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...

Section XCVI

"Vaisampayana said, 'There was a king known by the name of Mahabhisha born in the race of Ikshvaku. He was the lord of all the earth, and was truthful (in speech) and of true prowess. By a thousand horse-sacrifices and a hundred Rajasuyas he had gratified the chief of the celestials and ultimately attained to heaven.

"One day the celestials had assembled together and were worshipping Brahman. Many royal sages and king Mahabhisha also were present on the spot. And Ganga, the queen of rivers, also came there to pay her adorations to the Grandsire. And her garments white as the beams of the moon was displaced by the action of the wind.

And as her person became exposed, the celestials bent down their heads. But the royal sage Mahabhisha rudely stared at the queen of rivers. And Mahabhisha was for this cursed by Brahman, who said,

'Wretch, as you have forgotten thyself at the sight of Ganga, you shalt be re-born on earth. But you shall again and again attain to these regions. And she, too, shall be born in the world of men and shall do you injuries.

But when your wrath shall be provoked, you shalt then be freed from my curse.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'King Mahabhisha then recollecting all the monarchs and ascetics on earth, wished to be born as son to Pratipa of great prowess. And the queen of rivers, too, seeing king Mahabhisha lose his firmness, went away, thinking of him wishfully.

And on her way, she saw those dwellers in heaven, the Vasus, also pursuing the same path. And the queen of rivers beholding them in the predicament, asked them,

'Why look you so dejected? You dwellers in heaven, is everything right with you?'

Those celestials, the Vasus, answered her, saying,

'O queen of rivers, we have been cursed, for a venial fault, by the illustrious Vasishtha in anger. The foremost of excellent Rishis, Vasishtha, had been engaged in his twilight adorations and seated as he was, he could not be seen by us. We crossed him in ignorance.

Therefore, in wrath he has cursed us, saying, Be you born among men!'

It is beyond our power to frustrate what has been said by that utterance of Brahma. Therefore, O river, thyself becoming a human female make us the Vasus, your children. O amiable one, we are unwilling to enter the womb of any human female.'

Thus addressed, the queen of rivers told them, 'Be it so' and asked them,

'On earth, who is that foremost of men whom you will make your father?'

"The Vasus replied,

'On earth, unto Pratipa shall be born a son, Santanu, who will be a king of world-wide fame.'

Ganga then said,

'You celestials, that is exactly my wish which you sinless ones have expressed. I shall, indeed, do good to that Santanu. That is also your desire as just expressed.'

The Vasus then said,

'It behoves you to throw your children after birth, into the water, so that, O you of three courses (celestial, terrestrial, and subterranean) we may be rescued soon without having to live on earth for any length of time.'

Ganga then answered,

'I shall do what you desire. But in order that his intercourse with me may not be entirely fruitless, provide you that one son at least may live.'

The Vasus then replied,

'We shall each contribute an eighth part of our respective energies With the sum thereof, you shall have one son according to your and his wishes. But this son shall not begat any children on earth. Therefore, that son of thine endued with great energy, shall be childless.'

"The Vasus, making this arrangement with Ganga, went away without Waiting to the place they liked.'"


This concludes Section XCVI 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 XCVI of Book 1 of the Mahabharata?

The most relevant definitions are: Vasus, Mahabhisha, Ganga, Vaisampayana, Brahman, Pratipa; since these occur the most in Book 1, Section XCVI. There are a total of 12 unique keywords found in this section mentioned 32 times.

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

Section XCVI is part of the Sambhava Parva which itself is a sub-section of Book 1 (Adi Parva). The Sambhava Parva contains a total of 78 sections while Book 1 contains a total of 19 such Parvas.

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

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

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