Friday, February 22, 2008

Adi Parva - Adivansavatarana Parva 05

"Vaisampayana said, 'There was a king of the name of Uparichara. That
monarch was devoted to virtue. He was very much addicted also to hunting.
That king of the Paurava race, called also Vasu, conquered the excellent
and delightful kingdom of Chedi under instructions from Indra. Some time
after, the king gave up the use of arms and, dwelling in a secluded
retreat, practised the most severe austerities. The gods with Indra at
their head once approached the monarch during this period, believing that
he sought the headship of the gods, by those severe austerities of his.
The celestials, becoming objects of his sight, by soft speeches succeeded
in winning him away from his ascetic austerities.'

"The gods said, 'O lord of the earth, thou shouldst take care so that
virtue may not sustain a diminution on earth! Protected by thee, virtue
itself will in return protect the universe.' And Indra said, 'O king,
protect virtue on earth attentively and rigidly. Being virtuous, thou
shalt, for all time, behold (in after life) many sacred regions. And
though I am of Heaven, and thou art of earth, yet art thou my friend and
dear to me. And, O king of men, dwell thou in that region on earth which
is delightful, and aboundeth in animals, is sacred, full of wealth and
corn, is well-protected like heaven, which is of agreeable climate,
graced with every object of enjoyment, and blessed with fertility. And, O
monarch of Chedi, this thy dominion is full of riches, of gems and
precious stones, and containeth, besides, much mineral wealth. The cities
and towns of this region are all devoted to virtue; the people are honest
and contented; they never lie even in jest. Sons never divide their
wealth with their fathers and are ever mindful of the welfare of their
parents. Lean cattle are never yoked to the plough or the cart or engaged
in carrying merchandise; on the other hand, they are well-fed and
fattened. In Chedi the four orders are always engaged in their respective
vocations. Let nothing be unknown to thee that happens in the three
worlds. I shall give thee a crystal car such as the celestials alone are
capable of carrying the car through mid air. Thou alone, of all mortals
on earth, riding on that best of cars, shall course through mid-air like
a celestial endued with a physical frame. I shall also give thee a
triumphal garland of unfading lotuses, with which on, in battle, thou
shall not be wounded by weapons. And, O king, this blessed and
incomparable garland, widely known on earth as Indra's garland, shall be
thy distinctive badge.

"The slayer of Vritra (Indra) also gave the king, for his gratification,
a bamboo pole for protecting the honest and the peaceful. After the
expiry of a year, the king planted it in the ground for the purpose of
worshipping the giver thereof, viz., Sakra. From that time forth, O
monarch, all kings, following Vasu's example, began to plant a pole for
the celebration of Indra's worship. After erecting the pole they decked
it with golden cloth and scents and garlands and various ornaments. And
the god Vasava is worshipped in due form with such garlands and
ornaments. And the god, for the gratification of the illustrious Vasu,
assuming the form of a swan, came himself to accept the worship thus
offered. And the god, beholding the auspicious worship thus made by Vasu,
that first of monarchs, was delighted, and said unto him, 'Those men, and
kings also, who will worship me and joyously observe this festival of
mine like the king of Chedi, shall have glory and victory for their
countries and kingdom. Their cities also shall expand and be ever in

"King Vasu was thus blessed by the gratified Maghavat, the high-souled
chief of the gods. Indeed, those men who cause this festivity of Sakra to
be observed with gifts of land, of gems and precious stones, become the
respected of the world. And king Vasu, the lord of Chedis bestowing boons
and performing great sacrifices and observing the festivity of Sakra, was
much respected by Indra. And from Chedi he ruled the whole world
virtuously. And for the gratification of Indra, Vasu, the lord of the
Chedis, observed the festivity of Indra.

"And Vasu had five sons of great energy and immeasurable prowess. And the
emperor installed his sons as governors of various provinces.

"And his son Vrihadratha was installed in Magadha and was known by the
name of Maharatha. Another son of his was Pratyagraha; and another,
Kusamva, who was also called Manivahana. And the two others were Mavella,
and Yadu of great prowess and invincible in battle.

"These, O monarch, were the sons of that royal sage of mighty energy. And
the five sons of Vasu planted kingdoms and towns after their own names
and founded separate dynasties that lasted for long ages.

"And when king Vasu took his seat in that crystal car, with the gift of
Indra, and coursed through the sky, he was approached by Gandharvas and
Apsaras (the celestial singers and dancers). And as he coursed through
the upper regions, he was called Uparichara. And by his capital flowed a
river called Suktimati. And that river was once attacked by a life-endued
mountain called Kolahala maddened by lust. And Vasu, beholding the foul
attempt, struck the mountain with his foot. And by the indentation caused
by Vasu's stamp, the river came out (of the embraces of Kolahala). But
the mountain begat on the river two children that were twins. And the
river, grateful to Vasu for his having set her free from Kolahala's
embraces, gave them both to Vasu. And the son was made the generalissimo
to his forces by Vasu, that best of royal sages and giver of wealth and
punisher of enemies. And the daughter called Girika, was wedded by Vasu.

'And Girika, the wife of Vasu, after her menstrual course, purifying
herself by a bath, represented her state unto her lord. But that very day
the Pitris of Vasu came unto that best of monarchs and foremost of wise
men, and asked him to slay deer (for their Sraddha). And the king,
thinking that the command of the Pitris should not be disobeyed, went
a-hunting thinking of Girika alone who was gifted with great beauty and
like unto another Sri herself. And the season being the spring, the woods
within which the king was roaming, had become delightful like unto the
gardens of the king of the Gandharvas himself. There were Asokas and
Champakas and Chutas and Atimuktas in abundance: and there were Punnagas
and Karnikaras and Vakulas and Divya Patalas and Patalas and Narikelas
and Chandanas and Arjunas and similar other beautiful and sacred trees
resplendent with fragrant flowers and sweet fruits. And the whole forest
was maddened by the sweet notes of the kokila and echoed with the hum of
maddened bees. And the king became possessed with desire, and he saw not
his wife before him. Maddened by desire he was roaming hither and
thither, when he saw a beautiful Asoka decked with dense foliage, its
branches covered with flowers. And the king sat at his ease in the shade
of that tree. And excited by the fragrance of the season and the charming
odours of the flowers around, and excited also by the delicious breeze,
the king could not keep his mind away from the thought of the beautiful
Girika. And beholding that a swift hawk was resting very near to him, the
king, acquainted with the subtle truths of Dharma and Artha, went unto
him and said, 'Amiable one, carry thou this seed (semen) for my wife
Girika and give it unto her. Her season hath arrived.'

"The hawk, swift of speed, took it from the king and rapidly coursed
through the air. While thus passing, the hawk was seen by another of his
species. Thinking that the first one was carrying meat, the second one
flew at him. The two fought with each other in the sky with their beaks.
While they were fighting, the seed fell into the waters of the Yamuna.
And in those waters dwelt an Apsara of the higher rank, known by the name
of Adrika, transformed by a Brahmana's curse into a fish. As soon as
Vasu's seed fell into the water from the claws of the hawk, Adrika
rapidly approached and swallowed it at once. That fish was, some time
after, caught by the fishermen. And it was the tenth month of the fish's
having swallowed the seed. From the stomach of that fish came out a male
and a female child of human form. The fishermen wondered much, and
wending unto king Uparichara (for they were his subjects) told him all.
They said, 'O king, these two beings of human shape have been found in
the body of a fish!' The male child amongst the two was taken by
Uparichara. That child afterwards became the virtuous and truthful
monarch Matsya.

"After the birth of the twins, the Apsara herself became freed from her
curse. For she had been told before by the illustrious one (who had
cursed her) that she would, while living in her piscatorial form, give
birth to two children of human shape and then would be freed from the
curse. Then, according to these words, having given birth to the two
children, and been killed by the fishermen, she left her fish-form and
assumed her own celestial shape. The Apsara then rose up on the path
trodden by the Siddhas, the Rishis and the Charanas.

"The fish-smelling daughter of the Apsara in her piscatorial form was
then given by the king unto the fishermen, saying, 'Let this one be thy
daughter.' That girl was known by the name of Satyavati. And gifted with
great beauty and possessed of every virtue, she of agreeable smiles,
owing to contact with fishermen, was for some time of the fishy smell.
Wishing to serve her (foster) father she plied a boat on the waters of
the Yamuna.

"While engaged in this vocation, Satyavati was seen one day by the great
Rishi Parasara, in course of his wanderings. As she was gifted with great
beauty, an object of desire even with an anchorite, and of graceful
smiles, the wise sage, as soon as he beheld her, desired to have her. And
that bull amongst Munis addressed the daughter of Vasu of celestial
beauty and tapering thighs, saying, 'Accept my embraces, O blessed one!'
Satyavati replied, 'O holy one, behold the Rishis standing on either bank
of the river. Seen by them, how can I grant thy wish?'

"Thus addressed by her, the ascetic thereupon created a fog (which
existed not before and) which enveloped the whole region in darkness. And
the maiden, beholding the fog that was created by the great Rishi
wondered much. And the helpless one became suffused with the blushes of
bashfulness. And she said, 'O holy one, note that I am a maiden under the
control of my father. O sinless one, by accepting your embraces my
virginity will be sullied. O best of Brahmanas, my virginity being
sullied, how shall I, O Rishi, be able to return home? Indeed, I shall
not then be able to bear life. Reflecting upon all this, O illustrious
one, do that which should be done.' That best of Rishis, gratified with
all she said, replied, "Thou shall remain a virgin even if thou grantest
my wish. And, O timid one, O beauteous lady, solicit the boon that thou
desirest. O thou of fair smiles, my grace hath never before proved
fruitless.' Thus addressed, the maiden asked for the boon that her body
might emit a sweet scent (instead of the fish-odour that it had). And the
illustrious Rishi thereupon granted that wish of her heart.

"Having obtained her boon, she became highly pleased, and her season
immediately came. And she accepted the embraces of that Rishi of
wonderful deeds. And she thenceforth became known among men by the name
of Gandhavati (the sweet-scented one). And men could perceive her scent
from the distance of a yojana. And for this she was known by another name
which was Yojanagandha (one who scatters her scent for a yojana all
around). And the illustrious Parasara, after this, went to his own asylum.

"And Satyavati gratified with having obtained the excellent boon in
consequence of which she became sweet-scented and her virginity remained
unsullied conceived through Parasara's embraces. And she brought forth
the very day, on an island in the Yamuna, the child begot upon her by
Parasara and gifted with great energy. And the child, with the permission
of his mother, set his mind on asceticism. And he went away saying, 'As
soon as thou rememberest me when occasion comes, I shall appear unto

"And it was thus that Vyasa was born of Satyavati through Parasara. And
because he was born in an island, he was called Dwaipayana (Dwaipa or
islandborn). And the learned Dwaipayana, beholding that virtue is
destined to become lame by one leg each yuga (she having four legs in
all) and that the period of life and the strength of men followed the
yugas, and moved by the desire of obtaining the favour of Brahman and the
Brahmanas, arranged the Vedas. And for this he came to be called Vyasa
(the arranger or compiler). The boon-giving great one then taught
Sumanta, Jaimini, Paila, his son Suka, and Vaisampayana, the Vedas having
the Mahabharata for their fifth. And the compilation of the Bharata was
published by him through them separately.

"Then Bhishma, of great energy and fame and of immeasurable splendour,
and sprung from the component parts of the Vasus, was born in the womb of
Ganga through king Santanu. And there was a Rishi of the name of
Animandavya of great fame. And he was conversant with the interpretations
of the Vedas, was illustrious, gifted with great energy, and of great
reputation. And, accused of theft, though innocent, the old Rishi was
impaled. He thereupon summoned Dharma and told him these words, 'In my
childhood I had pierced a little fly on a blade of grass, O Dharma! I
recollect that one sin: but I cannot call to mind any other. I have,
however, since practised penances a thousandfold. Hath not that one sin
been conquered by this my asceticism? And because the killing of a
Brahmana is more heinous than that of any other living thing, therefore,
hast thou, O Dharma, been sinful. Thou shalt, therefore, be born on earth
in the Sudra order.' And for that curse Dharma was born a Sudra in the
form of the learned Vidura of pure body who was perfectly sinless. And
the Suta was born of Kunti in her maidenhood through Surya. And he came
out of his mother's womb with a natural coat of mail and face brightened
by ear-rings. And Vishnu himself, of world-wide fame, and worshipped of
all the worlds, was born of Devaki through Vasudeva, for the benefit of
the three worlds. He is without birth and death, of radiant splendour,
the Creator of the universe and the Lord of all! Indeed, he who is the
invisible cause of all, who knoweth no deterioration, who is the
all-pervading soul, the centre round which everything moveth, the
substance in which the three attributes of Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas
co-inhere, the universal soul, the immutable, the material out of which
hath been created this universe, the Creator himself, the controlling
lord, the invisible dweller in every object, progenitor of this universe
of five elements, who is united with the six high attributes, is the
Pranava or Om of the Vedas, is infinite, incapable of being moved by any
force save his own will, illustrious, the embodiment of the mode of life
called Sannyasa, who floated on the waters before the creation, who is
the source whence hath sprung this mighty frame, who is the great
combiner, the uncreate, the invisible essence of all, the great
immutable, bereft of those attributes that are knowable by the senses,
who is the universe itself, without beginning, birth, and decay,--is
possessed of infinite wealth, that Grandsire of all creatures, became
incarnate in the race of the Andhaka-Vrishnis for the increase of virtue.

"And Satyaki and Kritavarma, conversant with (the use of) weapons
possessed of mighty energy, well-versed in all branches of knowledge, and
obedient to Narayana in everything and competent in the use of weapons,
had their births from Satyaka and Hridika. And the seed of the great
Rishi Bharadwaja of severe penances, kept in a pot, began to develop. And
from that seed came Drona (the pot-born). And from the seed of Gautama,
fallen upon a clump of reeds, were born two that were twins, the mother
of Aswatthaman (called Kripi), and Kripa of great strength. Then was born
Dhrishtadyumna, of the splendour of Agni himself, from the sacrificial
fire. And the mighty hero was born with bow in hand for the destruction
of Drona. And from the sacrificial altar was born Krishna (Draupadi)
resplendent and handsome, of bright features and excellent beauty. Then
was born the disciple of Prahlada, viz., Nagnajit, and also Suvala. And
from Suvala was born a son, Sakuni, who from the curse of the gods became
the slayer of creatures and the foe of virtue. And unto him was also born
a daughter (Gandhari), the mother of Duryodhana. And both were
well-versed in the arts of acquiring worldly profits. And from Krishna
was born, in the soil of Vichitravirya, Dhritarashtra, the lord of men,
and Pandu of great strength. And from Dwaipayana also born, in the Sudra
caste, the wise and intelligent Vidura, conversant with both religion and
profit, and free from all sins. And unto Pandu by his two wives were born
five sons like the celestials. The eldest of them was Yudhishthira. And
Yudhishthira was born (of the seed) of Dharma (Yama, the god of justice);
and Bhima of the wolf's stomach was born of Marut (the god of wind), and
Dhananjaya, blessed with good fortune and the first of all wielders of
weapons, was born of Indra; and Nakula and Sahadeva, of handsome features
and ever engaged in the service of their superiors, were born of the twin
Aswins. And unto the wise Dhritarashtra were born a hundred sons, viz.,
Duryodhana and others, and another, named Yuyutsu, who was born of a
vaisya woman. And amongst those hundred and one, eleven, viz., Duhsasana,
Duhsaha, Durmarshana, Vikarna, Chitrasena, Vivinsati, Jaya, Satyavrata,
Purumitra, and Yuyutsu by a Vaisya wife, were all Maharathas (great
car-warriors). And Abhimanyu was born of Subhadra, the sister of Vasudeva
through Arjuna, and was, therefore, the grandson of the illustrious
Pandu. And unto the five Pandavas were born five sons by (their common
wife) Panchali. And these princes were all very handsome and conversant
with all branches of knowledge. From Yudhishthira was born Pritivindhya;
from Vrikodara, Sutasoma; from Arjuna, Srutakirti; from Nakula, Satanika;
and from Sahadeva, Srutasena of great prowess; and Bhima, in the forest
begot on Hidimva a son named Ghatotkacha. And from Drupada was born a
daughter Sikhandin who was afterwards transformed into a male child.
Sikhandini was so transformed into a male by Yaksha named Sthuna from the
desire of doing her good.

"In that great battle of the Kurus came hundreds of thousands of monarchs
for fighting against one another. The names of the innumerable host I am
unable to recount even in ten thousand years. I have named, however, the
principal ones who have been mentioned in this history.'"

No comments: