(Adivansavatarana Parva continued)
"Vaisampayana said, 'There was a king of the name of Uparichara. That monarch was devoted to virtue. He was very much addicted also to hunting. That king of the Paurava race, called also Vasu, conquered the excellent and delightful kingdom of Chedi under instructions from Indra. Some time after, the king gave up the use of arms and, dwelling in a secluded retreat, practised the most severe austerities. The gods with Indra at their head once approached the monarch during this period, believing that he sought the headship of the gods, by those severe austerities of his. The celestials, becoming objects of his sight, by soft speeches succeeded in winning him away from his ascetic austerities.'
"The gods said, 'O lord of the earth, thou shouldst take care so that virtue may not sustain a diminution on earth! Protected by thee, virtue itself will in return protect the universe.' And Indra said, 'O king, protect virtue on earth attentively and rigidly. Being virtuous, thou shalt, for all time, behold (in after life) many sacred regions. And though I am of Heaven, and thou art of earth, yet art thou my friend and dear to me. And, O king of men, dwell thou in that region on earth which is delightful, and aboundeth in animals, is sacred, full of wealth and corn, is well-protected like heaven, which is of agreeable climate, graced with every object of enjoyment, and blessed with fertility. And, O monarch of Chedi, this thy dominion is full of riches, of gems and precious stones, and containeth, besides, much mineral wealth. The cities and towns of this region are all devoted to virtue; the people are honest and contented; they never lie even in jest. Sons never divide their wealth with their fathers and are ever mindful of the welfare of their parents. Lean cattle are never yoked to the plough or the cart or engaged in carrying merchandise; on the other hand, they are well-fed and fattened. In Chedi the four orders are always engaged in their respective vocations. Let nothing be unknown to thee that happens in the three worlds. I shall give thee a crystal car such as the celestials alone are capable of carrying the car through mid air. Thou alone, of all mortals on earth, riding on that best of cars, shall course through mid-air like a celestial endued with a physical frame. I shall also give thee a triumphal garland of unfading lotuses, with which on, in battle, thou shall not be wounded by weapons. And, O king, this blessed and incomparable garland, widely known on earth as Indra's garland, shall be thy distinctive badge.
"The slayer of Vritra (Indra) also gave the king, for his gratification, a bamboo pole for protecting the honest and the peaceful. After the expiry of a year, the king planted it in the ground for the purpose of worshipping the giver thereof, viz., Sakra. From that time forth, O monarch, all kings, following Vasu's example, began to plant a pole for the celebration of Indra's worship. After erecting the pole they decked it with golden cloth and scents and garlands and various ornaments. And the god Vasava is worshipped in due form with such garlands and ornaments. And the god, for the gratification of the illustrious Vasu, assuming the form of a swan, came himself to accept the worship thus offered. And the god, beholding the auspicious worship thus made by Vasu, that first of monarchs, was delighted, and said unto him, 'Those men, and kings also, who will worship me and joyously observe this festival of mine like the king of Chedi, shall have glory and victory for their countries and kingdom. Their cities also shall expand and be ever in joy.'
"King Vasu was thus blessed by the gratified Maghavat, the high-souled chief of the gods. Indeed, those men who cause this festivity of Sakra to be observed with gifts of land, of gems and precious stones, become the respected of the world. And king Vasu, the lord of Chedis bestowing boons and performing great sacrifices and observing the festivity of Sakra, was much respected by Indra. And from Chedi he ruled the whole world virtuously. And for the gratification of Indra, Vasu, the lord of the Chedis, observed the festivity of Indra.
"And Vasu had five sons of great energy and immeasurable prowess. And the emperor installed his sons as governors of various provinces.
"And his son Vrihadratha was installed in Magadha and was known by the name of Maharatha. Another son of his was Pratyagraha; and another, Kusamva, who was also called Manivahana. And the two others were Mavella, and Yadu of great prowess and invincible in battle.
"These, O monarch, were the sons of that royal sage of mighty energy. And the five sons of Vasu planted kingdoms and towns after their own names and founded separate dynasties that lasted for long ages.
"And when king Vasu took his seat in that crystal car, with the gift of Indra, and coursed through the sky, he was approached by Gandharvas and Apsaras (the celestial singers and dancers). And as he coursed through the upper regions, he was called Uparichara. And by his capital flowed a river called Suktimati. And that river was once attacked by a life-endued mountain called Kolahala maddened by lust. And Vasu, beholding the foul attempt, struck the mountain with his foot. And by the indentation caused by Vasu's stamp, the river came out (of the embraces of Kolahala). But the mountain begat on the river two children that were twins. And the river, grateful to Vasu for his having set her free from Kolahala's embraces, gave them both to Vasu. And the son was made the generalissimo to his forces by Vasu, that best of royal sages and giver of wealth and punisher of enemies. And the daughter called Girika, was wedded by Vasu.
'And Girika, the wife of Vasu, after her menstrual course, purifying herself by a bath, represented her state unto her lord. But that very day the Pitris of Vasu came unto that best of monarchs and foremost of wise men, and asked him to slay deer (for their Sraddha). And the king, thinking that the command of the Pitris should not be disobeyed, went a-hunting thinking of Girika alone who was gifted with great beauty and like unto another Sri herself. And the season being the spring, the woods within which the king was roaming, had become delightful like unto the gardens of the king of the Gandharvas himself. There were Asokas and Champakas and Chutas and Atimuktas in abundance: and there were Punnagas and Karnikaras and Vakulas and Divya Patalas and Patalas and Narikelas and Chandanas and Arjunas and similar other beautiful and sacred trees resplendent with fragrant flowers and sweet fruits. And the whole forest was maddened by the sweet notes of the kokila and echoed with the hum of maddened bees. And the king became possessed with desire, and he saw not his wife before him. Maddened by desire he was roaming hither and thither, when he saw a beautiful Asoka decked with dense foliage, its branches covered with flowers. And the king sat at his ease in the shade of that tree. And excited by the fragrance of the season and the charming odours of the flowers around, and excited also by the delicious breeze, the king could not keep his mind away from the thought of the beautiful Girika. And beholding that a swift hawk was resting very near to him, the king, acquainted with the subtle truths of Dharma and Artha, went unto him and said, 'Amiable one, carry thou this seed (semen) for my wife Girika and give it unto her. Her season hath arrived.'
"The hawk, swift of speed, took it from the king and rapidly coursed through the air. While thus passing, the hawk was seen by another of his species. Thinking that the first one was carrying meat, the second one flew at him. The two fought with each other in the sky with their beaks. While they were fighting, the seed fell into the waters of the Yamuna. And in those waters dwelt an Apsara of the higher rank, known by the name of Adrika, transformed by a Brahmana's curse into a fish. As soon as Vasu's seed fell into the water from the claws of the hawk, Adrika rapidly approached and swallowed it at once. That fish was, some time after, caught by the fishermen. And it was the tenth month of the fish's having swallowed the seed. From the stomach of that fish came out a male and a female child of human form. The fishermen wondered much, and wending unto king Uparichara (for they were his subjects) told him all. They said, 'O king, these two beings of human shape have been found in the body of a fish!' The male child amongst the two was taken by Uparichara. That child afterwards became the virtuous and truthful monarch Matsya.
"After the birth of the twins, the Apsara herself became freed from her curse. For she had been told before by the illustrious one (who had cursed her) that she would, while living in her piscatorial form, give birth to two children of human shape and then would be freed from the curse. Then, according to these words, having given birth to the two children, and been killed by the fishermen, she left her fish-form and assumed her own celestial shape. The Apsara then rose up on the path trodden by the Siddhas, the Rishis and the Charanas.
"The fish-smelling daughter of the Apsara in her piscatorial form was then given by the king unto the fishermen, saying, 'Let this one be thy daughter.' That girl was known by the name of Satyavati. And gifted with great beauty and possessed of every virtue, she of agreeable smiles, owing to contact with fishermen, was for some time of the fishy smell. Wishing to serve her (foster) father she plied a boat on the waters of the Yamuna.
"While engaged in this vocation, Satyavati was seen one day by the great Rishi Parasara, in course of his wanderings. As she was gifted with great beauty, an object of desire even with an anchorite, and of graceful smiles, the wise sage, as soon as he beheld her, desired to have her. And that bull amongst Munis addressed the daughter of Vasu of celestial beauty and tapering thighs, saying, 'Accept my embraces, O blessed one!' Satyavati replied, 'O holy one, behold the Rishis standing on either bank of the river. Seen by them, how can I grant thy wish?'
"Thus addressed by her, the ascetic thereupon created a fog (which existed not before and) which enveloped the whole region in darkness. And the maiden, beholding the fog that was created by the great Rishi wondered much. And the helpless one became suffused with the blushes of bashfulness. And she said, 'O holy one, note that I am a maiden under the control of my father. O sinless one, by accepting your embraces my virginity will be sullied. O best of Brahmanas, my virginity being sullied, how shall I, O Rishi, be able to return home? Indeed, I shall not then be able to bear life. Reflecting upon all this, O illustrious one, do that which should be done.' That best of Rishis, gratified with all she said, replied, "Thou shall remain a virgin even if thou grantest my wish. And, O timid one, O beauteous lady, solicit the boon that thou desirest. O thou of fair smiles, my grace hath never before proved fruitless.' Thus addressed, the maiden asked for the boon that her body might emit a sweet scent (instead of the fish-odour that it had). And the illustrious Rishi thereupon granted that wish of her heart.
"Having obtained her boon, she became highly pleased, and her season immediately came. And she accepted the embraces of that Rishi of wonderful deeds. And she thenceforth became known among men by the name of Gandhavati (the sweet-scented one). And men could perceive her scent from the distance of a yojana. And for this she was known by another name which was Yojanagandha (one who scatters her scent for a yojana all around). And the illustrious Parasara, after this, went to his own asylum.
"And Satyavati gratified with having obtained the excellent boon in consequence of which she became sweet-scented and her virginity remained unsullied conceived through Parasara's embraces. And she brought forth the very day, on an island in the Yamuna, the child begot upon her by Parasara and gifted with great energy. And the child, with the permission of his mother, set his mind on asceticism. And he went away saying, 'As soon as thou rememberest me when occasion comes, I shall appear unto thee.'
"And it was thus that Vyasa was born of Satyavati through Parasara. And because he was born in an island, he was called Dwaipayana (Dwaipa or islandborn). And the learned Dwaipayana, beholding that virtue is destined to become lame by one leg each yuga (she having four legs in all) and that the period of life and the strength of men followed the yugas, and moved by the desire of obtaining the favour of Brahman and the Brahmanas, arranged the Vedas. And for this he came to be called Vyasa (the arranger or compiler). The boon-giving great one then taught Sumanta, Jaimini, Paila, his son Suka, and Vaisampayana, the Vedas having the Mahabharata for their fifth. And the compilation of the Bharata was published by him through them separately.
"Then Bhishma, of great energy and fame and of immeasurable splendour, and sprung from the component parts of the Vasus, was born in the womb of Ganga through king Santanu. And there was a Rishi of the name of Animandavya of great fame. And he was conversant with the interpretations of the Vedas, was illustrious, gifted with great energy, and of great reputation. And, accused of theft, though innocent, the old Rishi was impaled. He thereupon summoned Dharma and told him these words, 'In my childhood I had pierced a little fly on a blade of grass, O Dharma! I recollect that one sin: but I cannot call to mind any other. I have, however, since practised penances a thousandfold. Hath not that one sin been conquered by this my asceticism? And because the killing of a Brahmana is more heinous than that of any other living thing, therefore, hast thou, O Dharma, been sinful. Thou shalt, therefore, be born on earth in the Sudra order.' And for that curse Dharma was born a Sudra in the form of the learned Vidura of pure body who was perfectly sinless. And the Suta was born of Kunti in her maidenhood through Surya. And he came out of his mother's womb with a natural coat of mail and face brightened by ear-rings. And Vishnu himself, of world-wide fame, and worshipped of all the worlds, was born of Devaki through Vasudeva, for the benefit of the three worlds. He is without birth and death, of radiant splendour, the Creator of the universe and the Lord of all! Indeed, he who is the invisible cause of all, who knoweth no deterioration, who is the all-pervading soul, the centre round which everything moveth, the substance in which the three attributes of Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas co-inhere, the universal soul, the immutable, the material out of which hath been created this universe, the Creator himself, the controlling lord, the invisible dweller in every object, progenitor of this universe of five elements, who is united with the six high attributes, is the Pranava or Om of the Vedas, is infinite, incapable of being moved by any force save his own will, illustrious, the embodiment of the mode of life called Sannyasa, who floated on the waters before the creation, who is the source whence hath sprung this mighty frame, who is the great combiner, the uncreate, the invisible essence of all, the great immutable, bereft of those attributes that are knowable by the senses, who is the universe itself, without beginning, birth, and decay,—is possessed of infinite wealth, that Grandsire of all creatures, became incarnate in the race of the Andhaka-Vrishnis for the increase of virtue.
"And Satyaki and Kritavarma, conversant with (the use of) weapons possessed of mighty energy, well-versed in all branches of knowledge, and obedient to Narayana in everything and competent in the use of weapons, had their births from Satyaka and Hridika. And the seed of the great Rishi Bharadwaja of severe penances, kept in a pot, began to develop. And from that seed came Drona (the pot-born). And from the seed of Gautama, fallen upon a clump of reeds, were born two that were twins, the mother of Aswatthaman (called Kripi), and Kripa of great strength. Then was born Dhrishtadyumna, of the splendour of Agni himself, from the sacrificial fire. And the mighty hero was born with bow in hand for the destruction of Drona. And from the sacrificial altar was born Krishna (Draupadi) resplendent and handsome, of bright features and excellent beauty. Then was born the disciple of Prahlada, viz., Nagnajit, and also Suvala. And from Suvala was born a son, Sakuni, who from the curse of the gods became the slayer of creatures and the foe of virtue. And unto him was also born a daughter (Gandhari), the mother of Duryodhana. And both were well-versed in the arts of acquiring worldly profits. And from Krishna was born, in the soil of Vichitravirya, Dhritarashtra, the lord of men, and Pandu of great strength. And from Dwaipayana also born, in the Sudra caste, the wise and intelligent Vidura, conversant with both religion and profit, and free from all sins. And unto Pandu by his two wives were born five sons like the celestials. The eldest of them was Yudhishthira. And Yudhishthira was born (of the seed) of Dharma (Yama, the god of justice); and Bhima of the wolf's stomach was born of Marut (the god of wind), and Dhananjaya, blessed with good fortune and the first of all wielders of weapons, was born of Indra; and Nakula and Sahadeva, of handsome features and ever engaged in the service of their superiors, were born of the twin Aswins. And unto the wise Dhritarashtra were born a hundred sons, viz., Duryodhana and others, and another, named Yuyutsu, who was born of a vaisya woman. And amongst those hundred and one, eleven, viz., Duhsasana, Duhsaha, Durmarshana, Vikarna, Chitrasena, Vivinsati, Jaya, Satyavrata, Purumitra, and Yuyutsu by a Vaisya wife, were all Maharathas (great car-warriors). And Abhimanyu was born of Subhadra, the sister of Vasudeva through Arjuna, and was, therefore, the grandson of the illustrious Pandu. And unto the five Pandavas were born five sons by (their common wife) Panchali. And these princes were all very handsome and conversant with all branches of knowledge. From Yudhishthira was born Pritivindhya; from Vrikodara, Sutasoma; from Arjuna, Srutakirti; from Nakula, Satanika; and from Sahadeva, Srutasena of great prowess; and Bhima, in the forest begot on Hidimva a son named Ghatotkacha. And from Drupada was born a daughter Sikhandin who was afterwards transformed into a male child. Sikhandini was so transformed into a male by Yaksha named Sthuna from the desire of doing her good.
"In that great battle of the Kurus came hundreds of thousands of monarchs for fighting against one another. The names of the innumerable host I am unable to recount even in ten thousand years. I have named, however, the principal ones who have been mentioned in this history.'"
(Adivansavatarana Parva continued)
"Janamejaya said, 'O Brahmana, those thou hast named and those thou hast not named, I wish to hear of them in detail, as also of other kings by thousands. And, O thou of great good fortune, it behoveth thee to tell me in full the object for which those Maharathas, equal unto the celestials themselves, were born on earth.'
"Vaisampayana said, 'It hath been heard by us, O monarch, that what thou askest is a mystery even to the gods. I shall, however, speak of it unto thee, after bowing down (to the self-born). The son of Jamadagni (Parasurama), after twenty-one times making the earth bereft of Kshatriyas wended to that best of mountains Mahendra and there began his ascetic penances. And at that time when the earth was bereft of Kshatriyas, the Kshatriya ladies, desirous of offspring, used to come, O monarch, to the Brahmanas and Brahmanas of rigid vows had connection with them during the womanly season alone, but never, O king, lustfully and out of season. And Kshatriya ladies by thousands conceived from such connection with Brahmanas. Then, O monarch, were born many Kshatriyas of greater energy, boys and girls, so that the Kshatriya race, might thrive. And thus sprang the Kshatriya race from Kshatriya ladies by Brahmanas of ascetic penances. And the new generation, blessed with long life, began to thrive in virtue. And thus were the four orders having Brahmanas at their head re-established. And every man at that time went in unto his wife during her season and never from lust and out of season. And, O bull of the Bharata race, in the same way, other creatures also, even those born in the race of birds went in unto their wives during the season alone. And, O protector of the earth, hundreds of thousands of creatures were born, and all were virtuous and began to multiply in virtue, all being free from sorrow and disease. And, O thou of the elephant's tread, this wide earth having the ocean for her boundaries, with her mountains and woods and towns, was once more governed by the Kshatriyas. And when the earth began to be again governed virtuously by the Kshatriyas, the other orders having Brahmanas for their first were filled with great joy. And the kings giving up all vices born of lust and anger and justly awarding punishments to those that deserved them protected the earth. And he of a hundred sacrifices, possessed also of a thousand eyes, beholding that the Kshatriya monarchs ruled so virtuously, poured down vivifying showers at proper times and places and blessed all creatures. Then, O king, no one of immature years died, and none knew a woman before attaining to age. And thus, O bull of the Bharata race, the earth, to the very coasts of the ocean, became filled with men that were all long-lived. The Kshatriyas performed great sacrifices bestowing much wealth. And the Brahmanas also all studied the Vedas with their branches and the Upanishads. And, O king, no Brahmana in those days ever sold the Vedas (i.e., taught for money) or ever read aloud the Vedas in the presence of a Sudra. The Vaisyas, with the help of bullocks, caused the earth to be tilled. And they never yoked the cattle themselves. And they fed with care all cattle that were lean. And men never milked kine as long as the calves drank only the milk of their dams (without having taken to grass or any other food). And no merchant in those days ever sold his articles by false scales. And, O tiger among men, all persons, holding to the ways of virtue, did everything with eyes set upon virtue. And, O monarch, all the orders were mindful of their own respective duties. Thus, O tiger among men, virtue in those days never sustained any diminution. And, O bull of the Bharata race, both kine and women gave birth to their offspring at the proper time. And trees bore flowers and fruit duly according to the seasons. And thus, O king, the krita age having then duly set in, the whole earth was filled with numerous creatures.
"And, O bull of the Bharata race, when such was the blessed state of the terrestrial world, the Asuras, O lord of men, began to be born in kingly lines. And the sons of Diti (Daityas) being repeatedly defeated in war by the sons of Aditi (celestials) and deprived also of sovereignty and heaven, began to be incarnated on the earth. And, O king, the Asuras being possessed of great powers, and desirous of sovereignty began to be born on earth amongst various creatures, such as kine, horses, asses, camels, buffaloes, among creatures such as Rakshasas and others, and among elephants and deer. And, O protector of the earth, owing to those already born and to those that were being born, the earth became incapable of supporting herself. And amongst the sons of Diti and of Danu, cast out of heaven, some were born on the earth as kings of great pride and insolence. Possessed of great energy, they covered the earth in various shapes. Capable of oppressing all foes, they filled the earth having the ocean for its boundaries. And by their strength they began to oppress Brahmanas and Kshatriyas and Vaisyas and Sudras and all other creatures also. Terrifying and killing all creatures, they traversed the earth, O king, in bands of hundreds and thousands. Devoid of truth and virtue, proud of their strength, and intoxicated with (the wine of) insolence, they even insulted the great Rishis in their hermitages.
"And the earth, thus oppressed by the mighty Asuras endued with great strength and energy and possessed of abundant means, began to think of waiting on Brahman. The united strength of the creatures (such as Sesha, the Tortoise, and the huge Elephant), and of many Seshas too, became capable of supporting the earth with her mountains, burdened as she was with the weight of the Danavas. And then, O king, the earth, oppressed with weight and afflicted with fear, sought the protection of the Grandsire of all creatures. And she beheld the divine Brahman—the Creator of the worlds who knoweth no deterioration—surrounded by the gods, Brahmanas, and great Rishis, of exceeding good fortune, and adored by delighted Gandharvas and Apsaras always engaged in the service of the celestials. And the Earth, desirous of protection, then represented everything to him, in the presence, O Bharata, of all the Regents of the worlds. But, O king, the Earth's object had been known beforehand to the Omniscient, Self-create, and Supreme Lord. And, O Bharata, Creator as he is of the universe, why should he not know fully what is in the minds of his creatures including the very gods and the Asuras? O king, the Lord of the Earth, the Creator of all creatures, also called Isa, Sambhu, Prajapati, then spake unto her. And Brahman said, 'O holder of wealth, for the accomplishment of the object for which thou hast approached me, I shall appoint all the dwellers in the heavens.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Having said so unto the Earth, O king, the divine Brahman bade her farewell. And the Creator then commanded all the gods saying, 'To ease the Earth of her burden, go ye and have your births in her according to your respective parts and seek ye strife (with the Asuras already born there)'. And the Creator of all, summoning also all the tribes of the Gandharvas and the Apsaras, spake unto them these words of deep import, 'Go ye and be born amongst men according to your respective parts in forms that ye like.'
"And all the gods with Indra, on hearing these words of the Lord of the celestials—words that were true, desirable under the circumstances, and fraught with benefit,—accepted them. And they all having resolved to come down on earth in their respected parts, then went to Narayana, the slayer of all foes, at Vaikunth—the one who has the discus and the mace in his hands, who is clad in purple, who is of great splendour, who hath the lotus on his navel, who is the slayer of the foes of the gods, who is of eyes looking down upon his wide chest (in yoga attitude), who is the lord of the Prajapati himself, the sovereign of all the gods, of mighty strength, who hath the mark of the auspicious whirl on his breast, who is the mover of every one's faculties and who is adored by all the gods. Him, Indra the most exalted of persons, addressed, saying, "Be incarnate." And Hari replied,—'Let it be.'"
"Vaisampayana said, 'Then Indra had a consultation with Narayana about the latter's descent on the earth from heaven with all the gods according to their respective parts. And, having commanded all the dwellers in heaven, Indra returned from the abode of Narayana. And the dwellers in heaven gradually became incarnate on earth for the destruction of the Asuras and for the welfare of the three worlds. And then, O tiger among kings, the celestials had their births, according as they pleased, in the races of Brahmarshis and royal sages. And they slew the Danavas, Rakshasas, Gandharvas and Snakes, other man-eaters, and many other creatures. And, O bull in the Bharata race, the Danavas, Rakshasas and Gandharvas and Snakes, could not slay the incarnate celestials even in their infancy, so strong they were.'
"Janamejaya said, 'I desire to hear from the beginning of the births of the gods, the Danavas, the Gandharvas, the Apsaras, men, Yakshas and Rakshasas. Therefore, it behoveth thee to tell me about the births of all creatures.'
"Vaisampayana said, 'Indeed, I shall, having bowed down to the Self-create, tell thee in detail the origin of the celestials and other creatures. It is known that Brahman hath six spiritual sons, viz., Marichi, Atri, Angiras, Pulastya, Pulaha and Kratu. And Marichi's son is Kasyapa, and from Kasyapa have sprung these creatures. Unto Daksha (one of the Prajapatis) were born thirteen daughters of great good fortune. The daughters of Daksha are, O tiger among men and prince of the Bharata race, Aditi, Diti, Danu, Kala, Danayu, Sinhika, Krodha, Pradha, Viswa, Vinata, Kapila, Muni, and Kadru. The sons and grandsons of these, gifted with great energy, are countless. From Aditi have sprung the twelve Adityas who are the lords of the universe. And, O Bharata, as they are according to their names, I shall recount them to thee. They are Dhatri, Mitra, Aryaman, Sakra, Varuna, Ansa, Vaga, Vivaswat, Usha, Savitri, Tvashtri, and Vishnu. The youngest, however, is superior to them all in merit. Diti had one son called Hiranyakasipu. And the illustrious Hiranyakasipu had five sons, all famous throughout the world. The eldest of them all was Prahlada, the next was Sahradha; the third was Anuhrada; and after him were Sivi and Vashkala. And, O Bharata, it is known everywhere that Prahlada had three sons. They were Virochana, Kumbha, and Nikumbha. And unto Virochana was born a son, Vali, of great prowess. And the son of Vali is known to be the great Asura, Vana. And blessed with good fortune, Vana was a follower of Rudra, and was known also by the name of Mahakala. And Danu had forty sons, O Bharata! The eldest of them all was Viprachitti of great fame Samvara, and Namuchi and Pauloman; Asiloman, and Kesi and Durjaya; Ayahsiras, Aswasiras, and the powerful Aswasanku; also Gaganamardhan, and Vegavat, and he called Ketumat; Swarbhanu, Aswa, Aswapati, Vrishaparvan, and then Ajaka; and Aswagriva, and Sukshama, and Tuhunda of great strength, Ekapada, and Ekachakra, Virupaksha, Mahodara, and Nichandra, and Nikumbha, Kupata, and then Kapata; Sarabha, and Sulabha, Surya, and then Chandramas; these in the race of Danu are stated to be well-known. The Surya and Chandramas (the Sun and the Moon) of the celestials are other persons, and not the sons of Danu as mentioned above. The following ten, gifted with great strength and vigour, were also, O king, born in the race of Danu;—Ekaksha, Amritapa of heroic courage, Pralamva and Naraka, Vatrapi, Satrutapana, and Satha, the great Asura; Gavishtha, and Vanayu, and the Danava called Dirghajiva. And, O Bharata, the sons and the grandsons of these were known to be countless. And Sinhika gave birth to Rahu, the persecutor of the Sun and the Moon, and to three others, Suchandra, Chandrahantri, and Chandrapramardana. And the countless progeny of Krura (krodha) were as crooked and wicked as herself. And the tribe was wrathful, of crooked deeds, and persecutors of their foes. And Danayu also had four sons who were bulls among the Asuras. They were Vikshara, Vala, Vira, and Vritra the great Asura. And the sons of Kala were all like Yama himself and smiter of all foes. And they were of great energy, and oppressors of all foes. And the sons of Kala were Vinasana and Krodha, and then Krodhahantri, and Krodhasatru. And there were many others among the sons of Kala. And Sukra, the son of a Rishi, was the chief priest of the Asuras. And the celebrated Sukra had four sons who were priests of the Asuras. And they were Tashtadhara and Atri, and two others of fierce deeds. They were like the Sun himself in energy, and set their hearts on acquiring the regions of Brahman.
"Thus hath been recited by me, as heard in the Purana, of progeny of the gods and the Asuras, both of great strength and energy. I am incapable, O king, of counting the descendants of these, countless as they are, are not much known to fame.
"And the sons of Vinata were Tarkhya and Arishtanemi, and Garuda and Aruna, and Aruni and Varuni. And Sesha or Ananta, Vasuki, Takshaka, Kumara, and Kulika are known to be the sons of Kadru; and Bhimasena, Ugrasena, Suparna, Varuna, Gopati, and Dhritarashtra, and Suryavarchas the seventh, Satyavachas, Arkaparna, Prayuta, Bhima, and Chitraratha known to fame, of great learning, and a controller of his passions, and then Kalisiras, and, O king, Parjanya, the fourteenth in the list, Kali, the fifteenth, and Narada, the sixteenth—these Devas and Gandharvas are known to be the sons of Muni (Daksha's daughter as mentioned before). I shall recount many others, O Bharata! Anavadya Manu, Vansa, Asura, Marganapria, Anupa, Subhaga, Vasi, were the daughters brought forth by Pradha, Siddha, and Purna, and Varhin, and Purnayus of great fame, Brahmacharin, Ratiguna, and Suparna who was the seventh; Viswavasu, Bhanu, and Suchandra who was the tenth, were also the sons of Pradha. All these were celestial Gandharvas. And it is also known that this Pradha of great fortune, through the celestial Rishi (Kasyapa, her husband), brought forth the sacred of the Apsaras, Alamvusha, Misrakesi, Vidyutparna, Tilottama, Aruna, Rakshita, Rambha, Manorama, Kesini, Suvahu, Surata, Suraja, and Supria were the daughters, and Ativahu and the celebrated Haha and Huhu, and Tumvuru were the sons—the best of Gandharvas—of Pradha and Amrita. The Brahmanas, kine, Gandharvas, and Apsaras, were born of Kapila as stated in the Purana.
"Thus hath been recited to thee by me the birth of all creatures duly—of Gandharvas and Apsaras, of Snakes, Suparnas, Rudras, and Maruts; of kine and of Brahmanas blessed with great good fortune, and of sacred deeds. And this account (if read) extendeth the span of life, is sacred, worthy of all praise, and giveth pleasure to the ear. It should be always heard and recited to others, in a proper frame of mind.
"He who duly readeth this account of the birth of all high-souled creatures in the presence of the gods and Brahmanas, obtaineth large progeny, good fortune, and fame, and attaineth also to excellent worlds hereafter.'"
(Sambhava Parva continued)
"Vaisampayana said, 'It is known that the spiritual sons of Brahman were the six great Rishis (already mentioned). There was another of the name of Sthanu. And the sons of Sthanu, gifted with great energy, were, it is known, eleven. They were Mrigavayadha, Sarpa, Niriti of great fame: Ajaikapat, Ahivradhna, and Pinaki, the oppressor of foes; Dahana and Iswara, and Kapali of great splendour; and Sthanu, and the illustrious Bharga. These are called the eleven Rudras. It hath been already said, that Marichi, Angiras. Atri, Pulastya, Pulaha, and Kratu—these six great Rishis of great energy—are the sons of Brahman. It is well-known in the world that Angiras's sons are three,—Vrihaspati, Utathya, and Samvarta, all of rigid vows. And, O king, it is said that the sons of Atri are numerous. And, being great Rishis, they are all conversant with the Vedas, crowned with ascetic success, and of souls in perfect peace. And, O tiger among kings, the sons of Pulastya of great wisdom are Rakshasas, Monkeys, Kinnaras (half-men and half-horses), and Yakshas. And, O king, the son of Pulaha were, it is said, the Salabhas (the winged insects), the lions, the Kimpurushas (half-lions and half-men), the tigers, bears, and wolves. And the sons of Kratu, sacred as sacrifices, are the companions of Surya, (the Valikhilyas), known in three worlds and devoted to truth and vows. And, O protector of the Earth, the illustrious Rishi Daksha, of soul in complete peace, and of great asceticism, sprung from the right toe of Brahman. And from the left toe of Brahman sprang the wife of the high-souled Daksha. And the Muni begat upon her fifty daughters; and all those daughters were of faultless features and limbs and of eyes like lotus-petals. And the lord Daksha, not having any sons, made those daughters his Putrikas (so that their sons might belong both to himself and to their husbands). And Daksha bestowed, according to the sacred ordinance, ten of his daughters on Dharma, twenty-seven on Chandra (the Moon), and thirteen on Kasyapa. Listen as I recount the wives of Dharma according to their names. They are ten in all—Kirti, Lakshmi, Dhriti, Medha, Pushti, Sraddha, Kria, Buddhi, Lajja, and Mali. These are the wives of Dharma as appointed by the Self-create. It is known also throughout the world that the wives of Soma (Moon) are twenty-seven. And the wives of Soma, all of sacred vows, are employed in indicating time; and they are the Nakshatras and the Yoginis and they became so for assisting the courses of the worlds.
"And Brahman had another son named Manu. And Manu had a son of the name of Prajapati. And the sons of Prajapati were eight and were called Vasus whom I shall name in detail. They were Dhara, Dhruva, Soma, Aha, Anila, Anala, Pratyusha, and Prabhasa. These eight are known as the Vasus. Of these, Dhara and the truth-knowing Dhruva were born of Dhumra; Chandramas (Soma) and Swasana (Anila) were born of the intelligent Swasa; Aha was the son of Rata: and Hutasana (Anala) of Sandilya; and Pratyusha and Prabhasa were the sons of Prabhata. And Dhara had two sons, Dravina and Huta-havya-vaha. And the son of Dhruva is the illustrious Kala (Time), the destroyer of the worlds. And Soma's son is the resplendent Varchas. And Varchas begot upon his wife Manohara three sons—Sisira, and Ramana. And the son of Aha were Jyotih, Sama, Santa, and also Muni. And the son of Agni is the handsome Kumara born in a forest of reeds. And, he is also called Kartikeya because he was reared by Krittika and others. And, after Kartikeya, there were born his three brothers Sakha, Visakha, Naigameya. And the wife of Anila is Siva, and Siva's son were Manojava and Avijnataagati. These two were the sons of Anila. The son of Pratyusha, you must know, is the Rishi named Devala; and Devala had two sons who were both exceedingly forgiving and of great mental power. And the sister of Vrihaspati, the first of women, uttering the sacred truth, engaged in ascetic penances, roamed over the whole earth; and she became the wife of Prabhasa, the eighth Vasu. And she brought forth the illustrious Viswakarman, the founder of all arts. And he was the originator of a thousand arts, the engineer of the immortals, the maker of all kinds of ornaments, and the first of artists. And he it was who constructed the celestial cars of the gods, and mankind are enabled to live in consequence of the inventions of that illustrious one. And he is worshipped, for that reason, by men. And he is eternal and immutable, this Viswakarman.
"And the illustrious Dharma, the dispenser of all happiness, assuming a human countenance, came out through the right breast of Brahman. And Ahasta (Dharma) hath three excellent sons capable of charming every creature. And they are Sama, Kama, Harsha (Peace, Desire, and Joy). And by their energy they are supporting the worlds. And the wife of Kama is Rati, of Sama is Prapti; and the wife of Harsha is Nanda. And upon them, indeed, are the worlds made to depend.
"And the son of Marichi is Kasyapa. And Kasyapa's offspring are the gods and the Asuras. And, therefore, is Kasyapa, the Father of the worlds. And Tvashtri, of the form of Vadava (a mare), became the wife of Savitri. And she gave birth, in the skies, to two greatly fortunate twins, the Aswins. And, O king, the sons of Aditi are twelve with Indra heading them all. And the youngest of them all was Vishnu upon whom the worlds depend.
"These are the thirty-three gods (the eight Vasus, the eleven Rudras, the twelve Adityas, Prajapati, and Vashatkara). I shall now recount their progeny according to their Pakshas, Kulas, and Ganas. The Rudras, the Saddhyas, the Maruts, the Vasus, the Bhargavas, and the Viswedevas are each reckoned as a Paksha. Garuda the son of Vinata and the mighty Aruna also, and the illustrious Vrihaspati are reckoned among the Adityas. The twin Aswins, all annual plants, and all inferior animals, are reckoned among the Guhyakas.
"These are the Ganas of the gods recited to thee, O king! This recitation washes men of all sins.
"The illustrious Bhrigu came out, ripping open the breast of Brahman. The learned Sukra is Bhrigu's son. And the learned Sukra becoming a planet and engaged according to the command of the Self-existent in pouring and withholding rain, and in dispensing and remitting calamities, traverses, for sustaining the lives of all the creatures in the three worlds, through the skies. And the learned Sukra, of great intelligence and wisdom, of rigid vows, leading the life of a Brahmacharin, divided himself in twain by power of asceticism, and became the spiritual guide of both the Daityas and the gods. And after Sukra was thus employed by Brahman in seeking the welfare (of the gods and the Asuras), Bhrigu begot another excellent son. This was Chyavana who was like the blazing sun, of virtuous soul, and of great fame. And he came out of his mother's womb in anger and became the cause of his mother's release, O king (from the hands of the Rakshasas). And Arushi, the daughter of Manu, became the wife of the wise Chyavana. And, on her was begotten Aurva of great reputation. And he came out, ripping open the thigh of Arushi. And Aurva begot Richika. And Richika even in his boyhood became possessed of great power and energy, and of every virtue. And Richika begot Jamadagni. And the high-souled Jamadagni had four sons. And the youngest of them all was Rama (Parasurama). And Rama was superior to all his brothers in the possession of good qualities. And he was skilful in all weapons, and became the slayer of the Kshatriyas. And he had his passions under complete control. And Aurva had a hundred sons with Jamadagni the eldest. And these hundred sons had offspring by thousands spread over this earth.
"And Brahman had two other sons, viz., Dhatri and Vidhatri who stayed with Manu. Their sister is the auspicious Lakshmi having her abode amid lotuses. And the spiritual sons of Lakshmi are the sky-ranging horses. And the daughter born of Sukra, named Divi, became the eldest wife of Varuna. Of her were born a son named Vala and a daughter named Sura (wine), to the joy of the gods. And Adharma (Sin) was born when creatures (from want of food) began to devour one another. And Adharma always destroys every creature. And Adharma hath Niriti for his wife, whence the Rakshasas who are called Nairitas (offspring of Niriti). And she hath also three other cruel sons always engaged in sinful deeds. They are Bhaya (fear), Mahabhaya (terror), and Mrityu (Death) who is always engaged in slaying every created thing. And, as he is all-destroying, he hath no wife, and no son. And Tamra brought forth five daughters known throughout the worlds. They are Kaki (crow), Syeni (hawk), Phasi (hen), Dhritarashtri (goose), and Suki (parrot). And Kaki brought forth the crows; Syeni, the hawks, the cocks and vultures, Dhritarashtri, all ducks and swans; and she also brought forth all Chakravakas; and the fair Suki, of amiable qualities, and possessing all auspicious signs brought forth all the parrots. And Krodha gave birth to nine daughters, all of wrathful disposition. And their names were Mrigi, Mrigamanda, Hari, Bhadramana, Matangi, Sarduli, Sweta, Surabhi, and the agreeable Surasa blessed with every virtue. And, O foremost of men, the offspring of Mrigi are all animals of the deer species. And the offspring of Mrigamanda are all animals of the bear species and those called Srimara (sweet-footed). And Bhadramana begot the celestial elephants, Airavata. And the offspring of Hari are all animals of the simian species endued with great activity, so also all the horses. And those animals also, that are called Go-langula (the cow-tailed), are said to be the offspring of Hari. And Sarduli begot lions and tigers in numbers, and also leopards and all other strong animals. And, O king, the offspring of Matangi are all the elephants. And Sweta begat the large elephant known by the name of Sweta, endued with great speed. And, O king, Surabhi gave birth to two daughters, the amiable Rohini and the far-famed Gandharvi. And, O Bharata, she had also two other daughters named Vimala and Anala. From Rohini have sprung all kine, and from Gandharvi all animals of the horse species. And Anala begat the seven kinds of trees yielding pulpy fruits. (They are the date, the palm, the hintala, the tali, the little date, the nut, and the cocoanut.) And she had also another daughter called Suki (the mother of the parrot species). And Surasa bore a son called Kanka (a species of long-feathered birds). And Syeni, the wife of Aruna, gave birth to two sons of great energy and strength, named Sampati and the mighty Jatayu. Surasa also bore the Nagas, and Kadru, the Punnagas (snakes). And Vinata had two sons Garuda and Aruna, known far and wide. And, O king of men, O foremost of intelligent persons, thus hath the genealogy of all the principal creatures been fully described by me. By listening to this, a man is fully cleansed of all his sins, and acquireth great knowledge, and finally attaineth to the first of states in after-life!'"
(Sambhava Parva continued)
"Janamejaya said, 'O worshipful one, I wish to hear from thee in detail about the birth, among men, of the gods, the Danavas, the Gandharvas, the Rakshasas, the lions, the tigers, and the other animals, the snakes, the birds, and in fact, of all creatures. I wish also to hear about the acts and achievements of those, in due order, after they became incarnate in human forms.'
"Vaisampayana said, 'O king of men, I shall first tell thee all about those celestials and Danavas that were born among men—The first of Danavas, who was known by the name of Viprachitti, became that bull among men, noted as Jarasandha. And, O king, that son of Diti, who was known as Hiranyakasipu, was known in this world among men as the powerful Sisupala. He who had been known as Samhlada, the younger brother of Prahlada, became among men the famous Salya, that bull amongst Valhikas. The spirited Anuhlada who had been the youngest became noted in the world as Dhrishtaketu. And, O king, that son of Diti who had been known as Sivi became on earth the famous monarch Druma. And he who was known as the great Asura Vashkala became on earth the great Bhagadatta. The five great Asuras gifted with great energy, Ayahsira, Aswasira, the spirited Aysanku, Gaganamurdhan, and Vegavat, were all born in the royal line of Kekaya and all became great monarchs. That other Asura of mighty energy who was known by the name of Ketumat became on earth the monarch Amitaujas of terrible deeds. That great Asura who was known as Swarbhanu became on earth the monarch Ugrasena of fierce deeds. That great Asura who was known as Aswa became on earth the monarch Asoka of exceeding energy and invincible in battle. And, O king, the younger brother of Aswa who was known as Aswapati, a son of Diti, became on earth the mighty monarch Hardikya. The great and fortunate Asura who was known as Vrishaparvan became noted on earth as king Dirghaprajna. And, O king, the younger brother of Vrishaparvan who was known by the name of Ajaka became noted on earth as king Salwa. The powerful and mighty Asura who was known as Aswagriva became noted on earth as king Rochamana. And, O king, the Asura who was known as Sukshma, endued with great intelligence and whose achievements also were great, became on earth the famous king Vrihadratha. And that first of Asuras who was known by the name of Tuhunda, became noted on earth as the monarch, Senavindu. That Asura of great strength who was known as Ishupa became the monarch Nagnajita of famous prowess. The great Asura who was known as Ekachakra became noted on earth as Pritivindhya. The great Asura Virupaksha capable of displaying various modes of fight became noted on earth as king Chitravarman. The first of Danavas, the heroic Hara, who humbled the pride of all foes became on earth the famous and fortunate Suvahu. The Asura Suhtra of great energy and the destroyer of foemen, became noted on earth as the fortunate monarch, Munjakesa. That Asura of great intelligence called Nikumbha, who was never vanquished in battle was born on earth as king Devadhipa, the first among monarchs. That great Asura known amongst the sons of Diti by the name of Sarabha became on earth the royal sage called Paurava. And, O king, the great Asura of exceeding energy, the fortunate Kupatha, was born on earth as the famous monarch Suparswa. The great Asura, O king, who was called Kratha, was born on earth as the royal sage Parvateya of form resplendent like a golden mountain. He amongst the Asura who was known as Salabha the second, became on earth the monarch Prahlada in the country of the Valhikas. The foremost, among the sons of Diti known by the name of Chandra and handsome as the lord of the stars himself, became on earth noted as Chandravarman, the king of the Kamvojas. That bull amongst the Danavas who was known by the name of Arka became on earth, O king, the royal sage Rishika. That best of Asuras who was known as Mritapa became on earth, O best of kings, the monarch, Pascimanupaka. That great Asura of surpassing energy known as Garishtha became noted on earth as king Drumasena. The great Asura who was known as Mayura became noted on earth as the monarch Viswa. He who was the younger brother of Mayura and called Suparna became noted on earth as the monarch, Kalakirti. The mighty Asura who was known as Chandrahantri became on earth the royal sage Sunaka. The great Asura who was called Chandravinasana became noted on earth as the monarch, Janaki. That bull amongst the Danavas, O prince of the Kuru race, who was called Dhirghajihva, became noted on earth as Kasiraja. The Graha who was brought forth by Sinhika and who persecuted the Sun and the Moon became noted on earth as the monarch Kratha. The eldest of the four sons of Danayu, who was known by the name of Vikshara, became known on earth the spirited monarch, Vasumitra. The second brother of Vikshara, the great Asura, was born on earth as the king of the country, called Pandya. That best of Asuras who was known by the name of Valina became on earth the monarch Paundramatsyaka. And, O king, that great Asura who was known as Vritra became on earth the royal sage known by the name of Manimat. That Asura who was the younger brother of Vritra and known as Krodhahantri became noted on earth as king Danda. That other Asura who was known by the name Krodhavardhana became noted on earth as the monarch, Dandadhara. The eight sons of the Kaleyas that were born on earth all became great kings endued with the prowess of tigers. The eldest of them all became king Jayatsena in Magadha. The second of them, in prowess, like Indra, became noted on earth as Aparajita. The third of them, endued with great energy and power of producing deception, was born on earth as the king of the Nishadas gifted with great prowess. That other amongst them who was known as the fourth was noted on earth as Srenimat, that best of royal sages. That great Asura amongst them who was the fifth, became noted on earth as king Mahanjas, the oppressor of enemies. That great Asura possessing great intelligence who was the sixth of them became noted on earth as Abhiru, that best of royal sages. The seventh of them became known throughout earth, from the centre to the sea, as king Samudrasena well acquainted with the truths of the scriptures. The eighth of the Kaleyas known as Vrihat became on earth a virtuous king ever engaged in the good of all creatures. The mighty Danava known by the name of Kukshi became on earth as Parvatiya from his brightness as of a golden mountain. The mighty Asura Krathana gifted with great energy became noted on earth as the monarch Suryaksha. The great Asura of handsome features known by the name of Surya, became on earth the monarch of the Valhikas by name Darada, that foremost of all kings. And, O king, from the tribe of Asuras called Krodhavasa, of whom I have already spoken to thee, were born many heroic kings on earth. Madraka, and Karnaveshta, Siddhartha, and also Kitaka; Suvira, and Suvahu, and Mahavira, and also Valhika, Kratha, Vichitra, Suratha, and the handsome king Nila; and Chiravasa, and Bhumipala; and Dantavakra, and he who was called Durjaya; that tiger amongst kings named Rukmi; and king Janamejaya, Ashada, and Vayuvega, and also Bhuritejas; Ekalavya, and Sumitra, Vatadhana, and also Gomukha; the tribe of kings called the Karushakas, and also Khemadhurti; Srutayu, and Udvaha, and also Vrihatsena; Kshema, Ugratirtha, the king of the Kalingas; and Matimat, and he was known as king Iswara; these first of kings were all born of the Asura class called Krodhavasa.
"There was also born on earth a mighty Asura known amongst the Danavas by the name of Kalanemi, endued with great strength, of grand achievements, and blessed with a large share of prosperity. He became the mighty son of Ugrasena and was known on earth by the name of Kansa. And he who was known among the Asuras by the name of Devaka and was besides in splendour like unto Indra himself, was born on earth as the foremost king of the Gandharvas. And, O monarch, know thou that Drona, the son of Bharadwaja, not born of any woman, sprung from a portion of the celestial Rishi Vrihaspati of grand achievements. And he was the prince of all bowmen, conversant with all weapons, of mighty achievements, of great energy. Thou shouldst know he was also well-acquainted with the Vedas and the science of arms. And he was of wonderful deeds and the pride of his race. And, O king, his son the heroic Aswatthaman, of eyes like the lotus-petals, gifted with surpassing energy, and the terror of all foes, the great oppressor of all enemies, was born on earth, of the united portions of Mahadeva, Yama, Kama, and Krodha. And from the curse of Vasishtha and the command also of Indra, the eight Vasus were born of Ganga by her husband Santanu. The youngest of them was Bhishma, the dispeller of the fears of the Kurus, gifted with great intelligence, conversant with the Vedas, the first speakers, and the thinner of the enemy's ranks. And possessed of mighty energy and the first of all persons acquainted with weapons, he encountered the illustrious Rama himself, the son of Jamadagni of the Bhrigu race. And, O king, that Brahman sage who, on earth, was known by the name of Kripa and was the embodiment of all manliness was born of the tribe of the Rudras. And the mighty chariot-fighter and king who on earth was known by the name of Sakuni, that crusher of foes, thou shouldst know, O king, was Dwapara himself (the third yuga). And he who was Satyaki of sure aim, that upholder of the pride of Vrishni race, that oppressor of foes, begotten of the portion of gods called the Maruts. And that royal sage Drupada who on earth was a monarch, the first among all persons bearing arms, was also born of the same tribe of the celestials. And, O king, thou shouldst also know that Kritavarman, that prince among men, of deeds unsurpassed by any one, and the foremost of all bulls amongst Kshatriyas, was born of the portion of the same celestials. And that royal sage also, Virata by name, the scorcher of the kingdoms of others, and the great oppressor of all foes, was born of the portion of the same gods. That son of Arishta who was known by the name of Hansa, was born in the Kuru race and became the monarch of the Gandharvas. He who was known as Dhritarashtra born of the seed of Krishna-Dwaipayana, and gifted with long arms and great energy, also a monarch, of the prophetic eye, became blind in consequence of the fault of his mother and the wrath of the Rishi. His younger brother who was possessed of great strength and was really a great being known as Pandu, devoted to truth and virtue, was Purity's self. And, O king, thou shouldst know that he who was known on earth as Vidura, who was the first of all virtuous men, who was the god of Justice himself, was the excellent and greatly fortunate son of the Rishi Atri. The evil-minded and wicked king Duryodhana, the destroyer of the fair fame of the Kurus, was born of a portion of Kali on earth. He it was who caused all creatures to be slain and the earth to be wasted; and he it was who fanned the flame of hostility that ultimately consumed all. They who had been the sons of Pulastya (the Rakshasas) were born on earth among men of Duryodhana's brothers, that century of wicked individuals commencing with Duhasasana as their first. And, O bull among the Bharata princes, Durmukha, Duhsaha, and others whose names I do not mention, who always supported Duryodhana (in all his schemes), were, indeed, the sons of Pulastya. And over and above these hundred, Dhritarashtra had one son named Yuyutsu born of a Vaisya wife.'
"Janamejaya said, 'O illustrious one, tell me the names of Dhritarashtra's sons according to the order of their birth beginning from the eldest.'
"Vaisampayana said, 'O king, they are as follows: Duryodhana, and Yuyutsu, and also Duhsasana; Duhsaha and Duhshala, and then Durmukha; Vivinsati, and Vikarna, Jalasandha, Sulochna, Vinda and Anuvinda, Durdharsha, Suvahu, Dushpradharshana; Durmarshana, and Dushkarna, and Karna; Chitra and Vipachitra, Chitraksha, Charuchitra, and Angada, Durmada, and Dushpradharsha, Vivitsu, Vikata, Sama; Urananabha, and Padmanabha, Nanda and Upanandaka; Sanapati, Sushena, Kundodara; Mahodara; Chitravahu, and Chitravarman, Suvarman, Durvirochana; Ayovahu, Mahavahu, Chitrachapa and Sukundala, Bhimavega, Bhimavala, Valaki, Bhimavikrama, Ugrayudha, Bhimaeara, Kanakayu, Dridhayudha, Dridhavarman, Dridhakshatra Somakirti, Anadara; Jarasandha, Dridhasandha, Satyasandha, Sahasravaeh; Ugrasravas, Ugrasena, and Kshemamurti; Aprajita, Panditaka, Visalaksha, Duradhara, Dridhahasta, and Suhasta, Vatavega, and Suvarchasa; Adityaketu, Vahvasin, Nagadatta and Anuyaina; Nishangi, Kuvachi, Dandi, Dandadhara, Dhanugraha; Ugra, Bhimaratha, Vira, Viravahu, Alolupa; Abhaya, and Raudrakarman, also he who was Dridharatha; Anadhrishya, Kundaveda, Viravi, Dhirghalochana; Dirghavahu; Mahavahu; Vyudhoru, Kanakangana; Kundaja and Chitraka. There was also a daughter named Duhsala who was over and above the hundred. And Yuyutsu who was Dhritarashtra's son by a Vaisya wife, was also over and above the hundred. Thus, O king, have I recited the names of the hundred sons and also that of the daughter (of Dhritarashtra). Thou hast now known their names according to the order of their births. All of them were heroes and great car-warriors, and skilled in the art of warfare. Besides, all of them were versed in the Vedas, and, O king, all of them had got through the scriptures. All of them were mighty in attack and defence, and all were graced with learning. And, O monarch, all of them had wives suitable to them in grace and accomplishments. And, O king, when the time came, the Kaurava monarch bestowed his daughter Duhsala on Jayadratha, the king of the Sindhus, agreeably to the counsels of Sakuni.
"And, O monarch, learn that king Yudhishthira was a portion of Dharma; that Bhimasena was of the deity of wind; that Arjuna was of Indra, the chief of the celestials; and that Nakula and Sahadeva, the handsomest beings among all creatures, and unrivalled for beauty on earth, were similarly portions of the twin Aswins. And he who was known as the mighty Varchas, the son of Soma, became Abhimanyu of wonderful deeds, the son of Arjuna. And before his incarnation, O king, the god Soma had said these words to the celestials, 'I cannot give (part with) my son. He is dearer to me than life itself. Let this be the compact and let it be not transgressed. The destruction of the Asuras on earth is the work of the celestials, and, therefore, it is our work as well. Let this Varchas, therefore, go thither, but let him not stay there long. Nara, whose companion is Narayana, will be born as Indra's son and indeed, will be known as Arjuna, the mighty son of Pandu. This boy of mine shall be his son and become a mighty car-warrior in his boyhood. And let him, ye best of immortals, stay on earth for sixteen years. And when he attaineth to his sixteenth year, the battle shall take place in which all who are born of your portions shall achieve the destruction of mighty warriors. But a certain encounter shall take place without both Nara and Narayana (taking any part in it). And, indeed, your portions, ye celestials, shall fight, having made that disposition of the forces which is known by the name of the Chakra-vyuha. And my son shall compel all foes to retreat before him. The boy of mighty arms having penetrated the impenetrable array, shall range within it fearlessly and send a fourth part of the hostile force, in course of half a day, unto the regions of the king of the dead. Then when numberless heroes and mighty car-warriors will return to the charge towards the close of the day, my boy of mighty arms, shall reappear before me. And he shall beget one heroic son in his line, who shall continue the almost extinct Bharata race.' Hearing these words of Soma, the dwellers in heaven replied, 'So be it.' And then all together applauded and worshipped (Soma) the king of stars. Thus, O king, have I recited to thee the (particulars of the) birth of thy father's father.
"Know also, O monarch, that the mighty car-warrior Dhrishtadyumna was a portion of Agni. And know also that Sikhandin, who was at first a female, was (the incarnation of) a Rakshasa. And, O bull in Bharata's race, they who became the five sons of Draupadi, those bulls amongst the Bharata princes, were the celestials known as the Viswas. Their names were Pritivindhya, Sutasoma, Srutakirti, Satanika, Nakula, and Srutasena, endued with mighty energy.
"Sura, the foremost of the Yadus, was the father of Vasudeva. He had a daughter called Pritha, who for her beauty, was unrivalled on earth. And Sura, having promised in the presence of fire that he would give his firstborn child to Kuntibhoja, the son of his paternal aunt, who was without offspring, gave his daughter unto the monarch in expectation of his favours. Kuntibhoja thereupon made her his daughter. And she became, thenceforth, in the house of her (adoptive) father, engaged in attending upon Brahmanas and guests. One day she had to wait upon the wrathful ascetic of rigid vows, Durvasa by name, acquainted with truth and fully conversant with the mysteries of religion. And Pritha with all possible care gratified the wrathful Rishi with soul under complete control. The holy one, gratified with the attentions bestowed on him by the maiden, told her, 'I am satisfied, O fortunate one, with thee! By this mantra (that I am about to give thee), thou shall be able to summon (to thy side) whatever celestials thou likest. And, by their grace, shall thou also obtain children.' Thus addressed, the girl (a little while after), seized with curiosity, summoned, during the period of her maiden-hood, the god Surya. And the lord of light thereupon made her conceive and begot on her a son who became the first of all wielders of weapons. From fear of relatives she brought forth in secrecy that child who had come out with ear-rings and coat of mail. And he was gifted with the beauty of a celestial infant, and in splendour was like unto the maker of day himself. And every part of his body was symmetrical and well-adorned. And Kunti cast the handsome child into the water. But the child thus thrown into the water was taken up by the excellent husband of Radha and given by him to his wife to be adopted by her as their son. And the couple gave him the name of Vasusena, by which appellation the child soon became known all over the land. And, as he grew up, he became very strong and excelled in all weapons. The first of all successful persons, he soon mastered the sciences. And when the intelligent one having truth for his strength recited the Vedas, there was nothing he would not then give to the Brahmanas. At that time Indra, the originator of all things, moved by the desire of benefiting his own son Arjuna, assumed the guise of a Brahmana, came to him, and begged of the hero his ear-rings and natural armour. And the hero taking off his ear-rings and armour gave them unto the Brahmana. And Sakra (accepting the gift) presented to the giver a dart, surprised (at his open handedness), and addressed him in these words, 'O invincible one, amongst the celestials, Asuras, men, Gandharvas, Nagas, and Rakshasas, he at whom thou hurlest (this weapon), that one shall certainly be slain.' And the son of Surya was at first known in the world by the name of Vasusena. But, for his deeds, he subsequently came to be called Karna. And because that hero of great fame had taken off his natural armour, therefore was he—the first son of Pritha—called Kama. And, O best of kings, the hero began to grow up in the Suta caste. And, O king, know thou that Kama—the first of all exalted men—the foremost of all wielders of weapons—the slayer of foes—and the best portion of the maker of day—was the friend and counsellor of Duryodhana. And he, called Vasudeva, endued with great valour, was among men a portion of him called Narayana—the god of gods—eternal. And Valadeva of exceeding strength was a portion of the Naga, Sesha. And, O monarch, know that Pradyumna of great energy was Sanatkumara. And in this way the portion of various other dwellers in heaven became exalted men in the race of Vasudeva, increasing the glory thereof. And, O king, the portions of the tribe of Apsaras which I have mentioned already, also became incarnate on earth according to Indra's commands—And sixteen thousand portions of those goddesses became, O king, in this world of men, the wives of Vasudeva. And a portion of Sri herself became incarnate on earth, for the gratification of Narayana, in the line of Bhishmaka. And she was by name the chaste Rukmini. And the faultless Draupadi, slender-waisted like the wasp, was born of a portion of Sachi (the queen of the celestials), in the line of Drupada. And she was neither low nor tall in stature. And she was of the fragrance of the blue lotus, of eyes large as lotus-petals, of thighs fair and round, of dense masses of black curly hair. And endued with every auspicious feature and of complexion like that of the emerald, she became the charmer of the hearts of five foremost of men. And the two goddesses Siddhi and Dhriti became the mothers of those five, and were called Kunti and Madri. And she who was Mati became the daughter (Gandhari) of Suvala.
"Thus, O king, have I recited to thee all about the incarnation, according to their respective portions, of the gods, the Asuras, the Gandharvas, the Apsaras, and of the Rakshasas. They who were born on earth as monarchs invincible in battle, those high-souled ones who were born in the wide extended line of the Yadus, they who were born as mighty monarchs in other lines, they who were born as Brahmanas and Kshatriyas and Vaisyas, have all been recited by me duly. And this account of the incarnation (of superior beings according to their respective portions) capable of bestowing wealth, fame, offspring, long life, and success, should always be listened to in a proper frame of mind. And having listened to this account of incarnation, according to their portions, of gods, Gandharvas, and Rakshasas, the hearer becoming acquainted with the creation, preservation, and destruction of the universe and acquiring wisdom, is never cast down even under the most engrossing sorrows.'"
(Sambhava Parva continued)
"Janamejaya said, 'O Brahmana, I have, indeed, heard from thee this account of the incarnation, according to their portions, of the gods, the Danavas, the Rakshasas, and also of the Gandharvas and the Apsaras. I however, again desire to hear of the dynasty of the Kurus from the very beginning. Therefore, O Brahmana, speak of this in the presence of all these regenerate Rishis.'
"Vaisampayana said, 'O exalted one of Bharata's race, the founder of the Paurava line was Dushmanta gifted with great energy. And he was the protector of the earth bounded by the four seas. And that king had full sway over four quarters of this world. And he was the lord also of various regions in the midst of the sea. And that great oppressor of all foes had sway over the countries even of the Mlechchhas.
"And during his rule there were no men of mixed castes, no tillers of the soil (for the land, of itself, yielded produce), no workers of mines (for the surface of the earth yielded in abundance), and no sinful men. All were virtuous, and did everything from virtuous motives, O tiger among men. There was no fear of thieves, O dear one, no fear of famine, no fear off disease. And all four orders took pleasure in doing their respective duties and never performed religious acts for obtaining fruition of desires. And his subjects, depending upon him, never entertained any fear. And Parjanya (Indra) poured showers at the proper time, and the produce of the fields was always pulpy and juicy. And the earth was full of all kinds of wealth and all kinds of animals. And the Brahmanas were always engaged in their duties and they were always truthful. And the youthful monarch was endued with wonderful prowess and a physical frame hard as the thunderbolt, so that he could, taking up the mountain Mandara with its forests and bushes, support it on his arms. And he was well-skilled in four kinds of encounters with the mace (hurling it at foes at a distance, striking at those that are near, whirling it in the midst of many, and driving the foe before). And he was skilled also in the use of all kinds of weapons and in riding elephants and horses. And in strength he was like unto Vishnu, in splendour like unto the maker of day, in gravity like unto the ocean, and in patience, like unto the earth. And the monarch was loved by all his subjects, and he ruled his contented people virtuously.'"
(Sambhava Parva continued)
"Janamejaya said, 'I desire to hear from thee about the birth and life of the high-souled Bharata and of the origin of Sakuntala. And, O holy one, I also desire to hear all about Dushmanta—that lion among men—and how the hero obtained Sakuntala. It behoveth thee, O knower of truth and the first of all intelligent men, to tell me everything.'
"Vaisampayana said, 'Once on a time (king Dushmanta) of mighty arms, accompanied by a large force, went into the forest. And he took with him hundreds of horses and elephants. And the force that accompanied the monarch was of four kinds (foot-soldiers, car-warriors, cavalry, and elephants)—heroes armed with swords and darts and bearing in their hands maces and stout clubs. And surrounded by hundreds of warriors with lances and spears in their hands, the monarch set out on his journey. And with the leonine roars of the warriors and the notes of conchs and sound of drums, with the rattle of the car-wheels and shrieks of huge elephants, all mingling with the neighing of horses and the clash of weapons of the variously armed attendants in diverse dresses, there arose a deafening tumult while the king was on his march. And ladies gifted with great beauty beheld from the terraces of goodly mansions that heroic monarch, the achiever of his own fame. And the ladies saw that he was like unto Sakra, the slayer of his enemies, capable of repulsing the elephants of foes—And they believed that he was the wielder of the thunderbolt himself. And they said, 'This is that tiger among men who in battle is equal unto the Vasus in prowess, and in consequence of the might of whose arms no foes are left.' And saying this, the ladies from affection gratified the monarch by showering flowers on his head. And followed by foremost of Brahmanas uttering blessings all the way, the king in great gladness of heart went towards the forest, eager for slaying the deer. And many Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas, and Sudras, followed the monarch who was like unto the king of the celestials seated on the back of a proud elephant. The citizens and other classes followed the monarch for some distance. And they at last refrained from going farther at the command of the king. And the king, then, ascending his chariot of winged speed, filled the whole earth and even the heavens, with the rattle of his chariot wheels. And, as he went, he saw around him a forest like unto Nandana itself (the celestial garden). And it was full of Vilwa, Arka, Khadira (catechu), Kapittha (wood-apple) and Dhava trees. And he saw that the soil was uneven and scattered over with blocks of stone loosened from the neighbouring cliffs. And he saw that it was without water and without human beings and lay extended for many Yojanas around. And it was full of deer, and lions, and other terrible beasts of prey.
"And king Dushmanta, that tiger among men, assisted by his followers and the warriors in his train, agitated that forest, killing numerous animals. And Dushmanta, piercing them with his arrows, felled numerous tigers that were within shooting range. And the king wounded many that were too distant, and killed many that were too near with his heavy sword. And that foremost of all wielders of darts killed many by hurling his darts at them. And well-conversant with the art of whirling the mace, the king of immeasurable prowess fearlessly wandered over the forest. And the king roamed about, killing the denizens of the wilderness sometimes with his sword and sometimes by fast-descending blows of his mace and heavy club.
"And when the forest was so disturbed by the king possessed of wonderful energy and by the warriors in his train delighting in warlike sports, the lions began to desert it in numbers. And herds of animals deprived of their leaders, from fear and anxiety began to utter loud cries as they fled in all directions. And fatigued with running, they began to fall down on all sides, unable to slake their thirst, having reached river-beds that were perfectly dry. And many so falling were eaten up by the hungry warriors. While others were eaten up after having been duly quartered and roasted in fires lit up by them. And many strong elephants, maddened with the wounds they received and alarmed beyond measure, fled with trunks raised on high. And those wild elephants, betraying the usual symptoms of alarm by urinating and ejecting the contents of their stomachs and vomiting blood in large quantities, trampled, as they ran, many warriors to death. And that forest which had been full of animals, was by the king with his bands of followers and with sharp weapons soon made bereft of lions and tigers and other monarchs of the wilderness.'"
(Sambhava Parva continued)
"Vaisampayana said, 'Then the king with his followers, having killed thousands of animals, entered another forest with a view to hunting. And attended by a single follower and fatigued with hunger and thirst, he came upon a large desert on the frontiers of the forest. And having crossed this herbless plain, the king came upon another forest full of the retreats of ascetics, beautiful to look at, delightful to the heart and of cool agreeable breezes. And it was full of trees covered with blossoms, the soil overgrown with the softest and greenest grass, extending for many miles around, and echoing with the sweet notes of winged warblers. And it resounded with the notes of the male Kokila and of the shrill cicala. And it was full of magnificent trees with outstretched branches forming a shady canopy overhead. And the bees hovered over flowery creepers all around. And there were beautiful bowers in every place. And there was no tree without fruits, none that had prickles on it, none that had no bees swarming around it. And the whole forest resounded with the melody of winged choristers. And it was decked with the flowers of every season. And there were refreshing shades of blossoming trees.
"Such was the delicious and excellent forest that the great bowman entered. And trees with branches beautified with clusters began to wave gently at the soft breeze and rain their flowers over the monarch's head. And the trees, clad in their flowery attires of all colours, with sweet-throated warblers perched on them, stood there in rows with heads touching the very heavens. And around their branches hanging down with the weight of flowers the bees tempted by the honey hummed in sweet chorus. And the king, endued with great energy, beholding innumerable spots covered with bowers of creepers decked with clusters of flowers, from excess of gladness, became very much charmed. And the forest was exceedingly beautiful in consequence of those trees ranged around with flowery branches twining with each other and looking like so many rainbows for gaudiness and variety of colour. And it was the resort of bands of Siddhas, of the Charanas, of tribes of Gandharvas, and Apsaras, of monkeys and Kinnaras drunk with delight. Delicious cool, and fragrant breezes, conveying the fragrance from fresh flowers, blew in all directions as if they had come there to sport with the trees. And the king saw that charming forest gifted with such beauties. And it was situated in a delta of the river, and the cluster of high trees standing together lent the place the look of a gaudy pole erected to Indra's honour.
"And in that forest which was the resort of ever cheerful birds, the monarch saw a delightful and charming retreat of ascetics. And there were many trees around it. And the sacred fire was burning within it. And the king worshipped that unrivalled retreat. And he saw seated in it numerous Yotis, Valakhilyas and other Munis. And it was adorned with many chambers containing sacrificial fire. And the flowers dropping from the trees had formed a thick carpet spread over the ground. And the spot looked exceedingly beautiful with those tall trees of large trunks. And by it flowed, O king, the sacred and transparent Malini with every species of water-fowl playing on its bosom. And that stream infused gladness into the hearts of the ascetics who resorted to it for purposes of ablutions. And the king beheld on its banks many innocent animals of the deer species and was exceedingly delighted with all that he saw.
"And the monarch, the course of whose chariot no foe could obstruct, then entered that asylum which was like unto the region of the celestials, being exceedingly beautiful all over. And the king saw that it stood on the margin of the sacred stream which was like the mother of all the living creatures residing in its vicinage. And on its bank sported the Chakravaka, and waves of milkwhite foam. And there stood also the habitations of Kinnaras. And monkeys and bears too disported themselves in numbers. And there lived also holy ascetics engaged in studies and meditation. And there could be seen also elephants and tigers and snakes. And it was on the banks of that stream that the excellent asylum of the illustrious Kasyapa stood, offering a home to numerous Rishis of great ascetic merit. And beholding that river, and also the asylum washed by that river which was studded with many islands and which possessed banks of so much beauty,—an asylum like unto that of Nara and Narayana laved by the water of the Ganga—the king resolved to enter into that sacred abode. And that bull among men, desirous of beholding the great Rishi of ascetic wealth, the illustrious Kanwa of the race of Kasyapa, one who possessed every virtue and who, for his splendour, could be gazed at with difficulty, approached that forest resounding with the notes of maddened peacocks and like unto the gardens of the great Gandharva, Chitraratha, himself. And halting his army consisting of flags, cavalry, infantry, and elephants at the entrance of the forest, the monarch spoke as follows, 'I shall go to behold the mighty ascetic of Kasyapa's race, one who is without darkness. Stay ye here until my return!'
"And the king having entered that forest which was like unto Indra's garden, soon forgot his hunger and thirst. And he was pleased beyond measure. And the monarch, laying aside all signs of royalty, entered that excellent asylum with but his minister and his priest, desirous of beholding that Rishi who was an indestructible mass of ascetic merit. And the king saw that the asylum was like unto the region of Brahman. Here were bees sweetly humming and there were winged warblers of various species pouring forth their melodies. At particular places that tiger among men heard the chanting of Rik hymns by first-rate Brahmanas according to the just rules of intonation. Other places again were graced with Brahmanas acquainted with ordinances of sacrifice, of the Angas and of the hymns of the Yajurveda. Other places again were filled with the harmonious strains of Saman hymns sung by vow-observing Rishis. At other places the asylum was decked with Brahmanas learned in the Atharvan Veda. At other places again Brahmanas learned in the Atharvan Veda and those capable of chanting the sacrificial hymns of the Saman were reciting the Samhitas according to the just rules of voice. And at other places again, other Brahmanas well-acquainted with the science of orthoepy were reciting mantras of other kinds. In fact, that sacred retreat resounding with these holy notes was like unto a second region of Brahman himself. And there were many Brahmanas skilled in the art of making sacrificial platforms and in the rules of Krama in sacrifices, conversant with logic and the mental sciences, and possessing a complete knowledge of the Vedas. There were those also who were fully acquainted with the meanings of all kinds of expressions; those that were conversant with all special rites, those also that were followers of Moksha-Dharma; those again that were well-skilled in establishing propositions; rejecting superfluous causes, and drawing right conclusions. There were those having a knowledge of the science of words (grammar), of prosody, of Nirukta; those again that were conversant with astrology and learned in the properties of matter and the fruits of sacrificial rites, possessing a knowledge of causes and effects, capable of understanding the cries of birds and monkeys, well-read in large treatises, and skilled in various sciences. And the king, as he proceeded, heard their voices. And the retreat resounded also with voice of men capable of charming human hearts. And the slayer of hostile heroes also saw around him learned Brahmanas of rigid vows engaged in Japa (the repeated muttering of the names of gods) and Homa (burnt-offering). And the king wondered much on beholding the beautiful carpets which those Brahmanas offered to him respectfully. And that best of monarchs, at the sight of the rites with which those Brahmanas worshipped the gods and the great Rishis, thought within himself that he was in the region of Brahman. And the more the king saw that auspicious and sacred asylum of Kasyapa protected by that Rishi's ascetic virtues and possessing all the requisites of a holy retreat, the more he desired to see it. In fact, he was not satisfied with his short survey. And the slayer of heroes at last, accompanied by his minister and his priest, entered that charming and sacred retreat of Kasyapa inhabited all around by Rishis of ascetic wealth and exalted vows.'"
(Sambhava Parva continued)
"Vaisampayana said, 'The monarch then, as he proceeded, left even his reduced retinue at the entrance of the hermitage. And entering quite alone he saw not the Rishi (Kanwa) of rigid vows. And not seeing the Rishi and finding that the abode was empty, he called loudly, saying, 'What ho, who is here?' And the sound of his voice was echoed back. And hearing the sound of his voice, there came out of the Rishi's abode a maiden beautiful as Sri herself but dressed as an ascetic's daughter. And the black-eyed fair one, as she saw king Dushmanta, bade him welcome and received him duly. And, showing him due respect by the offer of a seat, water to wash his feet, and Arghya, she enquired about the monarch's health and peace. And having worshipped the king and asked him about his health and peace, the maiden reverentially asked, 'What must be done, O king! I await your commands.' The king, duly worshipped by her, said unto that maiden of faultless features and sweet speech, 'I have come to worship the highly-blessed Rishi Kanwa. Tell me, O amiable and beautiful one, where has the illustrious Rishi gone?'
"Sakuntala then answered, 'My illustrious father hath gone away from the asylum to fetch fruit. Wait but a moment and thou wilt see him when he arrives.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'The king not seeing the Rishi and addressed thus by her, beheld that the maiden was exceedingly beautiful and endued with perfect symmetry of shape. And he saw that she was of sweet smiles. And she stood decked with the beauty of her faultless features, her ascetic penances, and her humility. And he saw that she was in the bloom of youth. He therefore asked her, 'Who art thou? And whose daughter, O beautiful one? Why hast thou come into the woods also? O handsome one, gifted with so much beauty and such virtues, whence hast thou come? O charming one, at the very first glance hast thou stolen my heart! I desire to learn all about thee; therefore tell me all.' And thus addressed by the monarch, the maiden smilingly replied in these sweet words, 'O Dushmanta, I am the daughter of the virtuous, wise, high-souled, and illustrious ascetic Kanwa.'
"Dushmanta, hearing this, replied, 'The universally-worshipped and highly-blessed Rishi is one whose seed hath been drawn up. Even Dharma himself might fall off from his course but an ascetic of rigid vows can never fall off so. Therefore, O thou of the fairest complexion, how hast thou been born as his daughter? This great doubt of mine it behoveth thee to dispel.'
"Sakuntala then replied, 'Hear, O king, what I have learnt regarding all that befell me of old and how I became the daughter of the Muni. Once on a time, a Rishi came here and asked about my birth. All that the illustrious one (Kanwa) told him, hear now from me, O king!
"My father Kanwa, in answer to that Rishi's enquiries, said, 'Viswamitra, of old, having been engaged in the austerest penances alarmed Indra, the chief of the celestials, who thought that the mighty ascetic of blazing energy would, by his penances, hurl him down from his high seat in heaven.' Indra, thus alarmed, summoned Menaka and told her, 'Thou, O Menaka, art the first of celestial Apsaras. Therefore, O amiable one, do me this service. Hear what I say. This great ascetic Viswamitra like unto the Sun in splendour, is engaged in the most severe of penances. My heart is trembling with fear. Indeed, O slender-waisted Menaka, this is thy business. Thou must see that Viswamitra of soul rapt in contemplation and engaged in the austerest penances, who might hurl me down from my seat. Go and tempt him and frustrating his continued austerities accomplish my good. Win him away from his penances, O beautiful one, by tempting him with thy beauty, youth, agreeableness, arts, smiles and speech.' Hearing all this, Menaka replied, 'The illustrious Viswamitra is endued with great energy and is a mighty ascetic. He is very short-tempered too, as is known to thee. The energy, penances, and wrath of the high-souled one have made even thee anxious. Why should I not also be anxious? He it was who made even the illustrious Vasishtha bear the pangs of witnessing the premature death of his children. He it was who, though at first born as Kshatriya, subsequently became a Brahmana by virtue of his ascetic penances. He it was who, for purposes of his ablutions, created a deep river that can with difficulty be forded, and which sacred stream is known by the name of the Kausiki. It was Viswamitra whose wife, in a season of distress, was maintained by the royal sage Matanga (Trisanku) who was then living under a father's curse as a hunter. It was Viswamitra who, on returning after the famine was over, changed the name of the stream having his asylum from Kausik into Para. It was Viswamitra who in return for the services of Matanga, himself became the latter's priest for purposes of a sacrifice. The lord of the celestials himself went through fear to drink the Soma juice. It was Viswamitra who in anger created a second world and numerous stars beginning with Sravana. He it was who granted protection to Trisanku smarting under a superior's curse. I am frightened to approach him of such deeds. Tell me, O Indra, the means that should be adopted so that I may not be burnt by his wrath. He can burn the three worlds by his splendour, can, by a stamp (of his foot), cause the earth to quake. He can sever the great Meru from the earth and hurl it to any distance. He can go round the ten points of the earth in a moment. How can a woman like me even touch such a one full of ascetic virtues, like unto a blazing fire, and having his passions under complete control? His mouth is like unto a blazing fire; the pupils of his eyes are like the Sun and the Moon; his tongue is like unto Yama himself. How shall, O chief of the celestials, a woman like me even touch him? At the thought of his prowess Yama, Soma, the great Rishis, the Saddhyas, the Viswas, Valakhilyas, are terrified! How can a woman like me gaze at him without alarm? Commanded, however, by thee, O king of the celestials, I shall somehow approach that Rishi. But, O chief of the gods, devise thou some plan whereby protected by thee, I may safely move about that Rishi. I think that when I begin to play before the Rishi, Marut (the god of wind) had better go there and rob me of my dress, and Manmatha (the god of love) had also, at thy command, better help me then. Let also Marut on that occasion bear thither fragrance from the woods to tempt the Rishi.' Saying this and seeing that all she had spoken about had been duly provided, Menaka went to the retreat of the great Kausika.'"