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 IX

"Indra said, "Dost you, O Vrihaspati, sleep in peace, and are your servants agreeable to you, dost you seek the welfare of the gods, and do the gods, O Brahmana, protect you?"

Vrihaspati said, "I do sleep in peace in my bed. O Lord of the gods, and my servants are to my liking and I always seek the welfare of the gods, and they cherish me well."

Indra said, "Whence then is this pain, mental or physical, and why art you pale and altered in appearance (complexion) at present? Tell me, O Brahmana, who those people are, who have caused you pain, so that I may kill them all."

Vrihaspati said, "O Indra, I have heard that Marutta will perform a great sacrifice at which exquisite presents will be given by him (to Brahmanas) and that at his sacrifice Samvarta will act as the officiating priest, and therefore do I desire that he may not officiate as priest at that sacrifice."

Indra said, "You, O Brahmana, hast attained all the object of your desire when you have become the excellent priest of the gods, versed in all the sacred hymns, and hast overreached the influence of death and dotage, what can Samvarta do to you now?"

Vrihaspati said, "Prosperity of a rival is always painful to one’s feelings, and for this reason too, you dost with try attendant gods persecute the Asuras with their with and kin, and kill the most prosperous among them; hence, O Lord of the gods, am I changed in appearance at the thought that my rival is prospering, therefore, O Indra, do you, by all means, restrain Samvarta and king Marutta."

Indra turning to Agni said, "Do you, O Jataveda, following my direction, go to king Marutta to present Vrihaspati to him, and say unto him that this Vrihaspati will officiate at his sacrifice and make him immortal."

Agni said, "I shall presently, O adorable one, repair thither as your messenger, to present Vrihaspati to king Marutta; and to make Indra’s words true, and to show respect to Vrihaspati, Agni departed."

Vyasa said, "Then the high-souled fire-god went on his errand, devastating all the forests and trees, like unto the mighty wind, roaring and revolving at random at the end of the winter season."

Marutta said, "Behold! I find the fire-god come in his own embodiment, this day, therefore do you, O Muni, offer him a seat and water, and a cow, and water for washing the feet."

Agni said, "I accept your offerings of water, seat, and water for washing the feet, O sinless one, do you know me as the messenger of Indra, come to you, in accordance with his directions."

Marutta said, "O Fire-god, is the glorious Lord of the Celestials happy, and is he pleased with us, and are the other gods loyal to him? Do you enlighten me duly on all these points."

Agni said, "O lord of the earth, Sakra is perfectly happy, he is pleased with you, and wishes to make you free from senility, and all the other gods are loyal to him. Do you, O king, listen to the message of the Lord of the Celestials. And the object for which he has sent me to you is to present Vrihaspati to Marutta. O prince, let this priest (of the Celestials) perform your sacrifice, and make you, who art only a mortal, attain immortality."

Marutta said, "This twice-born Brahmana Samvarta will perform my sacrifice, and I pray to Vrihaspati, that he having acted as priest to Mahendra (Indra), it does not look well for him now to act as priest to mortal men."

Agni said, "If this Vrihaspati officiate as your priest, then shalt you by the blessings of Devaraja (Indra) attain the highest region in the celestial mansion and attaining fame shalt you certainly conquer the heavenly region. And, O lord of men, if Vrihaspati act as your priest, you shalt be able to conquer all the regions inhabited by men, and the heavenly regions, and all the highest regions created by Prajapati and even the entire kingdom of the gods."

Samvarta said, "You must never come again thus to present Vrihaspati to Marutta: for know, O Pavaka, (Agni) if you dost, I losing my temper, will burn you with my fierce evil eyes."

Vyasa said, "Then Agni apprehending destruction by fire, and trembling like the leaves of the Asvattha tree (Ficus religiosa), returned to the gods, and the high-souled Sakra seeing that carrier of oblations (Agni) in the company of Vrihaspati said as follows:

Indra said, "O Jataveda (Agni), didst you go to present Vrihaspati to Marutta according to my direction? What did that sacrificing king say unto you and did he accept my message?"

Agni said, "Your message was not acceptable by Marutta and when urged by me, he clasping the hands of Vrihaspati, repeatedly said, that Samvarta would act as his priest. And he also observed that he did not desire to attain the worldly and the heavenly regions and all the highest regions of Prajapati, and that if he were so minded, he would accept the terms of Indra."

Indra said, "Do you go back to that king and meeting him, tell him these words of mine, full of significance, and if he obey them not, I shall strike him with my thunderbolt."

Agni said, "Let this king of the Gandharvas repair thither as your messenger, O Vasava, for, I am afraid to go thither myself. Know, O Sakra, that highly incensed Samvarta, used to ascetic practices, told me these words in a rage. 'I shall burn you with my fierce evil eyes if you on any account come again here to present Vrihaspati to king Marutta.'"

Sakra said, "O Jataveda, it is you who dost burn all other things and there is none else who can reduce you to ashes. All the world is afraid to come in contact with you. O carrier of oblations, these words of thine are worthy of no credence."

Agni said, "You, O Sakra, hast encompassed the dominion of the heaven and the earth and the firmament by the might of your own arms, but even thus how could Vritra (of old) wrest from you the sovereignty of the celestial regions?"

Indra said, "I can reduce my foes to submission and can even reduce the size of a mountain to an atom, if I will it. But, O Vahnni, as I do not accept the libation of Soma if offered by a foe, and as I do not strike the weak with my thunderbolt, Vritra seemed to triumph over me for a time. But who among mortals can live in peace by creating feud with me. I have banished the Kalakeyas to the earth, and removed the Danavas from heaven, and have terminated the existence of Prahlada in heaven. Can there be any man who can live in peace by provoking my enmity?"

Agni said, "Dost you, O Mahendra, remember that in olden times when the sage Cyavana officiated at the sacrifice of Saryati with the twin gods Asvins and himself appropriated the Soma offering alone, you were filled with wrath, and when bent upon preventing Saryati’s sacrifice, you didst violently strike Cyavana with your thunderbolt? But that Brahmana, O Purandara, giving way to passion, was able by the power of his devotions to seize and hold fast by hand with your thunder-bolt in it. And in a rage, he again created a terrible looking enemy of thine, the Asura named Mada assuming all shapes, on beholding whom you didst shut thine eyes with fear, whose one huge jaw was placed on earth, and the other extended to the celestial regions, and who looked terrible with his thousand sharp teeth extending over a hundred Yojanas, and had four prominent ones thick-set, and shining like a pillar of silver, and extending over two hundred Yojanas. And when grinding his teeth he pursued you with his terrible and uplifted pike with the object of killing you. You on beholding that terrible monster, presented a (pitiful) spectacle to all the by-standers. Then, O slayer of Danavas, overcome with fear of the monster, with your hands clasped in supplication, you didst seek the protection of the great sage. The might of Brahmanas, O Sakra, is greater than that of the Kshatriyas. None are more powerful than Brahmanas and knowing duly, as I do, the power of Brahmanas, I do not, O Sakra, desire to come in conflict with Samvarta."


This concludes Section IX of Book 14 (Ashvamedha 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 14 is one of the eighteen books comprising roughly 100,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.

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