Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 1 Chapter 7:1-16

Book 1: Chapter 7

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 1: Chapter 7: Verses 1-16
Aswatthama assassinates Draupadi s sons and Arjuna in his turn curbs his pride

Saunaka said : On the departure of Narada, what did the divine and all-powerful Vyasa do, after hearing that which was in the mind of the celestial sage? Suta replied : On the western bank of the Saraswati river, presided over by Brahma, there is a hermitage called Samyaprasa, which promotes the sacrificial activities of the sages. In that hermitage, which was Vyasa's own abode and was surrounded by a grove of jujube trees, the sage Vyasa sat down and, after sipping a little water, collected his mind by self-effort. In his sinless mind, which had been perfectly concentrated through the practice of Devotion, he saw the Primal Person as well as Maya, who depends for her very existence on Him. Deluded by this Maya, the individual soul, though beyond the three Gunas, thinks itself as consisting of the three Gunas and suffers the evil consequences brought about by this identification. Knowing that the practice of Devotion to the Lord, who is beyond sense-perception, is the direct means of counteracting these evils, the sage composed Srimad Bhagavata (the book of the Vaisnavas) for the use of the common people, who are ignorant of this fact. Even as a man listens to this work recited, Devotion to Sri Krsna, the Supreme Person, wells up in his heart-Devotion that dispels grief, infatuation and fear. Having produced and revised the Bhagavata-Samhita, the sage (Vedavyasa) taught it to his son Suka, who loved to live in retirement.Saunaka said: The sage Suka is a lover of quietism and, indifferent to everything (belonging to this world), he delights only in his Self. What was his motive, then, in mastering this voluminous work ? Suta replied : Even sages who delight in the Self alone and the knot of whose ignorance has been cut asunder practise disinterested devotion to Sri Hari: such are His virtues. This was true all the more of the divine sage Sukadeva, son of Badarayana (Vedavyasa) and the beloved of Lord Visnu' s own people, who studied this great chronicle everyday, his mind having been captivated by Sri Hari 's excellences.

I shall now tell you the story of the birth, exploits and emancipation of the royal sage Pariksit and the ascent of Pandu's sons to heaven, inasmuch as they serve as a prelude to the story of Sri Krsna. When in course of the Mahabharata war the warriors of the Kaurava and Pandava hosts had fallen like heroes and when Duryodhana (son of Dhrtarastra) had his thigh broken by a stroke of the mace dealt by Bhima (who had the appetite of a wolf), Aswatthama (the son of Drona) severed the heads of Draupadi 's sons while they were asleep and presented them to Duryodhana-an act which he imagined would please his master (Duryodhana) but which really proved most distasteful to him, since everybody would strongly condemn such an odious act. Sore distressed at the news of the terrible slaughter of her sons, the mother (Draupadi) bitterly wailed, her eyes blinded with tears. Then Arjuna (who had a many-pointed diadem on his head), comforting her, said: "Then alone shall I have wiped your tears, my good lady,when I cut off the head of that fallen Brahmana, that desperado, with the arrows discharged from my Gandiva bow, and present it to you so that you may set your foot on it and then bathe after the cremation of your sons."



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