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 12

Vaishampayana said, "After the irresistible Bhimasena had set out, that bull of Yadu’s race, possessed of eyes like lotus-petals, addressed Kuru’s son Yudhishthira, saying, ‘O son of Pandu, this brother of thine, overwhelmed with grief at the slaughter of his sons, proceeds alone to battle, from desire of slaying the son of Drona. O bull of Bharata’s race, of all your brothers, Bhima is your dearest! Beholding him fallen into a great danger why dost you not stir thyself? The weapon called brahmashira, which that subjugator of hostile towns, Drona, communicated to his son, is capable of consuming the whole world. The illustrious and highly blessed preceptor, that foremost of all wielders of bows, delighted with Dhananjaya, had given him that very weapon. Unable to endure it, his only son then begged it of him. Unwillingly he imparted the knowledge of that weapon to Ashvatthama. The illustrious Drona knew the restlessness of his son. Acquainted with all duties, the preceptor laid this command on him, saying, "Even when overtaken by the greatest danger, O child in the midst of battle, you should never use this weapon, particularly against human beings." Even thus the preceptor Drona spoke unto his son. A little while after he again spoke, saying, "O bull among men, you will not, it seems, walk in the path of the righteous." Hearing those bitter words of his sire, the wicked-souled Ashvatthama, in despair of obtaining every kind of prosperity, began in grief to wander over the earth.

Then, O chief of the Kurus, while you were living in the woods, O Bharata, he came to Dvaraka and took up his abode there, worshipped by the Vrishnis. One day, after he had taken up his abode in Dvaraka, he came to me, without a companion and when I myself was without anybody by my side, on the seacoast, and there smilingly addressing me said, "O Krishna, that weapon, called brahmashira, worshipped by gods and gandharvas, which my sire, the preceptor of the Bharatas, of prowess incapable of being baffled, and obtained from Agastya after performing the austerest penances, is now with me, O Dasharha, as much as it is with my sire. O foremost one of Yadu’s race, in exchange for that celestial weapon, give me your discus which is capable of slaying all foes in battle."

While he with joined palms and great importunity thus begged of me my discus, myself, O bull of Bharata’s race, from desire of gladdening him, told him these words: "Gods, danavas, gandharvas, men, birds and snakes, assembled together, are not equal to even a hundredth part of my energy. I have this bow, this dart, this discus, and this mace. I will give you whichever amongst these you desirest to have from me. Without giving me the weapon you wishest to give, take from among these weapons of mine whichever you mayest be able to wield and use in battle."

Thus addressed, the illustrious son of Drona, as if challenging me, solicited at my hands my discus of excellent nave and hard as thunder, possessed of a 1,000 spokes, and made of iron "Take it." I said unto him. Thus addressed, he rose suddenly and seized the discus with his left hand. He failed, however, to even move the weapon from the spot on which it lay. He then made preparations for seizing it with his right hand. Having seized it then very firmly and having put forth all his strength, he still failed to either wield or move it. At this, Drona’s son became filled with sorrow. After he was tired with the exertions he made, he ceased, O Bharata!

When he withdrew his heart from that purpose, I addressed the anxious and senseless Ashvatthama and said, "He who is always regarded as the foremost of all human beings, that wielder of gandiva, that warrior having white steeds yoked unto his car, that hero owning the prince of apes for the device on his standard, that hero who, desirous of vanquishing in a wrestling encounter the god of gods, the blue-throated lord of Uma, gratified the great Shankara himself, that Phalguna than whom I have no dearer friend on earth, that friend to whom there is nothing that I cannot give including my very wives and children, that dear friend Partha of unstained acts, never said unto me, O brahmana, such words as these which you have uttered.

That son whom I obtained through ascetic penances and observances of austere brahmacarya for twelve years on the breast of Himavati whither I had gone for the purpose, that son of mine, Pradyumna, of great energy and a portion of Sanat-kumara himself, begotten by me upon my wife Rukmini who had practised vows as austere as mine, that hero even never solicited this best of objects, this unrivalled discus, which you of little understanding had solicited!

Rama of great might never said such words to me! Neither Gada nor Samba has ever asked that of me which you have asked! No one among the other great car-warriors of the Vrishni and the Andhaka race residing in Dvaraka has ever asked this of me which you have asked! You are the son of the preceptor of the Bharatas, you are held in high respect by all the Yadavas. Let me ask you, O foremost of car-warriors, with whom wouldst you fight using this weapon?"

Thus addressed by me, Drona’s son replied, saying, "After offering worship to you, O Krishna, it was my intention to fight you, O you of unfading glory! It was for this, O Krishna that I solicited you for your discus which is adored by gods and danavas. If I had got it I would then become invincible in the world. Having failed, O Keshava, in obtaining my almost unattainable wish, I am about to leave you, O Govinda! Address me in fair words now. This terrible weapon is held by you that art the foremost of all terrible persons. Unrivalled art you for this weapon! There is none else in this world capable of possessing it."

Having said these words unto me, the son of Drona, taking many couples of steeds and much wealth and diverse kinds of gems, left Dvaraka. He is wrathful, wicked-souled, restless, and very cruel. He knows the weapon called brahmashira. Vrikodara should be protected from him!"


This concludes Section 12 of Book 10 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. is one of the eighteen books comprising roughly 100,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.

Let's grow together!

I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased sources, definitions and images. Your donation direclty influences the quality and quantity of knowledge, wisdom and spiritual insight the world is exposed to.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: