THE MAHABHAHATA

2. ADI PARVA SECTION I (part 02)

Om ! Having bowed down to Narayana and Nara, the most exalted

male being, and also to the goddess Saraswati, must the word Jaya be

uttered.

Ugrasrava, the son of Lomaharshana, surnamed Sauti, well-versed

in the Puranas, bending with humility, one day approached the great

sages of rigid vows, sitting at their ease, who had attended the twelve

years sacrifice of Saunaka, surnamed Kulapati, in the forest of Naimisha.

Those ascetics, wishing to hear his wonderful narrations, presently

began to address him who had thus arrived at that recluse abode of the

inhabitants of the forest of Naimisha. Having been entertained with

due respect by those holy men, he saluted those Munis (sages) with

joined palms, even all of them, and inquired about the progress of their

asceticism. Then all the ascetics being again seated, the son of Loma-

harshana humbly occupied the seat that was assigned to him. Seeing

that he was comfortably seated, and recovered from fatigue, one of the

Rishis beginning the conversation, asked him, Whence comest thou,

O lotus-eyed Sauti, and where hast thou spent the time ? Tell me, who

ask thee, in detail.

Accomplished in speech, Sauti, thus questioned, gave in the midst

of that big assemblage of contemplative Munis a full and proper answer

in words consonant with their mode of life. ”Sauti said, Having heard the diverse sacred and wonderful stories

which were composed in his Mahabharata by Krishna-Dwaipayana, and

which were recited in full by Vaisampayana at the Snake-sacrifice of

the high-souled royal sage Janamejaya and in the presence also of that

chief of Princes, the son of Parikshit, and having wandered about,

visiting many sacred waters and holy shrines, I journeyed to the coun-

try venerated by the Dwijas (twice- born) and called Samantapanchaka

where formerly was fought the battle between the children of Kuru

and PandUt and all the chiefs of the land ranged on either side. Thence,

anxious to see you, I am come into your presence. Ye reverend sages,

all of whom are to me as Brahma ; ye greatly blessed who shine in this place of sacrifice with the splendour of the solar fire : ye who have

concluded the silent meditations and have fed the holy fire ; and yet

who are sitting without care, what, O ye Dwijas (twice-born), shall I repeat, shall I recount the sacred stories collected in the Puranas contain-

ing precepts of religious duty and of worldly profit, or the acts of

illustrious saints and sovereigns of mankind ?

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