its characteristic. Speech
has words for its characteristic, refined into vowels and consonants.
Mind has thought for its characteristic. Thought has, again, been said to
be the characteristic of the understanding. The things thought of by the
mind are ascertained with accuracy by the understanding. There is no
doubt in this, viz., that the understanding, by perseverance, perceives
all things. The characteristic of mind is meditation. The characteristic
of the good man is to live unperceived.[128] Devotion has acts for its
characteristic. Knowledge is the characteristic of renunciation.
Therefore keeping knowledge, before his view, the man of understanding
should practise renunciation. The man who has betaken himself to
renunciation and who is possessed of knowledge, who transcends all pairs
of opposites, as also darkness, death, and decrepitude, attains to the
highest goal. I have thus declared to you duty what the indications are
of duty. I shall, after this, tell you of the seizure (comprehension) of
qualities. Smell, which appertains to earth, is seized by the nose. The
wind, that dwells in the nose is likewise appointed (as an agent) in the
perception of smell. Taste is the essence of water. That is seized by the
tongue. Soma, who resides in the tongue, is appointed likewise in the
perception of taste. The quality of a lighted body is colour. That is
seized by the eye. Aditya who always resides in the eye has been
appointed in the perception of colour. Touch always appertains to the
wind (as its quality). That is perceived by the skin. The wind that
always resides in the skin has been appointed in apprehending touch. The
quality of ether is sound. That is seized by the ear. All the quarters,
which reside in the ear, have been appointed in apprehending sound. The
quality of the mind is thought. That is seized by the understanding. The
upholder of consciousness, residing in the heart, has been appointed in
apprehending the mind. The understanding is apprehended in the form of
determination or certitude, and Mahat in the form of knowledge. The
unperceived (Prakriti) has been, it is evident, appointed for the seizure
of all things after certitude. There is no doubt in this.[129] The
Kshetrajna which is eternal and is destitute of qualities as regards its
essence, is incapable of being seized by symbols. Hence, the
characteristic of the Kshetrajna, which is without symbols, is purely
knowledge. The unmanifest resides in the symbol called Kshetra, and is
that in which the qualities are produced and absorbed. I always see,
know, and hear it (though) it is hidden. Purusha knows it: therefore is
he called Kshetrajna. The Kshetrajna perceives also the operations of the
qualities and absence of their operations. The qualities, which are
created repeatedly, do not know themselves, being unintelligent, as
entities to be created and endued with a beginning, middle, and end. No
one else attains, only the Kshetrajna attains, to that which is the
highest and great and which transcend the qualities and those entities
which are born of the qualities. Hence one who understands duties,
casting off qualities and the understanding, and having his sins
destroyed, and transcending the qualities, enters the Kshetrajna. One
that is free from all pairs of opposites, that never bends his head to
any one, that is divested of Swaha, that is immovable, and homeless, is
the Kshetrajna. He is the Supreme Lord.”‘


“Brahmana said, ‘I shall now tell you truly about all that which has a
beginning, middle, and end, and which is endued with name and
characteristics, together with the means of apprehension. It has been
said that the Day was first, Then arose Night. The Months are said to
have the lighted fortnights first. The constellations have Sravana for
their first; the Seasons have that of dews (viz., Winter) for their
first. Earth is the source of all smells; and Water of all tastes. The
solar light is the source of all colours: the Wind of all sensations of
touch. Likewise, of sound the source is space (or Ether). These are the
qualities of elements. I shall, after this, declare that which is the
first and the highest of all entities. The sun is the first of all
lighted bodies. Fire is said to be the first of all the elements. Savitri
is the first of all branches of learning. Prajapati is the first of all
the deities. The syllable Om is the first of all the Vedas, and the
life-wind Prana is the first of all winds. All that is called Savitri
which is prescribed in this world.[130] The Gayatri is the first of all
metres; of all (sacrificial) animals the first is the goat. Kine are the
first of all quadrupeds. The twiceborn ones are the first of all human
beings. The hawk is the first of all birds. Of sacrifices the first is
the pouring of clarified butter on the fire. Of all reptiles the first, O
foremost of regenerate ones, is the snake. The Krita is the first of all
the Yugas; there is no doubt in this. Gold is the first of all precious
things. Barley is the first of all plants. Food is the first of all
things to be eaten or swallowed. Of all liquid substances to be drunk,
water is the foremost. Of all immobile entities without distinction,
Plaksha is said to be the first, that ever holy field of Brahman. Of all
the Prajapatis I am the first. There is no doubt in this. Of
inconceivable soul, the self-existent Vishnu is said to be my
superior.[131] Of all the mountains the great Meru is said to be the
first-born. Of all the cardinal and subsidiary points of the horizon, the
eastern is said to be the foremost and first-born. Ganga of three courses
is said to be the firstborn of all rivers. Likewise, of all wells and
reservoirs of waters, the ocean is said to be the first-born. Iswara is
the supreme Lord of all the deities and Danavas and ghostly beings and
Pisachas, and snakes and Makshasas and human beings and Kinnaras and
Yakshas. The great Vishnu, who is full of Brahma, than whom there is no
higher being in the three worlds, is the first of all the universe. Of
all the modes of life, that of the householder is the first. Of this
there is no doubt. The Unmanifest is the source of all the worlds as,
indeed, that is the end of every thing. Days end with the sun’s setting
and Nights with the sun’s rising. The end of pleasure is always sorrow,
and the end of sorrow is always pleasure. All accumulations have
exhaustion for their end, and all ascent have falls for their end. All
associations have dissociations for their end, and life has death for its
end. All action ends in destruction, and all that is born is certain to
meet with death. Every mobile and immobile thing in this world is
transient. Sacrifice, gift, penances, study, vows, observances,–all
these have destruction for their end. Of Knowledge, there is no end.
Hence, one that is possessed of a tranquil soul, that has subjugated his
senses, that is freed from the sense of meum, that is devoid of egoism,
is released from all sins by pure knowledge.'”


“Brahmana said, ‘The wheel of life moves on. It has the understanding for
its strength; the mind for the pole (on which it rests); the group of
senses for its bonds, the (five) great elements for its nave, and home
for its circumference.[132] It is overwhelmed by decrepitude and grief,
and it has diseases and calamities for its progeny. That wheel relates in
time and place. It has toil and exercise for its noise. Day and Night are
the rotations of that wheel. It is encircled by heat and cold. Pleasure
and pain fire its joints, and hunger and thirst are the nails fixed into
it. Sun-shine and shade are the ruts (it causes). It is capable of being
agitated during even such a short space of time as is taken up by the
opening and the closing of the eyelid. It is enveloped in the terrible
waters of delusion. It is ever revolving and void of consciousness. It is
measured by months and half-months. It is not uniform (being
ever-changing), and moves through all the worlds. Penances and vows are
its mud. Passion’s force is its mover. It is illuminated by the great
egoism, and is sustained by the qualities. Vexations (caused by the
non-acquisition of what is desired) are the fastenings that bind it
around. It revolves in the midst of grief and destruction. It is endued
with actions and the instruments of action. It is large and is extended
by attachments. It is rendered unsteady by cupidity and desire. It is
produced by variegated Ignorance. It is attended upon by fear and
delusion, and is the cause of the delusion of all beings. It moves
towards joy and pleasure, and has desire and wrath for its possession. It
is made up of entities beginning with Mahat and ending with the gross
elements. It is characterised by production and destruction going on
ceaselessly. Its speed is like that of the mind, and it has the mind for
its boundary.[133] This wheel of life that is associated with pairs of
opposites and devoid of consciousness, the universe with the very
immortals should cast away, abridge, and check. That man who always
understands accurately the motion and stoppage of this wheel of life, is
never seen to be deluded, among all creatures. Freed from all
impressions, divested of all pairs of opposites, released from all sins,
he attains to the highest goal. The householder, the Brahmacharin, the
forest recluse and the mendicant,–these four modes of life have all been
said to have the householder’s mode for their foundation. Whatever system
of rules is prescribed in this world, their observance is beneficial.
Such observance has always been highly spoken of. He who has been first
cleansed by ceremonies, who has duly observed vows, who belongs in
respect of birth to a race possessed of high qualifications, and who
understands the Vedas, should return (from his preceptor’s house).[134]
Always devoted to his wedded spouse, conducting himself after the manner
of the good, with his senses under subjugation, and full of faith, one
should in this world perform the five sacrifices. He who eats what
remains after feeding deities and guests, who is devoted to the
observance of Vedic rites, who duly performs according to his means
sacrifices and gifts, who is not unduly active with his hands and feet,
who is not unduly active with his eye, who is devoted to penances, who is
not unduly active with his speech and limits, comes under the category of
Sishta or the good. One should always bear the sacred thread, wear white
(clean) clothes, observe pure vows, and should always associate with good
men, making gifts and practising self-restraint. One should subjugate
one’s lust and stomach, practise universal compassion, and be
characterised by behaviour that befits the good. One should bear a
bamboo-stick, and a water-pot filled with water. Having studied, one
should teach; likewise should also make sacrifices himself and officiate
at the sacrifices of others. One should also make gifts made to oneself.
Verily, one’s conduct, should be characterised by these six acts. Know
that three of these acts should constitute the livelihood of the
Brahmanas, viz., teaching (pupils), officiating at the sacrifices of
others, and the acceptance of gifts from a person that is pure. As to the
other duties that remain, numbering three, viz., making of gifts, study,
and sacrifice, these are accompanied by merit.[135] Observant of
penances, self-restrained, practising universal compassion and
forgiveness, and looking upon all creatures with an equal eye, the man
that is conversant with duties should never be heedless with regard to
those three acts. The learned Brahmana of pure heart, who observes the
domestic mode of life and practises rigid vows, thus devoted and thus
discharging all duties to the best of his power, succeeds in conquering


“Brahmana said, ‘Duly studying thus to the best of his power, in the way
described above, and likewise living as a Brahmacharin, one that is
devoted to the duties of one’s own order, possessed of learning,
observant of penances, and with all the senses under restraint, devoted
to what is agreeable and beneficial to the preceptor, steady in
practising the duty of truth, and always pure, should, with the
permission of the preceptor, eat one’s food without decrying it. He
should eat Havishya made from what is obtained in alms, and should stand,
sit, and take exercise (as directed).[136] He should pour libations on
the fire twice a day, having purified himself and with concentrated mind.
He should always bear a staff made of Vilwa or Palasa.[137] The robes of
the regenerate man should be linen, or of cotton, or deer-skin, or a
cloth that is entirely brown-red. There should also be a girdle made of
Munja-grass. He should bear matted locks on head, and should perform his
ablutions every day. He should bear the sacred thread, study the
scriptures, divest himself of cupidity, and be steady in the observance
of vows. He should also gratify the deities with oblations of pure water,
his mind being restrained the while. Such a Brahmacharin is worthy of
applause. With vital seed drawn up and mind concentrated, one that is
thus devoted succeeds in conquering Heaven. Having attained to the
highest seat, he has not to return to birth. Cleansed by all purificatory
rites and having lived as a Brahmacharin, one should next go out of one’s
village and next live as an ascetic in the woods, having renounced (all
attachments). Clad in animal skins or barks of trees he should perform
his ablutions morning and evening. Always living within the forest, he
should never return to an inhabited place. Honouring guests when they
come, he should give them shelter, and himself subsist upon fruits and
leaves and common roots, and Syamaka. He should, without being slothful
subsist on such water as he gets, and air, and all forest products. He
should live upon these, in due order, according to the regulations of his
initiation.[138] He should honour the guest that comes to him with alms
of fruits and roots. He should then, without sloth, always give whatever
other food he may have. Restraining speech the while, he should eat after
gratifying deities and guests. His mind should be free from envy. He
should eat little, and depend always on the deities. Self-restrained,
practising universal compassion, and possessed of forgiveness, he should
wear both beard and hair (without submitting to the operations of the
barber). Performing sacrifices and devoting himself to the study of the
scriptures, he should be steady in the observance of the duty of truth.
With body always in a state of purity, endued with cleverness, ever
dwelling in the forest, with concentrated mind, and senses in subjection,
a forest-recluse, thus devoting himself, would conquer Heaven. A
householder, or Brahmacharin, or forest-recluse, who would wish to
achieve Emancipation, should have recourse to that which has been called
the best course of conduct. Having granted unto all creatures the pledge
of utter abstention from harm, he should thoroughly renounce all action.
He should contribute to the happiness of all creatures, practise
universal friendliness, subjugate all his senses, and be an ascetic.
Subsisting upon food obtained without asking and without trouble, and
that has come to him spontaneously, he should make a fire. He should make
his round of mendicancy in a place whence smoke has ceased to curl up and
where all the inhabitants have already eaten.[139] The person who is
conversant with the conduct that leads to Emancipation should seek for
alms after the vessels (used in cooking) have been washed. He should
never rejoice when he obtains anything, and never be depressed if he
obtains nothing. Seeking just what is needed for supporting life, he
should, with concentrated mind, go about his round of mendicancy, waiting
for the proper time. He should not wish for earnings in common with
others, nor eat when honoured. The man who leads the life of mendicancy
should conceal himself for avoiding gifts with honour. While eating, he
should not eat such food as forms the remains of another’s dish, nor such
as is bitter, or astringent, or pungent. He should not also eat such
kinds of food as have a sweet taste. He should eat only so much as is
needed to keep him alive. The person conversant with Emancipation should
obtain his subsistence without obstructing any creature. In his rounds of
mendicancy he should never follow another (bent on the same purpose). He
should never parade his piety; he should move about in a secluded place,
freed from passion. Either an empty house, or a forest, or the foot of
some tree, or a river, or a mountain-cave, he should have recourse to for
shelter. In summer he should pass only one night in an inhabited place;
in the season of rains he may live in one place. He should move about the
world like a worm, his path pointed out by the Sun. From compassion for
creatures, he should walk on the Earth with his eyes directed towards it.
He should never make any accumulations and should avoid residence with
friends. The man conversant with Emancipation should every day do all his
acts with pure water. Such a man should always perform his ablutions with
water that has been fetched up (from the river or the tank).[140]
Abstention from harm, Brahmacharyya, truth, simplicity, freedom from
wrath, freedom from decrying others, self-restraint, and habitual freedom
from backbiting: these eight vows, with senses restrained, he should
steadily pursue. He should always practise a sinless mode of conduct,
that is not deceptive and not crooked. Freed from attachment, he should
always make one who comes as a guest eat (at least) a morsel of food. He
should eat just enough for livelihood, for the support of life. He should
eat only such food as has been obtained by righteous means, and should
not pursue the dictates of desire. He should never accept any other thing
than food and clothing only. He should, again, accept only as much as he
can eat and nothing more. He should not be induced to accept gifts from
others, nor should he make gifts to others. Owing to the helplessness of
creatures, the man of wisdom should always share with others. He should
not appropriate what belongs to others, nor should he take anything
without being asked. He should not, having enjoyed anything become so
attached to it as to desire to have it once more. One should take only
earth and water and pebbles and leaves and flowers and fruits, that are
not owned by any body, as they come, when one desires to do any act. One
should not live by the occupation of an artisan, nor should one covet
gold. One should not hate, nor teach (one that does not seek to be
taught); nor should one have any belongings. One should eat only what is
consecrated by faith. One should abstain from controversies. One should
follow that course of conduct which has been said to be nectarine. One
should never be attached to anything, and should never enter into
relations of intimacy with any creature. One should not perform, nor
cause to perform, any such action as involves expectation of fruit or
destruction of life or the hoarding of wealth or articles. Rejecting all
objects, content with a very little, one should wander about (homeless)
pursuing an equal behaviour towards all creatures mobile and immobile.
One should never annoy another being; not should one be annoyed with
another. He who is trusted by all creatures is regarded as the foremost
of those persons that understand Emancipation. One should not think of
the past, nor feel anxious about the future. One should disregard the
present, biding time, with concentrated mind.[141] One should never
defile anything by eye, mind, or speech. Nor should one do anything that
is wrong, openly or in secret. Withdrawing one’s senses like the tortoise
withdrawing its limbs, one should attenuate one’s senses and mind,
cultivate a thoroughly peaceful understanding, and seek to master every
topic. Freed from all pairs of opposites, never bending one’s head in
reverence, abstaining from the rites requiring the utterance of Swaha,
one should be free from mineness, and egoism. With cleansed soul, one
should never seek to acquire what one has not and protect what one has.
Free from expectations, divested of qualities, wedded to tranquillity,
one should be free from all attachments and should depend on none.
Attached to one’s own self and comprehending all topics, one becomes
emancipated without doubt. Those who perceive the self, which is without
hands and feet and back, which is without head and without stomach, which
is free from the operation of all qualities, which is absolute,
untainted, and stable, which is without smell, without taste, and touch,
without colour, and without sound, which is to be comprehended (by close
study), which is unattached, which is without flesh, which is free from
anxiety, unfading, and divine, and, lastly, which though dwelling in a
house resides in all creatures, succeed in escaping death. There the
understanding reaches not, nor the senses, nor the deities, nor the
Vedas, nor sacrifices, nor the regions (of superior bliss), nor penance,
nor vows. The attainment to it by those who are possessed of knowledge is
said to be without comprehension of symbols. Hence, the man who knows the
properties of that which is destitute of symbols, should practise the
truths of piety.[142] The learned man, betaking himself to a life of
domesticity, should adopt that conduct which is conformable to true
knowledge. Though undeluded, he should practise piety after the manner of
one that is deluded, without finding fault with it. Without finding fault
with the practices of the good, he should himself adopt such a conduct
for practising piety as may induce others to always disrespect him. That
man who is endued with such a conduct is said to be the foremost of
ascetics. The senses, the objects of the senses, the (five) great
elements, mind, understanding, egoism, the unmanifest, Purusha also,
after comprehending these duly with the aid of correct inferences, one
attains to Heaven, released from all bonds. One conversant with the
truth, understanding these at the time of the termination of his life,
should meditate, exclusively resting on one point. Then, depending on
none, one attains to Emancipation. Freed from all attachments, like the
wind in space, with his accumulations exhausted, without distress of any
kind, he attains to his highest goal.'”


“Brahmana said. ‘The ancients who were utterers of certain truth, say
that Renunciation is penance. Brahmanas, dwelling in that which has
Brahman for its origin, understand Knowledge to be high Brahman.[143]
Brahman is very far off, and its attainments depends upon a knowledge of
the Vedas. It is free from all pairs of opposites, it is divested of all
qualities; it is eternal; it is endued with unthinkable qualities: it is
supreme. It is by knowledge and penance that those endued with wisdom
behold that which is the highest. Verily, they that are of untainted
minds, that are cleansed of every sin, and that have transcended all
passion and darkness (succeed in beholding it). They who are always
devoted to renunciation, and who are conversant with the Vedas, succeed
in attaining to the supreme Lord who is identical with the path of
happiness and peace, by the aid of penance. Penance, it has been said, is
light. Conduct leads to piety. Knowledge is said to be the highest.
Renunciation is the best penance. He who understands self through
accurate determination of all topics, which is unperturbed, which is
identical with Knowledge, and which resides in all entities, succeeds in
going everywhere. The learned man who beholds association, and
dissociation, and unity in diversity, is released from misery. He who
never desires for anything, who despises nothing, becomes eligible, even
when dwelling in this world, for assimilation with Brahman. He who is
conversant with the truths about qualities of Pradhana, and understands
the Pradhana as existing in all entities who is free from mineness and
egoism, without doubt becomes emancipated. He who is freed from all pairs
of opposites, who does not bend his head to any body, who has transcended
the rites of Swadha, succeeds by the aid of tranquillity alone in
attaining to that which is free from pairs of opposites, which is
eternal, and which is divested of qualities. Abandoning all action, good
or bad, developed from qualities, and casting off both truth and
falsehood, a creature, without doubt, becomes emancipated. Having the
unmanifest for the seed of its origin, with the understanding for its
trunk, with the great principle of egoism for its assemblage of boughs,
with the senses for the cavities of its little sprouts, with the (five)
great elements for its large branches, the objects of the senses for its
smaller branches, with leaves that are ever present, with flowers that
always adorn it and with fruits both agreeable and disagreeable always
produced, is the eternal tree of Brahman which forms the support of all
creatures. Cutting and piercing that tree with knowledge of truth as the
sword, the man of wisdom, abandoning the bonds which are made of
attachment and which cause birth, decrepitude and death, and freeing
himself from mineness and egoism, without doubt, becomes emancipated.
These are the two birds, which are immutable, which are friends, and
which should be known as unintelligent. That other who is different from
these two is called the Intelligent. When the inner self, which is
destitute of knowledge of nature, which is (as it were) unintelligent,
becomes conversant with that which is above nature, then, understanding
the Kshetra, and endued with an intelligence that transcends all
qualities and apprehends everything, one becomes released from all sins.'”


“Brahmana said, ‘Some regard Brahman as a tree. Some regard Brahman as a
great forest. Some regard Brahman as unmanifest. Some regard it as
transcendant and freed from every distress. They think that all this is
produced from and absorbed into the unmanifest. He who, even for the
short space of time that is taken by a single breath, when his end comes,
becomes equable, attaining to the self, fits himself for immortality.
Restraining the self in the self, even for the space of a wink, one goes,
through the tranquillity of the self, to that which constitutes the
inexhaustible acquisition of those that are endued with knowledge.
Restraining the life-breaths again and again by controlling them
according to the method called Pranayama, by the ten or the twelve, he
attains to that which is beyond the four and twenty. Thus having first
acquired a tranquil soul, one attains to the fruition of all one’s
wishes.[144] When the quality of Goodness predominates in that which
arises from the Unmanifest, it becomes fit for immortality. They who are
conversant with Goodness applaud it highly, saying that there is nothing
higher than Goodness. By inference we know that Purusha is dependent on
Goodness. Ye best of regenerate ones, it is impossible to attain to
Purusha by any other means. Forgiveness, courage, abstention from harm,
equability, truth, sincerity, knowledge, gift, and renunciation, are said
to be the characteristics of that course of conduct which arises out of
Goodness. It is by this inference that the wise believe in the identity
of Purusha and Goodness, There is no doubt in this. Some learned men that
are devoted to knowledge assert the unity of Kshetrajna and Nature. This,
however, is not correct. It is said that Nature is different from
Purusha: that also will imply a want to consideration. Truly, distinction
and association should be known (as applying to Purusha and Nature).
Unity and diversity are likewise laid down. That is the doctrine of the
learned. In the Gnat and Udumbara both unity and diversity are seen. As a
fish in water is different from it, such is the relation of the two
(viz., Purusha and Nature). Verily, their relation is like that of water
drops on the leaf of the lotus.'”

“The preceptor continued, ‘Thus addressed, those learned Brahmanas, who
were the foremost of men, felt some doubts and (therefore) they once more
questioned the Grandsire (of all creatures).'”[145]


“The Rishis said,–‘Which among the duties is deemed to be the most
worthy of being performed? The diverse modes of duty, we see, are
contradictory. Some say that (it remains) after the body (is destroyed).
Others say that it does not exist. Some say that everything is doubtful.
Others have no doubts.[146] Some say that the eternal (principle) is not
eternal. Some say that it exists, and some that it exists not. Some say
it is of one form, or two-fold, and others that it is mixed. Some
Brahmanas who are conversant with Brahman and utterers of truth regard it
to be one. Others, that it is distinct; and others again that it is
manifold. Some say that both time and space exist; others, that it is not
so. Some bear matted locks on their heads and are clad in deer-skins.
Others have shaven crowns and go entirely naked. Some are for entire
abstention from bathing, and some for bathing. Such differences of views
may be seen among deities and Brahmanas conversant with Brahman and
endued with perceptions of truth. Some are for taking food; while some
are devoted to fasts. Some applaud action; others applaud perfect
tranquillity. Some applaud Emancipation; some, various kinds of
enjoyments. Some desire diverse kinds of wealth; some, poverty. Some say
that means should be resorted to; others, that this is not so. Some are
devoted to a life of abstention from harm; others are addicted to
destruction. Some are for merit and glory, others say that this is not
so. Some are devoted to goodness; others are established on doubt. Some
are for pleasure; some are for pain. Other people say that it is
meditation. Other learned Brahmanas say that it is Sacrifice. Others,
again, say that it is gift. Others applaud penances; others, the study of
the scriptures. Some say that knowledge and renunciation (should be
followed). Others who ponder on the elements say that it is Nature. Some
extol everything; others, nothing. O foremost one of the deities, duty
being thus confused and full of contradictions of various kinds, we are
deluded and unable to come to any conclusion. People stand up for acting,
saying,–This is good,–This is good–He that is attached to a certain
duty applauds that duty as the best. For this reason our understanding
breaks down and our mind is distracted. We therefore, wish, O best of all
beings, to know what is good. It behoves thee to declare to us, after
this, what is (so) mysterious, and what is the cause of the connection
between the Kshetrajna and Nature. Thus addressed by those learned
Brahmanas, the illustrious creator of the worlds, endued with great
intelligence and possessed of a righteous soul, declared to them
accurately what they asked.'”


“Brahmana said, ‘Well then, I shall declare to you what you ask. Learn
what was told by a preceptor to a disciple that came unto him. Hearing it
all, do you settle properly (what it should be). Abstention from harming
any creature is regarded as the foremost of all duties. That is the
highest seat, free from anxiety and constituting an indication of
holiness. The ancients who were beholders of the certain truth, have said
that knowledge is the highest happiness. Hence, one becomes released of
all sins by pure knowledge. They that are engaged in destruction and
harm, they that are infidels in conduct, have to go to Hell in
consequence of their being endued with cupidity and delusion. Those who,
without procrastination, perform acts, impelled thereto by expectation
become repeatedly born in this world and sport in joy. Those men who,
endued with learning and wisdom, perform acts with faith, free from
expectations, and possessed of concentration of mind, are said to
perceive clearly. I shall, after this, declare how the association and
the dissociation takes place of Kshetrajna and Nature. Ye best of men,
listen. The relation here is said to be that between the object and the
subject.[147] Purusha is always the subject; and Nature has been said to
be the object. It has been explained, by what has been said in a previous
portion of the discourse where it has been pointed out, that they exist
after the manner of the Gnat and the Udumbara. An object of enjoyment as
it is, Nature is unintelligent and knows nothing. He, however, who enjoys
it, is said to know it. Kshetrajna being enjoyer, Nature is enjoyed. The
wise have said that Nature is always made up of pairs of opposites (and
consists of qualities). Kshetrajna is, on the other hand, destitute of
pairs of opposites, devoid of parts, eternal, and free, as regards its
essence, from qualities. He resides in everything alike, and walks, with
knowledge. He always enjoys Nature, as a lotus leaf (enjoys) water.
Possessed of knowledge, he is never tainted even if brought into contact
with all the qualities. Without doubt, Purusha is unattached like the
unsteady drop of water on the lotus-leaf. This is the certain conclusion
(of the scriptures) that Nature is the property of Purusha. The relation
between these two (viz., Purusha and Nature) is like that existing
between matter and its maker. As one goes into a dark place taking a
light with him, even so those who wish for the Supreme proceed with the
light of Nature.[148] As long as matter and quality (which are like oil
and wick) exist, so long the light shines. The flame, however, becomes
extinguished when matter and quality (or oil and wick) are exhausted.
Thus Nature is manifest; while Purusha is said to be unmanifest.
Understand this, ye learned Brahmanas. Well, I shall now tell you
something more. With even a thousand (explanations), one that has a bad
understanding succeeds not in acquiring knowledge. One, however, that is
endued with intelligence succeeds in attaining happiness, through only a
fourth share (of explanations). Thus should the accomplishment of duty be
understood as dependent on means. For the man of intelligence, having
knowledge of means, succeeds in attaining to supreme felicity. As some
man travelling along a road without provisions for his journey, proceeds
with great discomfort and may even meet with destruction before he
reaches the end of his journey, even so should it be known that ill acts
there may not be fruits.[149] The examination of what is agreeable and
what is disagreeable in one’s own self is productive of benefit.[150] The
progress in life of a man that is devoid of the perception of truth is
like that of a man who rashly journeys on a long road unseen before. The
progress, however, of those that are endued with intelligence is like
that of men who journey along the same road, riding on a car unto which
are yoked (fleet) steeds and which moves with swiftness. Having ascended
to the top of a mountain, one should not cast one’s eyes on the surface
of the earth.[151] Seeing a man, even though travelling on a car,
afflicted and rendered insensible by pain, the man of intelligence
journeys on a car as long as there is a car path.[152] The man of
learning, when he sees the car path end, abandons his car for going on.
Even thus proceeds the man of intelligence who is conversant with the
ordinances respecting truth and Yoga (or Knowledge and Devotion).
Conversant with the qualities, such a man proceeds, comprehending what is
next and next.[153] As one that plunges, without a boat, into the
terrible ocean, with only one’s two arms, through delusion, undoubtedly
wishes for destruction; while the man of wisdom, conversant with
distinctions, goes into the water, with a boat equipt with oars, and soon
crosses the lake without fatigue, and having crossed it attains to the
other shore and casts off the boat, freed from the thought of meum. This
has been already explained by the illustration of the car and the
pedestrian. One who has been overwhelmed by delusion in consequence of
attachment, adheres to it like a fisherman to his boat. Overcome by the
idea of meum, one wanders within its narrow range. After embarking on a
boat it is not possible in moving about on land. Similarly, it is not
possible in moving about on water after one has mounted on a car. There
are thus various actions with regard to various objects. And as action is
performed in this world, so does it result to those that perform them.
That which is void of smell, void of taste, and void of touch and sound,
that which is meditated upon by the sages with the aid of their
understanding, is said to be Pradhana. Now, Pradhana is unmanifest. A
development of the unmanifest is Mahat. A development of Pradhana when it
has become Mahat is Egoism. From egoism is produced the development
called the great elements. And of the great elements respectively, the
objects of sense are said to be the developments. The unmanifest is of
the nature of seed. It is productive in its essence. It has been heard by
us that the great soul has the virtues of a seed, and that is a product.
Egoism is of the nature of seed and is a product again and again. And the
five great elements are of the nature of seed and products. The objects
of the five great elements are endued with the nature of seed, and yield
products. These have Chitta for their property. Among them, space has one
quality; wind is said to have two. Light, it is said, is endued with
three qualities; and water as possessed of four qualities. Earth, teeming
with mobiles and immobiles, should be known as possessed of five
qualities. She is a goddess that is the source of all entities and
abounds with examples of the agreeable and the disagreeable. Sound,
likewise touch, colour, taste, and smell numbering the fifth,–these are
the five qualities of earth, ye foremost of regenerate persons. Smell
always belongs to earth, and smell is said to be of various kinds. I
shall state at length the numerous qualities of smell. Smell is agreeable
or disagreeable, sweet, sour, pungent, diffusive and compact, oily and
dry, and clear. Thus smell, which belongs to the earth, should be known
as of ten kinds.[154] Sound, touch, likewise colour, and taste have been
said to be the qualities of water. I shall now speak of the qualities of
Taste. Taste has been said to be of various kinds. Sweet, sour, pungent,
bitter, astringent, and saline likewise. Taste, which has been said to
appertain to water, is thus of six varieties. Sound, touch, and likewise
colour,–these are the three qualities which light is said to be
possessed of. Colour is the quality of light, and colour is said to be of
various kinds. White, dark, likewise red, blue, yellow, and grey also,
and short, long, minute, gross, square and circular, of these twelve
varieties in colour which belongs to light. These should be understood by
Brahmanas venerable for years, conversant with duties, and truthful in
speech. Sound and touch should be known as the two qualities of wind.
Touch has been said to be of various kinds. Rough, cold and like wise
hot, tender and clear, hard, oily, smooth, slippery, painful and soft, of
twelve kinds is touch, which is the quality of wind, as said by Brahmanas
crowned with success, conversant with duties, and possessed of a sight of
truth. Now space has only one quality, and that is said to be sound. I
shall speak at length of the numerous qualities of sound. Shadaja,
Rishabha, together with Gandhara, Madhyama, and likewise Panchama; after
this should be known Nishada, and then Dhaivata.[155] Besides these,
there are agreeable sounds and disagreeable sounds, compact, and of many
ingredients. Sound which is born of space should thus be known to be of
ten kinds. Space is the highest of the (five) elements. Egoism is above
it. Above egoism is understanding. Above understanding is the soul. Above
the soul is the Unmanifest. Above the Unmanifest is Purusha. One who
knows which is superior and inferior among existent creatures, who is
conversant with the ordinances in respect of all acts, and who
constitutes himself the soul of all creatures, attains to the Unfading


“Brahmana said, ‘Since the mind is the ruler of these five elements, in
the matter of controlling and bringing them forth, the mind, therefore,
is the soul of the elements. The mind always presides over the great
elements. The understanding proclaims power, and is called the
Kshetrajna.[156] The mind yokes the senses as a charioteer yokes good
steeds. The senses, the mind, and the understanding are always joined to
the Kshetrajna. The individual soul, mounting the chariot to which big
steeds are yoked and which has the understanding for the reins, drives
about on all sides. With all the senses attached to it (for steeds), with
the mind for the charioteer, and the understanding for the eternal reins,
exists the great Brahman-car. Verily, that man endued with learning and
wisdom who always understands the Brahman-car in this way, is never
overwhelmed by delusion in the midst of all entities. This forest of
Brahman begins with the Unmanifest and ends with gross objects. It
includes mobile and immobile entities, and receives light from the
radiance of the sun and the moon, and is adorned with planets and
constellations. It is decked, again, on all sides with nets of rivers and
mountains. It is always embellished likewise by diverse kinds of waters.
It is the means of subsistence for all creatures. It is, again, the goal
of all living creatures. In that forest the Kshetrajna always moves
about. Whatever entities exist in this world, mobile and immobile, are
the very first to be dissolved away. After this (are dissolved) those
qualities which compose all entities. After the qualities (are dissolved)
the five elements. Such is the gradation of entities. Gods, men,
Gandharvas, Pisachas, Asuras, and Rakshasas, have all sprung from Nature,
and not from actions, not from a cause. The Brahmanas, who are creators
of the universe, are born here again and again. All that springs from
them dissolves, when the time comes, in those very five great elements
like billows in the ocean. All the great elements are beyond those
elements that compose the universe. He that is released from those five
elements goes to the highest goal. The puissant Prajapati created all
this by the mind only. After the same manner Rishis attained to the
status of deities by the aid of penance. After the same manner, those who
have achieved perfection, who were capable of the concentration of Yoga,
and who subsist on fruits and roots, likewise perceive the triple world
by penance. Medicines and herbs and all the diverse sciences are acquired
by means of penance alone, for all acquisition has penance for its root.
Whatever is difficult of acquisition, difficult to learn, difficult to
vanquish, difficult to pass through, are all achievable by penance, for
penance is irresistible. One that drinks alcoholic liquors, one that
slays a Brahmana, one that steals, one that destroys a foetus, one that
violates one’s preceptor’s bed, becomes cleansed of such sin by penance
well performed. Human beings, Pitris, deities, (sacrificial) animals,
beasts and birds, and all other creatures mobile and immobile, by always
devoting themselves to penances, become crowned with success by penance
alone. In like manner, the deities, endued with great powers of illusion,
have attained to Heaven. Those who without idleness perform acts with
expectations, being full of egoism, approach the presence of Prajapati.
Those high-souled ones, however, who are devoid of mineness and freed
from egoism through the pure contemplation of Yoga, attain to the great
and highest regions. Those who best understand the self, having attained
to Yoga contemplation and having their minds always cheerful, enter into
the unmanifest accumulation of happiness. Those persons who are freed
from the idea of mineness as also from egoism and who are reborn after
having attained to the fullness of Yoga contemplation, enter (when they
depart from such life) into the highest region reserved for the great,
viz., the Unmanifest. Born from that same unmanifest (principle) and
attaining to the same once more, freed from the qualities of Darkness and
Passion, and adhering to only the quality of Goodness, one becomes
released from every sin and creates all things.[157] Such a one should be
known to be Kshetrajna in perfection. He that knows him, knows the
Veda.[158] Attaining to pure knowledge from (restraining) the mind, the
ascetic should sit self-restrained. One necessarily becomes that on which
one’s mind is set. This is an eternal mystery. That which has the
unmanifest for its beginning and gross qualities for its end, has been
said to have Ne-science for its indication. But do you understand that
whose nature is destitute of qualities? Of two syllables is Mrityu
(death); of three syllable is the eternal Brahman. Mineness is death, and
the reverse of mineness is the eternal.[159] Some men who are led by bad
understanding applaud action. Those, however, that are numbered among the
high-souled ancients never applaud action. By action is a creature born
with body which is made up of the sixteen.[160] (True) Knowledge swallows
up Purusha (Self with consciousness of body). Even this is what is highly
acceptable to eaters of Amrita.[161] Therefore, those whose vision
extends to the other end (of the ocean of life) have no attachment for
actions. This Purusha, however, is full of knowledge and not full of
action.[162] He dies not who understands Him that is immortal, immutable,
incomprehensible, eternal and indestructible–Him that is the restrained
Soul and that transcends all attachments. He who thus understands the
Soul to which there is nothing prior which is uncreated, immutable,
unconquered, and incomprehensible even to those that are eaters of
nectar, certainly becomes himself incomprehensible and immortal through
these means. Expelling all impressions and restraining the Soul in the
Soul, he understands that auspicious Brahman than which nothing greater
exists. Upon the understanding becoming clear, he succeeds in attaining
to tranquillity. The indication of tranquillity is like what takes place
in a dream.[163] This is the goal of these emancipated ones who are
intent on knowledge. They behold all those movements which are born of
successive developments.[164] This is the goal of those who are
unattached to the world, This is the eternal usage. This is the
acquisition of men of knowledge. This is the uncensured mode of conduct.
This goal is capable of being attained by one that is alike to all
creatures, that is without attachment, that is without expectations, and
that looks equally on all things. I have now declared everything to you,
ye foremost of regenerate Rishis. Do you act in this way forthwith; you
will then acquire success.’

“The preceptor continued, ‘Thus addressed by the preceptor Brahma, those
high-souled sages acted accordingly and then attained to many regions (of
great felicity). Do thou also, O blessed one, duly act according to the
words of Brahma as declared by me, O thou of pure soul. Thou wilt then
attain to success.’

“Vasudeva said,–‘Thus instructed in the principles of high religion by
the preceptor, the pupil, O son of Kunti, did everything accordingly, and
then attained to Emancipation. Having done all that he should have done,
the pupil, O perpetuator of Kuru’s race, attained to that seat repairing
whither one has not to grieve.’

“Arjuna said, ‘Who, indeed, was that Brahmana, O Krishna, and who the
pupil, O Janarddana. Truly, if it is fit to be heard by me, do thou then
tell me, O lord!’

“Vasudeva said, ‘I am the preceptor, O mighty-armed one, and know that
the mind is my pupil. Through my affection for thee, O Dhananjaya, I have
related this mystery to thee. If thou hast any love for me, O perpetuator
of Kuru’s race, do thou then, after having heard these instructions
relating to the Soul, always act duly (according to them), O thou of
excellent vows. Then when this religion has been duly practised, O mower
of foes, thou wilt become freed from all thy sins and attain to absolute
emancipation. Formerly, when the hour of battle came, this very religion,
O thou of mighty arms, was declared by me (to thee)! Do thou, therefore,
set thy mind on it. And now, O chief of Bharata’s race, it is long since
that I saw the lord my sire. I wish to see him again, with thy leave, O

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Unto Krishna who had said so, Dhananjaya said
in reply,–We shall go to-day from this town to the city called after the
elephant. Meeting king Yudhishthira of virtuous soul there, and informing
him (of thy intention) thou shalt then repair to thy own city!'”


“Vaisampayana said, ‘After this, Krishna ordered Daruka, saying–Let my
car be yoked.–Within a very short space of time Daruka informed (his
master), saying,–It has been yoked.–The son of Pandu then commanded all
his attendants, saying,–Prepare yourselves and be ready. We shall repair
to-day to the city named after the elephant. Thus addressed, O king,
those troops accoutred themselves, and informed Pritha’s son of
immeasurable energy, saying,–Everything is equipt. Then those two, viz.,
Krishna and the son of Pandu, ascended their car and proceeded on the
journey, the loving friends engaged the while in delightful conversation.
Unto Vasudeva seated on the car, Dhananjaya of great energy once more
said these words, O chief of Bharata’s race!–O perpetuator of the
Vrishni race, the king has obtained victory through thy grace. All his
foes have been slain, and he has recovered his kingdom without a thorn in
it (to make it disagreeable). O slayer of Madhu, through thee the
Pandavas are endued with a powerful protector. Having obtained thee for
our raft we have crossed the Kuru ocean. O thou that hast this universe
for thy handiwork, salutations to thee, O Soul of the universe, O best of
all beings in the universe. I know thee in that measure in which I am
approved by thee.[165] O slayer of Madhu, the soul of every creature is
always born of thy energy. Playful sport (in the from of creation,
preservation, and destruction) is thine. Earth and sky, O lord, are thy
illusion. This whole universe, consisting of mobile and immobile objects,
is established on thee. Thou createst, by modification, the four orders
of Being (viz., viviparous, oviparous, filth-born, and vegetables). Thou
createst the Earth, the Welkin, and Heaven, O slayer of Madhu. The
stainless lunar light is thy smile. The seasons are thy senses. The
ever-moving wind is thy breath, and death, existing eternally, is thy
wrath. In thy grace is the goddess of prosperity. Verily, Sree is always
established in thee, O thou of the highest intelligence. Thou art the
sport (in which creatures engage); thou art their contentment; thou their
intelligence, thou their forgiveness, thou their inclinations, thou their
beauty. Thou art the universe with its mobile and immobile objects. At
the end of the cycle, it is thou, O sinless one, that art called
destruction. I am incapable of reciting all thy qualities in course of
even a long period. Thou art the Soul and the Supreme Soul. I bow to
thee, O thou of eyes like the petals of the lotus. O thou that art
irresistible, I have learnt it from Narada and Devala and the Island-born
(Vyasa), and the Kuru grandsire also, that all this (universe) rests on
thee. Thou art the one Lord of all creatures. This, O sinless one, that
thou hast declared unto me in consequence of thy favour for myself, I
shall duly accomplish in its entirety, O Janarddana. Exceedingly
wonderful is this which thou hast done from desire of doing what is
agreeable to us, viz., the destruction in battle of the Kaurava (prince),
the son of Dhritarashtra. Thai host had been burnt by thee which I
(subsequently) vanquished in battle. That feat was achieved by thee in
consequence of which victory became mine. By the power of thy
intelligence was shown the means by which was duly affected the
destruction of Duryodhana in battle, as also of Karna, as of the sinful
icing of the Sindhus; and Bhurisravas. I shall accomplish all that which,
O son of Devaki, pleased with me thou hast declared to myself. I do not
entertain any scruple in this. Repairing to king Yudhishthira of
righteous soul, I shall, O sinless one, urge him to dismiss thee, O thou
that art conversant with every duty. O lord, thy departure for Dwaraka
meets with my approbation. Thou shalt soon see my maternal uncle, O
Janarddana. Thou shalt also see the irresistible Valadeva and other
chiefs of the Vrishni race.–Thus conversing with each other, the two
reached the city named after the elephant. They then, with cheerful
hearts, and without any anxiety, entered the palace of Dhritarashtra
which resembled the mansion of Sakra. They then saw, O monarch, king
Dhritarashtra, and Vidura of great intelligence, and king Yudhishthira
and the irresistible Bhimasena, and the two sons of Madri by Pandu; and
the unvanquished Yuyatsu, seated before Dhritarashtra and Gandhari of
great wisdom, and Pritha, and the beautiful Krishna, and the other ladies
of Bharata’s race with Subhadra counting first. They also saw all those
ladies that used to wait upon Gandhari. Then approaching king
Dhritarashtra, those two chastisers of foes announced their names and
touched his feet. Indeed, those high-souled ones also touched the feet of
Gandhari and Pritha and king Yudhishthira the Just, and Bhima. Embracing
Vidura also, they enquired after his welfare. In the company of all those
persons, Arjuna and Krishna then approached king Dhritarashtra (again).
Night came and then king Dhritarashtra of great intelligence dismissed
all those perpetuators of Kuru’s race as also Janarddana for retiring to
their respective chambers. Permitted by the king all of them entered
their respective apartments. Krishna of great energy proceeded to the
apartments of Dhananjaya. Worshipped duly and furnished with every object
of comfort and enjoyment, Krishna of great intelligence passed the night
in happy sleep with Dhananjaya as his companion. When the night passed
away and morning came, the two heroes, finishing their morning rites and
dealing their persons properly, proceeded to the mansion of king
Yudhishthira the just. There Yudhishthira the just, of great might, sat
with his ministers. The two high-souled ones, entering that well-adorned
chamber, beheld king Yudhishthira the just like the two Aswins beholding
the chief of the celestials. Meeting the king, he of Vrishni’s race as
also that foremost hero of Kuru’s race, obtaining the permission of
Yudhishthira who was highly pleased with them, sat themselves down. Then
the king, gifted with great intelligence, seeing those two friends,
became desirous of addressing them. Soon that best of monarchs, that
foremost of speakers addressed them in the following words.’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Ye heroes, ye foremost ones of Yadu’s and Kuru’s
race, it seems that ye two are desirous of saying something to me. Do ye
say what is in your mind. I shall soon accomplish it. Do not hesitate.’

“Thus addressed, Phalguna, well conversant with speech, humbly approached
king Yudhishthira the just and then said these words.–‘Vasudeva here, of
great prowess, O king, is long absent from home. He desires, with thy
permission, to see his sire. Let him go, if thou thinkest it meet, to the
city of the Anarttas. It behoveth thee; O hero, to grant him permission!’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘O lotus-eyed one, blessed be thou. O slayer of
Madhu, do thou go this very day to the city of Dwaravati for seeing, O
puissant one, that foremost one of Sura’s race. O mighty-armed Kesava,
thy departure is approved by me. Thou hast not seen my maternal uncle as
also the goddess Devaki, for a long time. Meeting my maternal uncle and
repairing to Valadeva also, O giver of honours, thou wilt, O thou of
great wisdom, worship both of them at my word as they deserve.[166] Do
thou also think of me daily as also of Bhima, that foremost of mighty
men, and of Phalguna and Nakula and Sahadeva, O giver of honours. Having
seen the Anarttas, and thy sire, O mighty-armed one, and the Vrishnis,
thou wilt come back to my horse-sacrifice, O sinless one. Do thou then
depart, taking with thee diverse kinds of gems and various sorts of
wealth. Do thou, O hero of the Satwata race, also take with thee whatever
else thou likest. It is through thy grace, O Kesava, that the whole
Earth, O hero, has come under our dominion and all our foes have been

When king Yudhishthira the just of Kuru’s race said so, Vasudeva, that
foremost of men, said these words (in reply).

“Vasudeva said, ‘O mighty-armed one, all jewels and gems, all wealth, and
the entire Earth, are thine and thine alone. Whatever wealth exists in
my, abode, thou, O lord, art always the owner thereof.’ Unto him
Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma, said,–‘Be it so’–and then duly
worshipped (Krishna) the eldest brother, endued with great energy, of
Gada. Vasudeva then proceeded to his paternal aunt (Kunti). Duly
honouring her, he circumambulated her person. He was properly accosted by
her in return, and then by all the others having Vidura for their first.
The four-armed eldest brother of Gada then set out from Nagapura on his
excellent car.[167] Placing his sister, the lady Subhadra, on the car,
the mighty-armed Janarddana then, with the permission of both
Yudhishthira and (Kunti) his paternal aunt, set out, accompanied by a
large train of citizens. The hero who had the foremost of apes on his
banner, as also Satyaki, and the two sons of Madravati, and Vidura of
immeasurable intelligence, and Bhima himself whose tread resembled that
of a prince of elephants, all followed Madhava. Janarddana of mighty
energy causing all those extenders of the Kuru kingdom and Vidura also to
return, addressed Daraka, and Satyaki, saying,–‘Urge the steeds to
speed.’ Then that grinder of hostile masses, viz., Janarddana of great
prowess, accompanied by Satyaki, the foremost one of Sini’s race,
proceeded to the city of the Anarttas, after having slain all his foes,
like He of a hundred sacrifices proceeding to Heaven (after slaughtering
all his foes).’


“Vaisampayana said, ‘As he of Vrishni’s race was proceeding to Dwaraka,
those foremost princes of Bharata’s race, those chastisers of foes
embraced him and fell back with their attendants. Phalguna repeatedly
embraced the Vrishni hero, and as long as he was within the range of
vision, he repeatedly turned his eyes towards him. With great difficulty,
the son of Pritha withdrew his gaze that had fallen on Govinda. The
unvanquished Krishna also (did the same). The indications that were
manifested on the occasion of that high-souled one’s departure, I shall
now detail. Do thou listen to me. The wind blew with great speed before
the car, clearing the path of sand-grains and dust and thorns. Vasava
rained pure and fragrant showers and celestial flowers before the wielder
of Saranga. As the mighty-armed hero proceeded, he came upon the desert
ill supplied with water. There he beheld that foremost of ascetics, named
Utanka, of immeasurable energy. The hero of large eyes and great energy
worshipped that ascetic. He was then worshipped by the ascetic in return.
Vasudeva then enquired after his welfare. That foremost of Brahmanas,
viz., Utanka, politely accosted by Madhava, honoured him duly and then
addressed him in these words.–‘O Saurin, having repaired to the mansions
of the Kurus and the Pandavas, hast thou succeeded in establishing a
durable understanding between them such as should exist between brothers?
It behoves thee to tell me everything. Dost thou come, O Kesava, after
having united them in peace,–them that are thy relatives and that are
ever dear to thee, O foremost one of Vrishni’s race? Will the five sons
of Pandu, and the children of Dhritarashtra, O scorcher of foes, sport in
the world in joy with thee? Will all the kings enjoy happiness in their
respective kingdoms, in consequence of the pacification of the Kauravas
brought about by thee? Has that trust, O son, which I had always reposed
on thee, borne fruit with regard to the Kauravas?’

“The blessed and holy one said, ‘I strove my best at first, for bringing
about a good understanding, in regard to the Kauravas. When I could not
by any means succeed in establishing them on peace, it happened that all
of them, with their relatives and kinsmen, met with death. It is
impossible to transgress destiny by either intelligence or might. O great
Rishi, O sinless one, this also cannot be unknown to thee. They (the
Kauravas) transgressed the counsels which Bhishma and Vidura gave them
referring to me.[168] Encountering one another they then became guests of
Yama’s abode. Only the five Pandavas constitute the remnant of the
unslain, all their friends and all their children having been
slaughtered. All the sons of Dhritarashtra also with their children and
kinsmen, have been slain.’ When Krishna had said these words, Utanka,
filled with wrath, and with eyes expanded in rage, addressed him in these

“Utanka said,–‘Since, though able, O Krishna, thou didst not rescue
those foremost ones of Kuru’s race, who were thy relatives and,
therefore, dear to thee, I shall, without doubt, curse thee. Since thou
didst not forcibly compel them to forbear, therefore, O slayer of Madhu,
I shall, filled with wrath, denounce a curse on thee. It seems, O
Madhava, that though fully able (to save them), thou wert indifferent to
these foremost of Kurus who, overwhelmed by insincerity and hypocrisy
have all met with destruction.’

“Vasudeva said, ‘O scion of Bhrigu’s race, listen to what I say in
detail. Do thou accept my apologies also. O thou of Bhrigu’s race, thou
art an ascetic. After having heard my words relating to the soul, thou
mayst then utter thy curse. No man is able, by a little ascetic merit, to
put me down. O foremost of ascetics, I do not wish to see the destruction
of all thy penances. Thou hast a large measure of blazing penances. Thou
hast gratified thy preceptors and seniors.[169] O foremost of regenerate
ones, I know that thou hast observed the rules of Brahmacharyya from the
days of thy infancy. I do not, therefore, desire the loss or diminution
of thy penances achieved with so much pain.'”


“Utanka said, ‘Do thou, O Kesava, tell me that faultless Adhyatma. Having
heard thy discourse I shall ordain what is for thy good or denounce a
curse to thee, O Janarddana.’

“Vasudeva said, ‘Know that the three qualities of Darkness and Passion
and Goodness exist, depending on me as their refuge. So also, O
regenerate one, know that the Rudras and the Vasus have sprung from me.
In me are all creatures, and in all creatures do I exist; know this. Let
no doubt arise in thy mind respecting this. So also, O regenerate one,
know that all the tribes of the Daityas, all the Yakshas, Gandharvas,
Rakshasas, Nagas. Apsaras, have sprung from me. Whatever has been called
existent and non-existent, whatever is manifest and not-manifest,
whatever is destructible and indestructible, all have me for their soul.
Those fourfold courses of duty which, O ascetic, are known to attach to
the (four) modes of life, and all the Vedic duties, have me for their
soul. Whatever is non-existent, whatever is existent and non-existent,
and whatever transcends that which is existent and non-existent,–all
these which constitute the universe–are from me. There is nothing higher
(or beyond) me who am the eternal god of gods.[170] O perpetuator of
Bhrigu’s race, know that all the Vedas beginning with (the original
syllable) Om are identical with me. Know, O son of Bhrigu’s race, that I
am the sacrificial stake; I am the Soma (drunk in sacrifices); I am the
Charu (cooked in sacrifices for being offered to the deities); I am the
Homa (that is performed); I am those acts which sacrificers perform for
gratifying the deities; I am even the pourer of the sacrificial libation:
and I am the Havi or libation that is poured. I am the Adharyu. I am the
Kalpaka; and I am the highly sanctified sacrificial Havi. It is me whom
the Udgatri, in the great sacrifice, hymns by the sound of his songs. In
all rites of expiation, O Brahmana, the utterers of auspicious Mantras
and benedictions fraught with peace hymn my praises who am the artificer,
O foremost of regenerate ones, of the universe. Know, O best of
regenerate person, that Dharma is my eldest-born offspring, sprung from
my mind, O learned Brahmana, whose essence is compassion for all
creatures. Constantly transforming myself, I take birth in diverse wombs,
O best of men, for upholding that son of mine, with the aid of men now
existing in or departed from the world. Indeed, I do this for protecting
Righteousness and for establishing it. In those forms that I assume for
the purpose, I am known, O son of Bhrigu’s race, in the three worlds as
Vishnu and Brahman and Sakra. I am the origin and I am the destruction of
all things. I am the creator of all existent objects and I am their
destroyer. Knowing no change myself, I am the destroyer of all those
creatures that live in sinfulness. In every Yuga I have to repair the
causeway of Righteousness, entering into diverse kinds of wombs from
desire of doing good to my creatures. When, O son of Bhrigu’s race, I
live in the order of the deities, I then verily act in every respect as a
deity. When I live in the order of the Gandharvas, I then, O son of
Bhrigu’s race, act in every respect as a Gandharva. When I live in the
order of the Nagas, I then act as a Naga, and when I live in the order of
Yakshas or that of Rakshasas, I act after the manner of that order. Born
now in the order of humanity, I must act as a human being. I appealed to
them (the Kauravas) most piteously. But stupefied as they were and
deprived of their senses, they refused to accept my words. I frightened
them, filled with wrath, referring to some great fear (as the consequence
of their slighting my message). But once more I showed themselves my
usual (human) form. Possessed as they were of unrighteousness, and
assailed by the virtue of Time, all of them have been righteously slain
in battle, and have, without doubt, gone to Heaven. The Pandavas also, O
best of Brahmanas, have acquired great fame. I have thus told thee all
that thou hadst asked me.'”


“Utanka said, ‘I know thee, O Janarddana, to be the creator of the
universe. Without doubt, this knowledge that I have is the result of thy
grace towards me, O thou of unfading glory, my heart is possessed of
cheerful tranquillity in consequence of its being devoted to thee. Know,
O chastiser of foes, that my heart is no longer inclined to curse thee.
If, O Janarddana, I deserve the least grace from thee, do thou then show
me once thy sovereign form.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Gratified with him, the holy one then showed
Utanka that eternal Vaishnava form which Dhananjaya of great intelligence
had seen. Utanka beheld the high-souled Vasudeva’s universal form, endued
with mighty arms. The effulgence of that form was like that of a blazing
fire of a thousand suns. It stood before him filling all space. It had
faces on every side. Beholding that high and wonderful Vaishnava form of
Vishnu, in act, seeing the Supreme Lord (in that guise), the Brahmana
Utanka became filled with wonder.’

“Utanka, said, ‘O thou whose handiwork is the universe, I bow to thee, O
Soul of the universe, O parent of all things. With thy feet thou hast
covered the whole Earth, and with thy head thou fillest the firmament.
That which lies between the Earth and the firmament has been filled by
thy stomach. All the points of the compass are covered by thy arms. O
thou of unfading glory, thou art all this. Do thou withdraw this
excellent and indestructible form of thine. I wish to behold thee now in
thy own (human) form which too is eternal!’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Unto him, O Janamejaya, Govinda of gratified
soul said these words,–‘Do thou ask for some boon’ Unto him Utanka,
however, said–Even this is a sufficient boon from thee for the present,
O thou of great splendour, in that, O Krishna, I have beheld this form of
thine, O foremost of all beings. Krishna, however, once more said unto
him–Do not scruple in this matter. This must be done. A sight of my form
cannot be fruitless.’

“Utanka said, ‘I must accomplish that, O lord, which thou thinkest should
be done. I desire to have water wherever my wish for it may arise. Water
is scarce in such deserts.’ Withdrawing that energy, the Supreme Lord
then said unto Utanka–Whenever thou wilt require water, think of me!
Having said so, he proceeded towards Dwaraka. Subsequently, one day, the
illustrious Utanka, solicitous of water and exceedingly thirsty, wandered
over the desert. In course of his wanderings he thought of Krishna of
unfading glory. The intelligent Rishi then beheld in that desert a naked
hunter (of the Chandala class), all besmeared with dirt, surrounded by a
pack of dogs. Extremely fierce-looking, he carried a sword and was armed
with bow and arrows. That foremost of regenerate ones beheld copious
streams of water issuing from the urinary organs of that hunter. As soon
as Utanka had thought of Krishna, that hunter smilingly addressed him,
saying,–‘O Utanka, O thou of Bhrigu’s race, do thou accept this water
from me. Beholding thee afflicted by thirst I have felt great compassion
for thee.’ Thus addressed by the hunter, the ascetic showed no
inclination to accept that water. The intelligent Utanka even began to
censure Krishna of unfading glory. The hunter, how ever, repeatedly
addressed the Rishi, saying,–‘Drink!’ The ascetic refused to drink the
water thus offered. On the other hand, with heart afflicted by hunger and
thirst, he even gave way to wrath. Disregarded by the high-souled Rishi
through that conviction, the hunter, O king, with his pack of dogs,
disappeared there and then. Beholding that (wonderful) disappearance,
Utanka became filled with shame. He even thought that Krishna, that
slayer of foes, had beguiled him (in the matter of the boon he had
granted). Soon after, the holder of the conch and discus and mace, endued
with great intelligence, came to Utanka by the way (along which the
hunter had come). Addressing Krishna, the Brahmana said,–‘O foremost of
beings, it was scarcely proper for thee to offer water unto foremost of
Brahmanas in the form of a hunter’s urine, O lord.’ Unto Utanka who said
these words, Janarddana of great intelligence replied, comforting him
with many soft words–‘That form which it was proper to assume for
offering thee water, in that form was water offered to thee. But, also,
thou couldst not understand it. The wielder of the thunder bolt,
Purandara, was requested by me for thy sake. My words to that puissant
deity were–‘Do thou give nectar in the form of water unto Utanka.’ The
chief of the celestials replied to me saying–It is not proper that a
mortal should become immortal. Let some other boon be granted to
Utanka.’–O son of Bhrigu’s race, these words were repeatedly addressed
to me. The lord of Sachi, however, was once more requested by me in these
words, viz., even nectar should be given to Utanka.’–The chief of the
celestials then, comforting me, said,–‘If, O thou of great intelligence,
nectar is to be given to him, I shall then assume the form of a hunter
and give it to that high-souled descendant of Bhrigu’s race. If that son
of Bhrigu accepts it thus, I then go to him, O lord, for giving it unto
him. If, however, he sends me away from disregard,–I shall not then give
it to him on any account,–Having made this compact with me, Vasava
appeared before thee, in that disguise, for giving thee nectar. Thou,
however, didst disregard him and send him away, seeing that the
illustrious one had put on the guise of a Chandala. Thy fault has been
great. Once more, with regard to thy desire, I am prepared to do what is
in my power. Indeed, this painful thirst of thine, I shall arrange, shall
be slaked. On those days, O regenerate one, in which thou wilt feel a
desire for water, clouds well-charged with water will rise over this
desert. Those clouds, O son of Bhrigu’s race, will give thee savoury
water to drink. Verily, those clouds will become known in the world as
Utanka-clouds.’ Thus addressed by Krishna, Utanka became filled with
gladness, and to this day, O Bharata, Utanka-clouds (appear and) shower
rain on and deserts.'”


“Janamejaya said, ‘With what penances was the high-souled Utanka endued
so that he entertained the wish to denounce a curse on Vishnu himself,
who is the source of all puissance?’

“Vaisampayana said, ‘O Janamejaya, Utanka was endued with austere
penances. He was devoted to his preceptor. Endued with great energy, he
abstained from worshipping anybody else. All the children of the Rishis O
Bharata, entertained even this wish, viz., that their devotion to
preceptors should be as great as that of Utanka. Gautama’s gratification
with and affection for Utanka, among his numerous disciples, were very
great, O Janamejaya. Indeed, Gautama was highly pleased with the
self-restraint and purity of behaviour that characterised Utanka, and
with his acts of prowess and the services he rendered to him. One after
another, thousands of disciples received the preceptor’s permission to
return home (after the completion of their pupilage). In consequence,
however, of his great affection for Utanka, Gautama could not permit him
to leave his retreat. Gradually, in course of time, O son, decrepitude
overtook Utanka, that great ascetic. The ascetic, however, in consequence
of his devotion to his preceptor, was not conscious of it. One day, he
set out, O monarch, for fetching fuel for his preceptor. Soon after
Utanka brought a heavy load of fuel. Toil-worn and hungry and afflicted
by the load he bore on his head, O chastiser of foes, he threw the load
down on the Earth, O king. One of his matted locks, white as silver, had
become entangled with the load. Accordingly, when the load was thrown
down, with it fell on the earth that matted lock of hair. Oppressed as he
had been by that load and overcome by hunger, O Bharata, Utanka,
beholding that sign of old age, began to indulge in loud lamentations
from excess of sorrow. Conversant with every duty, the daughter of his
preceptor the, who was possessed of eyes that resembled the petals of the
lotus, and of hips that were full and round, at the command of her sire,
sought, with downcast face, to hold Utanka’s tears in her hands. Her
hands seemed to burn with those tear-drops that she held. Unable,
accordingly, to hold them longer, she was obliged to throw them down on
the Earth. The Earth herself was unable to hold those tear-drops of
Utanka. With a gratified heart, Gautama then said unto the regenerate
Utanka,–Why, O son, is thy mind so afflicted with grief today? Tell me
calmly and quietly, O learned Rishi, for I wish to hear it in detail.’

“Utanka said, ‘With mind entirely devoted to thee, and wholly bent upon
doing what is agreeable to thee, with my, heart’s devotion turned to
thee, and with thoughts entirely dwelling on thee, (I have resided here
till) decrepitude has come upon me without my knowing it at all. I have
not, again, known any happiness. Though I have dwelt with thee for a
hundred years, yet thou hast not granted me permission to depart. Many
disciples of thine, that were my juniors, have, however, been permitted
by thee to return. Indeed, hundreds and thousands of foremost Brahmanas
have, equipt with knowledge, been permitted by thee (to depart from thy
retreat and set themselves up as teachers)!’

“Gautama said, ‘Through my love and affection for thee, and in
consequence of thy dutiful services to me, a long time has elapsed
without my knowing it, O foremost of Brahmanas. If, however, O thou of
Bhrigu’s race, the desire is entertained by thee of leaving this place,
do thou go without delay, receiving my permission.’

“Utanka said. ‘What shall I present to my preceptor? Tell me this, O best
of regenerate persons. Having brought it, I shall go hence, O lord, with
thy permission.’

“Gautama said. ‘The good that the gratification of the preceptor is the
final fee.[171] Without doubt, O regenerate one. I have been highly
gratified with thy conduct. Know, O perpetuator of Bhrigu’s race, that I
have been exceedingly gratified with thee for this. If thou becomest a
young man today of sixteen years, I shall bestow on thee, O regenerate
one, this my own daughter for becoming thy wife. No other woman save this
one is capable of waiting upon thy energy.’ At these words of Gautama,
Utanka once again became a youth and accepted that famous maiden for his
wife. Receiving the permission of his preceptor, he then addressed his
preceptor’s wife, saying,–‘What shall I give thee as final fee for my
preceptor? Do thou command me. I desire to accomplish, with wealth or
even my life, what is agreeable and beneficial to thee. Whatever gem,
exceedingly wonderful and of great value, exists in this world, I shall
bring for thee with the aid of my penances. I have no doubt in this.’

“Ahalya said, ‘I am highly gratified with thee, O learned Brahmana, with
thy unintermitting devotion, O sinless one. This is enough. Blessed be
thou, go whithersoever thou likest.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Utanka, however, O monarch, once more, said
these words,–Do thou command me, O mother. It is meet that I should do
something that is agreeable to thee.’

“Ahalya said, ‘Blessed be thou, bring for me those celestial ear-rings
that are worn by the wife of Saudasa. That which is due to thy preceptor
will then be well-discharged.’ Replying unto her ‘So be it,’–Utanka
departed, O Janamejaya, resolved to bring those ear-rings for doing what
was agreeable to his preceptor’s wife. That foremost of Brahmanas,
Utanka, proceeded without any loss of time to Saudasa who had (through
the curse of Vasishtha) become a cannibal, in order to solicit the
ear-rings from him. Gautama meanwhile said unto his wife,–‘Utanka is not
to be seen today.’ Thus addressed, she informed him how he had departed
for fetching the jewelled ear-rings (of Saudasa’s queen). At this,
Gautama said,–‘Thou hast not acted wisely. Cursed (by Vasishtha), that
king (who has been transformed into a man-eater) will verily slay Utanka.’

“Ahalya said, ‘Without knowing this, O holy one, I have set Utanka to
this task. He shall not, however, incur any danger through thy grace.
Thus addressed by her, Gautama said,–‘Let it be so!’ Meanwhile, Utanka
met king Saudasa in a deserted forest.'”


“Vaisampayana said, “Beholding the king, who had become so, of frightful
mien, wearing a long beard smeared with the blood of human beings, the
Brahmana Utanka, O king, did not become agitated. That monarch of great
energy, inspiring terror in every breast and looking like a second Yama,
rising up, addressed Utanka, saying,–‘By good luck, O best of Brahmanas,
thou hast come to me at the sixth hour of the day when I am in search of

“Utanka said, ‘O king, know that I have come hither in course of my
wanderings for the sake of my preceptor. The wise have said that I while
one is employed for the sake of one’s preceptor, one should not be

“The king said, ‘O best of Brahmanas, food has been ordained for me at
the sixth hour of the day. I am hungry. I cannot, therefore, allow thee
to escape today.’

“Utanka said, ‘Let it be so, O king. Let this compact be made with me.
After I have ceased to wander for my preceptor, I shall once more come
and place myself within thy power. It has been heard by me, O best of
kings, that the object I seek for my preceptor is under thy control, O
monarch. Therefore, O ruler of men, I solicit thee for it. Thou daily
givest many foremost of gems unto superior Brahmanas. Thou art a giver, O
chief of men, from whom gifts may be accepted, know that I too am a
worthy object of charity present before thee, O best of kings. Having
accepted from thee in gift that object for my preceptor which is under
thy control, I shall, O king, in consequence of my compact, once more
come back to thee and place myself under thy power. I assure thee truly
of this. There is no falsehood in this. Never before have I spoken
anything untrue, no, not even in jest. What shall I say then of other

“Saudasa said, ‘If the object thou seekest for thy preceptor is capable
of being placed in thy hands by me, if I be regarded as one from whom a
gift may be accepted, do thou then say what that object is.’

“Utanka said, ‘O foremost of men, O Saudasa, in my estimation thou art a
worthy person from whom gifts may be accepted. I have, therefore, come to
thee for begging of thee the jewelled ear-rings (worn by thy queen).’

“Saudasa said, ‘Those jewelled ear-rings, O learned and regenerate Rishi,
belong to my wife. They should be asked from her. Do thou, therefore,
solicit some other thing from me. I shall give it to thee, O thou of
excellent vows.’

“Utanka said, ‘If we be regarded as any authority, do thou cease then to
urge this pretext. Do thou give those jewelled ear-rings to me. Be thou
truthful in speech, O king.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Thus addressed, the king once more addressed
Utanka and said unto him, ‘Do thou, at my word, go to my venerable queen,
O best of men, and ask her, saying,–Give!–She of pure vows, thus
solicited by thee, will certainly, at my command, give thee, O foremost
of regenerate persons, those jewelled ear-rings of hers without doubt.’

“Utanka said, ‘Whither, O ruler of men, shall I be able to meet thy
queen? Why dost thou not thyself go to her?’

“Saudasa said, ‘Thou wilt find her today in the vicinity of a foremost
fountain. I cannot see her today as the sixth hour of the day has come.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Thus addressed, Utanka, O chief of Bharata’s
race, then left that spot. Beholding Madayanti, he informed her of his
object. Hearing the command of Saudasa, that lady of large eyes replied
unto the highly intelligent Utanka, O Janamejaya, in these words: ‘It is
even so, O regenerate one. Thou shouldst, however, O sinless one, assure
me that thou dost not say what is untrue. It behoves thee to bring me
some sign from my husband. These celestial ear-rings of mine, made of
costly gems, are such that the deities and Yakshas and great Rishis
always watch for opportunities for bearing them away. If placed at any
time on the Earth, this costly article would then be stolen by the Nagas.
If worn by one who is impure in consequence of eating, it would then be
taken away by the Yakshas. If the wearer falls asleep (without taking
care of these precious ear-rings) the deities would then take them away.
O best of Brahmanas, these ear-rings are capable of being taken away,
when such opportunities present themselves, by deities and Rakshasas and
Nagas, if worn by a heedless person. O best of regenerate ones, these
ear-rings, day and night, always produce gold. At night, they shine
brightly, attracting the rays of stars and constellations. O holy one, if
worn by any one, he would be freed from hunger and thirst and fear of
every kind. The wearer of these ear-rings is freed also from the fear of
poison and fire and every kind of danger. If worn by one of short
stature, these become short. If worn by one of tall stature, these grow
in size. Even of such virtues are these ear-rings of mine. They are
praised and honoured everywhere. Indeed, they are known over the three
worlds. Do thou, therefore, bring me some sign (from my husband).'”


“Vaisampayana said, ‘Utanka, coming back to king Saudasa who was always
well-disposed towards all his friends, solicited him for some sign (to
convince Madayanti of the fact of his being really commissioned by the
king). That foremost one of Ikshwaku’s race then gave him a sign.’

“Saudasa said, ‘This my present condition is intolerable. I do not behold
any refuge. Knowing this to be my wish, do thou give away the jewelled
ear-rings.'[172] Thus addressed by the king, Utanka went back to the
queen and reported to her the words of her lord. Hearing those words, the
queen gave unto Utanka her jewelled ear-rings. Having obtained the
ear-rings, Utanka came back to the king and said unto him, ‘I desire to
hear, O monarch, what the import is of those mysterious words Which thou
saidst as a sign to thy queen.’

“Saudasa said, ‘Kshatriyas are seen to honour the Brahmanas from the very
beginning of the creation. Towards the Brahmanas, however, many offences
arise (on the part of Kshatriyas). As regards myself, I am always bent in
humility before them. I am overtaken by a calamity through a Brahmana.
Possessed of Madayanti, I do not see any other refuge. Indeed, O foremost
of all persons having of a high goal, I do not behold any other refuge
for myself in the matter of approaching the gates of Heaven, or in
continuing here, O best of regenerate ones. It is impossible for a king
that is hostile to Brahmanas to continue living in this world or in
attaining to happiness in the next. Hence have I given thee these my
jewelled ear-rings which were coveted by thee.[173] Do thou now keep the
compact which thou hast made with me today.’

“Utanka said, ‘O king, I shall certainly act according to my promise. I
shall truly come back and place myself under thy power. There is,
however, a question, O scorcher of foes, which I wish to ask thee.’

“Saudasa said, ‘Say, O learned Brahmana, what is in thy mind. I shall
certainly reply unto thy words. I shall dispel whatever doubt may be in
thy mind. I have no hesitation in this.’

“Utanka said, ‘Those who are skilled in the rules of duty say that
Brahmanas are of restrained speech. One who behaves wrongly towards
friends is regarded as vile as a thief.'[174] Thou, again, O king, hast
become my friend today. Do thou then, O foremost of men, give me such
counsel as is approved by the wise. As regards myself, I have now
obtained the fruition of my wishes. Thou, again, art a cannibal. Is it
proper for me to come back to thee or not?’

“Saudasa said, ‘If it is proper (for me), O foremost of superior
Brahmanas, to say what thou askest, I should then, O best of regenerate
ones, tell thee that thou shouldst never come back to me. O perpetuator
of Bhrigu’s race, by acting even thus, thou wilt attain to what is
beneficial to thee. If thou comest back, O learned Brahmana, thou wilt
surely meet with death.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Thus addressed by the intelligent king in
respect of what was beneficial for him. Utanka took leave of the monarch
and set out for the presence of Ahalya. Desirous of doing what was
agreeable to the wife of his preceptor, he took the ear-rings with him
and set out with great speed for reaching the retreat of Gautama.
Protecting them even in the manner directed by Madayanti, that is,
binding them within the folds of his black deer-skin, he proceeded on his
way. After he had proceeded for some distance, he became afflicted by
hunger. He there beheld a Vilwa tree bent down with the weight of (ripe)
fruits.[175] He climbed that tree. Causing his deer-skin, O chastiser of
foes, to hang on a branch, that foremost of regenerate persons then began
to pluck some fruits. While he was employed in plucking those fruits with
eyes directed towards them, some of them fell, O king, on that deerskin
in which those ear-rings had been carefully tied by that foremost of
Brahmanas. With the strokes of the fruits, the knot became untied.
Suddenly that deer-skin, with the ear-rings in it, fell down. When the
knot being unfastened, the deer-skin fell down on the ground, a snake who
was there beheld those jewelled ear-rings. That snake belonged to the
race of Airavata. With great promptness he took up the ear-rings in his
mouth and then entered an anthill. Beholding the ear-rings taken away by
that snake, Utanka, filled with wrath and in great anxiety of mind, came
down from the tree. Taking his staff he began to pierce that anthill.
That best of Brahmanas, burning with wrath and the desire for revenge,
ceaselessly employed himself for five and thirty days in that task. The
goddess Earth, unable to bear the force of Utanka’s walking staff and
with body torn therewith, became exceedingly anxious. Unto that
regenerate Rishi then, who continued to dig the Earth from desire of
making a path to the nether regions inhabited by the Nagas, the chief of
the celestials, armed with the thunder, came there, on his car drawn by
green horses. Endued with great energy, he beheld that foremost of
Brahmanas, as he sat there engaged in his task.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Assuming the garb of a Brahmana afflicted with
the sorrow of Utanka, the chief of the celestials addressed him, saying,
‘This (purpose of thine) is incapable of being achieved. The regions of
the Nagas are thousands of Yojanas removed from this place. I think that
thy purpose is not capable of being achieved with thy walking staff.’

“Utanka said, ‘If, O Brahmana, the ear-rings be not recovered by me from
the regions of the Nagas, I shall cast off my life-breaths before thy
eyes, O foremost of regenerate persons!’

“Vaisampayana said, ‘When the thunder-armed Indra failed to divert Utanka
from his purpose, he united the latter’s walking staff with the force of
thunder. Then, O Janamejaya, the Earth, opening with those strokes having
the force of thunder, yielded a way to the (nether) regions inhabited by
the Nagas. By that path Utanka entered the world of Nagas. He saw that
that region lay extended thousands of Yojanas on all sides. Indeed, O
blessed one, it was equipt with many walls made of pure gold and decked
with jewels and gems. There were many fine tanks of water furnished with
flights of stair-cases made of pure crystal, and many rivers of clear and
transparent water. He saw also many trees with diverse species of birds
perching on them. That perpetuator of Bhrigu’s race behold the gate of
that region which was full five Yojanas high and a hundred Yojanas in
width. Beholding the region of the Nagas, Utanka became very cheerless.
Indeed, he, despaired of getting back the earrings. Then there appeared
unto him a black steed with a white tail. His face and eyes were of a
coppery hue, O thou of Kuru’s race, and he seemed to blaze forth with
energy. Addressing Utanka, he said, ‘Do thou blow into the Apana duct of
my body. Thou wilt then, O learned Brahmana, get back thy ear-rings which
have been taken away by a descendant of Airavata’s race! Do not loathe to
do my bidding, O son. Thou didst it often at the retreat of Gautama in
former days.’

“Utanka said, ‘How did I know thee in the retreat of my preceptor?
Indeed, I wish to hear how I did in those days what thou biddest me do

“The steed said, ‘Know, O learned Brahmana, that I am the preceptor of
thy preceptor, for I am the blazing Jatavedas (deity of fire). By thee I
was often worshipped for the sake of thy preceptor, O child of Bhrigu’s
race, duly and with a pure heart and body. For that reason I shall
accomplish what is for thy good. Do my bidding without delay.’ Thus
addressed by the deity of fire, Utanka did as he was directed. The deity
then, gratified with him, blazed up for consuming everything. From the
pores of his body, O Bharata, in consequence of his very nature, a thick
smoke issued threatening terrors to the world of Nagas. With that mighty
and wide-spreading smoke, O Bharata, everything became enveloped in
gloom, so that nothing, O king, could any longer be seen in the world of
the Nagas. Cries of woe were heard throughout the mansions of the
Airavatas, uttered by the Nagas headed by Vasuki, O Janamejaya. Enveloped
by that smoke, the palaces could no longer be seen, O Bharata. These
resembled woods and hill overwhelmed by a thick forest. With eyes that
were red in consequence of that smoke, and afflicted by the energy of the
deity of fire, the Nagas came out of their mansions to the high-souled
son of Bhrigu’s race for ascertaining what was the matter. Having heard
what the matter was from that ascetic of immeasurable energy, all the
Nagas, with fear depicted on their eyes, offered him their worship
according to due forms. Indeed, all the Nagas placing the old and the
young one’s before them, bowed unto him with their heads and joining
their hands addressed him, saying, ‘Be gratified with us, O holy one!’
Having gratified that Brahmana and offered him water to wash his feet and
the ingredients of the Arghya (for honouring him), the Nagas gave him
those celestial and highly-adored ear-rings. Thus honoured by them,
Utanka of great prowess, circumambulating the deity of fire, started for
the retreat of his preceptor. Indeed, repairing quickly to Gautama’s
asylum, O king, he presented those ear-rings unto the wife of his
preceptor, O sinless one. That best of Brahmanas also told his preceptor
everything about Vasuki and the other Nagas that had occurred. It was
even thus, O Janamejaya, that the high-souled Utanka, having wandered
through the three worlds, fetched those jewelled ear-rings (for his
preceptor’s wife). Of such prowess, O chief of Bharata’s race, was the
ascetic Utanka. So austere were the penances with which he was endued. I
have thus told thee what thou hadst asked me.'”


“Janamejaya said, ‘After having conferred that boon on Utanka, O foremost
of regenerate persons, what did the mighty-armed Govinda of great
celebrity next do?’

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Having granted that boon to Utanka, Govinda,
accompanied by Satyaki, proceeded to Dwaraka on his car drawn by his
large steeds endued with great speed. Passing many lakes and rivers and
forests and hills, he at last came upon the delightful city of Dwaravati.
It was at the time, O king, when the festival of Raivataka had begun,
that he of eyes like lotus-petals arrived with Satyaki as his companion.
Adorned with many beautiful things and covered with diverse Koshas made
of jewels and gems, the Raivataka hill shone, O king, with great
splendour. That high mountain, decked with excellent garlands of gold and
gay festoons of flowers, with many large trees that looked like the Kalpa
trees of Indra’s garden, and with many golden poles on which were lighted
lamps, shone in beauty through day and night. By the caves and fountains
the light was so great that it seemed to be broad day. On all sides
beautiful flags waved on the air with little bells that jingled
continuously. The entire hill resounded with the melodious songs of men
and women. Raivataka presented a most charming prospect like Meru with
all his jewels and gems. Men and women, excited and filled with delight,
O Bharata, sang aloud. The swell of music that thus rose from that
foremost of mountains seemed to touch the very heavens. Everywhere were
heard spouts and loud whoops of men who were in all stages of excitement.
The cackle of thousands of voices made that mountain delightful and
charming. It was adorned with many shops and stalls filled with diverse
viands and enjoyable articles. There were heaps of cloths and garlands,
and the music of Vinas and flutes and Mridangas was heard everywhere.
Food mixed with wines of diverse kinds was stored here and there. Gifts
were being ceaselessly made to those that were distressed, or blind, or
helpless. In consequence of all this, the festival of that mountain
became highly auspicious. There were many sacred abodes built on the
breast of that mountain, O hero, within which resided many men of
righteous deeds. Even thus did the heroes of Vrishni’s race sport in that
festival of Raivataka. Equipt with those mansions, that mountain shone
like a second Heaven. At the arrival of Krishna, O chief of Bharata’s
race, that prince of mountains resembled the blessed abode of Indra
himself. Worshipped (by his relatives), Krishna then entered a beautiful
mansion. Satyaki also went to his own quarters with a delighted soul.
Govinda entered his residence after a long absence, having accomplished
feats of great difficulty like Vasava amid the Danava host. The heroes of
the Bhoja, Vrishni, and Andhaka races, all came forward to receive that
high-souled one like the deities advancing to receive him of a hundred
sacrifices. Endued with great intelligence, he honoured them in return
and enquired after their welfare. With a gratified heart he then saluted
his father and mother. The mighty-armed hero was embraced by both of them
and comforted too (by numerous evidences of affection). He then took his
seat with all the Vrishnis sitting around him. Having washed his feet and
dispelled his fatigue, Krishna of mighty energy, as he sat there, then
recounted the chief incidents of the great battle in answer to the
questions put to him by his sire.'”


“Vasudeva said, ‘O thou of Vrishni’s race, I have repeatedly heard men
speaking of the wonderful battle (between the Kurus and the Pandavas).
Thou, however, O mighty-armed one, hast witnessed it with thy own eyes.
Do thou, therefore, O sinless one, describe the battle in detail. Indeed,
tell me how that battle took place between the high-souled Pandavas (on
the one side) and Bhishma and Karna and Kripa and Drona and Salya and
others (on the other side), between, in fact, numerous other Kshatriyas
well-skilled in aims, differing from one another in mien and attire, and
hailing from diverse realms.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Thus addressed by his sire, he of eyes like
lotus-petals narrated, in the presence of his mother also, how the
Kaurava heroes had been slain in battle.’

“Vasudeva said, ‘The feats were highly wonderful that were achieved by
those high-souled Kshatriyas. In consequence of their large number, they
are incapable of being enumerated in even hundreds of years. I shall
however, mention only the foremost of them. Do thou listen, therefore, to
me as I mention in brief those feats achieved by the kings of Earth. O
thou of godlike splendour. Bhishma of Kuru’s race became the
generalissimo, having eleven divisions of the Kaurava princes under his
command, like Vasava of the celestial forces.[176] Sikhandin of great
intelligence, protected by the blessed Arjuna, became the leader of the
seven divisions of the sons of Pandu. The battle between the Kurus and
the Pandavas (under these leaders) raged for ten days. It was so fierce
as to make one’s hair stand on its end. Then Sikhandin, in great battle,
aided by the wielder of Gandiva, slew, with innumerable arrows, the son
of Ganga fighting bravely. Lying on a bed of arrows, Bhishma waited like
an ascetic till the sun leaving his southward path entered on his
northerly course when that hero gave up his life-breaths. Then Drona,
that foremost of all persons conversant with arms, that greatest of men
under Duryodhana, like Kavya himself of the lord of the Daityas, became
generalissimo.[177] That foremost of regenerate persons, ever boasting of
his prowess in battle, was supported by the remnant of the Kaurava force
consisting then of nine Akshauhinis, and protected by Kripa and Vrisha
and others. Dhrishtadyumna conversant with many mighty weapons, and
possessed of great intelligence, became the leader of the Pandavas. He
was protected by Bhima like Varuna protected by Mitra. That high-souled
hero, always desirous of measuring his strength with Drona, supported by
the (remnant of the) Pandava army, and recollecting the wrongs inflicted
(by Drona) on his sire (Drupada, the king of the Panchalas), achieved
great feats in battle. In that encounter between Drona and the son of
Prishata, the kings assembled from diverse realms were nearly
exterminated. That furious battle lasted for five days. At the conclusion
of that period, Drona, exhausted, succumbed to Dhrishtadyumna. After
that, Karna became the generalissimo of Duryodhana’s forces. He was
supported in battle by the remnant of the Kaurava host which numbered
five Akshauhinis. Of the sons of Pandu there were then three Akshauhinis.
After the slaughter of innumerable heroes, protected by Arjuna, they came
to battle. The Suta’s son Karna, though a fierce warrior, encountering
Partha, came to his end on the second day, like an insect encountering a
blazing fire. After the fall of Karna, the Kauravas became dispirited and
lost all energy. Numbering three Akshauhinis, they gathered round the
ruler of the Madras. Having lost many car-warriors and elephants and
horsemen, the remnant of the Pandava army, numbering one Akshauhini and
penetrated with cheerlessness, supported Yudhishthira (as their leader).
The king Yudhishthira, in the battle that ensued, achieved the most
difficult feats and slew, before half the day was over, the king of the
Madras. After the fall of Salya, the high-souled Sahadeva of immeasurable
prowess slew Sakuni, the man who had brought about the quarrel (between
the Pandavas and the Kurus). After the fall of Sakuni, the royal son of
Dhritarashtra, whose army had suffered an extensive carnage and who on
that account had become exceedingly cheerless, fled from the field, armed
with his mace. Then Bhimasena of great prowess, filled with wrath,
pursued him and discovered him within the waters of the Dwaipayana lake.
With the remnant of their army, the Pandavas surrounded the lake and,
filled with joy, encountered Duryodhana concealed within the waters.
Their wordy shafts, penetrating through the waters, pierced Duryodhana.
Rising up from the lake, the latter approached the Pandavas, armed with
his mace, desirous of battle. Then, in the great battle that ensued, the
royal son of Dhritarashtra was slain by Bhimasena who put forth his great
prowess, in the presence of many kings. After this the remnant of the
Pandava army, as it slept in the camp, was slaughtered at night time by
Drona’s son who was unable to put up with the slaughter of his father (at
the hands of Dhrishtadyumna). Their sons slain, their forces slain, only
the five sons of Pandu are alive with myself and Yuyudhana. With Kripa
and the Bhoja prince Kritavarman, the son of Drona represents the unslain
remnant of the Kaurava army. Dhritarashtra’s son Yuyutsu also escaped
slaughter in consequence of his having adopted the side of the Pandavas.
Upon the slaughter of the Kaurava king (Suyodhana) with all his followers
and allies, Vidura and Sanjaya have come to the presence of king
Yudhishthira the just. Even thus did that battle occur, O lord, for eight
and ten days. Many kings of Earth, slain therein, have ascended to

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘The Vrishnis, as they heard, O king, that
dreadful account became filled with grief and sorrow and pain.’


“Vaisampayana said, ‘After the high-souled Vasudeva of great prowess had
finished his narration of the great battle of the Bharatas before his
sire, it was plain that that hero had passed over the slaughter of
Abhimanyu. The motive of the high-souled one was that his sire might not
hear what was highly unpleasant to him. Indeed, the intelligent Krishna
did not wish that his sire Vasudeva should, on hearing the dreadful
intelligence of the death of his daughter’s son, be afflicted with sorrow
and grief. (His sister) Subhadra, noticing that the slaughter of her son
had not been mentioned, addressed her brother, saying,–Do thou narrate
the death of my son, O Krishna–and fell down on the earth (in a swoon).
Vasudeva beheld his daughter fallen on the ground. As soon as he saw
this, he also fell down, deprived of his senses by grief. (Regaining his
senses) Vasudeva, afflicted with grief at the death of his daughter’s
son, O king, addressed Krishna, saying, ‘O lotus-eyed one, thou art famed
on Earth for being truthful in speech. Why, however, O slayer of foes,
dost thou not tell me today of the death of my daughter’s son? O puissant
one, tell me in detail of the slaughter of thy sister’s son. Possessed of
eyes resembling thine, alas, how was he slain in battle by foes? Since my
heart does not from grief break into a hundred pieces, it seems, O thou
of the Vrishni’s race, that it does not die with men when its hour does
not come. Oh, at the time of his fall, what words did he utter;
apostrophising his mother? O lotus-eyed one what did that darling of
mine, possessed of restless eyes, say unto me? I hope he has not been
slain by foes while retreating from battle with his back towards them? I
hope, O Govinda, that, his face did not become cheerless while fighting?
He was possessed, O Krishna, of mighty energy. From a spirit of
boyishness, that puissant hero, boasting (of his prowess) in my presence,
used to speak of his skill (in battle). I hope that boy does not lie on
the field, slain deceitfully by Drona and Karna and Kripa and others? Do
thou tell me this. That son of my daughter always used to challenge
Bhishma and that foremost of all mighty warriors, viz., Karna, in
battle.’ Unto his sire who, from excess of grief, indulged in such
lamentations, Govinda, more afflicted than he answered in these words.
‘His face did not become cheerless as he fought in the van of battle.
Fierce though that battle was, he did not turn his back upon it. Having
slain hundreds and thousands of kings of Earth, he was brought to grief
by Drona and Karna and at last succumbed to the son of Dussasana. If, O
lord, he had been encountered, one to one, without intermission, he was
incapable of being slain in battle by even the wielder of the
thunderbolt. When his sire Arjuna was withdrawn from the main body by the
Samsaptakas (who challenged to fight him separately), Abhimanyu was
surrounded by the enraged Kaurava heroes headed by Drona in battle. Then,
O sire, after he had slaughtered a very large number of foes in battle,
thy daughter’s son at last succumbed to the son of Dussasana. Without
doubt, he has gone to Heaven. Kill this grief of thine, O thou of great
intelligence. They that are of cleansed understandings never languish
when they meet with any calamity. He by whom Drona and Karna and others
were checked in battle,–heroes that were equal to Indra himself in
might–why would not he ascend to Heaven? O irresistible one, do thou
kill this grief of thine. Do not suffer thyself to be swayed by wrath.
That conqueror of hostile cities has attained in that sanctified goal
which depends upon death at the edge of weapons. After the fall of that
hero, this my sister Subhadra stricken with grief, indulged in loud
lamentations, when she saw Kunti, like a female ospray. When she met
Draupadi, she asked her in grief,–O reverend lady, where are all our
sons? I desire to behold them. Hearing her lamentations, all the Kaurava
ladies embraced her and wept sitting around her. Beholding (her
daughter-in-law) Uttara, she said,–‘O blessed girl, where has thy
husband gone? When he comes back, do thou, without losing a moment,
apprise me of it. Alas, O daughter of Virata, as soon he heard my voice,
he used to come out of his chamber without the loss of a moment. Why does
not thy husband come out today? Alas, O Abhimanyu, thy maternal
uncles–mighty car-warriors–are all hale. They used to bless thee when
they saw thee come here prepared to go out for battle. Do thou tell me
the incidents of battle today as before, O chastiser of foes. Oh. why
dost thou not answer me today–me who am weeping so bitterly?’–Hearing
these lamentations of this daughter of the Vrishni race, Pritha, deeply
afflicted with grief, addressed her and slowly said,–‘O Subhadra, though
protected by Vasudeva and Satyaki and by his own sire, thy youthful son
has yet been slain. That slaughter is due to the influence of Time! O
daughter of Yadu’s race, mortal thy son was. Do not grieve. Irresistible
in battle, thy son has, without doubt, attained to the highest goal. Thou
art born in a high race of high-souled Kshatriyas. Do not grieve, O thou
of restless glances, O girl of eyes like lotus-petals. Do thou cast thy
eyes on Uttara who is quick with child. O blessed lady, do not yield to
sorrow. This auspicious girl will soon bring forth a son to that hero.
Having comforted her in this way, Kunti, conversant with every duty, O
perpetuator of Yadu’s race, casting off her grief, O irresistible one,
made arrangements for Abhimanyu’s obsequial rites, with the acquiescence
of king Yudhishthira and Bhima, and the twins (viz., Nakula and Sahadeva)
who in prowess resembled Yama himself. She also made many presents unto
the Brahmanas, and bestowed upon them many kine, O perpetuator of Yadu’s
race, Then the Vrishni dame (Kunti), comforted a little, addressed the
daughter of Virata, saying,–O faultless daughter of Virata, thou
shouldst not indulge in grief. For the sake of thy husband, O thou of
rotund hips, protect the child in thy womb.–Having said these words, O
thou of great splendour, Kunti ceased. With her permission I have brought
Subhadra here. It was even thus, O giver of honours, that thy daughter’s
son met with his death. Cast off thy burning grief, O irresistible one.
Indeed, do not set thy heart on sorrow.’


“Vaisampayana said, ‘Having heard these words of his son Vasudeva, that
descendant of Sura, of righteous soul, casting off his grief, made
excellent obsequial offerings (unto Abhimanyu). Vasudeva also performed
those rites for the ascension (to Heaven) of his high-souled nephew, that
hero who was ever the darling of his sire (Vasudeva). He duly fed six
millions of Brahmanas, endued with great energy, with edibles possessed
of every recommendation. Presenting many clothes unto them, Krishna
gratified the thirst for wealth of those Brahmanas. Wonderful were the
heaps of gold, the number of kine and of beds and clothes, that were then
given away. The Brahmanas loudly declared–‘Let (Krishna’s wealth)
increase.’ Then Vasudeva of Dasarha’s race, and Valadeva, and Satyaki,
and Satyaka, each performed the obsequial rites of Abhimanyu. Exceedingly
afflicted with grief, they failed to attain comfort. The same was the
case with the sons of Pandu in the city called after the elephant.
Deprived of Abhimanyu, they failed to obtain peace of mind. The daughter
of Virata, O monarch, for many days, totally abstained from all food,
exceedingly afflicted by grief on account of the death of her husband. At
this all her relatives became plunged into excess of grief. They all
feared that the embryo in her womb might be destroyed. Then Vyasa,
ascertaining the state of things by his spiritual vision, came there. The
highly intelligent Rishi, endued with great energy, arrived (at the
palace), addressed Pritha of large eyes, as also Uttara herself,
saying,–‘Let this grief be abandoned. O famous lady, a son endued with
mighty energy will be born to thee, through the puissance of Vasudeva and
at my word. That son will rule the Earth after the Pandavas (have
departed from it).’ Beholding Dhananjaya, he said unto him, in the
hearing of king Yudhishthira the just, and gladdening him with his words,
‘O Bharata.–‘The grandson, O highly blessed one, will become a
high-souled prince. He will righteously rule the whole Earth to the verge
of the sea. Therefore, O foremost one of Kuru’s race, cast off this
grief, O mower of foes. Do not doubt this. This will truly happen. That
which was uttered by the Vrishni hero on a former occasion, will, without
doubt, happen. Do not think otherwise. As regards Abhimanyu, he has gone
to the regions of the deities, conquered by him with his own acts. That
hero should not be grieved for by thee or, indeed, by the other Kurus.’
Thus addressed by his grandsire, Dhananjaya of righteous soul, O king,
cast off his grief and even became cheerful. Thy sire, O prince, that art
conversant with all duties, began to grow in that womb, O thou of great
intelligence, like the Moon in the lighted fortnight. Then Vyasa urged
the royal son of Dharma for performing the horse-sacrifice. Having said
so, he made himself invisible there and then. The intelligent king
Yudhishthira the just, hearing the words of Vyasa, set his mind on the
journey for bringing wealth (for the sacrifice).'”


“Janamejaya said, ‘Having heard these words, O regenerate one, that were
spoken by the high-souled Vyasa in respect of the horse-sacrifice, what
steps were taken by Yudhishthira? Do thou tell me, O foremost of
regenerate ones, how the king succeeded in obtaining the wealth which
Marutta had buried in the Earth.’

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Having heard the words of the Island-born ascetic,
king Yudhishthira the just, summoned all his brothers, viz., Arjuna and
Bhimasena and the twin sons of Madri, in proper time and then said unto
them (the following words),–‘Ye heroes, you have heard the words which
the highly intelligent and high-souled Krishna has said from his
friendship for and the desire of doing good to the Kurus![178] Verily,
you have heard those words that have been uttered by that ascetic of
abundant penances, that great sage desirous of bestowing prosperity on
his friends, that preceptor of righteous behaviour, viz., Vyasa of
wonderful feats. You have heard what Bhishma also said, and what Govinda
too of great intelligence has uttered. Remembering those words, ye gong
of Pandu, I desire to obey them duly. By obeying those words of theirs
great blessedness will attach to all of you. Those words spoken by those
utterers of Brahma are certain (if obeyed) to bring in their train
considerable benefit. Ye perpetuators of Kuru’s race, the Earth has
become divested of her wealth. Ye kings, Vyasa, therefore, informed us of
the wealth (that lies buried in the Earth) of Marutta. If you think that
wealth abundant or sufficient, how shall we bring it (to our capital)?
What, O Bhima, dost thou think as regards this? When the king, O
perpetuator of Kuru’s race, said these words, Bhimasena, joining his
hands, said these words in reply,–‘The words thou hast said, O thou of
mighty-arms, on the subject of bringing the wealth indicated by Vyasa,
are approved by me. If, O puissant one, we succeed in getting the wealth
kept there by the son of Avikshita, then this sacrifice, O king, purposed
by us will be easily accomplished. Even this is what I think. We shall,
therefore, bowing our heads unto the high-souled Girisa, and offering due
worship unto that deity, bring that wealth. Blessed be thou. Gratifying
that god of gods, as also his companions and followers, in words,
thought, and deed, we shall, without doubt, obtain that wealth. Those
Kinnaras of fierce mien who are protecting that treasure will certainly
yield to us if the great deity having the bull for his sign become
gratified with us!’–Hearing these words uttered by Bhima, O Bharata,
king Yudhishthira the son of Dharma became highly pleased. The others,
headed by Arjuna, at the same time, said, ‘So be it.’ The Pandavas then,
having resolved to bring that wealth, ordered their forces to march under
the constellation Dhruba and on the day called by the same name.[179]
Causing the Brahmanas to utter benedictions on them, and having duly
worshipped the great god Maheswara, the sons of Pandu get out (on their
enterprise). Gratifying that high-souled deity with Modakas and frumenty
and with cakes made of meat, the sons of Pandu set out with cheerful
hearts. While they thus set out, the citizen, and many foremost of
Brahmanas, with cheerful hearts, uttered auspicious blessings (on their
heads). The Pandavas, circumambulating many Brahmanas that daily
worshipped their fires, and bending their heads unto them, proceeded on
their journey. Taking the permission of king Dhritarashtra who was
afflicted with grief on account of the death of his sons, his queen
(Gandhari), and Pritha also of large eyes, and keeping the Kaurava prince
Yuyutsu, the son of Dhritarashtra, in the capital, they set out,
worshipped by the citizens and by many Brahmanas possessed of great


“Vaisampayana said, ‘They then set out, with cheerful hearts, and
accompanied by men and animals all of whom and which were equally
cheerful. They filled the whole Earth with the loud clatter of their
wheels. Their praises hymned by eulogists and Sutas and Magadhas and
bards, and supported by their own army, they looked like so many Adityas
adorned with their own rays. With the white umbrella held over his head,
king Yudhishthira shone with beauty like the lord of the stars on the
night when he is at full. That foremost of men, the eldest son of Pandu,
accepted, with due forms, the blessings and cheers of his gladdened
subjects as he proceeded on his way. As regards the soldiers that
followed the king, their confused murmurs seemed to fill the entire
welkin. That host crossed many lakes and rivers and forests and pleasure
gardens. They at last came upon the mountains. Arrived at that region
where that wealth was buried, O king, the royal Yudhishthira fixed his
camp with all his brothers and troops. The region selected for the
purpose, O chief of Bharata’s race, was perfectly level and auspicious
There the king pitched his camp, placing in his van such Brahmanas as
were endued with penances and learning and self-restraint, as also his
priest Agnivesya, O thou of Kuru’s race, who was well-conversant with the
Vedas and all their branches.[180] Then the royal sons of Pandu, and the
other kings (who accompanied that expedition), and the Brahmanas and
priests well-skilled in sacrificial rites, having duly performed same
propitiatory ceremonies, spread themselves all over that spot. Having
duly placed the king and his ministers in the middle, the Brahmanas
caused the camp to be pitched by laying out six roads and nine
divisions.[181] King Yudhishthira caused a separate encampment to be duly
made for the infuriate elephants that accompanied his force. When
everything was complete, he addressed the Brahmanas, saying, ‘Ye foremost
of Brahmanas, let that be done which you think should be done in view of
the matter at hand. Indeed, let an auspicious day and constellation be
fixed for it. Let not a long time pass away over our heads as we wait in
suspense here. Ye foremost of learned Brahmanas, having formed this
resolution, let that be done which should be done after this.’ Hearing
these words of the king, the Brahmanas with those amongst them that were
well-skilled in the performance of religious rites, became filled with
gladness and desirous of doing what was agreeable to king Yudhishthira
the just, said these words in reply, ‘This very day is, an auspicious one
with an auspicious constellation. We shall, therefore, strive to
accomplish those high rites we propose. We shall today, O king, live upon
water alone. Do you all fast also today’ Hearing those words of those
foremost Brahmanas, the royal sons of Pandu passed that night, abstaining
from all food, and lying confidently on beds of Kusa grass, like blazing
fires in a sacrifice. And the night wore away as they listened to the
discourses of the learned Brahmanas (on diverse subjects). When the
cloudless morning came, those foremost of Brahmanas addressed the royal
son of Dharma (saying as follows).’


“‘The Brahmanas said, ‘Let offerings be made unto the high-souled
Mahadeva of three eyes. Having duly dedicated those offerings, O king, we
shall then strive to gain our object.’ Hearing these words of those
Brahmanas, Yudhishthira caused offerings to be duly made unto that deity
who loved to lie down on mountain-breasts. Gratifying the (sacrificial)
fire with (libations of) sanctified butter according to the ordinance,
the priest (Dhaumya) cooked Charu with the aid of Mantras and performed
the necessary rites. He took up many flowers and sanctified them with
Mantras, O king. With Modakas and frumenty and meat, he made offerings to
the deity. With diverse kinds of flowers and with fried paddy, of very
superior kind, Dhaumya, well-versed in the Vedas, performed the remaining
rites. He next presented offerings according to the ordinance unto those
ghostly beings who formed Mahadeva’s train. And offerings were next made
to Kuvera, the chief of the Yakshas, and unto Manibhadra also. Unto the
other Yakshas also and unto them that were the foremost ones among the
ghostly companions of Mahadeva, the priest offered due worship, having
filled many jugs with food, with Krisaras and meat and Nivapas mixed with
sesame seeds. The king gave away unto the Brahmanas thousands of kine. He
then directed the presentation, according to due rites, of offerings unto
those night-wandering beings (who live with Mahadeva). Surcharged, as it
were, with the scent of Dhupas, and filled with the fragrance of flowers,
that region, sacred to the deity of deities, O king, became exceedingly
delightful. Having performed the worship of Rudra and of all the Ganas,
the king, placing Vyasa ahead, proceeded towards the place where the
treasure was buried. Once more worshipping the Lord of treasures, and
bowing unto him with reverence and saluting him properly, with diverse
kinds of flowers and cakes and Krisara, having worshipped those foremost
of gems, viz., Sankha and Nidhi, and those Yakshas who are the lords of
gems, and having worshipped many foremost of Brahmanas and caused them to
utter blessings, the king endued with great puissance, strengthened by
the energy and the auspicious benedictions of those Brahmanas, caused
that spot to be excavated. Then numerous vessels of diverse and
delightful forms, and Bhringaras and Katahas and Kalasas and
Bardhamanakas, and innumerable Bhajanas of beautiful forms, were dug out
by king Yudhishthira the just. The wealth thus dug out was placed in
large ‘Karaputas’ for protection.[182] A portion of the wealth was caused
to be borne upon the shoulders of men in stout balances of wood with
baskets slung like scales at both ends. Indeed, O king, there were other
methods of conveyance there for bearing away that wealth of the son of
Pandu.[183] There were sixty thousands of camels and a hundred and twenty
thousand horses, and of elephants, O monarch, there were one hundred
thousand. Of cars there were as many, and of carts, too as many, and of
she-elephants as many. Of mules and men the number was untold. That
wealth which Yudhishthira caused to be dugout was even so much. Sixteen
thousand coins were placed on the back of each camel; eight thousand on
each car; four and twenty thousand on each elephant; (while proportionate
loads were placed on horses and mules and on the backs, shoulder and
heads of men). Having loaded these vehicles with that wealth and once
more worshipping the great deity Siva, the son of Pandu set out for the
city called after the elephant, with the permission of the Island-born
Rishi, and placing his priest Dhaumya in the van. That foremost of men,
viz., the royal son of Pandu, made short marches everyday, measured by a
Goyuta (4 miles). That mighty host, O king, afflicted with the weight
they bore, returned, bearing that wealth, towards the capital, gladdening
the hearts of all those perpetuators of the Kuru race.'”


“Vaisampayana said, ‘Meanwhile, Vasudeva of great energy accompanied by
the Vrishnis, came to the city called after the elephant. While leaving
that city for returning to his own Dwaraka, he had been requested by the
son of Dharma to come back. Hence, knowing that the time fixed for the
horse-sacrifice had come, that foremost of men came back (to the Kuru
capital). Accompanied by the son of Rukmini, by Yuyudhana, by
Charudeshna, by Samva, by Gada, by Kritavarman, by the heroic Sarana, by
Nisatha, and by the Unmukha, Vasudeva came with Valadeva at the head of
the train, with Subhadra also accompanying him. Indeed, that hero came
for seeing Draupadi and Uttara and Pirtha and for comforting those
Kshatriya ladies of distinction who had been bereft of many of their
protectors. Beholding those heroes come, king Dhritarashtra, as also the
high-souled Vidura, received them with due honours. That foremost of men,
viz., Krishna of great energy, well adored by Vidura and Yuyutsu,
continued to reside in the Kuru capital. It was while the Vrishni heroes,
O Janamejaya, were residing in the Kuru city, O king, that thy sire, that
slayer of hostile heroes, was born. The royal Parikshit, O monarch,
afflicted by the Brahma weapon (of Aswatthaman), upon coming out of the
womb, lay still and motionless, for life he had not. By his birth he had
gladdened the citizens but soon plunged them into grief. The citizens,
learning of the birth of the prince, uttered a leonine shout. That noise
proceeded to the utmost verge of every point of the compass. Soon,
however, (when it was known that the prince was bereft of life), that
noise ceased. With great haste Krishna, his senses and mind considerably
affected, with Yuyudhana in his company, entered the inner apartments of
the palace. He beheld his own paternal aunt (Kunti) coming, loudly
weeping and calling upon him repeatedly. Behind her were Draupadi and the
famous Subhadra, and the wives of the relatives of the Pandavas, all
weeping piteously. Meeting Krishna, Kunti, that daughter of the Bhoja
race, said unto him, O foremost of monarchs, these words in a voice
chocked with tears, ‘O Vasudeva, O mighty-armed hero, Devaki by having
borne thee, has come to be regarded as an excellent genetrix. Thou art
our refuge, and our glory. This race (of Pandu) depends upon thee for its
protector. O Yadava hero, O puissant one, this child of thy sister’s son,
has come out of the womb, slain by Aswatthaman. O Kesava, do thou revive
him. O delighter of the Yadavas, even this was vowed by thee, O puissant
one, when Aswatthaman had inspired the blade of grass into a
Brahma-weapon of mighty energy. Indeed, O Kesava, thy words were even
these, I shall revive that child if he comes out of the womb dead.–That
child, O son, has been born dead. Behold him, O foremost of men. It
behoveth thee, O Madhava, to rescue Uttara and Subhadra and Draupadi and
myself, and Dharma’s son (Yudhishthira), and Bhima and Phalguna, and
Nakula, and the irresistible Sahadeva. In this child are bound the
life-breaths of the Pandavas and myself. O thou of the Dasarha race, on
him depends the obsequial cake of Pandu, as also of my father-in-law, and
of Abhimanyu too, blessed be thou, that darling nephew of thine who was
so very like unto thee. Do thou accomplish today what will be beneficial
to all these. I urge thee earnestly, O Janarddana. Uttara, O slayer of
foes, always repeats the words said unto her by Abhimanyu. Without doubt,
O Krishna, those words were highly agreeable to her. O thou of the
Dasarha race, Arjuna’s son said unto this daughter of Virata,–Thy son, O
blessed girl, will go to my maternal uncles. Taking up his residence with
the Vrishnis and Andhakas, he will obtain from them the science of arms,
indeed, diverse wonderful weapons and the whole of the science of
politics and morality. Even these were the words, O son, that that slayer
of hostile heroes, viz., the son of Subhadra, that irresistible hero,
said unto Uttara. from his affection for her. O slayer of Madhu, bowing
our heads unto thee, we pray thee for making those words of Abhimanyu
true. In view also of the time that has come, do thou accomplish what is
highly beneficial. Having said these words unto that hero of the
Vrishni’s race, Pritha of large eyes, raised her arms upwards and with
the other ladies in her company, fell down on the Earth. All of them,
with eyes rendered muddy by tears, repeatedly exclaimed, saying, ‘Alas,
the son of Vasudeva’s nephew has been born dead.’ After Kunti had said
so, Janarddana took hold of her, O Bharata, and gently raising her from
the Earth, comforted her as follows.'”


“Vaisampayana said, ‘After Kunti had sat up, Subhadra, beholding her
brother, began to weep aloud, and afflicted with excessive grief,
said,–‘O thou of eyes like lotus petals, behold the grandson of Arjuna
of great intelligence. Alas, the Kuru race having been thinned, a child
has been born that is feeble and dead. The blade of grass (inspired into
a weapon of great efficacy), uplifted by Drona’s son for compassing the
destruction of Bhimasena, fell upon Uttara and Vijaya and myself.[184]
Alas, that blade, O Kesava, is still existing unextracted in me, after
having pierced my heart, since I do not, O irresistible hero, behold this
child with (his sire who was) my son. What will the righteous-souled king
Yudhishthira the just say? What will Bhimasena and Arjuna and the two
sons of Madravati also say? Hearing that Abhimanyu’s son was born and
dead, the Pandavas, O thou of Vrishni’s race, will regard themselves as
cheated by Aswatthaman. Abhimanyu, O Krishna, was the favourite of all
the Pandava brothers, without doubt. Hearing this intelligence, what will
those heroes, vanquished by the weapon of Drona’s son say? What grief, O
Janarddana, can be greater than this viz., that Abhimanyu’s son should be
born dead! Bowing unto thee with my head, O Krishna, I seek to gratify
thee today. Behold, O foremost of men, these two standing here, viz.,
Pritha and Draupadi. When, O Madhava, the son of Drona sought to destroy
the embryos even in the wombs of the ladies of the Pandavas, at that
time, O grinder of foes, thou saidst in wrath unto Drona’s son (ever
these words), ‘O wretch of a Brahmana, O vilest of men, I shall
disappoint thy wish. I shall revive the son of Kiritin’s son.’ Hearing
these words of thine and well knowing thy puissance, I seek to gratify
thee, O irresistible hero. Let the son of Abhimanyu be revived. It having
pledged thyself previously thou dost not accomplish thy auspicious vow,
do thou then know for certain, O chief of the Vrishni race, that I shall
cast off my life. If, O hero, this son of Abhimanyu doth not revive when
thou, O irresistible one, art alive and near, of what other use wilt thou
be to me? Do thou, therefore, O irresistible one, revive this son of
Abhimanyu,–this child possessed of eyes similar to his,–‘even as a
rain-charged cloud revives the lifeless crops (on a field). Thou, O
Kesava, art righteous-souled, truthful, and of prowess incapable of being
baffled. It behoveth thee, O chastiser of foes, to make thy words
truthful. If only thou wishest it, thou canst revive the three worlds (of
being) if dead. What need I say, therefore, of this darling child, born
but dead, of thy sister’s son? I know thy puissance, O Krishna.
Therefore, do I solicit thee. Do thou show this great favour to the sons
of Pandu. It behoveth thee, O mighty-armed one, to show compassion to
this Uttara or to me, thinking that I am thy sister or even a mother that
hath lost her son, and one that hath thrown herself upon thy protection.'”


“Vaisampayana said, ‘Thus addressed, O king, (by his sister and others),
the slayer of Kesin, exceedingly afflicted by grief, answered,–‘So be
it!’–These words were uttered with sufficient loudness and they
gladdened all the inmates of the inner apartments of the palace. The
puissant Krishna, that foremost of men, by uttering these words,
gladdened all the people assembled there, like one pouring cold water on
a person afflicted with sweat. He then quickly entered the lying-in room
in which thy sire was born. It was duly sanctified, O chief of men, with
many garlands of white flowers, with many well-filled water pots arranged
on every side; with charcoal, soaked in ghee, of Tinduka wood, and
mustard seeds, O thou of mighty arms; with shining weapons properly
arrayed, and several fires on every side. And it was peopled by many
agreeable and aged dames summoned for waiting (upon thy grandmother). It
was also surrounded by many well-skilled and clever physicians, O thou of
great intelligence. Endued with great energy, he also saw there all
articles that are destructive of Rakshasas, duly placed by persons
conversant with the subject. Beholding the lying-in room in which thy
sire was born thus equipt, Hrishikesa became very glad and
said,–‘Excellent, Excellent!’ When he of Vrishni’s race said so and
presented such a cheerful countenance, Draupadi, repairing thither with
great speed, addressed the daughter of Virata, saying,–‘O blessed lady,
here comes to thee thy father-in-law, the slayer of Madhu, that ancient
Rishi of inconceivable soul, that unvanquished one.’–Virata’s daughter,
checking her tears, said these words in a voice suffocated with grief.
Covering herself properly, the princess waited for Krishna like the
deities reverentially waiting for him. The helpless lady, with heart
agitated by grief, beholding Govinda coming, indulged in these
lamentations; O lotus-eyed one, behold us two deprived of our child. O
Janarddana, both Abhimanyu and myself have been equally slain. O thou of
Vrishni’s race, O slayer of Madhu, I seek to gratify thee by bending my
head, O hero, unto thee. Do thou revive this child of mine that has been
consumed by the weapon of Drona’s son. If king Yudhishthira the just, or
Bhimasena, or thyself, O lotus-eyed one, had, on that occasion, said,
‘Let the blade of grass (inspired by Aswatthaman into a Brahma-weapon)
destroy the unconscious mother’–O puissant one, then I would have been
destroyed and this (sad occurrence) would not have happened. Alas, what
benefit has been reaped by Drona’s son by accomplishing this cruel deed,
viz., the destruction of the child in the womb by his Brahma-weapon. The
self-same mother now seeks to gratify thee, O slayer of foes, by bending
her head. Surely, O Govinda, I shall cast off my life-breaths if this
child does not revive. In him, O righteous one, were placed many
expectations by me. Alas, when these have been frustrated by Drona’s son,
what need have I, O Kesava, to bear, the burden of life? The hope, O
Krishna, was cherished by me that with my child on my lap, O Janarddana,
I would salute thee with reverence. Alas, O Kesava, that hope has been
destroyed. O foremost of all beings, at the death of this heir of
Abhimanyu of restless eyes, all the hopes in my breast have been
destroyed. Abhimanyu of restless eyes, O slayer of Madhu, was exceedingly
dear to thee. Behold this child of his slain by the Brahma-weapon. This
child is very ungrateful and very heartless, like his sire, for, behold,
disregarding the prosperity and affluence of the Pandavas, he has gone to
Yama’s abode. I had, before this, vowed, O Kesava, that if Abhimanyu fell
on the field of battle, O hero, I would follow him without any loss of
time. I did not, however, keep my vow, cruel that I am and fond of life.
If I repair to him now, what, indeed, will Phalguna’s son say?'”


“Vaisampayana said, ‘The helpless Uttara, desirous of getting back her
child, having indulged in these piteous lamentations, fell down in
affliction on the earth like a demented creature. Beholding the princess
fallen on the earth deprived of her son and with her body uncovered,
Kunti as also all the (other) Bharata ladies deeply afflicted, began to
weep aloud. Resounding with the voice of lamentation, the palace of the
Pandavas, O king, was soon converted into a mansion of sorrow where
nobody could remain. Exceedingly afflicted by grief on account of her
son, Virata’s daughter, O king, seemed to be struck down for some time by
sorrow and cheerlessness. Regaining consciousness, O chief of Bharata’s
race, Uttara took up her child on her lap and said these words: Thou art
the child of one who was conversant with every duty. Art thou not
conscious then of the sin thou committest, since thou dost not salute
this foremost one of the Vrishni’s race? O son, repairing to thy sire
tell him these words of mine, viz.,–it is difficult for living creatures
to die before their time comes, since though reft of thee, my husband,
and now deprived of my child also, I am yet alive when I should die,
unendued as I am with everything auspicious and everything possessed of
value.–O mighty-armed one, with the permission of king Yudhishthira the
just I shall swallow some virulent poison or cast myself on the blazing
fire. O sire, difficult of destruction is my heart since, though I am
deprived of husband and child, that heart of mine does not yet break into
a thousand pieces. Rise, O son and behold this thy afflicted
great-grandmother. She is deeply afflicted with grief, bathed in tears,
exceedingly cheerless, and plunged in an ocean of sorrow. Behold the
reverend princess of Panchala, and the helpless princess of the Satwata
race. Behold myself, exceedingly afflicted with grief, and resembling a
deer pierced by a hunter. Rise, O child, and behold the face of this lord
of the worlds, that is endued with great wisdom, and possessed of eyes
like lotus-petals and resembling thy sire of restless glance. Beholding
Uttara, who indulged in these lamentations, fallen on the earth, all
those ladies, raising her, caused her to sit up. Having sat up, the
daughter of the king of the Matsyas, summoning her patience, joined her
hands in reverence and touched the earth with her head for saluting
Kesava of eyes like the petals of the lotus. That foremost of beings,
hearing those heart-rending lamentations of hers, touched water and
withdrew the (force of the) Brahma-weapon.[185] That hero of unfading
glory, belonging to the race of the Dasarhas, promised to give the child
his life. Then he of pure soul, said these words in the hearing of the
whole universe,–‘O Uttara, I never utter an untruth. My words will prove
true. I shall revive this child in the presence of all creatures. Never
before have I uttered an untruth even in jest. Never have I turned back
from battle. (By the merit of those acts) let this child revive! As
righteousness is dear to me, as Brahmanas are specially dear to me, (by
the merit of that disposition of mine) let Abhimanyu’s son, who is born
dead, revive! Never hath a misunderstanding arisen between me and my
friend Vijaya. Let this dead child revive by that truth! As truth and
righteousness are always established in me, let this dead child of
Abhimanyu revive (by the merit of these)! As Kansa and Kesi have been
righteously slain by me, let this child revive today by that truth!’
After these words were uttered by Vasudeva, that child, O foremost one of
Bharata’s race, became animate and began gradually to move, O monarch.’


“Vaisampayana said, ‘When the Brahma-weapon was withdrawn by Krishna, at
that time, the laying-in room was illumined by thy father with his
energy. All the Rakshasas (that had come there) were forced to leave the
room and many of them met with destruction. In the welkin a voice was
heard, saying, ‘Excellent, O Kesava, Excellent!’–The blazing
Brahma-weapon then returned to the Grandsire (of all the worlds). Thy
sire got back his life-breaths, O king. The child began to move according
to his energy and might. The Bharata ladies became filled with joy. At
the command of Govinda, the Brahmanas were made to utter benedictions.
All the ladies, filled with joy, praised Janarddana. Indeed, the wives of
those Bharata lions, viz., Kunti and Drupada’s daughter and Subhadra, and
Uttara, and the wives of other lions among men, like (ship-wrecked)
persons who have reached the shore after having obtained a boat, became
exceedingly glad. Then wrestlers and actors and astrologers and those who
enquire after the slumbers (of princes), and bands of bards and eulogists
all uttered the praises of Janarddana, while uttering benedictions
fraught with the praises of the Kuru race, O chief of the Bharatas.
Uttara, rising up at the proper time, with a delighted heart and bearing
her child in her arms, reverentially saluted the delighter of the Yadus.
Rejoicing greatly, Krishna made gifts unto the child of many valuable
gems. The other chiefs of the Vrishni race, did the same. Then the
puissant Janarddana, firmly adhering to truth, bestowed a name on the
infant who was thy sire, O monarch.–‘Since this child of Abhimanyu has
been born at a time when this race has become nearly extinct, let his
name be Parikshit!’ Even this is what he said. Then thy father, O king,
began to grow, and gladden all the people, O Bharata. When thy father was
a month old, O hero, the Pandavas came back to their capital, bringing
with them a profusion of wealth. Hearing that the Pandavas were near,
those foremost ones of the Vrishni race went out. The citizens decked the
city called after the elephant with garlands of flowers in profusions,
with beautiful pennons and standards of diverse kinds. The citizens also,
O king, adorned their respective mansions. Desirous of doing what was
beneficial to the sons of Pandu, Vidura ordered diverse kinds of worship
to be offered to the deities established in their respective temples. The
principal streets of the city were adorned with flowers. Indeed, the city
was filled with the hum of thousands of voices which resembled the
softened roar of distant ocean waves. With dancers all engaged in their
vocation, and with the voice of singers, the (Kuru) city then resembled
the mansion of Vaisravana himself.[186] Bards and eulogists, O king,
accompanied by beautiful women were seen to adorn diverse retired spots
in the city. The pennons were caused by the wind to float gaily on every
part of the city, as if bent upon showing the Kurus the southern and the
northern points of the compass. All the officers also of the government
loudly proclaimed that that was to be a day of rejoicing for the entire
kingdom as an indication of the success of the enterprise for bringing a
profusion of gems and other valuables.'”[187]


Vaisampayana, said, ‘Hearing that the Pandavas were near, that crusher of
foes, viz., Vasudeva, accompanied by his ministers, went out for seeing

The Pandavas then, uniting with the Vrishnis according to the usual
formalities, together entered, O king, the city named after the elephant.
With the hum of voices and the clatter of cars of that mighty host, the
Earth and the welkin, and the firmament itself, became as it were
entirely filled. The Pandavas, with rejoicing hearts, accompanied by
their officers and friends entered the capital, placing that treasure in
their van. Repairing, agreeably to custom, to king Dhritarashtra first,
they worshipped his feet, announcing their respective names. Those
foremost ones of Bharata’s race, O chief of kings, then paid their
respectful salutations to Gandhari, the daughter of Suvala and to Kunti,
They next worshipped (their uncle) Vidura and met Yuyutsu, the son of
Dhritarashtra by his Vaisya wife. Those heroes were then worshipped by
others and they blazed forth in beauty, O king. After this, O Bharata,
those heroes heard the tidings of that highly wonderful and marvellous
and glad-some birth of thy father. Hearing of that feat of Vasudeva of
great intelligence, they all worshipped Krishna, the delighter of Devaki,
who was every way worthy of worship. Then, after a few days, Vyasa, the
son of Satyavati, endued with great energy, came to the city named after
the elephant. The perpetuators of Kuru’s race worshipped the great Rishi
according to the usual custom. Indeed, those heroes, with those foremost
princes of the Vrishni and the Andhaka races, paid the sage their
adorations. After having conversed on various subjects, Dharma’s son
Yudhishthira addressed Vyasa and said, ‘This treasure, O holy one, which
has been brought through thy grace I wish to devote to that great
sacrifice known by the name of the horse-sacrifice. O best of ascetics, I
desire to have thy permission. We are all, O Rishi, at thy disposal, and
at that of the high-souled Krishna.’

“Vyasa said, ‘I give thee permission, O king. Do what should be done
after this. Do thou worship the deities duly by performing the
horse-sacrifice with profuse gifts. The horse-sacrifice, O king, is a
cleanser of all sins. Without doubt, having worshipped the deities by
that sacrifice thou wilt surely be cleansed of all sins.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Thus addressed, the Kuru king Yudhisthira of
righteous soul then set his heart, O monarch, on making the necessary
preparations for the horse-sacrifice. Having represented all this unto
the Island-born Krishna, the king endued with great eloquence approached
Vasudeva and said,–‘O foremost of all beings, the goddess Devaki has,
through thee, come to be regarded as the most fortunate of mothers! O
thou of unfading glory, do thou accomplish that which I shall now tell
thee, O mighty-armed one. O delighter of the Kurus, the diverse
enjoyments we enjoy have all been acquired through thy puissance. The
whole Earth has been subjugated by thee with the aid of thy prowess and
intelligence. Do thou, therefore, cause thyself to undergo the rites of
initiation. Thou art our highest preceptor and master. If thou performest
the sacrifice, O thou of the Dasarha race, I shall be cleansed from every
sin. Thou art Sacrifice. Thou art the Indestructible. Thou art this All.
Thou art Righteousness. Thou art Prajapati. Thou art the goal of all
creatures. Even this is my certain conclusion.’

“Vasudeva said, ‘O mighty-armed one, it becomes thee to say so, O
chastiser of foes. Thou art the goal of all creatures. Even this is my
certain conclusion. Amongst the heroes of the Kuru race, in consequence
of thy righteousness, thou shinest today in great glory. They have all
been cast into the shade, O king, by thee. Thou art our king, and thou
art our senior. With my approval freely granted, do thou adore the
deities in the sacrifice suggested. Do thou, O Bharata, appoint us to
whatever tasks thou likest. Truly, do I pledge myself that I shall
accomplish all, O sinless one, that thou mayst bid me accomplish.
Bhimasena and Arjuna and the two sons of Madravati will be sacrificing
when thou, O king, sacrificest.'”[188]


“Vaisampayana said, ‘Thus addressed by Krishna, Yudhishthira, the son of
Dharma, endued with great intelligence, saluted Vyasa and said these
words: ‘Do thou cause me to be initiated when the proper hour, as thou
truly knowest, comes for that rite. This my sacrifice is entirely
dependent on thee.’

“Vyasa said, ‘Myself, O son of Kunti, and Paila and Yajnavalkya, shall
without doubt, achieve every rite at the proper time. The rite of
initiating thee will be performed on the day of full moon belonging to
the month of Chaitra. Let all the necessaries of the sacrifice, O
foremost of men, be got ready. Let Sutas well-versed in the science of
horses, and let Brahmanas also possessed of the same lore, select, after
examination, a worthy horse in order that thy sacrifice maybe completed.
Loosening the animal according to the injunctions of the scriptures, let
him wander over the whole Earth with her belt of seas, displaying thy
blazing glory, O king!’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Thus addressed (by the Rishi), Yudhishthira,
the son of Pandu, that lord of Earth, answered,–‘So be it!’–and then, O
monarch, he accomplished all that that utterer of Brahma had directed.
All the articles necessary for the sacrifice, O king, were duly procured.
The royal son of Dharma, possessed of immeasurable soul, having procured
all the necessaries, informed the Island-born Krishna of it. Then Vyasa
of great energy said unto the royal son of Dharma,–‘As regards
ourselves, we are all prepared to initiate thee in view of the sacrifice.
Let the Sphya and the Kurcha and all the other articles that, O thou of
Kuru’s race, may be needed for thy sacrifice, be made of gold.[189] Let
the horse also be loosened today, for roaming on the Earth, agreeably to
the ordinances of the scriptures. Let the animal, duly protected, wander
over the Earth.’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Let arrangements be made by thee, O regenerate one,
about loosening this horse for enabling it to wander over the Earth at
its will. It behoveth thee, O ascetic, to say who will protect this steed
while roaming over the Earth freely according to its will.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Thus addressed (by king Yudhishthira), O
monarch, the Island-born Krishna said,–‘He who is born after Bhimasena,
who is the foremost of all bowmen, who is called Jishnu, who is endued
with great patience and capable of overcoming all resistance,–he will
protect the horse. That destroyer of the Nivatakavachas is competent to
conquer the whole Earth. In him are all celestial weapons. His body is
like that of a celestial in its powers of endurance. His bow and quivers
are celestial. Even he will follow this horse.–He is well versed in both
Religion and wealth. He is a master of all the sciences. O foremost of
kings, he will agreeably to the scriptures, cause the steed to roam and
graze at its will. This mighty-armed prince, of dark complexion, is
endued with eyes resembling the petals of the lotus. That hero, the
father of Abhimanyu, will protect the steed. Bhimasena also is endued
with great energy. The son of Kunti is possessed of immeasurable might.
He is competent to protect the kingdom, aided by Nakula, O monarch.
Possessed of great intelligence and fame, Sahadeva will, O thou of Kuru’s
race, duly attend to all the relatives that have been invited to thy
capital.’ Thus addressed by the Rishi, that perpetuator of Kuru’s race,
viz., Yudhishthira, accomplished every injunction duly and appointed
Phalguna to attend to the horse.’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Come, O Arjuna, let the horse, O hero, be protected
by thee. Thou alone art competent to protect it, and none else. Those
kings, O mighty-armed hero, who will come forward to encounter thee, try,
O sinless one, to avoid battles with them to the best of thy power. Thou
shouldst also invite them all to this sacrifice of mine. Indeed, O
mighty-armed one go forth but try to establish friendly relations with

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘The righteous-souled king Yudhishthira, having
said so unto his brother Savyasachin, commanded Bhima and Nakula to
protect the city. With the permission of king Dhritarashtra, Yudhishthira
then set Sahadeva, that foremost of warriors, to wait upon all the
invited guests.'”


“Vaisampayana said, ‘When the hour for initiation came, all those great
Ritwijas duly initiated the king in view of the horse-sacrifice. Having
finished the rites of binding the sacrificial animals, the son of Pandu,
viz., king Yudhishthira the just endued with great energy, the initiation
being over, shone with great splendour along with those Ritwijas. The
horse that was brought for the horse-sacrifice was let loose, agreeably
to the injunctions of the scriptures, that utterer of Brahma, viz., Vyasa
himself of immeasurable energy. The king Yudhishthira the just, O
monarch, after his initiation, adorned with a garland of gold around his
neck, shone in beauty like a blazing fire. Having a black deer skin for
his upper garment, bearing a staff in hand, and wearing a cloth of red
silk, the son of Dharma, possessed of great splendour, shone like a
second Prajapati seated on the sacrificial altar. All his Ritwijas also,
O king, were clad in similar robes. Arjuna also shone like a blazing
fire. Dhananjaya, unto whose car were yoked white steeds, then duly
prepared, O king, to follow that horse of the complexion of a black deer,
at the command of Yudhishthira. Repeatedly drawing his bow, named
Gandiva, O king, and casing his hand in a fence made of iguana skin,
Arjuna, O monarch, prepared to follow that horse, O ruler of men, with a
cheerful heart. All Hastinapore, O king, with very children, came out at
that spot from desire of beholding Dhananjaya, that foremost of the Kurus
on the eve of his journey. So thick was the crowd of spectators that came
to behold the horse and the prince who was to follow it, that in
consequence of the pressure of bodies, it seemed a fire was created. Loud
was the noise that arose from that crowd of men who assembled together
for beholding Dhananjaya the son of Kunti, and it seemed to fill all the
points of the compass and the entire welkin. And they said,–‘There goes
the son of Kunti, and there that horse of blazing beauty. Indeed, the
mighty-armed hero follows the horse, having armed himself with his
excellent bow.’–Even these were the words which Jishnu of noble
intelligence heard. The citizens also blessed him, saying,–‘Let
blessings he thine! Go thou safely and come back, O Bharata.’ Others, O
chief of men uttered these words–‘So great is the press that we do not
see Arjuna. His bow, however, is visible to us. Even that is celebrated
bow Gandiva of terrible twang. Blessed be thou. Let all dangers fly from
thy path. Let fear nowhere inspire thee. When he returns we shall behold
him, for it is certain that he will come back.’ The high-souled Arjuna
repeatedly heard these and similar other sweet words of men and women, O
chief of the Bharatas. A disciple of Yajnavalkya, who was well-versed in
all sacrificial rites and who was a complete master of the Vedas,
proceeded with Partha for performing auspicious rites in favour of the
hero. Many Brahmanas also, O king, all well-conversant with the Vedas,
and many Kshatriyas too, followed the high-souled hero, at the command, O
monarch, of Yudhishthira the just. The horse then roamed, O foremost of
men, wherever he liked over the Earth already conquered by Pandavas with
the energy of their weapons. In course of the horse’s wanderings, O king,
many great and wonderful battles were fought between Arjuna and many
kings. These I shall describe to thee. The horse, O king, roamed over the
whole Earth. Know, O monarch, that from the north it turned towards the
East. Grinding the kingdoms of many monarchs that excellent horse
wandered. And it was followed slowly by the great car-warrior Arjuna of
white steeds. Countless, O monarch, was the fete of Kshatriyas,–of kings
in myriads–who fought with Arjuna on that occasion, for having lost
their kinsmen on the geld of Kurukshetra. Innumerable Kiratas also, O
king, and Yavanas, all excellent bowmen, and diverse tribes of Mlechechas
too, who had been discomfited before (by the Pandavas on the field of
Kurukshetra), and many Aryan kings, possessed of soldiers and animals
endued with great alacrity, and all irresistible in fight encountered the
son of Pandu in battle. Thus occurred innumerable battles in diverse
countries, O monarch, between Arjuna and the rulers of diverse realms who
came to encounter him. I shall, O sinless king, narrate to thee those
battles only which raged with great fury and which were the principal
ones among all he fought.'”


“Vaisampayana said. ‘A battle took place between the diadem-decked
(Arjuna) and the sons and grandsons of the Trigartas whose hostility the
Pandavas has incurred before and all of whom were well-known as mighty
car-warriors. Having learnt that that foremost of steeds, which was
intended for the sacrifice, had come to their realm, these heroes, casing
themselves in mail, surrounded Arjuna. Mounted on their cars, drawn by
excellent and well-decked horses, and with quivers on their backs, they
surrounded that horse, O king, and endeavoured to capture it. The
diadem-decked Arjuna, reflecting on that endeavour of theirs, forbade
those heroes, with conciliatory speeches, O chastiser of foes.
Disregarding Arjuna’s message, they assailed him with their shafts. The
diadem-decked Arjuna resisted those warriors who were under the sway of
darkness and passion. Jishnu, addressed them smilingly and said, ‘Desist,
ye unrighteous ones. Life is a benefit (that should not be thrown away).’
At the time of his setting out, he had been earnestly ordered by king
Yudhishthira the just, not to slay those Kshatriyas whose kinsmen had
been slain before on the field of Kurukshetra. Recollecting these
commands of king Yudhishthira the just who was endued with great
intelligence, Arjuna asked the Trigartas to forbear. But they disregarded
Arjuna’s injunction. Then Arjuna vanquished Suryavarman, the king of the
Trigartas, in battle, by shooting countless shafts at him and laughed in
scorn. The Trigarta warriors, however, filling the ten points with the
clatter of their cars and car-wheels, rushed towards Dhananjaya. Then
Suryavarman, displaying his great lightness of hand, pierced Dhananjaya
with hundreds of straight arrows, O monarch. The other great bowmen who
followed the king and who were all desirous of compassing the destruction
of Dhananjaya, shot showers of arrows on him. With countless shafts shot
from his own bow-siring, the son of Pandu, O king, cut off those clouds
of arrows; upon which they fell down. Endued with great energy,
Ketuvarman, the younger brother of Suryavarman, and possessed of youthful
vigour, fought, for the sake of his brother, against Pandu’s son
possessed of great fame. Beholding Ketuvarman approaching towards him for
battle, Vibhatsu, that slayer of hostile heroes, slew him with many
sharp-pointed arrows. Upon Ketuvarman’s fall, the mighty car-warrior
Dhritavarman, rushing on his car towards Arjuna, showered a perfect
downpour of arrows on him. Beholding that lightness of hand displayed by
the youth Dhritavarman, Gudakesa of mighty energy and great prowess
became highly gratified with him. The son of Indra could not see when the
young warrior took out his arrows and when he placed them on his
bow-string aiming at him. He only saw showers of arrows in the air. For a
brief space of time, Arjuna gladdened his enemy and mentally admired his
heroism and skill. The Kuru hero, smiling the while, fought with that
youth who resembled an angry snake. The mighty armed Dhananjaya, glad as
he was in beholding the valour of Dhritavarman, did not take his life.
While, however, Partha of immeasurable energy fought mildly with him
without wishing to take his life, Dhritavarman shot a blazing arrow at
him. Deeply pierced in the hand by that arrow, Vijaya became stupefied
and his bow Gandiva fell down on the Earth from his relaxed grasp. The
form of that bow, O king, when it fell from the grasp of Arjuna,
resembled, O Bharata, that of the bow of Indra (that is seen in the
welkin after a shower). When that great and celestial bow fell down, O
monarch, Dhritavarman laughed loudly in battle. At this, Jishnu, excited
with rage, wiped the blood from his hand and once more taking up his bow,
showered a perfect downpour of arrows. Then a loud and confused noise
arose, filling the welkin and touching the very heavens as it were, from
diverse creatures who applauded that feat of Dhananjaya. Beholding Jishnu
inflamed with rage and looking like Yama himself as he appears at the end
of the Yuga, the Trigarta warriors hastily surrounded him, rushing from
their posts and desirous of rescuing Dhritavarman. Seeing himself
surrounded by his foes, Arjuna became more angry than before. He then
quickly despatched eight and ten of their foremost warriors with many
shafts of hard iron that resembled the arrows of the great Indra himself.
The Trigarta warriors then began to fly. Seeing them retreat, Dhananjaya,
with great speed, shot many shafts at them that resembled wrathful snakes
of virulent poison, and laughed aloud. The mighty car-warriors of the
Trigartas, with dispirited hearts, fled in all directions, exceedingly
afflicted by Dhananjaya with his arrows. They then addressed that tiger
among men, that slayer of the Samsaptaka host (on the field of
Kurukshetra), saying, ‘We are your slaves. We yield to thee.[190] Do thou
command us, O Partha. Lo, we wait here as the most docile of thy
servants. O delighter of the Kurus, we shall execute all thy commands.’
Hearing these words expressive of their submission, Dhananjaya, said unto
them, ‘Do ye, O kings, save your lives, and accept my dominion.'”


“Vaisampayana said, ‘That foremost of steeds then proceeded to the realm
of Pragjyotisha and began to wander there. At this, Bhagadatta’s son, who
was exceedingly valorous in battle, came out (for encountering Arjuna).
King Vajradatta, O chief of the Bharatas, finding the (sacrificial) steed
arrived within his realm, fought (for detaining it). The royal son of
Bhagadatta, issuing out of his city, afflicted the steed that was coming
(and seizing it), marched back towards his own place. Marking this, the
mighty-armed chief of the Kuru race, speedily stretched his Gandiva, and
suddenly rushed towards his foe. Stupefied by the shafts sped from
Gandiva, the heroic son of Bhagadatta, letting off loose the steed, fled
from Partha.[191] Once more entering his capital, that foremost of kings,
irresistible in battle, cased himself in mail, and mounting on his prince
of elephants, came out. That mighty car-warrior had a white umbrella held
over his head, and was fanned with a milk-white yak-tail. Impelled by
childishness and folly, he challenged Partha, the mighty car-warrior of
the Pandavas, famed for terrible deeds in battle, to an encounter with
him. The enraged prince then urged towards Arjuna that elephant of his,
which resembled a veritable mountain, and from whose temples and mouth
issued streams of juice indicative of excitement. Indeed, that elephant
showered its secretions like a mighty mass of clouds pouring rain.
Capable of resisting hostile feats of its own species, it had been
equipped agreeably to the ordinances of the treatises (on war-elephants).
Irresistible in battle, it had become so infuriate as to be beyond
control. Urged on by the prince with the iron-hook, that mighty elephant
then seemed (as it advanced) as if it would cut through the welkin (like
a flying hill). Beholding it advance towards him, O king, Dhananjaya,
filled with rage and standing on the earth, O Bharata, encountered the
prince on its back. Filled with wrath, Vajradatta quickly sped at Arjuna
a number of broad-headed shafts endued with the energy of fire and
resembling (as they coursed through the air) a cloud of speedily-moving
locusts. Arjuna, however, with shafts sped from Gandiva, cut off those
arrows, some into two and some into three pieces. He cut them off in the
welkin itself with those shafts of his coursing through the welkin. The
son of Bhagadatta, beholding his broad-headed shafts thus cut off,
quickly sped at Arjuna a number of other arrows in a continuous line.
Filled with rage at this, Arjuna, more quickly than before, shot at
Bhagadatta’s son a number of straightly coursing arrows equipt with
golden wings. Vajradatta of mighty energy, struck with great force and
pierced with these arrows in that fierce encounter, fell down on the
Earth. Consciousness, however, did not desert him. Mounting on his prince
of elephants again in the midst of that battle the son of Bhagadatta,
desirous of victory, very coolly sped a number of shafts at Arjuna.
Filled with wrath, Jishnu then sped at the prince a number of arrows that
looked like blazing flames of fire and that seemed to be so many snakes
of virulent poison. Pierced therewith, the mighty elephant, emitting a
large quantity of blood, looked like a mountain of many springs
discharging rills of water coloured with red chalk.'”


“Vaisampayana said, ‘Thus waged that battle, O chief of the Bharatas, for
three days between Arjuna and that prince like the encounter between him
of a hundred sacrifices and Vritra. On the fourth day, Vajradatta of
great might laughed loudly and, addressing Arjuna, said these words:
‘Wait, wait, O Arjuna. Thou shalt not escape me with life. Slaying thee I
shall duly discharge the water-rite of my sire. My aged sire, Bhagadatta,
who was the friend of thy sire, was slain by thee in consequence of his
weight of years. Do thou, however, fight me that am but a boy!'[192]
Having said these words, O thou of Kuru’s race, king Vajradatta, filled
with rage, urged his elephant towards the son of Pandu. Urged on by
Vajradatta of great intelligence, that prince of elephants, as if
desirous of cutting through the welkin, rushed towards Dhananjaya. That
prince of elephants drenched Arjuna with a shower of juice emitted from
the end of his trunk, like a mass of blue clouds drenching a hill with
its downpour. Indeed, urged on by the king, elephant, repeatedly roaring
like a cloud, rushed towards Phalguna, with that deep noise emitted from
its mouth. Verily, urged on by Vajradatta, that prince of elephants
quickly moved towards the mighty car-warrior of the Kurus, with the tread
of one that seemed to dance in excitement. Beholding that beast of
Vajradatta advance towards him, that slayer of foes, viz., the mighty
Dhananjaya, relying on Gandiva, stood his ground without shaking with
fear. Recollecting what an obstacle Vajradatta was proving to the
accomplishment of his task, and remembering the old enmity of the house
(of Pragjyotisha towards the Pandavas), the son of Pandu became
exceedingly inflamed with wrath against the king. Filled with rage,
Dhananjaya impeded the course of that beast with a shower of arrows like
the shore resisting the surging sea. That prince of elephants possessed
of beauty (of form), thus impeded by Arjuna, stopped in its course, with
body pierced with many an arrow, like a porcupine with its quills erect.
Seeing his elephant impeded in its course, the royal son of Bhagadatta,
deprived of sense by rage, shot many whetted arrows at Arjuna. The
mighty-armed Arjuna baffled all those arrows with many foe-slaying shafts
of his. The feat seemed to be exceedingly wonderful. Once more the king
of the Pragjyotishas, inflamed with ire, forcibly urged his elephant,
which resembled a mountain, at Arjuna. Beholding the beast once more
advancing towards him, Arjuna shot with great strength a shaft at it that
resembled a veritable flame of fire. Struck deeply in the very vitals, O
king, by the son of Pandu, the beast suddenly fell down on the Earth like
a mountain summit loosened by a thunder-bolt. Struck with Dhartanjaya’s
shaft, the elephant, as it lay on the Earth, looked like a huge mountain
cliff lying on the ground, loosened by the bolt of Indra. When the
elephant of Vajradatta was prostrated on the ground, the son of Pandu,
addressing the king who had fallen down with his beast, said,–‘Do not
fear. Indeed, Yudhishthira of mighty energy said unto me while
commissioning me for this task even these words,–‘Thou shouldst not, O
Dhananjaya, slay those kings (who may encounter thee in battle). O tiger
among men, thou shouldst regard thy task as accomplished if only thou
disablest those hostile kings. Thou shouldst not also, O Dhananjaya, slay
the warriors of those kings who may come forth to fight thee, with all
their kinsmen and friends. They should be requested to come to the
horse-sacrifice of Yudhishthira.’–Having heard these commands of my
brother, I shall not slay thee, O king. Rise up; let no fear be thine;
return to thy city safe and sound, O lord of Earth. When the day of full
moon in the month of Chaitra comes, thou shalt, O great king, repair to
that sacrifice of king Yudhishthira the just, for it takes place on that
day. Thus addressed by Arjuna, the royal son of Bhagadatta, defeated by
the son of Pandu, said,–‘So be it.'”


“Vaisampayana said, ‘There occurred a great battle between the
diadem-decked Arjuna and the hundreds of Saindhavas who still lived after
the slaughter of their clan (on the field of Kurukshetra). Hearing that
he of white steeds had entered their territories, those Kshatriyas came
out against him, unable to bear that foremost one of Pandu’s race. Those
warriors who were as terrible as virulent poison, finding the horse
within their dominion, seized it without being inspired with any fear of
Partha who was the younger brother of Bhimasena. Advancing against
Vibhatsu who waited on foot, armed with his bow, upon the sacrificial
steed, they assailed him from a near point. Defeated in battle before,
those Kshatriyas of mighty energy, impelled by the desire of victory,
surrounded that foremost of men. Proclaiming their names and families and
their diverse feats, they showered their arrows on Partha. Pouring
showers of arrows of such fierce energy as were capable of impeding the
course of hostile elephants, those heroes surrounded the son of Kunti,
desirous of vanquishing him in battle. Themselves seated on cars, they
fought Arjuna of fierce feats who was, on foot. From every side they
began to strike that hero, that slayer of the Nivatakavachas, that
destroyer of the Samasaptakas, that killer of the king of the Sindhus.
Surrounding him on every side as within a cage by means of a thousand
cars and ten thousand horses, those brave warriors expressed their
exaltation. Recollecting the slaughter by Dhananjaya of Jayadratha in
battle, O thou of Kuru’s race, they poured heavy showers of arrows on
that hero like a mass of clouds showering a heavy downpour. Over-whelmed
with that arrowy shower, Arjuna looked like the sun covered by a cloud.
That foremost son of Pandu, in the midst of that cloud of arrows,
resembled a bird in the midst of an iron cage, O Bharata. Seeing the son
of Kunti thus afflicted with shafts, cries of Oh and Alas were uttered by
the three worlds and the Sun himself became shorn of his splendour. Then,
O king, a terrible wind began to blow, and Rahu swallowed up both the Sun
and the Moon at the same time. Many meteors struck the solar disc and
then shot in different directions. The prince of mountains, viz.,
Kailasa, began to tremble. The seven (celestial) Rishis, as also the
other Rishis of Heaven, penetrated with fear, and afflicted with grief
and sorrow, breathed hot sighs. Piercing through the welkin, those
meteors fell on the lunar disc as well. All the points of the compass
became filled with smoke and assumed a strange aspect. Reddish clouds,
with flashes of lightning playing in their midst and the bow of Indra
measuring them from side to side, suddenly covered the welkin and poured
flesh and bloods on the Earth. Even such was the aspect which all nature
assumed when that hero was overwhelmed with showers of shafts. Indeed,
when Phalguna, that foremost one among the Bharatas, was thus afflicted,
those marvels were seen. Overwhelmed by that dense cloud of arrows,
Arjuna became stupefied. His bow, Gandiva, fell down from his relaxed
grip and his leathern fence also slipped down. When Dhananjaya became
stupefied, the Saindhava warriors once more shot at that senseless
warrior, without loss of time, innumerable other shafts. Understanding
that the son of Pritha was deprived of consciousness, the deities, with
hearts penetrated by fear, began to seek his welfare by uttering diverse
benedictions. Then the celestial Rishis, the seven Rishis, and the
regenerate Rishis, became engaged in silent recitations from desire of
giving victory to Pritha’s son of great intelligence. When at last the
energy of Partha blazed forth through those acts of the denizens of
Heaven, that hero, who was conversant with celestial weapons of high
efficacy, stood immovable like a hill. The delighter of the Kurus then
drew his celestial bow. And as he repeatedly stretched the bowstring, the
twang that followed resembled the loud sound of some mighty machine. Like
Purandara pouring rain, the puissant Arjuna then, with that bow of his,
poured incessant showers of shafts on his foes. Pierced by those shafts
the Saindhava warriors with their chiefs became invisible like trees when
covered with locusts. They were frightened at the very sound of Gandiva,
and afflicted by fear they fled away. In grief of heart they shed tears
and uttered loud lamentations. The mighty warrior moved amidst that host
of foes with the celerity of a fiery wheel, all the time piercing those
warriors with his arrows. Like the great Indra, the wielder of the
thunder-bolt, that slayer of foes, viz., Arjuna, shot from his bow in
every direction that shower of arrows which resembled a sight produced by
magic (instead of any human agency). The Kaurava hero, piercing the
hostile host with showers of arrows, looked resplendent like the autumnal
Sun when he disperses the clouds with his powerful rays.'”


“Vaisampayana said, ‘The irresistible wielder of Gandiva, addresst for
battle, stood immovable on the field like Himavat himself. The Saindhava
warriors, once more rallying, showered in great wrath repeated down-pours
of shifts on him. The mighty-armed hero, laughing at his foes, who had
once more rallied but who were on the point of death, addressed them in
these soft words,–‘Do ye fight to the best of your power and do ye
endeavour to vanquish me. Do ye however, accomplish all necessary acts,
for a great danger awaits you all. See, I fight all of you, baffling your
clouds of arrows. Bent as you are on battle, tarry a little. I shall soon
quell your pride.’ The wielder of Gandiva, having said these words in
wrath, recollected, however, the words, O Bharata, of his eldest brother.
Those words were,–‘Thou shouldst not, O child, slay those Kshatriyas who
will come against thee for battle. They should, however, be vanquished by
thee. That foremost of men, Phalguna, had been thus addressed by king
Yudhishthira the just, of great soul. He, therefore, began to reflect in
this strain. ‘Even thus was I commissioned by my brother. Warriors
advancing against me should not be slain. I must act in such a way as not
to falsify the words of king Yudhishthira the just.’ Having arrived at
this conclusion, Phalguna, that foremost of men, then said unto those
Saindhavas who were all fierce in battle, these words:–‘I say what is
for your benefit. Though staying before me. I do not wish to slay you. He
amongst you who will say unto me that he has been vanquished by me and
that he is mine, will be spared by me. Having heard these words of mine,
act towards me in that way which may best conduce to your benefit. By
acting in a different way you will place yourselves in a situation of
great fear and danger.’ Having said these words unto those heroic
warriors the chief of the Kurus began to fight them. Arjuna was inflamed
with wrath. His foes, desirous of victory, were equally enraged. The
Saindhavas then, O king, shot hundreds and thousands of straight arrows
at the wielder of Gandiva. Dhananjaya, with his own whetted shafts, cut
off those arrows of sharp and terrible points, resembling snakes of
virulent poison, before they could come up to him. Having cut off those
sharp arrows equipt with Kanka feathers, Arjuna pierced each of the
warriors opposed to him with a whetted shaft. The Saindhava Kshatriyas,
recollecting that it was Dhananjaya who had slain their king Jayadratha,
then hurled at him darts and javelins with great force. The diadem-decked
Dhananjaya of great might baffled their intent by cutting off all those
weapons before any of them could reach him. At length the son of Pandu
became highly angry. With many straight and broad-headed arrows, he
felled the heads of many of those warriors who were rushing at him from
desire of victory. Many fled, many rushed at Arjuna; many moved not, all
of them, however, uttered such aloud noise (of wrath and grief) that it
resembled the roar of the ocean. As they were slain by Partha of
immeasurable might, they fought him, each according to his strength and
prowess. Their animals being all exhausted, Partha succeeded in depriving
a large number of those warriors of their senses by means of his sharpest
shafts in that battle. Then Dussala, their queen, the daughter of
Dhritarashtra, knowing that they were rendered cheerless by Arjuna, took
her grandson in her arms and repaired to Arjuna. The child was the son of
Suratha (the son of Jayadratha). The brave prince proceeded to his
maternal uncle on his car for the safety of all the Saindhava warriors.
The queen, arrived at the presence of Dhananjaya, began to weep in
sorrow. The puissant Dhananjaya, seeing her, cast off his bow. Abandoning
his bow, Partha duly received his sister and enquired of her as to what
he could do for her. The queen replied unto him, saying,–‘O chief of the
Bharatas, this child is the son of thy sister’s son. He salutes thee, O
Partha. Look at him, O foremost of men.’ Thus addressed by her, Partha
enquired after his son (Suratha), saying–‘Where is he?’ Dussala then
answered him, saying,–‘Burning with grief on account of the slaughter of
his sire, the heroic father of this child died in great affliction of
heart. Listen to me how he met with his death. ‘O Dhananjaya, he had
heard before that his sire Jayadratha had been slain by thee, O sinless
one. Exceedingly afflicted with grief at this, and hearing of thy arrival
here as the follower and protector of the sacrificial horse, he at once
fell down and gave up his life-breaths. Verily, deeply afflicted with
grief as he was, as go on as he heard of thy arrival he gave up his life.
Seeing him prostrate on the Earth, O lord, I took his infant son with me
and have come to thee, desirous of thy protection.’ Having said these
words, the daughter of Dhritarashtra began to lament in deep affliction.
Arjuna stood before her in great cheerlessness of heart. His face was
turned towards the Earth. The cheerless sister then said unto her
brother, who was equally cheerless, these words: ‘Behold thy sister.
Behold the child of thy sister’s son. O perpetuator of Kuru’s race, O
thou that art fully conversant with every duty, it behoveth thee to show
mercy to this child, forgetting the Kuru prince (Duryodhana) and the
wicked Jayadratha. Even as that slayer of hostile heroes, Parikshit, has
been born of Abhimanyu, so has this mighty-armed child, my grandson,
sprung from Suratha. Taking him with me, O chief of men, I have come to
thee, desirous of the safety of all the warriors. Do thou listen to these
words of mine. This child of that wicked foe of thine hath now come to
thee, O mighty-armed hero. It behoveth thee, therefore to show mercy to
this infant. O chastiser of foes, this infant seeks to gratify thee by
bending his head. He solicits thee for peace. O mighty-armed hero, be
inclined to make peace. O thou that art conversant with every duty, be
thou gratified with the child whose friends and kinsmen have all been
slain and who himself knows nothing of what has happened. Do not yield to
wrath. Forgetting his disreputable and cruel grandfather, who offended
against thee so highly, it behoveth thee to show thy grace towards this
child.’ Recollecting queen Gandhari and king Dhritarashtra, Dhananjaya,
afflicted with grief, addressed Dussala who had said so unto him, and
answered her, censuring Kshatriya practices the while. ‘Fie on
Duryodhana, that mean wight, covetous of kingdom and full of vanity!
Alas, it was for him that all my kinsmen have been despatched by me to
the abode of Yama.’ Having said so, Dhananjaya comforted his sister and
became inclined to make peace. Cheerfully he embraced her and then
dismissed her, telling her to return to her palace. Dussala bade all her
warriors desist from that great battle, and worshipping Partha, she of
beautiful face retraced her steps towards her abode. Having vanquished
those heroes, viz., the Saindhavas, thus, Dhananjaya began to follow that
steed which roved at its will. The heroic Arjuna duly followed that
sacrificial horse even as the divine wielder of Pinaka had in days of
yore followed the deer through the firmament.[193] The steed, at its
will, wandered through various realms one after another, enhancing the
feats of Arjuna. In course of time, O chief of men, the horse wandering
at its pleasure, at last arrived within the dominions of the ruler of
Manipura, followed by the son of Pandu.'”


“Vaisampayana said, ‘The ruler of Manipura, Vabhruvahana, hearing that
his sire Arjuna had arrived within his dominions, went out with humility,
with a number of Brahmanas and some treasure in his van.[194]
Remembering, however, the duties of Kshatriyas, Dhananjaya of great
intelligence, seeing the ruler of Manipura arrive in that guise, did not
approve of it. The righteous-souled Phalguna angrily said, ‘This conduct
of thine is not becoming. Thou hast certainly fallen away from Kshatriya
duties. I have come here as the protector of Yudhishthira’s sacrificial
horse. Why, O son, wilt thou not fight me, seeing that I have come within
thy dominions? Fie on thee, O thou of foolish understanding, fie on thee
that hast fallen away from Kshatriya duties! Fie on thee that would
receive me peacefully, even though I have come here for battling with
thee. In thus receiving me peacefully thou actest like a woman. O thou of
wretched understanding, if I had come to thee, leaving aside my arms,
then would this behaviour of thine have been fit, O worst of men.’
Learning that these words were addressed by her husband, the daughter of
the Snake-king, viz., Ulupi unable to tolerate it, pierced through the
Earth and came up to that spot.[195] She beheld her son standing there
perfectly cheerless and with face hanging down. Indeed, the prince was
repeatedly rebuked by his sire who was desirous of battle with him, O
monarch. The daughter of the snake, with every limb possessed of beauty,
viz., Ulupi, said these words consistent with righteousness and duty unto
the prince who was conversant with righteousness and duty,–‘Know that I
am thy mother Ulupi that am the daughter of a snake. Do thou accomplish
my behest, O son, for thou wouldst then attain to great merit. Fight thy
father, this foremost one of Kuru’s race, this hero that is irresistible
in battle. Without doubt, he will then be gratified with thee.’ In this
way was king Vabhruvahana incited against his sire by his (step) mother.
At last, endued as he was with great energy, he made up his mind, O chief
of the Bharata’s, to fight Dhananjaya. Putting on his armour of bright
gold and his effulgent head-gear, he ascended an excellent car which had
hundreds of quivers ready on it. That car was equipt with necessaries for
battle and had steeds yoked to it that were endued with the speed of the
mind. It had excellent wheels and a strong Upashkara, and was adorned
with golden ornaments of every kind. Raising his standard which was
decorated most beautifully and which bore the device of a lion in gold,
the handsome prince Vabhruvahana proceeded against his sire for battle.
Coining upon the sacrificial steed which was protected by Partha, the
heroic prince caused it to be seized by persons well-versed in
horse-lore. Beholding the steed seized, Dhananjaya became filled with
joy. Standing on the Earth, that hero began to resist the advance of his
son who was on his car. The king afflicted the hero with repeated showers
of shafts endued with whetted points and resembling snakes of virulent
poison. The battle that took, place between sire and son was
incomparable. It resembled the encounter between the deities and the
Asuras of old. Each was gratified with obtaining the other for an
antagonist. Then Vabhruvahana, laughing, pierced the diadem-decked
Arjuna, that foremost of men, in the shoulder with a straight shaft.
Equipt with feathers, that shaft penetrated Arjuna’s body like a snake
penetrating on an anthill. Piercing the son of Kunti through, the shaft
went deep into the Earth. Feeling acute pain, the intelligent Dhananjaya
rested awhile, supporting himself on his excellent bow. He stood, having
recourse to his celestial energy and seemed to outward appearance like
one deprived of life. That foremost of men, then regaining consciousness,
praised his son highly. Possessed of great splendour, the son of Sakra
said, ‘Excellent, Excellent, O mighty-armed one, O son of Chitrangada! O
son, beholding this feat, so worthy of thee, I am highly gratified with
thee. I shall now shoot these arrows at thee, O son. Stand for fight
(without running away).’ Having said these words, that slayer of foes
shot a shower of arrows on the prince. King Vabhruvahana, however, with
his own broad-headed shafts, cut all those arrows which were shot from
Gandiva and which resembled the thunder-bolt of Indra in splendour, some
in twain and some into three parts. Then the standard, decked with gold
and resembling a golden palmyra, on the king’s car was cut off by Partha
with some excellent shafts of his. The son of Pandu, laughing, next slew
the king’s steeds endued with large size and great speed. Descending from
his car, the king inflamed with rage, fought his sire on foot. Gratified
with the prowess of his son, that foremost one of the sons of Pritha,
viz., the son of the wielder of the thunder-bolt, began to afflict him
greatly. The mighty Vabhruvahana, thinking that his father was no longer
able to face him, again afflicted him with many shafts resembling snakes
of virulent poison. From a spirit of boyishness he then vigorously
pierced his father in the breast with a whetted shaft equipt with
excellent wings. That shaft, O king, penetrated the body of Pandu’s son
and reaching his very vital caused him great pain. The delighter of the
Kurus, Dhananjaya, deeply pierced therewith by his son, then fell down in
a swoon on the Earth, O king. When that hero, that bearer of the burthens
of the Kuru’s fell down, the son of Chitrangada also became deprived of
his senses. The latter’s swoon was due to his exertions in battle as also
to his grief at seeing his sire slain. He had been pierced deeply by
Arjuna with clouds of arrows. He, therefore, fell down at the van of
battle embracing the Earth. Rearing that her husband had been slain and
that her son had fallen down on the Earth, Chitrangada, in great
agitation of mind, repaired to the field of battle. Her heart burning
with sorrow, weeping piteously the while, and trembling all over, the
mother of the ruler of Manipura saw her slain husband.”‘


“Vaisampayana said, ‘That lady of eyes like lotus petals, having indulged
in copious lamentations, and burning with grief, at last lost her senses
and fell down on the Earth. Regaining consciousness and seeing Ulupi, the
daughter of the snake chief, queen Chitrangada endued with celestial
beauty, said unto her these words, ‘Behold. O Ulupi, our ever-victorious
husband slain in battle, through thee, by my son of tender years. Art
thou conversant with the practices of the respectable? Art thou a wife
devoted to thy lord? It is through thy deed that thy husband is laid low,
slain in battle. If Dhananjaya hath offended against thee in every
respect, do thou forgive him I solicit thee, do thou revive that hero. O
righteous lady, thou art conversant with piety. Thou art, O blessed one,
known (for thy virtues) over the three worlds. How is it that having
caused thy husband to be slain by my son, thou dost not indulge in grief?
O daughter of the snake chief, I do not grieve for my slain son. I grieve
for only my husband who has received this hospitality from his son.’
Having said these words unto the queenly Ulupi, the daughter of the snake
chief, the illustrious Chitrangada proceeded to where her husband lay on
the Earth and addressing him, said, ‘Rise, O dear lord, thou occupiest
the foremost place in the affections of the Kuru king (Yudhishthira).
Here is that steed of thine. It has been set free by me. Verily, O
puissant one, this sacrificial steed of king Yudhishthira the just,
should be followed by thee. Why then dost thou lie still on the Earth? My
life-breaths depend on thee, O delighter of the Kurus. How is it that he
who is the giver of other people’s life-breaths casts off his own
life-breaths today? Behold, O Ulupi, this goodly sight of thy husband
lying prostrate on the ground. How is it that thou dost not grieve,
having caused him to be slain through my son when thou didst excite with
thy words? It is fit that this boy should succumb to the power of death
and lie thus on the ground beside his own sire. Oh, let Vijaya, let him
that is called Gudakesa, let this hero with reddish eyes, come back O
life. O blessed lady, polygamy is not fault with men. Women only incur
fault by taking more than one husband. Do not, therefore, harbour such
thoughts (of vengeance).[196] This relationship was ordained by the
Supreme ordainer himself. It is, besides, an eternal and unchangeable
one. Do thou attend to that relationship. Let thy union (with Dhananjaya)
be made true. If, having slain thy husband through my son, thou dost not
revive him today before my eyes, I shall then cast off my life-breaths.
Without doubt, O reverend lady, afflicted as I am with grief and deprived
as I am of both husband and son, I shall sit here today in Praya in thy
very sight!’ Having said so unto the daughter of the snake chief, who was
a co-wife with her to Arjuna, the princess Chaitravahini sat in Praya, O
king, restraining speech.'[197]

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Ceasing to lament, the cheerless queen, taking
upon her lap the feet of her husband, sat there, sighing heavily and
wishing also the restoration of her son to life. King Vabhruvahana then,
regaining consciousness, saw his mother seated in that guise on the field
of battle. Addressing her he said, ‘What can be more painful than the
sight of my mother, who has been brought up in luxury, lying on the bare
ground beside her heroic husband stretched thereon? Alas, this slayer of
all foes, this foremost of all wielders of weapons, hath been slain by me
in battle, It is evident that men do not die till their hour comes.[198]
Oh, the heart of this princess seems to be very hard since it does not
break even at the sight of her mighty-armed and broad-chested husband
lying dead on the ground. It is evident that one does not die till one’s
hour comes, since neither myself, nor my mother is deprived of life (at
even such a sight). Alas, alas, the golden coat of mail of this foremost
hero of Kuru’s race, slain by me, his son, knowingly, is lying on the
ground, cut off from his body. Alas, ye Brahmanas, behold my heroic sire
lying prostrate on the Earth, on a hero’s bed, slain by his son. What
benefit is done to this hero, slain by me in battle, by those Brahmanas
who were commissioned to attend upon this foremost one of Kuru’s race
engaged in following the steed? Let the Brahmanas direct what expiation
should now be undergone by me, a cruel and sinful wretch, that has slain
his own sire in battle. Having slain my own sire, I should, suffering
every kind of misery, wander over the Earth, cruel that I am, covering
myself with his skin. Give me the two halves of my sire’s head to day,
(so that I may wander over the Earth with them for that period), for
there is no other expiation for me that have slain my own sire. Behold, O
daughter of the foremost of snakes, thy husband slain by me. Verily, by
slaying Arjuna in battle I have accomplished what is agreeable to thee. I
shall today follow in the track by which my sire has gone. O blessed one,
I am unable to comfort myself. Be happy today, O mother, seeing myself
and the wielder of Gandiva both embrace death today. I swear to thee by
truth itself (that I shall castoff my life-breaths).’ Having said these
words, the king, deeply afflicted with grief, O monarch, touched water,
and exclaimed in sorrow, ‘Let all creatures, mobile and immobile, listen
to me. Do thou also listen to me, O mother. I say the truth, O best of
all daughters of the snakes. If this best of men, Jaya, my sire, does not
rise up, I shall emaciate my own body, sitting on the field of battle.
Having slain my sire, there is no rescue for me (from that dire sin).
Afflicted as I am with the sin of slaying my sire, I shall without doubt
have to sink in Hell. By slaying a heroic Kshatriya one becomes cleansed
by making a gift of a hundred kine. By slaying my sire, however, so dire
has been my sin that my I rescue is impossible. This Dhananjaya, the son
of Pandu, was the one hero endued with mighty energy. Possessed of
righteous soul, he was the author of my being. How can I be rescued after
having slain him? Having uttered these lamentations, the high-souled son
of Dhananjaya, king Vabhruvahana, touched water and became silent, vowing
to starve himself to death.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘When the king of Manipura, that chastiser of
foes, afflicted with grief, along with his mother, sat down to starve
himself to death, Ulupi then thought of the gem that has the virtue of
reviving a dead man. The gem, the great refuge of the snakes, thus
thought of, came there. The daughter of the prince of snakes taking it
up, uttered these words that highly gladdened the combatants standing on
the field. ‘Rise up, O son. Do not grieve. Jishnu has not been vanquished
by thee. This hero is incapable of being vanquished by men as also by the
deities with Vasava himself at their head I have exhibited this illusion,
deceiving your senses, for the benefit of this foremost of men, viz., thy
illustrious sire. O thou of Kuru’s race, desirous of ascertaining the
prowess of thyself, his son, this slayer of hostile heroes, O king, came
here for battling with thee. It was for that reason, O son, that thou
wert urged by me to do battle. O puissant king, O son, do not suspect
that thou hast committed any, even the least, fault, by accepting his
challenge. He is a Rishi, of a mighty soul, eternal and indestructible. O
dear son, Sakra himself is incapable of vanquishing him in battle. This
celestial gem has been brought by me, O king. It always revives the
snakes as often as they die. O puissant king, do thou place this gem on
the breast of thy sire. Thou shalt then see the son of Pandu revived.’
Thus addressed, the prince who had committed no sin, moved by affection
for his sire, then placed that gem on the breast of Pritha’s son of
immeasurable energy. After the gem had been placed on his breast; the
heroic and puissant Jishnu became revived. Opening his red eyes he rose
up like one who had slept long. Beholding his sire, the high-souled hero
of great energy, restored to consciousness and quite at his ease,
Vabhruvahana worshipped him with reverence. When that tiger among men, O
puissant one, awoke from the slumber of death with every auspicious sign
of life, the chastiser of Paka rained down celestial flowers.
Kettle-drums struck by nobody, produced their music deep as the roar of
the cloud. A loud uproar was heard in the welkin consisting of the
words–Excellent, Excellent! The mighty-armed Dhananjaya, rising up and
well-comforted, embraced Vabhruvahana and smelled his head. He saw
sitting at a distance from his son, this latter’s mother afflicted with
grief, in the company of Ulupi. Dhananjaya asked,–‘Why is it that every
thing in the field of battle seems to bear the indications of grief,
wonder, and joy? If, O slayer of foes, the cause is known to thee, do
thou then tell me. Why has thy mother come to the field of battle? Why
also has Ulupi, the daughter of the prince of snakes, come here? I know
that thou hadst fought this battle with me at my own command. I desire to
know what the cause is that has brought out the ladies.’ The intelligent
ruler of Manipura, thug questioned by Dhananjaya, gratified him by
bending his head in reverence, and then said,–‘Let Ulupi be questioned.’


“Arjuna said, ‘What business brought thee here, O daughter (-in-law) of
Kuru’s race, and what also is the cause of the arrival on the field of
battle of her who is the mother of the ruler of Manipura? Dost thou
entertain friendly motives towards this king, O daughter of a snake? O
thou of restless glances, dost thou wish good to me too? I hope, O thou
of ample hips, that neither I, nor this Vabhruvahana here, have, O
beautiful lady, done any injury to thee unconsciously? Has Chitrangada of
faultless limbs, descended from the race of Chitravahana, done thee any
wrong?’ Unto him, the daughter of the prince of snakes answered
smilingly, ‘Thou hast not offended me, nor has Vabhruvahana done me any
wrong; nor this prince’s mother who is always obedient to me as a
hand-maid. Listen, how all this has been brought about by me. Thou
shouldst not be angry with me. Indeed, I seek to gratify thee by bending
my head in reverence. O thou of Kuru’s race, all this has been done by me
for thy good, O puissant one. O mighty-armed Dhananjaya, hear all that I
have done. In the great battle of the Bharata princes, thou hadst slain
the royal son of Santanu by unrighteous ways. What I have done has
expiated thy sin. Thou didst not overthrow Bhishma while battling with
thee. He was engaged with Sikhandin. Relying on him as thy help, thou
didst compass the overthrow of Santanu’s son. If thou hadst died without
having expiated thy sin, thou wouldst then have fallen without doubt into
Hell in consequence of that sinful act of thine. Even this which thou
hast got from thy son is the expiation of that sin. Formerly, O ruler of
Earth, I heard this said by the Vasus while they were in the company of
Ganga, O thou of great intelligence. After the fall of Santanu’s son,
those deities, viz., the Vasus, coming to the banks of Ganga, bathed in
her waters, and calling the goddess of that stream, they uttered these
terrible words having the sanction of Bhagirathi herself,
viz.,–Santanu’s son Bhishma has been slain by Dhananjaya. Verily, O
goddess, Bhishma then was engaged with another, and had ceased to fight.
For this fault we shall today denounce a curse on Dhananjaya.–To this,
the goddess Ganga readily assented, saying,–Be it so!–Hearing these
words I became very much afflicted and penetrating into the nether
regions represented everything to my sire. Informed of what had happened,
my sire became plunged in grief. Repairing to the Vasus, he solicited
them for thy sake, repeatedly gratifying them by every means in his
power. They then said unto him, ‘Dhananjaya has a highly blessed son who,
endued with youth, is the ruler of Manipura. He will, standing on the
field of battle, cast Dhananjaya down on the Earth. When this will
happen, O prince of snakes, Arjuna will be freed from our curse. Do thou
go back.–Thus addressed by the Vasus, he came back and informed me of
what had happened. Having learnt all this, O hero, I have freed thee from
the curse of the Vasus even in this way. The chief of the deities himself
is incapable of vanquishing thee in battle. The son is one’s own self. It
is for this that thou hast been vanquished by him. I cannot be held, O
puissant one, to have committed any fault. How, indeed, wouldst thou hold
me censurable?’–Thus addressed (by Ulupi), Vijaya became cheerful of
heart and said unto her, ‘All this that thou hast done, O goddess, is
highly agreeable to me.’ After this, Jaya addressed his son, the ruler of
Manipura, and said unto him in the hearing of Chitrangada, the daughter
(-in-law) of Kuru’s house, the Horse-sacrifice of Yudhishthira will take
place on the day of full moon in the coming month of Chaitra. Come there,
O king, with thy mother and thy counsellors and officers.’ Thus addressed
by Partha, king Vabhruvahana of great intelligence, with tearful eyes,
said these words to his sire, ‘O thou that art conversant with every
duty, I shall certainly repair, at thy command, to the great
Horse-sacrifice, and take upon myself the task of distributing food among
the regenerate ones. For, however, showing thy grace towards me, thou
enter thy own city with thy two wives. Let no scruple, be thine as
regards this, O thou that art fully acquainted with every duty. O lord,
having lived for one night in thy own mansion in happiness, thou mayst
then follow the steed, O foremost of victorious warriors. The
ape-bannered son of Kunti, thus addressed by his son, answered the child
of Chitrangada, saying ‘Thou knowest, O mighty-armed one, what vow I am
observing. O thou of large eyes, till the termination of this my vow, I
cannot enter thy city. O foremost of men, this sacrificial horse wanders
at will. (I have to follow it always.) Blessings on thee! I must go away.
Place I have none wherein to rest for even a short while.’ The son of the
chastiser of Paka then, duly worshipped by his son and obtaining the
permission of his two wives, left the spot and proceeded on his way.'”


“Vaisampayana said, ‘The (sacrificial) steed, having wandered over the
whole Earth bounded by the ocean, then ceased and turned his face towards
the city called after the elephant. Following as he did that horse, the
diadem-decked Arjuna also turned his face towards the Kuru capital.
Wandering at his will, the steed then came to the city of Rajagriha.
Beholding him arrived within his dominion, O monarch, the heroic son of
Sahadeva, observant of Kshatriya duties, challenged him to battle. Coming
out of his city, Meghasandhi, mounted on his car and equipt with bow and
arrows and leathern fence, rushed towards Dhananjaya who was on foot.
Possessed of great energy, Meghasandhi approaching Dhananjaya, O king,
said these words from a spirit of childishness and without any skill.
‘This steed of thine, O Bharata, seems to move about, protected by women
only. I shall take away the horse. Do thou strive to free him. Although
my sires did not teach thee in battle, I, however, shall do the duties of
hospitality to you. Do thou strike me, for I shall strike thee.’ Thus
addressed, the son of Pandu, smiling the while, answered him, saying, ‘To
resist him who obstructs me is the vow cast on me by my eldest brother.
Without doubt, O king, this is known to thee. Do thou strike me to the
best of thy power. I have no anger.’ Thus addressed, the ruler of Magadha
first struck the son of Pandu, showering his arrows on him like the
thousand-eyed Indra showering heavy downpour of rain. Then, O chief of
Bharata’s race, the heroic wielder of Gandiva, with shafts sped from his
excellent bow, baffled all the arrows shot carefully at him by his
antagonist. Having thus baffled that cloud of arrows, the ape-bannered
hero sped a number of blazing arrows at his foe that resembled snakes
with fiery mouths. These arrows he shot at his flag and flag-staff and
car and poles and yoke and the horses, sparing the body of his foe and
his car-driver. Though Partha who was capable of shooting the bow with
the left hand (as well as with the right) spared the body of the prince
of Magadha, yet the latter thinking that his body was protected by his
own prowess, shot many arrows at Partha. The wielder of Gandiva, deeply
struck by the prince of Magadha, shone like a flowering Palasa (Butea
frondosa) in the season of spring. Arjuna had no desire of slaying the
prince of Magadha. It was for this that, having struck the son of Pandu,
he succeeded in remaining before that foremost of heroes. Then
Dhananjaya, becoming angry, drew his bow with great force, and slew his
antagonist’s steeds and then struck off the head of his car-driver. With
a razor-headed shaft he then cut off Meghasandhi’s large and beautiful
bow, and then his leathern fence. Then cutting off his flag and
flag-staff, he caused it to fall down. The prince of Magadha, exceedingly
afflicted, and deprived of his steeds and bow and driver, took up a mace
and rushed with great speed at the son of Kunti. Arjuna then with many
shafts of his equipt with vulturine feathers cut off into fragments, that
mace of his advancing foe which was adorned with bright gold. Thus cut
off into fragments, that mace with its begemmed bonds and knots all
severed, fell on the Earth like a she-snake helplessly hurled down by
somebody. When his foe became deprived of his car, his bow, and his mace,
that foremost of warriors, viz., the intelligent Arjuna, did not wish to
strike him. The ape-bannered hero then, comforting his cheerless foe who
had been observant of Kshatriya duties, said unto him these words, ‘O
son, thou hast sufficiently displayed thy adherence to Kshatriya duties.
Go now. Great have been the feats, O king, which thou hast accomplished
in battle although thou art very young in years. The command I received
from Yudhishthira was that kings who oppose me should not be slain. It is
for this thou livest yet, O monarch, although thou hast offended me in
battle. Thus addressed, the ruler of Magadha considered himself
vanquished and spared. Thinking then that it was his duty to do so, he
approached Arjuna and joining his hands in reverence worshipped him. And
he said, ‘Vanquished have I been by thee. Blessed be thou, I do not
venture to continue the battle. Tell me what I am to do now for thee.
Regard thy behest as already accomplished. Comforting him again, Arjuna
once more said unto him, ‘Thou shouldst repair to the Horse-sacrifice of
our king which takes place at the coming full moon of Chaitra.’ Thus
addressed by him, the son of Sahadeva said, ‘So be it,’–and then duly
worshipped that horse as also Phalguna, that foremost of warriors. The
sacrificial horse then, equipt with beautiful manes, proceeded at his
will along the sea-coast, repairing to the countries of the Bangas, the
Pundras, and the Kosalas. In those realms Dhananjaya, with his bow
Gandiva, O king, vanquished innumerable Mlechecha armies one after


“Vaisampayana said, ‘Worshipped by the ruler of Magadha, Pandu’s son
having white steeds yoked unto his car, proceeded along the south,
following the (sacrificial) steed. Turning round in course of his
wanderings at will, the mighty steed came upon the beautiful city of the
Chedis called after the oyster.[199] Sarabha, the son of Sisupala, endued
with great strength, first encountered Arjuna in battle and then
worshipped him with due honours. Worshipped by him, O king, that best of
steeds then proceeded to the realms of the Kasis, the Angas, the Kosalas,
the Kiratas, and the Tanganas. Receiving due honours in all those realms,
Dhananjaya turned his course. Indeed, the son of Kunti then proceeded to
the country of the Dasarnas. The ruler of that people was Chitrangada who
was endued with great strength and was a crusher of foes. Between him and
Vijaya occurred a battle exceedingly terrible. Bringing him under his
sway the diadem-decked Arjuna, that foremost of men, proceeded to the
dominions of the Nishada king, viz., the son of Ekalavya. The soon of
Ekalavya received Arjuna in battle. The encounter that took place between
the Kuru hero and the Nishadas was so furious as to make the hair stand
on end. Unvanquished in battle, the valiant son of Kunti defeated the
Nishada king who proved an obstacle to the sacrifice. Having subjugated
the son of Ekalavya, O king, the son of Indra, duly worshipped by the
Nishadas, then proceeded towards the southern ocean. In those regions
battle took place between the diadem-decked hero and the Dravidas and
Andhras and the fierce Mahishakas and the hillmen of Kolwa. Subjugating
those tribes without having to accomplish any fierce feats, Arjuna
proceeded to the country of the Surashtras, his footsteps guided by the
horse. Arrived at Gokarna, he repaired thence to Prabhasa. Next he
proceeded to the beautiful city of Dwaravati protected by the heroes of
the Vrishni race. When the beautiful sacrificial horse of the Kuru king
reached Dwaravati, the Yadava youths, used force against that foremost of
steeds. King Ugrasena, however, soon went out and forbade those youths
from doing what they meditated. Then the ruler of the Vrishnis and the
Andhakas, issuing out of his palace, with Vasudeva, the maternal uncle of
Arjuna, in his company, cheerfully met the Kuru hero and received him
with due rites. The two elderly chiefs honoured Arjuna duly. Obtaining
their permission, the Kuru prince then proceeded to where the horse he
followed, led him. The sacrificial steed then proceeded along the coast
of the western ocean and at last reached the country of the five waters
which swelled with population and prosperity. Thence, O king, the steed
proceeded to the country of Gandharas. Arrived there, it wandered at
will, followed by the son of Kunti. Then occurred a fierce battle between
the diadem-decked hero and the ruler of Gandharas, viz., the son of
Sakuni, who had a bitter rememberance of the grudge his sire bore to the


“Vaisampayana said, ‘The heroic son of Sakuni, who was a mighty
car-warrior among the Gandharas, accompanied by a large force, proceeded
against the Kuru hero of curly hair.[200] That force was properly equipt
with elephants and horses and cars, and was adorned with many flags and
banners. Unable to bear and, therefore, burning to avenge, the slaughter
of their king Sakuni, those warriors, armed with bows, rushed together at
Partha. The unvanquished Vibhatsu of righteous soul addressed them
peacefully, but they were unwilling to accept the beneficial words of
Yudhishthira (through Arjuna). Though forbidden by Partha with sweet
words, they still gave themselves up to wrath and surrounded the
sacrificial steed. At this, the son of Pandu became filled with wrath.
Then Arjuna, carelessly shooting from Gandiva many shafts with razor-like
heads that blazed with splendour, cut off the heads of many Gandhara
warriors. While thus slaughtered by Partha, the Gandharas, O king,
exceedingly afflicted, set free the horse, moved by fear and desisted
from battle. Resisted, however, by those Gandhara combatants who still
surrounded him on every side, the son of Pandu, possessed of great
energy, felled the heads of many, previously naming those whom he thus
despatched. When the Gandhara warriors were thus being slain all around
him in battle, the royal son of Sakuni came forward to resist the son of
Pandu. Unto the Gandhara king who was fighting with him, impelled by
Kshatriya duty, Arjuna said, ‘I do not intend to slay the kings who fight
with me, in consequence of the commands of Yudhishthira. Cease, O hero,
to fight with me. Do not court defeat.’ Thus addressed the son of Sakuni,
stupefied by folly, disregarded that advice and covered with many swift
arrows the Kuru hero who resembled Sakra himself in the feats he
accomplished in battle. Then Partha, with a crescent-shaped arrow, cut
off the head-gear of his foe. Of immeasurable soul, he also caused that
head-gear to be borne along a great distance like the head of Jayadratha
(after he had cut it off in the battle of Kurukshetra). Beholding this
feat, all the Gandhara warriors became filled with wonder. That Arjuna
voluntarily spared their king was well understood by them. The prince of
the Gandharas then began to fly away from the field, accompanied by all
his warriors who resembled a flock of frightened deer. The Gandharas,
through fear, lost their senses and wandered over the field, unable to
escape. Arjuna, with his broad-headed shafts, cut off the heads of many.
Many there were who lost their arms in consequence of Arjuna’s arrows,
but so stupefied were they with fear that they were not aware of the loss
of that limb. Verity, the Gandhara army was exceedingly afflicted with
those large shafts which Partha sped from Gandiva. That army, which then
consisted of frightened men and elephants and horses, which lost many
warriors and animals, and which had been reduced to a rabble and put to
rout, began to wander and wheel about the field repeatedly. Among those
foes who were thus being slaughtered none could be seen standing in front
of the Kuru hero famed for foremost of feats. No one could be seen who
was able to bear the prowess of Dhananjaya. Then the mother of the ruler
of the Gandharas, filled with fear, and with all the aged ministers of
state, came out of her city, bearing an excellent Arghya for Arjuna. She
forbade her brave son of steady heart from fighting any longer, and
gratified Jishnu who was never fatigued with toil. The puissant Vibhatsu
worshipped her and became inclined to show kindness towards the
Gandharas. Comforting the son of Sakuni, he said, ‘Thou hast not, O
mighty-armed hero, done what is agreeable to me by getting thy heart upon
these measures of hostility. O slayer of heroes, thou art my brother, O
sinless one.[201] Recollecting my mother Gandhari, and for the sake of
Dhritarashtra also, I have not taken thy life. It is for this, O king,
that thou livest still. Many of thy followers, however, have been slain
by me. Let not such a thing happen again. Let hostilities cease. Let not
thy understanding again go astray. Thou shouldst go to the
Horse-sacrifice of our king which comes off on the day of full moon of
the month of Chaitra.’


“Vaisampayana said, ‘Having said these words, Partha set out, following
the horse which wandered at its will. The sacrificial steed then turned
towards the road that led to the city called after the elephant.
Yudhishthira heard from his intelligence-bearers that the steed had
turned back. And hearing also that Arjuna was hale and hearty, he became
filled with joy.[202] Hearing also the feats, accomplished by Vijaya in
the country of the Gandharas as also in another realms, the king became
exceedingly glad. Meanwhile, king Yudhishthira the just, seeing that the
twelfth day of the lighted fortnight in the month of Magha had come, and
noticing also that the constellation was favourable, summoned all his
brothers, viz., Bhima and Nakula and Sahadeva. Endued with great energy,
the king, O thou of Kuru’s race, that foremost of all persons conversant
with duties, said these words in proper time. Indeed, that foremost of
all speakers, addressing Bhima, the first of all smiters, said;–‘Thy
younger brother (Arjuna), O Bhimasena, is coming back with the horse. I
have learnt this from those men who had followed Arjuna. The time (for
the sacrifice) is come. The sacrificial horse is near. The day of full
moon of the month of Magha is at hand. The month is about to expire, O
Vrikodara. Let, therefore, learned Brahmanas conversant with the Vedas
look for a sacrificial spot for the successful accomplishment of the
Horse-sacrifice.’ Thus addressed, Bhima obeyed the royal behest. He
became very glad upon hearing that Arjuna of curly hair was about to come
back. Then Bhima went out with a number of men well conversant with the
rules of laying out sacrificial grounds and constructing buildings. And
he took with him many Brahmanas well-versed in all the rites of
sacrifices. Bhima selected a beautiful spot and caused it to be duly
measured out for laying the sacrificial compound. Numerous houses and
mansions were constructed on it and high and broad roads also were laid
out. Soon enough the Kaurava hero caused that ground to teem with
hundreds of excellent mansions. The surface was levelled and made smooth
with jewels and gems, and adorned with diverse structures made of gold.
Columns were raised, ornamented with bright gold, and high and wide
triumphal arches also were constructed on that sacrificial compound. All
these were made of pure gold. The righteous-souled prince also caused
apartments to be duly constructed for the accommodation of ladies and of
the numerous kings who, hailing from many realms, were expected to grace
the sacrifice with their presence. The son of Kunti also caused many
mansions to be duly erected for Brahmanas who were expected to come from
diverse realms. Then the mighty-armed Bhimasena, at the command of the
king, sent out messengers to the great kings of the Earth. Those best of
kings, came to the Horse-sacrifice of the Kuru monarch for doing what was
agreeable to him. And they brought many gems with them and many female
slaves and horses and weapons. The sounds that arose from those
high-souled kings who resided within those pavilions touched the very
heavens and resembled the noise made by the roaring ocean. King
Yudhishthira, the delighter of the Kurus, assigned unto the monarchs who
thus came to his sacrifice diverse kinds of food and drink, and beds also
of celestial beauty. The chief of the Bharatas, viz., king Yudhishthira
the just, assigned several stables well filled with different kinds of
corn and sugarcane and milk to the animals (that came with the guests).
To that great sacrifice of king Yudhishthira the just who was possessed
of high intelligence, there also came a large number of Munis all of whom
were utterers of Brahman. Indeed, O lord of Earth, all the foremost ones
among the regenerate class that were then alive, came to that sacrifice,
accompanied by their disciples. The Kuru king received them all. King
Yudhishthira of mighty energy, casting off all pride, himself followed
all his guests to the pavilions that had been assigned for their
residence. Then all the mechanics and engineers, having completed the
arrangements of the sacrifice informed king Yudhishthira of it. Hearing
that everything was ready, king Yudhishthira the just, full of alertness
and attention, became highly glad along with his brothers all of whom
honoured him duly.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘When the great sacrifice of Yudhishthira
commenced, many eloquent dialecticians started diverse propositions and
disputed thereon, desirous of vanquishing one another.[203] The (invited)
kings beheld the excellent preparations of that sacrifice, resembling
those of the chief himself of the deities, made, O Bharata, by Bhimasena.
They beheld many triumphal arches made of gold, and many beds and seats
and other articles of enjoyment and luxury, and crowds of men collected
at different sports. There were also many jars and vessels and cauldrons
and jugs and lids and covers. The invited kings saw nothing there that
was not made of gold. Many sacrificial stakes also were set up, made,
according to the directions of the scriptures of wood, and adorned with
gold. Endued with great effulgence, these were duly planted and dedicated
(with scriptural Mantras). The king saw all animals, again, which belong
to land and all those which belong to water, collected there on the
occasion. And they also beheld many kine and many buffaloes and many old
women, and many aquatic animals, many beasts of prey and many species of
birds, and many specimens of viviparous and oviparous creatures, and many
that are filth-born, and many belonging to the vegetable kingdom, and
many animals and plants that live or grow on mountains. Beholding the
sacrificial compound thus adorned with animals and kine and corn, the
invited kings became filled with wonder. Large heaps of costly
sweet-meats were kept ready for both the Brahmanas and the Vaisyas. And
when the feeding was over of a hundred thousand Brahmanas, drums and
cymbals were beat. And so large was the number fed that the sounds of
drums and cymbals were repeatedly heard, indeed, from day to day those
sounds continued. Thus was performed that sacrifice of king Yudhishthira
of great intelligence. Many hills of food, O king, were dedicated on the
occasion. Many large tanks were seen of curds and many lakes of ghee. In
that great sacrifice, O monarch, was seen the entire population of
Jamvudwipa, with all its realms and provinces, collected together.
Thousands of nations and races were there. A large number of men, O chief
of Bharata’s race, adorned with garlands and wearing bright ear-rings
made of gold, taking innumerable vessels in their hands, distributed the
food unto the regenerate classes by hundreds and thousands. The
attendants of the Pandavas gave away unto the Brahmanas diverge kinds of
food and drink which were, besides, so costly as to be worthy of being
eaten and drunk by kings themselves.'”


“Vaisampayana said, ‘Beholding those kings–lords of Earth–all
conversant with the Vedas, arrive, king Yudhishthira, addressing
Bhimasena, said,–‘O chief of men, let proper honours be paid to these
kings who have come (to my sacrifice), for these foremost of men are all
worthy of the highest honours.’ Thus addressed by king Yudhishthira of
great fame Pandu’s son Bhimasena of mighty energy did as he was enjoined,
assisted by the twins. The foremost of all men, viz., Govinda, came
there, accompanied by the Vrishnis, and with Valadeva in the van. He was
accompanied by Yuyudhana and Pradyumna and Gada, and Nisatha and Samvo
and Kritavarman. The mighty car-warrior Bhima offered them the most
reverential worship. Those princes then entered the palaces, adorned with
gems, that were assigned to them. At the end of a conversation he had
with Yudhishthira, the slayer of Madhu referred to Arjuna who had been
emaciated in consequence of many fights. The son of Kunti repeatedly
asked Krishna, that chastiser of foes, about Arjuna. Unto Dharma’s son,
the lord of all the universe began to speak about Jishnu, the son of
Sakra. ‘O king, a confidential agent of mine residing in Dwaraka came to
me. He had seen Arjuna, that foremost of Pandu’s sons. Indeed, the latter
has been very much emaciated with the fatigue of many battles. O puissant
monarch, that agent of mine informed me that the mighty-armed hero is
very near to us. Do thou set thyself to accomplish thy Horse-sacrifice.’
Thus addressed, king Yudhishthira the just, said unto him,–‘By good
luck, O Madhava, Arjuna comes back safely. I desire to ascertain from
thee, O delighter of the Yadavas, what has been said in this matter by
that mightiest of heroes among the song of Pandu.’ Thus addressed by king
Yudhishthira the just, the lord of the Vrishnis and the Andhakas, that
foremost of eloquent men, said these words unto that monarch of righteous
soul,–‘My agent, recollecting the words of Partha, reported them thus to
me, O great king,–Yudhishthira, O Krishna, should be told these words of
mine when the time comes. O chief of the Kauravas. many kings will come
(to thy sacrifice). When they arrive, high honours should be paid unto
them. This would, indeed, be worthy for us. O giver of honours, the king
should further be informed at my request that he should do what is
necessary for preventing a carnage similar to what took place at the time
of presenting the Arghya (on the occasion of the Rajasuya-sacrifice). Let
Krishna also approve of this. Let not. O king, through the ill-feeling of
kings, the people be slaughtered. My man further reported, O king, these
words of Dhananjaya. Listen as I repeat them, ‘O monarch, the ruler of
Manipura, my dear son Vabhruvahana, will come at the sacrifice. Do thou
honour him duly for my sake. O puissant one. He is always attached and
deeply devoted to me.’–Hearing these words, king Yudhishthira the just,
approved of them and said as follows.’


“Yudhishthira said, ‘I have heard, O Krishna, thy agreeable words. They
are such as deserve to be spoken by thee. Gladsome and sweet as nectar
are they, indeed, they fill my heart with great pleasure, O puissant one.
O Hrishikesa, I have heard that innumerable have been the battles which
Vijaya has fought with the kings of the Earth. For what reason is Partha
always dissociated from ease and comfort? Vijaya is exceedingly
intelligent. This, therefore, pains my heart very much. I always, O
Janarddana, think, when I am withdrawn from business, of Kunti’s son
Jishnu. The lot of that delighter of the Pandus is exceedingly miserable.
His body has every auspicious mark. What, however, O Krishna, is that
sign in his excellent body in consequence of which he has always to
endure misery and discomfort? That son of Kunti has to bear an
exceedingly large share of unhappiness. I do not see any censurable
indication in his body. It behoves thee to explain the cause to me it I
deserve to hear it. Thus addressed, Hrishikesa, that enhancer of the
glory of the Bhoja princes, having reflected for a long time, answered as
follows–‘I do not see any censurable feature in this prince, except that
the cheek bones of this lion among men are a little too high. It is in
consequence of this that that foremost of men has always to be on the
road. I really do not see anything else in consequence of which he could
be made so unhappy.’ Thus answered by Krishna of great intelligence, that
foremost of men, viz., king Yudhishthira, said unto the chief of the
Vrishnis that it was even so. The princess Draupadi, however, looked
angrily and askance at Krishna, (for she could not bear the ascription of
any fault to Arjuna). The slayer of Kesi, viz., Hrishikesa, approved of
that indication of love (for his friend) which the princess of Panchala,
who also was his friend, displayed.[204] Bhimasena and the other Kurus,
including the sacrificial priests, who heard of the agreeable triumphs of
Arjuna in course of his following the horse, became highly gratified.
While they were still engaged in discoursing on Arjuna, an envoy came
from that high-souled hero bearing a message from him. Repairing to the
presence of the Kuru king, the intelligent envoy bowed his head in
reverence and informed him of the arrival of that foremost of men, viz.,
Phalguna. On receipt of this intelligence, tears of joy covered the
king’s eyes. Large gifts were made to the messenger for the very
agreeable tidings he had brought. On the second day from that date, a
loud din was heard when that foremost of men, that chief of the Kurus,
came. The dust raised by the hoofs of that horse as it walked in close
adjacence to Arjuna, looked as beautiful as that raised by the celestial
steed Uchchaisravas. And as Arjuna advanced he heard many gladdening
words uttered by the citizens. ‘By good luck, O Partha, thou art out of
danger. Praise to you and king Yudhishthira! Who else than Arjuna could
come back after having caused the horse to wander over the whole Earth
and after having vanquished all the kings in battle? We have not heard of
such a feat having been achieved by even Sagara and other high-souled
kings of antiquity. Future kings also will never be able to accomplish so
difficult a feat, O foremost one of Kuru’s race, as this which thou hast
achieved.’ Listening to such words, agreeable to the ear, of the
citizens, the righteous-souled Phalguna entered the sacrificial compound.
Then king Yudhishthira with all his ministers, and Krishna, the delighter
of the Yadus, placing Dhritarashtra in their van, went out for receiving
Dhananjaya. Saluting the feet of his sire (Dhritarashtra), and then of
king Yudhishthira the just of great wisdom, and then worshipping Bhima
and others, he embraced Kesava. Worshipped by them all and worshipping
them in return according to due rites, the mighty-armed hero, accompanied
by those princes, took rest like a ship-wrecked man tossed on the waves
resting on reaching the shore. Meanwhile king Vabhruvahan of great
wisdom, accompanied by his mothers (Chitrangada and Ulupi), came to the
Kuru capital. The mighty-armed prince duly saluted all his seniors of
Kuru’s race and the other kings present there, and was honoured by them
all in return. He then entered the excellent abode of his grand-mother


“Vaisampayana said, ‘Entering the palace of the Pandavas the mighty-armed
prince saluted his grand-mother in soothing and sweet accents. Then queen
Chitrangada, and (Ulupi) the daughter of (the snake) Kauravya, together
approached Partha and Krishna with humility. They then met Subhadra and
the other ladies of the Kuru race with due formalities. Kunti gave them
many gems and costly things. Draupadi and Subhadra and the other ladies
of Kuru’s race all made presents to them. The two ladies took up their
residence there, using costly beds and seats, treated with affection and
respect by Kunti herself from desire of doing what was agreeable to
Partha. King Vabhruvahana of great energy, duly honoured (by Kunti), then
met Dhritarashtra according to due rites. Repairing then to king
Yudhishthira and Bhima and the other Pandavas, the mighty prince of
Manipura saluted them all with humility. They all embraced him with great
affection and honoured him duly. And those mighty car-warriors highly
gratified with him, made large gifts of wealth unto him. The king of
Manipura then humbly approached Krishna, that hero armed with the discus
and the mace, like a second Pradyumna approaching his sire. Krishna gave
unto the king a very costly and excellent car adorned with gold and unto
which were yoked excellent steeds. Then king Yudhishthira the just, and
Bhima, and Phalguna, and the twins, each separately honoured him and made
costly presents unto him. On the third day, the sage Vyasa, the son of
Satyavati, that foremost of eloquent men, approaching Yudhishthira
said,–‘From this day, O son of Kunti, do thou begin thy sacrifice. The
time for it has come. The moment for commencing the rite is at hand. The
priests are urging thee. Let the sacrifice be performed in such a way
that no limb may become defective. In consequence of the very large
quantity of gold that is required for this sacrifice, it has come to be
called the sacrifice of profuse gold. Do thou also, O great king, make
the Dakshina of this sacrifice three times of what is enjoined. Let the
merit of thy sacrifice increase threefold. The Brahmanas are competent
for the purpose.[205] Attaining to the merits then of three
Horse-sacrifices, each with profuse presents, thou shalt be freed, O
king, from the sin of having slain thy kinsmen. The bath that one
performs upon completion of the Horse-sacrifice, O monarch, is highly
cleansing and productive of the highest merit. That merit will be thine,
O king of Kuru’s race. Thus addressed by Vyasa of immeasurable
intelligence, the righteous-souled Yudhishthira of great energy underwent
the Diksha for performance of the Horse-sacrifice.[206] The mighty-armed
monarch then performed the great Horse-sacrifice characterised by gifts
of food and presents in profusion and capable of fructifying every wish
and producing every merit. The priests, well conversant with the Vedas,
did every rite duly, moving about in all directions. They were all
well-trained, and possessed of omniscience. In nothing was there a
swerving from the ordinances and nothing was down improperly. Those
foremost of regenerate persons followed the procedure as laid down (in
the scriptures) and as it should be followed in those points about which
no directions are given.[207] Those best of regenerate ones, having first
performed the rite called Pravargya, otherwise called Dharma, then duly
went through the rite of Abhishava, O king.[208] Those foremost of
Soma-drinkers, O monarch, extracting the juice of the Soma, then
performed the Savana rite following the injunctions of the scriptures.
Among those that came to that sacrifice none could be seen who was
cheerless, none who was poor, none who was hungry, none who was plunged
into grief, and none that seemed to be vulgar. Bhimasena of mighty energy
at the command of the king, caused food to be ceaselessly distributed
among those that desired to eat. Following the injunctions of the
scriptures, priests, well-versed in sacrificial rites of every kind,
performed every day all the acts necessary to complete the great
sacrifice. Amongst the Sadasayas of king Yudhishthira of great
intelligence there was none who was not well conversant with the six
branches of (Vedic). learning. There was none among them that was not an
observer of vows, none that was not an Upadhyaya; none that was not well
versed in dialectical disputations. When the time came for erecting the
sacrificial stake, O chief of Bharata’s race, six stakes were set up that
were made of Vilwa,[209] six that were made of Khadira, and six that were
made of Saravarnin. Two stakes were get up by the priests that were made
of Devadaru in that sacrifice of the Kuru king, and one that was made of
Sleshmataka. At the command of the king, Bhima caused some other stakes
to be set up, for the sake of beauty only, that were made of gold.
Adorned with fine cloths supplied by the royal sage, those stakes shone
there like Indra and the deities with the seven celestial Rishis standing
around them in Heaven. A number of golden bricks were made for
constructing therewith a Chayana. The Chayana made resembled in beauty
that which had been made for Daksha, the lord of creatures (on the
occasion of his great sacrifice). The Chayana measured eight and ten
cubits and four stories or lairs. A golden bird, of the shape of Garuda,
was then made, having three angles.[210] Following the injunctions of the
scriptures, the priests possessed of great learning then duly tied to the
stakes both animals and birds, assigning each to its particular
deity.[211] Bulls, possessed of such qualifications as are mentioned in
the scriptures, and aquatic animals were properly tied to the stakes
after the rites relating to the sacrificial fire had been performed. In
that sacrifice of the high-souled son of Kunti, three hundred animals
were tied to the stakes setup, including that foremost of steeds. That
sacrifice looked exceedingly beautiful as if adorned with the celestial
Rishis, with the Gandharvas singing in chorus and the diverse tribes of
Apsaras dancing in merriment. It teemed, besides, with Kimpurushas and
was adorned with Kinnaras. All around it were abodes of Brahmanas crowned
with ascetic success. There were daily seen the disciples of Vyasa, those
foremost of regenerate ones, who are compilers of all branches of
learning, and well conversant with sacrificial rites. There was Narada,
and there was Tumvuru of great splendour. There were Viswavasu and
Chitrasena and others, all of whom were proficient in music. At intervals
of the sacrificial rites, those Gandharvas, skilled in music and well
versed in dancing, used to gladden the Brahmanas who were engaged in the


“Vaisampayana said, ‘Having cooked, according to due rites, the other
excellent animals that were sacrificed, the priests then sacrificed,
agreeably to the injunctions of the scriptures, that steed (which had
wandered over the whole world). After cutting that horse into pieces,
conformably to scriptural directions, they caused Draupadi of great
intelligence, who was possessed of the three requisites of mantras,
things, and devotion, to sit near the divided animal. The Brahmanas then
with cool minds, taking up the marrow of that steed, cooked it duly, O
chief of Bharata’s race. King Yudhishthira the just, with all his younger
brothers, then smelled, agreeably to the scriptures, the smoke, capable
of cleansing one from every sin, of the marrow that was thus cooked. The
remaining limbs, O king, of that horse, were poured into the fire by the
sixteen sacrificial priests possessed of great wisdom. Having thus
completed the sacrifice of that monarch, who was endued with the energy
of Sakra himself, the illustrious Vyasa with his disciples eulogised the
king greatly. Then Yudhishthira gave away unto the Brahmanas a thousand
crores of golden nishkas, and unto Vyasa he gave away the whole Earth.
Satyavati’s son Vyasa, having accepted the Earth, addressed that foremost
one of Bharata’s race, viz., king Yudhishthira the just, and said, ‘O
best of kings, the Earth which thou hast given me I return unto thee. Do
thou give me the purchasing value, for Brahmanas are desirous of wealth
(and have no use with the Earth).’ The high-souled Yudhishthira of great
intelligence staying with his brothers in the midst of the kings invited
to his sacrifice, said unto those Brahmanas, The ‘Dakshina ordained in
the scriptures for the great Horse-sacrifice is the Earth. Hence, I have
given away unto the sacrificial priests the Earth conquered by Arjuna. Ye
foremost of Brahmanas, I shall enter the woods. Do ye divide the Earth
among yourselves. Indeed, do you divide the Earth into four parts
according to what is done in the Chaturhotra sacrifice. Ye best of
regenerate ones I do not desire to appropriate what now belongs to the
Brahmanas. Even this, ye learned Brahmanas, has been the intention always
cherished by myself and my brothers.’ When the king said these words, his
brothers and Draupadi also said, ‘Yes, it is even so.’ Great was the
sensation created by this announcement. Then, O Bharata, an invisible
voice was heard in the welkin, saying,–‘Excellent, Excellent!’ The
murmurs also of crowds of Brahmanas as they spoke arose. The Island-born
Krishna, highly applauding him, once more addressed Yudhishthira, in the
presence of the Brahmanas, saying, ‘The Earth has been given by thee to
me. I, however, give her back to thee. Do thou give unto these Brahmanas
gold. Let the Earth be thine.’ Then Vasudeva, addressing king
Yudhishthira the just, said, ‘It behoveth thee to do as thou art bid by
the illustrious Vyasa.’ Thus addressed, the foremost one of Kuru’s race,
along with all his brothers, became glad of soul, and gave away millions
of golden coins, in fact, trebling the Dakshina ordained for the
Horse-sacrifice. No other king will be able to accomplish what the Kuru
king accomplished on that occasion after the manner of Marutta. Accepting
that wealth, the Island-born sage, Krishna, of great learning, gave it
unto the sacrificial priests, dividing it into four parts. Having paid
that wealth as the price of the Earth, Yudhishthira, cleansed of his sins
and assured of Heaven rejoiced with his brothers. The sacrificial
priests, having got that unlimited quantity of wealth, distributed it
among the Brahmanas gladly and according to the desire of each recipient.
The Brahmanas also divided amongst themselves, agreeably to
Yudhishthira’s permission, the diverse ornaments of gold that were in the
sacrificial compound, including the triumphal arches, the stakes, the
jars, and diverse kinds of vessels. After the Brahmanas had taken as much
as they desired, the wealth that remained was taken away by Kshatriyas
and Vaisyas and Sudras and diverse tribes of Mlechechas. Thus gratified
with presents by king Yudhishthira of great intelligence, the Brahmanas,
filled with joy, returned to their respective abodes. The holy and
illustrious Vyasa respectfully presented his own share, which was very
large, of that gold unto Kunti. Receiving that gift of affection from her
father-in-law, Pritha became glad of heart and devoted it to the
accomplishment of diverge acts of merit. King Yudhishthira, having bathed
at the conclusion of his sacrifice and become cleansed of all his sins,
shone in the midst of his brothers, honoured by all, like the chief of
the celestials in the midst of the denizens of Heaven. The sons of Pandu,
surrounded by the assembled kings, looked as beautiful, O king, as the
planets in the midst of the stars. Unto those kings they made presents of
various jewels and gems, and elephants and horses and ornaments of gold,
and female slaves and cloths and large measures of gold. Indeed, Pritha’s
son by distributing that untold wealth among the invited monarchs, shone,
O king, like Vaisravana, the lord of treasures. Summoning next the heroic
king Vabhruvahana, Yudhishthira gave unto him diverse kinds of wealth in
profusion and gave him permission to return home. The son of Pandu, for
gratifying his sister Dussala, established her infant grandson in his
paternal kingdom. The Kuru king Yudhishthira, having a full control over
his senses, then dismissed the assembled kings all of whom had been
properly classed and honoured by him.[212] The illustrious son of Pandu,
that chastiser of foes, then duly worshipped the high-souled Govinda and
Valadeva of great might, and the thousands of other Vrishni heroes having
Pradyumna for their first. Assisted by his brothers, he then dismissed
them for returning to Dwaraka. Even thus was celebrated that sacrifice of
king Yudhishthira the just, which was distinguished by a profuse
abundance of food and wealth and jewels and gems, and oceans of wines of
different kinds. There were lakes whose mire consisted of ghee, and
mountains of food. There were also, O chief of Bharata’s race, miry
rivers made of drinks having the six kinds of taste. Of men employed in
making and eating the sweetmeats called Khandavaragas, and of animals
slain for food, there was no end.[213] The vast space abounded with men
inebriated with wine, and with young ladies filled with joy. The
extensive grounds constantly echoed with the sounds of drums and the
blare of conches. With all these, the sacrifice became exceedingly
delightful. ‘Let agreeable things be given away,’–‘Let agreeable food be
eaten,’–these were the sounds that were repeatedly heard day and night
in that sacrifice. It was like a great festival, full of rejoicing and
contented men. People of diverse realms speak of that sacrifice to this
day. Having showered wealth in torrents, and diverse objects of desire,
and jewels and gems, and drinks of various kinds, the foremost one of
Bharata’s race, cleansed of all his sins, and his purpose fulfilled,
entered his capital. ‘”


“Janamejaya said, ‘It behoveth thee to tell me of any wonderful incident
that occurred in the sacrifice of my grandsires.’

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Hear, O chief of kings of a most wonderful incident
that occurred, O puissant monarch, at the conclusion of that great
horse-sacrifice. After all the foremost of Brahmanas and all the kinsmen
and relatives and friends, and all the poor, the blind, and the helpless
ones had been gratified, O chief of Bharata’s race, when the gifts made
in profusion were being spoken of on all sides, indeed, when flowers were
rained down on the head of king Yudhishthira the just, a blue-eyed
mongoose, O sinless one, with one side of his body changed into gold,
came there and spoke in a voice that was as loud and deep as thunder.
Repeatedly uttering such deep sounds and thereby frightening all animals
and birds, that proud denizen of a hole, with large body, spoke in a
human voice and said, ‘Ye kings, this great sacrifice is not equal to a
prastha of powdered barley given away by a liberal Brahmana of
Kurukshetra who was observing the Unccha vow.’ Hearing these words of the
mongoose, O king, all those foremost of Brahmanas became filled with
wonder. Approaching the mongoose, they then asked him, saying, ‘Whence
hast thou come to this sacrifice, this resort of the good and the pious?
What is the extent of thy might? What thy learning? And what thy refuge?
How should we know thee that thus censurest this our sacrifice? Without
having disregarded any portion of the scriptures, everything that should
be done has been accomplished here according to the scriptures and
agreeably to reason, with the aid of diverse sacrificial rites. Those who
are deserving of worship have been duly worshipped here according to the
way pointed out by the scriptures. Libations have been poured on the
sacred fire with the aid of proper mantras. That which should be given
has been given away without pride. The regenerate class have been
gratified with gifts of diverse kinds. The Kshatriyas have been gratified
with battles fought according to just methods. The grandsires have been
gratified with Sraddhas. The Vaisyas have been gratified by the
protection offered to them, and many foremost of women have been
gratified by accomplishing their desires. The Sudras have been gratified
by kind speeches, and others with the remnants of the profuse wealth
collected on the spot. Kinsmen and relatives have been gratified by the
purity of behaviour displayed by our king. The deities have been
gratified by libations of clarified butter and acts of merit, and
dependants and followers by protection. That therefore, which is true, do
thou truly declare unto these Brahmanas. Indeed, do thou declare what is
agreeable to the scriptures and to actual experience, asked by the
Brahmanas who are eager to know. Thy words seem to demand credit. Thou
art wise. Thou bearest also a celestial form. Thou hast come into the
midst of learned Brahmanas. It behoveth thee to explain thyself.’ Thus
addressed by those regenerate persons, the mongoose, smiling, answered
them as follows. ‘Ye regenerate ones, the words I have uttered are not
false. Neither have I spoken them from pride. That which I have said may
have been heard by you all. Ye foremost of regenerate persons, this
sacrifice is not equal in merit to the gift of a prastha of powdered
barley. Without doubt, I should say this, ye foremost of Brahmanas.
Listen to me with undivided attention as I narrate what happened to thee
truly. Wonderful and excellent was the occurrence that fell out. It was
witnessed by me and its consequences were felt by me. The incident
relates to a liberal Brahmana dwelling in Kurukshetra in the observance
of the Unccha vow. In consequence of that incident he attained to Heaven,
ye regenerate ones, along with his wife and son and daughter-in-law. And
in consequence of what then happened half my body became transformed into

“The Mongoose continued, ‘Ye regenerate ones, I shall presently tell you
what the excellent fruit was of the gift, made by a Brahmana, of a very
little measure (of powdered barley) obtained by lawful means. On that
righteous spot of ground known by the name of Kurukshetra, which is the
abode of many righteous persons, there lived a Brahmana in the observance
of what is called the Unccha vow. That mode of living is like unto that
of the pigeon.[214] He lived there with his wife and son and
daughter-in-law and practised penances. Of righteous soul, and with
senses under complete control, he adopted the mode of living that is
followed by a parrot. Of excellent vows, he used to eat everyday at the
sixth division.[215] If there was nothing to eat at the sixth division of
the day, that excellent Brahmana would fast for that day and eat the next
day at the sixth division. On one occasion, ye Brahmanas, there occurred
a dreadful famine in the land. During that time there was nothing stored
in the abode of that righteous Brahmana. The herbs and plants were all
dried up and the whole realm became void of foodstore. When the
accustomed hours came for eating, the Brahmana had nothing to eat. This
occurred day after day. All the members of his family were afflicted with
hunger but were obliged to pass the days as best they could. One day, in
the month of Jaishtha, while the Sun was in the meridian, the Brahmana
was engaged in picking up grains of corn. Afflicted by heat and hunger,
he was practising even this penance. Unable to obtain grains of corn, the
Brahmana soon became worn out with hunger and toil. Indeed, with all the
members of his family, he had no food to eat. That best of Brahmanas
passed the days in great suffering. One day, after the sixth division
came, he succeeded in obtaining a prastha of barley. That barley was then
reduced by those ascetics to powder for making what is called Saktu of
it. Having finished their silent recitations and other daily rites, and
having duly poured libations on the sacred fire, those ascetics divided
that little measure of powdered barley amongst themselves so that the
share of each came up to the measure of a Kudava.[216] As they were about
to sit down for eating, there came unto their abode a guest. Beholding
the person who came as a guest, all of them became exceedingly glad.
Indeed, seeing him, they saluted him and made the usual enquiries of
welfare. They were of pure minds, self-restrained, and endued with faith
and control over the passions. Freed from malice, they had conquered
wrath. Possessed of piety, they were never pained at the sight of other
people’s happiness. They had cast off pride and haughtiness and anger.
Indeed, they were conversant with every duty, ye foremost of regenerate
ones. Informing their guest of their own penances and of the race or
family to which they belonged, and ascertaining from him in return those
particulars, they caused that hungry guest of theirs to enter their
cottage. Addressing him they said, ‘This is the Arghya for thee. This
water is for washing thy feet. There are scattered some Kusa grass for
thy seat, O sinless one. Here is some clean Saktu acquired by lawful
means, O puissant one. Given by us, O foremost of regenerate persons, do
thou accept it,’ Thus addressed by them, that Brahmana accepted the
Kudava of powdered barley that was offered to him and ate it all. But his
hunger, O king, was not appeased by what he ate. The Brahmana in the
observance of the Unccha vow, seeing that his guest’s hunger was still
unappeased, began to think of what other food he could place before him
for gratifying him. Then his wife said unto him,–‘Let my share be given
unto him. Let this foremost of regenerate persons be gratified and let
him then go whithersoever he will.’ Knowing that his chaste wife who said
so was herself afflicted by hunger, that best of Brahmanas could not
approve of her share of the powdered barley being given to the guest.
Indeed, that best of Brahmanas possessed of learning, knowing from his
own state that his aged, toil-worn, cheerless, and helpless wife was
herself afflicted by hunger and seeing that lady who had been emaciated
into mere skin and bone was quivering with weakness, addressed her and
said, ‘O beautiful one, with even animals, with even worms and insects,
wives are fed and protected. It behoveth thee not, therefore, to say so.
The wife treats her lord with kindness and feeds and protects him.
Everything appertaining to religion, pleasure, and wealth, careful
nursing, offspring for perpetuating the race, are all dependent on the
wife. Indeed, the merits of a person himself as also of his deceased
ancestors depend also on her. The wife should know her lord by his acts.
Verily, that man who fails to protect his wife earns great infamy here
and goes into Hell hereafter. Such a man falls down from even a position
of great fame and never succeeds in acquiring regions of happiness
hereafter.’ Thus addressed, she answered him, saying, ‘O regenerate one,
our religious acts and wealth are united. Do thou take a fourth of this
barley. Indeed, be gratified with me. Truth, pleasure, religious merit,
and Heaven as acquirable, by good qualities, of women, as also all the
objects of their desire, O foremost of regenerate ones, are dependent on
the husband. In the production of offspring the mother contributes her
blood. The father contributes his seed. The husband is the highest deity
of the wife. Through the grace of the husband, women obtain both pleasure
and offspring as the reward. Thou art my Pati (lord) for the protection
thou givest me. Thou art my Bhartri for the means of sustenance thou
givest me. Thou art, again, boon-giver to me in consequence of thy having
presented me a son. Do thou, therefore, (in return for so many favours),
take my share of the barley and give it unto the guest. Overcome by
decrepitude, thou art of advanced years. Afflicted by hunger thou art
exceedingly weakened. Worn out with fasts, thou art very much emaciated.
(If thou couldst part with thy share, why should not I part with mine)’
Thus addressed by her, he took her share of the powdered barley and
addressing his guest said,–‘O regenerate one, O best of men, do thou
accept this measure of powdered barley as well.’ The Brahmana, having
accepted that quantity, immediately ate it up, but his hunger was not yet
appeased. Beholding him ungratified, the Brahmana in the observance of
the Unccha vow became thoughtful. His son then said unto him, ‘O best of
men, taking my share of the barely do thou give it to the guest. I regard
this act of mine as one of great merit. Therefore, do it. Thou shouldst
be always maintained by me with great care. Maintenance of the father is
a duty which the good always covet. The maintenance of the father in his
old age is the duty ordained for the son. Even this is the eternal sruti
(audition) current in the three worlds, O learned Rishi. By barely living
thou art capable of practising penances. The life-breath is the great
deity that resides in the bodies of all embodied creatures.'[217]

“The father, at this, said, ‘If thou attainest to the age of even a
thousand years, thou wilt still seem to me to be only a little child.
Having begotten a son, the sire achieves success through him. O puissant
one, I know that the hunger of children is very strong. I am old. I shall
somehow succeed in holding my life-breaths. Do thou, O son, become strong
(by eating the food that has fallen to thy share). Old and decrepit as I
am, O son, hunger scarcely afflicts me. I have, again, for many years,
practised penances. I have no fear of death.’

“The son said, ‘I am thy offspring. The Sruti declares that one’s
offspring is called putra because one is rescued by him. One’s own self,
again, takes birth as one’s son. Do thou, therefore, rescue thyself by
thy own self (in the form of thy son).’

“The father said, ‘In form thou art like me. In conduct and in
self-restraint also thou art my like. Thou hast been examined on various
occasions by me. I shall, therefore, accept thy share of the barley, O
son.’ Having said this, that foremost of regenerate persons cheerfully
took his son’s share of the barley and smilingly presented it to his
regenerate guest. Having eaten that barley also, the guest’s hunger was
not appeased. The righteous-souled host in the observance of the unccha
vow became ashamed (at the thought that he had nothing more to give).
Desirous of doing what was agreeable to him, his chaste daughter-in-law
then, bearing her share of the barley, approached him and said, ‘Through
thy son, O learned Brahmana, I shall obtain a son. Do thou, therefore,
take my share of the barley and give it unto this guest. Through thy
grace, numerous regions of beatitude will be mine for eternity. Through
the grandson one obtains those regions repairing whither one has not to
endure any kind of misery. Like the triple aggregate beginning with
Religion, or the triple aggregate of sacred fires, there is a triple
aggregate of everlasting Heavens, depending upon the son, the grandson,
and the great-grandson. The son is called Putra because he frees his
sires from debt. Through sons and grandsons one always enjoys the
happiness of those regions which are reserved for the pious and the good.’

“The father-in-law said, ‘O thou of excellent vows and conduct, beholding
thee wasted by wind and sun, deprived of thy very complexion, emaciated
and almost destitute of consciousness through hunger, how can I be such a
transgressor against the rules of righteousness as to take thy share of
the barley? O auspicious damsel, it behoves thee not to say so, for the
sake of those auspicious results for which every family must strive.[218]
O auspicious damsel, how can I behold thee: at even this, the sixth
division of the day, abstaining from food and observing vows? Thou art
endued with purity and good conduct and penances. Alas, even thou hast to
pass thy days in so much misery. Thou art a child, afflicted by hunger,
and belongest to the softer sex. Thou shouldst be always protected by me.
Alas, I have to see thee worn out with fasts, O thou that art the
delighter of all thy kinsmen.’

“The daughter-in-law said, ‘Thou art the senior of my senior since thou
art the deity of my deity. Thou art verily the god of my god. Do thou,
therefore, O puissant one, take my share of the barley. My body,
life-breaths, and religious rites have all one purpose viz., the service
of my senior. Through thy grace, O learned Brahmana, I shall obtain many
regions of happiness hereafter. I deserve to be looked after by thee.
Know, O regenerate one, that I am wholly devoted to thee. Cherishing also
this thought, viz., that my happiness is thy concern, it behoveth thee to
take this my share of the barley.’

“The father-in-law said, ‘O chaste lady, in consequence of such conduct
of thine thou wilt for ever shine in glory, for endued with vows and
steadiness in religious rites, thy eyes are directed to that conduct
which should be observed towards seniors. Therefore, O daughter-in-law, I
shall take thy share of the barley. Thou deservest not to be deceived by
me, reckoning all thy virtues. Thou art truly, O blessed damsel, the
foremost of all persons observing the duties of righteousness.’ Having
said so unto her, the Brahmana took her share of the barley and gave it
unto his guest. At this the guest became gratified with the high-souled
Brahmana endued with great piety. With gratified soul, that first of
regenerate person, possessed of great eloquence, who was none else than
the deity of Righteousness in a human form, then addressed that foremost
of Brahmanas and said, ‘O best of regenerate ones, I am exceedingly
gratified with this pure gift of thine, this gift of what was acquired by
lawful means by thee, and which thou didst freely part with, agreeably to
the rules of righteousness. Verily, this gift of thine is being bruited
about in Heaven by the denizens of that happy region. Behold, flowers
have been rained down from the firmament on the Earth. The celestial
Rishis, the deities, the Gandharvas, those who walk before the deities,
and the celestial messengers, are all praising thee, struck with wonder
at thy gift. The regenerate Rishis who dwell in the regions of Brahma,
seated on their cars, are solicitous of obtaining thy sight. O foremost
of regenerate persons, go to Heaven. The Pitris residing in their own
region have all been rescued by thee. Others also who have not attained
to the position of Pitris have equally been rescued by thee for countless
Yugas. For thy Brahmacharyya, thy gifts, thy sacrifices, thy penances,
and thy acts of piety done with a pure heart, go thou to Heaven. O thou
of excellent vows, thou practisest penances with great devotion. Thy
gifts have, therefore, gratified the deities highly, O best of regenerate
ones. Since thou hast made this gift, in a season of great difficulty,
with a pure heart, thou hast, by this act of thine, conquered Heaven.
Hunger destroys one’s wisdom and drives off one’s righteous
understanding. One whose intelligence is overwhelmed by hunger casts off
all fortitude. He, therefore, that conquers hunger conquers Heaven
without doubt. One’s righteousness is never destroyed as long as one
cherishes the inclination of making gifts. Disregarding filial affection,
disregarding the affection one feels for one’s wife, and reckoning
righteousness as the foremost, thou hast paid no heed to the cravings of
nature. The acquisition of wealth is an act of slight merit. Its gift to
a deserving person is fraught with greater merit. Of still greater merit
is the (proper) time. Lastly, devotion (in the matter of gift) is fraught
with the highest merit. The door of Heaven is very difficult to see.
Through heedlessness men fail to obtain a sight of it. The bar of
Heaven’s door has cupidity for its seed. That bar is kept fastened by
desire and affection. Verily, Heaven’s door is unapproachable. Those men
who subdued wrath and conquered their passions, those Brahmanas who are
endued with penances and who make gifts according to the measure of their
ability, succeed in beholding it. It has been said that he that gives
away a hundred, having a thousand, he that gives away ten, having a
hundred, and he that gives a handful of water, having no wealth, are all
equal in respect of the merit they earn. King Rantideva, when divested of
all his wealth, gave a small quantity of water with a pure heart. Through
this gift, O learned Brahmana, he went to Heaven. The deity of
righteousness is never gratified so much with large gifts of costly
things as with gifts of even things of no value, if acquired lawfully and
given away with devotion and faith. King Nriga had made gifts of
thousands of kine unto the regenerate class. By giving away only one cow
that did not belong to him, he fell into Hell. Usinara’s son Sivi of
excellent vows, by giving away the flesh of his own body, is rejoicing in
Heaven, having attained to the regions of the righteous. Mere wealth is
not merit. Good men acquire merit by exerting to the best of their power
and with the aid of pious meals. One does not acquire such merit by means
of even diverse sacrifices as with even a little wealth that has been
earned lawfully. Through wrath, the fruits of gifts are destroyed.
Through cupidity one fails to go to Heaven. One conversant with the
merits of gift, and leading a just course of conduct succeeds, through
penances, in enjoying Heaven. The fruit, O Brahmana, of this gift made by
thee (of a prastha of powdered barley) is much greater than what one
acquires by many Rajasuya sacrifices with profuse gifts or many
Horse-sacrifices. With this prastha of powdered barley thou hast
conquered the eternal region of Brahman. Go thou in happiness, O learned
Brahmana, to the abode of Brahman that is without the stain of darkness.
O foremost of regenerate persons, a celestial car is here for all of you.
Do thou ascend it as pleasest thee, O Brahmana, I am the deity of
Righteousness. Behold me! Thou hast rescued thy body. The fame of thy
achievement will last in the world. With thy wife, thy son, and thy
daughter-in-law, go now to Heaven.’–After the deity of Righteousness had
said these words, that Brahmana, with his wife, son and daughter-in-law,
proceeded to Heaven. After that learned Brahmana, conversant with all
duties, had thus ascended to Heaven with his son, daughter-in-law, and
wife numbering the fourth, I came out of my hole. There with the scent of
that powdered barley, with the mire caused by the water (which the
Brahmana had given to his guest), with the contact (of my body) with the
celestial flowers that had been rained down, with the particles of the
barley-powder which that good man had given away, and the penances of
that Brahmana, my head became gold, Behold, in consequence of the gift of
that Brahmana who was firm in truth, and his penances, half of this my
ample body has become golden. Ye regenerate ones, for converting the rest
of my body into gold I repeatedly repair, with a cheerful heart, to the
retreats of ascetics and the sacrifices performed by kings. Hearing of
this sacrifice of the Kuru king endued with great wisdom, I came hither
with high hopes. I have not, however, been made gold. Ye foremost of
Brahmanas, it was for this that I uttered those words, viz., that this
sacrifice can by no means compare with (the gift of) that prastha of
powdered barley. With the grains of that prastha of powdered barley, I
was made gold on that occasion. This great sacrifice however, is not
equal to those grains. Even this is my opinion.’ Having said those words
unto all those foremost of Brahmanas, the mongoose disappeared from their
sight. Those Brahmanas then returned to their respective homes.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘O conquerer of hostile towns, I have now told
thee all relating to that wonderful incident which occurred in that great
Horse-sacrifice. Thou shouldst not, O king, think highly of sacrifice.
Millions of Rishis have ascended to Heaven with the aid of only their
penances. Abstention from injury as regards all creatures, contentment,
conduct, sincerity, penances, self-restraint, truthfulness, and gifts are
each equal in point of merit to sacrifice.”‘


“Janamejaya said, ‘O puissant Rishi, kings are attached to sacrifices.
The great Rishis are attached to penances. Learned Brahmanas are
observant of tranquillity of mind, peacefulness of behaviour, and
self-restraint. Hence it seems that nothing can be seen in this world
which can compare with the fruits of sacrifices. Even this is my
conviction. That conviction, again, seems to be undoubtedly correct.
Innumerable kings, O best of regenerate persons, having worshipped the
deities in sacrifices, earned high fame here and obtained Heaven
hereafter. Endued with great energy, the puissant chief of the deities
viz., Indra of a thousand eyes, obtained the sovereignty over the deities
through the many sacrifices he performed with gifts in profusion and
attained to the fruition of all his wishes. When king Yudhishthira, with
Bhima and Arjuna by him, resembled the chief of the deities himself in
prosperity and prowess, why then did that mongoose depreciate that great
Horse-sacrifice of the high-souled monarch?’

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Do thou listen to me, O king, as I discourse to thee
duly, O Bharata, on the excellent ordinances relating to sacrifice and
the fruits also, O ruler of men, that sacrifice yields. Formerly, on one
occasion Sakra performed a particular sacrifice. While the limbs of the
sacrifice were spread out, the Ritwijas became busy in accomplishing the
diverse rites ordained in the scriptures. The pourer of libations,
possessed of every qualification, became engaged in pouring libations of
clarified butter. The great Rishis were seated around. The deities were
summoned one by one by contented Brahmanas of great learning uttering
scriptural Mantras in sweet voices. Those foremost of Adhwaryyus, not
fatigued with what they did, recited the Mantras of the Yajurveda in soft
accents. The time came for slaughtering the animals. When the animals
selected for sacrifice were seized, the great Rishis, O king, felt
compassion for them. Beholding that the animals had all become cheerless,
those Rishis, endued with wealth of penances, approached Sakra and said
unto him, ‘This method of sacrifice is not auspicious. Desirous of
acquiring great merit as thou art, this is verily an indication of thy
unacquaintance with sacrifice. O Purandara, animals have not been
ordained to be slaughtered in sacrifices. O puissant one, these
preparations of thine are destructive of merit. This sacrifice is not
consistent with righteousness. The destruction of creatures can never be
said to be an act of righteousness. If thou wishest it, let thy priests
perform thy sacrifice according to the Agama. By performing a sacrifice
according to the (true import of the) scriptural ordinances, great will
be the merit achieved by thee. O thou of a hundred eyes, do thou perform
the sacrifice with seeds of grain that have been kept for three years.
Even this, O Sakra, would be fraught with great righteousness and
productive of fruits of high efficacy.’ The deity of a hundred
sacrifices, however, influenced by pride and overwhelmed by stupefaction,
did not accept these words uttered by the Rishis. Then, O Bharata, a
great dispute arose in that sacrifice of Sakra between the ascetics as to
how sacrifices should be performed, that is, should they be performed
with mobile creatures or with immobile objects. All of them were worn out
with disputation. The Rishis then, those beholders of truth, having made
an understanding with Sakra (about referring the matter to arbitration)
asked king Vasu, ‘O highly blessed one, what is the Vedic declaration
about sacrifices? Is it preferable to perform sacrifices with animals or
with steeds and juices? Hearing the question, king Vasu, without all
judging of the strength or weakness of the arguments on the two sides, at
once answered, saying, ‘Sacrifices may be performed with whichever of the
two kinds of objects is ready.’ Having answered the question thus, he had
to enter the nether regions. Indeed the puissant ruler of the Chedis had
to undergo that misery for having answered falsely. Therefore, when a
doubt arises, no person, however wise, should singly decide the matter,
unless he be the puissant and self-born Lord himself of creatures. Gifts
made by a sinner with an impure understanding, even when they are very
large, become lost. Such gifts go for nothing. By the gifts made by a
person of unrighteous conduct,–one, that is, who is of sinful soul and
who is a destroyer, just fame is never acquired either here or hereafter.
That person of little intelligence who, from desire of acquiring merit,
performs sacrifices with wealth acquired by unrighteous means, never
succeeds in earning merit. That low wretch of sinful soul, who
hypocritically assuming a garb of righteousness mikes gifts unto
Brahmanas, only creates the conviction in men about his own righteousness
(without earning true merit). That Brahmana of uncontrolled conduct, who
acquires wealth by sinful acts, over overwhelmed by passion and
stupefaction, attains at last to the goal of the sinful. Someone,
overwhelmed by cupidity and stupefaction, becomes bent on strong wealth.
He is seen to persecute all creatures, urged by a sinful and impure
understanding. He who, having acquired wealth by such means, makes gifts
or performs sacrifices therewith, never enjoys the fruits of those gifts
or sacrifices in the other world in consequence of the wealth having been
earned by unrighteous means. Men endued with wealth of penances, by
giving away, to the best of their power, grains of corn picked up from
the fields or roots or fruits or pot-herbs or water or leaves, acquire
great merit and proceed to Heaven. Even such gifts, as also compassion to
all creatures, and Brahmacharyya, truthfulness of speech and kindness,
and fortitude, and forgiveness, constitute the eternal foundations of
Righteousness which itself is eternal. We hear of Visvamitra and other
kings of ancient times. Indeed, Visvamitra, and Asita, and king Janaka,
and Kakshasena and Arshtisena, and king Sindhudwipa,–these and many
other kings, endued with wealth of penances, having made gifts of
articles acquired lawfully, have attained to high success. Those amongst
Brahmanas and Kshatriyas and Vaisyas and Sudras who betake themselves to
penances, O Bharata, and who purify themselves by gifts and other acts of
righteousness, proceed to Heaven.”


“Janamejaya said, ‘If, O illustrious one, Heaven is the fruit of wealth
acquired by lawful means, do thou discourse to me fully on it. Thou art
well-conversant with the subject and therefore, it behoveth thee to
explain it. O regenerate one, thou hast said unto me what the high fruit
was that accrued unto that Brahmana, who lived according to the Unccha
mode, through his gift of powdered barley. Without doubt, all thou hast
said is true. In what way, however, was the attainment held certain of
the highest end in all sacrifices? O foremost of regenerate persons, it
behoveth thee to expound this to me in all its details.’

“Vaisampayana said, ‘In this connection is cited this old narrative, O
chastiser of foes, of what occurred in former days in the great sacrifice
of Agastya. In olden days, O king, Agastya of great energy, devoted to
the good of all creatures, entered into a Diksha extending for twelve
years.[219] In that sacrifice of the high-souled Rishi many Hotris were
engaged that resembled blazing fires in the splendour of their bodies.
Among them were men that subsisted upon roots or fruits, or that used two
pieces of stone only for husking their corn, or that were supported by
only the rays (of the moon). Among them were also men who never took any
food unless it was placed before them by others solicitous of feeding
them, and those who never ate anything without having first served the
deities, the Pitris, and guests, and those who never washed the food
which they took. There were also Yatis and Bikshus among them, O king.
All of them were men who had obtained a sight of the deity of
Righteousness in his embodied form. They had subjugated wrath and
acquired a complete mastery over all their senses. Living in the
observance of self-restraint, they were freed from pride and the desire
of injuring others. They were always observant of a pure conduct and were
never obstructed (in the prosecution of their purposes) by their senses.
Those great Rishis attended that sacrifice and accomplished its various
rites. The illustrious Rishi (Agastya) acquired the food that was
collected in that sacrifice and that came up to the required measure, by
lawful means according to the best of his power. Numerous other ascetics
at that time performed large sacrifices. As Agastya, however, was engaged
in that sacrifice of his, the thousand-eyed Indra, O best of the
Bharatas, ceased to pour rain (on the Earth). At the intervals, O king,
of the sacrificial rites, this talk occurred among those Rishis of
cleansed souls about the high-souled Agastya, viz., ‘This Agastya,
engaged in sacrifice, is making gifts of food with heart purged of pride
and vanity. The deity of the clouds, however, has ceased to pour rain.
How, indeed, will food grow? This sacrifice of the Rishi, ye Brahmanas,
is great and extends for twelve years. The deity will not pour rain for
these twelve years. Reflecting on this, it behoveth you to do some favour
unto this Rishi of great intelligence, viz., Agastya of severe penances.’
When these words were said, Agastya of great prowess, gratifying those
ascetics by bending his head, said, ‘If Vasava does not pour rain for
those twelve years, I shall then perform the mental sacrifice. Even this
is the eternal ordinance. If Vasava does not pour rain for these twelve
years, I shall then perform the Touch-sacrifice. Even this is the eternal
sacrifice. If Vasava does not pour rain for these twelve years, I shall
then, putting forth all my exertion, make arrangements for other
sacrifices characterised by the observance of the most difficult and
severe vows. This present sacrifice of mine, with seeds, has been
arranged for by me with labour extending for many years.[220] I shall,
with seeds, accomplish much good. No impediment will arise. This my
sacrifice is incapable of being baffled. It matters little whether the
deity pours rains or no downpours happen. Indeed, if Indra does not, of
his own will, show any regard for me, I shall, in that case, transform
myself into Indra and keep all creatures alive. Every creature, on
whatever food he has been nourished, will continue to be nourished on it
as before. I can even repeatedly create a different order of things. Let
gold and whatever else of wealth there is, come to this place today. Let
all the wealth that occurs in the three worlds come here today of its own
accord. Let all the tribes of celestial Apsaras, all the Gandharvas along
with the Kinnaras, and Viswavasu, and others there are (of that order),
approach this sacrifice of mine. Let all the wealth that exists among the
Northern Kurus, come of their own accord to these sacrifices. Let Heaven,
and all those who have Heaven for their home, and Dharma himself, come
hither.’–After the ascetic had uttered these words, everything happened
as he wished, in consequence of his penances, for Agastya was endued with
a mind that resembled a blazing fire and was possessed of extraordinary
energy. The Rishis who were there beheld the power of penances with
rejoicing hearts. Filled with wonder they then said these words of grave

“The Rishis said, ‘We have been highly gratified with the words thou hast
uttered. We do not, however, wish that thy penances should suffer any
diminution. Those sacrifices are approved by us which are performed by
lawful means. Indeed, we desire duly those sacrifices which rest on
lawful means.[221] Earning our food by lawful means and observant of our
respective duties, we shall seek to go through sacrificial initiations
and the pouring of libations on the sacred fire and the other religious
rites. We should adore the deities, practising Brahmacharyya by lawful
means. Completing the period of Brahmacharyya we have come out of our
abode, observing lawful methods. That understanding, which is freed from
the desire of inflicting any kind of injury on others, is approved by us.
Thou shouldst always, O puissant one, command such abstention from injury
in all sacrifices. We shall then be highly gratified, O foremast of
regenerate ones. After the completion of thy sacrifice, when dismissed by
thee, we shall then, leaving this place, go away.’ As they were saying
these words, Purandara, the chief of the deities, endued with great
energy, beholding the power of Agastya’s penances, poured rain. Indeed, O
Janamejaya, till the completion of the sacrifice of that Rishi of
immeasurable prowess, the deity of rain poured rain that met the wishes
of men in respect of both quantity and time. Placing Vrihaspati before
him, the chief of the deities came there, O royal sage, and gratified the
Rishi Agastya. On the completion of that sacrifice, Agastya, filled with
joy, worshipped those great Rishis duly and then dismissed them all.’

“Janamejaya said, ‘Who was that mongoose with a golden head, that said
all those words in a human voice? Asked by me, do thou tell me this.’

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Thou didst not ask me before and, therefore, I did
not tell thee. Hear as I tell thee who that mongoose was and why he could
assume a human voice. In former times, the Rishi Jamadagni proposed to
perform a Sraddha. His Homa cow came to him and the Rishi milked her
himself. He then placed the milk in a vessel that was new, durable and
pure. The deity Dharma, assuming the form of Anger, entered that vessel
of milk. Indeed, Dharma was desirous of ascertaining what that foremost
of Rishis would do when seeing some injury done to him. Having reflected
thus, Dharma spoiled that milk. Knowing that the spoiler of his milk was
Anger, the ascetic was not at all enraged with him. Anger, then, assuming
the form of a Brahmana lady, showed himself to the Rishi. Indeed, Anger,
finding that he had been conquered by that foremost one of Bhrigu’s race,
addressed him, saying, ‘O chief of Bhrigu’s race, I have been conquered
by thee. There is a saying among men that the Bhrigus are very wrathful.
I now find that that saying is false, since I have been subdued by thee.
Thou art possessed of a mighty soul. Thou art endued with forgiveness. I
stand here today, owning thy sway. I fear thy penances, O righteous one.
Do thou, O puissant Rishi, show me favour.’

“Jamadagni said, ‘I have seen thee, O Anger, in thy embodied form. Go
thou whithersoever thou likest, without any anxiety. Thou hast not done
me any injury today. I have no grudge against thee. Those for whom I had
kept this milk are the highly blessed Pitris. Present thyself before them
and ascertain their intentions.’ Thus addressed, penetrated with fear,
Anger vanished from the sight of the Rishi. Through the curse of the
Pitris he became a mongoose. He then began to gratify the Pitris in order
to bring about an end of his curse. By them he was told these words, ‘By
speaking disrespectfully of Dharma thou shalt attain to the end of thy
curse.’ Thus addressed by them he wandered over places where sacrifices
were performed and over other sacred places, employed in censuring great
sacrifices. It was he that came to the great sacrifice of king
Yudhishthira. Dispraising the son of Dharma by a reference to the prastha
of powdered barley, Anger became freed from his curse, for Yudhishthira
(as Dharma’s son) was Dharma’s self. Even this is what occurred in the
sacrifice of that high-souled king. Mongoose disappeared there in our
very sight.'”[222]

The end of Aswamedha Parva


1. Mahavahu occurs twice in this passage. One of the epithets is left out
on the score of redundancy.

2. i.e., human sacrifice. From this it appears that the sacrifice of
human beings was in vogue at the time.

3. King Marutta celebrated a sacrifice in the Himalayas, bestowing gold
on Brahmanas. Not being able to carry the entire quantity, they had
carried as much as they could, throwing away the remainder.

4. Digambara, i.e., in naked state.

5. Nityada always, left out on the ground of redundancy.

6. Bhutanam etc. is explained by Nilakantha as no swasya, and the
vocative vibho is taken as Paramatman.

7. Agatagamam implies, as explained by the commentator,

8. Nirakarasritena is explained by Nilakantha as
Asamprajnatas-samadhi-samadhigamya Brhamabhavasritena, implying reliance
on Brahman by having recourse to Samadhi or a suspension of all functions
of both body and mind (through Yoga) and arrival at that state which is
one of perfect unconsciousness.’

9. The dissolution here spoken of is the Mahapralaya and not the Khanda
or Avantara Pralayas. Till then, the sage will look upon all beings,
i.e., their repeated migrations.

10. The commentator explains that altogether seven questions are asked.
The first is about the dissolution of the body. The second relates to the
manner of re-acquiring a body. The third has reference to the manner in
which rebirth may be avoided. The fourth relates to the causes that
operate for giving a body to Jiva. By Prakriti is meant Nature or that
Nescience which is the cause of body. The fifth relates to the Anyat or
Param, viz., how final Emancipation or absorption into Brahman takes
place. The sixth pertains to the manner in which the fruits of acts are
enjoyed or endured. The seventh enquires after the way in which acts
attach to Jiva even when devoid of a body.

11. Kala here means both the season of the year and the age of the
person. Food that is beneficial in summer is not so in winter, or that
which is beneficial in youth is otherwise at old age. All the texts that
I have seen have viditwa and not aviditiwa which Telang takes in his
version for the Sacred Books of the East. Kala is always interpreted by
the commentators of Charaka as referring to either period of life or
period of the year. This, as well as the following verses, relates to the
laws of health as expounded by Charaka.

12. The faults are three, viz., Wind, Bile, and Phlegm. When existing in
a state of harmony, they produce health. When one is excited or two, or
all, indisposition sets in. They are called dosha or faults, because of
their liability to be excited and product, disease. Telang, not
suspecting that the whole passage is a reproduction of a passage in the
ancient work edited by Charaka, misunderstands some expressions and
wrongly renders doshan into ‘disorders.’

13. Jivitam in the second line seems to be an objective of sariram in the

14. Garbha-sankramane is explained by Nilakantha as ‘entering the foetus
in the womb after casting off the body appertaining to the other world. I
think Telang is not correct in his version of 19 and 20. Atisarpana can
never imply ‘exhaustion’; hence, karmanam can never be the reading he
adopts. Besides tadrisam seems to settle the question. The tortures felt
at death are similar to those at birth.

15. Sambutatwam is sanhatatwam. Niyachachati is nasyyati Vayu is
understood in the second line, or that in the first line of the next
verse may be taken as the nom. of niyachachati.

16. Pachante is phalam prayachhanti.

17. Nilakantha explains this verse in a different way. According to him
it means,–‘in consequence of his subtlety and imperceptibility, Jiva
does not become attached to anything. For this reason, one possessed of a
knowledge of Brahman, having become cognisant of Brahman and attained the
great object of his desire, succeeds in becoming so (i.e., dissociated
from all things). This interpretation seems to be a little far-fetched.

18. Chetasa indicates upadhibhutena, for previously, Jiva was without
upadhi. Pranasthaneshu implies Indriyagolokeshu or those vital parts
which constitute the seats of the senses. Chetana does not, I think, mean
‘consciousness.’ It implies mind.

19. Causes them to grow. I do not follow Nilakantha here.

20. Nilakantha points out that one of the cha’s indicates the reason or
cause. Hence, the use of ‘therefore’ in the text.

21. Vikrita does not necessarily mean degraded. It implies ‘changed or
altered.’ Jiva, who is pure and immaculate, takes birth in this world,
failing away from his true status of Brahman owing to his acts. Acts,
again, are eternal, no beginning being conceivable.

22. Parantwa-maritam-aksharam indicates two things, viz., Amritam and
Aksharam. The first line speaks of Kshara, or the material case, or body;
then of that which is para or other. This other is of two kinds, viz.,
Amritam or suddha-chaitanyam, implying Brahman in its condition of
purity; and Aksharamt or Jiva as existing in the material case. In the
second line, trayanam refers to Kshara, Amrita, and Akshara. Mithunam is
duality, referring to that which is composed of Kshara and Akshara. What
is stated in this verse is that every Purusha is a duality, made up of
Kshara and Akshara. Telang gives a different version of the verse. He
ignores the word trayanam totally, and takes Mithunam as implying a
couple (male and female). All the texts I have seen contain trayanam.

23. Atra purvajamnani (vishaye) yatha kaschit Medhavi etc., (vadet).
seems to be the correct order of the words. Telang translates the first
line differently.

24. Ekayana is the one receptacle of all things, viz., Brahman. Tushni
implies ahamevedam sarvamasmityabhimanamapyakurvan i.e., ‘without even
retaining the consciousness of his own identity with everything.’
Kinchikachintayan–i.e., not even thinking that he is existing. Purvam
purvam parityajya implies the gradual merging of the grosser in the
subtler. i.e., the successive stages of Yoga before absorption into
Brahman. I follow Nilakantha.

25. The first half of the second line of 8 is read differently in the
Bengal texts. Aswasthamavasam mudham implies ‘without ease or happiness,
endued with slavery and ignorance.’

26. The Soul being destitute of these becomes Chinmatra, i.e., a pure
Chit without the attributes superinduced upon it by Ne-science or

27. Formlessness implies subtlety. ‘Without cause’ implies increate or as
identical with eternal Brahman. Dissociation from attributes while
enjoying them implies an emancipate condition.

28. Nirvana, according to orthodox commentators, implies the annihilation
or cessation of separate or individual existence by absorption into
universal and eternal Brahman.

29. The impressions caused by objects outside self are destroyed by those
belonging to contemplation. The latter, again, should be destroyed before
absorption into Brahman can occur.

30. Siddham is explained as ‘destitute of the errors due to Ne-science.’

31. Attnanam is Chittam; atmani is dehe; charayan is antarmukham kritwa;
nityam is adyantasunyam. So Nilakantha.

32. ‘Fixing the mind upon the soul’ is that concentration which leads to
Emancipation. This becomes possible in consequence of severe austerities
undergone previously.

33. I expand the verse a little to make it intelligible. The sense is
this: having seen the supreme Soul in Samadhi, upon awaking from it, he
recognises it in the universe, i.e., regards the universe to be nothing
else than the Supreme Soul.

34. This may also mean ‘he has none superior to him; not even he that is
the Lord of the universe.’

35. The first line seems to be doubtful. The sense, as I understand it,
is,–such a person becomes the god of the very gods. The causal verb
karayate may be taken as equivalent to karoti.

36. I follow Nilakantha in rendering the second line. The sense is clear,
viz., that one should not fall away from the practice of Yoga, tempted by
the puissance that Yoga brings. Telang renders the line ‘one practising
concentration should never become despondent.’ I think, Nilakantha is

37. Nilakantha notes that this indicates that only that Yogin who has not
advanced much may be tempted by the desire of enjoyment. He, however, who
has adequately devoted himself to Yoga feels no regard for Indra himself
but can turn him away like Diogenes dismissing Alexander the Great.

38. I have endeavoured to render verses 33 to 37 as literally as
possible, under the guide of Nilakantha, omitting his inferences. The
passage relates to the mysteries of Yoga. In the second line of 33,
drishtapurvam disam, which has been rendered ‘that point of the compass
which has the Sun behind it,’ means the instructions laid down in the
Vedanta as based upon Srutis. Drishtam implies ‘Sruti’, for it is as
authoritative as anything seen. ‘Pura’ implies a city, a citadel, or a
mansion. Here it refers to the body. The avasatha within the pura refers
to the chakra or nervous centres beginning with what is called the
muladhara. At the time when Brahman is realised, the whole universe
appears as Brahman and so nothing exists, besides Brahman, upon which the
mind can then dwell. Telang, I think, is not correct in rendering
manaschasya … vahyatah as ‘his mind should not any way wander outside’.
The correct version would ‘the mind is then nowhere,’ implying that at
that time the mind has nothing else to dwell upon. Kayamabhyantaram is
kayamabhi and antaram, i.e., both within and without the body. The
several parts of the body named, beginning with teeth, etc, refer to
eating and other operations, all of which influence the mind and dispose
it for purity and otherwise.

39. i.e., that from which the entire universe has been created.

40. Probably, ‘by any of the senses’. The plural form occurs in the

41. This answers the questions respecting the form of the Soul, says

42. I render this verse, following Nilakantha’s gloss. The second line of
50, according to that commentator, refers to the ascension of the Yogin
from Brahma vested with attributes to Brahma divested of all attributes.
The tam does not refer to body, as Telang takes it, but to Brahma as
endued with hands and feet on all sides, etc. Deheswam dharayan means
‘restraining the mind within the body’. Kevalam Brahma is Brahma without

43. The speaker here is the regenerate visitor of Krishna. The latter is
repeating the words of that visitor. In this verse, Krishna, forgetting
that he is merely reciting the words of another, refers to himself as the
Supreme Brahman in whom one must merge for attaining to Emancipation.

44. The second line of 56 is read variously.

45. Heaven is the reward of those who follow the religion of Pravritti or
acts, such as sacrifices, religious observances, etc. The followers,
however, of the religion of Nivritti or inaction, i.e., they who betake
themselves to the path of knowledge, become emancipated. The deities
derive their sustenance from the former and become even jealous of the
latter, for the emancipate state is higher than that of the deities

46. Avichakshanam is undiscerning, in the sense of the husband’s not
knowing that the interrogatrix as wife, has no other refuge than her lord
with all his defects.

47. I follow Nilakantha. Telang adopts the views or Arjuna Misra and
renders the first line as ‘whatever acts are seized (by the touch, or
seen, or heard, etc.’) Grahyam, according to Nilakantha, implies those
acts, like Diksha, etc, which are adopted with the aid of others.

48. This seat, says Nilakantha, is called Avimukta and lies between the
eyebrows and the nose.

49. Nilakantha interprets this mystically. By Soma he understands the
artery or duct called Ida, and by Agni the duct called Pingala. Dhira is
Buddipreraka; vyavayam is sancharam. Dhirobhutani dharayan nityam
vyavayam kurute is the order of the words. The sense is this: in this
spot is seated Brahman; there Ida and Pingala meet; and there also is
Vayu which urges the understanding and upholds all living creatures.

50. Yatra is not to be taken as a locative here. It is equivalent to
yatah or for which.

51. Tasmin is taken, by Nilakantha as Apana sahite Prane.

52. Utkarshena anayati, hence Udana, says Nilakantha. The sense of the
whole passage seems to be this. Worldly life is regulated by the
life-breaths. These are attached to the Soul and lead to its individual
manifestations. Udana controls all the breaths. Udana is controlled by
penance. It is penance then that destroys the round of rebirths and leads
to absorption into Brahman.

53. The meaning seems to be this: they who renounce sensuous objects can
create them when they like. One casting off smell that has earth for its
object can create earth when he likes.

54. What is stated in this passage is, shortly, this: the ear, etc, are
the Hotris or sacrificing priests who are to pour libations on the
sacrificial fire. The perceptions and functions of those organs
constitute the Havi or libations that are to be poured. The points, wind,
etc, are the Agni or sacred fires on which they are to be poured. These
statements are recapitulated in verse 5. The objects of the senses, of
the same as those in verse 3, are the fuel, previously described as Havi
or libations, which are to be burnt off by being cast into the fires.

55. The Hridaya or heart is the Garhapatya fire. From it is produced
another fire, the Ahavaniya, viz., the mind. ‘The heart was pierced. From
the heart arose mind, for the mind arose Chandramas,’ is the declaration
of the Sruti cited by Nilakantha. The Ahavaniya fire or mind is the
mouth. Asyam ahavaniya is the Sruti. Annamayam hi Somya manas, apomayah
pranah, tejomayi vak is the Sruti that bears upon this. Food or fire,
poured into the mouth develops into speech or word. Vachaspati implies
the Veda or word. First arises the word, the mind sets itself upon it,
desirous of creation. This corresponds with the Mosaic Genesis.–‘God
said; let there be light, and there was light.’ The word was first.

56. The last question seems to be this: in dreamless slumber, the mind
disappears totally. If it is the mind upon which Prana rests, why does
not Prana also disappear? It is seen to separate itself from mind, for it
continues to exist while mind does not exist. If so, i.e., if existing,
as it must be admitted to do, why does it not apprehend objects? What is
it that restrains its powers of apprehension?

57. Bhutatmanam is ordinary Prajapati. Nilakantha takes it to mean here
individual Jiva or self.

58. It is, through words that desirable fruits, visible and invisible,
are acquired. Of course, word means both ordinary speech and Vedic

59. The speaker is the Brahmana, which Nilakantha explains to mean ‘the
Brahmana named Manas or Mind’. Instead of such a learned interpretation,
we may take it as implying that the Brahmana is repeating the answer
which Bhutatman, i.e., Prajapati or Jiva, made to Word. The Brahmana is
the real speaker. He recites the words of Jiva. Immovable, according to
Nilakantha, means ‘that which is seizable by the external senses’; and
‘movable’, that which is beyond the ken of the senses, such as heaven,
etc. The external world being only a manifestation of the mind, it is
spoken of here as identical with it. So, the ideas in the mind which are
not due to the senses, are only the mind. This is the movable mind. That
mind depends on word or the scriptures.

60. Telang gives a different version of this verse. I offer a verbal
tendering, without attempting to explain it.

61. i.e., as noisy or noiseless.

62. I have given as close a verbal rendering of the passage as possible.
The sense, however, is not very intelligible to me. The gloss of
Nilakantha is as unintelligible as the text. Telang also has given a
verbal rendering which differs from the above slightly. His foot-notes do
not, I think, bring out the meaning at all. As regards the two vernacular
versions, both are useless.

63. The correct reading is cha after arthan and not twam after it. Hence,
the Senses say that, without ourselves and without those which are our
objects, thou canst not have thy enjoyments.’

64. Thus creatures may exist through us, even though mind may be out of

65. Both mental purposes and dreams having failed to gratify him.

66. The reading sarvam in the second line is incorrect, though Nilakantha
adopts it. The different portions of the fire are indicated as the
different attributes. The smoke is of the form of Darkness (Tamas): the
ashes are the attributes of Passion; while the blazing flame, that into
which the oblation is thrown, is the attribute of Goodness.

67. I give a close rendering of these verses, without endeavouring to
bring out the sense as explained by the commentators. The printed texts
are not correct. The text adopted by Nilakantha differs from that of
Arjuna Misra. The very order of the verses is not uniform in all the

68. ‘These’ refers to action, agent and instrument. The qualities of
which they are possessed are goodness, passion, and darkness.

69. What is stated in these two verses is this: it is the Senses that
enjoy; and not the Soul. This is well known to those that are learned. On
the other hand, those that are not learned, regard this or that to be
theirs, when in reality they are different from them. They are their
selves, and not their senses, although they take themselves for the
latter, ignorantly identifying themselves with things which they are not.

70. What is stated here is this: Restraining the senses and the mind, the
objects of those senses and the mind should be poured as libations on the
sacred fire of the Soul that is within the body.

71. i.e., truth is the Sastra of the Prasastri.

72. Narayana is taken by Nilakantha to stand here for either the Veda or
the Soul. The animals offered up to Narayana in days of old were the
senses offered up as sacrifices.

73. Srota here means preceptor or dispeller of doubts. Amaratwam is the
status of the immortal head of all.

74. I think Telang is not correct in his rendering of this verse. What is
stated here is plain, viz., that it is He who is the preceptor and the
disciple. Ayam srinoti,–‘prochyamanam grihnati,–‘tat prichcchatah ato
bhuyas anye srinanti is the grammar of the construction. The conclusion
then comes–‘gururanyo na vidyate’.

75. One who understands the truth.

76. The seven large trees are the five senses, the mind, and the
understanding. The fruits are the pleasures and pains derived from or
through them. The guests are the powers of each sense, for it is they
that receive those pleasures and pains. The hermitages are those very
trees under which the guests take shelter. The seven forms of Yoga are
the extinctions of the seven senses. The seven forms of initiation are
the repudiation, one after another, of the actions of the seven senses.

77. The correct reading is bhavantyanityah and vahuswabhavan.

78. Swabhava is explained by Nilakantha as sutaram abhava.

79. The sense seems to be this; the life-winds indicate the operations of
the several organs of action: the tongue, which stands here for all the
organs of perception, of the sensual perceptions; the mind, of all the
internal operations; the quality of goodness, of all pleasure; and the
quality of passion, of all kinds of pain. These, therefore include the
whole external and the internal worlds. He that is free from these,
transcends sin, for sin is destroyed by freedom from these, knowledge
being the means of attaining to that freedom.

80. ‘I have no fault etc.’–The sense seems to be that by doing these
rites with the aid of Mantras I have done that which has been approved
from ages past by those who have always been regarded wise. My eyes,
however, have now been opened by thee. I should not be held responsible
for what I did while I was ignorant.

81. Kshatriyas always require Brahmanas for assisting them in their acts.
These particular Kshatriyas, through fear of Rama, fled to the forests
and mountains. They could not, accordingly, find Brahmanas for assisting
them. Their children, therefore, fell away from the status of Kshatriyas
and became Vrishalas or Sudras.

82. Kshatriya-bandhu always implies low or inferior Kshatriyas, as
Brahma-bandhu implies low or inferior Brahmanas. The expression, very
probably, is similar to Brahman-sangat in current Bengali. It does not
surely mean ‘kinsmen of Kshatriyas’.

83. The vocative, ‘O foremost of regenerate ones’ applies to Jamadagni’s
son. The narration is that of the Pitris. All the copies, however,
represent this as the Brahmana’s speech to his wife. Indeed, the Brahmana
is only reciting to his wife the speech of the Pitris to Rama. The Yoga
here spoken of is, as Nilakantha explains the Raja-Yoga. Previously,
Alarka had been bent upon Hatha-Yoga which frequently ends in the
destruction of the person practising it.

84. Praharsha, rendered ‘exultation’, is explained by Nilakantha as the
joy that is felt at the certainty of attaining what is desired. Priti is
that satisfaction which is felt when the object desired is attained.
Ananda is what arises while enjoying the attained object.

85. The sense seems to be this. Having first conquered the internal foes
mentioned, the man of intelligence, bent on effecting his deliverance,
should then seek to vanquish all external foes standing in his way.

86. Nilakantha explains that dosha here refers to attachment, cupidity
and the rest; while Sadhu implies not men but the virtues of tranquillity
and the rest.

87. think Telang renders this verse wrongly. Samhatadehabandhanah does
not mean ‘with bodily frame destroyed’ but ‘with bodily frame united.’ If
samhata be taken as destroyed, the compound bhinna-vikirna-dehah in the
second line would be a useless repetition. The meaning is that with
bodily frame or the bonds of body united, he takes birth. When he dies,
that frame becomes dismembered and scattered.

88. The conditions referred to are affluence and indigence, as explained
by Nilakantha.

89. This is, rather, obscure. Nilakantha observes that the Vedic text
referred to is: ‘Do not covet anybody’s property.’ What Janaka says seems
to be this: Thinking of this prohibition about coveting other people’s
property, I thought how could it be ascertained what belongs to others.

90. The sense seems to be this: the property of smell attaches to earth.
I do not desire smell for my own enjoyment. If it is perceived, it is
perceived by the organ of smell. The earth, therefore, is subject to me,
not I to the earth. I have transcended my sensations, and, therefore, the
objects to which they inhere. The whole world represents only the objects
of the sensations. The latter being mastered, the whole world has been
mastered by me.

91. i.e., I live and act for these and not my own self.

92. Nilakantha’s reading is erroneous, Brahma-labhasya should be
Brahmana-bhasya. So also durvarasya is incorrect. Nemi may also mean the
line or track that is made by a wheel as it moves. If taken in this
sense, it would mean ‘that is confined to, or that cannot deviate from
the track constituted by goodness’. The nave, Brahman, is, of course, the

93. The sense seems to be this. The sovereignty of the whole Earth or of
Heaven, and this knowledge of my identity with the universe–of these two
alternatives, I would freely choose the latter. Hence, he says–‘This
knowledge is my wealth.’

94. These are different modes of life.

95. The sense is this: the knowledge to be acquired is that all is one.
Diverse ways there are for acquiring it. Those, again, that have attained
to tranquillity have acquired it.

96. Actions are perishable and can lead to no lasting result. It is by
the understanding that that knowledge, leading to what is permanent, is
to be attained.

97. I expand this verse a little for making it intelligible. A literal
version would run as follows: Good means may be seen, perceived as by
bees. Action is (cleansed) understanding; through folly it is invested
with the symbols of knowledge. Karmabudhhi never means ‘action and
knowledge’ as rendered by Telang. Abudhitwatt means ‘through ignorance.’
This ignorance is of those persons whose understandings have not been
cleansed by action.

98. What is stated here is this. In the matter of achieving Emancipation,
no ordinances have been laid down, positive or negative, like those in
respect of other things. If one wishes to attain to Heaven, he should do
this and abstain from the other. For achieving Emancipation, however,
only seeing and hearing are prescribed. Seeing implies contemplation, and
hearing, the receiving of instructions from the preceptor. Nilakantha
explains hearing as Vedantadisravanam (vide his comment on the word
‘srutam’ in verse 3 above).

99. The speaker wishes to inculcate that one should first contemplate an
object of direct perception, such as earth, etc. Then on such
‘unperceived’ objects as operations of the mind. Such contemplation will
gradually lead to that which is Supreme. The abhyasa or practice referred
to in the second line is the practice of sama, dama, etc. I do not think
that Telang’s version of 8 and 9 brings out the meaning clearly.

100. The sense is that when her individual soul became merged into the
Supreme soul, she became identified with Brahman. This, was, of course,
due to the knowledge of Kshetra as something separate from Kshetrajna.

101. Their origin is Brahman or Truth. They live, dissociated from their
origin, in consequence of their acts. When their acts cease, they return
to and become merged in Brahman.

102. i.e., that course of life which has for its object the acquisition
of knowledge relating to the soul. This, of course, includes the
knowledge that is needed for achieving identification with the Supreme
Soul or Brahman.

103. The specific characteristics of the five elements are, as frequently
referred before, smell attaching to earth, sound to ether, taste, to
water, etc. The deities referred to in the last verse are probably the

104. The total eleven is made up of the three qualities, the five
elements, the group of organs and senses as one, egoism and understanding.

105. Anyatha pratipannah is explained by Nilakantha as ‘born in other
orders’. Telang takes it as ‘Behaving in a contrary way.’ ‘How can goats
and sheep behave otherwise?’ The sense seems to be that those born as
goats, succeed in ascending upwards through the efficacy of the religious
acts of the Brahmanas. By becoming sacrificial victims they regain their
true position.

106. Qualities abiding in Darkness etc, imply those qualities that are
permanently attached to Darkness.

107. Some texts read Santapah and not Sanghatah. The meaning then will be
grief or sorrow.

108. This may refer to the exposure of other people’s weaknesses by
tearing open their veils or covers.

109. Vibhajanti implies enjoyments in this connection. Telang starts a
needless objection to this word.

110. ‘From even a distance.’ implies that upon even a cursory view;
without even being examined minutely.

111. What is said here is this: the three qualities exist in even the
immobile objects of the universe. As regards Darkness, it predominates in
them. As regards Passion, it dwells in such properties of theirs as
pungency, sourness, sweetness, etc, which change with time or in
consequence of cooking or through admixture. Their only properties are
said to appertain to Goodness. Tiryagbhavagatam is explained by
Nilakantha as adhikyam gatam. Telang thinks this is unwarrantable. His
own version, however, of the first line is untenable. What can be the
tiryagbhava or ‘form of lower species’ of immobile objects? Telang
frequently forgets that Nilakantha represents a school of interpretation
not founded by him but which existed from a time long anterior to him.

112. ‘Conjunctions’ are evidently the periods joining the seasons, i.e.,
the close of one season and the beginning of another.

113. This probably implies that the mind, through the aid of the senses,
enters into all things or succeeds in knowing them.

114. The sense seems to be that through these one succeeds in taking
birth as a Brahmana.

115. A repetition occurs here of about 5 verses. The passage is evidently
an interpolation originally caused by carelessness.

116. Nilakantha explains that this implies that one should regard these
as really undistinguished from the mind. Indeed, created by the mind
itself, these should always be taken as having no real existence beyond
the mind.

117. ‘That’ here refers to the attenuation of all things by absorption
into the mind.

118. Gunagunam is treating the qualities as not qualities; i.e.,
regarding bravery, magnanimity, etc, as really not merits, for these lead
to pride. Ekacharyyam is ekantavasam, i.e., life in seclusion, or living
without depending upon others. Anantaram is nirastasamastabheda or
non-recognition of all distinctions. Some texts read Brahmamatah meaning
‘existing among Brahmanas’. Ekapadam sukham is samastasukhagarbham, i.e.,
the source or fountain of all happiness.

119. The two deities are Jiva and Iswara.

120. The correct reading, in 53 seems to be samsargabhiratam and not

121. In the second line, the correct words are martya and sarva. The
sense of the second line seems to be that this body is ceaselessly
revolving, for Emancipation is difficult to achieve. Hence this body is,
as it were, the wheel of Time. Nilakantha’s explanation does not seem to
be satisfactory.

122. I do not think that Telang is correct in his version of this verse.
What is said here seems to be this. The body is, as it were the wheel of
Time; the body is the ocean of delusion; the body is the creator,
destroyer and reawakener of the universe. Through the body creatures act,
and hence creation, destruction, and re-creation are due to the body.
This accords with what is said elsewhere regarding the body.

123. It would be wrong to take satah as implying ‘the good,’ the finite
verses in every text being singular.

124. The correct reading seems to be atmana as the last word of the first
line, and not atman.

125. What is said here is that the quality of passion predominates in

126. Nyagrodha is the Ficus Bengalensis, Linn. Jamvu is Eugenia
Jambolana, Lamk. Pippala is Ficus religiosa, Linn. Salmali is Bombax
Malabaricum. Sinsapa is Dalbergia Sissoo, Roxb. Meshasringa is Asclepia
geminata, Roxb. Kichaka is a variety of mountain bamboo. Here however it
evidently implies the Nimba or Melia Azadirachta, Linn.

127. Nilakantha is for taking the second line as consisting of two
propositions. It would be better to take satinam as referring to strinam,
and vasumatyah, as an adjective of Apsarasah.

128. The sense seems to be that good men never allow others to know what
their acts are. They are strangers to ostentation.

129. The sense seems to be that the knowledge of one’s own identity and
of things as discriminated from one another is presided over by Prakriti.
If the question is asked whence is the knowledge–‘I am so,’ and that
‘this is so,’ the answer is that it comes from Prakriti or Nature.

130. As explained by Nilakantha, the word Savitri is used here to imply
all forms of worship observed by Brahmanas, etc, and the Mlecchas as
well. This turning back to explain a word used before is said to be an
instance of “looking back like the lion”.

131. Telang, I think, renders this verse wrongly. In the first line it is
said that Brahman is superior to the Prajapatis. In the second it is
pointed out that Vishnu is superior to Brahman.

132. It is difficult to understand which part of the wheel is intended to
be expressedly ‘bandhanam’ or the bond; I take it for the spokes.
Pariskandha is Samuha or the materials that together compose an object.
Here it may be taken for the nave or centre. Home is called the
circumference, because, as the circumference limits the wheel, even so
home (wife and children) limits the affections and acts of life.

133. The words Kalachakram pravartate have been rendered in the first
verse of this lesson. In verse 9, the words asaktaprabhavapavyam are
explained by Nilakantha differently. Manas-krantam, I take, is equivalent
to ‘be bounded by the mind,’ I do not know whence Telang gets ‘never
fatigued’ as the substitute of this word.

134. Implying that he should go to the house of his preceptor, study and
serve there, and after completing his course, return for leading a life
of domesticity.

135. The sense seems to be that these last three duties are productive of
merit and should, therefore, be performed. The first three however, are
sources of living.

136. Havishya is food cooked in a particular way and offered to the
deities. It must be free from meat. There may be milk or ghee in it, but
the cooking must be done in a single pot or vessel continuously; no
change of vessels is allowed.

137. Vilwa is the Aegle marmelos, and Palasa is the Butea frondosa of

138. At first he should live on fruits and roots and leaves, etc. Next on
water, and then on air. There are different sects of forests recluses.
The course of life is settled at the time of the initiatory rites.

139. What is stated here is this. The Sannyasin should not ask for alms:
or, if he ever seeks for aims, he should seek them in a village or house
where the cooking has been already done and where every one has already
eaten. This limitation is provided as otherwise the Sannyasin may be fed
to his fill by the householder who sees him.

140. He should never plunge into a stream or lake or tank for bathing.

141. Kalakankhi implies, probably ‘simply biding time’, i.e., allowing
time to pass indifferently over him.

142. The sense seems to be this; the self or soul is without qualities.
He who knows the self, or rather he who pursues the self with the desire
of knowing it, should practise the truths of Piety laid down above. They
constitute the path that leads to the self.

143. ‘That which has Brahman for its origin’ implies the Vedas.

144. Commentators differ about what is implied by the ten or the twelve.
Nilakantha thinks that the ten mean the eight characteristics of Yoga,
viz., Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana,
Samadhi, and Tarka and Vairagya. The twelve would imply the first eight,
and these four, viz., Maitri, Karuna, Mudita, and Upeksha. If ten plus
twelve or two and twenty be taken, then that number would be made up by
the five modes of Yama, the five of Niyama, the remaining six of Yoga
(beginning with Asana and ending with Samadhi), the four beginning with
Maitri, and the two, viz., Tarka and Vairagya.

145. What is said in this Lesson seems to be this: the Unmanifest or
Prakriti is that condition in which all the three qualities of Goodness,
Passion, and Darkness exist in a state of combination. The unmanifest is
the condition existing before creation. When one particular quality,
viz., Goodness prevails over the others, there arises Purusha, viz., that
from whom everything flows. The relation of Purusha and Nature is both
unity and diversity. The three illustrations of the Gnat and the Udumbara
the fish and water, and water drops and the lotus leaf, explain the
relation between Purusha and Nature. He is in Nature, yet different from
it. There is both association and dissociation.

146. The doubts appertain to duties, that is whether they should be done
or not, and whether they have any effects here and hereafter.

147. The thinking or enjoying agent is subject, and that which is thought
or enjoyed is object. Subject and object an two well known words in Sir
W. Hamilton’s philosophy. I follow Telang in adopting them.

148. Sattawa pradipa, rendered ‘light of Nature,’ implies, as Nilakantha
explains, knowledge, which is a manifestation of Nature. Arjuna Misra’s
interpretation seems to be better. He says that knowledge,–that is,
knowledge of truth,–is acquired by the self through Nature.

149. The sense seems to be this: one who proceeds, on a journey must
provide oneself with the necessary means, otherwise one is sure to feel
discomfort or meet with even destruction. So, in the journey of life, one
must provide oneself with knowledge as the means. One may then avoid all
discomfort and danger. Action does not constitute the proper means. It
may or may not produce fruits.

150. i.e., one should not care for the external.

151. i.e., one need not do acts enjoined by the scriptures after one has
attained to knowledge which is the highest seat.

152. The sense is this: riding on a car may not always be comfortable. As
long as there is a car path, one should travel on one’s car. If, however,
the road be such as not to be fit for a car to proceed along it, one
should avoid a car in going over it, for the car instead of conducing to
comfort, would, on such a path, be productive of only discomfort.

153. i.e., first action with desire: then action without desire; then
knowledge, according to Arjuna Misra. Nilakantha explains that action is
first, then Yoga; then the state of Hansa or Paramahansa.

154. Katu is not bitter but pungent or sharp, as that which is attached
to chillies.

155. These are the notes of the Hindu Gamut.

156. The understanding operates on what is placed before it by the mind.
The understanding, therefore, is, as it were, the lord exercising power
or sovereignty, being served by the mind.

157. Sarvan srijati i.e., creates all things by attaining to the
condition of the universal cause, for the unmanifest is the universal
cause. Between such a one and the Supreme Soul there is no difference.
Even this is said in the last sentence.

158. The man who reads the book called Veda is not truly conversant with
the Veda. He, however, who knows Kshetrajna, is regarded as truly knowing
the Veda.

159. The argument is that Mrityu or death being of two syllables, the
correspondence is justifiable between it and Mama or mineness which also
is of two syllables. So in the case of Brahman and na-mama. Of course,
what is meant by mineness being death and not-mineness being Brahman or
emancipation, cannot be unintelligible to one who has carefully read the
preceding sections.

160. i.e., the five great elements, four organs of knowledge with mind,
and the four organs of action.

161. The word Purusha here is used in the sense of dehabhimani Jiva or
individual self with consciousness of body. True knowledge destroys this
condition of Jiva, for the man of knowledge identifies himself with the
universe and thereby assimilates himself to Brahman. By eaters of Amrita
are meant they who never take any food without offering portions thereof
to the deities, Pitris, and guests. Of course, Yogins of piety are
implied by it.

162. Purusha here implies Jiva divested of consciousness of body.

163. The meaning is this: in a dream what is seen is all unreal. So, when
tranquillity has been attained, all the surroundings become unreal.
Nilakantha gives a slightly different interpretation; it is this: when
tranquillity has been attained, the Soul lives without attachment to the
body and all external objects. Indeed, the Soul then lives completely in
itself even as it works in course of a dream.

164. The sense is that they behold all worldly objects, present, past and
future, which are, of course, due to development of previous causes.

165. This line is rather obscure. The sense seems to be this: no one can
know the Supreme Deity if it is not the latter’s pleasure to be known.
One, therefore, understands Him in exactly that measure in which it is
His pleasure to be known.

166. Krishna’s father Vasudeva is maternal uncle. Yudhishthira asks
Krishna to worship Vasudeva and Valadeva on his behalf, i.e., he charges
Krishna to bear to them a message of respect and love from him.

167. The city of Hastinapura is sometimes called Nagapura, both Hasti and
Naga being words expressive of the elephant. ‘The city called after the
elephant’ is the usual description of the Kuru capital.

168. Mahyam is equal to ‘mam uddisya’ i.e., referring to my divine nature.

169. An ascetic loses his penances by cursing another rightly or wrongly.
Hence, forgiveness was always practised by the Brahmanas who were
ascetics. A Brahmana’s strength consisted in forgiveness. The more
forgiving he was, the more powerful he became.

170. The first asat or non-existent refers to such objects as the horns
of the hare. The second, viz., sadasat, or existent and non-existent
refers to such objects as exist and meet with destruction. Sadasat param
or that which transcends the existent and non-existent, refers to the
unmanifest. The universe consists of these three. All this is from

171. To this day preceptors in India have to feed and teach their
disciples without any pecuniary compensation. In fact, the sale of
knowledge has been strictly forbidden. Pupils, however, after completing
their studies, had to give the final Dakshina which varied according to
their means. The kings and princes of India thought themselves honoured
if solicited by pupils in search of the final Dakshina. What Gautama says
here is that the object of the final present is to gratify the preceptor.
He (Gautama), however, had already been gratified with the dutiful
conduct of Utanka. There was no need, therefore, of any present.

172. These words of the king are intended to be reported to his queen who
would understand the allusion. The sense is this: cursed by Vasishtha, I
have become a cannibal. My condition is intolerable. By this gift of the
ear-rings to a deserving Brahmana, much merit may arise. That merit may
relieve me.

173. This also is an allusion to the dreadful curse of Vasishtha. The
king refers to Madayanti as his only refuge. She may save him by doing an
act or special merit, viz., giving away her costly ear-rings to a truly
deserving Brahmana.

174. The sense is this: a Brahmana is never loose of tongue. He is
truthful. Hence, having passed my word to thee about my return, thou
mayst be sure that I would keep my word. One, again, that acts improperly
towards a friend, comes to be regarded as a thief. By this, Utanka
reminds the king that he should not inflict any wrong on him by carrying
out his intention of eating him up.

175. Vilwa is the Aegle marmalos.

176. Chamu here is used in a general sense, viz., a division. Of course
it stands for an Akshauhini.

177. Kavi or Kavya is another name of Sukra, the preceptor of the Daityas.

178. Krishna implies Vyasa here. The great Rishi was called ‘the
island-born Krishna’.

179. The commentator explains that by the constellation Dhruba is implied
Rohini and the Uttaras numbering three. Sunday, again is called the

180. Agnivesya was another name of Dhaumya.

181. Three roads running north to south, and three running cast to west
and intersecting the former, are the six roads that are directed to be
laid out in pitching encampments. Those give nine squares with two
boundary lines at right angles with each other.

182. Karaputa is made up of two wooden chests united with each other by
chains or cords and intended to be borne by camels and bullocks.

183. The first line of 17 is exceedingly terse. Literally rendered, it
runs,–‘Each vessel was united with another, and became half the (total)
weight slung on balance.’

184. Vilava is Arjuna.

185. Before performing any rite or act of a grave nature, Hindus are
required to touch water or perform what is called the ‘achamana’. A
little quantity of water is taken on the palm of the right hand, and with
it are touched the lips, the nostrils, the ears, and the eyes.

186. The abode of Vaisravana is called Alaka. Vaisravana is, of course,
Kuvera, the lord of treasures, friend of Mahadeva, and chief of the

187. The last line is slightly expanded.

188. The sense is this: thou art the eldest brother of the Pandavas; if
thou sacrificest, thy brothers also will come to be regarded as
sacrificing with thee.

189. Sphya was a wooden sword or scimitar, used for slaying the
sacrificial animal. Kurcha is a handful of Kusa grass. All these things
are directed by Vyasa to be made of pure gold.

190. It will be remembered that the Samsaptaka host which had engaged
Arjuna for several days on the field of Kurukshetra, all consisted of
Trigarta warriors led by their king Susarman, Samsaptaka means ‘sworn’.
Those soldiers who took the oath that they would either conquer or die,
wore called by that name.

191. The reading in every edition seems to be vicious. For obvious
reasons, I read Parthadupadravat instead of Parthamupadravat.

192. Bhagadatta was the friend of Indra, the father of Arjuna.

193. The allusion is to Mahadeva’s pursuing Sacrifice when the latter
fled from him in the form of a deer.

194. The Brahmanas were to receive Arjuna duly and the treasure was
intended as a present or offering of respect.

195. Ulupi was one of the wives of Arjuna. She was, therefore, the
step-mother of Vabhruvahana.

196. Yahubharyyata, meaning polygamy in the first line, should, as the
noun of reference for Eshah be taken as vahunam bharyyata, i.e.,
polyandry, in the second line.

197. To sit in Praya is to remain seated in a particular spot, abstaining
from food and drink with a view to cast off one’s life-breaths.

198. The sense is, that ‘grief does not kill; one does not die till one’s
hour comes. If it were otherwise, I would have died, so heavy is the load
of my affliction.’

199. The name of the city was Suktimati.

200. The etymology of Gudakesa as the lord of Gudaka or sleep, is

201. Sakuni was the maternal uncle of Duryodhana and, therefore, of
Arjuna also. Sakuni’s son and Arjuna, hence, were cousins.

202. The word chara does not mean always a spy. The ancient kings of
India had their spies it is true, but they had a regular intelligence
department. It was the business of these men to send correct reports to
the king of every important occurrence. The news letter-writers of the
Mussalman time, or Harkaras, were the successors of the charas of Hindu

203. Hetuvadins are dialecticians or philosophers who dispute on the
reasons of things.

204. It is worthy of note that Draupadi was always styled by Krishna as
his sakhi or ‘friend’. Krishna was highly chivalrous to the other sex at
an age when women were universally regarded as the inferiors of men.

205. The sense is this: for a horse-sacrifice, the Dakshina or
sacrificial present, payable to the principal Ritwija or to be
distributed among all the Ritwijas including the other Brahmanas, is
enjoined to be of a certain measure. Vyasa advises Yudhishthira to make
that Dakshina triple of what the enjoined measure is. By thus increasing
the Dakshina, the merit of the sacrificer will increase correspondingly.

206. The Diksha is the ceremony of initiation. Certain mantras are
uttered in which the intention is declared of performing what is desired
to be performed.

207. The Karma of a sacrifice or religious rite is the procedure. It is,
of course, laid down in the scriptures on the ritual. There are certain
acts, however, which, though not laid down, should be done agreeably to
reasonable inferences. What is said, therefore, in the second line of 20
is that the procedure was fully followed, both as laid down and as
consistent with inferences.

208. Pravargya is a special preliminary rite performed in a sacrifice.
‘Abhishva’ is the extraction of the juice of the Soma plant after its
consecration with Mantras.

209. Vitwa is the Aegle marmelos, Linn. Khadira is Acacia catechu, Linn,
or Mimosa catechu; Saravarnin is otherwise called, as explained by
Nilakantha, Palasa. It is the Butea frondosa of Roxburgh. Devadaru is
Pinus Deodara of Roxburgh, or Cedruz Deodara. Sleshmataka is a small tree
identified with the Cordia latifolia. Here probably, some other tree is

210. It is difficult to understand what these constructions or figures
were. They were probably figures drawn on the sacrificial altar, with
gold-dust. At the present day, powdered rice, coloured red, yellow, blue,
etc, is used.

211. Each animal is supposed to be agreeable to a particular deity.

212. Suvibhaktan implies that they were properly classed or grouped so
that there was no dispute or dissatisfaction among them regarding
questions of precedence.

213. Nilakantha explains that Khandavaraga was made of piper longum and
dried ginger (powdered), and the juice of Phaseolus Mungo, with sugar.
Probably, it is identical with what is now called Mungka laddu in the
bazars of Indian towns.

214. The unccha vow consists of subsisting upon grains of corn picked up
after the manner of the pigeon from the field after the crops have been
cut and removed by the owners.

215. The day of 12 hours is divided into 8 divisions.

216. A prastha is made up of four Kudavas. A Kudava is equal to about
twelve double handfuls.

217. This verse is rather obscure. I am not sure that I have understood
it correctly. The sense seems to be this: thou art capable of enduring
much. Indeed, by barely living, thou art capable of capable of earning
religious merit, for life-breath is a great deity. He should not be cast
off. Thy life is at stake, for if this guest be not gratified, the
thought of it will kill thee. Do thou, therefore, protect thy life by
gratifying this guest with my share of the barley.

218. The sense is this: for the sake of those auspicious results after
which every family should strive, the daughter-in-law should be well
treated. How then can I deprive thee of food?

219. The Diksha consists of the initiatory rites undergone by one
desirous of performing a particular sacrifice or completing a particular
vow. Some auspicious day is selected. Mantras are uttered and the purpose
is expressed in words. There were many long-extending sacrifices which
were partly of the nature of vows. Till their completion the performer or
observer is said to undergo the period of Diksha.

220. The first line of 20 is differently read in the Bombay text. It
runs,–‘steadfastly observing my vow, I shall make arrangements for many
sacrifices, creating the articles I want by thought alone (or fiats of my

221. Probably, the sense is this: If a Brahmana produced extraordinary
results by his penances, a portion of his penances was supposed to be
destroyed. The Rishis did not like that any portion of Agastya’s penances
should be spent for completing his sacrifice.

222. It is difficult to resist the conviction that as much of this
section as relates to the mongoose is an interpolation. The Brahmanas
could not bear the idea of a sacrifice with such profusion of gifts, as
that of Yudhishthira, being censurable. Hence the invention about the
transformation of the mongoose. Truly speaking, the doctrine is noble of
the gift of a small quantity of barley made under the circumstances being
superior in point of merit to even a Horse-sacrifice performed by a king
with gifts in profusion made to the Brahmanas


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