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THE MAHABHARATA ADI PARVA

‘The first parva is called Anukramanika; the second, Sangraha; then Paushya; then Pauloma; the Astika; then Adivansavatarana. Then comes the Sambhava of wonderful and thrilling incidents. Then comes Jatugrihadaha (setting fire to the house of lac) and then Hidimbabadha (the killing of Hidimba) parvas; then comes Baka-badha (slaughter of Baka) and then Chitraratha. The next is called Swayamvara (selection of husband by Panchali), in which Arjuna by the exercise of Kshatriya virtues, won Draupadi for wife. Then comes Vaivahika (marriage). Then comes Viduragamana (advent of Vidura), Rajyalabha (acquirement of kingdom), Arjuna-banavasa (exile of Arjuna) and Subhadra-harana (the carrying away of Subhadra). After these come Harana-harika, Khandava-daha (the burning of the Khandava forest) and Maya-darsana (meeting with Maya the Asura architect). Then come Sabha, Mantra, Jarasandha, Digvijaya (general campaign). After Digvijaya come Raja-suyaka, Arghyaviharana (the robbing of the Arghya) and Sisupala-badha (the killing of Sisupala). After these, Dyuta (gambling), Anudyuta (subsequent to gambling), Aranyaka, and Krimira-badha (destruction of Krimira). The Arjuna-vigamana (the travels of Arjuna), Kairati. In the last hath been described the battle between Arjuna and Mahadeva in the guise of a hunter. After this Indra-lokavigamana (the journey to the regions of Indra); then that mine of religion and virtue, the highly pathetic Nalopakhyana (the story of Nala). After this last, Tirtha-yatra or the pilgrimage of the wise prince of the Kurus, the death of Jatasura, and the battle of the Yakshas. Then the battle with the Nivata-kavachas, Ajagara, and Markandeya-Samasya (meeting with Markandeya). Then the meeting of Draupadi and Satyabhama, Ghoshayatra, Mirga-Swapna (dream of the deer). Then the story of Brihadaranyaka and then Aindradrumna. Then Draupadi-harana (the abduction of Draupadi), Jayadratha-bimoksana (the release of Jayadratha).

Then the story of ‘Savitri’ illustrating the great merit of connubial chastity. After this last, the story of ‘Rama’. The parva that comes next is called ‘Kundala-harana’ (the theft of the ear-rings). That which comes next is ‘Aranya’ and then ‘Vairata’. Then the entry of the Pandavas and the fulfilment of their promise (of living unknown for one year). Then the destruction of the ‘Kichakas’, then the attempt to take the kine (of Virata by the Kauravas). The next is called the marriage of Abhimanyu with the daughter of Virata. The next you must know is the most wonderful parva called Udyoga. The next must be known by the name of ‘Sanjaya-yana’ (the arrival of Sanjaya). Then comes ‘Prajagara’ (the sleeplessness of Dhritarashtra owing to his anxiety). Then Sanatsujata, in which are the mysteries of spiritual philosophy. Then ‘Yanasaddhi’, and then the arrival of Krishna.

Then the story of ‘Matali’ and then of ‘Galava’. Then the stories of ‘Savitri’, ‘Vamadeva’, and ‘Vainya’. Then the story of ‘Jamadagnya and Shodasarajika’. Then the arrival of Krishna at the court, and then Bidulaputrasasana. Then the muster of troops and the story of Sheta. Then, must you know, comes the quarrel of the high-souled Karna. Then the march to the field of the troops of both sides. The next hath been called numbering the Rathis and Atirathas. Then comes the arrival of the messenger Uluka which kindled the wrath (of the Pandavas). The next that comes, you must know, is the story of Amba. Then comes the thrilling story of the installation of Bhishma as commander-in-chief. The next is called the creation of the insular region Jambu; then Bhumi; then the account about the formation of islands. Then comes the ‘Bhagavat-gita’; and then the death of Bhishma. Then the installation of Drona; then the destruction of the ‘Sansaptakas’. Then the death of Abhimanyu; and then the vow of Arjuna (to slay Jayadratha). Then the death of Jayadratha, and then of Ghatotkacha. Then, must you know, comes the story of the death of Drona of surprising interest. The next that comes is called the discharge of the weapon called Narayana. Then, you know, is Karna, and then Salya. Then comes the immersion in the lake, and then the encounter (between Bhima and Duryodhana) with clubs. Then comes Saraswata, and then the descriptions of holy shrines, and then genealogies. Then comes Sauptika describing incidents disgraceful (to the honour of the Kurus). Then comes the ‘Aisika’ of harrowing incidents. Then comes ‘Jalapradana’ oblations of water to the manes of the deceased, and then the wailings of the women. The next must be known as ‘Sraddha’ describing the funeral rites performed for the slain Kauravas. Then comes the destruction of the Rakshasa Charvaka who had assumed the disguise of a Brahmana (for deceiving Yudhishthira). Then the coronation of the wise udhishthira. The next is called the ‘Grihapravibhaga’. Then comes ‘Santi’, then ‘Rajadharmanusasana’, then ‘Apaddharma’, then ‘Mokshadharma’. Those that follow are called respectively ‘Suka-prasna-abhigamana’,’Brahma-prasnanusana’, the origin of ‘Durvasa’, the disputations with Maya.

The next is to be known as ‘Anusasanika’. Then the ascension of Bhishma to heaven. Then the horse-sacrifice, which when read purgeth all sins away. The next must be known as the ‘Anugita’ in which are words of spiritual philosophy. Those that follow are called ‘Asramvasa’, ‘Puttradarshana’ (meeting with the spirits of the deceased sons), and the arrival of Narada. The next is called ‘Mausala’ which abounds with terrible and cruel incidents. Then comes ‘Mahaprasthanika’ and ascension to heaven. Then comes the Purana which is called Khilvansa. In this last are contained ‘Vishnuparva’, Vishnu’s frolics and feats as a child, the destruction of ‘Kansa’, and lastly, the very wonderful ‘Bhavishyaparva’ (in which there are prophecies regarding the future).


The high-souled Vyasa composed these hundred parvas of which the above is only an abridgement: having distributed them into eighteen, the son of Suta recited them consecutively in the forest of Naimisha as follows:

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