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 CCXXV

"Bhishma said, 'After this, he of hundred sacrifices beheld the goddess of Prosperity, in her own embodied form that blazed splendour, issue out of the form of the high-souled Vali. The illustrious chastiser of Paka, beholding the goddess blazing with radiance, addressed Vali in these words, with eyes expanded in wonder.'

"Sakra said, 'O Vali, who is this one, thus shining with splendour, thus decked with head plumes, thus adorned with golden bracelets on her upper arms, and thus emitting a halo of glory on all sides in consequence of her energy that is issuing out of your body.'

"Vali said, 'I do not know whether she is an Asura damsel or a celestial one or a human one. You mayst not ask her thyself. Do what pleases you.'

"Sakra said, 'O you of sweet smiles, who art you that art possessed of such radiance and adorned with plumes that thus issuest from the body of Vali. I do not know you. Kindly tell me your name. Who, indeed, art you that thus standest here as Maya herself, blazing with your own splendour, after having deserted the lord of the Daityas? O, tell me this as I question you.'

"Shri said, 'Virocana did not know me. This Vali also that is the son of Virocana knows me not. The learned called me by the name of Duhshaha.[1] Some knew me by the name of Vidhitsa.[2] I have other names also, O Vasava! They are Bhuti, Lakshmi, and Shri.[3] You knowest me not, O Sakra, nor does any one among the deities know me.'

"Sakra said, 'O lady that is difficult of being borne, why do you desert Vali now after having lived in him for a long time? Is it due to any act of mine or is it due to any act that Vali has done?'

"Shri said, 'Neither the Creator nor the Ordainer rules me. It is Time that moves me from one place to another. Do not, O Sakra, disregard Vali.'

"Sakra said, 'For what reason, O goddess adorned with plumes, do you desert Vali? Why also do you approach me (for living in me)? Tell me this, O you of sweet smiles!'

’shri said, 'I live in truth, in gifts, in good vows, in penances, in prowess, and in virtue. Vali has fallen off from all these. Formerly, he was devoted to the Brahmanas. He was truthful and had controlled his passions. Latterly, however, he began to cherish feelings of animosity towards the Brahmanas and touched clarified butter with soiled hands.[4] Formerly, he was always engaged in the performance of sacrifices. At last, blinded by ignorance and afflicted by Time he began to boast before all persons, saying that his adorations towards me were ceaseless. Deserting him (for these faults) I shall henceforth, O Sakra, dwell in you. You should bear me without heedlessness, and with penances and prowess.'

"Sakra said, 'O you that dwellest amid lotuses, there is not a single person among gods, men, and all creatures, that can bear you for ever.'

"Shri said, 'Truly, O Purandara, there is none among gods, Gandharvas, Asuras, or Rakshasas, that can bear me for ever.'

"Sakra said, 'O auspicious lady, tell me how I should conduct myself so that you mayst dwell in me always. I shall certainly obey your behests. It behoves you to answer me truly.'

"Shri said, 'O chief of the deities, I shall tell you as to how I may be enabled to dwell in you always. Divide me into four parts according to the ordinance laid down in the Vedas.'

"Sakra said, 'I shall assign the habitations according to their strength and power in bearing you. As regards myself, I shall always take care, O Lakshmi, that I may not offend you in any way. Amongst men, the earth, that progenitrix of all things, bear them all. She shall bear a fourth part of thyself. I think she has the strength to do it.'

"Shri said, 'Here, I yield up a quarter of myself. Let it be established on the earth. Do you, after this, make a proper disposition, O Sakra, for my second quarter.'

"Sakra said, 'The waters, among men, in their liquid form, do various services to human beings. Let the waters bear a fourth part of your person. They have the strength to bear a portion of thine.'

"Shri said, 'I yield up another quarter of mine that is to be established in the waters. Do you, after this, O Sakra, assign a proper place for my third quarter.'

"Sakra said, 'The Vedas, the sacrifices, and the deities are all established in Fire. Fire will bear your third quarter, when it is placed therein.'

"Shri said, 'Here I yield up my third quarter which is to be placed in Fire. Do you, O Sakra, after this, assign a proper place for my last quarter.'

"Sakra said, 'They that are good among men, devoted to Brahmanas, and truthful in speech, may bear your fourth quarter. The good have the power to bear it.'

"Shri said, 'Here I yield up my fourth quarter that is to be placed among the good. My portions thus assigned to different creatures, do you continue to protect me, O Sakra.'

"Sakra said, 'Listen to these words of mine. I have thus distributed you among different creatures. Those among creatures that will offend against you shall be chastised by me. The chief of the Daityas, viz., Vali, thus deserted by Shri, then said these words.'

"Vali said, 'At present the Sun shines as much in the east as in the west, and as much in the north as in the south. When, however, the Sun, withdrawing himself from all sides, will shine only upon the region of Brahman situated in the middle of Sumeru, then will again occur a great battle between the gods and the Asuras, and in that fight I shall certainly vanquish all of you. When the Sun, withdrawing himself from all sides, will shine fixedly upon only the region of Brahman, then will again occur a great battle between the gods and the Asuras, and in that fight I shall surely conquer all of you.'[5]

"Sakra said, 'Brahman has commanded me saying that I should never kill you. It is for this reason, O Vali, that I do not hurl my thunderbolt upon your head. Go whithersoever you wishest, O chief of the Daityas! O great Asura, peace to you! No time will come when the Sun will shine from only the meridian. The Self-born (Brahman) has before this ordained the laws that regulate the Sun’s motions. Giving light and heat to all creatures, he goes on ceaselessly. For six months he travels in a northward course and then for the other six in a southward course. The sun travels by these courses (one after another), creating winter and summer for all creatures.'

"Bhishma continued, 'Thus addressed by Indra, O Bharata, Vali, the chief of the Daityas, proceeded towards the south. Purandara proceeded towards the north. The thousand-eyed Indra, after having listened to this speech of Vali which was characterised by an entire absence of pride, then ascended the skies.'

Footnotes and references:


One that is borne with great difficulty.


Literally, the desire for action; hence abundance or plenty that is the result of action or labour.


All these names imply plenty and prosperity.


i.e., with hands not washed after rising from his meals or while going on with his meals.


The commentator explains that according to the Pauranic theory, the world stands all around the mountains of Meru. The region of Brahman stands on its top. The Sun travels round Meru and shines over all the directions or points of the compass. This happens in the age called the Vaivasvata Manvantara (the age or epoch of Manu the son of Vivasvat). But after the lapse of this age, when the Savarnika Manvantara comes, the sun will shine upon only the region on the top of Meru, and all around there will be darkness.


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

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