Puranic encyclopaedia

by Vettam Mani | 1975 | 609,556 words | ISBN-10: 0842608222

This page describes the Story of Sanjaya included the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani that was translated into English in 1975. The Puranas have for centuries profoundly influenced Indian life and Culture and are defined by their characteristic features (panca-lakshana, literally, ‘the five characteristics of a Purana’).

Story of Sañjaya

Minister of Dhṛtarāṣṭra.


Sañjaya, who was equal to a hermit, was born as the son of Sūta from a portion of Gavalgaṇa. (Ādi Parva, Chapter 68, Verse 93).

The boon of Sañjaya.

Sañjaya who was born within the circle of the friends of the Kauravas, became the minister of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. The great work that Sañjaya did in Mahābhārata was, telling Dhṛtarāṣṭra every thing that was taking place in the battle-field without leaving even the smallest events in the order of their occurrence. Sañjaya was able to do this because of the boon granted by Vyāsa.

When the armies of the Kauravas and the Pāṇḍavas pitched their camps on either side of the battlefield, Vedavyāsa came to Hastināpura and saw Dhṛtarāṣṭra. Dhṛtarāṣṭra heard about the preparations on either side for the battle. He did not like to go to the battle-field and see for himself the events of the battle. He said so to Vyāsa. Then Vyāsa called Sañjaya to him and said "Sañjaya shall see all the events of the battle directly. He shall have such a divine inward eye." Vyāsa continued. "O king! Sañjaya has inward eyes. He will tell you everything about the battle. He will be knowing all. Whenever he thinks of it he will see everything that takes place in the day and in the night in open, and in secret. No weapon will cut him and no weariness will affect him. He is the son of Gavalgaṇa and will come away unhurt from the battle."

Because of this blessing Sañjaya used to inform Dhṛtarāṣṭra of all the events in the battle at the time of the occurrence. Sañjaya informed Dhṛtarāṣṭra of the news up to the death of Duryodhana. When Duryodhana was killed the cry of Aśvatthāmā grew louder. Sañjaya who heard this cry early in the morning, ran to the battlefield with a broken heart. With the death of Duryodhana the boon of inward eye given to Sañjaya by Vyāsa was lost. (Mahābhārata Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 2; Sauptika Parva, Chapter 9).

Other details.

(i) Sañjaya stood as the host in the Rājasūya sacrifice of Yudhiṣṭhira, and received the guests and showed them hospitality. (Mahābhārata Sabhā Parva, Chapter 35, Verse 6).

(ii) When the Pāṇḍavas were defeated in the game of dice and were sent to the forest Sañjaya came to Dhṛtarāṣṭra and reviled him. (Sabhā Parva, Chapter 81, Verse 5).

(iii) Vidura got angry because the Pāṇḍavas were sent to live in the forest, and leaving the Kauravas he also went to the forest. Knowing that Vidura was in the Kāmyaka forest, Dhṛtarāṣṭra sent Sañjaya and brought Vidura back. (Mahābhārata Vana Parva, Chapter 6, Verse 5).

(iv) Śrī Kṛṣṇa and the others vowed at the Kāmyakavana to kill Duryodhana. Sañjaya gave Dhṛtarāṣṭra a detailed description of that Vow. (Mahābhārata Vana Parva, Chapter 51, Verse 15).

(v) Dhṛtarāṣṭra sent Sañjaya to learn about the welfare of the Pāṇḍavas who had returned after completing the forest life and Pseudonymity. (Mahābhārata Udyoga Parva, Chapter 23, Verse 1).

(vi) Sañjaya went to the court of the Pāṇḍavas and gave the message of Dhṛtarāṣṭra to them. (Mahābhārata Udyoga Parva, Chapter 25).

(vii) Sañjaya who had returned from the court of the Pāṇḍavas, informed Dhṛtarāṣṭra of the news and reproached him much. (Mahābhārata Udyoga Parva, Chapter 32, Verse 11).

(viii) Sañjaya repeated the message of Arjuna in the court of the Kauravas. (Mahābhārata Udyoga Parva, Chapter 48).

(ix) Sañjaya told Dhṛtarāṣṭra, who the prominent helpers of Yudhiṣṭhira, were. (Mahābhārata Udyoga Parva, Chapter 50).

(x) Sañjaya advised Dhṛtarāṣṭra to put Duryodhana under control. (Mahābhārata Udyoga Parva, Chapter 54).

(xi) Sañjaya gave Duryodhana a description of the horses and the chariots of the Pāṇḍavas. (Mahābhārata Udyoga Parva, Chapter 56, Verse 7).

(xii) Sañjaya repeated the message of Arjuna to Dhṛtarāṣṭra. (Mahābhārata Udyoga Parva, Chapter 66).

(xiii) Sañjaya described to Dhṛtarāṣṭra the greatness of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. (Mahābhārata Udyoga Parva, Chapters 68-70).

(xiv) Sañjaya told Dhṛtarāṣṭra the fact that the Pāṇḍavas and the Kauravas had pitched their tents in the battlefield of Kurukṣetra. (Mahābhārata Udyoga Parva, Chapter 159, Verse 8).

(xv) At this time Vyāsa came there and gave Sañjaya the boon that he would see directly every thing that took place in the battlefield and would inform Dhṛtarāṣṭra. (Mahābhārata Bhīṣma Parva, Chapter 2, Verse 10).

(xvi) Sañjaya informed Dhṛtarāṣṭra of the good qualities of the earth, the island of Sudarśana, the death of Bhīṣma, and so on. (Mahābhārata Bhīṣma Parva; Droṇa Parva).

(xvii) Sañjaya gave the names of every one who was killed on the side of the Kauravas. (Mahābhārata Karṇa Parva, Chapter 5).

(xviii) Sañjaya reported to Dhṛtarāṣṭra about those who died on the side of the Pāṇḍavas also. (Karṇa, Parva, Chapter 6).

(xix) Sañjaya told Dhṛtarāṣṭra about those who were alive on the side of the Kauravas. (Karṇa Parva, Chapter 7).

(xx) Sātyaki took Sañjaya as a captive. (Śalya Parva, Chapter 25, Verse 57).

(xxi) Due to the blessings of Vyāsa Sañjaya escaped from the captivity of Sātyaki. (Śalya Parva, Chapter 27, Verse 39).

(xxii) Sañjaya consoled Dhṛtarāṣṭra. (Mahābhārata Strī Parva, Chapter 1, Verse 23).

(xxiii) Yudhiṣṭhira entrusted Sañjaya with the duty of post-war-reconstructions. (Mahābhārata Śānti Parva, Chapter 41, Verse 11).

(xxiv) Towards the close of his life Sañjaya went with Dhṛtarāṣṭra and Gāndhārī to the forest. (Āśramavāsika Parva, Chapter 15, Verse 8).

(xxv) On the first day of this journey to the forest, they reached the basin of the river Ganges. On that day Sañjaya made the bed for Dhṛtarāṣṭra. (Āśramavāsika Parva, Chapter 18, Verse 19).

(xxvi) Sañjaya introduced the wives of the Pāṇḍavas to the hermits. (Āśramavāsika Parva, Chapter 25).

(xxvii) On reaching the forest Sañjaya observed complete fast for two days. (Āśramavāsika Parva, Chapter 37, Verse 13).

(xxviii) Sañjaya always walked close behind Dhṛtarāṣṭra and in places of ups and downs he led the King by the hand. (Āśramavāsika Parva, Chapter 37, Verse 16).

The End.

While Dhṛtarāṣṭra and the others were walking along the forest a jungle-fire was seen. Instantly it encircled them. Dhṛtarāṣṭra cried out to Sañjaya to run for his life. But Sañjaya did not like to forsake them in that danger. Dhṛtarāṣṭra said that since they had left home and country there was no wrong in dying by jungle fire. At last yielding to the compulsion of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, Sañjaya ran away from the jungle-fire. Dhṛtarāṣṭra, Gāndhārī and Kuntī died in the wild-fire. Sañjaya reached the basin of the Ganges and informed the hermits of the death of Dhṛtarāṣṭra and the others, and then went to the Himālayas. (Mahābhārata Āśramavāsika, Chapter 37, Verse 19).

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