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The guerdon to thy virtues meet from that great Judge of men will pray.
“So groaning deep, that wretched pair, the hermit and his wife, essayed The meet ablution to prepare, their hands their last faint effort made. Divine, with glorious body bright, in splendid car of heaven elate, Before them stood their son in light, and thus consoled their helpless state: 'Meed of my duteous filial care, I've reached the wished for realms of joy; And ye, in those glad realms, prepare to meet full soon your dear-loved
boy. My parents, weep no more for me, yon warrior monarch slew me not, My death was thus ordained to be, predestined was the shaft he shot.' Thus as he spoke, the anchorite's son soared up the glowing heaven afar, In air his heavenly body shone, while stood he in his gorgeous car. But they, of that lost boy so dear the last ablution meetly made, Thus spoke to me that holy seer, with folded hands above his head. * Albeit by thy unknowing dart my blameless boy untimely fell, A curse I lay upon thy heart, whose fearful pain I know too well. As sorrowing for my son I bow, and yield up my unwilling breath, So, sorrowing for thy son shalt thou at life's last close repose in death.' That curse dread sounding in mine ear, to mine own city forth I set, Nor long survived that hermit seer, to mourn his child in lone regret. This day that Brahmin curse fulfilled hath fallen on my devoted head, In anguish for my parted child have all my sinking spirits fled. No more my darkened eyes can see, my clouded memory is o'ercast, Dark Yama's heralds summon me to his deep, dreary realm to haste. Mine eye no more my Rama sees, and grief-o'erborne, my spirits sink, As the swoln stream sweeps down the trees that grow upon the crumbling
brink. Oh, felt I Rama's touch, or spake one word his home-returning voice, Again to life I should awake, as quaffing nectar draughts, rejoice, But what so sad could e'er have been, celestial partner of my heart, As Rama's beauteous face unseen, from life untimely to depart? His exile in the forest o'er, him home returned to Oude's high town, Oh happy those, that see once more, like Indra from the sky come down. No mortal men, but gods I deem, - moonlike, before whose wondering sight My Rama's glorious face shall beam, from the dark forest bursting bright. Happy that gaze on Rama's face with beauteous teeth and smile of love, Like the blue lotus in its grace, and like the starry king above.
Like to the full autumnal moon, and like the lotus in its bloom,
“Ah, Rama! ah, my son !” thus said, or scarcely said, the king of men,
“ It is a deep and noble forest, abounding in delicious fruits and fragrant flowers, shaded and watered by perennial springs.”
"HOUGH parts of the Mahâ-Bhârata, or story of the
great war, are of great antiquity, the entire poem was undoubtedly collected and re-written in the first or second century A. D. Tradition ascribes the Maha-Bhârata to the Brahman Krishna Dwaipayana Vyasa.
The Maha-Bhârata, unlike the Râ mâyana, is not the story of some great event, but consists of countless episodes, legends, and philosophical treatises, strung upon the thread of a single story. These episodes are called Upakhyanani, and the five most beautiful are called, in India, the five precious stones.
Its historical basis is the strife between the Aryan invaders of India and the original inhabitants, illustrated in the strife between the sons of the Raja Pandu and the blind Raja, Dhrita-rashtra, which forms the main story of the poem.
Though marred by the exaggerations peculiar to the Hindu, the poem is a great treasure house of Indian history, and from it the Indian poets, historical writers, and philosophers have drawn much of their material.
The Mahâ-Bhârata is written in the Sanskrit language ; it is the longest poem ever written, its eighteen cantos containing two hundred thousand lines.
It is held in even higher regard than the Râmâyana, and the reading of it is supposed to confer upon the happy reader every good and perfect gift.
BIBLIOGRAPHY AND CRITICISM, THE MAHÅ-BHÂRATA. G. W. Cox's Mythology and Folklore, 1881, p. 313; John
Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology, Reli-
STANDARD ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS, THE MAHẬ-BHÂRATA. The Mahâ-Bhârata, Selections from the, Tr. by Sir Edwin Arnold, in his Indian Poetry, 1886; in his Indian Idylls, 1883; Nala and Damayanti and other Poems, Tr. from the Mahâ-Bhârata by H. H. Milman, 1834 (his translation of the Story of Nala is edited with notes by Monier Williams, 1879); Metrical translations from Sanskrit writers by John Muir, 1879, pp. 13-37; Last Days of Krishna, Tr. from the Mahâ-Bhârata, by David Price (Oriental Translation Fund: Miscellaneous Translations); The MahâBhârata, an English Prose Translation with notes, by Protap Chandra Roy, Published in one hundred parts, 1883–1890 ; Asiatic Researches, Tr. by H. H. Wilson, from the MahâBhârata, vol. xv., p. 101; Translations of episodes from the Mahâ-Bhârata, in Scribner's Monthly, 1874, vol. vii., p. 385; International Review, vol. x., pp. 36, 297; Oriental Magazine, Dec., 1824, March, Sept., 1825, Sept., 1826.
THE STORY OF THE MAHẬ-BHÂRATA.
there dwelt in India two great Rajas who were brothers, the Raja Pandu and the blind Raja, Dhritarashtra. The former had five noble sons called the Pandavas, the eldest of whom was Yudhi-sthira, the second Bhima, the third Arjuna, and the youngest, twin sons, Nakalu and Sahadeva. All were gifted in every way, but Arjuna was especially noble in form and feature.
The blind Raja had a family of one hundred sons, called the Kauravas from their ancestor, Kura. The oldest of these was Duryodhana, and the bravest, Dhusasana.
Before the birth of Pandu's sons, he had left his kingdom in charge of Dhrita-rashtra, that he might spend his time in hunting in the forests on the slopes of the Himalayas. After his death Dhrita-rashtra continued to rule the kingdom ; but on account of their claim to the throne, he invited the Pandavas and their mother to his court, where they were trained, together with his sons, in every knightly exercise.
There was probably jealousy between the cousins from the beginning, and when their teacher, Drona, openly expressed his pride in the wonderful archery of Arjuna, the hatred of the Kauravas was made manifest. No disturbance occurred, however, until the day when Drona made a public tournament to display the prowess of his pupils.
The contests were in archery and the use of the noose and of clubs. Bhima, who had been endowed by the serpent king with the strength of ten thousand elephants, especially excelled in the use of the club, Nakalu was most skillful in taming and driving the horse, and the others in the use of the sword and spear. When Arjuna made use of the bow and the noose the plaudits with which the spectators greeted his skill so enraged the Kauravas that they turned the contest of clubs, which was to have been a friendly one, into a degrading and blood-shedding battle. The spectators left