THE MAHABHAHATA

5. ADI PARVA SECTION I (part 05)

”Brahma said, I esteem thee for thy knowledge of divine mysteries,

before the whole body of celebrated Munis distinguished for the sanctity of their lives. I know thou hast revealed the divine word, even from

its first utterance, in the language of truth. Thou hast called thy present

work a poem, wherefore it shall be a poem. There shall be no poets

whose works may equal the descriptions of this poem, even, as the three

other modes called Asrama are ever unequal in merit to the domestic

Asrama. Let Ganesa be thought of, O Muni, for the purpose of

writing the poem.

”Sauti said, Brahma having thus spoken to Vyasa, retired to his

own abode. Then Vyasa began to call to mind Ganesa. And Ganesa,

obviator of obstacles, ready to fulfil the desires of his votaries, was no

sooner thought of, then he repaired to the place where Vyasa was seated.

And when he had been saluted, and was seated, Vyasa addressed him

thus, O guide of the Ganas I be thou the writer of the Bharata which

I have formed in my imagination, and which I am about to repeat/

”Ganesa, upon hearing this address, thus answered, I will become

the writer of thy work, provided my pen do not for a moment cease

writing. And Vyasa said unto that divinity, Wherever there by any-

thing thou dost not comprehend, cease to continue writing. Ganesa

having signified his assent, by repeating the word Om ! proceeded to

write ; and Vyasa began ; and by way of diversion, he knit the knots of

composition exceeding close ; by doing which, he dictated this work

according to his engagement.

I am (continued Sauti) acquainted with eight thousand and eight

hundred verses, and so is Suka, and perhaps Sanfaya. From the myste-

riousness of their meaning, O Muni, no one is able, to this day, to

penetrate those closely knit difficult slokas. Even the omniscient

Ganesa took a moment to consider ; while Vyasa, however, continued to

compose other verses in great abundance.

The wisdom of this work, like unto an instrument of applying

collyrium, hath opened the eyes of the inquisitive world blinded by the

darkness of ignorance. As the sun dispelleth the darkness, so doth the

Bharata by its discourses on religion, profit, pleasure and final release,

dispel the ignorance of men. As the full-moon by its mild light expand-

eth the buds of the water-lily, so this Purana, by exposing the light of

the Sruti hath expanded the human intellect. By the lamp of history,

which destroyeth the darkness of ignorance, the whole mansion of

nature is properly and completely illuminated.

This work is a tree, of which the chapter of contents is the seed ; the divisions called Pauloma and Astika are the root ; the part called

Sambhava is the trunk ; the books called Sabha and Aranya are the roost-

ing perches ; the books called Arani is the knitting knots ; the books

called Virata and Udyoga the pith ; the book named Bhishma, the main branch ; the book called Drona, the leaves ; the book called

Kama, the fair flowers ; the book named Salya, their sweet smell ; the

books entitled Stri and Aishika, the refreshing shade ; the book called

Santi, the mighty fruit ; the book called Asiuamedha, the immortal sap ; the denominated Asramavasika, the spot where it groweth ; and the

book called Mausala, is an epitome of the Vedas and held in great

respect by the vrituous Brahmanas. The tree of the Bharata,

inexhaustible to mankind as the clouds, shall be as a source of livelihood

to all distinguished poets.

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