Abhimanyu was the son of Arjuna. Parikshit was the son of Abhimanyu. Janamejaya was the son of Parikshit. Janamejaya performed Sarpa Yaga. At that that time, Vaisampaayana told the story of Mahabharat to all the sages and saints gathered there. At that time, Ugrasravasa (Sooti, a story teller) happened to be there and he heard the entire story of Mahabharat.
Later, In Naimisaaranya, while Saint Sounaka was performing Satra Yaga, the said Ugrasravasu told the Story of Mahabharat to Saint Sounaka and other sages and saints.
Ugrasravasu (Sooti) continued to say-------
Whie Pandavas were spending their time in forests, in that SarAt season, Agastya Star appeared on the south. Pandavas spent some time on the banks of River Sarasvati. Then they proceeded to Kamyaka Vana.
While Pandavas were in Kamyakavana, Sri Krishna along with his wife Satya Bhama arrived there. Dharmaja along with his brothers received Sri Krishna with due honors.
"Dharmaja! those Kouravas subjected you and your brothers and wife to all kinds of troubles. But Dharma is on your side. Final victory is yours. All the kings viz., Andhaka, VrushNi, Bhoja, Kukura are on your side. You will rule this Country" Sri Krishna consoled Dharmaja.
"Sri Krishna! with your grace, we have come to the end of Aranya Vaasa. We will complete Agnata Vasa also. Then only we will wage war against Kouravas and get back our kingdom according to Dharma. If your grace showers on us, it is sufficient. You have to lead us in right path." said Dharmaja politely.
"Droupadi, yours sons are quite safe at Dwaraka. They are playing with other Yadava princes and they are happy. They are learning all kinds of archery skills. My sister, Subhadra is looking after your children more than her son, Abhimanyu. You need not worry about them." Sri Krishna consoled Droupadi.
In the meanwhile, Saint Markandeya arrived there. Sri Krishna, Pandavas, received Saint Markandeya and offered him Arghyam and Paadyam.
"O Saint Markandeya! we have not transgressed Dharma at any point of time. Still we are suffering a lot. But the sons of Dhrutarashtra have no least regard to follow Dharma. They always do bad things. Still they are enjoying all plealsures on this earth. What is the reason for this?
Whether a human being will undergo the result of his Karma on this earth or whether he will have the same in heaven or he will undergo the result of his Karma both on this earth and heaven. Whether a person who did not have the Darsan of the Almighty will not experience the result of his Karma? Or whether all the Karmas did in this birth will vanish along with the body, soon after he leaves the body?
O Saint Markandeya, kindly clarify all these doubts which are ringing in my mind since a long time!" asked Dharmaja.
Saint Markandeya continued to say:-----
"Dharmajaa! originally the Creator, in the first phase, created only virtutous souls. The bodies which were created with virtuous souls were great people. They always followed Satva; speak always truth; they always follow satya vrata; they acquired more knowledge and wisdom; and they lived freely and happily. They followed the heavenly path. Without much trouble, they acquired more results. They always followed Dharma. They did not know what jealousy was or, for that matter, any evil ideas. They begot many children and lived happily for number of years on this earth.
But, while timepassed by, bad qualities like anger, jealousy, lust, desire, greediness, pride, arrogance, aggrandisement, delusion and envy entered these virtuous souls. They were influenced by the above evils and Maaya. As a result, the heavenvly bodies discarded the human bodies.
The human bodies were losing day by day, their strength and longevity of life. They lost all their wealth and happiness. They became poor. They were not getting good results for their deeds. All kinds of diseases attacked them. Human beings lost faith in God and they became Nastikas. They lost tolerance. They were fighting with each other for wealth and women and they became sinners. They are going to hell and again taking birth. They are taking births and deaths often and were suffering in this vicious circle of Samsara.
In this manner, the human beings were acquiring both good and bad results for their deeds and the same results are being carried forward along with them while leaving this body. The human beings forgot their original quality viz., happiness and they spent their life with acquired sorrows and woes.
Dharmajaa! everybody has to undergo the result of his deeds. Even if they leave their bodies, the results of their deeds will never vanish. Some will enjoy the result for their good and virtuous deeds on this earth, even in this birth only. Some will enjoy in heaven. Some will enjoy both on the earth and heaven.
Some will never enjoy happiness either on the earth or heaven. That all depends on their deeds. Some will acquire wealth but they never perform virtuous deeds.They always involve in enjoying life and sensual pleasures and satisfying their lust. They never perform good deeds and acquire Punya. They will always be influenced by greediness, delusion and infatuation. They always crave for sensual pleasures. They will lead their life only for enjoying sensual pleasures.
Dharmaja! always performing virtuouss deeds, learning Vedas, visiting holy shrines, will always give good results and happines, though not on this earth, but atleast in heaven. One who follows Dharma always, acting in the outside world according to Dharma, earning money legally, marries according to Dharma, begets children, and perform virtuous deeds, they will enjoy happiness not only in this world but in the heaven also.
But, on the contrary, one who has no regard to tell truth, always tangle in sensual pleasures, not following cleanliness, commiting all kinds of sins and following Nastikatva, they will always undergo all kinds of sorrows not only in this world but in heaven also.
Dharmaja! you all were born with the Amsas(genesis) of Heavenly Bodies. You will defeat your enemies according to Dharma. You will perform many Yajnas and Yagas and will attain heavenly bodies." said Saint Markandeya.
"O Saint! I am very happy on hearing your pleasant words. Kindly tell me the power and influence of Brahmins." asked Dharmaja. Saint Markandeya continued to say:
"Dharmaja! In the ancient past, there was a king by name Dhundhumaara in Haihava Dyansty. One day he was wandering in a forest in search of animals for hunting. In a shrub, he saw a Brahmin boy wearing the skin of a deer and moving around the bush. The king mistook him as a deer and hit him with his arrow. The boy died. The king went near the body and found that he killed a brahmin boy not a deer. He felt sad.
He went back to his capital, told the same to all elders and along with the elders, he went to Saint Taarkshva and told him what had happened and asked him the way to get rid of this sin. That saint smiled at him and asked his son to come there.
"Is he the same boy whom you killed by mistake? " asked Saint Taarkshva. The king and elders astonished.
"This boy was killed by our king. How he has come alive? Kindly tell us the reason" the elders requested the saint.
"We always follow some principles and Dharma. We lead virtuous life. We never delay any matter. We always take limited food. We perform our daily rituals punctually. We honour our guests. We always speak truth. We follow bachelor life. We love peace and tranquility. By following the above principles, we never get diseases and untimely deaths. Therefore, you go back without any worry" said Saint Taarkshva.
Dharmaja! this is the power of Brahmins.
Now I will tell a story about the power of Brahmins and Kshatriyas. There was a saint called Atri. He intended to go to forest for performing Tapassu. He asked his wife whether she wanted to remain with his sons or follow him to forest.
"O my husband! without making any arrangements for our livelihood, how can you go to forests for Tapassu. Hence please approach King Vainya and bring some money for our expenses." said his wife.
Accordingly, Atri went to King Vainya. At that time, King Vainya was performing Asvamedha Yaaga and he was offering gold, silver and money to Brahmins as Dakshina. Atri praised King Vainya:
"O King Vainya! You are equivalent to Lord Brahma and Indra. You are the Lord for all the people. You know all Dharmas. You are second to none on this earth. You are praised by all sages and saints" praised Saint Atri.
Saint Goutama who was present there heard all these praises. He grew angry.
"Atri! After all, for the sake of some money and gold, you are shamelessly praising the King equivalent to Brahma and Indra. Is it proper on your part?" questioned Goutama.
"Yes it is correct. Without knowing which is right and which is wrong, you are unnecessarily talking. A virtuous, moral and powerful king is the root cause for all the Dharmas. Cannot I praise the greatness of such a king?" replied Atri.
"Though you are older in age, you have not acquired any wisdom. We respect only elders with wisdom" replied Goutama.
All this conversion was heard by saint Kashyapa.
"This problem will not be solved out by us. we have to refer the same to Saint Sanatkumaara". said Kashyapa.
Then all approached Saint Sanatkumaara and sought his advise in this regard.
"Saint Atri is correct. His words are according to Dharma. A good Kshatriya who is bearing this earth on his shoulders, is the real king. He kills all the enemies and saves the good people. That king is equivalent to Lord Siva, Lord Brahma. King will be worshipped by his people. In his rule, law abiding citizens and sages and saints will perform their duties scrupulously. Nobody will violate his orders. Therefore, King is the Emperor. He wins the fortunes. He is virtuous, always speaks truth. He rules his people according to Dharma. Such a king was described in Vedas with all the above good qualities.
In the past, all Brahmins, being afraid of Adharma, installed their powers in virtuous kings. Since then, Kshaatra quality was influenced by Brahmin quality. Threfore, Brahmam and Kshaatram are depending one upon the other. They are not separate. As the Sun destroys darkness, a virtuous Kshatriya, by worshipping Brahmins, will become more powerful, and he will suppress Adharma and instal Dharma. For these reasons, Kshatriya is more powerful" said Sanatkumara.
Then King Vainya gave lot of money to Saint Atri and satisfied him." said Markandeya about the power of Brahmins and Kshatriyas.
Saint Markandeya continued to say--- "O Dharmaja! Now I will tell you Sarasvati Geeta. In the past, one Saint Taakshya worshipped Goddess Sarasvathi. Goddess Sarasvati appeared before him.
"O Goddess! What is the Dharma to be followed by a human beings? How a human being will acquire Punya and attain Punya Lokas? Kindly clarify the above doubts" asked Saint Taakshya
. "A brahmin who studied four vedas, performed many Yajnas and Yagas, will acquire Punya and will go to Punya Lokas. A Brahmin who gives milch cows also will go to Svarga. He will remain in Svarga number of years equivalent to the number of hair on that cow. A person who gives clothes to poor will go to Chandra Loka. A person who gives gold will go to Svarga. Who perform yajna for seven years will go to Svarga along with his forefathers of 14 ascendents. One who is clean and perform Sacred Fire will go to Goloka.
I was born from fire. I can clarify all doubts in Vedas. I will live in a place where sages and saints will always chant vedas and live without fear or sorrow. Virtuous people who perform Yajnas and Yagas will come to me after death." said Goddess Sarasvati.
Then Dharmaja asked Markandeya about Vaivasvata Manuvu. Saint Markandeya continued to say:
"In Chaakshusha Manvantara, Saint Vaivasvata did Tapassu in Badarikaashram for ten thousand years. One day, after taking bath, Vaivasvata saw a small fish in that pond.
"O saint! In this pond, there are several fish much bigger than me. Kindly take me to some other place" the small fish requested Vaivasvata.
Then Vaivasvata took that small fish and kept in a small well. Some days later, the small fish grew bigger.
"Vaivasvata! this well is not sufficient for me. Kindly leave me in a bigger well" the fish requested him. Accordingly, Vaivasvata left that fish in a pond.
After some days, that pond was not sufficient. Then Vaivasvata left that fish in a sea.
That fish told Vaivasvata "The doomsday is fast approaching. All the seas will join together and the entire earth will be occupied with water only. This is called "Manvantara Sandhi" (interregnum between two Manvantaras. Now we are in Vaivasvata Manvantara. Prior to that, there was Chaakshusha Manvantara).
You acquire one big ship and preserve all kinds of seeds, herbs, pulses, grains etc. for reproduction. During that Manvantara Sandhi, you along with Seven Great Sages and Saints, board the ship and and think about me in mind. I will come and help you" said that big fish.
Accordingly, Vaivasvasta acquired one big ship and preserved all kinds of seeds, herbs, pulses, grains etc. He along with Seven Saints entered the ship and went into the sea. He thought that fish in mind. The fish came. There was a big horn on the head of the fish. The fish tagged on the ship thread to its horn and took the ship into the middle of the sea.
In the meanwhile, all the seas overflowed and the entire earth was filled with water and no earth was seen (Jala Pralayam). That fish was dragging the ship in those waters for several thousands of years. The Pralayam ended.
"I saved you during the Jala Pralayam. I am the creator. I am the saviour. I saved you in the form of a fish. Saint Vaivasvata will continue the creation on this earth." the fish disappeared.
Saint Vaivasvata did Tapassu and created all the living and non-living things on this earth. The creation of life started." said Saint Markandeya about Saint Vaivasvata.
"O Saint Markandeya! You are eternal. You have seen many Pralayas. (doomsdays).You have seen many creations and destructions. Kindly tell me how the doomsday (Pralaya) will be." asked Dharmaja.
"Dharmaja! I have to give reply to your question only with the kind permission of Lord Sri Krishna who is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Listen very carefully.
Kruta Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dwaapara Yuga and Kaliyuga are four Yugas. These four Yugas put together consist of 12,000 holy years. It is one Maha Yuga. One thousand Maha Yugas is equivalent to one day for Lord Brahma. At the end of the day of Brahma, during the last 100 years, there will be severe draught for lack of rains and water. The sun will be hot. The winds will be blowing with great speed. Suddenly dark clouds will cover the sky. There will be severe downpour with thunders and lightnings from the sky.
The drought will end and due to the heavy rains all the rivers and seas will overflow and join together and the entire earth will be inundate in water. There will be darkness. No light. The entire earth will plunge into darkness.
In the meanwhile, as per the directions of Brahma, heavy winds will blow and all the clouds will be scattered. That is the night for Brahma. Lord Brahma will sleep amidst those waters. Thus one Kalpam will come to an end. Like this, several Kalpas have gone by. Several Kalpas have to come.
(Kalpaanta (end of Kalpa) means the Pralaya which happens at the end of Kalpa. It will come at the end of each Kalpa. One Kalpa is equivalent to one day for Brahma. During that time, the entire world will be active. At the end of the day of Brahma, Jala Pralaya will come. Then the entire world will be plunged into darkness. That was the night for Brahma. During that time, the entire world will be in an inanimate and inactive state. Next morning, new day (new Kalpa) will start. Brahma will start creation).
(Now we are in Svetha Varaha Kalpa).
I went near the boy. The boy smiled at me "O saint! I think you are tired. Please go inside my body and take rest for sometime.". The boy opened his mouth. I was pushed into the mouth by force.
I entered the body of the boy. I have seen, River Ganges and other rivers, Meru and other mountains, all seas, cities, villages, people, all living beings, birds, vast plains, sun and moon, galaxies of stars, unending sky, all divine bodies, Yaksha, Kinnera, Kimpurusha, Vidyadhadhara and other divine bodies, in that small stomache of that boy. I wandered there for one hundred years. I was afraid. I prayed that boy. I came out of his mouth by force.
Again, I saw that boy lying on the banyan leaf. That boy asked "O saint! have you taken rest inside my stomache?".
I bowed before his feet "O God! I have seen the entire world inside your stomache. You are not a small boy. I cannot understand this mystery. What is this Jala Pralaya.? What is this banyan tree? How you are sleeping on this small banyan leaf? Kindly end my ignorance and tell me the truth!" I prayed.
Then Maha Vishnu, who was in the form of a boy told me:
"O saint! The water is otherwise called as "Nara". These waters are my abode. Hence I am called Narayana. I create this world. I look after this world. I will swallow this world inside me. Brahma, Indra, Eswara, Kubera, and all other divine bodies were created from mine.
The earth is my feet. Agni is my face. Sun and Moon are my eyes. The sky is my head. I appear in this magnificent form. Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vysyas perform Yajnas and Yagas and worship me. During the Pralaya, I saved this earth in the form of Varaha. Now I bear this entire world on my head as Adi Sesha. I swallow the entire waters in the seas in the form of agni. Again I release the same water in the form of rain.
At the inception, I created four castes from out of
my face, shoulders, thighs and feet. Four Vedas were created out of my
face. During Pralaya, I take the entire world into myself. One who sheds
egoism and jealousy, one who conquers the desires, one who attains self-realisation,
one who always speak truth, will worship me always. All the stars, planets,
air, rain are of mine. I made all the seven seas as my abode.
Whenever any harm is caused to Dharma and when Adharma will flourish, and when the wicked people and people with Asuric mentality will get upper hand, and when Saatvik and virtuous people will suffer in their hands, at that time I will create for myself in the houses of such virtuous people and instal dharma again.
I will remain in Krutha, Treta, Dvaapara and Kaliyuga in White, Red, Blue and Yellow forms and instal dharma. I will be running the Kala chakra relentlessly. At the time of desturction (laya) I will destroy the entire creation in the form of Kala Yama.
I told you in detail what I am. Even Brahma, the creator is half of mine. My name is Narayana. When the entire world is filled with water (Jala Pralaya) for a period of one thousand Maha Yugas, I will be sleeping in the form of a boy. As you are afraid of the end of Kalpa (Kalpantha) I kept you in my stomache. Now you can go anywhere. Brahma will wake up from his sleep and create this world again". So saying, that boy disappeared.
I have seen all these things with my two eyes. That boy
is no other than Lord Sri Krishna who is now your dearest friend and is
by your side. It is as if that divine boy is now appearing before me in
the form of Sri Krishna. With the blessings of Sri Krishna only, I was
without fear during the end of Kalpa (Kalpantha). Now, at this moment,
with the blessings of Lord Sri Krishna I could remember all those memories
and tell you." Saint Markandeya explained about the end of Kalpa
(Kalpantha) to Dharmaja.
Saint Markandeya continued to tell the Dharma during Kaliyuga.
"Dharmajaa! Dharma will prevail four fould in Krutayuga. In Tretayuga Dharma will prevail threefold. In Dvaapara the Dharma will prevail twofold. In Kaliyuga only one part of Dharma will remain.
The dharma will further deteriorate during Kaliyuga. Adharma will prevail anywhere and everywhere. Human beings will have no regard to tell truth. The average life span of humans will be shortened. The education will be deteriorated. Due to lack of education and knowledge, delusion and infatuation will increase. Due to delusion greediness, due to greediness desires and lust will increase. Non fulfilment of the desires and lust will cause anger. Anger will lead to enemity. Due to enmity, differences will arise between castes. Due to those differences, there ensues intermixture of castes.
Violance will increase. Brahmins will leave Japa, penance, principles. Sudras will do penance. All the towns and cities will be filled with wild animals. Kings will become cruel. They lose their kingdoms. Kshatriyas will leave their vigour and valour and will do slavery. There will be no rains. No crops. No fruits.
Brahmins will leave their natural Dharma and will do
business and cultivation. Nastikas will grow. People will be more mindful
of their bodies. They never think of Papa and Punya. They lose their values.
Rains will not come in proper seasons. Seeds will be useless. Fraud will
prevail in purchases and sales. The mercants will alienate the ornaments
offered as security.
In human beings, extra marital relations will prevail. The offerings made in annual ceremonies will be eaten away by others not by the concerned. Divine duties and annual ceremonies will not be performed according to the time and place.
Brahmins will never believe Vedas and God. They accuse Vedas, give away worshipping of god and performing divine activities and will remain as bad characters. People will respect those, who cheat ladies, disabled and relatives and alienate their properties; those who kill their parents and their own children and also those who lead wayward life. Brahmins will join hands with them ony for the sake of their money and luxuries.
The Kings who have to protect the properties and lives of the individuals, will grab their properties and ladies by force. The kings will quarrel among themselves and wage wars against each other. Thus the population will be decreased.
Sons will insult their parents. Wives will insult their husbands. Wives and husbands will quarrel with each other. They lead wayward life. Divine offerings and offerings to elders will not run smoothly. Learning of Vedas will vanish. The entire earth will be filled with bad characters. People will die even for 16 years. Ladies beget children even at the age of 7 or 8. Charities will disappear. People will cheat and rob each other.
Even the learned and wise also will do sinful acts. Food will be sold for money. Brahmins will sell Vedas for money. Sudras will be more powerful and kill others. Brahmins will fled away to four corners. Thiefs, robberers and decoits will rob the people.
While Sudras were chanting Vedas, Brahmins will hear them. Brahmins will become the Slaves of Sudras and do untowards acts.
In Kaliyuga, temples, brahmin houses, Ashrams will be abandoned. Drunkenness and debauchery will be at its highest peak. Students will never care for the teachers. Teacher will cheat his student. Relatives will never respect each other. There will be draught everywhere. People will be stricken with fear. Dharma will be destroyed. Adharma will flourish.
In this manner, Kaliyuga will come to an end. At that time, in a village called Sambala, Kalki will born in the name of Vishnu Yasa. He will learn all Vedas and Sastras and he will become the King and Emperor. He will kill all bad characters and will instal dharma. He will perform Asvamedha Yaga.
Again Kruta Yuga will start. Brahmins will resume their own Dharmas. Dharma will flourish with its four feet. Temples and Ashrams will attain their previous glory. Rains will come timely. Crops will grow in abundance. Human beings will prosper with long life. Again the Time wheel (Kala Chakra) will begin another round.
Therefore, Dharmaja! Never insult Brahmins. Do whatever they like. You will prosper for ever. Be kind towards all living beings. Rule your people with kindness and treat them as your own children. Punish all bad characters. Take care that ignorance will not grow its roots. Shed arrogance and selfishness. Always tell truth. You are born in Bharata Vamsa. You are well aware of all these things. I need not tell you again and again." said Markandeya.
"Mahatma! as per your preachings, I will shed greediness, selfishness, jealousy, arrogance and behave like a most virtuous individual. I will uphold Dharma for ever. I want to know about the power of Brahmins. Kindly tell me about it" asked Dharmaja. Markandeya continued to say:
"O beautiful lady! Who are you? Why are you wandering in this forest lonely?" asked the King.
"O king! I am unmarried. I am in search of a suitable husband." said beautiful lady.
"Will you marry me!"proposed the King.
"Sure. But you should never force me to enter into water for swimming".said the beautiful lady. The king agreed. Both married. King brought her to Ayodhya. Both were living happily.
One day, King Parikshit was strolling in the garden. King entered into a pond nearby. He was taking bath. He asked his wife also to enter the pond. She obeyed his word and entered into the water and disappeared. Immediately, he called his servants and ordered them to empty the pond. Beneath the pond there are innumerable frogs. The King thought that those frogs might have eaten away his wife. He issued orders to destroy all frogs in his kingdom. Accordingly, the soldiers were killing the frogs.
The leader of frogs was very much annoyed. He went to the king in the form of a Saint. He requested the king not to kill the frogs.
"No.Those frogs killed my wife. Hene I am killing the frogs" replied King.
"O King! listen to me. She is no other than my daughter. She cheated so many kings like you." said the leader of frogs.
"Then bring her to me" said the king. The leader of the frogs called his daughter. She came.
"You cheated so many kings like this. It is not proper. Your children will become cheaters and bad characters" the leader of frogs cursed his daughter and went away.
Later, through King Parikshit, she begot three sons viz., Sala, Nala and Vala. King Parikshit enthroned his eldest son Sala as the King and went to forest for penance.
One day, King Sala went to forest for hunting. He shot one deer. But it escaped and ran away. He asked his servants to chase it. The chariot driver told the king
"O King! We cannot chase that deer. Our horses are not so pwowerful. If we haveVamya horses, we can chase that animal." said the chariot driver.
"Where are they? Tell me? asked the king.
"They are available with Saint Vama Deva".said the Chariot Driver. Immediately, Sala went to saint Vamadeva.
"O saint! I hit one animal. It escaped. I want to chase that animal. Kindly give Vamya horses, available with you, for chasing that animal." asked Sala.
"O King! Take those horses. But return them soonafter your work is over" said the saint and gave the horses.
With the help of Vamya horses, King Sala chased the animal, killed it and returned back to his capital. But he never returned the horses to Saint Vamadeva.
As the King never returned the horses, Saint Vamadeva sent his student by name Atreya to King Sala to bring back the horses.
Accordingly, Atreya approached the King Sala "O King! you have taken horses from our Guru. You never returned them. If you return them in a friendly manner, I will take them back" said Atreya.
"What are you talking? No question of return of horses. You can go" replied King Sala.
Atreya returned back and reported what had happened. Saint Vama Deva himself approached the King Sala.
"O King! It is not proper on your part. Please return my horses as your work is over. How can you grab others property with greediness? How can you retain the things taken for temporary use? Does that not amount to committing theft? Such people will go to Hell." said Vamadeva.
"You are brahmin. Why you need horses? If you want I will give two bullocks for cultivation. Or I will give you two donkeys. But I will never return horses." said the King Sala.
"What are these words? Is it proper to take away
brahmins property? How can you replace them? Is it dharma? Is it not a
sin?" told Vamadeva.
Vama Deva grew angry. His face was reddish. Many soldiers came out of his face and killed the King Sala and his men. Vama Deva went away.
As King Sala was killed, his brother Nala became the king.
Again, after some time, Vamadeva approached King Nala.
"O King! I think you adopt Dharma. Please return my horses taken away by your brother" asked Vamadeva.
As usual, King Nala also grew angry. He called his servant " Bring a poisonous arrow to kill this Brahmin" said King Nala. Vama Deva smiled.
"O King! that arrow will kill your son" said Vamadeva. Immediately, hue and cry was heard from inside. The servants brought the dead body of his son.
King Nala shivered with anger. He took the bow and arrow to kill the Brahmin. But his hands were stuck to the bow and arrow and paralysed. The King's pride and anger and valour dropped down. He thought hat his power and vaolur are sheer waste before a brahmin. He prayed for mercy.
Vamadeva blessed the King. His hands became normal. His son regained life. The king Nala returned the horses to Vama deva.
Dharmaja! that is the power of a Brahmin." said Markandeya.
Again Dharmaja got another doubt. "O saint Mankandeya! You are eternal. Is there any body who is more older than you." asked Dharmaja.
"Dharmaja! In the past, there was a king by name Indradyumna. Due to the Punya he acquired, he enjoyed divine pleasures for a long time in heaven. As his Punya vanished, he was sent to earth.
Indradyumna met me and asked me whether I know him.
"Indradyumna! I do not know who are you. There is an owl called Praavaara Karna living in Himalayas. It is much older than me. You can ask it" I replied.
Indradyumna asked me to follow him to Himalayas. I said I cannot follow him due to my old age. He transformed into a horse and carried me on his back.
We both went to Himalayas and approached Praavaarakarna. Indradyumna put the same question to Praavaarakarna.
"I am sorry. I do not know who are you. But there is a crane called Naadee Jangha. It is older than me. It may be knowing you" replied Praavaara Karna.
Indradyumna, along with me and Praavaara Karna approached Naadee Jangha and put the same question to it.
"I also do not know who are you. But there is one tortoise clled Koopaara. It is much older than me. Kindly ask that tortoise" replied Koopaara.
Then all of us went to Koopaara. Indradyumna put the
same to tortoise also.
On hearing these words, the divine bodies brought a divine plane. "Indradyumna! You acquired much Punya. You will remain in heaven for ever permanently. You have to follow us to heaven" requested the Devatas.
"Not now. First I have to drop my friends at their respective places and then come to heaven as they have followed me in search of this truth." said Indradyumna.
Accordingly, Indradyumna dropped all of us at our respective places and then followed the Divine bodies to Heaven." explained Markandeya to Dharmaja.
"O Saint Markandeya! I heard that one Kuvalayaasva born in Ishvaaku Dynasty, was called as Dhundhumaara. I want to know how he got that name. Kindly tell me" asked Dharmaja.
Markandeya continued to say:
"One saint Udanka performed Tapassu about Maha Vishnu. Maha Vishnu appeared before him and asked him "what do you want?".
"O Vishnu! your presence before me itself is a boon for me. Kindly bless me that my mind should always think about Truth, Dharma, Sama. I should always think about you. Kindly bless me accordingly" prayed Udanka.
"Udanka! you will attain highest knowledge and wisdom. You have to discharge one divine duty. One demon called Dhumdhu is causing much harm and hardship to the people and divine bodies. You have to take the help of Kuvalayaasva to kill Dhumdhu. He is only king capable to kill that demon. All the people feel happy." Maha Vishnu disappeared. Udanka continued his tapassu.
Dharamaja! I will tell you about Kuvalayaasva. He was born in Ishvaaku dynasty. Ishvaaku was a great king. His son was Anena. Prudhu was the son of Anena. Prudhu's son of Vishvaga. Aardhru was the son of Vishvaga. His son was Yavanaasva. Yavanaasva's son was Sraavastha. Sraavastha's son was Bruhadasvu. The son of Bruhadasva was Kuvalayaasva. Kuvalayaasva got 21,000 sons. All are strong and ablebodied.
Bruhadasva desired to make Kuvalayasva as King and go to forest for penance. On hearing this, Udanka approached Bruhadasva.
"O King Bruhadasva! You have to rule the people for some more time and protect them. Then only, Sadhus like us will be protected. It is your duty. In the past, there were two demons called Madhu and Kaitabha. Their son is Dhumdhum. He got the blessings of Brahma. He is now sleeping in a sand cave near our Ashram. Due to his breathing activity, the sand storms and smoke is created and causing hardship for our ashramam. You have to kill him and protect our ashram. Even Maha Vishnu agreed to lend his powers for killing this demon. Therefore, you have to kill him. After that, you can go to forest for penance" requested Udanka.
"O Saint Udanka! I will send my son Kuvalayaasva to kill that demon. Kindly permit me to go to forest" prayed Bruhadasva. Udanka agreed." said Markandeya.
Now Dharmaja asked Markandeya about Madhu and Kaitabha.
"Dharmaja! while the entire world was inundated in waters, Maha Vishnu was in Yoga Nidra (Divine sleep) on Adi Seshu. After some time, two demons by name Madhu and Kaitabha were teasing the Devatas and casuing much hardship. They even teased Lord Brahma. Brahma raised hue and cry. Maha Vishnu woke up from his Divine sleep. He heard about Madhu and Kaitabha and their atrocities.
Immediately, Maha Vishnu approached the demons Madhu and Kaitabha. "I am very happy to know about your vigour and valour. Ask me what do you want. I will give" said Maha Vishnu.
The demons smiled at Vishnu. "We ourselves are capable of giving boons to you. You choose for yourself" said Madhu and Kaitabha with pride.
"Dont go back on your word. I am asking you a boon. I wish you both should die in my hands" said Maha Vishnu.
Madhu and Kaitabha astonished.
"Yes.. We wont go back on our word. We give our lives. But you have to kill us where there is no water" said those demons.
At that time the entire earth was filled with water. Then Maha Vishnu put them on his thighs and killed them by cutting their heads with his Chakra. That was the story of Madhu and Kaitabha.
Now, we will come to the story of Dhumdhum, son of Madhu and Kaitabha. As per the wish of Udanka, Bruhadasva sent his son Kuvalayaasva to wage war against Dhumdhum.
Kuvalayaasva's sons dug all the sand and found Dhumdhum sleeping underneath. With great difficulty Kuvalayaasva's sons woke him up. Kuvalayaasva's sons and Dhumdhum fought with each other violently. In that fight, all the sons of Kuvalayaasva except three were killed. Kuvalayaasva grew angry. He fought with Dhumdhum. Kuvalayaasva killed Dhumdhum with Brahmaastra. From then onwards, Kuvalaayaasva was called and Dhumdhumaara.
All the divine bodies, Sages and Saints gathered there and asked Kuvalayaasva to choose anything.
"Please bless me with greatest devotion on Maha Vishnu and Brahmins and I should have wealth and power to make charities to Brahmins uninterruptedly" Dhumdhumaara requested them.
The divine bodies and Sages and Saints blessed him accordingly. Then Kuvalayaasva went back to his capital and ruled his people to the pleasure of one and all."concluded Markandeya.
(Maha Bharat – Aranya Parva – Fourth Chapter written by Yerra Praggada – completed.)