Wednesday 2 March 2022




Vaishampayan reciting Mahabharata to Janamejaya ஜனமேஜயனிடம்

Janamejaya said:—O Revered Sir, according to what rules the learned hear the Bhārata? What are the fruits thereof. What gods should be worshipped when it is complete? What charities should be made after every Parva? What sort of a reciter is desirable? Describe all this to me (1-2).

Vaishampāyana said:—O king, hear how the Bhārata should be listened to and what are the fruits thereof. Hear, O king, I will answer your questions (3). The gods, living in the celestial region, came down on earth for sporting. Having finished that work they returned to their own region. Hear with attention, I will describe the origin of gods and Rishis on earth. O foremost of Bharatas, Rudras, Saddhyas, Vishwadevas, Adityas, the two Ashwinas, the regents of the quarters, the great saints, Guhyakas, Gandharvas, Nāgas, Vidydharas, Sraddhya, Dharma, Brahmā, the ascetic Katyāyana, the mountains, oceans, rivers, Apsaras, the planets, years, the two courses of the sun, seasons, the mobile and immobile objects, the gods and Asuras are all seen simultaneously described in (this history of) Bhārata. By listening to their names and illustrious deeds a man is immediately freed from even dreadful sins. If one duly and in order listens to this history, if one, controlling his senses and purifying his soul, masters this Bhārata, he should then make charities to commemorate the occasion. With reverence and according to his might he should make presents unto the Brahmans of various jewels, cows with bi-metallic vessels for milching them, well adorned and accomplished maidens, various conveyances and houses, lands, dresses, gold, horses, beds carried by infuriated elephants, vehicles, and well furnished cars. He should give away unto the twice-born whatever excellent and costly articles he has got in his house. What more he should even give away his own self, his wife and sons. If one makes these gifts reverentially he can master the Bhārata. Hear how a man, according to his might, acquires spiritual powers by being pleased, of good spirits, bent upon serving, truthful, simple, self-controlled, and reverential. The one who will recite this Bhārata, must be endued with a pure character and conduct, clad in a white raiment, self-controlled, initiated, well versed in all scriptures, respectful and divested of malice. He must be truthful, worthy of respect and discreet (4-20). He should read it with ease, without delay or haste, distinctly and with motion. While reading he should distinctly pronounce words and letters. He should read it with concentration and in good health and spirits. The rule is that having saluted Nārāyana, the foremost of Beings Nara as also the goddess of learning Saraswati one should recite the Bhārata (22–23).

O great king of Bharata's race, if one observing regulations and purifying himself hears the Bhārata from such a person he reaps the fruits (thereof). After hearing it from the very beginning to the end of Harivamsha one should satisfy the Brāhmanas by giving them all they want. The man who once hears it recited, obtains the fruits of Agnistoma sacrifice, and acquires a vehicle filled with nymphs in the celestial region. With great pleasure he repairs to Dyuloka with the celestials. If he hears it twice he obtains the fruits of the Atirātra sacrifice, drives celestial cars filled with all jewels, wears celestial garlands and raiments, enjoys heavenly scents and always lives in the land of gods armed with a heavenly coat of mail. If he hears it thrice he obtains the fruits of Dwādashāha sacrifice. And he lives like a god for a million of years in heaven. If he hears it four times he obtains the fruits of Vājapeya sacrifice. If he hears it five times he obtains the double fruits and repairs to heaven. Seated with celestials on a car effulgent like the sun and burning fire, he enjoys for a million of years in Indra's palace in the celestial region. By hearing it six times he enjoys fruits four times as much and by hearing it seven times he enjoys them three times as much. And riding on a car coursing at will, huge like the summit of mount Kailasha, consisting of seats made of emerald, diamond and sapphire, he ranges every where along with the Apsaras like the second sun. If one hears it eight times he obtains the fruits of a Rājasuya sacrifice, drives in a charming car drawn by horses like unto the rays of the moon and fleet like the mind and sees the faces, more charming than the moon itself, of beautiful damsels. And lying asleep on the lap of celestial damsels he hears the tinkling sound of waist-chains and other ornaments. If one hears it for nine times he obtains the fruits of the king of sacrifices, Vājimedha. Seated on a car filled with Gandharvas and Apsaras and windows made of gold, and adorned with golden pillars and diamond seats, wearing celestial garlands and raiments and pasted with sandal he enjoys in the company of gods in the celestial region. By hearing it ten times and saluting the twice-born one drives in a car filled with Gandharvas, expert in singing and Apsaras, with the sound of a net-work of small bells, adorned with flags and pennons, jewelled seats, diamond gates and surrounded with golden nets. Wearing a sunny, crown adorned with golden ornaments, celestial garlands and unguents he roams at large in the celestial region. He possesses great prosperity by the favour of gods. In this wise he lives for many years in the celestial region. He thus enjoys for twenty-one thousand years the company of the Gandharvas and the king of gods in his region encircled by celestial damsels; he lives like an immortal in various lokas.

Thereupon living gradually in the lunar region, solar region, and that of Shiva he attains to Vishnu's region. O great king, such is the case; one should not discuss about it. My preceptor has said that, one should cherish reverence. Whatever one wishes for in his mind he should give it to the reciter. He should make presents of elephants, horses, cars, conveyances, beasts of burden, golden Kundalas, golden thread, various raiments and scents. He should be like a god and then he will attain to Vishnu's region. O king, afterwards at the time of the recitation of the Bhārata one should make presents unto Brahmans at every Parva. I will describe them. O king, O foremost of Bharata's descendants, informed of birth, country, wealth, greatness and virtuous conduct of a Brāhmana a Kshatrya should first make him recite benedictory verses and then begin the work. Afterwards at the termination of the Parva he should please the twice-born with presents proportionate to his might. He should first duly give unto the reciter raiments and scents and then entertain him with sweet pudding. At the time of the recitation of the Astika Parva he should first entertain the Brāhmanas with sweet meats and then make him presents. While the Sabhā Parva is recited he should entertain the Brāhmanas with vegetable dishes. Whilst the Aranya Parva is recited he should entertain them with fruits and roots. Whilst the Aranya Parva is recited he should present the Brāhmanas with jars full of water and entertain them with sweet and delicious fruits and roots grown in the forest and wholesome dishes. Whilst the Virat Parva is recited he should make presents of various raiments. O foremost of Bharatas, at the time of the recitation of the Udyoga Parva he should entertain the Brahmans, adorned with garlands and unguents, with various wholesome and sweet dishes. O king, at the time of the recitation of the Bhishma Parva he should present the Brāhmanas with most excellent conveyances and entertain them with well cooked dishes endued with many virtues. Whilst the Drona Parva is recited he should feed the Brāhmanas to their fill and present them with bows, arrows and swords. Whilst the Karna Parva is recited he should, with a controlled mind, entertain the Brāhmanas with various well cooked dishes (24-64). Whilst the Shalya Parva is recited one should offer wine, molasses and various sweet dishes. Whilst the Gada Parva is recited one should offer food of barley and whilst Stri Parva is read out one should please the Brāhmanas with presents of jewels. Whilst Aishi Parva is recited one should offer first Ghee and then well-cooked dishes. Whilst the Shānti Parva is recited one should entertain the Brahmanas with vegetable dishes and whilst the Ashramavāsi Parva is recited one should entertain the Brahmans with vegetable dishes and whilst the Aswamedha Parva is recited one should entertain the Brahman as with dishes after their own hearts. Whilst the Moushala Parva is recited one should make presents of garlands and unguents (65–69). whilst the Mahāprasthāna Parva is recited one should make presents of the articles mentioned before. And after the recitation of Harivamsha is over one should feed thousand Brāhmanas and present each of them with a cow and a golden coin. H a poor man cannot afford to do it he should do half as much. After the termination of each Parva a wise man should present to the reciter a book and a gold coin. After the termination of the Harivansha Parva he should entertain the Brāhmanas with milk and rice (65–73).

At the end of every Parva a person, well read in Shastras and honored by the good, clad in a white rainment and adorned with nice ornaments, should, being self-controlled, finish Sanihitas. And then covering them with a silken cloth he should place them in a holy place and adore them with garlands and scents. He then distribute meat, various articles, drinks, gold, cows and raiments. A self-controlled man should always distribute three tolas of gold. An incapable man should give half or one fourth of it. He should offer to the Bramhanas various articles after his own heart. With reverence he should propitiate the reciter like unto his own preceptor. He should then recite the names of all the gods especially that of Nara-Nārāyana. Thereupon having adorned the Bramhanas with garlands and scents he should gratify them with various gifts. By doing so a man obtains the fruit of the Atirātra sacrifice at every Parva (74–84).

O foremost of Bharatas, a reciter, who can distinctly read letters and words and has a sweet voice, should recite the future section of the Bhārata before the twice-born. He should first feast the reciter well adorned and then the twice-born ones. He should then adore the former. If a reciter is pleased one enjoys eternal and most excellent bliss. If the Brāhmanas are pleased all the gods are propitiated (85–87). O foremost of Bharatas, so the pious should duly and in order gratify the twice-born with gifts, after their own hearts (88). O foremost of men, I have thus described to you the rules. I have answered all your questions, therefore you should be respectful in this matter. O great king, he who wishes to acquire most excellent bliss, should assiduously listen to the recitation of the Bhārata and fulfill conditions at its completion. One should daily listen to Bhārata and recite it. He, who has Bhārata in his house, acquires victory. The Bhārata is highly sacred; various episodes have been described in the Bhārata. The gods even read it. Bhārata is the most excellent refuge (86–92). The Bhārata is superior to all Shāstras, Through Bhārata one can acquire Moksha (emancipation). This is what I tell you. If a man recites the great Bhārata, the names of the earth, cow, Saraswati, Brāhmana and Keshava he does not meet with ruin. O foremost of Bhāratas, in the beginning, middle and end of the Vedas, Rāmāyana and Mahābhārata Hari has been described. Man, wishing to acquire the great station, should listen to the recitation of the glorious deeds of Vishnu and Srutis. This great work is the cannon of religion and is endued with all virtues. He who wishes to acquire lordly powers should hear it. Dwaipayana has said that one, listening to Harivamsha in this unreal world, acquires all wished-for objects. Having finished a complete recitation of Harivamsha one acquires the fruit yielded by thousands of Aswamedha and hundreds of Vajapeya sacrifices. O Vishnu, thou art without birth and decay, thou art the only One worthy of being meditated upon. Thou art gross and subtle and art beyond the reach of perception. Thou art Saguna and Nirguna. Only the Yogins can comprehend thee through their knowledge. Thou art the preceptor of the three worlds and creator. I seek refuge with thee. May all tide over calamities, may all meet with well-being, and may all acquire their wished-for objects for the completion of the recitation of the Bhārata (93-101).


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அக்ரூரன் அக்னி அங்கிரஸ் அசமஞ்சன் அதிதி அதிரதன் அநிருத்தன் அந்தகன் அரிஷ்டன் அருந்ததி அர்ஜுனன் அனு அஜபார்ஷன் அஜமீடன் அஸ்தி ஆபவர் ஆயு ஆரியா தேவி ஆஹுகன் இந்திரன் இளை உக்ரசேனன் உக்ராயுதன் உசீநரன் உதங்கர் உத்தவர் உபரிசரவசு உமை உல்பணன் உஷை ஊர்வசி ஊர்வர் ஏகலவ்யன் ஔர்வர் கக்ஷேயு கங்கை கசியபர் கண்டரீகர் கண்டாகர்ணன் கண்டூகன் கதன் கபிலர் கமலாதேவி கம்ஸன் கருடன் கர்க்கர் கர்ணன் காதி காந்திதேவி கார்த்தவீர்யார்ஜுனன் காலநேமி காலயவனன் காலவர் காளியன் கிருஷ்ணன் குசிகன் குணகன் குணவதி கும்பாண்டன் குரோஷ்டு குவலயாபீடம் குவலாஷ்வன் கூனி கைசிகன் கைடபன் கோடவி சகடாசுரன் சக்ரதேவன் சங்கன் சததன்வன் சத்யகர்ணன் சத்யகர்மன் சத்யபாமா சத்ருக்னன் சத்வதன் சந்தனு சந்திரவதி சந்திரன் சம்பரன் சரஸ்வதி சனத்குமாரர் சன்னதி சாணூரன் சாத்யகி சாந்தீபனி சாம்பன் சால்வன் சிசுபாலன் சித்திரலேகை சித்திராங்கதன் சிருகாலன் சிவன் சுக்ரன் சுசீமுகி சுநாபன் சுனீதன் சூரன் சூரியன் சைசிராயணர் சௌதி டிம்பகன் தக்ஷன் தசரதன் தந்தவக்ரன் தமகோஷன் தரதன் தன்வந்தரி தாரை திதி திதிக்ஷு திரிசங்கு திரிவிக்ரை திருமிலன் திரையாருணன் திலீபன் திவோதாஸன் துந்து துந்துமாரன் துருவன் துர்வாசர் துஷ்யந்தன் தூம்ரவர்ணன் தேவகன் தேவகி தேவாவ்ருதன் தேனுகன் நந்தன் நந்தி நரகாசுரன் நரசிம்மன் நஹுஷன் நாரதர் நாராயணன் நாராயணி நிகும்பன் நிசுந்தன் நித்ராதேவி நீபன் பஞ்சஜனன் பத்மாவதி பத்ரன் பப்ரு பயோதன் பரசுராமர் பரதன் பரத்வாஜர் பலராமன் பலி பாணன் பார்வதி பானு பானுமதி பிரதீபன் பிரத்யும்னன் பிரபாவதி பிரமர்த்தனன் பிரம்மதத்தன் பிரம்மன் பிரலம்பன் பிரவரன் பிரஸேனன் பிரஹலாதன் பிராசேதஸ் பிராப்தி பிருது பிருதை பிருஹதாஷ்வன் பிருஹஸ்பதி பீஷ்மகன் பீஷ்மர் புதன் புரூரவன் பூதனை பூமாதேவி பூரு பூஜனி பௌண்டரகன் மதிராதேவி மது மதுமதி மயன் மனு மஹாமாத்ரன் மாயாதேவி மாயாவதி மார்க்கண்டேயர் மித்ரஸஹர் முசுகுந்தன் முரு முருகன் முஷ்டிகன் யசோதை யது யயாதி யுதிஷ்டிரன் ரஜி ராமன் ருக்மவதி ருக்மி ருக்மிணி ரேவதி ரைவதன் ரோஹிணி லவணன் வசிஷ்டர் வராகம் வருணன் வஜ்ரநாபன் வஸு வஸுதேவன் வாமனன் வாயு விகத்ரு விசக்ரன் விதர்ப்பன் விப்ராஜன் விப்ருது வியாசர் விரஜை விருஷ்ணி விஷ்ணு விஷ்வாசி விஷ்வாமித்ரர் விஷ்வாவஸு விஸ்வகர்மன் வேனன் வைசம்பாயனர் வைவஸ்வத மனு ஜயந்தன் ஜராசந்தன் ஜனமேஜயன் ஜனார்த்தனன் ஜஹ்னு ஜாம்பவான் ஜியாமோகன் ஜ்வரம் ஸகரன் ஸத்யபாமா ஸத்யவிரதன் ஸத்ராஜித் ஸத்வான் ஸஹஸ்ரதன் ஸ்ரீதாமன் ஸ்ரீதேவ ஸ்வேதகர்ணன் ஹம்சன் ஹயக்ரீவன் ஹரி ஹரியஷ்வன் ஹரிஷ்சந்திரன் ஹிரண்யகசிபு ஹிரண்யாக்ஷன்