The Mahabharata (English)

by Kisari Mohan Ganguli | 1,309,022 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...

Section LIII

"Saunaka asked, 'What great Rishis became the Ritwiks at the snake-sacrifice of the wise king Janamejaya of the Pandava line? Who also became the Sadasyas in that terrible snake-sacrifice, so frightful to the snakes, and begetting such sorrow in them? It behoves you to describe all these in detail, so that, O son of Suta, we may know who were acquainted with the rituals of the snake-sacrifice.'

"Sauti replied, 'I will recite the names of those wise ones who became the monarch’s Ritwiks and Sadasyas.

The Brahmana Chandabhargava became the Hotri in that sacrifice. He was of great reputation, and was born in the race of Cyavana and was the foremost of those acquainted with the Vedas.

The learned old Brahmana, Kautsa, became the Udgatri, the chanter of the Vedic hymns.

Jaimini became the Brahmana, and Sarngarva and Pingala the Adhvaryus, Vyasa with his son and disciples, and Uddalaka, Pramataka, Svetaketu, Pingala, Asita, Devala, Narada, Parvata, Atreya, Kundajathara, the Brahmana Kalaghata, Vatsya, old Srutasravas ever engaged in japa and the study of the Vedas.

Kohala Devasarman, Maudgalya, Samasaurava, and many other Brahmanas who had got through the Vedas became the Sadasyas at that sacrifice of the son of Parikshit.

"When the Ritwiks in that snake-sacrifice began to pour clarified butter into the fire, terrible snakes, striking fear into every creature, began to fall into it. And the fat and the marrow of the snakes thus falling into the fire began to flow in rivers. And the atmosphere was filled with an insufferable stench owing to the incessant burning of the snakes. And incessant also were the cries of the snakes fallen into the fire and those in the air about to fall into it.

'Meanwhile, Takshaka, that prince of snakes, as soon as he heard that king Janamejaya was engaged in the sacrifice, went to the palace of Purandara (Indra). And that best of snakes, having represented all that had taken place, sought in terror the protection of Indra after having acknowledged his fault. And Indra, gratified, told him,

'O prince of snakes, O Takshaka, here you have no fear from that snake-sacrifice. The Grandsire was pacified by me for your sake. Therefore, you have no fear. Let this fear of your heart be allayed.'

Sauti continued, 'Thus encouraged by him, that best of snakes began to dwell in Indra’s abode in joy and happiness. But Vasuki, seeing that the snakes were incessantly falling into the fire and that his family was reduced to only a few, became exceedingly sorry. And the king of the snakes was afflicted with great grief, and his heart was about to break. And summoning his sister, he spake unto her, saying,

'O amiable one, my limbs are burning and I no longer see the points of the heavens. I am about to fall down from loss of consciousness. My mind is turning, my sight is falling and my heart is breaking. Benumbed, I may fall today into that blazing fire!

This sacrifice of the son of Parikshit is for the extermination of our race. It is evident I also shall have to go to the abode of the king of the dead. The time is come, O my sister, on account of which you were bestowed by me on Jaratkaru to protect us with our relatives. O best of the women of the snake race, Astika will put an end to the sacrifice that is going on.

The Grandsire told me this of old. Therefore, O child, solicit your dear son who is fully conversant with the Vedas and regarded even by the old, for the protection of myself and also of those dependent on me."'

Conclusion:

This concludes Section LIII of Book 1 (Adi 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 1 is one of the eighteen books comprising roughly 100,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.

FAQ (frequently asked questions):

Which keywords occur in Section LIII of Book 1 of the Mahabharata?

The most relevant definitions are: Brahmana, Vedas, Indra, Sadasyas, Pingala, Janamejaya; since these occur the most in Book 1, Section LIII. There are a total of 42 unique keywords found in this section mentioned 59 times.

What is the name of the Parva containing Section LIII of Book 1?

Section LIII is part of the Astika Parva which itself is a sub-section of Book 1 (Adi Parva). The Astika Parva contains a total of 46 sections while Book 1 contains a total of 19 such Parvas.

Can I buy a print edition of Section LIII as contained in Book 1?

Yes! The print edition of the Mahabharata contains the English translation of Section LIII of Book 1 and can be bought on the main page. The author is Kisari Mohan Ganguli and the latest edition (including Section LIII) is from 2012.

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