tasya khila bhAho


harivamsha parva
ch 51


dialog of viShNu
with gods


vaishaMpAyana uvAcha : vaishampAyana continued

tat shrutvA viShNu gaditaM brahmA lokapitAmahaH |
uvAcha paramaM vAkyaM hitaM sarva divaukasAm ||1-51-1
nAsti kiMchit bhayaM viShNo surANAm asura-antaka |
yeShAM bhavAn abhaya-daH karNa-dhAro raNe raNe ||1-51-2

On hearing the words of viShNu, then brahma the grandparent of all, gave vent to words fraught with the well-being of gods… “Oh annihilator of demons, there is no fear for gods from asurA-s, because you are protecting gods, from battle to battle, like a many sided weapon – karNa dhAra

shakre jayati deveshe tvayi cha asura sUdane |
dharme prayatamAnAnAM mAnavAnAM kuto bhayam ||1-51-3
satye dharme cha niratAn mAnavAn vigata jvarAn |
na akAle dharmiNo mR^ityuH shaknoti pra-sam-IkShitum ||1-51-4
mAnavAnAM cha patayaH pArthivAshcha parasparam |
Shad-bhAgam upabhu~njAnA na bhayaM kurvate mithaH ||1-51-5
te prajAnAM shubhakarAH karadairavagarhitAH |
sukarairviprayuktarthAH koshamApUrayantyuta ||1-51-6
sphItA~njanapadAnsarvAnpAlayantaH kShamAparAH |
atIkShNadaNDAMshchaturo varNA~njugupura~njasA ||1-51-7

O slayer of enemies, when you and indra are regularly crowned with victory, what fear do men engaged in religious observances can have? Men with truthfulness and piety are always freed from ills, and Death cannot prematurely visit them… enjoying one-sixth portion they receive as cess from the total produce of their province, the kings, the foremost of men, do not fear mutually, and by doing good to their subjects and realizing duly tributes from their tributary kings, without being blamed by them, kings are filling up their treasur1es with wealth... Meting out mild punishment and being forbearing they govern their respective prosperous provinces and protect the four varNAs…

Shad-bhAgam: The political acts of a king, in their military / political character, that are sAma, dAna, bheda, daNDa, sandhi, vigraham - peace, appeasement, sowing dissension, punishment, peace making, or battling. That being so, here, it is taken to mean one-sixth part levied on total produce, as sages say to rAma in vAlmIki rAmAyaNam – opening chapters of araNya.

na udvejanIyA bhUtAnAM sachivaiH sAdhu-pUjitAH |
chatur-a~nga-balaiH guptAH Shad-guNAn upabhu~njate ||1-51-8

Without creating disturbance amongst their subjects, ministers adoring them well, four divisions of army, footsoldiers, cavalry, chariot-fleet, elephant division protecting tem, those kings are implementing the six-fold political manoeuvring…

dhanur veda parAH sarve sarve vedeShu niShThitAH |
yajante cha yathA kAlaM yaj~naiH vipula dakShiNaiH ||1-51-9

All are well-versed in the science of archery, observant of the Vedic rites and all worship gods with vedic-rituals that are accompanied with profuse gifts…                                                                   

vedAn adhItya dIkShAbhir maharShIn brahmacharyayA |
shrAddhaiH cha medhyaiH shatashaH tarpayanti pitAmahAn ||1-5-10

On undergoing the ceremony of initiation and on studying Vedas they propitiate great saints with chastity in thought, words and deeds… with offertories and oblations they variously beatify their ancestral manes –in shrAddha rituals…

na eShAm a-viditaM ki~nchit tri-vidhaM bhuvi dR^ishyate |
vaidikaM laukikaM chaiva dharma-shAstra-uktam eva cha ||1-51-11

There is no such object in the world, Vedic, customary, or scriptural that is unknown to them

te parAvara dR^iShTa-artha maharShi sama tejasaH |
bhUyaH kR^ita yugaM kartum utsahante narAdhipAH ||1-51-12

All those kings with an effulgence akin to that of great sages are the believers of Almighty endeavouring to bring back the golden age, kR^ita yugaM

teShAm eva prabhAveNa shivaM varShati vAsavaH |
yathArthaM cha vavur vAtA virajaskA disho dasha ||1-51-13

Owing to their congenial nature indra is showering rains seasonably, and wind is whiffing dustless winds everywhere, at need…

nir-ut-pAtA cha vasudhA su-pra-chArAH cha khe grahAH |
chandramAH cha sa nakShatraH saumyaM charati yogataH ||1-51-14

Earth is devoid of upheavals, planets are gliding smoothly on the sky, and the moon with his constellations is orbiting sedulously…

anuloma-karaH sUryaH tu ayane dve chachAra ha |
havyaiH cha vividhaiH triptaH shubha-gandho hutAshanaH ||1-51-15

The sun with his rays in a natural direction is moving in his two solstitial paths, and the fire being regularly propitiated with various fire-oblations is aromatised…

evaM saMyak pravR^itteShu vivR^iddheShu makhAdiShu |
tarpayatsu mahIM kR^itsnAM nR^iNAM kAla bhayaM kutaH ||1-51-16

When the entire earth is propitiated, as it were, where Vedic rituals are regular and multiple, then where is the question of fear for people in such an auspicious environment…

teShAM jvalita-kIrtInAm anyonya vasha-vartinAm |
rAj~nAM balaiH balavatAM pIDyate vasudhA-talam ||1-51-17
sa iyaM bhAra parishrAntA pIDyamAnA narAdhipaiH |
pR^ithivI samanuprAptA nauH iva Asanna viplavA ||1-51-18

Even then, some powerful kings whose fame is blazing are oppressing the earth, one following the other, with their oppressive tendency… whereby earth, exhausted with this weight and assailed by the kings, has come before us like a rocking boat on the verge of drowning…

yugAnta sadR^ishai rUpaiH shaila uchchalita bandhanA |
jala utpIDAkulA svedaM dhArayantI muhurmuhuH ||1-51-19

Earth at end of eras will perspire when her seven-guarding mountains – sapta-kula-parvatA-s - are forcibly extricated and underground water spouts on her surface in spates… now she is wearing that look when oppressed by the kings resembling the fire of dissolution…


As with an anchored ship perspiring tidewaters and rocking on them when hit by cross currents of winds…

kShatriyANAM vapurbhish cha tejasA cha balena cha |
nR^iNAM cha rAShTraiH vistIrNaiH shrAmyati iva vasundharA ||1-51-20

The earth is labouring under the body, energy, strength, population and the extensive territories of the kshatriya kings…

pure pure narapatiH koTi saMkhyaiH balaiH vR^itaH |
rAshTre rAShTre cha bahavo grAmAH shata sahasrashaH ||1-51-21

bhUmi-pAnAM sahasraiH cha teShAM cha balinAM balaiH |
grAma Ayuta ADhyai rAShTraiH cha bhUmiH nir-vivarA kR^itA ||1-51-22

Each and every city is ruled by a king surrounded with millions of soldiers; that too with a mightier-than-thou concept; hundreds and thousands of villages are coming up compounded with those many provinces, and many rulers; and this inflation is covering the earth without an elbow-room…

sa iyaM nirAmayaM kR^itvA nishcheShTA kAlam agrataH |
prAptA mama AlayaM viShNo bhavAn cha asyAH parA gatiH ||1-51-23

Thus she who is otherwise untroubled, now troubled with the burden of people has come to my abode driven by time… oh, viShNu, you are her most excellent refuge now…

karma-bhUmiH manuShyANAM bhUmiH eShA vyathAM gatA |
yathA na sIdet tat kAryaM jagati eShA hi shAshvatI ||1-51-24

This earth, the land of human actions, has been greatly assailed. It behoves thee to do that by which the eternal earth, the stay of the universe, may not suffer deterioration…

asyA hi pIDane doSho mahAn syAt madhusUdana |
kriyA lopaH cha lokAnAM pIDitaM cha jagat bhavet ||1-51-25

Oppressing her is a great iniquity, O mdhusUdana; any inaction in preventing it will further deteriorate the situation…

shrAmyate vyaktam eva iyaM pArthiva ogha prapIDitA|
sahajAM yA kShamAm tyaktvA chalatvam achalA gatA ||1-51-26

Oppressed by a series of kings the earth has become evidently exhausted. Renouncing her natural forbearance and dynamism she has become static…

tat asyAH shrutavantaH sma tat chApi bhavatA shrutam |
bhAra avataraNa arthaM hi mantrayAma saha tvayA ||1-51-27

We on our part heard her history, and you too are aware of it… as such we wished to discuss this with you as to how her burden can be offloaded…

sat-pathe hi sthitAH sarve rAjAno rAShTra-vardhanAH |
narANAM cha trayo varNA brAhmaNAn anuyAyinaH ||1-51-28

Wending righteous ways many of these kings are enhancing their territories. Amongst men the three other social orders are following brAhmaNa-s…

sarvaM satyaparaM vAkyaM varNA dharma parAH tathA |
sarve veda-parA viprAH sarve vipra-parA narAH ||1-51-29

All are biding by truthful words, all social orders are observing their respective duties, all the brAhmaNa-s are well-read in Vedas and all other men are devoted to brAhmaNa-s…

evaM jagati vartante manuShyA dharma kAraNAt |
yathA dharma vadho na syAt tathA mantraH pravartyatAm ||1-51-30

When world is functional where men are the instruments of righteousness, we have to think of a system with which dharma does not suffer deterioration at the hands of some wrongdoers…

satAM gatiH iyaM na anyA dharmaH cha asyAH su-sAdhanam |
rAj~nAM chaiva vadhaH kAryo dharaNyA bhAra nirNaye ||1-51-31

'This earth is the goal of the pious and none else. Virtue is the most cxceilent object they should endeavour to secure, wherefore, to relieve the earth of her burden it is meet to destroy the kings, for they are a very froward generation…

tat AgachCha mahAbhAga saha vai mantra-kAraNAt |
vrajAmo meru-shikharaM puraskR^itya vasuMdharAm ||1-51-32

Therefore, O great one, come with us to hold a consultation… with the earth before us let us go to the summit of the mount…

etAvat uktvA rAjendra brahmA lokapitAmahaH |
pR^ithivyA saha vishvAtmA virarAma mahAdyutiH ||1-51-33

Having said this much, O foremost of kings janamejaya, the self-controlled grandparent of great effulgence, brahma, paused and awaited along with the earth for the consent of viShNu…

iti shrImahAbhArate khileShu harivaMshe harivaMshaparvaNi bhArAvataraNe ekapa~nchAshattamo.adhyAyaH

Thus, this is the fifty-first chapter of first canto called harivamsha-parva, in harivamsha-purANa, the sequel of mahAbhArata, narrating the dialog between viShNu and gods regarding the lessening of burden of mother earth.


Prev ch 50: of the reclusion of nArAyaNa contents Next chapter 52:  appeal of mother earth to viShNu
verse-transliteration:  ks ramachandran
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verse-rendition advisor : gilles schaufelberger
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page maintained by : Harindranath Avaroth :
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translation : desiraju hanumanta rao
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E&OE - content is subject to revision : dated 25-3-08