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



(Shaanthi means 'calm, cool or convalescence or consolation (this is more suitable here) or placation '. In this parva, Naarada,Vyaasa and Bheeshma console Yudhishthira who was eclipsed with grief over their killing their own kinsmen in the war. Hence the name. This is the 12 th and also the largest of all the eighteen parvas, containing around 14,500 shlokas. This parva is divided into three sub-parvas, Raaja-dharma, Aapath-dharma and Moksha-dharma parvas. In this parva, the main incidents are - Yudhishthira's grief over Karna's death, consolation of Yudhishthira by his brothers, Naarada and Vyaasa, Yudhishthira's coronation, Paandavas and Krishna going to see Bheeshma, Bheeshma's lectures to Yudhishthira on various subjects. These lectures continue into the next parva ie Aanushaasanika or Anushaasana parva too. That is why these two parvas are considered in a different way by the readers. The trio of the 12th, 13th and 14 th parvas is collectively named 'Shaanthi-thrayam', meaning 'the consolation trio'.)



Sootha continued his recital of Mahaabhaaratham to Shounaka and other sages at the Nymisha forest, as Vyshampaayana related to Janamejaya during the latter's serpent sacrifice.

"Thus, the Paandavas offered homages with water to all their dear relatives. Then they stayed there, outside the city itself, for a month alongwith Vidura, Dhritharaashtra and other royal ladies, passing the days of ceremonial defilement due to death of their relatives. Yudhishthira was not his normal self after learning that their arch rival Karna was none other than verily his elder brother. His grief and sorrow had no boundaries.

As Yudhishthira was staying there after completion of the homage ceremonies, many sages, scholars, Vedic learners, steadfast vow-observers and households visited him. Vyaasa, Naarada, Devala, Devasthaana, Kanva and their disciples were amomng the visitors. Yudhishthira rose and went to meet and greet them. He offered honours and respects to all the visitors as suitable to the time and place and offered seats. They too received the procedural honours befitting that hour and took their seats. There on the shores of the river Ganga, the sages and saints that came in their hundreds and thousands kept consoling Yudhishthira to make him normal again. Naarada talked to Vyaasa and other sages for a while and then talked to Yudhishthira.

"Yudhishthira! You could win this entire earth in a due and virtuous manner, with the help your valour and Krishna's grace.Fortunately for all, you passed safely through the terrible course of the great war and took to your natural royal duties that befit a Kshathriya like you. Are you happy now after terminating all your foes? After attaininng this wealth and empire, you should not be now that much affected by the grief of loss of relatives in the war. Are you pleased with this?"

Yudhishthira replied to Naarada. "Sage! True, I won this empire purely due to Krishna's grace, Braahmanas' blessings and valour of Bheema and Arjuna. Yet, my mind is constantly occupied with this great sorrow that I caused annihilation of all my close relatives and friends. This victory looks a defeat to me since we lost our dear sons Abhimanyu and Droupadi's five sons. After going to Dvaaraka, what rebuke may Krishna have to face from Subhadra for the death of her dear son Abhimanyu? Always committed to our interests, but unfortunately bereft of all her five sons solely due to me, my queen Droupadi herself is a pinning grief to me. Above all these, Sir, I am put to more sorrow by our mother Kunthi due to her keeping the secret of Karna from us. That man of a strength of ten thousand tuskers, that hero of no match in battles, that pious heart, that generous donor, that harbour of the Kouravas, that fighter of great prowess, that man of pride and honour, that indignant jeerer of us, that important opponent for us in every battle, that expet of Asthras, that wonderful archer of great bowmanship, that dextrous warrior, Karna, alas, was our elder brother born to our mother, unknown to the world and us. Only while we were offering homage waters to our deceased relatives did my mother tell me the hidden truth that Karna was her eldest son. She also told us that, soon after his birth, she kept him in a basket and left it into the river Ganga. That unfortunate son came to be known as Sootha's son and Raadha's son. But he was in fact our eldest brother, verily born to our mother Kunthi. Unaware of these facts, driven by my passion towards empire, I cruelly urged my younger brother Arjuna kill him. Pitifully, Arjuna himself too, was not aware of any of these things. None of our five brothers knew this then, but that great soul Karna knew us, we are told now ! We heard that our mother met him and told that he was her son and wanted to bring peace between us. They tell that he answered in a dignified way - 'I cannot leave my Duryodhana in the face of the war. That makes me rude, mean, ungreatful and cruel. If I go for peace with Yudhishthira, people will think that I dreaded Arjuna in the war. I will first defeat Arjuna and Krishna in the war and then make peace with Yudhishthira.' Hearing his reply, my mother asked him for the safety of the other four of us, with an option to fight against Arjuna to his pleasure. He too bowed and assured his trembling mother that he would spare the four of us in the war even if susceptible to be killed, leaving her sons five in number, either with Karna if Arjuna was killed or with Arjuna if Karna was killed.My mother too blessed him for evincing interest in his brothers'welfare and left for home. Such a pious and magnanimous soul was killed by his younger brother Arjuna at my behest, all because of absence of knowledge about the secret of Karna and Kunthi. Otherwise, couldn't I have enjoyed the joint support of Arjuna and Karna together? Can there be anything impossible to the duo? Couldn't we have won even Indra with both of them on our side? I very late came to know the fact that Karna was my elder brother, after his death, through my mother herself. That act of fratricide burns my heart more than anything. Even when we were insulted by the evil Kouravas in public hall, all my anger that rose to its heights would get subsided soon after looking at Karna. Even as he was throwing his harsh deriding words at us in the hall to please his master Duryodhana, all my anger would vanish soon after my firey looks fall on Karna's feet. Whenever I saw his feet, I felt very much like looking at the feet of my pious mother. I was then puzzled for that strange feeling but could no way guess any reason for that resemblence or that feeling. How could it be possible for me to do so, when the fate is like this? Dear sage! However, I could not even comprehend why he met with such a miserable plight in his last battle. What made his chariot wheel stuck in the earth ? What terrible curse might he have suffered for that? You know everything that was bygone and that is yet to come too. Can you tell me and make me a bit peaceful by listening to my brother's story? "

Naarada heard Yudhishthira's long lamentation and said in reply. "Yudhishthira! You rightly said that Karna and Arjuna together could have achieved anything. Standing together in the war on the same side, they can never have a matching opponent at all. What you asked me about is a divine secret. Thay mystery is known only to a few people on the earth. At this point of time, it is as good declared as not. I will tell about your elder brother Karna's adventures and his valour. Listen and become a bit freed from your grief.'

Naarada continued to Yudhishthira. " The divine mystery is that the gods saw the earth full of powerful and virtuous Kshathriyas. They thought asto how all these Kshathriyas might attain the heaven by meeting their fitting end ie pious death from weapons in war. As an instrument to pave a way to that goal and to give rise to a great war leading to destruction, they created a conception to a maiden girl. That boy conceived and given birth by that maid grew to be a son of a Sootha. He learnt the science of archery from the great Drona of the Angiras lineage. Urged by his fate and the divine ordinance, he grew impatient and jealous about you. He could not appreciate your wisdom, Bheema's strength, Arjuna's bowmanship, obedience of The Twins, Krishna's boosm friendship with Arjuna and of all, the reputaion and respect that the people show towards you. He thought of all these and smouldered within himself. incidentally, he developed friendship with Duryodhana since the days of his youth. That made him still more cavil at you, all this due to his fate and the destiny's force. He grew more and more hostile towads you as the time passed. In particular, he was jealous about Arjuna's accomplished skill in archery. He realised Arjuna's superiority and privately met Drona and prayed, 'Teacher! You love all your students equally as much as your son. May your grace not let the warfare scholars name me among those who are poor in Asthras. I pray you to teach me about the Brahma Asthra> with all its details and secrets of employing and withdrawing. I wish that I too shall be equal to Arjuna in archery and bow-fighting.' Drona, who was clearly fond of Arjuna, heard Karna's earnest request and said, ' Either a Braahmana of established good conduct or a Kshathriya of notable penances is eligible to receive instruction about the great Brahma Asthra. No other person is either fit or able to get that.' Thus rejected by Drona, Karna respectfully took leave from him and went to Parashuraama at the Mahendra hill. He approached the sage in due manner with obedience and respect. Upon being asked about him, Karna said to the sage that he was a Braahmana of the Bhaargava(Bhrigu) lineage (Gothra) and that he came to the sage for receiving instruction in the science of Astras. Parashuraama too was glad about Karna's obedience and the lineage he told. He accepted him as his disciple. There on the Mahendra hill, Karna served Parashuraama with great care and devotion. During that period he came into contact with many Gandharvas, Raakshasas, Yakshas and celestials too. From his conduct and diligence,he endeared himself both to his mentor and to these great people too.

" Once KarnaBraahmana. As Karna's ill-fate took the lead, the cow died on the spot. Shocked and sad with that unexpected incident, he went to its owner and informed about the unintentional but untoward incident happened. Trying to placate the Braahmana form his grief, Karna said to him, 'Dear learned Braahmana! I hit at your cow unintentionally and unknowingly. You please pardon me for this lapse.' The angry and worried Braahmana was beside himself with anger. He said to Karna as if threatening him, 'You mean fellow of unworthy conduct! You too deserve killing like that cow. You reap the fruits of your own cruel act. The wheel of your chariot will become stuck in the earth while you are engaed in the decisive battle with the one with whom you always vie and to win whom you are undertaking all this labour. With your wheel struck like that, you will stand baffled as your celebrated opponent will chop your head off. As cruelly as you killed my cow, so cruelly will your foe cut your head off!' Upset with the unforeseen harsh result, Karna tried his best to convince the aggrieved Braahmana about his innocence in the unfortunate occurence. He offered the Braahmana as many cows and gems as he wanted in lieu of the killed cow as a price to retract the curse but everything went in vain. The Braahmana bluntly said. 'Even the entire world cannot alter my word. You stay here or leave, as you may like.' Having nothing to do further, Karna returned to the hermitage, with his head cast down in fear and humiliation, all the while thinking about the Braahmana's words which sent his spirits low.'

Naarada continued to Yudhishthira.

"That unfortunate incident apart, Karna could win his teacher's heart with his service and devotion. Parashuraama was immensely pleased not only with Karna's service but with his prowess, love, obedience, zeal and determination in learning. In due course, he taught Karna about Brahma Asthra thouroughly. The devoted disciple concentratedly learnt as much as the sage wholeheartedly taught. Thus fulfilling his desire of acquiring the great Asthra, Karna continued to stay with Parashuraama, excercising a severe practice in archery. Oneday, Parashuraama was on fasting. He went out with Karna near his hermitage. Feeling depleted with fasting and labour, the sage wanted to have some rest. He lay down resting his head on his trusted disciple Karna's thigh and soon fell into a slumber. After a few minutes, a blood-sucking insect of loathsome appearance that subsists on warms and bees crept near Karna's leg. It slowly crawled to his thigh and beagn to bite it. Karna Did not move in the slightest to ward it off or to kill it, fearing disturbance to his teacher's peaceful sleep. The insect went on biting and boring through Karna's thigh enjoying the blood. Yet, Karna sat still like a rock not minding the creature or its wounding his body. He bore with the pain neither budging nor caring, but holding his teacher undisturbed as if nothing had happened. The wound became bigger and bigger and the blood from it flew out like a canal. The flow of blood touched Parashuraama's body and he woke up at the warm touch of the liquid. He looked around for the reason and saw the blood flow to his surprise. He asked Karna, 'Oh! Why am I defiled with this blood! What did you do and why? Tell me the truth boldly.'

Karna told about the insect and its boring through his body. Raamaa too saw the biting insect and the big wound it made on his disciple's body. The insect, named Alarka, was detestable to see, fully covered with hair looking like pricked with thorns all over, with its eight legs and sharp sting protruding out from its body. No sooner did Raama see the insect wet with the blood did it lay dead, leaving both the spectators wondering about that mystical happening. In an instant, they saw a demon before them, standing in the air glazing with his tall body, dark head and red neck.

The demon heartily bowed to Raama and said, 'O sage of the Bhrigu clan! May good befall upon you! With your grace falling upon me, I could come out of this hell of an insect life. you did me an enormous favour. I will go to my own place. You are blessed.' Raama asked him in surprise. 'Who might be you? What made you suffer this horrible life? Please tell us clearly.'

The demon answered. 'I am a demon named Damsha. Once I tried to abduct Bhrigu's dear and beautiful wife. Thereupon the sage cursed me for my misbehaviour to live as an insect. Instantly I fell down on the ground in the form of this insect. Bhrigu, your great grandfather, severely imposed upon me the curse that I should live on phlem, blood and puss. When I entreated for a recovery from that hell, he announced that the sight of their descendent Raama would end the effect of his curse. thus, I today saw you and obtained freedom from this disgusting life.' Saying that, the demon bowed again and vanished.

Raama suspected Karna's patience. He said angrily to his student. 'You imbecile fellow! Don't I know that this pain is so unbearably great that a Braahmana can never bear? Your courage and sustainability to wounds look like those of a Kshathriya. You had better confess the truth yourself. Who are you?'

Karna shuddered with fear of a curse from him too and appologised his teacher falling at his feet. 'Sir! Have mercy on me. I came to serve you with devotion in my earnest efforts of acquiring great Asthras and unmatched skill in archery. People call me Karna or Raadheya. I am neither a Braahmana nor a Kshathriya. I am a Sootha, in fact. A teacher is no less than a father. So, I quoted that I belonged to Bhaargava lineage (Gothra of Bhrigu), as you yourself are. This is all due to my thrust on knowledge of Asthras. I pray to you Sir, to pardon my lies.'

Raama was infuriated with the cheating that his student played on him. His reddened eyes scanned over his beloved disciple that lay prosrated before him as if consuming him. His angry voice roared out .' You idiotic cheat! You misbehaved with me due to your greed over the Asthras. That makes all that you learnt here useless. You cannot think of these Asthras to use while you are engaged in a life and death battle with your arch-rival. Brahma Asthra can never stay permanently possessed by a non-Braahmana. But, no Kshathriya in the world can be equal to you in warfare. As a devious lier, you have no place here. Get gone!'

Thus burdened with futile labour and devitalized hopes, Karna respectfully took leave from Raama. He returned to Duryodhana and told him simply, 'I am successful in obtaining the Asthras.'

Naarada continued to Yudhishthira. "King! As Karna was sportfully living with Duryodhana after returning from Parashuraama, they heard the news that several kings gathered at the city of Raajapuram of Kalinga provinces, to win the hand of Kalinga King Chithraangada's daughter in her Svayamvara ( self-selection of her husband). Duryodhana wished to marry her and he went there by his golden chariot with Karna by his side. The celebation attracted many strong and famous kings like Jaraasnadha, Shishupaala, Bheeshmaka, Vakra, Kapotharaama, Neela, Rukmi, Srigaala who was the king of women's kingdom,Ashoka, shathadhanva,Bhoja and Veera. Besides those, there were many kings from the Southern, Eastern and Northern provinces including the Mlechchas. All those kings were clad in silk dresses and golden ornaments. All were handsome and all were as strong as tigers. After the house was full with the suitors, the Princess entered the hall with the company of maids and eunuchs. As each king was introduced to her, she was passing on, leaving behind her the suitors one by one. When she passed Duryodhana too, he could not tolerate the rejection. He held the princess by hand and took her away with him challenging all the suitors to fight and win her. Relying on the strength of Bheeshma and Drona, he led the girl onto his chariot and drove away. Karna stood as guard behind him, fully equipped with all battle implements like bow, arrows,mail,wrist-guards and finger covers. Naturally, all the other suitors became indignant and they all called one another to attack the challenger. With their noise of calling,shouting and commanding, they all fell upon Karna and duryodhana, showering their weapons on them like the clouds raining on two hills. Karna stood firm and warded off the attackers. He broke all the falling arrows into pieces and soon broke the bows of all the kings too with one arrow each. Growing impatient with Karna's furious rebuff, they all swiftly drove towards him, some with bows wielding in their hands, some with holding their maces up, some with hurling Shakthis and some with banishing other weapons. Karna did not care their collective attack. In a short while, he defeated them all who then surrenderred to him and took refuge. Duryodhana safely drove back to his place with the bride. After all the defeated kings left for their places, Jaraasandha challenged Karna for a duel. Their battle ran terribly. Each employed many Asthras at the other and each refuted the other's Asthras. Arrows ran out of stock and bows were broken. They both then engaged in a hand-to-hand fight. They fought with swords first. Losing the sword, they began wrestling. The fist-fighting too went on for a long while. Finally, Karna employed a technique of wrestling named Baahukantaka (stamping down opponent's one leg with one foot and holding opponent's second leg with hands and then taring the opponent's body apart like a dry leaf.), breaking the joint of Jaraasandha's body that was forged by Jaraa. ( Jaraasandha was born as two dead halves. they were joined together by Jaraa. See link Jaraasandha for details. -Tr). Jaraasandha understood that Karna hit him on his weakest point. He stopped the fight. As a token of recognition of Karna's strength, he awarded the city of Maalini in the Anga province.since then Karna had been ruler of Maalini too. You know as an eye-witness that he was long back made as king of Champa in the Anga Province by Duryodhana.

Your elder brother was thus famous with his valour in battles. The Lord of the celestials Indra himself went to Karna to beg for his natural mail and earrings with an aim to serve good to you. However, led by the delusion of the gods, Karna donated his mail and earrings which were very dear and prime to him. Thus losing his impregnable protection from the mail, becoming susceptable to enemy by the Braahmana's curse, incurring loss of asthras by Parashuraama's curse, conceding to Kunthi the sparing of your four brothers, falling prey to Indra's strategy, suffering insult from Bheeshma by being reckoned as Ardharatha, bearing with Shalya's continuoous denigration, facing boldly Krishna's trickery, did your elder brother Karna who was as resplendent as the sun god, met with his end in the hands of Arjuna who, on the other hand was enriched with the Asthras awarded by Kripa, Drona, Yama, Varuna,Kubera and Shiva, added to his Gaandeevam and Krishna's able guidance. These many factors worked against him, Yudhishthira!. You must understand that Karna was killed by many people through their many curses as destiny decided but not due to you or Arjuna. You should also understand that hie end was very much heroic and such a valourous man need not be lamented about. That makes you free from the guilty feeling."Naarada concluded his consolation of Yudhishthira.

Yudhishthira was still sad with his eyes full with tears. He was sighing again and again like a confined snake would hiss. Then Kunthi, herself sad and wilting under sorrow, looked at Yudhishthira and spoke in her natural soft tone. "My son! You are learned enough to understand everything. You should not sink into sorrow like this. Come out of your grief. First, listen from me about what happened. I personally met your brother once. I tols him everything and asked him to join with you, his younger brothers. Not only me myself, even the Sun god too appeared before him confirming my words and urged upon him todo as I told. We both talked to him for a long while explaing what is good to him and the world too. But, Karna was bent on his own wrong decision. He did not yield to our affectionate advice or give place to feelings like love and affection towards you. We failed in persuading him to join with you or in bringing about peace. I understood that he was under the force of destiny, choosing only to retaliate his enemity particularly determined in harming you for Duryodhana's cause. Having nothing to do and seeing nothing possible for the good of all, I left him to his decisions."

Kunthi's words only increased Yudhishthira's grief. Moved to the deepest levels with sorrow, he said to his mother. "Mother! All this is due to your keeping the secret from us."

Holding himself for a moment, he kept thinking and said all in sorrow and imprecation. " Henceforth, no women anywhere shall not be able to keep any secret within themselves." Expressing thus his grief over his mother's misdeed , with his sorrow overshadowing him like a smoke covering the fire, he sat asif devoid of his senses.



The very thoughts about Karna made Yudhishthira fling himself down into grief. He kept on lamenting. After some time, he could speak even amidst his sorrow . He looked at Arjuna and said in a low and pale voice, interspersed with sighs. " Arjuna! Had we even resorted to begging in Andhaka or Vrishni provinces for our subsistence, we would not have annihilaed our clan, forcing ourselves into this pitiable condition. We, the Kurus now are devoid of our everything and our rivals had their interests served. What yields of virtue did we get by thus cruelly killing our own people? Shame on this Kshathriya conduct! Shame on valour and pride! Shame on enemity! Isn't it due to all these that we landed ourselves in such a dangerous state as this? How great are forgiveness,forbearance,purity,detachedness, harmlessness,truthfulness and envylessness ? All these qualities vest in a recluse. But, we, driven by greed and covetousness, subdued by pride and arrogance, reached this miserable state running after recovery of the empire and its luxuries. Can any thing make us happy evan after gaining supremacy over the three worlds, given the lot of our dear associates and relatives that fell dead as the price for our victory? Getting killed all our dear kings who never deserve killing, just for the purpose of gaining the kingdom, we remain barren, losing all our beloved ones and the esteem wealth too. Just like the dogs fighting for a piece of meat, those who are ready to fight with their own men for the earth too, will end with a mean yield. So, for people like us, it as always advisable not to involve in such unworthy conflicts. We may acquire the empire as long as it entails no sin and we may forego it as well the moment we see any possible sin from it. Can we afford to stake the lives of all these who died for us, even to benefit ourselves with huge lots of gold or with the entire lot of kine and horses on the earth or the entire earth itself? Unfortunately, they all too were as much driven as ourselves by wrath,enemity and luxury and fatally embraced death for us.

'Offspring is the result of many virtues, worships, observation of vows,fasting,sacrifices and ritual proceedings done by the parents. Mothers bear their children in the wombs for ten months suffering many sorts of troubles and then give birth to them staking their own lives in the risk. Even since before the children are born, parents begin to worry whether they take birth safely or not. After birth, they worry about their well being. After they grow young, prents still worry about their future and their prosperity. Thus, the parents care for their children for years together believing that they are the recourse to their own good in this world and the next one too. Such lengthy and great efforts of many a parent were mercilessly rendered just futile by us. Didn't we cause the untimely death of dainty youngsters that were pleasing their parents with their faces shining with earrings? Once such children leave the earth before the parents without enjoying any pleasures or luxuries, what is the meaning of life for the bereived parents? We caused the youth reach the abode of Yama just at the right time when their parents were intending to see them enjoy whatever they had hard earned for their sons. Those who were killed in the battle from among the Kurus and the Paanchaalas were lost forever. If they have attained the heaven, will these slayers of those kins too attain the same heaven? Then what is the use of that killing?

'We are surely seen as the cause for this destruction of our world but the true reason rests on in Duryodhana. He was always with bad intentions, akways feigned right conduct, always resorted to vile, always hated us and always wanted to harm us despite our being harmless to him. After all this horrible course, neither we nor the kouravas did win, in fact. Haunted by hatred towards us and engaging themselves in strategies to harm us every moment, they could did not heartily enjoy the luxuries and the empire in their hands. Nor did they care for the good word from the elders and wellwishers. Filled with envy all over seeing our ever increasing wealth and power, he was incised with greed and turned pale and dull. Even Dhritharaashtra did dance to his son's tunes, lending his ears to the cunning Shakuni. Excecively dotig to his son, the old king always backed his son with his own unworthy policies. Turning a deaf ear to the grandsire Bheeshma and the learned Vidura's continuous advice of good, the poor blind king ended with the same state as mine now. He did not opt to control his wicked son driven by greed and envy. As a result of that he fore went his fame and lost all his sons too. Duryodhana bound himself with his own evil thoughts always. Nurturing unwanted feud and grudge against us, he flung his old and blind parents in the fire of sorrow. Does any man befitting his clan's conduct speak such words as he spoke to Krishna amidst all, unless he is a warmonger? Though we are of such fame, valour and greatness as if enlightening all the directions, we destroyed ourselves for ever, simply due to Duryodhana's own folly. The man that was burning with wrath and feud, that Duryodhana met his fitting fate but our entire clan was to suffer a bitter loss. We incurred the blame from the world by killing those people who are always unslayable to us. Dhritharaashtra now laments over his error of installing his unpious son in the power whose misdeeds led to the annihilation of his own clan. How many heroes were killed! What a great sin did we incur? By such killing, our anger is satisfied but our land is destroyed. And that sorrow burns our hearts.

'Arjuna! Our learned people say that we can cleanse off our sins by adopting retributive practices like confession, repentence, prayer, alms, penance, renunciation, pilgrimage and recitals. Our scriptures say that one that is able to renounce cannot resort to commit sins again and he will also attain the ultimate status , surpassing the cycles of death and birth. Hence, dear Arjuna, I will renounce and go to the forests taking leave from you all. There I will remain calm and praying devoid of all dualties. The scripts say that one bound by attachment (procurement) cannot achieve higher levels of virtue. It is evident in my case that attachment made all this to me. It is due to that attachment and desire that I committed this henious sin. The scripts say that sinning results in falling into the cycle of birth and death. I will shed off this terrible attachment and its resultant empire and luxuries, thereby freeing myself from bonds, ego and sorrow, to spend the rest of my life somewhere. I see nothing to do with the empire or wealth or pleasures. Arjuna! You take care of this secure empire that is now devoid of any troubles or foes." Thus downpouring lamentations, yudhishthira sat quite and sad.


Arjuna understood his brother's grief born out of pity but could not appreciate his word. But, keeping his countenance calm and concealing his annoyance, he said to Yudhishthira in as much a disapproving as a corrective tone. "Alas! What a sorrow! What a plight! What a fallacy! After accomplishing a super-human task, you wish to disown the resultant wealth! Hou can you be so imbecile even to think of abandoning all this empire which you obtained as the fruit of killing all the enemies in a fierce war, according to your prescribed conduct? How can an incompetent or a lazy fellow come to the throne? If this is the case, what made you burn with wrath to see all those many kings killed? He that wants to live by begging around shall not make manly efforts to grasp wealth from others. Such a nondescript fellow is fit only to live unnoticed and to die unnoticed, without men or sons or kine or good or fame to his name. What will the world talk of you if you reject this rich and hard earned empire prefering uncermoniously to bear the bowl to beg? What necessitated you to leave all your duties and wellfare to choose to beg like an ordinary fellow when this great empire is at your disposal? Being one from the Kuru clan and having won the entire empire duly through a war, what made you foolish to forego your virtue and interests and resort to forests? If you act like this and cause through your absence, further deterioration to the fame of this renowned empire which has already been molested by our unwise cousins, the total blame lies upon you alone. You know, the great king Nahusha once said, 'The indigence of the sages is greater and holier than the kingdom.' But, the same Nahusha, when he was subject to severe inflictions, said, 'Shame with the wretched indigence!'. Also, the principle that nothing should be hoarded for tomorrow, is applicable to sages but not to a king like you.

'What we state as virtue clearly depends on and is attained through monies only. One's monies are grabbed means one's virtues are verily grabbed. Being Kshathriyas, O king, how can we mutely tolerate someone grabbing our rightful wealth? People cannot even bear with the proximous presence of a poor fellow and look down him. Poverty is really an infliction in the world. Nobody is right in upholding it as adoptable. An unrighteous sinner is abhorred in the world and a poor fellow too is equally abhorred. I see no differene between these two fellows. All our works run only due to our hard earned and well-nourished monies like the springs that flow from a strong and stable hill. It is the Artha ie monies that brings us our virtues, desires and even the heaven. Without monies, even subsistence is not possible in this world. Of an indiscrete man devoid of monies, all his activities fall low and die out like the rivulets in a hot summer. He who has monies has friends ; he who has monies has kinsmen; he who has monies is the man in the world; he who ha smonies is the learned on too in this world. One without monies trying to achieve any purpose, will end with nothing. Only monies can hold monies as only elephants can hold elephants. Virtues, desires, heaven,pleasures, pains, learning and temperment too emante only from Artha oe monies. It is monies that give a person his cast or creed and it is monies that nourish virtues. A man without monies wins neither this world nor the next world. A person without monies cannot duly accomplish his virtues since virtue springs from monies like a spring flows from a hill. A person not really weak due to his bodily reduction but is definitely weak if he lacks in monies,kine, men and guests. If acquiring monies from others is unwanted, then how to maintain the requirements of virtue? This is the policy prescribed by the sages in the Vedas too. You just see what policy did the gods adopt against the demons. They always slew the demons who were but their cousins. Wasn't it through slaying the demons that the gods acquired all positions in the heaven? The prescription for us Kshathriyas is that we should recite the three Vedas, acquire wealth from the people and perform sacrifices dutifully. Beside the ordinance of Vedic learners, the gods too established this doctrine. Bound by that principle, people recite, teach, perform sacrifices and conduct sacrifices. A ruling kshathriya is not to blame if he acquires monies from others in the prescribed way. We cannot see even a bit of monies that we can acquire without the touch of harshness. In fact, all the kshathriyas that ruled the kingdoms did acquired the earth saying that they had won it, like the sons claim their entitlement to their fathers'estates. All such kings are exalted as royal sages for their deeds and their method is defined as the right course to attain the heaven. The monies procured by the king spread to all directions on the earth like the water from the ocean flows in every direction. It was through adopting this method that the great kings Dileepa, Nriga, Nahusha, Ambareesha and Maandhaatha ruled over this earth. Now it devolved upon you . It is upto you, to accept, to undertake and to execute the right administration of the empire with all its subsidiary establishments. It is just like performing a sacrifice with all due fees and gifts, lest you should incur the sin of deriliction from your rightful duty. If a king performs a horse sacrifice spending the resources gathered from the people, the consummation ablution (Avabhritham) done by him makes not only him alone but all his people too rich in virtues. The Supreme Soul who himself is every form in the creation, offered all the beings and finally himself too as oblations in the all-oblation sacrifice (Sarvamedham). That proves that this is the eternal and prosperous path for us. We hear no other way as adoptable as this to us. This is a path where ten entities ( sacrificer, his wife, four participants -Rithviks-, three Vedas and the scapegoat) work together for the good and wellfare of the world. Dear King! Let you not slip out of this right path and take an unworthy one." Thus Arjuna opposed Yudhishthira's proposal of going to the forests and prevailed upon him to follow the path acceptable to Kshathriyas.


Yudhishthira heard Arjuna's speech and again said to him. "Arjuna! You would have appreciated my words, had you heard them intently for a while keeping your ears and mind concentrating on the intellect. I don't like to continue these royal duties for your sake or by being convinced with your words. I will follow only that commendable path, abandoning all these common place luxuries. You ask me what that path of life is, that which serves good and that which suits a detached man. Or, if you are not inclined to ask, listen to me even without asking. I wii explain how I like to live. I will renounce all these mean wordly pleasures and spend my life in severe penances in forests moving along with animals and subsisting on fruits and roots ( ie I will become Vaanaprastha, a recluse). Following the Agni worship timely and carrying on the prayers twice a day, I will pass the time wearing skins or barks and eating limited food to restrain the body. I will subject my body to severe strains as per the penances to keep it well controlled by bearing with such troubles as cold, heat,thirst and hunger. I will keep my ears and mind delighted by hearing the pleasant chirps of birds and animals in the forest. I will enjoy the natural and delightful scents of the various plants and creepers in the woods. I keep on visiting the recluses in the woods. I never mean any harm to those. Needless to say about harming the housedwellers in villages. Keeping myself to myself and constantly thinking within myself about the true realisation, I subsit by eating something cooked or not cooked, carrying out the worship of guests and manes with forest produce or water or even simply with words. That way, I will follow the rules of the solitary life, taking up more and more severe penances as the time passes, awaiting the end of this body to come.

'Or, I will get my head tonsured to become a sage (Yathi)and go for begging and living in the woods, spending one day in the shade of one tree each. I will move around, not caring the dirt on my body, resorting to rest in abandoned houses, sleeping in the shade of trees, not reckoning pleasant or unpleasant things, feeling neither sorry nor happy, entertaing neither desire nor mineness, treating praise or derision the same way, devoid of all dualties(like pleasure and pain) and without the encumbrence of procurement or attachment. Enjoying within myself with a calm mind, I will behave asif I am dull or dumb or blind, without holding any contacts with anybody anywhere. I will go around treating all the four categories of mobile and immobile ( immobile-1-trees etc ie Udbhijjas and mobile-3- ie Jaraayujas, Andajas and Svedajas) beings with equanimity, without harming any of them. I will treat alike all the people differently engaed in their respectivs duties. I will not observe any difference among any creatures living as per their natural courses. I will not deride any one; I will not frown at anything anytime anywhere. I will always keep a calm countenance and hold all my senses well contained. I will just keep going along the way I find without asking anybody about any route. I will never evince any interest in going anywhere in particular. Nor do I reconsider my routes. Keeping mind clean from lust or wrath, I will be concentrating on meditation within myself not caring the body or mind. The destiny will walk before me taking care of my food and other necessities of life. But, on my part, I will never mind what comes my way pleasant or unpleasant. Whether tasty or otherwise, whatever food that is available to me will do for the day. If I cannot get at the place where I first begged , I will go to another place limiting such instances to only seven. I will seek food from such a house where the grinding, cooking,eating and washing are over and the hearths are closed and no reek comes from them provided that there are not already enough mendicants for food. I will beg for only one round at two or three or five households only. I will go around the world without hooking my mind to any attachment about anything. I will not mind if I get or not get anything. I will move around like one not interested in living and not inclined to die too. I will receive life or death in similar manner with no admiring or no disliking. I will not show any disparity between one who cuts my one hand with an adze or one who annoints my another hand with sandal paste. I will fully withdraw myself from all such activities as a man would do when he wishes to live. I will only bear such involuntary activities like winking and breathing. Not tangling my wind with any worldly things, dismissing all activities of the senses, shedding off any aims or intentions and cleansing all the sins of my soul, I will wander around. Discarding all attachments, setting free myself from all bonds, staying under nobody's control, I will move around like the wind does as it likes. Living that way devoid of all passions will bring me the eternal peace. My unworthy greed and delusion forced me to incur this great sin. Some able people, overshadowed by their ignorance, carry out their certain dutifull activities efficiently and believe that they are supporting others as their dependents which dependents infact indulge themselves with their association for their own pleasures and purposes. And the yields of all such activities falls on those poor creatures after they leave their mortal body, because one should reap the fruits of one's own deeds. All the bunches of beings join with and sever from other bunches of beings, in this endless rotation of the wheel of life and death. It is for one's greatest bliss if one can free oneself from this horrible cycle that seems endless, delusive and full of troubles like birth, desease, old age pains and death. Who can really hope for the heaven if he is truly endowed with realisation, in the light of the witnessing the sages falling from their position and the deities too loosing their status ? It is evident that an emperor is only bound by his tributories with their policies towards him, but he is not really the master of them. So, I feel that this great realisation dawned on me after these many years. I will stick to it and attain the ultimate and eternal status. Just by adhering to this path of life as I said now, I will walk in that fearless course until this mortal body meets its end passing through all its inherent inflictions like pain,desease and death." Yudhishthira stopped.


Bheema heard Yudhishthira's address to Arjuna. He could not tolerate his elder brother's words. Unlike Arjuna who spoke clearly but in a polished manner, Bheema talked to Yudhishthira in his own coarse and straight tounge which looked as harsh as his arrows. " king! What do you speak! Your mind seems to have turned blunt. Just like a dullheaded reader simply learning the Vedas by rote without comprehending their true meaning, you too became dull and find faults with the royal duties temselves without understanding the situation truly. If you behave like this now, what do we reap from the annihilation of the Kouravas? And more strangely, what is the use of unnecessary lamenting about the destruction of the undeserving Kouravas? Except you, we can nowhere see a person who is obliged to follow the Kshathriya code and yet subdued by the traits like mercy, forgiveness,pity and harmlessness, even in case of his close relatives. Had we known your mind to be like this, we wouldn't have taken up the arms at all and wouldn't have killed any one at all. In stead, we all would have opted to live by begging till death and this horrible war wouldn't have at all claimed the cream of the Kshathriyas. The learned sat that everything in the existence is for supporting the life.The immobile and mobile things all are meant to serve as food to the life. The scholars of Kshathriya code are of the single opinion that any Kshathriya desirous of coming to the throne shall and must see the end of his opponent claimants, whoever they might be. By following that doctrine did we slew all our sinfull adversaries. Having that task completed through accepted course, you should now only enjoy and adminster the empire. Your dullness now makes all our strains look as futile as those of a person who digs the well but goes without drinkning the water therefrom, but carrying mud all over his body. Your dullness now makes all our strains look as futile as those of a person who climbs a tall tree, dispells all the bees from the bee-hive,brings the honey down and then goes without even tasting it, but bearing the stings of the bees all over his body. Your dullness now makes all our strains look as futile as those of a person who walks a long and risky route to its end on a purpose but returns without taking his intended object. Your dullness now makes all our strains look as futile as those of a person who fights tooth and nail to see all his enemies killed and then commits suicide at the end. Your dullness now makes all our strains look as futile as those of a person who wanders to find his food and finds a full-course meal but keeps himself away from it. Your dullness now makes all our strains look as futile as those of a person who moves earth and heaven to possess a beautiful woman, wins her heart, but then leaves her without enjoying. To speak the truth, King, it is we who are to blame for treating you, a dull intellect, as our king simply due to your eldership. Though we are all learned, valourous and mighty, yet it is our disaster that we are all to remain so helpless to abide by the word of an incompetent person like you. If we, the resort of the helpless, behave like this after achieving the ends through the right means, how do people conclude rightly about attempting to achieve their ends? You must look into this yourself.

'You said you would go on renunciation now. When is that prescribed and to whom? The scripts accord that renunciation is to be adopted when one is endangered or one is ripe old or one is ruined by his enemies. In the light of this, your proposal for renunciation is not appreciated by the experts of the codes who, in stead, will taint it as a contrary to the rules of virtue (Dharma) too. We are born as Kshathriyas, we are committed to the Kshathriyas' code and we live by Kshathriyas'code. Then, how can we deride the same Kshathriyas'code ? Why should we blame the fate or destiny here? Maybe, some people without comprehensive knowledge of Kshathriyas code or true understanding of the Vedas or devoid of all means to achive their ends, might have talked much about renunciation of the rulers, singing the songs about allegories that are never true but look like the very truth. If a person chooses to live by keeping his speech, body and mind restrained , he means only the option to die under the guise of virtue and piety. Also, it is possible to live alone like a recluse in the woods, only if one is devoid of the burden of taking care of his sons, grandsons, deities, sages, guests and manes. Do all the animals and beasts like pigs and birds in the woods win the heaven for them? So, what does ir bring if one goes to the forests? No one is appreciated and hailed as virtuous by the experts of virtues, if he adopts a course that does not befit him given the place and the time. Or, if you believe that staying alone, stable and firm is what brings you the ultimate good, it is useless too. Since the hills and trees stay alone, stable and firm. They do not have incumbrences like procuring and attachments. Shouldn't they then surely attain the good status? If it is true that one cannot see the accomplishment of others through his resources and wealth, then too, one should involve in and practise his own deeds. You should perofrm your deeds for one who does not perform will finish his life with no end. If you say that you attain salvation by living alone just taking care of your own subsistence without bothering others, that too is meaningless. Since we see the water creatures like fish live by themselves depending on themselves. Can anyone say that they attain salvation just because of that? You comprehend how the world is composed of the dutiful deeds prescribed to each and every one. Then, you will realise that you should perofrm your right deeds to achieve your ends and that one who does not perform will finish his life with no end served." Bheema concluded.


After Bheema spoke like that resembling a thundering cloud, Arjuna again said to Yudhshthira. "King! We hear our elders quote an ancient episode in this regard, pertaining to the dialogue between Indra and some hermits. That episode establishes the necessity and greatness of one's prescribed deeds. Let me relate that to you.
'Once some very young and rich Braahmanas decided among themselves that they should renounce and retire to the woods not to return forever, thinking that that was the right and fit course to them. They all left their homes, parents and brothers and settles in a forest. Indra took pity with them and went to them in the guise of a bird with golden wings. He said aloud within their hearing, 'Those who eat the remainder ( Vighasa = balance of food after serving the deities,manes and guests) are great. Their life is lucky and successful. Their acts are pious and not within the reach of all humans. Dedicated to their virtue, they attained the higher abodes.'

The young hermits heard the bird speak like and that talked to one another within themselves, 'Oh! this bird praises the eaters of remainder. We too are eaters of remainder. So, it must be praising only us!'

Indra heard their words and responded, 'No,no. It is not you that I praise now. The real remainder eaters are different. I cannot praise you since you not the real remainder-eaters. You are eaters of the remnants and spittles. Besides, you are all full of passion and tainted with sin ( of disowing your deeds).'

The young hermits replied, ' O Bird! We all believe that what we adopted is the best and most righteous. You may tell us what other course is good for us. We are very much interested in hearing from you. '

Indra said, 'If you don't divide among yourselves and if you don't doubt my words, I will tell you what is true and what is really good to you.'

The hermits said, 'We all hear you talk about the path you know of. We wish to follow your advice too. O pious one! Teach us.'

Indra began to talk to them. 'Cow is the best among the quadrupeds, gold is the best among the metals, Hymn (Manthra) is the best among the words and Braahmana is the best among the humans. A Braahmana is life-long prescribed with timely ceremonies done with hymns, from birth in the bed to death on the pyre. And the deeds prescribed to him by Vedas are the best for him. It is their path that wins even heaven for them. If not so, why did all the ancestors perform all their ceremonial deeds employing the apprpriate hymns in them, to propitiate me? A determined person will attain realisation about the soul(Athma). The attainent for humans is as per their dedication and worship. The ancient seers prescribed the the three attainments for humans, the first one, of the solar course(Aadithya Maarga), the second one, of the lunar course (Chandra Maarga) and the third one, of the astral course(Thaaraka Maarga), depending on the factors of month, fortnight and season ( this means here, solstice, rather -Tr) . All the beings long for obtaining this order of the household which is the derivative of deeds, which is the field for attaining every status and the holiest and greatest one too among all the four orders of life. Those who take the wrong and unworthy path and deride the deeds are simply fools. They attain no end in life but end with incurring sin. Such people remain denigraters of the Vedas by abandoning the various courses of actions to persue the three (Deva Yaana, Pithri Yaana, Brahma Yaana) paths of higher status. Hence, may you all follow that path of deeds meant for you. Follow the course meant by the sages who say that humans should worship the gods and the gods should grace the humans. Keeping oneself within that path is said to be a great penance by itself. The learned say that it is a difficult task of a penance, to hold oneself to the three-way( as said above, Deva,Pithri,Brahma Yaanas) course of the deeds without alleniating oneself from serving the preceptors. Even the deities too attained their higher status only following this course of the deeds. Hence, I advise you all to take up the household order (Haarhasthyam) which is not at all that easy to maintain successfully. This household order contains everything in itself by being supportive to all other orders in the world. This is the best penance that can be adopted and this is the only basis to all the people of all orders and creeds. The learned scholars of calm mind and devoid of envy or dualties opine that the maintenance of household order itself is the penance. Other penances like celibecy and all are secondary to it and they fall under the medium class penances. and the remainder-eaters attain such status that cannot be disturbed by anybody or anything. The real remainder-eaters are those who subsist on the food that remains after systematically dividing their food,distributing it among deities, guests,manes and dependents, in the moring and the evening. As such, those who stick to their prescribed timely deeds without deviating from vows and truth become devoid of all hesitations and the entire world treats them as ideal mentors. As a result of their such hard performance they attain Indra's abode and live there peacefully for a long time.'

Arjuna concluded saying, 'Thus hearing the right advice from the bird, the young hermits realised that there is nothing useful than household and went back to take up the order of domesticity. Similarly, you too, O king, realise about what you should do and enjoy the entire empire now devoid of any opponent."


Seeing Yudhishthira still as sad as before, Nakula understood his eldest brother's mental agony and spoke to him. ' Brother! We hear that the fire-places like stages and altars made by the celestials meant for their sacrifices are still exixting at the place named Vishaakhayoopa. From that, you must understand that even the celestials do hold high, both the deeds and their yields. The manes too, who cause availability of food even to the beings that do not believe in deeds, they themselves perform their deeds. Those who totally abandon the Vedas and their prescribed deeds are complete nagators ( Naasthikas). But, as to a learned man, he cannot follow the Devayaana path to attain heaven, if he abandons Vedas and their ceremonial deeds. Scholars wellversed with the Vedas and virtue say that the order of domesticity is the best of all the four orders and that it exceeds the others by its prominence. You can learn it from the scholars oc Vedas who are presently with you. Hear me, O king, a person is said to be a good and calm renouncer if he appropriates all his wealth acquired through right means, for usage in sacrifices with a mind that is devoid of ego and pride. He is said to be a renouncer with passion, if he surpasses the pleasure and dignity of the household order and looks to take up the next orders with dedication. A renouncer becomes a mendicant if he goes around without a homestead of his own, without cooking for himself, engaging always in meditation and resorting in the shades of the trees. A Braahmana is said to be a renouncer if he engages himself in recital and study of Vedas, not minding pleasure or anger and avoiding greed, in particular. The learned say that once all the orders were weighed in a balance which showed that the household order on one side weighed in excess of the other three on the second side, by the greatness of its possession of support to desires and heaven. He who understands this principle and carries out his duties without ego or interest in their yields, is a reniuncer. But, he who simply leaves his duties and goes to the forests like a simpleton is not a real renouncer. Once taking up the hermitage, engaging mind again towards the worldly affairs and desires only attracts Yama's wrath. He falls from his status. Whatever act done with attachment towards its doing and its yields, gives no results. But whatever act done without ego and interest in yields will give great results. that is what the experts of deeds tell us about deeds. The prescribed duties of the sges are, to contain the organs and senses, to be stable in the right path, truthfullness, purity (of body,speech and mind), plainness, sacrifices, obstinance and virtuemindedness. In this order of household, we see the chance and abiity to satisfy the guests, gods and manes. It is only this order that can offer us accomplishment of virtue(Dharma),desires(Kaama) and interests(Artha or monies). For a renouncer who follows this well upheld path, there is neither fear nor harm. The great and pious Prajaapathi created the humans with an intention that they would carry out sacrifices in his propitiation and worship, with various gifts awardable to many people. For that sole purpose of the sacrifices only did he create all these trees, creepers, plants,animals for sacrifice and things for oblations. The act of performing sacrifices for a household is like bond by birth. That is why this household order is so difficult to attain as difficult to maintain. Thus obtaining this deserving household order and being rich in grain, monies and kine too, if one doesn't carry out the performance of sacrifices, he is only incurring a permanent blemish of sin. Some perform the sacrifice of Vedic recital and study. Some perform the sacrifice of realisation. some perform the sacrifices mentally only.'

Nakula continued to Yudhiraashtra. ' Sir! Once I heard an interesting topic from some sages who told me like this. There were no earth, no fire, no wind, no water, no moon, no sun, no stars, no cardinals, no time, no sound, no touch, no form, no scent, and no taste. Nor were there reasons to establish their objects, no perception, no inference, no analogy,no deduction, no contradiction, no conclusion, no tradition, no example, no uncertainity,no virtue or no non-virtue. Three existed no birds, no animals, no immobiles, no celestials, no humans, no division of orders (of life or society), no doer, no deed, no interests, no monies, no wealth, no activities of monies. All this world was like a dense darkness with nothing visible. The soul yet, existing, does not associate with the mind. The mind is devoid of consciousness whereas the only possesses consciousness. Only the Supreme soul was the lone conscious one and with him was the entire creation filled with. The hymns are conscious but they have nothing to do with association with body. Then, some sages named Vishvasrijas ( creators of universe) obtained consciousness from the Supreme soul and created this universe. They prformed the sacrifice of Vishvasrija ( creation of unverse) and crated the Grandsire deity Brahma. All this mobile world is full of the consciousness devolved from the Supreme soul. It is God Shambhu (Shiva) who did that association between the world and the consciousness. The god Eeshvara (Shiva) taught to Brahma about the three ends of virtue(dharma), desires(Kaama) and interests(Artha). The animate being is dull, dependent,devoid of knowledge and subject to pains or pleasures. It is instigated by the Lord Eeshvara and goes eithrt towards heaven or towards hell. It is Eeshvara that incites the Prime Purusha and the souls of all the beings who are thrusted by the mind and sensories together with the consciousness and thereby entangle themselves with pleasure or pain as decided by their deeds. The division of orders was also instituted by Lord Eeshvara who himself made the creation of the world full of demons, Gandharvas and deities. My dear king! You, we and all others too, stand,live and die, prone to god's will. We are never independent, as such. All the deities too worship the Supreme Lord by performing sacrifices either harming the beings or otherwise, or even harming the entire world too. such a performer does not incur any sin. All the activities of the householders involve some harm or the other. So do the activities of sages and deities too. Still, they are all the while attaining higher abodes. In the past too, many kings everywhere killed their enemies to serve their own interests and those of the people as well. If that act brings sins, how did they reach the heaven, without going to hell fully loaded with those sins? He who stabilises his mind with this decision and sticks to the path of his deeds, such a regenerate person, is welcome by the gods. Due to follow that path, you, without opting to use your great wealth of gems and gold to perform sacrifices, strangely speak words negatory to the Vedic ordinances. I cannot see that renunciation of duties is good or even possible, as long as one is in domesticity. A real sense of renunciation may be possible by performing the sacrifices like Ashvamedha, Raajasooya or Sarvamedha. You may perform these sacrifices as Indra did or any other ones that are upheld by the learned Braahmanas. If the king fails in his duties of protecting the people, they will be looted by the robbers. such a king who ceases to be a guard of his subjects is described as Kali( personification of fourth age and sin too) in the form of a king. Having come into the possession of a vast wealth - comprising horses, kine,maids, elephants, villages and provinces - and without appropriating it among the eligible recepients, if we make ourselves subject to sorrow that we committed murder of our kinsmen , we are simply going to be the Kali in the form of kings. If we do not doante (the wealth) and protect ( the subkects), we will only end with incurring sins suffering their results but can never enjoy the good and pleasure of the life. If you choose to go on renunciation without performing great sacrifices or without satisfying the deities and manes, or without taking ablutions in holy waters at holy places, you will meet the fate of a cloud that is routed and dispersed by a strong wind. You fail from accomplishment of this world or the other but simply remain amidst, incurring the possible births of demi-demons. One becomes a renouncer if he is able to subdue his mind that forces one's mind into various tanglements within and outside. But, in no case, a simple disowner of duties ca be called a renouncer. A Braahmana following the path of renunciation that was always upheld by all for a Braahmana , will have neither fear nor harm. Afer bringing about annihilation of all the enemies like Indra did of the demons, who, inclined to follow his natural duties, will lament , given that the course was approved by all the learned and adopted by all his ancestors too ? with your valour and practice of Kshathriya code, you won the empire. you will win the top of the heaven by appropriating the empire's wealth among the eligible receipients through the right means of expenditure. This is not the hour to lament for you, My king!'


After Nakula tried his best to bring Yudhishthira back to normalcy, Sahadeva began to talk to his eldest brother. The wise man spoke briefly but straight to the point.
'Brother! You must first understand the external(out side our body and mind) and internal entities that bind us. Shedding off links with the external entites alone will not result in accomplishment. But, there is a possibility for that if we can sever ourselves from the attachments with the internal (within our body and mind) entities, yet, it is not assured. Only our worst enemies shall get those virtues or pleasures of a person who severs himself from links with external entities but stays bound to internal entities. But, we and our associates shall get such virtues and pleasures of a person who severs himself from the internal bonda and continues to rule the empire. One small word of one syllable, 'mine', is verily the death itself and another small word of two syllables, 'not-mine' is verily the eternal Brahman itself. These two, death and Brahman, are together stationed in the soul itself, causing many conflicts for the beings. The Soul or Aathman is said to be eternal but some conflict with this proposition.'

'Sir! If the eternity of the soul of the beings is true, then what harm does ome incur by killing the mortal bodies of the beings? Or, if it is said that end is also destined along with birth of any being, all will end with the body itself. Then,all the institutions of deeds and their results will become futile. Hence, we need not look to choose any one of our own choice. A wise man shall follow the course of his good and wise ancestors. If domesticity is such a bad thing to be disowned, why did the ansestors from Manu to the great emperrors follow that? This earth has been enjoyed by the rulers from a number of cycles of ages of Kritha,Thretha etc and is still being enjoyed now. If a king obtains control over the entire earth with all its mobile and immobile entities but then opts out of enjoying and ruling it, his life itself is a waste thing. Eventhough a person may live a recluse in the forests, if his mind is attached to those entities in those woods too, he is as bad as caught between the fangs of the mouth of death. In this way, great Sir, you must see the difference between the external and internal attachments and their true status. On whom dawns the realisaton about these two things, they are the blessed and they are devoid of any fear. Sir! To me, you are the father, your are mother, you are brother and you are teacher too. You must pardon my chattering that came out my grief about your plight. What I spoke may be true or may nat be true, but all that is spoken only out of my respect towards you.' Sahadeva concluded his consolation speech to Yudhishthira



Saha deva ended his short speech but Yudishthira still sat sad and silent listening to various doctrines of the Vedas and other scriptures talked by his brothers. Then came forward, Yudhishthira's dear queen, Droupadi, who knowsall the doctrines and whose words always spoke of her dignity and royal awareness of the duties to be performed. She spoke to him in a soft and soothing voice. "Sir! What is this ? All your brothers suffer from your sorrow like the rain-cuckoos wanting the clouds. Seeing you in this state, they too plunge into sorrow again and again. Don't you look at them and console them to see them happy and as elated as rutting tuskers? Only your passionate consolation will bring them to their natural high spirits. Please remember what you told your brothers to cheer them up when we were all suffering the adverseries in the forests. You said - 'Dear brothers! Bear with the troubles for a short while. After our term is over, we will defeat Duryodhana and victoriously rule the empire. The world will see our battle field covered with broken carriages and bodies of elephants and horses of the enemies. Taking up performance of many sacrifices with huge gifts, we will forget the troubles suffered here in these forets.' This was what you said to them. But, now, after actually doing what you said to them, why do you become sad like this and make us too sad? An incompetent and timid person cannot enjoy the empire. Such a person cannot attain or retain wealth. Nor will he enjoy long with his wives or children. All ceases to stay with him like the fish that cannot survive in a mud in a dried out tank. A kshathriya does not shine without his regal administration (Danda. The word Danda means the fourth policy, punishing power and a king's baton too. Here it can mean power and baton both.-Tr)of his kingdom. He cannot hold to his empire without that regal administration policy. Nor can the subjects of a king will be happy if the king disowns his regal obligations. It is only to be enjoyed by us that the creation was made, which comprises the deities, Demons, Gandharvas, Apsaras, Guhyakas, Naagas and humans. But the entire creation is governed by a ruler's regal administration which is a must for a regulated enjoyment of life and its pleasures.'

'Sir! Just recollect what you heard of (Svaayambhuva) Manu's teachings about ruling and its origin. It is just as much known to you as to all the experts of the regal policies. When the world was devoid of any ruler and its people ran everywhere with fear for want of protection, then Brahma created the king capable of ruling and protecting the earth. He made the king, making use of traces from the powers of all the deities such as Vaayu, Agni, Yama, Sun, Indra,Varuna,Moon and Kubera. It is for this reason of coming with powers of all the deities that the king surpasses everybody with his power. Like a sun, he can scald our eyes and strain our mind too. Not a single person is able even to behold at him with contemption. A king himself is Agni, he is Vaayu, he is the sun, he is the moon, he is Yama, He is Varuna,he is kubera and he is Indra. In him do reside the powers of Brahma,Vishnu,Shiva and the sages too. A king shall not be looked down as a human being, however young he might be, since he himself is the god in human form. A fire can consume only that what falls into it. But the fire of a king's wrath can terminate not only the wrong doer but his wealth and clan too. Similarly, the entire clan of the wrong-doing Kouravas was exterminated by the fire emanating from your anger. There is nothing to doubt in this, as the world itself is a witness to that. A Kshathriya ruler, rich in personal conduct and rich in virtues, conducting the state administration is admired even by the gods. A king should carry out his objects considering his means, the time and the place as factors for success in accomplishing virtues. Wealth, victory and death result from grace, valour and wrath of such a king simply because he is a confluence of all divine powers. He who antagonises with a king will soon perish and the king too sees that the opposer is ruined. A king is so powerful that he can bestow virtues in whom he favours and inflict harm on whom he dislikes. None can do anything against the king or his established virtues. The god Brahma created the Danda ( punishing power, indicated by a king's baton that is a symbol of power to chastise the sinners) from himself, to be excercised by the king. And that Danda was bestowed with Brahma's power and the ability to protect all the beings in the world. A king should employ his punishing powers against the erring people, taking into consideration the place time and persons involved while deciding the issues. The Danda is the king himself. It is permanent. It leads, it rules, it protects, it excersises its powers over the learned and the ignorant. It is the caretaker of the systems and procedures pertaining to all the four orders of society and four orders of the life too. A king's punishing power employed properly after careful assessment will please all the people,or, otherwise employed, it brings about only a thorough destruction. If there is not a king that can use his power rightly against the punishable ones, the stronger in the society will destroy the weaker just like the larger fish do the smaller ones among them. In the absence of a such a king and his ruling powers, a crow will eat the food cooled in a sacrifice and a dog will lick the things meant for oblations in the sacrifice. Should not there be a king, there is nothing such as an order of small and big or of higher and lower or of good and bad. All the people do behave properly only by the fear of the ruling and punishing power, Danda. scarce is one with right conduct without the need of regulations. It is due to the fear of rule and punishment that the entire world stands properly enjoying all its eligible enjoyments. Not just humans, even the deities, demons,Gandharvas, Raakshasa, Garudas and Naagas, all for that matter, are able to enjoy their own eligible objects simply due to the excercise of their rulers' powers. If such ruling and punishing power fails in its duty, all orders collapse, all regulation break off and all the people fall into a chaos of lawlessness. The subject people will never err only in such a situation where the person of Danda wanders around with his red looks and black form, under the control of their wise ruler. A king is said to be a goos excerciser of the ruling and punishing power if he is good at the doctrines of virtue, desires, interests; if he is bound by truth; if he is wise and if he is a discrete employer of executing skills. A king who excercises his power properly will reach the heaven. But, one that uses it in an improper way due to his personal flaws like lust and pride, he will suffer the worst yields of the power itself. The power is not a simple thing to be handled by every form with flesh and blood. It is so uncontrollably powerful that once the king using it fails in its proper administration, it will destroy not only the king alone but his entire clan too. The results of a misused power extends further to the forts, state, empire, mobile and immobile world, and even te sage and deities in the sky ( ie heaven. That mwans, if a ruler fails in his duties, the deities too get concerned to set the things right.-Tr). The ruling and punishing power cannot be judiciously wielded by a person , who is not rich in associates, who is driven by greed, who is unlearnt, who is of immature intellect or who is aslave to by his sensories and their onjects. On the otherhand, it lies in the control of such a king to be used properly only if he is a learned one, only if he abides by the doctrines of regal policies, only if he is truthful and only if he is pure by all means. A king should employ his powers within his state for the purpose of maintaining justice. He should use it harsh against his enemies to tame them down totally. He should not become crooked while employing it against his associates and friends. and he should not forget forgiveness and forbearance while employing it against experts and scholars. A king of this conduct, eventhough he subsists by procuring grain in the thrashed fields, will earn a fame that sprads far and wide, like a drop of oil on the surface of water. But, on the contrary, a king of conduct quite opposite to this, cannot become famous. His fame shrinks away like a drop of ghee( ghee=boiled and clarified butter) on the surface of water.'

Droupadi continued to Yudhishthira. 'King! You must understand that the Kouravas did behave in the wrong way. They deviated from the path of virtue. They failed in judiciously employing their power to rule and punish. Driven by their lust and greed, they resorted to unvirtuous deeds. As I said a while ago, a misused power by an unvirtuous king consumes the king and his entire clan. As a matter of fact, the Kouravas met their deserving fate destined by their misbehaviour that attracted the wrath of all the gods such as Vishnu, Shiva, Brahma, Indra and other cardinal Lords, you the Paandavas being only instrumental in their process of reestablishing the right and the virtuous. Hence, by killing such unrighteous people like Kouravas as a part of your Kshathriya duties, either through right means or fowl means, you incur not even the slightest sin. You too know that, being limited by those qualities like - equanimity towards all beings, alms, study of vedas and penance - is purely for Braahmanas and not for the kings. The real duties of a king comprise protection of the righteous people, taming of the vile and erring ones, and beyond all, not runningaway from battles. One is said to be good at virtues if he properly excercises the duos of wrath and forgiveness, giving and taking, fear and fearlessness, and grace and enemity. This entire empire is now at your disposal. But, you must first understand that it did not come to your hand as a result of your knowledge or alms or sacrifices or begging or through any soft way of concilliation. It came to you as a result of your victory over your terrible foes by defeating their entire armies that consisted vast numbers of tuskers,cars, steeds and warriors, that was rich in the three aspects of leadership (Prabhu), strategy (Manthra) and enthusiasm (Uthsaaha), and that stood under the protection of the valourous generals like Drona, Karna, Kripa and Ashvaththaama. That makes you bound to enjoy and adminster the empire. The entire Jambu segment (=Dveepa lying to south of mount Meru. Ancient geography uses the word Dveepa to mean a continent.There are seven such Dveepas. A different division gives eighteen too. It is mentioned within a few lines later.-Tr) with all its habitations is tamed by your powers of ruling. No less that Jambu segment, the Krouncha segment too which lies on the west of Meru, is tamed by your powers of ruling. Equal to Krouncha, the Shaaka segment too that lies in the east of Meru, is tamed by the powers of your ruling. The Bhadraashva segment that lies to the north of Meru and is a match to the Shaaka too is tamed by the powers of your ruling. And other segments with the minor and intermediate segments and islands too, rich in habitations, extending to the edges of the oceans, are tamed by the powers of your ruling. king! Having attained such a great task as impossible to others except you, you fall sad and sink in sorrow. See your four brothers who look like raging bulls and screaming tuskers. Each is a match to the deities. Each is the slayer of the foes. Each is valorous enough to make any enemy bite the dust in battles. You should see them and feel proud and happy for their company and support. For myself, even a single one of you is a husband good enough to see me among pleasures. Then, what to speak of my luck when you all five are my dear husbands like the five sensories to drive the body? My mother-in-law, Pritha is a great soul. she neverlied. She knows all virtues and she can assess everyone properly. Her word is never meaningless or futile. She told me during her blessings that Yudhishthira would subdue all the kings in their hundreds and bring great pleasures to me. But, your delusion and faltering intellect seem to make even Kunthi's word futile. You the eldest your brothers turned mad and all your brothers too follow you blindly, making all five of the Paandavas equally mad. Had your brothers too not been mad, they would have chained you along with the negators of our code and they themselves would have undertaken to rule the empire. The only cure to the malady of a mad person not accepting what is ready good to him is, to adminster the proper medicines by snuffing through his nose ( She means, you look like a mad one, you must be treated as a mad one is treated with medicines.-Tr). I have been the most unfortunate and most illtreated royal woman in the world, having met with such an insult in the hall in the hands of those who should as respect me as my sons and I yet remain with a wish to live! The sons of Dhritharaashtra were always wrong and they always took the wrong path. They never behaved like schooled and taught royal scions. I see not the slightest sin in killing such unruly and cruel fellows.'

Droupadi went on with a voice that attained an officious tone. ' King Yudhishthira! You must listen to the verses of Shukra laying down certain doctrines. Brahma taught Shukra that there are six kinds of harmfl people that need be killed and whose killing attracts no sin to the killers. The six people are - one who ruins himself wantonly, one who destroys the resources (of him or others), one who kills ( or tries to kill) one's own relatives, one who administers poison unto others to kill them, one who (attempts to kill or) kills others without any reason and one who molests (or tries to molest) others'wives. A king must kill such an unworthy person belonging to Braahmanas or Kshathriyas or Vyshyas, even if his conduct is otherwise good, if he attempts to give poison to others to kill them, if he suddenly enters someone's house and attacks the peolple therein or if he forces people to eat or drink unfit things. A person that drags women by their hair is to fought against even if he happens to be the great god Brahma himself. Then, what to talk of a common sinner doing that henious work? Even a soft Braahmana of great penances and powers should take up arms to fight on occasions of danger to Braahmanas or cows , danger to the king, danger to the country, danger to one's own self and on the occasion of hearing cries of women for help. Also, a Braahmana falling off the course of virtue and harming others is fit to be killed , though, otherwise elsewhere he is not even meant to be harmed at all. A Kshathriya is justified in killing a Braahmana if the latter resorts to harming cows and Braahmanas. This rules holds equally good in case of a Kshathriya's killing a Braahmana, either in the interest of protection of the king's strategies and policies, or in the interest of the safety of the Kshathriya's family. A Kshathriya must fight against a Braahmana in a battle if the latter turns out to be a thief or behaves cruelly or deviates from the path of virtue. One must kill a person charging against oneself with weapons held up in hands, despite his being a thorough scholar of all the Vedas and doctrines. Such killing shall not burden the killer with the sin of killing a baby in the womb, which he would otherwise have incurred. A Braahmana or a Kshathriya or a Vyshya or a Shoodra or a person of any other creed shall never hurt a calm and peaceful Braahmana even with a blade of a gross. He who troubles a Braahmana by threat or theft of his property shall incur a downfall and he shall not attain any good or his normal status for a period of three hundred years. By killing such a Braahmana for no reason, the killer suffers the hell for a period of one thousand years. Hence, it must be understood that a Braahmana shall not be harassed or harmed for no reason. By causing a wound to a Braahmana, the sinner suffers in the hell for so many years as the number of drops of the Braahmana's blood falling on the earth. He who makes or causes to make to a Braahmana such a wound that tares his skin or breaks his bone, shall be the same sinner as one killing a Braahmana and he need undergo penitential process. He who physically harms a Vedic scholar Braahmana or a Braahmana woman in her periods shall undergo for twenty years such penitential process as a Braahmana's murderer himself shall do. All the code-makers held it as a crime double the murder of a Braahmana and one that does not undertake a penitential process for this shall be marked on his body and expelled. A king shall get killed, as a punishment, even a Braahmana or Kshathriya or Vyshya or Shoodra if he turns out to be a thief and murderer of a Braahmana, so that the other people would deter from doing such crimes. Or, as a punishent for a Braahmana's murder, if the murderer happens to be a Kshathriya or Vyshya or Shoodra, a king may order to cut the sinner's hands or legs or nose or lip or to pluck out the eyes. Or, in case of Braahmana-murderer being a Kshathriya or Vyshya or Shoodra, the king may order to beat them with weapons. In case of a Braahmana being a Braahmana's murder, the king shall order to mark his body and expell out of the state. Those Braahmana-murderers belonging to the last three orders shall be orderedto live with chandaalas ( to be outcasted.).Those who mingle with them in food or drink shall be declared as equal sinners. They shall not be entitled to the procedural homages after their demise. The sin of the murder of a Braahmana exists in a black and ugly female form with hanging hair. It torments the sinner but is all the while invisible to him. In a state where Braahmanas charged with the sin of the murder of a Braahmana are allowed to eat food or drink water with all others, that stae and its habitations shall soon face such troubles as famine, deseases and robbers. For any one among the Kshathriyas or Vyshyas or Shoodras,resorting to killing of Braahmanas and any Braahmana that commits grave sins,both shall be punished with plucking-out of their eyes. The right men are their own strength and the king is the strength of the weak. Death is the only remedy to the sinners, be they strong or weak. A person charged with a crime, whether powerful or weak, shall be given a chance to explain himself, lest the king should face the failure in justice. Those who trespass the king's orders or the judge's orders shall be proven guilty of the same with an established evidence and proper punishment shall be thereafter given to them. One that trespasses an established custom or law and one that fails in meeting his own guarantees ( Prathibhaava or Prathibhoo is the original word. -Tr), cannot not avoid defeat and punishment, though he happens to be rich or to hail from a big family. He that disobey's a king's order to turn out in the king's court can never escape defeat and thereby punihment too, despite his being armed or enjoting support of mighty people. Such a person of considerable crime shall be made subject to king's punishment wherefrom all his possessions shall be confiscated and he shall then be killed. Such punished criminals are not entitled to the himages after their death. If any one first opposes the king's order and later obeys it, he shall be treated as an offender and a medium scale fine shall be imposed upon him. ( Poorva-saahasa= first offence. Adhama danda = minor fine, madhyama danda= medium fine, uththama danda - maximum fine. These words relate to law and punishment. See Manu or other Smrithis.-Tr). Certain crimes are very serious in nature and those resort to them shall never be seen with a lenient view. All the possessions of the sinners shall be confiscated and the worst criminals shall be killed in case of all such serious crimes which are - molesting housewives, causing trouble to the state, murdering a Braahmana, theft ( way-laying or breaking in or robbing), meaning harm to the king (sedition), harming others except duringa battle, drinking wine and facilitating drinking, molesting a teacher's wife and cheating a friend . Any criminal committing these crimes and belonging to the last three orders shall be meeted out with the punishment prescribed by Brahma. For a Braahmana committing the above serious crimes, he shall be declared a worst criminal (Mahaa-saahasika), his mody shall be marked with a seal and he shall be expelled from the country. Brihaspathi prescribed that killing is the only punishment for a criminal from among women, boys , old men and cowhands if they are proved unruly and sinful. The prescriptions of crime and punishment being thus welldefined, what punishment cannot be awarded to the unruly, sinful and cruel Kouravas? The punishment inflicted on such Kouravas is just,judicious and it does not attract any sin to you, if examined in the light of all these codes. During the dice game, they brought me dragging into the court hall, though I was in my periods, right under the nose of all the heroes, solely due to your folly. No sin or failure from virtue shall befall upon you by destruction of Dhritharaashtra's clan which infact had already been burnt into ashes in the fire of our rightful indignance, along with the stocks of their wealth and kine. Even after suffering this much worst insult due to you, I am still alive by the grace of the gods. The insult of standing bare in the hall was staved away for me by the merciful and powerfull god, who is himself the cause for the time and everything. King! Hear my words, they are never meaningless. Discarding all these obedient and serving heroes before you, you propose to leave away the empire and thereby wish to harm your life yourself . It is now the hour for you to rule but not to renounce. You have obtained now such a chance as was attained by the great kings of the past like Maandhaatha and Ambareesha. Rule the entire earth adorned with its hills rivers seas and forests. Perform all sacrifices that you like. Wage wars against your enemies whenever they raise their heads. Give in alms to scholars such things as monies, luxuries and dresses. Do not spoil your mind with unnecessary and untimely thoughts about those who do not deserve them at all.' Droupadi concluded her long speech to Yudhishthira with a piquant finish.



Hearing Droupadi's magnificient speech, Arjuna looked at Yudhishthira who was still with undiminished sorrow. He said to his eldest brother after properly addressing to him, almost confirming what Dropadi had said. ' King! Droupadi talked in the best way about a king's ruling power (Danda. Through out the chapter, for clarity and simplicity, I will use the word Punishment to indicate this ruling power of a king or Danda.Occasioanally, it means the king's baton too. -Tr). Really, punishmeant is what rules and protects the people. The scholars say that punishment takes care of the learned and unlearned, those asleep and awake, in an equal manner. Punishment protects the monies, punishment protects the grains, punishment protects the virtue(Dharma), punishment protects the interests (Artha) and punishment protects the desires (Kaama). Punishment is the combination of all the three goals, ie Dharma, Artha and Kaama. You see this nature of the power of punishment and adopt the power to punish, as a matter of your duty to this mortal world. Some sinners deter from their sinful activities due to fear of king's punishment, some due to fear of Yama's chastisement and some due to fear of sufferings in the hell. And some sinners hold themselves from their sins due to fear of one another among themselves. Thus, in this world whose inherent nature itself is to go by fear, everything settles right only due to punishment. Just due to fear from punishment, some avoid eating (killing) others. In the absence of punishment and its fear, all the people would have drowned in deep darkness ( of lawlessness). Punishment (Danda) gets its name from the punitive actions it involves like imposing fine ( Dandanam) or physical beating (Danda) which keep the unruly tamed and the erring corrected. oral derision or arraignment is the punishment to a Braahmana, a heavy cut in the income is the punishment for a Kshathriya and monetary fine is the punishment to a Vyshya. There is no particular punishment for a Shoodra. King! To keep the people under control and to keep all the possessions of the people well protected, an institution of system and code in the world was established long ago, passing by the name of punishment. Where the frightening black form of punishment with red eyes wanders around in all readiness under the wise control of the king, the subjects will not commit any offence. All the men, either a student or a household or a hermit or a monk, are within their paths just due to fear of punishment. Even a king will not go for sacrifices or opts to give alms unless he is afraid of punishment from whom he might receive it. Why all this? Not a single person likes to stay stuck to his path unless he sees fear of punishment.'

Arjuna continued. 'Now about your feeling that you have harmed your own people. Is it possible for anyone to achieve high wealth without hurting others in the accepted way or without fulfilling hard tasks or without killing others for right cause like a fisherman does ? One cannot attain fame or wealth or honour from people if one opts totally not to hurt any being. Indra became Mahendra ( Mahaa=great), the great, only by killing the demon Vrithra. the world too worships the fearsome gods that make them afraid but not peaceful ones who look soft. See the gods like Rudra,Skanda,Indra,Varuna, Yama, Kubera, Vaayu, Mrithyu,Vasus, Maruths,Saadhyas and Vishvas. All these gods are fierce and frightening to people at some time or other, by turns. Dreading their wrath, people worship them. But none ever worships Brahma or Poosha( one of twelve Aadithyas) or Dhaatha ( one of twelve Aadithyas). We see a few peaceful people who honour in all their activities, some deities who are equal to all, harmless, rich in peace and forbearance. I see no person in the world who really lives by harmlessness. Rats are preys to mongoose, Mongooses are preys to cats, cats are preys to dogs and dogs are preys to leopards. Above all, man eats almost all the animals. You see how death takes its path! Whatever is visible in the earth, mobile or immobile, is becoming food to a living being. This system was instituted by the gods. a wise man does not fall into delusion about that. King! You should become what you are created to mean. See those calm people devoid of pleasure or anger, living in the forests. Those hermits too cannot avoid harm while conducting their subsistence. Many beings are in the water, many beings are on the earth and many beings are in the fruits. No one ever anyway can escape from harming these if he keeps his subsistence. Some beings are so minute that they are unvisible and some are perceived only through inference. Such microcosmic beings perish even by the beating of our eye lashes! Yet, what else is more important than keeping our life safe? Even those too, who subdue anger and jealousy and leave their homestead and settle in the forests as hermits , are seen again there engaged in normal activities of subsistemce and stand victims to harmfullness. The people carry out the works like digging the earth, uprooting the plants and cutting the creepers, bushes and trees. They perform their sacrifices,then. Strangely, they are attaining heaven. Is this not due to unavoidability of harm anywhere?'

Arjuna continued to Yudhishthira. 'Again, King! Let me tell you about the need and the imortance of (Danda) punishment . I least doubt in the theory that all ends of all people are accomplished if the punishment policy of a king is properly excercised. Had the punishment been not there, the mighty among the people would have killed the weak ones like the fish in water. Brahma was true when he said that the people a well employed punishment giverns the people well. See for an example, even the subsided flames too rise up again when fanned, asif frightened from the punishment. All this world would have become a lump of darkness, if punishment does not exist. Those that deride the Vedas, those that do not care the gods and those that overstep the regulations are brought to obedience just by being subjected to punishent. The entire world itself runs properly simply from the fear of punishment, since, no person is that pure that control is unwanted. It is from the fear of punishment that he binds himself to the right path. The institution of rule and punishent is created by Brahma on the earth for the protection of people of all the orders and for the purpose of estalishing a right path for all. If not afraid of the punishment, the birds and beats would have eaten off the humans and their domesticated animals along with the materials procured for sacrifices too. Nor does a student care for his studies, nor the women milk the cow with a calf, nor a virgin opts for marriage, if fear of punishment does not prevail. Too much freedom will be rampant everywhere, all the regulations will be broken and sense of responsibility ceases in people, if fear of punishment does not prevail. Sacrifices that run for years together will not take place with their prescribed fees and gifts, unless fear of punishment prevails. The rules of the (four) orders of life will not be followed as are prescribed and no one will show interest in acquiring knowledge, unless the fear of punishment prevails. Even the animals like camels, bulls,horses,mules and donkeys too will not carry their loads unless the fear of punishment prevails. The servants will not obey their masters, the children will ever not obey their parents, the young women will not honour their own respect, unless the fear of punishment prevails. All the people stand by punisment only. The learned say that punishment causes fear in people. In punishment lies the heaven for the people. In a word, the world rests on punishment. A dog will lick the material meant for the sacrificial oblations and a crow eats the rice cooked for the sacrifice, unless they see a person ready with a lifted stick to cause the fear of punishment to prevail. Where the power of punishment is employed against the enemies to succesfully destroy them, there shall not be any question about strategy or trick or cheating or sin in the process. This is not the time for you to lament about whether you obtained thie empire through right means or wrong means. What remains to be done is to rule the empire and perform sacrifices generously. The rich people in this world look welldressed and enjoy good foods leading a comfortable life and following their virtue that easily, by offering generous alms and donations to others. All the activities are controlled by monies while the minies themselves are controlled by the king's ruling powers. See the greatness of ruling and punishment.

Árjuna continued to Yudhishthira. ' The system of virtue and its practice is time and again upheld by the experts with the soul purpose of safe running of the world. When the question of a choice between harmlessness and harming the cruel people arises, what is better is to be adopted. But, a blind rule of harmlessness is not to be followed. Not a single thing which is either totally good or either totally bad, exists in the world . The two elements of bad and good exist always in every thing or every work. We see that load-bearing animals like bulls are castrated and their horns are cut off. That is bad. But, after that, the people are able to tame them and then are able to make them pull heavy loads too. that is good. Given this established system of punishment and ruling in the world that has descended down to us from hundreds of centuries, you are justified only in following that course adopted by our ancestors. You perform sacrifices as you like. You protect the people as you should do. follow the virtue as you are required to. Supress your enemies and please your friends. You shall not feel any sorrow from killing your enemies. There is not even the slightest blemish to you in doing that , as it is the prescribed course to you, as a Kshathriya. A person wielding arms and kills a person that attacks with arms does not incur any sin that he otherwise would have incurred (the sin of killing a baby in the womb). In that case, wrath defended the victim against wrath. No doubt, the soul that resides in evey being is unkillable. When it is not possible to kill the soul, how is any person becoming killed by any other? Just like a person entering many new houses, the soul too enters many such and such new bodies. It leaves the earlier bodies and enters new ones. This is what the true scholars describe as death , of the body , but not of the soul.' Arjuna concluded his words and looked at Yudhishthira, who was as sunk in grief as earlier.


Vyshampaayana said to Janamejaya. Hearing Arjuna's address to Yudhishthira and seeing the latter still unmoved, Bheema became impatient at his elder brother. But, he concealed it to fit the moment and began to talk again to Yudhishthira.

'King! You know all of virtue and its every aspect. Nothing is unknown to you. We always tried to follow your conduct but we could never succeed. within me, I keep thinking that I should not bother you with my words but my grief makes me speak to you now too. This delusion and undecisiveness on your part threw everything int danger made all of us big fools. We are at our wit's end. We are made unable to do anything at all due to your untimely grief. Having been a king and besides being an expert of all doctrines, how could you subject yourself to this delusion and these unworthy thoughts, as meaninglessly as a dunce would do? You very well know what is good path and what is not good path for the present and for the time to come too. None need tell you about that since you yourself are a master of that knowledge. Things being so, I will tell you one reason for your having to rule the empire,listen.'

'The desease a human being suffers is of two types, physical and mental. The physical desease affects the body and the mental desease affects the mind. But, one sources from the other. No desease without either of this exists for a human. Any physical desease gives rise to some mental malady and the converse is also true, no doubt. If any person laments about his mental or physical ailments that were already over, he derives another desease from that past desease, thereby subjecting him to two mishaps. Body has three humours as its properties, namely, Cold (Sheetha=relating to phlegm), Hot(Piththa= relating to bile) and Windy (Vaatha=relating to air or gas,a rhumatic humour). when the three humours are at equilibrium, that state is asid to be the healthy status of the body. In case any one of them increases, remedy is to be given to control it. Hot is remedied by (things increasing) Cold and cold is remedied by by Hot. Just like the body, the mind too has three temperment to it as its property. Calm (Saththva), Passion (Rajas) and Ignorance (Thamas) are the three and their equilibrium indicates mental healthiness. If any of these increases, mood of the mind changes. A remedy is needded by causing another mood countering the new one. Pleasure is remedied by sorrow and sorrow is remedied by pleasure. Someone likes to think of his past sorrows though he is at present in pleasures. Someone likes to think of his past pleasures when he is presently in sorrow. That applies to a commonplace person, not to you. You being what you are, do not deserve to feel happy about pleasures or sad about troubles. Nor is it befitting to your stature to think of earlier pleasures or troubles when you are presently in troubles or pleasures. Destiny is the strongest of all, you must not forget. Or, it might be your nature to think of all your past plights and keep yourself in sorrow which makes you sad now.Even in such a case, if you really wish to feel sad about your past bitter experiences, shouldn't you remember the menstruous Droupadi's being dragged into the hall before all of us who sat silently bearing the insult? Shouldn't you bring to your mind our being sent to the forests, our living there clad in deer-skins and staying in the shades of the trees suffering all troubles? Shouldn't you even think of your being abducted by Jataasura ? Can't you reminisce to your mind about our fight against Chithrasena for the sake of worthless Duryodhana? Hou could you even forget Droupadi's abduction by Jayadratha? Stil more, shouldn't you at least think of Keechaka's kicking Droupadi with his leg in Viraata's open court? A flash of those memories shall bring to your mind that what you have done is but simply proper and you wouldn't lament at all. Having these many and still more occasions that need be thought of lamented about, why do you speak of killing of the vile Kouravas alone? Isn't it highly improper for a learned man like you?'

'That war you have waged against the stalwarts Bheeshma and Drona, is now to be waged against your own mind. And it has befallen too! In this war, no arrows, no friends,no assistants, no associates or no relatives can do anything. you must fight against your own mind and using verily your mind . Such is the present war before you. It wouldn't have mattered whether you have won or lost that battle then, but, now, in this battle, if you loose ( and leave empire and go to forests without holding your duties-Tr), that only leads to your rebirth and then too you should fight against these same enemies (mind etc) ! A man with behaviour unworthy of his stature is as bad as a downfallen one. An unbefitting low resource is as bad as a remnant of a spittle. Unconsumable food taken in cannot preserve the strength of even a mighty person. Undeserving thoughts cannot enhance or even preserve the stature of a person like you. Hence, get ready to fight out that peculiar battle now it self. Try to delink yourself from this manifest entities and identify yourself with that unmanifest supreme soul. And indoing that, your deeds are the only help to you. If you lose this war, king, who knows what your fate will be! But, if you win, you are surely going to accomplish the goals of life. Thus understanding the system of coming (birth) and going (death) of the beings, you stabilise yourself and take up the duty of ruling this ancestral empire of ours. Fortunately for us, the sinner Duryodhana met his end in the war along with all his associates. Fortunately for you and from the fortune of Droupadi's hair-plaits too, you got this great empire. Without looking down the achievements obtained through severe labour, go on ruling the empire. Go for performing Ashvmedham with grand gifts and alms. We all alongwith the matchless Krishna, are at your service. What else can any king have?' Bheema once more roared out his displeasure and stopped.


Yudhishthira heard Bheema's sharp words. He regarded all his brothers and said to Bheema. 'Brother! You praise the achievement of empire and its ruling. This is all due to your being subdued by the great mental afflictions like unhappiness, lapse,arrogance,passion, unperturbedness, delusion, attachment, arousement and belief in your physical might. Free yourself from these , the terrible greed too and become calm and happy. Even a king ruling the entire earth has only one stomuch to feed for him. Then, why are you all praise about the earth and empire ? Greed is such a gigantic and endless thing that you cannot satisfy it in a day or a month or year or even by the end of your life. Fire flames up when supplied with fuel but soon subsides if no supply is given. Similarly, the fire hunger of the stomuch too consumes whatever much you feed but can keep itself calm with whatever little you feed too. Thus, you satisfy your hunger with a limitted food. Even a wise man too makes a lot of food for his one stomuch. Bheema! You try to win your stomuch with all the earth now you have at your disposal! That is really a victory to you.You praised a lot about humans, their wealth, their luxuries and their powers over them. Even weaker people of less resorces and powers too are attaining higher abodes. The acquisition(Yoga=gaining new things) and security (Kshema=safety of the existing things) of the state, its virtue and non-virtue, all these are burdening you. You free yourself from that heavy load first. Take refuge only with renunciation. A tiger kills many animals for its food. Many other low animals, greedy of their subsistence, depend on the tiger for their food. If one procures, holds and enjoys all the objects of the senses and then claims that his act amounts to renouncement, what a fool can believe that! It is a perversion of intellect, simply. Who really stave off the hell in favour of the heaven are those simple people who subsist on leaves, who (Ashma-kutta - Ashma=stone, kutta=grind) grind their grains with two small stones, who (Dantholuukhala - dantha=teeth, ulookhala=mortar) grind their grain with their teeth, those who subsist on water and those who subsist on air. A king may be fortunate enough to rule the entire earth single-handedly. But so much blessed and accomplished is not he, as one that can treat gold and pebbles alike. Do not bother yourselves with efforts for wordly achievements, shed off your desires, cast off your attachments and thereby attain an undisturbed status here and in the next world too. While those devoid of greed or attachment are happy, why do you greedily think of attachments? You will become free from your false arguments once you can leave away all your attachments. We allhear and know about the two courses for the dead - one, Pithriyaana and Devayaana. Those who stick to the path of Pithriyaana do involve in performance of sacrifices. Those who like the Devayaana do cast of their attachments. Great sages practise severe penances, celibecy and recital of Vedas. After leaving their mortal bodies, they are attaining such status that death cannot rule over them. Attachment itself is a bond in this world. Added to that, one's duties are one more bond. Only he who frees himself from these two strong bonds will attain that coveted highest status. People often quote the beatiful verse sung by Janaka, the great king who was devoid of dualties, who was free from all the worldly bonds and who was experiencing salvation even while he was alive. 'My wealth is immeasurable and unlimited but I own nothing for myself. Even as the city of Mithila is burning, nothing of me is burnt.' What a great sense of renunciation! A person of a low mind that trods over the terraces of the palace of cleverness, cannot see and understand those who lament about the loss of people deserving or undeserving it, just like a man on the top of a summit of a hill cannot see the men down there on the ground. He who can decide between the right and the wrong is the one really able to see. Intellect is that which can visualise even what is not visible or known. He begets honours, who understands and is influenced by the teachings of great souls that understood the science of Aathman and that identify themselves with the Brahman. When one understands the diversification of the creation is all but one unity from one unique source and that all this expansion of creation also emanates from the same origin, then he is said to have attained identification of himself with the Brahman. Only such people can attain that highest status. Not those without penance or those without high intellect or those without true knowledge, can reach that status.Everything rests on intellect, for us, the humans.' Yudhishthira said this much in negationwith Bheema's words and sat quiet and sad.


Vyshampaayana continued to Janamejaya how Yudhishthira's brothere were trying to console him.
'Arjuna heard Yudhishthira's words denouncing Bheema's rightly spoken speech. He felt as much annoyed for decrying Bheema's words as sorry for Yudhishthira's pitiable state. He suppressed his feelings, composed himself, thought for a while and said to Yudhishthira. "Sir! There is an ancient episode about the Videha king Janaka, whom you mentioned a while ago. That is contained in the dialogue between him and his wife. That is all about what she said to her husband on an occasion when she felt sad about seeing the king decided to live by begging disowning his ancestral kingdom. Janaka once became so overpowered by delusion (The original word is Moudhya=foolishness. Some texts read Moundyam=tonsuring.-Tr) that he deserted the pious course of sacrifices meant for a king, he deserted his wife, he deserted his children, he desrted his wealth comprising gold, gems and jewels. He simply sat with a fist-full of parched grain, with all his desires and envy cast off. He wanted to persue the life of a pauper, subsisting on begging. His wife obtained solitude with him and logically spoke to him, showing and concealing her anger and grief every now and then. 'King! How could you disown your kingdom rich in monies and grains and how could you choose to hold the bowl to beg to live? Does this fidt of parched corn befit your stature? Your earlier vow is in one way and your present act is in quite a different way. On one hand, you are abandoning a rich kingdom and on the other hand you seem to be pleased with a little thing like this. With what you choose to do, you turned incompetent to support your duties towards guests, manes,sages and deities. All your labour has gone watse. You only seem to be renouncing asif after becoming bereft of your gods,sages,manes and guests, since they themselves left you away, disliking your disowning of your deeds. Having been the supporter of thousands of Vedic scholars and learned people, now you want to depend on themselves for your subsistence. By disowning your resplendent wealth, you look as wretched as a dog. Today, your imbecile act of this makes your mother as bad as an issueless and your wife Kousalya as ruined as a husbandless woman. Many Kshathriyas, interested in their own virtue and desirous of accomplishing it through you,serve you devotedly, but they all now become dull and miserable, only burdened with futile labour of years and years. Given that nobody is independent of the destiny and every being is not sure of salvation, by rendering all their hopes unsuccessful like this, what abodes do you attain, king? As you wish to abandon your duly wed wives to live alone in solitude, you are committing a great sin. As such sinner, can you be sure of your success in this world or in the next one? Truly, you lose both. What reason can there be that you wish to avoid the wealth of kingdom that offers you garlands, scents, ornaments, attire and all other luxuries, only to choose untimely renunciation ? You have till now lived like a large and holy water tank that supports all the people. Till now you have been reckoned as a large tree that supports many other beings. Having enjoyed such an honoured status, now you want to fall upon other others to live! Observe that even a large and strong elephant, if it does not resist for its own life, is badly eaten by beasts and worms. Then, what to talk of a nondescript person like you, in your assumed status? It is alright you wanted to renounce and took up this staff (Thridanda) and tumbler (Kamandalu). If somebody steals your staff or breaks your tumbler , what do you feel against him? Also, think of the reasonability in your actions. You say that you renounced all. And you held a fistful of parched carn. Doesn't it mean attachment to it and thereby attachment to all ? Isn't it a downfall to you? What is the meaning of your renunciation, then? If you argue that this fistfull corn are for supporting your life, and that this grain and this kingdom are both same to you, your pledge of renunciation itself waters down, as your inability to detach from outward things can never make you able to detach yourself from the inner bonds. Then, What am I to you and who are you to me what is your mercy upon me? If you really show mercy upon me, please rule your kingdom as long as you are destined to do so. enjoy as before all such luxuries as mansions,beds,vehicles,dresses and ornaments. Is such a renunciation really a renunciation if adopted by one, seeing it adopted, on one hand, by the ruined people, the destitutes, those bereft of all the relatives and, on the other hand, adopted by really detatched souls interested only in the ultimate bliss? Compare between these two, one that always gives and one that alwaya takes. Who ranks better? you know it very well. Those alms and donations offered to those who always go on seeking from others, are as bad as an oblation improperly and mistakenly delivered into a wild conflagration. A fire never dies down before consuming whatever is put into it. Similarly, a begging Braahmana too cannot become calm (subduing all his inner foes) untill he can overcome all his mental obstacles ( but not by simply the act of begging). Offering of food to the pious people is the stablest form of (support to) life in this world. If a king himslef ceases to be such an offeror, wherefrom do the seekers of salvation come? It is the food that supports the households. It is the food given by the households that supports the mendicants. It is from the food that the life exists. He that offers the food is offering verily the life, in fact. Those who abandon domesticity and resort to renunciation too finally depend upon the households. Thus, the existence and welfare of the monks who are rich in forbearance and peace, rest on the households. A renouncer is not really said to be a renouncer simply because he abandons all acts or because he foolishly abandoned or because he is engaged in begging. True renouncer is one who, only after fulfilling all his previous responsibilities till the end, systematically attains the status of renounciation,for becoming a mendicant with no interest in luxuries. A true renouncer looks like an attached one but he is in reality a detached person. He is free from all bonds. He is devoid of pride or mineness. A friend and a foe are both equal to him. Such a renouncer befits and attains salvation. But never those who take up the appearance of monks by tonsuring their heads and wearing saffron attire, just for the purpose of gaining alms. They remain bound by the bonds and spend their life waste in procuring things from others. Those who abandon the study of Vedas, the studies of finances ( Vaartha)and their upcoming children and take up staff and tumbler to become monks, are really foolish people of the worst order. As long as the mind is not free from the viles of lust and desire, a saffron attire is just an implement to pose themselves as pious or great. It only serves as a method of living on others, for those who show their tonsured heads as a token to declare themselves as monks. King! You subdue your senses. You support all kinds of monks of the fourth order, be they saffron dressers, be they nude, be they deer-skin wearers, be they tonsured, be they wearers of locked hairs. That makes you a winner of all abodes. If a person engages himself in serving and worshipping Agni as per his preceptor's guidance, engages himself in performance of sacrifices with suitable presents and gifts, and engaes himself in giving alms everyday, can any other person be shown as more in leading than him in the path of virtue?' Dear brother Yudhishthira! Janaka was thus taught by a woman, his wife, like this. When such a wellknown phylosopher like Janaka was subject to delusion, was to be taught by others and was to correct himself regarding renunciation from empire, what can we speak of others? You too, do not fall into such delusion. Please enlighten yourself . We too shall, as the ancestors did, attain the higher abodes, by strictly following the path of virtue, by giving alms generously, by being kind to all, by casting of lust and anger, by evincing proper interest in protection of the people, by observing the penances as far as possible, by duly serving the elders and the learned, by being truthful, by devoting to attain knowledge about the Brahman, and by propitiating the deities,sages, manes and guests according to the prescribed procedures.' Arjuna concluded his address, which seemed to have no effect on the silent Yudhishthira.


Yudhishthira at last again spoke to Arjuna, but he did not loosen his earlier stand that made his brothers worried. He said to Arjuna. 'Dear Arjuna! I know all about the sciences (Apara sciences = like codes and scriptures) that pertain to this worldly affairs and sciences ( Para science = abstract knowledge) that tell about the supreme soul (Aathma). These sciences are such a lot of a mixture and confusion that one needs to carefully apply one's logic in understanding and deciding about them. I could so acquire the true meaning of the doctrines mentioned in these sciences. As far as you are considered, you are the first grade archer and the best class warrior. Valour and heroism are your subjects but you are in no case one for studying of sciences and for attaining their true meaning. If you really possessed such true knowledge and if you are able to touch the minuter aspects of virtues, you wouldn't have tainted me like this. But, your love and concern towards your aggrieved brother did not miss my notice. I am extremely pleased with your devotion and care for me. We can nowhere see a living being that can equal with Brahma or Shiva or Vishnu. You too are a matchless warrior among the fighting class. The strength that is perceived in Indra or Vaayu or Krishna is seen in you and Bheema too. None can stand as an equal hand to you either in wonderful fights or in hitting the remotest targets. None in the three worlds is as good as you in possession of divine missiles, in knowledge of warfare and war codes and in skills of fighting with every weapon in use. But, your supremacy is in weaponery and war-linked aspects only. But, when the question is about virtue and its subtle and minute aspects, those topics are beyond the reach of your intellect and you can never get to their essence. You have not served the learned enough to hear the narrow and broad presentations of various sciences of virtue from such exponents. As such, you are not justified in discarding my comprehension about them. All the learned men unanimously concluded that there are three aspects of virtue and salvation, namely, penance, renunciation and realisation of (abstract) Brahman, all the three in the order of their superiority. Arjuna! You spoke that nothing is greater or more important than monies (Artha). No, monies are not the prime thing. I will explain to you how my words are true. Sages leading a pious life who spend their entire life in recital and penances are attaining higher abodes of unmoved status. Many pious people who do not know the thing as enemies, spend their life in forests in recitaland leave their mortal bodies in the very forests. Some learned men who contained their senses took up the Northern (=renunciation, here) path of virtue casting off the ignorance coming from defective intellect and they attained the abodes eligible for people who accoplished renunciation. But, those who adopt the Southern (= of deeds and duties, here) path os virtue went to funeral yard ( into the cycles of births and deaths) only. The course obtained by the renouncers for salvation is undefinable. The prime instrument to attain that status is yoga ie subduing of mind's activities. That great course is so very difficult to explain it in words as to comprehend too. Scholars become enlightened with a settled intellect after looking into each and every branch of science with a question that if the essence of realisation exists in this one or that one or that one. Those who searched beyond the Vedic doctrines and the studies of Aaranyakas ( the third of the four segments of the Vedas, namely, Samhitha, Braahmana, Aaranyaka and Upanishath.) could not find any real essence more than a strong wood in the trunk of a banana tree. Some rejecting the solitary status of the soul argue that it resides in the physical body made of the five elements and it is perceivable as engaged with some attributives like liking or disliking etc. But, in fact, the knowledge about the soul is very subtle. The soul is not something that can be expressed in words. Nor is it cognizable to the eye. It becomes and acts as the life in the beings, purely due to ignorance (counter-intelligence) which is the cause for all deeds. One should divert one's mind from the worldly things towards the soul, tame one's freed, subdue one's mind, abandon all one's deeds and cast off ego and mineness (Mamakaara) to become blissful. This path of the learned can be known only by subtle and keen intellect. such being the case, how could you say that wealth of monies (Artha) is the best of all, which in fact is the worst of the detrimental elements in the world? Even the great scholars of wordly sciences who were thoroughly immursed in performance of sacrifices and other deeds always too, opined that wealth of monies is the worst malefactor to man. Besides this, even some eminent scholars with rich traces of culture (Vaasana) from past births, endowed with reason and knowledge too,look foolish labouring themeselves with arguments about the soul that it does not exist, but cannot grasp a reasonable conclusion of the right arguments. We see many orators moving around everywhere in the world lecturing among groups of people about what they mistakenly believe to be truth. Arjuna! When we ourselves of this much education and knowledge, cannot understand properly about the things pertaining to the worldly affairs, who can then really be able to do so? Simply saying, a person of true realisation attains detachedness (Mahath is the original word here, interpreted as Vyraagya )through penance, attains the Supreme Soul (Brahman. (Mahath is the original word here too, interpreted as Brahman) with cleansed intellect and attains bliss through renunciation (Thyaaga).



As Yudhishthira's brothers and Droupadi were hard prevailing upon him to refrain from his intention of renunciation but failed in convincing him, a great sage Devasthaana intervened and talked to Yudhishthira in a logical and illustrative manner.
'Yudhishthira! You denied to accept what Arjuna said that monies (Artha) is the best and foremost thing. I will show how he was correct in saying so. Please listen carefully. King! You are known to have no enimies at all. You won this empire, as a whole, with much effort and strain, all within the path of virtue. Obtaining the empire as a result of that great endeavour, you are in no way justified to renounce from its administration now. The ladder to attain the ultimate is of four steps. The course it prescribes aims at the ultimate Brahman. You are expected to ascend the ladder step by step. Do it the same way. Hence, Yudhishthira! Rule the empire. Perform sacrifices with huge gifts and donations. As a king that is way for you to perform sacrifices. For some others, only recital of Vedas is their sacrifice. For smoe others, knowledge and realisation are their sacrifices. You properly and thoroughly learn from the sayings of the Vykhaanasas ( sect of sages ) about those who apply themselves to the staunch course of performance of deeds and penance. If anyone wishes to perform sacrifices involving monies only for the sake of obtaining more and more monies, such a person had better not wished to perform the sacrifice at all. Because, persuing such a policy of improper relation of monies with sacrifices, only leads to accumulation of flaw and sin. Some people procure huge lots of monies and other resources in the name of sacrifices. That is deridable but those cannot see the sin in that. And one who uses that money for any ineligible activity or holds from using for a befitting activity is as a bad siiner as one who kills a baby in the womb. Even the course of doantion of alms too is not that easy to follow rightly, unless one is wellversed with what is proper and what is improper. The way of cleansing of such sins is not that simple, either.

'The god created all the things like monies, only for the purpose of using in sacrifices. The Vedas prescribe performance of sacrifices as a prime duty. We should follow that and protect the institution of sacrifice. Thus, everything is meant to be used only for sacrifices. The element of desires (Kaama) is always secondary to sacrifices. Indra could become the ruler of the gods only by attaing great glory through performance of sacrifices using lots of gold and gems. He shines as the Lord of the heaven! Thus, every thing is to be spent only for sacrifices. The Lord shiva became Lord of Lords (Deva-deva) only by excercising such a sacrifce with all the beings and finally himself too as oblations in it. He gloriously shines now pervading all the universe with his splendour and fame. King Maruththa, the son of Avikshith, exceeded even Indra with his virtue and persoanl glory. In his sacrifice, all the implements and utensils used were golden, as if the goddess of wealth Lakshmi personified herself in it. You heard of the famous emperor Harishchandra. The pious king surpassed all sorrows by performing sacrifices and amassed great virtues. Though he was a mortal by birth, he far exceeded Indra in wealth and prosperity. Hence, you should use all you have in sacrifices, for all that we have is meant only to perform sacrifices with.

Sage Devasthaana continued to Yudhishthira. 'Yudhishthira! In relevance to this context, there is an ancient episode which was a dialogue between Indra and Brihaspathi. As we were taught about it, Brihaspathi thus told Indra. ' Happiness is the heaven at its best. Satisfaction is the ultimate pleasure. Nothing is beyond contentment. Contentment stands well established. It cannot be dislodged by others or other things. When a person withdraws his mind from all the desires just as a turtile withdraws its parts into under its shell, then in no time does his mind pleases by meditating upon the soul itself. He who is not averse to the world, whom the world does not avert, and who subdues his lust and anger,will see the soul within himself. When one does not mentally or orally or physically harm or trouble any other being, when one does not entertain any desire for himself either mentally or orally or physically, then he will attain the supreme soul (Brahman). King! Thus, all the people succeed in attaing the vision of the soul depending on what their duty is and how they perform it. You too see that and understand what yur present duty is. Some say that peace is better. some praise effort (for doing things or attaining results). Some others vote for mental meditation. Some others accord either one or both. Some consider neither id good enough. Some praise only the sacrifices. Some consider renunciation as the best. Some opine that donation of alms is the best. Some others say that reception of alms is the best. some people abandon everything and simply immurse in meditation. Some strongly support the only view of their upholding that the best thing to do is the administration of an empire and protecting the people, even by splitting the lands or killing the people. Thus, the thoughts of the learned too vary depending on their comprehension. Seeing all these diverse propositions, the learned people thus decided that harmlessness towards all the beings is accepted as the best course of virtue by the good people. The Svaayambhuva Manu prescribed that the prime and preferred conduct of virtue applicable to all people comprise - harmlessnes, truth, discretion,mercy,forbearance, obtaining offspring only from wedded wives, fear of doing unworthy things, and being devoid of luring.'
'Yudhishthira! Did you comprehend the meaning of this teaching of Brihaspathi? You try to abide by this teaching. A king should rule his subjects making them follow the path of virtue always. He himself should stick to the path of the same virtue. He should contain his sensories. He should equally regard things or people but not as preferred or detested. He should know the essence of the doctrines of virtue. He should consume the remainder food from the sacrifices. He should always aim at correcting and punishing the erring people and at protecting the right people. He should diligently perform his tasks only through the means prescribed by the scriptures. After completing excercise of his duties like that, he should entust his empire to his sons and should dwell in the forests subsisting on the forest produce only. A king who adopts this way of live is said to be a realking of virtuous conduct. He will attain the best yields in this world and the next one too. I opine that a king will attain, through such practice of his prescribed duties, even the salvation which everybody knows to be very difficult to attain and to be tangled with many hindrances too. Many kings earlier, who followed the virtue, who were bound by truth, who donated great alms, who possessed such qualities as mercy, who were devoid of traits like anger and greed, who devoted themselves to protection of their subjects,who always inclined in establishment and maintenence of all the virtuous institutions, and who were ready to fight battles if necessary for the sake of Braahmanas or the cows, attained the status of ultimate abodes. It is only through the strength of virtues amassed through this carefull and blemishless practice of the prescribed duties that the gods and demi-gods like Rudras, Vasus, Aadithyas, Saadhyas and some saintly kings too, attained the heaven.' Devasthaana concluded his address which , though logical and full of importance, seemed to have little effect on Yudhishthira's pensive mood.


Seeing Yudhishthira still as low-spirited as earlier, Arjuna talked to him once again. 'Brother! You know everything about virtue and duties. Following your duty as a Kshathriya, you killed your enemies and obtained your empire. Then, why do you feel sorry about that? For Kshathriyas, killing and dying in the war is the best duty. You think of that duty which is superior even to performance of many sacrifices. For Braahmanas, it is their duty to die in the practice of penance or renunciation. As holy as this is our duty of killing and dying in wars. You know that our Kshathriya code is terribly cruel. It involves weapons and lives. Death obtained duly fighting a battle with weapons is our ultimate aim. Even a Braahmana that adopts the life of a Kshathriya is respected in the world ( due to the merit in it). In fact, this Kshathriya race and their duty emanated from the Braahmana source itself. A standard Kshathriya code never prescribes that the sole duties of a Kshathriya are renunciation, penance, sacrifices or a life depending on others. Specifically, a Kshathriya's heart is hard like a diamond. It should not give place to sorrow and fear. As you yourself a master of all these things and you know best about the low and high in the world, you use your own expert intellect to decide what is right to you and cast away this sorrow from your heart. The tough task of taming down and annihillating your enemies is voctoriously over in a way according to our code. Now what remains for you to do is administration of the empire and performance of sacrifices. Indra, the ruler of the celestials, is the son of Brahma's offspring Kashyapa. But, by his deeds, he became a true Kshathriya. He killed eight hundred and ten of his kinsmen who were of improper conduct. That seemingly cruel act was widely praised and we heard that he attained the chiefship of the gods from that act. Hence, you too, king, shed off this sorrow and engage yourself like Indra in performance of sacrifices with huge gifts and donations. What has happened has happened like that only because it was ordained so by the destiny. Nobody can trangress the destiny. Given all this, you must not subject yourself to sorrow like this.' Arjuna finished his short speech.


Arjuna's words too did show little effect on Yudhishthira's state of mind. He remained silent without answering. Then, sage Vyaasa began to talk to Yudhishthira. 'My boy! Arjuna rightly spoke the truth. The duties of domesticity are approved by the scriptures and it is the foremost of all too. What is unknown to you about virtue and duties? You meticulously follow your own prescribed duty as a victorious king. It is now improper for you to retire to the forests abandoning the empire. Since it is a domestic that supports all the other orders besides deities, guests, manes and dependents, you first support all them. Even the birds,animals and other creatures are supported only by a domestic. That makes him the foremost in the society. The practice of the duties of this order (Gaarhasthyam) is very difficult out of the four orders. It cannot be properly practised by people of feeble sensories. You practice that order now. you studied the Vedas thoroughly. Your penence too is great. You must only stick to administer your ancestral empire now. A Braahmana will attain the accomplishment of goals through - penance, sacrifice, recital,education, subsisting by begging, control over sensories, meditation, solitude, contentment and acquiring knowledge to the best of his level. And a Kshathriya - you know anyway but I will tell you - becomes accomplished through - sacrifice, education, recital, diligence,enthusiasm, unsatiation towards wealth, chastising(Danda), royalty, protection of the subjects, well-practised penance, amassing of huge lots of monies, and spending of the wealth by applying it to various eligible purposes. We hear that these are the best duties of a king and that they will fetch suitable fruits in this world and the other one too. Of all these duties, chastising is said to be the foremost. Strength always resides in a Kshathriya and that strength resides in the chastising power. Regarding these ways of accomplishments of a Kshathriya, Brihaspathi once sung these verses. ' The earth swallows down two people like a snake gulps the rats. One, a king who does not resist and fight his adversaries and two, a Braahmana who could not renounce form domesticity.'. The king Sudyumna became famous by acquiring the highest abodes through his chastising power like Prachethas' son Daksha.'

Yudhishthira asked Vyaasa, 'Sir! How did Sudyumna attain high status? I wish to hear his story.'

Vyaasa told. 'This ancient episode is often quoted by our teachers. Hear and understand how a king's punishing power, if used properly, leads him to high status.
'Once there lived two brothers Shankha and Likhitha in two separate hermitages on the banks of river Baahuda. Both the brothers were stubborn in their penances and vows. Both their beautiful hermitages were rich in trees with ever-borne fruits and flowers. Oneday the younger brother Likhitha incidentally went to his eldr brother Shankha's hermitage when Shankha was away from his hut. Awaiting his brother's return, Likhitha in the meanwhile casually knocked off some ripe fruit from the trees and began to eat them nonchalantly. while he was eating, Shankha returned and saw his brother eating some fruit. He asked his younger brother, 'Where did you take these fruit from? Why are you eating them?' Likhitha bowed and replied with a smile that he knocked them off the trees there in the hermitage. Shankha was angry with his brother. He said, 'You resorted to theft by taking the fruit by yourself, those without being offered or given to you. Go to the king at once and tell him that you took a thing that was not given to you. Ask him to immediately award a suitable punishment deciding your theft as an offence.'

Likhitha obeyed his brither's words and went to king Sudyumna who after learning the sage's arrival through his men, came forward by foot to receive him. The asked the celebrated code-maker (In dvaapara age, the prevelant code was the one made by Shankha and Likhitha) Likhitha, 'Sir! What makes you come here? Tell me the purpose of your visit. Believe that it is served.'

Likhitha answered king Sudyumna. ' King! You promised that the purpose of my visit would be served. Do not deviate from your promise. I committed an offence by taking and eating fruit from my elder brother's trees without asking him and without being offered. Please punish me suitably for that offence of theft.'

Sudyumna said. 'Sage! If you consider a king to be competent enough to punish you for your supposed offence, then he is equally competent enough to permit you to do the act you report to have done by yourself. You confessed your act and guilt. Consider that your act is approved by the king. Hence no punishment is needed. You may ask for any other thing you wish. '

Vyaasa continued to Yudhishthira. Despite the king's prevailing upon, Likhitha did not swerve from his insistence for punishment. Sudyumna too ordered that the sage's hands should be cut off and went away. Likhitha's hands were chopped off and he went to his brother Shankha, suffering from terrible pain. He said to his elder brother. 'Brother! My intellect failed me then. I did not mean any offence. Anyway, I was punished by the king for that unjust act. You must forgive me for my fault.'

Shankha replied. 'Boy! I have nothing against you. I do not blame you. You too need not blame me. Our lineage is famous in the world as great and nice. Coming from tha lineage, you trespassed the rules of our right conduct. That made me make you go for chstisement by the king properly. Quickly go to river Baahuda and propitiate the deities, sages and manes as usual. Do not tempt for unvirtuous deeds. Five crimes are said to be henious crimes - killing a Braahmana, drinking wines, theft, molesting a teacher's wife, and moving around with those people who committed them. Of these, theft is the worst with no match to it, barring the killing of a Braahmana. For all the criminals committing those crimes, corporal punishment is prescribed. Especially for thieves, that is the only punishment,but nothing else. Be one is a Braahmana or a Kshathriya or a Vyshya or Shoodra, one must be suitably punished for one's wanton offences. Those who commit sins and crimes should get punishment from the king. So chastised by the king, they are cleansed of their sins and reach the heaven equally with the virtuous people. As you received chastisement from a king, you made our clan as a whole a pious one.'

Likhitha did as told by Shankha. He went to the river Baahuda and dipped in its water, beginning to do his routine worship. Instantly, his hands sprouted out from his trunk and his two beautiful hands looked as if they were never severed from his body at all. He was bewildered and ran to his brother to report that. Shankha said to his younger brother. 'Likhitha! It is i who did this. I did so with the powers of my penance. Do not mind this. All this si so destined for us.'

Likhitha was surprised and asked. 'Brother! When your penances are so powerful to give back the chopped off hands to me, why did not you yourself cleanse me of my sin then here itself ? What is the reason in sending me to the king?'

Shankha smiled and said. 'Yes. I could have done so. But, I am not empowered to chastise the sinners as a king is. Sudyumna ia s pious king. He is known for his judicious punishments. He punished you rightly and he made himself pious. You obtained a king's punisment and became pious along with your manes.'

Vyaasa continued to Yudhishthira.'Thus, king! The king Sudyumna did that wonderful thing of chastising a sinner and obtained higher status. That is the prescribed way for a Kshathriya to live. He should rule the people. He that acts otherwise will be said to be of unseemly conduct. A kshathriya should rule and punish but not tonsure and renounce. What Arjuna said is as true as the truth itself. You come out of this sorrow and become your own self again.'


Vyshampaayana continued his narration to Janamejaya. Vyaasa then again began to talk to Yudhishthira. ' Yudhishthira! Your celebrated brothers lived in the forests for a good many years. What desires did cherish in their minds then? Let all those become true now. Let them obtain all their long-cherished pleasures as you rule your empire like Yayaathi. After that much troubled life in forests, let them enjoy luxuries peacefully now. You shall retire to the forests after accomplishing the goals of virtue(Dharma), desire(Kaama) and resources (Artha) alongwith your brothers. You may retire after freeing yourself from your indebtedness to the deities, manes and seekers. You perform the sacrifices Sarvamedham and Ashvamedham which will yield to you the highest abodes. You perform sacrifices and make your brothers too do the same with huge gifts and alms, thus gaining fame and virtue. We too are aware of what you said about monies and retiring to forests. But, listen to us and do as we advise. That makes you hold to the path of virtue. Kshathriyas who are good at employing their policies and good at virtue, will establish peace and order in society by defeating those who encroach or usurp unto others' wealth. For doing that, a king must use his punishing powers. To employ that punishing power, the king should have a solid comprehension of all the things. A good comprehension is the best source of accomplishment. Comprehension is possible through various factors (Prammana) like evidence(Prathyaksha), inference(Anumaana), analogy(Upamaana), doctrine (Aaagama), example (Arthaapaththi), tradition (Aythihyam), doubt (Samshaya), conclusion (Nirnaya), Teachings (Ukthi), deduction (Nigamana), the function of all of these factors and the result of all of these factors. Evidence and inference are the two prime factors in deciding a conclusion about any thing. One who is good at employing these factors only can be an expert of applying his chastising powers. Otherwise, if a king who is not an expert of their application but uses his chastising powers, that will only lead to his own destruction. If a king applies his intellect that is polished with knowledge of doctrines, assesses the time and place for action, he does not incur any sin even if he bears with the actions of thieves. A ruler exacting one-sixth of the income of the people as tax but fails in their protection attracts one-fourth of all their sins. You must understand that, a king devoid of anger,fear and lust, equally protecting all his subjects with the shield of his paternal care, applying his intellect cultured with knowledge of doctrines, and not deviating from his duties, does not incur any sin even if he violates some of the codes of virtue. Also, if a king fails to serve the rightly intended purpose of his acts due to disastrous factors out of his control, he is not said to be tainted with failure in virtue. Enemies must be tamed as soon as possible, employing clever strategies. No company with unvirtuous people is to be entertained. The subjects should be made to follow the course of virtue. A king should respectfully honour valourous heroes,scholars and elders , Vedic scholars and wealthy people in particular. Only well learnt people should be employed in affairs pertaining to virtue and legalties. In deciding the strategies and legal affairs too, only such scholars should be employed who are masters of factors (Pramaana) and the doctrine of logic. A king's intellect enriched with industry in logics, codes of virtue and codes of chastisement will win even the three worlds. In affairs pertaining to sacrifices and other related affairs, only such scholars are to be employed who are experts in all aspects of sacrifices, who are masters of Vedic scriptures and who are rich in polished intellect. In all administrative affairs, such scholars are to be employed who are wellversed with the theory and prctice of the four regal doctrines namely, Logics (Aanveekshakee), the three Vedas (Thrayee), information and discretion (Vaarthaa) and codes of chastisement (Danda). A king should not solely trust in a single person, howsoever learned and capable he might be. A batch of scholars, consisting not too many either, should be entrusted with the affairs of the empire. A king is said to be unruly and cruel and he incurs sin too, if he fails in protecting his subjects, or, if he is egoistic, or immoral, or arrogant, or jealous. If a king's subjects suffer troubles from disastrous factors like famine or attacks by robbers, all that lawlessness is usually attributed to the king himself. But, a king is not tainted with sin in special cases like when his well-made efforts fail despite their being applied with sufficient support of strategy, policy and unanimity. As is common to all of us, the manual efforts made by the king too, sometimes succeed and sometimes fail due to destiny. But, a sincere and wholehearted effort on the part of the king absolves him of any flaw.'

Vyaasa continued. 'The example of Hayagreeva is often quoted in deciding about king's failures and their resultant effect on the king. Hear his story. He was a valourous king. He was an expert of accomplishing his tasks easily. He once fought alone with his enemies in the battle and killed them. In the same battle, he too was killed in the end. But, having been a celebrated ruler in protecting his subjects and a valourous hero of great prowess , he amassed great lot of virtue despite his defeat and he attained the heaven where he stays blissfully. Having been dedicatedly devoted to his duties and an undeterring slayer of his enemies in wars, notwithstanding being killed in the war by his adversaries , Hayagreeva attained heaven and stays there blissfully, as a result of rightly doing what was within his best powers . Devoid of pride, he faced his attacking enemies in wars and fell dead hurt by his enemies'weapons. But, due to the merit of his dedication towards his duties and labouring to his utmost powers in his efforts to serve the right causes, he attained the heaven of the heroes and now stays there blisssfully. The great king Hayagreeva now stays blissfully in heaven after succesfully performing the sacrifice of war wherein - the bow is the pole (to which the goat is tied), the bow-string is the rope ( with which the goat is tied to the pole), arrows are the spoons (Sruk), sword is the ladel (Sruva), blood is ghee, chariot is altar, battle is fire, and the four army-wings (chariots, elephants, horses and men) are four participants (Hothris) offering oblations. In the fire of that great sacrifice of war, he poured the lives of his enemies as oblations. He underwent the consummation ablution of offering his own lives in the end. Thus, he cleansed himself of all his flaws and sins, and attained heaven where he stays blissfully. He spent his life in protecting his empire and subjects with his policies employed with his intellect. He kept on performing sacrifices always. He did not mind his personal interests as long as he was king. Attaining such a great fame that spread throughout all the worlds, he attained heaven and stays there blissfully. He accomplished best possible results through celestial and human factors in his acts done with enthusiastic involvement and without any attachment to their yields. Due to that success and his celebrated rule of his empire, the virtuous king attained the heaven and stays there blissfully. He was a learned one. He renounced the interest towards the yields of his acts. He did everything with devotion and dedication. He did all that a human being should do within his best powers. Having led such a life, he attined that abode which befits the learned scholars that leave their bodies wilfully, and stays there blissfully. He learnt all the Vedas systematically. He studied all the doctrines. He administered his empire efficiently and virtuously. He made the people of all the four orders strictly adhere to their respective duties. After such a performance of his life as an ideal king, Hayagreeva attained heaven abd stays there blissfully. He won in many wars. He protected his subjects well. He drank the Soma in the sacrifices. He fully satisfied the best of the scholars with gifts and alms. He employed his chastising power on his people discretely. Thus exhibiting the performance of an ideal king, despite his defeat in his last war, Hayagreeva attained heaven and stays there blissfully. His character and conduct are worth eulogising and are praised by the learned and the heroes. With that conduct, the pious king accomplished in winning the heaven of the heroes and stays there blissfully.' Vyaasa paused.


Yudhishthira heard Vyaasa's words. He also observed that Arjuna was annoyed with his sorrowful mood. He addressed sage Vyaasa and said. 'Sage! Neither this empire nor these various luxuries please my mind. Bitter sorrow engulfs my soul. Hearing the weeps of the women bereft of their husband and sons, I am unable to control my grief. I believe all this is due to my flaw. I cannot be peaceful anyway.'

the sage heard Yudhishthira's words and said in reply. 'In this world, people cannot obtain the lost things or people either through sacrifices or other deeds. There is none that can bring back those and give to the aggrieved ones. Or, all we do is only the apparent instrument in getting something. In fact, man gets inturns and at the appropriate time, what the destiny ordains for him. It is not possible for anyone to obtain any benefits of any nature either by his own intellect or by his knowledge of doctrines. We see that even a naive person sometimes attains some benefits. It is time that is the only competent factor in serving benefits to people. Skills, knowledge, chants (Manthra) or medicines do not give right results when the time is not benevolent but the same things yield high results and shine with power when the time is benevolent. Time is the reason for powerful winds to blow; time is the reason for rains to shower from the clouds; time is the reason for lotuses and lillies to rise on water; time is the reason for trees in the forests to blossom; time is the reason for the nights to become dark and shining; time is the reason for the moon to become full. Without concurrence of time, the trees do not give flowers and fruits; without concurrence of time, the rivers do not flow fat full with water to the edge of their banks; without concurence of time, the birds, snakes,elephants and other beasts in the forests or on the forests cannot be at their best; without concurence of time, women cannot bear children; without concurence of time, cold or heat or rain do not occur. Unless it is the time for it, nobody takes birth; Unless it is the time for it, nobody dies; Unless it is the time for it, no child speaks; Unless it is the time for it, a boy does not become youth; Unless it is the time for it, a planted seed does not dprout out; Unless it is the time for it, the sun does not rise, Unless it is the time for it, the sun does not set; Unless it is the time for it, the moon does not increas or decrease; Unless it is the time for it, the sea with its great waves does not surge or shrink .'

'Yudhishthira! An ancient story of a king Senajith's sayings is often mentioned in this context. He sang these verses when he was in a bitter desolation. Hear them for your peace . 'How powerful is the course of time! It touches each and every person. It is due to the power of time that the people die ripe with age. It is only the feeling and belief of people that some people kill some other people and those some people are killed by yet another some people, but in fact no one kills another or no one is killed by another one. One person feels that someone is killing and another person feels that there is nobody to kill. In reality, the births and deaths of the beings are naturally destined by time. But alas! Everyone in this world cries at the loss of wealth or son or wife or parents, sinking into sorrow and tries to ward off the sorrow even as he knows that nothing is in his hands. O fool! Why do you ary about the crying people? See how sorrows are added to sorrow and troubles are added to trouble by sinking thus into grief. I myself do not belong to me; at the same time the entire world is mine too; as is this mine, so is this to all others - if one reaches this comprehension, one will never fall into delusion. Hundreds and thousands of sorrows and joys occur each day to a fool but not to a man of realisation. What is desirable and what is detestable to us varies with time in their turns. So do joys and sorrows come unto us one after the other. There is nothing such as pleasure in fact. What is all there is just sorrow. Greed gives rise to sorrow and cessation of sorrow is itself pleasure. Pleasures follow sorrows ans sorrows follow plesures. Never does one get sorrows all along or pleasures all the while. Pleasure means end of sorrow. Sometimes pleasure sprouts from sorrow. As such, one that wishes for the eternal bliss shall shed off this duo of pleasure and sorrow. Cessation pf pleasures is sorrow and cessation of sorrows is pleasure. One should find the source of sorrow and its resultant afflictions like loneliness. After finding out the siurce, one should cast it off, even tough it happens to be apart of his own body. We should receive whatever that comes to us, without subjecting the mind to disturbance, be it joy or sorrow or desirable or undesirable. By serving joys even in their small magnitudes to your wives and children, you will learn who pleases whom and how. The dullest people in the world and people with the highest realisation in the world are always happy and joyfull whereas the people in between suffer from afflictions like sorrow.'

'Yudhishthira! Thus sang king Senajith about time, joy and sorrow. You are neither dull nor sophomore. Conduct yourself to befit your knowledge of the highest quality. He that sinks into grief by some trouble or problem will never see what a joy is. There is no end to sorrows, since another sorrow springs out from one sorrow. Every person in this world gets by turns - joy and sorrow, wealth and poverty, gain and loss, and birth and death. As such, a man of stable intellect shall neither feel pleasure with them nor suffer sadness from them. It is said that the virtuous duty of a king is rwadiness to wars with right cause. Excellent administration of the kingdom, appropriate usage of punishing powers, expending monies for sacrifices and their related gifts, and donations made to eligible persons for right purposes are said to be the pious activities prescribed for a king. A king will surely attain heaven after leaving this body and stays there blissfully, if he is successful - in protecting the kingdom and subjects with correct usage of right policies, in keeping off his ego and personal interests for the sake of his duties, in performing suitable sacrifices according to prescribed procedures, and in treating all his subjects with equanimity. A king becomes pious and surely attains heaven after leaving this body and stays there blissfully despite his being defeated or killed in his last war, by learning all the Vedas and other doctrines, by subduing his enemies in the wars , by carefully protecting his people and his state, by performing many sacrifices and drinking the Soma juice during the sacrifices, by bringing up his sons as befitting descendents to the throne, by excercising his chastising powers judiciously, by keeping the people of all the four orders bound to their respective duties. Such a king is really the best king whose conduct is praised as ideal, even after his passing away, by his people,counsels and folks.' Vyaasa stopped and looked at Yudhishthira.

( Note:- In this 26th chapter, many verses of chapter 20 are repeated, some wholely and some with minor changes. Their context too looks difficult to link up. Some texts totally omitted this 26th chapter. But, for the sake of completeness of translation, I include this chapter too. -Tr )


Yudhishthira was silent for a while, still as pensive as earlier. At last, he said to Arjuna again. 'Arjuna! You repeatedly say that monies are foremoest for performing our duties. If you hold that nothing is superior to money, a person without money shall not attain any interests or pleasures or heaven. But, that is not really the case. Many people dedicate themselves to penance accomplishing their goals by sacrifices or recitals. We see even such people attain the eternal abodes. It is said that the real Vedic thinkers are those learned ones who adopt the life of sages and avidly stick to it throughout their life. You must understand that those that are devoted to recitals and others that crave for realisation are equally bound to the path of virtue. As we learn from the sayings of the Vykhaanasa (hermits) sages, all affairs are to be entrusted to people who are devoted to attainment of realisation. The groups of sagea Ajas, Prishnis, Sikathas, Arunas and Kethus all attained heaven through their adoption of the path of recital. I have already told you about the abodes reachable to those who pass to the heaven along the southern course ( ie performance of deeds) of the sun, by attaining accomplishment in alms, recitals,sacrifices and forbearance which is not that easy to attain. You see the northern course of the sun ( ie attaining realisation through renunciation) where taming of mind and other things are important. The abodes they reach are permanent from where there is no return. All the ancient scholars admired the northern course as the better of the two. Contentment arising out of highest level of detachment is verily the heaven at its best. Contentment is the ultimate bliss. Nothing is beyond contentment. It is not dislodged by other people or things. That eternal and ultimate accomplishment is reachable only to those devoid of pleasure and wrath.'

'Our elders often quote in this context these verses sung by king Yayaathi. ' When a person completely withdraws his mind from all desires even as all the objects are within his reach, just like a turtle withdrawing its parts into under its shell, When he never fears from anything, When nobody fears him, When he does not lure for anything, when he does not detest anything either, and when he does not either mentally or orally or physically mean any harm to any being, then he becomes identified with the supreme soul. Salvation comes into his reach who casts off such feelings as pride and delusion, and who avoids too much company, whereby he stands under the light of realisation about the soul. Arjuna! Listen carefully what I say. Some desire virtue. some desire conduct. Some other desire monies. If anybody wishes to earn money only for the sake of performance of the virtuous acts, he had better not desire to do such acts at all. The demerits of money are numerous and powerful too. Since a dependent too gets the attributes of the support, a person tamed by money possess all the demerits caused by money. I see it evidently and you too can see the same that abandoning even the avoidable things too is very difficult for the people that covet those things. It is rare to see goodness in people who have luring for monies as it is said that money comes usually through evil. Or, even if it comes through some other means, it is always detrimental to a human mind. He who has a shattered character and conduct not caring fears or troubles will resort to such an evil as killing a baby in the womb, even for a negligible benefit. A person amassing monies by suffering many difficulties always makes himself subject to fear and repentance despite his giving it away liberally to his dpendents. Those dependents that receive such money too always suffer staying under fear from such money as if from thieves or from stolen things. A man without money is devoid of all troubles. He is the happy one. Who blames him with what? But, on the other hand, he who amasses too much wealth is as offensive as hoarding the god's property ( Any wealth with a person beyond what is sufficient for three years food for him is treated as god's property and it is to be spent only for virtuous deeds like sacrifices. The commentator Neelakantha explains thus. -Tr). There is a famous verse about sacrifices which is usually sung by the experts of rituals during performances of sacrifices. It reads from the Vedas thus. 'Brahma created the monies and other resources only for the purpose of using for sacrifices. The human is created for performance of sacrifices and the human is to protect the institution of sacrifice. Hence, everything available is to be spent only for sacrifices. Desires take only second place to sacrifices. Monies not meant for desires are the best commendable resources in the world. Thus, Arjuna, the monies endowed by Brahma to the people even for their pleasures too is meant for sacrifices. As such, all those monies should be spent only for sacrifices. Everyone in this world knows that money does not stay permanently with anyone. That makes it obvious that people should spend their monies wholeheartedly for alms and sacrifices. For monies acquired, there are three courses,namely, enjoyment, donation and ruin. Donation of monies is said to be the best course, but the other two are not praised. For a person engaged in donating monies which is the best way to spend, what is the use or benefit of hoarding the monies? But, donation and alms are not such easy things to do as one wishes per his fancy. Those low intellectuals who donate to people that have fallen from their duties will suffer in the hell eating the shit for a full hundered years. Giving alms to an undeserving one is as much an offence as rejecting to a deserving one for thr right purpose. With such subtle aspects about knowledge of eligible and ineligible cases, even the practice of doctrines of donations and alms too is very difficult. Simply put, you must understand that there are two possible misuses of monies amassed. The first one, donating to the undeserving ones and the second, not donating to the deserving ones.' Yudhishthira talked thus to Arjuna, a little bit incoherently due to his disturbed mind.


Then, Yudhishthira again said to sage Vyaasa. 'Sir! The death of youngsters like Abhimanyu and Droupadi's sons, the death of dear relatives like Karna, Viraata, Drupada, Dhrishtakethu and many other kings of many countries makes me sad. My guilt of killing my own kinsmen due to my cruel greed for empire, leading to destruction of our own clan, burns my body and mind. Alas! I playfully rolled in the lap of my grandsire Bheeshma when I was a boy. But, I made him fall in the battle just for acquiring this paltry earth. When I saw my grandsire who resembles an old lion, hit by Arjuna's powerful bolt-like arrows all over his body right before Shikhandi and shivering in his chariot with pain, my mind was very upset. when I saw the old warrior that slew many fighters in wars, falling with his head towards east like a shaken hill, my grief knew no bounds. My grandfather was so famous for his valour that he fought against none other than the great Parashuraama himself in Kurukshethra for many days continuously. He singlehandedly defeated the group of almost all the kings during Svayamvaram of Kaashi king's daughters. With the fire of his Asthras, he burnt down the terrible emperror Ugraayudha into ashes. Knowing very well that Shikhandi was going to be the cause of his death, he did not kill him but instead fell to the arrows of Arjuna who shielded himself behind Shikhandi. The moment I saw my dear old grandfather fall on the ground with blood oozing from wounds everywhere on his body, I felt like sick to my heart. Just for the sake of this kingdom that does not last for more than a short while, I became such a cruel sinner to kill the elder of my family who himself brought us up and protected since our childhood.'

'Sage! What about our teacher Drona! He was a hero of matchless valour. He enjoyed respects of all the kings. I went to him in the battle field and told a lie about his son's death to kill such a great soul as he! Is there a sinner equal to me? When the preceptor asked me to tell truth if his son was alive or not, with a belief that I would speak only truth, what did I do? I took the pretext of a tusker killed just then and cheated him by telling him a lie that Ashvaththaama was killed. I resorted to incur such a sin to shed off my vow of truth for killing my teacher due to my greed over the kingdom and clearly lied to him that his son was killed, taking advantage of the killing of an elephant of the same name as his son's. Having treated my own teacher that abominably, what abodes will I go to?'

'More disgusting is Karna's killing. I provoked Arjuna to kill him. He was my elder brother but I did not know that. Nor did my mother disclose the fact to us during his lifetime. Eversince I heard it from my mother at the time of offering water of homages, my mind is like a boiling pot. Who ever could have committed a more appaling sin?'

'My dear Abhimanyu was like a young lion ambulating on the hills. Yielding to my greed for victory in the battle, I encouraged him to enter the great army under Drona's protection. Since then, I am unable to see straight into Arjuna's eyes. I feel as guilty as a sinful baby-killer does, when I look at Krishna or talk to him. I have all my sympathies to Droupadi who is bereft of all five of her five sons, now looking like earth from where five hills vanished. Her weeping increases my grief manifold.'

'I have been such a detestable sinner causing destruction of the entire world. I remain sitting as I am here now, fasting unto death. I will end my dirty life by sitting unto death (Praayopavesha). A cruel killer of all my elders, I should not take birth in any class of beings to cause destruction of that class again. Dear sages! I will not eat food or drink water. I will dry out my body until the life in it exits. I request you all to kindly permit me and leave me alone here where I will leave my unholy body. I see this is the best possible punishment for my cruel acts.' Saying this, Yudhishthira almost fainted in his seat.


Vyaasa took hold of Yudhishthira who was weeping and lamenting over his kinsmen and his cruelty towards them. The sage said to the king, 'No, Yudhishthira. Don't smoulder with grief. What you said does not befit you. Too much sorrow is unseemly of you. I repeat what I said just now. All this is ordained by destiny which is unsurpassable to anybody. The beings in the world are just like bubbles popping up on the water. They come and vanish and come and vanish continuously. The meeting together of the beings taking birth on this earth, ends with only separation. Wealth end with ruin. Development ends with downfall. Bonds among the people end with separation. Life end with death. All this is a commomn practice in the world since the beginning. For an incompetent fellow, even pleasure gives rise to and ends with grief. But, in the case of a competent person, even a sorrow leads to some joy. Power, wealth, shy (towards bad things), courage and fame reside only in a competent person but not in incompetent person. Friends may not necessarily bring only pleasures to us. Enemies need not necessarily cause only grief to us. It is not sure that people (Prajaa is the original word. Variation of text is Prajnaa=wisdom. Then it means, 'our talent may not be competent enough to bring wealth to us.' In fact, this looks proper in the context. -Tr) under our control will necessarily frm our resources. Monies cannot assure us joys. Yudhishthira! You must do what the God created you for. That alone wil lead you towards accomplishment. You cannot choose what to do or not to do or when to do, as you are not the master of your own duties or deeds.'

Vyaasa continued talking to Yudhishthira to bring him out of grief over the mass killing of his clan and to dispel his thoughts of fasting to death. 'King! There is a much quoted ancient episode about the verses that Ashma sung when king Janaka talked to him. Listen to that.
' king Janaka of Videha province once sunk into deep sorrow and approached a Braahmana named Ashma for obtaining relief. He asked Ashma (or Ashman) thus to clarfify his doubts. 'Sir! For a person desirous of begetting good, What is the right conduct on occasions like either acquiring or losing of people or wealth?'

Ashma replied to Janaka. 'Joys and sorrows exist right from the physical birth of a person and follow him since then. whenever any one of them happens to him, its effect pulls away his mind like a strong wind carrying away a cloud. A man's mind is always affected by the three types of thoughts - I am of a noble brth, I am an accomplished one, and I am not a common man. Ruled by his affected mind, he sticks to pleasures and spends all his ancestral acquisitions of wealth. On becoming poor in resources, he does even resort to grab others'monies too, thinking that all that is simply good. Such a person of trespassing conduct is corrected and punished by the king like a beast in the forest is confined and carried away by hunters using their weapons and implements. Also, such people of misconduct will not live beyond twenty or thirty years. They will never see their full life of a hundred years. For all such maladies arising out of misconduct which itself comes from affected mental status, a suitable medicine is to be administered by people who very well observed the conduct of all such beings, but such administration is to be done through intellect. Mind's delusion or befalling of an undesired object is the root cause for all sorrows that a person experiences. No third reason can exist. Several evils like these sorrows befall unto a person besides those caused due to attachment towards things and people. Old age and death are like two wolves that consume all humans irrespective their being weak or strong or short or tall. None is an exception to that. Maybe a person can win all the earth bound by the oceans, but he cannot escape from old age and death. Good or evil that befalls upon people must only be experienced as necessarily as helplessly, as there is no way to exempt them from that. These two things, ie good or evil, are unavoidable to all people, either in childhood or youth or later years, even though they strongly wish otherwise. Befall of undesired things and loss of desired things, good, evil, joy and sorrow, all these occur as driven and directed by fate. The birth, death, benefits, labour and everything is predetermined by the fate. The smell, colour, taste and touch of the things fade away naturally with time. Similarly, joys and sorrows too occur naturally as destined by time. Even such routine activities of the beings like sitting, lying,walking,eating and working, all always occur as determined by time. We see physicians too falling ill. We see strong people turning decrepit. We see rich people becoming paupers. The course of time is a great wonder. Birth in a high status, strength, health, beauty, wealth and luxuries all are caused by fate. A poor man begets a number of sons despite his will against that. Wealthy people die for a child but for no use. Such a wonder is the act of fate. Mental desease, fire, water, weapon, hunger,troubles,poison, physical desease, falling down and death, all impose their inflictions on humans as and when exactly decided by fate. Every person is bound to live the way that the fate of his birth decides for him. Though it is not visible to us, it rules everywhere. No one can overstep that line of fate. Sometimes we see a sinner prosper and a virtuous man suffer. We see a rich person die even in his early youth while an indigent lives for many years syffering poverty and deseases. Some nondescript fellows may live for a hundred years and some rich people of noble birth may die after a short life like a locust. We see all this evidently. Usually, rich people everywhere suffer from indigestion whereas poor people can digest even pieces of solid wood. Thus, fate shows incomprehensible diversity in its actions.'

Ashma continued to Janaka. ' Urged by his own fate, a person becomes discontented with what he has and resorts to commit whatever sin he wants, all the while feeling that he himself is the real doer of his own acts. Many learned people too are seen falling prey to the vices like hunting, gambling, women, drink and indecent disputes, which are firmly proscribed by the scholars of codes. In this way, we see every being getting desired or undesired things as prescribed by time. We cannot find a satisfying reason for this. Which mortal makes and maintains the things like air, sky,fire,moon, sun, day,night,stars,rivers and hills ? Heat, cold and rain occur and change with time. Similarly, good and evil too occur to people due to time. No medicines, no hymns, no oblations, no propitiations and no chantings can save people from the grip of old age and death. Time acts equally towards affluent people enjoying women, music and dance; and towards paupers depending on others for food. Now, I will tell you asto company of others with us. Woodden chips floating on the water of a great sea come near, join, get apart and as may again come together as not. Similar is the association of the beings in this world. In this endless flow of births and deaths, we have experienced relations with hundreds and thousands of mothers, fathers, sons and wives. Whose are we and whose are they ? None of them is related to us and we are related to none of them either. Association with wives and relatives and friends is no more than an incidental meeting of different wayfarers at a place temporarily during their course of travel without any actual connection among them. We should always keep in mind these questionss - Where am I ? Where am I from? Where am I going? Who am I? Why am I here? What am I lamenting over and why ? - and try to placate our mind from its disturbances. When this life is temporal and it runs like a wheel changing our status everywhile, any contact with any one like father or brother or mother or friend is no more than a nonchalant wayside meeting. The scholars clearly know that the other (Para) world is not evident to the eye and that it is never seen. But a person wishing good for himself shall believe the word that the Vedas and the teachers say. A man should perform the necessary acts to propitiate his manes and deities. All deeds of virtue shall be done. Sacrifices are to performed as prescribed. By doing so, he should accomplish the three goals (Dharma, Artha and Kaama). All this world essentially sinks down into the ocean of time wherein the two alligators of old age and death reside. No one comprehends this simple and evident fact. We see many physicians who themselves, as well as their families, are afflicted with many deseases despite being unmatched masters of the science of medicine. They take numerous extracts, decoctions and ghees with medicines but cannot trespass death like a sea that cannot swell beyond its shores. And we see some experts in making and administering medicinal combinations who skillfully consume all such medicines but falling victims to old age like an elephant falling down knocked by still stronger elephants. Also, many pious people too, who are rich in penance, who are devoted to recitals, who are famous for their donation of alms and who always engage themselves in sacrifices, that cannot defy old age and death. In the life of all the beings, those bygone years,months,fortnights, days or nights never return. Thus, being controlled by the fate and time, a man helplessly walks along this long and eternal path that every being hitherto has walked upon . Maybe, either the body is the cause for the soul or the soul is the cause for the body, irrespective which being true, during his passage along that path,a man comes into contact with links like wives and relatives.But all such contacts are essentially temporary by nature. Nobody has a permanent contact with his very own body. Then, what to talk of contacts with any other thing or any other's body?'

Ashma continued to Janaka. 'King! Where is your father now? Where are your grandfathers and great-grandfathers? You don't see them and they too don't see you at present. As I told you earlier, a man cannot see with his eyes, the heaven or hell. But, the word of scriptures and their teachers is standard and it is the eye for the right people abiding by the virtue. You do accordingly. A person should first observe celibecy ( Brahmacharyam)first, then should beget sons, then should perform sacrifices without pride, and thus should become free from his debts to his manes, deities and society. Such a person of discrete intellect who cleanses his mind of its delusion and persues celibecy, domesticity and sacrifices, will attain the besy tields in this world as well as in the next. As you are a king, I will summarise the course a king's duties to you. A king earns such a great fame that can range among all the mobile and immobile beings in all the worlds, by following the doctrines of virtue without any dualties in is mind, by procuring all the required resources in the due manner prescribed by the codes and by keeping his subjects in the path of virtue.' Ashma concluded his answer to Janaka's question.

Vyaasa continued to Yudhishthira.'Janaka intently listening and understanding Ashma's great reasonable and meaningful speech, Janak felt relieved. He bowed to Ashma and went home with a mind free from grief. As he did, Yudhishthira, you too shed off this sorrow. Be happy. Make others happy. You won this empire through such means that befits a Kshathriya. Never look down it or abdicate. Experience the royal staus and fulfil the royal duties.You should hesitate about nothing now. Follow my word. '


( Note: The story of sixteen great monarchs was told by Vyaasa to Yudhishthira a few days ago ie on the thirteenth day of the war, when the latter was lamenting Abhimanyu's death. Thus, this narration occurs twice. But there is a slight variation between these two narrartions.Also, strangely, the Thelugu translation mentions Parashuraama among the kings, in the both the instances of this narration! -Tr)

Even after Vyaasa's touching consolation, Yudhishthira sat silent. Arjuna saw his brother's state and said to Krishna. 'Krishna! Yudhishthira is wont to vanquish his enemies. But as the enemies killed in this war happened to be our own kinsmen, he is lamenting his action of waging war and killing the people of our own clan. He sank deep into the sea of grief . With his state as it is, we are all at danger again. You are able to bring people out of such disconsolate state. Kindly console and make him normal again.'

Krishna heard Arjuna's words and turned to Yudhishthira. He touched the king's sandal-coated shoulder that resembled a rock pillar in strength and began to talk to him with a smile. As Krishna spoke, his handsome face with wide eyes and shining teeth looked like a lotus fully blossomed in the dawn by the touch of sunrays. He spoke to Yudhishthira in a calm and soothing tone. 'King! Do not subdue yourself to this grief that scorches your body. Those fell killed in the war are not going to return to you. Those that lost their lives fighting in the war are now as bygone as what you see in your dreams becomes after you wake up. All those that fought in the war on either side were great warriors, though defeated and killed. None was killed while in rereat or from behind. They all staked their lives and fought in the great war thereby becoming pious through death from weapons and reaching the heaven of the heroes. Such accomplished heroes should not be lamented at all. You are not proper to lament the death of such heroes in the war, who saw the depth of Vedas and their appendices and attained the heaven by dying heroically in the warfield as a perfect Kshathriya should always desire. In stead, such a pious end to their mortal lives is to be praised in deed. You, I and all the beings are going to die never severed from joys and sorrows. Then, what is to be lamented? In this context, a reference is often made to the ancient episode of the great sixteen kings which this sage Naarada related to a king Srinjaya when the latter was in a deep grief over his son's death. I will now tell you about the greatness of the past great kings. Listen to it carefully. Listening to this episode bestows long life and remedies the malignant planetery positions too. Hearing their wonderful and great history of those celebrated kings, you placate your grief.'

Having said so, Krishna then began to relate to Yudhishthira about the sixteen great kings.


'Yudhishthira! King Srinjaya was sad that his son was killed by his enemies in the war. Naarada went to see him then and told him the stories of these great kings to console him. Hear as I tell how Naarada spoke to Srinjaya.

Naarada said to Srinjaya. 'Srinjaya! Many kings who were great by valour and conduct too passed away. A mortal should die one day. Grief does not befit you on such common occasion. Hear how great were the bygone kings.

'We heard the death of Maruththa, the son of Avikshitha. During his sacrifces, Indra attended in person alongwith other gods like Agni,Varuna and Brihaspathi. When Brihaspathi, with a view to engratiate with Indra, rejected Maruththa's request to conduct his sacrifice, Brihaspathi's younger brother Samvartha took up the responsibility of supervising the sacrifice and made it performed succesfully. Thus, Maruththa even tamed down Indra. During his rule, the earth yielded all crops without even being ploughed. Everywhere in his provinces were seen long rows of sacrifice halls and sacrificial poles. All the Maruths,Saadhyas and other deities sat around him respectfully during his sacrifices and drank the Soma juice he offerred. His gifts and donations exceeded those that any human or Gandharvas or gods could have given. When even such a great soul like Maruththa - who was more pious than the pious and who far exceeded you in all the four wings of virtue,knowledge, renunciation and power - was to stand a victim of death, why do you grieve for your son, Srinjaya?


' We heard the death of Suhothra, the son of Athithi. During his rule, Indra showered rains of gold all along the year. The rivers in his empire flowed gold and the earth was literally true to its name Vasumathi ( Vasu=gold). Those rivers were filled with golden tutles, crabs, crocodiles,sharks and fishes which Indra showered into them out of his pleasure about Suhothra. Seeing those golden creatures in their hundreds and thousands in the rivers, Suhothra was filled with joy. He spent all that countless wealth of gold as gifts and donations to great Braahmanans in a grand sacrifice that he performed in the place Kurujaangala. When even such a great soul like Suhothra - who was more pious than the pious and who far exceeded you in all the four wings of virtue,knowledge, renunciation and power - was to stand a victim of death, why do you grieve for your son, Srinjaya? Especially, when your son died so young without performing any sacrifices or giving any alms or gifts? Stabilize your mind.


( Here, I understood the King's name as Anga, son of Brihadratha. But some took the name as Brihadratha, king of Anga province. The Thelugu translation mentions Anga as the name. Tr )

' We heard the death of Anga too. He performed numerous sacrifices on a large scale. As gifs and donations during those sacerifices, he gave away ten lakh white horses, ten lakh maids fully adorned with gols ornaments, ten lakh tuskers and a hundred lakh bulls with golden decorations each followed by a thousand cows. When he performed a sacrifice on the top of the hill Vishnupada, all the partcipants as well as Indra forgot their senses by drinking Soma juice to their satiation. The gifts he gave away in his grand sacrifices numbering to several hundred, excelled all those gifts that were ever given by humans or Gandharvas or Gods. A person with the merit of giving such gifts as Anga gave in the seven varaities (Agnishtoma, Athyagnishthoma, Ukthya, Shodashee, Vaajapeya, Athiraathra and Aapthoryaama are the seven types of soma sacrifices) of Soma sacrifice, was not born before him, nor will be born in future too. When even such a great soul like Suhothra - who was more pious than the pious and who far exceeded you in all the four wings of virtue,knowledge, renunciation and power - was to stand a victim of death, why do you grieve for your son, Srinjaya?


'We heard the death of Shibi, the son of Usheenara too. He ruled the entire earth and controlled it as easily as a person rolls and holds a small mat. Every corner of the earth resounded with the sound of the wheels of his chariot. The victorious king excercised his sway as a monarch over the total earth without a chariot of an opponent against him. He gave away as gifts in his sacrifices, not only his horses and cows but even the animals and beasts of the forests. Brahma felt that except Shibi himself who resembles Indra in valour, no monarch in the past was born to match him nor would one be born in future . When even such a great soul like Shibi - who was more pious than the pious and who far exceeded you in all the four wings of virtue,knowledge, renunciation and power - was to stand a victim of death, why do you grieve for your son, Srinjaya? Especially, when your son died so young without performing any sacrifices or giving any alms or gifts?


'Also, we heard the death of Bharatha, the son of Dushyantha and Shakunthala. He amassed enormous wealth. He tied three hundred horses to poles on the banks of Yamuna, twenty on the banks of Sarasvathi and fourteen on the banks of Ganga, to perform a thousand Ashvamedhas and a hundred Raajasooyas in propitiation of the gods. Such was his grand splendour. No one among the other kings could succeed in doing what Bhatatha did like humans trying to reach the sky with their hands. He donated thousands of decorated horses and crores of money to sage Kanva during his sacrifices. When even such a great soul like Bharatha - who was more pious than the pious and who far exceeded you in all the four wings of virtue,knowledge, renunciation and power - was to stand a victim of death, why do you grieve for your son, Srinjaya?


'We heard the death of Raama, the son of Dasharatha. He always cared for his subjects as lovingly as for his own children. During his rule, no widows or destitutes existed. All the people always felt that the king was like a father to them. The clouds awarded timely rains and made the crops flourish with rich yields. His kingdom was always livable and prosperous under his rule. His people during his rule never suffered any calamities from water or fire. Desease and famine never touched his subjects or lands. As Raama ruled virtuously, men and women lived as long as a thousand years without any maladies and with all their desires fulfilled. There were not disputes even among women, what to talk of differences among men? All the people under his rule were always bound by virtue. Under his able protection, the people were content, truthful and successful in all their desires. They were devoid of any fear and they freely moved around as they wished. The trees suffered no blight and they were all the while full of fruits and flowers. The cows yielded pots (Drona is the original word. It means four measures.Tr) of milks. He dwelt in the forests for fourteen years as ordered by his father. He performed ten grand ( Jaaroothya is the original word. It is interpreted as 'praisable' or 'with three-fold gifts'.) Ashvamedhams during which the sacrifice halls were always kept open to all. Youthful, as blue as a saphire in body complexion, as royal as a lead tusker in its herd, of handome face, of long and strong hands reaching upto his knees, with shoulders as bulky as a lion's, Raama ruled his kingdom from Ayodhya for eleven thousand years. When even such a great soul like Raama - who was more pious than your son and who far exceeded you in all the four wings of virtue,knowledge, renunciation and power - was to stand a victim of death, why do you grieve for your son, Srinjaya?


'Also, Srinjaya, we heard the death of Bhageeratha. During his great sacrifices, Indra drank so much of Soma juice that he swelled with pleasure and vanquished thousands of strong demons with his hands. Bhageeratha's gifts in sacrifices were unprecedented. He kept one thousand maids adorned all over with gold ornaments in thousand chariots pulled by four steeds. Each chariot had an attachment of one hundred elephants decorated with golden flowers and garlands, each elephant had an attachment of a thousand horses, each horse had an attachment of a thousand cows and each cow was followed by a thousand goats and sheep. Such chariots with such attachments were donated as gifts to the participants and scholars. Once the river Ganga rested on his thighs and since then became to be known as Oorvashi(=stayer on thigh) too. Thus, the famous river Ganga that flowed in the three worlds in three ways, became like a daughter to the great Bhageeratha of great endowments(The story of Bhageeratha's bringing Ganga to earth was very famous. -Tr). When even such a great soul like Raama - who was more pious than your son and who far exceeded you in all the four wings of virtue,knowledge, renunciation and power - was to stand a victim of death, why do you grieve for your son, Srinjaya?


'Srinjaya! We heard that the great Dileepa too died. Still Braahmanas sing his fame of great achievements. In his celebrated sacrifice, he respectfully donated to Braahmanas the entire earth filled with wealth everywhere. In each of his numerous sacrifices, the conductor of his sacrifices received one thousand elephants loaded with stocks of gold. He set up a tall and sturdy golden poll for his sacrificial performances around which Indra and other gods stayed attending several assignments in the rituals with care. The splendid pole was adorned with a floor of circular deck at its top where six thousand Gandharvas sung and danced to entertain Dileepa with their chief Vishvaavasu himself amidst them playing the seven notes on his harp. Each of the audience felt that the harp was played intending only for himself. No kings could match Dileepa in royal grandeur or protecting power, whose elephants covered with golden shields slept leisurely in the open streets. He was always truthful. His bow was so powerful that he could simultaneously face innumerable opponents of immeasurable strength. It was said that three sounds never ceased in his palaces. One, the sound of recital of Vedas everywhere, two, the sound of twanging strings of the bows and three, the speech of 'Give whatever is asked.' by his officials to their employees in respect of seekers of various things. When even such a great soul like Dileepa - who was more pious than your son and who far exceeded you in all the four wings of virtue,knowledge, renunciation and power - was to stand a victim of death, why do you grieve for your son, Srinjaya?


Also, 'we heard the death of Maandhaatha,(This can be spelt as 'Maandhaathri'too. But, I use Maandhaatha for clarity. -Tr) the son of Yuvanaashva. He was extricated from his father's stomach when he was still a foetus( Once Yuvanaashva mistakenly drunk a sacrificial drink sanctified with hymns and kept to be drunk by his wife for the purpose of bestowing sons, which made him bear a child in his stomach. -Tr). Then the gods looked at the beautiful figure lying in his father's lap and wondered among themselves asto whom the baby should suck to survive. Then Indra declared that he himself would feed the baby and hence he himself named the boy as Maandhaatha ( Indra said - Maam dhaathaa = me, will he suck ) too. Indra kept his finger in the boy's mouth and it showered a flow of milk into to nourish him. The boy drank that divine milk and grew at the rate of a hundred weights a day. After twelve days, he looked like a twelve year old boy. (Here, the numbers hundred and twelve are variously interpreted.-Tr). Maandhaatha grew young in a hundred days and he won the entire earth in a single day with his valour that equaled Indra's. He defeated in battles several great kings like Angaara, Maruththa, Asitha, Gaya, Anga and Brihadratha. When he was fighting against Angaara, the celestials were afraid that the sky was rent into pieces by the sounds of the twinging string of his bow. It was said that Maandhaatha held his sway over all those areas where the sun rises and sets. He performed hundred Ashvamedhams and hundred Raajasooyams during which he donated to Braahmanas heaps of Rohitha fish made of gold. Each heap was ten Yojanas long and one Yojana high. Whatever were left over by the Braahmanas after they satisfied themselves witth, were appropriated among people of other orders. When even such a great soul like Maandhaatha - who was more pious than your son and who far exceeded you in all the four wings of virtue,knowledge, renunciation and power - was to stand a victim of death, why do you grieve for your son, Srinjaya?


'Also, we heard that Yayaathi, the son of Nahusha, too died. He won and ruled the whole earth that was girded by the seas. It was said that he performed sacrifices in such a way that he built an altar at a place and built another at a point that was a stone's throw ( Shamyaa-paatha is the original word. Shamyaa is a piece of wood.) away from the first one. Doing so, and performing a sacrifice at each altar, he reached the shores of the sea. Adorning the earth with the marks of his altars, he performed thousands of sacrifices including a hundred Vaajapeyaams, satisfying the participants and others with three heaps of gold which were as large as three mountains. Helping the gods in their wars against the demons, he killed lots of demons like Dythyas and Daanavas. He divided the entire earth among his sons. He enthroned his youngest son Pooru and settled his other sons like Yadu, Druhyu and others in the frontier provinces. Finally, he retired to the forests along with his wives. When even such a great soul like Maandhaatha - who was more pious than your son and who far exceeded you in all the four wings of virtue,knowledge, renunciation and power - was to stand a victim of death, why do you grieve for your son, Srinjaya?


Also, we heard that Ambareesha, the son of Naabhaaga too died. He was said to be acclaimed as the best protector by his subjects. During his sacrifices, he employed in the service of Braahmanas, a thousand thousand kings who themselves had the credit of performing many sacrifices. Even the ablest and most generous people too praised that Ambareesha's acts were neithr done by any one before nor would be done by any one in future. All those thousands of kings that were employed by Ambareesha in the service of Braahmanas in sacrifices obtained the yields of Ashvamedham for themselves and thereby passed through the southern path of the souls to attain the higher abodes of bliss. When even such a great soul like Ambareesha - who was more pious than your son and who far exceeded you in all the four wings of virtue,knowledge, renunciation and power - was to stand a victim of death, why do you grieve for your son who died very young, Srinjaya?


'Also, Srinjaya, we heard that Shashibindu, the son of Chithraratha too, met his death. He had one lakh wives from whom he begot a thousand sons each. All his sons were best archers and always ready for battles. He performed many sacrifices. During one of his Ashvamedhams, he donated to Braahmanas such an enormous gift to each, which comprised a prince attached with a hundred maids, each maid attached with a hundred elephants, each elephant attached with a hundred chariots, each chariot attached with a hundred steeds of pure origin and adorned with golden sheets, each horse attached with a hundred cows, and each cow attached with a hundred goats and sheep. Such a countless wealth was donated by Shashibindu to pure scholars of the Vedas and pious souls of realisation. When even such a great soul like Shashibindu - who was more pious than your son and who far exceeded you in all the four wings of virtue,knowledge, renunciation and power - was to stand a victim of death, why do you grieve for your son who died very young, Srinjaya?


And we also heard the death of Gaya, the son of Amoortharayas. He was famous for his once spending a full hundred years by subsisting on the remainders of sacrificial offerings. Agni was very much pleased with Gaya's sacrifices and offered him three boons. We heard that Gaya prayed for three boons as - 'May my gold and wealth not exhaust even as I keep relentlessly donating.', 'May my devotion to virtue ever increase.' and 'May my mind always stick to truth alone.'. Agni granted all those three boons to Shashibindu. On fullmoon days, on halfmoon days and during the Chaathurmaasyam or The Rainy Quartet( Chaathurmaasyam='pertaining to four months'. From eleventh day of Aashaadha month to eleventh day of Kaarthika month comprising Varsha and Sharath seasons, saints take up a vow of staying at a place and performing rituals.) he performed Ashvamedhams for a thousand years in succession. During all those thousand years, he delightedly donated thousands of cows and hundreds of mules to peple. He satiatingly satisfies the deities with Soma juice offered in sacrifices, Braahmanas with donations, manes with rituals (Svadhaa is the original word. It means offerings to manes.) meant for them and women with whatever they desired. He prepared a a ground of ten fathom wide and twenty fathom long, made it full of gold stocks as much as it holds, and then donated all that as fees and gifts to the learned participnts of his Ashvamedham. People fondly say about him that Gaya donated so many cows as many sand particles are there in the river Ganga. When even such a great soul like Gaya - who was more pious than your son and who far exceeded you in all the four wings of virtue,knowledge, renunciation and power - was to stand a victim of death, you need not grieve for your son who died very young, Srinjaya!


'Also, Srinjaya! We heard that Sankrithi's son Ranthideva too died. He reverently propitiated Indra with proper rituals and prayed for a boon like this, ' May we possess huge lots of food. May we get guests always in good nmber. May our devotion to service never slacken. May we not ever beg from any one for any thing.'. The animals both from the villages and forests went to him and offered themselves to be used in sacrifices. The stream formed by the flow of liquids from the skins of slaughtered animals turned into a river and became known as Charmanvathi which flows even today as a great river. When Ranthideva offered one hundred coins to each of the great congregation of Braahmanas in his hall, the Braahmanas in turn countered with an offer of hundred coins each to the king himself! Such was the greatness in participation of his sacrifices. But, the king awarded one thousand coins to each of those Braahmanas. Not only his sacrifices, but even during his routine rituals like those(Anvaahaara is the original word. It means ritual for manes.) for manes too, the pots, basins,cauldrons,jugs,plates, pitchers and lids - everything was made of gold. Not a single thing made of metal other than gold was used. For preparation of food for the nighthalting guests, one lakh and twenty thousand cows were killed and cooked. Yet, at times, his cooks and butlers request the guests to eat plenty of soup in stead of meat which was not as abundant as earlier. When even such a great soul like Ranthideva - who was more pious than your son and who far exceeded you in all the four wings of virtue,knowledge, renunciation and power - was to stand a victim of death, you need not grieve for your son who died very young, Srinjaya!


'And Srinjaya! We heard that Sagara of the Ikshvaaku dynasty too died like others. He was known for his superhuman valour. He had sixty thousand sons. When his son walked behind him, it looked like the stars behind the moon in a clear sky of a summer night. He ruled the entire earth without an opposing king to his supremacy. He built a mansion with its walls, floor and roof everything made of gold. He filled the mansion with beautiful beds and other luxurious items. Then he donated it to Braahmanas along with a number of beautiful maids. According to his wish, the Braahmanas divided that wealth among themselves. He was very fierce in wars. He held his sway over the whole lands amidst all the seas. It was after his name that the sea was called Saagara ( The story of Sagara's sons digging the earth down to the nether world is wellknown.) When even such a great soul like Sagara - who was more pious than your son and who far exceeded you in all the four wings of virtue,knowledge, renunciation and power - was to stand a victim of death, you need not grieve for your son who died very young, Srinjaya!


'And we heard that Vena's son Prithu too died like all other humans, Srinjaya! All the sages from the great forests gathered at a place and coronated him as emperor. He was hailed by the name Prithu beause he would expand his fame (Prithaa=fame) far and wide on the earth. He was truly a Kshathriya, because he protected his subjects from every harm (Kshatha=wound or injury,Thra=protector). His subjects were pleased by him and they loved him whereby he was truly a king (Raajaa=king, Ranj=please). In his empire, the earth yielded rich crops even without ploughing. Evet leaf of every tree oozed honey. All the cows yielded pots and pots of milk. His subjects lived healthy, successful in all their desires, devoid of any fear from any quarter, moving freely and sportively around gardens and residences. While he was travelling by his chariot, the sea held its water as a solid ground for his vehicle to pass over , the rivers too gave way to his vehicle by splitting their flowing waters apart and his flagstaff did never meet an obstacle anywhere. He was never defeated by any enemy. He performe many sacrifices befitting his wealth. During one of his Ashvamedhams, he donated three big mounds of gold each looking like a hill, as high as one thosand and two hundred cubits. (Thri-nala is the original word. It means 'three Nalas'. But, Neelakantha interprets Nala as an archaic form of Nalva. Nalva= four hundred cubits) When even such a great soul like Prithu - who was more pious than your son and who far exceeded you in all the four wings of virtue,knowledge, renunciation and power - was to stand a victim of death, you need not grieve for your son who died very young, Srinjaya!'

Krishna continued to Yudhishthira. 'Yudhishthira! Thus, Naarada briefly explained the greatness of the bygone kings and asked Srinjaya. 'What is with you Srinjaya! Why are you silent and moody? Did you hear what I told you or did all that I said went waste as a wellprepared medicine for one who wishes only to die?'

Srinjaya answered. 'No sage! I have heard your words intently. The history of those virtuous and celebrated ancient kings is pleasing to hear. It is very meaningful and consolatory . Filled with the fame of those hreat souls, it is wonderful as a garland of divine scent. Sage! Your words did not go waste. Your vision itself made me relieved from my sorrow. Yet, I was interested in hearing something from you. I am still not satisfied with hearing from you, just like one is never satisfied from drinking the nectar. Your vision to anyone shall not go futile. Sire! I am burning with grief for loss of my beloved son. Showing mercy on me, enliven my dead son and make me fortunte enough to see his face.'

Naarada answerd Srinjaya. 'King! Your son who died now was once granted to you by sage Parvatha. The boy was named Suvarnashtheevi. His stomach is source of gold and he lives for a thousand years.'


Hearing Krishna relating the conversation between Naarada and Srinjaya, Yudhishthira interrupted and asked Krishna. 'How did suvarnashtheevi become Srinjaya's son? Why did Parvatha give him to the king? Who killed the boy ? When his life was for a hundred years, how was he killed very young? Was the boy only nominally Suvarnashtheevi ( suvarna=gold, Stheevi=spitter) or did he really so spat gold ? I wish to know in detail.'

Krishna answered Yudhishthira. 'I will describe to you as it had happened. Listen. Naarada and Parvatha,his nephew, once came down from heaven onto earth on a sportive trip to enjoy earthly things like rice and ghee. The two great sages spent a good time in enjoying human pleasures on earth and moving here and there as they fancied. During that pleasure trip, they made a covanent between themselves that each should disclose to the other whatever good or bad thought occuring to his mind and that failing to do so or lying in it shall inflict a severe curse on him. Thus mutually agreeing to that condition, they two went to Svetha's son king Srinjaya who invited them and offered respects. They then told the king that they came to him to stay for some time and requested to favour with convenience. Srinjaya too agreed and made arrangements for their comfortable stay in his palace. The two sages were spending their time there in a happy manner.

Oneday Srinjaya came t the sages alongwith his daughter told them. 'Sages! This girl is my daughter Sukumaari. She is of nice conduct and character. This beautiful and tender girl of mice conduct and character will serve you from today onwards.' The sages too agreed saying 'Very good. As you wish.' Then Srinjaya ordered his daughter to serve the two sages wit devotion as she would serve her father himslef or the gods. Sukumaari too obeyed her father's word and served the sages with great respect, doing justice to her virtuous conduct.

Due to her beautiful form and her hearty service, Naarada's mind soon yielded to Cupid. As days passed, his desire towards that beautiful princess grew like the moon growing by degrees in the first ( ie light ) fortnight of the month. Yet, he did not disclose it to his nephew Parvatha though he should have done so according the agreement between them, suffering shy to speak out about his strong lust which he himself knew to be unseemly to his stature and knowledge of Dharma. But, Parvatha, both due to powers of his penance and by his observation of Naarada's behaviour, could understand what went in Naarada's mind. He was angry with Naarada and shouted at him, 'Naarada! You willfully made an agreement with me to disclose your bad or good thoughts to me but you violated it so willfully too. You kept from me your thoughts of lust about this princess Sukumaari. Being a scholar of Vedas, being a follower of celibecy, being a man of great penance, you resorted to a thing that never befits you, both in falling for this girl and hiding from me your thoughts about this girl just against our mutual covanent. As per that very covanent, you attract my anger and the agreed penality of my curse upon you. And here I curse you, hear! Surely Sukumaari will become your wife but you will assume the form of a monkey from the time of your marriage with her. All the people will see you with that awkward form since then.'

Naarada too became angry with his nephew and cursed him in return . 'Despite your great penance, truthfulness,forbearance and celibecy, you will not be able to reach back to heaven.' Thus inflicting curses mutually, fighting between themselves angrily like two elephants in rut, the two sages went on their ways separately.

Parvatha wandered all around on the earth receiving respects wherever he went due to his splendour and radiance. Naarada too, procedurally obtained the tender innocent and blemishless Sukumaari as his wife. As per Parvatha's curse, from the moment the marriage hymns were chanted, the girl saw Naarada in a monkey's form. But, bound by her marital bond eith him according to scriptures, she never aversed him. she always respected and loved him, serving faithfully, without entertaining even a bit of thoughts about any other to be her husband, be he a sage or Yaksha or god. As the time passed like that, once on an occasion, Parvatha reached a lonely forest and he saw Naarada and his wife Sukumaari there. He soon bowed to Naarada and prayed for enabling him to return to heaven. Naarada looked at Parvatha sitting before him with folded hands and beseeching pitiously. He said to his nephew, 'It is you that first cursed me to look like a monkey and only after that did I curse as a retaliation, that you would return to heaven. I forgive all you did to me as all that you did befits you who are as dear as a son.' Saying so to Parvatha,Naarada agreed to reverse his curse on Parvatha who too in return withdrew his own curse on Naarada. Thus, both of them relieved themselves from the inflictions imposed on each other by themselves. Asa result of that, Naarada assumed his original form. As soon as Sukumaari saw her husband in his original celestial form, she was afraid that he was some stranger and she ran away from him in fear. Parvatha hailed at the innocent girl running away and shouted aloud, 'O girl! Don't be afraid of him. He is your husband verily. Do not hesitate. He is none other than your dear husban whom you should not disregard. This virtuous sage was to assume this form and look ugly like that to you and others too, due to something that happened only between him and me.' Thus calling her back, Parvatha explained to Sukumaari all about their mutual condition and Naarada's suffering a curse therefrom. She became normal being convinced with the vivid explanation that Parvatha offered and she bowed to Naarada. Farewelling each other, Parvatha went to heaven and Naarada to Srinjaya's city with sukumaari.'

Krishna concluded by saying, Yudhishthira! This sage Naarada himself will tell you in detail what happened thereafter if you ask him, as he was the very person who did all that. ' Then Krishna told Naarada to relate the story of Suvarnashtheevi to Yudhishthira.


Then Yudhishthira asked Naarada. 'Sage! I am curious to hear about the strange boy Suvarnashtheevi. Please tell me what his history was.'

Naarada then spoke to Yudhishthira. 'Krishna spoke right. As you asked, I will tell you the remaining part of those incidents and about the life of Suvarnashtheevi. I and my nephew Parvatha went to Srinjaya's palace to live there for sometime. There he received us with respect, systematically offered all respects and arranged for all comforts to both of us. Receiving whatever we needded, we spent there a good time. After the time of stay of some years was over, we were about to leave when Parvatha rightly said to me,'Sir! We have spent at Srinjaya's for a good long time with all service and comforts kept always ready to us. Now, as we are leaving, you may think of doing some favour to him.'

'Then I said to Parvatha, 'Alright. You so spoke as befitting to my nephew. If you like to do so, let Srinjaya ask for anything he wishes to have. May he beget it due the powers of our penance.'

'Parvatha called for the king and told him. 'Srinjaya! We both are pleased with your right conduct, service and devotion to us. We offer you to ask for a boon. You may please yourself by asking for what you wish, without meaning any harm or offence to any gods or humans. We say all this out of our pleasure from your goodness.'

'Srinjaya bowed and asked . Sir! If you are really pleased with my little services that I arranged for you, then it itself is a boon to me. That alone will serve me all the good in the good. That will in deed be the best of my accomplishments.'

'The king thus repeatedly refused to ask for anything but,Parvatha insisted. 'Srinjaya! Do not hesitate. Ask for what you wish and what desire you have been cherishing in your mind gor long. Then Srinjaya asked. 'If you so kindly urge me to ask for something for me, let me honour your offer. Sages! Bless me with such a son who shall be so strong, valourous, pious, long-living and powerful as to equal the Lord Indra himself.'

'Parvatha said to him. 'Srinjaya! Your desire shall become true. But, the son will not live long. Because, you expressed a wish to vie with Indra, despite my clearly telling that your pray should not offend any human or god. Your son will be famous as Suvarnashtheevi. Be cautious in guarding him against Indra.'

'Srinjaya heard those unhappy words and implored with Parvatha that it should not happen like that. 'Sage! Please see that my son shall not be a short-lived one.'He again and again pleaded but Parvatha remained silent, with his mind towards Indra's favour. Then I said to Srinjaya, 'King! Do not worry. You think of me when such incident occurs. I will show you your son with the same form as he would be with. I will bring back your dead son. Let you not be sad about loss of your son.'

'Saying thus to Srinjaya, we went on our way. After some time, Srinjaya begot a son who was strong and bright with his radiance. The boy grew like a lotus in the pond. He was true to his name of Suvarnashtheevi as his spit was really gold. That strange thing spread throghuout the world and finally reached Indra. He learnt through inquiries about the boon of the sages and the resultant powers of the boy. He suspected harm to his supremacy. Upon the advice of Brihaspathi, his mentor, he kept looking for some chance to settle out the boy's issue to his own favour and safety. He ordered his weapon, the thunder bolt, 'Bolt! As Parvatha said, this prince rises with strength and exceeds me. Keep following him to find any chance to kill him.'

'As was ordered by its Lord, the thunder-bolt too kept its invisible prowl constantly around the boy. Srinjaya too, happy with such a son, kept living joyfully in the woods along with his wives and son. As he once camped on the shore of river Ganga in a lonely forest, his son was playing around in the woods along with his nurse. Then Suvarnashtheevi was five years old but looked like a young tusker with his strength and walk. Running hither and thither playfully, the boy accosted a fierce tiger, which, in fact was Indra's bolt in that form. Grabbed and crushed by the tiger, the boy fell dead. The tiger soon vanished, as was ordained by Indra. Seeing that horrible incident, the nurse cried out. Hearing the nurse's loud cries, the king and his queens ran to the spot. The king saw his son lying dead on the ground, with all his blood sucked by the tiger and all his radiance gone, looking like a waned out moon that fell on the earth. The king took the boy's blooddied body into his lap and wailed bitterly. The women fok too, burst into a pitiful cry. Then Srinjaya thougt of me and meditated upon me. I too, appeared before him as I promised him earlier. It was then that I told the disconsolate king about the death of many of the great kings of the past, what Krishna just now told you, to show that death is unavoidble to any one. Afterwards,I enlivened the boy with permission of Indra. You must understand that all those were possible only because that they were so destined. Otherwise, they would not be possible at all. The revived son pleased his father and mother with his sports . Later on, Suvarnashtheevi ascended the throne after his father and became very famous. He ruled for one thousand one hundred years, performing many great sacrifices with huge gifts. He propitiated the deities and the manes with all due rituals. He begot a number of sons to proliferate his clan and met his end at last. Thus, Yudhishthira! Who escaped from death without falling prey to it, sooner or later? Take into your mind the valuable teachings of Vyaasa and Krishna. Shed off your grief over the dead kinsmen. Take care of the ancestral empire and your subjects. Perform great sacrifices duly. You will attain the higher abodes as you desired.' Naarada concluded the history of Suvarnashtheevi advising him to realise the facts about death being a common element to any mortal.

Vyshampaayana continued to Janamejaya.

Seeing Yudhishthira still not reaching his normalcy, Vyaasa again said to the grieving king. 'Yudhishthira! The prescribed duty by virtue for a king is to protect his subjects. Virtue is always the standard to follow for all the dutiful and virtuous people in the world. You must follow that traditional path which your ancestors faithfully followed. The duty of a Braahmana is penance and that duty is prescribed so to him by the Vedas. That makes penance a mandatory duty for Braahmanas. And a Kshathriya is the protecter of that duty of the duties of not only the Braahmanas but those of all. He who falls a victim to sensual pleasures and breaks the duty or law, is a law-breaker and a destroyer of the Dharma too. Such a person is to be punished with physical amputation to avoid his disturbances to the prescribed duties of other people. If anyone out of his ignorance or delusion, immorally propogates a non-standard unworthy thing as standard among the people, he should by all means be correted or even be capitally punished, be he one's own servant or sun or even a hermit. Doing otherwise than this, a king will incur the sin of failing in his duties. One that remains a silent witness to the destruction of virtue is also a destroyer of the virtue. Both such offenders are to be punished mercilessly, alongwith their followers, confiscating all their positions. Isn't it the same thing of duty that you too did by killing the kouravas in the war? Those who trespassed the virtue and those who silently or openly supported it, they all met their fate. What makes you sad in this? A true king, as a part of protecting his people and empire, shall give, shall spare, shall punish and shall kill even.'

Yudhishthira answerd the sage. 'Sir! I never doubt your words since nothing among the vrtues or codes is unknown to you. Who knows better than you anything about virtue, duty or morality? But, I killed many elders and respectable people who never deserve such treatment from me. Those cruel actions of me now scald my body and put my mind into turmoil. I cannot come out of that guilty conscousness.'

Vyaasa said to Yudhishthira in response. 'King! You think once by yourself! Is it the God or the human that is the cause of the acts? Does destiny prevail or choice of someone? A mortal just does what he is ordained by the God to do. The effect and results are pertinent to the god, not to the mortal one. It is like a man's felling of a tree in a forest with an axe. The sin of felling the tree goes to the cutter but not at all to the axe. Or, even if you consider the feller as a casuative factor of that sinful act to incur its effect, the sin should first go to the maker of the axe with its shaft. Or, if you consider that it is improper to attach the result of one's act to another, you believe that the result vests with the god. Or, if you consider that a human is his own master and he himself selects what to do and what not to do, then too you must not feel sorrow since your action was a good one. King! No one can escape from the destined things.In excercising the chastising powers and using arms for the right cause, no person incurs any sin. Or, even if you consider that only your choice prevails but not the destiny, then neither there was nor there will be, either a good or bad act at all. Now, as to decide what is evil and what is good on the part of the man that performs his acts. The codes and scriptures prescribe that a king should suitably punish the violators of the law. Yet, Yudhishthira, It is my opinion that good and bad things befall upon people in their turns giving their respective yields to them. If an evil deed is reorted to, another one springs from that. Except as apart of your prescribed duties as a king, you may well avoid such sinful things. Deciding thus, come out of your grief. This renunciation or abandonment of life which only means self-destruction, is not warranted for you, since you were only adhering to your prescribed and accepted duties, be those blameless or blameworthy. Or, if you still feel that what you did even as a part of your duties is unpleasant to your mind and you fear that you attract any possible sin out of that, there are numerous penitential proceedings to be observed. To do them, one must be alive as a dead man cannot do anything! Casting off the life itself is not a pentitential measure and is unseemly of you too. Instead, it results both in sin and insult. You must live and perform the expiations. Also, withut doing those proper expiations, you will have to suffer in the next world '



Yudhishthira heard Vyaasa's words and said to him once again showing his grief over his dead kinsmen and the other victims of the war. 'Sage! Notwithstanding your touching consolations, my heart still burns. Due to my greed for empire, I alone became the cause of merciless killing of those many kinsmen comprising sons, grandons, cousins, paternal uncles, maternal uncles, teachers, nephews, fathers and grandfathers. Many relatives, friends, kings and other Kshathriyas died, all because of me and my greedy stake to the throne. Having caused the fall of that lot of virtuous kings who had the merits of performing many sacrificces and followers of virtue, what fate shall I meet? Thinking of the world bereft of its geroic rulers, I smoulder within myself even now. Witnessing of the killing of thousands of kinsmen and crores of other people, my dear grandfather, my heart melts with sorrow. Alas! What cn be the future of the noble women who were deprived of the company with their husbands, brothers and sons? All those unfortunate widows wail with pain in their hearts, decrying us for our ruthlessness in killing their men. Along with us, even the Vrishnis too incur the blame, for having been in our association. Those tender women cannot bear the grief of loss of their dear ones and surely fall dead, out of their firm attachment and bond with their lost ones. As a result, from observation of subtle details of virtue, we at any rate incur the sin of causing death of women too. The worst thing we committed against our own kinsmen is simply going to force us to fall head-down into hell. Sir! All this makes me think that it is best for us if we cast off this dirty body through penance. Grandfather! Kindly tell me about the import of various aspects of the orders and their adoptability.'

Vyaasa heard Yudhishthira's words and thought deeply for a while. He then said to the king. 'Yudhishthira! Do not burden yourself with grief anymore. Think of your duty as a Kshathriya. All those Kshathriyas following the Kshathriya code were killed by you following the same Kshathriya code. They all fought, being eager for wealth, earth and fame. In their due course, time sent them to Yama's abode. You are not their real killer. Nor is Bheema, nor is Arjuna, nor are Twins. The time took their lives at it's choiced hour. Time does not see that one is a father or mother of some other one. It has its sympathies to nobody. It is only the witness of the deeds of every being. As a part of its duty, the time killed all those you are lamenting. The war is only an instrument to the time in the schedule of its performance. The duty and characteristic of the omnipotent time is to consume the lives of beings with the aid of other beings. The time is only a witness to all acts performed by all deeds, it itself goes according to the bond of the rope of deeds, awarding relevant results to the beings which look like evil or good. Apart from that, you think of the deeds of those whom you mention as killed by you! Every act of them was leading towards ruin and destruction. As a result, they fell into control of time and brought their own end. And you think of your own conduct! You were always avowed to truth and piety. Being such a good soul too, you were forced to wage a fierce war against your own fellows. What else can be the reason for such an exceptional act, barring the powerful delusion of time? You did all that only under the force of destiny. All this world runs performing the acts prescribed under the power of time, just like a machine made by a carpenter runs the way its runner makes it to run. We see the birth of a being without any cause (ie any ostensible reason like choice) and we see similarly the death of a being too without any cause. It is then of no use either by pleasing with the birth or lamenting the death of any one. Your feeling that you have done a great sin by killing the lot of Kshathriyas in the war, is just a kind of myth and delusion of your mind. Even so, to make yourself free from such guilty feeling, there are many suitable expiatory measures. You may perform them and feel free of any sins.

Vyaasa continued. 'Yudhishthira! Also, hear what is told about the wars between the gods and the demons. that is relevant to your present situation. Gods and demons were cousins, Demons being the elders of them. They too engaged themselves in a great war that resulted because of a tussel over wealth and ruling power. We heard that the war went on for thirty thousand years. The earth was turned into a single sea of blood by their terrific war. Finally, the gods killed the demons and obtained rulership over the heaven. In the sameway, eighty eight thousand people known as Shaalaavrikas, Braahmanas as such since they deeply studied the entire Vedas upto their end, obtained supremacy over the earth. They were filled with pride and took up arms to help the demons in their wars against the gods. The gods killed them too without any hesitation. Those destructive people who labour to harm the virtue and to propogate non-virtue in the society, are necessarily to be killed as the arrogant demons were killed by the gods. If killing of one person brings good to all others in a segment and if killing of a section of people results in peace to the remaining population, such killing will not be a sin or it will not be against virtuous conduct, either. Sometimes, virtue looks like non-virtue and non-virtue sometimes appears as virtue. A sensible person should know the true state through his discreet intellect.

Vyaasa continued. ' Yudhisshthira! Hence, control yourself. You are well learnt. You only followed the way which the gods earlier had followed for the sake of virtue. People of that conduct shall not fall into hell. You console your brothers and friends around you. If a person commits and repeats to commit a sin willfully, knowing that he is committing a sin, fully identifying himself with his vile action, such a shameless fellow incurs all that sin his act causes. The codes say that he shall suffer the entire results of such sins. For him, no expiation or no reduction in intensity of the sufferings is possible. In your case, you are good at heart and nice by conduct. You have never been cruel to anyone. You have done all this only being forced by the acts of others,yet, you repent your forced actions too. Such a noble soul surely purifies itself by observing expiations. The Ashvamedha sacrifice is said to be the greatest among the expiatory procedures. You do that to become free from your much fearing sins. Indra too performed this sacrifice each time he won against his enemies alongwith the gods.Thus, he performed a hundred Ashvamedhams to become known as Shathakrathu (Shatha= hundred, Krathu=sacrifice)since then. Through such performance of Ashvamedhams, Indra became free from his sins, won the heaven, obtained pleasures and bliss there alongwith gods. He stays ruling heaven, enlightening all the directions with his radiance and power. Sages and gods serve upon him as he grandly resides in the heaven along with his consort Shachi. As similar to Indra, you too obtained this entire empire through your valour by defeating the enemies and their associate kings. Followed by your friends, you visit the provinces of the deceased kings and install their sons or grandsons or brothers on the thrones. Whenever such son or brother does not exist, you coronate their daughters. By that act, you will reduce even the grief of the berieved women too so that they will forget their grief and live happily, since women are naturally satisfied by what they desire. Protect and please the subjects taking care of them even including the babies in the womb. That will relieve you of all your grief. Thus consoling the people of all the provinces, go for an Ashvamedham just like Indra did in ancient times. That is what befits you but not this useless and unworthy lamenting about those who died a heroic war,deserving applause but not lamentation. Thinking that they all met their destined fate under force of the Time sticking to their prescribed deeds, you stabilize your mind. You followed the Kshathriya code which is the only eligible course to you. Through that, you obtained the entire empire without any opponent or any disturbance. Keep on abiding by your Kshathriya code and protect it which will serve you good in the next world.'

Vyaasa's convincing words about expiation arouse Yudhishthira's interest even during such worse moments. He asked the sage, 'Sir! By doing what acts does a person become liable to expiation? By doing what expiations is he relieved of the sins arising from those acts?'

Vyaasa said. 'A person becomes liable to expiation by not performing the prescribed deeds or , by performing the proscribed deeds or by feigned conduct (false behaviour). I will tell you for example, who are so liable to expiation. He who sleeps during sunrise or sunset being a student - though not ill,who has broken nails, who has decayed teeth, who marries after his younger brother's marriage, who marries before his elder brother's marriage, who kills a Braahmana, who derides others, who marries a woman after her younger sister's marriage, who marries a woman before her elder sister's mariage, who fails in his his vows (avowed object), who kills any regenerate (Dvija) person, a Braahmana not donating to a deserving one or donating to an unworthy person, who causes group killings, who sells meat, who abandons worship of his sacred fires, who teaches the Vedas taking a fee for doing so, who kills a preceptor, who kills a woman, who leads a criminal act or a criminal person, who kills the animals unnecesarily (ie except during sacrifices), who causes burning of houses, who lives by lying and cheating, who flouts his teacher's words, who fails an agreement or promise, who grabs away what he himself donated, who obstructs the donee's enjoyment or possession of the donation by others, who avoids the donations promissed either mentally or orally or actually, who eats one (better) food for himself and serves different (inferior) food to others, who insults a person while he eats his food, and and many such people are to undertake and perform expiations systematically.

'Now, I will tell you about what the prohibited actions are. Hear them carefully. Usually these are against the scriptures or against the accepted customs ( codes) of the world. Abandoning one's own duty (Dharma), Following others'duties (Dharma), Conducting the sacrifice of person that is not eligible to perform that, eating of foods prohibited from eating, driving away a refuge, quarelling with one's own kinsmen, deserting the people whom one should support for life, selling food ingredients like salt or good, killing of birds and animals (Thiryak is the original word. Literally it means horizontal, but it denotes birds and animals which often stay horizontal unlike a human who stands vertical.), avoiding institution and worship of sacred fire, not giving the routine necessities to those who expect them from one ( cattle for grass and servants for food etc), not awarding the due gifts to the deserving that one should give as required, insulting a Braahmana or harming to his person or property, and many such things are said to be the forbidden acts. Violators of the code of virtue are like a son disobeying his father, a disciple molesting his teacher's wife, a husband neglecting unison with his wife during the eligible time ( This time is from fourth day of her menstruation to sixteenth day.) though otherwise competent and many others involving in indecent offences. I told you some briefly and some in detail, by doing or not doing which acts, one is subject to expiation. You also listen on which occasions one does not incur any sin even by doing these forbidden and violatory acts. If a person attacks to kill with weapons held up in his hands, he only needs be killed and killing such an attacker does not results in any sin of killing a Braahmana, even if such an attacker happens to be a learned scholar of entire Vedas. This is clearly mentioned in the hymns of the Vedas and I am telling you that virtue just what is standardisedd by those Vedas. Killing a Brrahmana who deserts his own duties and attempts to kill others with weapons, does not make the killer incur the sin of killing of a Braahmana. In such case, the killer's anger is considered justly held against the attacker's anger. A person taking in wine either as a necessary medicine in case of life threat or in such a state that he is not aware that it is wine, is liable to undergo the purification process as prescribed the experts of codes. Thus I told you a bit vividly about consuming the forbidden things the doer of which is corrected and purified by procedures prescribed for that. A disciple going with his teacher's wife only on both the teacher's order and purpose, does not incur any sin. An example here is Uddaalaka, who begot Svethakethu from his wife through his disciple. A person resorting to theft for the purpose of his teacher during an hour of trouble, does not incur any sin provided that he does not act wantonly on that pretext, he steals only property other than that of Braahmanas and he does not use any of the stolen things for his own benefit. A person does not incur sin by lying to save his own life or some other's life, to save his teacher, to save or placate women or to help the settlement of a marraige. One does not have to reperform (Samaaavarthanam) the vow of Brahmacharyam just because due to letting out semen during dreams, which is expiated by offering libations with ghee in the altar fire. A person marrying prior to his elder brother's marriage does not incur the sin relevant to it when that elder brother happens to be a rogue or he renounces. Going with another's wife when duly requested and accepted according to the codes of practice, is not a sin, provided that it is only for thr purpose of begetting children under such circumstances when that woman or her husband had no other go. Killing or encouraging killing of cattle without a right cause is prohibited, as the codes impose that cattle shall be treated with kindness. An alms given to an unworthy Braahmana is not for sin, if given without knowledge about the recipient's status. Similarly,not donating to a deserving person at the right place too is not a sin if that is not done only due to ignorance. It is not a sin to keep away a wife from bed when she was proven as an aduleterss, yet, allowing support to her life. Such an act purifies the wife and the husband too is not tainted with sin. Selling of Soma creeper or its juice is not sin if done othe than for money alone and fully knowing why and how that is done. dismissing an incompetent servant is not a sin. Burning the forest for the sake of cows is not a sin. These are certain things usually prohibited but doing which in exceptional cases is not a sin. Now, I will tell you about expiatons for certain sins by performing which a person will be purified from his sins incurred.'

Vyaasa continued to Yudhishthira, talking about expiations.
'Yudhishthira! A person is emanicipated from his sins by observing such expiatiry measures as penance, alms and other pious deeds ( such as sacrifice or dipping in holy rivers) provided that he does not willfully repeat the sinful act. To liberate from the sin of killing of a Braahmana, the sinner shall spend twelve years by subsisting on begging with a skull in his hand, eating only once in a day, doing all his works by himself, following celibecy, bearing a leg (Khatvaanga is the original word.) of the cot in a hand ( a or as a symbol of being under expiation), ever ready to labour for anything, devoid of jealousy and pride, sleeping on the floor, and confessing his sin to the world openly. Or, the sinner should make himself target to weapon wielders either on his volition or on advice from the learned. Or, he shall fall head-down into a flaming fire. Or, he shall three times walk a full hundred Yojanas (Yojana= 12 kilometers approximately) reciting any of the Vedas. Or, he shall donate all his possessions to a Vedic scholar. Or, he shall donate that much money to a Braahmana enough to support him lifelong or he shall donate to a Braahmana a house rich with all furnishings. Or, he shall protect and save Braahmanas or cows. Or, he shall spend six years subsisting on scanty food named Krichchram to liberate from his sin of slaying a Braahmana. Or, he will be liberated from that sin by spending three years more stringently, subsisting on one morning meal for first seven days, on one evening meal for second seven days and on what comes to him without effort for the third seven days. Or, he will be definitely free from that sin by observing yet more stringent subsistence, eating one morning meal in the first month, eating one evening meal in the second month and eating nothing except what comes to him casually in the third month. Or, he will be free from that sin of killing a Braahmana, by observing fasting continuously for a period exceeding one month too. Also, a performer of Ashvamedham and others who undergo the consummation ablution after the sacrifices are absolved of any sins, as the scriptures put it. Also, one killed in a battle for the cause of a Braahmana is also liberated from the sin of killing a Braahmana. A donation of a hundred thousand cows to the eligible people absolves the sinner of the sin of killing a Braahmana and all other sins too. Also, a donation of twenty five thousand well yielding tawny (Kapila is the original word, meaning whitish yellow) coloured cows to the eligible recipients too liberates one from all the sins. Donating a thousand well yielding cows with their calves to the poor and deserving people during one's last moments will clense of all one's sins. He that donates a hundred best of the class (Kaamboja is the original word, meaning, belonging to Kamboja country) horses to Braahmanas of firm conduct, will be free from all his sins. Even he that totally satisfies the right desire of at least one eligible person, becomes free from his sins, but he shall not disclose it to others for the sake of its publicity. The sin of drinking intoxicating liquours like wine ( alchohol) is cleansed off by drinking boiling liquour which purifies him in this world and the next one too. Either by jumping down from the top of a hill or running into a flaming fire or by walking in renunciation (Mahaaprasthaanam. The commentator Neelakantha explains that this should be done near Kedaaram in the Himaalayas) unto the point of dropping dead in the walk, one becomes free from all his sins. A Braahmana who erroneously drinks liquor becomes sanctified by performing a sacrifice named Brihaspathi-Sava and he becomes eligible to again mingle with the people of his caste. A person drinking liquor becomes free from that sin by donating some land without feeling any grievance about it and by not repeating the sin once again. He that is guilty of sleeping with his teacher's wife should lie on a heated iron slab, should cut off his penis and should leave his homestead to go away , looking upwards all the while. Everybody becomes free from hissins by casting off his body. In case of women, spending three years with restricted conduct liberates them from their sins. A person emanicipates himself from all his sins either by observing the strictest vow ( Mahaavratham is the original word. Mahaa=great, vratham=vow. It indicates pure fasting for one month not taking even water.), or donating all that he has under his possession or dying in a battle for his teacher's cause. A person living by fraud and a person disobeying his teacher are santified by serving what is good to his teacher. A person (Avakeerni) failing in his celibecy vow shall undertake for six months such expiations as are prescribed for liberation from sin of killing a Braahmana, clad in a bull-skin all those months. He who seduces others'wives or he who steals others' gold ( = money), becomes cleansed of that sin by observing a strict vow for one year. A person stealing others' money becomes sanctified by returning the same quantity of money to the victims somehow and by various other measures of expiation. A person ( Pariveththa or Pariveththri ) marrying prior to his elder brother's marriage or a person (Pariviththi) who marries after his younger brother's marriage is sanctified by observing a Krichchram for twelve days. But, the younger brother should again marry whereby he himself, his first wife and his second wife too will be sanctified and his manes too will be secured to higher abodes. It is said that the food sanctified by processes of rituals during Cahhthurmaasyam is pure and it cleanses women of any of their sins. A learned man should not associate with women who are doubted with unpious conduct and suspected with unchaste behaviour. Such women become sanctified by their menstruation process as a dirty vessel becomes clean by scraping with ash.'

'A bromze vessel defiled with a Shoodra's eating from it, or with the smelling of a cow or with the garglled water, becomes purified by cleansing it ten times with the ten sanctifying elements ( dung,milk,curd,buttermilk and ghee from a cow, earth, ash,tammerind (acidic materials),water and fire are the ten things. cleansing with fire means burning it.) . It is said about deciding the less and more of magnitude of expiation measures, that a Braahmana is to observe the course fully, that a Kshathriya is to undergo a quarter less than that, that a Vyshya to undergo another quarter less than that and that a Shoodra should undergo one more quarter less than that. a person killing animals or birds and a person chopping of numerous useful trees ( other than those required for right causes) should fast for three full days disclosing and confessing his offence to all. A person engaging himself in sensual unison with a woman that is prohibited for him, should spend six months wearing wet clothes, smearing his body with ash and sleeping on ash covered floor ( The commemtator adds that chanting of Shatharudreeyam too is meant). These and certain other measures as prescribed by the Vedas or established by custom or example, are expiation measures for sinners. A person , a Braahmana rather, taking scanty food and chanting the hymn of Saavithri (or Gayathri ) in a clean place, without resorting to harm to any on and without talking much and without involving in too many things, is sanctified for all his sins. For certain sins committed solely due to ignorance, the sinner should stay in an open place for three days and three nights. For certain other sins, the sinner should dip in the water with his clothes on, thrice in the day and thrice in the night, for three days and nights, as a measure of expiation. During observance of such vows under expiation, he should not mingle with women or Shoodras or rogues (Pathitha = man of downfall). By observing such ows of expiation, a Braahmana becomes sanctified for his sins committed unknowngly. A person doing good or evil deeds under the witness of the elements will receive their results after his death. Or, if the good or evil deeds are too much to count, he will receive their results even in this world itself. Hence, a person violating the codes or scriptures shall cleanse himself of sins resulting from such acts, either by penance or by alms or by doing other virtueous deeds. One should only do good deeds, should avoid evil deeds by abstaining from them and should always donate upto his powers, to keep oneself free from sins. All these expiations are mentioned for normal sins, barring the worst and henious crimes (Mahaapaathakas, Mahaa=great,paathaka=sin) regarding what is eatable and what is not, what is fit to speak and what is not, what is fit to do and what is unfit to do, and certain other issues, considering whether the offence is committed knowingly or unknowngly. A sin committed knowingly makes it burden heavier. When done unknowingly, the sin is a normal one and expiation will do for that. Expiations too are meant only for those who believe in the scriptures and who do observe the vows with devotion. For those ruled by falsehood and hatred that do not believe in scriptures and do not care for the vows, this expiation code does not apply. Yudhishthira! a person desirous of begetting good in both the worlds should stick to the virue and the path of those learned in virtues. By such practice, you will be liberated from your much feared sin that you suppose to have incurred by this war which took place either as a result of greed for wealth or as a result of efforts to save your own lives or as a result of following Kshathriya code itself. Also, if you feel guilty due to your natural pity, go for observing expiations as described but may your mind never incline towards that useless act of casting off your life unnecessarily and unbefittingly.'


Yudhishthira intently listened to Vyaasa's clear expounding and said after thinking for a while. ' Grandsire! Can you explain about what is fit to donate and what is not fit, and what is fit to eat and what is unfit? '

Vyaasa answered regarding Yudhishthira, observing that he was slowly becoming his normal self showing his usual interest in hearing such things from elders. 'Yudhishthira! A dialogue between the Prajaapathi Manu and some sages is often referred to in this context. Once some sages put similar questions to Manu in ancient time, requesting him to explain about what is an eligible food, what is an eligible thing for alms, who is an eligible person to receive alms, what is fit to do and what is unfit to do, how a donation of alms should be, how study of Vedas should be done and how any penance is to be done. Hear from me as how he answered them.

'Manu said to the sages. 'Sages! Hear as I answer your questions, some briefly and some in detail. In the absence of mention of a specific sanctifying act for any sin or offence, chanting, oblations, fasting, repentance, dipping in waters of holy rivers, living in an area where such holy places and people of virtue are abundant, residing on holy hils, taking in gold ( in powdered form or as is possible), bathing using certain powerful gems with the water,, visiting ancient temples and such things do soon sanctify a person and there is no doubt about this. A learned man should never feel proud ( of anything). Ifever he felt so, he should expiate by drinking boiled liquids ( some interpret as liquors) for three days. Not taking for one's use anything that is not expressly given to one, alms, study and recitation of Vedas, harmlessness, truthfulness and sacrifices comprise the qualities of virtue. Sometimes, depending the circumstances of the hour, the very same virue (Dharma) becomes non-virtue (Adharma)too. Similarly, depending on the state of affairs at that particular time, sometimes such actions as utilizing what is not given to us, telling lies and harming others, stand as virtue. It is to be clearly undersood that these are exceptional cases with speial circumstances during times of trouble and distress or when excercised as a part of one's right duties.

'The learned people understand that virtue is of two types, one from the aspect of Vedas and the other, from the aspect of this world. And each aspect of the virtue has two courses, acting according to it (active course -Pravriththi) and abstaining from acting according to it ( inactive course=Nivriththi). For either course of the either aspect of the virtue, the results are dual, good for good acts and bad for bad acts. An inactive course with respect to performance of acts, leads to immortality and an active course with respect to performance of acts leads to mortality ( or re-birth), as far as the aspect of Vedas is considered. The good or bad nature of results of good or bad acts remains there always, as far as the aspect of the world is concerned. ( Similar to many places, the original here is a bit hard. I expanded a bit to make it as clear as possible, though I doubt correctness my meaning.-Tr). If a seemingly bad deed is performed purposely with a view to serve the interests of deities or Vedic doctrines or some one's life or someone's life support, such a bad deed yields a good result. What happens in the next world is not directly known to us but what happens in this world is evident to us. Hence, expiation must be done for any sins committed either unknowingly or on a purpose, whether anybody immediately suffered or will suffer in future from that act.

'When a sin is committed due to wrath or delluded intellect causing pleasure or displeasure to the mind, sanctification is prescribed through undergoing bodily pain, taking the sacrificial foods as medicines, chanting hymns (Manthras), and undertaking other penitential measures as directed by scriptures or practice or common reason. A king failing to deliver a proper judgement shall expiate by fasting for a day. A king's priest failing inhis duties is to fast for three days to sanctify himself. No expiation of any kind is applicable to those who altogether abandon their duties as per their order or those abandon their family or clan or birth place. Whenever there arises a doubt about a decision regarding expiation, what is held by ten Vedic scholars or three exponents of codes shall be taken as good as the scriptural direction. Now, I will tell you certain things prohibited for Braahmanas from eating. Earth, ants (small ants - Kshudra pipeelikaah is the original word. Kshudra= small, pipeelika=ant), fruits of Shleshmaathaka tree ( this word is variously understood but I prefer this interpretation as a tree, since Shleshmaathakam is named Dvija--kuthsitha too. Dvija=Braahmana, kuthsitha=detesteable), poison in any form, fishes that bear no scales on their body, four-footted creatures other than the tortoise, frogs, other aquous beings similar to frogs, vultures, swans, Chakravaakas ( a bird), Mridhnas ( a bird), Suvarnas ( a fish), cormorants (Madgu is the original word), cranes, crows, ducks, kites and owls are prohibited for Braahmanasa as food. Also, a braahmana should not eat wild beasts, animals with long fangs, four-footed creatures among birds or animals, those creatures with both lower and upper teeth, and those greatures with four fangs. A Braahmana should not drink milk from a goat, dog, ass,camel,human woman, deer or cows that delivered a calf afresh. A Braahmana shall not drink milk from a cow within ten days of its delivering a calf. He should not eat suah food that is offered to a corpse or that is cooked or srved by a woman under defilement due to child birth ( for ten days).

For a Braahmana, food eaten from Kshathriyas (cooked or served by them ) will lessen his powers, food eaten from Shoodras lessens his radiance, food eaten from a goldsmith or food from a woman without husband or son lessens his life duration. A Braahmana will lose his virility by eating a stale food or eating food from an exorbitant usurer or eating food from a harlot, or eating food earned by a woman or her dependents or eating food from a person who spares his cuckolding wife. Also, a Braahmana should not eat food from a person under a sacrificial performance, from a miser, from one who sells sacrificial implements like Soma for money, from a carpenter, from a tanner ie leather-worker, from an unchaste woman, from a washerman, from a physician (ie curer of various deseases), from a watchman, from those ostracized from their class or village, from those who live by stage performances or from those who live by depending on women. A Braahmana is prohibited from taking food also from those who married prior to their elder brother, imprisoned persons (The original is read s Vandi and Bandi. Vandi=bard, Bandi=prisoner) or gamblers. He should not eat such food that is served with left hand, that is stale by staying overnight, that is defiled with liquor, that is spittled by others, that is kept aside for some one or that is left over by others. A Braahmana should not eat such foods stored till loss of their essence and taste, like, flour and cakes made of it, cane, vegetables used for making curries, products of milk like curd, parched grain or their powder, or such powder mixed with curd . A Braahmana living in the order of a domestic shall not eat, if cooked not intending for worship of gods or manes, pudding ie milk-boiled rice (Paayasam), rice cooked with sesamum (Thilas) and sweetmeats ie oil-cakes. A person under domesticity should eat only after worshipping deities, sages, manes, the traditionally worshipped family deities, humans ie guests and paupers. A domestic of that way of life equals a renouncer even without leaving home. Leading his life thus with his wives and relatives, a domestic amasses virtue. '

'Now about donation and alms. A person conscious of virtue shall not give alms either for fame and publicity or due to fear from someone or something. No donations should be made either as a return of some favour made by others, or to those engaged in public dance and music or clowns and buffoons. Alms are unfit to an intoxicated person ( or arrogant fellow), a crazy person, a thief, a derider of others,an unlearned one, a crossbred person (Vivarna is the original word. It means one devoid of Varna. Varna means color and caste. Though the commentator took the first meaning, I feel this is better fitting.-Tr), a rougue, a person of low birth, a person not sanctified by appropriate and timely rituals or a Braahmana without knowledge of Vedas. A Braahmana is fit to receive alms only if he is wellversed with the Vedas. An inappropriate alms given and taken will cause harm both to the donor and the donee. Such a donor and donee both face the same fate as a person trying to cross the sea supporting himself on a heavy sinking wood like Khadira ( a tree that gives very heavy wood), or a big stone or another person as helplessly drowning as himself. Just as a fire cannot be kindled from wet wood howevermuch fanned, a donee without penance, recital and conduct cannot make the donor reap the intended fruits of the alms. Knowledge of a person without proper conduct is as unworthy asa water stored in a bag made of dog-skin or a milk held in a skull, just due to the unworthiness of the place they reside in, though the water or milk are devoid of any fault by themselves. Alms may be given out of sympathy to a Braahmana fallen from Vedic path or devoid of knowledge of Vedic hymns or knowledge of doctrines or observance of vows, if he happens to be free from envy or jealousy . Similarly, alms can be given to the poor, the troubled people or people inflicted with deseases, without any thout or expectation of deriving any spiritual benefits from it, but only as an act of benefactor or with a sense of duty and compassion. Any alms given to a Braahmana that is devoid of Vedas, is beyond doubt useless due to the unworthiness of the donor. There is no second word about it. An elephant made of wood, an animal made of skin and a Braahmana without study and recital of the Vedas are only namesakes. A Braahmana without persuing the Vedas is as useless and as ineffective as a eunuch for the women, as a bull that cannot make a cow bear a calf and as a bird without its wings. An alms made to a rogue of a Braahmana is as futile as waste as a grain without seeds in it, as useless as a well without water in it, and as futile as an oblation offerred without fire for it. A Braahmana abandoning his Vedic path is a kind of enemy to his own society. He destroys the worship and offerings to deities and manes. Such an idiot of aBraahmana is only detrimental to his order. He cannot attain any higher abodes.' Manu concluded his speech to the sages. Vyaasa said to Yudhishthira in conclusion. 'Yudhshthira! I told you only as bits and odds. The subject about this is so vast that it should be heard long.'


Yudhishthira heard Vyaasa's explanations about many things and asked him again. 'Sage! Your lecture about eatables and uneatables, alms and expiations filled me with joy. I wish to hear thoroughly from you about the duties of kings and about all the duties of the people of the four orders too. I keep thinking that a king's duty and amassing virtues conflict with each other which always leads my mind to confusion. I request you to explain to me in detail which policies should be adopted by a king during normal times and during times of distress, how they should be applied,and how I can win and retain the entire earth following the right course of virtue. '

Vyaasa heard Yudhishthiras questions. He thought for a while, once regarded Naarada and then replied to Yudhishthira. 'My boy! If you are keen on hearing all these subjects thoroughly, you approach your grandsire Bheeshma. That son of Ganga will clarify all the doubts in your mind about subtle aspects of virtue. Bheeshma is no ordinary human at all. He was born to the pious divine river Ganga. He personally saw all the Gods led by Indra. He satisfied Brihaspathi and other divine sages with his service and learnt from them on many occasions about regal policies and moral sciences. He knew that science which Brihaspathi and Shukra possessed in their command, along with its varoious interpretations and subtilities. He had the chance of learning Vedas and their appendices directly from sage Vasishtha and Chyavana. He learnt the science of the soul ( Phiosophy) from sage Sanathkumaara. He learne archery and Asthras from Parashuraama and Indra. Thou a mortal.he hs the power of casting off his life only when he wished to do so. Despite being childless, he is assured of the higher abodes that are reserved for the most virtuous people. His court was always full of sages wellversed with Philosophy. As fas as knowledge and realisation is considered there is nothing that escapes his scholarhood. He will tell all about these policies and their subtler aspects. Go and request him before the great soul decides to depart from this world. '

Yudhishthira heard Vyaasa's words and said after thinking deeply. 'Sir! Having caused this great destruction of all,having killed all the kinsmen, having a calamity to the entire world, of all, having seen him verily himself fallen through straegy despite his fighting in the right and virtuous manner, how can I approach that great personality to ask or learn anything regarding virtue? I have no face to turn up before him.'

Krishna then said to Yudhishthira with a view to bring good to all, ' You should mot remain struck with grief now. Do as sage Vyaasa directed you to do. All the Braahmanas of your empire and all your valourous brothers are waiting upon you seeking your protection like people looking for heavy clouds at the end of a hot summer. All the kings surviving the great war and all the people of the four orders of your Kuru empire are here awaiting your grace upon them. You will be judicious in doing as told by Vyaasa for the sake of pleasure of your people or the Braahmanas or for the sake of obeying your mentor Vyaasa's words or for the sake of happiness of your friends like us or even for the sake of joy of Droupadi. Please follow sage Vyaasa's words and thereby do good to the entire empire. '

Krishna's words now worked on Yudhishthira. Hearing for a long while from hie brothers, Draupadi, Devasthaana, Naarada, Krishna and Vyaasa who were the other forms of Vishnu himself, consoled him to a good extent. Hearing and comprehending their logical lectures and his own skills of logic together made his mind calm to a great extent and he became normal again. Abiding by Krishna's words, he declared that he would enter the city. His announcement made everybody jump with joy. Yudhishthira rose and proceeded on his way to enter the capital. Before starting, he ordered for performance of all propitiating rituals. He then worshipped sages and Braahmanas in their thousands. He kept Dhritharaashtra in the lead and proceeded followed by all his brothers and relatives, resembling the moon followed by the stars. Amidst the praising songs of the bards, he mounted a shining carriage covered with animal skins and blankets, drawn by sixteen white bulls (It was customary for a victorious king to enter the city driven in a chariot drawn by bulls.) with auspicious marks on their bodies and sanctified by sages with chanting of hymns. He looked like Chandra ascending his carriage of ambrosea ( metapharical representation of the mythological doctrine that moon's rays carry ambrosea,hence his name Amrithakara, ie he that bears ambrosea in his rays. Amritha=ambrosea, kara=ray.). During that procession of Yudhishthira's entry into capital, the fierce and valourous Bheema himself held the reigns. Arjuna held over his brother's head the shimmering white parasol that looked like a white cloud adjoined by shining stars. Nakula and Sahadeva fanned hin with two white fans made of the hairs of Chamara ( an animal, whose hairs are used in weaving fans used to serve the kings.Hence the name Chaamara to the fans.) . The five brothers thus occupying the same car resembled the five elements that assembled at a place. Yuyuthsu ascended his car drawn by fast steeds and followed Yudhishthira. Krishna alongwith Saathyaki mounted his golden chariot drawn by his steeds Shybya,Sugreeva and two others (Meghapushpa and Valaahaka) and followed the Kuru heroes. Dhritharaashtra and Gaandhaari sat in a vehicle drawn ( not carried by, as the commentator Neelakantha explained.-Tr) by men and proceeded in the lead. Kunthi, Droupadi and all the other royal women sat in their respective vehicles of various types and proceeded with Vidura intheir lead. Numerous chariots, elephants,horses and soldiers all fully adorned with ornaments followed Yudhishthira. Bards and ministrels like Vandis, Maagadhas, Soothas and Vythaalikas followed the king singing his fame. Slowly, Yudhishthira reached the city. That procession was like one never before. all the people of the city were joyfully and energitically running everywhere in celebration of their king's entrance. All the ways to the royal mansions were decorated with ornamentative designs on the floor. Aromatic materials were lit everywhere along the streets spreading their pleasing fragrances all over. Garlands of sweet smelling white flowers were hung all along the streets. Shining flags were hoisted on high masts at every corner and on top of every house. All the royal palaces were filled with scents and powders sprinkled on every spot and garlands hung along all the doors and walls. The gates of the city were adorned with water-filled pots which were painted white with powder of pearls and decorated with flowers in them. Yudhishthira entered the city of Hasthipuram through that decorated gate,as the hailing sounds of the people rose high into the air.'



Vyshampaayana continued to Janamejaya. 'As the Paandavas entered their capital in procession, the people of the city rushed in their thousands to see them. As Yudhishthira proceeded to the royal mansions along the main street that was decorated fully at each junction and filled with swelling crowds all along resembling a sea on the full-moon day, the women of the city climbed on the roofs of the houses to see their beloved new king. The houses richly decorated and studded with gems seemed to be shaking under the weight of the people over them. The women from the roof-tops modestly hailed at the King and his brothers praising their achievements. The women particularly shouted in praise of Droupadi, 'O Queen! You are lucky and powerful too.You serve these five heroes as once Hearing all such exaltations, Yudhishthira approached and entered the regal mansion which resembled Indra's mansion in its splendour and which bestowed victory and determination. Going into the inner apartments of the mansion, he first worshipped the deities as usual with flowers, gems and sandal paste, and came out to see the Braahmanas who were awaiting him with all the auspicious things held ready in their hands. Amidst those Braahmanas of great lusture, Yudhishthira shone like the shimmering moon amidst the stars. He honoured all those Braahmanas procedurally under the guidance of his priest Dhoumya and Dhritharaashtra. He donated through his employees (Kimichchaka is the original word, meaning " one who asks, 'what do you need, Sir?'".) to them huge quantities of flowers, sweets, gems, gold ornaments, gold, cows, clothes and many other things that they wanted. Then the holy sound of the chants of hymns of the initial sanctifying procedues (A href='punyaaham.html">Punyaaham) rose high into the as if it touched the sky, causing pleasure to the attending relatives. Yudhishthira heard the chanting of the Vedic scholars as a swan (Hamsa) in a lake hears the chirping sounds of other birds around it. After the initial procedures, drums were beaten and conches were blown. Their sound,together with the sounds of the people around shouting 'Victory to Yudhishthira - Victory to the king', created a huge noise that filled the entire gap between the earth and the sky.

After the noise subsided and the Hall became calm, a demon named Chaarvaaka, who was Duryodhana's friend and who was sitting in the hall amidst the thousands of those benedicting Braahmanas till then in the guise of a monk bearing a staff, tuft and beads, stood up and spoke to Yudhisshthira even without speaking to the Braahmanas or taking their permission, with a view to deride the Paandavas openly. 'Yudhishthira! I am speaking the word of all these Braahmanas on their behalf. They are all against you and deride you for killing their rulers. They say about you with wrath and hatred, 'Shame upon this man! He is the worst of the kings. He eradicated the clan of our kings.' Yudhishthira! Let them say so. What will you obtain after doing this great sin of extermination of all your kinsmen, your teachers and your elders ? You better die than live.'

All the Braahmanas were like mortified with shame and sorrifulness. They were all evidently hurt with those unwarranted harsh words of that stranger towards their new king. They could not speak anything for a while due to their bewilderment, shy and regret. Yudhishthira prayed to the Braahmanas, 'Learned Sires! I beg you with folded hands from amidst all my people who have long been troubled and from among whom nobody is joyfull. You please decide asto what to do with his remarks. You should not desert or neglect me at an hour like this.'

The Braahmanas consulted among themselves and told Yudhishthira. 'Dear king! Do not worry. He did not speak our words. Nor did he speak on our behalf. He is a stranger to us. Be calm and peaceful. May wealth and good befall upon you.'

Soon the Braahmanas endowed with great powers of penance understood who that man was and said to Yudhishthira. 'King! This is a demon named Chaarvaaka, a friend of Duryodhana. He is present here in the guise of a monk wishing to do a favour to his deceased friend by publicly speaking for him againsy tou. We never speak like this about you. You need not at all worry about this. Be victorious and peaceful with your brothers.'

Thus disclosing the original identity of the demon as well as their mind, the Braahmanas showered their wrathfull grunts and growls on the demon Chaarvaaka and gaged him witheir angry looks. Owing to the power of the anger of the penance rich Braahmanas, Chaarvaaka fell dead on the spot like a tree falling down hit by a thunder bolt.

( This chapter is mentioned to be an interpolation. But it exists in all the main texts. Hence included.-Tr)

Seeing everybody including Yudhishthira wondered at the strange sight, Krishna said to Yudhishthira. ' I always honour and worship Braahmanas because there are the most honourable ones to me on this earth. Braahmanas are gods on the earth whose words are as nourishing as ambrosea to the good and as destroying as poison to the evil. This demon Chaarvaaka abused the Braahmanas by speaking false against them and their Wrath killed him instantly. Hear his past history. Once in the Kritha Yuga, this demon Chaarvaaka went on with a stringent penance for many years in the holy forest of Badari. When Lord Brahma asked him to seek for any boons, he at last asked such a boon that he should not face any fear of any danger from any being. The Lord too allowed him that boon saying that nothing would harm him except causing insult to Braahmanas. The strong and cruel demon became invincible with that boon and he soon harassed the gods with his terrific acts. Than the gods went to Brahma and prwyed to him to see a way to save from the trouble of Chaarvaaka. Brahma assured them, 'It is already decided about Chaarvaaka's end. Before long, he will die. A king named Duryodhana among the humans will become his friend. Due to the bond of friendship with him, this demon will insult the Braahmanas. The Braahmanas becoming angry with that insult will aim their wrath at him and and will die on the spot hit by the weapons of their words.'

Krishna continued. 'This is that demon Chaarvaaka who fell dead now before you. He met his fate through the punishment given by the insulted Braahmnanas. Do not mind what he said imputing you with killing of kinsmen. All those honourable heroes died in the war as is much coveted by all Kshathriyas. It shall not bring any disgrave to you. Please carry on with your further works. Proceed to crush the enemies, to rule the empire and to please your subjects.'

With Krishna's wxplanationabout Chaarvaaka and the intention behind his words, Yudhishthira felt relieved that he was not really to blame. He hapily proceeded with the rituals of his coronation.


Then, Yudhishthira became free from any feeling of disgrace or guilt caused by the demon Chaarvaaka's words and sat east-faced in the richly decorated golden seat. Facing him sat Krishna and Saathyaki in two lusturous golden chairs. Bheema and Arjuna sat in two gem-studded chairs flanking either side of Yudhishthira. Kunthi sat in an ivory chair decorated with golden finishings, along with Nakula and Sahadeva with her. The priest of the Kouravas Sudharma, The priest of the Paandavas Dhoumya and old king Dhritharaashtra sat on their resplendednt seats. Gaandhaari, Yuyuthsu and Sanjaya sat beside Dhritharaashtra. All the other relatives and royal women took their seats at the places allotted for them.

Yudhshthira touched the auspicious things like white flowers, seats of the deities decorated with various designs, Akshthathas ( Rice soaked with wet turmeric), the earth, gold and selected gems. Then all the people visited Yudhishthira with the priest in their lead, with all auspicious things in their hands as offerings to the coronating king. As the process of visiting of the peope was going on, the royal priests in the meanwhile made ready all the things required for the coronation ceremony, such as holy earth ( from selected places), gold, various gems, pots of water from all the sacred rivers, pots made of such meterialals as gold, silver,copper and earth; flowers, Kushas ( ie Darbha, a reed sort of grass used in sacrificial rites.), buttermilk, honey, ghee ( melted and clarified butter), Sruva ( a ladel used in pourng ghee into the fire in the altar. The smaller one is names Sruk.) made of Udumbara( a tree named Shami) wood, conch with a golden casing around it, and Samidhas (pieces of wood) of the trees Shami, Pippala and Palaasha.

Dhoumya obtained Krishna's permission and started the rituals. He systematically prepared a stage for altar, leaning towards North-East corner and made various auspicious designs on it with rice flour and other materials. He called Yudhishthira and Droupadi to sit together on a golden seat named Sarvathobhadra of strong pedestals, placed on a tiger-skin and covered with a white cloth. Then he lit the sacred fire and offered intial oblations in the fire in propitiation of the deities, chanting all the required hymns with their appropriate procedure. Then Krishna rose up, took the golden conch and coronated Yudhishthira by pouring water on his head with that conch. Dhritharaashtra too did the same and some other prominent persons from the people too did so as a token of welcoming the new king's coronation. As was told by Krishna, coronating water was poured on Yudhishthira with the conch Paanchajanyam too and by getting that water through that celebrated conch, Yudhishthira shone resplendent along with his brothers. Then were beaten the drums, played were trumpets and blewn were the conches in appreciation of the new king. Yudhishthira gracefully accepted all that and honoured all the participants with gifts. As the Braahmanas went on chanting the hymns of benedictins, Yudhishthira offered them thousands of gold coins each. Those learned Braahmanas of the best conduct were pleased very much and they blessed him with victory a.nd peace. They benedicted their new king saying, ' O Great Yudhishthira! Fortunately for all, you turned out victorious with your valour. Fortunately for us, you have again taken the path of your true duty. For the good of all of us, Bheema, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva too remained unharmed after the great war that consumed the cream of the heroes. You have now crushed youe enemies off. Please proceed further with your next assignments.'

Thus honoured and blessed by the Braahmanas and relatives, Yudhishthira attained his empire again. In response to the Braahmanas' words of praise, he humbly said, 'Sires! It is an honour and pleasure to all our Paandavas , as Braahmanas of your stature praise our qualities, maybe we possess them or not. My opinion is that you all should always graces us with your kindness. You all, who are devoid of envy or wrath, say about us that we are of good qualities. This elder Dhritharaashtra is as good as father to me. For me, he is the deity I should most wordhip. If you all really wish my good, you please stand by his word and order. Even after causing all that horrendous killing of all my kinsmen, I live only to serve and satisfy him with all me devotion and dedication forever. If you see me fit for your grace, you all grant me a word that you all would behave with Dhritharaashtra as you have been doing with him hitherto. He is the ruler of this empire, he is Lord to me, to you and to all. All this empire is his and all the Paandavas are his helping hands. I pray you all to keep in your mind, this small solicitation from me.'

Saying thus to the Braahmanas and the people from towns and villages, Yudhishthira allowed them all to leave.


Then, Yudhishthira allotted various duties to various persons to run the administration of the empire and to look after the welfare of the subjects. He made Bheema as (Yuvaraaja) Crown-Prince. He entrusted Vidura with the responsibility of planning the required regal strategies, making suitable decisions and discussions on the six regal policies (Shaadgunyam). He entrusted the wise and old Sanjaya with the responsibility of supervision over various things that are done, to be done and not to be done, and also with the duty of supervising the income of revenues and expenses of the state. He entrusted Nakula with the affairs of the armies, its size, its food, its payments and all its other affairs like recruiting and training. He vested with Arjuna the responsibilities of facing the enemies and punishing the wrong. He installed Dhoumya as the authority to take care of all affairs relating to Braahmanas, worship of deities and other aspects realted to rituals. He orderd Sahadeva to be present with the king always, guarding him every moment in all circumstances. He further employed many other people to take care of such affairs as he thought they would be fit to. He specifically reiterated to Yuyuthsu, Vidura and Sanjaya ' You all should do your works diligently pertaining to your responsibilities as is required and as is ordered by our old king Dhritharaashtra. In the affairs relating to people from the towns and villages too, you report all things to him and dispose of them as he directs.' By saying thus, he once again reminded them of his earlier intemtion of keeping the berieved Dhritharaashtra in good humours.


After the court is dispersed, Yudhishthira made performed all homage rituals, for those kinsmen killed in the war, that were needed to be done for the good of the dead. Dhritharaashtra performed the required deeds for his dead sons wherein he donated huge quantities of delicious food, cows, monies and different varaities of gems. Yudhisthira alongwith Droupadi performed the rituals for Drona, Karna, Dhrishtadyumna, Abhimanyu, Ghatothkacha,Droupadi's sons and other relatives like Drupada and Viraata. He donated monies in thousands, in the name of the each of his killed relatives. He donated money, gems, dresses, cows and other things in memory of and for the good of the other king who died in the war. He also did the same for those kings who died without a survivor behind them. Besides performing the rituals of homage for the dead, Yudhishthira also arranged for establishments of water booths along the paths, construction of various halls for the use of the people, digging of many tanks for the purpose of the people, in the memory of the dead ones after their names. Thus, he did all that he could do in the name of the deceased relatives in satisfying his debt to them , thereby freeing himself from the guilty consciousness and avoiding public blame of being ungretaful towards those who sacrificed their lives for him. He continued to honour as earlier, the elders such as Dhritharaashtra, Gaandhaari, Vidura and others. He paid due respects to all the elders in the clan. He treated well all the earlier servants and employees of the Kouravas too. He kindly took protective care of all those women who survived their husnbands and sons. He excercised high interest in taking good care of the pitiable people like the destitutes, the blind and the invalid, by providing food shelter and clothing to them. Thus wiping out his enemies, repaying as far as possible the debts of his deceased kinsmen and protecting his subjects well, Yudhishthira set on the administration of his empire.


(For me, this chapter seems to be a later addition, but included for completeness, as it exists in main texts. There are nearly hundred epithets used here for Krishna. Original words are given in brackets for reference. For explanation of the epithets, see the link Vishnu-shathanaamaaali ( Vishnu's hundred names).-Tr)

Vyshampaayana continued to Janamejaya.

'After performing the homage rituals and passing the initial set of orders, the newly coronated king Yudhishthira greatfully said to Krishna with folded hands. 'Krishna! We could regain our ancestral empire only due to your grace, policies, cleverness, strategies, wisdom and power. That makes me greatful to you forever. How can I thank you for that great help which no ordinary human can ever do for anyone. In fact, you are not a human at all. You only took a human form as a part of your sport of your conducting this vast universe with its several worlds. You are said to be the Supreme Being (Purusha). You are the lord of those that devote themselves to you. The learned people praise you and your greatness with many different names as they perceive you to be. I bow to you, who are the Vishva-Karma, the Vishvaathma, Vishvasambhava, the Vishnu, the Jishnu , the Vykuntha and the Purushoththama .'

'You are the one who took birth from the womb of Adithi in seven forms. It is again you that took births from the womb of Prishni as Prishni-garbha and also as three different entities of Parashuraama, Raama and Balaraama. It is you that possesses the three pairs of virtue and knowledge, renunciation and lordship, and splendour and glory. You are Shuchishravas, Hrisheekesha, Ghrithaarchi, Hamsa, Thrichakshu, Shambhu, Vibhu, Daamodara, Varaaha, Agni, Brihadbhaanu, Vrishabha, Thaarkshyalakshana, Aneekasaaha,Purusha, shipivishta, Urukrama, Varishtha, Ugrasenaani, Sathya, Vaajasani, Guha, Achyutha, Ari-Chyaavana, Samskritha, Vikrithi, Vrisha, Krishna-dharma, Aadi, Vrishadarbha, Vrishaakapi, Sindhu, vidharma, Thrikakup, Thridhaama, Thridivachyutha, Samraat, Viraat, Svaraat, Suraraaja, Bhavodbhava,Vibhu, bhoo,Athibhoo, Krishna, Krishnavarthma, Svishtakrith, Bhishajaavartha,Kapila, Vaamana,Yajna,Dhruva, Pathanga, Yajnaseva, Shikhandi, Nahusha, Babhru, Divasprik, Punarvasu, subabhru, Rukmayajna, Sushena, dundubhi, Gabhasthinemi, Sreepadma, Pushkara, Pushpadhaarana,Ribhu, vibhu, Sarvasookshma, Chaarithra, Ambhonidhi, Brahma, (Pavithradhaama)Dhaama, Dhaamavith, Hiranyagarbha, Svadhaa and Svaahaa. ( For explanation of these epithets, see the link Vishnu-shathanaamaaali ( Vishnu's hundred names) ).

'Krishna! You are the source of this entire universe and you are its destruction too. You create the universe in the beginning, you maintain it till its end. I bow to you, who sport the bow Shaarnga, sword and discus in your hands.'

As Yudhishthira praised him in the hall, Krishna was pleased with him and immensely appreciated him for his regaining of his empire along with all his brothers.


Then Yudhishthira allowed leave to all the general people present in the hall . They all bowed to him and left. He called his four brothers and told. 'Brothers! you have been hurt and wounded severely with the various weapons of the enemies all these days in the great war. You are all tired due to that geat exertion. Wrath and Trouble held you hot all these days. Before this, you were to suffer badly dwelling in the forests for a long period like incompetent ones, solely due to my folly. Enjoy the victory and its pleasure as you choice for yourselves. Take rest and sleep peacefully tonight. I will see you all tomorrow in full rejuvenation and vigour.' Saying that, Yudhishthira allotted mansions to his brithers.

With Dhritharaashtraa's permission, Yudhishthira allotted to Bheema, Duryodhana's mansion consisting of many palaces within its premises, studded with gems in the walls, full of servants and maids. Arjuna took it at Indra took his Vyjayantham mansion in heaven. He allotted Dushshaasana's mansion to Arjuna. That was as splendourous as Duryodhana's too. Its several buildings were adorned with golden garlands. It was attended by thousands of maids and servants. It housed abundant grains and monies. Arjuna obeyed the royal orders and accepted the residence. Yudhishthira plesed Nakula who until a few months before then suffered in the forests, by allotting him Durmarshana's mansion which looked even better than Dushshaasana's with its golden decorations resembling those of Kubera's residence. To Sahadeva who always pleased Yudhishthira with his acts, he allotted Durmukha's mansion shining with golden linings and huge decorations, filled with female attendants and furnished with luxurious beds. Sahadeva obeyed his brother's orders and accepted the residence which pleased him like the Kylaasam pleased Kubera.

Then, Yuyuthsu, vidura, Sanjaya, Sudharma and dhoumya obtaine yudhishthira's leave and left for their residences. Yudhishthira sent his brothers, krishna and Saathyaki too to take rest. Krishna and Saathyaki went along with Arjuna to his residence. They all spent that night with choiced food and drinks . After enjoying a peaceful deep sleep, they all woke up in the morning and prepared themselves to meet yudhishthira.

Janamejay asked Vyshampaayana. 'Sir! What did Yudhishthira do after regaining his empire? What did the valourous hero Krishna too did? I wish to hear it all from you. Kindly tell me.'

Vyshampaayana answered Janamejaya. 'King! Hear from me about what and how Yudhishthira did along with brothers and Krishna after ascending the throne. He settled people of all the four orders in all walks of life in their respective duties and responsibilities. He donated a thousand gold coins each to Braahmansa who completed their vows. He satisfied all hie workers, dependents, court employees, investigating officers, destitutes and other deserving people with all they needded and wanted. He gave thousands of cows,gold, silver and many dresses to his priest Dhoumya. He made Kripa as the mentor of the royal family. He also honoured Vidura duly. He satisfied all others too by gifting various things like beds, attires, food and drinks. Appropriating the resources judiciously, he honoured Dhritharaashtra's son Yuyuthsu too.

Yudhishthira,though being the emperor, dedicated his power and empire to Dhritharaashtra and Gaandhaari, deciding over the things only after consulting with or reporting to Dhritharaashtra. Thus, he remained calm and settled on the throne like a person devoid of any trouble.

Thus settling the things and pleasing the citizens, Yudhishthira went to see Krishna at his palace. When entered Krishna's room with folded hands, he saw Krishna sitting on a grand couch adorned with gold and gems. Krishna was clad in yellow silk attire, wearing the Kousthubha gem on his chest and other gold ornaments all over his body. The dark-bodied figure of Krishna in the yellow attire with those resplendent jewels resembled a hill with the rising sun above it and looked like a gold piece studded with a saphire. Beholding that glorious figure with no match anywhere in the three worlds, Yudhishthira slowly approached and wished him with respect. Sporting a smile he said to Krishna in a gentle voice, 'Krishna! Did you enjoy a deep sleep last night here? Are your mind and intellect calm, restored and revitalized after a good rest? Due to your grace upon us, O lord of power that controls the three worlds, we could regain our empire and the entire earth now remains under our control. We attained victory and great fame too, yet,not falling from the path of virtue.'

Even as Yudhishthira was talking that way, Krishna remained unresponsive, without even a slight movement, deeply immursed in his meditation. Yudhishthira waited for a while and again said to Krishna. 'What a wonder is this! Krishna! I see you in deep meditation. Did anything go wrong anywhere in the three worlds? you seem beyond the world attaining the fourth (Normally, sleep,wakefulness and dream are the three stages of mind to us. Yogis surpass these three and reach fourt stage of mind when nothing is perceived by the body or mind except what is being meditated upon.) stage of mind in your meditation. I am surprised to see you like this. The life wind in your body with its five entities is restrained to stop. All youe sensories seem to be absorbed in your mind and that mind and the senses seem to be absorbed in ypur intellect. all the objects (Gunas) of the sensories look to be absorbed in the soul (Kshethrajna). Not even a hair of you moves. Your mind and intellect are stably restrained. You look as still and immobile as a wall or a trunk of a tree. You appear to be as unmoving as a rock resembling the flame of a lamp that remains still at a place where the air is still. If it is not a secret and if I am fit to know of it, you may please tell me why this happened to you now. Clarify my doubt and show grace upon me. You yourself are the Kshara (temporary entity) and Akshara (Permanent entity). You are the doer and you are the alterer of the course of things. You are the source of everything and you are the one, devoid afany beginning or middle or end. I take refuge with you always, I am devoted to you always, and I pray to you bowing my head, to explain this strange behaviour of you.'

Krishna then restored his senses and mind to their respective normal status and said smiling to Yudhishthira. 'King! The great Bheeshma lying on the bed of arrows, resembling a fire that is about to extinguish, is now meditating on me. That took my mind unto him. My mind went unto him whose twang of the string was as unbearable as the roar of the thunder even to Indra. My mind went unto him who quashed the entire group of Kshathriyas and brought the three brides (daughters of Kaashi king) for his brother. My mind went unto him who fought continuously for twenty three days against the dreaded Parashuraama but still did not yield to defeat. My mind went unto him whom the holy divine river Ganga bore in her womb and whom the sage Vasishtha himself did teach all faculties of knowledge. My mind went unto him who mastered not only all the divine Asthras but all the four Vedas with their six appendices too. My mind went unto him who was a favourite disciple of Parashuraama and who is at p.resent the possessor of knowledge in its every branch. My mind went went unto him who is the best among the scholars of virtue, who could properly assess the future and who knew the present and past thouroughly. He concentrated all his senses into single entity, restrained his mind with intellect and meditated to me whereby my mind was dragged to him. If he leaves this world to reach the heaven as and when he likes, the earth will be devoid of a treasure of knowledge and look like a night without the moon. Hence, I advise you to go to the great hero, touch his feet and ask him to teach whatever you wish to know about. From him, you learn about everything pertaining to the four orders of life, four goals of life, rituals for all the four orders of the people, and in particular, about the duties and policies of a ruler. After his demise, all his knowledge too disappears from the earth. Hence, I prevail upon you to see him and seek instructions.'

Yudhishthira heard Krishna's words and replied with tear-filled eyes and a choking voice. ' Krishna! What you said about the greatness of Bheeshma is true to its every letter. Nothing in it is to be doubted. I am sure of that. I too heard from many Braahmanas that Bheeshma is great not only in valour but even in all branches of knowledge. Then, the words of you the maker and supporter of the universe, need not be given even a second thought. If you really show grace on me, I prefer going to Bheeshma with you in our lead. As he will leave his body soon after the sun turns to his north solstice, it is befitting to see him. Also, at these last days of him, he deserves to see in person you, who are the physical form of the Supreme soul, who are the eternal entity and the temporal entity both.'

As Krishna agreed to Yudhishthira's word, Saathyaki quickly went out and ordered Daaruka to bring Krishna's chariot ready to travel. Daaruka instantly brought Krishna's celebrated car covered with golden plates. Its windows and their frames were studded with sunstones, moonstones and saphires. Its wheels were fitted with gold-casings. Its internal walls and handles were made of gold and various gems were studded abundantly. Its banner flashed with the symbol of Garuda. It was yoked with four fastest steeds named Shybya, Sugreeva, Meghapushpa and Valaahaka which themselves were decorated with golden covers and golden facesheets. Daaruka approached Krishna and reported with folded hands that his chariot was ready for use.


Sootha said to the sages in the Nymisha forest. At that point, Janamejaya asked Vyshampaayana. 'Sir! Lying on the arrow bed, what Yoga did our great grandfather Bheeshma hold? How did he leave his body? '

Vyshampaayana said in reply to Janamejaya. 'King! Listen carefully about how Bheeshma spent his last days on the arrow bed before he left his body and also how he left his body.'

'Bheeshma taught Yudhishthira right from his arrow bed where he shone with hundreds of arrows all over his body, like the sun with his rays spreading in every direction. After teaching his grandson, and after the sun turned to his north solstice, he decided to leave his body. I will tell you later about the teachings and leaving the body but now I will just answer the question that which Yoga he held during his last days lying on the arrows. Bheeshma was surrounded by great sages including divine sages too, like Vyaasa, Naarada, Devasthaana, Vaathsya, Ashmaka, Sumanthu, Jymini, Pyla, Shaandilya, Devala, Mythreya, Asitha, Vasishtha, Vishvaamithra, Haareetha, Lomasha, Aathreeya, Brihaspathi, Shukra, Chyavana, Sanathkumaara, Kapila, Vaalmeeki, Thumburu, Kuru, Moudgalya, Parashuraama, Thrinabindu, Pippalaada, Vaayu, Samvartha, Pulaha, Kacha, Kaashyapa, Pulasthya, Rithu, Daksha, Paraashara, Mareechi, angiras, Kaashya, Gouthama, Gaalava,Dhoumya, Vibhaanda, Maandavya, Dhoumra, Krishnaanubhouthika, Ulooka, Maarkandeya, Bhaaskari, Poorana, Krishna,Sootha and many more who were rich in peace, forbearance and penance. With all those pious people around him, Bheeshma looked as glorious as the moon with the planets around him. He folded his hands, concentrated his senses, kept his mind clean out of all other thoughts and eulogised as aloud and clearly as he could, the Supreme Lord Krishna as following. ( Interestingly, the eulogy by Bheeshma as described in Bhaagavatham too is of the same high class as this one.-Tr)

' I speak out my words with a wish to praise Krishna. May these words, brief or elaborate, please him, the utmost entity in this universe. I cast off everything (ie three forms of the body) and totally surrender myself to him who is the purest, the way to reach whom is also the purest, who is (Hamsa) the highest entity himself, who is the creator, who is the progenitor too and who is understood by the reference 'THATH'(THAT= that, ie that Supreme Soul). Neither the sages nor the gods know of the Supreme Soul (Brahman) that has neither a beginning nor an end, but only this Krishna who is the alternative form of Naaraayana or Hari, the maker of this universe, knows. Neither the deities nor the demons nor the Yakshas nor the Raakshasas nor the Naagas cannot know by themselves who this almighty is or whence he emerges. Due to the grace of Naaraayana himself do the sages, siddhas and Naagas did know that Naaraayana is the eternal entity ie thr Supreme soul. It is in him that all the beings reside and live as secondary to him like the beads held by the thread passing through them all. The entire universe comprising all its causes and effects lies within him who created it and whom it forms a part of, just like a garland of flowers stays firmly held only by the string that holds all the constituent flowers together. I take refuge with that supreme entity Naaraayana whom the learned scholars hail as the ultimate source and base of this universe, who is described as resplendent with innumerable heads, feet, eyes, hands, crowns and faces, who is realised as the minuter than the minutest, the grosser than the grossest, the higher than the highest and the best of the best. I submit myself to him whom the Samhitha part and the Braahmana part of the Vedas








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