Maha-bharata, Adi Parva, Anukramanika Parva, Adhyaya 1, verses 251-272

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Adhyaya 1
Sacrality and importance of the Maha-bharata


Great Dvaipayana composed a holy Upanishad on these facts; and it has been published to the world by great Kavis in the Puranas. – 251 (p. 20)

Some translate the word kavi as bards or poets. They were not so. The deeper meaning of this word is “those who are capable of thinking thoroughly on any subject matter”. Therefore the Kavis were not simply story tellers but sages and philosophers.
Notes: #kavi

The study of Bharata is such a meritorious act that even he who reads only one line of a verse with reverence has his sins all destroyed. – 252

The word used here is punya, which means rightous, meritorious, auspicious, sacred.
Notes: #punya

In this Bharata, sinless and immaculate Devas, Devarshis and Brahmanas have been described as well as Yakshas and great Nagas. – 253

In it has also Bhagavan, the eternal Vasudeva, been described. He is true and just, pure and holy. 254

the possessor of six attributes

In it is described the eternal Brahma, the great true light, whose great and divine deeds the wise and learned men declare. 255

From whom has been produced the non-existent and existent-non-existent universe with the principle of reproduction and progression, birth, death and rebirth. 256

In it has also been described He who is Adhyatma and who partakes the attributes of the five elements and He to whom unmanifested and other such words cannot be applied. 257

#Adhyatma, the Supreme Lord

And also He whom the Yogis, possessed of meditation and Tapa, behold in their hearts as the reflection of an image in a mirror. 258

The man of faith, ever devoted, ever employed in the exercise of virtue, is freed from sin on reading this chapter, of the Bharata. 259

The believer who always hears this introductory chapter, of the Bharata from the beginning, never meets with any difficulties (in this world). 260

The man, who repeats any part of its introduction at the morning and evening twilights, at the time of repeating, is freed from sins collected during the day and night.

In the body of Bharata this chapter, is truth and ambrosia; as butter is among curds and a Brahmana among bipeds.

As Aranyaka among the Vedas, as ambrosia among medicines, as the ocean is great among all lakes, as cow among all quadrupeds.

So is Bharata, among all histories. He, who causes to be recited by a Brahmana even one line of it during a Shraddha, gives to the dead ancestors his offerings of food and drink which become inexhaustible. The Vedas are expounded by the aid of history and Purana.

But the Veda is afraid of men of little learning, lest they hurt it. The learned man who recites this Veda, (Bharata) gains advantage. 266 (p. 21)

Even the sin of killing embryo is destroyed of those who read it with reverence at every change of the moon. 267. (p. 22)

I tell you, the whole Bharata has been read by the man who reads this chapter. The man who with reverence hears every day these sacred words, gains long life and goes to heaven. In time gone by, the celestials met together and placed the four Vedas on one side and this Bharata on the other side of a scale and the Bharata weighed heavier.

From that time, it is called Maha-bharata. It is considered superior to the Vedas, both in substance and gravity of import.

It is called Maha-bharata from this superiority in substance and gravity of import. He who understands its real meaning, is freed from all sins.

Tapa is not a sin, study is not a sin, the ordinances of the Vedas are not sins, the acquisition of wealth by exertion is not a sin: when they are abused, then do they become the sources of evil. – 272 (p. 22)

The translation of this verse is doubtful. In fact, the translation of the word “kalpa” as a sin does not convince us.

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