The Shalya Parva (Sanskrit: शल्य पर्व), or the Book of Shalya, is the ninth of eighteen books of the Indian epic Mahabharata. Shalya Parva traditionally has 4 sub-books and 65 chapters. The critical edition of Shalya Parva has 4 sub-books and 64 chapters.
Shalya Parva describes the appointment of Shalya as the fourth commander-in-chief of the Kaurava alliance, on the 18th day of the Kurukshetra War. The parva recites Salya's death, how Duryodhana becomes mortally wounded and out of the entire Kaurava army, only 3 survive. Shalya parva also describes how Pandavas and Krishna are victorious in the war, but lament the enormous toll of the 18-day war on human lives on both sides. The book mentions the anger and hatred among survivors on the Kauravas side, particularly Duryodhana, Aswatthama, Kritavarman and Kripa.
Structure and chapters
- 1. Shalya-vadha parva (Chapters: 1-22)
- 2. Shalya parva (Chapters: 23-27)
- 3. Hrada-praveca parva (Chapters: 28-29)
- 4. Gadayuddha parva (Chapters: 30-65)
After three commander-in-chiefs of Kauravas army slain, Shalya is appointed the leader. He too is killed, as is Shakuni. Millions more soldiers die on the last day of war. Duryodhana in anguish leaves the battlefield, and goes to a lake. Bhima meets him there, challenges him to a battle. Bhima mortally wounds Duryodhana by crushing his thighs.
Out of 11 Akshauhinis of the Kauravas, only survivors are mortally injured Duryodhana along with Aswatthama, Kritavarman and Kripa. From Pandavas army, all five brothers, Krishna, 2000 chariots, 700 elephants, 5000 horsemen and 10000 foot soldiers survive. Shalya parva describes the war as over with a heavy toll on human lives, Pandavas are victorious, yet a desire for revenge is brewing in Duryodhana, Aswatthama, Kritavarman and Kripa.
Shalya Parva was composed in Sanskrit. Several translations of the book in English are available. Two translations from 19th century, now in public domain, are those by Kisari Mohan Ganguli and Manmatha Nath Dutt. The translations vary with each translator's interpretations.
Clay Sanskrit Library has published a 15 volume set of the Mahabharata which includes Shalya Parva. This translation is modern, by multiple authors 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.
Debroy, in 2011, notes that updated critical edition of Shalya Parva, after removing verses and chapters generally accepted so far as spurious and inserted into the original, has 4 sub-books, 64 adhyayas (chapters) and 3,541 shlokas (verses). Debroy has published a translated version of the critical edition of Shalya Parva in Volume 7 of his series.
Quotes and teachings
Shalya-vadha Parva, Chapter 1:
Shalya has been killed, as also Shakuni and his son Uluka,
The Samsaptakas, the Kambhojas, the Shakas, the Mlechas, the Mountaineers and the Yavanas have all been killed;
The Easterners, the Southerners, the Northerners and the Westerners, O king, have all been killed,
All the kings and princes have been killed; Duryodhana too have been killed by Pandu's son Bhima,
All the men collected have been destroyed, as also the elephants; all chariot warriors and horsemen have been slain in battle.
Amongst the Pandavas seven are alive, amongst your people just three.
Gadayuddha Parva, Chapter 32:
In difficulty, every one forgets considerations of virtue.
Gadayuddha Parva, Chapter 60:
Morality is always followed by the good.
Morality is always followed for two motives:
the desire for Profit, or the desire for Pleasure
Whoever without making distinction between Morality and Profit,
or Morality and Pleasure, or Pleasure and Profit,
follows all three together - Morality, Profit and Pleasure,
always succeeds in obtaining great happiness.
- Ganguli, K.M. (1883-1896) "Shalya Parva" in The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (12 Volumes). Calcutta
- Dutt, M.N. (1901) The Mahabharata (Volume 9): Shalya Parva. Calcutta: Elysium Press
- van Buitenen, J.A.B. (1973) The Mahabharata: Book 1: The Book of the Beginning. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, p 477
- Debroy, B. (2010) The Mahabharata, Volume 1. Gurgaon: Penguin Books India, pp xxiii - xxvi
- John Murdoch (1898) The Mahabharata - An English Abridgment. London: Christian Literature Society for India, pp 96-101
- Shalya Parva The Mahabharata, Translated by Manmatha Nath Dutt (1897)
- Bibek Debroy (2013), The Mahabharata, Volume 7, Penguin, ISBN 978-0-143-10019-5, Section 74 - Shalya Parva
- Justin Meiland, Book IX - Vol 1 & 2, The Clay Sanskrit Library, Mahabharata: 15-volume Set, ISBN 978-0-8147-5706-2, New York University Press, Bilingual Edition
- Bibek Debroy, The Mahabharata : Volume 3, ISBN 978-0143100157, Penguin Books, page xxiii - xxiv of Introduction
- Shalya Parva The Mahabharata, Translated by Manmatha Nath Dutt (1901), page 2 Abridged
- Shalya Parva The Mahabharata, Translated by Manmatha Nath Dutt (1901), page 64
- Shalya Parva The Mahabharata, Translated by Manmatha Nath Dutt (1901), page 114