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Part 1: Incarnation as Śānti (introduction)

There is a magnificent city, Hastināpura, in the country of the Kurus in the zone Bharata in Jambūdvīpa. The golden finials on the tops of its palaces have the appearance of a garden of mallows that are always up.

Around it gleams a circular moat with pure, pellucid water, like a mirror of the wall. Glossy trees on the banks of the canals in its gardens look like clouds that have descended to take water. At night the moon reflected in the jeweled roofs of its houses is licked by cats with the idea that it is a ball of curds. The long spirals of smoke from aloes burning in its shrines become petticoats, produced without effort, for the Khecarīs. Jeweled garlands are observed there, suspended on the row of shops, that are like the wealth of jewels brought from all the oceans. The shadows of banners on the floors of its shrines, moving to and fro, look like serpents guarding the treasury of religion. Its dwellings with floors of sapphire show a resemblance to pleasure-pools filled with water.