The Mahabharata Home
"Vaisampayana said, 'King Dhritarashtra had never beheld his own sons. Obtaining eye-sight through the grace of the Rishi, he beheld, for the first time, O perpetuator of Kuru's race, those children of his that were very like his own self. That foremost of men, viz., the Kuru monarch, had learnt all the duties of kings, as also the Vedas and the Upanishadas, and had acquired certitude of understanding (from the same source). Vidura of great wisdom attained to high success through the power of his penances. Dhritarashtra also attained to great success in consequence of having met the ascetic Vyasa.'
"Janamejaya said, 'If Vyasa, disposed to grant me a boon, kindly show me my sire in that form which he had, clad as he used to be clad, and as old as he was when he departed from this world, I may then believe all that thou hast told me. Such a sight will be most agreeable to me. Indeed, I shall regard myself crowned with success. I shall have gained a certainty of conclusion. O, let my wish be crowned with fruition through the grace of that foremost of Rishis.'
"Sauti said,--'After king Janamejaya had said these words, Vyasa of great energy and intelligence showed his grace and brought Parikshit (from the other world). King Janamejaya beheld his royal father, possessed of great beauty, brought down from Heaven, in the same form that he had and of the same age as he was (at the time of leaving this world). The high-souled Samika also, and his son Sringin, were similarly brought there. All the counsellors and ministers of the king beheld them. King Janamejaya. performing the final bath in his sacrifice, became highly glad. He poured the sacred water on his father, even as he caused it to be poured on himself. Having undergone the final bath, the king addressed the regenerate Astika who had sprung from the race of the Yayavaras and who was the son of Jaratkaru, and said these words,--'O
[paragraph continues] Astika, this sacrifice of mine is fraught with many wonderful incidents, since this my sire has been seen by me--he who has dispelled all my sorrows.'
"Astika said, 'The performer of that sacrifice in which the ancient Rishi, the Island-born Vyasa, that vast receptacle of penances, is present, is sure, O foremost one of Kuru's race, to conquer both the worlds. O son of the Pandavas, thou hast heard a wonderful history. The snakes have been consumed into ashes and have followed the footsteps of thy sire. Through thy truthfulness, O monarch, Takshaka has with difficulty escaped a painful fate. The Rishis have all been worshipped. Thou hast seen also the end that has been attained by thy high-souled sire. Having heard this sin-cleansing history thou hast achieved abundant merit. The knots of thy heart have been untied through sight of this foremost of person. They that are the supporters of the wings of Righteousness, they that are of good conduct and excellent disposition, they at sight of whom sins become attenuated,--we should all bow to them.'
"Sauti continued, 'Having heard this from that foremost of regenerate ones, King Janamejaya worshipped that Rishi, repeatedly honouring him in every way. Conversant with all duties he then asked the Rishi Vaisampayana of unfading glory about the sequel, O best of ascetics, of king Dhritarashtra's residence in the woods.'"
54:1 What is stated here is that if a man does an act that is bad, its consequences he will have to endure in a human body. The same with regard to rewards. By doing a meritorious act in one's human form, one will enjoy its good consequences in one's human body. So acts done mentally affect the mind and those done with the body affect the body.
It should be noted that the whole of the above translation is offered tentatively. A verbal rendering has been attempted. The chain of reasoning is not at all clear. The commentator has done much to elucidate the sense, but the original obscurities have scarcely been removed.
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