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...


"Markandeya continued,

'On one occasion, O Bharata, when that king, the lord of the Madras, was seated with Narada in the midst of his court, engaged in conversation, Savitri, accompanied by the king’s counsellors, came to her father’s abode after having visited various sacred regions and asylums. And beholding her father seated with Narada, she worshipped the feet of both by bending down her head.

And Narada then said,

'Whither had this your daughter gone? And, O king, whence also does she come? Why also dost you not bestow her on a husband, now that she has arrived at the age of puberty?'

Asvapati answered, saying,

’surely it was on this very business that she had been sent, and she returns now (from her search). Do you, O celestial sage, listen, even from her as to the husband she has chosen herself!'

"Markandeya continued,

'Then the blessed maid, commanded by her father with the words,—Relate everything in detail,—regarded those words of her sire as if they were those of a god, and spoke unto him thus,

'There was, amongst the Salvas, a virtuous Kshatriya king known by the name of Dyumatsena. And it came to pass that in course of time he became blind. And that blind king possessed of wisdom had an only son. And it so happened that an old enemy dwelling in the vicinity, taking advantage of the king’s mishap, deprived him of his kingdom.

And thereupon the monarch, accompanied by his wife bearing a child on her breast, went into the woods. And having retired into the forests, he adopted great vows and began to practise ascetic austerities. And his son, born in the city, began to grow in the hermitage. That youth, fit to be my husband, I have accepted in my heart for my lord!'

At these words of hers, Narada said,

'Alas, O king, Savitri has committed a great wrong, since, not knowing, she has accepted for her lord this Satyavan of excellent qualities! His father speaks the truth and his mother also is truthful in her speech. And it is for this that the Brahmanas have named the son Satyavan. In his childhood he took great delight in horses, and used to make horses of clay. And he used also to draw pictures of horses. And for this that youth is sometimes called by the name of Citrasva.'

The king then asked,

'And is prince Satyavan, who is devoted to his father, endued with energy and intelligence and forgiveness and courage?'

Narada replied, saying,

'In energy Satyavan is like unto the sun, and in wisdom like unto Vrihaspati! And he is brave like unto the lord of the celestials and forgiving like unto the Earth herself!'

Asvapati then said,

'And is the prince Satyavan liberal in gifts and devoted to the Brahmanas? Is he handsome and magnanimous and lovely to behold?'

Narada said,

'In bestowal of gifts according to his power, the mighty son of Dyumatsena is like unto Sankriti’s son Rantideva. In truthfulness of speech and devotion unto Brahmanas, he is like Sivi, the son of Usinara. And he is magnanimous like Yayati, and beautiful like the Moon. And in beauty of person he is like either of the twin Asvins.

And with senses under control, he is meek, and brave, and truthful! And with passion in subjection he is devoted to his friends, and free from malice and modest and patient. Indeed, briefly speaking, they that are possessed of great ascetic merit and are of exalted character say that he is always correct in his conduct and that honour is firmly seated on his brow.'

Hearing this, Asvapati said,

'O reverend sage, you tellest me that he is possessed of every virtue! Do you now tell me his defects if, indeed, he has any!'

Narada then said,

'He has one only defect that has overwhelmed all his virtues. That defect is incapable of being conquered by even the greatest efforts. He has only one defect, and no other. Within a year from this day, Satyavan, endued with a short life will cast off his body!'

Hearing these words of the sage, the king said,

'Come, O Savitri, go you and choose another for your lord, O beautiful damsel! That one great defect (in this youth) exists, covering all his merits. The illustrious Narada honoured by even the gods, says, that Satyavan will have to cast off his body within a year, his days being numbered!'

At these words of her father, Savitri said,

'The death can fall but once; a daughter can be given away but one; and once only can a person say, I give away! These three things can take place only once. Indeed, with a life short or long, possessed of virtues or bereft of them, I have, for once, selected my husband. Twice I shall not select. Having first settled a thing mentally, it is expressed in words, and then it is carried out into practice. Of this my mind is an example!'

Narada then said,

'O best of men, the heart of your daughter Savitri wavers not! It is not possible by any means to make her swerve from this path of virtue! In no other person are those virtues that dwell in Satyavan. The bestowal of your daughter, therefore, is approved by me!'

The king said,

'What you have said, O illustrious one, should never be disobeyed, for your words are true! And I shall act as you have said, since you are my preceptor!'

Narada said,

'May the bestowal of your daughter Savitri be attended with peace! I shall now depart. Blessed be all of you!'

"Markandeya continued,

'Having said this, Narada rose up into the sky and went to heaven. On the other hand, the king began to make preparations for his daughter’s wedding!'"


This concludes Section CCLXLII 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 CCLXLII of Book 3 of the Mahabharata?

The most relevant definitions are: Narada, Satyavan, Savitri, Brahmanas, Markandeya, Asvapati; since these occur the most in Book 3, Section CCLXLII. There are a total of 18 unique keywords found in this section mentioned 47 times.

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

Section CCLXLII is part of the Pativrata-mahatmya Parva which itself is a sub-section of Book 3 (Vana Parva). The Pativrata-mahatmya Parva contains a total of 17 sections while Book 3 contains a total of 13 such Parvas.

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

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

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