Cherusseri Bharatham, Kerala Sahitya Akademi, Thrissur (1974).
From the introduction by Chirakkal T. Balakrishnan Nair:
Cherusseri Bharatham Pattu or Bharatagatha was first published by Chirakkal Kovilakath Ayilyam Thirunal Ramavarma Valiya Tampuran in Malayalam Era 1086 (A.D 1911). The book was republished along with a long introduction essay by Chirakkal T. Balakrishnan Nair in Malayalam Era 1113 (A.D. 1938).
Authored by Ponathil Sankaran Nambidi during the reign of Udyavarman Kolathiri - M.E 621 to 640 (A.D 1446 to 1465).
1. Context of the Story (Kathaprasangam) (Adi)
2. The Origin of Devas, Asuras and Others (Devasuradikalude Utbhavam) (Adi)
3. The Story of Sakunthala (Sakunthalopakhyanam) (Adi)
4. The Marriage of Ganga (Gangaparinayam) (Adi)
5. The Origin of Bhishma (Bhishmotpatti) (Adi)
6. The Origin of Vyasa (Vyasotpatti)(Adi)
7. The Acceptance of Matsyagandha (Matsyagandhi Sweekaram) (Adi)
8. The Observance to Truth by Bhishma (Bhishmarute Sathyanishta) (Adi)
9. The Origin of Dhritarashtra and others (Dhritarashtrar mutalayavarute Utpatti) (Adi)
10. The Birth of Kauravas and Pandavas (Kurupandavanmarute Utbhavam) (Adi)
11. The Education of Karna (Karnante Vidyabhyasam) (Adi)
12. The childhood rivalry of Kauravas and Pandavas (Kurupandavanmarute Balaleelamalsaram)(Adi)
13. The Deputation of Akroora by Krishna to Kauravas (Akroorare Krishnan Kurukkanmarute atukkal Ayacchatu) (Adi)
14. The Training in Arrows by Kauravas and Pandavas (Kurupandavanmarute Astrabhyasam)(Adi)
15. Revenge by Drona (Dronarute Pratikriya) (Adi)
16. Reign by Dharma's son (Dharmaputrarute Rajyadhipathyam) (Adi)
17. Statement of Merits and Demerits by Vidura (Vidurarute Gunadoshakathanam) (Adi)
18. Burning of house of Lac (Lakshagrihadahanam) (Adi)
19. Marriage with Panchali (Panchali Swayamvaram) (Adi)
20. Pilgrimage by Partha (Parthante Thirthayatra) (Adi)
21. Marriage of Kauravas (Kauravanmarute Vivaham) (Adi)
22. Burning of Khandava (Khandavadaham) (Adi)
23. Conquest of Countries (Dikjayam) (Sabha)
24. Killing of Magadha (Magadhavadham) (Sabha)
25. Rajasuyam (Sabha)
26. Visit of Suyodhana to Sabha (Suyodhanante Sabhapravesam) (Sabha)
27. Breaking of Fast (Anasanadikhsanivartanam) (Sabha)
28. The Dice Game (including Akhsayapatra, Kirmeeravadham, Kiratam, Kalakeyavadham) (Sabha, Vana)
29. Kalyanasaugandhikam (Vana)
30. Entrance to the city of Matsya (Matsyanagarapravesam) (Virata)
31. Killing of Kichaka (Kichakavadham) (Virata)
32. Stealing of Cattle (Gograhanam) (Virata)
33. Mediation by Krishna (Krishnadhut) (Udyoga)
34. Beginning of Bharata War (Bharatayuddharambham) (Udyoga)
35. War by Bhishma (Bhishmarute Yuddham)(Bhisma)
36. War by Drona (Dronarute Yuddham) (Drona)
37 to 42. Bharata War (Bharata Yuddham) (Drona, Karna)
43. Bharata Yuddham (Salya, Sauptika, Aisika) 44. Horse Sacrifice (Aswamedham) (Stri, Santi, Anusasanika)
45. Ascent to Heaven (Swargarohanam) (Asramavasika, Mausala, Mahaprasthana, Swargarohana)
Summary of Chapter 1: Context of the Story
Indra and other devas went to the husband of Indira (Vishnu) and praised him:
O Lord, who manifests in the ocean of milk as the wave of auspicious kindness, like the Kalpataru of heaven which grants all desires, I bow to you.
Vedas are the base of Brahmins. The great sage Veda Vyasa constructed Sri Mahabharata for those who cannot access the Vedas to destroy their sins. The Mahabharata was recited by Vaisampayana to the son of Parikshit (Janamejaya). Please favour me, an ignoramus who attempts to retell this text for the ignorant people. O lord of Chelloor who manifests along with the daughter of the mountain! O the killer of Anthaka (Yama)! O Killer of Kamadeva! I bow to you.
O the son of Shambu, who wrote down this good story which grants salvation by destroying all evil deeds, with his tusk! Shower your kindness on me, so that the troubles will not afflict me. Please be present in my mind for ever.
O lord of the lotus woman, with a smile capturing the minds of women ! Playing on the sand showing various pranks, you act in many ways when you see good milk and butter. I bow to you.
O Bhairavajata who resides with wife! Please destroy all my sorrows. As ordered by the Lord of Kola of high intelligence, I am retelling the Bharatha story from the beginning to the end in a condensed manner. There may be some deficiencies. Please do not dwell upon them, please ignore them.
In ancient times there was a palace city by the name of elephant (Hastinapura). Enriched by jewels and beautiful houses, the city resembled the abode of Vasava (Indra) and the mountain abode (Kailasa) of Siva. The city was endowed with many gardens, trees, elephants, horses and lovely women. In this city, the lord of Sri took birth as King Parikshit, the son of Abhimanyu and Uttara. While hunting in the forest, he was afflicted with thirst. Searching for water, the King came across a sage, who, observing silence, did not respond to the King's requests (for water). The furious King picked up the skin of a snake from the ground and put it around the silent sage's neck. The king then, returned to his fort. The sage was not aware of all this. When the son of the sage Angiras approached his father, he found a snake skin around his fathers neck. Considering the deed as sinful, the son cursed the person to die within 7 days by biting of Takshaka. The son then alerted his father and informed him all incidents. The sage told his son that the King is not at fault. The sage then dispatched a messenger to the King to inform him about the curse and the relief thereof. To destroy his sins, the King heard the Bhagavata recited by the yogi Sri Suka and made all arrangements to prevent Takshaka approaching him. But the deceitful Thakshaka hid in a mango and bit the King when he smelt the fruit. Thus the King expired. To ensure deliverance to his father, Janamejaya, the son performed many deeds. He wanted to kill the serpent who caused the death of his father. King Janamejaya invited the intelligent Kasyapa and asked him to perform a Yajna to ensure the death of the serpent. When the great sage recited the mantra, the distressed Takshaka coiled himself around the feet of the throne of Vasava (Indra). Unable to resist, Nagas fell into the fire. Realising that the lord of Devas is protecting Takshaka, the sage implored that both should fall into the fire. When both appeared, the sage told the king: Takshaka bit your father because of a brahmin's curse. He is not to be burned in the fire. The sage contained the anger of the King. He then sprinkled holy water on the fire and all the dead serpents rose from the ashes. Later the King was afflicted with a disease Citrapandu (leprosy) due to the curse of the serpents.
The sage Vaisampayana visited Hastinapura and asked the King the reason for his disease, the King informed him all about the Yagna. The King asked the sage about curing him from leprosy. The sage asked the King to listen to the story of his ancestors and how they attained victory in the Bharata War. Then he will be cured. The sage then started his narration.
Once upon a time, Madhava was sleeping containing all the beings within his self, a good lotus came up from his navel. In the lotus, the creator, Brahma was born. Brahma started exploring the tube of the lotus. A voice advised him to meditate and serve god. The four Vedas originated from the Brahma's four faces. The dirt from Vishnu's ears transformed as Danavas. The Danavas tried to kill Brahma residing in the form of a swan (Hamsa). Then Vishnu fought the Danavas in the form of a twin for thousand years but could not defeat them. Then receiving certain boons, Vishnu killed Madhu and flung his body in the firmament. Madhu's brother Kaitabha's body, devoid of life, became the earth. Then all the worlds such as netherworld (Patalam), seas such as the milk sea, mountains such as Kailasa and divine islands were created. The sages, Marichi, Athri, Narada, Angiras, Vasishta, Pulasthya, Bhrigu, were born from Brahma. Daksha, Saraswati and Swayambhuva Manu and his wife were also born from Brahma. Manu had two sons, Priyavrata and Uddikapada, and three daughters, Ahuti (given to Rati), Devahuti (to Kardama) and Prasuti (to Daksha).
Summary of Chapter 2: The Origin of Devas, Asuras and Others
Prajapati observed vows at Vindhya to beget children. Blessed by Narayana, Prajapati had ten thousand Haryaswas and Balaswas with Pancajani, daughter of Pancajana. Kasyspa married thirteen of the sixty daughters of Daksha. Indra and other Devas were born to Kasyapa and Aditi. Daiteyas including Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakasipu were born to Kasyapa and Diti. Gandharvas, Rakhsasas, fish, tortoises, frogs, cows, horses, dogs, trees, creepers, birds, insects and snakes were born to Kasyspa and his other wives. All these creatures filled up the earth. Brahmanas, Sun and the Moon maintained them. The handsome Vaivaswata Manu was born to Gopati and his wife Manojna.
Vaivaswata Manu's son Ila, along with his army went to the forest for hunting. All of them became women due to the curse of Gauri. Siva granted a boon so that Ila can be a man during every fourth month.
Soma (Moon) performed a Yaga in which all Devas and Danavas participated. Soma embraced Tara, the wife of the priest of Devas. The priest cursed Soma to have blemishes on his body. Brahma took Tara to her husband. The husband asked her to abort her pregnancy. She was terrified and a handsome boy was born. Both men quarreled over the child and the Devas and Danavas fought over the issue. Brahma intervened and decreed that the child belongs to Soma. The boy named Budha was bought up by Soma.
Pururavas was born to Budha and Ila. Pururavas had six children with Urvasi. Aryan was one of them. Nahusha was born to Aryan. Nahusha became Indra. Cursed by Agasthya, Nahusha became a serpent. Release from the curse: When touched by the son of Dharma, born as a King in his race, he will regain his human form. The son of Nahusha, Yayati, married the daughter (Devayani) of Sukra. Yadu was born to them. Yayati also married the daughter (Sarmishta) of the Danava. Puru was born to them. When the daughter (Devayani) complained, the father (Sukra) cursed the King to become impotent, when he approaches his lover with desire (just like a hungry person is unable to eat food). Kavya (Sukra) granted release from the curse to the King: 'you can lend your Oldness to your son and borrow his youth for 1000 years'. Puru agreed to do so and Yayati enjoyed his youth for 1000 years. After completing 1000 years, Yayati returned the 'youth' to Puru and took back his oldness.
Summary of Chapter 3: The Story of Sakuntala
Among the many kings who ruled Nagapura, there was a king called Dushyanta. During a hunting trip to the forest, Dushyanta reached the hermitage of Sage Kanva and saw a beautiful maiden. They fell in love with each other at first sight. The king asked the girl about her parents. The maiden told the King the story of her birth:
Long ago, King Viswamitra and his army visited sage Vasishta in the forest. With the help of mother cow (Kamadhenu), Vasishta was able to serve the King and his army. Realising the power of the cow, the king asked Vasishta to hand over the cow to him. Vasishta expressed his inability to do so since the cow belonged to the Devas. The furious King ordered his troops to take the cow away. When forced, the cow created a large number of soldiers. A terrible fight followed and the King lost. The king installed his son as the new King and started worshipping Brahma. Worried by the severe penance performed by Viswamitra, Indra sent Menaka to divert his attention. The King and Menaka enjoyed together for a long time. A girl was born to them. Menaka abandoned the child on the banks of Malini river and left. The King left to resume his penances. Since the baby was looked after by Sakuntha birds, she was called Sakunthala. She was brought up by sage Kanva.
Hearing this the King remarked that she should marry and enjoy life. The girl said: 'Even though I like you, I will obey the sage's will. A girl should obey her father in childhood, husband in youth and son in her old age. A woman has no freedom.' Saying that Gandharva type of marriage is best suited for Kings, the King took hold of the maiden's hand. They lived together for a couple of days. Then the King gave his ring to the maiden and took her leave asking her to come to his palace with permission from the sage. After some days, Sakunthala left her hermitage to meet the King. On her way, the ring with the King's image slipped off into the Kalindi river and a fish swallowed it. Sakunthala wept at the loss of the ring. Sage Durvasas cursed her: 'Your husband will forget you. But when he sees the ring, he will remember you.' Shakuntala met the King and told him: 'You married me by the Gandharva System. Why did you leave me'? Not able to recognize her, the King said: 'Are you out of your mind? Why do you call me your husband?'. Rejected by the King, Sakunthala returned to her hermitage. In due course of time, a son was born to her. One day the mother told her son: 'We should leave this hermitage and go to our place.' The child replied that he does not know anyone other than the sage. After six years, the King got the ring which had fallen into the river. Immediately the King recollected all incidents and went to the forest in search of the woman. The King saw a boy playing with tigers. The boy refused to allow the King to touch him. When the King asked the boy about his mother, she arrived. She recognised the King and bowed to him. Realizing that the King is not sure about the boy she said: 'This is the son born to me from you. Then a voice was heard from the sky: ' This is true. This boy is Bharatha'. Then a shower of flowers followed from heaven. The happy King took his wife and son to his fort.
Summary of Chapter 4: The Marriage of Ganga
King Bharatha performed many yagas. He had a son Bhumanyu. There were many Kings in this line. One of them, Bhima, had a son Pradipa. For a long time, Pradipa did not have children. On the banks of river Ganga, he worshipped god along with his wife Sunanda. Cursed by Brahma, the royal sage Mahabhishak was born as the son of Pradipa. The boy was called Santhanu since he was son of a calm person (Santhan). Santhanu was handsome. One day, King Shanthanu went to the forest for hunting. He went to the river Ganga to drink water. There he saw a beautiful maiden. The King asked: 'who are you? Where do you come from? Where are you going?'. The girl said: I am looking for a husband who will agree with all my actions. The King agreed immediately and took her to Hastinapura.
Summary of Chapter 5: The Origin of Bhishma
The King enjoyed life with his wife Ganga. He had seven sons with Ganga. Immediately on birth, the children were thrown into the river by Ganga. Due to his pledge, the King remained silent. The eighth child was most beautiful. When Ganga tried to throw the new born baby into the river, the King stopped and asked her: 'Who are you ? You are not an ordinary woman'. Ganga said: "You are the famous royal sage Mahabhishak and I am Jahnavi, the daughter of heavenly Jahnu. Both of us were cursed by Brahma. Long time ago, while dancing in heaven, my dress slipped off. While others looked away, O King! You stared at me with desire. Brahma cursed both of us to be born as human beings. As I was leaving for earth, the Devas told me: 'The eight Vasus cursed by a sage will be born as your children. The eighth Vasu will be born as Bhishma. The King will create a way for you to return to heaven.' Now, bring up this child. I am leaving." The King looked after the boy. When the King and the boy went to the banks of the river Ganga, the mother Ganga came up and fed milk from her breast to the boy. The King lived in the Naga city thinking about his wife.
Summary of Chapter 6: The Origin of Vyasa
Long ago there was a King named Chedipa on earth. He wanted to become a Deva. Indra met the King and gave him a flying vehicle and said: "Ruling the land is the duty of Kshatriya. Therein lies his salvation. Using this vehicle, you may travel in the sky like a bird". One day the King went to the forest. He saw a beautiful apsaras flying in the sky. Captivated by sexual desire, the King's sperm fell off. The King asked a kite to convey the sperm to his wife. While the kite was flying over Kalindi, the sperm fell into the river. The sperm was swallowed by a fish, which was caught by fishermen and presented to the King. Two children were discovered in the belly of the fish. The boy was named Matsya. The girl was given to the fishermen. The girl Matsyagandha was engaged in ferrying passengers across Kalindi. One day, sage Parasara came to cross the river. Seeing the girl, the sage was captivated by desire. He expressed his desire to the girl. The girl resisted saying that she smells of fish. The sage sprinkled holy water and made the girl Yojanagandha. As desired by the girl, the sage created an island and shrouded it with clouds. The sage embraced the girl and Ved Vyasa was born. The sage told the girl: "You be here. You will become the King's wife. You will be devoid of any sin. Do not accept anything from the King till he gives you the land". Then the sage left. The son followed his father. Before leaving he told his mother: "Whenever you wish to meet me, I will come without fail". The girl resumed her work of ferrying people across the river.
Summary of Chapter 7: The Acceptance of Matsyagandha
Hearing the story of Yojanagandha from the sage (Vaisampayana), King Janamejaya said :" Alas! Our race originated from fish. This is abominable and terrible". The sage said: " Yojanagandha, Dhritarashtra and Pandu originated from Bhoodevas (Brahmins), who are the essence of Vedas. Soma Race does not have any defect. Sinners reciting the story of Soma Race will be absolved of all sins. They will attain liberation. Hence, O king! Discard all your sorrows and hear the stories of Santhanu". The sage continued : "The King Santhanu was living in his palace thinking about his separated wife and watching his son play. The King was afflicted with a type of cancer (Pundarika Arbuda) and a smell emanated from his body which attracted snakes. Physicians declared that Kasturi is required for the treatment which turned out to be effective. Blessed by the sage (Parasara), the maiden's body was producing Kasturi (which was used for treating the King). The maiden refused to accept any payment for the Kasturi. The King was completely cured of the disease. In this manner, Santhanu came to know about the maiden. The King met the maiden on the banks of Kalindi and told her: It is not fit for you to live here. You are best suited to a King." The maiden said: "All relations are decided by God. A King has many wives. What is the point in being one of them? Moreover, the Kingdom will go to the son of the first wife. Only on the condition that the land will be ruled by my sons, a King can marry me." Hearing these words, the King became desparate. The King's son realized the cause of his father's sorrow. He straightway went, met the maiden and told her: "Mother, come with me. Your sons will become Kings. I pronounce this witnessed by Fire, Air, Moon, Sun, Earth, Cows, Sky, Brahmins, Dusks, Water and Devas. I will not marry either". Hearing this, the Devas said that he will be known as Bhishma. Thus Yojanagandha went to the city of elephant with the son of Santhanu. The King was extremely happy. He said: " My son, You will die only if you wish so". The King lived happily with his wife.
From Chapter 8: Amba approaches Vyasa to to advise Bhisma to marry her. Bhisma refuses citing his vow. Vyasa becomes angry and suggests that perhaps Bhisma doesn't understand the meaning of truth, vow and such. He recites the story of Bali (who didn't listen to his teacher) and that of the Kausika at the river bank (the story told by Krishna to Arjuna). Bhisma explains the fault of Bali and Kausika. Vyasa is pleased and tells Amba to marry another king.
After getting boon from Siva, unable to find a suitor, Amba hangs the garland at the gate of the city of Pancala and ends her life.
From Chapter 9.
It is Satyavati who is sending the maid to Vyasa.
Kunti is Kuntibhoja's daughter. His other children: Vasudeva, Ahuka, Kunti, Vikunti, Dharmila.
Karna is named so since he came out of the ear (Karna) of Kunti.
Hearing the stories about Kunti from travellers, Bhisma goes to Kuntibhoja and brings Kunti for Pandu. Bhisma also brings Madri.
The sage who was killed by Pandu in the forest says this happened because the sage was cursed by Vasistha.
Pandu visits heaven along with sages. When he is at the gate of Satyaloka, he is denied permission because he has no son. At that time son of Gathi gave a boon to Pandu that he will have son.
From Chapter 10.
Satyavati is sad and tells Vyasa that Sauva (Gandhari) hasn't given birth.
Kunti tells Pandu the story of the brahmin, Bramharata. He has no son. At his instruction, his wife sleeps with another Brahmin (who was a guest to Bramharata's house and desired his wife) and gets a child.
When Bhima is born, a lion mistakes Bhima's foot for a stag's face and approaches Bhima to kill him. Bhima kicks the lion with his foot and the lion is killed. Hence the child is named Bhima.
Duryodhana is born after Bhima.
From Chapter 11. Education of Karna
When Karna was serving Parasurama, it was Indra who pierced Karna's thigh in the form of a beetle.
From Chapter 12. Childhood Plays of Kauravas and Pandavas
When the children were growing up, the wicked Kauravas increasingly competed with the Pandavas. While playing with sand, the Kauravas started showing falsehood one by one. All of them used to prick the Pandavas. The Kauravas pushed the Pandavas into false pits. They brought serpents and made them bite Pandavas on their noses. Due to the kindness of the serpents, the able Bhima became increased in strength of one thousand elephants. As instructed by the sons of the king (Dhritarashtra), the cooks brought kakola (a poison), prepared payasam (a sweet dish) and mixed suitably and served it to the Pandavas. The son of Dharma (Yudhishtira) of pure body, while performing the preliminary rituals before eating, realised that the payasam contains poison. When he walked away shaking his hands, the son of wind (Bhima), being extremely hungry, swallowed all the food, morsel by morsel and went off to sleep. He slept on, losing consciousness. Then they (Kauravas) brought creepers, tied his hands and pushed him into the water. Bhima went down in the water and reached the netherworld (Patalam). There, the hero Vasuki, coiled around him and bit him. Bhima held the serpent by his tail, swung him around and was about to kill him. Seeing the Nagakanya crying, (Bhima) released the serpent. The relieved Vasuki, recognising ( Bhima ) gave away the jewel of maiden, (Nagakanya) to the hero, the son of wind (Bhima) as wife. Vasuki also presented a lot of jewels (to Bhima). Bhima had a son, Babhrubahu with the beautiful serpent woman. Bhima left his son with his mother. Then the big fellow (Bhima ) left for his city on the ninth day.
On another day, all the children (Kauravas and Pandavas) went to the forest. All the Kauravas went inside a big crater. Seeing this, the son of wind (Bhima) closed the entrance of the crater completely with large boulders and went home. Missing her children, Gandhari started searching all over, calling them. People searched in lakes, wells and forests but could find them. They started wondering what has happened. They concluded that this must surely be a trick played by the son of wind (Bhima). The news spread everywhere. Seeing Gandhari pained much, the son of Shantanu (Bhishma) went near the son of wind (Bhima) and told him in private : "This can not happen without your knowledge and this has become the talk of the town. We should solve this without any delay". Along with the son of wind (Bhima), he (Bhishma) went to the forest. Bhimasena, devoid of any sorrow, opened up the entrance of the crater, went inside and brought all the children (Kauravas) and put them in front of the King (Bhulokapalakan - Bhishma?). He told a lie that this is the deed of the forest people (Kattalar). The son of Ganga (Bhishma) abandoned confrontation and returned to Hastinapura with the children. All the people became happy.
from Chapter 13: Krishna sends Akrura to Kurus
Vasudeva tells Krishna all about his sister Kunti and her sons and the rivalry between Kauravas and Pandavas. Hearing this, Krishna sends Akrura to Hastinapura asking him to inform Bhishma to stop all the atrocities by Kauravas. If not, Krishna will feed all of them to his Chakra! When Akroora meets Kunti, she tells Akrura that Krishna who saved the elephant by killing the crocodile may also save her. Akrura requests Kunti to tell him the story. She recites the story of Gajendramoksha to Akroora.
From Chapter 14 (The Weapon-Education of Kurus and Pandavas)
Yudhshtira loses his ring in the well and, ordered by Drona, Aswathama retrieves it! Seeing this wonderful deed, the children informs Bhisma.
When Drona wanted to go to Panchala Kingdom, there was a twelve year long famine. A Kashmiri Brahmin who was an expert in Astrology was able to predict this. He stored rice of Varaku in advance. The planets wanted to find out how he was able to defeat them. They went to the Brahmins disguised (as Brahmins). After dinner, they slept in the Brahmin's house in a circular fashion. The Brahmin repositioned them and hence it rained. The earth became fertile again. The planets were enraged since the Brahmin outsmarted them. Planets put a curse that the astrologers, in spite of their great knowledge, will be penniless.
From Chapter 15. The Revenge of Drona
Birth of Dhristhadyumna and Draupadi described.
From Chapter 16.
Kuntala and Dantavaktra waged war and Partha killed them. The Kauravas led by the son of Suta (Karna) went over the earth and imprisoned brother(s?) of Gandhari. The Kauravas gave only little food to the captives. In order to get back the kingdom, the kings thought hard and they gave their supply of food to the boy Sakuni. All other kings died of starvation. While dying, the kings asked Sakuni to take revenge. Sakuni wanted to exterminate the Kauravas. He made pieces of dice using the bones of the elder brother and kept them with him. As instructed by his grieving mother, blind Duryodhana considered Saubala (Sakuni) as an advisor like Kanika, the minister. To achieve his objectives, Sakuni remained with Suyodhana advising him what Suyodhana liked.
From Chapter 17.
While, Pandavas were living in Varanavata, Vidura visits Dhritarashtra and warns him that the planets are against his sons. Even gods cannot overcome the designs of the planets. Vidura describes the begging carried out by Siva due to his beheading of Brahma.
From Chapter 18. Burning of Laksha house. Killing of Hidmba. Bhima marrying Hidimbi at the advise of Vyasa. Birth of Ghatotkaca. Killing of Baka.
from Chapter 19. Pancali Swayamvara.
There is five page description of Pancali.
Previous life of Draupadi: story of Mudgala and Nalayani.
For an instant, Draupadi looks at Karna with desire. Looking for Arjuna, She confuses Karna (Kunti's son is the word used here) for Arjuna.
Karna fails in his attempt because of Krishna's act (no elaboration of what this act is).
Balarama tries to make an attempt so that he can gift Draupadi to Duryodhana. At this point Krishna intervenes, informs Balarama that Pandavas are alive and points them out to him.
It is Arjuna who takes Draupadi home.
From Chapter 20. Arjuna's Pilgrimage
Narada visits and tells the story of Sunda and Upasunda. Arjuna's marriage with Citrangada. Arjuna has a son Babhrubahu. (Name is same as the son of Bhima and Nagakanya).
It is Balarama who, without recognising, puts up the disguised Arjuna in Subhadra's quarters.
From Chapter 21.
Duryodhana weds Bhanumati, daughter of Bhanuman. He has twentynine sons.
Now that the race which was at the point of extinction is blessed with many decsendents, Satyavati is contend with her life. Vyasa comes and takes her with him.
Chapter 22. Burning of Khandava.
From Chapter 23: Conquering the Lands
Narada visits and reports that Pandu can't enter higher places in heaven because he has'nt enough merit. Hearing it, Bhima is angry, takes a tree and want to proceed to heaven to remove Indra. Narada prevents him.
when Sahadeva came, Kerala is ruled by Trigarta. Since Agni aids Trigarta, Sahadeva is unable to conquer him. Then Sahadeva accepts the mediation by Agni. Agni facilitates the payment of tribute by Trigarta. Agni was the lover of the daughter of Trigarta. Agni decreed that, except Brahmin women, other women in Kerala need not be chaste and Brahmins may marry the kashatriya women.
Accepting the tributes given by the King (Trigartha), Sahadeva proceeded to Rameswaram. He was unable to cross the unbounded sea, to go to Lanka. Then Ghatotkacha arrived and bowed to him. As instructed by Sahadeva, Ghatotkaca proceeded to Lanka. The sea water was only upto the waist of the Danava hero. He (Ghatotkaca ) saw the bridge across the sea) made by the monkey (Nala). When he (Ghatotkaca reached Lanka, the Rakhshasa women, out of fear, ran to the King of Rakhshasas and said: ' Kumbhakarna, sho t with arrows by Raghava, is returning for a second time. Lord, you go and see for yourself.' The King proceeded and met Ghatotkaca . Ghatotkaca bowed to the King and presented the matter. The King said: "I am unable to travel due to the pain in my body. I am deputing my people with offerings to see the King (son of Dharma), who has devoted his mind to Achyuta and take part in the function". The huge son of Bhima (Ghatotkaca) recited all the words of the (Rakhshasa) King to Sahadeva.
Chapter 24. Killing of Magadha.
From Chapter 25. Rajasuya:
During Rajasuya, Sahadeva, the son of Maghadha (Jarasandha) says: 'Having Krishna (of numerous beings in his self) with you, whom are you searching to offer Agryapooja?'
From Chapter 26.
Duryodhana's mishaps at the Sabha. Bhima and Draupadi laughs.
From Chapter 28. Dhyutalila
One day the Pandava heroes were invited to the Palace. They were entertained with games such as Dice. Then Saubala (Sakuni), filled with a desire to avenge the death of his brothers and looking for an opportunity to send the Kaurava heroes to the God of Death, took out the dice pieces made out of bones and said: 'Now no one on earth can think of defeating the son of Dharma in the dice game. The Kaurava brother is also proficient in the game. The game should proceed with the loser putting up the stake.'
When Draupadi is won, Duryodhana asks Dussasana: Bring Draupadi to the Sabha, who laughed at me in the (other) Sabha.
When Dussasana tries to Disrob Draupadi, because of Krishna's grace, endless garments appeared.
After the disrobing episode, no one could answer Draupadi's question. To resolve the matter, Draupadi challenges Duryodhana for a dice game, defeats him and restores freedom to her husbands.
Akshaya Patra episode: Krishna comes to Yudhisthira in the guise of a brahmin.
Mookasura, a relative of the blind (?) Suyodhana used to visit hermitages assuming the form of a cat and steal milk and butter. The enrage sages cursed him to become a boar. The boar attacked Partha (Arjuna) (who was engaged in the worship of Siva).
Kalyana Saugandhikam episode: meeting of Bhima and Hanuman.
Dharma's test of Yudhisthira. Dharma's disguise as a brahmin.
It is Dhaumya who advises Pandavas and Draupadi to assume their particular disguises in Matsya's country.
Draupadi appraches Virata directly in her disguise and an amusing scene follws.
Kicaka threatens Sudeshna that he will Virata if she doesn't help him.
Stealing of Cattle.
Chapter 33. Krishna's mission.
When Arjuna and Suyodhana go to Dwaraka and request Krishna for help, Krishna says that due to old age (or maturity? the word used is ambigous) he is unable to fight. He asks Uddhava to divide the army equally. Divison is made with Satyaki and unarmed Krishna on one side, Balarama and the rest on the other side. Kauravas pick Rama and the army.
Balarama, on his way, visits the sage Gautama. Gautama requests him to take food. But Balarama wants to honour cows before taking food. Krishna hides the cows. He appears as a cow in front of Balarama. When Balarama touches the cow, it falls down as though it is dead. Thinking that he has killed a cow, Balarama proceeds for pilgrimage.
When Kunti sees Karna, milk comes out of her breast. Recognising him to be her son, Kunti proceeds to feed him her breast milk. Since those who drank her milk do not have the fear of the God of Death, Krishna went as a bird and dried her breast so that the Kings (Pandavas) may win.
Bhisma foretells Yudhisthira what will happen in the war and how his fall will come about.
From Chapter 35. The Fight by Bhishma
Seeing the people ready to fight, Dhananjaya said: "It is not right to fight against the relatives" . Then he abandoned his bow and arrow and stood grieving. The eternal lord of lotus eyes (Krishna) recited many good songs (Uttamagatha) and removed his sadness".
From Chapter 37.
During the avatara of Vishnu as Boar, he gave two of his portruding teeth to Goddess Earth. She gave them th her son Naraka. Naraka gave them to his son who in turn gave them to Bhagadatta who uses them against Arjuna in the war. Since no one would be able to withstand them Krishna intervenes and uses his breast as a shield.
After killing Samsaptakas, Krishna and Arjuna take bath in the lake Dvaipayana. While Arjuna is under water, Krishna comes out of water and says loud: Arjuna, your son is dead! Then he enters water again. Hearing it throgh the waters, Arjuna is sad and confused. Krishna tells him: To verify what Arjuna claims he has heard, let us go back to the battlefield.
Chapter 39. Killing of Jayadratha, Ghatotkaca.
When Yudhishtira says: Dead is Aswatthama, the elephant, Krishna blows his conch so that Drona won't hear the word elephant.
To verify whether Yudhisthira has spoken the truth, after protecting his body through Yoga, he leaves his body and goes in search of Aswatthama. Meanwhile Dhristhadyumna cuts his body into pieces. After verifying that Yudhisthira has spoken a lie, Drona decides to kill him and goes back to reenter his body. Seeing it in pieces, he decides to put them together. At that moment Bharadwaja descends from heaven and takes Doona with him.
From Chapter 42.
Hearing that Dussasana has fallen, Draupadi goes to the battlefield and puts her foot on his chest.
Bhima tears Dussasana's body into pieces. Drinking of blood.
Draupadi wears the liver as a garland. She collects the teeth of Dussasana. She laughs and recollects her abuse. People who watch says: She is the Goddess Death of the sinful Kauravas! She is the ViryaLakshmi of the Pandava heroes!
Draupadi ties her hair. Later on she takes a bath and goes to Kunti.
Karna's soul is protected by a vessel of Amrita residing in his heart. Knowing this, disguised as a brahmin, Krishna approaches Karna. Karna tells him : Krishna! I have known all your great deceits.
From Chapter 43. Bharatyuddham
Fallen Duryodhana instructs Sanjaya: Don't worry. Just as, at the word of Rama, the Devas brought back to life all the monkeys killed in the battlefield, I am going to bring back to like, the kings killed in battle. Please go and bring father, mother and the wives seperated frm their husbands. Saying this, medittaing up on Varuna Mantra, Duryodhana entered the lake.
On his way to Hastinapura, Sanjaya is caught by the brother of Krishna (Satyaki?) who tries to kill him but is prevented by Krishna.
Krishna says; Duryodhana will succeed soon. We have to kill him before one and a half "nazhika" ( a measure of time).
Balarama advises Duryodhana to give up fight. Duryodhana doesn't listen. Balarama goes to Naimisaranya.
When Duryodhana falls, Yudhisthira rushes to him and comforts him. This makes Krishna angry. In response Yudhisthira curses: Oh Krishna who is sinful because of the killing of your uncle! Your race will face a terrible end.
Aswatthama presented the heads of the sons of Pandavas and Shikhandi to the lord of Kauravas (Duryodhana). He (Duryodhana ) became sad because Aswatthama murdered the children.
Hearing about the murder of children, Arjuna confronted Aswatthama and as instructed by Krishna, neutralised the Brahmastra let off by him. Arjuna ties up Aswatthama and took him to Draupadi. Seeing the son of Drona bound, Draupadi became sad. She told Arjuna to release Drona's son. But Dharma's son (Yudhishtira) and Bhima told Arjuna to kill Aswatthama.
Yudhisthira conducts Aswamedha at the instruction of Bhisma. Bhisma further instructs Yudhisthira on Dharma.
From Chapter 45. Swargarohanam
Vyasa tells Arjuna: It is due to the curse of the sage that the women whom you tried to protect were abducted by the robbers.
Hearing about Krishna's departure from this world from Arjuna, Kunti leaves this world.
Fall of Draupadi, sons of Aswins, Arjuna and Bhima.
The episode with the dog.
Yudhisthira's vision of Hell.
Concluding sloka in sanskrit:
By means of Bharatagatha, written by the order of the knowledgable King of Kola, Udayavarma, the sins of Kali will be removed.