Maha-bharata, Adi Parva, Anukramanika Parva, Adhyaya 1, verses 108-168

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Adhyaya 1
A summary, from Pandu on


Duryodhana is like a great tree created out of anger, Kama is its trunk; Shakuni is its branches; Dushasana its fruit and flowers and weak Dhritarashtra is its root. – 108

Yudhishthira is a great tree, created out of virtue and religion; Arjuna is its trunk; Bhima is its branches; two sons of Madri are its flowers and fruits; and Krishna, Brahma and Brahmanas are its roots. – 109

Pandu, after conquering many countries by his valour and wisdom, retired into a forest and took up his abode with the Rishis. – 110

As a sportsman he brought upon himself a very great misfortune by killing a stag when it was with its mate. Pandu’s misfortune served as a warning for the conduct of all the princes of his house as long as they lived.  111

His two wives, (Kunti and Madri), according to the ordinance of the Shastras, admitted to their embraces the celestials, Dharma, Vayu, Shakra and two Ashvinis, so that the race of Pandu might not be extinct. – 112

Also called Dharmaraja or Yamaraja.

One of the eight guardians of the world (Dikapalakas). Vayu is the guardian of the North West zone. His city is called Gandhavati.

Indra, the mighty, the powerful.

When these offsprings of the celestials were grown up under the care of their two mothers and in the society of holy Rishis, in the midst of sacred groves and in the holy hermitage, they were taken by the Rishis into the presence of Dhritarashtra and his sons. They followed them in the garb of Brahmacharis and as students; their hairs were tied in knots on their heads. – 123 – 124

Two mothers:
Kunti and Madri.

The Rishis said
“Our these pupils,” said they, “Are your sons, your brothers and your friends. They are the Pandavas.” – 125

So saying they went away.

When the Kuru people saw that they were introduced by Rishis as the sons of Pandu, the higher class amongst them loudly shouted with joy. – 126

Some, however, said they were not the sons of Pandu; others said they were. Some said how they could be the sons of Pandu who was dead long ago.

Voices, however, were heard from all sides, crying, “They are welcome. Through divine providence, we see before us the sons of Pandu. Let their welcome be proclaimed.”

When the acclamations of the people ceased, tremendous plaudits of invisible spirits were heard, echoing every point of the heavens. Showers of fragrant flowers fell and conches and kettle-drums were sounded. Such wonders happened when the princes arrived.

The joyous cry, of the citizens in expression of their pleasure for the happy event, was so great that it reached the very heavens.

Without any apprehension from any one and much respected by all the people the Pandavas lived there, having studied the whole of the Vedas and vaiious other Shastras.

The chief men of the city were highly pleased with the purity of Yudhishthira, the strength of Bhima, the gallantry of Arjuna.

The obedience to all their superiors, patience and the humility of Nakula and Sahadeva. All people were rejoiced to see their heroism.

A few years after, Arjuna, after performing a difficult feat of archery, obtained the hands of Krishna at the Svayamvara in the midst of a great assemblage of kings and princes. – 125

One of Draupadi’s names

Svayam = self, vara = groom. After watching her suitors accomplishing a specific difficult task, the girl chooses her husband.

From that day he was very much respected by all men as a great bowman. Like the sun he appeared in the field of battle and was difficult to be beheld by enemies.

He defeated all the neighbouring potentates and chief tribes and thus accomplished all that was necessary for the Raja to perform the great Rajasuya sacrifice.

Raja: Yudhishthira

After killing Jarasandha, proud of his prowess through the wise counsel of Krishna and by the prowess of Bhima and Arjuna, Yudhishthira acquired the right to perform the Rajasuya which abounded in provisions and offerings and was full of transcendenftmerits.

The king of Magadha, who was killed by Bhima.

The Rajasuya is a Srauta ritual of the Vedic tradition. It is a consecration of a king. It is described in the Taittiriya corpus, including Apastamba Srauta Sutra 18.8–25.22. It involves soma pressing, a chariot drive, the king shooting arrows from his bow, and a brief cattle raid.

Duryodhana came to this sacrifice. When he saw on all sides the great wealth of the Pandavas, the offerings, the precious stones, gold and jewels, elephants and horses; valuable textures, garments and mantles; shawls and fiirs, carpets made of the skin of the Ranku, he was filled with envy and became very angry.

Better known as Mayadanava, he was the architect of the Asuras.

When he saw the hall of assembly, beautifully constructed by Maya after the celestial Court, he became exceedingly sorry.

(To charging him more) when he was confused at certain architectural deceptions, Bhima sneered at him, before Vasudeva, saying he was of low birth.

It was represented to Dhritarashtra that his son notwithstanding he was partaking various objects of enjoyments and valuable things, was becoming pale, lean and meagre.

Out of affection for him the blind king gave his son permission to play at dice (with the Pandavas). When Krishna came to know this, he became very angry.

And being displeased, he did nothing to stop the dispute, but overlooked the fatal game and other horrible unjust deeds that were the result of it.

In spite of Bhishma, Drona, Vidura and the son of Shardvata, Kripa, he made the Kshatriyas kill one another in the great battle that followed.   – 167

Here Sauti reveals that it was all Krishna’s plan and divine will.







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