The Mahabharata Home
Vaisampayana continued, "Then, O represser of foes, at sunrise, having finished his daily devotions, Dhaumya came unto the Pandavas, with Arshtishena.
[paragraph continues] And having bowed down unto the feet of Arshtishena and Dhaumya, they with joined hands paid homage unto all the Brahmanas. Then Dhaumya taking Yudhishthira's right hand, said these words, looking at the east, 'O mighty monarch, this king of mountains, Mandara lieth vast, covering the earth up to the ocean. O Pandava, Indra and Vaisravana preside over this point graced with woods and forests and mountains. And, O child, the intelligent sages versed in every duty, say, that this (region) is the abode of Indra and king Vaisravana. And the twice-born ones, and the sages versed in the duties, and the Sidhas, and the Sadhyas, and the celestials pay their adorations unto the Sun as he riseth from this point. And that lord of all living beings, king Yama, conversant with duty, presideth over yonder southern region whither come the spirits of the departed. And this is Sanyamana, the abode of the lord of departed spirits, sacred, and wonderful to behold, and crowned with prime prosperity. And the intelligent ones call that monarch of mountains (by the name of) Asta. Having, O king, arrived at this, the Sun ever abideth by the truth. And king Varuna protects all creatures, abiding in this king of mountains, and also in the vast deep. And, O highly fortunate one, there illumining the northern regions, lieth the puissant Mahameru, auspicious and the refuge of those knowing Brahma, where is the court of Brahma, and remaining where that soul of all creatures, Prajapati, hath created all that is mobile and immobile. And the Mahameru is the auspicious and healthy abode even of the seven mind-born sons of Brahma, of whom Daksha was the seventh. And, O child, here it is that the seven celestial rishis with Vasishtha at their head rise and set. Behold that excellent and bright summit of the Meru, where sitteth the great sire (Brahma) with the celestials happy in self-knowledge. And next to the abode of Brahma is visible the region of him who is said to be the really primal Cause or the origin of all creatures, even that prime lord, god Narayana, having neither beginning nor end. And, O king, that auspicious place composed of all energies even the celestials, cannot behold. And the region of the high-souled Vishnu, by its native splendour, exceeding in effulgence the sun or fire, cannot be beheld by the gods, or the Danavas. And the region of Narayana lieth resplendent to the east of the Meru, where, O child, that lord of all creatures, the self-create primal Cause of the universe, having manifested all beings, looketh splendid of his excellent grace. O child, not to speak of the Maharshis--even Brahmarshis have no access to that place. And, O best of the Kurus, it is the Yatis only who have access to it. And, O Pandu's son, (at that place) luminaries cannot shine by him; there that lord of inconceivable soul alone shineth transcendental. There by reverence, and severe austerities, Yatis inspired by virtue of pious practices, attain Narayana Hari. And, O Bharata, repairing thither, and attaining that universal Soul--the self-create and eternal God of gods, high-souled ones, of Yoga success, and free from ignorance and pride have not to return to this world. O highly fortunate Yudhishthira, this region is without beginning, or deterioration, or end for it is the very essence of that God. And, O son of the Kurus, the Sun and the Moon every day go round
this Meru, coursing in an opposite direction. And, O sinless one. O mighty monarch, the other luminaries also go round this king of mountains in the self-same way. Thus the worshipful Sun who dispelleth darkness, goeth round this (mountain) obscuring other luminaries. Then having set, and passed the evening, that Maker of day, the Sun, taketh a northerly course. Then again nearing the Meru, the divine Sun (ever) intent on the good of all beings, again courseth, facing the east. And in this way, the divine Moon also together with the stars goeth round this mountain, dividing the month unto several sections, by his arrival at the Parvas. Having thus unerringly coursed round the mighty Meru, and, nourished all creatures, the Moon again repaireth unto the Mandar. In the same way, that destroyer of darkness--the divine Sun--also moveth on this unobstructed path, animating the universe. When, desirous of causing dew, he repaireth to the south, then there ensueth winter to all creatures. Then the Sun, turning back from the south, by his rays draweth up the energy from all creatures both mobile and immobile. Thereupon, men become subject to perspiration, fatigue, drowsiness and lassitude; and living beings always feel disposed to slumber. Thence, returning through unknown regions, that divine effulgent one causeth shower, and thereby reviveth beings. And having, by the comfort caused by the shower, wind, and warmth, cherished the mobile and the immobile, the powerful Sun resumeth his former course. O Partha, ranging thus, the Sun unerringly turneth on the wheel of Time, influencing created things. His course is unceasing; he never resteth, O Pandava. Withdrawing the energy of all beings, he again rendereth it back. O Bharata, dividing time into day and night, and Kala, and Kashtha, that lord, the Sun, dealeth life and motion to all created things.'"
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