Mahabharata (English)

by Kisari Mohan Ganguli | 2,566,952 words | ISBN-10: 8121505933

The English translation of the Mahabharata is a large text describing ancient India. It is authored by Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa and contains the records 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...

"Kanva said,

'Meanwhile, O Bharata, the mighty Garuda heard what had happened, viz., the bestowal by Sakra of length of days on the Naga Sumukha. And inflamed with great anger, that ranger of the firmament, Suparna, smiting the three worlds by the hurricane caused by the flappings of his wings, quickly came to Vasava.

And Garuda said,

'O illustrious one, disregarding me why hast you interfered with my sustenance. Having granted me a boon of your own will, why dost you now withdraw it? The Supreme Lord of all creatures has, from the beginning, ordained what my food is to be. Why dost you then stand in the way of that divine decree? I had selected this great Naga and had fixed time, for O god, I had intended to offer the meat of his body, as sustenance to my numerous progeny. When he, therefore, has obtained a boon from you and has become indestructible by me, how can I henceforth dare kill another of his species? Dost you sport thus, O Vasava, as you listest? I, however, shall have to die, as also the members of my family and the servants whom I have engaged in my house. That will, I think, gratify you, O Vasava!

Indeed, O slayer of Vala and Vritra, I deserve all this, nay more, since being the lord of the three worlds in might. I yet consented to become the servant of another. O monarch of the three worlds, Vishnu, however, is not the only cause of my inferiority, for though, O Vasava, I am quite your equal, yet the sovereignty of the three worlds rests on you, O chief of the celestials. Like you, I also have a daughter of Daksha for my mother and Kasyapa for my father. Like you, I also can, without any fatigue, bear the weight of the three worlds. I have strength that is immeasurable and incapable of being resisted by any creature.

In the war with the Daityas I also achieved grand feats. Srutasri and Srutasena and Vivasvat, and Rocanamukha, and Prasrura, and Kalakaksha amongst the sons of Diti were slain by me. Perching yet on the flag-staff of your younger brother’s car I carefully protect it in battle, and sometimes also I bear that brother of thine on my back. It is, perhaps, for this that you disregards me. Who else in the universe is there that is capable of bearing such heavy burdens? Who is there that is stronger than myself? Superior though I am, I yet bear on my back this younger brother of thine with all his friends. When, however, disregarding me you have interfered with my foods, you have, O Vasava, inflicted disgrace on me, like this younger brother of thine that had hitherto been disgracing me by making me bear him on my back.

As regards thyself, O Vishnu, amongst all those endued with prowess and strength that have been born of Aditi’s womb, you are superior in strength. Yet you I bear without any fatigue, with only one of my feathers. Think coolly then, O brother, who amongst us is stronger?'

"Kanva continued,

'Hearing the proud words of that bird foreshadowing danger the bearer of the discus, provoking Tarkshya still more, said unto him,

'Though so very weak, why dost you, O Garuda, yet regard thyself strong, O oviparous creature, it ill behoves you to vaunt thus in our presence. The three worlds united together cannot bear the weight of my body. I myself bear my own weight and thine also. Come now, bear you the weight of this one right arm of mine. If you canst bear even this, your boast would be regarded as reasonable.'

Saying this, the holy one placed his arms on Garuda’s shoulders. Thereupon the latter fell down, afflicted with its weight, confounded, and deprived of his senses. And Garuda, felt that the weight of that one arm of Vishnu was as great as that of the entire Earth with her mountains. Endued with might infinitely greater, Vishnu, however, did not afflict him much. Indeed, Achyuta did not take his life. That ranger of the sky, afflicted then by that immense weight, gasped for breath, and began to cast off his feathers. With every limb weakened, and utterly confounded, Garuda was almost deprived of his senses.

The winged offspring of Vinata then, thus confounded and almost deprived of his senses, and rendered utterly helpless, bowing unto Vishnu with bent bead, feebly addressed him, saying,

'O illustrious Lord, the essence of that strength which sustains the universe dwells in this body of thine. What wonder, therefore, that I should be crushed down to the earth by a single arm of thine, stretched out at your pleasure. It behoves you, O divine Lord, to forgive this winged creature that perches on your flag-staff—this fool intoxicated with pride of strength, but now rendered utterly helpless. Your great strength, O divine Lord, was never known to me before. It was for this that I regarded my own might to be unequalled.'

Thus addressed, the illustrious Vishnu became gratified, and addressing Garuda with affection, said, 'Let not your behaviour be such again.'

And saying this, Upendra threw Sumukha with the toe of his foot upon Garuda’s breast. And from that time, O king, Garuda has ever lived in friendship with that snake. It was thus, O king, that mighty and illustrious Garuda, the son of Vinata, afflicted by the might of Vishnu, was cured of his pride.'

"Kanva continued,

'In the same way, O son of Gandhari, you livest, O son, as long as you approachest not the heroic sons of Pandu in battle. Who is there whom Bhima, that foremost of smiters, that mighty son of Vayu and Dhananjaya, the son of Indra, cannot slay in battle? Vishnu himself, and Vayu and Dharma, and the Asvins,—these gods are your enemies. Let alone an encounter with them, you are not competent even to look at them on the field. Therefore, O prince, do not set your heart upon war; let peace be made through the agency of Vasudeva. It behoves you to save your race thus. This great ascetic Narada witnessed with his own eyes the incident (I have related to you) which shows the greatness of Vishnu, and know that this Krishna is that bearer of the discus and the mace!'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Hearing these words of the Rishi, Duryodhana contracted his eye-brows and began to breathe heavily. And casting his eyes then on Radha’s son, he burst out into a loud laughter. And setting at naught those words of the Rishi, that wicked wretch began to slap his thigh that resembled the trunk of an elephant. And addressing the Rishi, he said, 'I am, O great Rishi, precisely what the Creator has made me. What is to be, must be. What also has been ordained in my case must happen, I cannot act otherwise. What can these senseless declamations, therefore, avail?'"


This concludes Section CV of Book 5 (Udyoga Parva) of the Mahabharata, of which an English translation is presented on this page. This book is famous as one of the Itihasa, similair in content to the eighteen Puranas. Book 5 is one of the eighteen books comprising roughly 100,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.

FAQ (frequently asked questions):

Which keywords occur in Section CV of Book 5 of the Mahabharata?

The most relevant definitions are: Garuda, Vishnu, three worlds, Vasava, Rishi, Kanva; since these occur the most in Book 5, Section CV. There are a total of 41 unique keywords found in this section mentioned 76 times.

What is the name of the Parva containing Section CV of Book 5?

Section CV is part of the Bhagavat-Yana Parva which itself is a sub-section of Book 5 (Udyoga Parva). The Bhagavat-Yana Parva contains a total of 89 sections while Book 5 contains a total of 4 such Parvas.

Can I buy a print edition of Section CV as contained in Book 5?

Yes! The print edition of the Mahabharata contains the English translation of Section CV of Book 5 and can be bought on the main page. The author is Kisari Mohan Ganguli and the latest edition (including Section CV) is from 2012.

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