by Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa | 400 BCE | 233,931 words | ISBN-10: 8121505933
The Mahabharata is a large text describing ancient India. In it are records of the adventures of mythological beings, wars among the gods and stories of ancient humans. Also, it documents the fate of the Kauravas and the Pandavas family. Another part of the large contents, deal with many philosophical dialogues such as the goals of life. Book 1, A...
"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 Viswakarman.
"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-life!'"