The Mahabharata 6
Category: Hindu
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The Mahābhārata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Rāmāyaṇa. It narrates the struggle between two groups of cousins in the Kurukshetra War and the fates of the Kaurava and the Pāṇḍava princes and their succession. Along with the Rāmāyaṇa, it forms the Hindu Itihasa.


Book 6: Bhishma Parva

Kisari Mohan Ganguli, tr.

Section I

(Jamvu-khanda Nirmana Parva)

OM! HAVING BOWED down to Narayana, and Nara, the most exalted of male beings, and also to the goddess Saraswati, must the word ‘Jaya’ be uttered.

Janamejaya said,—”How did those heroes, the Kurus, the Pandavas, and the Somakas, and the high-souled kings assembled together from various countries, fight?”

Vaisampayana said,—”Listen thou, O lord of the earth, how those heroes,—the Kurus, the Pandavas, and the Somakas,—fought on the sacred plain of the Kurukshetra. Entering Kurukshetra, the Pandavas endued with great might, along with the Somakas, advanced, desirous of victory, against the Kauravas. Accomplished in the study of the Vedas, all (of them) took great delight in battle. Expectant of success in battle, with their troops (they) faced the fight. Approaching the army of Dhritarashtra’s son, those (warriors) invincible in battle stationed themselves with their troops on the western part (of the plain), their faces turned towards the east. Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, caused tents by thousands to be set up according to rule, beyond the region called Samantapanchaka. The whole earth seemed then to be empty, divested of horses and men, destitute of cars and elephants, and with only the children and the old left (at home). From the whole area of Jamvudwipa over which the sun sheds his rays, was collected that force, O best of kings. Men of all races, assembled together, occupied an area extending for many Yojanas over districts, rivers, hills, and woods. That bull among men, king Yudhishthira, ordered excellent food and other articles of enjoyment for all of them along with their animals. And Yudhishthira fixed diverse watch-words for them; so that one saying this should be known as belonging to the Pandavas. And that descendant of Kuru’s race also settled names and badges for all of them for recognition during time of battle.

“Beholding the standard-top of Pritha’s son, the high-souled son of Dhritarashtra, with a white umbrella held over his head, in the midst of a thousand elephants, and surrounded by his century of brothers, began with all the kings (on his side) to array his troops against the son of Pandu. Seeing Duryodhana, the Panchalas who took delight in battle, were filled with joy and blew their loud-sounding conches and cymbals of sweet sounds. Beholding those troops so delighted, Pandu’s son and Vasudeva of great energy had their hearts filled with joy. And those tigers among men, Vasudeva and Dhananjaya, seated on one car, having felt great joy, both blew their celestial conches. And hearing the blare of Gigantea and the loud blast of Theodotes belonging unto the two, the combatants ejected urine and excreta. As other animals are filled with fear on hearing the voice of the roaring lion, even so became that force upon hearing those blasts. A frightful dust arose and nothing could be seen, for the sun himself, suddenly enveloped by it, seemed to have set. A black cloud poured a shower of flesh and blood over the troops all around. All this seemed extraordinary. A wind rose there, bearing along the earth myriads of stony nodules, and afflicting therewith the combatants by hundreds and thousands. (For all that), O monarch, both armies, filled with joy, stood addrest for battle, on Kurukshetra like two agitated oceans. Indeed, that encounter of the two armies was highly wonderful, like that of two oceans when the end of the Yuga is arrived. The whole earth was empty, having only the children and the old left (at home), in consequence of that large army mustered by the Kauravas. Then the Kurus, the Pandavas, and the Somakas made certain covenants, and settled the rules, O bull of Bharata’s race, regarding the different kinds of combat. Persons equally circumstanced must encounter each other, fighting fairly. And if having fought fairly the combatants withdraw (without fear of molestation), even that would be gratifying to us. Those who engaged in contests of words should be fought against with words. Those that left the ranks should never be slain. A car-warrior should have a car-warrior for his antagonist; he on the neck of an elephant should have a similar combatant for his foe; a horse should be met by a horse, and a foot-soldier, O Bharata; should be met by a foot-soldier. Guided by considerations of fitness, willingness, daring and might, one should strike another, giving notice. No one should strike another that is unprepared or panic-struck. One engaged with another, one seeking quarter, one retreating, one whose weapon is rendered unfit, uncased in mail, should never be struck. Car-drivers, animals (yoked to cars or carrying weapons) men engaged in the transport of weapons, players on drums and blowers of conches should never be struck. Having made these covenants, the Kurus, and the Pandavas, and the Somakas wondered much, gazing at each other. And having stationed (their forces thus), those bulls among men, those high-souled ones, with their troops, became glad at heart, their joy being reflected on their countenances.”

Section II

Vaisampayana said,—”Seeing then the two armies (standing) on the east and the west for the fierce battle that was impending, the holy Rishi Vyasa, the son of Satyavati, that foremost of all persons acquainted with the Vedas, that grandsire of the Bharatas, conversant with the past, the present, and the future, and beholding everything as if it were present before his eyes, said these words in private unto the royal son of Vichitravirya who was then distressed and giving way to sorrow, reflecting on the evil policy of his sons.

“Vyasa said,—’O king, thy sons and the other monarchs have their hour arrived. Mustered in battle they will kill one another. O Bharata, their hour having come, they will all perish. Bearing in mind the changes brought on by time, do not yield thy heart to grief. O king, if thou wish to see them (fighting) in battle, I will, O son, grant thee vision. Behold the battle.”

“Dhritarashtra said,—’O best of regenerate Rishi, I like not to behold the slaughter of kinsmen. I shall, however, through thy potency hear of this battle minutely.”

Vaisampayana continued.—”Upon his not wishing to see the battle but wishing to hear of it, Vyasa, that lord of boons, gave a boon to Sanjaya. (And addressing Dhritarashtra he said),—’This Sanjaya, O king, will describe the battle to thee. Nothing in the whole battle will be beyond this one’s eyes.’ Endued, O king with celestial vision, Sanjaya will narrate the battle to thee. He will have knowledge of everything. Manifest or concealed, (happening) by day or by night, even that which is thought of in the mind, Sanjaya shall know everything. Weapons will not cut him and exertion will not fatigue him. This son of Gavalgani will come out of the battle with life. As regards myself, O bull of Bharata’s race, the fame of these Kurus, as also of all the Pandavas, I will spread. Do not grieve. This is destiny, O tiger among men. It behoveth thee not to give way to grief. It is not capable of being prevented. As regards victory, it is there where righteousness is.’”

Vaisampayana continued,—”That highly-blessed and holy grandsire of the Kurus, having said so, once more addressed Dhritarashtra and said,—’Great will the slaughter be, O monarch, in this battle. I see here also (numerous) omens indicative of terror. Hawks and vultures, and crows and herons, together with cranes, are alighting on the tops of trees and gathering in flocks. These birds, delighted at the prospect of battle, are looking down (on the field) before them. Carnivorous beasts will feed on the flesh of elephants and steeds. Fierce herons, foreboding terror, and uttering merciless cries, are wheeling across the centre towards the southern region. In both the twilights, prior and posterior, I daily behold, O Bharata, the sun during his rising and setting to be covered by headless trunks. Tri-coloured clouds with their extremities white and red and necks black, charged with lightning, and resembling maces (in figure) envelope the sun in both twilights. I have seen the sun, the moon, and the stars to be all blazing. No difference in their aspect is to be noted in the evening. I have seen this all day and all night. All this forbodes fear. On even the fifteenth night of the lighted-fortnight in (the month of) Kartika, the moon, divested of splendour, became invisible, or of the hue of fire, the firmament being of the hue of the lotus. Many heroic lords of earth, kings and princes, endued with great bravery and possessed of arms resembling maces, will be slain and sleep lying down on the earth. Daily I notice in the sky during night time the fierce cries of battling boars and cats. The images of gods and goddesses sometimes laugh, sometimes tremble, and sometimes again these vomit blood through their mouths and sometimes they sweat and sometimes fall down. O monarch! drums, without being beaten, give sounds, and the great cars of Kshatriyas move without (being drawn by) animals yoked to them. Kokilas, wood-peckers, jaws, water-cocks, parrots, crows, and peacocks, utter terrible cries. Here and there, cavalry soldiers, cased in mail, armed with weapons, send forth fierce shouts. At sun-rise flights of insects, by hundreds are seen. In both twilights, the cardinal quarters seem to be ablaze, and the clouds, O Bharata, shower dust and flesh. She, O king, who is celebrated over the three worlds and is applauded by the righteous, even that (constellation) Arundhati keepeth (her lord) Vasistha on her back. The planet Sani also, O king, appeareth afflicting (the constellation) Rohini. The sign of the deer in the Moon hath deviated from its usual position. A great terror is indicated. Even though the sky is cloudless, a terrible roar is heard there. The animals are all weeping and their tears are falling fast.’”

Section III

“Vyasa said,—’Asses are taking births in kine. Some are having sexual pleasure with mothers. The trees in the forests are exhibiting unseasonable flowers and fruits. Women quick with child, and even those that are not so, are giving birth to monsters. Carnivorous beasts, mingling with (carnivorous) birds, are feeding together. Ill-omened beasts, some having three horns, some with four eyes, some with five legs, some with two sexual organs, some with two heads, some with two tails, some having fierce teeth, are being born, and with mouths wide open are uttering unholy cries. Horses with three legs, furnished with crests, having four teeth, and endued with horns, are also being born. O king! in thy city is also seen that the wives of many utterers of Brahma are bringing forth Garudas and peacocks. The mare is bringing forth the cow-calf and the bitch is bringing forth, O king, jackals and cocks, and antelopes and parrots are all uttering inauspicious cries. Certain women are bringing forth four or five daughters (at a time), and these as soon as they are born, dance and sing and laugh. The members of the lowest orders are laughing and dancing and singing, and thus indicating direful consequences. Infants, as if urged by death, are drawing armed images, and are running against one another, armed with clubs, and desirous of battle are also breaking down the towns (they erect in sport). Lotuses of different kinds and lilies are growing on trees. Strong winds are blowing fiercely and the dust ceaseth not. The earth is frequently trembling, and Rahu approacheth towards the sun. The white planet (Ketu) stayeth, having passed beyond the constellation Chitra. All this particularly bodeth the destruction of the Kurus. A fierce comet riseth, afflicting the constellation Pusya. This great planet will cause frightful mischief to both the armies. Mars wheeleth towards Magha and Vrihaspati (Jupiter) towards Sravana. The Sun’s offspring (Sani) approaching towards the constellation Bhaga, afflicteth it. The planet Sukra, ascending towards Purva Bhadra, shineth brilliantly, and wheeling towards the Uttara Bhadra, looketh towards it, having effected a junction (with a smaller planet). The white planet (Ketu), blazing up like fire mixed with smoke, stayeth, having attacked the bright constellation Jeshtha that is sacred to Indra. The constellation Dhruva, blazing fiercely, wheeleth towards the right. Both the Moon and the Sun are afflicting Rohini. The fierce planet (Rahu) hath taken up its position between the constellations Chitra and Swati. The red-bodied (Mars) possessed of the effulgence of fire, wheeling circuitously, stayeth in a line with the constellation Sravana over-ridden by Vrihaspati. The earth that produceth particular crops at particular seasons is now covered with the crops of every season. Every barley-stalk is graced with five ears, and every paddy-stalk with a hundred. They that are the best of creatures in the worlds and upon whom depends the universe, viz., kine, when milked after the calves have their suck, yield only blood. Radiant rays of light emanate from bows, and swords blaze forth brilliantly. It is evident that the weapons behold (before them) the battle, as if it were already arrived. The hue of weapons and the water, as also of coats of mail and standards, is like that of fire. A great slaughter will take place. In this battle, O Bharata, of the Kurus with the Pandavas, the earth, O monarch, will be a river of blood with the standards (of warriors) as its rafts. Animals and birds on all sides, with mouths blazing like fire, uttering fierce cries, and displaying these evil omens, are foreboding terrible consequences. A (fierce) bird with but one wing, one eye, and one leg, hovering over the sky in the night, screameth frightfully in wrath, as if for making the hearers vomit blood? It seemeth, O great king, that all weapons are now blazing with radiance. The effulgence of the constellation known by the name of the seven high-souled Rishis, hath been dimmed. Those two blazing planets, viz., Vrihaspati and Sani, having approached the constellation called Visakha, have become stationary there for a whole year. Three lunations twice meeting together in course of the same lunar fortnight, the duration of the latter is shortened by two days. On the thirteenth day therefore, from the first lunation, according as it is the day of the full moon or the new moon, the moon and the sun are afflicted by Rahu. Such strange eclipses, both lunar and solar, forebode a great slaughter. All the quarters of the earth, being overwhelmed by showers of dust, look inauspicious. Fierce clouds, portentous of danger, drop bloody showers during the night. Rahu of fierce deeds is also, O monarch, afflicting the constellation Kirtika. Rough winds, portending fierce danger, are constantly blowing. All these beget a war characterised by many sad incidents. The constellations are divided into three classes. Upon one or another of each class, a planet of evil omen has shed its influence, foreboding terrible dangers. A lunar fortnight had hitherto consisted of fourteen days, or fifteen days (as usual), or sixteen days. This, however, I never knew that the day of new-moon would be on the thirteenth day from the first lunation, or the day of full-moon on the thirteenth day from the same. And yet in course of the same month both the Moon and the Sun have undergone eclipses on the thirteenth days from the day of the first lunation. The Sun and the Moon therefore, by undergoing eclipses on unusual days, will cause a great slaughter of the creatures of the earth. Indeed, Rakshasas, though drinking blood by mouthful, will yet not be satiated. The great rivers are flowing in opposite directions. The waters of rivers have become bloody. The wells, foaming up, are bellowing like bulls. Meteors, effulgent like Indra’s thunder-bolt, fall with loud hisses. When this night passeth away, evil consequences will overtake you. People, for meeting together, coming out of their houses with lighted brands, have still to encounter a thick gloom all round. Great Rishis have said that in view of such circumstances the earth drinks the blood of thousands of kings. From the mountains of Kailasa and Mandara and Himavat thousands of explosions are heard and thousands of summits are tumbling down. In consequence of the Earth’s trembling, each of the four oceans having swelled greatly, seems ready to transgress its continents for afflicting the Earth. Fierce winds charged with pointed pebbles are blowing, crushing mighty trees. In villages and towns trees, ordinary and sacred, are falling down, crushed by mighty winds and struck by lightning. The (sacrificial) fire, when Brahmanas pour libations on it, becomes blue, or red, or yellow. Its flames bend towards the left, yielding a bad scent, accompanied by loud reports. Touch, smell, and taste have, O monarch, become what they were not. The standards (of warriors), repeatedly trembling are emitting smoke. Drums and cymbals are throwing off showers of coal-dust. And from the tops of tall trees all around, crows, wheeling in circles from the left, are uttering fierce cries. All of them again are uttering frightful cries of pakka, pakka and are perching upon the tops of standards for the destruction of the kings. Vicious elephants, trembling all over, are running hither and thither, urinating and ejecting excreta. The horses are all melancholy, while the elephants are resorting to the water. Hearing all this, let that be done which is suitable, so that, O Bharata, the world may not be depopulated.’”

Vaisampayana continued,—”Hearing these words of his father, Dhritarashtra said,—’I think all this hath been ordained of old. A great slaughter of human beings will take place. If the kings die in battle observing the duties of the Kshatriya order, they will then, attaining to the regions reserved for heroes, obtain only happiness. These tigers among men, casting away their lives in great battle, will win fame in this and great bliss for ever in the next world.’

Vaisampayana continued,—”O best of kings, thus addressed by his son Dhritarashtra, that prince of poets, the Muni (Vyasa) concentrated his mind in supreme Yoga. Having contemplated for only a short space of time, Vyasa once more said,—’Without doubt, O king of kings, it is Time that destroyeth the universe. It is Time also that createth the worlds. There is nothing here that is eternal. Show the path of righteousness to the Kurus, to thy kinsmen, relatives, and friends. Thou art competent to restrain them. The slaughter of kinsmen hath been said to be sinful. Do not do that which is disagreeable to me. O king, Death himself hath been born in the shape of thy son. Slaughter is never applauded in the Vedas. It can never be beneficial. The usages of one’s race are as one’s own body. Those usages slay him that destroyeth them. For the destruction of this race and of those kings of the earth it is Time that maketh thee deviate into the wrong path like one in distress, although thou art competent (to walk along the path of righteousness). O king, in the shape of thy kingdom hath calamity come to thee. Thy virtue is sustaining a very great diminution. Show what righteousness is unto thy sons. O thou that art invincible, of what value is that kingdom to thee which bringeth sin to thee? Take care of thy good name, thy virtue, and thy fame. Thou wilt then win heaven. Let the Pandavas have their kingdom, and let the Kauravas have peace.”

“While that best of Brahmanas was saying these words in a sorrowful tone, Dhritarashtra, the son of Ambika, accomplished in speech, once more addressed him, saying.—’My knowledge of life and death is similar to thine. The truth is known to me as regards these. Man, however, in what concerns his own interests, is deprived of judgment. O sire, know me to be one who is an ordinary person. Of immeasurable power thou art. I pray thee to extend thine towards us. Of soul under complete control, thou art our refuge and instructor. My sons are not obedient to me, O great Rishi. My understanding too is not inclined to commit sin. Thou art the cause of the fame, the achievements, and the inclination for virtue, of the Bharatas. Thou art the reverend grandsire of both the Kurus and the Pandavas.’

“Vyasa said,—’O royal son of Vichitravirya, tell me freely what is in thy mind. I will remove thy doubts.”

“Dhritarashtra said,—’O holy one, I desire to hear from thee of all those indications that happen unto those that become victorious in battle.”

“Vyasa said,—’The (sacred) fire assumes a cheerful radiance. Its light ascends upwards. Its flame bends towards the right. It blazes up without being smoky. The libations poured on it yield a fragrant scent. It is said that these are the indications of future success. The conches and cymbals yield sounds that are deep and loud. The Sun as well as the Moon gives pure rays. It is said that these are the indications of future success. Crows, whether stationary or on their wings, utter cries that are agreeable. They again that are behind, urge the warriors to advance; while they that are ahead, forbid all advance. Where vultures, swans, parrots, cranes, and wood-peckers utter delightful cries, and wheel towards the right, the Brahmanas say that their victory in battle is certain. They whose divisions, in consequence of ornaments, coats of mail, and standards, or the melodious neigh of their steeds, become resplendent and incapable of being gazed at, always conquer their foes. They who utter cheerful shouts, those warriors, O Bharata, whose energies are not damped and whose garlands do not fade, always cross the ocean of battle. They who utter cheerful shouts having penetrated into the divisions of the foe, who utter even kind words, to the enemy, and who, before striking, forewarn the foe, win victory. The objects of hearing, vision, taste, touch, and smell, without undergoing any change for the worse, become auspicious. This also is another indication of a victorious army, viz., there is joy among the combatants at all time. This also is another indication of success, viz. the winds that blow, the clouds, and the birds, all become favourable; while the clouds (so favourable) and the rain-bows drop beneficial showers. These, O king, are the indications of armies to be crowned with victory, while O monarch, all these become otherwise in the case of those that are about to be destroyed. Whether the army be small or large, cheerfulness, as an attribute of the combatants, is said to be a certain indication of victory. One soldier, struck with panic, can cause even a large army to take fright and fly. And when an army, struck with panic, takes to flight, it causes even heroic warriors to take fright. If a large army is once broken and put to rout, it cannot like a herd of deer disordered in fright or a mighty current of water be easily checked. If a large army is once routed, it is incapable of being rallied; on the other hand, beholding it broken, even those well-skilled in battle, O Bharata, become heartless. Beholding soldiers struck with fear and flying, the panic spreads in other directions, and soon, O king, the whole army is broken and flies in all directions. And when an army is routed, even brave leaders, O king, at the head of large divisions consisting of the four kinds of forces, are incapable of rallying them. An intelligent man, always exerting himself with activity, should strive (to win success) by the aid of means. It is said that that success which is won by negotiation and other means is the very best. That which is achieved by producing disunion (among the foe) is indifferent. While that success, O king, which is won by battle, is the worst. In battle are many evils, the initial one, as it is said, being slaughter. Even fifty brave men who know one another, who are underpressed, who are free from family ties, and who are firmly resolved, can crush a large army. Even five, six, seven men, who are unretreating, win victory. Vinata’s son Garuda, O Bharata, beholding even a large concourse of birds, asketh not the aid of many followers (to vanquish them). The strength in number, therefore of an army is not always the cause of victory. Victory is uncertain. It depends on chance. Even they that become victorious have to sustain loss.’”

Section IV

Vaisampayana said,—”Having said these words unto Dhritarashtra, Vyasa took his departure. And Dhritarashtra also, having heard those words, began to reflect in silence. And having reflected for only a short space of time, he began to sigh repeatedly. And, soon, O bull of Bharata’s race, the king asked Sanjaya of soul worthy of praise,—saying,—’O Sanjaya, these kings, these lords of earth, so brave and taking delight in battle, are for smiting one another with weapons of diverse kinds, being prepared to lay down their very lives for the sake of earth. Incapable of being restrained, they are, indeed, smiting one another for increasing the population of Yama’s domain. Desirous of prosperity connected with the possession of earth they are incapable of bearing one another. I, therefore, think that earth must be possessed of many attributes. Tell me all these, O Sanjaya, Many thousands, many millions, many tens of millions, many hundreds of millions, heroic men have come together at Kurujangala. I desire to hear, O Sanjaya, with accurate details, about the situation and dimensions of those countries and cities from which they have come. Through the potency of that regenerate Rishi Vyasa of immeasurable energy, thou art endued with the lamp of celestial perception and the eye of knowledge.

“Sanjaya said,—’O thou of great wisdom, I will recount to thee the merits of earth according to my knowledge. Behold them with thy eye of wisdom. I bow to thee, O bull of Bharata’s race. Creatures in this world are of two kinds, mobile and immobile. Mobile creatures are of three kinds according to their birth, viz., oviparous, viviparous, and those engendered by heat and damp. Of mobile creatures, O king, the foremost are certainly those called viviparous. Of viviparous creatures the foremost are men and animals. Animals, O king, of diverse forms, are of fourteen species. Seven have their abodes in the woods, and seven of these are domestic. Lions, tigers, boars, buffaloes, and elephants as also bears and apes, are, O king, regarded as wild. Kine, goats, sheep, men, horses, mules, and asses,—these seven amongst animals are reckoned as domestic by the learned. These fourteen, O king, complete the tale of domestic and wild animals, mentioned, O lord of earth, in the Vedas, and on which the sacrifices rest. Of creatures that are domestic, men are foremost, while lions are the foremost of those that have their abode in the woods. All creatures support their life by living upon one another. Vegetables are said to be immobile, and they are of four species viz., trees, shrubs, creepers, creeping plants existing for only a year, and all stemless plants of the grass species. Of mobile and immobile creatures, there are thus one less twenty; and as regards their universal constituents, there are five. Twenty-four in all, these are described as Gayatri (Brahma) as is well-known to all. He who knows these truly to be the sacred Gayatri possessed of every virtue, is not liable, O best of the Bharatas, to destruction in this world. Everything springeth from the earth and everything, when destroyed, mergeth into the Earth. The Earth is the stay and refuge of all creatures, and the Earth is eternal. He that hath the Earth, hath the entire universe with its mobile and immobile population. It is for this that longing for (the possession of the) Earth, kings slay one another.’”

Section V

“Dhritarashtra said,—’The names of rivers and mountains, O Sanjaya, as also of provinces, and all other things resting on the earth, and their dimensions, O thou that are acquainted with the measures of things of the earth in its entirety and the forests, O Sanjaya, recount to me in detail.’

“Sanjaya said,—’O great king, all things in the universe, in consequence of the presence (in them) of the five elements, have been said to be equal by the wise. These elements, are space, air, fire, water, and earth. Their (respective) attributes are sound, touch, vision, taste, and scent. Every one of these elements possesses (in addition to what is especially its own) the attribute or attributes of that or those coming before it. The earth, therefore, is the foremost of them all, possessing as it does the attributes of all the other four, besides what is specially its own, as said by Rishis acquainted with truth. There are four attributes, O king, in water. Scent does not exist in it. Fire has three attributes viz., sound, touch, and vision. Sound and touch belong to air, while space has sound alone. These five attributes, O king, exist (in this way) in the five principal elements depending on which all creatures in the universe exist. They exist separately and independently when there is homogeneity in the universe. When, however, these do not exist in their natural state but with one another, then creatures spring into life, furnished with bodies. This is never otherwise. The elements are destroyed, in the order of the one succeeding, merging into the one that proceeds; and they spring also into existence, one arising from the one before it. All of these are immeasurable, their forms being Brahma itself. In the universe are seen creatures consisting of the five elements. Men endeavour to ascertain their proportions by exercising their reason. Those matters, however, that are inconceivable, should never be sought to be solved by reason. That which is above (human) nature is an indication of the inconceivable.

“‘O son of Kuru’s race, I will, however, describe to thee the island called Sudarsana. This island, O king, is circular and of the form of a wheel. It is covered with rivers and other pieces of water and with mountains looking like masses of clouds, and with cities and many delightful provinces. It is also full of trees furnished with flowers and fruits, and with crops of diverse kinds and other wealth. And it is surrounded on all sides with the salt ocean. As a person can see his own face in a mirror, even so is the island called Sudarsana seen in the lunar disc. Two of its parts seem to be a peepul tree, while two others look like a large hare. It is surrounded on all sides with an assemblage of every kind of deciduous plants. Besides these portions, the rest is all water. What remains I will describe to thee shortly. The rest I will speak of afterwards. Listen now to this that I describe in brief .”

Section VI

“Dhritarashtra said.—”Thou art intelligent, O Sanjaya, and acquainted with the truth (about everything). Thou hast duly given a description of the island in brief. Tell us now of the island in detail. Tell us now of the dimension of the expanse of land that lies in the portion looking like a hare. Thou mayst then speak of the portion resembling peepul tree.”

Vaisampayana said,—”Thus addressed by the king, Sanjaya began to say.

“Sanjaya said,—’Stretching from east to west, are these six mountains that are equal and that extend from the eastern to the western ocean. They are Himavat, Hemakuta, that best of mountains called Nishadha, Nila abounding with stones of lapis lazuli, Sweta white as the moon, and the mountains called Sringavat composed of all kinds of metals. These are the six mountains, O king, which are always the resorts of Siddhas and Charanas. The space lying between each of these measures a thousand Yojanas, and thereon are many delightful kingdoms. And these divisions are called Varshas, O Bharata. In all those kingdoms reside creatures of diverse species. This (the land where we are) is in the Varsha that is called after Bharata. Next to it (northwards) is the Varsha called after Himavat. The land that is beyond Hemakuta is called Harivarsha, South of the Nila range and on the north of the Nishadha is a mountain, O king, called Malyavat that stretches from east to west. Beyond Malyavat northwards is the mountain called Gandhamadana. Between these two (viz., Malyavat and Gandhamadana) is a globular mountain called Meru made of gold. Effulgent as the morning sun, it is like fire without smoke. It is eighty-four thousand Yojanas high, and, O king, its depth also is eighty-four Yojanas. It standeth bearing the worlds above, below and transversely. Besides Meru are situated, O lord, these four islands, viz., Bhadraswa, and Ketumala, and Jamvudwipa otherwise called Bharata, and Uttar-Kuru which is the abode of persons who have achieved the merit of righteousness. The bird Sumukha, the son of Suparna, beholding that all the birds on Meru were of golden plumage, reflected that he should leave that mountain inasmuch as there was no difference between the good, middling, and bad birds. The foremost of luminaries, the sun, always circumambulates Meru, as also the moon with (his) attendant constellation, and the Wind-god too. The mountain, O king, is endued with celestial fruits and flowers, and it is covered all over with mansions made of furnished gold. There, on that mountain, O king, the celestials, the Gandharvas, the Asuras, and the Rakshasas, accompanied by the tribes of Apsaras, always sport. There Brahman, and Rudra, and also Sakra the chief of the celestials, assembled together, performed diverse kinds of sacrifices with plentiful gifts. Tumvuru, and Narada and Viswavasu, and the Hahas and the Huhus, repairing thither, adored the foremost of the celestials with diverse hymns. The high-souled seven Rishis, and Kasyapa the lord of creatures, repair thither, blessed be thou, on every parva day. Upon the summit of that mountain, Usanas, otherwise called the Poet, sporteth with the Daityas (his disciples). The jewels and gems (that we see) and all the mountains abounding in precious stones are of Meru. Therefrom a fourth part is enjoyed by the holy Kuvera. Only a sixteenth part of that wealth he giveth unto men. On the northern side of Meru is a delightful and excellent forest of Karnikaras, covered with the flowers of every season, and occupying a range of hills. There the illustrious Pasupati himself, the creator of all things, surrounded by his celestial attendants and accompanied by Uma, sporteth bearing a chain of Karnikara flowers (on his neck) reaching down to his feet, and blazing with radiance with his three eyes resembling three risen suns. Him Siddhas truthful in speech, of excellent vows and austere ascetic penances, can behold. Indeed, Maheswara is incapable of being seen by persons of wicked conduct. From the summit of that mountain, like a stream of milk, O ruler of men, the sacred and auspicious Ganga, otherwise called Bhagirathi, adored by the most righteous, of universal form and immeasurable and issuing out with terrific noise, falleth with impetuous force on the delightful lake of Chandramas. Indeed that sacred lake, like an ocean, hath been formed by Ganga herself. (While leaping from the mountains), Ganga, incapable of being supported by even the mountains, was held for a hundred thousand years by the bearer of Pinaka

on his head. On the western side of Meru, O king, is Ketumala. And there also is Jamvukhanda. Both are great seats of humanity, O king. There, O Bharata, the measure of human life is ten thousand years. The men are all of a golden complexion, and the women are like Apsaras. And all the residents are without sickness, without sorrow, and always cheerful. The men born there are of the effulgence of melted gold. On the summits of Gandhamadana, Kuvera the lord of the Guhyakas, with many Rakshasas and accompanied by tribes of Apsaras, passeth his time in joy. Besides Gandhamadana there are many smaller mountains and hills. The measure of human life there is eleven thousand years. There, O king, the men are cheerful, and endued with great energy and great strength and the women are all of the complexion of the lotus and highly beautiful. Beyond Nila is (the Varsha called) Sweta, beyond Sweta is (the Varsha called) Hiranyaka. Beyond Hiranyaka is (the Varsha called) Airavata covered with provinces. The last Varsha in the (extreme) north and Bharata’s Varsha in the (extreme) south are both, O king, of the form of a bow. These five Varshas (viz., Sweta, Hiranyaka, Elavrita, Harivarsha, and Haimavat-varsha) are in the middle, of which Elavrita exists in the very middle of all. Amongst these seven Varshas (the five already mentioned and Airavata and Bharata) that which is further north excels the one to its immediate south in respect of these attributes, viz., the period of life, stature, health, righteousness, pleasure, and profit. In these Varshas, O Bharata, creatures (though of diverse species) yet, live together. Thus, O king, is Earth covered with mountains. The huge mountains of Hemakuta are otherwise called Kailasa. There, O king, Vaisravana passeth his time in joy with his Guhyakas. Immediately to the north of Kailasa and near the mountains of Mainaka there is a huge and beautiful mountain called Manimaya endued with golden summits. Beside this mountain is a large, beautiful, crystal and delightful lake called Vindusaras with golden sands (on its beach). There king Bhagiratha, beholding Ganga (since) called after his own name, resided for many years. There may be seen innumerable sacrificial stakes made of gems, and Chaitya tree made of gold. It was there that he of a thousand eyes and great fame won (ascetic) success by performing sacrifices. There the Lord of all creatures, the eternal Creator of all the worlds, endued with supreme energy surrounded by his ghostly attendants, is adored. There Nara and Narayana, Brahman, and Manu, and Sthanu as the fifth, are (ever present). And there the celestial stream Ganga having three currents, issuing out of the region of Brahman, first showed herself, and then dividing herself into seven streams, became Vaswokasara, Nalini, the sin-cleansing Saraswati, Jamvunadi, Sita, Ganga and Sindhu as the seventh. The Supreme Lord hath (himself) made the arrangement with reference to that inconceivable and celestial stream. It is there that sacrifices have been performed (by gods and Rishis) on a thousand occasions after the end of the Yuga (when creation begins). As regards the Saraswati, in some parts (of her course) she becometh visible and in some parts not so. This celestial sevenfold Ganga is widely known over the three worlds. Rakshasas reside on Himavat, Guhyakas on Hemakuta, and serpents and Nagas on Nishadha, and ascetics on Gokarna. The Sweta mountains are said to be the abode of the celestial and the Asuras. The Gandharvas always reside on Nishadhas, and the regenerate Rishis on Nila. The mountains of Sringavat also are regarded as the resort of the celestials.

“‘These then, O great king, are the seven Varshas of the world as they are divided. Diverse creatures, mobile and immobile, are placed in them all. Diverse kinds of prosperity, both providential and human, are noticeable in them. They are incapable of being counted. Those desirous, however, of their own good believe (all this), I have now told thee of that delightful region (of land) of the form of a hare about which thou hadst asked me. At the extremities of that region are the two Varshas, viz., one on the north and the other on the south. Those two also have now been told to thee. Then again the two islands Naga-dwipa and Kasyapa-dwipa are the two ears of this region of the form of a hare. The beautiful mountains of Maleya, O king, having rocks like plates of copper, form another (prominent) part of Jamvudwipa that having its shape resembling a hare.’”

Section VII

“Dhritarashtra said,—’Tell me, O Sanjaya, thou of great intelligence, of the regions to the north and the east side of Meru, as also of the mountains of Malyavat, in detail.

“Sanjaya said,—’On the south of the Nila mountain and the northern side of Meru are the sacred Northern Kurus, O king, which are the residence of the Siddhas. The trees there bear sweet fruits, and are always covered with fruits and flowers. All the flowers (there) are fragrant, and the fruits of excellent taste. Some of the trees, again, O king, yield fruits according to (the) will (of the plucker). There are again some other trees, O king, that are called milk-yielding. These always yield milk and the six different kinds of food of the taste of Amrita itself. Those trees also yield cloths and in their fruits are ornaments (for the use of man). The entire land abounds with fine golden sands. A portion of the region there, extremely delightful, is seen to be possessed of the radiance of the ruby or diamond, or of the lapis lazuli or other jewels and gems. All the seasons there are agreeable and nowhere does the land become miry, O king. The tanks are charming, delicious, and full of crystal water. The men born there have dropped from the world of the celestials. All are of pure birth and all are extremely handsome in appearance. There twins (of opposite sexes) are born and the women resemble Apsaras in beauty. They drink the milk, sweet as Amrita, of those milk-yielding trees (already mentioned). And the twins born there (of opposite sexes) grow up equally. Both possessed of equal beauty, both endued with similar virtues, and both equally dressed, both grow up in love, O monarch, like a couple of chakrabakas. The people of that country are free from illness and are always cheerful. Ten thousand and ten hundred years they live, O king, and never abandon one another. A class of birds called Bharunda, furnished with sharp beaks and possessed of great strength, take them up when dead and throw them into mountain caves. I have now described to thee, O king, the Northern Kurus briefly.

“I will now describe to thee the eastern side of Meru duly. Of all the regions there, the foremost, O king, is called Bhadraswa, where there is a large forest of Bhadra-salas, as also a huge tree called Kalamra. This Kalamra, O king, is always graced with fruits and flowers. That tree again is a Yojana in height and is adored by Siddhas and the Charanas. The men there are all of a white complexion, endued with great energy, and possessed of great strength. The women are of the complexion of lilies, very beautiful, and agreeable to sight. Possessed of radiance of the moon, and white as the moon, their faces are as the full-moon. Their bodies again are as cool as the rays of the moon and they are all accomplished in singing and dancing. The period of human life there, O bull of the Bharata’s race, is ten thousand years. Drinking the juice of the Kalamra they continue youthful for ever. On the south of Nila and the north of Nishadha, there is a huge Jamvu tree that is eternal. Adored by the Siddhas and Charanas, that sacred tree granteth every wish. After the name of that tree this division hath ever been called Jamvudwipa. O bull of Bharata race, a thousand and a hundred Yojanas is the height of that prince of trees, which touches the very heavens, O king of men. Two thousand and five hundred cubits measure the circumference of a fruit of that tree which bursts when ripe. In falling upon the earth these fruits make a loud noise, and then pour out, O king, a silvery juice on the ground. That juice of the Jamvu, becoming, O king, a river, and passing circuitously round Meru, cometh to the (region of the) Northern Kurus. If the juice of that fruit is quaffed, it conduces to peace of mind. No thirst is felt ever after, O king. Decrepitude never weakens them. And there a species of gold called Jamvunada and used for celestial ornaments, very brilliant and like the complexion of Indragopoka insects, is produced. The men born there are of the complexion of the morning sun.

“‘On the summit of Malyavat is always seen, O bull of Bharata’s race, the fire called Samvataka which blazeth forth at the end of the Yuga for the destruction of the universe. On Malyavat’s summit towards the east are many small mountains and Malyavat, O king, measures eleven thousand Yojanas. The men born there are of the complexion of gold. And they are all fallen from the region of Brahman and are utterers of Brahma. They undergo the severest of ascetic austerities, and their vital seed is drawn up. For the protection of creatures they all enter the sun. Numbering sixty-six thousand, they proceed in advance of Aruna, surrounding the sun. Heated with the sun’s rays for sixty-six thousand years, they then enter the lunar disc.’”

Section VIII

“Dhritarashtra said,—’Tell me truly, O Sanjaya, the names of all the Varshas, and of all the mountains, and also of all those that dwell on those mountains.

“Sanjaya said,—’On the south of Sweta and the north of Nishadha, is the Varsha, called Romanaka. The men that are born there are all of white complexion, of good parentage, and handsome features. And the men born there are also all without enemies. And they live, O king, for eleven thousand and five hundred years, being ever of cheerful hearts. On the south of Nishadha is the Varsha called Hiranmaya where is the river called Hiranwati. There, O king, liveth that foremost of birds named Garuda. And the people there, O monarch, are all followers of the Yakshas, wealthy, and of handsome features. And, O king, the men there are endued with great strength and have: cheerful hearts. And they live for twelve thousand and five hundred years., O king, which is the measure of their lives. The mountains of Sringavat, O ruler of men, have three beautiful summits. One of these is made of jewels and gems, another is very wonderful, being made of all kinds of gems and adorned with palatial mansions. There the self-luminous lady named Sandili always liveth. On the north of Sringavat and up to the margin of the sea, O king, the Varsha called Airavat. And because this jewelled mountain is there, therefore is this Varsha superior to all. The sun giveth no heat there and men are not subject to decay. And the moon there, with the stars, becoming the only source of light, covereth (the firmament). Possessing the radiance and complexion of the lotus, and endued with eyes that resemble lotus-petals, the men born there have the fragrance of the lotus. With winkless eyes, and agreeable scent (emanating from their bodies), they go without food and have their senses under control. They are all fallen from the region of the celestials, and are all, O king, without sin of any kind. And they live, O monarch, for thirteen thousand years, that being. O best of the Bharatas, the measure of their lives. And so on the north of the milky ocean, the Lord Hari of unlimited puissance dwelleth on his car made of gold. That vehicle is endued with eight wheels, with numerous supernatural creatures stationed on it, and having the speed of the mind. And its complexion is that of fire, and it is endued with mighty energy and adorned with Jamvunada gold. He is the Lord of all creatures, and is possessed, O bull of Bharata’s race, of every kind of prosperity. In him the universe merges (when dissolution comes), and from him it again emanates (when the creative desire seizes him). He is the actor, and it is He that makes all others act. He, O monarch, is earth, water, space, air, and fire. He is Sacrifice’s self unto all creatures, and fire is His mouth.”

Vaisampayana continued,—”The high-souled king Dhritarashtra, thus addressed by Sanjaya, became, O monarch, absorbed in meditation about his sons. Endued with great energy, he then, having reflected, said these words: ‘Without doubt, O Suta’s son, it is Time that destroyeth the universe. And it is Time that again createth everything. Nothing here is eternal. It is Nara and Narayana, endued with omniscience, that destroyeth all creatures. The gods speak of him as Vaikuntha (of immeasurable puissance), while men call him Vishnu (one that pervadeth the Universe)!’”

Section IX

“Dhritarashtra said,—’Tell me truly (O Sanjaya) of this Varsha that is called after Bharata, where this senseless force hath been collected, in respect of which this my son Duryodhana hath been so very covetous, which the sons of Pandu also are desirous of obtaining, and in which my mind too sinketh. O, tell me this, for thou art, in my judgment endued with intelligence.

“Sanjaya said,—’Listen to me, O king The sons of Pandu are not covetous about this country. On the other hand, it is Duryodhana that is covetous, and Sakuni the son of Suvala, as also many other Kshatriyas who are rulers of the provinces, who being covetous of this country are not able to bear one another. I will now will thee, O thou of Bharata’s race, of the tract of land known by Bharata’s name. This land is the beloved one of Indra, and, O thou of Bharata’s race, this land, O monarch, that is called after Bharata, is also the beloved land of Manu, the son of Vivaswat, of Prithu, of Vainya, of the high-souled Ikshwaku, of Yayati, of Amvarisha, of Mandhatri, of Nahusha, of Muchukunda, of Sivi the son of Usinara, of Rishava, of Ila, of king Nriga, of Kusika, O invincible one, of the high-souled Gadhi, of Somaka, O irrepressible one, and of Dilipa, and also, O monarch, of many other mighty Kshatriyas. I will now, O chastiser of foes, describe to thee that country as I have heard of it. Listen to me, O king, as I speak of what thou hast asked me. Mahendra, Malaya, Sahya, Suktimat, Rakshavat, Vindhya, and Paripatra,—these seven are the Kala-mountains (of Bharatvarsha). Besides these, O king, there are thousands of mountains that are unknown, of hard make, huge, and having excellent valleys. Besides these there are many other smaller mountains inhabited by barbarous tribes. Aryans and Mlecchas, O Kauravya, and many races, O lord, mixed of the two elements, drink the waters of the following rivers, viz., magnificent Ganga, Sindhu, and Saraswati; of Godavari, and Narmada, and the large river called Yamuna; of Dhrishadwati, and Vipapa, and Vipasa and Sthulavaluka; of the river Vetravati, and that other one called Krishna-vena; of Iravati, and Vitasta, and Payosyini, and Devika; of Vedasmrita and Vedavati, and Tridiva, and Ikshumalavi; of Karishini, and Chitravaha, and the river called Chitrasena; of Gomati, and Dhutapada and the large river called Gandaki, of Kausiki, and Nischitra, and Kirtya, and Nichita, and Lohatarini; of Rashasi and Satakumbha, and also Sarayu; of Charmanwati, and Vetravati, and Hastisoma, and Disa; of the river called Saravati, and Venna, and Bhimarathi; of Kaveri, and Chuluka, and Vina, and Satavala; of Nivara, and Mahila, and Suprayoga, O king; of Pavitra, and Kundala, and Rajani, and Puramalini; of Purvabhirama, and Vira, and Bhima, and Oghavati; of Palasini, and Papahara, and Mahendra, and Patalavati, of Karishini, and Asikni, and the large river Kusachira: of Makari, and Pravara, and Mena, and Hema, and Dhritavati; of Puravati, and Anushna, and Saivya, and Kapi, O Bharata; of Sadanira, and Adhrishya, and the mighty stream Kusadhara; of Sadakanta, and Siva, and Viravati; of Vatsu, and Suvastu, and Kampana with Hiranwati; of Vara, and the mighty river Panchami, of Rathachitra, and Jyotiratha, and Viswamitra, and Kapinjala; of Upendra, and Vahula, and Kuchira, and Madhuvahini: of Vinadi, and Pinjala, and Vena, and the great river Pungavena; of Vidisa and Krishna-vena, and Tamra, and Kapila, of Salu, and Suvama, the Vedaswa, and the mighty river Harisrava; of Sighra, and Pischala, and the river Bharadwaji, of the river Kausiki, and Sona, and Chandrama; of Durgamantrasila, and Brahma-vodhya, and Vrihadvati; of Yaksha, and Rohi, and Yamvunadi; of Sunasa and Tamasa, and Dasi, and Vasa, and Varuna, and Asi; of Nila, and Dhrimati, and the mighty river Parnasa; of Pomasi, and Vrishabha, and Brahma-meddhya, and Vrihaddhani. These and many other large rivers, O king, such as Sadonirmaya and Krishna, and Mandaga, and Mandavahini; and Mahagouri, and Durga, O Bharata; and Chitropala. Chitraratha, and Manjula, and Vahini; and Mandakini, and Vaitarani, and Kosa, and Mahanadi; and Suktimati, and Ananga, and Pushpaveni, and Utpalavati; and Lohitya, Karatoya, and Vrishasabhya; and Kumari, and Rishikullya and Marisha, and Saraswati; and Mandakini, and Supunya, Sarvasanga, O Bharata, are all mothers of the universe and productive of great merit. Besides these, there are rivers, by hundreds and thousands, that are not known (by names), I have now recounted to thee, O king, all the rivers as far as I remember.

“After this, listen to the names of the provinces as I mention them. They are the Kuru-Panchalas, the Salwas, the Madreyas, the Jangalas, the Surasena, the Kalingas, the Vodhas, the Malas, the Matsyas, the Sauvalyas, the Kuntalas, the Kasi-kosalas, the Chedis, the Karushas, the Bhojas, the Sindhus, the Pulindakas, the Uttamas, the Dasarnas, the Mekalas, the Utkalas; the Panchalas, the Kausijas, the Nikarprishthas, Dhurandharas; the Sodhas, the Madrabhujingas, the Kasis, and the further-Kasis; the Jatharas, the Kukuras, O Bharata; the Kuntis, the Avantis, and the further-Kuntis; the Gomantas, the Mandakas, the Shandas, the Vidarbhas, the Rupavahikas; the Aswakas, the Pansurashtras, the Goparashtras, and the Karityas; the Adhirjayas, the Kuladyas, the Mallarashtras, the Keralas, the Varatrasyas, the Apavahas, the Chakras, the Vakratapas, the Sakas; the Videhas, the Magadhas, the Swakshas, the Malayas, the Vijayas, the Angas, the Vangas, the Kalingas, the Yakrillomans; the Mallas, the Suddellas, the Pranradas, the Mahikas, the Sasikas; the Valhikas, the Vatadhanas, the Abhiras, the Kalajoshakas; the Aparantas, the Parantas, the Pahnabhas, the Charmamandalas; the Atavisikharas, the Mahabhutas, O sire; the Upavrittas, the Anupavrittas, the Surashatras, Kekayas; the Kutas, the Maheyas, the Kakshas, the Samudranishkutas; the Andhras, and, O king, many hilly tribes, and many tribes residing on lands laying at the foot of the hills, and the Angamalajas, and the Manavanjakas; the Pravisheyas, and the Bhargavas, O king; the Pundras, the Bhargas, the Kiratas, the Sudeshnas, and the Yamunas, the Sakas, the Nishadhas, the Anartas, the Nairitas, the Durgalas, the Pratimasyas, the Kuntalas, and the Kusalas; the Tiragrahas, the Ijakas, the Kanyakagunas, the Tilabharas, the Samiras, the Madhumattas, the Sukandakas; the Kasmiras, the Sindhusauviras, the Gandharvas, and the Darsakas; the Abhisaras, the Utulas, the Saivalas, and the Valhikas; the Darvis, the Vanavadarvas, the Vatagas, the Amarathas, and the Uragas; the Vahuvadhas, the Kauravyas, the Sudamanas, the Sumalikas; the Vadhras, the Karishakas, the Kalindas, and the Upatyakas; the Vatayanas, the Romanas, and the Kusavindas; the Kacchas, the Gopalkacchas, the Kuruvarnakas; the Kiratas, the Varvasas, the Siddhas, the Vaidehas, and the Tamraliptas; the Aundras, the Paundras, the Saisikatas, and the Parvatiyas, O sire.

“‘There are other kingdoms, O bull of Bharata’s race, in the south. They are the Dravidas, the Keralas, the Prachyas, the Mushikas, and the Vanavashikas; the Karanatakas, the Mahishakas, the Vikalpas, and also the Mushakas; the Jhillikas, the Kuntalas, the Saunridas, and the Nalakananas; the Kankutakas, the Cholas, and the Malavayakas; the Samangas, the Kanakas, the Kukkuras, and the Angara-marishas; the Samangas, the Karakas, the Kukuras, the Angaras, the Marishas: the Dhwajinis, the Utsavas, the Sanketas, the Trigartas, and the Salwasena; the Vakas, the Kokarakas, the Pashtris, and the Lamavegavasas; the Vindhyachulakas, the Pulindas, and the Valkalas; the Malavas, the Vallavas, the further-Vallavas, the Kulindas, the Kalavas, the Kuntaukas, and the Karatas; the Mrishakas, the Tanavalas, the Saniyas; the Alidas, the Pasivatas, the Tanayas, and the Sulanyas; the Rishikas, the Vidarbhas, the Kakas, the Tanganas, and the further-Tanganas. Among the tribes of the north are the Mlecchas, and the Kruras, O best of the Bharatas; the Yavanas, the Chinas, the Kamvojas, the Darunas, and many Mleccha tribes; the Sukritvahas, the Kulatthas, the Hunas, and the Parasikas; the Ramanas, and the Dasamalikas. These countries are, besides, the abodes of many Kshatriya, Vaisya, and Sudra tribes. Then again there are the Sudra-abhiras, the Dardas, the Kasmiras, and the Pattis; the Khasiras; the Atreyas, the Bharadwajas, the Stanaposhikas, the Poshakas, the Kalingas, and diverse tribes of Kiratas; the Tomaras, the Hansamargas, and the Karamanjakas. These and other kingdoms are on the east and on the north. O lord, alluding to them briefly I have told thee all. Earth, if its resources are properly developed according to its qualities and prowess, is like an ever-yielding cow, from which the three-fold fruits of virtue, profit and pleasure, may be milked. Brave kings conversant with virtue and profit have become covetous of Earth. Endued with activity, they would even cast away their lives in battle, from hunger of wealth. Earth is certainly the refuge of creatures endued with celestial bodies as also of creatures endued with human bodies. Desirous of enjoying Earth, the kings, O chief of the Bharatas, have become like dogs that snatch meat from one another. Their ambition is unbounded, knowing no gratification. It is for this that the Kurus and the Pandavas are striving for possession of Earth, by negotiation, disunion, gift, and battle, O Bharata. If Earth be well looked after, it becometh the father, mother, children, firmament and heaven, of all creatures, O bull among men.’”

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