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...

"Draupadi said,

'I bow down unto Dhatri and Vidhatri who have thus clouded your sense! Regarding the burden (you are to bear) you think differently from the ways of your fathers and grand-fathers! Influenced by acts men are placed in different situations of life. Acts, therefore, produce consequences that are inevitable; emancipation is desired from mere folly. It seems that man can never attain prosperity in this world by virtue, gentleness, forgiveness, straight-forwardness and fear of censure!

If this were not so, O Bharata, this insufferable calamity would never have overtaken you who art so undeserving of it, and these your brothers of great energy! Neither in those days of prosperity nor in these days of your adversity, you, O Bharata, has ever known anything so dear to you as virtue, which you have even regarded as dearer to you than life?

That your kingdom is for virtue alone, that your life also is for virtue alone, is known to Brahmanas and your superiors and even the celestials! I think you canst abandon Bhimasena and Arjuna and these twin sons of Madri along with myself but you canst not abandon virtue! I have heard that the king protects virtue; and virtue, protected by him, protects him (in return)! I see, however, that virtue protects you not! Like the shadow pursuing a man, your heart, O tiger among men, with singleness of purpose, ever seeks virtue.

You have never disregarded your equals, and inferiors and superiors. Obtaining even the entire world, your pride never increased! O son of Pritha, you ever worshippest Brahmanas, and gods, and the Pitris, with Svadhas, and other forms of worship! O son of Pritha, you have ever gratified the Brahmanas by fulfilling every wish of theirs! Yatis and Sannyasins and mendicants of domestic lives have always been fed in your house from off plates of gold where I have distributed (food) amongst them. Unto the Vanaprasthas you always givest gold and food.

There is nothing in your house you mayest not give unto the Brahmanas! In the Visvadeva sacrifice, that is, for your peace, performed in your house, the things consecrated are first offered unto guests and all creatures while you livest thyself with what remaines (after distribution)! Ishtis Pashubandhas, sacrifices for obtaining fruition of desire, the religions rites of (ordinary) domesticity, Paka sacrifices, and sacrifices of other kinds, are ever performed in your house.

Even in this great forest, so solitary and haunted by robbers, living in exile, divested of your kingdom, your virtue has sustained no diminution! The Asvamedha, the Rajasuya, the Pundarika, and Gosava, these grand sacrifices requiring large gifts have all been performed by you!

O monarch, impelled by a perverse sense during that dire hour of a losing match at dice, you didst yet stake and loss your kingdom, your wealth, your weapons, your brothers, and myself! Simple, gentle, liberal, modest, truthful, how, O king could your mind be attracted to the vice of gambling? I am almost deprived of my sense, O king, and my heart is overwhelmed with grief, beholding this your distress, and this your calamity! An old history is cited as an illustration for the truth that men are subjects to the will of God and never to their own wishes!

The Supreme Lord and Ordainer of all ordains everything in respect of the weal and woe, the happiness and misery, of all creatures, even prior to their births guided by the acts of each, which are even like a seed (destined to sprout forth into the tree of life). O hero amongst men, as a wooden doll is made to move its limbs by the wire-puller, so are creatures made to work by the Lord of all.

O Bharata, like space that covers every object, God, pervading every creature, ordains its weal or woe. Like a bird tied with a string, every creature is dependent on God. Every one is subject to God and none else. No one can be his own ordainer. Like a pearl on its string, or a bull held fast by the cord passing through its nose, or a tree fallen from the bank into the middle of the stream, every creature follows the command of the Creator, because imbued with His Spirit and because established in Him. And man himself, dependent on the Universal Soul, cannot pass a moment independently. Enveloped in darkness, creatures are not masters of their own weal or woe. They go to heaven or hell urged by God Himself. Like light straws dependent on strong winds, all creatures, O Bharatas, are dependent on God! And God himself, pervading all creatures and engaged in acts right and wrong, moves in the universe, though none can say This is God!

This body with its physical attributes is only the means by which God—the Supreme Lord of all makes (every creature) to reap fruits that are good or bad. Behold the power of illusion that has been spread by God, who confounding with his illusion, makes creatures slay their fellows! Truth-knowing Munis behold those differently. They appear to them in a different light, even like the rays of the Sun (which to ordinary eyes are only a pencil of light, while to eyes more penetrating seem fraught with the germs of food and drink). Ordinary men behold the things of the earth otherwise.

It is God who makes them all, adopting different processes in their creation and destruction. And, O Yudhishthira, the Self-create Grandsire, Almighty God, spreading illusion, slays his creatures by the instrumentality of his creatures, as one may break a piece of inert and senseless wood with wood, or stone with stone, or iron with iron. And the Supreme Lord, according to his pleasure, sports with His creatures, creating and destroying them, like a child with his toy (of soft earth).

O king, it does seem to me that God behaves towards his creatures like a father or mother unto them. Like a vicious person, He seems to bear himself towards them in anger! Beholding superior and well-behaved and modest persons persecuted, while the sinful are happy, I am sorely troubled. Beholding this your distress and the prosperity of Suyodhana, I do not speak highly of the Great Ordainer who suffers such inequality!

O sir, what fruits does the Great Ordainer reap by granting prosperity to Dhritarashtra’s son who transgresses the ordinances, who is crooked and covetous, and who injures virtue and religion! If the act done pursues the doer and none else, then certainly it is God himself who is stained with the sin of every act. If however, the sin of an act done does not attach to the doer, then (individual) might (and not God) is the true cause of acts, and I grieve for those that have no might!'"


This concludes Section XXX of Book 3 (Vana 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 3 is one of the eighteen books comprising roughly 100,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.

FAQ (frequently asked questions):

Which keywords occur in Section XXX of Book 3 of the Mahabharata?

The most relevant definitions are: Bharata, Brahmanas, Pritha, Draupadi, Paka, Suyodhana; since these occur the most in Book 3, Section XXX. There are a total of 25 unique keywords found in this section mentioned 32 times.

What is the name of the Parva containing Section XXX of Book 3?

Section XXX is part of the Arjunabhigamana Parva which itself is a sub-section of Book 3 (Vana Parva). The Arjunabhigamana Parva contains a total of 26 sections while Book 3 contains a total of 13 such Parvas.

Can I buy a print edition of Section XXX as contained in Book 3?

Yes! The print edition of the Mahabharata contains the English translation of Section XXX of Book 3 and can be bought on the main page. The author is Kisari Mohan Ganguli and the latest edition (including Section XXX) is from 2012.

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