महाभारत

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यन्त्रोपारोपितकोशांशः[सम्पाद्यताम्]

कल्पद्रुमः[सम्पाद्यताम्]

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पृष्ठभागोऽयं यन्त्रेण केनचित् काले काले मार्जयित्वा यथास्रोतः परिवर्तयिष्यते। तेन मा भूदत्र शोधनसम्भ्रमः। सज्जनैः मूलमेव शोध्यताम्।


महाभारतम्, क्ली, (महत् भारतम् । यद्वा, महान्तं भारं तनोतीति । महाभार + तन् + डः ।) व्यासप्रणीतेतिहासशास्त्रम् । तन्नामकारणं यथा, -- “एकतश्चतुरो वेदा भारतञ्चैतदेकतः । पुरा किल सुरैः सर्व्वैः समस्य तुलया धृतम् ॥ चतुर्भ्यः सरहस्येभ्यो वेदेभ्योऽभ्यधिकं यदा । तदाप्रभृति लोर्कऽस्मिन् महाभारतमुच्यते ॥ महत्त्वाद्भारतत्वाच्च महाभारतमुच्यते ॥” इति महाभारते आदिपर्व्व ॥ * ॥ लोकविशेषेषु तस्य श्लोकसंख्या वाचकाश्च यथा, “षष्टिं शतसहस्राणि चकारान्यां स संहिताम् । त्रिंशच्छतसहस्रञ्च देवलोके प्रतिष्ठितम् ॥ पित्रे पञ्चदश प्रोक्तं रक्षोयक्षे चतुर्द्दश । एकं शतसहस्रन्तु मानुषेषु प्रतिष्ठितम् ॥ नारदोऽश्रावयद्देवानसितो देवलः पितॄन् । गन्धर्व्वयक्षरक्षांसि श्रावयामास वै शुकः ॥ अस्मिंस्तु मानुषे लोके वैशम्पायन उक्तवान् ॥” इति महाभारते १ पर्व्वणि अनुक्रमणिका- ध्यायः ॥ * ॥ तत्र शतपर्व्वाणि तेष्वष्टादश मुख्यानि यथा, -- “आदिसभाविपिनानि विराट- प्रोद्यमभीष्मगुरूणि च कर्णः । शल्यकसौप्तिकपर्व्व तथा स्त्री- शान्त्यनुशास्तितुरङ्गममेधाः ॥ भारतश्रवणाद्राज्ञा पारणे च नृपोत्तम ! ॥ सदा यत्नवता भाव्यं श्रेयस्तु परमिच्छता । * । भारतं शृणुयान्नित्यं भारतं परिकीर्त्तयेत् । भारतं भवने यस्य तस्य हस्तगतो जयः ॥ भारतं परमं पुण्यं भारते विविधाः कथाः । भारतं सेव्यते देवैर्भारतं परमं पदम् ॥ भारतं सर्व्वशास्त्राणामुत्तमं भरतर्षभ ! । भारतात् प्राप्यते मोक्षस्तत्त्वमेतद्ब्रवीमि ते ॥ महाभारत्तमाख्यान क्षितिं गाञ्च सरस्वतीम् । ब्राह्मणान् केशवञ्चैव कीर्त्तयन्नावसीदति ॥ वेदे रामायणे पुण्ये भारते भरतर्षभ ! । आदौ चान्ते च मध्ये च हरिः सर्व्वत्र गीयते ॥ यत्र विष्णुकथा दिव्याः श्रुतयश्च सनातनाः । तच्छ्रोतव्यं मनुष्येण परं पदमिहेच्छता ॥ एतत् पवित्रं परममेतद्धर्म्मनिदर्शनम् । एतत् सर्व्वगुणोपेतं श्रोतव्यं भूतिमिच्छता ॥” इति महाभारते हरिवंशे सर्व्वपर्व्वानुकीर्त्त- नम् ॥ * ॥ त्रिषष्ठिवर्णसंयुक्तमित्यत्र त्रिषष्टि- वर्णाः । अ इ उ ऋ ऌ इति ह्रस्वपञ्चकम् । आ ई ऊ ॠ ॡ इति दीर्घपञ्चकम् । आ ई ऊ ऋ ॡ इति प्लुतपञ्चकम् । ए ओ ऐ औ च दीर्घाः । प्लुतत्वेनापरचतुष्टयम् । अं अः क + प~ इति चत्वारः । ॠ ॡ इति अच्संज्ञकौ द्बौ । अनुनासिकश्चैकः । तथा कादिमावसानाः पञ्चविंशतिवर्णाः । अन्तःस्थाश्चत्वारः । उष्म- चतुष्टयमिति त्रिषष्टिः । इति ॥ * ॥ वर्णानां किलाष्टौ स्थानानि भवन्ति तानि यथा, -- “उरः कण्ठः शिरस्तालु जिह्वादन्तौष्ठ- नासिकाः । अष्टौ स्थानानि वर्णानां ये विदुस्ते हि पाठकाः ॥” * ॥ पारणं यथा, -- “भारतं शतपर्व्वोक्तं मुनिना तत्त्वदर्शिना । पर्व्वभिर्द्दशभिश्चैषां पर्व्वणां पारणं स्मृतम् ॥” इति विक्रमादित्यः ॥ “द्यूतान्तं प्रथमं प्रोक्तं द्बितीयं वनवासिकम् । उद्योगान्तं तृतीयन्तु भीष्मान्तञ्च तुरीयकम् ॥ पञ्चमं द्रोणपर्व्वान्तं कर्णान्तं पारणं ततः । विशोकान्तं सप्तमन्तु शान्तिपर्व्वान्तमष्टमम् ॥ नवमं स्वर्गपर्व्वान्तमाश्चर्य्यान्तमतः परम् ॥” इति च भारतटीकायां अर्ज्जुनमिश्रः ॥ (अन्यत्सर्व्वं भारतशब्दे द्रष्टव्यम् ॥)

वाचस्पत्यम्[सम्पाद्यताम्]

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पृष्ठभागोऽयं यन्त्रेण केनचित् काले काले मार्जयित्वा यथास्रोतः परिवर्तयिष्यते। तेन मा भूदत्र शोधनसम्भ्रमः। सज्जनैः मूलमेव शोध्यताम्।


महाभारत¦ पु॰ न॰
“चत्वारश्चैकतो वेदा भारतञ्चैवमेकतः। पुरा किल सुरैः सर्वैः समस्य तुलया धृतम्। चतुर्भ्यःसरहस्येभ्यो वेदेभ्योऽभ्यधिकं यदा। तदा प्रभृतिलोकेऽस्मिन् महाभारतमुच्यते। महत्त्वात् भारत-त्वाच्च महाभारतमुच्यते” इत्युक्तलक्षणे व्यासप्रणीतेलक्षश्लोकात्मके ग्रन्थभेदे भारतशब्दे दृश्यम्।

शब्दसागरः[सम्पाद्यताम्]

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पृष्ठभागोऽयं यन्त्रेण केनचित् काले काले मार्जयित्वा यथास्रोतः परिवर्तयिष्यते। तेन मा भूदत्र शोधनसम्भ्रमः। सज्जनैः मूलमेव शोध्यताम्।


महाभारत¦ n. (-तं) Name of the great epic which details the history of the sons of DHRITARA4STRA and PA4NDU.

Monier-Williams[सम्पाद्यताम्]

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पृष्ठभागोऽयं यन्त्रेण केनचित् काले काले मार्जयित्वा यथास्रोतः परिवर्तयिष्यते। तेन मा भूदत्र शोधनसम्भ्रमः। सज्जनैः मूलमेव शोध्यताम्।


महाभारत/ महा--भारत m. or n. (with or scil. आहव, युद्धor any word signifying " battle ") the -grgreat war of the भरतs MBh. Hariv.

महाभारत/ महा--भारत n. (with or scil. आख्यान) , " great narrative of the war of the -Bh भरतs " , N. of the -grgreat epic poem in about 215 , 000 lines describing the acts and contests of the sons of the two brothers धृतराष्ट्रand पाण्डु, descendants of भरत, who were of the lunar line of kings reigning in the neighbourhood of हस्तिना-पुर(the poem consists of 18 books with a supplement called हरि-वंश, the whole being attributed to the sage व्यास) A1s3vGr2. MBh. etc. ( IW. 370 etc. )

Purana index[सम्पाद्यताम्]

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पृष्ठभागोऽयं यन्त्रेण केनचित् काले काले मार्जयित्वा यथास्रोतः परिवर्तयिष्यते। तेन मा भूदत्र शोधनसम्भ्रमः। सज्जनैः मूलमेव शोध्यताम्।


--compiled by व्यास Kr2s2n2advaipa1yana; फलकम्:F1: Vi. III. 4. 5.फलकम्:/F the moon of, arose from व्यास. फलकम्:F2: वा. 1. १८, ४५.फलकम्:/F

Purana Encyclopedia[सम्पाद्यताम्]

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पृष्ठभागोऽयं यन्त्रेण केनचित् काले काले मार्जयित्वा यथास्रोतः परिवर्तयिष्यते। तेन मा भूदत्र शोधनसम्भ्रमः। सज्जनैः मूलमेव शोध्यताम्।


Bhārata, Mahābhārata : nt.: Name of the great epic composed by Vyāsa, who was also known as Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana; the title Bhārata once given to an abridgement of the original in 24000 ślokas made by dropping the upākhyānas (caturviṁśatisāhasrīm cakre bhāratasaṁhitām/upākhyānair vinā tāvad bhārataṁ procyate budhaiḥ//) 1. 1. 61; also called Bhāratī kathā (śrotuṁ pātraṁ ca rājaṁs tvaṁ prāpyemāṁ bhāratīṁ kathām) 1. 55. 3.


A. Contents and definition: It narrates the extensive life-story of the Kurus (kurūṇāṁ caritaṁ mahat) 1. 56. 1, or the full story of the Kurus and the Pāṇḍavas (kurūṇāṁ caritaṁ kṛtsnam pāṇḍavānāṁ ca bhārata) 18. 5. 25; or the history of Śaṁtanu (yasya (i. e. śaṁtanoḥ) itihāso dyutimān mahābhāratam ucyate) 1. 93. 46; Vaiśaṁpāyana summarized for Janamejaya its contents in three words, ‘breach, loss of kingdom, and victory’ (evam etat purāvṛttaṁ teṣām akliṣṭakarmaṇām/ bhedo rājyavināśaś ca jayaś ca jayatāṁ vara) 1. 55. 43 (also cf. 1. 55. 4-5 where the three events are referred to as bheda, vanavāsa and yuddha); earlier the three events are referred to by a single word bheda (kurūṇāṁ pāṇḍavānāṁ ca yathā bhedo 'bhavat purā) 1. 54. 22, or by two bheda and rājyavināśa ( bhedaṁ rājyavināśaṁ ca kurupāṇḍavayos tadā) 1. 54. 24; the sage (Vyāsa) examined together the śāstras related to Dharma, Kāma and Artha, as also other śāstras, and the laws that govern the affairs of the world; next also the histories with their commentaries and different revealed texts; all that is included here--this defines the text (of the Mahābhārata) (dharmakāmārthaśāstrāṇi śāstrāṇi vividhāni ca/lokayātrāvidhānaṁ ca saṁbhūtaṁ dṛṣṭavān ṛṣiḥ// itihāsāḥ savaiyākhyā vividhāḥ śrutayo 'pi ca/iha sarvam anukrāntam uktaṁ granthasya lakṣaṇam 1. 1. 47-48.


B. Characterizations: (i) ākhyāna (once upākhyāna 1. 2. 236) 1. 1. 16 (ºvariṣṭha); 1. 2. 29, 30, 195, 235, 238-241, 243; 1. 53. 31, 32, 35; 1. 56. 1, 30, 32; 12. 331. 2; 12. 334. 11; 12. 337. 10; 18. 5. 53; (ii) itihāsa 1. 1. 17, 24, 52; 1. 2. 31, 32 (ºuttama), 33, 237 (ºuttama) 1. 54. 23 (purātana); 1. 56. 16, 18, 1. 93. 46 (dyutimant); 18. 5. 31 (puṇyo 'yam itihāsākhyaḥ), 43 (puṇya); (iii) purāṇa 1. 1. 15; 1. 56. 15 (purāṇaṁ ṛṣisaṁstutam); (iv) kathā 1. 53. 28, 33; 1. 55. 3 (Bhāratī kathā); 1. 56. 2 (citrārthā); 12. 334. 4; (v) carita (kurūṇāṁ caritaṁ mahat) 1. 56. 1; (vi) (fifth) Veda 1. 1. 204, 205 (kārṣṇa veda); 1. 56. 17 (kārṣṇa veda); 1. 57. 74 (vedān… mahābhāratapañcamān); (vii) saṁhitā 1. 1. 19 (vyāsasyādbhutakarmaṇaḥ/saṁhitām); 1. 1. 61 (bhāratasaṁhitā); 1. 57. 75 (saṁhitās taiḥ pṛthaktvena bhāratasya prakāśitāḥ; Nī., however on Bom. Ed. 1. 63. 90; bhāratasya mūlabhūtāḥ saṁhitāḥ mantrabrāhmaṇarūpā vedāḥ/taiḥ sumantuprabhṛtibhiḥ prakāśitāḥ idam asya mūlam idam asya mūlaṁ iti spaṣṭīkṛtās tena pratyakṣavedamūtam etad iti bhāvaḥ); 18. 5. 46; (viii) puṇyā upaniṣad (atropaniṣadaṁ puṇyāṁ kṛṣṇadvaipāyano 'bravīt) 1. 1. 191 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 1. 253: brahmātmaikatvavidyāpratipādakaṁ granthaṁ sūtravṛttyoḥ prāg uktayor vārtikasthānīyam upaniṣacchabdavācyam abravīt); (ix) mata 1. 1. 23 (pravakṣyāmi mataṁ kṛtsnaṁ vyāsasyāmitatejasaḥ); 1. 55. 2; 1. 56. 12; 1. 53. 35 (kṛṣṇadvaipāyanamataṁ mahābhāratam); (x) composition (sandarbha) described as ‘not received by tradition’ i. e. ‘original’ (?) (anāgataṁ…kṛṣṇadvaipāyanaḥ prabhuḥ/saṁdarbhaṁ bhāratasyāsya kṛtavān dharmakāmyayā) 18. 5. 41.


C. Author: The great epic composed by the great sage Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana, also called Vyāsa, the son of Satyavatī 1. 1. 9-10 (kṛṣṇadvaipāyanaproktāḥ…kathāḥ… mahābhāratasaṁśritāḥ); 1. 1. 15 (dvaipāyanena yat proktaṁ purāṇam); 1. 1. 19 (vyāsasyādbhutakarmaṇaḥ/saṁhitām); 1. 1. 52 (itihāsam imaṁ cakre puṇyaṁ satyavatīsutaḥ); 1. 1. 56 (mahān ṛṣiḥ not named); 1. 1. 60 (bhagavān ṛṣiḥ not named); came out of the lips of Dvaipāyana (dvaipāyanoṣṭhapuṭaniḥsṛtam) 1. 2. 242 18. 5. 54; 1. 53. 28 (vyāsasaṁpannām); 1. 53. 35 (kṛṣṇadvaipāyanamatam); 1. 56. 12 (mataṁ kṛtsnaṁ vyāsasya); 1. 56. 13 (satyavatyātmajeneha vyākhyātam 1. 56. 15 (purāṇam ṛṣisaṁstutam sage not named); 1. 56. 21 (proktaṁ vyāsena); 1. 56. 25 (kṛṣṇadvaipāyanenedaṁ kṛtam); fully engrossed, the sage composed it in three years (tribhir varsaiḥ sadotthāyī kṛṣṇadvaipāyano muniḥ/mahābhāratam ākhyānaṁ kṛtavān) 1. 56. 32, 18. 5. 41; 12. 334. 9 (kṛṣṇadvaipāyanaṁ vyāsaṁ viddhi nārāyaṇaṁ prabhum/ko hy anyaḥ puruṣavyāghra mahābhāratkṛd bhavet); having composed it at the foot of the mountain Himavant the sage (not named) was tired by the strenuous activity (? tapaḥ) of composing the ākhyāna (himavatpāda āsataḥ//kṛtvā bhāratam ākhyānaṁ tapaḥśrāntasya dhīmataḥ) 12. 337. 9-10; 18. 5. 31 (kṛṣṇena muninā); 18. 5. 46 (maharṣir bhagavān vyāsaḥ kṛtvemāṁ saṁhitāṁ purā); the sage Kṛṣṇa (Vyāsa) who is described as gitfed with divine sight (divyacakṣuḥ 18. 5. 7) and supersensory power (kṛṣṇena…atīndriyeṇa 18. 5. 31-32) composed it having seen it with his divine eye (dṛṣṭvā divyena cakṣuṣā) 18. 5. 33; Vyāsa had assured Dhṛtarāṣṭra that he would proclaim the fame of the Kurus and the Pāṇḍavas 6. 2. 13; the sage is also credited to have made the Parvasaṁgraha listing a hundred sub-parvans of the Bhārata (etat parvaśataṁ pūrṇaṁ vyāsenoktaṁ mahātmanā) 1. 2. 70.


D. Etymology: So called because of its extent (? importance ?) and weight (mahattvād bhāravattvāc ca mahābhāratam ucyate/niruktam asya yo veda) 1. 1. 209; so called because it contains the great life-story (?) of the Bhāratas (bhāratānāṁ mahaj janma mahābhāratam ucyate/niruktam asya yo veda) 1. 56. 31.


E. Extent: One hundred thousand ślokas 1. 56. 13 (idaṁ śatasahasraṁ hi ślokānāṁ puṇyakarmaṇām); 12. 331. 2 (idaṁ śatasahasrād dhi bhāratākhyānavistarāt).


F. Abridgements: Its abridgements are referred to in 1. 1. 25 (vistaraiś ca samāsaiś ca dhāryate yad dvijātibhiḥ); the sage himself is credited with an abridgement of the store of knowledge after he had first expounded it in full; learned men desire to preserve it in full as well as in abridgement (vistīryaitan mahaj jñānam ṛṣiḥ saṁkṣepam abravīt/iṣtaṁ hi vidusāṁ loke samāsavyāsadhāranam) 1. 1. 49; the sage Dvaipāyana abridged (the full extent of one hundred thousand ślokas into 24000 ślokas by omitting the upākhyānas- this is known as Bhārata (caturviṁśatisāhasrīṁ cakre bhāratasaṁhitām/upākhyānair vinā tāvad bhārataṁ procyate budhaiḥ) 1. 1. 61; it was further abridged into 150 ślokas in the form of a table of contents of all the incidents of the sub-parvans (this could refer to 1. 2. 71-233) (tato 'dhyardhaśataṃ bhūyaḥ saṁkṣepaṁ kṛtavān ṛṣiḥ/anukramaṇim adhyāyaṁ vṛttāntānāṁ saparvaṇām 1. 1. 62; etad akhilam ākhyātaṁ bhārataṁ parvasaṁgrahāt 1. 2. 234); the list of the hundred sub-parvans of the Bhārata (1. 2. 34-1. 2. 70) is included in its abridgement (samāso bhāratasyāyaṁ tatroktaḥ parvasaṁgrahaḥ) 1. 2. 71; before narrating in all details, the Mahābhārata was first summarized by Vaiśampāyana for Janamejaya (kathitaṁ vai samāsena tvayā sarvaṁ dvijottama/ mahābhārataṁ ākhyānam) 1. 56. 1; this summary began with the return of the Pāṇḍavas to Hāstinapura after the death of Pāṇḍu and it ended with the death of Duryodhana and the Pāṇḍavas obtaining the kingdom 1. 55. 6-42; a sort of a summary which began with Pāṇḍu's conquering many countries and then retiring to the forest and ended with the great destruction after the war leaving only ten heroes alive is made by Sūta Ugraśravas for the sages assembled in the Naimiṣa forest 1. 1. 67-158.


G. Three beginnings: According to Sūta Ugraśravas there were three different views regrding the beginning of the Bhārata:

(1) according to one view it began with Manu Vaivasvata (manvādi bhārataṁ kecit) 1. 1. 50 (i. e. with prajāpates tu dakṣasya manor vaivasvatasya ca/…anvaye//yādavānām imaṁ vaṁśaṁ pauravāṇāṁ ca sarvaśaḥ/tathaiva bhāratānāṁ ca (?) 1. 70. 1-2); Devabodha on 1. 1. 50 explains manuḥ as ādirājaḥ; according to Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 1. 52, in the opinion of the easterners, manu means mantra and hence manvādi refers to the maṅgala stanza nārāyaṇaṁ namaskṛtya etc. or om namo bhagavate etc. found at the beginning of the epic in some manuscripts; in his own opinion, however, manu refers to Manu Vaivasvata, the son of the heaven, cf. manur mantraḥ nārāyaṇaṁ namaskṛtyeti/ om namo bhagavate vāsudevāyeti vā tadādi iti prañcaḥ/divaḥ putro vaivasvatamahyasaṁjño manus tadādīti tattvam/);

(2) according to another view the Bhārata begins with āstīka (āstīkādi tathāpare) 1. 1. 50 (i. e. with the adhyāya 1. 13 beginning of the Āstīkaparvan);

(3) according to a third view it begins with uparicara (tathoparicarād anye) 1. 1. 50 (i. e. with rājoparicaro nāma 1. 57. 1).


H. Its first teaching and subsequent narrations:

(1) Teaching: Dvaipāyana (Vyāsa) first taught it to his son Śuka and then handed it over to his other deserving pupils 1. 1. 63; he taught it to Śuka together with the four ślokas (18. 5. 47-50) known as the Bhāratasāvitrī 18. 5. 51; Vyāsa taught the Mahabhārata to his pupils Sumantu, Jaimini, Paila, Vaiśaṁpāyana and to his son Śuka 1. 57. 74-75; Vyāsa taught it to them on the mount Meru 12. 327. 16-18; on the slope of the Himavant mountain (himavatpāde) 12. 337. 9, 12, 14-15 (vedārthān bhāratārthāṁś ca …vyāhartum upacakrame);

(2) Narrations: (i) Nārada recited it for the gods, Asita Devala for the manes (pitṛn), and Śuka for the Gandharvas, the Yaksas and the demons 1. 1. 64; 18. 5. 42; (ii) The pupils of Vyāsa made separate public recitations of the Bhārata saṁhitā received by them from him (saṁhitās taiḥ pṛthaktvena bhāratasya prakāśitāḥ) 1. 57. 75; (iii) one such recitation by his pupil Vaiśaṁpāyana is recorded in the epic: When Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana arrived at the snake-sacrifice of Janamejaya he was requested by the king to narrate to him the life-story of the Kurus and the Pāṇḍavas (1. 54. 18 ff.); Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana then asked his pupil Vaiśaṁpāyana to narrate it as the latter had heard it from him; Vaiśaṁpāyana then narrated the whole purātana itihāsa to the king, and to those who had assembled in the sadas, and to all other Kṣatriyas (tasmai rājñe sadasyebhyaḥ kṣatriyebhyaś ca sarvaśaḥ) 1. 54. 21-24; 1. 1. 8-10; 1. 1. 18; 1. 1. 57-58; 1. 55. 2-3; 1. 55. 4-43 (summary); 18. 5. 26, 30, 42; 18. 1. 2; (iv) but in one place the ākhyāna is said to have been narrated by Vyāsa himself to Janamejaya continuously (vyāsas tv akathayan nityam ākhyānaṁ bhārataṁ mahat) 1. 53 31; he narrated it in intervals (mahābhāratam ākhyānaṁ…janamejayena yat pṛṣṭaḥ kṛṣṇadvaipāyanas tadā//śrāvayām āsa vidhivat tadā karmāntareṣu saḥ/) 1. 53. 32-33; (v) it was further narrated by Sūta Ugraśravas, son of Lomaharṣaṇa, to Śaunaka and the other sages assembled in the Naimiṣa forest for the twelve-yearly sacrificial session of Śaunaka as the Sūta had heard the composition of Vyāsa being told by Vaiśaṁpāyana to Janamejaya in the latter's snake sacrifice 1. 1. 8-10, 23; 1. 4. 1; 1. 2. 74; 1. 1. 67-158 (summary); 1. 2. 29; Ugraśravas recounted the Parvasaṁgraha (1. 2. 34-69) made by Vyāsa as also the eighteen major parvans (etat parvaśataṁ pūrṇaṁ vyāsenoktaṁ mahātmanā/yathāvat sūtaputreṇa lomaharṣaṇinā punaḥ//kathitaṁ naimiṣāraṇye parvāṇy aṣṭādaśaiva tu) 1. 2. 70-71; the Sūta also narrated the summary of the eighteen major parvans (based on the hundred sub-parvans) together with the number of the adhyāyas and the ślokas in each parvan 1. 2. 72-234; 1. 53. 2736; 18. 5. 30.


I. Purpose: To spread the fame of the Pāṇḍavas in the world (pāṇḍavānāṁ yaśaskaram) 1. 53. 32; of the Kurus and the Pāṇḍavas 6. 2. 13; and also of the other Kṣatriyas possessing ample wealth and lustre (kīrtim prathayatā loke pāṇḍavānāṁ mahātmanām/anyeṣāṁ kṣatriyāṇāṁ ca bhūridraviṇatejasām) 18. 5. 34.


J. Description: Described as unfathomable (aprameya) 1. 2. 242 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 2. 392: nāsti prakṛṣṭaṁ meyaṁ yasmād ity aprameyam/…yad vā āśayasya gaṁbhīratvād agādham); 18. 5. 54; best (uttama) 1. 53. 35; 1. 56. 15, 32; 18. 5. 31, 54, (anuttama) 1. 2. 243; most exquisite (variṣṭha) 1. 1. 202; superior among all āgamas (śreṣṭhaḥ sarvāgameṣu) 1. 2. 31; great (mahat) 1. 2. 243; 1. 53. 31, 35; 12. 334. 11; seen by the seer (Vyāsa) (ārṣa) 1. 1. 207; having great import (mahārtha) 1. 2. 243; 18. 5. 43; holy (puṇyā¤) 1. 1. 17, 52; 1. 1. 191; 1. 2. 242 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 2. 392: puṇyaṁ puṇyahetuḥ/…yad vā…puṇyaṁ jyotiṣṭomādivat svargyam); 1. 53. 33; 1. 56. 52; 18. 5. 31, 43, 45, 54; (supuṇyā) 1. 1. 9; (mahāpuṇyā) 1. 56. 16; conferring merit (puṇya) 1. 56. 25; purifying (pavitra) 1. 2. 242 (however, Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 2. 392; pavir iva pavir vajratulyo mṛtyus tasmāt trāyata iti pavitraṁ mṛtyutaraṇam ity arthaḥ/…(yad vā) pavitraṁ saṁdhyopāsanādivac cittaśuddhikaram); 1. 56. 15; 18. 5. 31; 18. 5. 54; related to righteousness (saṁhitāṁ…dharmyām) 1. 1. 19; auspicious (śiva) 1. 2. 242 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 2. 392 śivaṁ kalyāṇam…(yad vā) śivaṁ yogābhyāsavat sarvakalyāṇapradam); 18. 5. 54; bringing wealth (dhanya) 1. 56. 25; bringing fame (yaśasya) 1. 56. 25; conferring long life (āyuṣya) 1. 56. 25; leading to heaven (svargya) 1. 56. 25; destroying sin (pāpahara) 1. 2. 242 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 2. 392: pāpaharaṁ puṇyahetutvād eva…(yad vā) prāyaścittavad brahmahatyādidoṣaghnam); 18. 5. 54; removing sin and danger (saṁhitām…pāpabhayāpahām) 1. 1. 19 (however, Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 1. 21: pāpabhayāpahāṁ cittaśodhikām); having the same measure as, i. e. equal to, the four Vedas (vedaiś caturbhiḥ samitām…saṁhitām) 1. 1. 19 (Nī. who reads saṁyuktām says on Bom. Ed. 1. 1. 21: saṁmitām iti pāṭhe tulyām ity arthaḥ); 1. 56. 15 (idaṁ hi vedaiḥ samitam); 18. 5. 43 (itihāsaṁ…vedasaṁmitam); (however cf. 1. 1. 208 in the next section where it is said that the Mahābhārata outweighs the four Vedas taken together); adorned with the thoughts of the Veda (vedārthair bhūṣitasya ca/bhāratasyetihāsasya) 1. 1. 16-17 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 1. 18: vedārthaiḥ vedatātparyaviṣayabhūtair arthaiḥ); enlarged with various śāstras (nānāsāstropabṛṁhitā…saṁhitā) 1. 1. 17 (but Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 1. 19 nānāśāstrair upabṛṁhitām uddīpitāṁ śāstrāntarāviruddhām); (cf. 1. 1. 204 in the next section); where the best intellect is at work (itihāsottame hyasminn arpitā buddhir uttamā) 1. 2. 32; accomplished with the intellect (prajñābhipannasya…itihāsasya) 1. 2. 33 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 2. 40: prajñayābhipannaṁ prāptam); approached by wise men (abhipannaṁ naraiḥ prājñaiḥ) 1. 2. 30; loved by the learned (viduṣāṁ priyam) 1. 1. 26; adorned with divine and human conventions (alaṁkṛtaṁ…samayair divyamānuṣaiḥ) 1. 1. 26 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 1. 28: samayaiḥ saṁketaiḥ…divyamānuṣaiḥ vaidikalaukikaiḥ); following many conventions (anekasamayānvita 1. 2. 30); composed in varied words and consisting of various parvans (vicitrapadaparvaṇaḥ) 1. 1. 16 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 1. 18: vicitrāṇi svarūpato 'rthataś ca ramyāṇi padāni vākyāder upalakṣaṇaṁ parvāṇi pauṣyapaulomādīni ādisabhādīni vā); 1. 2. 33; an ākhyāna composed in varied words of varied import (vicitrārthapadākhyānam) 1. 2. 30; has many stories of various import (vividhāḥ kathāḥ…vicitrārthā mahābhāratasaṁśritāḥ) 1. 1. 9-10; (kathāś citrāḥ) 1. 53. 30; exhibiting subtle meaning and logic (sūkṣmārthanyāyayukta) 1. 1. 16; constituting as though the whole speech made up of vowels and consonants that are used in the world and in the Vedas (svaravyañjanayoḥ kṛtsnā lokavedāśrayeva vāk) 1. 2. 32; the speech (related to Brahman) in its refined form saṁskāropagatāṁ brāhmīm) 1. 1. 17 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 1. 19; brāhmīm vācam); adorned with auspicious words (alaṁkṛtaṁ śubhaiḥ śabdaiḥ) 1. 1. 26; composed in many metres (chandovṛttaiś ca vividhair anvitam) 1. 1. 26; (see also the next section).


K. Importance: In this epic Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana has expounded a holy upaniṣad (atropaniṣadaṁ puṇyāṁ kṛṣṇadvaipāyano 'bravīt) 1. 1. 191; truth and nectar constitute the body of the Bhārata (as the butter of curds and the Brāhmaṇa of the bipeds) bhāratasya vapur hy etat satyaṁ cāmṛtam eva ca) 1. 1. 201 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 1. 264: satyaṁ brahma amṛtaṁ devabhāvaś ca atraivāstīty arthaḥ); as ocean is the best of the reservoirs of water, a cow of the quadrupeds, so is the Bhārata (among the literary works) 1. 1. 201-202; one should expand this Veda (of Kṛṣṇa) with the help of the Itihāsa and Purāṇa for, with the thought: “he may (easily) go over me” the Veda is afraid of one who has not studied much (itihāsapurāṇābhyāṁ vedaṁ samupabṛṁhayet/bibhety alpaśrutād vedo mām ayaṁ pratariṣyati) 1. 1. 204 (Devabodha: upabṛṁhaṇam arthāntarakalpanayā kṣīṇasya yathāvad vyākhyānena paripoṣaḥ; Nī., however, on Bom. Ed. 1. 1. 268: “yad dha tyaṁ māyinaṁ mṛgam tam u tyaṁ māyayāvadhīr” (ṚV. 1. 80. 7) iti mantrāvayavo hi rāmāyaṇīyamārīcavadhajñenaivopabṛṁhituṁ śakyo na tv anyenātas tasmādalpaśrutād vedasya bhayam ucitam eva/ vedārthajijñāsunā idam avaśyam adhyetavyam ity arthaḥ); when the sages once weighed the Bhārata in a balance against the four Vedas put together it outweighed them in largeness and heaviness (mahattve ca gurutve ca dhriyamāṇaṁ tato 'dhikam) 1. 1. 208 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 1. 273: mahattve granthata ādhikye gurutve arthata ādhikye); best among the works which deserve to be heard (when recited) (śrāvyāṇām uttamaṁ cedaṁ) 1. 56. 15; having heard this Purāṇa, composed by the great sage Dvaipāyana, it was honoured (abhipūjitam) by gods and Brahmarṣis 1. 1. 15; here are glorified holy divine sages (devarṣayaḥ puṇyāḥ), brahmanical and royal sages of auspicious deeds (puṇyā brahmarājarṣayas tathā/kīrtyante śubhakarmāṇaḥ), the Yakṣas and the great snakes, as also lord Vāsudeva 1. 1. 192-193; in this Purāṇa are expounded fully the two Puruṣārthas artha and dharma (asminn arthaś ca dharmaś ca nikhilenopadiśyate) 1. 56. 16; in respect of all the four Puruṣārthas viz. dharma, artha, kāma and mokṣa, whatever is here will be found elsewhere, what is not here cannot be found anywhere (dharme cārthe ca kāme ca mokṣe ca bharatarṣabha/ yad ihāsti tad anyatra yan nehāsti na tat kvacit/) 1. 56. 33 = 18. 5. 38; in this highly sacred Itihāsa one finds the exposition leading to emancipation (buddhiś ca parinaiṣṭhikī) 1. 56. 16; (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 62. 17: pariniṣṭhā mokṣas taducitā); this is a text on profit (arthaśāstram), a holy treatise on law (puṇyaṁ dharmaśāstram), a way to liberation (mokṣaśāstra) as expounded by Vyāsa 1. 56. 21; this is a great store of knowledge of the three worlds which is committed to memory by the twice-born fully and in abridgements (idaṁ tu triṣu lokeṣu mahaj jñānaṁ pratiṣṭhitam/vistaraiś ca samāsaiś ca dhāryate yad dvijātibhiḥ) 1. 1. 25; 1. 1. 49; storehouse of choice objects (ratnanidhi) 1. 56. 27 = 18. 5. 52; the unsurpassed ocean of knowledge-having churned it with his intellect Vaiśaṁpāyana collected the ākhyāna based on the Nārāyaṇakathā (idaṁ (i. e. ākhyānaṁ) …āmathya dadhimanthena jñānodadhim anuttamam/ navanītaṁ yathā dadhno…samuddhṛtaṁ… nārāyaṇakathāśrayam) 12. 331. 1-4; some poets have narrated this itihāsa (composed by Vyāsa) before (Sūta Ugraśravas did it), some of the contemporaries of Ugraśravas were narrating it in his times, and others will narrate it in future (ācakhyuḥ kavayaḥ kecit saṁpraty ācakṣate pare/ ākhyāsyanti tathaivānye itihāsam imam bhuvi) 1. 1. 24; 1. 56. 22; even if one knew the four Vedas together with their aṅgas and the Upaniṣads, but did not know this ākhyāna, he could not be called learned (vicakṣaṇa) 1. 2. 235; having once listened to this ākhyāna one does not like to listen to any other composition although worth hearing 1. 2. 236; the intellects of the poets take their start from this excellent itihāsa (itihāsottamād asmāj jāyante kavibuddhayaḥ) 1. 2. 237; there is no narrative on this earth which does not have its basis in this ākhyāna (anāśrityaitad ākhyānaṁ kathā bhuvi na vidyate) 1. 2. 240; all great poets live on this ākhyāna (idaṁ sarvaiḥ kavivarair ākhyānam upajīvyate) 1. 2. 241; the whole Purāṇa is included in the scope of this ākhyāna (asyākhyānasya viṣaye purāṇaṁ vartate dvijāḥ) 1. 2. 238; all good qualities of actions have this ākhyāna for their resting place (i. e. they are motivated by this ākhyāna) (kriyāguṇānāṁ sarveṣām idam ākhyānam āśrayaḥ) 1. 2. 239 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 2. 387: kriyāḥ laukikyo vaidikyaś ca tāsāṁ guṇāḥ utkṛṣṭaphalasādhanāni/athavā kriyāḥ dānadhyānādayaḥ/guṇāḥ śamādayaḥ).


L. phalaśruti: If one recites with devotion even a quarter of the Bhārata all his sins, without a remainder, get purified (bhāratādhyayanāt puṇyad api pādam adhīyataḥ/śraddadhānasya pūyante sarvapāpāny aśeṣataḥ) 1. 1. 191 (but Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 1. 254: asya ślokasya caturthāṁśoccāraṇamātrād api sarvapāpanāśaḥ kiṁ vācyaṁ kṛtsnādhyayanāt tadarthasya jñānāt sākṣātkārād veti bhāvaḥ); 18. 5. 45 (here, Nī. on Bom. Ed. 18. 5. 59: pādaṁ ślokapādaṁ granthapādaṁ vā); if one were to recite a quarter of the Bhārata for the Brāhmaṇas at the end of a śrāddha he will ensure for the manes inexhaustible food and drink (yaś cainaṁ (? idam cf. 1. 56. 29) śrāvayec chrāddhe brāhmaṇān pādam antataḥ/akṣayyam annapānam tat pitṝṁs tasyopatiṣṭhati) 1. 1. 203; 18. 5. 36 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 18. 5. 42: antataḥ nikaṭe); 1. 56. 29 (akṣayyaṁ tasya tac chrāddham upatiṣṭhet pitṝn api); after reciting the whole of this Veda of Kṛṣṇa (i. e. the Bhārata) one attains profit, and one will undoubtedly get rid of even the sin of killing an embryo 1. 1. 205; one who recites it for those that are not low, are generous, truthful and believers attains profit 1. 56. 17; even a very cruel person after hearing this Itihāsa will be rid of the sin of killing an embryo 1. 56. 18; one who learns the Bharata when it is being recited need not bathe in the waters of Puṣkara 1. 2. 242; 18. 5. 54; one who recites for others the composition of Vyāsa and one who listens to it, all of them having attained to the place of Brahman become equal to gods 1. 56. 14; this (i. e. listening to the recitation of the Bhārata) is the best means for obtaining a male child (puṁsavanaṁ śreṣṭham), a high road to one's wellbeing (svastyayanaṁ mahat), it should be listened to by the chief queen and the crown prince 1. 56. 20; (of one who narrates this), his sons are obedient to him and his servants do him good (putrāḥ śuśrūṣavaḥ santi preṣyāś ca priyakāriṇaḥ) 1. 56. 22; one who listens to it divests himself quickly of all sins incurred by body, speech, and mind 1. 56. 23; those who listen, without envy, to the great life (story) of the Bhāratas have no fear from disease (in this world), and need have no fear of the next world at all 1. 56. 24; Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana has composed it which helps to acquire wealth, fame, long life, heaven and merit 1. 56. 25; the one who having known it recites it for the Brāhmaṇas on the parvan days is cleansed of his sins, wins heaven for himself and becomes one with Brahman (brahmabhūyaṁ sa gacchati) 1. 56. 28; 18. 5. 35; the sin that one inadvertently commits by day in one's activities disappears if he listens to the Mahābhārata Ākhyāna 1. 56. 30, or is released from it by narrating it in the evening 18. 5. 37 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 18. 5. 43: paścimāyāṁ sandhyāyāṁ paṭhyate ced dinakṛtaṁ pāpaṁ naśyati); one who recites it for the three varṇas with Brāhmaṇas at their head is cleansed of his sins, obtains fame and undoubtedly achieves the greatest perfection (gacchet paramikāṁ siddhim) 18. 5. 4344; or one who studies attentively (paṭhet susamāhitaḥ) the Mahābhārata Ākhyāna will undoubtedly attain the greatest perfection 18. 5. 53. [See Kārṣṇa, Jaya, Bhāratasāvitrī ]


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Mahabharata Cultural Index[सम्पाद्यताम्]

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पृष्ठभागोऽयं यन्त्रेण केनचित् काले काले मार्जयित्वा यथास्रोतः परिवर्तयिष्यते। तेन मा भूदत्र शोधनसम्भ्रमः। सज्जनैः मूलमेव शोध्यताम्।


Bhārata, Mahābhārata : nt.: Name of the great epic composed by Vyāsa, who was also known as Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana; the title Bhārata once given to an abridgement of the original in 24000 ślokas made by dropping the upākhyānas (caturviṁśatisāhasrīm cakre bhāratasaṁhitām/upākhyānair vinā tāvad bhārataṁ procyate budhaiḥ//) 1. 1. 61; also called Bhāratī kathā (śrotuṁ pātraṁ ca rājaṁs tvaṁ prāpyemāṁ bhāratīṁ kathām) 1. 55. 3.


A. Contents and definition: It narrates the extensive life-story of the Kurus (kurūṇāṁ caritaṁ mahat) 1. 56. 1, or the full story of the Kurus and the Pāṇḍavas (kurūṇāṁ caritaṁ kṛtsnam pāṇḍavānāṁ ca bhārata) 18. 5. 25; or the history of Śaṁtanu (yasya (i. e. śaṁtanoḥ) itihāso dyutimān mahābhāratam ucyate) 1. 93. 46; Vaiśaṁpāyana summarized for Janamejaya its contents in three words, ‘breach, loss of kingdom, and victory’ (evam etat purāvṛttaṁ teṣām akliṣṭakarmaṇām/ bhedo rājyavināśaś ca jayaś ca jayatāṁ vara) 1. 55. 43 (also cf. 1. 55. 4-5 where the three events are referred to as bheda, vanavāsa and yuddha); earlier the three events are referred to by a single word bheda (kurūṇāṁ pāṇḍavānāṁ ca yathā bhedo 'bhavat purā) 1. 54. 22, or by two bheda and rājyavināśa ( bhedaṁ rājyavināśaṁ ca kurupāṇḍavayos tadā) 1. 54. 24; the sage (Vyāsa) examined together the śāstras related to Dharma, Kāma and Artha, as also other śāstras, and the laws that govern the affairs of the world; next also the histories with their commentaries and different revealed texts; all that is included here--this defines the text (of the Mahābhārata) (dharmakāmārthaśāstrāṇi śāstrāṇi vividhāni ca/lokayātrāvidhānaṁ ca saṁbhūtaṁ dṛṣṭavān ṛṣiḥ// itihāsāḥ savaiyākhyā vividhāḥ śrutayo 'pi ca/iha sarvam anukrāntam uktaṁ granthasya lakṣaṇam 1. 1. 47-48.


B. Characterizations: (i) ākhyāna (once upākhyāna 1. 2. 236) 1. 1. 16 (ºvariṣṭha); 1. 2. 29, 30, 195, 235, 238-241, 243; 1. 53. 31, 32, 35; 1. 56. 1, 30, 32; 12. 331. 2; 12. 334. 11; 12. 337. 10; 18. 5. 53; (ii) itihāsa 1. 1. 17, 24, 52; 1. 2. 31, 32 (ºuttama), 33, 237 (ºuttama) 1. 54. 23 (purātana); 1. 56. 16, 18, 1. 93. 46 (dyutimant); 18. 5. 31 (puṇyo 'yam itihāsākhyaḥ), 43 (puṇya); (iii) purāṇa 1. 1. 15; 1. 56. 15 (purāṇaṁ ṛṣisaṁstutam); (iv) kathā 1. 53. 28, 33; 1. 55. 3 (Bhāratī kathā); 1. 56. 2 (citrārthā); 12. 334. 4; (v) carita (kurūṇāṁ caritaṁ mahat) 1. 56. 1; (vi) (fifth) Veda 1. 1. 204, 205 (kārṣṇa veda); 1. 56. 17 (kārṣṇa veda); 1. 57. 74 (vedān… mahābhāratapañcamān); (vii) saṁhitā 1. 1. 19 (vyāsasyādbhutakarmaṇaḥ/saṁhitām); 1. 1. 61 (bhāratasaṁhitā); 1. 57. 75 (saṁhitās taiḥ pṛthaktvena bhāratasya prakāśitāḥ; Nī., however on Bom. Ed. 1. 63. 90; bhāratasya mūlabhūtāḥ saṁhitāḥ mantrabrāhmaṇarūpā vedāḥ/taiḥ sumantuprabhṛtibhiḥ prakāśitāḥ idam asya mūlam idam asya mūlaṁ iti spaṣṭīkṛtās tena pratyakṣavedamūtam etad iti bhāvaḥ); 18. 5. 46; (viii) puṇyā upaniṣad (atropaniṣadaṁ puṇyāṁ kṛṣṇadvaipāyano 'bravīt) 1. 1. 191 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 1. 253: brahmātmaikatvavidyāpratipādakaṁ granthaṁ sūtravṛttyoḥ prāg uktayor vārtikasthānīyam upaniṣacchabdavācyam abravīt); (ix) mata 1. 1. 23 (pravakṣyāmi mataṁ kṛtsnaṁ vyāsasyāmitatejasaḥ); 1. 55. 2; 1. 56. 12; 1. 53. 35 (kṛṣṇadvaipāyanamataṁ mahābhāratam); (x) composition (sandarbha) described as ‘not received by tradition’ i. e. ‘original’ (?) (anāgataṁ…kṛṣṇadvaipāyanaḥ prabhuḥ/saṁdarbhaṁ bhāratasyāsya kṛtavān dharmakāmyayā) 18. 5. 41.


C. Author: The great epic composed by the great sage Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana, also called Vyāsa, the son of Satyavatī 1. 1. 9-10 (kṛṣṇadvaipāyanaproktāḥ…kathāḥ… mahābhāratasaṁśritāḥ); 1. 1. 15 (dvaipāyanena yat proktaṁ purāṇam); 1. 1. 19 (vyāsasyādbhutakarmaṇaḥ/saṁhitām); 1. 1. 52 (itihāsam imaṁ cakre puṇyaṁ satyavatīsutaḥ); 1. 1. 56 (mahān ṛṣiḥ not named); 1. 1. 60 (bhagavān ṛṣiḥ not named); came out of the lips of Dvaipāyana (dvaipāyanoṣṭhapuṭaniḥsṛtam) 1. 2. 242 18. 5. 54; 1. 53. 28 (vyāsasaṁpannām); 1. 53. 35 (kṛṣṇadvaipāyanamatam); 1. 56. 12 (mataṁ kṛtsnaṁ vyāsasya); 1. 56. 13 (satyavatyātmajeneha vyākhyātam 1. 56. 15 (purāṇam ṛṣisaṁstutam sage not named); 1. 56. 21 (proktaṁ vyāsena); 1. 56. 25 (kṛṣṇadvaipāyanenedaṁ kṛtam); fully engrossed, the sage composed it in three years (tribhir varsaiḥ sadotthāyī kṛṣṇadvaipāyano muniḥ/mahābhāratam ākhyānaṁ kṛtavān) 1. 56. 32, 18. 5. 41; 12. 334. 9 (kṛṣṇadvaipāyanaṁ vyāsaṁ viddhi nārāyaṇaṁ prabhum/ko hy anyaḥ puruṣavyāghra mahābhāratkṛd bhavet); having composed it at the foot of the mountain Himavant the sage (not named) was tired by the strenuous activity (? tapaḥ) of composing the ākhyāna (himavatpāda āsataḥ//kṛtvā bhāratam ākhyānaṁ tapaḥśrāntasya dhīmataḥ) 12. 337. 9-10; 18. 5. 31 (kṛṣṇena muninā); 18. 5. 46 (maharṣir bhagavān vyāsaḥ kṛtvemāṁ saṁhitāṁ purā); the sage Kṛṣṇa (Vyāsa) who is described as gitfed with divine sight (divyacakṣuḥ 18. 5. 7) and supersensory power (kṛṣṇena…atīndriyeṇa 18. 5. 31-32) composed it having seen it with his divine eye (dṛṣṭvā divyena cakṣuṣā) 18. 5. 33; Vyāsa had assured Dhṛtarāṣṭra that he would proclaim the fame of the Kurus and the Pāṇḍavas 6. 2. 13; the sage is also credited to have made the Parvasaṁgraha listing a hundred sub-parvans of the Bhārata (etat parvaśataṁ pūrṇaṁ vyāsenoktaṁ mahātmanā) 1. 2. 70.


D. Etymology: So called because of its extent (? importance ?) and weight (mahattvād bhāravattvāc ca mahābhāratam ucyate/niruktam asya yo veda) 1. 1. 209; so called because it contains the great life-story (?) of the Bhāratas (bhāratānāṁ mahaj janma mahābhāratam ucyate/niruktam asya yo veda) 1. 56. 31.


E. Extent: One hundred thousand ślokas 1. 56. 13 (idaṁ śatasahasraṁ hi ślokānāṁ puṇyakarmaṇām); 12. 331. 2 (idaṁ śatasahasrād dhi bhāratākhyānavistarāt).


F. Abridgements: Its abridgements are referred to in 1. 1. 25 (vistaraiś ca samāsaiś ca dhāryate yad dvijātibhiḥ); the sage himself is credited with an abridgement of the store of knowledge after he had first expounded it in full; learned men desire to preserve it in full as well as in abridgement (vistīryaitan mahaj jñānam ṛṣiḥ saṁkṣepam abravīt/iṣtaṁ hi vidusāṁ loke samāsavyāsadhāranam) 1. 1. 49; the sage Dvaipāyana abridged (the full extent of one hundred thousand ślokas into 24000 ślokas by omitting the upākhyānas- this is known as Bhārata (caturviṁśatisāhasrīṁ cakre bhāratasaṁhitām/upākhyānair vinā tāvad bhārataṁ procyate budhaiḥ) 1. 1. 61; it was further abridged into 150 ślokas in the form of a table of contents of all the incidents of the sub-parvans (this could refer to 1. 2. 71-233) (tato 'dhyardhaśataṃ bhūyaḥ saṁkṣepaṁ kṛtavān ṛṣiḥ/anukramaṇim adhyāyaṁ vṛttāntānāṁ saparvaṇām 1. 1. 62; etad akhilam ākhyātaṁ bhārataṁ parvasaṁgrahāt 1. 2. 234); the list of the hundred sub-parvans of the Bhārata (1. 2. 34-1. 2. 70) is included in its abridgement (samāso bhāratasyāyaṁ tatroktaḥ parvasaṁgrahaḥ) 1. 2. 71; before narrating in all details, the Mahābhārata was first summarized by Vaiśampāyana for Janamejaya (kathitaṁ vai samāsena tvayā sarvaṁ dvijottama/ mahābhārataṁ ākhyānam) 1. 56. 1; this summary began with the return of the Pāṇḍavas to Hāstinapura after the death of Pāṇḍu and it ended with the death of Duryodhana and the Pāṇḍavas obtaining the kingdom 1. 55. 6-42; a sort of a summary which began with Pāṇḍu's conquering many countries and then retiring to the forest and ended with the great destruction after the war leaving only ten heroes alive is made by Sūta Ugraśravas for the sages assembled in the Naimiṣa forest 1. 1. 67-158.


G. Three beginnings: According to Sūta Ugraśravas there were three different views regrding the beginning of the Bhārata:

(1) according to one view it began with Manu Vaivasvata (manvādi bhārataṁ kecit) 1. 1. 50 (i. e. with prajāpates tu dakṣasya manor vaivasvatasya ca/…anvaye//yādavānām imaṁ vaṁśaṁ pauravāṇāṁ ca sarvaśaḥ/tathaiva bhāratānāṁ ca (?) 1. 70. 1-2); Devabodha on 1. 1. 50 explains manuḥ as ādirājaḥ; according to Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 1. 52, in the opinion of the easterners, manu means mantra and hence manvādi refers to the maṅgala stanza nārāyaṇaṁ namaskṛtya etc. or om namo bhagavate etc. found at the beginning of the epic in some manuscripts; in his own opinion, however, manu refers to Manu Vaivasvata, the son of the heaven, cf. manur mantraḥ nārāyaṇaṁ namaskṛtyeti/ om namo bhagavate vāsudevāyeti vā tadādi iti prañcaḥ/divaḥ putro vaivasvatamahyasaṁjño manus tadādīti tattvam/);

(2) according to another view the Bhārata begins with āstīka (āstīkādi tathāpare) 1. 1. 50 (i. e. with the adhyāya 1. 13 beginning of the Āstīkaparvan);

(3) according to a third view it begins with uparicara (tathoparicarād anye) 1. 1. 50 (i. e. with rājoparicaro nāma 1. 57. 1).


H. Its first teaching and subsequent narrations:

(1) Teaching: Dvaipāyana (Vyāsa) first taught it to his son Śuka and then handed it over to his other deserving pupils 1. 1. 63; he taught it to Śuka together with the four ślokas (18. 5. 47-50) known as the Bhāratasāvitrī 18. 5. 51; Vyāsa taught the Mahabhārata to his pupils Sumantu, Jaimini, Paila, Vaiśaṁpāyana and to his son Śuka 1. 57. 74-75; Vyāsa taught it to them on the mount Meru 12. 327. 16-18; on the slope of the Himavant mountain (himavatpāde) 12. 337. 9, 12, 14-15 (vedārthān bhāratārthāṁś ca …vyāhartum upacakrame);

(2) Narrations: (i) Nārada recited it for the gods, Asita Devala for the manes (pitṛn), and Śuka for the Gandharvas, the Yaksas and the demons 1. 1. 64; 18. 5. 42; (ii) The pupils of Vyāsa made separate public recitations of the Bhārata saṁhitā received by them from him (saṁhitās taiḥ pṛthaktvena bhāratasya prakāśitāḥ) 1. 57. 75; (iii) one such recitation by his pupil Vaiśaṁpāyana is recorded in the epic: When Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana arrived at the snake-sacrifice of Janamejaya he was requested by the king to narrate to him the life-story of the Kurus and the Pāṇḍavas (1. 54. 18 ff.); Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana then asked his pupil Vaiśaṁpāyana to narrate it as the latter had heard it from him; Vaiśaṁpāyana then narrated the whole purātana itihāsa to the king, and to those who had assembled in the sadas, and to all other Kṣatriyas (tasmai rājñe sadasyebhyaḥ kṣatriyebhyaś ca sarvaśaḥ) 1. 54. 21-24; 1. 1. 8-10; 1. 1. 18; 1. 1. 57-58; 1. 55. 2-3; 1. 55. 4-43 (summary); 18. 5. 26, 30, 42; 18. 1. 2; (iv) but in one place the ākhyāna is said to have been narrated by Vyāsa himself to Janamejaya continuously (vyāsas tv akathayan nityam ākhyānaṁ bhārataṁ mahat) 1. 53 31; he narrated it in intervals (mahābhāratam ākhyānaṁ…janamejayena yat pṛṣṭaḥ kṛṣṇadvaipāyanas tadā//śrāvayām āsa vidhivat tadā karmāntareṣu saḥ/) 1. 53. 32-33; (v) it was further narrated by Sūta Ugraśravas, son of Lomaharṣaṇa, to Śaunaka and the other sages assembled in the Naimiṣa forest for the twelve-yearly sacrificial session of Śaunaka as the Sūta had heard the composition of Vyāsa being told by Vaiśaṁpāyana to Janamejaya in the latter's snake sacrifice 1. 1. 8-10, 23; 1. 4. 1; 1. 2. 74; 1. 1. 67-158 (summary); 1. 2. 29; Ugraśravas recounted the Parvasaṁgraha (1. 2. 34-69) made by Vyāsa as also the eighteen major parvans (etat parvaśataṁ pūrṇaṁ vyāsenoktaṁ mahātmanā/yathāvat sūtaputreṇa lomaharṣaṇinā punaḥ//kathitaṁ naimiṣāraṇye parvāṇy aṣṭādaśaiva tu) 1. 2. 70-71; the Sūta also narrated the summary of the eighteen major parvans (based on the hundred sub-parvans) together with the number of the adhyāyas and the ślokas in each parvan 1. 2. 72-234; 1. 53. 2736; 18. 5. 30.


I. Purpose: To spread the fame of the Pāṇḍavas in the world (pāṇḍavānāṁ yaśaskaram) 1. 53. 32; of the Kurus and the Pāṇḍavas 6. 2. 13; and also of the other Kṣatriyas possessing ample wealth and lustre (kīrtim prathayatā loke pāṇḍavānāṁ mahātmanām/anyeṣāṁ kṣatriyāṇāṁ ca bhūridraviṇatejasām) 18. 5. 34.


J. Description: Described as unfathomable (aprameya) 1. 2. 242 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 2. 392: nāsti prakṛṣṭaṁ meyaṁ yasmād ity aprameyam/…yad vā āśayasya gaṁbhīratvād agādham); 18. 5. 54; best (uttama) 1. 53. 35; 1. 56. 15, 32; 18. 5. 31, 54, (anuttama) 1. 2. 243; most exquisite (variṣṭha) 1. 1. 202; superior among all āgamas (śreṣṭhaḥ sarvāgameṣu) 1. 2. 31; great (mahat) 1. 2. 243; 1. 53. 31, 35; 12. 334. 11; seen by the seer (Vyāsa) (ārṣa) 1. 1. 207; having great import (mahārtha) 1. 2. 243; 18. 5. 43; holy (puṇyā¤) 1. 1. 17, 52; 1. 1. 191; 1. 2. 242 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 2. 392: puṇyaṁ puṇyahetuḥ/…yad vā…puṇyaṁ jyotiṣṭomādivat svargyam); 1. 53. 33; 1. 56. 52; 18. 5. 31, 43, 45, 54; (supuṇyā) 1. 1. 9; (mahāpuṇyā) 1. 56. 16; conferring merit (puṇya) 1. 56. 25; purifying (pavitra) 1. 2. 242 (however, Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 2. 392; pavir iva pavir vajratulyo mṛtyus tasmāt trāyata iti pavitraṁ mṛtyutaraṇam ity arthaḥ/…(yad vā) pavitraṁ saṁdhyopāsanādivac cittaśuddhikaram); 1. 56. 15; 18. 5. 31; 18. 5. 54; related to righteousness (saṁhitāṁ…dharmyām) 1. 1. 19; auspicious (śiva) 1. 2. 242 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 2. 392 śivaṁ kalyāṇam…(yad vā) śivaṁ yogābhyāsavat sarvakalyāṇapradam); 18. 5. 54; bringing wealth (dhanya) 1. 56. 25; bringing fame (yaśasya) 1. 56. 25; conferring long life (āyuṣya) 1. 56. 25; leading to heaven (svargya) 1. 56. 25; destroying sin (pāpahara) 1. 2. 242 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 2. 392: pāpaharaṁ puṇyahetutvād eva…(yad vā) prāyaścittavad brahmahatyādidoṣaghnam); 18. 5. 54; removing sin and danger (saṁhitām…pāpabhayāpahām) 1. 1. 19 (however, Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 1. 21: pāpabhayāpahāṁ cittaśodhikām); having the same measure as, i. e. equal to, the four Vedas (vedaiś caturbhiḥ samitām…saṁhitām) 1. 1. 19 (Nī. who reads saṁyuktām says on Bom. Ed. 1. 1. 21: saṁmitām iti pāṭhe tulyām ity arthaḥ); 1. 56. 15 (idaṁ hi vedaiḥ samitam); 18. 5. 43 (itihāsaṁ…vedasaṁmitam); (however cf. 1. 1. 208 in the next section where it is said that the Mahābhārata outweighs the four Vedas taken together); adorned with the thoughts of the Veda (vedārthair bhūṣitasya ca/bhāratasyetihāsasya) 1. 1. 16-17 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 1. 18: vedārthaiḥ vedatātparyaviṣayabhūtair arthaiḥ); enlarged with various śāstras (nānāsāstropabṛṁhitā…saṁhitā) 1. 1. 17 (but Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 1. 19 nānāśāstrair upabṛṁhitām uddīpitāṁ śāstrāntarāviruddhām); (cf. 1. 1. 204 in the next section); where the best intellect is at work (itihāsottame hyasminn arpitā buddhir uttamā) 1. 2. 32; accomplished with the intellect (prajñābhipannasya…itihāsasya) 1. 2. 33 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 2. 40: prajñayābhipannaṁ prāptam); approached by wise men (abhipannaṁ naraiḥ prājñaiḥ) 1. 2. 30; loved by the learned (viduṣāṁ priyam) 1. 1. 26; adorned with divine and human conventions (alaṁkṛtaṁ…samayair divyamānuṣaiḥ) 1. 1. 26 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 1. 28: samayaiḥ saṁketaiḥ…divyamānuṣaiḥ vaidikalaukikaiḥ); following many conventions (anekasamayānvita 1. 2. 30); composed in varied words and consisting of various parvans (vicitrapadaparvaṇaḥ) 1. 1. 16 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 1. 18: vicitrāṇi svarūpato 'rthataś ca ramyāṇi padāni vākyāder upalakṣaṇaṁ parvāṇi pauṣyapaulomādīni ādisabhādīni vā); 1. 2. 33; an ākhyāna composed in varied words of varied import (vicitrārthapadākhyānam) 1. 2. 30; has many stories of various import (vividhāḥ kathāḥ…vicitrārthā mahābhāratasaṁśritāḥ) 1. 1. 9-10; (kathāś citrāḥ) 1. 53. 30; exhibiting subtle meaning and logic (sūkṣmārthanyāyayukta) 1. 1. 16; constituting as though the whole speech made up of vowels and consonants that are used in the world and in the Vedas (svaravyañjanayoḥ kṛtsnā lokavedāśrayeva vāk) 1. 2. 32; the speech (related to Brahman) in its refined form saṁskāropagatāṁ brāhmīm) 1. 1. 17 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 1. 19; brāhmīm vācam); adorned with auspicious words (alaṁkṛtaṁ śubhaiḥ śabdaiḥ) 1. 1. 26; composed in many metres (chandovṛttaiś ca vividhair anvitam) 1. 1. 26; (see also the next section).


K. Importance: In this epic Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana has expounded a holy upaniṣad (atropaniṣadaṁ puṇyāṁ kṛṣṇadvaipāyano 'bravīt) 1. 1. 191; truth and nectar constitute the body of the Bhārata (as the butter of curds and the Brāhmaṇa of the bipeds) bhāratasya vapur hy etat satyaṁ cāmṛtam eva ca) 1. 1. 201 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 1. 264: satyaṁ brahma amṛtaṁ devabhāvaś ca atraivāstīty arthaḥ); as ocean is the best of the reservoirs of water, a cow of the quadrupeds, so is the Bhārata (among the literary works) 1. 1. 201-202; one should expand this Veda (of Kṛṣṇa) with the help of the Itihāsa and Purāṇa for, with the thought: “he may (easily) go over me” the Veda is afraid of one who has not studied much (itihāsapurāṇābhyāṁ vedaṁ samupabṛṁhayet/bibhety alpaśrutād vedo mām ayaṁ pratariṣyati) 1. 1. 204 (Devabodha: upabṛṁhaṇam arthāntarakalpanayā kṣīṇasya yathāvad vyākhyānena paripoṣaḥ; Nī., however, on Bom. Ed. 1. 1. 268: “yad dha tyaṁ māyinaṁ mṛgam tam u tyaṁ māyayāvadhīr” (ṚV. 1. 80. 7) iti mantrāvayavo hi rāmāyaṇīyamārīcavadhajñenaivopabṛṁhituṁ śakyo na tv anyenātas tasmādalpaśrutād vedasya bhayam ucitam eva/ vedārthajijñāsunā idam avaśyam adhyetavyam ity arthaḥ); when the sages once weighed the Bhārata in a balance against the four Vedas put together it outweighed them in largeness and heaviness (mahattve ca gurutve ca dhriyamāṇaṁ tato 'dhikam) 1. 1. 208 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 1. 273: mahattve granthata ādhikye gurutve arthata ādhikye); best among the works which deserve to be heard (when recited) (śrāvyāṇām uttamaṁ cedaṁ) 1. 56. 15; having heard this Purāṇa, composed by the great sage Dvaipāyana, it was honoured (abhipūjitam) by gods and Brahmarṣis 1. 1. 15; here are glorified holy divine sages (devarṣayaḥ puṇyāḥ), brahmanical and royal sages of auspicious deeds (puṇyā brahmarājarṣayas tathā/kīrtyante śubhakarmāṇaḥ), the Yakṣas and the great snakes, as also lord Vāsudeva 1. 1. 192-193; in this Purāṇa are expounded fully the two Puruṣārthas artha and dharma (asminn arthaś ca dharmaś ca nikhilenopadiśyate) 1. 56. 16; in respect of all the four Puruṣārthas viz. dharma, artha, kāma and mokṣa, whatever is here will be found elsewhere, what is not here cannot be found anywhere (dharme cārthe ca kāme ca mokṣe ca bharatarṣabha/ yad ihāsti tad anyatra yan nehāsti na tat kvacit/) 1. 56. 33 = 18. 5. 38; in this highly sacred Itihāsa one finds the exposition leading to emancipation (buddhiś ca parinaiṣṭhikī) 1. 56. 16; (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 62. 17: pariniṣṭhā mokṣas taducitā); this is a text on profit (arthaśāstram), a holy treatise on law (puṇyaṁ dharmaśāstram), a way to liberation (mokṣaśāstra) as expounded by Vyāsa 1. 56. 21; this is a great store of knowledge of the three worlds which is committed to memory by the twice-born fully and in abridgements (idaṁ tu triṣu lokeṣu mahaj jñānaṁ pratiṣṭhitam/vistaraiś ca samāsaiś ca dhāryate yad dvijātibhiḥ) 1. 1. 25; 1. 1. 49; storehouse of choice objects (ratnanidhi) 1. 56. 27 = 18. 5. 52; the unsurpassed ocean of knowledge-having churned it with his intellect Vaiśaṁpāyana collected the ākhyāna based on the Nārāyaṇakathā (idaṁ (i. e. ākhyānaṁ) …āmathya dadhimanthena jñānodadhim anuttamam/ navanītaṁ yathā dadhno…samuddhṛtaṁ… nārāyaṇakathāśrayam) 12. 331. 1-4; some poets have narrated this itihāsa (composed by Vyāsa) before (Sūta Ugraśravas did it), some of the contemporaries of Ugraśravas were narrating it in his times, and others will narrate it in future (ācakhyuḥ kavayaḥ kecit saṁpraty ācakṣate pare/ ākhyāsyanti tathaivānye itihāsam imam bhuvi) 1. 1. 24; 1. 56. 22; even if one knew the four Vedas together with their aṅgas and the Upaniṣads, but did not know this ākhyāna, he could not be called learned (vicakṣaṇa) 1. 2. 235; having once listened to this ākhyāna one does not like to listen to any other composition although worth hearing 1. 2. 236; the intellects of the poets take their start from this excellent itihāsa (itihāsottamād asmāj jāyante kavibuddhayaḥ) 1. 2. 237; there is no narrative on this earth which does not have its basis in this ākhyāna (anāśrityaitad ākhyānaṁ kathā bhuvi na vidyate) 1. 2. 240; all great poets live on this ākhyāna (idaṁ sarvaiḥ kavivarair ākhyānam upajīvyate) 1. 2. 241; the whole Purāṇa is included in the scope of this ākhyāna (asyākhyānasya viṣaye purāṇaṁ vartate dvijāḥ) 1. 2. 238; all good qualities of actions have this ākhyāna for their resting place (i. e. they are motivated by this ākhyāna) (kriyāguṇānāṁ sarveṣām idam ākhyānam āśrayaḥ) 1. 2. 239 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 2. 387: kriyāḥ laukikyo vaidikyaś ca tāsāṁ guṇāḥ utkṛṣṭaphalasādhanāni/athavā kriyāḥ dānadhyānādayaḥ/guṇāḥ śamādayaḥ).


L. phalaśruti: If one recites with devotion even a quarter of the Bhārata all his sins, without a remainder, get purified (bhāratādhyayanāt puṇyad api pādam adhīyataḥ/śraddadhānasya pūyante sarvapāpāny aśeṣataḥ) 1. 1. 191 (but Nī. on Bom. Ed. 1. 1. 254: asya ślokasya caturthāṁśoccāraṇamātrād api sarvapāpanāśaḥ kiṁ vācyaṁ kṛtsnādhyayanāt tadarthasya jñānāt sākṣātkārād veti bhāvaḥ); 18. 5. 45 (here, Nī. on Bom. Ed. 18. 5. 59: pādaṁ ślokapādaṁ granthapādaṁ vā); if one were to recite a quarter of the Bhārata for the Brāhmaṇas at the end of a śrāddha he will ensure for the manes inexhaustible food and drink (yaś cainaṁ (? idam cf. 1. 56. 29) śrāvayec chrāddhe brāhmaṇān pādam antataḥ/akṣayyam annapānam tat pitṝṁs tasyopatiṣṭhati) 1. 1. 203; 18. 5. 36 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 18. 5. 42: antataḥ nikaṭe); 1. 56. 29 (akṣayyaṁ tasya tac chrāddham upatiṣṭhet pitṝn api); after reciting the whole of this Veda of Kṛṣṇa (i. e. the Bhārata) one attains profit, and one will undoubtedly get rid of even the sin of killing an embryo 1. 1. 205; one who recites it for those that are not low, are generous, truthful and believers attains profit 1. 56. 17; even a very cruel person after hearing this Itihāsa will be rid of the sin of killing an embryo 1. 56. 18; one who learns the Bharata when it is being recited need not bathe in the waters of Puṣkara 1. 2. 242; 18. 5. 54; one who recites for others the composition of Vyāsa and one who listens to it, all of them having attained to the place of Brahman become equal to gods 1. 56. 14; this (i. e. listening to the recitation of the Bhārata) is the best means for obtaining a male child (puṁsavanaṁ śreṣṭham), a high road to one's wellbeing (svastyayanaṁ mahat), it should be listened to by the chief queen and the crown prince 1. 56. 20; (of one who narrates this), his sons are obedient to him and his servants do him good (putrāḥ śuśrūṣavaḥ santi preṣyāś ca priyakāriṇaḥ) 1. 56. 22; one who listens to it divests himself quickly of all sins incurred by body, speech, and mind 1. 56. 23; those who listen, without envy, to the great life (story) of the Bhāratas have no fear from disease (in this world), and need have no fear of the next world at all 1. 56. 24; Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana has composed it which helps to acquire wealth, fame, long life, heaven and merit 1. 56. 25; the one who having known it recites it for the Brāhmaṇas on the parvan days is cleansed of his sins, wins heaven for himself and becomes one with Brahman (brahmabhūyaṁ sa gacchati) 1. 56. 28; 18. 5. 35; the sin that one inadvertently commits by day in one's activities disappears if he listens to the Mahābhārata Ākhyāna 1. 56. 30, or is released from it by narrating it in the evening 18. 5. 37 (Nī. on Bom. Ed. 18. 5. 43: paścimāyāṁ sandhyāyāṁ paṭhyate ced dinakṛtaṁ pāpaṁ naśyati); one who recites it for the three varṇas with Brāhmaṇas at their head is cleansed of his sins, obtains fame and undoubtedly achieves the greatest perfection (gacchet paramikāṁ siddhim) 18. 5. 4344; or one who studies attentively (paṭhet susamāhitaḥ) the Mahābhārata Ākhyāna will undoubtedly attain the greatest perfection 18. 5. 53. [See Kārṣṇa, Jaya, Bhāratasāvitrī ]


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