The Mahabharata (English)

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, "Having, O great king, heard from the illustrious Markandeya the history of the attainment of heaven by the royal sage Indradyumna, Yudhishthira, that bull of the Bharata race, once more asked that sinless Muni endued with great ascetic merit and long life, saying,

'You knowest, O virtuous one, the entire host of the gods, the Danavas, and the Rakshasas. You are acquainted also with various royal genealogies and many eternal lines of Rishis! O best of Brahmanas, there is nothing in this world that you dost not know!

You knowest also, O Muni, many delightful stories about men, Snakes and Rakshasas; about gods, Gandharvas, and Yakshas, and about Kinnaras and Apsaras! I desire now to hear from you, O best of Brahmanas, as to why Kuvalasva—that unvanquished king of Ikshavaku’s race changed his name, assuming another, viz., Dhundhumara. O you best of Bhrigu’s line, I desire to know in detail why the name of Kuvalasva of great intelligence underwent such a change!'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Thus addressed by Yudhishthira, the great Muni Markandeya, O Bharata, then began the history of Dhundhumara!"

Markandeya said,

'O royal Yudhishthira, listen to me, I will tell you all! The story of Dhundhumara is a moral one. Listen to it then! Listen now, O king, to the story of how the royal Kuvalasva of Ikshvaku’s race came to be known as Dhundhumara. O son, O Bharata, there was a celebrated Rishi of the name of Utanka and, O you of the Kuru race, Utanka had his hermitage in a delightful wilderness.

And, O great king, the Rishi Utanka underwent ascetic austerities of the severest kind and the lord Utanka underwent those penances for numberless years with the object of obtaining the favours of Vishnu, and gratified with his penances that illustrious Lord presented himself before Utanka.

And beholding the Deity, the Rishi in all humility began to gratify him with many hymns, and Utanka said,

'O you of great effulgence all creatures with the gods, Asuras and human beings, all things that are mobile or immobile, even Brahma himself, the Vedas, and all things that are capable of being known, have, O lord, been created by you! The firmament is your head, O god, and the sun and the moon are your eyes!

And, O Unfading One, the winds are your breath and fire your energy! The directions of the horizon constitute your arms and the great ocean your stomach! And, O god, the hills and mountains constitute your thigh and the sky your hips, O slayer of Madhu! The earth constitutes your feet, and the plants the bristles on your body.

And, O lord, Indra and Soma and Agni and Varuna, indeed all the gods, the Asuras and the great Snakes all wait upon you with humility, adoring you with various hymns! O Lord of the Universe, created things are pervaded by you. The great Rishis of high energy and ever plunged in ascetic meditation, always adore you. When you are gratified, the universe is in peace. And when you are angry, terror pervades every soul.

You are, O Lord, the great dispeller of all terrors and you are the One Supreme Male Being! You are the cause of happiness of both gods and human beings! And, O Lord, by three steps of thine you didst cover the three worlds! And it was by you that the Asuras in the height of their power were destroyed!

It is owing to your prowess, O God, that the celestials obtained peace and happiness and, O you of great effulgence, it was the anger that destroyed hundred great Daitya chiefs. You are the Creator and destroyer of all creatures in the world. It is by adoring you that the gods have obtained happiness.'

It was thus, O Yudhishthira, that the high-souled Utanka praised the Lord of the senses.

And Vishnu, therefore, said unto Utanka,

'I am gratified with you. Ask you the boon that you desirest.'

And Utanka said,

'This indeed has, been a great boon to me, in that I have been able to behold Hari, that eternal Being, that divine Creator, that Lord of the universe!"

Thus addressed Vishnu said,

'I am gratified with this absence of all desires on your pail and with your devotion, O you best of men! But, O Brahmanas, O regenerate one, you should of a certainty accept some boon from me!'

Thus requested by Hari to accept a boon Utanka then, O you best of Bharatas, with joined hands begged a boon saying,

'O illustrious one, O you of eyes like lotus leaves, if you have been gratified with me, then let my heart always rest on virtue, truth, and self-content. And, O Lord, let my heart always turn to you in devotion.'

And hearing these words of Utanka, the holy one said,

'O regenerate one, all this shall happen to you through my grace. And there will also appear in you a yoga power endued with which you shalt achieve a great thing for the dwellers of Heaven, as also for the triple world. Even now a great Asura of the name of Dhundhu is undergoing ascetic penances of fierce austerity with the object of destroying the triple world. Hear now as to who will slay that Asura.

O son, there will appear a king of invincible energy and great prowess and he will be born in the race of Ikshvaku and will be known by the name of Vrihadasva who will have a son of the name of Kuvalasva endued with great holiness and self-control and celebrity. And that best of kings will be furnished with yoga power springing from me and urged and commended by you, O regenerate Rishi, that king will be the slayer of the Asura Dhundhu.'

And having said these words unto that Brahmana, Vishnu disappeared there and then."

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