by Kisari Mohan Ganguli | 1,056,585 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...
"Vaisampayana said, 'Then Indra had a consultation with Narayana about the latter’s descent on the earth from heaven with all the gods according to their respective parts. And, having commanded all the dwellers in heaven, Indra returned from the abode of Narayana. And the dwellers in heaven gradually became incarnate on earth for the destruction of the Asuras and for the welfare of the three worlds.
And then, O tiger among kings, the celestials had their births, according as they pleased, in the races of Brahmarshis and royal sages. And they slew the Danavas, Rakshasas, Gandharvas and Snakes, other man-eaters, and many other creatures.
And, O bull in the Bharata race, the Danavas, Rakshasas and Gandharvas and Snakes, could not slay the incarnate celestials even in their infancy, so strong they were.'
"Janamejaya said, 'I desire to hear from the beginning of the births of the gods, the Danavas, the Gandharvas, the Apsaras, men, Yakshas and Rakshasas. Therefore, it behoves you to tell me about the births of all creatures.'
"Vaisampayana said, 'Indeed, I shall, having bowed down to the Self-create, tell you in detail the origin of the celestials and other creatures. It is known that Brahman has six spiritual sons, viz., Marichi, Atri, Angiras, Pulastya, Pulaha and Kratu. And Marichi’s son is Kasyapa, and from Kasyapa have sprung these creatures. Unto Daksha (one of the Prajapatis) were born thirteen daughters of great good fortune.
The daughters of Daksha are, O tiger among men and prince of the Bharata race, Aditi, Diti, Danu, Kala, Danayu, Sinhika, Krodha, Pradha, Visva, Vinata, Kapila, Muni, and Kadru. The sons and grandsons of these, gifted with great energy, are countless. From Aditi have sprung the twelve Adityas who are the lords of the universe.
And, O Bharata, as they are according to their names, I shall recount them to you. They are Dhatri, Mitra, Aryaman, Sakra, Varuna, Ansa, Vaga, Vivasvat, Usha, Savitri, Tvashtri, and Vishnu. The youngest, however, is superior to them all in merit. Diti had one son called Hiranyakasipu. And the illustrious Hiranyakasipu had five sons, all famous throughout the world. The eldest of them all was Prahlada, the next was Sahradha; the third was Anuhrada; and after him were Sivi and Vashkala.
And, O Bharata, it is known everywhere that Prahlada had three sons. They were Virocana, Kumbha, and Nikumbha. And unto Virocana was born a son, Vali, of great prowess. And the son of Vali is known to be the great Asura, Vana. And blessed with good fortune, Vana was a follower of Rudra, and was known also by the name of Mahakala.
And Danu had forty sons, O Bharata! The eldest of them all was Vipracitti of great fame Samvara, and Namuchi and Pauloman; Asiloman, and Kesi and Durjaya; Ayahsiras, Asvasiras, and the powerful Asvasanku; also Gaganamardhan, and Vegavat, and he called Ketumat; Svarbhanu, Asva, Asvapati, Vrishaparvan, and then Ajaka; and Asvagriva, and Sukshama, and Tuhunda of great strength, Ekapada, and Ekacakra, Virupaksha, Mahodara, and Nicandra, and Nikumbha, Kupata, and then Kapata; Sarabha, and Sulabha, Surya, and then Candramas; these in the race of Danu are stated to be well-known.
The Surya and Candramas (the Sun and the Moon) of the celestials are other persons, and not the sons of Danu as mentioned above. The following ten, gifted with great strength and vigour, were also, O king, born in the race of Danu;—Ekaksha, Amritapa of heroic courage, Pralamva and Naraka, Vatrapi, Satrutapana, and Satha, the great Asura; Gavishtha, and Vanayu, and the Danava called Dirghajiva.
And, O Bharata, the sons and the grandsons of these were known to be countless. And Sinhika gave birth to Rahu, the persecutor of the Sun and the Moon, and to three others, Sucandra, Candrahantri, and Candrapramardana. And the countless progeny of Krura (krodha) were as crooked and wicked as herself. And the tribe was wrathful, of crooked deeds, and persecutors of their foes. And Danayu also had four sons who were bulls among the Asuras.
They were Vikshara, Vala, Vira, and Vritra the great Asura. And the sons of Kala were all like Yama himself and smiter of all foes. And they were of great energy, and oppressors of all foes. And the sons of Kala were Vinasana and Krodha, and then Krodhahantri, and Krodhasatru.
And there were many others among the sons of Kala. And Sukra, the son of a Rishi, was the chief priest of the Asuras. And the celebrated Sukra had four sons who were priests of the Asuras. And they were Tashtadhara and Atri, and two others of fierce deeds. They were like the Sun himself in energy, and set their hearts on acquiring the regions of Brahman.
"Thus has been recited by me, as heard in the Purana, of progeny of the gods and the Asuras, both of great strength and energy. I am incapable, O king, of counting the descendants of these, countless as they are, are not much known to fame.
"And the sons of Vinata were Tarkhya and Arishtanemi, and Garuda and Aruna, and Aruni and Varuni. And Sesha or Ananta, Vasuki, Takshaka, Kumara, and Kulika are known to be the sons of Kadru; and Bhimasena, Ugrasena, Suparna, Varuna, Gopati, and Dhritarashtra, and Suryavarchas the seventh, Satyavacas, Arkaparna, Prayuta, Bhima, and Citraratha known to fame, of great learning, and a controller of his passions, and then Kalisiras, and, O king, Parjanya, the fourteenth in the list, Kali, the fifteenth, and Narada, the sixteenth—these Devas and Gandharvas are known to be the sons of Muni (Daksha’s daughter as mentioned before).
I shall recount many others, O Bharata! Anavadya Manu, Vansa, Asura, Marganapria, Anupa, Subhaga, Vasi, were the daughters brought forth by Pradha, Siddha, and Purna, and Varhin, and Purnayus of great fame, Brahmacarin, Ratiguna, and Suparna who was the seventh; Visvavasu, Bhanu, and Sucandra who was the tenth, were also the sons of Pradha.
All these were celestial Gandharvas. And it is also known that this Pradha of great fortune, through the celestial Rishi (Kasyapa, her husband), brought forth the sacred of the Apsaras, Alamvusha, Misrakesi, Vidyutparna, Tilottama, Aruna, Rakshita, Rambha, Manorama, Kesini, Suvahu, Surata, Suraja, and Supria were the daughters, and Ativahu and the celebrated Haha and Huhu, and Tumvuru were the sons—the best of Gandharvas—of Pradha and Amrita. The Brahmanas, kine, Gandharvas, and Apsaras, were born of Kapila as stated in the Purana.
"Thus has been recited to you by me the birth of all creatures duly—of Gandharvas and Apsaras, of Snakes, Suparnas, Rudras, and Maruts; of kine and of Brahmanas blessed with great good fortune, and of sacred deeds. And this account (if read) extends the span of life, is sacred, worthy of all praise, and gives pleasure to the ear. It should be always heard and recited to others, in a proper frame of mind.
"He who duly reads this account of the birth of all high-souled creatures in the presence of the gods and Brahmanas, obtaines large progeny, good fortune, and fame, and attains also to excellent worlds hereafter.'"