MAARKANDEYA presents MAHAABHAARATHAM

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W E L C O M E

"After praying to Naaraayana, Nara, Sarasvathi and Vyaasa, then one should recite the Jayam."

DEDICATED TO MY DEAR NIECE VYSHNAVI KRISHNA

										

A S H V A M E D H A - P A R V A

( ALSO REFERRED TO AS AASHVAMEDHIKA - PARVA )

The word Ashvamedha refers to a vedic sacrifice performed by kings . 'Aashvamedhika' means 'of or relating to Ashvamedha'. This parva contains two sub-parvas, 1.Ashvamedha parva and 2.Anugeethaa-parva(Note that the name of the first sub-parva is similar to the name of the main parva.).This parva describes about Yudhishthira's performance of Ashvamedha sacrifice for his relief and purification from sins of killing kins in the war. Interesting story is that of Arjuna's son Babhruvaahana. He kills Arjuna and Arjuna's Naaga wife Uloopi revitalises him. Very lengthy philosophical topics in the Anugeethaa-parva, comprising Kaama-geetha, Guru-geetha,Brahma-geetha and Braahmana-geetha add a colour of philosophical thought to this parva. Birth of Pareekshith and consummation of Ashvamedham are the other important episodes in this parva.

YUDHISHTHIRA TURNS FORLORN - VYAASA AND KRISHNA CONSOLE HIM

Sootha continued his story of Mahaabhaaratham to the conference of the sages at the Nymisha forest,as was done by Vyshampaayana to Janamejaya.

"After performing rituals to Bheeshma and taking leave from Ganga , Yudhishthira came out of the river alongwith Dhrithraashtra and others. He was thoroughly upset and as soon as coming out of the river onto its bank, he burst out into a cry and fell down on the ground like a tusker shot by hunters. Prompted by Krishna , Bheema held the falling king with his hands. Krishna told Yudhishthira , "No, no. King! This is not the way for you." All the people around saw Yudhishthira in such a state and sank into sadness. His brothers too flung themselves down into a sad mood seeing their eldest brother so shaken with grief.

Dhrithraashtra , though he himself was in a a bitter grief from death of all his sons, spoke to Yudhishthira , in a consoling way. " Please get well my boy, Yudhishthira . Take care of the further proceedings. you won this empire perfectly according to the means prescribed for a Kshathriya . Enjoy the pleasures of the empire along with your brothers. You have nothing to feel sorry for. If at all to feel sorry, it is I and this Gaandhaari with me should do so, as we lost all our hundred sons as hopelessly as the monies acquired in dream. The wise Vidura has all the while told me, 'Sir! Duryodhana and his bad behaviour will bring destruction to your clan. If you wish to secure the welfare to your people, listen to my words. You confine this foolish Duryodhana. Do not allow Shakuni or Karna even to see him. Prevent their dice game plans too well in time. Be cautious about him. You declare and coronate the just, kind and obedient Yudhishthira as king. He is a self-restraint person. He will rule this empire in the way the famous ancient kings did. Or, if you do not like to make Yudhishthira king, assume yourself to be the real ruler and administer the empire.' Despite Vidura's time and again prevailing upon me like this, I turned a deaf year to him and blindly behaved according to Duryodhana's pleasure. I paid a heavy price for not caring for Vidura's wise advice and landed myself in such a great grief as this that I have no way out . Please compose yourself and take care of us, your sad and old parents. I see nothing that you should blame yourself with. Let all the people, all the rulers and all your brothers live happily with you in the shade of your able protection."

Even after the old king's touching consolatin, Yudhishthira still remained sad and silent. then Krishna spoke to him ." Yudhishthira ! Don't you know that too much of grief that one puts himself to will cause troubles to his by-gone manes too? You need not atall entertain any repentence or grief. Ifyou still want to shed the feeling of committing any sin by undertaking the war, you may perform many different sacrifices endowing huge gifts to the participants. Perform rites ofall types to propitiate the gods and satisfy the manes too. Please the guests with by best treatment with food and drinks. Donate lots of monies to the needdy people. You have learnt all that is to be learnt and you have done all that is to be done. Even after listening to the teachings about a king's duties from such eminent wise scholars as Bheeshma , Vidura, Vyaasa and Naarada, it is not commendable on your part to adopt this way again, which only befits the unwise. It is simply a prescribed way for the Kshathriya s to fight in a war and reach the heaven. what is wrong in it? None among the martyrs was killed while he was fleeing from the enemy. Everyone of them fought bravely and maintained his forefathers' fame. That was after all what the God destined to be. The dead are going to be dead, they won't coma back to live again. You have nothing or noone to feel sorry for." Krishna said these words to Yudhishthira and looked at him.

Yudhishthira said to Krishna in response to his words. " Krishna ! I am aware of your affection and reverence towards me. You always favour and sympathize me just out of love upon me. But ,I will feel that you did a better favour to me if you heartily allow me to retire to the forests for taking up penance. I could not feel easy and peaceful due to the sin of killing our dear grandfather Bheeshma . Still more, the fact that the much dreaded Karna whom we killed was none but our brother, eats into my heart. By undertaking what penitentiary acts can I have absolution from these terrible sins? which performances will cleanse my soul of the sin? I beg you to advise me kindly, as you are our guide and teacher."

Vyaasa listened Yudhishthira 's prayer and said to him. "My boy! You again fall into the same ditch. It seems your mind is not yet settled. It is again faltering. We have been talking to you at length all these days all the while, but you are again falling victim to ignorance. What do we look to you? You have thoroughly learnt all the scriptures and codes. In addition, you have till yesterday listened to Bheeshma 's invaluable expoundings about the duties of a king, the codes of alms and donations, the codes of salvation and everything in detail. You have listened to all the penitentiary codes too. I myself have often clarified your doubts arising from your indecisiveness. It appears as if your intellect failed you and you are unable to retain anything in your mind. This puerile nature does not befit a person like you. Never become like this again. Having known all the rules, codes, practices and duties, having been well aware of all sciences and all policies,how can you slip into unwise path again like a man of low intellect?"

Vyaasa continued to Yudhishthira ! " King! I understand your that your intellect is disturbed due to excessive grief. No mortal is free to do anything at his own will or pleasure. Either good or bad deeds that a mortal does are done by him under the control of God. You are in noway the master of your deeds. Then, what do you lament for? Or, if you feel that you have really committed any sin by going for the war and the killing of your kinsmen in that, you can try various penitentiary measures to absolve yourself of the perceived sins. It is wellknown that sinners expiate themselves from their sins by performing donation of alms, observing penances, performing sacrifices and performing other deeds propitiating the Gods. Even the demons and gods were heard to have performed many sacrifices ro cleanse themselves of their sins. They really became purified souls by those sacrifices. The Gods could win against the demons only as the result of the selected sacrifices punctiliously performed by them . Thus, sacrifices are the ultimate means of getting yourself absolved of your sins. Hence, you too may choose to perform any of the sacrifices prescribed for the coronated kings. Go for an Ashvamedham or Sarvamedham or Naramedham as you may choice. But, I opine that Ashvamedham will suit your present requirement. It is known to be capable of cleansing its performer, of his sins. Perform Ashvamedham sacrifice strictly according to the procedures, providing plenty of food and drinks to all the people, giving huge gifts and donations to the participants as Dasharatha's son Raama or your ancestor Bharatha did in the past."

Yudhishthira said to the sage, "Sir! Your word is never wrong. Ashvamedham is so powerful that it can purify not only its performer but the entire world itself. But, I have something to submit which you may please hear and suggest a solution. I strongly believe that I have committed the gravest sin by causing the killing of my own men besides numerous kings on either side. To absolve myself from such a great sin, I should offer huge gifts to innumerable scholars. I never wish to offer small or minor gifts. But I cannot afford to procure monies from the young heirs of the dead kings who are still in troubles with the wounds of the war fresh in their hearts. How can I go for collection of treasures from the world which I myself brought to destruction ? Due to Duryodhana's folly, the world and its rulers perished foisting notoriety upon us. He had already extorted funds from all the available sources for his futile war agaibst us. Now our treasury is nearly empty. The scholars say that the gift in Ashvamedham is the earth itself. The rest, of course, is decided by the destiny. Neither have I sufficient monies to perform the sacrifice in a large scale nor do I like to do it in a miniature scale providing a nominal substitute for all the things. I am unable to decide asto what to do in these unfavourable circumstances. Kindly guide me towards a solution. I know that your words always lead me to happiness."

Vyaasa listened to Yudhishthira and thought for a while. And he said to the king. "Yudhishthira ! There is a way to fill your emptied treasury. There is a huge treasure hidden near Himaalaya. That resulted from the monies left over by the Braahmanas who participated in Maruththa's sacrifice. You arrange to bring that for you. That will suffice for all the needs of the proposed sacrifice."

Yudhishthira curiously asked Vyaasa. "Sage! Who was Maruththa? Which time did he live in ? How was that much great money was left away by the Braahmanas? If the leftover money itself was that enormous to be sufficient for my sacrifice, what could be the moneys that were really spent in his sacrifice? How could the pious king acquire that huge quantity of money? I wish to hear."

Vyaasa answered . " Maruththa was a great king of the past ages. He was the son of Karandhama. If you wish to hear about him, I will tell you, listen."

END OF CHAPTER THREE

VYAASA TELLS YUDHISHTHIRA ABOUT MARUTHTHA'S GREAT SACRIFICE

( EPISODE OF MARUTHTHA AND SAMVARTHA

Vyaasa began to tell Yudhishthira about the ancient king Maruththa. " Yudhishthira ! Once there was a ruler Manu in the age of Kritha. His son Prasandhi was very famous. His son was Kshupa, Kshupa's son was Ikshvaaku. Ikshvaaku had hundred sons. The eldest of them Vimsha was an unmatched archer. His son was Vivimsha. Vivimsha had fifteen sons, all valourous and powerful. But the eldest of them, Khaneenethra, haraassed all his brothers and came to the throne but he could not win the hearts of his subjects who, then, dethroned him and coronated his son Suvarchas.

"Suvarchas learnt a lesson from his father's folly and ruled his subjects justly. He had all the nice qualities and his people liked and respected him. But, unfortunately, his treasury became empty and his carriers (elephants, chariots and horses ) fell in number. Taking his lesser resoures as an advantage, all his bordering rulers troubled him from all sides. Suvarchas could not stand their attacks due to lack of wealth and war-carriers (elephants etc). He felt very sad about his poor status and pitiable state of his subjects because of his weaknesses. Yet, despite his slack froces, his enemies could not bring more harm to him, due to the power of his virtue and righteousness. At one stage, he could not bear with the pressure built-up by his enemies' attacks and he kept rubbing his palms in despair and helplessness. Amazingly, an enormous army arose from his rubbed palms. With the help o that unusually manifested army, he crushed all his opponent kings around. Since then, Suvarchas was known as Karandhama (Kara=palm, Dham= to rub or blow). His principal priest was Angiras himself. Karandhama lived as long as he liked and went to the heaven in the end, verily with his mortal body.

"After Karandhama, his son named Avikshith became the king. He was invincible even to the gods and no inferior to Indra himself. All the kings of the day obeyed him and he became the emperror due to his power and character. He was a continuous performer of numerous sacrifices. He was known for his forbearance and steadfastness. He was praised as equal to the earth in patience, to the Sun God in resplendence, to Brihaspathi in wisdom and to Himaalaya in stability. He won the hearts of his subjects with his deeds, words and thoughts. He performed one hundred Ashvamedha sacrifices in which none other than Angiras was his principal priest.

"Avikshith's son was Maruththa who excelled his father in all his good qualities. He too was an emperror. He ruled in the beginning of the Thretha Yuga. He had the might of ten thousand elephants. Once he wanted to perform a sarifice on an enormous scale. He ordered for making of thousands of vessels like dishes, pots and bowls - all with gold - to use in that sacrifice. There was a huge golden mine to the north of Himaalaya and near mount Meru. He went there and performed his sacrifice. Innumerable goldsmiths worked day and night and made lots of golden plates, glasses, pots, cups, bowls, spoons and cauldrons for that sacrifice. Maruththa procedurally performed his sacrifice there, assisted by all the kings."

Yudhishthira was wondered. He asked Vyaasa, "Sir, How could Maruththa get that much gold? Where is it now? How can we bring it for us? What was the greatnes of Maruththa to perform such a grand sacrifice?"

Vyaasa elaborated. " The Gods and Demons are the children of Prajaapathi named Daksha. They always fought among themselves for superiority, with Gods on one side and the Demons on the other side. At the same time, Angiras had two sons named Brihaspathi and Samvartha. Those two too vied with each ther for gaining upper hand. Though they became separated, Brihaspathi constantly troubled Samvartha. Unable to bear with his elder brother's harassment, Samvartha left off everything and fled to the forests for penances, in which he became richer than anyone. Here, Indra defeated the demons and became the Lord of the worlds. Then he looked for an able priest for him and selected ngiras' elder son Brihaspathi.

"Maruththa always competed with Indra and wanted to excel him. Indra too kept trying to surpass Maruththa. In their continuous competetion with each other, Indra could not succeed in excelling over Maruththa. The Lord of the Gods understood that he could not win the race with Maruththa. He said to Brihaspathi once amidst all the Gods, 'Brihaspathi! If you really wish good to me, you never go for conducting Maruththa's sacrifices. Not only sacrifices, but even any performance of rituals be it for Gods or be it for the manes. I am the Lord of the three worlds including the Gods. I am Indra. Maruththa is just a mortal king on the earth. How can you conduct the rites of a mortal after having been conductor of rites of an immortal Lord like me? You choose me and leave Maruththa or Select Maruththa and leave me. Do whatever you think is better for you.'

"Brihaspathi thought for a while and answered. 'Indra! You are the Lord of the beings. All the worlds depend on you. You killed such great demons as Namuchi, Bala and Vishvaroopa. You are responsible for the valour, wins and wealth of the Gods. You hold the earth and the sky. Having been the principal priest for you the Divine Lord, how can I conduct the proceedings of mortal's sacrifice? Listen to my word and be assured, Lord Idra, I am never going to touch the ladel in a mortal's sacrifice. May the fire turn cool, may the earth turn reverse, may the Sun fail in measuring the month, but I never fail from truth.'

" Indra felt happy at Brihaspathi's words and went home happy with all the Gods."

END OF CHAPTER FIVE

MARUTHTHA SELECTS SAMVARTHA AS HIS PRINCIPAL PRIEST

Vyaasa continued to Yudhishthira . "Yudhishthira ! People often quote the episode of dialogue between Maruththa and Samvartha. After Brihaspathi gave word to Indra that he would not superwise a mortal's ritual performances, Maruththa heard of that and he decided to undertake a sacrifice on a large scale. Having so decided, he went to Brihaspathi and asked in a nice way, 'Sir! I came to you earlier and took your word to conduct that sacrifice. I have now completed all the prepartions, relying on your word. I request you to kindly come and oversee my sacrifice. Please accept my prayer and honor me by taking me as your disciple. "

Brihaspathi replied. "King! I have been opted as priest by the Lord of Gods, Indra. I also promised to him that I would not accept the priesthood to any mortal. As such, I will not proceed to conduct your sacrifice."

Maruththa pleaded. "Sir! I have been your disciple from my father's lineage. Your father Angiras was the conductor of sacrifices of my father and grandfather. I respect you a lot. I request your grace to vouchsafe to my prayer and make my efforts successful."

Brihaspathi said again. "How can you expect me to participate in a mortal king's sacrifice after having supervised Indra's sacrifices. I simply decided not to take up the supervision of your sacrifice. It is up to you to go away or stay here. You had better go and search a suitable teacher for your sacrifice. I will not come for you."

Maruththa felt ashamed of such a refusal from Brihaspathi. But he returned dejected. In the way, he accosted Naarada. Maruththa obediently bowed with folded hands to the sage who asked him, "O Royal sage! I have not seen you for a long time. Are you alright? Where have you been now? Why do you look sad? what made you unpleasant? Will you tell me the reason for your unhappiness, if you feel it fit to disclose to me? I will try to remove your grief with all my efforts."

Thus soothingly asked by Naarada, Maruththa told him all about his former teacher's refusal of conducting his sacrifice. "Sir! I went to our teacher Brihaspathi' son Brihaspathi to request for accepting priesthood in my sacrifice. But he bluntly refused my request. Being refused by a teacher is a blemish to me. I don't like to live anymore with this insult weighing upon me."

Naarada heard Maruththa's grievance and told him asif revitalising his hopes. "King! Angiras' son named Samvartha is a great soul. He wanders around everywhere like a monk making people mistake him to be a mad person. As Brihaspathi did not want to conduct your sacrifice, you go and take refuge with him. Pray him to be your teacher for the sacrifice. Maybe, pleaded by you, he might accept and concede your wish. "

Maruththa replied with pleasure. "Sage! Your words really vivified me. But, you please tell me how I can find and recognize him, as you said that he looks like a mad monk. Where can I find him ? How should I behave with him? How can I convince him to accept my request? How can I see that he would not reject my prayer? If he too rejects my appeal, I will only have to die."

Naarada explained. "Samvartha goes around like a mad person. Presently he is going to Vaaranaasi (or Kaashi) to visit Lord Shiva there. You reach there before him and keep a corpse near the entrance of the city. You should recognize that he whoever sees it and whisks back is Samvartha. Follow him wherever he goes. Find him in a private and lonely place and entreat him to accept your request. If he asks you asto who told you about him, tell him that Naarada told you about him. If he still enquires about my whereabouts, you frankly tell him that I jumped into fire."

Maruththa bowed to Naarada, thanked him and obtained his leave and left for Vaaranaasi. He went there and as told by Naarada, he kept a corpse at the entrance and kept awaiting Samvartha. After sometime, Samvartha came there. While nearing the city gate, he saw the corpse there and immediately turned back. Maruththa saw him turn and followed him to find a chance to talk to him. Seeing him at a lonely place, Maruththa approached him to talk to him. But, even as the king neared him, Samvartha threw dust and mud at him. The king still went near. The sage spat on his face. Maruththa went still nearer unmindful of that. Samvartha ran away to give slip to the king. But Maruththa followed him with determination, not in the least minding the sage's strange behaviour. Finally, Samvartha sat in the shade of a big fig (Pippala) tree. Maruththa stood before him with folded hands. Samvartha asked him, "How could you identify me? who told you about me? If you like my pleasure, tell me the truth. If you speak truth, all your desires will be fullfilled. Or, if you lie, your head will break into hundred pieces."

Maruththa replied. "Sir! The divine sage Naarada told me about you. I am very pleased with your vision, as you are my mentor's son. "

Samvartha again said. " Yes, you are true. He knows me despite my outwardly odd appearance. Tell me Maruththa, where could be the sage Naarada now?"

Maruththa remembered Naarada's words and told him without hesitation. " Sir! After hinting me how to recognise you, he jumped into the fire and immolated himself."

Samvartha heard the king's words approvingly and assured him of doing what he desired but asked him again in a rude tone as if warning him. "Maruththa! I behave as my mind forces me to. My physical healthiness too is not free from vice. Besides, I am an itinerant. Why do you choose me, a wild fellow, for conducting your sacrifice? My elder brother Brihaspathi is an able conductor of sacrifices. He is also an associate to Indra. He is a professional conductor of sacrifices. You arrange for his supervision. I am presently robbed off my household, my disciples, deities and worshipping by Brihaspathi. I possess only this body with me now. I cannot undertake to conduct your sacrifice without his assent to that, as he still remains respectable to me. Hence, you go to him, obtain his accord and return to me. Then I will be your chief priest in your sacrifice if you desire to undertake your sacrifice."

As the sage repeatedly spoke like that, Maruththa replied in a convincing tone. "Revered Sir! I have already gone to Brihaspathi to request his supervision. But he did not want to participate in my affairs for appeasing Indra who, as he said, prevailed upon him not to accept any participation in my sacrifices as Indra and I compete with each other. Your brother Brihaspathi clearly told me that he would not act as a conductor of a sacrifice performed by a mortal like me after having been the priest of the immortal Gods. As he prefers attachment to Indra, he will only be pleased if I adopt you as my priest. I am in no case inclined to beg Brihaspathi again, as he rejected my plea for no flaw on my part. I wish to seek your priesthood even at the cost of all that I have. I also wish to excel Indra under your mentorship."

Samvartha again said, "It is alright that you are determined to have me as your chief priest. You will be able to do as you wish. But, only if you can stand by all my conditions. If I become your chief priest and start your sacrifice, you will be antagonising with both Indra and Brihaspathi. Will you manage that enemity and stand by me, withouting disowning our relation? I need a clear assurance from you. If you fail in your stand, my anger will burn you and all your people into ashes."

Maruththa was happy that the sage was ready to accept his request. " He solemnly swore thus. "Sir! If I disown my relation with you due to fear or force or greed or benefit or selfishness, may I not attain the higher abodes as long as the Sun shines and as long as the mountains remain on the earth. If I fail in keeping my relation with you, may my intellect fail me forever and may I become struck in pleasures of the senses."

Samvartha felt happy and satisfied. "Maruththa! I am glad at your sincere persuance. I am ready to take up the conducting of your sacrificial performance. I never aspire to riches from my disciples. But I will show you the way of attaining the largest treasure with which you can exceed the Gods. I will see that you become equal with Indra or exceed him in glory. That brings pleasure to you as much displeasure to both Indra and my brother Brihaspathi. Take this as my word to you."

Samvartha continued to Maruththa. "I told you about a treasure. Listen. Beside Himaalaya, there is a mountain named Munjavaan where Lord Shiva dwells, immursed in his meditation. The resplendent God wanders there with his consort Goddess Paarvathi and accompanied by the groups of his follower-deities, around the trees, bushes, peaks and caves which are unreachable to ordinary people. Even those great Lords like Yama, Varuna, Kubera besides the Rudras, Saadhyas, Vishvas, Vasus, Pishaachas,Ashvis,Gandharvas,Apsaras, Maruths and Aadithyas wait upon him for rendering their service. All the terrible Yakshas please him with their sports. He shines like a rising sun. It is impossible for the ordinary eyes to see his form or locate his place. The place where the Lord graces, is free from hot or cold or sun or fear or thirst or hunger or old age or death. The sides of the mountain are all gold and they shine like the sun's rays. All that gold is guarded by the Yakshas of Kubera for his pleasure. To own it and bring, you need propitiate the Lord Shiva first. Offer your worship to him with these names and obtain his grace that will allow you to take as much gold as you need."

And Samvartha told Maruththa the hundred and two epithets of Lord Shiva. " King! Offer your prayers saying , (In the original, all these epithets are in the dative i.e. fourth case, as it is the custom in Samskritham to use a word in dative case when meant 'bow to ...' - Tr) 'I bow to Sharva(=The Ultimate), I bow to Vedhas(The origin), I bow to Rudra(Ferrocious), I bow to Shithikantha(black-throated), I bow to Purusha(The God), I bow to Suvarchas(Resplendent), I bow to Kapardi(The plaited-haired), I bow to Karaala(Terrible), I bow to Haryaksha(tawny-eyed), I bow to Varada(boon giver), I bow to Thryaksha(Three-eyed), I bow to Pooshadanthabhid (Damager of Sun's teeth), I bow to Vaamana(minute), I bow to Shiva(Pious), I bow to Yaamya(Controller), I bow to Avyaktharoopa (Intangible) ,I bow to Sadvrithi(The Existent), I bow to Shankara(Benefactor), I bow to Kshemya(Caretaker), I bow to Harikesha(tawny haired), I bow to Sthaanu(Stable), I bow to Purusha(Resident in body), (The earlier Purusha has different meaning. -Tr), I bow to Harinethra(tawny eyed), I bow to Munda(Tonsured), I bow to Kruddha(Indignant), I bow to Uththarana(That makes people transgress the cycle), I bow to Bhaaskara(Shiner), I bow to Sutheertha(Most pious or Easily accessable), I bow to Devadeva(God of Gods), I bow to Ramhas(Swift), I bow to Ushneeshi(Turbained), I bow to Suvakthra(Handsome), I bow to Sahasraaksha(Thousand-eyed), I bow to Meedhush(Pure), I bow to Girisha(Who sleeps on mountain), I bow to Prashaantha(Calm), I bow to Yathi(Restraint), I bow to Cheeravaasas(Bark-clad), I bow to Bilvadanda(Holder of Bilva stick), I bow to Siddha(Attainer), I bow to Sarvadandadhara(Supreme Controller), I bow to Mrigavyyadha(Hunter of the deer of sacrifice), I bow to Mahaan(Great), I bow to Dhanvi(Bow-wielder), I bow to Bhava(Self-born), I bow to Vara(Supreme), I bow to somavakthra(Moon-faced), I bow to Siddhamanthra(Holder of Chants), I bow to Chakshush(Eye of the universe), I bow to Hiranyabaahu(Goldenhanded), I bow to Ugra(Terrible), I bow to Dishaampathi(Lord of Cardinals), I bow to Lelihaana(Pervader), I bow to Goshtha(Abode of cows), I bow to Siddhamanthra (Accomplisher of his worshippers) , I bow to Vrishni(Holy), I bow to Pashoonaampathi(Emanicipator of the bonded), I bow to Bhoothaanaampathi(Lord of all beings),I bow to Vrisha (Pious), I bow to Maatribhaktha (Honourer of motherhood), I bow to Senaani (Lord Kumaara), I bow to Madhyama(Resident of all hearts), I bow to Sruvahastha(Ladel-bearer), I bow to Pathi(Protector), I bow to Dhanvi (Bowmwn),I bow to Bhaargava(Source of Parashuraama),I bow to Aja(Birthless), I bow to Krishnanethra(Black-eyed), I bow to Viroopaaksha (Odd-eyed), I bow to Theekshnadamshtra(Sharp-fanged), I bow to Theekshna(Harsh), I bow to Vyshvaanaramukha(Fire-faced), I bow to Mahaadyuthi(Supreme Resplendent), I bow to Ananga(formless), I bow to Sarva(the whole), I bow to vishaampathi(Lord of beings), I bow to Vilohitha(Crimson coloured), I bow to Deeptha(Shimmering),I bow to deepthaaksha(Glowing-eyed), I bow to Mahoujas(Enormously Strong), I bow to Vasurethas(Gold-semened), I bow to Suvapush(Fine formed), I bow to Prithu(Great), I bow to Kriththivaasas(Skin-clad), I bow to Kapaalamaali (Wearer of skull-garland), I bow to Suvarnamukuta(gold-crowned), I bow to Mahaadeva(Supreme Lord), I bow to Krishna(vishnu), I bow to Thryambaka(Three-eyed), I bow to Anagha (Pure), I bow to Krodhana(Irate), I bow to Anrishamsa(Uncruel), I bow to Mridu(Merciful), I bow to Baahushaali(Mighty-handed), I bow to Dandi(Controller or Punisher), I bow to Thapthathapas(Of accomplished penance), I bow to Akroorakarma(Devoid of cruelty), I bow to Sahasrashiras(Thousand-headed), I bow to Sahasracharana(Thousand-footed), I bow to Svadhaasvaroopa (The essence of sacrifices)."

Samvartha went on.
"After offering prayers and propitiation with these names, take refuge with the Lord, pronouncing out these names (In the original, these names are in accusative case, as it is the custom of the language to use that case when meant 'approach or beseech'. However, I ommitted the repetetions in my translation, though the tradition gives different meanings to the second word. - Tr) Pinaaki(Who wields the bow Pinaaka), Mahaadeva(Supreme Lord), Mahaayogi(Supreme yogi), Avyaya(Undecaying), Thrishoolahasta(Bearer of Trident), Varada(Boon-giver), Thryambaka(Three-eyed), Bhuvaneshvara(Lord of the universes), Thripuraghna(Razer of the three cities of demons), Thrinayana(Three-eyed), Thrilokesha(Lord of three worlds), Mahoujas(Extremely resplendent), Sarvabhoothaprabhava(Origin of all beings), Dhaarana(Supporter), Dharaneedhara(Bearer of the earth), Eeshaana(Ruling Lord), Shankara(Benefactor), Sarva(whole),Shiva(Benevolent), Vishveshvara(Lord of all),Bhava(Source), Umaapathi(Uma's husband), Pashupathi(Lord of beings),Vishvaroopa(Omniformed), Maheshvara(Supreme Lord),Viroopaaksha (Odd-eyed), Dashabhuja(Ten-handed), Divyagovrishabhadhvaja(Ox-bannered),Ugra(Terrible), Sthaanu(Stable), Roudra(Terrific),Sharva(Good), Goureesha(gouri's husband), Eeshvara(Master), Shithikantha(Black-throated), Aja(Of no birth), Shukra(White), Prithu(Great), Prithuhara(Bearer of the great), Vara(Best), Bahuroopa(Multi-formed), Anangaangahara(Destroyer of cupid), Hara(Destroyer), sharanya(Protector), and Chathurmukha(Four-faced).

"Thus bowing,exalting and propitiating the Lord Shiva, you will get that treasure of gold. Arrange your men to go there and take over that for you."

Maruththa obeyed Samvartha's words and went to the mountain Munjavaan. He observed all the formalities that Samvartha told and lifted that great treasure . He ordered his goldsmiths to make golden vessels to use in his sacrifice. For that superhuman sacrifice, thousands of his goldsmiths worked day and night and made all vessels in their lots, everything with gold.

As Maruththa was sincerely busy with his efforts for his enormous sacrifice, Brihaspathi came to know about that. Learning that Maruththa obtained a tresure that could make him richer than the gods, he feld unhappy. He guessed that his rival Samvartha would become richer from that sacrifice. That thought made him sick. He became pale and waned with envy and anger. Indra had the news of Brihaspathi's dullness and he went to him with all the gods. He saw his teacher and said to him, "Sir! Do you sleep comfortably? Do all your servants go by your mind? Do you wish good to the gods? Do the gods obey you alright?"

Brihaspathi replied. "Indra! I sleep heartily. My servants know and follow my mind. I always wish good to the gods. They too honour me perfectly."

Indra again asked. 'Then, what made you sick and dull? Why do you grieve? Do you suffer bodily pain or mental pain ? who is the source of that? Tell me sir, I will kill all your troublemakers."

Brihaspathi disclosed his mind. "Indra! I learnt that Maruththa is going to perform a very great sacrifice involving huge gifts and donations. I also heard that Samvartha is going to be its chief conductor. That will surely make him richer, if not the richest. I wish that Samvartha should not act as conductor of Maruththa's sacrifice."

Indra took it very light and said. 'Sir! You are a person of accomplished desires. You are master of the Veda and mentor of the gods. Neither age nor death will conquer you. What can Samvartha do to you now?"

Brihaspathi said again. "You are the Lord of Gods. Yet, you and your gods are always keen in killing any rising demons along with all their relatives and followers. Why? Just because it is unbearable to see a prospering rival. Similarly, I too became dull hearing that my rival Samvartha is going to rise with fortunes. I ask you, Indra, to stop Samvartha or Maruththa from his undertaking, at any cost."

Indra decided to please his mentor. He told Agni who was nearby. "Agni! Go to Maruththa and tell him. 'Indra is ready to relieve Brihaspathi to you for conducting your sacrifice. Have Brihaspathi as your priest and he will make you immortal too."

Agni bowed and said. "Lord! Here I go to convey your word of sending Brihaspathi to Maruththa. I will uphold your word and Brihaspathi's honour too." Saying that, Agni flashed through the sky onto earth to Maruththa's place, pervading everything on the sides of Himaalaya, burning the bushes and trees , his flames blowing loud like a wind blowing through bamboos. Seeing the fierce run of Agni, Maruththa spoke to Saamvartha. "Sir! I am amazed. Lord Agni comes here in person. Please arrange for a seat, water to drink, water to wash his feet and a cow too to honour him."

Agni heard his words and spoke. "Great king! I accept your offer of seat, water and everything. Let it be so. I am here from Indra as his emissary. He has something to convey to you."

Maruththa responded with respect. "Sir! Is the great Lord of Gods fine? Is he pleased with us? Are the gods well under his control as usual? I pray you to speak all openly."

Agni replied. "Indra is safe and fine. He likes and loves you very much. All the gods obey him. Please let me tell you what Indra sent to you through me. He said that he is ready to send Brihaspathi to conduct your sacrifice. Have Brihaspathi as your priest, who will make you immortal too."

Samvartha answered to Agni's words. "Lord! This learned sage Samvartha will conduct my sacrifice. I bow to Brihaspathi. He has been teacher to the Lord of the gods himself. How can he now condescend to be a priest to a mortal like me? What glory will it be to him?"

Agni again said. "Maruththa! If you please Indra, he will award you the abodes of the great people in the heaven. If you accept Brihaspathi as your priest, you will surely attain fame and reach heaven too. With Brihaspathi as your priest, you will win for you all the worlds of the mortals, gods, Prajaapathis and still higher ones."

Then Samvartha intervened and said to Agni. "Agni! Never you come here again talking about sending Brihaspathi to Maruththa. If you make me angry, my angry looks will burn you into ashes. But, may that not happen to you. Understand and behave yourself." Hearing Samvartha's ferrocious warning, Agni shuddered like a dry leaf in a wind. He ran back, all in fear, to the gods. Seeing him return, Indra asked him right before Brihaspathi. "Agni! What did Maruththa say in response to my offering Brihaspathi's priesthood to him? Is he wise enough to accept my proposal? "

Agni reported ." No. He did not honour your word. He offered his bowings to Brihaspathi. He simply said that Samvartha shall be his priest. He also said that he is not now inclined to attaining the abodes of mortals, gods, Prajaapathis or other higher abodes, of which he is sure to gain through your and Brihaspathi's association. My repeated requests met with the same answer everytime."

Indra told Agni again. "If that is his response, you go to him again and try to convince him about the benefits that he would get by following my word. Tell him clearly that a repeated refusal from him will make him incur the shot of my bolt."

But Agni was not as interested in the mission as he was in the first time. He said, "Sir! An indignant Samvartha warned me that he would burn me to ashes just with his looks, if ever I went to him again on the same mission of sending Brihaspathi to Maruththa. I dread the anger of that powerful sage of pious penances. Please send this Gandharva chief Dhrithraashtra ."

Indra said, 'Agni! You yourself are capable of burning anything into ashes. There is no one that can burn you. The world dreads your very touch itself. What you say is unbelievable."

Agni answered. "You are the one that bears the earth and the heaven with your immense powers. When you are such a supreme Lord, how could demon Vrithra snatch the heaven from you? One should always assess that one's enemy is mightier than him."

Indra persisted. "I can make mountain as little and light as a particle or I can make small particle as large and heavy as a mountain. Mounting on my terrible Ayraavatha and holding my thunderbolt, whom should I care, a mortal more so? I can reject the offer of Soma juice made by my opponent. My bolt never falls on weak opponent. Then, why should I care for a mortal fellow's threatenings? My prowess saw that the demons Kaalakeyas were made to bite dust. I saw the end of Prahlaada's glory even when he was boastfully enjoying the rule of heaven. Which mortal can stand against me and and hit at me?"

Agni too presented counter-examples to his defence. " Indra! Don't you remember what happened at King Sharyaathi's sacrifice under supervision of sage Chyavana? Chyavana made the king offer Soma juice to Ashvis. You angrily tried to prohibit Chyavana saying that Ashvis do not have a stake on the sacrificial Soma. Seeing him unmindful of your proscriptions, you jumped at him with your terrible bolt held high against him. The powerful sage halted you with his spell and shook your hand off with your bolt. Still unplacated, the sage created a horrendous demon named Mada of gigantic form seeing whom your eyes closed by themselves with fear. The demon's mouth was so large that one jaw of it touched the earth while the other one touched the sky. There were one thousand sharp teeth in his moutn, each measuring a hundred yojanams. Amidst them, four fangs , each two hundred yojanams long were shining. He gnashed his huge teeth and ran upon you to kill , with a fierce lance in his hand. Seeing his terrible form and run, you, though having been a slayer of demons, took refuge with sage Chyavana. I know that a Braahmana's power is invincible and it is superior to normal might. Nothing is as powerful as a Braahmana, then what to talk of anything more powerful than him? Being fully aware of the abilities of sage Samvartha, I do not wish to incur his anger by trying to win him against his cautions."

Indra did not relax his stand. "Agni! You are right. A Braahmana is the most powerful one. Nothing exceeds him. But, I cannot tolerate Maruththa's glory. I crush him with my horrible bolt. Dhrithraashtra ! I send you, go to Maruththa and tell him before his ally Samvartha. 'Maruththa! Unless you accept Brihaspathi as your preceptor, my irresistible bolt will fall upon you.'"

The Gandharva chief Dhrithraashtra accordingly went to Maruththa and conveyed the message."King! I am a Gandharva chief named Dhrithraashtra . I came to speak to you as Indra told me to do. The Lord of the worlds says that you should either accept Brihaspathi as conductor of your sacrifice, or, face the shot of his bolt. That is what the great Lord wants you to understand."

Maruththa obediently replied. "Lord! You know, Indra knows and all the gods like Ashvis, Vasus, Maruths and Vishvas too know that a traitor of an ally has no penitence. It is such a henious offence as killing of a Braahmana. Let Brihaspathi be the bolt-wielding great Divine Lord Indra's preceptor while Samvartha takes care of my sacrifices. I do not like to obey your word or Indra's."

Dhrithraashtra said to Maruththa. "Then, it means that you decided to invite Indra's wrath and please yourself with the sound of his bolt. It is sure that Indra will discharge his bolt on you. Hear the horrible sound, here it comes upon you. This is your last chance to revise your stand. Be wise and take care of yourself."

Even as Dhrithraashtra was saying that, Maruththa heard a terrific sound from the sky. Soon he turned to Samvartha and said, "Be all alert, Sir. Indra hurled his bolt at me. I see no recourse but you. It looks as if I am in mid-air without any support.I surrender before you and take refuge with you. Please protect me. Here came Indra illuminating the ten directions with his resplendence. His unbeholdable form and his irresistible bolt frighten the participants of our sacrifice. Be quick to act for our safety."

Samvartha answered bravely."King! Don't be afraid of anyone. You need not at all dread Indra. Be assured of your safety. I will devitalise all the weapons of the gods. And I will immobilise even Indra's hand and his bolt with my incantinations of a magical chant named Samsthambhini (= a jammer). Let Indra's bolt dart at us flying through everywhere in the sky. Let the winds blow with all their might in every direction. May it bring heavy rain that falls on the earth on its every inch. May the waters fill the gap between the earth and the sky . Let the frightening lines of lightning be seen everywhere. My powers will make the Lord Agni, or even Indra, serve all your desires. Indra's bolt too will stop far from you, struck amidst great deluges."

Maruththa again said. "The horrible sound of the bolt with a frightening wind is nearing me. I am shaken to my roots. I cannot remain courageous or calm. Please guard me."

Samvartha again assured. "Forget about Indra's bolt or any danger from it. That was already remedied. I will turn into a wild wind and settle Indra's pride. Shed your fears about him and ask for any other thing you wish to have."

Maruththa said with pleasure. " I am sure that you are capable of taming Indra. As you graced me with a choice, I pray you to make Indra come in person to accept my oblations. Also show your grace to the effect that each and every God may accept my oblations and Soma from their respective abodes."

Samvartha smiled and said. "Maruththa, see there. Here comes Indra bound and pulled by my chants , mounted on his chariot drawn by his fast green steeds, surrounded by the praising gods. Could you see the power of my chants and penance?"

As Samvartha was saying that, Indra appeared there mounted on his chariot of divine steeds, followed by all the Gods, with a desire to drink the Soma offered by the great soul Maruththa in his sacrifice. Maruththa and his priests welcomed Indra and the gods. He was pleased with that event and procedurally offered all the necessary propitiations to them . After all the formalities were over, Samvartha said to Indra. "O Lord of the Gods! I welcome you heartily to this sacrifice, which of course, is to propitiate you. With your personal presence, the sacrifice assumes greatness and piety too. Here is the Soma, squeezed out by me myself by grinding the Soma creeper, purifying it and the process with chanting of Vedic hymns. Please drink as much as you wish and honour us. "

Maruththa too pleaded with Indra. "Lord! Grace me with your mercy bringing all good to me. I bow to you with devotion and respect. Your coming here in person made my sacrifice really successful and my life has served its highest purpose. This sacrifice, intended to propitiate you, is being conducted by none other than the younger brother of your preceptor Brihaspathi."

Indra responded. "I know that Brihaspathi's younger brother is your preceptor and I also know about his powerful penances . It is due to his invocations that I came here in person. I am now pleased with you. I have nothing against you."

Then Samvartha prayed to Indra. "Lord! If you are really pleased with us, I pray you to take up the responsibility and leadership of allocation of parts to be taken by all the Gods which the entire world will know. Kindly accept this elderhood."

Vyaasa continued to Yudhishthira .
"Indra acceded to Samvartha's request and ordered all the Gods, "Make ready for this sacrifice, halls, houses and huts in their thousands all adorned with amazing ornamentation. Build stages and rooms with lofty pillars for Gandharvas and Apsaras where they will dance and sing. All this sacrificial hall shall resemble our heaven in every aspect."

Taking orders from Indra, the Gods gladly did accordingly. After all the constructions were established, Maruththa immensely thanked Indra who, in turn, said to him, " King! Here I am present with your manes and all the Gods. May all these pleasantly take the oblations you offer. Get different bulls for sacrifice, the red one for the Lord Agni, the multi-coloured one for the Vishvas and a young(Here, the original word is 'one with moving penis'. I chose to translate it like this, though interpretations are various. - Tr) and black one for other offerings. O participant Brrahmanas! Select the right and the best ones for each purpose."

And the sacrifice went on, on an unimaginable scale. Indra, in person and surrounded by Gods and honoured by the Braahmanas, sat among the partcipants. Samvartha contently sat on the dias and shone like another fire of the altar. He chanted the hymns at a high pitch and invoked all the gods to come and have their oblations. All the Gods appeared in their original forms and accepted the oblations. Indra and other gods meant to accept the Soma, heartily sipped the same. Propitiated and satisfied, they all left for their abodes, at the performer's request.

Then, Maruththa finished his sacrifice satisfying every detail. He posted lots of gold every here and there and donated it all to the Braahmanas, participants and other needdy people. Performing such an enormous alms-giving, he nearly equalled Kubera, the Lod of wealth. Later, he gathered as much gold as he himself needded for his treasury and left the remaining lot where it was. He went home obtaining Samvarana's leave and ruled the entire earth for a very long period. Such is his fame, Yudhishthira ! You bring that left over treasure and use for your performances and satisfy the Gods and your manes with them."

Hearing Maruththa's history, Yudhishthia was pleased and decided to arrange for bringing that great treasure. with that decision in mind, he wished to consult with his counsels.

END OF CHAPTER TEN

KRISHNA CENSURINGLY CONSOLES YUDHISHTHIRA

After Vyaasa reduced Yudhishthira's grief to some extent by narrating Maruththa's biography and making him inclined to perform Ashvamedha sacrifice, Krishna started to speak to the king, who was still a bit dejected due to loss of his dear kinsmen, looking dull like an eclipsed moon and a smoking fire. "Yudhishthira ! Whatever is done with a view to satisfying desires is simply a worldly affair. That leads only to the cycle of birth and death. But, what is done as a matter of duty is purely a godly affair. That leads to the ultimate soul. This is, in essence, what true knowledge is. What is the use of much talk, then? Eventhough you won the war killing all your enemies and attained the empire, it is evident that you did not do the real thing and you did not attain the real goal. As long as you cannot win the internal enemy of yourself that resides within yourself, it does not mean that you won against any enemy at all. For you to easily follow this word, I will explain you how Indra fought with Vrithra .

"Once Vrithra pervaded the entire earth. Seeing the earth so concealed by Vrithra causing loss of the Earth's basic characteristic named odour, Indra became angry with Vrithra and hurled his bolt at him. Vrithra could not withstand the bolt and retreated into the water and stole its basic character named taste. Indra did not tolerate Vrithra's act and again hurled his bolt at him. Again, Vrithra retreated into the fire and occupied its basic character named form. Seeing the property of form thus stolen, Indra once again hurled his bolt at him. Vrithra fleed into the air and occupied its basic character named touch. Indra did not bare with that act and again hurled his bolt at him. This time, Vrithra took recourse into the sky and pervaded its basic quality named sound. Indra again hurled his bolt at him to relieve sound from Vrithra's occupation. Vrithra disappeared and escaped into verily Indra himself and pervaded his consciousness. Losing his consciousness, Indra remained immobile for a very long period. Then sage Vasishtha sang the Rathanthara hymns and revitalised Indra. Regaining his senses , Indra employed his non-material and invisible weapon and killed Vrithra who was secretly residing within himself. This intricate affair was first revealed by Indra to the sages and the sages told me. Did you understand the internal meaning of this episode? Grief, sorrow,fear,anger,arrogance and the like reside within you and occupy your senses rendering your intellect invalid. It is upto you to come against them, use your discrete intelligence and win over them to make you your own self again. Until then, you cannot claim any victory against anybody. First you try to overcome your unworthy grief and become a royal and unmoving soul."

Krishna continued. "Illness is of two types. One, physical,concerned with body which arises from bodily disorders. And the other,mental, concerned with the mind, which arises from mental imbalance. One results from the other. They are not disjoint. Body has three basic properties. Cold (Sheetha or Shleshma. A disposition related to phlegm.), Hot (Piththa. A disposition related to bile.Saturnine temperment.)and Windy (Vaatha. Related to air or gas. A rheumatic disposition. Here, the three English words used in translation are very loose substitutes to the original ones. -Tr. ). If these three humours are in a state of equilibrium, the body is said to be in a healthy state. When these turn disproportional, the body becomes indisposed. The properties cold and hot counterbalance each other. Asto the mind, it has three basic qualities (or traits). Serenity or truth or calmness(Saththvam ),passion (Rajas) and malignance or foulness or ignorance(Thamas. Here too, the three English words used are very loose substitutes to the originals. -Tr.) When all these three traits are in the right proportion, the mind is said to be in healthy condition. If any of them overwhelms its normal levels, the mind is said to be unwell and it shall be rectified. Pleasure supercedes sorrow and sorrow supercedes pleasure. A person presently in soroow may reminisce to his past pleasures (thereby feeling present sorrow more unbearable) or a person presently in sorrows may recollect his earlier pleasures (thereby feeling more of the past sorrows than of the current pleasures).

"Surprisingly, when you should not have neither pleasure nor sorrow in particular, why do you fall into grief, forgetting your duty of having to keep your minds focussed on the ultimate aim? Perhaps, it is due to your natural trait of flinging yourself into unnecesarily grief, that makes you very often like this. Otherwise, why do you always speak out only about your self-imputed sins, leaving apart those many unimaginable troubles caused to you by those very people whom you lament about unworthily? Did you forget the scene of the menstruous queen Droupadi standing in the open regal hall in such a pitiable state, right before you all five who but silently bore with that insult? Why don't you remember that ? Being driven out of the empire into forests for exile and wearing deer-skins and living in the dense forests like beasts too did not bother you. Why don't you remember that? You suffered capture by the demon Jata, You were to fight with the Gandharva Chithrasena and you were to suffer the abduction of Droupadi by Jayadratha. Why don't you think of that? In the year incognito at Viraata's, Keechaka kicked the queen Droupadi in the royal court verily before your eyes. You choose not to mind that one too! Stop lamenting about unworthy people. You have other objet to concentrate on. The war that you had against Bheeshma and Drona was over and in fact, it is not the real war. Now you have to wage a war against your own mind. That magnificient war seems to have approached. This war needs no weapons, no armies, no generals, no supporters or no servants. You shall fight against your mind alone, with the aid of your intellect alone. Be prepared for that non-material war which can be overcome only with your deeds and intellect. If you lose in this war, what is going to be your fate? If you can rightly understand this, you will be really successful. Hence, I advise you, to properly understand the true course of coming and vanishing of the beings into and from this world. You can, then, purely concentrate on your present duty of ruling your ancestral empire, doing justice to your position of its caretaker."

Krishna went on talking to Yudhishthira . "King! Mere renunciation of external things (like empire,objects of pleasures etc) will never fetch the goal (salvation). But, renunciation of things that originate from body or mind might,though not surely, bring salvation. The state of being disinclined towards external things and being attached to bodily lurings shall not befall even on our worst enemies, as such a person is not out of his ignorance and whatever virtue or pleasure he amasses is, in reality, a sin and a sorrow . The two small words, 'mine' and 'not mine' make all the difference. The feeling born from the first word is verily the death and the feeling born from the second word is simply the eternal (supreme soul). Thus both death and eternal soul are stationed within you (Simply put, attached=death, detached=salvation- Tr). These two hidden generals make the poor beings fight among themselves. If the eternity of the existence is true, even a torturer of all the beings can be reckoned as a non-offender (non-violent). If a person who acquired the entire earth has no feeling of attachment to it, what is he going to do with that? Or, in the converse, if a person leading an ascetic life in the forests subsisting on wild food, has attachment to wordly affairs, it only means that he is clutched in the mouth of death. Yudhishthira ! Do you see the nature of these internal and external enemies? That nature has no beginning. He who sees its real nature, will be freed from the great fear of the birth-cycles. The world usually derides one that is slave to desires. But, no deed in this world is beyond desires. All the desires are like supplementaries to the mind. A wise man supressses them with his wisdom and intellect and finally wins over them. A being struck in the cycles of births, attains such great power of vanquishing the desires with his wisdom, by his continuous practice of (yoga) following the path of true knowledge. A conquerer of desires is one who attains true knowledge and who does not take up alms, reciting of Vedas, penance, Vedic rites, ceremomies, sacrifices, austerities, meditation, yoga etc for attaining any wordly desires. But if any of these things are done with the sense of desire(Kaama), it simply an unvirtuous thing. Virtue has as its base, of course, a true and pure commitment beyond the shade of worldly desires. In this context, our sages recite the song of Kaama(desire) describing himself. "(Kaama said) 'No being can exterminate me without excercising the employment of the right policy of yoga. I am able to know the strength(objects of practice like penance) of my attacker and I rise from his very strengths of his each attack. If a person wishes to conquer me with his sacrifices of huge gifts, I will take birth in him (in the form of passion etc) again like a virtueful person takes birth among the mobile beings . If a person tries to defeat me with his Vedas and their thought, I will again take birth in him as consealed as the unperceivable life in immobile beings. If one wants to win me with the powers of his truthfulness and stability (in the path of true knowledge), I will become his very ego and he cannot even trace me or my existence in him. If any one labours to win me with penance, I will reassume my birth in his penance itself (the accomplished results of penance lead to a feeling of possession or enjoyment). If a scholar tries to defeat me with his committed efforts towards salvation, I will only laught at him and dance around him for his such ignorance.'

Krishna concluded. "Yudhishthira ! Understanding all these complicated concepts, you choose to bind the desires(Kaama) with your performance of sacrifices, offering huge and various gifts to the participants. Such performance without any feeling of attachment will surely bring you victory over desires and your virtues will be amassed. So, go for Ashvamedha or any other one of your choice, to perform it procedurally. Never may your mind again lament about your killed kinsmen. You can, anyway, never see alive again, those who were killed in the war. The only way I can suggest to you is this. Shed off this unbecoming grief. Perform sacrifices. Satisy gods and as well as the participants. You will thereby attain fame in this world and the best abodes in the next world too."

Vyshampaayana continued to Janamejaya.
Thus Krishna taught Yudhishthira about a few complicated philosophical concepts and consoled him in a different way.

YUDHISHTHIRA RETURNS HOME AND KRISHNA PROPOSES TO LEAVE FOR DVAARAKA

Vyshampaayana continued to Janamejaya.
With the consolations of Vyaasa, Krishna ,Devasthaana, Naarada,Bheema , Arjuna, Nakula, Sahadeva, Droupadi and many other eminent personalities, Yudhishthira was a bit of his own self again. He freed himself from the grief arising from the killing of his own kinsmen in the war. He worshipped gods and honoured Braahmanas as a propitiatory measure. He again performed the rituals for his dead relatives. Thus regaining his composure, he said to the elders like Vyaasa and Naarada. " Sirs! I have the luck and honour of being consoled and taught by such great people as you. My intellect is now cleansed of its ignorance. Sage Vyaasa! With your grace, I have the way to get great treasure of monies too.With that, I will propitiate the gods with sacrifices. I wish to go to the Himaalaya, with you in our lead and under your protection. That place is source of many strange wonders. As sage Naarada and sage Devasthaana told, that place has many things in its store. A man of low level luck can never have a company of such people as you all."

The divine sages approvingly heard those words and blessed Yudhishthira . Soon, they bade to the king and others and vanished there itself right before everyone there.

Yudhishthira still stayed there for some more weeks, engaging himself alongwith Dhrithraashtra in performing rituals to Bheeshma , Karna etc. He donated various gifts to the Braahmanas in memory of the dead heroes of his clan. After all the rituals were performed to his satisfaction, Yudhishthira went back to his capital Hasthipuram along with Dhrithraashtra and others. He consoled his blind uncle and continued his rule.

Sootha continued his narration to the sages.
Janamejaya then asked Vyshampaayana. "Sir! After Yudhishthira 's winning the great war and ascending the throne, what did Krishna and Arjuna do in the empire?"

Vyshampaana answered. "King! Both Krishna and Arjuna spent a very happy time after the war. Whenever Arjuna fell into a melancholic mood thinking about loss of his sons or kinsmen, Krishna thoroughly consoled him to relieve from the bereftment. During those days of relief and pleasure, they both spent their time in a jolly mood going around gardens, forests, hills, rivers, ponds and ferries. Wandering around places like the Ashvis in the divine garden Nandanam, once they went to Indraprastham. They visited the Maya's hall there and stayed there for many days. They both remnisced to their past memories connected with that hall. They talked about their earlier troubles and the war that had recently passed. They talked about the lineages of gods, sages and kings. During those conversations, Krishna told Arjuna many things, many anecdotes and ancient episodes of meaning and presentation. Thus consoling Arjuna and passing time with him, Krishna felt like relieved from a heavy burden.

During their conversation, oneday Krishna said to Arjuna in a pleasing tone. "Arjuna! At last, your troubles are over. Yudhishthira could regain his entire empire with the support of your great valour. The wicked fellow Duryodhana met his fitting end due to his failing from the path of virtue. All his brothers and folowers, all as wicked as him, paid their lives as price to their misdeeds. Assisted by Bheema , you and The Twins, Yudhishthira presently enjoys the empire with no mention of an opponet. I love to live where Yudhishthira , Bheema and The Twins are. I am glad to live with you even in the forests, then what to speak of a place like this with all these and my aunt Kunthi too? I have spent a good time with you enjoying these lovely places in this hall. And I still like to spend time here with you. But, it is very long since I saw my father Vasudeva and my brother Balaraama and other kins at Dvaaraka. That prompts me to make a move for Dvaaraka. You too should accept my request to leave. I consoled Yudhishthira to my best level along with Bheeshma , when he was in a pensive mood. He, being wise by himself, could grasp our teachings and he is out of his grief now. I never think of doing things unpleasant to him even in the face of my end, then what is it about leaving for Dvaaraka? As the Kouravas are killed and the empire is now under pious Yudhishthira , my mission of helping you through the great war to the best of my abilities is over. May your brother rule this empire long. May he protect the people for many years to come, being exalted by the Siddhas and the bards. Except your company, there is nothing that holds me here, though I dedicated my body, life and wealth to Yudhishthira who is the best among the Kurus. Having seen the empire in your brother's rule and under your protection, I wish to leave for my home where my people must have been awaiting my arrival for a long time. You may please mention this request with Yudhishthira and convince him to grant me leave to go. I hope you can understand that what I say is truly for your good."

Arjuna was taken aback by those words from Krishna . The very thought that Krishna would leave, left him unpleasant. He could somehow say 'Yes, as you like.'

END OF CHAPTER FIFTEEN

END OF ASHVAMEDHA PARVA

ANUGEETHAA-PARVA

KRISHNA TEACHES PHILOSOPHY TO ARJUNA

Janamejaya intervened and asked . "Sir! you said that Krishna told Arjuna many things during their stay in the Maya's hall at Indrapastham. What could those be? Surely those must have been very interesting and intellectual. Can you kindly relate those episodes to me?"

Vyshampaayana said, "Truly, Janamejaya, they were of deep meaning and of high standards. Listen what they talked about. Oneday, while moving around the Maya's hall talking to Krishna , Arjuna asked him. "Krishna ! You taught me a great knowledge and displayed your universal manifestation when the war was about to start. Though I could comprehend it at that time, my poor mind cound not hold it long and I forgot all of that. I many a time had a desire to ask about it again but I did not have a chance to do that. As you say that you are shortly leaving for Dvaaraka, I pray you to speak of those things to me once again. "

Krishna laughed at Arjuna's words. He said, taking Arjuna into his arms, " You have been a dunce. What I told you then is the highest knowledge about the supreme being. I presented to you the most sacred and secret knowledge of the eternal being. I explained you about all the permanent higher abodes. I could tell you all those things about the eternal being with a kind of cosmic concentration. How could you so simply say that you forgot all that? What a dullard are you! I am unhapy about your recklessness about such a great thing. It is not possible for me too now to recast all that I told you then. Relating all those things so compactly and so meaningfully is beyond me now. I cannot again attain that yogic temperment that I could adopt then. But, let me tell you an ancient episode that conveys an answer to your question. Though it is a near repetition of what I told you earlier, you must concentrate in grasping this and stabilising it in your mind to help you lead you to the higher abodes."

(In the following chapters, as many as thirty six, it is all pure philosophy discussed in detail and at length. It is a downpour of philsophical jargon. Though I am afraid it might not interest some young readers, I translated all these chapters fully, so as to keep the translation a comprehensive one. Krishna 's talk to Arjuna runs up to the end of chapter 51. In this lengthy conversation, talk by Siddha to Kaashyapa runs upto 19 th chapter, talk by Braahmana to his wife runs upto the end of 34 th chapter, the teacher-disciple talk runs from 35 th chaper to the end of 51 st chapter. Till that point, all these chapters taken together are named Braahmana Geetha are Brahma-Geetha. At the end, Krishna clarifies that - the Braahmana and his wife are nothing but Krishna 's own mind and intellect; the teacher is Krishna himself and the disciple is his own mind.- Tr.)

Krishna began to relate to Arjuna. " Once a resplendent Braahmana came to us after visiting the abodes of the gods and Brahma. We welcomed him and honoured duly. When we asked him about certain subjects in philosophy and about salvation, he told us like this. (The Braahmana spoke to Krishna and others. This lecture ends with chapter 19. -Tr)

'Krishna ! You asked about salvation only to grace the common people with a way to it. Otherwise, how could it be unknown to you? It is an honour to me to talk to you about a subject like this. Please listen, I will relate to you an ancient story in connection with this subject.

A certain Braahmana named Kaashyapa was eminent in all the sciences of philosophy and rich in penance. He once found a stranger , a Braahmana who attained all the powers and became a Siddha. the Siddha had a profound knowledge of birth, death, their sources, the nature of this physical world, various codes of virtue, the thourough understanding of sin and piety, the course of the beings resulting from their deeds and everything that talks about the supreme being. He was moving around like a de-linked one. He could vanish and reaapear at any place he wanted. He would be going like an unhindered wind ,along with such other Siddhas who themselves remained invisible to others unless they wanted otherwise. While that Sidha was talking to his colleagues once, Kaashyapa approached him in obedience and bowed to him touching his feet. And he served the Siddha with great devotion and dedication as if he was serving his own teacher. The Siddha too was pleased with Kaashyapa's knowledge, obedience, devotion, character and thrust for realisation. He decided to grace the Braahmana and said to him. 'Boy! I am pleased with your service. It is very difficult to identify and recognize me. I admire your abilities in doing that. I understood the purtpose of your serving me. You are desirous of gaining the ultimate knowledge. Let me tell you.'

'The Siddha continued to Kaashyapa.

'The mortals attain the status of being in this world or the status of dwelling in the divine abode, purely through the results of their deeds. At no place it is all pleasures. At no placee the status is eternal. It is seen that one repeatedly falls from the higher abodes which he attained with great difficulty. As to me myself, I suffered many worst courses due to resorting to low deeds yielding to the forces of desire, greed and anger. I took many births, suffered many deaths, sucked many breasts, ate many foods, had many mothers, had fathers, enjoyed many pleasures and underwent many adversities. I was to forego the company of my beloved ones. I was forced to keep in company with unwanted ones. I lost my wealth. I regained it with great difficulties. I suffered insults from my own men and the rulers. I passed through many deseases both bodily and mental. I faced many problems. I suffered confinements and thrashings. I fell in the hell and suffered the punishments there. I underwent many stages of troubles in this world like old age, deseases and adversities, arising out of the feeling of duality. At a particular time, I could practise yoga, concentration and meditation on the supreme being. Thus taking refuge with the formless, I could attain uninclinedness and renounced the physical world and all its affairs. After passing many cycles of death and birth, with experience of pleasures and pains all along, I could tread on this path. At last, I could attain this accomplishent, all due to the clarification and purification of my mind. I am not going to return to this world . Nor will I visit these worlds again. My pious status remains as long as my accomplishment resides with me, as long as this creation remains. O Braahmana! With the powers of what I accomplished, I will go to the eternal abode that cannot be comprehended that easily. Never doubt my words. As I am pleased with you, I disclosed my secrets to you. Shortly, I will vanish from this world. That made me prompt you to ask for what you need from me. Come on my dear student! What do you want from me?'

Hearing the merciful words of the Siddha,Kaashyapa was immensely happy. He again bowed to him and asked the following great questions that are not easy to be answered by all.
Kaashyapa asked the Siddha. 'Sir! It is my great luck that you showed your great mercy towards me. I pray you to clarify my doubts. 1) How does the body perish? 2) And how does it exist again? 3) How can the being, clutched in the cycle of birth and death, free himself from that circle? 4) How can the being shed the body derived from the very Prakrithi(root of existence) and free himself away from that Prakrithi? 5) After leaving one body, how can he(the being) enter another body? 6) How will the being experience the results of his good and bad deeds? 7) What happens to his deeds when he remains without a body?'

Siddha replied in detail. 'A mortal's body derives from the good deeds by the being which amass his longevity and fame. As the effects of those deeds degrade slowly, his mind is occupied with the state of reduced life. And his mind will be affected, forcing his intellect to be defiled, which loses its stability. In the face of downfall, he resorts to low deeds. A man of unstable intellect, though well aware of what is his nature, quality, ability and his current status, will consume foods that are otherwise unfit to him. Falling amidst many self-created troubles, he eats too much or too less or nothing at all.He eats contaminated meat and drinks contaminated water. He takes the non-concordant foods too. He eats again even before the earlier food is not digested. He exerts too much on his body. He involves too much in physical pleasures. Due to excessive bodily engagements, he even restrains the natural course of evacuation of the bowels. He eats foods of various tastes and processes digesting with various results. He sleeps during daytime. He eats premature fruits in an untimely manner. Thus he himself forces his own body to invite deseases. The deseases thus arising out of the defects in the three properties(phlegmy, bilous and rheumatic) of the body, will lead to natural death. Or , his failing intellect will force him to end himself by resorting to suicide through hanging etc. Thus, the physical form or body of the being will cease due to many causes. This is said to be life, you comprehend well, Kaashyapa. Listen how the life leaves the body. The heat in the body is intensified by the bilous airs in the body and it pervades the entire body , obstructing the lives (here, lives means the five sections of life in the body, Praana, Apaana, Vyaana, Udaana and Samaana). The bilous humour of the body, intensified by its enraged heat, will damage the joints (junctional parts where two or more parts conjoin) . This creates great pain to the being and he leaves the physical body as all the vital parts are being wrenched. The being is thus made subject to a great pain while leaving his body, due to breaking of his vital parts. Similarly, at the time of stationing himself in mother's womb too, the being undergoes such severe pains , from suffocating in the umblical liquids. And, when the humour of cold of the body is at a crisis, the airs in the body are agitated and they pervade the life-airs Praana and Apaana, causing dissolution of the five elements in the body. At that time, the life in the body escapes from it with great effort and goes to the higher abodes. This way, we see many people die and take birth. When the life leaves the body, there will not be any inhaling or exhaling or heat or lusture or movement. Thus, a being , when he leaves the body, is described as dead.A living being is able to perceive the objects of the sensories through the very sensories but he is unable to perceive the life, resulting from his intake and residing within himself, through those sensories. He that causes all such activities within the body is the verily eternal soul.'

'The points in the body where two or more parts meet are named 'vital' points. When the vital points are slackened due to crises of the humours of the body, the life air hits at them, reaches the heart and obstructs the mind and intellect. when the intellect is affected, the being knows nothing,though he possesses life . His knowledge is subdued by foulness, with all the vital points jammed. Then, the helpless and unsupported life of the being is thrown off by the powerful air in the body. The life thus pushed out, leves the being, making a big inhalation first and then followed by a forceful exit from the body, leaving it inert . The moment the soul leaves the body, it is followed by the deeds of the being, either good or bad with their inherent results. The learned that can correctly interpret the Vedas are able to say if the dead being is a virtuous one or a sinful one. Just as a common person can see the glow-warms flying in the air, similarly, the people of learning and supernatural power can see the being leave the body or enter the womb. Such a soul (or being) has three places to go. This earth where the being performs his deeds is one location for him. If he does here good and bad deeds together, he will reap the fruits of his mixed actions, here itself, in the forms of pleasures and pains. Secondly, those who do low deeds and resort to sins will go to hell. This is the downfall of the being. This in fact is the unmentionable and deadly fall of the soul. It is from falling into this misery that we should be very careful in protecting ourselves. Thirdly, those who amassed virtue by doing good deeds and leading pious life, will reach the higher abodes, namely, Moon's (the plane of the stars) and Son's (where the sun shines and makes the world visible). After the results of the deeds are fully experienced, these good souls too come down, again and again. Even in these higher abodes too, you understand , there are classes such as best, medium and normal. Even after enjoying such a higher status, there will not be satisfaction or happiness to the soul. Thus, I told you about how the soul goes to different states after death.'

The Siddha continued to Kaashyapa.
'Kaashyapa! Now, I will tell you how the soul that departed from a body reenters another womb to acquire another body. The deeds of a being whether good or bad do not perish without making the doer reap their fruits completely. The being takes and takes many births in many varieties of life to undergo the results of his earlier and current deeds. Just like a tree automatically bearing its fruit at its proper reaping time, the good and bad deeds done with full involvement of mind, pure or impure, will give the being, their appropriate results to the being at the apprpriate time. The being enters another womb driven by the force of his deeds and occupied by passions like greed and ignorance (Ajgnaana or counter-intelligence). Hear how it is. Depending on one's deds and their results, the departed being takes its birth in a particular species, of lower or higher order, among the living beings. The male sperm combines with the female egg and becomes implanted in the female's womb. That microcosmiic form (of Life) is very minute and abstract in nature. Being verily the derivative of the eternal itself, it is not attached with anything. It is due to this that a person of true knowledge remains unattached (even after the birth, whence the wordly illusions overpower the being) by virtue of such true and eternal knowledge. That Life, is in fact, the root and seed of all the beings and all the beings live on that. That enters and occupies the body of the creature in the womb, part by part, giving it existence and automobility. It is because of that life that the being moves and breathes. Just like a small quantity of molten metal spreads over a moulded figure and creates a layer covering its entire surface to give it a form, the life too attains the form of the creature whose womb it enters and lives in. You know how the fire comes into contact with a metal ball and thoroughly heats its inside and outside. Similar is the case of the life acquiring form etc, staying in the womb. Similar to a burning lamp that illuminates the entire house in which it lies, the life too, rules the bodies and makes them move live and move. Whatever deeds, goods or bad, that were done by the being earlier (in its previous births), the results of every such deed will have to be experienced by the creature in its current birth or future births. There is no chance of escaping from them. Thus, the creature goes on experiencing the results of earlier deeds and performing fresh deeds thereby procuring fresh results to be experienced in his future births. this continuous cycle goes on and on until the being realises the path of true knowledge, namely, the path of salvation.

'Now, I will tell you, by resorting to which deeds ( or acts) , the being tangled in the cycle of numerous births and deaths in different species, will attain peace and rest. Alms, (clean) character,celibacy, recital of Vedas, forbearance, calm-mindedness, mercy towards all beings, truthfulness, avoiding userpation of others' properties, not entertaining evil thoughts about others, service to parents, worshipping of Gods and guests, honouring mentors, mercifulness, piety, involving in pious activities and control over sensories and organs. This is the way the holy people behave in life. From such people of such behaviour, the virtue gets its base and stand. And it is that virtue that protects all beings for an unending period of time. such a superior behaviour can be seen in the holy people and it stays with them for ever. A pious custom is said to be the very virtue itself. The calm-minded people of unperturbed status stick to it for ever. The virtue too stands well settled in them . He who takes refuge with that eternal virue will never have a downfall. It is because of this that a person slipping away from the path of virtue shall be corrected. A being who frees himself (through yoga, ie, identification of hmself with the supreme being) from the cycle of births abd deaths is considered superior even to these disciplined and punctilious followers of virtue. But, he who trods on the path of virtue always meets with good and he crosses the ocean of the cycle of births, after a long time, though. Thus the being always attains the results of his earlier deeds. It is the earlier deeds that make the being transformed and make him take his birth in this world. It is often questioned asto who first created the cause for the being to possess a body through a birth. Hear how it is. The creator of all the worlds, Lord Brahma himself first formed a body for himself and thence created all the mobile and immobile beings in the creation. Then he created The Prime(elementary basis of form,water,in-take etc) which was the source and Nature of all the body-bearers. All the creation is occupied by this Nature and it is said to be the overwhelming one in this creation ( or, it is named parama = utmost). All this creation formed from it is referred to as 'temporary'. Beyond that is what is named 'eternal'. Besides these two, the third one is the Supreme Being. Of this Trinity, the duo of 'temporary' and 'eternal' will be different for each different being (This means- when a soul attains salvation, its inherent attributes disappear altogether). The Vedas say that the creator created the entire existence of mobile and immobile beings and a time frame (fixed in terms of enjoyment of yields of deeds) for each of them for their stay in the world, exit from the world and return to the world. What I say will tally with the observations of a knowledgeable person who has the realisation of true knowledge in his earlier births. He who realises that the pleasures and pains he undergoes are not at all permanent, he who realises that the physical body of a being is but a collection of many unworthy filths, he who realises that the much dreaded death is simply the result of one's own deeds and he who realises that what is seen as a pleasure is never a true pleasure but in fact is a pain in another form, will reach the other end of the otherwise uncrossable ocean of birth-death cycles. A being who is made subject to birth, old age, desease and death will come to possess the true knowledge through the way I talked about earlier. Then he sees that the life in all the living beings is the same. That makes him detached from the world and he takes on to search for the ultimate. And now I will tell you what is needded for such a detached one, which is nothing but the ultimate and eternal true realisation. Listen intently .

The Braahmana continued to Krishna and others, his relaying the teaching of the Siddha to Kaashyapa.
The Siddha then again said to Kaashyapa. "Kaashyapa! One, who intently immurses in the final goal, detaching himself by shedding himself from the three bodies ( sthoola = gross body ie physical body, sookshma = inner body ie mind etc, kaarana = cosmic ie culture, traces etc ), will become relieved of the (worldly)bond . He, who is dear to all, who bears with all the things, who is interested in self-restrain, who is devoid of all fears, who masters his mind, will become relieved of the worldly bond. He, who always keeps himself pure (in body,speech and act), who follows the right codes, who is devoid of ego and passion, is verily relieved of the worldly bond. He will be relieved of this worldly bond, for whom life or death, pleasure or pain, gain or loss, friend or foe are all equal. Such a one is by all means relieved of the worldly bond, who never desires anything, who never disparages anything, who is devoid of all dualities and whose intellect is free from attachment. He that does not possess enemies or lineage; that sheds the first three of the four goals of live ,namely, virtue, interest and desire; that remains beyond any inclination, is relieved of this worldly bond. He that never minds what is virtuous and what is otherwise, he that unburdens himself from the load of the hitherto earned yields of the deeds, he that becomes calm-minded due to victory over the (seven) constituent elements of the body, ie victory over the Five Elements and thereby surpassing all dualities, is surely relieved of the worldly bond. Such a one surely relieves himself from the worldly bond quickly, who, renounces all the deeds, is devoid of any desire, understands this transient world of birth, decay and death to be as uncertain as the end of an Ashvaththa (Peepal) leaf. Such a one is sure to relieve himself from the worldly bond asif in no time, whose intellect is possessed with the inclination of detachedness and who constantly looks for any flaws of his intellect. One is relieved of this worldly bond by realising that soul to be devoid of smell or taste or sound or touch or form and hence as unperceivable. He who sees the soul as one that is devoid of the Five Elements (space,earth,water,fire and wind) or form or source, as one that does not possess the qualities ( saththva, rajas, thamas) and as one that does not enjoy the qualities, is relieved of the worldly bond. He who sheds all inclinations, physical or mental, with the help of his intellect, will gradually attain the ultimate peace, like the fire getting vanished in the absence of fuel. He who remains relieved from all procedural courses, remains beyond all dualities, remains devoid of attachments and who controls his senses through his yogic practice or penance, is relieved of the worldly bond. Emanicipated from all the procedural codes and courses, one attains the calm, unaffected, eternal and originless Supreme Soul. And now, I eill tell you about the best and secret course through which the yogis realise the soul by practising the science of yoga and the ways through which they steer their mind and body into that course.

"First, one shall contain his senses, shall bind his mind unto the soul residing in the body and then shall practice severe penance. After that, one shall try for salvation ways. A learned one inclined towards penances shall constantly concentrate upon Him and stick to the paths of meditation, witnessing the Soul within himself. When one resorting to solitary meditation can absorb his mind in his soul, then he is able to see the Soul within himself. Effortfully containg his senses and mind, one can uninteruptedly involve in yogic meditation that gives him intellectual inspiration and thereby he can witness the Soul within himself. Just like a person identifying a real man with the one he saw in his dreams, he that accomplished with the yogic meditation will be able to see the Soul all the while. Similar to a common man pulling out the stem from a straw and showing it, an accomplished yogi can realise the stem of the soul from the straw of the body. When a being is able to realise the soul and see him thouroughly( when one conjoins himself eith the soul), he has none as his master, since he himself is like the Lord of the three worlds. He can attain wharever form, mortal or divine, as he wishes. He wins over decay and death. He feels neither happy happy nor sad. Such an accomplished yogi can even become the ruer of the divines. After leaving his mortal body and merges with the Ultimate Brahma (Soul). He does not entertain any fear by witnessing the dying beings . Nor is he affected by witnessing the suffering beings either. A person of calm mind and devoid of inclinations, is not disturbed by the terrible fear or sorrow that arise out of passion and attachment. No weapons can hurt him, no death is prescribed to him, nor does there ever exist a greater bliss than he enjoys. Perfect in yogic meditation, he remains stable in seeing himself within himself and sleeps calmly casting off all fears of decay. He can leave his mortal form and assume any form of his choice. But, such an enjoyment of the results of yogic accomplishments shall not give place to complacency about constant practice yogic meditation. Fully immursed in yogic meditation, he witnesses his soul within himself and at that time he cares not even for the status of Indra, the Lord of the Gods.

"The Braahmana continued ( what was told by Siddha to Kaashyapa). The Siddha said . " Kaashyapa! Now listen, I will tell you how a yogic meditator accomplishes conjoinment with the soul. ( The following sentences are not intelligible without knowledge about some yogic practices. -T). First, one should deeply concentrate his mind only on such location of his body where the soul is said to reside ( acording to the scriptures) and should hold it only there. Only on such location should he hold his wavering mind, without allowing it to hover over other things. And owing to such deep and constant meditation, when he sees the all-pervading soul within himself, then there will be nothing such as an outside object to his mind ( hence stays there itself). One should refrain his senses without letting them turn active, seek solitude at a lonely place without any disturbance and should concentrate as said above, witnessing the soul everywhere within the body. For attaing that status, one should excercise strict control over the objects and yogic practices ertaining to such body-parts as teeth ( means food), cheeks and tounge ( a yogic practice called Khecari), throat, inner throat ( closing of the opening here with toungue, a yogic practice) and the heart. Finally, the knot of the heart is to be meditated upon as the form of the soul. "

Krishna continued to Arjuna . "Arjuna! The Braahmana continued ( to me what the Siddha told Kaashyapa.) 'Krishna ! Thus taught indirectly in a cipherical method, that genius Kaashyapa grasped all that with his intelligence and again asked me about the course of salvation which is never definable in easy terms.'

Kaashyapa asked the (Siddha) Braahmana. " Sir! How is the various food consumed by a human gets liquified and how does it become blood in the body? How does a human body result in a woman's womb with muscles,marrow and bones ? How does the baby's strength grows as the baby himself grows? How is it possible to cast out all the impurities of the body, even as it is enclosed on all sides? how does a being inhale and exhale air ? Which place does the soul stations itself to occupy the body? How does a being moving around bear this body ? Of what hue is it held and how is it held too ? My learned sir! Kindly explain me truly about all these. ( Though, Kaashyapa put these questions to the Siddha, the ansewrs to these questions in fact occur in the following chapters which form part of Krishna 's lecture to Arjuna, but not that of Siddha's lecture to Kaashyapa. -T) "

Thus asked by him, The Siddha answered Kaashyapa . " Hear me, I will answer according to what I myself heard from elders. Just as one who kept a certain thing in the inner room of his house keeps his mind on that thing even as he moves elsewhere, the being too, having identified the location of the soul within himself, shall keep his mind concentrated unto his own heart, containing all his unstable sensories. Thus, the soul is to searched for, giving no place to erring. In this way, all the while making efforts for continuous yogic meditation, one makes one's mind calm and serene within no time. Thereafter, he realises the Brahman, by which he becomes the learner of the Prime Nature itself. We cannot see the soul (Brahman) with our eyes. nor can we perceive it with all the sensories even. Mind is the only light with which one can see the soul (brahman), which has everywhere its organs like hands,legs,eyes and faces. It has its ears everywhere and it stands pervading everywhere. An enlightened being sees the soul leaving his physical body which he too leaves clinging onto the pure brahman (soul). He unifies himself with the soul and remains as if smilimg within himself while looking at the soul with the support of which attains salvation. This is all the mystic knowledge that I taught you now. I am leaving Kaashyapa, you too carry on on your way."

The Siddha concluded to Krishna . "Krishna ! Taught this way in detail, the Braahmana Kaashyapa bowed to the Siddha and left away."

Krishna continued to Arjuna. "Arjuna! Having elaborately given the details of his conversation with Kaashyapa, the Siddha who took to the path of salvation vanished right before me. Arjuna! Did you listen carefully all that I related? This is verily what you heard in your chariot from me then. I opine that this knowledge is not comprehensible to one inflicted with hesitations and not accustomed to the ways of this learning and without a pure mind. This knowledge is really such a mystic one even to the gods. Seldom has a human soul heard this before. no one is more eligible than you to receive this instruction which will be useless and unintelligible to a person of inconsistent comprehension. Arjuna! Heaven is full of persons who have fulfilled their dutiful deeds. Gods do not like the humans (trying) to attain higher abodes (without performing the prescribed deeds). But, Arjuna! The ultimate course to the being is to unify with the originless Supreme Soul itself through which he casts off his physical body and attains eternal bliss. By following this virtuous course that I explained till now, even the low-born like women and Shoodras too will attain that ultimate. Then, what to talk of Kshathriya s and Braahmanas who are always cohesive to their prescribed duties and inclined towards that eternal abode! Arjuna! This way, I logically taught you the course of salvation alongwith the instrumental principles to its attainment, the way of their accomplishent and the result of such accomplishment too. There is no pleasure or bliss other than this or beyond this. An effortful man of good intellect and firm commitment that detaches himself from these futile wordly lurements will soon attain that ultimate status by following these principles I explained now. This is all that can be said of this knowledge and nothing more remains. A consistent and severe practice of six months will land a person in the path of this yogic meditation."

END OF CHAPTER NINTEEN (Siddha's talk to Kaashyapa ends.)

BRAAHMANA GEETHA or THE CONVERSATION OF THE BRAAHMANA COUPLE.

(The questions raised by Kaashyapa at the end of the last chapter are answered in the following chapters. The conversation between the couple runs upto the end of 34 th chapter. From 35 th chaper to the end of 51 st chapter, the teacher-disciple talk runs. till that point, all these chapters taken together are named Braahmana Geethas are Brahma Geethas.- Tr.)

Krishna further told Arjuna. Arjuna! In this context, this episode of conversation of the Braahmana couple is often quoted by the teachers. A Braahmana woman approached her learned and scholarly husband sitting in solitude and spoke thus. " Sir! What abodes will I go to, having taken refuge with a husband like you, who disowned all acts and sat without thinking of future of me for whom no other recourse is available ? It is said that the wives do share the same abodes as their husbands do achieve ( through their deeds). Then I worry as to what my abodes will be ."

The calm Braahmana heard his wife's worried words and replied in light spirits. " My beloved pure lady! I am not annoyed with your words. Hear as I say. People who are votaries of acts adopt such apparent and perceivable deeds as observing of vows etc considering them to be their acts. People devoid of realization and sticking to deeds are actually becoming subject to erring. Truly, it is impossible in this world ( of deeds) to attain deedlessness even for a moment.It is clearly seen in animate beings that they exhibit their deeds through mind or word or action, which results in their getting different births of different forms. Seeing all my apparently perceivable deeds obstructed and destroyed by the demonic forces, I desisted from their practice and resorted to realizing myself within me ( concentrating by fixing the vision on the point between the brows). It is such a place where the non-dual brahma resides and where (the divine forces of Soma and Agni ) move around supporting the beings. It is such a place where even the divine Lords like the Brahma as well as the learned people of calm mind with the credit of observance of vows and contained sensories do yogically meditate upon the eternal brahma ( this is a symbolical representation of the two Naadis Ila and Pingala-T). That eternal brahma cannot be smelt by nose, cannot be tasted by tongue,cannot felt by touch- but is only perceivable to the mind. It is beyond the visibility of eyes, it is something beyond the ears, it is without scent or taste or touch or form. It is that thing of source from which the entire activity of the universe runs and wherein it rests too. All the five live winds Praana, Apaana,Vyaana, Udaana and Samaana emanate from that and relocate into that brahma itself. Praana and Apaana move between Samaana and vyaana. When the Praana absorbs ( stands restricted at the mid-brow point), Vyaana and Samaana too absorb and Udaana resides betwen Apaana and Praana. Due to this, the live winds Praana ana Apaana will not leave from the body of a sleeping person. Udaana is so called (uth + aana = running life) because it supports the life. The learned consider (realization of) this Udaana that rests within me ( = the soul) to be the real penance and observance. Amongst these five live winds that move within the bodies of all the beings assosciating with one another, the Samaana stands out and within it lies and shines the Agni in its Vyshvaanara( from vishva =all, nara = persons )form with its seven variants. The seven variants or seven flames of this Vyshvaanara form of fire are nose,tongue, eye, skin, ear, mind and intellect . The different fuels that these seven flames consume for me are the things that are smellable, visible, eatable, touchable, audible, thinkable and comprehensible. The smeller, the beholder, the eater, the toucher, the hearer, the thinker and the comprehender are my seven sacrificers who, my dear lady, offer the oblations of the above mentioned things . Hence you see me in all the seven sacrificers , namely, smellable, visible, eatable, touchable, audible, thinkable and comprehensible. These seven sacrificers offer these seven types of oblations in the seven ways in the prescribed manner and make the seven oblations again take birth from their original source ( brahma) in the following way.

The Braahmana continued. " Earth, Wind,Space, Water,Fire, Mind and Intellect - these seven together are termed yoni ( = source). The attributes of these seven components become the seven oblations and assume the quality that comes from the fire element (antah-karana = the inward sense ) where they reside and again take birth in their respective sources. They stand contained there irself during the Pralaya (= destruction) and hoist themselves during creation (symbolically, the attributive qualities reside in the intellect and remain calm when asleep and activate again when awake- T). From that place verily, emantes the scent, the taste, the form, the touch, the sound, the mind that thinks and doubts, the intellects that affirms. Thus,the scholars understand about the seven processes of creation. All the ancient sages knew this way about the real status of the things like nose, scent etc. The entire universe is filled with the three oblatories ( namely - knowing, knowable and knower ) which replenish themselves with power and energy ( from the soul).

The Braahamana continued to his wife. " Here is another proposition about the process of creation. That is named 'The ten-sacrificer process.' Hear about it.

"My lady! The ten sacrificers are ear, skin, eye, tongue, nose, legs, hands, genitals and anus. The ten oblations done by these ten sacrificers are ( ie their objects) sound, touch,form, taste, speech, scent, moving ambulation, action, excretion of semen and urine, and excretion of waste solids from the body. The ten sacrificial fires for these ten oblations are the cardinals, wind, sun, moon, fire, earth, Indra, Vishnu, Prajaapathi and Mithra. Thus, these ten sacrificers of the sensories offer the the oblations of their ten objects in these ten fires. In this sacrifice, the mind is the pouring ladel , the pious and true knowledge itself is the honourorium. We thus hear that that creation is well analysed. Also, whatever is perceived can be considered the inward sense (chitttha). This inward sense requires knowledge ( for its support but doesn't bond with that). He who understands about this body generated that is from seed, will assume another body ( suukshma-shareera = inner body). This assumer of another body is known as Gaarhapathya fire ( = the inner heart). From that comes another form of fire Aahavaniiya ( = carriage of oblations) ie mind where those (above mentioned ) oblations are offered. From that Gaarhapathya fire did come the Veda (Vaachaspathi). The mind comprehends this Veda. Thereafter comes the form which is devoid hues and that runs towards the mind. "

The Braahmana's wife asked. " Sir! Why and how did the speech ( =vaak) occur first and then the mind occured following that. Usualyy, we experience that the speech is an outcome of the mind's excercise. By what process of knowledge does the mind attaches to the inward sense (chiththa)? Why doesn't the mind enjoy the objects in its exalted status? What stops it from doing so? "

" The Braahmana answered ( the second question first). "Dear! The Apaana ( one of the five live winds in the body) leads the mind, like a husband leads his wife, towards the status of Apaana. This is said to be the exit course of the mind and it is due to this that the mind correlates with the inner sense (chiththa).

"Regarding answer the question you asked me about the mind and the speech, I will relate a conversation that once occurred between those two. Hear that.

"Once, mind and speech went to the Lord of the soul (Brahma) and asked, "Lord! Decide who of us is superior and dispell our doubts."
The Lord said that mind is superior. Then the Goddess of speech ( Sarasvathi) remarked. " Lord! How can it be so? I am the one that provides everything for you!".
The Lord Brahma agaian said . " Hear O Goddess! Understand that both the mobile and stationary minds( = courses of mind) are mine. The stationary one stands with me and the mobile one stands with your aspects. Any speech or letter or word or chant - these elements do enlighten your aspects. And that course of mind which follows these elements too is mobile one and hence you are superior to the mind. Now I will inhale a bit and detail about what you yourself upheld about your supremacy. The Goddess of speech (walk) rests on the two courses of the mind ie Praana and Apaana, but without the support of Praana, it becomes unsustainable and then it prays to the Prajaapathi to be pleased to guard her. Then did the Praana ( the main live wind) stood reviving the speech (Vaak). That is why the speech can never function during the process of inhalation. The speech (Vaak) always lies in two forms, the audible (Ghoshini) and the inaudible (Aghoshini), of which, the inaudible is superior to the other ( Para,Pashyanthi,Madhyama and Vykhari are the four phases of the speech of which the first two are internal processes -'origin' phase and 'formation' phase- and stand beyond the comprehension of the speaker and the listner. The last two are the 'spoken'phase and 'heard'phase.-T) . This speech is the driving force for one who tries to understand the Ultimate Soul ans forever delivers whatever is desired just like a cow that gives a sweet milk. This speech is splendorous both in mortal and divine aspects. O Goddess of speech! You note the difference between these two minute and all-delivering forces of speech. "

The Braahmana's wife again asked her husband. " Sir! Before the audible speech occurs, what did the speech deliver, being prompted by the thrust of speaking (out) ? "

Braahmana answered. " This speech talked about its origin and work like this. Speech first took its existence with the Praana. Thereafter, through that Praana, it occupies the Apaana ( a live wind ) and achives the Udaana too. Then it leaves its Udaana stance and assimilates with Vyaana ( another live wind). Then, with this Vyaana form, it delivers itself unto the entire space. Finally, it resides in the Samaana ( a live wind). Thus did the Speech itself spoke about its origin.
In this way, the mind is notable for its stationary status and the speech is notable for its mobile status."

The Braahmana continued. " In this aspect, the scholars quote another alligory too, which is called 'the seven-sacrificers system'. Listen about that too.
" Nose, eye, tongue, skin, ear, mind and intellect are the seven sacrificers here. These seven elements rest on different stances. Residing in the minute space, these seven do not know about ( = meddle with ) the others. You understand that these seven things are the seven sacrificers just by their own nature."

The wife asked. " Sir! How is that these seven do not know about the others even as they all stay in a minute space? What are their own natures ? Please explain this to me."

The Braahmana told. " Knowing about others means having the qualities of others. Not knowing about others means not having the qualities of others. None of these seven does never have the qualities of the other six among them. Tongue, eye, ear, speech, mind and intellect cannot perceive scent, but only nose can receive that. Nose, eye, ear, speech, mind and intellect cannot perceive taste, but the tongue only can receive that. The eye only can perceive the form but not nose, tongue,ear,speech, mind and intellect. Nose, toungue,eye, ear, mnd and intellect cannot perceive touch, but the skin only can do that. Nose, tongue,eye, speech, mind and intellect cannot perceive sound, but the ear only can perceive that. Nose, tongue,eye,skin, ear and intellect cannot perceive dilemma ( one form of thought process) but the mind only can do that. Nose, tongue,eye,skin, ear and mind cannot perseive affirmation but the intellect only does that. This is what is meant by saying that these seven do not know each other. "

"Now, hear another allegory relating the conversation between mind and the sensories, which is often quoted by teachers.
Once the mind said to the sensories. " Without me, nose cannot smell the scent, tongue cannot grasp the taste, eye cannot perceive the form, skin cannot feel the touch, or, ear cannot receive the sound in my absence. I am the premier essence of all the beings and I am the original element in them . Without me, you, the sensories are, as barren as abandoned houses and as defunct as an extinguished fire. Without me, the living beings cannot perceive the objects of the senses no matter howevermuch they strain their organs themselves. They just remain as ineffective in their attempts as a drenched firewood in burning."
The sensories replied. " What all you said would have been true provided that you can enjoy all the perceptions yourself without us or our objects. Your words would have been true only if you can enjoy all the pleasures, please the being and support the life, even as all of us absorb into inexistence. Or, otherwise, even as we absorb into inexistence or very well reside upon our own objects, if you think that you can perceive and enjoy all pleasures as usual just by virtue of your own intention alone,your words would have been true. If you believe that you can bring about perception of our objects without our normal role, let us see you try to perceive the form with the nose, to perceive the taste with eye, to perceive the scent with ear, to perceive the touch with tongue, to perceive the sound with skin and get them! Or, even try to perceive touch with intellect. We are weak entities and hence may be subject to certain restrictions in performance. Since you claim to be superior, you need not subject yourself to restrictions, as a strong one is beyond any restriction. you enjoy all the objects in a new way by yourself. You should not condescend to receive the enjoyment contaminated by us. Just as a disciple reaches a teacher and learns the scriptures , understands them and uses the knowledge in following the directions of the scriptures, yoo too simply perceive and enjoy only those objects that we ourselves perceive while awake or asleep, pertaing to past or future. It is clearly seen that living beings of unstable mind and feeble intellect too keep their life supported by the actions performed through us. After thinking about, dreaming of and luring after many desires, the being runs after the objects, being possessed with a passion to enjoy them. The being is haunted by the passion towards the objects and is bound to the enjoyments derived out of desires just like one caught in a house without a way out. He is permanently pacified only after the life power in him is reduced, just as a fire gets extinguished when supply of fuel stops. Though it is true that we are fit to perceive only that lone object that is prescribed for each one of us and though it is also true that we cannot share the enjoyment of perception of others among us, it is equally true too that you cannot enjoy the objects without us and we cannot please ourselves without you. " This conversation clarifies about mind and senses and their nature. "

The Braahmana continued. " There is another allegory in this regard that is very often illustrated by the teachers . That is named 'five-sacrificer system'. Hear about that.
" In this system , there are five sacrificers , namely, Praana, Apaana, Vyaana, Udaana and Samaana. "

His wife immediately asked. "Sir! After hearing from you a little while ago, I kept thinking that there are seven sacrificers. How is it that the sacrificers are five in number? What is their nature and comparative status ? Please explain. "

the Braahmana replied. " Here, in this case of five-sacrificer system, the wind influenced by Praana becomes Apaana. Thw wind held up by Apaana gives rise to Vyaana. The wind nourished by Vyaana generates Udaana. The wind held in by Udaana hoists as Samaana. All these five live winds once after their birth asked Brahma, "Lord! Please tell us who among us is the premier. He, whom that you decide as the premier, will be the chief among us."

Brahma replied. "He amongst you will be the premier whose total subsidence causes total subsidence of all the other live winds in the body of a living being and on whose revival of himself all the otheres too will be revived. You all may now go as you wish."

Then, the live wind Praana said to other four live winds. " Upon my totally subsiding, all the live winds of a living beings too will totally subsiide and my revival will revive them too. See me, I am forthwithsubsiding. " Having said thus, the live wind Praana withdrew its activity and got subsided. After a while it resumed its activity as usual. Then, Samaana and Udaana told the Praana, " Similar to us, you too are not pervading all through the body of the living being. Only Apaana is under influence. You cannot be our premier."

Then, Apaana said to the others, " Upon my totally subsiding, all the live winds of a living beings too will totally subsiide and my revival will revive them too. See me, I am forthwith subsiding. " Having said thus, the live wind Apaana withdrew its activity and got subsided. After a while it resumed its activity as usual. Then, Vyaana and Udaana told Apaana, " You are not our premier. Only Praana is under your influence."

Then, Vyaana said to the other four live winds, " I am the premier among us. The reason is that upon my totally subsiding, all the live winds of a living beings too will totally subsiide and my revival will revive them too. See me, I am forthwith subsiding. " Having said thus, the live wind Vyaana withdrew its activity and got subsided. After a while it resumed its activity as usual. Then, Praana, Apaana, Udaana and Samaana told Vyaana, " You are not our premier. Only Samaana is under your influence."

The live wind Samaana then said to the others. " " I am the premier among us. The reason is that upon my totally subsiding, all the live winds of a living beings too will totally subsiide and my revival will revive them too. See me, I am forthwith subsiding. " Having said thus, the live wind Samaana withdrew its activity and got subsided. After a while it resumed its activity as usual. Then, Praana, Apaana, Udaana and Samaana told Vyaana, " You are not our premier. Only Samaana is under your influence."

The live wind Udaana then said to the others. " " I am the premier among us. The reason is that upon my totally subsiding, all the live winds of a living beings too will totally subsiide and my revival will revive them too. See me, I am forthwith subsiding. " Having said thus, the live wind Udaana withdrew its activity and got subsided. After a while it resumed its activity as usual. Then, Praana, Apaana, Vyaana and Samaana told Udaana, " You are not our premier. Only Vyaana is under your influence."
The Braahmana continued to his wife.
" Thus the five live winds could not decide who among them was premier. Then Brahma addressed them all together. " You are all premiers, or you all are not premiers. You are all interdependent asto your activities. You are all premiers in your own aspects.You have different attributes but at the same time are interrelated to one another with one's activity owing to another's activity. Also, hear this. The wind is in fact only one. But it assumes two entities mobile and stationary. The only one form of wind becomes five different branches with respect to the stance taken and activities performed . You all be friendly with others among you and wish good of others. You support yourselves collectively. May you beget good."

The Braahmana further continued. "My lady! There is another illustration that the teachers often quote in their discourses. That is the convrsation between the sages Naarada and Devamatha. Once Devamatha obediently asked Naarada . "Sir! While a living being comes to birth, which live wind first runs in him ? Is it Praana or Apaana or Samaana or Vyaana or Udaana? "

Naarada answered. " O sage! while a being is about to take life, some thing other than its gross cause too runs into him. One should know about the pair of Praanas that stretch both upwards and downwards."

Devamatha again asked. "Sir! Then, what is it that is other than the gross cause of the being and runs first into him ? What is the pair of Praanas that stretch both upwards and downwards ? Kindly elucidate. "

( The foregoing verses have inner meaning which the commentator elaborated. But I ommited that, giving only occasional indications in the brackets. -T)

Naarada explained. " Sage! The feeling of pleasure comes from thought (mind's wish). it comes from (enjoying) the sound , it comes from (enjoying) the taste, it comes from (enjoying) the form too. The live wind Praana (here, it means the soul bound by its earlier deeds) first enters the male seed after the latter meets the female egg. In the male seed that is affected by the Praana ( the seed now means the body to take its form out the earlier deeds) Apaana (here, it means death ) takes its occupancy. This male seed too gives rise to pleasure. And the Rasa ( effect of earlier cultures or Vaasana) too causes pleasure. The entity called pleasure itself is nothing but Udaana arising out of union of male and female ( existing between the cause and its derivative). The male seed derives from desire ( which is a basic property of the course of lust ) and this male seed receives and supports the female egg which itself too is a product of desire. These two, male seed and female egg , as well as their union too, are caused by Samaana and Vyaana and hence are named Saamaanya (= born of Samaana). The pair that stretches upwards and downwards is that of Praana and Apaana. And, the pair that moves transversely between these two is that of Vyaana and Samaana.

" The Vedas stipulate that the Supreme Soul in the form of Agni is but all the Gods. The smoke of the fire is the attribute or quality named ignorance. The ashes of the fire are the quality named passion ( or arrogance). The flaming part of it where the oblations are offered is the quality named calmness. From the quality calmness, Samaana and Vyaana come. This is what the scholars of sacrifices say. Praana and Apaana are sections of the oblation (of ghee, ghee = melted or clarified butter)and the fire moves between these two. This is the greatest form of the Udaana as is understood by the learned scholars.

"Now I will tell you about the pairs and that thing apart from the pairs too, Listen. The day and the night form one pair and fire is their intermediary. Great scholars understand that this is the greatest form of Udaana. The existent and the non-existent form one pair and fire is their intermediary, whom, the scholars understand to be the best form of Udaana. Samaana and Vyaana operate first with the latter's activity controlled by the former and then vyaana alone operates to the achivement of tranquility which itself is the supreme Soul or Brahman."

The Braahmana continued. " Here is yet another anecdote named " four-sacrificer system" . That is a very nice and mystic knowledge. Listen how that is like. This entire world is occupied by these four sacrificers named instrument(=karanam), action (=karma), doer (=kartha) and salvation or emanicipation (=moksha). I will explain the logical deduction about causes of these sacrificers too, listen carefully. There are seven things as causes of instrumrnt, formed by the the qualities- namely, nose,tongue,eye,skin, ear,mind and intellect. There are seven things as causes of action, namely, smell, taste,form, sound, touch, thought and comprehension. There are seven things as causes of the doer - namely, smeller, eater,beholder,speaker, hearer,thinker and the comprehender. All these seven are attributed by their own qualities and enjoy the objects, pleasing or displeasing, of their respective qualities. Added with an understanding that they are not the real doers of what they do, these seven are causes to emanicipation. In case of the learned with true understanding who receive and enjoy their objectd, all these senses reside over their repective status and assuming the form of the deities, they consume the offered oblations. An ignorant person is afected by the feeling of ego while he consumes several foods . So is one who prepares foods for himself alone. Actions like eating the uneatables and drinking the undrinkables etc destroy the one affected by ego feeling. He destroys the foods ( here it means all the objects) and in turn is destroyed by them too. A learned one, however, does not destroy the foods by enjoying them ( without the feeling of I or mine), in stead he is able in regenerating them . He is not in th eleast blemished by any sin because of such (selfless) enjoyment.

The Braahmana continued. "There are six oblations within me. The one that is perceived by mind, the one that is spoken byspeech, the one that is heard by the ear, the one that is seen by the eye, the one that is felt by the touch and the one that is smelt by the nose. All these six oblations are to be offered to the six refrained organs- namely, mind, tongue,ear,eye, skin and nose. And he that receives these oblations as their goal is the Soul that shines in the form of fire, conjuncted with the qualities.

"This is a special kind of my sacrifice of realisation, its various sections being like this. Knowledge is its fire, Praana is its praising, Apaana is its Shasthra, disowing of everything is the payment of honarorium (Dakshina)to the participants.Identifying each itself with the brahman, the ego becomes the sacrificer(hotha=oblaton-offeror and reciter of Rik Veda), the mind becomes the superintendent (adhvaryu and reciter of the Veda, Yajus.), the intellect becomes the singer (Udgaatha, singer of Sama Veda) of this sacrifice. Truth is the Prashaasta and his Ashtra both, for this sacrifice. and the total emanicipation is the final end of this sacrifice ( here, the original word is Dakshina=fee, but it looked repetition of what is mentioned in the second line in this para.-T). Those who realise about the Ultimate Lord Naaraayana establish the this sacrifice of knowledge, quoting the rik hymns. It is through this knowledge-sacrifice that the ancient scholars obtained control over the sacrificial beasts of the senses. Several Saama hymns are also sung in proof of this sacrifice with joy from its success . My lady! You try to concentrate upon and reach that great Supreme-Being Omnicient Narayana."

( All the above verses have some special inner meaning signifying the system of achieving the ultimate by taming the senses and disowning their objects with their enjoyment - an internal yogic observance, in all. -T).

END OF CHAPTER TWENTY FIVE

Krishna went on relating the Braahamana couple's dialogue to Arjuna.
The font color=blue>Braahmana,/a> said to his wife again . " There is only but one commander, no second one at all. He resides in the heart. It is of him that I tell you. Due to his command do I perform as commanded, like water flowing downwards on a slope. There is only but one mentor. no second one at all. He resides in the heart. It is of him that I tell you. It is by the instruction of this preceptor that all the hostile serpents in this world are defeated. There is only but one dear one, no second one at all. It is from his guidance that the dear ones are said to really possess their dear ones. Also, it his directive that makes the seven sages stand high in the sky and shine. There is only but one hearer, no second one at all. He resides in the heart. It is of him that I tell you. Taking refuge with him as his mentor and observing the customs of a residential diciple did Indra obtain lordship over the divines and the three worlds. There is only but one hostile one, no second one at all. It is of him that I tell you. It is from obtaining his direction that all the serpents always remain hostile to the world. In this connection, the teachers quote an ancient anecdote about the conversation of Lord Brahma (Prajaapathi) with the deities, the serpents, the demons and the sages. Once the divines, sages, demons and serpents together went to Prajaapathi. Paying respects to Him, they obediently asked, "Lord! Please grace us with the best." The Lord pronounced the single syllable 'Oam' to the seekers of those best. Soon after receiving the speech, they all went in their choiced direction. As they departed and thought of the meaning of the teaching, the serpents first understood as they thought fit and developed inclination towards biting others. The demons understood the teaching in their own way and they assumed delusion which is their nature. The divines understood it to be alms. The sages comprehended that refrain is the meaning of the teaching. Here, the teacher is the same one to all the four, the teaching too is the same monosyllabilic word to the four, but the four recipients of the teaching - deities, demoms,sages and serpents- of different cultures, derived four different meanings of that. The listner receives the mentor's teachings and recieves as it is understood by him. In fact, for an inquisitive student, there is no better teacher than the internal resident Supreme-Soul. It os only after His approval that the being takes to various actions ( or deeeds). Thus, the Brahman residing in the heart is the real preceptor, comprehender, listner and the hostile too. Depending on one's culture (= residual effect of earlier deeds ), one performs sinful deeds and will be named Paapachaari (sinful), performs virtuous deeds and will be named Shubhachaari (virtuous), gets stuck with enjoyment of desires of the sensories by lust and will be named Kaamachaari ( lustful). And one who, again, according to one's own culture, is constantly engaged in taming the sensories is called Brahmacaari ( = stuck to Brahman . ( Do not confuse this word Brahmachaari with the same word which describes the first order of life ie student phase -Tr.). The one who delinks himself from the procedural activities like observances and concentrates only on the Supreme Brahman and identifies himself with that Brahman is named Brahmachaari. For such a self-absorbed Brahmachaari, Brahman is the sacrificial fuel, Brahman is the fire, Brahman is the source of his existence, Brahman is water , Brahman is teacher. He simply concentrates all courses of his mind in the Brahman alone. This is the very minute and analytical system of Brahmacharyam ( perceiving the Brahman) which was understood and followed by the ancient learned ones through the teachings of their mentors who were masters of this system."

The Braahmana again said to his wife. " My dear lady! Now, I entered a great forest (Brahman) after crossing such a miserable and untroddable path ( of birth-death cycle) the course of which is infested with several hindrances. The desires are the wild-mosquitoes here , dual feelings like sadness and pleasure are the due and sun here, infatuation is the darkness here , greed and desease are the serpents here, objects of senses are the lonely routes here, desire and anger are the way-layers here. I am now at the other end of such a horrible way and took my entry into that great forest."

The Braahmana's wife asked. " Learned Sir! What is that forest! Where is that? How far away is that ? what are the trees, hills mountains and streams in that forest ?"

The Braahmana answered . " There is not an entity different from that horest, nor is an entity identical with that. Nothing is pleasure different from that, nor is a trouble-dispeller different from that. There is nothing smaller than that nor is a thing greater than that. There is nothing more minuter than that, nor is a pleasing thing that is equivallent to that. The learned ones who enter that do never lament over anything, do never feel pleased about anything. They are afraid of nothing and nothing dreads them too.
" There are seven great trees in that forest. The trees yield seven fruits. There are seven guests to enjoy the fruits. There are seven hermitages and there are seven types of meditation. And there are seven avowed customs (Deeksha) too. This, my lady, is the nature of that forest. The trees of the forest expand over the entire forest and yield fruits and flowers of five colours. Another set of trees too expand through the entire forest and yield beautiful flowers and fruits of two colours. Yet another class of trees stand expanding through the entire forest and yield sweet smelling flowers and fruits of two colours. Another different batch of trees stand expanding through the entire forest and yield sweet smelling flowers and fruits of a single colour. Two great trees stand high in the forest yielding fruits and flowers of undefinable colours. There is only one fire there, that is the well contained mind concentrating on the Brahman. The five senses are the sacrificial fuel there. The seven forms of meditation yield the seven forms of emanicipation of the soul. The qualities are the fruits and the seven guests consume those fruits. The sages, receive hospitality in this here and there. After being worshipped, the get extinct and then in them does shine another forest ( of the brahman). In this forest newly hoisted, intelligence is the tree, salvation is the fruit, peace is the shade, realisation is the shelter, contentment is water and the knowledge about the inner soul is the shining sun. Those who reach out to that forest do never have to feel any fear thereafter. The end of the forest - upwards or downwards or lateral - is never known to anyone. In that new forest ( of Brahman), there are seven splendourous women with faces cast downwards, who instantly manifest themselves. Those seven women take away all the tastes from all the beings like the non-truth grasping the truth. The seven accomplished sages with Vasishtha in their lead, absorb in that forest and manifest from the same forest. The seven radiances -namely- fame,splendour,mastery,victory,accomplishment,blaze and ability, follow the sun (of the soul). There are hills and mountains too in the forest. There are springs, streams and rivers in which flow the waters that are born from the Brahman himself. All the rivers confluence into a secret location where the sacrifices of yoga are vastly performed. That is the place of the very Brahman and it is there where all those accomplished with self contentment reach finally. Those with subdued desires, well observed vows, and with sins burnt down by the fire of their penances, absorb themselves with the soul and achieve the Brahman. The scholars wellversed with the meaning of this forest of knowledge, here commend serene peace too, which after the entry into this forest, makes the intellect stable. This , in brief, is what is about the sacred forest that is understood by the learned scholars and followed by them through the instructions from their preceptors who are masters of this science."

The Braahmana further continued. " In fact, I do not perceive scents, do not feel the tastes, do not see the forms, do not experience the touch, do not hear any sounds or do not ever entertain any wishes. It is the inherent nature that lures for the beloved things and that detests the undesired things. It is because of the inherent nature that desire and hatred occur. It is due to that inherent nature that the live winds Praana and Apaana do their activities in the bodies of the beings. The great learnd yogic practitioners can see the inner soul who is different from the inner entities of the sensories (filled with culture ie Vaasana) or the apparent sensories which are different from each other, or their qualities which themselves are different from the sensories. Having had concentrated myself on that Soul, I am never a subject to lust or anger or decay or death. As I do not wish any of the desired things, as I do not detest any of the undesired things either, I am not blemished with the nature's reflections like lust or desire, as cleanly as a drop of water does not stick to a lotus leaf even as it stays verily on the lotus leaf. For that eternal Soul, all these transient experiences of objects of sensories are verily temporary even though he remains a witness to the experiences. Deeds and experiences of enjoyment cannot bind a learned one to the deeds as the sky cannot bind the emerging rays of sun. In this context, he teachers quote an ancient incident of conversation between a monk and a sacrificial conductor.

" Krishna was going on. Arjuna! The Braahmana continued to his wife, relating the conversation of monk and conductor.

" Once a conductor of a sacrifice is procedurally prepaing a scapegoat with chantings of ablution when a monk sitting nearby protestingly remarked to him, "O conductor of sacrifice! This is a violent murder."

The conductor answered him. "No, no. This goat it not going wretched. It will beget good, as the Vedas stipulate. Its part pertaing to the earth will absorb with the earth, its part pertaining to water will enter water, its eyes absorb with the sun, its ears absorb with the directional cardinals, its life will go to the space. This is what the Veda says. Following that Veda, I am not to blame or to incur any sin."

The hermit again said, " If you see that the goat begets good by loosing its life in this sacrifice, it means that the sacrifice itself runs for the good of this goat. Then, what is this sacrifice going to fetch you ? The Veda stipulates that the the scapegoat (Pashu) should be allowed by its brother, father, mother and friend, for its being sacrificed. So, O conductor! First get allowance from the kins of this goat , particularly since this is a poor creature of no own power. My opinion is that you should go on with this only after first consulting the kins of this goat and getting their consent. You have made the goat's sensories absorbed in their sources. That makes me think that only the lifeless body of this goat remains with you. When you are ready to perform a sacrifice with a goat as lifeless as a dry wood, I believe that you had better do your sacrifice with a dry wood as scapegoat, to purge the sin of murder from you. The ancient teachers ordained that harmlessness is the best of all virtues. Hence, we opine that everything done by us should be devoid of harm to others. I also feel that one should take a vow towards harmlesness, lest one should be committing many a misdeed. We always choice for harmlessness towards every being. We strive for what is evident to us but not what is indirect to us."

The conductor carefully listened to the speech of the hermit and answered. " Monk! You agree that every thing is filled with life. At the same time, you consume the qualities of scent from the earth, you consume tastes from the water, you experience vision of forms from the element fire, you experience the qualities of touch from the element air, you enjoy the hearing of sounds emanating from the space and you perceive thoughts coming from the mind. you end up with sucking out the life of these many things, meaning that you are harming others too. There is not a sinle action that is devoid of harm. What do you think, Sir!"

The monk again said to the conductor . " This soul has two entities. One,the eternal(Akshara) and the other, the transient(kshara) one. The eternal one is the true existent while the transient one is decaying. One who is devoid of any attachment towards life or senses or organs or qualities ; one who is devoid of desires and dualities, one who is equipoised towards all beings; one who kept his mind and senses tamed; one who is detached from all bonds of all natures, will not face any fear anywhere from anything."

The conductor responded to him . "Sir! I opine that it is useful to move around with good and learned people like you. After hearing what you said, my intellect is aroused and I say these words to you treating you as an enlightened one. Doing what is ordined by the Vedas according to the prescribed scriptures, I will not incur any sin, nor am I at fault either."

The monk too remained silent after hearing the conductor's logic and the latter went on with his work without faultering. " said the Braahmana, concluding, "This is how minute the aspect of salvation is and it is known only to the enlightened scholars. The scholars with realisation understand and follow this through instruction from their learned teachers who are masters of this subject. "

The Braahmana further continued to his wife. "Lady! Here is yet another ancient story of conversation of Arjuna, the Kaarthaveerya, with the sea (Saagara). We heard that once there was a king named Kaarthaveeryaarjuna ( ie, Arjuna, the son of Krithaveera) who had a thousand hands. With his valour, he won the earth until its end points that touch the seas . Once the king, boastful of his strength, was moving around the sea shore and shot hundreds of arrows into the sea. The sea then took its mobile form and came to him with folded hands saying, " O great valourous king! Kindly do not shoot arrows at me. Many of the water creatures that take shelter in me are being hurt by your arrows. Please grant mercy to them and save. "

The king stopped shooting and said to the sea. "O Sea ! Please tell me if there is a person wielding bow and arrows to stand before me in war. "
The sea replied to the king. " You might have heard of the sage Jamadagni. I think his son is able to treat you suitably in fighting with bow and arrows."
The king soon angrily went to the hermitage of Jamadagni's son Raama ( popular as Parashu-raama) and saw him there. There, the king, along with his fellow-men, did many unpleasant things causing annoyance to Raama. With his anger rising to its heights, Raama showed his prowess destroying the king's entire army. Then he took up his axe and chopped off the thousand hands of the king as simply as cutting the several branches of a huge tree and killed him with the same axe. Seeing the king killed, his relatives and followers swarmed around Raama wielding their various powerful weapons. Raama soon ascended his chariot and took up his fierce bow. He briskly shot severe arrows in their thousands, killing most of the attackers. The survivors ran helter-skelter. Some of them dread Raama's name and took resort in the hills and woods like poor animals dreading the lion. Due to their such plight, the frightened fellows could not perform their duties prescribed for Kshathriyas. The people under their rule turned Shoodra-equivallent, due to the prolonged absence of association with Braahmanas. That way, the ruling class population of the provinces of Dravida, Aabheera and Pundra mixed with barbarian tribes and the genaral masses of the regions degraded to Shoodras due to extinction of Kshathriya administration. Then, the Kshathriya widows were blessed with offspring by the Braahmanas. But, an angry Raama annihilated the new generations of Kshathriya s again anad again. After twenty one exterminations like that, the heavenly voice told Raama, as audible to the entire people as to Raama himself. " O great Raama! Stop this cruel act. What merit do you see in the annihilation of ruling classes againa and again ? " At the same time, Raama's manes, sage Richeeka and others appeared before him and told him to stop the killing forthwith. But, Raama, with his father's murder incising his mind, told them that they were not proper in asking him to stop his undertaking."

The manes said. " No, boy. It is not good to kill the Kshathriya s. More so, it does not befit a valourous hero and a celebrated Braahmana like you to incur the sin of killing the innocent Kshathriyas. Hear an ancient episode quoted often in this regard. you hear that and decide as you wish.
" Once a king named Alarka held his sway over the entire esrth enclosed by the seas.He was a man of truth, virtue, vows and penance. He ruled excellently for a very long time and then took to meditation upon the ultimate. He sat in the shade of the trees ( ie in the forest) and said to himself. " I derived all my strength from my mind. Hence my mind should be the strongest. I have been till now uselessly aiming my arrows at the external enemies. Winning against my mind means total victory to me. This mind makes all the human beings waver their concentration and disturbs them always. So, it is pertinent if I shoot my powerful arrows at this internal enemy, my mind."

Knowing Alarka's thoughts, the mind said. "No, king! You are wrong. These arrows that you wish to use against me cannot hit me. In stead, they will hurt your vital points and you will kill yourself that way. Try to get some different and useful arrows for this purpose."
The king thought for a while and said to the mind, "I understand that this nose is enjoying various scents and luring for them again and again thereby distracting my mind. Hence, I will shoot my powerful arrows at the nose. "
The nose too said to the king, knowing his intention. " No, king! You are wrong. These arrows that you wish to use against me cannot hit me. In stead, they will hurt your vital points and you will kill yourself that way. Try to get some different and useful arrows for this purpose."
The king thought for a while and said to the nose. " I understand that this tongue is enjoying various tastes and luring for them again and again thereby distracting my mind. Hence, I will shoot my powerful arrows at the tongue."
The tongue too said to the king, knowing his intention. " No, king! You are wrong. These arrows that you wish to use against me cannot hit me. In stead, they will hurt your vital points and you will kill yourself that way. Try to get some different and useful arrows for this purpose."
The king thought for a while and said to the tongue. " I understand that this skin is enjoying various touches and luring for them again and again thereby distracting my mind. Hence, I will shoot my powerful arrows at the skin."
The skin too said to the king, knowing his intention. " No, king! You are wrong. These arrows that you wish to use against me cannot hit me. In stead, they will hurt your vital points and you will kill yourself that way. Try to get some different and useful arrows for this purpose."
The king thought for a while and said to the skin. " I understand that this ear is enjoying various sounds and luring for them again and again thereby distracting my mind. Hence, I will shoot my powerful arrows at the ear."
The ear too said to the king, knowing his intention. " No, king! You are wrong. These arrows that you wish to use against me cannot hit me. In stead, they will hurt your vital points and you will kill yourself that way. Try to get some different and useful arrows for this purpose."
The king thought for a while and said to the ear. " I understand that this eye is enjoying various forms and luring for them again and again thereby distracting my mind. Hence, I will shoot my powerful arrows at the eye."
The eye too said to the king, knowing his intention. " No, king! You are wrong. These arrows that you wish to use against me cannot hit me. In stead, they will hurt your vital points and you will kill yourself that way. Try to get some different and useful arrows for this purpose."
The king thought for a while and said to the eye. " I understand that this intellect is making various wishes and conclusions thereby distracting my mind. Hence, I will shoot my powerful arrows at the intellect."
The intellct too said to the king, knowing his intention. " No, king! You are wrong. These arrows that you wish to use against me cannot hit me. In stead, they will hurt your vital points and you will kill yourself that way. Try to get some different and useful arrows for this purpose."

The Braahmana continued the story of Alarka as related to Raama by his manes. "The the king Alarka settled there itself into a deep penance with a view to obtain an arrow that is stromg enough to hit at these seven internal entities but met with no success. Then, that intelligent king sank into deepest thoughts for a very long time and found that there is no other way except yoga to achieve the final good. He took up deep meditation and practised yoga of concentration intently and hit all the seven internal enemies with a single arrow (of meditation). With the aid of the same yogic concentration, he achieved the ultimate status too. Wondering at all that had happened to him, the royal sage Alarka then sang a verse, ' What a pity! I have till now confined ourselves to the external enjoyments. Hitherto I kept enjoying the kingdom, lured by its luxuries. At the end, now, I found out that there is nothing other than the yogic concentration to achieve the ultimate good.'
Raama's manes concluded to him. " Raama! You understand what we told now. Know clearly that penance is the only implement to achieve ultimate good, but not things like killing the rulers as you are doing now. So, immurse in penance for your good."

END OF CHAPTER THIRTY

The Braahmana further continued to his wife. " There are three enemies to us. Those three are said to become nine, per the three qualities - calmness (Saththva), passion (Rajas) and ignorance (Thamas). Contentment, pleasure and bliss - these three pertain to the quality named calmness. Desire, anger and hatred- these three pertain to the quality named passion. Laziness, fear and infatuation - these three pertain to the quality named ignorance. A stable-minded person makes efforts to defeat these nine enemies with the arrows of restrain and forbearance to tame his sensories. In this connection, the learners of the ancient episodes quote a set of verses sung by Ambareesha at the time of his taking to peace. He came to the throne forcefully at a worse time when flaws were rampant and the good were all in troubles. He dispelled all the flaws and restored safety to the good with due honours to them. He then sang like this.
" I have dispelled and annihillated many a flaw. All the enmies were tamed to the lowest level. But, one strong flaw, though the fittest to be killed, is not yet killed at all. It is because of that powerful flaw that people could not attain the state of desirelessness and run to lower levels of character as if driven by a thrist, even without knowing what they are really at. It is due to the force that untamable enemy that one resorts even to those deeds which are otherwise unfit to do. The name of that enemy is greed. He who tears that into pieces with the sword of knowledge will attain good. Greed gives rise to desire, from desire does come thrist. Thus, greed makes one first blemished with the attributes of the quality passion and then it throws him deep into the attributes of the quality ignorance. In this way, stuck with a bond to the body due to the qualitative attributes, one will be again and again dyeing and taking birth, thereby seeking to perform several deeds. At the end of the body, he is engulfed by death, takes a birth again and dies again. This cycle ends after umpteen births and deaths. Hence, one should be very careful about this greed and tame it with mental stability and strive for the kingdom of realisation of the eternal soul. That kingdom is the real kingdom, but nothing other is really a kingdom at all. The soul thoroughly understood itself is the king in that kingdom of bliss."

Thus the celebrated king Ambareesha sang his verses about dispelling the greatest enemy, the greed, and attaing the ultimate. "

Krishna continued to Arjuna. Arjuna! The Braahmana again went on telling his wife about the true knowledge. He said to her. " My lady! Here is yet another ancient story in this regard, the conversation between king Janaka and a Braahmana.
Once when a Braahmana was found guilty of some offence, the king Janaka , with a purpose of punishing him, ordered the Braahmana, "You are forbidden from living within my provinces."
The Braahmana heard the king's orders and asked him earnestly, " King! Please mention the limits upto which your provinces extend, so that I may live in the provinces of other kings. I obey your order as your words are as per the scriptural laws."
The king Janaka heard the Braahmana's words. He kept thinking and sighing but did not speak a word in answer. As he kept so thinking , he became bewildered and overshadowed with amazement as an eclipsed sun. After a silence for a good while, restoring himself from the puzzled status and becoming normal, Janaka said to the Braahmana, " Sir! It is true that I am the holder of this kingdom that devolved upon me as an ancestral estate. Even so, I could not see what my province is, in the entire earth. Then I thought of finding it within my Mithila ( = name of his capital and his Videha province too. -Tr ) areas. There too, I could not find my ownership. Then I searched for that among my subjects where too my ownership is not found. That made me amazed. After restoring my self from that amazement, I came to the conclusion that my province exists nowhere or everything is my province. Even this soul is not mine or the entire earth too is mine. All this what is considered my province as much belongs to all others as it does to me. That is what I understood. You live here as long as you like and enjoy here as long as you live."
The
Braahmana then said to the king. " Even as you admit that you own this ancestral kingdom, what thoughts made you disown your ownership over this province? Due to what reason do you conclude that your province exists everywhere? How do you conclude that your province exists nowhere? What is the reaosn for thinking that the entire earth too is yours?"
Janakaanswered. " I clearly understood that every status resulting out of the deeds is only a transient phase that surely has its end. due to that fact, I could not assert that this particular thing belongs to me. The Veda also teaches the same by questioning 'whose is this?' and 'what is own?'. Thus too, I could not assert that this particular thing belongs to me. This is how I disowned my ownership of the province. Listen why I felt that everywhere is my province. I never feel like wishing for myself those scents that come to my nose even by themselves. Thus I controlled the earth ( = Prithivi, the element for scent - Tr)and the earth lies within my power. I never feel like wishing for myself those tastes that come to my mouth even by themselves. Thus I controlled the water ( = Aapas, the element for taste - Tr)and the water lies within my power. I never feel like wishing for myself those forms and light that reach my eyes even by themselves. Thus I controlled the fire ( = Fire, the element for form and radiance - Tr) and the fire lies within my power. I never feel like wishing for myself those touches that reach my skin even by themselves. Thus I controlled the wind ( = Vaayu, the element for touch - Tr) and the wind lies within my power. I never feel like wishing for myself those sounds that reach my ears even by themselves. Thus I controlled the space ( = Aakaasha, the element for sound - Tr) and the sounds lie within my power. I never feel like wishing for myself those thoughts that occur in mind even by themselves. Thus I controlled the mind ( = Vaayu, the element of touch - Tr) and it lies within my power. All my efforts and performances of deeds are intended for gods, manes, guests and other beings. "
The Braahman laughed aloud and said to Janaka, "I am Lord Dharma in person. I came here to put your knowledge to a small test. It is proven that you are the one that can run this unstoppable and ever forwarding wheel of knowledge of Brahman, whose edge-band is the quality calmness (Saththva) itself."

The Braahmana further told his wife. "Dear one! You consider me to be what you see me as and arraign at me. But, in reality, I am not what you understand me to be, or, I am not behaving as how you understand. I am the truly enlightened one too, I am the emanicipated one too, I am the forest-dweller too, I am the house-hold too, I am the practiser of vows too. I repeat, I am not at all what you see me to be in the aspects of both good and bad. I in fact pervade over everything that lies in the world. Understand me to be the destroyer of all the mobile and immobile beings in the world, like the fire is to the wood. My intellect perceives every area thatlies in the entire earth or in the entire heaven. That intellect is my power and it is everything to me. The path that is chosen by all the learned scholars is but single and the same, no matter what order they are in - let them be the students in their teachers'hermitages(Brahmachaaris), or the households or the forest-dwellers or the monks. People of these four various orders, though their procedures and authorities differ, concentrate upon but one and the same thing with an unswerving mind. Of all people of all these orders, those whose mind is purified with the quality calmness (Saththva), will converge unto the same thought, as all the rivers flow into the same sea. This path is attainable through intellect only,but not through this gross body, which is bound by the deeds which themselves have their own limits ie beginning and end. Thus, my dear lady! you do not worry about your afterworlds. You will attain verily me through thinking over me, the soul itself. "

The Braahmana's wife said to her husband, "Sir! This is not comprehensible to people of feeble intellect and uncapable mind. That great and vast knowledge so briefly taught to me makes my mind baffle. Kindly show me some way to hold this within my comprehension. I believe you are the only one that is capable of blessing me so since it is you who granted me this wonderful knowledge and it can only be from you that I may get a way to retain it in my comprehension. "

The Braahmana replied. " Understand the knowledge-seeking mind is the lower Arani and the teacher is th e upper Arani . The knowledge of fire is obtained by carrying out the the activity of churning by means of continuous study and discussion of the Vedas and performing penance."

The wife again asked. " It is said that the soul in the body described as Kshethrajna (=resider in the body) is the Supreme Soul itself. If that is the symbol of that supreme Brahman, how to know of that? How to perceive that? what are the characteristics of that ? "

The Braahmana answered. "The supreme soul is in fact devoid of any quality or property. It has no cause for itself either. I will tell you a way understand that . This may be sometimes useful for some people to understand or may not be useful to some others at sometimes. an example is the bee hovering around the flower. It hovers over the flower never understanding the flower but all the while enjoys its scent and nectar. Similarly, an intellect attached to deeds and all the while looking like understanding the nature of knowledge is not the real intellect at all. As to the ways of salvation, it is never taught in this regard that this is the only way to do and this is never the way to do. The true eligible implement is that seeing and hearing ( ie practising) which the intellect sticks upon to the soul. In the aspect of this eligible implement , the diversification of perception is so vastly possible as one's imagination can go- like visible, unvisible etc in their hundreds and thousands. All the perceivable things with several objects of their own, all the things that have apparent causes ,are all to be surpassed. By negating everything this way, where one cannot see a thing further, that is the real thing which , of course, is possible to achieve only through severe and continuous practice. "

Krishna said to Arjuna. "Arjuna! Then the intellect of the Braahmana lady cast off all the doubts about the Kshethrajna(=resider in the body), and understood the knowledge of the Kshethra(=body) thereby looked for understanding the Ultimate beyond that Kshethra and its knowledge."

Arjuna asked Krishna . "Krishna ! it is wonderful to hear about this Braahmana couple who attained the Ultimate good. Who might be that great Braahmana couple? Where are they?"

Krishna smiled and said. " The Braahmana is my mind. The wife is my intellect. what is described as Kshethrajna is verily me."

END OF CHAPTER THIRTY FOUR ( Here ends the allegory of dialogue of the Braahmana couple.

KRISHNA'S DISCOURSE TO ARJUNA - RELATES A DIALOGUE BETWEEN A TEACHER AND HIS DISCIPLE

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( From here, starts the allegory of dialogue between the teacher and the disciple. -Tr)

Arjuna asked Krishna again. "Krishna ! Tell me about the most desirable knowledge Brahman. Due to your blessings, my mind is carving for enjoying the minuter and minuter aspects of knowledge."

Krishna replied . "Arjuna! There is an ancient episode of dialogue between a teacher and his disciple regarding salvation. Hear that. A n intelligent disciple arrived before an accomplished teacher and asked him earnestly with great obedience. " sir! What is the ultimate good? I am in quest of that ultimate good and take refuge with you. I beg you to dispell all my doubts."

The teacher blessed the student and told, "My boy! I will explain to you everything whatever you ask me about. come on, what do you wish to know?"

The disciple bowed to the teacher and asked with folded hands. "Teacher! Where am I from? Where are you from? where are all these mobile and immobile creatures from? How does the creature kingdom survive? what is the period of their lives? What is trth? what is penance? What qualities are accepted by th elearned ones? What is the best and good-iving course? What is pleasure? what is sin? Explain me thoroughly the truth about all these things. I am eager to know all this. you are famous in the world for your knowledge about salvation courses. I see no one other than you who is capable of dispelling the doubts of people like us who are scared of this world and are after salvation."

The accomplished teacher heard what the eligible and intelligent student asked him in due manner all earnestly. He thoroughly answered all the questions of as following . "My son! Hear. what all that you asked has been told already by the Lord Brahma himself. That is what is followed by all the sages. That is nothing but an explanation of true nature of all the entities according to the tradition of the Vedas. We understand that realisation is the best of the knowledges. Renunciation is the best of the penances. He that answers the description of true knowledge beyond doubt without contradiction to the scriptures, he that lies within every being, is said to be the omnicient and the protector of all. Such a scholar who simaltaneously perceives as true, both juncture and disjuncture, both unity and severality, will be relieved of grief. He that wishes for nothing and he that attaches himself to nothing, is fit for the ultimate attainment even as he resides in this mortal world. He that understands the delusion, he that understands the qualities, he that knows the true nature of all the entities( The entities are 25 in number, comes later shortly.- Tr), he that is devoid of ego and attachments , is no doubt, emanicipated. One should employ the sword of knowledge to totally cut down the tree of the body for which ignorance is the seed, intellect is the stem, ego is branches,senses are are the hollows, the elements are the branches and the attributes of the elements are the flowers and buds. this tree is ever-leafing, ever-budding and ever fruit-yielding. This tree, origining from the originless, is the life of all the beings. by cutting down this tree with the sword of realisation, one will overcome birth and death to become eternal. "

The teacher continued. "Now hear what is the highest of knowledges and what is followed by the accomplished scholars earlier. Hear it from me as what Brahma told the sages. Once the great sages Prajapathi (=Daksha),Bharadvaaja,Gouthama,Bhaargava,Vasishtha, Kashyapa, Vishvaamithra and Athri, all having laboured in their own tasks of knowldge, gathered at a place in quest of knowledge and were discussing among themselves. Finally, they took Aangiras as their lead and went to see Lord Brahma at his abode. They bowed to him in respect and prayed ," Grandsire Lord! Please clarify our doubts. How to perform a deed? How to get free from sins? What are the best courses to follow? What is truth? What is sin? What are the two courses of the deeds? What is creation and destruction? What is death and birth of the beings?"

Having been asked so by the sages, Lord Brahma said to them. "Sages! All the mobile and immobile beings are born from the truth (= the true existent) . They live from their deeds ( =thapas. Here, the original word Thapas does not mean penance, , as is usually adopted.-Tr) They sever themselves from their own source (Supreme soul) and exist by virtue of their own deeds.
Truth, admixed with the qualities is said to be of five properties. The Brahman is the truth, the virtue is the truth, Prajaapathi is the truth. The beings do come from the truth and the world filled with beings is also the truth. As such, all those scholars who are continuously engaged in yogic practices, who are devoid of anger or grief, who adopt to follow the truth, are all essentially following the virtue itself. The virtue is guarded by such scholars who support among themselves. They are eternal and they ennoble the entire world. I will tell you about them and also about the duties and practices of all the four orders too, listen.

Brahma continued to the sages. " The virtue (=Dharma) is eternal. The learned describe it to be of four quarters. Sages! I am now telling you about the courses that bring good, through which the ancient learners attained the Brahman. That course is very difficult to comprehend, but I will fully explain about that. There are four orders in a human life, the student order(Brahmacharyam), the household (Gaarhasthyam), hermitage ( or seclusion = Vaanaprastham) and monkhood (Sannyaasam). The last is related to the ultimate knowledge hence it is also known as Adhthyaatma ( knowledge-seeking) order. As long as one does not attain this realisation (of Adhyaathma), his perception lies limited to various entities such as light, space, sun, wind, Indra or Prajaapathi. I will tell you the way for its attainment. The order of forest-dwelling (or seclusion from society), is prescribed for the first three orders (=classes ie Varnas. The word order is used in two senses, one -it means the four phases of life, other- it means the four Varnas of society.-Tr) of the society. during this phase of life, one should subsist upon fruits, roots and water. The second phase (= order of life), the household, is prescribed for all the four orders of the society. The learned scholars say that commitment to virtue is the best way of following that. These are the virtue-guarding courses that I explained to you, which were followed by scholars through their deeds. Anyone, who strictly adheres to the rules prescribed the any of the orders and succesfully adopts them in his life, will see and understand about the creation and destruction of the creatures. Now, i will explain about the entities that seggregatedly exist in bodies and are perceivable to the intellect. There are twenty five entities that comprise the body and soul - The Prime Nature, the Ego, the five working organs, the five sensory organs, mind, the five elements, the five attributes of the elements and the soul - all numbering to twenty five. He who thoroughly understands the birth and destruction of all these elements becomes the most stable-minded and he never faulters. Such a schoalr who comprehends the nature of these entities, qualities and deities (= senses)- becomes devoid of all sins , relieves from the bond and enjoys all the serene higher abodes."

The teacher said to his disciple. "Brahma then went on explaining about the three qualities. First, he talked about the quality ignorance (Thamas).
Brahma said to the sages, " With this knowledge about the entities, one should know that the Prime Nature is the equillibrium of all the three qualities. This Nature is eternal and it pervades over every derivative thing in this world. Those three qualities ( calmness, passion and ignorance), due to change in their proportions, assume to be the five elements whereby the town of body of nine openings is formed. This town hosts the soul-being (Jeeva-aathma). The eleven organs ( five agents, five sensories and mind) instigate the soul-being towards the objects. Mind is their leader causing them to act and express. Intellect is the ruler of this town of the body. This town has three streams of inner sense which are always filled by three in-flows of the three qualities. As is known to you, calmness, passion and ignorance are the three qualities. Theses three qualities pair among themselves, compete among themselvs,depend on one another, coordinate with one another and intermix with one another. These three qualities underlie the ingredients of the five elements . Calmness vies with ignorance, passion vies with calmness,calmness vies with passion and ignorance vies with calmness. When( or, where) ignorance is restrained, then( or, there) does passion rises. When passion is restrained, calmness rises then. The quality ignorance, otherwise named delusion, is like darkness. It has three attributes. It is characteristic of non-virtue. It essentially exists in sin-doers. Then, the quality passion is said to be an assumption of the nature itself. It is the cause for active changes and it is the cause for production when it prevails.All the visible existence is but its assumption. It exists in all the beings. Then, the quality calmness. Its essence is radiance among all the creatures, well established virtue and commitment to right course. This is how the quality calmness exists. It is the quality that all the learned vote for. "

Brahma continued. " Now, I will tell you logically and briefly about the essential characteristics of the three qualities as collectively as severally. First, listen the attributes of the quality ignorance. They are - delusion, ignorancence, ungenerousness,indecisiveness in actions, excessive sleep, feigning, fear,greed, deriding good deeds, unretentiveness of the mind, inability in estimating the effects of acts, deriding the Vedas, variance in actions, indiscrimination asto good and bad, disinclination towards right aspects, interest in low deeds,seeing the bad as good ( or claiming the undone as done) , seeing the ignorance as knowledge, unfriendliness, unmindfulness in acts, recklessness, indiscrete assumptions, mischievouness, failure in understanding, involving in sinful deeds, dilatoriness,laziness, absence of devotion towards right things, succeptibility to the senses, inclination towards unprescribed manners and many like these that are seen as derivatives of ignorance and proscribed by the learned. The behavioural aspects of the quality ignorance ( ie manners of those possessed with ignorance ) are - always deriding the deities, Vedas and Braahmanas; illiberality, egoism, delusion,anger, impatience, jealousy towards all the beings, attempting unprescribed deeds, giving unaacceptable alms, consuming unacceptable foods, excessive talking, unforgivingness, enviousness, covetousness and indiligence. People of these attributived and other too who are sinful and inclined towards breaking the course of virtue are said to be of ignorant attitude. I will tell you what wombs are attained by these people with the quality ignorance, of whom , some some fall into the worst hell and some suffer lower births per their sinful deeds. They take birth as - immobile ones like trees and hills; such low creatures like beasts, load-bearing animals, flesh-eater demons, poisonous serpents, insects, worms, birds, egg-layers and four-footers. Some enter human womb but are born as lame, blind,dumb, dead and insane.Some are born with terrible deases like leprosy. This way, the people afflicted with ignorance, with a tendancy towards downfall, adopt wrong conduct and become what fits their acts.
" Now, I will tell you how these low-born beings rise up to higher levels and higher abodes by performing right deeds. After taking such births, the degraded beings, at the end of suffering of the fruits of their earlier deeds, will have a tendancy towards right things, take birth in various inferior orders of human beings, have interaction with the learned beings who are bound to their prescribed acts and who wish good to all. Due the ennoblement received from them through scriptural purifications, they effortfully attain higher abodes, even those of the deities. this is what the scriptures say. Some of them taking birth as above grow with the fruits of their deeds and take human birth in the process of returning and leaving ( birth and death). However, they are afflicted with serious shortcomings like lowest order, dumbness, stuttering etc. They pass through various orders of the human beings in incremental order, in their cycle of births and deaths. One crossing the level of a Shoodra birth, again subjecting himself to manners of ignorance, shall again fall in to low wombs. Hence, one should guard onself against this terrible quality , ignorance. A deep attachment towards desires is named great delusion ( Mahaa-moha). Even hermits,sages and deities too err in its case, what to speak of ordinary ones? This quality ignorance is of five constituents - counter-intelligence (A-vidyaa), delusion or ego (Asmithaa), deep paasion ( mahaa-moha), darkness (=Thaamisra) which is otherwised termed as anger and pitchdarkness (=Andha-thaamisra) which is nothing but death. Sages! Thus, I described to you about the quality of ignorance, as per its source,nature,form and attributes. Indeed, is it possible to thoroughly identify and understand what ignorance is? A learner in quest of true knowledge usually identifies it by its contrary with the quality of calmness. He that understands the nature, form and attributes of the quality of ignorance, as well as its fruits, shall be freed from the bond of the quality calmness."

Brahma continued to the sages. " Now, I will tell you about the quality passion, its attributives and behavioural pattern. Grief, form, dualities like cold and hot or pleasure and pain, supremacy, war, truce, rationalisation, inclination, patience, ability, strength, valour, arrogance, wrath, effort, fighting, jealousy,desire, ear-byting, vying with others, ego, ruling, killing, capturing, tormenting,buying, selling, torturing others by causing physical harm, cruelty, severity, lamenting, talking of others' shortcomings, involving in worldly affairs, forlornness,envy, false speech, false alms, undecisiveness, deriding others, scolding, praising, exulting,prowess, frightening, helping others expecting returns, serving elders, service to others, luring, resting on others, strategy, policy, error, defying others and possessing (support from or to others). All the glorifying acts variously done unto various beings like men, women, creatures, buildings and things are all effects of the prevalence this quality called passion. The attrbutes of this quality also include - grief, incredulity, observance of vows, sticking to proscriptions and performance of such good deeds as well-digging with an intention towards enjoying their fruits; sacrificial performances involving enchanting of Namah, Svaahaa, Svadhaa and Vashat; conducting ceremonies like sacrifices, teaching the scriptures, performing sacrifices, learning the scriptures, donations, accepting donations, penitence, acts beseeching good, the feeling of mine ie covetousness and bonds with others. Also, these are some more of the attributes of passion quality, namely - deriliction, cheatfulness, harming, egotism, stealth, harmgulness, detesting unwanted things, lamentation, unwanted foregoing of sleep, assumption, pride, favour, dedication, pleasure, pleasing others, gambling, disputes, relations with people on account of women, entertainment through music or dance or orchestra or jovial talk . Such people on the earth who, immurse themselves in the thoughts about the past, present and future things; dedicate themselves to activities pertaing to the trio of virtue (dharma), desire (Kaama) and interest (Artha); do whatever their mind forces them to do; enjoy the achivement and consumption of their accomplished desires. Their intellect forces them downwards. These are the ones afflicted with the passion quality. They take births and suffer death again and again , each time they choose to perform deeds like giving alms,receiving alms, pleasing the manes and doing sacrifices all with an intention of enjoying better fruits in this birth and the next one too. Sages! Thus did I explained to you about the quality named passion alongwith its attributes, nature and all. He who that properly comprehends this will free himself from the bond of passion and its constituents.
"Brahma further taught the sages. "Good learned ones! Now, I will tell you about the third and the best of the qualities-namely- calmness (passion). It brings good to all the beings it is the unblemished virtue that is upheld by all scholars. The attributes of the calmness quality are - bliss, joy, alacrity, enlightenedness, pleasure, uncruelty, composedness, satisfaction, commitment, forgiveness, steabiity, courage, harmlessness, equanimity, truth, openness, freedom from anger, unjealousness, purity, excellence in action, prowess in pious deeds, trust, shy (from unworthy deeds), endurance, liberality, fearlessness, mercifulness, unerringness, not resorting to slandering others, contentment, pridelessness, obedience, refined conduct, clean inclination towards good deeds, pious thoughts, detachedness, disinclination towards worlsly pleasures, celibacy ( =Brahmacharyam. Here, the English substitute word cannot exactly mean the original sense. It only means contained and systematic married life. In Sanaathana dharma, even a married man can observe Brahmacharyam. One need not necessarily be a bachelor to do that. -Tr), renunciation (of interest in yields), non-possessiveness, diligence and disowning the worldly affairs. Those virtuous ones who understand the uselessness of knowledge or conduct or service to teachers or leading an order ( of four orders of life) when done with an interest in their yields, will obtain happiness here and in the next world too. The best course of virtue prescribed by the ancient learners for the real knowledge-seekers is - to be devoid of possessiveness, pride and desire; to be equal to all the beings; to completely shed the scents of ambitions. Those with dedication towards the ultimate Brahman and with the understanding that alms or sacrifice or learning or vows or acceptance of alms or virtue or penance are all useless in the absence of the above mentioned conduct- will be considered as real Braahmanas with true realisation . Such accomplished men will shed off all the sins and grief to reach higher abodes where they can (due to their achieved powers) assume whatever form they prefer. they can own such uncanny powers of the mind like mastery (Eeshatvam), Control(Vashithvam), minuteness (Laghuthvam) and enjoy with various forms as divinely as the deities in the heaven do. Their intellectual course is upwards. They can effect any changes in anything they want just like the divine one. Thus attaining the heaven, they can fetch any thing they wish for themselves simply through the intention of their minds and they are even able to distribute it to others too. Sages! Thus I explained you everything about the calmness quality. He that comprehends this will attain whatever he prefers. Properly understanding the quality passion, its attributes and its nature, one will not be held by the qualities but he will enjoy them on the other hand."

Brahma continued to the sages. " One must understand that it is not possible to describe these three qualities independently from one another, because these three usually exist intermixed . They influence one another, they depend on one another, they enliven one another, they dominate one another and they follow one another. It is said that - as long as there is calmness, there exists passion too. It is also said that - as long as ignorance exists, there exist passion and calmness too. They all run together, stay together, activate together and prevail together with or without a cause. Notwithstanding this admixture and interdependence of the qualities, predominence or subsidence of one of them occurs, as is seen really. Hear how it is. In the classes of birds and animals (Thiryak = non-human mortals)where ignorance dominates, the level of passion is low and the level of calmness is still lower. In the intermediary classes like humans, where passion prevails, there the level of ignorance is low and the level of calmness is still lower. In case of higher classes like deities, where calmness prevails, there the level of ignorance is low and the level of passion is still lower. Calmness is the causuative factor of the senses. It activates (enlightens) the senses. No other virtue is held by the scriptures as superior to calmness. Beings influenced by calmness attain higher abodes(like heaven), those influenced by passion dwell in the intermediary abodes (like earth) and those influenced by ignorance attain hell or low brths in the lower abodes. Ignorance, passion and calmness act predominantly in the conduct of Shoodra, Kshathriya and Braahmana. These three qualities always appear grossly to be together but we never hear either calmness or passion or ignorance to be existing all alone apart from others. An example can be shown like this. Seeing the sun rising, the thieves dread him whereas the wayfarers fear from the scalding heat of the sun. The shining sun is the calmness, the dreading thieves are the ignorance and the fearing wayfarers are the passion. The radiance in the sun is the calmness, the heat in him is the passion, the eclipse he suffers is the ignorance. Like this, the three qualities run in all the splendourous bodies too, one at a time showing its predominance or subsidence. Asto the immobile beings, ignorance is predominant in them. Their quantitative or physical changes like growth and qualitative changes like form or taste or colour are pertinent to passion. Their attributive of greasiness is pertinent to calmness. Based on the three qualities, the day is of three types, the night is of three types, the fortnight ( half of the month) is of three types, the month is of three types, the month is of three types, the year is of three types, the season ( two months taken together in an order ) is of three types, the conjuncture points ( closure of one and beginning of another ) are of three types. Based on the very three qualities, the donations are of three types, sacrifice is of three types, abodes are of three types,deities are of three types, knowledge is of three types, recourse id of three types. Past, present, future, virtue, interest (Artha),desire, Praana(a live wind), Apaana ( a life wind), Udaana (a life wind) all are of three types. Thus, whatever that exists everywhere in this world, is of three types, being influenced by these three qualities, by each one in their turns. These qualities come from ancient creation and they exist in every thing. The unmanifest nature is described with these epithets which every student of pholosophy should know. They are ( I am giving their meanings indicatively, though not that necessary. -Tr) - Thamas (dark), Vyaktham(clear),Shivam(heavenly), Dhaama( Abode), Rajas ( female source), Yoni( womb), Sanaathana (Timeless),Prakrthi( Nature), vikaara(derivative), Pralaya(coallition). Pradhaana(prime), Prabhava (birth), apyaya( death), Anudrktham( Calm), Anuunam ( great), Akampaa (stable), Achala( constant), Dhruva( eternal), Sath ( existent), Asath (non-existent), Avyaktham (imperceivable) and Thrigunam ( of three attributives). Thus, O sages! I explained you about the proportional existence of the qualities. He who properly comprehends this knowledge about the qualities, their behaviour and the prime nature will also comprehend the knowledge of all their sectorial seggregation and sheds off his body to be freed from all the qualities, thus making himself a part of the unqualified supreme soul.

Krishna further told Arjuna about the teacher's discourse to the students, relating how Brahma continued to the sages.
" From the unmanifest prime nature, first came into existence, the entity named Mahat (=great, literally), which is endowed with great intelligence. This Great Soul is the origin of all the qualities. It is the first creation. That is described with the various names such as Mahaathmaa (great soul ), mathi (intelligence), Vishnu ( Pervading), Jishnu( victorious),Shambhu(Good-giving), Veeryavaan( Potential), Buddhi( intellect ), Prajnaa( talent ), Upalabdhi (acquiring), Khyaathi( fame ),Dhrithi ( stability) and Smrithi ( retention). He who understands the Mahath thus described will never suffer any delusion ( In this context, the Mahath is being described as the Supreme Soul himself.-Tr).Its hands, feet, eyes, heads, ears and faces exist everywhere. It stands pervading all over. It is simply the Super soul that is of greatest abilities. He stations himself in the hearts of all the beings. His great powers have such assumptions as minuteness, grossness, pervasion , mastery and radiance. Those who - are rich in intellect, are committed to the quality of calmness, engage themselves in meditation upon the Supreme, constantly concentrate on Him, are bound by truth, tamed their sensories, are devoid of greed, subdued anger, are rich in realisation, are stable in the path of knowledge, clear their intellect from all doubts, are devoid of possessiveness and ego, will comprehend the science of this Great soul and its course to become free from bonds and attain the Mahath itself.

Brahma still further continued. "From the gross ego(Maha ahankaara or otherwise this Mahath itself), emanated the five gross elements - space, wind,fire, water and earth. These five gross elements are then engaged with their five attributes - sound, touch, form, taste and scent, in that order. All the beings are composition of these five gross elements with their five attributes ( and the three qualities). When the hour of destruction of the five elements arrives, it means a great danger to all the beings, but an enlightened and stable person will not entertain any fear. The Supreme Lord Vishnu himself assumes as Brahma at the time of initial creation. He that comprehends about the originless, all-pervading, eternal Great Supreme Soul hidden in the depths of the cave of intellect, will stay beyond the levels of intellect. The ultimate recourse to the ones with true realisation is but He. (Till now, it is explained about the first creation, namely, Mahat , also known as Maha Ahankaara , from which springs out the second creation, Aham or ahankaara. That is explained as repetition in next chapter. -Tr)

END OF CHAPTER FORTY

Brahma continued to the sages. " Sages! The first creation Mahat , is also known as Mahaa Ahankaara ( Gross Ego). From that arose the next ie second creation, the entity named Aham ( or Ahankaara). This entity, Aham causes the activities of the five elements and hence it is also described as casuative. It rests on the power of the Supreme soul ( from whom it emerged). It is the source of entire creation. As such , it is also known as Prajaapathi (=generator of beings). It creates the deities (ie the senses) and the mind. It creates the threefold world and it is it that feels the "I-ness"(Abhimaana). Such great sages, who are rich in knowledge of this philosophy, who are accomplished in the sacrifice of learning of Vedas and whose thoughts are purified with concentration on Him, will attain this eternal abode. This initial and casuative Aham creates the elements and other objects for the enjoyment of the soul being who sticks to three qualities through this Ahankaara ( I-ness feeling). Through its activity such creation, this Ahankaara runs this entire world making it subject to the quality passion.

Brahma went on. " From this Ahankaara (Gross Ego), emerged the five elements - earth, wind, space,water and fire. These five elements have their respective attributes - scent,touch,sound,taste and form. It is in these five elementary attributes that the senses fall and lure the living being. At the time destruction of the creation, these five elements too cease to exist when all the living beings are endangered. Every entity absorbs with its source in the ascending order. again, during re-creation, each entity again hoists from its respective source in the descending order. During such destruction of all the elements and beings- mobile and immobile-, the enlightened and accomplished yogis are not subject to any absorption. The five objects - sound,touch,for,taste and scent-and their activities are permanent as they are minute entities of the mind.They are also known as luring(Moha). The external elements of the body comprising flesh, blood and others - are the result of deeds performed with a freed towards their yields. They are all general and nothing of them is special. They coordinate with one another but they themselves cannot do anything at all. They are incompetent and are subject to every peril.

"The five life winds - Praana, Apaana, Vyaana, Udaana and Samaana - are minute constituents that are contained in the inner self. Numbering to eight together with mind, speech and intellect, these are the dative cause for the entire visible creation. He who attains the holy Brahman is one whose inner sense (Chiththam) is not toiled by the eight constituents-namely- skin,nose, ear, eye,tongue,speech ( these six to be so confined not to harass the inner sense), mind (by cleansing of ill thoughts) and intellect( by keeping it stable). There is nothing above that to attain."

Brahma said to the sages. ", Now, I will explain to you vividly about the eleven organs mentioned earlier as born from Ahankaara. The group of organs (=senses) comprise ear,skin,eye,tongue,nose (these five are agent organs),feet,anus,genitals,hands,speech ( these five are organs of action - as explained below.) and finally, mind,the eleventh. First, this group is to be tamed down, lest one should not be blessed with realisation about the Brahman. Of the above - the first five are sensories or organs of senses, the second five or agents or organs of action. Mind has correlation with either of these sects of organs. Above these eleven, the twelfth one, the intellect,stands. Those who know thoroughly about these eleven organs as described consider themselves to have achieved proper knowledge.

"Now, I will detail more about the organs, regarding their objects, deities etc. Space is the first element. Ear is its organ. Sound is its object. Cardinal directions are its deities. Second element is wind. skin is its organ (Adhyaathma), touch is its object and splendour of the lightning is its deity. Third element is fire. Eye is its organ, form is its object and Sun is its deity. Water is the fourth element. Tongue is its organ, taste is its object and Moon(Soma) is its deity. The fifth element is earth. Nose is its organ, scent is its object and Wind God(Vaayu) is its deity( The original word is Vaayu, but it does not mean the element, but it means Wind God here. -Tr.). There is a certain ordained duty for all these organs, their objects and deities.

"Now, about the organs of action. Feet are one organ. Its object is the reachable place. Vishnu is its deity. Anus is another organ where the life wind Apaana moves downwards. Excretion is its object. Mithra god is its deity. Genitals are another organ of action.It is the source of birth of all beings. Seed is its object. Prajaapathi is its deity. Hands are another organ of action. Actions are its object. Indra ia its deity. Another organ of action is, the foremost goddess, speech. Utterable is its object. Agni is its deity. A common organ, both of sense and of action, is mind. It directs the five elements in the body. Thought is its object. Moon (Chandramah, cf Soma above.-Tr) is its deity. Ego is another organ which causes the ebtire world. I-ness is its object. Rudra is its deity. Intellect, described as the twelfth above, is another organ. It oversees the five sensories and the mind. Comprehension is its object. Brahma ( note,only Brahma, but not Brahman -Tr.) is its deity."

"There are but three residences (ie grounds of staying ) for the beings, never a fourth one exists. Those three are - earth, water and space. The birth of the beings is of four types. Birth through eggs(Andaja), birth through sprouts(Udbhijja), birth through womb(Jaraayuja) and birth through damp ( Svedaja. Samsveda - or sveda- is the original word which literally means 'sweat',but the sense is 'heat and damp' from dirt. -Tr.). The beings born through eggs(Andajas) are those which are different from humans and which move around in the air or creep on the earth (or in water). The beings born through damp(Svedajas) are those such as warms and insects. This birth is far inferior to the first one. The beings born through sprouts (Udbhijjas) are those beings that come up breaking the earth through in due course of time. Next, the beings that are born from womb (Jaraayujas) are those such as humans, quadrupeds and those which walk transversely.

"The course leading to attainment of the Brahman comprises two components. One is penance. The other is the lot of holy deeds done earlier. This is the conclusion of the learned in this regard. The deeds too are various in from. Alms, worship and sacrificial oblations are mainly important. The scholars say that recital of Vedas too is a holy deed. In this way, I explained to you all about the organs,their objects, their deities and others. Only accomplished ones in virtue are able to comprehend this great science. And he that has comprehended this will be freed from all the sins and he remains a wishless performer of deeds. It is always to be borne in mind, this study of these organs, their objects, the elements and their attributes. Now , I will tell you about such activities of the mind which cause minuter and minuter thoughts, which means detachedness that brings good. It resides in all the beings in its subtler or stronger form. "

" The conduct of thought about the Brahman is that where the qualities are as subsided as inexisting, no attachment to any thing is engaged, solitude prevails and where the perception of difference is uprooted totally. That conduct is said to be the only source of ultimate good. An enlightened one withdraws his desires from their objects as a turtle withdraws its organs into itself, sheds off passion and becomes free from everything. Then he finds peace. He who absorbs his desires in the mind itself ( not letting them reach their objects), tames down his wants, stabilises his mind, turns out to be friendly towards all beings, will be eligible for identifying himself with the Brahman. By confinement of all the senses that run after their objects and taking to solitude, the fire of enlightenment kindles in the knowldge-seeker's mind. As a fire burns brightly with the supply of fuel, the Supreme soul too is perceived through the taming of all the sensories. The moment an enlightened one with a clean mind perceives the Great Supreme Soul within himself, then he himself is the self-radiant entity and reaches that unequalled entity, minuter than the minutest. Now, about the gross body that stations the soul in it. For this external body- fire is the form, water is the liquids in it, wind is touch, earth is the mind, the holder (of detestable components- flesh, bones etc)and space is the ear. It is afflicted by fears and disorders. It has five streams (senses) and five elements. It has nine openings. It has two ruling deities (Jeeva Aathma or soul being and Parama aathma or Supreme Soul). It is affluent with passion. It cannot be seen (ie is subject to its end. Or is unfit to be seen due to its impure composition. -Tr). It has three basic qualities calm,passion and ignorance) and three basic humours ( Vaatha-wind, Piththa-bile and Shleshma-phlegm). It is desirous of involving itself in all kinds of creation. It is inert and ineffective all alone by itself. With its trouble-giving behaviour,this gross body occupies every being in the world sticking to the intellect , thereby running in this world as a form of the cycle of time itself. This body as in the form of time-cycle, is named as Moha or falling, which is like a terrible unfathomable ocean, which effects the birth, status and death of the unenlightened world. a human being can shed off the afflictions like desire, anger,fear, greed,untruth and fearsomeness, only through controlling his senses, which, otherwise are difficult to shed off.He that conquers the attachment towards this gross external body made of three qualities and five elements, will attain the higher abodes and reach the ultimate(emanicipation) too. One will be free of all vice and can see the utmost desireable entity, the Supreme, when one completely subdues the two afflictions desire and anger and when crosses the great river of the body in which the senses are the shores, the mind is the stream and attachment is the whirlpool. He that subsides his mind within itself and that sees himself within himself is the one who knows everything and who is the best learned among the beings. He can behold the Supreme Soul within himself. Just as one can see many lamps coming out of a single lamp, one can perceive the same Supreme Soul everywhere in everything realsing that all those are derivatives of the same source. such a one, whom such true realisation dawns upon is, in reality, the Lord Agni, Lord Prajaapathi, Lord Varuna,Lord Mithra and Lord Vishnu too.He becomes the master, he becomes the omnipresent, he shines in the heart of all the beings. He is praised for his accomplishment, constantly, by the learned, by the deities, by the demons, by the Yakshas, by the Pishaachas, by the Bhoothas, by the manes and by the fliers(birds)."

Krishna continued to Arjuna, the dialogue of the teacher with his disciple which relates what Brahma still continued to the sages. " Now, I will tell you who among whom is the prime or lead. King, endowed with passion quality, is prime among humans. Elephant is prime among the carriers(vehicles). Lion is prime among wild animals. Sheep is prime among domesticated animals. Serpent(Original word is Ahi. some texts read Aakhu=rat !) is prime among those dwelling in the wholes. Bull is prime among the oxes (cattle). For women, man is the master(to be frank, here the tet is obscure. Why man to be lead among women? Other texts not available. Ganguli translated as 'mule'. -Tr).Banyan(Nyagrodha),Jambu,Pippala,Shaalmali,Shimshupa,mesha-shringa and bamboo are the prime among the trees, just as king among humans. Himaalaya, Paariyaathra, Sahya,Vindhya, Thrikoota,Svetha, Neela, Bhaasa, Koshthavaan,Guruskandha, Mahendra and Maalyavaan are prime among the mountains. The group of the Maruths is prime among the groups of deities."

"Now, I will tell you about who are the rulers (kings, ie ruling deity) of whom. Sun(Soorya) is king of the planets. Moon (Chandramah) is the king of stars. Yama is king of manes. Ocean is the king of seas. Varuna is king of waters. Indra is king of Maruths. Arka is king of hot luminous bodies. Moon (Indu) is king of cool luminous bodies. Agni is king of beings. Brihaspathi is king of Braahmanas. Soma is the king of plants (Oshadhis). Vishnu is king of the valorous. Tvashta is king of forms. Shiva is king of animals(=Pashus, hence Pashu-pathi). Yajna is king of observers of sacrifices. Indra (Maghavaan) is king of gods. North is king of the directions (cardinals). Soma, the valourous, is king of Braahmanas. Kubera ia king of all gems. Purandara is king of all the divine beings. This is the detail about creation of Lords among various beings. Prajaapathi is king of the entire beings. I ( Brahma, the speaker here -Tr)am the foremost Lord of all creatures. I myself am filled with the Brahman. No other being is superior to me or to Vishnu. Understand that Vishnu is the Supreme of all the Lords ,who himself is the Brahman, who himself is the creator and for whom none is creator. Vishnu is Lord of all humans,divines,demons,deities and all.

" Among the romantic, the wide-eyed woman is prime. Among the female entities, Uma is the best. she is also described as Mahehvari(Supreme Lordess), Mahaadevi( Supreme Goddess)or Paarvathi. Among the pleasing, the Apsaras ( divine damsels) adorned with golden ornaments is prime. kings wish to protect virtue (Dharma). Braahmanas are guardians of that virtue. Hence, a king should be watchful in protection of Braahmanas. If the good lot of people suffer any trouble at any place, those kings who are in control of those provinces will lose their natural power and qualities, only to acquire lower births or lower abodes after death. On the other hand, where the good ones are well protected, rulers of those provinces enjoy all the good fruits here in this world as well as in the next."

Next, I will tell you about virtue (Dharma) and its policies directed for all. Harmlessness(A-himsa) is the utmost attribute of virtue and Harmfulness (Himsa) is the quality of non-virtue (A-dharma). Radiance is attribute of deities and actions are attribute to mortals. Sound is attribute to space, touch is attribute to wind, form is attribute to fire(Jyothis) and taste is attribute to water. Scent is attribute to earth which bears all the beings. Utterance of words with disciplined vowels and consonants is attribute to speech. Thought is attribute to mind as well to intellect too. A human being studies his mind's thoughts with his intellect and decides over them. The intellect is perceived through the action of decision, nothing to doubt in this. Again, meditation is attribute to mind. Meditation of best men is not perceivable to others. Dedication is attribute to Yoga (performance of deeds). Realisation is attribute to renunciation (Sannyaasa).So, while opting for renunciation, one should mind the factor of realisation. a relinquisher enriched with realisation attains the highest abode, surpassing duality and passing beyond decay, desease and death. Thus, I explained about virtue and its the attributes."

Now, I will explain about perceiving of the qualities (= their attributes ) by the senses (organs). ( Refer the tenth para above, where ruling deities of organs are mentioned. -Tr). Scent is the attribute to earth. It is perceived by nose. Vaayu ( Wind God )residing in the nose is employed in its perception. Taste is the attribute to water. It is perceived by tounge. Soma residing in the tounge is employed in its perception. Form is the attribute to fire(Jyothis) . It is perceived by eye. Aadithya residing in the eye is employed in its perception. Touch is the attribute to wind. It is perceived by skin. Vaayu (earlier mentioned as Vidyuth) residing there is employed in its perception. Sound is the attribute to space. It is perceived by ear. The cardinals residing in the ear are employed in its perception. Thought is attribute to mind. It is perceived by intellect. The consciousness residing in the heart is employed in its perception. The intellect is perceived by decision and the entity of Mahath is perceived by knowledge.These two sre perceived by their effects. These are considered as manifest in nature while in their actions but in reality are unmanifest. The resident of the body (Kshetrjna) is devoid of any characteristic to perceive through. He is so said to be inattribute. Only realisation is the characteristic in his perception. This Kshethra ( body)is the allegorical residence where the qualities hoist and vanish. I (here, the speaker, Brahma -Tr), though having absobed status there, always see it , know it and hear it too. Purusha (Supreme Soul) knows that kshethra, so he is named Kshethrajna (knower of kshethra). He thoroughly knows about the origin, middle and end of all that is created (in the Kshethra) the qualities,their causes, their effects, which are inert by themselves. But, the qualities, which are created (and destroyed) again and again, cannot perceive the Athman (Supreme Soul). No one can know ( through normal characteristics or attributes) about what the Kshethrajna (Soul) only knows, which stays beyond the qualities, their effects and their attributes. Hence, one can only see attain the Kshethrajna who is but the Supreme Soul, only by shedding off the qualities and thoughts , learning the true virtue, annihillating all the flaws and surpaasing beyond the qualities. He that attains that status is the master of all. He remains beyond dualities, not bound by oblations like Namah or Svaahaa and not limited by place or time."

Brahma continued. "Sages! Now, I will tell you about all the entities, asto what is first among them, what their start and end are, what their characteristics are and how they are preceived.
" Day comes first and night comes following it. Month begins with the bright fortnight. The stars start from the Shravana star. Earth is the origin of tastes. Water is the source of tastes. Aadithya, the luminous, is the source of forms.Vaayu is the origin of touch. Space is the source of sound. this , in brief, is the set of attributesof the five elements.
"Now, about the foremost among the beings. aadithya is the foremost among the radiant bodies. Agni is the foremost among beings. Saavithri is the foremost among sciences (of chanting). Prajaapathi is the foremost among deities. Any thing that is chanted in a disciplined way for worshipping is named Saavithri. The syllable OM (OAM) is the foremost among all the Vedas. Praana is the foremost among words (speech). Gaayathri is the foremost among the meters (Chandas). Creation is the beginning of the beings. Cows are the first among the cattle. Braahmanas are the first among the humans. Eagle is the foremost among the birds. Oblation is the foremost among the sacrifices. Serpent is the foremost among the reptiles. Kritha is the first among the ages (Yugas). Gold is the foremost among gems (precious materials). The Yava ( giving grain like rice but different from barley) is the foremost among plants. food is the foremost among the eatables. Water is the foremost among the drinkables and among the liquids. The Plaksha tree is the foremost among the immobile entities. Meru is the foremost among mountains. East is the foremost among the ten directions. The three-coursed river Ganga is the foremost among the rivers. The sea is the foremost among the water expanses. Shiva is the Lord of and foremost among the deities, demons, Bhoothas,Pishaacha, Naagas, Raakshasa,humans, Kinnaras and Yakshas. Vishnu is the beginning of the entire universe. He himself is the Supreme Soul, beyond and above whom there is nothing.

"Household or domesticity is the foremost among the four orders (Aashramas). The unmanifest nature is the beginning of the creation and end of the creation too. Day ends with dusk. Night ends with dawn. Pleasure is the end of pain and pain is the end of pleasure. Every hoarding ends with its consumption. Every excellence ends with its downfall ( closure). every union ends with separation and every separation ends with a union. Life ends with death. Every created object ends with its destruction.

"Every living being that is born is sure to meet his end. Whatever exists in the world - mobie or immobile - is mortal. Sacrifices, alms,penance,learning,vows,discipline, every thing like this has an end (destruction ie limit to their yields) to it. Only realisation has no limit or end. As such, emanicipation is possible only through pure realisation , to those who are devoid of pride and attachment."

END OF CHAPTER FORTY FIVE

Brahma continued to the sages. " The body is nothing but the wheel of time. The wheel of time runs in the form of the body. For this body of the time-wheel, intellect is essence, mind is the central post, the elements are components, domesticity is residence,decay and death are followers, desease and plights are appertinent, place and season are factors, labour and exertion are sounds, day and night are movers, cold and heat are perimeter, pleasure and pain are internal rivets, hunger and thirst are pivots,shade and sun are envelopers, and movement of eye-lids is progress. It is hindered by water of delusion. It is forwarding but inert. It is counted with months and fortnights. Its course is various. It moves everywhere. It is stuck in the mud of ignorance and discipline. Its speed comes from passion. It is glorified by Aham (I-ness), its movement is ruled by the three qualities. Unserved wants are its joints. Its course lies within displeasure and death. It is yolked together with cause and effect. Favour and hatred are its measures. Greed and desire are its fumblings. The inexplicable ignorance is its source. Fear and delusion bind it together. It lures all the beings. It runs towards external pressures. Anger and lust are its procurements.It resides (or consissts of) in things ranging from minute being to the Mahat( first creation). It never rests. It runs in terms of creation and destruction but never ends. Mind is its speed and it is bound by the mind too. Such a wheel of time, consisting of dualities (like favour and hatred), with no consciousness of its own, causes the creation and sestruction. It enlightens the unlearned universe at its hour of choice. He who comprehends the application and withdrawal of the activities of this time-wheel , never falls into delusion about all the beings. He is cleansed off all his sins, remains beyond all purifications, remains beyond all dualities and attains the ultimate status."

Brahma continued. " There are four orders (or stages) of life, during which one is student (Brahmachaari), household ( Grihastha), hermit ( or recluse, Vaanaprastha) and monk (Sannyaasi). Of all, household, though second in order, is chief one, as it supports all the remaining orders. One living in this order should strictly abide by the prescriptions and proscriptions of the scriptures and understand them thoroughly. That earns him the fame in the tradition. after undergoing all the purificatory processes from birth to education, he should return home from his teacher's place and obtain a suitable wife from a suitable family. Confining cupidity only to his wife, refraining his senses, following the traditional customs, a household should dutifully perform the required five sacrifices everyday, in propitiation of deities, manes, guests (the word guest here does not mean an invitee, as is genarally known. He is a sudden visitor seeking foo and rest. -Tr.) and beings. He should consume such food that remains after satiation of the gods and guests. He should devote himself to the prescribed rituals. He should practise alms and sacrifice according to his abilities. A household of learnt and regulated customs should not commit any sin through his hands, legs,speech,looks or body. He should always be clad in pure white clothes, wearing the thread. He should tame his body,mind and senses through both external and internal restrictions. He should keep company of good people only. He should bear a bamboo shaft. He should keep a water tumbler ready for his three uses - one, the ritual sipping (Aachamanam), two, washingg feet and three, cleansing ( relieving or making easy ) oneself. He should adopt a conduct comprising recital of the Vedas, teaching of the Vedas, performing of the sacrifices, oversee others' sacrifices, give alms and accept alms. Of these six, three activities of the Braahmana - teaching, overseeing others' sacrifices and acceptance of alms from the eligible people - are for supporting himself, while the other three - recital, alms and performing sacrifices - are for his virtuousness. He should never neglect or err in these activities. A virtuous household - equipped with liberality, friendliness,forgiveness and equanimity- conducting his duties dutifully with pure mind, will win the heaven surely."

END OF CHAPTER FORT FIVE

Krishna told Arjuna as the teacher related to his disciple about Brahma's discourse to the sages. Brahma continued. " Sages! Now, about the order studentship (Brahmacharyam). As a student, one should learn and recite the Vedas to his capacity and according to procedures. He should keep clean and pure,should contain his senses, should stick to his prescribed duties, should always behave in such way as to please his preceptor. He should go begging around with his teacher's permission and eat thus obtained food again with his teacher's permission. He should not detest the food that he eats. He may also consume the remainings of food used in sacrifices. He should behave properly and his body movements should be decent. He should go for enjoyment at the prescribed and permitted time in the permitted manner. He should offer oblations to the fire both in the morning and evevning, with all concentration and purity of mind. He should always bear a shaft made from a branch of Bilva or Palaasha tree. He should bear a deer's skin or silk cloth or cotton cloth. It is told that a Braahmana should wear saffron ( tawny color) coloured clothes. A student should wear a girdle ( made of Munja gross), wear his hair in a tuft, bear the sacred thread, recite the Vedas daily. He should not make himself subject to greed . He should not loosen the rules of conduct. With his mind confined, he should always offer libations to the deities with pure water.This is said to be his best deed. This way, a student is said to have performed his duties. Similarly, a hermit too, by conducting the life as prescribed, with tamed senses, will not stick in many births but will reach the ultimate location. A household, after fullfilling his obligations towards his parents,elders,family and society, should undergo the prescribed rituals and leave the house for the forest, accompanied by wife or not, to live there. He should never enter a village during this order. He should wear animal skin or tree bark. He should bathe and worship Agni both in the morning and evening. He should subsist only on leaves, fruits,roots grains and water. He should consume only such food and water that is available in the forest, after duly observing his rituals. He should honour and please the athithis (guests) too, sharing with them the roots, leaves,fruits and grains that he has with him.There should not be deviation or failure in this. He should eat less, and only after pleasing the gods and guests. He should refrain his speech from undue activities. He should always keep worshipping the gods. He should not vie with anybody. He should practise forbearance, friendliness and forgiveness. a hermit should keep his hair and beard uncut. Timely worshipping of Agni, sticking to virtue and truth are essential for a hermit. Thus dedicating himself to a secluded life in the forest, with physical and mental purity, engaging in attainment of virtue, a self-restrained hermit wins the heaven.As such, a student or household or hermit or anyone seeking that higher abode, should adopt a suitable conduct.

Brahma continued. "After being a successful hermit, one may take up the fourth order, Sanyaasa, monkhood. A monk, ie Sanyaasi, should renounce all the deeds. He should be harmless to all the beings. He should wish good for all and be friends with all. He should have his senses fully tamed. He should subsist on what is obtained unintentionally and incidentally without labouring himself for that. Or, after his daily prayers, he may beg around the households in the daytime only from such houses where the cooking and eating are over and utensils are yet to be washed. He should not feel joy from obtention or sorrow from non-obtention (of food). Nor should he beg for more than necessary to keep him going. The begging is only to keep him just alive. He should not hurry others, should not ask even for a common thing, should not eat where honour or worship or passion is the cause. A mendicant ( begging monk) should keep away from honoured offerings.He should also avoid spicy and sour foods. He should not enjoy the tastes of the food while eating, limiting the in-take only to such extent that is enough to keep him alive. His begging of a liberation-seeking monk should not trouble any other being. He should never ask for more than what is offered to him. He should not make a campaign of himself. He should keep himself to solitary places. He should shed off his passions. He should retire during night time to an abandoned house or a forest or a tree or a river bank or a hill cave. During normal seasons in the tear, a monk should not spend a second night at the same place. But, during rainy days or rainy season, he may do so, only if it is otherwise not possible.

"A monk should walk only as lomg as the sun shines in the sky ( ie till dusk). He should walk so carefully as a crawling warm, mercifully observing his path while walking to avoid harm to insects. He should hold any stock of things for him. He should not evince any material interest in any particular place to stay there. A monk aware of his commitment to emanicipation should make use of freshly fetched pure water for his daily consumption. He should subdue his senses and keep himself in strict practice of these eight things - harmlessness, Brahmacharyam ( ie spiritual thoughts, but not celibecy, because that need not at all be mentioned to a fourth order. - Tr.)truth, plainmindedness, not entertaining wrath, not becoming subject to envy, forbearance, and not to decry about other beings. A monk's conduct should always be devoid of sin or deceipt or crookedness. He should silently accept whatever is effortlssly obtained, not even with a trace of wish towards that. It is repeated that, his eating of the properly gotten food should be so limited to keep him alve. He should not eat or sleep as is comfortable. His possessions should never comprise more than a loin cloth and the present day's food. Beggings should not exceed the quantity required to keep him going. He should neither receive any gifts from anyone nor donate any gift to anyone, except the little posssessions with him that he shares with others out of pity.

A monk should not take others' things without begging them, nor should he stealthily use them. Never should he ask for the same thing again after casually experiencing it once. The monk should make use of such things as earth, water, foods, leaves, flowers and fruits, only when those do not belong to others and only when he needded them for his justified purpose (like worship, but not enjoyment). He should not make use of any art or talent for his livelihood. He should not covet gold ( ie money). He should not act as a mentor, he should not detest anybody, he should not procure any stocks for himself. He should only consume the foods with dedication and respect towards them. Specific purposes should not be kept in mind. He should keep himself clean of any attachment ( here, original word is sudhaa-vriththih,asakthah - I rendered it this way, though others have meant differently. - Tr.), without developing bonds with anybody. He should not do or make others do, such things as involving benefit or harm to others. He should not resort to any such acts that assume worldly nature. He should cast off all feelings , ill or good, and keep on wandering with little possessions and wants. He should see all mobile and immobile, all animate and inanimate beings with equal perception. A monk should not trouble others nor should he feel like being troubled from others. He should enjoy the free trust of all the beings. Such a one is said to be the foremost among the eligible for emanicipation. A monk should not bother himself the past nor worry about the future. He should remain indifferent to the present too. He should only witness the course of time with calm and composed mind. He should not defile anything with his eye or speech or mind. He should not do any sinful act or involve in it either directly or indirectly. A monk should keep all his senses withdrawn from their objects as a turtle withdraws his legs into under its shell. He should subdue the senses, mind and intellect and remain actionless. He should comprehend the true nature of every entity. A monk is sure to emanicipate himself, if he becomes devoid of dualities, remains beyond humility, never minds fire rituals, sheds ego and attachment, remains unmindful of his own benefit or well-being, stays with controlled mind, stays devoid of wants or qualities, remains absolutely free from interest or support and constantly engages in meditation upon the ultimate Supreme soul.

Such are not subject to decay or death, who comprehend this ultimate soul to be - one without feet or legs or heads or back or stomach or flesh, one without qualities or deeds , one that is absolutely pure, one that never changes, one without scent or form or taste or touch or sound, one devoid of any thoughts, one that is divinely serene, one that remains neutral, one that resides in every being and one that is uniform throughout the universe. In comprehending about the supreme soul - the intellect, the senses, the deities, the Vedas, the sacrifices, the winners of higher abodes, the penance and the avowed observations - all are simply incompetent. Only those with true realisation can attain it. Such attaining is not perceivable through any external attributes. As such, the learners of virtue (Dharma) should worship it by understanding it through its external characteristics. A scholar with thorough understanding of even the most mysterius virtues should act befitting his status. Though he is an enlightened one, he should remain as ordinary as a common man that has committed to virtue does. He should not defile the virtue or its practitioners. He should always adopt such a conduct of his own, that may not induce others to disrespect towards the virtue, due to his behaviour. Such a monk is said to be the best among monks.

He attains heaven through freedom from all bonds by understanding the true knowledge about all the twenty five entities, namely, five organs of action, five organs of sense, five objects of senses, five elements, mind, intellect,ego (Aham), unmanifest(Avyaktham), and soul(Purusha). During his last moments, an enlightened one should solitarily concentrate on the supreme soul with meditation upon the knowledge about these entities. Then he emanicipates himself from alll bondages and becomes as free as the wind in the sky. He passes beyond all obstacles, passes beyond the five spheres ( Pancha-kosha = various strata of the entity of body) and attains the supreme status."

Brahma further coninued. " Those scholars that can decidedly speak on various thoughts about the spiritual knowledge opine that renunciation is the true penance. The learned men committed to meditation upon the ultimate Lord hold that is the source of all the Vedas, hold that realisation is the supreme soul. That realisation is far from reach of everybody. That rests on Vedic knowledge. That is devoid of all dualities and qualities. It is uncomprehensible, eternal, of unperceivable characteristics, ultimate , and that ultimate can be perceived only through penance and realisation ( both mentioned above). Those accomplished in penance and knowledge, with their mind and intellect cleansed off all ill effects, with passion shed off, will reach that eminent path to the supreme soul.

It is said that penance is the guiding torch, renunciation is the best penance and traditional custom is the instrument to attain virtue. An enlightened one is said to be omnicient when he knows through his thorough understanding that the realisation does not rest on any physical entity and that the soul, which is the essence of knowledge, exists in and out of every being. He that treats a union as division and division too as a union, he that sees a unity as ultiplicity and a multiplicity as a unity, is relieved of every grief. He that never wants anything, he that never derides anything, is as absorbed with the supreme soul even as he exists in this physical world. He that understands about the prime nature and he that knows that the prime nature exists in all the entities, he that becomes devoid of ego and attachment(mine-ness), is sure to be relieved of this cycle. A monk, devoid of dualities, devoid of honour and humility, surpaasing all the wordly worships, will, through his calm mental temperment obtained through the Sannyaasa order, attain that unique entity beyond all qualities. One that is able to shed off the activities that are caused by the qualities, taking his understanding levels beyond the doubts of truth or false, is surely relieved.

Brahma explained further to the sages. " The entity named body is like a huge tree. The unmanifest nature (Avyaktham)is the cause for it. Intellect is its stem. The entity Mahaa-ahankaara (Ego) is its branches. Senses are its hollows. The objects are its buds. The elements are its expansion. It is ever full of leaves that aredesires and ever full of sweet and sour fruits that are the results of deeds. It is the life support to every being. This tree originating from the eternal Brahman is very ancient. One should be able to cut this tree off with the axe of realisation. Then, one can shed off the bonds out of attachments that also cause birth, decay and death. Leading himself to the status above ego and attachment, he will surely emanicipate himself. There stay two birds on this tree of body, which are active but inert. Different from these two, there is yet another one who is said to be of consciousness. One transgresses all the qualities and becomes free from all sins, when, the internal self instigates itself to levels beyond the prime nature - that is by its property devoid of any conscousness and entities - to understand about the Kshethra by comprehending about all the entities.

Brahma continued. "Sages! Some see this Brahman as a tree, some as a large forest and some as unmanifest entity that is uppermost and undecaying (sourcing from and absorbing in the unmanifest).

One becomes fit to attain salvation if one is able to meditate upon the supreme soul during his last moments, even for a breath-long duration. Even by binding, for a wink, himself unto the soul with calmness of one's inner self, one is fit enough for the undecaying status. Even by constantly controlling the life winds through Praana-aayaama ( breath-regularisation through the lines), ten times or tweleve times, one will reach the twentyfifth entity (Param) . Thus by purifying the inner sense first, one can attain whatever he wishes. The best that can be wished for is the entity beyond the unmanifest, which is capable of bestowing the ultimate status. O Sages! We understand, through inference, the existence of the Purusha (Supreme soul) in the essence of every entity. There is no other way to understand Him. Forgiveness, stability,harmlessness,equanimity,truth, plainness,realisation,liberality and renunciation taken together are the result of conduct appertinent to the quality calm (Saththva). It is doubtless to say that the learned men of this conduct, see the Purusha through inference. Some scholars fully conversant with the aspects of realisation hold that there is unity between the nature and the Kshethrajna. They opine that the entity nature,is not different from the Ksjethrajna. But that is devoid of reason. The nature is different from Him. Their common residence in one entity does not mean their unity. Their is difference is evident and original. And some other scholars agree the unity and difference of these two. Their unity is seen just as the unity of a fig fruit and the insect in it ( because the insect does not enter the fruit but it is born with that fruit itself). Their difference is also seen. A fish is evidently different from the water but they are seen with coexistence. Similarly, the difference is like that between water drops and the lotus leaf on which they stand but never sticking to the leaf." ( this establishes that Purusha and Prakrithi are different, that Purusha resides in Prakrithi too, that those two are correlated but not one and the same.-Tr)

Thus addressed by Brahma, the sages had some doubuts and asked him for their clarification. " Grandsire Lord! Which virtue is the greatest to practise? We are like puzzled from seeing the multitude of paths of virtue which seemingly differ among themselves. Some say that virtue gives its yields in the next world but some discard that opinion. Some say that the yields of virtue are doubtful and some others say that are sure. Some say that virtue is definite and some other say that virtue is indefinite. Some other say that there is nothing such as virtue at all. some state that virtue is unique and some say that it is dual. some others say that it is various. Scholars wellversed with Vedas and rich in realisation say that there is an entity Brahman but no other thing than that. Some say that Soul and Brahman are different. Some accept multiplicity to it. Some say that two factors named time and space exist, whereas some say that those two do not exist. Some keep locked plaits of hair. Some tonsure their heads. Some wear deer-skins and barks but some wear nothing at all. some go for ablutions whereas some do not mind them. Some prefer to consume food but some prefer fasting. Some highlight performance of deeds but some argue for withdrawal from them. Some hold salvation as high, some opine that enjoyment of different pleasures is main. Some say that wealth is good and some say that wealthlessness is good. Some say that worship, meditation and practice are useful instruments but some say that those are not needded at all. Some are seen indulged in harm whereas some are committed to harmlessness. Some go for virtuous deeds for amassing piety (Punyam) but some discard those virtue piety and fame. Some hold up the concept of existence and some say that the concept is doubtful. Some take up meditation to avoid troubles and grief and some do the same for attaining pleasures and peace. Some learned people say sacrifices are the best course , some say that donating alms is the best, some say that penance is the best and some others say that recital (of Vedas) is the best. Some say that renuncoation is the realisation. But materialistic thinkers say that instruments and practice make everything possible. Some appreciate all of these paths but some others depricate all of them. Thus, seeing the paths of virtue to be multiple with varying opinions about them, we are unable to concludeanything as final. Everybody says 'This is right, this is good.' Everyone promotes what he thinks is good. That makes our intellect waiver. We wish to hear it from you asto which is the best course of virtue. Therafter, you please teach us the sacred knowledge about why there is relation between Kshethrajna and Kshethra."

Brahma heard all the questions of the sages and answered thus. " The answers for your questions is what a teacher teaches to his eligible disciples. Listen. Understand well and bear in ind that harmlessness is the best course of virtue (Dharma). The ancient scholars with ripe knowledge affirmed that realisation is the best route for salvation. Thus, all sins are cleansed off by pure realisation. Those who are accustomed to harm and those who deride Vwdas and virtue, they are all eclipsed by delusion and greed. They fall into hell. Those who perform their deeeds dutifully but with an intention to enjoy their fruits, will take births in the mortal world again and again and enjoy their deeds. Those who do their deeds dutifully but with no attachment towards their yields, are said to be the real learned ones."

After answering thse many questions very briefly as above, Brahma continued, "Now, I will tell you how the relation ( bond) exists between Kshethrajna(Purusha) and Kahethra(body, an entity). The relation between them is that of an agent with its object. Kshethrajna is an agent and Kshethra is its object. Just like in the above quoted example of fig fruit and the insect in it, the consciousless entity that is being enjoyed does not know its enjoyer. But, the enjoyer very well knows what enjoys and what is enjoyed. The scholars say that the entity (Saththvam) always enveloped by dualities, but the Kshethrajna is beyond dualities, qualities and devoid of any organs. The Kshethrajna uniformly ranges over the entity, affecting the conscousness. It always makes use of the entity, as water drops make use of lotus leaf. Even as the conscous learned man seems to have bonds with qualities, he is not affected by them, as similarly as a water drop on a lotus leaf does not stick to it despite its being verily lying on that leaf. In that way, Purusha too, is unbonded to entity. it is doubtless. The affirmation is that the entity is an enjoyable instrument (object) to the Purusha. As is an agent related to his objects, so is purusha related to Kshethra (entity, body). The learned interested in the ultimate realisation proceed in the light provided by this entity, as a person walks in darkness with the help of a torch in his hand. The torch burns as long as its ingredients last. When these ingredients, like wick and oil, run out, the torch too goes off. But the space it kept enlightened till then exists there very much. Likewise, bodies or objects cease to exist soon after the yields of the deeds that cause them die out. Thus, it is established that Kshethrajna is unmanifest agent and Kshethra is the manifest object."

Brahma continued. Now,about the other things you asked. "A fickle-minded fellow cannot achieve, despite thousand efforts, that decisive knowledge which a stable-minded man achieves even with a quarter of the same effort. Thus, a suitable way to achieve vitue is important. He that knows the ways can achieve the goal of virtue easily. As an example, let us take a man walking along a route carrying his provisions for the journey. He may reach the destination, or, may die midway. Thus, the yields of the deeds are to be known as indecisive. The accomplishment of yields is also dependent on the being's earlier deeds. This current accomplishment of good itself is an indication of the earlier amassments of good or bad. Also, a person choosing to go by foot along a long and unknown path may not reach his distant goal. Similarly, one choosing a way of virtue without comprehending it and its nature, may not reach his goal either. Again, similar to a man attempting to travel in a long and unknown route by a horse-led car, who may be able to reach the goal quick and safe, a wise man choosing the right path of virtue reaches the desired level quickly and safely too. Once a traveller reaches a mountain top, he does not mind the ground that has been already traversed. Even a person travelling by a horse-led carriage, when he sees that road ahead is not suitable to the vehicle, he gets down and walks for the rest of the journey. Thus enjoying a carriage as long as it is suitable and choosing an alternative when required, a clever traveller completes his journey. In a like manner, a seeker of realisation too, adopts whatever method is fit and useful and reaches his goal, stepby step. A person trying to reach his goal of realisation without choosing anything(a wise teacher's guidance) as an instrument for that purpose is like a foolish fellow attempting to cross a terrific ocean by swimming, which simply means inviting his end. But, a wise man adopts a ship of strong build and good keel and fast oars to cross over the seas. He completes that job with no trouble and passes on with his further journey, least keeping an ataachment towards the ship or the sea. This is like the earlier example where the person travelling by a carriage never looks back at the completed journey or the carriage, after reaching and crossing the mountains. If, otherwise, he remains bound to the ship out of attachment towards it, he remains with the ship itself like one of its sailors. One should understand that it is not possible to travel on the earth by a ship and it is not possible eirher to travel on the water by a carriage. But, if needed, a ship can carry a car or a car can carry a ship. Thus, the diversity of deeds to be performed depending on the place and time and person, gives rise to diversity in their deeds.

Brahma continued. " The prime (Pradhaana) is that, what the learned ones define through their intellect as devoid of taste,scent,form, sound and touch. This Prime (Pradhaana) is also named unmanifest(Avyaktha). Mahath is the derivative of this unmanifest. The derivative of Mahath is Ego (Aham). From Ego, are derived the five attributes which are casuative to the five elements. The unmanifest is both cause and effect. Similarly, Mahath too is both cause and effect. Ego is casuative as much as effect too. The five elementd too are both causes and effects. The five elements have the five objects as their effects. The inner sense activates these five objects.

"Of the five elements, space has one attribute (object, ie sound), wind has two (sound and touch), fire has three (sound, touch, form), water has four ( sound, touch,form,taste) and earth has all five ( sound,touch,form,taste and scent). The earth with the five objects as its attributes, is the source and station of all mobile and immobile beings, serving them with their good and bad. The five attributes to earth are sound,touch,form,taste and scent. The essential attribute to the earth is scent. Scent has ten variations in it - Ishta(pleasing), Anishta(unpleasing),Madhura(sweet smell), Amla(sour), Katu(bitter), Nirhaari(pungent), Samhatha(Mixed), Rooksha(harsh), Snigdha(gentle) and Vishada( plain).

"The element water has four attributes- namely - sound, touch,form and taste. Taste is its essential attribute. Taste is of various types but six are important. They are - sweet, sour,pungent, bitter, astringent and salt.
Fire has three attributes to it - sound, touch and form ( ie visible form and colour). The prime attribute to fire is form. It is too various. White, black,red, blue,yellow, orange, short, long,thin,thick,oblong and circular - these twelve forms are reckoned as main ones.
The element wind has two attributes to it - sound and touch. Touch is its primary attribute.Touch is also various in nature but scholars mention some of them as - dry,cool,hot,gentle,plain,hard, rough, light,pleasing,greasy,cheering and subtle ( The names are loose substitutes since original words have no exact matching words.-Tr).
Then, the element space, has one attribute - namely - sound. The various types of sound are many but ten are reckoned as important. They are - the seven notes named Shadja, Rishabha, Gaandhaara, Madhya, Panchama, Dhaivatha, Nishaada, pleasing, unpleasing and mixed.

Space is the utmost of the elements. Ego (Ahankaara) is above that. Intellect (Buddhi) is above Ego . Soul (Aathmaa) is above intellect. Beyond soul is unmanifest (Avyaktha). And beyond avyaktha is Supreme soul ( Para-Purusha).
He that knows about the ordinal status of elements and the systems of all actions and he that perceives all beings like himself, shall reach the eternal supreme soul.'

Brahma continued. " Mind is the master of the five elements. It is the ruling body for these five, during their activity and prominence. It is also the residential support of the elements too. Intellect is the powerful rulership enjoyed by the mind. what is enlightened by that powerul rulership is Kshethrajna himself. Mind always controls the five senses as an efficient driver does the steeds of a carriage. The senses, mind and intellect all together serve the Kshethrajna. The Kshethrajna mounts the car of the body and goes around. For the carriage of the body, senses are the steeds, mind is the driver and intellect is the whip or reigns (control excercised over the steeds). He who understands the concept of the carriage of the Brahman as is explained, will remain stable and he never falls prey to delusion."

"The Kshethrajna always ambulates in the great forest of the Brahman. This emanates from the unmanifest and it resides in entities such as elements, mind and senses. It contains all the beings mobile and immobile. It is adorned with stars and planets. It is ellightened by the moon and the sun. It looks rich with its rivers and mountains all around. Many seas lie around it and it is the support for all the living beings. In such a forest of the Brahman does the Kshethrajna moves around. All the mobile and immobile beings first absorb with the nature. Thereafter, the attributes of the elements absorb. Next, the elements themselves absorb. In this way, all the entities (beings) absorb with the nature. All these beings like humans, Gandharvas,Pishaachas,Asuraas and Raakshasas are created due to the nature but not out of any causuative agency or any actions. The proliferators of creation, Prajaapathis, do occur again and again . From them does the lot of beings come into existence, out of the five elements. Again, all the beings absorb with the very five elements themselves at the predetermined hour, like the waves of the ocean coming from the ocean's water absorb in the ocean itself after some time. The five elements are above the creators of the (living and non-living) beings. He who is relieved from these five elements will reach the ultimate status.

"Prajaapathi created all this through his intention (powered by his penance). Likewise, all the sages saints too accomplished everything through their penance. The sages can see everything in the three worlds, by virtue of their accomplished penance, practised with concentration and subsisting on roots and fruits. Various medicines (herbs) and various arts are attained through penance only. Penance is the instrument for achieving everything. It is easy to attain, perceive or comprehend whatever is otherwise unattainable or unperceivable or incomprehensible. Penance is insurmountable. Anything is possible to be attained through penance. A well-practised penance gives relief from their worst sins of such ignominous sinners as those who drink wine, those who kill Braahmanas, those who steal gold, those who kill the foetus in the womb and those who resort to privacy with teacher's wife. Humans, Pithris, deities, animals, birds, beasts and other mobile and immobile beings attain and enjoy the heaven only through their penance (virtuous deeds). The divine derive their great power and ability to rule the heaven, only through penance.

" Those who perform their prescribed deeds dutifully but passionately with a mind to enjoy their fruits, will reach the abode of Prajaapathi. Those great ones who subdue their ego and passion and firmly practise the concentrated dedication, will reach the higher abodes. Those who make their mind calm and resort to purely dedicated concentration, accomplished with true realisation, will absorb with the unmanifest one. Those who shed off ego and feeling of mineness and practise purely dedicated concentration, will reach the abode of the unmanifest one. Afterwards, That which absorbs with the unmanifest will emanate from the same. Thus, emanated, the emerger becomes free from passion and ignorance and rests only in calmness. Becoming free from all flaws, the emerger creates all the beings and the entire creation. He who knows this entity as the Kshethrajna is the possessor of all the realisation.

Brahma continued. " A learner of concentrated meditation should keep his intellect focussed on the Supreme soul, becoming aware of the consciousness through that meditation. One becomes what his mind is obsessed with. This is the age-old mystery. All that ranging from unmanifest to the lower (sixteen in all - five elements, five organs of senses, five organs of agency, mind) entities is the attribute of counter-knowledge( Avidyaa). Understand that all of that is just expansion of the qualities. A small word of two syllables, 'Mama' (mine , means attachent) , is death in itself and a small word of three syllables 'na mama' (not mine, means detachment) is the eternal soul itself. Some people of mild intellect uphold that performance of deeds ( and their yields) is good but great scholars of true realisation do not say so. Due to the deeds and their yields, a being takes birth as a body made of sixteen entities ( five elements, ten organs and mind). The resident of this body (Jeeva) is subject to Avidyaa( counter-realisation). this is applicable even to those (Amrithaashis) who follow worship of deities and guests and then consume the remaining foods. Hence, those with thorough realisation are not inclined towards deeds. This Purusha is full of knowledge but not deeds.

"He - who understands thus the supreme soul to be one , that is eternal, that is undecaying, that is beyond entities, that is detached and that it is its own master - will never be subject to death. He is the true enlightened one, who knows this Soul as - originless, underived, eternal, unaffected, unperceivable through attributes, attainable only through realisation and uncontrolled. And he too becomes similar to that soul, undecaying and uncontained. He who subjects his mind to all the purificatory measures, who contains his mind within it, will realise about the holy and eternal Brahman. There is nothing to attain beyond this. A comprehensive purification of mind leads to calmness of the inner intellect. For a man of calm mind, the world is just like what is seen in a dream (he will not be attached by or to it.).This is the course of all those liberated, who are rich in the path of realisation, for whom it is a clear fact that all activities of the entities simply yield good or bad results. This is the path of the detached, this is the virtue eternal, this is the accomplishment of those with and this is the best appreciated course of virtue too. All this is attainable by one who is equipoised towards all beings, who is devoid of any desires and who sees himself in every being. "

Brahma continued. " Sages! Thus, I explained whatever is asked by you,some in detail and some briefly. You comprehend this, follow this and attain the best status. "

The teacher said to his disciple in conclusion . "My dear boy! The sages thus taught by Brahma did follow that path and achieved their high abodes. I retold what was told by Brahma to the sages. You too practise the course of virtue as is explained in this discourse. You will surely attain the best results. "

Krishna said to Arjuna in conclusion. " Arjuna! Thus having got explained about the course of virtue (Dharma), the disciple did eccordingly and attained salvation. That accomplished diciple secured that eternal status, attaining which gives rise to no grief."

Arjuna asked. Krishna ! whos is that great teacher Braahmana and who is that disciple ? Can you please reveal to me who they are, if that is open to me? "

Krishna smiled and answered. " I am the teacher. My mind is the disciple. Out of my dearness towards to you, I disclosed all this great knowledge to you. If you rever me , Arjuna, please aomprehend this knowledge and practise constantly. If you so practise these virtues and accomplish them, you will attain salvation. This is verily what I told you at the time of war also. Hence, keep your mind on this. And, Arjuna, it is long before that I saw my dear father. I wish to see him, if you accord so. "

Arjuna heard Krishna 's words and said to him. "We shall leave for Hasthipuram today itself. You may see king Yudhishthira , get his consent and then go to your Dvaaraka." ( Refer to chapter 15, Krishna and Arjuna were then at Indraprastham.)

END OF CHAPTER FIFTY ONE

KRISHNA AND ARJUNA RETURN TO HASTHIPURAM - KRISHNA LEAVES FOR DVAARAKA

"Thus hearing Arjuna's words, Krishna called his charioteer Daaruka and ordered to prepare the chariot. Daaruka reported the carriage ready in a few minutes. Arjuna ordered his soldiers too. "Make preparations for trvael to Hasthipuram. We are leaving today for the capital." The soldiers too soon reported to Arjuna that all was made ready to travel. Then Krishna and Arjuna mounted the chariot and started their journey back to Hasthipuram.

While travelling, Arjuna again said to Krishna . " It is because of your grace upon us that we could gain our empire by killing all our enemies. Paandavas have a great guard in you. With you as the boat, we could cross the ocean of Kouravas army. I know that you are our supporter. I regardfully bow to you, the maker of this entire universe. The soul essence of every being is definitely from you. Creation, protection and destruction are but your sports. All animate and inanimate beings reside in you. You are the source of all the four types of beings ( mentioned earlier - born from eggs, wombs,sprouts and damp). Earth, sky and space are the forms of results of your delusive power. The clear moonlight is your smile. All the seasons are your organs. wind is your breath, Death is your wrath. Wealth lies in your grace. The learned say that pleasure, bliss,stability, ability,splendour,intellect, the mobile and the immobile are your traces. The great destruction at the end of every term is but your sport. I cannot sufficiently talk about your merits even in a very long duration. I learnt from the great sages Naarada, Vyaasa and Devala and also from grandfather Bheeshma , that you are the soul and the Supreme Soul. Everything rests in you. You are the only master of the beings. It is your divine mercy upon me that you taught all and told me to follow that thoroughly. I will surely do as you told for my good. Besides this, yu did another great favour for us. Killing the cruel and sinful Duryodhana with his strong army is simply your sportive grace. That is in fact your victory owing to your plans and valour. You guided me by showing the way to kill such stalwarts as Karna, Jayadratha and Bhoorishravas. I will obey your friendly orders without hesitation, whatever they are. We shall just meet our king Yudhishthira and ask for his permission for your going to Dvaaraka which pleases me too happy because that makes you shortly see my uncle Vasudeva there."

Even as they were talking to each other, they reached Hasthipuram, which was full of happy and well-poised residents. Both went to Dhrithraashtra 's palace and visited the elder first. At that time, Vidura, Yudhishthira , Bheema , Arjuna, The Twins and yuyuthsu were sitting around Dhrithraashtra in his attendance. All the royal ladies Gaandhaari, Kunthi, Subhadra and others were there attended by all the maids in the palace. They both approached Dhrithraashtra and prostrated before him declaring themselves by names. They also bowed to other elders Gaandhaari,Kunthi,Vidura and Bheema . They and the thers welcomed them. They all together spent their time there till night fall when Dhrithraashtra dispached them all to their places.Krishna went to Arjuna's palace alongwth him. He received all honours and pleasures offered there and slept for that night. Early in the morning, after the regular daily rituals are performed, they both together went to see Yudhishthira in his palace where he was sitting with all his counsels. They approached him in due manner and bowed to his feet. Affectionately made to take their seats, they sat near him like the Ashvinis near Indra.

Then, Yudhishthira looked at them and said. " From coming to me together early in the morning, it seems tht you both have something to tell. Please speak up. I will do whatever is asked by you, don't hesitate."

Arjuna then obediently approached his brother and reported. " Sir! Krishna has been hear long since. He now wishes to take leave from you to go to see his father. If you see this right, you may kindly accord permission to him to leave to go to Dvaaraka."

Yudhishthira said to Krishna in reply. "Krishna ! May good befall upon you! You may very well leave for Dvaaraka today to see our uncle there. I too think it proper for you to see your father and mother whom you left a good time ago. Please honour in my name, my uncle Vasudeva and your elder brother Balaraama. Keep thinking of us there too. Do not forget us, your friends, me, Bheema , Arjuna and Twins. Spending some time with your parents and other Vrishnis there, return before our Ashvamedha sacrifice commences here. I offer all the best gems we have in our possession as gifts to you and your kins there. You are free to take with you whatever you like to have from here. In fact, it is due to you that we killed our enemies and obtained our empire and wealth there from."

Krishna felt glad for the permission and said to Yudhishthira . "Great King! You are now in fact the master of not only my own wealth comprising gems and vehicles but also the entire earth. I will be pleased to see you again soon."

Saying thus to Yudhishthira , Krishna obtained permission from him and Kunthi to take Subhadra too with him and started, getting leave from elders like Vidura and others. They all walked with him, paying due respects. Krishna mounted his carriage along with Subhadra. Saathyaki followed him with his own chariot. Arjuna, Bheema , Vidura and twins walked behind them to send them off. All the citizens in the streets too gladly went after Krishna 's retinue. Arjuna embraced Krishna again and again. Krishna told them all to go back . All of them embraced him and took leave. Arjuna kept looking back at Krishna 's way untill he disappeared from sight. Thus leaving Hasthipuram and sending back his dear Paandavas that were following him and taking his sight off Arjuna at last, Krishna reached outskirts of the City. Then he told Daaruka and Saathyaki to let the steeds on a swift run. His journey to Dvaaraka together with Saathyaki resembled the returning of victorious Indra from war field after killing the demons.

END OF CHAPTER FIFTY TWO

KRISHNA MEETS UTHTHANKA WHILE PASSING THROUGH DESERT LANDS

Sootha continued to the sages at Nymisha forest as Vyshampaayana related to Janamejaya. Vyshampaayana told . " King Janamejaya! Thus going on his way, Krishna saw many good omens in his journey. The winds blew swiftly before his car making the path free from dust and thorns. The clouds mildly rained cold and pleasant showers. Heavenly flowers were thrown by the deities along the path of Krishna 's car. Continuing his journey amidst such pleasing comforts through a desert location, Krishna saw the sage Uththanka. Uththanka paid respects to Krishna and asked him about his welfare. Krishna too honoured the sage and inquired about his well-being.

Upon being inquired of his wellbeing, Uththanka said to Krishna . " Krishna ! I suppose that you went to the Kouravas to settle peace between them and Paandavas. Did you complete the mission successfully? Please tell me in detail. Are you coming after seeing them settled peacefully and moving together in a friendly manner with one another ? They are your cousins and relatives by marriage too. Are Paandavas and Kouravas going to enjoy the empire along with you? Are both of them peacefully enjoying their provinces under your protection ? I always keep believing that you are the one able to settle them with peace. Did you turn my firm belief in you into truth ? "

Krishna regarded the sage and answered. " Great sage! Firstly, I did whatever I could do to settle peace between Paandavas and Kouravas. But, the Kouravas did not heed my requests. Nor did they care for affectionate advice of grandsire Bheeshma and Vidura. It became impossible for me to succeed in my efforts. Kouravas were driven by the destiny and opted for war with their cousins. As a result, they met with their end. All of them went to Yama's abode along with all their near and dear. Paandavas too remain losing their own sons and relatives in the terrible war. You too might have heard of this. How is it possible to overcome what destiny kept ready for us? "

Uththanka heard the unpleasant news from Krishna and became indignant. His eyes turned red and wide with anger and he almost shouted at Krishna . " Krishna ! You are able to bring peace between Kouravas and Paandavas. But you did not do so and left them to kill one another. They all your close relatives. You should have even forced them to come to truce. It would have not been impossible to you to do so if you had put your sincere efforts. But you did not excercise your full tact and might to convince or persuade them. Even being well able to see them without meeting destruction, you willfully played fowl and did not mind their fatal end. This makes me smoulder with anger. Here, I am going to give you a curse as punishment for your dereliction and cruelty. "

Krishna calmly said to the angry sage. " Sage! You are the descendent of the great Bhrigus. Nothing is unknown to you. I know that people without as much great penance as you cannot dare curse me. I know that you amassed a great penance that could please even your preceptors. I know how you spent your early and advanced years too on penance. But, I wish that your enormous penances shall not incur loss by spending your powers in cursing me. Let me explain in detail about what I did for the good of both Paandavas and Kouravas in the capacity of a common wellwisher. Then, after hearing my meaningful explanation , if you still deem it fit to curse me, you may do so."

Krishna 's placation calmed down Uththanka. He said in normal tone. "Alright, proceed with your meaningful explanation. As you said, after hearing that I will decide whether I shall appreciate or curse you."

Krishna told Uththanka. " Understand that I am the source of the three qualities calm (Saththva), passion (Rajas) and ignorance (Thamas). Also understand that the Vasus and the Rudras come from me. You should as carefully as undoubtedly understand that I reside in all the beings and all the beings reside in me. Similarly, understand that the demons, Raakshas, Gandharvas, Naagas and Apsaras do originate from me. The existent, the inexistent, the manifest, the unmanifest, the undecaying, the decaying and everything comes from me. The duties (Dharmas) of the four orders and all Vedic duties are all my own aspects. Nothing is beyond me, be it the existent or inexistent or any other thing. I am the utmost of all entities. The great syllable OM which is the lead of all Vedas, the sacrificial post (Yoopa), the sacrificial juice (Soma), the sacrificial rice (Charu) and the act of oblation (Homa) that pleases the deities, are nothing but I. I am he that offers the oblation, I am the oblation itself, I am the conductor (Adhvaryu) of the sacrifice. I am the blessed things (Havis) used in the oblations. In the sacrifices, it is me that the reciter (Udgaatha) invokes.In all the purificatory processes, propitiatory processes, pententiary processes and benedictory proceedings, ir is me, the maker of the universe, that they intend to propitiate. Understand, O learned Braahmana, that Dharma (Lord of virtue) came from me. I appreciate such mind which is benevolent towards every being. I reside in such mind, as do all the hunman beings, present and past."

"Uththanka! As it is my goal to keep virtue (Dharma) astablished and protected, I will take up various births through various wombs for that purpose in the process of safe-guarding of this universe. I am Vishnu, I am Brahma, I am Indra, I am the creation and destruction of all the beings. I am the diapacher of all those that take to unpious paths. As when I see the regulations of virtue are at peril, I manifest through different wombs with the interest of saving the world. As that is an on-going process, I assume various forms through various births. When I take the form of a deity, I will behave like a deity. When I take the form of a demi-god like Gandharva, I will assume the behaviour of a Gandharva. When I take birth as Naaga or Yaksha or Raakshasa, my behaviour will be one suitable to those respective births."

"At present, I am in a human form. So, behaving like an ordinary huan being, I went to the Kouravas and pleaded with them for peace. Taken under the power of delusion, they did not consider me or my wellwishing address. With a view to bringing them to good even through fear, I frightened them in a way. Exasperated with their adamance, I even heralded my real form to them too. Still, they remained so unvirtuous that they chose only war and destroyed themselves under the pretext of Paandavas. Paandavas earned fame in the world through their victory which has been very dear to them."

"This is what has happened actually. Now, you decide if I am to blame. Do as you wish." Krishna concluded.

Uththanka thought for a while and said to Krishna . " Krishna ! I know that you are the ceator and all of this universe. All this that has happened is also your grace.I have noteven the least doubt in that. I now comprehended your actions regarding the efforts for truce between Kouravas and Paandavas. My mind has become clear and I tempt not to curse you. If you think that I am eligible for your divine grace befalling upon me, I wish the most to see that magnificient manifestation of yours."

Krishna allowed the request of sage Uththanka and exhibited to him the undefinable manifestation that was earlier displayed to Arjuna. Uththanka beheld that terrible and wonderful form that possessed many hands and faces, radiant like a fire, shining with the unbearable brightness equal to that of a thousand suns, pervading over the entire visible space on everyside. The very vision of that vast divine form of Krishna made the Uththanka sweat and shiver with bewilderment. He said in supplication, "O Lord of the universe! You are the source and ruler of this entire creation. Your feet occupy the entire earth, your heads fill the whole sky, your hands look stretched everywhere in every direction and your body completely encompasses the space in between. Kindly withdraw this terrific appearance and let me see you in the earlier pleasant form. "

Krishna said to him, "Uththanka! I am pleased with your nice wisdom. You can ask for anything that you want. Here, I will grant that boon for you."

Uththanka answered. "Lord! Out of your immeasurable grace upon me, I see here your otherwise unbeholdable form of you. Can there be a better boon than this?"

Krishna said, "You are true. But, such a fortune of seeing this superhuman manifestation shall not go in vain. Thus I should grant something to you. You may ask without any hesitation."

Uththanka was immensely happy over that unexpected grace of Krishna and said. "Krishna ! If you feel that something should be given out to this poor sage, please make a provision for water for me wherever I wish. You too know that water is scarce in this desert place."

Krishna withdrew his extraordinary manifestation and told Utthanka. " May it be so as you wish. Whenever you find yourself in need of water, you think of me and pray to me."

Having said this to the sage, Krishna sent him off and continued his journey.

Once Uththanka was wandering in the desert when he became thirsty. He remembered what Krishna said to him and invoked Krishna by praying to him for water. In a while, he saw a Chandaala ( an out caste person) aoming towards him. The chandaala was bare and dirty. Many dogs were following him. He wore bow and arrows a long knife. His appearance was detestable . Uththanka saw a stream flowing from the Chandaala's feet like from a leather bag. As the sage kept looking at him, the Chandaala said to him with a smile. " Come on sage Uththanka of the Bhrigu family! Take this water from me. I see you very thirsty. I pity you and wish to give you this water for your. "

Even thus invited by the Chandaala, Uththanka did not like to have that water from him. But within himself, he privately blamed Krishna . The Chandaala kept on calling the sage to drink the water. Uththanka became angry. He rejected the Chandaala's offer. Soon the Chandaala disappeared with his dogs. Uththanka felt insulted thinking that Krishna deceived him.Instantly Krishna appeared before him. Uththanka asked him. "Krishna ! Is it proper for you to send water like great Braahmanas to us through a Chandaala's leather bag ?"

Krishna said to him in a soothing voice. "Uththanka! I dispatched water to you through such a from that befits the case. But you could not guage through it. For your purpose, I told Indra to give you nectar in the form of water. He repeatedly declined my word on the ground that a mortal one cannot become an immortal one and insisted on giving some thing other than that to you. Upon my persisting for the same, Indra pleaded with me saying, 'If you deem him fit for nectar, I will award the same to him presenting myself in the guise of a Chandaala. If he realises the theme and accepts, I will give it to him. Or, if he rejects me due to the outward appearance, he will never get nectar from me.'

"Uththanka! Thus with a binding word, Indra himself came to you in that form. But, you declined his offer of nectar! The lord Indra himself received that response from you. What can be done now? Even so, out of my regard towards you, I will do something for you to see you free from thirst for ever. On anyday that you need and wish, the heavy clouds will throw their showers here in this desert. The water so rained here will be sweet and enlivening too. Those clouds that rain here shall bear their name after you as Uththanka clouds."

Receiving such a great honour from Krishna Uththanka felt happy. Till today the Uththanka clouds send their showers in the deserts."

UTHTHANKA'S GREATNESS - - HE BRINGS THE QUEEN'S EAR-RINGS FOR HIS TEACHER'S WIFE

Sootha said to the sages of Nymisha hermits. After hearing about Uththanka's meeting with Krishna , Janamejaya asked Vyshampaayana. "Sir! who was that Uththanka? How could he be so great even capable of threatening with a curse, none other than Krishna ,the very master of the universe?"

Vyshampaayana said in reply. " King! Uththanka was not an ordinary one. His penance was so great that it is immeasurable. The great sage was serving his teacher Gouthama with devotion, not minding anything in the world. All the students of the hermit had the ambition of meeting the standards of Uththanka in serving the teacher. Sage Gouthama too loved him most among all his disciples. He was all praise for his disciple's saintly qualities like purity,dutifulness, penance and forbearance. Gouthama sent home thousands of his disciples declaring them fit for the next order ( Gaarhasthyam) but he never thiught of sending Uththanka all but due to his love and regard towards his student. Uththanka too did not entertain any thoughts of returning home until permitted by his teacher. He kept on serving his teacher. Years and years passed. Old age took its stance in Uththanka but he did not even notice that due to his immursion in the service of his teacher.

Oneday, Uththanka returned from forest carrying a big lot of firewood on his head. Hungry and tired with the load, he threw the load on the floor. A plait of his hair stuck to one of the sticks in the lot and fell on the ground with the load. The plait was as white as silver. Uththanka saw it and understood then that he grew old. This added to his hunger and exhaustion. He became alarmed and at his circumstance and wept aloud bitterly in despair. Gouthama ordered his daughter to hold Uththanka's tears from falling on the floor. The learned daughter obeyed her father and did so. Uththanka's tears scalded her hands. It was clear to them that the earth would not be able to bear his tears.

"Gouthama called Uththanka near him and inquired affectionately. "Dear boy! What is the matter? What made you cry today like this suddenly? Why are you so distressed? Tell me in detail. I wish to know what troubled you."

Uththanka replied between his sobs. " Teacher! I have been serving you with wholehearted devotion and all the while thinking of pleasing you. I never minded any pleasure for myself. I did not even notice this old age occupying me. You did not declare permission to me to return home even after hundred years of service whereas hundreds and thousands of your other disciples were permitted to leave for home. What can i do for me and my manes now?"

Gouthama said to him. "Uththanka! Your words are true. Too much pleased with you and your service, I did not even think of sending you home for next order. I too did not notice that a very long time has passed. But, if you are now interested to return home, here is my permission. Go home , my dear student!"

Uththanka was happy. He asked his teacher. " Teacher! Please order me asto what I should bring you as the formal gift to preceptor. After bringing and presenting that to you, I will leave with your permission."

Gouthama smiled at him and said. " Uththanka! The learned men say that a teachers pleasure is the best fee offered by a student. I am immensely pleased with your conduct and service. That itself is a fee for me. I grant that you shall become a youth of sixteen years. I also offer my daughter to you in marriage. I know that no other girl can serve a celebrated sage like you with that much radiance and glory. "

Thus permitted by his teacher Gouthama, Uththanka then went to hie teacher's wife and requested. "Mother! My teacher permitted me to return home. What shall I bring to you as my gift? I am ready to bring for you even such a scarce gem on this earh as obtainable with utmost difficulty, even at the cost of my possessions or life. I am confident of doing that with my penance as it is."

Ahalya, the teacher'swife, said. "It is nice. I am more than pleased with your service to us all these years. Go home for your good, my boy!"

But Uththanka insisted that she should order him in doing something to please and honour her. Then Ahalya said to him . "If you so strongly wish to present me with something of your pleasure, I prefer that you should go to Madayanthi, the queen of Soudaasa and bring her ear-rings (Kundalas) to me. I heard that they are divine and bringing them will make you accomplished in offering your preceptor's fee."

Uththanka agreed to bring them and immediately left for king Soudaasa's city. Gouthama later understood Uththanka's absence and asked Ahalya. " I did not see Uththanka here today. Where has he hone? "
Ahalya told him about bringing of Madayanthi's ear-rings for her use, the errand that Uththanka went on. Gouthama repremanded his wife. " It was not good to send Uththanka to Soudaasa who turned a cannibal now due to some curse. It is sure that the man-eating king under the influence of his curse would eat poor Uththanka. "

Ahalya was sorry and said to husband. "Master! I sent him there only due to his insistence and y ognorance of Soudaama's curse. Anyway, enriched with your powerful blessings, Uththanka will not undergo any trouble, I believe."

Gouthama sighed and simply said, "May it be so."

There, Uththanka, unaware of Soudaasa's curse and his cannibalism, went non-stop to see king Soudasa for begging his queen'sear-rings. The sage saw Soudasa in a forest abandoned by people, looking unusually absurd with a long moustache (and beard) and body soaked all over with human blood. Uththanka was puzzled but not afraid of the king's horrendous form. The king with his terrific appearance advanced towards Uththanka saying, "Oh! It is my fortune that you come to me. Blessed one! I am in search of a suitable food to me at this hour and you walk in here yourself. Be a good food to me."

Uththanka said to Soudaasa. "King! Understand that I came to you on my preceptor's job. You too know that a man engaed in his teacher's work shall not be killed."

Soudaasa replied. " It is ordained that what I come across during the sixth part of the day ( ie around midday. Considering 10 parts of a day, the sixth corresponds to that hour. -Tr) shall be my food. Wilting by hunger now, I cannot let escape you, an effortless food for me today. "

Uththanka then said to him. "King! Let it be so. But let ua keep a word between us. After succesfully completing my teacher's work, I will come to you to satisfy your hunger. What I promised my teacher is verily within your power. I came to beg you of that thing . You are a wellknown donor of alms to the eligible receipients. You may well believe that I am one among them. After receiving my requirement from you and fulfilling my teacher's desire, I will submit myself to you. I never lie even while sporting too. Then, what to talk of an occasion like this? You trust me. It is not proper to you too to kill a person who came to you to beg something from you for others, especially for his teacher."

Soudaasa said to Uththanka. "If that thing you promised to your teacher is under my possession, treat it as obtained and believe that your teacher is served with that. And now you name that thing that is obtainable from me."

Uththanka happily replied. " King! You are a fitting donor to me by all means. That is why I came to you to beg for the gem-studded divine ear-rings of your queen."

Soudaasa said. "Sage! Those ear-rings are very dear to my queen and only she deserves them too. Why don't you ask for any other thing ? You are going to get it, whatever it is. "

Uththanka replied. "King! No going back from your word. If you respect me truly, please arrange for delivery of those ear-rings, which cannot be substitued with any other thing for my teacher's wife. "

Soudaasa then said. " Then, you go to my queen and ask her in my name for those ear-rings. The noble lady will give them to you. Do not hesitate."

Uththanka said to Soudaasa. "Where can I see your queen? And, why can't you yourself go to the queen and fetch them for me? "

Soudaasa answered. "At this sixth hour of the day, I cannot see her in person. You can meet her near a forest stream Go this way."

Uththanka went along the way Soudasa showed him and found the queen Madayanthi. He duely approached her and informed everything and requested for the ear-rings. The queen regarded him with her wide eyes and said. "Honourable Braahmana! Let me see that you are not lying to me. You should bring some token from my husband as credentials to prove that he actually sent through you an arder to me to give my ear-rings to you. You might wonder why that much care is excercised before giving them to you. Parting with these ear-rings is unimaginable. These are divine in origin. Even the celestial beings such as Yakshas and sages too keep looking for some chance to acquire these. When kept on the floor by mistake, the Naagas will soon steal them. If one wears these during contaminated status, the Yakshas steal them soon. If the wearer falls into a deep sleep, the deities run away with them in an instant. These great gems award gold to their wearer whenever so wanted. During night time, their splendour exceedsthat of the stars. The wearers of these great divine ear-rings will never suffer from such wordly afflictions as hunger, thirst,poison,fire or beasts. The ear-rings automatically change their size to suit the measurement of the body that wears them. They shrink when worne by a short one and expand when worn by a tall one. Thus , these ear-rngs are extraordinary in nature, with their fame having spread in the three worlds. All this warrants a comprehensive proof that my husband sent you to me and that I am permitted to part with my celebrated ear-rings in your favour."

Uththanka helplessly returned to Soudaasa nad reported the queen's requirement of any token from the king. Soudaasa told Uththanka. "Go to her and say these words. she will give you the gems."

And Soudaasa spoke these words. 'This present status is not a safe one for us. Nor do I see any other one either. Understand my intention and deliver the gems to this Braahmana.'

Uththanka returned to Madayanthi and quoted what Soudasa spoke as a token to her. Immediately, she delivered the earrings to Uththanka warning him to be cautious about their sagety. Uththanka blessed her and went back to Soudaasa. He told the king. "Soudaasa! I am happy that you are kind enough to give me those earrings. But I am curious to know what you meant by your coded message."

Soudaasa spoke thus. "Uththanka! The Kshathriyas are respecting the Braahmanas ever since their creation. I too, being a Kshathriya myself, naturally am respectful towards the Braahmanas. Yet, even the Braahmanas do sometimes err in their behaviour. Even being one respecting the Braahmanas, I came to this status due to a Braahmana's error. I and my queen Madayanthi, presently see no way out from my pitiful condition. There is no other way either, to support me in this world or in reaching the abode of heaven. A king especially not in good terms with Braahmanas cannot stay happy in this world or in the next one. So, to please you, a great Braahmana, I told her to part with thise dear and costly divine gems. I kept my word given to you. Now, you keep your word too."

Uththanka said to Soudaasa. " King! As I said, I shall come to you as your food after pleasing my teacher. But, I wish to ask you a question. That is the purpose of my coming back to you."

Soudaasa said. "Ask me whatever you need ask. I will clear your doubt as much as I can. And I will speak truth too.Never hesitate."

Uththanka then spoke to the king thus. " Soudaasa! it is agreed by all the learned that a Braahmana is a master of his own speech. And an unseemly application of the speech towards his friends makes him a thief too. I have obtained a very good friend in you today. Besides that, I successfully got my request granted from you for my teacher. I speak earnestly to you, my friend. Please enlighten me truly by answering this question. After being served with a big favour by you like this, shall I be proper if I return to you as per my word given to you, a man-eater? "

Soudaasa replied. "To speak proper and true words, you should never return to me at all. You will meet your end as soon as you see me again. I opine that it is for your good if you do not come back to me."

Thus receiving a true ans commendable reply from the learned but unfortunate king, Uththanka took his leave to go back and started his return journey to his teacher's hermit. Keeping in mind queen Madayanthi's words about protection of the coveted earrings, he tied the gems in a deer-skin and carried the pack very carefully. At a place midway, he was hungry and searched for food. He found a Bilva tree full of fruit. He wanted to collect the fruit to eat to stave the hunger. He tied the pack of the deer-skin to one of the branches of the tree and climbed up the tree. He plucked many fruit and dropped tem down. engaged in that job, his eyes could not see that the fruit were falling on the pack hanging to the branch. Giving way to the fall of the fruit, the tie became loose and the pack unfastened. The earrings fell on the floor unexpectedly. Incidentally, a serpent of the Airaavatha lineage was moving around there at that time. It saw the gems and grabbed them with its fangs. In a wink, it rushed into an ant-hill nearby.

Uththanka was all grief and wrath seeing his dear possession thus stolen despite his careful protection. He jumped down from the tree and began to dig off the ant-hill with his hand-staff. Forgetting everything under influence of anger, the poor Braahmana kept on digging the ant-hill and earth thereunder for as many as thirty five days, with an intention of making his way to the nether world where he thought the serpent must have gone. The earth could not bear the power of the strokes of his stick and quaked again and again. Then, there appeared before him Indra, mounted on his chariot with divine steeds and with his splendid bolt in his hand.

Indra said to Uththanka sympathetically, "Braahmana! That is impossible to you. Nether world is thousands of Yojanas (equal to eight miles or twelve kilometers approximately. -Tr) away from here. I don't think your hand stick can not serve your hard task."

Uththanka said to Indra in desperation. "If I cannot succeed in my efforts of goig to Naagas world and regain my earrings, I will fall dead before your eyes."

Vyshampaayana continued to Janamejaya. " Seeing Uththanka's determination unrelaxable, Indra admired him and blessed the hand-stick with the power of the thunderbolt. The earth dug by the strokes of the bolt made way for Uththanka to the nether world. He followed that path and reached the world of Naagas that spread for thousands of Yojanas far and wide. That world was adorned with high ramparts studded with gems and pearls and sculpted with golden domes. Wells with marble-paved paths and streams with crystal-clear water were everywhere. Various trees harbouring variety of birds were abundant. He neared the entrance of that world of the Naagas which extended to a length of a hundred Yojanas and width of five yojanas. the very sight of the impregnable door and the world made Uththanka lose his hopes of recovering his earrings. He sank into deep sorrow.

Then a resplendent horse with red eyes and a tail with black and white hair(These indicate radiance,smoke and ash. All are attributes to fire. -Tr) told him. " Blow into my posterior. The Airaavatha prince of Naagas will restore the stolen earrings to you. Do not detest what I told you now. That is not different from what you gained while you lived in your teacher Gouthama's hermitage."

Uththanka was surprised and asked the horse. " Who might be you? How do you know my master? What did I gain while I served him? I want to know clearly from you."

The steed replied. "I am the preceptor of your preceptor. I am none other than Agni himself. While serving your teacher in hermit, you dutifully worshipped me for the pleasure of your teacher. Pleased with that pure worship done by you, I wish to bestow good to you. Do not delay. "

Uththanka obeyed the order of Agni and soon Agni grew enormous. As Uththanka kept blowing , thick smokes emerged from the roots of every hair on the body of the horse. The great smokes enveloped the entire Naaga world. Nothing could be seen and alarm ruled over everywhere. All the palaces looked dim under the smoke like hills and forests covered by fog. Even the residences of Naaga chiefs like Vaasuki were no exception. Their eyes turned red incised with smoke. Scalded by the heat of the fire god, all the Naaga chiefs came to Uththanka to know his mind. After learning from him about what had happened, they became worried and honoured him duely, offering water, flowers etc. Young and old, all the Naagas bowed to the sage, appologised to him and restored the earrings. Thus regaining the lost earrings, Uththanka bowed to Agni and returned to Gouthama's house happily. With respect and alacrity, he offered those divine earrings to his teacher's wife and bowed to her. Blessed by her, he approached his teacher and related all that has happened in the Naagas world. Gouthama too admired and blessed his diligent disciple. Thus, Janamejaya, Uththanka involved the three worlds and victoriously returned with the divine errings. Such was the power of his pious penances, that you asked me about." Said Vyshampaayana.

END OF CHAPTER FIFTY EIGHT

Janamejaya wondered at Uththanka's powerful penances. He asked Vyshampaayana. "Sir! After blessing sage Uththanka with that big boon, how did Krishna proceed? "

Vyshampaayana further continued to Janamejaya about Krishna 's reahing Dvaaraka. " Janamejaya! Thus having blessed Uththanka, Krishna continued his journey to Dvaaraka, alongwith Saathyaki. The fast steeds ran swiftly. They crossed many forests, hills,lakes and rivers in the way. By the time Krishna reached Dvaarakacity, the festival of the Ryvathaka hill was going on. All the Yaadavas were holding camps there. The hill looked splendid with those variously designed tents coverd with golden clothes and decorated with garlands of flowers tied with golden threads. The hill was a beautiful to see by virtue of its natural aspects like flowers of all colours and scents, streams, caves, different trees, all shining with light as the sun. Beatiful flags with tingling bells attached to he edges were fluttering all around. The sounds of talking among the men and women was like loud singing. The Ryvathaka hill thus occupied by men and women all in a jolly spirits, looked like mount Meru filled with deities. The sound of songs both of men and women rose high from the top of the hill. Shouts and cries of the drunk and lustful folk was reaching places far away. The chirping noises of the birds aded to the tumult. Many stalls were arranged ready with all varieties of food and drinks like wine and juice. Dreesses and garlands are plentily made available. Musical instrumrnts like drums and flutes were ringing in every nook and corner of the hill. Everywhere, alms were being given to the poor, blind,lame and invalids. That Ryvathaka festival was that marked with pious people and pious actions. Shining like heaven with the ornamented tents of the Yaadavas, the Ryvathaka hill really resembled the heaven by Krishna 's arrival.

All the Yaadava chiefs of all their sects came to receive Krishna who returned after a long duration. Receiving a welcome like Indra by the gods, Krishna wished all of them politely. He sent Saathyaki off to his house and went to his palace. Thus entering his residence after a long time, fullfilling such a great task that even the divine ones too cannot accomplish,Krishna went to see his father and mother. He bowed to them, touched their feet and received their blessings. Vasudeva and Devaki both hugged their dear son and inquired about his safety and health. All the relatives sat around Krishna looking eagerly at him, desirous of hearing Paandavas' news from him."

Vyshampaayana continued to Janamejaya. " Thus receiving his dear son Krishna after many months, Vasudeva felt very happy. Amidst all his relatives that sat surrounding Krishna , Vasudeva inquired with Krishna . " Krishna ! I heard many people say that the war of Paandavas and Kouravas was very great and terrible. How did it run? You are the participant the direct witness of all that and you know all the details to the fullest. Hence, you are the best one to tell about the war. I am interested in knowing how the great warriors like Bheeshma , Drona, Karna,Shalya fought for victory against you. I also wish to know about the valour of many other heroes that came from different countries with different strengths and different customs. I heard that they all are wellversed archers and fighters. Tell me about that great war to my satisfaction."

Thus asked by his father, Krishna began to relate briefly about the great war which he caused, which he ran and which he won too. "Father! The war was really great and terrific. Many Kshathriya heroes exhibited their enormous skills. Mentioning each by his name is not possible even over hundreds of years. I will tell you the prominent incidents in the course of the war as they occured."

"In the beginning ,Bheeshma was the generalissimo On the Kouravas side for their eleven Akshouhinis. Dhrishtadyumna was chief of Paandavas'army of seven Akshouhinis. But Shikhandi under protection of Arjuna stood to face Bheeshma . The war ran for ten days. No doubt, it was terrible. Then, on the tenth day, Shikhandi saw Bheeshma fall, with Arjuna's support. The grandsire lay on the bed of arrows till the northern solstice commenced and then left this world.

"After Bheeshma 's fall, Drona, the best of weaponery masters, became Kouravas'chief. Kripa, Karna and others stood around him. Dhrishtadyumna continued as chief general on Paandavas side . Bheema stood in his guard. Dhrishtadyumna continuously kept attacking his teacher Drona with all his army and might, remembering his father's insult in the teacher's hands. Most of the Kshathriya heroes and kings met their end in the war lead by Drona and Dhrishtadyumna that last for five days. On the fifth day, Drona fell prey to Dhrishtadyumna.

"After Drona's fall, Karna became chief general of the remaining five Akshouhinis of the Kouravas. Paandavas lost most of their heroes and stood with their three Akshouhinis with Dhrishtadyumna in the lead and Arjuna in the guard. On the second day of his leadership, the terror of the enemies, Karna, faced Arjuna and met with his end like a locust falling into a flame.

"Seeing Karna fall, Kouravas lost their zeal and elan but made Shalya the chief general of their remaining three Akshouhinis. Paandavas too were equally dull. They lost most of their elephants and horses but stood firm in the field with their remaining one Akshouhini. After the war ran for half a day, Yudhishthira fought skillfully hard and killed Shalya. A short while later, Sahadeva accounted for the life of Shakuni, the gambler, who caused this great trouble to all. Seeing Shalya fall in the war, Duryodhana left the field and hid somewhere, with his mace in his hand. Bheema and others ran after his wake with their remaining force and found him hiding himself in the Paandavas, Duryodhana became incised with insult and came out of his safe resort. Though alone, he fought with Bheema with his mace. Bheema killed him in the presence of all the remaining kings.

"Thereafter, during midnight that night, Ashvaththaama attacked the sleeping camp of the Paandavas with Kripa and Krithavarma to his aid and killed everybody there, to placate his wrath that burnt him due to his father's murder in the war. Paandavas lost all their army, vehicles, relatives, friends and sons. Only seven on Paandavas side remained - Five Paandavas, Saathyaki and me. On the Kouravas side, only four survived - Kripa, Krithavarma, Ashvaththaama and Yuyuthsu who could live due to his joining the Paandavas. After Kouravas side was annihillated, Vidura and Sanjaya met Yudhishthira .

"Thus, father, the great war ran for eighteen days and consumed the whole lot of the kings who reached heaven by being killed in war. "

All the Yaadavas hearing Krishna describe the war briefly, felt sad about its destructive course and drastic results.

But, while telling about the course of the war, Krishna intentionally skip Abhimanyu's fall so as not to cause grief to his old father. He was afraid that Vasudeva might not stand the horrible news of his grandson's killing. Yet, Subhadra sitting there along with others shouted at Krishna , " Brother! Why don't you tell about fall of your nephew? Describe my son's death also." And she fell on the ground in a swoon. Vasudeva saw his daughter fall. He could comprehend what she said and he too fell down losing his senses. He regained his senses aided by the people there and slowly said to Krishna , engulfed with grief from his beloved grandson's killing.

" Krishna ! You always speak truth and never hide anything from me. But, you kept from me the killing of my grandson. Tell me in detail how your nephew died in the war. I wonder how he, who is equal to you, was killed like others by enemies in war. Or, when the hour of death falls upon, no human can escape, it seems. Even after hearing this horrible news, my heart did not break into pieces. What a henious wonder on my part! Krishna ! That boy would often speak to me with his youthful spirit during his stay here that he would defeat those heroes like Drona, Bheeshma and Karna. What did he address to me and his mother while falling in the field ? Did he run away from the field? Did the enemies kill him deforming his face ? Did the stalwarts like Drona and Karna and Kripa deceive him with any plot and saw him fall ?"

Seeing his father smoulder with deep grief over his grandson's death , Krishna soothingly talked to him. " Father! Contain yourself. His face was not deformed. Nor did he run away from the field dreading the stress of fight. In stead, he killed thousands of kings and princes. He defeated first-rated heroes of the Kouravas side like Drona and Karna. But, Drona and Karna employed a strategem and trapped him. Otherwise, if it were a hand-to-hand fight, can even Indra win against him? When Arjuna was decoyed by Kouravas through the Samshapthakas of the Thrigartha, Abhimanyu led his side against Drona. After fighting till evening clearing numerous heroes from the earth, he was caught in the enemy forces. With a cunning trap laid by Drona and Karna, he fell prey to Dushshaasana's son. Your grandson attained the heaven of the heroes. Could it be otherwise for a hero who defeate such great masters as Drona and Karna? We should not grieve over one's sacred death obtained through weapons in the war. Please stay composed. Do not weep about his heroic end. "

Father! Indeed, his death caused everybody fall into deep sorrow then. Subhadra wept crying like a sheep and ran to me. She went to Droupadi too and asked amidst sobs. "Where are all our sons? I wish to see them all now. " Hearing her words, all the women folk embraced her burst into a bitter cry. My poor sister Subhadra said to her son's wife. "Uththara! Where is your dear one? Why didn't he today come to receive me as usual ? He did not turn up even as I was speaking. Go and tell him my arrival to see him.My son, Abhimanyu! All your uncles are safe here awaiting your arrival and asking for wellfare of you, who came here to fight in the war. why don't you relate to me the news of the war today, as you would do everyday?"

"Father! Then Kunthi saw her daughter-in-law weeping in distress. She took the crying mother into his hands and said consolately to her. " Your great son, who enjoyed the fondling of Krishna ,Saathyaki and Arjuna, too fell a victim to enemies in the war. This is inevitable to any mortal. Don't weep my dear! your son reached the status of war-heroes. You take care of your pregnant daughter-in-law, Uththara. She will shortly give birth to a son and that will be a relief to you. "

"Consoling her berieved daughter-in-law thus as she could, Kunthi herself controlled her own grief a bit and told her sons about the rituals she wanted to perform for her deceased grandson. Paandavas readily arranged for all rituals and Kunthi did all the rituals to her satisafction in the name of her grandson. Subhadra too donated many cows to many Braahmanas in memory of his son and told Uththara." Uththara! This is an unbearable grief to any young wife. But, as you are pregnant now, you must swallow the gulp of sorrow and take care of the baby in the womb. The son you are going to beget will make us all happy.

"Then I obtained permission from Kunthi and brought sister Subhadra with me. Father! Your grandson met a heroic end. Never grieve about him. " Krishna thus consoled his father to make him normal again.

Vasudeva restored to normalcy after a while. He performed all the required rituals in homage to Abhimanyu. He offered a rich feast to sixty thousand learned Braahmanas. He generously donated to Braahmanas pouring gold over them, as if drenching them with water, making them so satiated of riches that they would never accept any alms in future. The continuous blessings of the Braahmanas echoed in the palaces as donations were made comprising cattle, garments, jewels, and beds. Krishna , Balaraama, Sathyaka and other chieftains of Yaadavas performed such rituals in memory of their celebrated young hero but they could not bear with the grief due to the untimely death of their beloved kid.

Vyshampaayana continued to Janamejaya. "All the Yaadavas in Dvaaraka were thus in deep sorrow about the misfortune that befell on Subhadra in the form of premature death of her heroic son. In Hasthipuram too, the situation was no less worse. Abhimanyu's death was so strong a havoc upon them that they could not come out of their grief. Abhimanyu's wife Uththara did not even take any food for many days. That caused a great trouble to the bay in the worm and it was in danger. Everybody was pitying the young widow Uththara for her plights. Then Vyaasa learnt all that from his divine vision and appeared before them. After the routine respects are paid, he talked to Kunthi and Uththara. " Kunthi! This is not time for Uththara to plunge into grief. You should guard her carefully. Uththara! Control yourself. Realise the nature of the world and normalise yourself. You will give birth to a great valorous son as a result of Krishna 's grace and my word too. He will rule the empire after the Paandavas.

"Then Vyaasa turned to Arjuna and said. " Arjuna! You yourself are a hero. You have received a lot of teaching from Krishna himself. You are not at your best of you sink in sorrow. Your grandson will rule over the entire earth between the four seas. This is going to happen, no doubt. Shed off your grief. All will happen as Krishna has already told. Never think over it again. Your son won for himself such higher abodes that are attainable only by extraordinary souls. He is not to lamented over by you ar any of the heroes here. "

Consoled by the great sage Vyaasa in that manner, Arjuna became a bit himself afain. Vyaasa also remined Yudhishthira of Ashvamedha sacrifice and bringing of Maruththa's treasures. Then he vanished from there. Yudhishthira thought about bringing those treasures for his sacrifice. Janamejaya, your father too went on growing in Uththara's womb like the moon in the bright half of the month.

END OF CHAPTER SIXTY TWO

VYAASA ADVISES PAANDAVAS - - PAANDAVAS BRING MARUTHTHA'S TREASURES

Janamejaya asked Vyshampaayana. " Teacher! What did my great-grandfather Yudhishthira do after Vyaasa's reminder about the treasures? How did he got them ? How was the sacrifice performed? Please tell me in detail and satisfy my curiousity."

Vyshampaayana told Janamejaya. " Yudhishthira heard Vyaasa's words reminding about Ashvamedha sacrifice and called for his brothers for counselling. He said to them, " Brothers! You all herd what our wellwisher and great sage Vyaasa told us about the Ashvamedha sacrifice. Krishna too said the same to us earlier. The words of great sages always engaged in Vedic performances is always beneficial to everybody. I wish to go by the word of the great sage who is rich in penance and who is interested in the wellfare of our Kuru family.That is going to bring good at present and in future too. Sage Vyaasa rightly observed that the empire is not that rich now due to the great destructive war and sugested about Maruththa's treasure. You all think about it and decide if that is fit to do are not. Bheema ! What do you say about this? "

Bheema replied to his elder brother with folded hands. " I am in favour of what you said about going to bring the treasures that sage Vyaasa mentioned. If we can find and bring those treasures, our sacrifice is as good as done. We shall worship and propitiate the great Lord Shiva and his follower deities by performing required rituals with devotion and dedication. With Lord Shiva's benediction upon us, all the terrible Kinnaras and Yakshas standing in guard of those treasures will be in our control. Therby, we will surely get access to those treasures and bring here."

Yudhishthira was pleased with Bheema 's enthusiastic words and similarly asked his other three brothers who concurred with Bheema . Thus coming to a common decision over bringing the treasures, Yudhshthira passed orders for preparations for the campaign. They decided to start on an auspicious day named Dhruva (Dhruva means Sunday or 4th star Rohini or 12 th star Uththara Phalguni or 21 st star Uththaraashaadha or 26 th star Uththara-bhaadrapada- As Neelakantha commented - Tr)

On the prescribed day, the royal priests performed all beneditory rituals praying for success of the campaign. An elaborate worship of Lord Shiva was performed wherein abundant offers comprising various meats, cakes and milk-rices were made. All the priests and Braahmanas recited blessings to Paandavas. Satisfying themselves about the propitiation of Shiva, Paandavas bowed to the Braahmanas to obtain their blessings for victory. They took leave from Dhrithraashtra who was still grieving over his sons, Gaandhaari, Kunthi and Vidura. Yudhishthira installed Yuyuthsu to take care of the Capital and royal family in his absence. After making all arrangements systematically in that way, Paandavas set out on their pious campaign.

" Many citizens walked behind them upto outskirts, blessing and cheering them. Several carriages drawn by steeds, elephants, camels,mules and camels formed the troops that Paandavas led with them. A big army walked in guaed. Everyone in the troop was happy and joyous. The sounds of running cars was heard everywhere on the earth. The noise of the soldiers and the carriers was filling the space. The bards and singers kept on singing eulogies. Yudhishthira in the foremost adorned with his royal white parasol, shone like the full moon, accepting the benedictions with royal dignity. He travelled on, crossing lakes,rivers,forets,groves and hills. Finally he reached the mountain Munjavaan, near Himaalaya, where Maruththa's treasures lay burried.

" Yudhishthira selected a suitable even place and ordered to rais etents there. He performed the necessary rituals through his priests with the learned Dhoumya in their lead. After propitiatory process was systematically over, the tents were raised and camp was settled. The camp consisted two main lines,six subsidiary lines and nine segments. Accomodation for the king, royal personnel, priests, soldiers, vehicles and animals was properly made. Arrangements for cooking,serving and eating were made to the fullest convenience.

"After settling the camp, oneday Yudhishthira said to his priests. "Teachers! We have come a long way and reached destination. Camp is made comfortably. I request you decide an auspicious day to begin the work. I wish not to waste much time keeping ourselves stuck here itself. You know that we have a lot of things to do at home after this. Keeping this in mind, my teachers, you do as you like. "

The priests heard their king's words and consulted among themselves. They spoke their decision to Yudhshthira. "King! Today is auspicious as we desire. The star is good and very much favourable. We will start the process today itself. We observe fasting today, subsisting only water. You all too may do so observing fasting. "

Yudhishthira and his brothers followed the words of their preceptors and stayed on fasting. They rested on mats made of grass during that night. The royal priests were telling them about the procedures to be followed and rituals to be performed for the intended purpose. Meanwhile, the dawn broke and all began their work starting with the daily rituals.

"The priests told Yudhishthira . "Sir! You should make an offer to Lord Shiva now. That is the first thing to be done. After that, we will start our work."

Yudhishthira ordered accordingly and the cooks prepared various things for offers in Shiva's worship. Several cakes, milk-rices,meats, mixed rices and drinks were prepared. The priests first performed worship of Agni through oblations of ghee. He held the sacrrificial rice(Charu) and flowers consecrated with enchantments in his hands and proceeded with further work. He offered all the prepared things to Lord Shiva. A process named Svishtathamam was carried out meticulously, using flowers, corned rice and the cooked Charu. After that, he offered sacrifices to the follower deities. Sacrifices were offered to Kubera, Manibhadra and other Yakshas using mixed rices, meats, seasumum water and rice in several pots. Sacrifices were offered to the nocturnal deities generally and in particular, for those standing in guard of the treasure. Special worship was made in propitiation of Kubera, with flowers, mixed rices,and cakes. The deities of treasures like Shankha etc were worshipped sarifices and offers. Yudhishthira donated thousands of cattle to the Braahmanas. They all blessed him ofered oblations in the fire. The scented smoke rising in circles from the sacrificial altars filled the sky. Thus performing propitiations for Shiva and other deities, Yudhishthira moved forward praying to Vyaasa in his mind and gave orders for digging out the treasure. ( Here, the original suggests Vyaasa's presence.See next para also. But a verse, the tenth, in Chapter 71 says Vyaasa came to the capital a few days after Paandavas returned. -Tr)

"The excavations discovered from the inner earth a variety of gold utensils and containers. There were plates, basins, saucers, glasses, trays, tumblers, dishes, cups, pots, lids, spoons, ladels, vessels and containers like folding basins. The treasure dug out was impossible to measure with normal units of a load(what a man can carry) or half-load. There were some many packages of varying quantity of gold rady-made to be loaded on animals (Here, the text is obscure.-Tr). The enormous treasure thus excavated was made into packages of varying weight, meant to be carried by men,mules,camels, horses, elephants and carts. Some of the packages contained eight thousand gold coins, some sixteen thousand and some twenty four thousand, depending on the animal that carries it. Sixty thousand camels were loaded with those sacks of gold. One lakh and twenty thousand horses were loaded with those packets of gold. One lakh tuskers were loaded with those bags of gold. One lakh female elephants too were loaded with those bundles of gold. One lakh carts(drawn by bulls) were loaded with those packages of gold. So many carriages (drawn by horses) were loaded with those containers of gold. Mules and men employed in carrying the burden of those gold were innumerable. Thus loading up the treasure onto the carriers, Yudhishthira again performed the propitiatory rituals in favour of Lord Shiva and other deities. On an auspicious day, he prayed to sage Vyaasa and started his return journey, keeping his priests in the lead ( Here, the original suggests Vyaasa's presence.See para above also. But a verse, the tenth, in Chapter 71 says Vyaasa came to the capital a few days after Paandavas returned. -Tr). He marched towards his capital, leading that great troop carrying a very valuable burden for his pleasure, halting after a walk of every couple of Goyuthas." (Goyutha or Gavyuuthi = around four miles or seven kilometers of today).

END OF CHAPTER SIXTY FIVE

PAREEKSHITH IS BORN DEAD - - KRISHNA VIVIFIES HIM

Vyshampaayana continued to Janamejaya. "Janamejaya! As Paandavas were returning home with the treasures, Krishna came to Hasthipuramalong with Yaadava chiefs to attend the Ashvamedham sacrifice, as was asked by Yudhishthira when Krishna left him for Dvaaraka. He was lead by Balaraama and accompanied by Pradyumna,Saathyaki, Chaarudeshna, Saamba,Gada, Krithavarma, Saarana,Nishatha, Ulmuka and others. He also intended to see and console Droupadi, Uththara and other women in distress. Dhrithraashtra heard their arrival and went along with Vidura to welcome them. He offered suitable respects to all of them. Krisna accepted them all with pleasure and stayed there in the city along with Vidura and Yuyuthsu. It was at that time of Krishna 's staying there with all his followers, that your father, the great valorous Pareekshith was born. But he was struck with Ashvaththaama's Brahma-asthra even when he was in the womb. Therefore, he was born dead, motionless, causing as much happiness as dismay to the Kuru family. The sound of joyful shouts of the people around rose high in every direction for a moment but all subsided into silence in the next moment. Krishna was worried at that. Saathyaki following him, he hurried into the baby's room. There he accosted his aunt Kunthi, weeping and shouting at him, "Krishna ! Come here, Come here." . Droupadi, Subhadra and other royal ladies were seen following her with the same cries and weeping. Krishna was moved with pity at their sight. In an instant, Kunthi rushed to him and said with words broken by sobs. " O Krishna , good son of our Devaki! Now, you are to save us. Protection of our clan rests in you. See here, the dead-born son of your dear nephew. The boy lay dead struck with Ashvaththaama's terrific missile. Bring him to life again. You promised us at the time of Ashvaththaama's employing this missile, that you would save the baby from death if he is born dead. Unfortunately it happened exactly like that. See this born dead baby, see Uththara, see Subhadra and see me, Krishna ! All my sons rest their lives in this boy alone. He is verily my life. Don't you save all of us by saving this poor boy from death ? This little boy is water-offeror for my husband and all his ancestors. You must do a favour to your nephew now, even after his death. Uththara often tells me what Abhimanyu would say to her about his son. 'Uththara, your son will go to my maternal uncles and returns wellversed with archery and regal policies under their instruction.' Those were Abhimanyu's words about you whose affection towards him, he knows fully . We all bow and pray to you, to do good to this entire family. " Thus pouring out lamentations and throwing her hands into the air, Kunthi fell down losing her consciousness. All the women surrounded Krishna shouting in despair, "Krishna ! Your nephew's son was born dead."

Krishna made Kunthi restore to senses and consoled her and others. Subhadra embraced her brother and burst into a bitter cry. Amidst sobs, she uttered with broken speech. " Brother! Did you see my grandson? He took birth at the time when all the folk of the clan were killed in the war but he himself is dead now. That reed empowered by Ashvaththama and hurled against Bheema targeted Arjuna, me and Uththara too. I still feel as if it is struck in my heart. More painful is that I could not see my dead son's offspring too safe. Other than seeing the child dead by birth, can there be any other grief for me ? Krishna ! The Paandavas are living with all their hopes resting on this epected boy. Hearing the news of born dead grandson, what might they feel like? What do they say, as they all were defeated by Ashvaththaama's great missile. Paandavas are like totally taken in by cruel Ashvaththaama. I bow and pray to you, Krishna , see here lamenting Kunthi and Droupadi. I heard you say angrily to Ashvaththaama when he was aiming at wombs of women of Paandavas' clan with his missile, ' I will render you and your intentions unfruitful. You unworthy Braahmana! I will revive Arjuna's grandson.' Your words then filled courage in me, for I knew your powers and I was sure that you would do what you said to do. Unless you bring that promise into reality, you understand that I am dead too. If we cannot see Abhimanyu's son revived despite your prsence here, what am I to do with you and what does the life mean to us? Krishna ! Be kind to revive him like a cloud does a drying crop . You are known for your speech of truth and you should keep it true now. If you desire so, you can bring life to anything in the three worlds, what to talk of the borm dead son of your dear nephew? My knowledge of your power makes me ask you with strong hopes, brother, you must save this boy and thereby save me which means the biggest favour to your Paandavas. Krishna ! You must do this for me, either out of your fraternity towards me or out of your pity towards a woman berieved of her son or out of your natural kindness towards me that I took refuge with you."

Vyshampaayana continued to Janamejaya. "Hearing the heart-rending lamentations of his sister Subhadra and other women, Krishna himself beame engulfed by sorrow. He said in a loud voice , "May it be so. I will do that." Those very words made the people there happy like a shower makes the sun-scalded ones pleased. Then he hurried himself into the child-room where your father was born and observed it. The room was adorned with white garlands. Pots filled with water were kept ready on all sides of the room. Woodden torches soaked with ghee were placed on their stands. Some weapons (original word is asthra. But, I think, it might probably be Shastra,meaning special implements to be used in case a treatment like surgeory be required. -Tr) and burning fire were arranged handy. Several old women who were experts in midwifery were standing for service. Many physicians too were waiting upon there to offer service if needded. Many mystical spell-binders (Yanthras) that can dispel the demons (fairies or ogres) were prepared and kept ready. And every thing that might be needed in a labour room were readily available there. Krishna saw all that arrangement and said, 'well,well', in appreciation of the efforts of the royal attendants. As Krishna was saying so, Droupadi ran to Uththara and announced to her Krishna 's arrival, to comfort her. Uththara too tried to contain her weeping. She drew the bed sheets over her and sat in a dejected mood, waiting for Krishna to enter the room.

Even as she saw Krishna near her bed, she burst into a downpour of lamentations in a voice choked by cry and sobs.
" Uncle! You have come! Come here to see me no less dead than your nephew Abhimanyu. He is mortally no more and I am mentally dead due to the death of my child. If you or Yudhishthira or Bheema had said that the missile reed may kill the innocent mother but not her son, I would not have been in a plight like this. What did the cruel Ashvaththaama gain by killing this baby in the womb with his powerful Asthra? I kept a lot of hopes on my son. The cruel Braahmana rendered them all futile in a single stroke. I always liked to bow to you with my son in my lap. That wish became unfruitful. The graceful Abhimanyu as dear to me as to you left me. That itself made me barren of any hopes in life. Now, see your nephew'sson born dead from the Asthra. This boy too seems to be as ungreatfully cruel as his father, since he too left me choosing to reside in abode of gods, discarding wealth and empire of Paandavas. Krishna ! Kindly revive him to life. Otherwise, I prefer to die. Seeing my dear son dead from Ashvaththaama's missile, what should I live for? When Abhimanyu fell in the war, I vowed that I would reach him soon. In any case, I see no reason to bear the cursed life any more."

Lamenting that way, Uththara fell unconscious, unable to hold fer from the grief about her son. Seeing her in a pitiable condition, Kunthi and other women broke out into a loud cry. For a while, the royal palace of Paandavas looked uncermonious with the cries of the women folk. Uththara remained unconscious for a while. Coming back to her senses, she took the child into her lap and spoke out. "O dear child! You are born in a family of Kshathriyas wellversed with the methods of good conduct. Then why don't you bow to the great hero of Yaadavas? Meeting your father in the heaven, tell him my words - 'Bereft of you and my son, I should cease to exist but still remain living without any good or benediction. Death is syre to any one only at the hour of its choice. Any way, I will come to you by leaving this body either throu poison or fire, with permission of our king Yudhishthira .' My son! It is a cruel wonder that my heart did not break into hundreds of pieces even after losing my husband and son too. It seems I am difficult to die! Boy! Get up and see your great grandmother, boiling within herself with grief over your loss. See your grandmothers Subhadra and Droupadi sunk in sorrow and see me smouldering with grief like a deer hurt by the hunter. See this great hero Krishna , your grandfather's cousin and Lord of this world. Get up my child! " Weeping and shouting like this Uththara again fell unconscious. The royal ladies held her stable on the bed. On becoming conscious again, she bowed to Krishna from where she was.

Krishna was moved to tears by Uththara's pitiable lamentations. He touched and sipped the water (ie act of Aachamanam) and subdued the power of Ashvaththaama's Brahma-asthra. He promised to enliven the child and said in a loud voice to be heard by all. "Uththara! Listen. I never speak untruth. This is going to be true. Here I am enlivening your son in the presence off all the beings. If ever I did not lie even in sports, may this dead child come back to life. If ever I did not turn back from wars, may this dead child come back to life. If ever I am obedient follower of virtue (Dharma), may this dead child come back to life. If ever the Braahmanas are dear to me, may this dead child come back to life. If ever I did not hold enemity with Arjuna, may this dead child come back to life. If ever truth and virtue are firmly established in me, may this dead child come back to life. If my killing of Kamsa and Keshi were only due to justification to virtue, may this dead child come back to life." Soon after Krishna said these words audible to all, the dead child gradually gained conscousness. He showed movements by degrees as the moments passed."

Vyshampaayana continued to Janamejaya. " King! As soon as Krishna withdrew the power of Asvaththaama's Brahma-asthra, the fiends that invisibly surrounded the child-room were dispelled off. The sacred missile absorbed with Brahma with its splendour. The words of appreciation 'Well done, Krishna , well done!' resounded everyehere in the space. Your father gained life. Colour in his face improved. Movements of limbs were noticeable and normal. He exhibited acts common to a normal child, like crying and winking the eyelids. The room was filled with radiance of your father, who was the revived child, O Janamejaya. Then, Kunthi, Droupadi, Subhadra, Uththara and other royal ladies were immensely happy. They felt like finding a boat and reaching the shore while being carried away helpless by a stream. They all praised and thanked Krishna . Krishna ordered for a benediction process for the child. The priests readily came forward and carried out all the required rituals making the palace echo with their chanting of hymns. The ministrels, bards and singers came around in great joy and praised Krishna . All sorts of people in service at the regal palace - wrestlers, guards, actors, jesters, chamberlains,cooks and others- gathered and praised Krishna 's greatness and blessed their future king.

Uththara gradually came out of the confusion and bewilderment. She thankfully bowed to Krishna alongwith her son. Krishna gifted many gems and jewels to the child. He said the the child be named Pareekshith , as he was born at such time when the Kuru race is falling ( pari-Ksheena = badly decaying). That way, your father was vivified by Krishna and grew to be a fondled child of the entire family. He made the entire clan happy even as he was a child aged just one month. That was how your father was born and saved."

Vyshampaayana continued to Janamejaya. " Just at that time, there was a news to the capital that Paandavas were returning with huge treasures. Learning that they were nearing the city, the Yaadava chiefs went to meet and greet them. The employees of the regal families decorated the city beautifully to mark welcome to the Paandavas returning succesfully with the treasure. Many posts and flags of various colours and sizes were hoisted everywhere in the city. The citizens of the capital city adorned their houses as richly as possible. Various worships were undertaken in the temples in the city. Vidura gave special orders to beautify the main streets leading to king's palace. Garlands were hung all along the main streets. Like a sea noisy with its ever rising waves, the city was full of noise from people moving around joyfully, plays of dancers and songs of singers.Bards, along with women assisting them, were reciting their eulogies all over the city. With all that festive mood, the city of Hasthipuram shone like Alaka, the rich and grand city of Kubera. The flags attached to the high poles fluttering in the air looked like showing towards the northern and southern provinces of the Kuru empire (Here, the original is obscure. -Tr). The royal officers announced all over that the day was declared as a festival throughout the empire, in which the people may please themselves by wearing jewels of gems ( symbolysing the king's obtention of great treasure of gold and gems. - Here too, the meaning is not clear.-Tr).

END OF CHAPTER SEVENTY

ASHVAMEDHAM COMMENCES - - ARJUNA GOES GUARDING THE HORSE

Krishna and others went to meet the nearing Paandavas. Paandavas too were very happy to see him there. They greeted and embraced one another with affection and regard. After routine formalities of greetings and welcome are observed, Paandavas entered the city with the great treasure and their huge troop. The neighings and tapping sound of hoofs of the horses, the screams of the elephants and the rattle of wheels of carriages rose upto the sky. Paandavas dispatched the gold packets to the treasury under guard and went to the palace alongwith their close relatives. They respectfully bowed and touched the feet of Dhrithraashtra , Gaandhaari, Kunthi and Vidura . Yuyuthsu presented himself obediently and bowed to Yudhishthira . During the course of talking, Paandavas heard about the wonderful incident of Pareekshith and his miraculous revival by Krishna . They felt immensely happy and wondered at Krishna 's great deed. Yudhishthira thanked Krishna with all praise. They all spent good time in exchanging news of one another.

As the initial preparations for the sacrifice were going on, Vyaasa came there with his disciples. ( Compare with the original at the close of Ch 65 where it suggests Vyaasa's presence with Paandavas at the treasure. But, this verse, the tenth, in this Chapter 71 says Vyaasa came to the capital a few days after Paandavas returned. -Tr). Paandavas and Yaadavas went to meet and greet him respectfully. All due worship was offered to him . Seating him on a grand chair, Yudhishthira and others sat around him with his permission. After relating the recent incidents to him, Yudhishthira said to the sage. " Sage! I am successful in bringing that great treasure due to your mighty grace. I wish now to make use of that treasure in the Ashvamedham as you ordered me earlier. I pray you to permit me to do so. We all are at the mercy of you and Krishna .'"

Vyaasa replied. " Here I permit you. Proceed with further work for Ashvamedham. By performing that most purificatory sacrifice with its due procrdure, offers and gifts, you will no doubt be cleansed of your sins and flaws. Let the preparations continue."

Thus permitted by Vyaasa, Yudhishthira wanted to go for the performance of the sacrifice. He then turned to Krishna and said. "Krishna ! This is what our great sage Vyaasa said. You are the celebrated son of Devaki. i will do as you guide me. We are now enjoying the wealth and empire which are purely results of your intelligence and valour. You are our best mentor. You are verily the sacrifice, you are the eternal, you are the virtue (Dharma) itself, you are the creator and you are the resort to every being in the creation. This is my firm belief. If you accord your consent to my decision, I will proceed further. I request you to make me successful in this performance of Ashvamedham."

Krishna replied to him . " Yudhishthira ! No one except you can express himself in a manner like this. My consideration is that you are the protector of every being. among the Kurus now, you are the most highlighted one with virtues. We all are only supplementary to you. In fact, you yourself are our ruler and mentor too. I favour your intention of Ashvamedham. You may entrust to all of us any job of your choice. A performance of sacrifice by you means that it is performed by all your brothers as well. Your sacrifice is as good as completed. Please go on. I promise you all that I can do for you."

So obtaining Krishna 's favour too, Yudhishthira again said to Vyaasa. "Sire! Here I am at your disposal. My sacrifice runs per your holy instructions. You have the best knowledge about the timings of this performance. Kindly make me assume the vow for sacrifice at the time you think is the best. I once again submit that my performance of sacrifice is at your disposal."

Vyaasa said. "Yudhishthira ! Pyla, Yaajnavalkya and I together will take care of ehat is to be done when in this sacrifice. You need not have any worry about that. The full-moon day (Pournami) of this Chythra month ( first lunar month) is the best time for you to assume the vow. You shall do so on that day. Order for procurement of all the required things. Order your charioteers and other experts in equine species for scrutiny and selection of the best eligible steed for your sacrifice. You shall procedurally let the steed free to wander through all the kingdoms in the earth carrying your fame with it."

Within a few days after the permission , Yudhishthira made all the required things collected. He secured that colletion at a proper place and reported readiness to Vyaasa who said, We are all ready to take up the performance. Listen. All the implements to be used in Ashvamedham are to be made of gold. The dishes, the ladels, the spoons, the seats, the plates, the lids, the tumblers, the blades, the spots and all other things should be made of gold. Arrange for that. Also, the steed is to be let off now with a competent guard behind it. After the victorious return of the steed, the main performance shall take place."

"Yudhishthira reported to Vyaasa again. "Sage! All items are made as you directed. The selected steed is also ready here. you may please run the procedure of letting off the steed. I pray you to name a suitable hero too to guard the steed in its free walk over the entire earth."

Vyaasa told Yudhishthira . "Arjuna follows the horse. He is the best archer. He has been victorious everywhere. He has the tact and patience besides valour. Having the annihillation of the Nivaathakavacha demons to his merit, he is simply fit to win the entire earth. He has a lot of divine missiles at his control.His bow and quivers are given by celestials. His body is as strong as a lion's. He is wellversed with all customs and policies too. He will surely take care of the tour of the steed. Send him with it. Bheema is able to take guard of the state and the people with Nakula as his assistant. He shall be on that job. Sahadeva will superwise all the domestic affairs of the regal establishments. During your engagement with rituals of Ashvamedham, the empire may be adminstered in this way. "

Yudhishthira followed Vyaasa's suggestions. With the prior consent of Dhrithraashtra , he entrusted the specifies duties to Bheema , Nakula and Sahadeva with clear instructions. Then he told Arjuna . " Dear Arjuna! Listen carefully. You are the most suitable one for the job of guarding the sacrificial horse. Follow this in its protection. The most important thing is this. You should so manage that there shall not be destructive wars with the kings that might attack you in this expedition. You declare my sacrifice to all of them and invite them to attend our sacrifice in time. Let the Kshathriya race not suffer further loss of its already decimated population."

With the specified jobs distributed among the respective authorities, on the prescribed day of commencement, the priests made Yudhishthira take up the vow for performance of Ashvamedham sacrifice. He performed the rituals pertaing to the steed . Clad in a black deer-skin with a staff in his hand and full with golden ornaments, he shined like a flaming fire. All his participants (Rithviks) were splendid in similar attire. Arjuna too performed his part of the rituals and waited upon shining like a well kindled fire. The steed was discharged under Vyaasa's direction, according to systematic procedures of the sacrifice, of which he was a master. As Yudhishthira ordered, Arjuna follOwed that horse which was like a black deer(Usually,a white horse is selected for a sacrifice. Probably, here the the word refers to its swift walk or trod or gallop.-Tr). Ringing the string of his bow with his fingers covered with hand-guards, he walked behind the horse. The citizens of the city including youngsters, gathered along the streets to see Arjuna going on campaign.The rush of the crows was so great that they felt like warm. The noise of words of the spectators filled the space. some said, "There goes Arjuna behind the horse with his great bow in hand. Both look splendid. " some said, "May good turns on you. Return with victory and benefit." Some said, "We cannot Arjuna in the crowd. But his bow, Gaandeevam, is markedly visible. This is the very great bow of the terrific twang of its own." some said, "Arjuna! We wish to see you return safe nd victorious." Hearing those repeated benedictions of the public all along, Arjuna continued. Dhoumya's disciple, Somashravasa, himself a master of all rituals and sacrificial procedures, followed Arjuna for the purpose of conducting benediction rituals wherever necessary. Also, a number of warriors followed him at the command of Yudhishthira .

Vyshampaayana continued to Janamejaya. " Janamejaya! The sacrificial steed went on rightwards, at its will trodding all provinces. In the course of its treading that entailed many battles, Arjuna fought against many rulers. I will tell you about only the prominent ones.

"The horse first went towards north. It walked through many kingdoms. Numerous rulers in their tens and hundreds, fought against Arjuna and fell killed in the field. The number of such battles was beyond count. Rulers provinces such as Yavanas, Kiraathas and other barbarious tribes stood in the battle field wielding their specific weapons of bows and swords. Many other war-liking rulers enriched with mighty and energitic warriors, who were insulted by arjuns earkier, fought with him. Though Arjuna fought many battles, I will relate those notable battles among them, which took place on two different and distant fronts."

ARJUNA'S BATTLE WITH THRIGARTHAS

Vyshampaayana continued to Janamejaya. " The horse reached the Thrigartha provinces. The Thrigarthas were earlier killed by Arjuna in the freat war. for that reason, the sons and grandsons of the killed heroes bore grudge with Arjuna. when they received the reports of arrival of Yudhishthira 's sacrificial steed, the Thrigarthas equipped themselves with armours and weapons and swarmed around Arjuna. They ran towards the horse to take it under their custody in protest of the supremacy of its sender. Arjuna understood their hostile action and gently warned them not to undertake such a foolish task. Thrigarthas did not care his words and attacked him showering missiles at him. Arjuna dispelled them away and said to them smiling, "You mean fellows! Don't fall into ignorance. Go back. Your lives are valuable to you. while sending me on this job, Yudhishthira clearly told me not to kill the remaining Kshathriya s who are already suffering the loss of their dear kinsmen. Mind those worthy words of emperror Yudhishthira and live safe with your people."

"The Thrigarthas paid no attention to Arjuna's words. They continued their charge against him filling the air with the noise of their vehicles. Arjuna. Arjuna foiled them all. And he discharged those many arrows at Sooryavarma envelopping him under them and laughed aloud. Arjuna simultaneously. Arjuna broke them all into pieces. Sending arrows swiftly from his terrible bow, he cut the throats of all of them. Seeing Kethuvarma came into the lead to avenge his brother's fall. Arjuna hit his body with many arrows and killed him even as he was advancing towards him. After Dhrithavarma took lead and attacked Arjuna fiercely with his severe arrows. Arjuna was pleased with the young man's skill and valour. He very much admired the young opponent's adept dexterity that made him always look releasing arrows but never taking them from the quivers. The battle ran for some time . Arjuna was appreciating the audacity and skill of the youth that was angrily hissing like an enraged snake, but he did not like to kill him. In the meanwhile, Arjuna on his hand so gravely that Arjuna dropped his bow from his grip. Arjuna's great Gaandeevam falling from his hands looked like a rainbow coming down to the earth. Pleased and proud with that great feat of his own, Arjuna. Arjuna became angry. He wiped the blood from his hand took up the bow again into his hands. Driven by insult and anger, he showered arrows at the enemies . The noise of praising Arjuna from all sides rent the sky. The Thrigarthas gathered themselves again and ran swiftly at him to save their leader Dhrithavarma . They surrounded Arjuna fully and threw weapons at him as if suffocating him. Arjuna let his anger loose and thousands of arrows flew from his bow in every direction. Hit by his arrows as strong as iron rods, ten fighters fell dead at a place and eight at another place in a wink. Within a few minutes, the battle field was seen filled with dead bodies of Thrigarthas. Arjuna's missiles kept flying all over the battle field hitting the enemies at every spot. He laughed aloud at the wounded and receeding archers. Thus utterly defeated by Arjuna, the Thrigarthas came to surrender. They declared their defeat and submitted to Yudhishthira 's power. " We are at your command. We shall do whatever you order for your pleasure."they said to Arjuna. Arjuna too accepted their surrender. He told them, "Be careful. Save yourselves. Obey the command of Yudhishthira . Attend his sacrifice in the month of Chythra." Decreeing thus, the victorious Arjuna followed his steed that went towards the city of Praagjyothisham in the Kaamaroopa provinces. "

ARJUNA'S BATTLE WITH BHAGADATHTHA'S SON VAJRADATHTHA AT PRAAGJYOTISHAM

"Bhagadaththa>'s son Vajradaththa was ruling Praagjyothisham then. Since his father Bhagadaththa> was killed by Arjuna in the great war, he too bore grudge against Arjuna. He was a hero of great prowess too. Learning that sacrificial horse of Paandavas under Arjuna's guard entered his region, he came out of his city and took hold of the horse to lead it into his city. Arjuna saw that and shot some arrows at him to prevent him from that action. Vajradaththa was taken aback with those shots. He went back into the city and returned armoured and equipped with weapons. He was mounting on a tusker. His white parasol held above his head was waving in the air. The white Chaamaras (fans made of hairs of an animal named Chamara) were flanking him on either side. Driven by youthful arrogance and feud, he approached Arjuna and challenged him for a fight.

Vajradaththa goaded his fierce tusker unto Arjuna. Arjua saw the tusker's fearful walk. It was as large as a hill. Its forehead and temples were oozing liquid of rut. Covered under protective armours and full of weapons loaded on its back, it looked like a cloud with water and lightening. He also saw Vajradaththa mounted upon it, goading it and looking asif he was flying in the air. Arjuna stood on the ground and attacked the frenzy tusker. Vajradaththa hurled his powerful spears at Arjuna. The flying apears looked like a swarm of locust falling into a flame. Arjuna cut those spears, each into two and three pieces even as they were in mid-air. Seeing the spears fail, Vajradaththa took up his bow and discharged arrows in bunches against Arjuna. Arjuna turned very angry and hit him severely with his unerring arrows all over his body. Hit so severely, Vajradaththa lost his balance and fell down but remained conscious. He soon got unto his tusker and rode it against Arjuna. Arjuna understood the young king's determination. He threw sharp arrows into every part of the tusker's body, making it impossible for it advance. The elephant stood shining like a hill marked with streams on its variegated sides."

Vyshampaayana continued to Janamejaya. "Thus the battle between Arjuna and Vajradaththa ran for three days. On the fourth day of the battle, resuming his fight, Vajradaththa laughed at Arjuna and said, "Arjuna! Stand firm. You will not leave alive from here. I will kill you and offer ceremonial water to my deceased father. My father Bhagadaththa> was a friend of your father. Yet, you killed that senior warrior. Now, you fight against this young heir of him and try to win." Saying those words, he instigated his elephant which ran towards Arjuna so swiftly, asif flying in the air. It showered Arjuna with the liquids oozing from the end of its trunk like a cloud raining on a black hill. The tusker further urged by its master, ran towards like dancing in the air, screaming with its mouth wide open delivering a frightening scream. Arjuna deterred not wielding his Gaandeevam, but he felt the battle like wasting of time, given the task ahead to be finished. He also thought of the earlier feud that the young fighter was sticking to. He became very angry and eager to finish the fight immediately. He sent sharp and powerful arrows to stop the advancing tusker. With Arjuna's arrows pricked all over the body, the elephant looked like an enormous porcupine. Vajradaththa saw his vehicle halted. Out of rage, he shot numerous arrows at Arjuna which the latter cut into pieces in the midway. Vajradaththa again goaded his elephant to crush Arjuna. Arjuna discharged a severe arrow into the face of the elephant wherefrom it collapsed down dead like a mountain falling from the shot of a bolt. Looking at Vajradaththa thus deprived of his fearsome vehicle and fallen alone on the ground, Arjuna said to him, "Don't be afraid. No harm is meant to you. I was instructed by Yudhishthira not to kill the residual young kings in this campaign, since the loss already suffered by Kshathriya s is more than enough. He is desirous of inviting all the kings to attend his Ashvamedham. Obeying my brother's instructions, I desist myself from killing any kings this time. Rise up. You can be sure of your life. Go safe from here. On the full moon day of coming Chythra month, the sacrifice will take place. Please make your attendance to that ceremony and please Yudhishthira ."

The defeated young king agreed to what Arjuna said and bade him farewell. Arjuna went on following the horse. In its route, it entered the provinces."

ARJUNA'S BATTLE WITH THE SINDHU RULER

Sooth continued his narration to the sages at the Nymisha forest. Vyshampaayana further continued. "Janamejaya! The steed entered the regions. You remember that Jayadratha, the earlier king of those provinces was killed by Arjuna in the great war. As such, those heroes of that province too, bore grudge against Arjuna. When they heard the news of Arjuna coming in guard of the steed, they thought that they had a chance to avenge their deeased king's murder since Arjuna was all alone in this campaign. That caused a battle between them and Arjuna. As soon as the horse crossed their borders and entered their land, they caught hold of it, least fearing from Arjuna. They also saw Arjuna following the horse by foot, a bit away behind it.

Driven by vengeance and grudge borne against Arjuna, they all ran against him in a single attack. Telling aloud their lineages and names, they all threw their various weapons at Arjuna. Arrows were discharged on the hero from all sides like a heavy rain. Nearing the ferrocious Arjuna, all the chariot-mounted warriors assailed him at the same time. Jealous of Arjuna's fame arising from killing of Nivaathakavacha demons, the Samshapthakas and their king Jayadratha himself, they all surrounded him with a thousand cars and ten thousand horses. Seeing him confined like encased within a catch, they felt happy over their first success against the killer of their previous king. Enveloped under the showers of their arrows on all sides, Arjuna resembled the sun covered by clouds. He very much looked like a bird caught in a cage. As Arjuna was thus overpowered by the heroes, every being shouted in fear and despair. Many sinister omens were seens. The sun turned dull. Both the sun and moon were eclipsed at the same time. Burning comets flew around the sun. Resultantly, even the great mountain Kylaasam too swuaked. The seven celestial sages were alarmed they sighed deeply. Many meteors fell on the moon breaking its face. Smoke rised all over the directional points. Clouds, red and yellow in hew, shimmering with lightenings, rained flesh and blood on the earth. That was the terrific result of Arjuna's becomimg dull in the war. Unable to stand the wholesome attack of his enemies, Arjuna dropped his Gaandeevam and his wrist guard too fell down. Seeing the great Arjuna in such a helpless condition in war, the heroes were more pleased at their achievement against their celebrated enemy. They assailed against him more rigorously. The celestials were worried about Arjuna's safety and they went on speaking benedections to him. The mortal and divine sages too were concerned and began chants to bring safety to Arjuna. Revitalised by the power of enchantments of the sages and celestials, Arjuna restored himself and stood as firm as earlier in the battle. He drew his bow's string causing terror among the enemies from its twang. He soon showered arrows on the heroes, covering everyone among them with nuerous shafts. Neither the warriors nor their king was visible under the thick cover of Arjuna's arrows, resembling trees fully covered by herds of locusts. With his energy and prowess rekindled, Arjuna moved around the battle field like a burning stick whirled around, totally eclipsing the entire group of enemies in the field. His swift shafts hit every one and forced him to run away. Thus warding the swarming enemies off his vicinity, Arjuna stood in the clear field shining like an autumn sun in the sky emerging out of clouds."

Driven away by Arjuna's unbearable arrows and seeing him settled again in the battle field, the fighters encouraged themselves once again and assaulted Arjuna, throwing weapons and discharging arrows. Arjuna laughed at the desperate fighters and said angrily to them in a loud voice. " Very good. You are all brave and valorous. Fight against me and try to defeat me. Here I am ready. All your showers of arrows and cage of weapons are shattered. You are in great danger now. Arrange for disposal of all your pending works as you have no time left to live."

"Then Yudhishthira 's words suddenly flashed in his mind. "My brother expressly told me not to kill the young kings. He told me only to defeat and convince to obey us. These idiots seem ready only to be killed. How can I keep Yudhishthira 's word and spare these fellows from killing?" Thinking thus, he spoke to the desperate fighters again. "Listen my words of safety to you. I won't kill those who come to me and surrender declaring submission to us. I will treat such fellows as defeated and spare their lives. Understand my words and behave to save yourselves. Or, choosing to take a path otherwise, you all will meet your end through my arrows."

The fighters showed little interest in Arjuna's persuasion . They charged unto him discharging thousands of arrows. Arjuna forced himself to teach them a lesson and continued the fight. He delivered powerful arrows resembling venomous snakes unto them. His arrows broke those of the opponents in the middle of their course and rent them into pieces. He hit each one of them with many sharp arrows. Still, the fighters did not yield. Vendetta took better part of them and Arjuna, Jayadratha's killer was the only target before them. They hurled spears and swords at him in their bunches , in turn and collectively too. Arjuna foiled all of the missiles and shouted aloud at them. He discharged arrows with unguagable speed, cutting off the throats of the fighters in a wink. The fighters went back and jumped forward soon. Again and again, they advanced and receeded and attacked and ran away. In spite of their fighters being killed in their hundreds and thousands, the remaining fighters swarmed Arjuna eith renewed anger,rending the space with the noise of their shouts and vehicles. Thus, they kept their ataack live, as long as they were alive. At last, Arjuna hurt their animals, destroyed their caras, killed most of the fighters and drove away the rest, wounding them throughly.

Receiving the report of a comprehensive defeat of the warriors, the grand mother of the king, Dussala, who was but Arjuna's cousin, came to the field by a carriage to meet him, taking her little grandson with her, with a view to securing safety to the survivors of the battle. She ran towards Arjuna crying aloud. Arjuna saw his desolate cousin approach him and rested his bow aside. He received her with affection and asked her what she was there for . Dussala broke into sobs and slowly said with a breaking voice. " Arjuna! See this young boy. He is your nephew's son. He bows to you in reverence. Bless him." Arjuna heard those words and inquired Dussala about the boy's father. Dussala replied. " My son is no more. Listen what has happened. He heard that you were coming in guard of the sacrificial horse. Receiving reports of your approaching this region, he remembered how his father was killed by you in the war and he fell dead half grieving over his father's death and half dreading your arrival. He only heard the words 'Arjuna came here.' and collapsed dead. The other fighters decided to wage battle against you and met this fate in your hands. I brought this little grandson to take refuge with you." She again burst into a bitter cry. After a while, she continued and told Arjuna. " Brother! you look at your poor sister. You look at this innocent helpless boy. You remind the righteousness of the Kurus. Do what you think is fit. Never think of the foolish Duryodhana or still more foolish Jayadratha. You have the duty of securing safety to this little grandson of your sister. Just as Preekshith was born ˇf Abhimanyu at a critical time for the Kurus, this lad, son of my son Suratha too, is the only hope of the provinces. I brought and presented this boy before you hoping that you would grant safety and security to the surviving. I bow my head before you and beg for protection of this young heir of my son. You must forgive the unseemly misconduct of his grandfather or even any misbehaviour of his own towards you. Kindly do not give way to wrath or vengeance. Even for my sake, it is upto you to grant my prayers and save this lad deprived of his elders and relatives.

Arjuna heard the miserable words of his cousin. For a moment, he thought of Dhrithraashtra and Gaandhaari. He felt sorrifully ashamed of his earlier wars and killing of many kins in them. He said, " What did I get by killing those many kinsmen in the war?" and remained sad for a while therafter. At last, he recovered himself to his usual composure. He consoled his widow sister by taking her into his hands and sent her home safe with the young and his surviving relatives. Dussala thanked Arjuna and told her men to return. She happily went back with her grandson.

Then, Arjuna let the horse again on its free course. He followed it like Shiva following the deer that was the form of Daksha's sacrifice.( Once Shiva destroyed Daksha's sacrifice when the sacrifice assumed the form of a deer and ran. Shiva chased it aiming at it with his arrow on his bow Pinaaka.- Tr)'. The horse passed through many countries causing much work to Arjuna's bow. After passing over many regions, it neared the city of Manipuram.

END OF CHAPTER SEVENTY EIGHT

BABHRUVAAHANA KILLS ARJUNA IN BATTLE AT MANIPURAM - - ULOOPI VIVIFIES ARJUNA

Vyshampaayana continued to Janamejaya. "The ruler of Manipuram was Babhruvaahana. He was none other than Arjuna's son born to Chithraangada. When he received reports of his father's arrival, Babhruvaahana walked to meet and honour him. His priests preceeded him with the things required for welcoming. But, Arjuna, on his part, did not appreciate his son's gesture, in view of the Kshathriya code which he preferred for his son to adopt. Seeing Babhruvaahana obediently standing before him ready to extend a welcome of honour, he felt incised and said to his son.

" This action is unseemly of you. It is against our Kshathriya code. You very well know that the sacrificial horse let go by Yudhishthira entered your provinces. You are equally aware that I am following that as its guard. When a Kshathriya is supposed to capture it when it comes into his regions, why didn't you opt to catch it as a challenge to its sender? Why don't you wage a battle against me, the guard of the sacrificial steed ? What face did you have to come to me in all humility at such a time when a heroic act warrants for valour and courage? Had I come to you laying off my arms, your action would have been apt. But, you behaved like a coward. You behaved out of Kshathriya 's code. You did not attain any royal dignity through your timid act. You cheap prince! Shame upon you for coming to me like a woman for peace at a time that needded a manly fighting. I see no use of your living any more, you fellow of low conduct! Shame upon you for coming to me in peace like this when I came to fight through declaration. What happened to your intellect and courage, you fellow of mean attitude ?"

Babhruvaahana was shocked with his father's rude behaviour. He was puzzled at his father's arraigning me. He kept thinking asto what is to be done. At that time, Arjuna's Naaga wife Uloopi knew all that through her mysticpowers. She knew what was going to happen and what was to be done too. She left the nether world and appeared at Arjuna's camp. She saw her husband chiding his innocent son who was standing puzzled before his father .

Uloopi called Babhruvaahana aside and said to him. "My son! I am one of your step-mothers, the Naaga princess Uloopi. Now, do as I say. That will bring good to you and to all of us too. You heard how your father rebuked you. You fight against him. Your father is obsessed with a mania for battle. You defeat your invincible father in the battle. That will be just a fitting answer to his invidious rebuke against you."

Babhruvaahana became invigorated with his step-mother's speech. He silently bowed to his father and went back into the city. He returned in a fighter's attire. He wore a golden armour and a helmet. He mounted unto his chariot rich in decorations. It is filled with all equipment for battle. Hundreds of quivers were loaded in it. Fast steeds were yoked to it. Its wheels were well protected with casements at the ends. The cover of its body was made of gold. On its top, golden domes were sculpted. A long golden post with a flag of a lion symbol was hoisted on it. Thus equipping himself, Babhruvaahana ordered his equine experts to secure the sacrificial horse right within Arjuna's vision. Arjuna too felt happy seeing his son's heroic act. Then he attacked his chariot-mounted son, he himself standing on ground.

Babhruvaahana shot many sharp arrows into Arjuna's body, hurting him severely. Arjuna too, attacked fiercely. Then followed a wonderful battle between the father and the son. Each was pleased with the other's performance. Their terrific fight resembled one between a god and a demon. Babhruvaahana hit his father's shoulder with a sharp arrow and laughed at him. That powerful arrow pierced through Arjuna's body to its full length and came out from the other side to hit the floor and sink deep into it. That shot made Arjuna lean upon his bow and stay like a swooned one for a while. Recovering his senses, Arjuna admiringly said to his son, " Well done, my boy! You are now a fitting son to my wife Chithraangada. I am glad to see your act befitting your birth. Now, stand brave and save yourself from these missiles coming from my bow." No earlier were his words concluded than a downpour of arrows emerged from his Gaandeevam. Babhruvaahana least cared his father's swiftness. He broke all the falling arrows into three pieces each with his well-aimed counter arrows. Arjuna shot his arrows at Babhruvaahana's tall flag staff and broke it. The flag staff fell on the ground. In a moment, Arjuna killed Babhruvaahana's steeds also, making his son indignant. Enraged with anger,Babhruvaahana jumped onto the ground and continued his fight. Arjuna was all happy within himself at his son's prowess. He,however, did not choose to badly hurt his son. Babhruvaahana took that as Arjuna's weakness and displayed his skill more than earlier. He was driven by his youthful assumption of anger and shot numerous arrows at his father. One of those shafts struck into Arjuna's heart deep into his vitals.Unable to stand the shot, Arjuna fell headlong on the floor in the field. Babhruvaahana was stunned to see his father fall dead from his shot. He could not digest the truth appearing before his eyes. Feeling deeply distressed, added to the pain caused by Arjuna's shots till then, he could not contain himself. He too lost his senses and fell down.

Chithraangada received reports of the battle course ending with fall of both her husband and son. She rushed to the battle field, all disturbed with sorrow. To her bitter grief, she saw both of them fallen on the battle field. She could not stand the vision of that horrible scene and fell unconscious. Her attendants helped her regain her senses. Then she looked at her fallen husband and son and burst into a bitter weep. After some time, she saw Uloopi standing nearby. Amidist her weep, she said to her. "Uloopi! Did you see what happened? See our husband and son dead on the ground. My victorious husband lay in the field,killed by my son's weapons. All this is due to your foolishness. Aren't you aware of the duties of a faithful wife? Aren't you wellversed with our accepted customs and conduct? Why did you encourage our son to fight against his father? With your knowledge of customs and duties as it is, why don't you grieve over your act of seeing husband killed by his son? Or, if Arjuna alone was to blame for what has happened, forgive me, I pray to you to see him enlivened again. O Naaga princess! I don't grieve over my son's death. It is my husband's death that rends my heart, more so since he met that fate as hospitality offered to him by his son."

Then Chithraangada took Arjuna's head into her hands and wept bitterly. Speaking now and then with voice choked with sobs, she said, " My dear Arjuna! Rise! Here I made your sacrificial steed released. You are foremost among Yudhishthira 's reliable hands. Aren't you supposed to complete your job of guarding the horse till the end? Why do you lie on floor, then? You protect the life of your beloved. My life and lives of all Kurus rest on you. Then why do you loose your life staking lives of all these who are but your dear people? O Uloopi! You wantonly encouraged my son and urged him to fight against his father. Let our young son die if it be so. How can I bear to see my husband lying dead before me? How can you remain so calm even seeing dear husband dead ? Marrying more than one is not an offence for men, but it surely is for women. May that desire not pop up in your mind. This bond is awarded by the destiny and it should last as long as I am alive. Unless you bring my husband back to life to correct your erring act of encouraging a son to kill his father, I too am going to die before your eyes. May that make you still happier!"

Thus lamenting over her unfortunate loss of husband and son at the same time, Chithraangada sat silently near her husbad's feet, looking at her son's body, sighing and weeping, with a view to stake her life in case Arjuna was not revived to life.

In the meanwhile, Babhruvaahana regained his consciousness. In a moment, he recollected what had happened and how grave that happening was too. He blankly looked once at his mother and step mother and once at his father's body. Sorrow and shame overtook him. He lamented over the unfortunate disaster. " My dear mother, accustomed only to luxuries, is now weeping near my father's dead body in the battle field. All this is because of me. What other thing can be more painful to me? My father, having been known as slayer of terrible enemies, now seen fallen miserably killed by me. My mother sustains the bad incident and I too am still alive seeing both of them like this. This itself shows that the death is not that easy to bless us whenever we are pleased to choose that. O priests! See here my father dead on the ground. See me his son and his slayer. See how his golden armour lies broken with my shafts. O Braahmanas ! You followed my father alongwith the horse until here. Can you tell me how to recompense the death of this hero now? How can I expiate myself from this sin of cruelly killing my father in battle ? It is said that donating one hundred cows can clense the sin of killing a Kshathriya . But, I see no such expiation for me for this sin of pattricide.shall I wander around for twelve years covering my self with his skin? Shall I hold his skull in myhands and go around begging for twelve years? How can I expect to have any purification from the sin of killing such a hero and Paandava chief as my father? Surely, I shall fall in the hell for this unutterable sin. O mother Uloopi! I made a fool of myself and killed myfather due to your instigation. I am sure that you are now happy about your succes. But, I will make you happier by presenting you with death of Arjuna's son too. I cannot hold myself after committing this sin hitherto unheard of. You all here hear my true words! If my father does not come back to life, I will stay here itself fasting unto death along with my mother."

Saying thus, the sorrowful Babhruvaahana sat beside his father's body, determined to die on the spot. Uloopi saw her co-wife and step-son sunk in deep grief which was quite natural for that berievement. She prayed to the revitalising gem in possession of Naagas. The gem presented itself in her hands immedoately. She held it in her hand and went to Babhruvaahana and to him making him and his followers happy. "My son! Rise. Don't throw yourself into the sea of grief. Your father is not dead. Nor is he defeated by you. This is all my mystical power of delusion named Mohani ( = that deludes all). I did all this to please your father and thereby you too. Know that your father is invincible. Even the deities nd demons together cannot defeat him. He is none other than the ancient divine sage. He just wanted to see his son's prowessand skill. As you did not wage a battle, he was disappointed. I knew that and encouraged you to fight. That pleased your father really. Never think that you killed your father or you incurred a great sin from that. All that is false. See this gem of great mystic power. This is capable of revitalising the dead. Possessing this gem endowed with such power, we revive everyday many dead Naagas. Just keep this gem on your father's chest for a while. You will see him rise alive in a few moments."

Babhruvaahana wondered at her words. But, as he has no other course, he obeyed her words. Soon after the gem was placed on Arjuna's body, he moved and rose as if waking up from a deep sleep. He rubbed his eyes and looked around. Babhruvahana and others were beside themselves with joy. They all praised and thanked Uloopi. A noise of joyful cries rose high from every spot of the battle field. Rejoicing at Arjuna's revival, the deities showered lots of divine flowers. The heavenly drums rang even without being beaten. Shouts of 'Well! Nice!' were heard from the space.

Arjuna found that his wife Chithraangada stamped with sorrow and Uloopi standing near her.He saw his obedient son beside him. He embraced him with affection smelling on his head (Ancient custom of elders smelling on youngsters'head as a symbol of affection and blessing. -Tr). Then he asked him. "My son! What is all this? I see all here affected with sorrow,plesure and wonder? Why did your mother come here? what brought Uloopi too here ?. I know that you waged this battle only due to my words. What is the reason for these women to come to battle field? Can you explain this for me if you know?"

Then turniing to Uloopi, Arjuna said. " Uloopi!You se me after a long time. Why did you come to Manipuram? Why is Chithraangada in battle field ? You are wellwisher of this queen and me too, I believe. Did I incur any guilt against you? Or, did our son Babhruvaahana commmit any offence against you due to his ignorance? Did your co-wife Chithraangada give scope to any fault towards you? What brought you here? "

Uloopi laughed and said to Arjuna. " Neither you nor Babhruvaahana did any unpleasant thing to me. Nor did my sister Chithraangada. She attends me like a helper. I will tell you what happened. I pray you not to become angry witth me for what I did, since all that I did was for your good and for good of our clan. Listen. All this is to recompense your sin of shooting arrows uncermoniously at Bheeshma in the war when he was not fighting with you. You shielded yourself with Shikhandi and shot at the grandsire. That inflicted a heavy sin on you. If you pass away without expiating yourself from that sin, you would have to surely fall in hell. To avoid that unfit course to you, this scene is created. And this is planned according to the word accorded by the great deities Vasus and the holy mother Ganga . When I visitd the grandsire on the arrow-bed, I heard Vasus talk to Ganga . They said, 'Mother Ganga ! Arjuna committed a great sin by causing Bheeshma 's fall in an unseemly manner. Onn that account, We are going to inflict a curse on him.' Ganga accepted to what they said. I bevame worried and ran back to my father. Reporting what I heard, I urged him to see a way out of that trouble. He toobecame sad over that unhappy course of things. Out of his interest in my good, he went to Vasus and beseeched for a remedy to you. Turning kind to him due to his repeated prayers, they told him providing a remedy to you, 'When Arjuna falls in the hands of his son Babhruvaahana in battle, he will be fee from our curse.' my father told me everything and I have been waiting since then for a chance to free you from that great infliction. at last, now I got my chance and did thus. Even Indra cannot defeat you in battle. A son is said to be his father himself. Thus you are defeated by yourself. I am immensely happy that I could do my best and save you from hell causing this temporary berievement to all of us. Methinks, I am not guilty. If you see any fault with me, I am ready to receive punishment from you."

All those in the field were wondered hearing that great secret of deities. Arjuna admired Uloopi and said, "Dear! No fault on your part. You did what a dear wife shall do to her husband for his good. I am happy really about your acts." Then he told Babhruvaahana ," Our Ashvamedham sacrifice takes place on fullmoon day of chythra month. Attend it in time with your mother and all elders."

Babhruvaahana replied, with his eyes filled with tears. "I will surely attend the sacrifice with all elders and priests. But, accept my appology for my misbehaviour towards you and come into the city. Grace us with your stay in your mansions for this night. You may continue your victorious campaign from tomorrow. "

Arjuna replied. "No,my son. I am not angry with you at all. But, you too know that am under this vow of guarding sacrificial horse. It is notproper for me to enter or stay in cities. That is the reason for my not staying here. I must only follow the horse and its free course. I will proceed. May good comes unto you. " Thus Arjuna sent off his son and wives. Enjoying their pleasant farewell, he proceeded further behind the free horse.

ARJUNA'S BATTLE WITH MAGADHA RULER

Sootha went on relating to the sages at Nymisha forest, how Vyshampaayana continued his narration to Janamejaya.

Continuing his campaign, Arjuna followed the sacrificial horse which reached the eastern sea and returned to adjacent provinces. It walked through many regions and reached the city Raajagriha, capital of of Magadha kingdom.

Meghasandhi was ruling Magadha kingdom then. Hearing reports of Arjuna's horse entering his region, he decided to stick to his Kshathriya code and to challenge Arjuna. Accordingly, he made preparations for battle. He wors armour, wrist-guards and finger-guards. Mounting on his well-equipped chariot and wielding his bow, he came out of his mansion and city. He waited until Arjuna came near him and hailed him challenging with a youthful temperment. " Arjuna! What is this? It seems you are walking your horse among women. Here I catch your horse. Try to get it released. My forefathers might not have tamed you in battles. Now I will show you that as my hospitality to you. Please shoot at me first. Then only I will respond. "

Arjuna smiled at Meghasandhi for his rashness and said. "Young man! My celebrated brother Yudhishthira imposed a condition on me that I should only convince or defeat the hinderers but should not kill them. You too know that. I have nothing against you. If you still want to fight, I invite you to charge first with all your might."

Meghasandhi responded with a shower of arrows. His missiles fell on Arjuna like the shower of clouds in the early rainy season. Arjuna broke them into pieces in the air with his arrows. He discharged bunches of arrows on his enemy's flag, flag post, horses, yoke,wheels and other parts of the car. But, purposely, he did not aim to wound Meghasandhi or his charioteer either. Thus standing safe due to Arjuna's unwillingness to hurt, the young king took it to be due to his own valour and charged further at his opponent, continuing to hit him all over his body even though Arjuna chose not to do like that. Wounded all over by Meghasandhi's shots, Arjuna shone red a like fully blossomed Palaasha tree. Turning angry at the indifference of his young opponent, Arjuna shot swift arrows at him, killing his steeds and driver in an instant. Next moment, his bow and wrist-guards fell down, broken into pieces. Arjuna's flashig attack continued and he chopped off Meghasandhi's flag staff tearing the flag into rags. Still, Meghasandhi was not taken aback. Despite loss of vehicle, driver and bow, he took his mace and jumped down. Whirling the mace terribly, he ran towards Arjuna. Arjuna sent many shafts fitted with eagle-quills at the tail and broke the mace into small pieces. The golden cover over the head of the mace fell off. And its shaft while falling away disposing its jewel-rich casing, resembled a snake casting off its skin. Arjuna looked at his opponent standing deprived off all his equipment except his body and said gently to him. " Enough, young man! You displayed your valour to an admirable level, given your age and experience. You are not to be killed despite your engaging in battle with me, owing to Yudhishthira 's prohibition imposing me not to kill kings. "

Meghasandhi conceded victory and said to Arjuna with folded hands. " Yes. I am defeated. I opt no more to fight. If you have anything that I should do for you, name that and treat that as done in due manner. "

Arjuna accepted his submission and told to him, " Emperror Yudhishthira 's Ashvamedham is taking place on the full moon day of coming Chythra month. Attend that celebration with all your people."

Meghasandhi agreed to do so and let the horse free. Thus sent off by Magadha king, Arjuna followed his horse as usual. The sacrificial horse going at its will, walked through the provinces of Pundra, Vanga,Kosala,Anga and Kaashi where Arjuna defeated the hinderers with his great bow. Then, the horse moved westwards again. It reached the city of Shukthimathi, capital of Chedi province. The then ruler, Sharabha was Shishupaala's son. He first fought with Arjuna for a while and then honoured him. Continuing his tour, Arjuna reached Dashaarna province where a mighty king Chithraangada was ruling. He engaged Arjuna with a terrible battle but finally Arjuna tamed him and proceeded further. In the region of Nishaadas ruled by Ekalavya's son, Arjuna faced a bitter fight from them. At the end, Arjuna defeated them all . Receiving their due honours after the victory, Arjuna followed his horse which walked towards the southern sea. On that front, he fought against many rulers of many provinces like Dravida, Aandhra,Maahishaka and Kollagiri. Arjuna defeated all of them, not being that harsh with them yet. He passed through Suraashtra, Gokarna and Prabhaasa. He reached then Dvaaravathi, the abode of Vrishnis. Some Yaadava youths caught hold of the horse. But their King Ugrasena reprimanded them and let the steed free. Ugrasena and Arjuna's uncle Vasudeva both came to see and greet Arjuna. Allowed by them, Arjuna followed the horse that took a westward course. In its free course, the horse crossed the well nourished region Panchanadam and reached Gaandhaara province.

ARJUNA'S BATTLE WITH GAANDHAARA RULERS

One of the sons of Shakuni was ruling Gaandhaara regions. He was a fighter of Mahaaratha grade. He bore grudge against Paandavas that the latter killed the Gaandhaara heroes of yester years in the great war. He gathered an army consisting many cars,tuskers and horses. As soon as he received news that Arjuna entered their vicinity with the sacrificial horse, he came out with his army.

The sizable army of Gaandhaaras sped towards Arjuna. Arjuna saw them charging and warned them beforehand as he did everywhere earlier, quoting Yudhishthira 's prohibition. But the Gaandhaaras heeded not. Vengeance drove their minds. They seized the sacrifical horse and attacked Arjuna. That made Arjuna indignant. Like a sport, he sent sharp arrows unto them an chopped of the heads of the fighters in the forward lines. The Gaandhaaras left the horse but continued attack on Arjuna. He kept on persuading them again and again . Following his unsuccessful persuasion, Arjuna made a fierce attack on them and cut off the the heads of numerous fighters . Seeing his fighters lose their lives to Arjuna's arrows, Shakuni's son personally charged against Arjuna. Arjuna, on his part, again told the king bent on fighting sue to his adherence to Kshathriya code. "My dear hero! I am bound by my brother's word that I should not kill kings. You had better desist from battle. I treat you as one that fought heroically against me. Let defeat not come unto you now. "

But the Gaandhaara king paid no attention to Arjuna's words. He attacked Arjuna vigorously and sent showers of arrows. Arjuna responded by rendering all those arrows futile. He blew off the king's helmet with a powerful shot. The skillful shot made all the spectators reminisce themselves to Arjuna's chopping off Jayadratha's head in the great war. The Gaandhaaras side fighters were wondered at that act and they understood that Arjuna willfully held himself from cutting off their king's head. Shakuni's son thought of retreating and he soon converted his thought into action. Those fighters in his guard too followed him. The Gaandhaara army without proper leadership, ran from place to place in the field. Groups of fighters attacked Arjuna and were killed instantly. The heads of running soldiers flew off from their bodies. The lifted hands of some of the soldiers were chopped off by Arjuna's arrows in so swift a manner that they did not even realise the loss of their hands at that moment. There was not even a single fighter that could stand before Arjuna holding his attack. He slaughtered the Gaandhaara army and drove it helter-skelter, forcing a confused retreat of its surviving animals and soldiers .

The mother of the Gaandhaara king heard the news of his son's retreat and utter destruction of his army at Arjuna's hands. she was afraid of possible unhappy end of her son. She came out of her mansion along with their priests and senior counsels to see Arjuna in the battle field. She forced her son to surrender to Arjuna and successfully pleaded with Arjuna for mercy and peace. Arjuna became calm, granted her request and said to her son, mildly reprimanding him. " Your thoughts and conduct are not commendable. You displease me with your attitude of fighting against me. Aren't you like my cousin? Thinking of Dhrithraashtra and Gaandhaari, for their sake do I spare your life though I smashed your army. Never behave like this again. Shed off your enemity with elders. Attend Yudhishthira 's Ashvamedham on fullmoon day of coming Chythra month. May good befalls unto you. "

END OF CHAPTER EIGHTY FOUR

ARJUNA COMPLETES HIS EXPEDITION - - GRAND PREPARATIONS FOR ASHVAMEDHAM

Shakuni's son accepted defeat and obeyed Arjuna's words. Arjuna left Gaandhaara province and continued to follw the horse, which now walked back towards Hasthipuram. Some of Arjuna's followers went to the capital beforehand and reported Arjuna's return to Yudhishthira . Yudhishthira felt happy about Arjuna's safety and his successful completion of the task. He admired Arjuna hearing about his deeds at Gaandhaara and other regions. He counted the time left before commencement of rituals of the sacrifice. On the bright twelfth day of Maagha month coinciding with a star ( the original word is 'Ishtam' meaning, desired or good-doing. The commentator interpreted this as Pushyami star.-Tr) favourable to him, he called for his three brothers available then, Bheema ,Nakula and Sahadeva.

Yudhishthira said to Bheema . " Reports from Arjuna say that he started to return with the horse. It will reach us soon. And the time for consummating ceremonies of the sacrifice is also fast nearing. Magha fullmoon day is around. Between the current month and Chythra month, there is only month left for for us. Send invitations to all kings and relatives. It is time we sent our expert priests for selection of place to raise hall and tents for the sacrifice. Nakula and Sahadeva shall be doing their jobs carefully without leaving anything undone."

Bheema heard the news of Arjuna's return to his happiness. He gladly went on his job. Ge dispatched men to various places with invitation to attend the sacrifice. He took the priests and sculptors with him to go for selection of place for performance of the sacrifice. At a suitable place accepted by th epriests and sculptors, he ordered for construction of halls,houses,sheds and trellises with all required facilities. Proper measurements of the sites and planning of the proposed constructions were carefully done. Then, the construction of buildings was begun on an auspicious day. Hundreds of mansions were built with floors embodied with gems. Golden decorations were annexed to all the mansions. Pylons were erected to mark important places. Pillars and arches made of gold were installed at every point inths sacrifice hall. Many royal apartments were built to accomodate the regal guests near the hall. Numerous houses were built proximous to the hall for the residence of Braahmanas that attend the sacrifice. Stables and garages for resting the animals and vehicles were arranged around the sacrificial site.

And by that time, the kings who received the invitations began to arrive in good numbers. They brought different gifts to present to Yudhishthira on that occasion. Those gifts onsisted gems, horses,elephants,maids and weapons. With kings arriving day by day, the noise at the hall was growing greater and greater like the noise of falling waves of the sea. Bheema ordered his men for timely arrangement of all luxuries of food and rest for the arriving kings. Rich and luxurious chairs and beds are made available in every mansion and every house. Many small rooms were provided around where juices and drinks were kept for use. Many hermits and sages accomplished in Vedic sciences came there with curiousity of witnessing the great sacrifice. Many Braahmanas arrived alongwith the groups of their disciples. Many scholars who were experts in argumentative lectures ( the original word is Hethuvaadinah - meaning rationalisers.-Tr) about all sciences arrived with a view to please the king with the exhibition of their knowledge and eloquence and to win over their opponent scholars in arguments. Yudhishthira himself obediently led them in person, to their resorts. Many people of many tribes arrived there. It looked as if the whole Jambu island ( dveepa= continent,as we use now -Tr) presented itself there.

The priests and sculptors reported completion of construction and preparation of sacrifice hall. Yudhishthira admired them for their timely completion and rewarded them suitably. Pleased with that, he went to see the hall, along with his brothers, priests and some kings. Every spectator was wondered at the splendor and grandeour of that hall which looked like Indra's hall. The visitors saw there in the hall - the pillars covered with golden sheets, the arches covered with golden adornments, resting couches and seats all made of gold, pots, cauldrons,plates,lids,tumblers, every thing made of gold. Not a single thing that was not made of gold was seen in the hall. All the required woodden poles made according to the prescribed rules, were also covered with golden sheets and kept ready to be used as and when needded. Many animals , those that live on earth and in water, many birds and wild beasts were kept ready for the sacrifice. They saw many horses, cattle and old maids taking care of them. They saw there many things brought from the hills and from the forests. Seeing such an enormous sacrifice hall, rich with kine, grains and gold - all the spectators were taken by wonder.

And the arrangements made for food for all the invitees were more wonderful. Heaps of cooked rice looked like white moutains. Stocks of curds were like lakes of curd. Storages of ghee looked like canals of flowing ghee. At Yudhishthira 's orders, Bheema instructed his men to arrange for serving of food to Braahmanas, Vyshyas and others. Thousands of cooks were cooking the food items of all types. Thousands of butlers were employed to serve the food to the people. The butlers variously ornamented with chains and earrings, held large plates in their hands and served all varaities of royal food to the Braahmanas. There was an arrange ment near the dining halls. A large drum was hung at a high place. It bangs by itself when one lakh people are satisfied by serving all rich foods to them. The drum went on ringing continuously,day by day, throughout all those days of the sacrifice. That was the manner in which Yudhishthira 's sacrifice was performed.

Yudhishthira was happy at the arrival of many kings and many Braahmanas for his sacrifice. He said to Bheema , "Bheema ! It is our duty to honor all these kings to invite, greet and drop in their rest houses. All of these deserve our respect. Arrange for honouring all in a befitting manner." Bheema accordingly took up the task and went to the hall alongwith Nakula and Sahadeva . He received each king and sent him to his specified mansion with due honours.

Then arrived at the hall, Krishna with Balaraama and other Yaadavas. Saathyaki, Pradyumna,Nishatha,Saamba, Krithavarma and Gada followed them. Bheema invited them all into the hall and restored them to their rest houses which were richly decorated with studded gems. Yudhishthira sat with them in their mansion and talked to Krishna amidst others. During the course of conversation Krishna talked about Arjuna that he had to suffer the burden of many battles. Yudhdhishthira repeatedly asked Krishna about Arjuna. Krishna told him. "One of my reliable men from Dvaaraka came to me. He met Arjuna in his way. The man told me that Arjuna was approachimg your capital in his return journey. You may happily continue your preparations for the sacrifice."

Yudhishthira again enquired with eagerness. "Krishna ! Hearing that Arjuna is returning is a sweet news to me. He is the most valorous of us. Did he send any message to you through your man? Can I hear that?"

Krishna replied. "My agent reported Arjuna's words thus addressing me. 'Krishna ! At an appropriate time, put my word to Yudhishthira like this - On this occasion of sacrifice, all the kings will be coming to us. A fitting honour is to be arranged for all the great kings.That is our duty. There should not occur an incident like that in Raajasooyam while offering honours. Our king (Yudhishthira ) should do so and you should guide and help him in that. '

"Yudhishthira ! That was the message that Arjuna sent to me through my man. He also added another important matter. That is here- 'My son Babhruvaahana, the king of Manipoora is coming to attend our sacrifice function. He is very valorous and very dear to me. You should receive him with affection for my sake."

Yudhishthira heard Krishna report Arjuna'smessage and felt exceedingly glad. He said to Krishna in reply. "This happy information that you nicely revealed is to my pleasure like nectar to my ears. I heard them say that Arjuna had to face many battles with many rulers this time. Krishna ! What could be the reason for his incessant troubles? Why was he deprived of pleasures every now and then? I am very sorry about his ill-luck. When alone, I often lose myself into thoughts worrying about reasons for his repeated troubles. Can there be any maleficent characteristic in his body according to physiognomy, that might be causing all this unpleasant turns in his life? As far as I know, I cannot perceive any such thing. But, you know more than i do. Can you please tell if you have noticed any such characteristic in his body?"

Krishna said in reply." As far as I know, I could not see any prominent maleficient aspect in his body structure except that his calves look a bit longer than they should be. Due to that minor fault in his form, he is made to go on journeys often. I see no other reason for his difficulties. "

Yudhishthira said in response, "May be. That can be the reason." But, Droupadi, sitting a bit away and hearing this conversation about Arjuna, threw an askance at Krishna , as if disapproving his remarks about Arjuna. Krishna too took her gesture sportively, understanding her mind as Arjuna himself would have understood. Bheema , other Kurus and the priests too spent some time happily talking about Arjuna and his achievements. Even as they were talking so , an envoy from Arjuna himself presented himself before Yudhishthira and reported Arjua's arrival. Yudhishthira was immensely glad about that happy news. Tears of joy filled his eyes. He rewarded the messenger with a lot of money. Next day, Arjuna entered the capital city. The sacrificial horse reentered its starting place, raising the dust with its hoofs, trotting like the celestial horse Uchchyshrava. There was again a festive mood in the city.The people of the city gathered along the roads that Arjuna was going. They shouted with joy, "Luckily for us, great Arjuna has returned safe and victorious. Yudhishthira is blessed with good. Who in the world is capable of guarding the horse going around all provinces and bringing back it defeating all the kings? We did not hear of such great achievement even in the names of past emperrors like the celebrated Sagara .Arjuna! You have today performed such a great feat that no future kings will be able to do." Hearing the exalting admirations of the people pleasing to his ears, Arjuna reached the sacrifice hall where Yudhishthira was camping. Yudhishthira and Krishna walked ahead to welcome and greet him, with all the important personnel, keeping Dhrithraashtra in the lead. Arjuna bowed to Dhrithraashtra,Yudhishthira and Bheema .He embraced Krishna with pleasure and greeted all others in the proper manner. Then, he rested himself like a person touching the shore after swimming across the width of a sea.

At the same time, king Babhruvaahana too arrived bringing his mother Chithraangada and step-mother Uloopi with him. He paid respects to all the elders of Kuru family and other seniors among the kings. In due manner, he bowed to Dhrithraashtra , Yudhishthira , Bheema and his other uncles there. He bowed to Krishna as respectfully as Krishna 's son Pradyumna himself would do. They all too, in turn, embraced and blessed him with affection. Krishna gifted to him a chariot with golden covers and beatiful steeds. Yudhishthira , Bheema , Arjuna and The Twins too presented valuable gifts to him as a token of their love.

Then Babhruvaahana went to the mansion of his grandmother Kunthi. He obediently bowed at her feet declaring himself. Chithraangada and Uloopi too respectfully bowed to Kunthi and queen Droupadi (their co-wife). They lovingly greeted and talked to Subhadra. Kunthi received them and Babhruvaahana with utmost affection, contemplating Arjuna's pleasure and welfare, and gifted many gems to her two daughters-in-law and grandson. Droupadi, Subhadra and other royal women too honoured them with suitable gifts.

ARJUNA RETURNS - - YUDHISHTHIRA PERFORMS ASHVAMEDHAM

Sootha continued his narration to the sages at the Nymisha forest, as Vyshampaayana continued to Janamejaya.

"Then, on the third day, Vyaasa called Yudhishthira and said. "The sacrifice starts this hour today. From today onwards sacrificial rite begin. All the conducting priests and other participants are awaiting you in the hall. May your sacrifice run with no defects at all. Let it become famous as gold-rich sacrifice (Bahusuvarnakam is the original word here. Bahu=lot,Suvarnakam = having gold )due to abundant usage of gold in its course. Also, you offer the honarorium to the participants three-fold to the normal one.That brings you a virthref="ashvamedham.html">Ashvamedhams. Finally, undergoing the coveted consummation ablution, you will relieve yourself from the sin of killing your kinsmen."

Thus initiated by Vyaasa, Yudhishthira proceeded with the formalities . Then started the Ashvamedham sacrifice. The gifts and fees thereof were abundant. Food was donated on a countless scale. Not a single person at that place was found to be want of anything or afflicted with any trouble or hungry or thirsty. As was ordered by Yudhishthira , Bheema very ably managed the task of arranging for continuous and satiating service of food day in and day out.

Learned priests who were masters of all sacrificial proceedings were overseeing the procedures of the sacrifice. The diligent and expert participants did their duties so accurately that nothing was ommitted or nothing went wrong. Every small detail of procedure was adhered to with great care and perfection. None among the participant priests was one other than a master of six supplements ( six Veda-angas)or observer of pious vows or teacher of high standards or excellent in eloquence. Clad in their pecial attire, they shone with their resplendence like the celestial seven sages following Indra.( In the coming pasages, many words of terminology pertaining to Vedic rituals are used. No exact substitute words in English exist. I gave the original words in brackets or as they are, for clarity.-Tr). As the time passed, at the required hour, the priests prepared the Samstharas (place dug for placing the altar bricks and fire). The priests completed thr process of Pravargya ( an initiation process for the main sacrifice) and Abhishavam ( the process of sqeezing juice out of a Soma creep) as per the systematic operations. Then the necessary oblations were given in their proper order without deviating from the procedure under guidance of its masters. As the hour of installing the poles (Yoopa = a tall post,to tie the scape-goats to) came, the priests erected six poles made of Bilva wood, six made of Khadira wood, six more made of Sarvavarni wood, two made of Devadaaru wood and two more made of Shimshupa wood( all these are names od trees). But Bheema saw that some more poles made of gold were erected now and there for glorifying the sacrifice, as Yudhishthira ordered him. Bricks made of gold were used in the process of Chayanam ( the process of procuring the things sanctifying them with chanting of hymns) which resembled that done by the Prajaapathi Daksha in ancient days. The Chatushchithya ( a small platform,with four layers - chatuh=four) was prepared perfectly. It was eighteen cubit long, having three corners in the form an eagle,adorned with powdered gold. Then, at the appropriate time, the scapegoats were tied to the poles in accordance with the systemprescribed for each. Bulls and other aquatic beings prescribed in the scriptures were brought and fastened to the poles. There were three hundred such animals beside the main sacrificial horse. Every scapegoat was specifically sanctified and offered to its prescribed deity. Vyaasa's disciples who were the foremost among the masters of sacrificial performances and procedures, were carefully conducting the operations of the sacrifice without the slightest flaw.

The celestials like Siddhas,Kimpurushas and Kinnaras were present there to witness the sacrifice. Divine sages too graced the place with their presence. Naarada and Thumburu the celebrated celestial singers were present. The Gandharva chiefs Vishvaavasu and Chithrasena were there along with some other followers who were experts in music. All these entertained the participants of the sacrifice during intervals of the sacrificial operations, with their music and dance. Reverberating with such theatrical performances of those celestial singers and dancers (Gandharvas and Apsaras) everywhere, the sacrificial hall resembled Indra's conference hall.

"On the specified day after all the prescribed operations were carried out scrupulously, the priests sacrificed the scape-goats ( animals)and the sacrificial horse too. They desected the horse in the required way. They brought queen Droupadi near the dead horse, in addition to the three aspects (Kalas - chants,things,dedication). The flesh from abdomen of the horse was then cut out and boiled while chanting the hymns. Yudhishthira and his brothers breathed in by smelling the holy and purifying smoke rising from that boiling flesh. Then the sixteen participants (Rithviks) took up the remaining parts of the body of the horse and offered it as oblations into the fire. Vyaasa thus helped Yudhishthira in performing Ashvamedham on such a grand scale, to increase his glory.

Yudhishthira then presented one thousand crore gold coins to Braahmanas and presented the entire earth to Vyaasa and other participants. After accepting the alms of the entire earth from Yudhishthira , Vyaasa said to him, "King! Here I restore the earth back to you.In stead, you give me its equivallent price. Braahmanas can use money but not earth."

Standing amiidst the kings along with his brothers, Yudhishthira said to the Braahmanas, "It is said that the fee of the participants of Ashvamedham is the earth itself. I have donated now to you, all this earth which Arjuna won for us. You may divide it into four parts in the name of the four Hotrhis ( who gives oblations in sacrifice) and appropriate among yourselves. I am desirous of going to the woods as a hermit. I cannot take back what is given to Braahmanas. My brothers and Droupadi too are of the same opinion."

All his four brothers and Droupadi echoed Yudhishthira 's words by saying 'Yes. That should be so.'. That made all filled with wonder. An invisible voice from the sky uttered, 'Well,Well!'. The noise of praising the king and his brothers rose high into the sky.

Vyaasa appreciated Yudhishthira 's words and said to him as all the kings heard. "I hereby return to you the earth that you gave me now. Let it be with you. In stead, as its price, you may reward all these Braahmanas with gold." Krishna too told Yudhishthira to do as Vyaasa told.

Thus permitted by Vyaasa and Krishna , Yudhishthira then donated crores of gold coins to the Braahmanas. He gave the participants three-fold amount of the prescribed fee for their duties in the sacrifice. No future king will do such act as Yudhishthira did in an equal scale with the great Maruththa. Vyaasa accepted Yudhishthira 's donations of gold and he in turn made into four parts and gave it to the conductors and participants of the sacrifice. The participants too, distributed it among all the Braahmanas with all joy and readiness. Offering the determined price thus for the restored empire, Yudhishthira felt happy alongwith his brothers that he could win the heaven. Yudhishthira also permitted the Braahmanas to distribute among themselves, the golden articles in the hall like arches, poles,cauldrons,pots,tumblers etc. After the Braahmanas took their part, Kshathriya s, Vyshyas, Shoodras and other Mlechchas(Mixed tribes) took their share. Then all the Braahmanas went home happily with loads of gold on their bodies and satisafction in minds. Vyaasa, on his part, offered to Kunthi affectionately, whatever he was given as his share in the gifts. She too, in her turn, made many lots of that money obtained from her father-in-law and spent them on right and pious purposes. Yudhishthira then, with his brothers,underwent the concluding part, the ablution (Avabhritham) with sanctified waters relieving himselffrom the sins of slaying the kinsmen. Receiving the praises of the kigs, the Paandavas shone splendid like the planets amidst the stars. Yudhishthira presented various gifts to the kings too. He gave elephants, steeds, cars,ornaments, jewels, maids and dresses. He also gave them lots of gold, with his glory resembling that of Kubera. He then called Babhruvaahana. Giving a lot of gold and many gifts, he affectionately bade him farewell. He called Dussala, his cousin, and affectionately announced to her pleasure that her young grandson was installed as king of Gaandhara. Yudhishshthira called al the kings one by one and bade a hearty farewell. Then he presented numerous gifts to Krishna ,Balaraama , Pradyumna and other Yaadavas. embracing everyone of with love, he made arrangements for them to leave for home.

Yhus Yudhishthira 's famous Ashvamedham concluded. During those many days of its running, whatever was asked for was given. The only word heard everywhere was - 'Take whatever is wanted. Eat whatever is prefered.' Food was served day and night. There was no break or end to the preparation of various kinds of cakes, sweets, sweetmeats,drinks, juices and other items. The quantity of various animals killed for meat was neither countable nor imaginable. Rich in provisions like gold, gems,money and foods, the sacrifice earned its fame far and wide. Cooked rice appeared like mountains in the dining halls. Wines were served asif rivers of wines were flowing. Ghee was used and served on such a huge scale that it appeared like lakes and tanks of ghee were there. Soups and liquids were given as if drawn from streams of soups. Nobody could see an end to the service of eatable provided to the visitors of the sacrifice. With all the dance and music presentations enriched by drums,conches and flutes, the hall hoisted a festival wherein joyful men and women sported heartfully, drinking and playing among themselves. The spectators that came from various regions talked widely about that great sacrifice and its grandeour. Thus satiating everone with whatever is asked for and thereby dispelling all sins he was afraid off, Yudhishthira happily returned to his capital."

END OF CHAPTER EIGHTY NINE

EPISODE OF MONGOOSE -- SACRIFICES OF SAKTHUPRASTHA

Sootha continued his narration to the congress of sages in the Nymisha forest, as was told by Vyshampaayana to Janamejaya.

"Janamejaya asked Vyshampaayana. "Sir! You described in detail how my grandfather Yudhishthira grandly performed his Ashvamedha sacrifice. Did any thing noteworthy happened on that occasion? If any special or wonderful occurance took place, kindly describe that to me. "

Vyshampaayana answered. " Yes. There was once incident, that took place after the conclusion of the sacrifice. That was in fact as extraordinary as wonderful. Listen.

"The sacrifice was consummated procedurally. All the participants and Braahmanas were satisfied with more than normal gifts. All relatives and friends were honoured to their pleasure. All the poor, beggers and decrepit were generously awarded with whatever was their desire. The donations and alms were praised all over in the area. The celestials were showering flowers on Yudhishthira . Everybody praising Yudhishthira for his accomplishment of such a gigantic task.

Then there suddenly appeared a huge black-eyed mangoose. It spoke in human tongue. Its voice was sounding like a thunder. Frightening all humans and animals alike with its form and voice, it spoke out thus. " O great kings! This sacrifice is not equal to what was once done earlier by a Braahmana residing at Kurukshethram, who subsisted on gathered ears of grain and hence was famously known as Sakthuprastha (sakthu=flour, prastha= four measures of a standard vessel. Here, this word indicates, as the cming passages clarify, the act of giving a measure of flour and the epithet the donor got from that act.-Tr).

Everybody was bewildered at its words. "The priests went to the mongoose and asked. " "Who might be you? How did you come to this sacrifice where learned men gathered? What is your strength? What is your knowledge? what are you interested in? What should we think you are, since you deride our greatly performed sacrifice? Here, in this sacrifice, everything is perfectly performed strictly adhering to procedures. Not even a small defect occured in its systematical operations. All those respectable are honoured in due manner. Not an instance of flaw in system or in practice is pointed out. All oblations are given in propitiation of Agni. All that should be is given without pride or ego. The Braahmanas are made satisfied with alms. Kshathriya s are pleased with battles and victories gained. Manes are satisfied with offerings of Shraddhas(offered oblations to ancestors). Vyshyas are satisfied with proper protection to them. All good women are satisfied with what they desired to have. Shoodras are satisfied with benevolence. Other people are satisfied with alms donations. All the relatives and friends of our king admire him for his purity and perfection. Even all the deities are made happy with offers of oblations to all. You look in an abnormal form. Your intelligence must be of high standard. Otherwise, you couldn't have come to this sacrifice of Kshathriya s and Braahmanas. Your words might be worth believing too.Hence, you should tell us the truth, about whatever you saw or heard or knew."

Then the mongoose laughed and said to them again. "I did not speak untrue words. nor did I speak so out of pride or passion. Did't you all hear me say that this sacrifice is inferior to what Sakthuprastha did? so, I need tell you what that was. It was a wonderful and great occasion which I actually witnessed and experienced too. Of the act of that poor Braahmana living on gathered pieces of grain, yet generous, of that Braahmana of Kurukshethram who attained the heaven with his wife, son and daughter-in-law, of that Sakthuprastha whose greatness made body golden, I tell you now. I tell you how great the yields of alms are, if made out of even the mettle of one's little possessions provided they are earned through honest and virtuous means - and if made with humility, without pride. Please listen attentively.

Vyshampaayana continued. "The mongoose told Yudhishthira and the priests as we all were hearing.
" In the holy place of Kurukshethram, once there lived a certain Braahmana, living by Uncha occupation ( Uncha = subsisting on grain made from collected ears in the fields after threshing was over. sililarly, Shila is also an occupation like that.-Tr) like a dove does. That great soul of clean conduct lived with his family comprising his wife, son and daughter-in-law. He was committed to virtue and engaged constantly in penances. His family members too undertook their own penances suitable to them. They had the custom of eating their food only in the sixth part of the day (This is one of the ways of fasting. The orignal word here is 'shashthe kaale = in sixth time'. Here, the interpreting is various. It suggests sixth part of ten - some say eight - parts of the day, corresponding to midday. The commentator put it as 'every third day', ie skipping five meals for two and half days and eating on the third day, considering two meals each day. -Tr). If ever he could not get any food at that hour, he would take his next meal only at the naxt day's sixth hour. That was the vow the family as a whole was observing.

"Once there was a severe draught. The Braahmana could not gather ears of grains. As you might imagine correctly, he had nothing behind him to fall upon. The fields ran barren and nothing was available. He was forced to skip his meal every time it was due, because of the draught conditions. The four of the family remained hungry and foodless for days together. Then it was the month of Jyaishtha (Shukla). The poor Braahmana went around the fields and wandered upto midday but nothing was obtained. He kept himself and his family members suffering from hunger, helplessly. At such time when their life was dying out of them, the Braahmana could secure, by the sixth hour of the day, a Prastha ( four Kudavas or four measures) of grains through his usual means of procurement. The humble family ground the grain into flour (Sakthu). Completing the routiine worship of fire and regular recitals of the day,they divided the flour into four equal parts and each of them took a measure (Kudava= a measure) to eat. Just at that moment they were about to eat, a Braahmana dropped in as guest (Athithi). They were all happy to find a guest and respectfully invited him with due honours. As the family as a whole is known for their humility, virtuousness, purity of mind, forbearance, commitment and they all were devoid of pride, greed, anger and arrogance, they talked to him in a friendly manner and exchanged information about their whereabouts, education and teachers. They took their hungry guest into their hut and offered him a seat, water and a mat to rest. The Braahmana offered his part of the flour to the guest saying, "O honourable guest. This is the flour earned through pious means and firm vow. I place it before you for supressing your hunger. Please accept. May good come unto you."

The guest gladly accepted the offer and consumed the full measure of the flour but still looked hungry. The host understood the half-eating of his guest and thought asto how to serve him more to his satisfaction. Then the host's wife came to her husband and told him to offer her share of the flour to the guest so he may eat to his satisfaction. But, the Braahmana who was well aware that his wife herself was very hungry, did not accept the proposal. He said to his wife who was heavily inflicted with hunger, added to her old age, reduced to skin and bones, and shivering with privation. "Even insects and birds take care of their females to their best levels. What to talk of humans then? Women are to be protected and taken care of by their men. A man is not supposed to depend on his wife's help or mercy or support. That course will deminute his virtues and bar him from attaining higher abodes. All the sffairs of domesticity of a man and his manes - be they pertain to virtue (Dharma), to interests (Artha), to desires (Kaama), to services, or to offspring - rest in one's wife. A man that was ignorant of or unable in protecting one's wife will not only incur ill-fame but horrible hell too. Given these conditions, I cannot offer your share to the guest."

The Braahmana lady said again to her husband. "Sir! Our interests are common and equal. What is yours is mine too. For women, father and mother are only instrumental for her birth but all she need worship as the ultimate is her husband. For a women bound by all means to her husband, he is the base and source for her pleasures, virtues and even heaven that can be won through merits. It is through her husband that a woman derives bliss and offspring. A husband is Pathi (=protector) and Bhartha (bearer ie supporter)to a woman. You blessed me with a son thereby you are my boon-giver too. Kindly accept my request and offer my share of flour to this hungry guest. You too are under severe influence of old age, weak from weariness due to fasting and weak. "

The Braahmana took the dish of flour from his wife's hands and offered to the guest who ate it fully but still looked with unsatisfied hunger. The poor host was again worried asto how to see the guest satisfied. Then his son came to him and said. "Father! Offer my flour to the guest. I believe that this is the most meritorious thing that I can ever do for you. A good man shall always try to protect his father especially when he is old. This rule applies to any being of limbs throughout the three worlds. That makes it my duty to save you. Life is the best instrument for all the body-bearers. Just by keeping yourself alive, you can enrich your penances and take all of us to higher abodes. Hence accept my offer and make me accomplished of the purpose of my life."

The Braahmana answered in a cool voice. "Son! you are always a boy to me, even if your aged a thousand years. A man should beget a son only to get all the ends of his life accomplished. But, to a father, his son is always a thing to be protected. I know that the effect of hunger is more on the young than on the old. Being an old man, I can withstand the hunger and it cannot trouble me that much. I need not worry that I will die, as my penance is enough to take care of that."

The son again said to his father, " I am the offspring born to you. A son is named Puthra(Pum=man, thra=save) since he saves the father. I ahould come to your rescue when you are in trouble to protect your virtues."

The father gladly said to his son - "My boy! you befit me as a son not only by form but even by your conduct, penance and virtue. Till now, I have tested you about your firmness, pretending like rejecting your offer. I am immensely pleased to have a son like you."

The Braahmana took the flour from his son's share and offerred to the guest. The guest ate the flour fully but still looked hungry. The humble host felt ashamed of both his anability to satisfy the guest and shortage of food to offer. But, this time, his daughter-in-law came forward to see the poor Braahmana out of his crisis. She proffered her share of flour to him and said. "Sir! Human beings enjoy the higher abodes due to the virtuous deeds performed by their sons. Just like the three ends Dharma, Artha and Kaama form the entirity of life - just like the three fires Aahavaneeya,Dakshina and Gaarhapathya form the base of ones rituals- so do the lineage of son,grandson and great-grandson earn higher abodes for us. We hear that a son will save his parents from downfall. It is sure that one attains permanent higher abodes through the deeds of their offspring and their descendents. Such a covetted thing as son, I will beget from your son. Through my sons I will attain the much desired higher abodes. That makes me to be grateful to you. Take my flour and offer it to the guest, not only to his satisfaction but to my satisfaction too."

The Braahmana regarded her daughter-in-law with kind looks and said to her."Child! How can I take this flour from you when I can clearly see you to be worn out from sun and wind ? You are notably dull and weary due to hunger and your fasting too. Taking this flour depriving you out of your life-support is not proper for me. I cannot afford to further see you troublled by fasting hunger and weakness. You, a young lady, as you are, being reduced to a thin form from all these heavily hanging burdens, deserve my compassion and protection for ever."

The daughter-in-law said again to him. " It is said that one's body,life and virtues are meant to serve one's preceptor and god. Being father of my husband, you are teacher above my teachers and god above all gods. Hence, I am to serve you with all my possessions. Let me attain higher abodes through my service to you. Please accept this flour and offer to the guest. You must do this, considering my devotion to you or your obligation towards my elivation."

The Braahmana was pleased the most. He told his daughter-in-law. "It is this commitment to virtue and dutifulness that make you dear to me, my child! It is great that you stick to virtuous vow and stand by your elders in the hour of crisis. I reckon you as best knower of virtue. Here I acceptyour flour to give to the guest."

The braahmana took the flour from the girl and offered it to the guest . The guest ate the flour completely and declared himself satisfied.

The guest then spoke to the Braahmana. "O great Braahmana! I am pleased beyond measure with your conduct. Understand that I am the virtue (deity Dharma) himself. It is worth praise that you offerred whatever that you have, possessed through pious and just means, despite you yourself being in a deep trouble. Hear, how the celestials hail singing your greatness. See, the celestials are showering flowers from sky. All the demi-gods like Gandharvas, angels and dicine sages are praising you, wondering at your great generousness. The great sages are waiting for you in their fliers to take you to higher abodes. As your deeds not only promoted your manes from the abode of Pithris to higher regions but endowed all virtues on your posterity to come for ages too, you are eligible to go to heaven. As your long penances, vows observed with strict committment and more importantly this donation of flour done at a critical hour with most pious mind, gained the grace of all the deities upon you. For all the beings, hunger is very dangerous. It makes tem do any sin. It kills their intellect. It drives them away from the path of virtues. It makes them fall from their stability. One that conquers his hunger really conquer the heaven. You conquered the hunger undergoing the worst conditions. That makes heaven a won-over thing to you. When obsessed with the passion of alms, there is no possibility of deviating from the path of virtue. You proved it today. You subdued the bonds of attachment and affection towards your wife, son and daughter-in-law. You prefered to follow virtue but not humanly bonds and desires. Alms is great. But its greatness becomes manifold depending on the minute aspects such as - the donor's status, the way of acquiring his possessions, the person to whom alms is made, the time at which it is made, the place at which is made, the manner in which it is made and the intention with which it is made. An alms made at a suitable time exceeds a general alms made in normal conditions. An alms made with purity is greater than the former one. This understanding about such minute aspects of way to heaven are beyond comprehension of men with deluded intellect. The door of heaven has a strong bolt of greed and a lock of passion. It is difficult even to reach. Only those people who subdue anger, only those who tame their senses, only those who are rich in penance, only those who are committed to alms as far as they can - are able to reach and open that door.

" A man possessing a thousand may give a hundred as alms or a man possessing a hundred may give a ten as alms or a man possessing nothing may give just water as alms - but the scriptures say that all these get equal yields of virtues. The absolute quantities do not matter but the comparative proportion prevails.The purity and intention too are important factors. King Ranthideva was very famous. He won the heaven just by giving water as alms. The condition he was then in made all the difference. Braahmana!The Dharma is not so much satisfied by mere giving of alms that entail grand yields as is satisfied by donations of small possessions earned through severe and pious means. The kinhg Nriga was known for his donating thousands and thousands of cows. But by inadvertantly donating the same cow twice, he was deprived of his status. Shibi, the king of Usheenara provinces, donated lumps of flesh cut off from his body, to save a dove from a hawk. He enjoys the higher abodes. One's wealth does not speak of the greatness of one's alms done. Nor is great to perform a number of sacrifices with that wealth. Even a small magnitude of alms - if made out of whatever little that one has, if made with pious intention, if made ignoring one's own critical conditions - is the real alms and it secures everything for the doer.

"One foregoes the yields of one's alms if one is possessed with anger and foregoes heaven due to greed. A man of even small means, if committed to penance and alms within his limits without hesitation, will win the heaven with more authority than a wealthy man with greater alms to his merit. O great Braahmana! The yield of your present alms is more than that of a number of Raajasooyams or Ashvamedhams performed with magnanimous fees and presents. With your flour of a Prastha (four measures), you won the Sathya abode of Lord Brahma. My dear honourable Braahmana, You have nothing such as a sin. There is flier kept ready for you by the celestials . Mount the flier with your wife, son and daughter-in-law. Your fame and greatness lasts on the earth for ever."

The mongoose continued its story. " Priests! Wondered by Dharma's presence and his speech, the poor but great Braahmana mounted the divine flier with his family and reached Brahma's abode. after their disappearing, I came out of my burrow and crawled on the ground where they used their flour. Soaked with wet flour and touched by the scent of the flowers there - which were the results of the Braahmana's penance - one side of my body turned golden. That was no doubt due to the greatness of the truthful Braahmana's donation of that flour. don't you see a side of my body golden? since then, with a view to getting the other side of my body too golden, I have been visiting every sacrifice in the forests and cities performed by Braahmanas and kings. Hearing that Yudhishthira is performing this sacrifice, I came here with a lot of hopes of returning with my deire served. But, still the other side of body did not turn goden. It remains as it was. Some particles of the Braahmana's flour made half my body golden whereas all this grandeour here did not anything to me. Due to this reason, I declared my thoughts that this sacrifice is inferior to alms of flour of the Braahmana."

Vyshampaayana continued. "Janamejaya, thus elaborating the episode of Sakthuprastha, the great Braahmana of Kurukshethram, the mongoose disappered right under our view. All the priests too left for home. This is the wonderful incident that occured during your grandfather's horse sacrifice as I have detailed to you fully. But, this need not make you hesitate that the sacrifices are of no use. Thousands of kings and Braahmanas attained heaven by performing them. That episode was a special case pertaing to a particular person,place and time, hence its superiority."

END OF CHAPTER NINETY

EPISODE OF AGASTHYA'S SACRIFICE

Janameja then asked Vyshampaayana for a clarification. "Kings are in general interested in performance of various sacrifices. The great sages are fond of penances. The learned men possessed with harmlessness and peace are bent on forbearance and restrain. As such, I believe that nothing is equal to the yields of sacrifices and it seems true beyond true too. Innumerable kings and Braahmanas attained fame in this world and heaven later, only throu performing several great sacrifices. The lord of celestials,Indra, attained that staus only because of performing sacrifices with huge gifts and alms. The facts being so, then, when Yudhishthira ,served by his mighty brothers like Bheema and in no case inferior to Indra in respect of valour or grandeour, performed his horse sacrifice on such a grand scale as never before, how could that mongoose deride that sacrifice? "

Vyshampaayana answered. "I will tell you clearly about the aspects of sacrifices and their yields. Once Indra was performing a sacrifice. Operations relating to sacrifice were going on at full pace. All the participants were bsy in their allotted duties. Fire was flaming and oblations were being given continuously. The offerors of oblations were unmatched experts. The sages were inviting the deities through their chanting of the hymns. Braahmanas who were wellversed with various branches of the Vedas were reciting their respective hymns. The conductors of the sacrifice were all the while busy with their works. At the hour of tying the scapegoats (animals to be sacked) to the poles, the sages were overcome by pity. They all together went to Indra and said to him. "Indra! Though you wish to follow the best course of virtue(Dharma), you did not notice this, that the scriptures did not mention about sacking of live animals in sacrifices. Causing harm to living beings is cruelty and cruelty cannot be virtue in any case. The sacrifice involving harmful cruelty like this is off the path of virtue. That makes this sacrifice a breaker of the rules of virtue in stead of making it an instrument in achieving that. If you are interested in performing the sacrifice let your conductors of sacrifice see that it is performed only according to the scriptural ordinances. You will amass lot of virtue by such sacrifice abiding by the scriptural sanctions. So, Indra! perform your sacrifices using the seeds of Yava ( Yava=a grain like barley) kept in stock for three years. This is the right path and this is the one that gives you the best results."

Indra heard what all the sages said. But,driven by his pride and delusion, he did not care the words of those learned saints of true knowledge. Then there arose a big debate whether sacrifices can be performed using mobile or immobile beings as scapegoats. Seeing the dispute that arose among themselves during sacrifice of none other than Indra himself, the sages were sad and disappointed. To receive an impartial decision of the differences, they all together with Indra, went to king Vasu. They reported their dispute of debate to him asked to decide if sacrifices are to be performed with live animals or with seeds and juices. The Chedi king Vasu heard all their arguments without considering the strength and weakness of either side, decided and declared that sacrifices can be performed with whatever things that are availabe to the performers. Due to his giving such unowrthy declaration, he was forced to fall down to the nether world. That teaches us that anyone, however learned, should not decide a disputed affair, all alone by himself, the only exception being the sole lord of the beings , Brahma, the self-born."

"Hence, all alms, however grand, made by a non-pious person (of harmful performances) of unworthy intellect are equally unworthy and they are futile too. Hence, the alms and donatons of harmful person indulging in unvirtuous performances cannot bring either fame to him in this world and good in the next world. A person going on performing sacrifices with the sole intention of amassing virtue, using his possessions earned through unjust means , cannot be entitled to their due yields. Such a fellow, who himself is a wrongdoer to virtue, carries out such alms to learned men, to attract praise from the world. Even a learned man receiving monies through such unworthy acts, falling to passion and delusion notwithstanding the bindings of virtue, will incur sin and downfall after his end. Or, one who receives such monies with aview to amassing wealth, is simply causing concern to others with his greedy and sinful mind. One who donates such an unworthy earnings or one who performs sacrifices using such procurements, will not enjoy the intended yields in the next world. On the other hand, humble people rich in penance will attain the heaven even by such small alms as donating according to their little possessions which include their begged grain (Uncham),roots,leaves.water-can or the like. The virtue that yields greatly comprises such aspects as alms, mercy,pity,celibacy(Brahmacharyam),truth,sympathy,stability and forgiveness.This forms the ancient and basic premises of path of our virtue(Dharma). We hear about many kings who attained the ultimate status from the power of their truthfulness and alms made out of their possessions obtained through just means. To name some - they were - Vishvaamithra, Asitha, Janaka, Kakshasena, Aarshtishena and Sindhudveepa. No matter what one is - may be a Braahmana or Kshathriya or Vyshya or Shoodra - one that adheres to penances will attain the heaven by purifying oneself with the fire of virtue in the form of alms and donations.That form of virtue ie alms, is that way sperior to other forms.

Janamejaya asked Vyshampaayana. "Sir! Your episodes are very interesting. You say that, alms made out of generousity from one's possessions earned through justified means will win heaven for the almsgiver. You have related the episode of the humbe Braahmana who attained heaven by sacrificing his little flour. Nothing is beyond truth in that. What is essence of yields of all sacrifices? Kindly elucidate."

Vyshampaayana answered. "Janamejaya! In this connection, our teachers quote an ancient episode about the incidents occurred during the sacrifice performed by the famous sage Agasthya. Once Agasthya took up the vow (Deeksha=taking up a task by explicitly declaring it through chants) of performing a twelve-year long sacrifice in the interest of wellbeing of all the beings. And he began that sacrifice. The participants of that sacrifice were as resplendant as fire. All of them were devoid of anger, they all tamed their senses. All are devid of pride and harmfullness. They all had thourough understanding of all branches of virtue. They were of undeviating firm conduct. They were of various pious modes of subsistence. Some would subsist only on roots. some would subsist only on fruits. Some would subsist on grain ground between two small stones. Some would subsist on moon's rays. Some would subsist only on such food obtained as offerring from people who willfully come forward to serve them and press for acceptance. Some would subsist only on such food that remained after satisfying guests and beggers. Some would observe a vow that only the current day's food shall be gathered, but never for the next day. Some would observe the vow of Sannyaasam. Some were true mendicants with nothing such as their own. Such great persons were taking part in the sacrifice. Agasthya was using only such food and other items in the sacrifice that were acquired by him through his humble means. Earlier too, many sages performed many such sacrifices. During that sacrifice of Agasthya, once Indra did not award rains in that region. As that untoward incident happened as an impediment while the sacrifice was in progress, the participants and other learned hermits talked among themselves with concern. " Agasthya the great sage is the performer himself. The sacrifice itself is such a great one as twlve-year long. Indra does not rain here now. How can the humble sage procure food for utilising in sacrifice if it does not rain? What happens to his holy sacrifice? As you all know that this sacrifice should run for a lengthy period of tweleve years and that Indra seems to not rain during that period too. You all should bless Agasthya and his sacrifice with success."

As the sages were talking like that, Agasthya appologised them for his intrusion and said with confidence. "Great souls! Do not worry yourselves. If Indra does not rain for these twelve years, I will proceed with my work, performing sacrifice of thought. That is an ancient code of virtue. If Indra does not rain for these twelve years, I will proceed with my work, performing sacrifice of touch. That is an ancient code of virtue. If Indra does not rain for these twelve years, I will proceed with my work of performing this sacrifice by ostaining all the required things through powers of my penances. This sacrifice with seeds of grains has been planned by me for many years and I commenced it with determination. I will perform this sacrifice with seeds. No hindrances will stand in the way. It is not possible to impede this pious sacrifice, no matter the gods rain or not rain. Or, If Indra turns down my prayer and chooses not to rain, I myself will assume the role of Indra and take care of everybody. Everyone will get such food as he was accustomed to earlier. I will do even more than that and I will do that again anad again ( ie every year), if needded. May we get gold here now. And may we get whatever monies are needded. May whatever we need come here, irrespective of its location in the three worlds. May even those things available in the Uththara-Kuru regions too, be present here. May the deities, Apsaras(celestial damsels),Gandharvas,Kinnaras with Vishvaavasu attend my sacrifice. May the heaven as a whole with its incumbants, attend my sacrifice. "

As Agasthya said those words, everything he said had happened on the spot, due to the power of his penances. All the sages witnessed the powers of the Agasthya's penance and wondered with pleasure. They told him. "Sage! We are glad at your words and these achievements. But, we want no further expending of your great penances. We very much appreciate the sacrifices done with the justified means. We prefer those only. We secured only through justified means, things needed for sacrifice, vows,oblations and other things. We carried on our routine duties subsisting on food obtained in due manner. We duly beseeched the Vedas for bestowing realisation and celebacy unto us. We later left our residences too in due manner,never overstepping our adopted means of living and penance. We persue our penances through virtuous paths as directed by the scriptures. We understand and appreciate this affirmation from you, about performing sacrifices variously without harm. We only wish you to always proclaim the preferred harmlessness in sacrifices. We all will no doubt be glad at that. We wish you complete this sacrifice succesfully and send us back in due manner."

As the sages were talking to Agasthya that way, even the valorous Indra comprehended the power of Agasthya's penances and promptly awarded a thorough downpour. He continued regular rains in that region untill Agasthya's sacrifice succesfully ended. At the end, Indra came in person alongwith Brihaspathi and appreciated Agasthya. Agasthya too was very glad at that development. He duly honoured and dispersed Indra and all the participants. " thus Vyshampaayana described the greatness of Agasthya's sacrifice.

THE ORIGINAL IDENTITY OF THE MONGOOSE

( This episode of the true identity of the mongoose - or even the last two chapters for that matter - look very improperly linked to the main stream of the story. Most probably, these three chapters might have been inserted later. May traditional scholars excuse me. -Tr)

Janamejaya asked. "Sir! It seems to me that that mongoose could not be a commomn animal. Given what you said about it and its speech, the mongoose should have been something special. I believe that to be someone in disguise. Am I correct or not? If my doubt is correct, can you tell me who it was? "

Vyshampaayana smiled and said. "I did not talk about the whatabouts of the mongoose as you did not ask me for that. I will relate to you who that mongoose was and how it could speak like a human. Listen.

"Once before a long time, sage Jamadagni was offering homages to his manes by performing the rituals of Shraaddha. His sacrificial cow stood before him and showered the milk by herself without being milked. Jamadagni collected the milk into a strong and pure new bowl. God Dharma wanted to test the sage asto what the sage would do if he was displeased. And Dharma assumed the form of anger(Krodha) and mystically consumed all the milk. But, Jamadagni did not get angry with him. Nor was he disturbed with anger. Thus defeated by Jamadagni by not becoming subject to anger, Krodha (Dharma,here) assumed the form of a Braahmana woman and presented himself before the sage. Calmly he said to him, "Sage! I am Krodha, the wrath. I am defeated by you. There is a common talk in the world that you the Bhrigus are irrascible and easily fall to anger. You confuted the talk and rendered it false by subduing me now. I stand defeated before you who are a great soul enriched with forgiveness. Yet, I am afraid of your penances and their powers. Pardon me. Do not curse me. I beseech you."

Jamadagni answered Krodha (Dharma). " Even after seen by me in person right before my eyes, you may safely leave this place and go as you like. I have nothing against you in my mind. You did nothing harm to me. But, I intended this milk for the purpose of propitiating my manes. You had better go and seek the pardon from those manes themselves."

Krodha (Dharma) was concerned that Jamadagni did not right away free him from his act. However, he went to the manes and prayed but they inflicted a curse on him to become a mongoose. repeatedly prayed by Dharma for emanicipation from that curse, the manes stipulated that he would be free from that form when he openly derided a much praised act of virtue. since then, Dharma went around places of sacrifices, hermitages and holy places. Running from place to place in search of an act that fits the stipulation of the manes, he heard about Yudhishthira 's horse sacrifice. He understood that that was the right virtuous act to deride unjustly and to shed his cursed form. Accordingly he visited the place after the sacrifice was concluded and derided Yudhishthira and his great sacrifice quoting sacrifice of floor by a Braahmana. As I told you earlier, the mongoose vanished soon after telling us his story. "

Sootha said in conclusion to the sages at the Nymisha forest. "Sages! Thus Vyshampaayana completed his detailed narration to Janamejaya, about Yudhishthira 's horse sacrifice."

END OF CHAPTER NINETY TWO

ANUGEETHA PARVA ENDS

END OF ASHVAMEDHA-PARVA

DEDICATED TO MY DEAR NIECE VYSHNAVI KRISHNA

15:28 22-08-2016