At the fag-end of the tournament, when they heard the tumultuous sound at the gates, filled with wonder the spectators asked, “Have the mountains crumbled?” “Has the earth been torn apart?” as they looked in that direction. With naturally endowed armour (kavaca) and earrings (kuṇḍala), Karṇa walked to the center of the arena like a walking mountain.
There lived a teacher by name Kṛpācārya who taught archery to the kings of the Vṛṣṇi clan and other kṣatriya clans. The Kauravas and Pāṇḍavas were his disciples too. Bhīṣma was not content with this; he thought that his grandchildren should be trained under a person who was an expert in several śāstras and skilled in combat; he wanted the teacher to be a genius and nurture the grandchildren to turn them into extraordinary people. As he was looking for such a person, an interesting episode took place.
Back at Hastināpura, Gāndhārī too was pregnant; even as she was carrying, she heard that Kuntī had given birth to Yudhiṣṭhira. She hadn’t given birth even after two years of pregnancy; the pain was unbearable too. So one day, extremely upset, she squeezed her abdomen and pushed out the foetus. The foetus came out as a ball of flesh. “Is this what Īśvara blessed has me with in the past; is this what Vyāsa promised!” Thinking thus with disgust, she was about to throw the ball of flesh away.
The two children who were born to Satyavatī passed away at a young age. Satyavatī was saddened, thinking about her responsibility towards the lineage of her parents and husband. She called Bhīṣma and said, “O Bhīṣma! As you see, King Śantanu’s lineage has ended with you. You’re well-versed in the Vedas and the Vedāṅgas; you also have a good understanding of dharma. So I repose faith in you and will tell you something; you should carry out my request. My son and your younger brother, Vicitravīrya, left this world without begetting children.
नरञ्चैव नरोत्तमम् ।
देवीं सरस्वतीं व्यासं
ततो जयमुदीरयेत् ॥
Having saluted Nārāyaṇa,
the human and the divine;
Sarasvatī; and Vyāsa –
May Jaya be hailed!
With this part, we conclude the translation series of the preface to Vacanabhārata. The current article describes the literary approach of AR Krishna Sastri in composing the prose rendition of the Mahābhārata in Kannada. Drawing inspiration from his approach, the current translators, Arjun Bharadwaj and Hari Ravikumar are working on bringing out a prose rendition of the Mahābhārata in English.
The article also contains some autobiographical details that throw light on the meticulousness of the author.
The primary characteristics of the modern world are material wealth and individual freedom [c. 1950]. Today, an individual desires to be independent as much as possible. However, in practice, he seems to think that he should not have anything binding him, he will not pay heed to anyone’s words, and he would like to do whatever he desires without anyone questioning him—this has been the result.
The word ‘karma’ means ‘activity.’ In a narrower sense, it can also mean the Vedic rituals of yajña and yāga, building of socially useful amenities such as lake and ponds, and observance of pūjā and rituals that are prescribed in the Purāṇas, Smṛtis, and Āgamas. In common parlance, it also refers to a bad action that leads to sin. Yajñas and yāgas are mainly performed to please nature deities such as Indra and Agni.
There are times when we face difficulties as a result of our own ignorance, indiscretion, dullness of intellect, stupidity, etc., but at other times, we face difficulties because of the ignorance and indiscretion of other people. Sometimes we face difficulties due to reasons beyond us. Thinking this way, we may assume that humans are responsible for wars; however, what can be said of calamities such as earthquakes, cyclone, famine and flood – these are, i.e., acts of the divine.
The Vagaries of Comforts and Discomforts
Why are there difficulties, troubles, sorrows, and atrocities on earth? Nobody desires for these. Everyone wants to be comfortable and happy. Merely by aspiring to be free of troubles doesn’t lead to such a state; just because one wants to be happy, it is not easy to attain. Some have only happiness in their lives while some others have only difficulties.