Section CCVIII - Yudhishthira Inquires About Prajapatis and Rishis

| Posted in: Hinduism Itihasa

Book index: Mahabharata (English)
This page contains a summary of the Mahabharata Section CCVIII 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 Yudhishthira asking Bhishma about the first Prajapatis and highly-blessed Rishis. Bhishma explains that the seven sons of the Eternal Brahman were Marichi, Atri, Angiras, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, and Vasishtha. The Prajapatis that came after included Daksha, Kasyapa, Soma, Aryaman, and the ten Pracetasas. Bhishma also mentions the twelve Adityas, the two Asvins, and the eight Vasus, along with their lineage and achievements.

Bhishma further elaborates on the various classes of deities and their origins, including the Ribhus, Maruts, and Angiras descendants. He explains how reciting the names of these deities can cleanse one of all sins. The Rishis residing in the East are Yavakriti, Raivya, and the seven progenitors of the three worlds. In the South, there are Unmucha, Vimucha, and Agastya, while the West is home to Upangu, Karusha, and the Sarasvata Rishi. In the North reside Atreya, Vasishtha, Kasyapa, Gautama, Bharadvaja, Visvamitra, and Jamadagni.

Bhishma emphasizes the importance of these Rishis, who are the witnesses of the universe and creators of all worlds. By reciting their names and seeking their blessings, one can be cleansed of sins and protected on their journey. The Rishis in different quarters of the compass symbolize the balance and harmony in the universe. Their presence and influence serve as a guiding light for those seeking spiritual enlightenment and purification. Their collective wisdom and power make them revered figures in Hindu mythology and tradition.

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 CCVIII - Yudhishthira Inquires About Prajapatis and Rishis, have a look at the following articles:

Section CCVIII, online text

English translation by Kisari Mohan Ganguli.

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Mahabharata (English Summary)

by Kisari Mohan Ganguli | ISBN-10: 8121505933

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FAQ of Mahabharata, Section CCVIII:

Who were the first Prajapatis and their descendants?

The first Prajapatis were the seven sons of the Divine Brahman. Their descendants include Daksha, Soma, and the Adityas, among others.

Where do the illustrious Rishis reside?

Rishis like Vishvamitra and Vasishtha reside in different directions. The east, south, west, and north are home to various great Rishis.

How can reciting the names of deities benefit a person?

Reciting the names of deities can cleanse one of all sins, intentional or unintentional. It can also ensure safe travels and protection.

Daily life: Yudhishthira Inquires About Prajapatis and Rishis:

The essence of the story shared highlights the power of acknowledging and revering the divine entities and immortal sages that govern the various aspects of the universe. One practical takeaway from this narrative is the act of reciting the names of these deities and sages as a daily ritual right after waking up. This simple practice is said to cleanse an individual of sins, whether they are intentional or unintentional, or arise from interactions with others.

By verbally honoring these celestial beings, a person weaves a connection with the spiritual realm, fostering a sense of purity and accountability for their actions throughout the day. Moreover, the story suggests that aligning oneself with these divine forces by remembering and invoking their names brings about a protective aura, guiding the individual away from wrongdoing and towards a path of righteousness.

Furthermore, visiting the directions associated with these rishis, as mentioned in the narrative, is believed to purify one's sins and ensure a safe journey through life. Although physically traveling to these directions might not be feasible for everyone, mentally visualizing or facing these directions during prayer or meditation could serve as a symbolic embodiment of this teaching. In sum, integrating this wisdom into daily life involves a blend of recitation, mental focus, and spiritual orientation, aimed at cultivating a harmonious and virtuous existence.

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