Vana Parva

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The Pandavas go into exile (pictured) for 13 years - the first 12 years in forest, the last year incognito. Vana Parva describes the first 12 years of the exile.

Vana Parva, also known as the “Book of the Forest”, is the third of eighteen books of the Indian epic Mahabharata.[1] Vana Parva has 21 sub-books and 324 chapters.[2] It is one of the longest books in the Epic.[3]

It discusses the twelve-year sojourn of the Pandavas in the forest, the lessons they learn there and how it builds their character.[4]

It is one of the longest of the 18 books in the Mahabharata, and contains numerous discussions on virtues and ethics, along with myths of Arjuna, Yudhishthara, Bhima tales of “Nahusha the snake and Yudhisthira” as well as “Ushinara and the hawk”, love stories of “Nala and Damayanti”, as well as “Savitri and Satyavan”.[1][4]

Structure and chapters[edit]

This book has 21 sub-parvas (sub-books or little books) and 324[5] sections (chapters).[2][6] The following are the sub-parvas:

1. Aranyaka Parva (sections: 1-10)[6]
Pandavas go into exile to the forest of Kamyaka. Sage Vidura advises Dhritarashta to recall Yudhisthira and give him back his kingdom. Dhritarashtra refuses, Vidura leaves and joins Pandava brothers. Vyasa, as well as Maitreya counsel Dhritarashtra to conclude peace with the Pandavas. Dhritarashtra refuses.
2. Kirmirabadha Parva (section 11)
The battle between man-eating demon Kirmira and the giant Pandava brother, Bhima. Kirmira is killed.
3. Arjunabhigamana Parva (sections: 12-37)[7]
The parva introduces Krishna, his accomplishments in the past. Krishna criticizes gambling as one of four sins that ruins a man, laments he was absent when Yudhisthira accepted the game of dice. Yudhisthira expresses remorse and anguish for his gambling habit. Krishna suggests persuasion, followed by force if necessary, is appropriate to prevent one's friend before he commits a sinful act such as gambling. Draupadi appeals to Yudhisthira to wreak vengeance on Kaurava (Kuru) brothers. In Chapters 27 through 36, the theory of forgiveness is debated between various characters - should one always forgive, never forgive, and forgive sometimes; when is it appropriate to forgive people or oneself, when it is not; what are appropriate and proportionate punishment? The chapters also discuss anger, how it is destructive to a person and to society at large. Draupadi offers arguments of cause and effect of actions (karma), suggests free will, and questions whether forgiveness defeats the principle of consequences. Yudhisthira disagrees with Draupadi, and presents the theory that virtue is its own reward. Draupadi praises those who believe in free will and shape the future, she censures those who believe in chance or destiny. Bhima questions whether virtue is virtue if it creates misery for everyone; suggests that Dharma (virtue) and Artha (profit) and Kama (emotional pleasure) should normally go together, thereafter he presents arguments for use of will and force to regain the kingdom. Yudhisthira disagrees with Bhima, argues one must keep one's pledge once made. The arguments are left open ended, with no consensus conclusion presented, the characters retire from the debate pensively. Vyasa arrives, and shares the theory and knowledge of Pratismriti with the Pandavas.
4. Kirata Parva (sections: 38-41)[6][8]
Arjuna meditates and lives like an austere Rishi in the forest, to gain knowledge. Mahadeva (Shiva) visits Arjuna, disguised as Kirata. They battle each other, which ends in draw. Mahadeva reveals his true identity. Indra and other deities visit Arjuna.
5. Indralokagamana Parva (sections: 42-51)[2]
Vana Parva has the love story of Nala and Damayanti, where Nala like Yudhisthira once suffered from gambling. The story describes how Nala overcomes his mistake and learns a life lesson. The story also describes how a swan introduces Nala to Damayanti, carries love messages between them, how at her Swayamvara - the time to choose whom she will marry, she picks Nala the human, from a parade of gods.[9][10]
Arjuna visits heaven. The parva describes the city of Indra. Gods furnish celestial weapons to Arjuna. Goddess Urvasi seduces Arjuna, enters his bedroom. Married Arjuna declines to mate with her. Urvasi gets angry, curses. Deity Indra converts the curse into a boon.
6. Nalopakhyana Parva (sections: 52-79)[6]
Yudhisthira continues in his anguish that his gambling error has caused, declares himself the most wretched person on earth. Vrihadashwa consoles him with the story of Nala, another prince who erred by gambling, and recovered from his mistake. Nalopakhyana parva recites the love story of prince Nala and princess Damayanti, who never met each other, yet fall in love with each other, after learning about each other's character, virtues, passions and beliefs through a hansa (swan). The feathery messenger transmits their love messages. Damayanti's father announces a Swayamvara - a contest between eligible bachelors so that Damayanti can watch and choose the man she wants to marry. The gods arrive to win over Damayanti, the gods pick Nala as their representative and messenger. Nala is in a bind, but tries honestly to convince Damayanti that she marry Indra, or one of the deities. Damayanti picks Nala, the human. One of the gods gets upset at Damayanti's choice, so he challenges Nala to a game of dice. Nala, like Yudhisthira, loses the game and the kingdom to Pushkara; he goes into exile, Nala and Damayanti are separated even though they want to be together. Damayanti runs away from her father's kingdom. Several chapters describe their various traumas and adventures. Damayanti's father finds her, she returns to the kingdom. A new, second Swayamvara is announced. Nala comes to the kingdom disguised as Vahuka. Damayanti discovers Vahuka, knows it is Nala. They meet, talk. Nala gets the kingdom back from Pushkara. Damayanti and Nala take over the kingdom, live happily ever after.[10] The story inspires Yudhisthira to focus on the future.
7. Tirtha-yatra Parva (sections: 80-157)[2]
Sage Narada visits the Pandava brothers. He suggests tirthas to Pandava brothers - a visit to holy places in India. The parva provides the benefits, directions and a list of tirthas - Kurukshetra, Ganga, Yamuna, Prayaga, Pratisthana, Brahmasara, and others. Pandavas start the Narada-recommended tirthas. The history of various gods is described. The parva includes the story of Ushinara, the pigeon and the hawk. The hawk wants to eat the pigeon, pigeon comes to Ushinara and requests protection from hawk. The hawk questions Ushinara as to why he is going against Dharma - the principles of life. Ushinara explains that it is his Dharma to protect the weak from the strong. The hawk claims that by denying him pigeon-food, Ushinara is denying food to his children and his wife in his nest, as well he who is oppressed by hunger; by protecting the pigeon, Ushinara is saving the pigeon but killing baby-hawks. The parva then presents the theory of contesting virtues,[11] that is when one good is in conflict with another good, how must one choose between two goods, between two conflicting virtues? Ushinara answers with the theory of preponderance, then offers to hunt and feed the hawk, an offer that is questioned and rejected on celestial Dharma grounds by the hawk. Finally, to save the pigeon's life, Ushinara offers his own flesh to feed the hawk. The hawk accepts the offer; Ushinara cuts his own flesh of volume equal to pigeon, and weighs it. It falls short, so he cuts and adds more of his own flesh. But the pigeon's weight keeps on increasing. Ushinara finally has to weigh his whole body to equal that of the pigeon - when he does so, the hawk reappears as deity Indra and the pigeon reappears as deity Agni. They restore Ushinara, praise his virtue and compassion. Other stories include king Janaka's sacrifice, king Somaka and his liberation from hell, how Bhagiratha brought Ganges river to earth from heaven, the births of Ashtavakra, Mandhata and Rishyasringa, the journey of Bhima for celestial lotuses.
8. Yaksha-yudha Parva (sections: 158-164)[6]
A demon kidnaps Yudhisthira, Krishna and the twins. Bhima finds and slays the demon. Pandavas arrive at the hermitage of Arshtishena. Arjuna returns from heaven.
9. Nivata-kavacha-yudha Parva (sections: 165-175)[2]
Arjuna describes his travel, why he left, where he was, what he did. Arjuna shows the celestial weapons he now possessed. He demonstrates their effectiveness by destroying the aerial city of Hiranyapura, then proceeds to demonstrate before Yudhisthira his power further. In Chapter 175, sage Narada appears, counsels that war and weapons should not be unleashed unless there is necessary and compelling cause, that rash violence is destructive and wrong. This puts a stop to the violence.
10. Ajagara Parva (sections: 176-181)[6]
Pandavas arrive at Kailaca. A mighty snake, Nahusha ties up the giant Pandava brother, Bhima. Yudhisthira searches for Bhima, finds him in snake's grip. The snake offers to free Bhima if Yudhisthira answers his questions. The snake and Yudhisthira ask each other questions. This is a discourse on Dharma, the theory of birth-rebirth, transmigration and how to achieve moksha in Chapters 180 to 181. These chapters also offers a theory of caste - claiming it is very difficult to ascertain one's caste because all orders have had promiscuous intercourse. Ajagara Parva claims people from all the four castes are without restriction constantly interbreeding. All four have the same speech, cohabit, they all are born and die the same way. What matters, claims Yudhisthira, is the character of a person.[12] Yudhisthira and the snake then discuss the relative merit of four virtues (charity, kind speech, truthfulness and unenviousness), which virtue is better than the other? They discuss universal spirit and salvation from transmigration. The snake lets go of Bhima, is itself released from a curse, appears as Nahusha, and achieves salvation.
11. Markandeya-Samasya Parva (sections: 182-231)[6]
Markandeya presents the story of yugas (Kreta, Treta, Dapara and Kali yugas), and of Vami horses. Through Chapters 200 to 206, the parva offers contrasting views - both traditional and ritualistic, as well as knowledge and personal development - on vice and virtues.[13] The parva, in Chapters 207-211, presents one of the many discussions on Karma doctrine, in Mahabharata. Chapters 211 to 215 explain the relationship between self discipline, virtues and qualities (sattva, rajas and tamas), how these qualities enables one to achieve knowledge of the supreme spirit. Markandeya-Samasya parva recites the story of Vrihaspati and of Skanda.
12. Draupadi-Satyabhama Samvada Parva (sections: 232-234)[6]
Satyabhama asks Draupadi for advice on how to win affections of Krishna. Draupadi outlines duties of a wife.
Chapters 258-260 of Vana Parva describe the meeting of Pandavas and sage Vyasa in the forest (above). The sage tells the story of Mudgala, who after his death, refuses to go to heaven, prefers the path of knowledge instead. The swans carrying Mudgala (below) signify his moksha.[2]
13. Ghosha-yatra Parva (sections: 235-256)[2]
Karna advises Duryodhana to confront the Pandavas in exile, but Dhritarashtra dissaudes Duryodhana. Karna and Duryodhana leave for Dwaitavana. They quarrel with Gandharvas, are defeated and held captive. A request for rescue is sent to Yudhisthira, who urges his brothers to rescue the captives, even though these captives have been persecuting them. Yudhisthira explains why rescuing the captives is the right thing to do. The brothers decide to rescue, because Gandharvas are growing danger to humanity. When Pandavas arrive, Gandharvas release Duryodhana. This act of kindness makes Duryodhana despondent. Karna soothes Duryodhana, then proceeds to a wave of conquest and victories.
14. Mriga Sapnovbhava Parva (section 257)[2]
Yudhishthira has a dream about a deer, who pleads that Pandavas living in the forest have invited many people to live there. The residents hunt indiscriminately, and the deer fear they will be exterminated. The deer pleads Yudhishthira to move to another location, which will prevent deer species from extinction. Yudhishthira concludes that it is his Dharma to ensure welfare of all creatures, including animals in a forest. The Pandava brothers discuss it, agree that wildlife deserves their compassion, and decide to move. The Pandavas move from Dwaitavana forest to Kamyaka forest.
15. Vrihi Drounika Parva (sections: 258-260)[6]
Chapter 258 describes the 11th year of Pandavas exile, Sage Vyasa visits the Pandavas. He instructs on morality. Vyasa recites the story of Rishi Mudgala, who after his death refuses to be taken to heaven - the abode of celestial happiness. The story then describes Parabrahma, a place of contemplation and Jnana yoga, which is the path Mudgala chooses for his eternal emancipation.
16. Draupadi-harana Parva (sections: 261-270)
Draupadi is kidnapped by Jayadratha. Pandavas set out to rescue her. The story describes the battle and death of Jayadratha's followers and his capture. Jayadratha is not killed, but questioned by Yudhisthira.
17. Jayadhratha Vimokshana Parva (section 271)
Yudhisthira sets Jayadratha free. Jayadratha returns to his house in anger, seeking ways to take revenge against the Pandavas.
The love story of Savitri and Satyavan is described in Vana Parva.[14]
18. Rama Upakhyana Parva (sections: 272-291)[8]
The parva recites a short summary of Ramayana, the other Indian epic, in order to comfort Yudhisthira who laments the long exile his brothers have suffered.
19. Pativrata-mahatmya Parva (sections: 292-299)[2]
Pativrata-mahatmya parva describes the love story of Savitri - a princess, and Satyavan - a hermit. They meet, fall in love. Sage Narada informs Savitri of one defect of the virtuous man Satyayan, which is certain to kill him within a year.[15] Savitri accepts and weds Satyayan, nevertheless, saying, "Whether his years be few or many, be he gifted with all grace or graceless, him my heart has chosen, and it chooseth not again."[15] Savitri, who knows Satyavan will die soon, stays with him all the time. She follows him wherever, whenever he goes anywhere. One day Satyavan heads to the forest to collect wood, with Savitri following him. As predicted by sage Narada, the defect causes Satyayan's early death. Yama - the lord of death - appears before Savitri. Yama carries away Satyavan's soul; Savitri - in deep love for Satyayan, her husband - follows Yama.[16] The lord of death tries to console, discourage her and asks her to move on. Savitri refuses to relent, follows Satyayan's soul and Yama. She obtains four boons from Yama, which ultimately forces Yama to release Satyavan's life. Satyavan returns to consciousness. Savitri and Satyavan live happily together.
20. Kundalaharana Parva (sections 299-309)[6]
The parva describes the story of Karna, how he was born to Kunti and deity Surya, why Kunti placed the baby in a basket and let him adrift on river Aswa, how she felt sorry afterwards, how baby Karna was found by Radha and reared by Adhiratha. The chapters describe how Karna grows up and learns to be an expert bowman. Karna exchanges his divine ear-rings, for infallible arrow, with deity Indra. This introduction to Karna sets the stage for future chapters, as Karna plays a major role in later books of the Mahabharata.
21. Aranya Parva (sections: 310-324)[2]
Pandavas return to Dwaitavana forest. They chase a deer who has carried away firesticks of a priest. The deer is too fast to catch. The Pandava brothers rest after exhaustion and from thirst. Each goes, one after another, to a lake to fetch water, where each dies. Finally Yudhisthira goes to the lake, where he laments the death of his brothers. Yaksha, with a booming aerial voice, appears. He interrogates Yudhisthira with about 144 questions about nature of human life, necessary virtues for a happy life, ethics and morality.[17] Yudhisthira answers the questions correctly. Yaksha revives Pandava brothers, and reveals himself as Dharma, awards Yudhisthira boons that will help the Pandavas in their 13th required year of concealed life.

English translations[edit]

Several translations of the Sanskrit book Vana Parva in English are available. Two translations from 19th century, now in public domain, are those by Kisari Mohan Ganguli[6] and Manmatha Nath Dutt.[2] The translations vary with each translator's interpretations. For example:

Original Sanskrit:

कषमा धर्मः कषमा यज्ञः कषमा वेदाः कषमा शरुतम |
यस ताम एवं विजानाति स सर्वं कषन्तुम अर्हति ||
कषमा बरह्म कषमा सत्यं कषमा भूतं च भावि च |
कषमा तपः कषमा शौचं कषमया चॊद्धृतं जगत ||

Kashyapa quoted in Arjunabhigamana Parva, Vana Parva, Mahabharata Book iii[18]

Kisari Mohan Ganguli's translation:

Forgiveness is virtue; forgiveness is sacrifice, forgiveness is the Vedas, forgiveness is the Shruti. He that knoweth this is capable of forgiving everything. Forgiveness is Brahma; forgiveness is truth; forgiveness is stored ascetic merit; forgiveness protecteth the ascetic merit of the future; forgiveness is asceticism; forgiveness is holiness; and by forgiveness is it that the universe is held together.

—Kashyapa quoted in Arjunabhigamana Parva, Vana Parva, Mahabharata Book iii.29[19]

Manmatha Nath Dutt's translation:

Forgiveness is virtue, forgiveness is sacrifice, forgiveness is the Vedas, forgiveness is Sruti,
he who knows all this is capable of forgiving all.
Forgiveness is Brahma, forgiveness is truth, forgiveness is accumulated and future (ascetic) merit,
forgiveness is the devout penance, forgiveness is purity, and by forgiveness is the universe sustained.

—Kashyapa quoted in Arjunabhigamana Parva, Vana Parva, Mahabharata Book iii.29[20]

J. A. B. van Buitenen completed an annotated edition of Vana Parva, based on critically edited and least corrupted version of Mahabharata known in 1975.[1] Debroy, in 2011, notes that updated critical edition of Vana Parva, with spurious and corrupted text removed, has 16 sub-books, 299 adhyayas (chapters) and 10,239 shlokas (verses).[21] Debroy has published a translated version of a critical edition of Vana Parva in Volume 2 and 3 of his series.[22]

Clay Sanskrit Library has published a 15 volume set of the Mahabharata which includes a translation of Vana Parva by William Johnson. This translation is modern and uses an old manuscript of the Epic. The translation does not remove verses and chapters now widely believed to be spurious and smuggled into the Epic in 1st or 2nd millennium AD.[23]

Inspiration for later works[edit]

The Kirata sub-parva of Vana Parva has inspired several major poems and expanded works, such as the Kirātārjunīya by Bhāravi - considered by Monier Monier-Williams as an example of the poetic inventiveness in ancient India enabled by Sanskrit grammar, its flexibility in compounding of words and the use of mathematical meter, all accomplished with spiritual meaning.[24]

Quotations and teachings[edit]

In Kirata sub-book of Vana Parva, Mahadeva (Shiva) visits Arjuna, disguised as Kirata. They battle, which ends in a draw. Mahadeva reveals his true identity (pictured above). In the Indralokagamana Parva, Arjuna visits heaven as a guest of the gods.

Aranyaka Parva, Chapter 1:

O foremost of men, listen to the merits and demerits, as we indicate,
that respectively arise from associating with what is good and what is bad.
As cloth, water, sesame-seeds and ground are perfumed by their association with flowers,
so qualities are derived from association.

Association with the fools produces delusion,
as daily association with the honest and good produces virtue.
Therefore those who are virtuously inclined should associate with men,
who are wise, old, honest, and pure in conduct and who are ascetics.

We get sin by serving the sinful,
conversation and association with them, cause diminution of virtue.

Association with the mean and the low,
makes one's understanding mean and low;
Association with the indifferent makes it indifferent, and
association with the good makes it good.

—Aranyaka Parva, Vana Parva, Mahabharata Book iii.1[25]

Aranyaka Parva, Chapter 2:

Thousand causes of grief and hundred causes of fear overwhelm the ignorant day after day, but not the learned.
Intelligent men never allow themselves to be deluded by acts which are opposed to true knowledge, which is fraught with every kind of evil, and which is destructive of salvation.

This world is afflicted with both bodily and mental sufferings,
Disease, contact with painful things, toil and want of objects desired — these are the four causes ef the sufferings of the body,
Disease may be allayed by the application of medicine, but mental ailments are cured by Yoga meditation.

As a hot iron ball makes the water of a jar hot, so mental grief brings bodily pains,
As water quenches fire, so knowledge allays mental ailments,
When mind enjoys peace, body also enjoys peace.

Attachment is the root of all misery and of all fear. Attachment produces joy and grief of every kind,
From attachment spring all wordly desires, and it is from attachment that springs the love of worldly goods,
The man that is influenced by attachment is tortured by desire, and from the desire that springs up in his heart, his thirst for worldly possessions increases.

This thirst is sinful, and is regarded as the source of all anxieties.
To many men, the wealth they possess is their bane. The man, who sees happiness in wealth and becomes attached to it, knows not what true happiness is.

—Aranyaka Parva, Vana Parva, Mahabharata Book iii.2[26]

Aranyaka Parva, Chapter 2:

Pleasant looks, cheerful heart and sweet words are due to a guest. Rising up, the host should advance towards the guest; he should offer him a seat, and duly worship him. This is the eternal Dharma.

—Aranyaka Parva, Vana Parva, Mahabharata Book iii.2[27]

Vana Parva dedicates many chapters on Arjuna (pictured above in Bali, Indonesia). Arjuna visits heaven, meets Indra and other deities, receives celestial weapons as gifts. When he returns to the forest home of Pandava brothers, he demonstrates to them their power by destroying an aerial city. Sage Narada appears, demands to know why he is wrongly unleashing weapons of war without cause, just to show off. Arjuna stops the violence.

Arjunabhigamana Parva, Chapters 28-29:

Vali said: Does forgiveness lead to well-being, O father, or prowess or energy ?
Prahlada said:
Do you learn, my son, these two truths without any doubt — neither does prowess always lead to well-being nor does forgiveness,
He who forgives always, O my son, suffers many evils— servants, strangers and enemies always disregard him.
Perpetual forgiveness therefore, O my son, is avoided by the learned.

(...)
These and various other evils attend those who always forgive.
Listen, O son of Virochana, to (other) evils that beset a person that never forgives.

If an angry person, always beset by the quality of darkness, inflicts punishments,
by this own energy, upon deserving and non-deserving persons,
he is alienated from his friends and hated by outsiders as well as his own relations.

Therefore people should not be always angry or mild,
they should exhibit their anger or mildness in proper hours.

If your former benefactor commits a heinous offence you should forgive him considering his former benefaction,
Those that commit an offence out of ignorance or foolishness should be forgiven — for people cannot always easily attain to learning,
Those crooked men, who having committed an offence wittingly plead ignorance, should be punished even if their offence be trifling,

The first offence of all men should be forgiven; when they commit the second, they should not,
If a person unknowingly commits an offence — he should be pardoned, it is said, after having made a proper enquiry.
Strength might be vanquished by forgiveness, weakness might be vanquished by forgiveness; therefore forgiveness is truly fiercer.

Yudhisthira said:
Anger is in this world, the root of the destruction of mankind,
The angry man commits a sin; the angry man murders his preceptor; the angry man insults his ciders with harsh words.
The angry man cannot distinguish what should be and should not be said by him,
there is nothing which cannot be said or done by an angry man.
From anger a man may kill one who should not be killed and adore one that should be slain,
an angry man may even despatch his own self to the abode of Yama.

Anger is conquered by one desirous of excellent well being,
The wise man, though oppressed, treats his persecutor with indifference,
A wise man whether he be strong or weak, should always forgive his persecutor.
Renouncing anger a man can display his true energy,
Anger is equivalent to energy - anger has been given to mankind for the destruction of the world.

Forgiveness is the energy of the energetic,
forgiveness is the sacrifice,
forgiveness is the truth of the truthful,
forgiveness is the control of mind.

—Arjunabhigamana Parva, Vana Parva, Mahabharata Book iii.28-29[28]

Arjunabhigamana Parva, Chapter 30:

By actions men are placed in different situations of life; consequences of action are inevitable, from ignorance people desire for the liberation from action.

Draupadi, Arjunabhigamana Parva, Vana Parva, Mahabharata Book iii.30[29]

Ajagara Parva, Chapter 180:

The snake asked: O king, whom can we call a Brahmana?
Yudhisthira said: O monarch of snakes, it is said that he is a Brahmana in whom are found the qualities of truthfulness, charity, forgiveness, good conduct, benevolence, asceticism and mercy.
The serpent said: O Yudhisthira, even in the Sudras are found truthfulness, charity, forgiveness, benevolence, mercy, kindness, and knowledge of the Veda which promotes the welfare of the four orders, which is true and which is the guide in religious matters.
Yudhisthira said: The Sudra in whom these characteristics are present is no Sudra, he is a Brahmna; and the Brahmana in whom these are wanting is no Brahmana at all, he is a Sudra.

—Ajagara Parva, Vana Parva, Mahabharata Book iii.180[30]

Markandeya-Samasya Parva, Chapter 200:

Amongst all the senses, mind is the most dangerous.

These high-souled men who do not commit sin in word, in deed, in heart or in soul, really perform asceticism,
but not those who make their bodies emaciated by fasts and penances.
Fasts and other penances, however they may weaken and dry up the body, cannot destroy sins,
Through holiness and virtue alone, men can go to the regions of bliss.

Shaving one's head, abandoning home, having matted locks on head, observing daily fasts, worshipping fire, bathing in water - these cannot lead one to heaven,
Those only that are endued with holiness succeed with knowledge, and by observing virtuous deeds do they alone obtain a high state.

The knowledge of one's identity with the supreme soul is the sign of salvation,
Complete emancipation cannot be obtained without knowledge.

—Markandeya-Samasya Parva, Vana Parva, Mahabharata Book iii.200.98-118[31]

In the Araneya sub-book, Yaksha kills four Pandava brothers, one after another, when they arrive at a lake to fetch water. Yudhisthira arrives at the lake (shown). Yaksha offers to revive their life, if Yudhisthira answers his questions correctly. Yaksha asks some 144 questions on nature of human life, virtues, ethics, duties and society. This is one of many discussions of virtues and ethics in Vana Parva.

Vrihi Drounika Parva, Chapter 268:

Men experience happiness and misery by turn. No man ever enjoys unmixed happiness. A wise man, possessing high wisdom, knowing that life has its ups and downs, is neither filled with joy nor with grief. When happiness comes, one should enjoy it, and when misery comes one should bear it.

—Vrihi Drounika Parva, Vana Parva, Mahabharata Book iii.268.13-15[32]

Araneya Parva, Chapter 312:

The Yaksha asked: What is the invincible enemy of men? What is their permanent disease ? Who is honest ? Who is dishonest ?
Yudhisthira replied: Anger is the most invincible enemy. Covetuousness is the incurable disease. He who is friendly to all creatures is honest. And he who is cruel is dishonest.
The Yaksha asked: What is the path ?
Yudhisthira replied: Discussions do not lead to definite conclusions. The Srutis are divided in opinion. And there is not a single Rishi whose opinions can be accepted as conclusive. Truth about religious matters is hidden in caves. Therefore that is the proper path which has been followed by great men.

—Araneya Parva, Vana Parva, Mahabharata Book iii.312.91-92, iii.312.114-117[33]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c J. A. B. van Buitenen (Translator), The Mahabharata, Volume 2, 1981, ISBN 978-0226846644
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Vana Parva The Mahabharata, Translated by Manmatha Nath Dutt (1894)
  3. ^ Monier Williams (1868), Indian Epic Poetry, University of Oxford, Williams & Norgate - London, page 103
  4. ^ a b Bibek Debroy (2011), The Mahābhārata, Volume 3, ISBN 978-0143100157, Penguin Books
  5. ^ Last Chapter of Vana Parva The Mahabharata, Translated by Manmatha Nath Dutt (1894)
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Vana Parva Mahabharata, Translated by Kisari Mohan Ganguli, Published by P.C. Roy (1884)
  7. ^ Vana Parva The Mahabharata, Translated by Manmatha Nath Dutt (1894), pages 18-61
  8. ^ a b Monier Williams (1868), Indian Epic Poetry, University of Oxford, Williams & Norgate - London, page 104
  9. ^ Adelaide Rudolph (1902), Nala and Damayanti, The Kirgate Press, New York
  10. ^ a b Peter Sklivas (2013), The Secret of Enduring Love: Yoga Romance of Damayanti and Nala, ISBN 978-0989649605, Boston
  11. ^ See conflict problem in virtue ethics, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Stanford University (2012)
  12. ^ Vana Parva Mahabharata, Translated by Manmatha Nath Dutt (1894), page 262 (Verses 31-34)
  13. ^ Vana Parva Mahabharata, Translated by Manmatha Nath Dutt (1894), pages 300-314
  14. ^ Verma, K. D. (1977). Myth and Symbol in Aurobindo's Savitri, Journal of South Asian Literature, 12 (3/4), pages 67-72
  15. ^ a b Monier Williams (1868), Indian Epic Poetry, University of Oxford, Williams & Norgate - London, page 37-39
  16. ^ Aaron Shepard (1992), Savitri: A Tale of Ancient India, ISBN 978-0807572511, Albert Whitman & Company
  17. ^ Manmatha Nath Dutt The Mahabharata, Vana Parva (Verses 41 through 133), p. 446, at Google Books
  18. ^ Vana Parva, The Mahabharata, Verses 36-37
  19. ^ Vana Parva, The Mahabharata, Translated by Kisari Mohan Ganguli
  20. ^ Vana Parva, The Mahabharata, Translated by Manmatha Nath Dutt (1894), page 42
  21. ^ Bibek Debroy, The Mahabharata : Volume 3, ISBN 978-0143100157, Penguin Books, page xxiii - xxiv of Introduction
  22. ^ Bibek Debroy (2011), The Mahabharata, Volume 3, Penguin, ISBN 978-0143100157, Vana Parva
  23. ^ William Johnson, Book III - Volume 4, The Clay Sanskrit Library, Mahabharata: 15-volume Set, ISBN 978-0-8147-4278-5, New York University Press, Bilingual Edition
  24. ^ Monier Monier-Williams Indian Wisdom, Or, Examples of the Religious, Philosophical, and Ethical Doctrines of the Hindus - pages 451-453, p. 451, at Google Books; Example by Monier Monier-Williams: Kirātārjunīya verse XV.14 is constructed with just one consonant: "न नोननुन्नो नुन्नोनो नाना नानानना ननु । नुन्नोऽनुन्नो ननुन्नेनो नानेना नुन्ननुन्ननुत् ॥"; Translation: О ye, he indeed is not a man who is defeated by an inferior; and that man is no man who persecutes the weaker. He who is not defeated though overcome, is not vanquished; he who persecutes the completely vanquished is not without sin. Kirātārjunīya, inspired by Kirata sub-parva of Vana Parva, also features palindromes within a verse and across multiple verses.
  25. ^ Vana Parva Mahabharata, Translated by Manmatha Nath Dutt (1894), page 2
  26. ^ Vana Parva Mahabharata, Translated by Manmatha Nath Dutt (1894), page 3-4 (Verses 19-40)
  27. ^ Vana Parva Mahabharata, Translated by Manmatha Nath Dutt (1894), page 5 (Verse 55)
  28. ^ Vana Parva Mahabharata, Translated by Manmatha Nath Dutt (1894), pages 40-42 abridged
  29. ^ Vana Parva Mahabharata, Translated by Manmatha Nath Dutt (1894), page 43 (Verse 2)
  30. ^ Vana Parva Mahabharata, Translated by Manmatha Nath Dutt (1894), page 261 (Verses 20-25 abridged)
  31. ^ Vana Parva Mahabharata, Translated by Manmatha Nath Dutt (1894), page 300 (Verses 98-118 abridged)
  32. ^ Vana Parva Mahabharata, Translated by Manmatha Nath Dutt (1894), page 372
  33. ^ Manmatha Nath Dutt The Mahabharata, Vana Parva (Verses 91-92, 114, 117), p. 449, at Google Books

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