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...
'That same king, of a powerful bow, standing at the head of the surrounding, (i.e., the occupant of an imperial throne) of a powerful car, (i.e., possessing every great fighting power) became the delight of the eyes and the soul of all the world. And he of the powerful arm came to learn how his forefathers had met an awful end from Kapila of mighty soul, and how they had been unable to attain the region of gods. And he with a sorrowful heart made over his kingly duties to his minister, and, O lord of men! for practising austerities, went to the side of the snowy Mountain (the Himalayas). And, O most praiseworthy of men, desirous of extinguishing his sins by leading an austere life, and (thereby) obtaining the favour of the (goddess) Ganga, he visited that foremost of mountains—Himalaya.
And he beheld it adorned with peaks of diverse forms full of mineral earth; besprinkled on all sides with drops from clouds which were resting themselves upon the breeze; beautiful with rivers and groves and rocky spurs, looking like (so many) palaces (in a city); attended upon by lions and tigers that had concealed themselves in its caves and pits; and also inhabited by birds of checkered forms, which were uttering diverse sounds, such as the Bhringarajas, and ganders, and Datyuhas, and water-cocks, and peacocks and birds with a hundred feathers, and Jivanjivakas, and black birds, and Cakoras of eyes furnished with black corners, and the birds that love their young.
And he saw the mountain abounding in lotus plants growing in delightful reservoirs of water. And the cranes rendered it charming with their sounds; and the Kinnaras and the celestial nymphs were seated on its stony slabs. And the elephants occupying the cardinal points had everywhere robbed its trees with the end of their tusks; and the demi-gods of the Vidyadhara class frequented the hill. And it was full of various gems, and was also infested by snakes bearing terrible poison and of glowing tongues.
And the mountain at places looked like (massive) gold, and elsewhere it resembled a silvery (pile), and at some places it was like a (sable) heap of collyrium. Such was the snowy hill where the king now found himself. And that most praiseworthy of men at that spot betook himself to an awful austere course of life. And for one thousand years his subsistence was nothing but water, fruit and roots. When, however, a thousand years according to the calculation of gods had elapsed, then the great river Ganga having assumed a material form, manifested to him her (divine) self.'
'O great king! what dost you desire of me? And what must I bestow on you? Tell me the same, O most praiseworthy of men! I shall do as you mayst ask me.'
Thus addressed, the king then made his reply to Ganga, the daughter of the snowy Hill, saying,
'O grantress of boons! O great river! my father’s fathers, while searching for the horse, were sent by Kapila to the abode of the god of death. And those same sixty thousand sons of Sagara of mighty soul, having met with the majestic Kapila, perished, (to a soul) in an instant of time. Having thus perished, there has been no place for them in the region of heaven.
O great river! So long as you dost not besprinkle those same bodies with your water, there is no salvation for these same Sagara’s sons. O blessed goddess! carry you my forefathers, Sagara’s sons, to the region of heaven. O great river! on their account am I beseeching you forsooth."
'Ganga, the goddess saluted by the world, having heard these words of the king, was well pleased, and spake to Bhagiratha the following words:
'O great king! I am prepared to do what you dost ask me; there is no doubt therein. But when I shall descend from the sky to the earth, the force of my fall will be difficult to sustain. O protector of men! In the three worlds there exists none who is able to sustain the same, excepting Siva, the most praiseworthy of gods, the great Lord with the throat of sable blue.
O (prince) of a powerful arm! Obtain the favour, by practising austerities, of that same Siva-giver of boons. That same god will sustain my descent upon his head. Your desire he will fulfill, the desire, namely, to be of service to your fathers, O king!'
Then the great king Bhagiratha having heard the same, went to the Kailasa hill, and betaking himself to a severe course of penances, at the expiration of a certain length of time obtained the favour of that worker of blessings (Siva). And, O protector of men! that same best of men, in order that his forefathers might have a place in heaven secured to them, received from that very Siva the fulfilment of his wish, namely the wish that the descending Ganga might be sustained.'"
This concludes Section CVIII 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 CVIII of Book 3 of the Mahabharata?
The most relevant definitions are: Ganga, Siva, Kapila, Sagara, Lomasa, Himalaya; since these occur the most in Book 3, Section CVIII. There are a total of 16 unique keywords found in this section mentioned 31 times.
What is the name of the Parva containing Section CVIII of Book 3?
Section CVIII is part of the Tirtha-yatra Parva which itself is a sub-section of Book 3 (Vana Parva). The Tirtha-yatra Parva contains a total of 101 sections while Book 3 contains a total of 13 such Parvas.
Can I buy a print edition of Section CVIII as contained in Book 3?
Yes! The print edition of the Mahabharata contains the English translation of Section CVIII of Book 3 and can be bought on the main page. The author is Kisari Mohan Ganguli and the latest edition (including Section CVIII) is from 2012.