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The Mahabharata
of Krishna - Dwaipayana Vyasa
translated by
Kisari Mohan Ganguli

[pub. between 1883 and 1896]

01 - Adi Parva
02 - Sabha Parva
03 - Vana Parva
04 - Virata Parva

05 - Udyoga Parva
06 - Bhishma Parva
07 - Drona Parva
08 - Karna Parva
09 - Shalya Parva
10 - Sauptika Parva
11 - Stri Parva
12 - Santi Parva
13 - Anusasana Parva
14 - Aswamedha Parva
15 - Asramavasika Parva
16 - Mausala Parva
17 - Mahaprasthanika Parva
18 - Svargarohanika Parva

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"Brahmana said, 'Among men, the royal Kshatriya is (endued with) the middle quality. Among vehicles, the elephant (is so); and among denizens of the forest the lion; among all (sacrificial) animals, the sheep; among all those that live in holes, is the snake; among cattle, the bovine bull; among females, the mule. 4 There is no doubt in this that in this world, the Nyagrodha, the Jamvu, the Pippala, the Salmali, and Sinsapa, the Meshasringa, and the Kichaka, are the foremost ones among trees. 5 Himavat, Patipatra, Sahya,

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[paragraph continues] Vindhya, Trikutavat, Sweta, Nila, Bhasa, Koshthavat, Guruskandha, Mahendra and Malayavat,--these are the foremost of mountains. Likewise the Maruts are the foremost of the Ganas. Surya is the lord of all the planets, and Chandramas of all the constellations. Yama is the lord of the Pitris; Ocean is the lord of all rivers. Varuna is the king of the waters. Indra is said to be the king of the Maruts. Arka is the king of all hot bodies, and Indra of all luminous bodies. Agni is the eternal lord of the elements, and Vrihaspati of the Brahmanas. Soma is the lord of (deciduous) herbs, and Vishnu is the foremost of all that are endued with might. Tashtri is the king of Rudras, and Siva of all creatures. Sacrifice is the foremost of all initiatory rites, and Maghavat of the deities. The North is the lord of all the points of the compass; Soma of great energy is the lord of all learned Brahmanas. Kuvera is the lord of all precious gems, and Purandara of all the deities. Such is the highest creation among all entities. Prajapati is the lord of all creatures. Of all entities whatever, I, who am full of Brahman, am the foremost. There is no entity that is higher than myself or Vishnu. The great Vishnu, who is full of Brahman, is the king of kings over all. Know him to be the ruler, the creator, the uncreated Hari. He is the ruler of men and Kinnaras and Yakshas and Gandharvas, and Snakes and Rakshasas, and deities and Danavas and Nagas. Among those that are followed by persons full of desire is the great goddess Maheswari of beautiful eyes. She is otherwise called by the name of Parvati. Know that the goddess Uma is the foremost and the most auspicious of women. Among women that are a source of pleasure, the foremost are the Apsaras who are possessed of great splendour. 1 Kings are desirous of acquiring piety, and Brahmanas are causeways of piety. Therefore, the king should always strive to protect the twice-born ones. Those kings in whose dominions good men languish are regarded as bereft of the virtues of their order. Hereafter they have to go into wrong paths. Those kings in whose dominions good men are protected, rejoice in this world and enjoy happiness hereafter. Verily, those high-souled ones attain to the highest seat. Understand this, ye foremost of regenerate ones. I shall after this state the everlasting indications of duties. Abstention from injury is the highest duty. Injury is an indication of unrighteousness. Splendour is the indication of the deities. Men have acts for their indications. Ether (or space) has sound for its characteristic. Wind has touch for its characteristic. The characteristic of lighted bodies is colour, and water has taste for its characteristic. Earth, which holds all entities, has smell for its characteristic. Speech has words for its characteristic, refined into vowels and consonants. Mind has thought for its characteristic. Thought has, again, been said to be the characteristic of the understanding. The things thought of by the mind are ascertained with accuracy by the understanding. There is no doubt in this, viz., that the understanding, by perseverance, perceives all things. The characteristic of mind is meditation. The

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characteristic of the good man is to live unperceived. 1 Devotion has acts for its characteristic. Knowledge is the characteristic of renunciation. Therefore keeping knowledge, before his view, the man of understanding should practise renunciation. The man who has betaken himself to renunciation and who is possessed of knowledge, who transcends all pairs of opposites, as also darkness, death, and decrepitude, attains to the highest goal. I have thus declared to you duty what the indications are of duty. I shall, after this, tell you of the seizure (comprehension) of qualities. Smell, which appertains to earth, is seized by the nose. The wind, that dwells in the nose is likewise appointed (as an agent) in the perception of smell. Taste is the essence of water. That is seized by the tongue. Soma, who resides in the tongue, is appointed likewise in the perception of taste. The quality of a lighted body is colour. That is seized by the eye. Aditya who always resides in the eye has been appointed in the perception of colour. Touch always appertains to the wind (as its quality). That is perceived by the skin. The wind that always resides in the skin has been appointed in apprehending touch. The quality of ether is sound. That is seized by the ear. All the quarters, which reside in the ear, have been appointed in apprehending sound. The quality of the mind is thought. That is seized by the understanding. The upholder of consciousness, residing in the heart, has been appointed in apprehending the mind. The understanding is apprehended in the form of determination or certitude, and Mahat in the form of knowledge. The unperceived (Prakriti) has been, it is evident, appointed for the seizure of all things after certitude. There is no doubt in this. 2 The Kshetrajna which is eternal and is destitute of qualities as regards its essence, is incapable of being seized by symbols. Hence, the characteristic of the Kshetrajna, which is without symbols, is purely knowledge. The unmanifest resides in the symbol called Kshetra, and is that in which the qualities are produced and absorbed. I always see, know, and hear it (though) it is hidden. Purusha knows it: therefore is he called Kshetrajna. The Kshetrajna perceives also the operations of the qualities and absence of their operations. The qualities, which are created repeatedly, do not know themselves, being unintelligent, as entities to be created and endued with a beginning, middle, and end. No one else attains, only the Kshetrajna attains, to that which is the highest and great and which transcend the qualities and those entities which are born of the qualities. Hence one who understands duties, casting off qualities and the understanding, and having his sins destroyed, and transcending the qualities, enters the Kshetrajna. One that is free from all pairs of opposites, that never bends his head to any one, that is divested of Swaha, that is immovable, and homeless, is the Kshetrajna. He is the Supreme Lord."'


72:1 I do not think that Telang is correct in his version of this verse. What is said here seems to be this. The body is, as it were the wheel of Time; the body is the ocean of delusion; the body is the creator, destroyer and reawakener of the universe. Through the body creatures act, and hence creation, destruction, and re-creation are due to the body. This accords with what is said elsewhere regarding the body.

72:2 It would be wrong to take satah as implying 'the good,' the finite verses in every text being singular.

72:3 The correct reading seems to be atmana as the last word of the first line, and not atman.

72:4 What is said here is that the quality of passion predominates in these.

72:5 Nyagrodha is the Ficus Bengalensis, Linn. Jamvu is Eugenia Jambolana, Lamk. Pippala is Ficus religiosa, Linn. Salmali is Bombax Malabaricum. Sinsapa is Dalbergia Sissoo, Roxb. Meshasringa is Asclepia geminata, Roxb. Kichaka is a variety of mountain bamboo. Here however it evidently implies the Nimba or Melia Azadirachta, Linn.

73:1 Nilakantha is for taking the second line as consisting of two propositions. It would be better to take satinam as referring to strinam, and vasumatyah, as an adjective of Apsarasah.

74:1 The sense seems to be that good men never allow others to know what their acts are. They are strangers to ostentation.

74:2 The sense seems to be that the knowledge of one's own identity and of things as discriminated from one another is presided over by Prakriti. If the question is asked whence is the knowledge--'I am so,' and that 'this is so,' the answer is that it comes from Prakriti or Nature.

Next: Section XLIV