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THE MAHABHARATA ADI PARVA

‘Hear, O Sanjaya, all that happened thereupon and came to my knowledge. And when thou hast heard all I say, recollecting everything as it fell out, thou shall then know me for one with a prophetic eye. When I heard that Arjuna, having bent the bow, had pierced the curious mark and brought it down to the ground, and bore away in triumph the maiden Krishna, in the sight of the assembled princes, then, O Sanjaya I had no hope of success. When I heard that Subhadra of the race of Madhu had, after forcible seizure been married by Arjuna in the city of Dwaraka, and that the two heroes of the race of Vrishni (Krishna and Balarama the brothers of Subhadra) without resenting it had entered Indraprastha as friends, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Arjuna, by his celestial arrow preventing the downpour by Indra the king of the gods, had gratified Agni by making over to him the forest of Khandava, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the five Pandavas with their mother Kunti had escaped from the house of lac, and that Vidura was engaged in the accomplishment of their designs, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Arjuna, after having pierced the mark in the arena had won Draupadi, and that the brave Panchalas had joined the Pandavas, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Jarasandha, the foremost of the royal line of Magadha, and blazing in the midst of the Kshatriyas, had been slain by Bhima with his bare arms alone, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that in their general campaign the sons of Pandu had conquered the chiefs of the land and performed the grand sacrifice of the Rajasuya, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Draupadi, her voice choked with tears and heart full of agony, in the season of impurity and with but one raiment on, had been dragged into court and though she had protectors, she had been treated as if she had none, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the wicked wretch Duhsasana, was striving to strip her of that single garment, had only drawn from her person a large heap of cloth without being able to arrive at its end, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Yudhishthira, beaten by Saubala at the game of dice and deprived of his kingdom as a consequence thereof, had still been attended upon by his brothers of incomparable prowess, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the virtuous Pandavas weeping with affliction had followed their elder brother to the wilderness and exerted themselves variously for the mitigation of his discomforts, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success.


‘When I heard that Yudhishthira had been followed into the wilderness by Snatakas and noble-minded Brahmanas who live upon alms, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Arjuna, having, in combat, pleased the god of gods, Tryambaka (the three-eyed) in the disguise of a hunter, obtained the great weapon Pasupata, then O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the just and renowned Arjuna after having been to the celestial regions, had there obtained celestial weapons from Indra himself then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that afterwards Arjuna had anquished the Kalakeyas and the Paulomas proud with the boon they had obtained and which had rendered them invulnerable even to the celestials, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Arjuna, the chastiser of enemies, having gone to the regions of Indra for the destruction of the Asuras, had returned thence successful, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Bhima and the other sons of Pritha (Kunti) accompanied by Vaisravana had arrived at that country which is inaccessible to man then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that my sons, guided by the counsels of Karna, while on their journey of Ghoshayatra, had been taken prisoners by the Gandharvas and were set free by Arjuna, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Dharma (the god of justice) having come under the form of a Yaksha had proposed certain questions to Yudhishthira then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that my sons had failed to discover the Pandavas under their disguise while residing with Draupadi in the dominions of Virata, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the principal men of my side had all been vanquished by the noble Arjuna with a single chariot while residing in the dominions of Virata, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Vasudeva of the race of Madhu, who covered this whole earth by one foot, was heartily interested in the welfare of the Pandavas, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the king of Matsya, had offered his virtuous daughter Uttara to Arjuna and that Arjuna had accepted her for his son, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Yudhishthira, beaten at dice, deprived of wealth, exiled and separated from his connections, had assembled yet an army of seven Akshauhinis, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard Narada, declare that Krishna and Arjuna were Nara and Narayana and he (Narada) had seen them together in the regions of Brahma, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Krishna, anxious to bring about peace, for the welfare of mankind had repaired to the Kurus, and went away without having been able to effect his purpose, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Kama and Duryodhana resolved upon imprisoning Krishna displayed in himself the whole universe, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. Then I heard that at the time of his departure, Pritha (Kunti) standing, full of sorrow, near his chariot received consolation from Krishna, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Vasudeva and Bhishma the son of Santanu were the counsellors of the Pandavas and Drona the son of Bharadwaja pronounced blessings on them, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When Kama said unto Bhishma–I will not fight when thou art fighting–and, quitting the army, went away, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Vasudeva and Arjuna and the bow Gandiva of immeasurable prowess, these three of dreadful energy had come together, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that upon Arjuna having been seized with compunction on his chariot and ready to sink, Krishna showed him all the worlds within his body, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Bhishma, the desolator of foes, killing ten thousand charioteers every day in the field of battle, had not slain any amongst the Pandavas then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Bhishma, the righteous son of Ganga, had himself indicated the means of his defeat in the field of battle and that the same were accomplished by the Pandavas with joyfulness, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Arjuna, having placed Sikhandin before himself in his chariot, had wounded Bhishma of infinite courage and invincible in battle, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the aged hero Bhishma, having reduced the numbers of the race of shomaka to a few, overcome with various wounds was lying on a bed of arrows, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that upon Bhishma’s lying on the ground with thirst for water, Arjuna, being requested, had pierced the ground and allayed his thirst, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When Bayu together with Indra and Suryya united as allies for the success of the sons of Kunti, and the beasts of prey (by their inauspicious presence) were putting us in fear, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When the wonderful warrior Drona, displaying various modes of fight in the field, did not slay any of the superior Pandavas, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the Maharatha Sansaptakas of our army appointed for the overthrow of Arjuna were all slain by Arjuna himself, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that our disposition of forces, impenetrable by others, and defended by Bharadwaja himself well-armed, had been singly forced and entered by the brave son of Subhadra, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that our Maharathas, unable to overcome Arjuna, with jubilant faces after having jointly surrounded and slain the boy Abhimanyu, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the blind Kauravas were shouting for joy after having slain Abhimanyu and that thereupon Arjuna in anger made his celebrated speech referring to Saindhava, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Arjuna had vowed the death of Saindhava and fulfilled his vow in the presence of his enemies, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that upon the horses of Arjuna being fatigued, Vasudeva releasing them made them drink water and bringing them back and reharnessing them continued to guide them as before, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that while his horses were fatigued, Arjuna staying in his chariot checked all his assailants, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Yuyudhana of the race of Vrishni, after having thrown into confusion the army of Drona rendered unbearable in prowess owing to the presence of elephants, retired to where Krishna and Arjuna were, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Karna even though he had got Bhima within his power allowed him to escape after only addressing him in contemptuous terms and dragging him with the end of his bow, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Drona, Kritavarma, Kripa, Karna, the son of Drona, and the valiant king of Madra (Salya) suffered Saindhava to be slain, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the celestial Sakti given by Indra (to Karna) was by Madhava’s machinations caused to be hurled upon Rakshasa Ghatotkacha of frightful countenance, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that in the encounter between Karna and Ghatotkacha, that Sakti was hurled against Ghatotkacha by Karna, the same which was certainly to have slain Arjuna in battle, then, O Sanjaya. I had no hope of success. When I heard that Dhristadyumna, transgressing the laws of battle, slew Drona while alone in his chariot and resolved on death, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Nakula. the son of Madri, having in the presence of the whole army engaged in single combat with the son of Drona and showing himself equal to him drove his chariot in circles around, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When upon the death of Drona, his son misused the weapon called Narayana but failed to achieve the destruction of the Pandavas, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Bhimasena drank the blood of his brother Duhsasana in the field of battle without anybody being able to prevent him, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the infinitely brave Karna, invincible in battle, was slain by Arjuna in that war of brothers mysterious even to the gods, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Yudhishthira, the Just, overcame the heroic son of Drona, Duhsasana, and the fierce Kritavarman, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the brave king of Madra who ever dared Krishna in battle was slain by Yudhishthira, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the wicked Suvala of magic power, the root of the gaming and the feud, was slain in battle by Sahadeva, the son of Pandu, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Duryodhana, spent with fatigue, having gone to a lake and made a refuge for himself within its waters, was lying there alone, his strength gone and without a chariot, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the Pandavas having gone to that lake accompanied by Vasudeva and standing on its beach began to address contemptuously my son who was incapable of putting up with affronts, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that while, displaying in circles a variety of curious modes (of attack and defence) in an encounter with clubs, he was unfairly slain according to the counsels of Krishna, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard the son of Drona and others by slaying the Panchalas and the sons of Draupadi in their sleep, perpetrated a horrible and infamous deed, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that Aswatthaman while being pursued by Bhimasena had discharged the first of weapons called Aishika, by which the embryo in the womb (of Uttara) was wounded, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that the weapon Brahmashira (discharged by Aswatthaman) was repelled by Arjuna with another weapon over which he had pronounced the word “Sasti” and that Aswatthaman had to give up the jewel-like excrescence on his head, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success. When I heard that upon the embryo in the womb of Virata’s daughter being wounded by Aswatthaman with a mighty weapon, Dwaipayana and Krishna pronounced curses on him, then, O Sanjaya, I had no hope of success.

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