The Anugita

1882 | 64,929 words

Volume 8, The Sacred Books of the East. This part Contains the english translation of the Anugita (a portion of the Ashvamedhika Parva from the Mahabharata)....

Chapter XIV

The Brāhmaṇa said:

On this[1], too, they relate an old story, (in the shape of) a dialogue, O you of a pure heart! between Kārtavīrya and the ocean. (There lived once) a king named Arjuna[2], a descendant of Kṛtavīrya, possessed of a thousand arms, who with his bow conquered the (whole) earth up to the ocean. Once on a time, as we have heard, he was walking about near the sea, proud of his strength, and showering hundreds of arrows on the sea. The ocean, saluting him, and with joined hands, said, 'O brave man! do not throw arrows (on me). Say, what shall I do for you? The creatures, who take shelter with me, are being destroyed, O tiger-like king! by the great arrows thrown by you. Give them security, O Lord!'

Arjuna said:

If there is anywhere any wielder of the bow equal to me in battle, who might stand against me in the field, name him to me.

The ocean said:

If, O king! you have heard of the great sage Jamadagni, his son is (the) proper (person) to show you due hospitality[3].

Then the king, full of great wrath, went away, and arriving at that hermitage approached Rāma only. In company with his kinsmen, he did many (acts) disagreeable to Rāma, and caused much trouble to the high-souled Rāma. Then the power of Rāma, whose power was unbounded, blazed forth, burning the hosts of the enemy, O lotus-eyed one! And then Rāma, taking up his axe, hacked away that man of the thousand arms in battle, like a tree of many branches. Seeing him killed and fallen, all (his) kinsmen assembled together, and taking swords and lances, surrounded the descendant of Bhṛgu. Rāma also taking up a bow, and hurriedly mounting a chariot, shot away volleys of arrows, and blew away the army of the king. Then some of the Kṣatriyas, often troubled by fear of the son of Jamadagni, entered mountains and inaccessible places, like antelopes troubled by a lion. And the subjects of those (Kṣatriyas) who were not performing their prescribed duties[4] through fear of him, became Vṛṣalas, owing to the disappearance of Brāhmaṇas[5]. Thus the Draviḍas, Ābhīras, Pauṇḍras, together with the Śābaras, became Vṛṣalas[6], owing to the abandonment of their duties by Kṣatriyas. Then when the heroic (children) of Kṣatriya women were destroyed again and again, the Kṣatriyas, who were produced by the Brāhmaṇas[7], were also destroyed by the son of Jamadagni. At the end of the twenty-first slaughter, a bodiless voice from heaven, which was heard by all people, spoke sweetly to Rāma, 'O Rāma! O Rāma! desist (from this slaughter). What good, dear friend, do you perceive, in taking away the lives of these kinsmen of Kṣatriyas over and over again?' Then, too, his grandfathers[8], with Ṛkīka as their head, likewise said to the high-souled (Rāma), 'Desist, O noble one[9]!' But Rāma, not forgiving his father's murder, said to those sages, 'You ought not to keep me back from this.'

The Pitṛs said:

O best of victors! you ought not to destroy these kinsmen of Kṣatriyas. It is not proper for you, being a Brāhmaṇa, to slaughter these kings.

Footnotes and references:


Namely, that final emancipation. is not to be obtained by action, and that slaughter is sinful.


He is also called a Yogin at Raghuvaṃsa VI, 38. See Mallināth's commentary there.


I. e. by giving him what be desired--a 'foeman worthy of his steel' to fight with him.


Viz. the protection of their subjects.


As the kings failed to protect the people, the Brāhmaṇas apparently were nowhere forthcoming.


Cf. Muir, Sanskrit Texts, vol. i, pp. 482 seq., 358, 391; vol. ii, p. 423; Śānti Parvan, ch. 65, st. 13; ch. 207, st. 42 (Rājadharma).


As Kṣatriyas were required for the protection of the people, the Brāhmaṇas procreated them on Kṣatriya women. See Muir, Sanskrit Texts, vol. ii, p. 451 seq. And as they were the offspring of these anomalous connexions they are described as 'kinsmen of Kṣatriyas.` Cf. Chāndogya, p. 317; Bṛhadāraṇyaka, p. 1037 and comments there. As to heroic, see Muir, Sanskrit Texts, vol. iv, p. 302 note.


Cf. Gītā, p. 40, note  1.


See as to the whole story, Muir, Sanskrit Texts, vol. i, p. 442.

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