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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa by Kisari Mohan Ganguli (Translator)

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himself of mind that is immeasurable. This history is recited in the
present age and will be recited in the future. They that hear it, read,
have sons and servants always obedient to them and doing their behests.
All sins that are committed by body, word, or mind, immediately leave them
that hear this history. They who hear, without the spirit of fault finding,
the story of the birth of the Bharata princes, can have no fear of
maladies, let alone the fear of the other world.

"For extending the fame of the high-souled Pandavas and of other
Kshatriyas versed in all branches of knowledge, high spirited, and already
known in the world for their achievements, Krishna-Dwaipayana, guided also
by the desire of doing good to the world, hath composed this work. It is
excellent, productive of fame, grants length of life, is sacred and
heavenly. He who, from desire of acquiring religious merit, causeth this
history to be heard by sacred Brahmanas, acquireth great merit and virtue
that is inexhaustible. He that reciteth the famous generation of the Kurus
becometh immediately purified and acquireth a large family himself, and
becometh respected in the world. That Brahmana who regularly studies this
sacred Bharata for the four months of the rainy season, is cleansed from
all his sins. He that has read the Bharata may be regarded as one
acquainted with the Vedas.

"This work presents an account of the gods and royal sages and sacred
regenerate Rishis, the sinless Kesava; the god of gods, Mahadeva and the
goddess Parvati; the birth of Kartikeya who sprang from union of Parvati
with Mahadeva and was reared by many mothers; the greatness of Brahmanas
and of kine. This Bharata is a collection of all the Srutis, and is fit to
be heard by every virtuous person. That learned man who reciteth it to
Brahmanas during the sacred lunations, becometh cleansed of all sins, and,
not caring for heaven as it were, attaineth to a union with Brahma. He
that causeth even a single foot of this poem to be heard by Brahmanas
during the performance of a Sraddha, maketh that Sraddha inexhaustible,
the Pitris becoming ever gratified with the articles once presented to
them. The sins that are committed daily by our senses or the mind, those
that are committed knowingly or unknowingly by any man, are all destroyed
by hearing the Mahabharata. The history of the exalted birth of the
Bharata princes is called the Mahabharata. He who knoweth this etymology
of the name is cleansed of all his sins. And as this history of the
Bharata race is so wonderful, that, when recited, it assuredly purifieth
mortals from all sins. The sage Krishna-Dwaipayana completed his work in
three years. Rising daily and purifying himself and performing his ascetic
devotions, he composed this Mahabharata. Therefore, this should be heard
by Brahmanas with the formality of a vow. He who reciteth this holy
narration composed by Krishna (Vyasa) for the hearing of others, and they
who hear it, in whatever state he or they may be, can never be affected by
the fruit of deeds, good or bad. The man desirous of acquiring virtue
should hear it all. This is equivalent to all histories, and he that
heareth it always attaineth to purity of heart. The gratification that one
deriveth from attaining to heaven is scarcely equal to that which one
deriveth from hearing this holy history. The virtuous man who with
reverence heareth it or causeth it to be heard, obtaineth the fruit of the
Rajasuya and the horse-sacrifice. The Bharata is said to be as much a mine
of gems as the vast Ocean or the great mountain Meru. This history is
sacred and excellent, and is equivalent to the Vedas, worthy of being
heard, pleasing to the ear, sin-cleansing, and virtue-increasing. O
monarch, he that giveth a copy of the Bharata to one that asketh for it
doth indeed make a present of the whole earth with her belt of seas. O son
of Parikshit, this pleasant narration that giveth virtue and victory I am
about to recite in its entirety: listen to it. The sage Krishna-Dwaipayana
regularly rising for three years, composed this wonderful history called
Mahabharata. O bull amongst the Bharata monarchs, whatever is spoken about
virtue, wealth, pleasure, and salvation may be seen elsewhere; but
whatever is not contained in this is not to be found anywhere.'"


(Adivansavatarana Parva continued)

"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 joy.'

"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 thee.'

"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

"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.'"


(Adivansavatarana Parva continued)

"Janamejaya said, 'O Brahmana, those thou hast named and those thou hast
not named, I wish to hear of them in detail, as also of other kings by
thousands. And, O thou of great good fortune, it behoveth thee to tell me
in full the object for which those Maharathas, equal unto the celestials
themselves, were born on earth.'

"Vaisampayana said, 'It hath been heard by us, O monarch, that what thou
askest is a mystery even to the gods. I shall, however, speak of it unto
thee, after bowing down (to the self-born). The son of Jamadagni
(Parasurama), after twenty-one times making the earth bereft of Kshatriyas
wended to that best of mountains Mahendra and there began his ascetic
penances. And at that time when the earth was bereft of Kshatriyas, the
Kshatriya ladies, desirous of offspring, used to come, O monarch, to the
Brahmanas and Brahmanas of rigid vows had connection with them during the
womanly season alone, but never, O king, lustfully and out of season. And
Kshatriya ladies by thousands conceived from such connection with
Brahmanas. Then, O monarch, were born many Kshatriyas of greater energy,
boys and girls, so that the Kshatriya race, might thrive. And thus sprang
the Kshatriya race from Kshatriya ladies by Brahmanas of ascetic penances.
And the new generation, blessed with long life, began to thrive in virtue.
And thus were the four orders having Brahmanas at their head re-
established. And every man at that time went in unto his wife during her
season and never from lust and out of season. And, O bull of the Bharata
race, in the same way, other creatures also, even those born in the race
of birds went in unto their wives during the season alone. And, O
protector of the earth, hundreds of thousands of creatures were born, and
all were virtuous and began to multiply in virtue, all being free from
sorrow and disease. And, O thou of the elephant's tread, this wide earth
having the ocean for her boundaries, with her mountains and woods and
towns, was once more governed by the Kshatriyas. And when the earth began
to be again governed virtuously by the Kshatriyas, the other orders having
Brahmanas for their first were filled with great joy. And the kings giving
up all vices born of lust and anger and justly awarding punishments to
those that deserved them protected the earth. And he of a hundred
sacrifices, possessed also of a thousand eyes, beholding that the
Kshatriya monarchs ruled so virtuously, poured down vivifying showers at
proper times and places and blessed all creatures. Then, O king, no one of
immature years died, and none knew a woman before attaining to age. And
thus, O bull of the Bharata race, the earth, to the very coasts of the
ocean, became filled with men that were all long-lived. The Kshatriyas
performed great sacrifices bestowing much wealth. And the Brahmanas also
all studied the Vedas with their branches and the Upanishads. And, O king,
no Brahmana in those days ever sold the Vedas (i.e., taught for money) or
ever read aloud the Vedas in the presence of a Sudra. The Vaisyas, with
the help of bullocks, caused the earth to be tilled. And they never yoked
the cattle themselves. And they fed with care all cattle that were lean.
And men never milked kine as long as the calves drank only the milk of
their dams (without having taken to grass or any other food). And no
merchant in those days ever sold his articles by false scales. And, O
tiger among men, all persons, holding to the ways of virtue, did
everything with eyes set upon virtue. And, O monarch, all the orders were
mindful of their own respective duties. Thus, O tiger among men, virtue in
those days never sustained any diminution. And, O bull of the Bharata race,
both kine and women gave birth to their offspring at the proper time. And
trees bore flowers and fruit duly according to the seasons. And thus, O
king, the krita age having then duly set in, the whole earth was filled
with numerous creatures.

"And, O bull of the Bharata race, when such was the blessed state of the
terrestrial world, the Asuras, O lord of men, began to be born in kingly
lines. And the sons of Diti (Daityas) being repeatedly defeated in war by
the sons of Aditi (celestials) and deprived also of sovereignty and heaven,
began to be incarnated on the earth. And, O king, the Asuras being
possessed of great powers, and desirous of sovereignty began to be born on
earth amongst various creatures, such as kine, horses, asses, camels,
buffaloes, among creatures such as Rakshasas and others, and among
elephants and deer. And, O protector of the earth, owing to those already
born and to those that were being born, the earth became incapable of
supporting herself. And amongst the sons of Diti and of Danu, cast out of
heaven, some were born on the earth as kings of great pride and insolence.
Possessed of great energy, they covered the earth in various shapes.
Capable of oppressing all foes, they filled the earth having the ocean for
its boundaries. And by their strength they began to oppress Brahmanas and
Kshatriyas and Vaisyas and Sudras and all other creatures also. Terrifying
and killing all creatures, they traversed the earth, O king, in bands of
hundreds and thousands. Devoid of truth and virtue, proud of their
strength, and intoxicated with (the wine of) insolence, they even insulted
the great Rishis in their hermitages.

"And the earth, thus oppressed by the mighty Asuras endued with great
strength and energy and possessed of abundant means, began to think of
waiting on Brahman. The united strength of the creatures (such as Sesha,
the Tortoise, and the huge Elephant), and of many Seshas too, became
capable of supporting the earth with her mountains, burdened as she was
with the weight of the Danavas. And then, O king, the earth, oppressed
with weight and afflicted with fear, sought the protection of the
Grandsire of all creatures. And she beheld the divine Brahman--the Creator
of the worlds who knoweth no deterioration--surrounded by the gods,
Brahmanas, and great Rishis, of exceeding good fortune, and adored by
delighted Gandharvas and Apsaras always engaged in the service of the
celestials. And the Earth, desirous of protection, then represented
everything to him, in the presence, O Bharata, of all the Regents of the
worlds. But, O king, the Earth's object had been known beforehand to the
Omniscient, Self-create, and Supreme Lord. And, O Bharata, Creator as he
is of the universe, why should he not know fully what is in the minds of
his creatures including the very gods and the Asuras? O king, the Lord of
the Earth, the Creator of all creatures, also called Isa, Sambhu,
Prajapati, then spake unto her. And Brahman said, 'O holder of wealth, for
the accomplishment of the object for which thou hast approached me, I
shall appoint all the dwellers in the heavens.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Having said so unto the Earth, O king, the
divine Brahman bade her farewell. And the Creator then commanded all the
gods saying, 'To ease the Earth of her burden, go ye and have your births
in her according to your respective parts and seek ye strife (with the
Asuras already born there)'. And the Creator of all, summoning also all
the tribes of the Gandharvas and the Apsaras, spake unto them these words
of deep import, 'Go ye and be born amongst men according to your
respective parts in forms that ye like.'

"And all the gods with Indra, on hearing these words of the Lord of the
celestials--words that were true, desirable under the circumstances, and
fraught with benefit,--accepted them. And they all having resolved to come
down on earth in their respected parts, then went to Narayana, the slayer
of all foes, at Vaikunth--the one who has the discus and the mace in his
hands, who is clad in purple, who is of great splendour, who hath the
lotus on his navel, who is the slayer of the foes of the gods, who is of
eyes looking down upon his wide chest (in yoga attitude), who is the lord
of the Prajapati himself, the sovereign of all the gods, of mighty
strength, who hath the mark of the auspicious whirl on his breast, who is
the mover of every one's faculties and who is adored by all the gods. Him,
Indra the most exalted of persons, addressed, saying, 'Be incarnate.' And
Hari replied,--'Let it be.'"


(Sambhava Parva)

"Vaisampayana said, 'Then Indra had a consultation with Narayana about the
latter's descent on the earth from heaven with all the gods according to
their respective parts. And, having commanded all the dwellers in heaven,
Indra returned from the abode of Narayana. And the dwellers in heaven
gradually became incarnate on earth for the destruction of the Asuras and
for the welfare of the three worlds. And then, O tiger among kings, the
celestials had their births, according as they pleased, in the races of
Brahmarshis and royal sages. And they slew the Danavas, Rakshasas,
Gandharvas and Snakes, other man-eaters, and many other creatures. And, O
bull in the Bharata race, the Danavas, Rakshasas and Gandharvas and Snakes,
could not slay the incarnate celestials even in their infancy, so strong
they were.'

"Janamejaya said, 'I desire to hear from the beginning of the births of
the gods, the Danavas, the Gandharvas, the Apsaras, men, Yakshas and
Rakshasas. Therefore, it behoveth thee to tell me about the births of all

"Vaisampayana said, 'Indeed, I shall, having bowed down to the Self-create,
tell thee in detail the origin of the celestials and other creatures. It
is known that Brahman hath six spiritual sons, viz., Marichi, Atri,
Angiras, Pulastya, Pulaha and Kratu. And Marichi's son is Kasyapa, and
from Kasyapa have sprung these creatures. Unto Daksha (one of the
Prajapatis) were born thirteen daughters of great good fortune. The
daughters of Daksha are, O tiger among men and prince of the Bharata race,
Aditi, Diti, Danu, Kala, Danayu, Sinhika, Krodha, Pradha, Viswa, Vinata,
Kapila, Muni, and Kadru. The sons and grandsons of these, gifted with
great energy, are countless. From Aditi have sprung the twelve Adityas who
are the lords of the universe. And, O Bharata, as they are according to
their names, I shall recount them to thee. They are Dhatri, Mitra, Aryaman,
Sakra, Varuna, Ansa, Vaga, Vivaswat, Usha, Savitri, Tvashtri, and Vishnu.
The youngest, however, is superior to them all in merit. Diti had one son
called Hiranyakasipu. And the illustrious Hiranyakasipu had five sons, all
famous throughout the world. The eldest of them all was Prahlada, the next
was Sahradha; the third was Anuhrada; and after him were Sivi and Vashkala.
And, O Bharata, it is known everywhere that Prahlada had three sons. They
were Virochana, Kumbha, and Nikumbha. And unto Virochana was born a son,
Vali, of great prowess. And the son of Vali is known to be the great Asura,
Vana. And blessed with good fortune, Vana was a follower of Rudra, and was
known also by the name of Mahakala. And Danu had forty sons, O Bharata!
The eldest of them all was Viprachitti of great fame Samvara, and Namuchi
and Pauloman; Asiloman, and Kesi and Durjaya; Ayahsiras, Aswasiras, and
the powerful Aswasanku; also Gaganamardhan, and Vegavat, and he called
Ketumat; Swarbhanu, Aswa, Aswapati, Vrishaparvan, and then Ajaka; and
Aswagriva, and Sukshama, and Tuhunda of great strength, Ekapada, and
Ekachakra, Virupaksha, Mahodara, and Nichandra, and Nikumbha, Kupata, and
then Kapata; Sarabha, and Sulabha, Surya, and then Chandramas; these in
the race of Danu are stated to be well-known. The Surya and Chandramas
(the Sun and the Moon) of the celestials are other persons, and not the
sons of Danu as mentioned above. The following ten, gifted with great
strength and vigour, were also, O king, born in the race of Danu;--Ekaksha,
Amritapa of heroic courage, Pralamva and Naraka, Vatrapi, Satrutapana, and
Satha, the great Asura; Gavishtha, and Vanayu, and the Danava called
Dirghajiva. And, O Bharata, the sons and the grandsons of these were known
to be countless. And Sinhika gave birth to Rahu, the persecutor of the Sun
and the Moon, and to three others, Suchandra, Chandrahantri, and
Chandrapramardana. And the countless progeny of Krura (krodha) were as
crooked and wicked as herself. And the tribe was wrathful, of crooked
deeds, and persecutors of their foes. And Danayu also had four sons who
were bulls among the Asuras. They were Vikshara, Vala, Vira, and Vritra
the great Asura. And the sons of Kala were all like Yama himself and
smiter of all foes. And they were of great energy, and oppressors of all
foes. And the sons of Kala were Vinasana and Krodha, and then Krodhahantri,
and Krodhasatru. And there were many others among the sons of Kala. And
Sukra, the son of a Rishi, was the chief priest of the Asuras. And the
celebrated Sukra had four sons who were priests of the Asuras. And they
were Tashtadhara and Atri, and two others of fierce deeds. They were like
the Sun himself in energy, and set their hearts on acquiring the regions
of Brahman.

"Thus hath been recited by me, as heard in the Purana, of progeny of the
gods and the Asuras, both of great strength and energy. I am incapable, O
king, of counting the descendants of these, countless as they are, are not
much known to fame.

"And the sons of Vinata were Tarkhya and Arishtanemi, and Garuda and Aruna,
and Aruni and Varuni. And Sesha of Ananta, Vasuki, Takshaka, Kumara, and
Kulika are known to be the sons of Kadru; and Bhimasena, Ugrasena, Suparna,
Varuna, Gopati, and Dhritarashtra, and Suryavarchas the seventh,
Satyavachas, Arkaparna, Prayuta, Bhima, and Chitraratha known to fame, of
great learning, and a controller of his passions, and then Kalisiras, and,
O king, Parjanya, the fourteenth in the list, Kali, the fifteenth, and
Narada, the sixteenth--these Devas and Gandharvas are known to be the sons
of Muni (Daksha's daughter as mentioned before). I shall recount many
others, O Bharata! Anavadya Manu, Vansa, Asura, Marganapria, Anupa,
Subhaga, Vasi, were the daughters brought forth by Pradha, Siddha, and
Purna, and Varhin, and Purnayus of great fame, Brahmacharin, Ratiguna, and
Suparna who was the seventh; Viswavasu, Bhanu, and Suchandra who was the
tenth, were also the sons of Pradha. All these were celestial Gandharvas.
And it is also known that this Pradha of great fortune, through the
celestial Rishi (Kasyapa, her husband), brought forth the sacred of the
Apsaras, Alamvusha, Misrakesi, Vidyutparna, Tilottama, Aruna, Rakshita,
Rambha, Manorama, Kesini, Suvahu, Surata, Suraja, and Supria were the
daughters, and Ativahu and the celebrated Haha and Huhu, and Tumvuru were
the sons--the best of Gandharvas--of Pradha and Amrita. The Brahmanas,
kine, Gandharvas, and Apsaras, were born of Kapila as stated in the Purana.

"Thus hath been recited to thee by me the birth of all creatures duly--of
Gandharvas and Apsaras, of Snakes, Suparnas, Rudras, and Maruts; of kine
and of Brahmanas blessed with great good fortune, and of sacred deeds. And
this account (if read) extendeth the span of life, is sacred, worthy of
all praise, and giveth pleasure to the ear. It should be always heard and
recited to others, in a proper frame of mind.

"He who duly readeth this account of the birth of all high-souled
creatures in the presence of the gods and Brahmanas, obtaineth large
progeny, good fortune, and fame, and attaineth also to excellent worlds


(Sambhava Parva continued)

"Vaisampayana said, 'It is known that the spiritual sons of Brahman were
the six great Rishis (already mentioned). There was another of the name of
Sthanu. And the sons of Sthanu, gifted with great energy, were, it is
known, eleven. They were Mrigavayadha, Sarpa, Niriti of great fame:
Ajaikapat, Ahivradhna, and Pinaki, the oppressor of foes; Dahana and
Iswara, and Kapali of great splendour; and Sthanu, and the illustrious
Bharga. These are called the eleven Rudras. It hath been already said,
that Marichi, Angiras, Atri, Pulastya, Pulaha, and Kratu--these six great
Rishis of great energy--are the sons of Brahman. It is well-known in the
world that Angiras's sons are three,--Vrihaspati, Utathya, and Samvarta,
all of rigid vows. And, O king, it is said that the sons of Atri are
numerous. And, being great Rishis, they are all conversant with the Vedas,
crowned with ascetic success, and of souls in perfect peace. And, O tiger
among kings, the sons of Pulastya of great wisdom are Rakshasas, Monkeys,
Kinnaras (half-men and half-horses), and Yakshas. And, O king, the son of
Pulaha were, it is said, the Salabhas (the winged insects), the lions, the
Kimpurushas (half-lions and half-men), the tigers, bears, and wolves. And
the sons of Kratu, sacred as sacrifices, are the companions of Surya, the
Valikhilyas, known in three worlds and devoted to truth and vows. And, O
protector of the Earth, the illustrious Rishi Daksha, of soul in complete
peace, and of great asceticism, sprung from the right toe of Brahman. And
from the left toe of Brahman sprang the wife of the high-souled Daksha.
And the Muni begat upon her fifty daughters; and all those daughters were
of faultless features and limbs and of eyes like lotus-petals. And the
lord Daksha, not having any sons, made those daughters his Putrikas (so
that their sons might belong both to himself and to their husbands). And
Daksha bestowed, according to the sacred ordinance, ten of his daughters
on Dharma, twenty-seven on Chandra (the Moon), and thirteen on Kasyapa.
Listen as I recount the wives of Dharma according to their names. They are
ten in all--Kirti, Lakshmi, Dhriti, Medha, Pushti, Sraddha, Kria, Buddhi,
Lajja, and Mali. These are the wives of Dharma as appointed by the Self-
create. It is known also throughout the world that the wives of Soma
(Moon) are twenty-seven. And the wives of Soma, all of sacred vows, are
employed in indicating time; and they are the Nakshatras and the Yoginis
and they became so for assisting the courses of the worlds.

"And Brahman had another son named Manu. And Manu had a son of the name of
Prajapati. And the sons of Prajapati were eight and were called Vasus whom
I shall name in detail. They were Dhara, Dhruva, Soma, Aha, Anila, Anala,
Pratyusha, and Prabhasa. These eight are known as the Vasus. Of these,
Dhara and the truth-knowing Dhruva were born of Dhumra; Chandramas (Soma)
and Swasana (Anila) were born of the intelligent Swasa; Aha was the son of
Rata; and Hutasana (Anala) of Sandilya; and Pratyusha and Prabhasa were
the sons of Prabhata. And Dhara had two sons, Dravina and Huta-havya-vaha.
And the son of Dhruva is the illustrious Kala (Time), the destroyer of the
worlds. And Soma's son is the resplendent Varchas. And Varchas begot upon
his wife Manohara three sons--Sisira, and Ramana. And the son of Aha were
Jyotih, Sama, Santa, and also Muni. And the son of Agni is the handsome
Kumara born in a forest of reeds. And, he is also called Kartikeya because
he was reared by Krittika and others. And, after Kartikeya, there were
born his three brothers Sakha, Visakha, Naigameya. And the wife of Anila
is Siva, and Siva's son were Manojava and Avijnataagati. These two were
the sons of Anila. The son of Pratyusha, you must know, is the Rishi named
Devala; and Devala had two sons who were both exceedingly forgiving and of
great mental power. And the sister of Vrihaspati, the first of women,
uttering the sacred truth, engaged in ascetic penances, roamed over the
whole earth; and she became the wife of Prabhasa, the eighth Vasu. And she
brought forth the illustrious Viswakarman, the founder of all arts. And he
was the originator of a thousand arts, the engineer of the immortals, the
maker of all kinds of ornaments, and the first of artists. And he it was
who constructed the celestial cars of the gods, and mankind are enabled to
live in consequence of the inventions of that illustrious one. And he is
worshipped, for that reason, by men. And he is eternal and immutable, this

"And the illustrious Dharma, the dispenser of all happiness, assuming a
human countenance, came out through the right breast of Brahman. And
Ahasta (Dharma) hath three excellent sons capable of charming every
creature. And they are Sama, Kama, Harsha (Peace, Desire, and Joy). And by
their energy they are supporting the worlds. And the wife of Kama is Rati,
of Sama is Prapti; and the wife of Harsha is Nanda. And upon them, indeed,
are the worlds made to depend.

"And the son of Marichi is Kasyapa. And Kasyapa's offspring are the gods
and the Asuras. And, therefore, is Kasyapa, the Father of the worlds. And
Tvashtri, of the form of Vadava (a mare), became the wife of Savitri. And
she gave birth, in the skies, to two greatly fortunate twins, the Aswins.
And, O king, the sons of Aditi are twelve with Indra heading them all. And
the youngest of them all was Vishnu upon whom the worlds depend.

"These are the thirty-three gods (the eight Vasus, the eleven Rudras, the
twelve Adityas, Prajapati, and Vashatkara). I shall now recount their
progeny according to their Pakshas, Kulas, and Ganas. The Rudras, the
Saddhyas, the Maruts, the Vasus, the Bhargavas, and the Viswedevas are
each reckoned as a Paksha. Garuda the son of Vinata and the mighty Aruna
also, and the illustrious Vrihaspati are reckoned among the Adityas. The
twin Aswins, all annual plants, and all inferior animals, are reckoned
among the Guhyakas.

"These are the Ganas of the gods recited to thee, O king! This recitation
washes men of all sins.

"The illustrious Bhrigu came out, ripping open the breast of Brahman. The
learned Sukra is Bhrigu's son. And the learned Sukra becoming a planet and
engaged according to the command of the Self-existent in pouring and
withholding rain, and in dispensing and remitting calamities, traverses,
for sustaining the lives of all the creatures in the three worlds, through
the skies. And the learned Sukra, of great intelligence and wisdom, of
rigid vows, leading the life of a Brahmacharin, divided himself in twain
by power of asceticism, and became the spiritual guide of both the Daityas
and the gods. And after Sukra was thus employed by Brahman in seeking the
welfare (of the gods and the Asuras), Bhrigu begot another excellent son.
This was Chyavana who was like the blazing sun, of virtuous soul, and of
great fame. And he came out of his mother's womb in anger and became the
cause of his mother's release, O king (from the hands of the Rakshasas).
And Arushi, the daughter of Manu, became the wife of the wise Chyavana.
And, on her was begotten Aurva of great reputation. And he came out,
ripping open the thigh of Arushi. And Aurva begot Richika. And Richika
even in his boyhood became possessed of great power and energy, and of
every virtue. And Richika begot Jamadagni. And the high-souled Jamadagni
had four sons. And the youngest of them all was Rama (Parasurama). And
Rama was superior to all his brothers in the possession of good qualities.
And he was skilful in all weapons, and became the slayer of the Kshatriyas.
And he had his passions under complete control. And Aurva had a hundred
sons with Jamadagni the eldest. And these hundred sons had offspring by
thousands spread over this earth.

"And Brahman had two other sons, viz., Dhatri and Vidhatri who stayed with
Manu. Their sister is the auspicious Lakshmi having her abode amid lotuses.
And the spiritual sons of Lakshmi are the sky-ranging horses. And the
daughter born of Sukra, named Divi, became the eldest wife of Varuna. Of
her were born a son named Vala and a daughter named Sura (wine), to the
joy of the gods. And Adharma (Sin) was born when creatures (from want of
food) began to devour one another. And Adharma always destroys every
creature. And Adharma hath Niriti for his wife, whence the Rakshasas who
are called Nairitas (offspring of Niriti). And she hath also three other
cruel sons always engaged in sinful deeds. They are Bhaya (fear),
Mahabhaya (terror), and Mrityu (Death) who is always engaged in slaying
every created thing. And, as he is all-destroying, he hath no wife, and no
son. And Tamra brought forth five daughters known throughout the worlds.
They are Kaki (crow), Syeni (hawk), Phasi (hen), Dhritarashtri (goose),
and Suki (parrot). And Kaki brought forth the crows; Syeni, the hawks, the
cocks and vultures; Dhritarashtri, all ducks and swans; and she also
brought forth all Chakravakas; and the fair Suki, of amiable qualities,
and possessing all auspicious signs brought forth all the parrots. And
Krodha gave birth to nine daughters, all of wrathful disposition. And
their names were Mrigi, Mrigamanda, Hari, Bhadramana, Matangi, Sarduli,
Sweta, Surabhi, and the agreeable Surasa blessed with every virtue. And, O
foremost of men, the offspring of Mrigi are all animals of the deer
species. And the offspring of Mrigamanda are all animals of the bear
species and those called Srimara (sweet-footed). And Bhadramana begot the
celestial elephants, Airavata. And the offspring of Hari are all animals
of the simian species endued with great activity, so also all the horses.
And those animals also, that are called Go-langula (the cow-tailed), are
said to be the offspring of Hari. And Sarduli begot lions and tigers in
numbers, and also leopards and all other strong animals. And, O king, the
offspring of Matangi are all the elephants. And Sweta begat the large
elephant known by the name of Sweta, endued with great speed. And, O king,
Surabhi gave birth to two daughters, the amiable Rohini and the far-famed
Gandharvi. And, O Bharata, she had also two other daughters named Vimala
and Anala. From Rohini have sprung all kine, and from Gandharvi all
animals of the horse species. And Anala begat the seven kinds of trees
yielding pulpy fruits. (They are the date, the palm, the hintala, the tali,
the little date, the nut, and the cocoanut.) And she had also another
daughter called Suki (the mother of the parrot species). And Surasa bore a
son called Kanka (a species of long-feathered birds). And Syeni, the wife
of Aruna, gave birth to two sons of great energy and strength, named
Sampati and the mighty Jatayu. Surasa also bore the Nagas, and Kadru, the
Punnagas (snakes). And Vinata had two sons Garuda and Aruna, known far and
wide. And, O king of men, O foremost of intelligent persons, thus hath the
genealogy of all the principal creatures been fully described by me. By
listening to this, a man is fully cleansed of all his sins, and acquireth
great knowledge, and finally attaineth to the first of states in after-


(Sambhava Parva continued)

"Janamejaya said, 'O worshipful one, I wish to hear from thee in detail
about the birth, among men, of the gods, the Danavas, the Gandharvas, the
Rakshasas, the lions, the tigers, and the other animals, the snakes, the
birds, and in fact, of all creatures. I wish also to hear about the acts
and achievements of those, in due order, after they became incarnate in
human forms.'

"Vaisampayana said, 'O king of men, I shall first tell thee all about
those celestials and Danavas that were born among men--The first of
Danavas, who was known by the name of Viprachitti, became that bull among
men, noted as Jarasandha. And, O king, that son of Diti, who was known as
Hiranyakasipu, was known in this world among men as the powerful Sisupala.
He who had been known as Samhlada, the younger brother of Prahlada, became
among men the famous Salya, that bull amongst Valhikas. The spirited
Anuhlada who had been the youngest became noted in the world as
Dhrishtaketu. And, O king, that son of Diti who had been known as Sivi
became on earth the famous monarch Druma. And he who was known as the
great Asura Vashkala became on earth the great Bhagadatta. The five great
Asuras gifted with great energy, Ayahsira, Aswasira, the spirited Aysanku,
Gaganamurdhan, and Vegavat, were all born in the royal line of Kekaya and
all became great monarchs. That other Asura of mighty energy who was known
by the name of Ketumat became on earth the monarch Amitaujas of terrible
deeds. That great Asura who was known as Swarbhanu became on earth the
monarch Ugrasena of fierce deeds. That great Asura who was known as Aswa
became on earth the monarch Asoka of exceeding energy and invincible in
battle. And, O king, the younger brother of Aswa who was known as Aswapati,
a son of Diti, became on earth the mighty monarch Hardikya. The great and
fortunate Asura who was known as Vrishaparvan became noted on earth as
king Dirghaprajna. And, O king, the younger brother of Vrishaparvan who
was known by the name of Ajaka became noted on earth as king Salwa. The
powerful and mighty Asura who was known as Aswagriva became noted on earth
as king Rochamana. And, O king, the Asura who was known as Sukshma, endued
with great intelligence and whose achievements also were great, became on
earth the famous king Vrihadratha. And that first of Asuras who was known
by the name of Tuhunda, became noted on earth as the monarch, Senavindu.
That Asura of great strength who was known as Ishupa became the monarch
Nagnajita of famous prowess. The great Asura who was known as Ekachakra
became noted on earth as Pritivindhya. The great Asura Virupaksha capable
of displaying various modes of fight became noted on earth as king
Chitravarman. The first of Danavas, the heroic Hara, who humbled the pride
of all foes became on earth the famous and fortunate Suvahu. The Asura
Suhtra of great energy and the destroyer of foemen, became noted on earth
as the fortunate monarch, Munjakesa. That Asura of great intelligence
called Nikumbha, who was never vanquished in battle was born on earth as
king Devadhipa, the first among monarchs. That great Asura known amongst
the sons of Diti by the name of Sarabha became on earth the royal sage
called Paurava. And, O king, the great Asura of exceeding energy, the
fortunate Kupatha, was born on earth as the famous monarch Suparswa. The
great Asura, O king, who was called Kratha, was born on earth as the royal
sage Parvateya of form resplendent like a golden mountain. He amongst the
Asura who was known as Salabha the second, became on earth the monarch
Prahlada in the country of the Valhikas. The foremost, among the sons of
Diti known by the name of Chandra and handsome as the lord of the stars
himself, became on earth noted as Chandravarman, the king of the Kamvojas.
That bull amongst the Danavas who was known by the name of Arka became on
earth, O king, the royal sage Rishika. That best of Asuras who was known
as Mritapa became on earth, O best of kings, the monarch, Pascimanupaka.
That great Asura of surpassing energy known as Garishtha became noted on
earth as king Drumasena. The great Asura who was known as Mayura became
noted on earth as the monarch Viswa. He who was the younger brother of
Mayura and called Suparna became noted on earth as the monarch, Kalakirti.
The mighty Asura who was known as Chandrahantri became on earth the royal
sage Sunaka. The great Asura who was called Chandravinasana became noted
on earth as the monarch, Janaki. That bull amongst the Danavas, O prince
of the Kuru race, who was called Dhirghajihva, became noted on earth as
Kasiraja. The Graha who was brought forth by Sinhika and who persecuted
the Sun and the Moon became noted on earth as the monarch Kratha. The
eldest of the four sons of Danayu, who was known by the name of Vikshara,
became known on earth the spirited monarch, Vasumitra. The second brother
of Vikshara, the great Asura, was born on earth as the king of the country,
called Pandya. That best of Asuras who was known by the name of Valina
became on earth the monarch Paundramatsyaka. And, O king, that great Asura
who was known as Vritra became on earth the royal sage known by the name
of Manimat. That Asura who was the younger brother of Vritra and known as
Krodhahantri became noted on earth as king Danda. That other Asura who was
known by the name Krodhavardhana became noted on earth as the monarch,
Dandadhara. The eight sons of the Kaleyas that were born on earth all
became great kings endued with the prowess of tigers. The eldest of them
all became king Jayatsena in Magadha. The second of them, in prowess, like
Indra, became noted on earth as Aparajita. The third of them, endued with
great energy and power of producing deception, was born on earth as the
king of the Nishadas gifted with great prowess. That other amongst them
who was known as the fourth was noted on earth as Srenimat, that best of
royal sages. That great Asura amongst them who was the fifth, became noted
on earth as king Mahanjas, the oppressor of enemies. That great Asura
possessing great intelligence who was the sixth of them became noted on
earth as Abhiru, that best of royal sages. The seventh of them became
known throughout earth, from the centre to the sea, as king Samudrasena
well acquainted with the truths of the scriptures. The eighth of the
Kaleyas known as Vrihat became on earth a virtuous king ever engaged in
the good of all creatures. The mighty Danava known by the name of Kukshi
became on earth as Parvatiya from his brightness as of a golden mountain.
The mighty Asura Krathana gifted with great energy became noted on earth
as the monarch Suryaksha. The great Asura of handsome features known by
the name of Surya, became on earth the monarch of the Valhikas by name
Darada, that foremost of all kings. And, O king, from the tribe of Asuras
called Krodhavasa, of whom I have already spoken to thee, were born many
heroic kings on earth. Madraka, and Karnaveshta, Siddhartha, and also
Kitaka; Suvira, and Suvahu, and Mahavira, and also Valhika, Kratha,
Vichitra, Suratha, and the handsome king Nila; and Chiravasa, and
Bhumipala; and Dantavakra, and he who was called Durjaya; that tiger
amongst kings named Rukmi; and king Janamejaya, Ashada, and Vayuvega, and
also Bhuritejas; Ekalavya, and Sumitra, Vatadhana, and also Gomukha; the
tribe of kings called the Karushakas, and also Khemadhurti; Srutayu, and
Udvaha, and also Vrihatsena; Kshema, Ugratirtha, the king of the Kalingas;
and Matimat, and he was known as king Iswara; these first of kings were
all born of the Asura class called Krodhavasa.

"There was also born on earth a mighty Asura known amongst the Danavas by
the name of Kalanemi, endued with great strength, of grand achievements,
and blessed with a large share of prosperity. He became the mighty son of
Ugrasena and was known on earth by the name of Kansa. And he who was known
among the Asuras by the name of Devaka and was besides in splendour like
unto Indra himself, was born on earth as the foremost king of the
Gandharvas. And, O monarch, know thou that Drona, the son of Bharadwaja,
not born of any woman, sprung from a portion of the celestial Rishi
Vrihaspati of grand achievements. And he was the prince of all bowmen,
conversant with all weapons, of mighty achievements, of great energy. Thou
shouldst know he was also well-acquainted with the Vedas and the science
of arms. And he was of wonderful deeds and the pride of his race. And, O
king, his son the heroic Aswatthaman, of eyes like the lotus-petals,
gifted with surpassing energy, and the terror of all foes, the great
oppressor of all enemies, was born on earth, of the united portions of
Mahadeva, Yama, Kama, and Krodha. And from the curse of Vasishtha and the
command also of Indra, the eight Vasus were born of Ganga by her husband
Santanu. The youngest of them was Bhishma, the dispeller of the fears of
the Kurus, gifted with great intelligence, conversant with the Vedas, the
first speakers, and the thinner of the enemy's ranks. And possessed of
mighty energy and the first of all persons acquainted with weapons, he
encountered the illustrious Rama himself, the son of Jamadagni of the
Bhrigu race. And, O king, that Brahman sage who, on earth, was known by
the name of Kripa and was the embodiment of all manliness was born of the
tribe of the Rudras. And the mighty chariot-fighter and king who on earth
was known by the name of Sakuni, that crusher of foes, thou shouldst know,
O king, was Dwapara himself (the third yuga). And he who was Satyaki of
sure aim, that upholder of the pride of Vrishni race, that oppressor of
foes, begotten of the portion of gods called the Maruts. And that royal
sage Drupada who on earth was a monarch, the first among all persons
bearing arms, was also born of the same tribe of the celestials. And, O
king, thou shouldst also know that Kritavarman, that prince among men, of
deeds unsurpassed by any one, and the foremost of all bulls amongst
Kshatriyas, was born of the portion of the same celestials. And that royal
sage also, Virata by name, the scorcher of the kingdoms of others, and the
great oppressor of all foes, was born of the portion of the same gods.
That son of Arishta who was known by the name of Hansa, was born in the
Kuru race and became the monarch of the Gandharvas. He who was known as
Dhritarashtra born of the seed of Krishna-Dwaipayana, and gifted with long
arms and great energy, also a monarch, of the prophetic eye, became blind
in consequence of the fault of his mother and the wrath of the Rishi. His
younger brother who was possessed of great strength and was really a great
being known as Pandu, devoted to truth and virtue, was Purity's self. And,
O king, thou shouldst know that he who was known on earth as Vidura, who
was the first of all virtuous men, who was the god of Justice himself, was
the excellent and greatly fortunate son of the Rishi Atri. The evil-minded
and wicked king Duryodhana, the destroyer of the fair fame of the Kurus,
was born of a portion of Kali on earth. He it was who caused all creatures
to be slain and the earth to be wasted; and he it was who fanned the flame
of hostility that ultimately consumed all. They who had been the sons of
Pulastya (the Rakshasas) were born on earth among men of Duryodhana's
brothers, that century of wicked individuals commencing with Duhasasana as
their first. And, O bull among the Bharata princes, Durmukha, Duhsaha, and
others whose names I do not mention, who always supported Duryodhana (in
all his schemes), were, indeed, the sons of Pulastya. And over and above
these hundred, Dhritarashtra had one son named Yuyutsu born of a Vaisya

"Janamejaya said, 'O illustrious one, tell me the names of Dhritarashtra's
sons according to the order of their birth beginning from the eldest.'

"Vaisampayana said, 'O king, they are as follows: Duryodhana, and Yuyutsu,
and also Duhsasana; Duhsaha and Duhshala, and then Durmukha; Vivinsati,
and Vikarna, Jalasandha, Sulochna, Vinda and Anuvinda, Durdharsha, Suvahu,
Dushpradharshana; Durmarshana, and Dushkarna, and Karna; Chitra and
Vipachitra, Chitraksha, Charuchitra, and Angada, Durmada, and
Dushpradharsha, Vivitsu, Vikata, Sama; Urananabha, and Padmanabha, Nanda
and Upanandaka; Sanapati, Sushena, Kundodara; Mahodara; Chitravahu, and
Chitravarman, Suvarman, Durvirochana; Ayovahu, Mahavahu, Chitrachapa and
Sukundala, Bhimavega, Bhimavala, Valaki, Bhimavikrama, Ugrayudha,
Bhimaeara, Kanakayu, Dridhayudha, Dridhavarman, Dridhakshatra Somakirti,
Anadara; Jarasandha, Dridhasandha, Satyasandha, Sahasravaeh; Ugrasravas,
Ugrasena, and Kshemamurti; Aprajita, Panditaka, Visalaksha, Duradhara,
Dridhahasta, and Suhasta, Vatavega, and Suvarchasa; Adityaketu, Vahvasin,
Nagadatta and Anuyaina; Nishangi, Kuvachi, Dandi, Dandadhara, Dhanugraha;
Ugra, Bhimaratha, Vira, Viravahu, Alolupa; Abhaya, and Raudrakarman, also
he who was Dridharatha; Anadhrishya, Kundaveda, Viravi, Dhirghalochana;
Dirghavahu; Mahavahu; Vyudhoru, Kanakangana; Kundaja and Chitraka. There
was also a daughter named Duhsala who was over and above the hundred. And
Yuyutsu who was Dhritarashtra's son by a Vaisya wife, was also over and
above the hundred. Thus, O king, have I recited the names of the hundred
sons and also that of the daughter (of Dhritarashtra). Thou hast now known
their names according to the order of their births. All of them were
heroes and great car-warriors, and skilled in the art of warfare. Besides,
all of them were versed in the Vedas, and, O king, all of them had got
through the scriptures. All of them were mighty in attack and defence, and
all were graced with learning. And, O monarch, all of them had wives
suitable to them in grace and accomplishments. And, O king, when the time
came, the Kaurava monarch bestowed his daughter Duhsala on Jayadratha, the
king of the Sindhus, agreeably to the counsels of Sakuni.

"And, O monarch, learn that king Yudhishthira was a portion of Dharma;
that Bhimasena was of the deity of wind; that Arjuna was of Indra, the
chief of the celestials; and that Nakula and Sahadeva, the handsomest
beings among all creatures, and unrivalled for beauty on earth, were
similarly portions of the twin Aswins. And he who was known as the mighty
Varchas, the son of Soma, became Abhimanyu of wonderful deeds, the son of
Arjuna. And before his incarnation, O king, the god Soma had said these
words to the celestials, 'I cannot give (part with) my son. He is dearer
to me than life itself. Let this be the compact and let it be not
transgressed. The destruction of the Asuras on earth is the work of the
celestials, and, therefore, it is our work as well. Let this Varchas,
therefore, go thither, but let him not stay there long. Nara, whose
companion is Narayana, will be born as Indra's son and indeed, will be
known as Arjuna, the mighty son of Pandu. This boy of mine shall be his
son and become a mighty car-warrior in his boyhood. And let him, ye best
of immortals, stay on earth for sixteen years. And when he attaineth to
his sixteenth year, the battle shall take place in which all who are born
of your portions shall achieve the destruction of mighty warriors. But a
certain encounter shall take place without both Nara and Narayana (taking
any part in it). And, indeed, your portions, ye celestials, shall fight,
having made that disposition of the forces which is known by the name of
the Chakra-vyuha. And my son shall compel all foes to retreat before him.
The boy of mighty arms having penetrated the impenetrable array, shall
range within it fearlessly and send a fourth part of the hostile force, in
course of half a day, unto the regions of the king of the dead. Then when
numberless heroes and mighty car-warriors will return to the charge
towards the close of the day, my boy of mighty arms, shall reappear before
me. And he shall beget one heroic son in his line, who shall continue the
almost extinct Bharata race.' Hearing these words of Soma, the dwellers in
heaven replied, 'So be it.' And then all together applauded and worshipped
(Soma) the king of stars. Thus, O king, have I recited to thee the
(particulars of the) birth of thy father's father.

"Know also, O monarch, that the mighty car-warrior Dhrishtadyumna was a
portion of Agni. And know also that Sikhandin, who was at first a female,
was (the incarnation of) a Rakshasa. And, O bull in Bharata's race, they
who became the five sons of Draupadi, those bulls amongst the Bharata
princes, were the celestials known as the Viswas. Their names were
Pritivindhya, Sutasoma, Srutakirti, Satanika, Nakula, and Srutasena,
endued with mighty energy.

"Sura, the foremost of the Yadus, was the father of Vasudeva. He had a
daughter called Pritha, who for her beauty, was unrivalled on earth. And
Sura, having promised in the presence of fire that he would give his
firstborn child to Kuntibhoja, the son of his paternal aunt, who was
without offspring, gave his daughter unto the monarch in expectation of
his favours. Kuntibhoja thereupon made her his daughter. And she became,
thenceforth, in the house of her (adoptive) father, engaged in attending
upon Brahmanas and guests. One day she had to wait upon the wrathful
ascetic of rigid vows, Durvasa by name, acquainted with truth and fully
conversant with the mysteries of religion. And Pritha with all possible
care gratified the wrathful Rishi with soul under complete control. The
holy one, gratified with the attentions bestowed on him by the maiden,
told her, 'I am satisfied, O fortunate one, with thee! By this mantra
(that I am about to give thee), thou shall be able to summon (to thy side)
whatever celestials thou likest. And, by their grace, shall thou also
obtain children.' Thus addressed, the girl (a little while after), seized
with curiosity, summoned, during the period of her maiden-hood, the god
Surya. And the lord of light thereupon made her conceive and begot on her
a son who became the first of all wielders of weapons. From fear of
relatives she brought forth in secrecy that child who had come out with
ear-rings and coat of mail. And he was gifted with the beauty of a
celestial infant, and in splendour was like unto the maker of day himself.
And every part of his body was symmetrical and well-adorned. And Kunti
cast the handsome child into the water. But the child thus thrown into the
water was taken up by the excellent husband of Radha and given by him to
his wife to be adopted by her as their son. And the couple gave him the
name of Vasusena, by which appellation the child soon became known all
over the land. And, as he grew up, he became very strong and excelled in
all weapons. The first of all successful persons, he soon mastered the
sciences. And when the intelligent one having truth for his strength
recited the Vedas, there was nothing he would not then give to the
Brahmanas. At that time Indra, the originator of all things, moved by the
desire of benefiting his own son Arjuna, assumed the guise of a Brahmana,
came to him, and begged of the hero his ear-rings and natural armour. And
the hero taking off his ear-rings and armour gave them unto the Brahmana.
And Sakra (accepting the gift) presented to the giver a dart, surprised
(at his open handedness), and addressed him in these words, 'O invincible
one, amongst the celestials, Asuras, men, Gandharvas, Nagas, and Rakshasas,
he at whom thou hurlest (this weapon), that one shall certainly be slain.'
And the son of Surya was at first known in the world by the name of
Vasusena. But, for his deeds, he subsequently came to be called Karna. And
because that hero of great fame had taken off his natural armour,
therefore was he--the first son of Pritha--called Karna. And, O best of
kings, the hero began to grow up in the Suta caste. And, O king, know thou
that Karna--the first of all exalted men--the foremost of all wielders of
weapons--the slayer of foes--and the best portion of the maker of day--was
the friend and counsellor of Duryodhana. And he, called Vasudeva, endued
with great valour, was among men a portion of him called Narayana--the god
of gods--eternal. And Valadeva of exceeding strength was a portion of the
Naga, Sesha. And, O monarch, know that Pradyumna of great energy was
Sanatkumara. And in this way the portion of various other dwellers in
heaven became exalted men in the race of Vasudeva, increasing the glory
thereof. And, O king, the portions of the tribe of Apsaras which I have
mentioned already, also became incarnate on earth according to Indra's
commands--And sixteen thousand portions of those goddesses became, O king,
in this world of men, the wives of Vasudeva. And a portion of Sri herself
became incarnate on earth, for the gratification of Narayana, in the line
of Bhishmaka. And she was by name the chaste Rukmini. And the faultless
Draupadi, slender-waisted like the wasp, was born of a portion of Sachi
(the queen of the celestials), in the line of Drupada. And she was neither
low nor tall in stature. And she was of the fragrance of the blue lotus,
of eyes large as lotus-petals, of thighs fair and round, of dense masses
of black curly hair. And endued with every auspicious feature and of
complexion like that of the emerald, she became the charmer of the hearts
of five foremost of men. And the two goddesses Siddhi and Dhriti became
the mothers of those five, and were called Kunti and Madri. And she who
was Mati became the daughter (Gandhari) of Suvala.

"Thus, O king, have I recited to thee all about the incarnation, according
to their respective portions, of the gods, the Asuras, the Gandharvas, the
Apsaras, and of the Rakshasas. They who were born on earth as monarchs
invincible in battle, those high-souled ones who were born in the wide
extended line of the Yadus, they who were born as mighty monarchs in other
lines, they who were born as Brahmanas and Kshatriyas and Vaisyas, have
all been recited by me duly. And this account of the incarnation (of
superior beings according to their respective portions) capable of
bestowing wealth, fame, offspring, long life, and success, should always
be listened to in a proper frame of mind. And having listened to this
account of incarnation, according to their portions, of gods, Gandharvas,
and Rakshasas, the hearer becoming acquainted with the creation,
preservation, and destruction of the universe and acquiring wisdom, is
never cast down even under the most engrossing sorrows.'"


(Sambhava Parva continued)

"Janamejaya said, 'O Brahmana, I have, indeed, heard from thee this
account of the incarnation, according to their portions, of the gods, the
Danavas, the Rakshasas, and also of the Gandharvas and the Apsaras. I
however, again desire to hear of the dynasty of the Kurus from the very
beginning. Therefore, O Brahmana, speak of this in the presence of all
these regenerate Rishis.'

"Vaisampayana said, 'O exalted one of Bharata's race, the founder of the
Paurava line was Dushmanta gifted with great energy. And he was the
protector of the earth bounded by the four seas. And that king had full
sway over four quarters of this world. And he was the lord also of various
regions in the midst of the sea. And that great oppressor of all foes had
sway over the countries even of the Mlechchhas.

"And during his rule there were no men of mixed castes, no tillers of the
soil (for the land, of itself, yielded produce), no workers of mines (for
the surface of the earth yielded in abundance), and no sinful men. All
were virtuous, and did everything from virtuous motives, O tiger among men.
There was no fear of thieves, O dear one, no fear of famine, no fear of
disease. And all four orders took pleasure in doing their respective
duties and never performed religious acts for obtaining fruition of
desires. And his subjects, depending upon him, never entertained any fear.
And Parjanya (Indra) poured showers at the proper time, and the produce of
the fields was always pulpy and juicy. And the earth was full of all kinds
of wealth and all kinds of animals. And the Brahmanas were always engaged
in their duties and they were always truthful. And the youthful monarch
was endued with wonderful prowess and a physical frame hard as the
thunderbolt, so that he could, taking up the mountain Mandara with its
forests and bushes, support it on his arms. And he was well-skilled in
four kinds of encounters with the mace (hurling it at foes at a distance,
striking at those that are near, whirling it in the midst of many, and
driving the foe before). And he was skilled also in the use of all kinds
of weapons and in riding elephants and horses. And in strength he was like
unto Vishnu, in splendour like unto the maker of day, in gravity like unto
the ocean, and in patience, like unto the earth. And the monarch was loved
by all his subjects, and he ruled his contented people virtuously.'"


(Sambhava Parva continued)

"Janamejaya said, 'I desire to hear from thee about the birth and life of
the high-souled Bharata and of the origin of Sakuntala. And, O holy one, I
also desire to hear all about Dushmanta--that lion among men--and how the
hero obtained Sakuntala. It behoveth thee, O knower of truth and the first
of all intelligent men, to tell me everything.'

"Vaisampayana said, 'Once on a time (king Dushmanta) of mighty arms,
accompanied by a large force, went into the forest. And he took with him
hundreds of horses and elephants. And the force that accompanied the
monarch was of four kinds (foot-soldiers, car-warriors, cavalry, and
elephants)--heroes armed with swords and darts and bearing in their hands
maces and stout clubs. And surrounded by hundreds of warriors with lances
and spears in their hands, the monarch set out on his journey. And with
the leonine roars of the warriors and the notes of conchs and sound of
drums, with the rattle of the car-wheels and shrieks of huge elephants,
all mingling with the neighing of horses and the clash of weapons of the
variously armed attendants in diverse dresses, there arose a deafening
tumult while the king was on his march. And ladies gifted with great
beauty beheld from the terraces of goodly mansions that heroic monarch,
the achiever of his own fame. And the ladies saw that he was like unto
Sakra, the slayer of his enemies, capable of repulsing the elephants of
foes--And they believed that he was the wielder of the thunderbolt himself.
And they said, 'This is that tiger among men who in battle is equal unto
the Vasus in prowess, and in consequence of the might of whose arms no
foes are left.' And saying this, the ladies from affection gratified the
monarch by showering flowers on his head. And followed by foremost of
Brahmanas uttering blessings all the way, the king in great gladness of
heart went towards the forest, eager for slaying the deer. And many
Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas, and Sudras, followed the monarch who was
like unto the king of the celestials seated on the back of a proud
elephant. The citizens and other classes followed the monarch for some
distance. And they at last refrained from going farther at the command of
the king. And the king, then, ascending his chariot of winged speed,
filled the whole earth and even the heavens, with the rattle of his
chariot wheels. And, as he went, he saw around him a forest like unto
Nandana itself (the celestial garden). And it was full of Vilwa, Arka,
Khadira (catechu), Kapittha (wood-apple) and Dhava trees. And he saw that
the soil was uneven and scattered over with blocks of stone loosened from
the neighbouring cliffs. And he saw that it was without water and without
human beings and lay extended for many Yojanas around. And it was full of
deer, and lions, and other terrible beasts of prey.

"And king Dushmanta, that tiger among men, assisted by his followers and
the warriors in his train, agitated that forest, killing numerous animals.
And Dushmanta, piercing them with his arrows, felled numerous tigers that
were within shooting range. And the king wounded many that were too
distant, and killed many that were too near with his heavy sword. And that
foremost of all wielders of darts killed many by hurling his darts at them.
And well-conversant with the art of whirling the mace, the king of
immeasurable prowess fearlessly wandered over the forest. And the king
roamed about, killing the denizens of the wilderness sometimes with his
sword and sometimes by fast-descending blows of his mace and heavy club.

"And when the forest was so disturbed by the king possessed of wonderful
energy and by the warriors in his train delighting in warlike sports, the
lions began to desert it in numbers. And herds of animals deprived of
their leaders, from fear and anxiety began to utter loud cries as they
fled in all directions. And fatigued with running, they began to fall down
on all sides, unable to slake their thirst, having reached river-beds that
were perfectly dry. And many so falling were eaten up by the hungry
warriors. While others were eaten up after having been duly quartered and
roasted in fires lit up by them. And many strong elephants, maddened with
the wounds they received and alarmed beyond measure, fled with trunks
raised on high. And those wild elephants, betraying the usual symptoms of
alarm by urinating and ejecting the contents of their stomachs and
vomiting blood in large quantities, trampled, as they ran, many warriors
to death. And that forest which had been full of animals, was by the king
with his bands of followers and with sharp weapons soon made bereft of
lions and tigers and other monarchs of the wilderness.'"


(Sambhava Parva continued)

"Vaisampayana said, 'Then the king with his followers, having killed
thousands of animals, entered another forest with a view to hunting. And
attended by a single follower and fatigued with hunger and thirst, he came
upon a large desert on the frontiers of the forest. And having crossed
this herbless plain, the king came upon another forest full of the
retreats of ascetics, beautiful to look at, delightful to the heart and of
cool agreeable breezes. And it was full of trees covered with blossoms,
the soil overgrown with the softest and greenest grass, extending for many
miles around, and echoing with the sweet notes of winged warblers. And it
resounded with the notes of the male Kokila and of the shrill cicala. And
it was full of magnificent trees with outstretched branches forming a
shady canopy overhead. And the bees hovered over flowery creepers all
around. And there were beautiful bowers in every place. And there was no
tree without fruits, none that had prickles on it, none that had no bees
swarming around it. And the whole forest resounded with the melody of
winged choristers. And it was decked with the flowers of every season. And
there were refreshing shades of blossoming trees.

"Such was the delicious and excellent forest that the great bowman entered.
And trees with branches beautified with clusters began to wave gently at
the soft breeze and rain their flowers over the monarch's head. And the
trees, clad in their flowery attires of all colours, with sweet-throated
warblers perched on them, stood there in rows with heads touching the very
heavens. And around their branches hanging down with the weight of flowers
the bees tempted by the honey hummed in sweet chorus. And the king, endued
with great energy, beholding innumerable spots covered with bowers of
creepers decked with clusters of flowers, from excess of gladness, became
very much charmed. And the forest was exceedingly beautiful in consequence
of those trees ranged around with flowery branches twining with each other
and looking like so many rainbows for gaudiness and variety of colour. And
it was the resort of bands of Siddhas, of the Charanas, of tribes of
Gandharvas, and Apsaras, of monkeys and Kinnaras drunk with delight.
Delicious cool, and fragrant breezes, conveying the fragrance from fresh
flowers, blew in all directions as if they had come there to sport with
the trees. And the king saw that charming forest gifted with such beauties.
And it was situated in a delta of the river, and the cluster of high trees
standing together lent the place the look of a gaudy pole erected to
Indra's honour.

"And in that forest which was the resort of ever cheerful birds, the
monarch saw a delightful and charming retreat of ascetics. And there were
many trees around it. And the sacred fire was burning within it. And the
king worshipped that unrivalled retreat. And he saw seated in it numerous
Yotis, Valakhilyas and other Munis. And it was adorned with many chambers
containing sacrificial fire. And the flowers dropping from the trees had
formed a thick carpet spread over the ground. And the spot looked
exceedingly beautiful with those tall trees of large trunks. And by it
flowed, O king, the sacred and transparent Malini with every species of
water-fowl playing on its bosom. And that stream infused gladness into the
hearts of the ascetics who resorted to it for purposes of ablutions. And
the king beheld on its banks many innocent animals of the deer species and
was exceedingly delighted with all that he saw.

"And the monarch, the course of whose chariot no foe could obstruct, then
entered that asylum which was like unto the region of the celestials,
being exceedingly beautiful all over. And the king saw that it stood on
the margin of the sacred stream which was like the mother of all the
living creatures residing in its vicinage. And on its bank sported the
Chakravaka, and waves of milkwhite foam. And there stood also the
habitations of Kinnaras. And monkeys and bears too disported themselves in
numbers. And there lived also holy ascetics engaged in studies and
meditation. And there could be seen also elephants and tigers and snakes.
And it was on the banks of that stream that the excellent asylum of the
illustrious Kasyapa stood, offering a home to numerous Rishis of great
ascetic merit. And beholding that river, and also the asylum washed by
that river which was studded with many islands and which possessed banks
of so much beauty,--an asylum like unto that of Nara and Narayana laved by
the water of the Ganga--the king resolved to enter into that sacred abode.
And that bull among men, desirous of beholding the great Rishi of ascetic
wealth, the illustrious Kanwa of the race of Kasyapa, one who possessed
every virtue and who, for his splendour, could be gazed at with difficulty,
approached that forest resounding with the notes of maddened peacocks and
like unto the gardens of the great Gandharva, Chitraratha, himself. And
halting his army consisting of flags, cavalry, infantry, and elephants at
the entrance of the forest, the monarch spoke as follows, 'I shall go to
behold the mighty ascetic of Kasyapa's race, one who is without darkness.
Stay ye here until my return!'

"And the king having entered that forest which was like unto Indra's
garden, soon forgot his hunger and thirst. And he was pleased beyond
measure. And the monarch, laying aside all signs of royalty, entered that
excellent asylum with but his minister and his priest, desirous of
beholding that Rishi who was an indestructible mass of ascetic merit. And
the king saw that the asylum was like unto the region of Brahman. Here
were bees sweetly humming and there were winged warblers of various
species pouring forth their melodies. At particular places that tiger
among men heard the chanting of Rik hymns by first-rate Brahmanas
according to the just rules of intonation. Other places again were graced
with Brahmanas acquainted with ordinances of sacrifice, of the Angas and
of the hymns of the Yajurveda. Other places again were filled with the
harmonious strains of Saman hymns sung by vow-observing Rishis. At other
places the asylum was decked with Brahmanas learned in the Atharvan Veda.
At other places again Brahmanas learned in the Atharvan Veda and those
capable of chanting the sacrificial hymns of the Saman were reciting the
Samhitas according to the just rules of voice. And at other places again,
other Brahmanas well-acquainted with the science of orthoepy were reciting
mantras of other kinds. In fact, that sacred retreat resounding with these
holy notes was like unto a second region of Brahman himself. And there
were many Brahmanas skilled in the art of making sacrificial platforms and
in the rules of Krama in sacrifices, conversant with logic and the mental
sciences, and possessing a complete knowledge of the Vedas. There were
those also who were fully acquainted with the meanings of all kinds of
expressions; those that were conversant with all special rites, those also
that were followers of Moksha-Dharma; those again that were well-skilled
in establishing propositions; rejecting superfluous causes, and drawing
right conclusions. There were those having a knowledge of the science of
words (grammar), of prosody, of Nirukta; those again that were conversant
with astrology and learned in the properties of matter and the fruits of
sacrificial rites, possessing a knowledge of causes and effects, capable
of understanding the cries of birds and monkeys, well-read in large
treatises, and skilled in various sciences. And the king, as he proceeded,
heard their voices. And the retreat resounded also with voice of men
capable of charming human hearts. And the slayer of hostile heroes also
saw around him learned Brahmanas of rigid vows engaged in Japa (the
repeated muttering of the names of gods) and Homa (burnt-offering). And
the king wondered much on beholding the beautiful carpets which those
Brahmanas offered to him respectfully. And that best of monarchs, at the
sight of the rites with which those Brahmanas worshipped the gods and the
great Rishis, thought within himself that he was in the region of Brahman.
And the more the king saw that auspicious and sacred asylum of Kasyapa
protected by that Rishi's ascetic virtues and possessing all the
requisites of a holy retreat, the more he desired to see it. In fact, he
was not satisfied with his short survey. And the slayer of heroes at last,
accompanied by his minister and his priest, entered that charming and
sacred retreat of Kasyapa inhabited all around by Rishis of ascetic wealth
and exalted vows.'"


(Sambhava Parva continued)

"Vaisampayana said, 'The monarch then, as he proceeded, left even his
reduced retinue at the entrance of the hermitage. And entering quite alone
he saw not the Rishi (Kanwa) of rigid vows. And not seeing the Rishi and
finding that the abode was empty, he called loudly, saying, 'What ho, who
is here?' And the sound of his voice was echoed back. And hearing the
sound of his voice, there came out of the Rishi's abode a maiden beautiful
as Sri herself but dressed as an ascetic's daughter. And the black-eyed
fair one, as she saw king Dushmanta, bade him welcome and received him
duly. And, showing him due respect by the offer of a seat, water to wash
his feet, and Arghya, she enquired about the monarch's health and peace.
And having worshipped the king and asked him about his health and peace,
the maiden reverentially asked, 'What must be done, O king! I await your
commands.' The king, duly worshipped by her, said unto that maiden of
faultless features and sweet speech, 'I have come to worship the highly-
blessed Rishi Kanwa. Tell me, O amiable and beautiful one, where has the
illustrious Rishi gone?'

"Sakuntala then answered, 'My illustrious father hath gone away from the
asylum to fetch fruit. Wait but a moment and thou wilt see him when he

"Vaisampayana continued, 'The king not seeing the Rishi and addressed thus
by her, beheld that the maiden was exceedingly beautiful and endued with
perfect symmetry of shape. And he saw that she was of sweet smiles. And
she stood decked with the beauty of her faultless features, her ascetic
penances, and her humility. And he saw that she was in the bloom of youth.
He therefore asked her, 'Who art thou? And whose daughter, O beautiful
one? Why hast thou come into the woods also? O handsome one, gifted with
so much beauty and such virtues, whence hast thou come? O charming one, at
the very first glance hast thou stolen my heart! I desire to learn all
about thee; therefore tell me all.' And thus addressed by the monarch, the
maiden smilingly replied in these sweet words, 'O Dushmanta, I am the
daughter of the virtuous, wise, high-souled, and illustrious ascetic

"Dushmanta, hearing this, replied, 'The universally-worshipped and highly-
blessed Rishi is one whose seed hath been drawn up. Even Dharma himself
might fall off from his course but an ascetic of rigid vows can never fall
off so. Therefore, O thou of the fairest complexion, how hast thou been
born as his daughter? This great doubt of mine it behoveth thee to

"Sakuntala then replied, 'Hear, O king, what I have learnt regarding all
that befell me of old and how I became the daughter of the Muni. Once on a
time, a Rishi came here and asked about my birth. All that the illustrious
one (Kanwa) told him, hear now from me, O king!

"My father Kanwa, in answer to that Rishi's enquiries, said, 'Viswamitra,
of old, having been engaged in the austerest penances alarmed Indra, the
chief of the celestials, who thought that the mighty ascetic of blazing
energy would, by his penances, hurl him down from his high seat in heaven.
Indra, thus alarmed, summoned Menaka and told her, 'Thou, O Menaka, art
the first of celestial Apsaras. Therefore, O amiable one, do me this
service. Hear what I say. This great ascetic Viswamitra like unto the Sun
in splendour, is engaged in the most severe of penances. My heart is
trembling with fear. Indeed, O slender-waisted Menaka, this is thy
business. Thou must see that Viswamitra of soul rapt in contemplation and
engaged in the austerest penances, who might hurl me down from my seat. Go
and tempt him and frustrating his continued austerities accomplish my good.
Win him away from his penances, O beautiful one, by tempting him with thy
beauty, youth, agreeableness, arts, smiles and speech.' Hearing all this,
Menaka replied, 'The illustrious Viswamitra is endued with great energy
and is a mighty ascetic. He is very short-tempered too, as is known to
thee. The energy, penances, and wrath of the high-souled one have made
even thee anxious. Why should I not also be anxious? He it was who made
even the illustrious Vasishtha bear the pangs of witnessing the premature
death of his children. He it was who, though at first born as Kshatriya,
subsequently became a Brahmana by virtue of his ascetic penances. He it
was who, for purposes of his ablutions, created a deep river that can with
difficulty be forded, and which sacred stream is known by the name of the
Kausiki. It was Viswamitra whose wife, in a season of distress, was
maintained by the royal sage Matanga (Trisanku) who was then living under
a father's curse as a hunter. It was Viswamitra who, on returning after
the famine was over, changed the name of the stream having his asylum from
Kausik into Para. It was Viswamitra who in return for the services of
Matanga, himself became the latter's priest for purposes of a sacrifice.
The lord of the celestials himself went through fear to drink the Soma
juice. It was Viswamitra who in anger created a second world and numerous
stars beginning with Sravana. He it was who granted protection to Trisanku
smarting under a superior's curse. I am frightened to approach him of such
deeds. Tell me, O Indra, the means that should be adopted so that I may
not be burnt by his wrath. He can burn the three worlds by his splendour,
can, by a stamp (of his foot), cause the earth to quake. He can sever the
great Meru from the earth and hurl it to any distance. He can go round the
ten points of the earth in a moment. How can a woman like me even touch
such a one full of ascetic virtues, like unto a blazing fire, and having
his passions under complete control? His mouth is like unto a blazing fire;
the pupils of his eyes are like the Sun and the Moon; his tongue is like
unto Yama himself. How shall, O chief of the celestials, a woman like me
even touch him? At the thought of his prowess Yama, Soma, the great Rishis,
the Saddhyas, the Viswas, Valakhilyas, are terrified! How can a woman like
me gaze at him without alarm? Commanded, however, by thee, O king of the
celestials, I shall somehow approach that Rishi. But, O chief of the gods,
devise thou some plan whereby protected by thee, I may safely move about
that Rishi. I think that when I begin to play before the Rishi, Marut (the
god of wind) had better go there and rob me of my dress, and Manmatha (the
god of love) had also, at thy command, better help me then. Let also Marut
on that occasion bear thither fragrance from the woods to tempt the
Rishi.' Saying this and seeing that all she had spoken about had been
duly provided, Menaka went to the retreat of the great Kausika."


(Sambhava Parva continued)

"Kanwa continued, 'And Sakra, thus addressed by her, then commanded him
who could approach every place (viz., the god of the wind) to be present
with Menaka at the time she would be before the Rishi. And the timid and
beautiful Menaka then entered the retreat and saw there Viswamitra who had
burnt, by his penances, all his sins, and was engaged still in ascetic
penances. And saluting the Rishi, she then began to sport before him. And
just at that time Marut robbed her of her garments that were white as the
Moon. And she thereupon ran, as if in great bashfulness, to catch hold of
her attire, and as if she was exceedingly annoyed with Marut. And she did
all this before the very eyes of Viswamitra who was endued with energy
like that of fire. And Viswamitra saw her in that attitude. And beholding
her divested of her robes, he saw that she was of faultless feature. And
that best of Munis saw that she was exceedingly handsome, with no marks of
age on her person. And beholding her beauty and accomplishments that bull
amongst Rishis was possessed with lust and made a sign that he desired her
companionship. And he invited her accordingly, and she also of faultless
features expressed her acceptance of the invitation. And they then passed
a long time there in each other's company. And sporting with each other,
just as they pleased, for a long time as if it were only a single day, the
Rishi begat on Menaka a daughter named Sakuntala. And Menaka (as her
conception advanced) went to the banks of the river Malini coursing along
a valley of the charming mountains of Himavat. And there she gave birth to
that daughter. And she left the new-born infant on the bank of that river
and went away. And beholding the new-born infant lying in that forest
destitute of human beings but abounding with lions and tigers, a number of
vultures sat around to protect it from harm. No Rakshasas or carnivorous
animals took its life. Those vultures protected the daughter of Menaka. I
went there to perform my ablution and beheld the infant lying in the
solitude of the wilderness surrounded by vultures. Bringing her hither I
have made her my daughter. Indeed, the maker of the body, the protector of
life, the giver of food, are all three, fathers in their order, according
to the scriptures. And because she was surrounded in the solitude of the
wilderness, by Sakuntas (birds), therefore, hath she been named by me
Sakuntala (bird-protected). O Brahman, learn that it is thus that
Sakuntala hath become my daughter. And the faultless Sakuntala also
regards me as her father.'

"This is what my father had said unto the Rishi, having been asked by him.
O king of men, it is thus that thou must know I am the daughter of Kanwa.
And not knowing my real father, I regard Kanwa as my father. Thus have I
told thee, O king, all that hath been heard by me regarding my birth!'"


(Sambhava Parva continued)

"Vaisampayana continued, 'King Dushmanta, hearing all this, said, 'Well-
spoken, O princess, this that thou hast said! Be my wife, O beautiful one!
What shall I do for thee? Golden garlands, robes, ear-rings of gold, white
and handsome pearls, from various countries, golden coins, finest carpets,
I shall present thee this very day. Let the whole of my kingdom be thine
today, O beautiful one! Come to me, O timid one, wedding me, O beautiful
one, according to the Gandharva form. O thou of tapering thighs, of all
forms of marriage, the Gandharva one is regarded as the first.'

"Sakuntala, hearing this, said, 'O king, my father hath gone away from
this asylum to bring fruit. Wait but a moment; he will bestow me on thee.'

"Dushmanta replied, 'O beautiful and faultless one, I desire that thou
shouldst be my life's companion. Know thou that I exist for thee, and my
heart is in thee. One is certainly one's own friend, and one certainly may
depend upon one's own self. Therefore, according to the ordinance, thou
canst certainly bestow thyself. There are, in all, eight kinds of
marriages. These are Brahma, Daiva, Arsha, Prajapatya, Asura, Gandharva,
Rakshasa, and Paisacha, the eighth. Manu, the son of the self-create, hath
spoken of the appropriateness of all these forms according to their order.
Know, O faultless one, that the first four of these are fit for Brahmanas,
and the first six for Kshatriyas. As regards kings, even the Rakshasa form
is permissible. The Asura form is permitted to Vaisyas and Sudras. Of the
first five the three are proper, the other two being improper. The
Paisacha and the Asura forms should never be practised. These are the
institutes of religion, and one should act according to them. The
Gandharva and the Rakshasa form are consistent with the practices of
Kshatriyas. Thou needst not entertain the least fear. There is not the
least doubt that either according to any one of these last-mentioned forms,
or according to a union of both of them, our wedding may take place. O
thou of the fairest complexion, full of desire I am, thou also in a
similar mood mayst become my wife according to the Gandharva form.'

"Sakuntala, having listened to all this, answered, 'If this be the course
sanctioned by religion, if, indeed, I am my own disposer, hear, O thou
foremost one of Puru's race, what my terms are. Promise truly to give me
what I ask thee. The son that shall be begotten on me shall become thy
heir-apparent. This, O king, is my fixed resolve. O Dushmanta, if thou
grant this, then let our union take place.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'The monarch, without taking time to consider at
once told her, 'Let it be so. I will even take thee, O thou of agreeable
smiles, with me to my capital. I tell thee truly. O beautiful one, thou
deservest all this.' And so saying, that first of kings wedded the
handsome Sakuntala of graceful gait, and knew her as a husband. And
assuring her duly, he went away, telling her repeatedly, 'I shall send
thee, for thy escort, my troops of four classes. Indeed, it is even thus
that I shall take thee to my capital, O thou of sweet smiles!"

"Vaisampayana continued, 'O Janamejaya, having promised so unto her, the
king went away. And as he retraced his way homewards, he began to think of
Kasyapa. And he asked himself, 'What will the illustrious ascetic say,
after he has known all?' Thinking of this, he entered his capital.

"The moment the king had left, Kanwa arrived at his abode. But Sakuntala,
from a sense of shame, did not go out to receive her father. That great
ascetic, however, possessed of spiritual knowledge, knew all. Indeed
beholding everything with his spiritual eye, the illustrious one was
pleased, and addressing her, said, 'Amiable one, what hath been done by
thee today in secret, without, having waited for me--viz., intercourse
with a man--hath not been destructive of thy virtue. Indeed, union
according to the Gandharva form, of a wishful woman with a man of sensual
desire, without mantras of any kind, it is said, is the best for
Kshatriyas. That best of men, Dushmanta, is also high-souled and virtuous.
Thou hast, O Sakuntala, accepted him for thy husband. The son that shall
be born of thee shall be mighty and illustrious in this world. And he
shall have sway over the sea. And the forces of that illustrious king of
kings, while he goeth out against his foes shall be irresistible.'

"Sakuntala then approached her fatigued father and washed his feet. And
taking down the load he had with him and placing the fruits in proper
order, she told him, 'It behoveth thee to give thy grace to that Dushmanta
whom I have accepted for my husband, as well as his ministers!'

"Kanwa replied, 'O thou of the fairest complexion, for thy sake I am
inclined to bless him. But receive from me, O blessed one, the boon that
thou desirest.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Sakuntala, thereupon, moved by desire of
benefiting Dushmanta, asked the boon that the Paurava monarchs might ever
be virtuous and never deprived of their thrones.'"


(Sambhava Parva continued)

"Vaisampayana said, 'After Dushmanta had left the asylum having made those
promises unto Sakuntala, the latter of tapering thighs brought forth a boy
of immeasurable energy. And when the child was three years old, he became
in splendour like the blazing fire. And, O Janamejaya, he was possessed of
beauty and magnanimity and every accomplishment. And that first of
virtuous men, Kanwa, caused all the rites of religion to be performed in
respect of that intelligent child thriving day by day. And the boy gifted
with pearly teeth and shining locks, capable of slaying lions even then,
with all auspicious signs on his palm, and broad expansive forehead, grew
up in beauty and strength. And like unto a celestial child in splendour,
he began to grow up rapidly. And when he was only six years of age, endued
with great strength he used to seize and bind to the trees that stood
around that asylum, lions and tigers and bears and buffaloes and elephants.
And he rode on some animals, and pursued others in sportive mood. The
dwellers at Kanwa's asylum thereupon bestowed on him a name. And they said,
because he seizes and restrains an animals however strong, let him, be
called Sarvadamana (the subduer of all). And it was thus that the boy came
to be named Sarvadamana, endued as he was with prowess, and energy and
strength. And the Rishi seeing the boy and marking also his extraordinary
acts, told Sakuntala that the time had come for his installation as the
heir-apparent. And beholding the strength of the boy, Kanwa commanded his
disciples, saying, 'Bear ye without delay this Sakuntala with her son from
this abode to that of her husband, blessed with every auspicious sign.
Women should not live long in the houses of their paternal or maternal
relations. Such residence is destructive of their reputation, their good
conduct, their virtue. Therefore, delay not in bearing her hence.' These
disciples of the Rishi thereupon, saying 'So be it,' went towards the city
named after an elephant (Hastinapura) with Sakuntala and her son ahead of
them. And then she of fair eye-brows, taking with her that boy of
celestial beauty, endued with eyes like lotus petals, left the woods where
she had been first known by Dushmanta. And having approached the king, she
with her boy resembling in splendour the rising sun was introduced to him.
And the disciples of the Rishi having introduced her, returned to the
asylum. And Sakuntala having worshipped the king according to proper form,
told him, 'This is thy son, O king! Let him be installed as thy heir-
apparent. O king, this child, like unto a celestial, hath been begotten by
thee upon me. Therefore, O best of men, fulfil now the promise thou gavest
me. Call to mind, O thou of great good fortune, the agreement thou hadst
made on the occasion of thy union with me in the asylum of Kanwa.'

"The king, hearing these her words, and remembering everything said, 'I
do not remember anything. Who art thou, O wicked woman in ascetic guise?
I do not remember having any connection with thee in respect of Dharma,
Kama and Arthas. Go or stay or do as thou pleasest.' Thus addressed by
him, the fair-coloured innocent one became abashed. Grief deprived her
of consciousness and she stood for a time like an wooden post. Soon,
however, her eyes became red like copper and her lips began to quiver.
And the glances she now and then cast upon the king seemed to burn the
latter. Her rising wrath however, and the fire of her asceticism, she
extinguished within herself by an extraordinary effort. Collecting her
thoughts in a moment, her heart possessed with sorrow and rage, she thus
addressed her lord in anger, looking at him, 'Knowing everything, O
monarch, how thou, like an inferior person, thus say that thou knowest
it not? Thy heart is a witness to the truth or falsehood of this matter.
Therefore, speak truly without degrading thyself. He who being one thing
representeth himself as another thing to others, is like a thief and a
robber of his own self. Of what sin is he not capable? Thou thinkest
that thou alone hast knowledge of thy deed. But knowest thou not that
the Ancient, Omniscient one (Narayana) liveth in thy heart? He knoweth
all thy sins, and thou sinnest in His presence. He that sins thinks that
none observes him. But he is observed by the gods and by Him also who is
in every heart. The Sun, the Moon, the Air, the Fire, the Earth, the
Sky, Water, the heart, Yama, the day, the night, both twilights, and
Dharma, all witness the acts of man. Yama, the son of Surya, takes no
account of the sins of him with whom Narayana the witness of all acts,
is gratified. But he with whom Narayana is not gratified is tortured for
his sins by Yama. Him who degradeth himself by representing his self
falsely, the gods never bless. Even his own soul blesseth him not. I am
a wife devoted to my husband. I have come of my own accord, it is true.
But do not, on that account, treat me with disrespect. I am thy wife
and, therefore, deserve to be treated respectfully. Wilt thou not treat
me so, because I have come hither of my own accord? In the presence of
so many, why dost thou treat me like an ordinary woman? I am not
certainly crying in the wilderness. Dost thou not hear me? But if thou
refuse to do what I supplicate thee for, O Dushmanta, thy head this
moment shall burst into a hundred pieces! The husband entering the womb
of the wife cometh out himself in the form of the son. Therefore is the
wife called by those cognisant of the Vedas as Jaya (she of whom one is
born). And the son that is so born unto persons cognisant of the Vedic
Mantras rescueth the spirits of deceased ancestors. And because the son
rescueth ancestors from the hell called Put, therefore, hath he been
called by the Self-create himself as Puttra (the rescuer from Put). By a
son one conquereth the three worlds. By a son's son, one enjoyeth
eternity. And by a grandson's son great-grand-fathers enjoy everlasting
happiness. She is a true wife who is skilful in household affairs. She
is a true wife who hath borne a son. She is a true wife whose heart is
devoted to her lord. She is a true wife who knoweth none but her lord.
The wife is a man's half. The wife is the first of friends. The wife is
the root of religion, profit, and desire. The wife is the root of
salvation. They that have wives can perform religious acts. They that
have wives can lead domestic lives. They that have wives have the means
to be cheerful. They that have wives can achieve good fortune.
Sweet-speeched wives are friends on occasions of joy. They are as
fathers on occasions of religious acts. They are mothers in sickness and
woe. Even in the deep woods to a traveller a wife is his refreshment and
solace. He that hath a wife is trusted by all. A wife, therefore, is
one's most valuable possession. Even when the husband leaving this world
goeth into the region of Yama, it is the devoted wife that accompanies
him thither. A wife going before waits for the husband. But if the
husband goeth before, the chaste wife followeth close. For these
reasons, O king, doth marriage exist. The husband enjoyeth the
companionship of the wife both in this and in the other worlds. It hath
been said by learned persons that one is himself born as one's son.
Therefore, a man whose wife hath borne a son should look upon her as his
mother. Beholding the face of the son one hath begotten upon his wife,
like his own face in a mirror, one feeleth as happy as a virtuous man,
on attaining to heaven. Men scorched by mental grief, or suffering under
bodily pain, feel as much refreshed in the companionship of their wives
as a perspiring person in a cool bath. No man, even in anger, should
ever do anything that is disagreeable to his wife, seeing that
happiness, joy, and virtue,--everything dependeth on the wife. A wife is
the sacred field in which the husband is born himself. Even Rishis
cannot create creatures without women. What happiness is greater than
what the father feeleth when the son running towards him, even though
his body be covered with dust, claspeth his limbs? Why then dost thou
treat with indifference such a son, who hath approached thee himself and
who casteth wistful glances towards thee for climbing thy knees? Even
ants support their own eggs without destroying them; then why shouldst
not thou, a virtuous man that thou art, support thy own child? The touch
of soft sandal paste, of women, of (cool) water is not so agreeable as
the touch of one's own infant son locked in one's embrace. As a Brahmana
is the foremost of all bipeds, a cow, the foremost of all quadrupeds, a
protector, the foremost of all superiors, so is the son the foremost of
all objects, agreeable to the touch. Let, therefore, this handsome child
touch thee in embrace. There is nothing in the world more agreeable to
the touch than the embrace of one's son. O chastiser of foes, I have
brought forth this child, O monarch, capable of dispelling all thy
sorrows after bearing him in my womb for full three years. O monarch of
Puru's race, 'He shall perform a hundred horse-sacrifices'--these were
the words uttered from the sky when I was in the lying-in room. Indeed,
men going into places remote from their homes take up there others'
children on their laps and smelling their heads feel great happiness.
Thou knowest that Brahmanas repeat these Vedic mantras on the occasion
of the consecrating rites of infancy.--Thou art born, O son, of my body!
Thou art sprung from my heart. Thou art myself in the form of a son.
Live thou to a hundred years! My life dependeth on thee, and the
continuation of my race also, on thee. Therefore, O son, live thou in
great happiness to a hundred years. He hath sprung from thy body, this
second being from thee! Behold thyself in thy son, as thou beholdest thy
image in the clear lake. As the sacrificial fire is kindled from the
domestic one, so hath this one sprung from thee. Though one, thou hast
divided thyself. In course of hunting while engaged in pursuit of the
deer, I was approached by thee, O king, I who was then a virgin in the
asylum of my father. Urvasi, Purvachitti, Sahajanya, Menaka, Viswachi
and Ghritachi, these are the six foremost of Apsaras. Amongst them
again, Menaka, born of Brahman, is the first. Descending from heaven on
Earth, after intercourse with Viswamitra, she gave birth to me. That
celebrated Apsara, Menaka, brought me forth in a valley of Himavat.
Bereft of all affection, she went away, cast me there as if I were the
child of somebody else. What sinful act did I do, of old, in some other
life that I was in infancy cast away by my parents and at present am
cast away by thee! Put away by thee, I am ready to return to the refuge
of my father. But it behoveth thee not to cast off this child who is thy

"Hearing all this, Dushmanta said, 'O Sakuntala, I do not know having
begot upon thee this son. Women generally speak untruths. Who shall
believe in thy words? Destitute of all affection, the lewd Menaka is thy
mother, and she cast thee off on the surface of the Himavat as one throws
away, after the worship is over, the flowery offering made to his gods.
Thy father too of the Kshatriya race, the lustful Viswamitra, who was
tempted to become a Brahmana, is destitute of all affection. However,
Menaka is the first of Apsaras, and thy father also is the first of Rishis.
Being their daughter, why dost thou speak like a lewd woman? Thy words
deserve no credit. Art thou not ashamed to speak them, especially before
me? Go hence, O wicked woman in ascetic guise. Where is that foremost of
great Rishis, where also is that Apsara Menaka? And why art thou, low as
thou art, in the guise of an ascetic? Thy child too is grown up. Thou
sayest he is a boy, but he is very strong. How hath he soon grown like a
Sala sprout? Thy birth is low. Thou speakest like a lewd woman. Lustfully
hast thou been begotten by Menaka. O woman of ascetic guise, all that thou
sayest is quite unknown to me. I don't know thee. Go withersoever thou

"Sakuntala replied, 'Thou seest, O king, the fault of others, even though
they be as small as a mustard seed. But seeing, thou noticest not thy own
faults even though they be as large as the Vilwa fruit. Menaka is one of
the celestials. Indeed, Menaka is reckoned as the first of celestials. My
birth, therefore, O Dushmanta, is far higher than thine. Thou walkest upon
the Earth, O king, but I roam in the skies! Behold, the difference between
ourselves is as that between (the mountain) Meru and a mustard seed!
Behold my power, O king! I can repair to the abodes of Indra, Kuvera, Yama,
and Varuna! The saying is true which I shall refer to before thee, O
sinless one! I refer to it for example's sake and not from evil motives.
Therefore, it behoveth thee to pardon me after thou hast heard it. An ugly
person considereth himself handsomer than others until he sees his own
face in the mirror. But when he sees his own ugly face in the mirror, it
is then that he perceiveth the difference between himself and others. He
that is really handsome never taunts anybody. And he that always talketh
evil becometh a reviler. And as the swine always look for dirt and filth
even when in the midst of a flower-garden, so the wicked always choose the
evil out of both evil and good that others speak. Those, however, that are
wise, on hearing the speeches of others that are intermixed with both good
and evil, accept only what is good, like geese that always extract the
milk only, though it be mixed with water. As the honest are always pained
at speaking ill of others, so do the wicked always rejoice in doing the
same thing. As the honest always feel pleasure in showing regard for the
old, so do the wicked always take delight in aspersing the good. The
honest are happy in not seeking for faults. The wicked are happy in
seeking for them. The wicked ever speak ill of the honest. But the latter
never injure the former, even if injured by them. What can be more
ridiculous in the world than that those that are themselves wicked should
represent the really honest as wicked? When even atheists are annoyed with
those that have fallen off from truth and virtue and who are really like
angry snakes of virulent poison, what shall I say of myself who am
nurtured in faith? He that having begotten a son who is his own image,
regardeth him not, never attaineth to the worlds he coveteth, and verily
the gods destroy his good fortune and possessions. The Pitris have said
that the son continueth the race and the line and is, therefore, the best
of all religious acts. Therefore, none should abandon a son. Manu hath
said that there are five kinds of sons; those begotten by one's self upon
his own wife, those obtained (as gift) from others, those purchased for a
consideration, those reared with affection and those begotten upon other
women than upon wedded wives. Sons support the religion and achievements
of men, enhance their joys, and rescue deceased ancestors from hell. It
behoveth thee not, therefore, O tiger among kings, to abandon a son who is
such. Therefore, O lord of Earth, cherish thy own self, truth, and virtue
by cherishing thy son. O lion among monarchs, it behoveth thee not to
support this deceitfulness. The dedication of a tank is more meritorious
than that of a hundred wells. A sacrifice again is more meritorious than
the dedication of a tank. A son is more meritorious than a sacrifice.
Truth is more meritorious than a hundred sons. A hundred horse-sacrifices
had once been weighed against Truth, and Truth was found heavier than a
hundred horse-sacrifices. O king, Truth, I ween, may be equal to the study
of, the entire Vedas and ablutions in all holy places. There is no virtue
equal to Truth: there is nothing superior to Truth. O king, Truth is God
himself; Truth is the highest vow. Therefore, violate not thy pledge, O
monarch! Let Truth and thee be even united. If thou placest no credit in
my words, I shall of my own accord go hence. Indeed, thy companionship
should be avoided. But thou, O Dushmanta, that when thou art gone, this
son of mine shall rule the whole Earth surrounded by the four seas and
adorned with the king of the mountains.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Sakuntala having spoken to the monarch in this
wise, left his presence. But as soon as she had left, a voice from the
skies, emanating from no visible shape, thus spoke unto Dushmanta as he
was sitting surrounded by his occasional and household priests, his
preceptors, and ministers. And the voice said, 'The mother is but the
sheath of flesh; the son sprung from the father is the father himself.
Therefore, O Dushmanta, cherish thy son, and insult not Sakuntala. O best
of men, the son, who is but a form of one's own seed, rescueth (ancestors)
from the region of Yama. Thou art the progenitor of this boy. Sakuntala
hath spoken the truth. The husband, dividing his body in twain, is born
of his wife in the form of son. Therefore, O Dushmanta, cherish, O monarch,
thy son born of Sakuntala. To live by forsaking one's living son is a
great misfortune. Therefore, O thou of Puru's race, cherish thy high-
souled son born of Sakuntala--And because this child is to be cherished by
thee even at our word, therefore shall this thy son be known by the name
of Bharata (the cherished).' Hearing these words uttered by the dwellers
in heaven, the monarch of Puru's race became overjoyed and spoke as
follows unto his priests and ministers, 'Hear ye these words uttered by
the celestial messenger? I myself know this one to be my son. If I had
taken him as my son on the strength of Sakuntala's words alone, my people
would have been suspicious and my son also would not have been regarded as

"Vaisampayana continued, 'The monarch, then, O thou of Bharata's race,
seeing the purity of his son established by the celestial messenger,
became exceedingly glad. And he took unto him that son with joy. And the
king with a joyous heart then performed all those rites upon his son that
a father should perform. And the king smelt his child's head and hugged
him with affection. And the Brahmanas began to utter blessings upon him
and the bards began to applaud him. And the monarch then experienced the
great delight that one feeleth at the touch of one's son. And Dushmanta
also received that wife of his with affection. And he told her these
words, pacifying her affectionately, 'O goddess, my union with thee took
place privately. Therefore, I was thinking of how best to establish thy
purity. My people might think that we were only lustfully united and not
as husband and wife, and therefore, this son that I would have installed
as my heir apparent would only have been regarded as one of impure birth.
And dearest, every hard word thou hast uttered in thy anger, have I, O
large-eyed one, forgiven thee. Thou art my dearest!' And the royal sage
Dushmanta, having spoken thus unto his dear wife, O Bharata, received her
with offerings of perfume, food, and drink. And king Dushmanta, then,
bestowed the name of Bharata upon his child, and formally installed him as
the heir apparent. And the famous and bright wheels of Bharata's car,
invincible and like unto the wheels of the cars owned by the gods,
traversed every region, filling the whole Earth with their rattle. And the
son of Dushmanta reduced to subjection all kings of the Earth. And he
ruled virtuously and earned great fame. And that monarch of great prowess
was known by the titles of Chakravarti and Sarvabhauma. And he performed
many sacrifices like Sakra, the lord of the Maruts. And Kanwa was the
chief priest at those sacrifices, in which the offerings to Brahmanas were
great. And the blessed monarch performed both the cow and the horse-
sacrifices. And Bharata gave unto Kanwa a thousand gold coins as the
sacerdotal fee. It is that Bharata from whom have emanated so many mighty
achievements. It is from him that the great race called after him in his
race are called after him. And in the Bharata race there have been born
many godlike monarchs gifted with great energy, and like unto Brahman
himself. Their number cannot be counted. But, O thou of Bharata's race, I
shall name the principal ones that were blessed with great good fortune,
like unto the gods, and devoted to truth and honesty.'"


(Sambhava Parva continued)

"Vaisampayana said, 'Hear now, as I recite the recorded genealogy, that is
sacred and subservient to religion, profit and pleasure, of these royal
sages--Daksha, the lord of creation, Manu, the son of Surya, Bharata, Ruru,
Puru, and Ajamidha. I shall also recite to thee, O sinless one, the
genealogies of the Yadavas and of the Kurus and of the king of the Bharata
line. These genealogies are sacred and their recitation is a great act of
propitiation. That recitation conferreth wealth, fame and long life. And,
O sinless one, all these I have named shone in their splendour and were
equal unto the great Rishis in energy.

"Prachetas had ten sons who were all devoted to asceticism and possessed
of every virtue. They burnt, of old, by the fire emanating from their
mouths, several plants of poisonous and innumerable large trees that had
covered the Earth and became a source of great discomfort to man. After
these ten, was born another named Daksha. It is from Daksha that all
creatures have sprung. Therefore is he, O tiger among men, called the
Grandfather. Born of Prachetas the Muni Daksha, uniting himself with
Virini, begat a thousand sons of rigid vows, all like himself. And Narada
taught these thousand sons of Daksha the excellent philosophy of Sankhya
as a means of salvation. And, O Janamejaya, the lord of creation, Daksha,
then, from the desire of making creatures, begat fifty daughters. And he
made all of them his appointed daughters (so that their sons might be his
sons also for the performance of all religious acts). And he bestowed ten
of his daughters on Dharma, and thirteen on Kasyapa. And he gave twenty-
seven to Chandra, who are all engaged in indicating time. And Kasyapa, the
son of Marichi, begat on the eldest of his thirteen wives, the Adityas,
the celestials endued with great energy and having Indra as their head and
also Vivaswat (the Sun). And of Vivaswat was born the lord Yama. And
Martanda (Vivaswat) also begat another son after Yama, gifted with great
intelligence and named Manu. And Manu was endued with great wisdom and
devoted to virtue. And he became the progenitor of a line. And in Manu's
race have been born all human beings, who have, therefore, been called
Manavas. And it is of Manu that all men including Brahmanas, Kshatriyas,
and others have been descended, and are, therefore, all called Manavas.
Subsequently, O monarch, the Brahmanas became united with the Kshatriyas.
And those sons of Manu that were Brahmanas devoted themselves to the study
of the Vedas. And Manu begat ten other children named Vena, Dhrishnu,
Narishyan, Nabhaga, Ikshvaku, Karusha, Saryati, the eighth, a daughter
named Ila, Prishadhru the ninth, and Nabhagarishta, the tenth. They all
betook themselves to the practices of Kshatriyas. Besides these, Manu had
fifty other sons on Earth. But we heard that they all perished,
quarrelling with one another. The learned Pururavas was born of Ila. It
hath been heard by us that Ila was both his mother and father. And the
great Pururavas had sway over thirteen islands of the sea. And, though a
human being, he was always surrounded by companions that were superhuman.
And Pururavas intoxicated with power quarrelled with the Brahmanas and
little caring for their anger robbed them of their wealth. Beholding all
this Sanatkumara came from the region of Brahman and gave him good counsel,
which was, however, rejected by Pururavas. Then the wrath of the great
Rishis was excited, and the avaricious monarch, who intoxicated with power,
had lost his reason, was immediately destroyed by their curse.

"It was Pururavas who first brought from the region of the Gandharvas the
three kinds of fire (for sacrificial purpose). And he brought thence, the
Apsara Urvasi also. And the son of Ila begat upon Urvasi six sons who were
called Ayus, Dhimat, Amavasu and Dhridhayus, and Vanayus, and Satayus. And
it is said that Ayus begat four sons named Nahusha, Vriddhasarman,
Rajingaya, and Anenas, on the daughter of Swarbhanu. And, O monarch,
Nahusha, of all the sons of Ayus, being gifted with great intelligence and
prowess ruled his extensive kingdom virtuously. And king Nahusha supported
evenly the Pitris, the celestials, the Rishis, the Brahmanas, the
Gandharvas, the Nagas, the Rakshasas, the Kshatriyas, and the Vaisyas. And
he suppressed all robber-gangs with a mighty hand. But he made the Rishis
pay tribute and carry him on their backs like bests of burden. And,
conquering the very gods by the beauty of his person, his asceticism,
prowess, and energy, he ruled as if he were Indra himself. And Nahusha
begat six sons, all of sweet speech, named Yati, Yayati, Sanyati, Ayati,
and Dhruva. Yati betaking himself to asceticism became a Muni like unto
Brahman himself. Yayati became a monarch of great prowess and virtue. He
ruled the whole Earth, performed numerous sacrifices, worshipped the
Pitris with great reverence, and always respected the gods. And he brought
the whole world under his sway and was never vanquished by any foe. And
the sons of Yayati were all great bowmen and resplendent with every virtue.
And, O king, they were begotten upon (his two wives) Devayani and
Sarmishtha. And of Devayani were born Yadu and Turvasu, and of Sarmishtha
were born Drahyu, Anu, and Puru. And, O king, having virtuously ruled his
subjects for a long time, Yayati was attacked with a hideous decrepitude
destroying his personal beauty. And attacked by decrepitude, the monarch
then spoke, O Bharata, unto his sons Yadu and Puru and Turvasu and Drahyu
and Anu these words, 'Ye dear sons, I wish to be a young man and to
gratify my appetites in the company of young women. Do you help me
therein.' To him his eldest son born of Devayani then said, 'What needest
thou, O king? Dost thou want to have your youth?' Yayati then told him,
'Accept thou my decrepitude, O son! With thy youth I would enjoy myself.
During the time of a great sacrifice I have been cursed by the Muni
Usanas (Sukra). O son, I would enjoy myself with your youth. Take any of
you this my decrepitude and with my body rule ye my kingdom. I would
enjoy myself with a renovated body. Therefore, ye my sons, take ye my
decrepitude.' But none of his sons accepted his decrepitude. Then his
youngest son Puru said unto him, 'O king, enjoy thyself thou once again
with a renovated body and returned youth! I shall take thy decrepitude
and at thy command rule thy kingdom.' Thus addressed, the royal sage, by
virtue of his ascetic power then transferred his own decrepitude unto
that high-souled son of his and with the youth of Puru became a youth;
while with the monarch's age Puru ruled his kingdom.

"Then, after a thousand years had passed away, Yayati, that tiger among
kings, remained as strong and powerful as a tiger. And he enjoyed for a
long time the companionship of his two wives. And in the gardens of
Chitraratha (the king of Gandharvas), the king also enjoyed the company of
the Apsara Viswachi. But even after all this, the great king found his
appetites unsatiated. The king, then recollected the following truths
contained in the Puranas, 'Truly, one's appetites are never satiated by
enjoyment. On the other hand, like sacrificial butter poured into the fire,
they flame up with indulgence. Even if one enjoyed the whole Earth with
its wealth, diamonds and gold, animals and women, one may not yet be
satiated. It is only when man doth not commit any sin in respect of any
living thing, in thought, deed, or speech, it is then that he attaineth to
purity as that of Brahman. When one feareth nothing, when one is not

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