Section CLXXXVI [summary]

| Posted in: Hinduism Itihasa

Book index: Mahabharata (English)
This page contains a summary of the Mahabharata Section CLXXXVI including examples of moral lessons in daily life. The Maha-Bharata is one of the largest epics ever written containing roughly 100,000 Sanskrit verses. It deals with the legendary history of ancient India and contains a large number of interwoven tales.

Short summary of the chapter:
The story begins with a powerful Rishi named Manu who undertakes severe penance in the forest. A fish approaches him, seeking protection from larger fish, and Manu takes care of it as it grows bigger and bigger. Eventually, the fish reveals its true identity as Brahma and warns Manu of an impending great flood. The fish instructs Manu to build an ark, gather seeds, and wait for its return while it saves him from the flood.

Manu follows the fish's instructions, builds the ark, and gathers the seeds as directed. When the flood arrives, the fish with horns appears and guides the ark through the raging waters. The vessel is tossed about in the flood for many years until the fish brings them to the peak of the Himavat mountain. The fish reveals itself as Brahma and informs the Rishis that Manu will recreate all beings through his ascetic merit.

After the fish disappears, Manu sets out to create the world again, overcoming illusion with his asceticism. He successfully creates all beings in proper order, fulfilling his duty as the progenitor of the new world. This story, known as the Legend of the Fish, is said to bring happiness and fulfillment to those who listen to it daily. Those who hear this tale are promised to attain all desired objects and ultimately reach heaven as a reward.

Overall, the story of Manu and the fish highlights themes of compassion, obedience, and the cyclical nature of creation and destruction. Manu's willingness to protect and care for the fish ultimately leads to his salvation and the preservation of life during the great flood. Through his devotion and asceticism, Manu fulfills his role as the progenitor of the new world, guided by the wisdom of Brahma in the form of a fish.Listeners of this tale are encouraged to learn from Manu's actions and embrace the virtues of kindness and perseverance in the face of challenges, ultimately leading to spiritual attainment and divine blessings.

Full English translation:

This page is merely a summary which is automatically generated. If you are looking for authentic sources such as the Sanskrit text or the Full English translation of Mahabharata Section CLXXXVI, have a look at the following articles:

Section CLXXXVI, online text

English translation by Kisari Mohan Ganguli.

Read this and other chapters online.

Mahabharata (English Summary)

by Kisari Mohan Ganguli | ISBN-10: 8121505933

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FAQ of Section CLXXXVI:

What is the Legend of the Fish about?

It narrates how Vaivasvata Manu saved the world from a cataclysmic flood guided by a fish, eventually creating all beings with the blessing of Brahma.

Who was Vaivasvata Manu?

He was the son of Vivasvan, a powerful Rishi known for his strength, power, fortune, and religious austerities. Manu played a crucial role in saving the world and creating all beings.

How did Vaivasvata Manu save the world?

Guided by a fish who revealed itself to be Brahma, Manu built an ark, gathered seeds, and survived the flood with the help of the fish, ultimately creating all beings.

What benefits come from hearing the Legend of the Fish?

Listening to this story destroys sin, brings happiness, fulfills desires, and leads to attaining heaven. It is a sacred tale with powerful spiritual significance.

Mahabharata Section CLXXXVI in daily life:

The story of Vaivasvata Manu and the fish is a parable that teaches us about compassion, responsibility, and the importance of being prepared for unforeseen challenges. Initially, Manu's simple act of saving a small fish out of compassion leads to a series of events that ultimately saves humanity and the sages from a great flood. This teaches us that even small acts of kindness can have profound and far-reaching consequences.

In our daily lives, we can implement these teachings by being compassionate towards others, including animals and the environment. Just like Manu, who looked after the fish without expecting anything in return, we should also help those in need without waiting for rewards. This selflessness not only contributes to our personal growth but also fosters a sense of community and interconnectedness.

The story also highlights the importance of foresight and preparedness. Manu listens to the fish’s warning about the impending flood and takes the necessary steps to save the creation. This teaches us to be vigilant and prepared for life's uncertainties, encouraging us to plan for the future while living in the present.

Moreover, Manu’s act of creating a new world post-deluge with patience and careful consideration emphasizes the virtue of perseverance and the importance of starting over, even under difficult circumstances. It reminds us that with determination and the right intentions, it is possible to overcome adversity and create something meaningful.

In embracing these principles—compassion, responsibility, preparedness, and perseverance—we can lead a life that is not only fulfilling but also beneficial to others around us, embodying the spirit of Manu’s story in our everyday actions.

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