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2-Ashwamedh Parv

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2-Jaimini's Ashwamedh Parv - Summary
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Jaiminiya Ashwamedh Summary
[Note: This summary of contents in English (by A. Harindranath) is based on a free prose Malayalam translation of Jaiminiaswamedha by Thempat Sankaran Nair, Yudhisthiraswamedham, published by President, Sri Ramakrishna Math, Puranattukara, Trichoor, Second edition, December 1990.]

1. Ashwamedh is suggested as the solution
Soot narrates the Pauraanik story to Rishi in Naimishaaranya.
Jaimini arrives in the court of Janamejaya, son of Vishnuraat. Janamejaya wants to hear Bharat. Jaimini narrates thirteen Parv. Janamejaya wants to hear Ashwamedh Yagya in detail. Yudhishthir's dejection. Vyaas suggests Ashwamedh. Yudhishthir hesitates. Bheem encourages: don't worry about anything - Shree Krishn is always with you.

2. Practical difficulties
The suitable horse is with Yauvanaashwa. Bheem along with Vrishadhwaj (son of Karn) and Meghvarn (son of Ghatotkach) volunteers to bring the horse. Yudhishthir thinks of Shree Krishn and Krishn arrives. Krishn discourages Yudhishthir. Berates Bheem. Says Yagya is next to impossible.

3. Obstacles go away
It turns out that Krishn was saying discouraging words only to test.

4. To Bhadraavatee
Bheem, Vrishdhwaj and Meghvarn go to Bhadraavatee, city of Yauvanaashwa, steal the horse through a combination of valor and magic.

5. First Opposition
Yauvanaashwa goes to war.

6. Yauvanaashwa surrenders
Yauvanashwa joins the victors.

7. Victors to Hastinaapur
8. The narration of Marutt's Yagya
9. Sri Krishn and relatives arrive.
Shree Krishn, Arjun, Bheem, Vrishdhwaj and Meghvarn follow the horse.

10. Stealing of horse by Anushaalv
Anushaalv is the brother of Shaalv who carried out attack on Dwaarakaa from a Ying city. Anushaalv, defeated, becomes a Bhakt of Krishn. He joins the victors.

11. Victory march continues.
12. King of Mahishmatee Puree captures the horse - Praveer, son of Neeldhwvaj (king of Maahishmatee Puree) captures the horse. Praveer loses the battle.

13. Neeldhwaj and Fire fail
Neeldhwaj fails. Sends Fire (Agni), his son-in-law to fight against Arjun and company. Fire also fails. Story of how Fire fails, becames the husband of Swaaha (the daughter of Neeldhwaj and his wife Jwaalaa). Defeated Neeldhwaj joins Arjun.

14. Jwaalaa's revenge
To take revenge against Arjun, Jwaalaa approaches her bother Unmukh, king of Kaashee. Unmukh refuses to fight with Arjun. Touched by the wave of Gangaa, Jwaalaa berates Gangaa. Says she is sinful. Why? Because she has not taken revenge on Arjun for killing her son, Bheeshm. Gangaa curses Arjun to be killed by his own son within six months.

15. In the valleys of Vindhya
In the hermitage of Rishi Saurabh, the horse rubs its body against a rock, gets stuck to it. No one can separate it.

16. Uddaalak and Chandee
Rishi Saurabh tells Arjun the story of the rock who is Chandee, cursed by her husband Uddaalak. Following instructions of Rishi Saurabh, Arjun liberates the horse and restores Chandee to her natural form.

17. To Champakpuree
Hansdhwaj, the King of Champak Puree is a great devotee of Krishn. He calculates that if he captures the horse, Arjun will follow it. If he defeats Arjun, Krishn will follow Arjun. Then he can, maybe, capture Krishn Himself. He orders that whoever is unwilling to take part in the war should be killed by immersion in boiling oil.

18. The Misdeed of Sudhanvaa
The fifth son of Hansdhwaj, Sudhanvaa, while preparing to go to war meets his wife Prabhaavatee who convinces him to make love before going to war. He obliges her. It is noticed then that he is late for the war. No exemption. He is put into boiling oil. Sudhanvaa prays to Krishn and is not hurt.

19. Sudhanvaa to the War-front
Sudhanvaa fights and defeats Vrishdhwaj. Sudhanvaa fights and defeats Pradyumn, Kritavarmaa, Anushaalv, Saatyaki and Neeldhwaj, even Arjun.

20. Arjun and Sudhanvaa Fight
Defeated Arjun thinks about Krishn. Krishn instantly appears on the battle scene from Hastinaapur. After a fierce fight filled with miracles, Sudhanvaa is beheaded but his headless body continues to fight. Krishn takes the head and throws it up. Shiv captures his head and adds it to his collection to his Mund Maalaa.

21. Between Arjun and Surath
Another son of Hansdhwaj, Surath fights with Arjun. Surath is also beheaded after a fierce fight. Krishn asks Garud to deposit the head in Gangaa. Before the head falls in Gangaa, Nandikeshwar captures it and adds also it to Shiv's collection of Mund Maal

22. Hansdhwaj ceases to be enemy, Hansdhwaj joins the victors.
23. Miracles in Gauree Van
The horse takes a dip in some lakes in Gauree Van and is turned into a she-horse and then into a tiger. Krishn turns it back to his original form.

24. In Naaree Pur (city of women)
This country is devoid of males. Queen is Pramilaa. Pramilaa tells Arjun to forget about the horse and live with her. Angrily Arjun fights with her. When he is about to defeat her, a voice from sky instructs him to marry her. Arjun promises her to do so after the Yagya. Pramilaa goes to Hastinaapur.

25. In Raakshas Pur (city of demons)
Horse reaches the city ruled by Bheeshan, the son of Bakaasur. After many illusions, Arjun kills Bheeshan.

26. To Manipur
Babhruvaahan captures the horse by mistake. His apologies are not accepted by Arjun. Fight begins between Babhruvaahan and leaders in Arjun's camp. After they are defeated one by one, and Vrishdhwaj is beheaded by Babhruvaahan, fight starts between Babhruvaahan and Arjun. Here Jaimini says the fight is just like what went on between Kush and Shree Raam. Listeners want to hear this story.

27. Shree Raam Ashwamedh
Raamaayan is told starting from the killing of Raavan. Seetaa is abandoned. Vaalmeeki rescues Seetaa. Kush, and Lav are born. Raam conducts Ashwamedh Yagya. Lav captures the horse. Shatrughn defeats Lav. Kush defeats Shatrughn. Kush defeats Lakshman too. Kush defeats Bharat, Hanumaan. Raam comes to fight. Defeated by Kush, Raam promises Vaalmeeki that He will accept Kush, Lav and Seetaa after the Yagya. Horse, Raam and company are released.

28. Curse of Gangaa bears fruit, Babhruvaahan beheads Arjun
29. Despair of Chitraangadaa
Chitraangadaa fires Babhruvaahan. He tries to kill himself. Chitraangadaa and Uloopee prevents him to kill himself.

30. To Paataal in search of Mritasanjeevak
Uloopee sends her friend Pundareek to Paataal to get Mritasanjeevak from her father. In Paataal, Anant agrees but asks for the opinion of snakes.

31. The Opposition by snakes
Because of opposition from other snakes, Pundareek returns empty handed.

32. Babhruvaahan to Paataal
Babhruvaahan then himself goes to Paataal Lok, conquers the snakes. Gets Mritasanjeevak.

33. The revenge of the snake
The snake Dhritaraashtra's son Durbuddhi goes to Manipur and steals Arjun's head before Babhruvaahan arrives.

34. Arjun is revived
Sitting in Hastinaapur, Krishn knows everything, He instantaneously comes to Manipur, revives the dead Vrishdhwaj and Arjun, in that order.

35. Hospitality of Babhruvaahan
36. In the land of Mayoordhwaj
Babhruvaahan joins Arjun's group and reaches Mayooradhwaj's country in the North. Mayooradhwaj is a great Vishnu Bhakt and has a son named Suchitra (also called Taamradhwaj). Mayoordhwaj starts an Ashwamedh Yagya and his son follows the horse. The two horses meet. Taamradhwaj hopes to have Shree Krishn at the conclusion of the 8th Yagya. To achieve this, he captures Yudhishthir's horse and gets ready for war with Arjun. Krishn takes over the lead of Arjun's army.

37. Taamradhwaj wins
After many defeats, Arjun requests Krishn to stop fighting and become his charioteer. Arjun gets defeated. Krishn takes Chakra and jumps at Taamradhwaj. After profusely praising Krishn, Taamradhwaj falls at his feet. He takes hold of Krishn and tries to grab Arjun also. Krishn thinks it is difficult to defeat Taamradhwaj. He decides to try a trick. Arjun follows. Both pretend that they are dead.

38. Taamradhwaj returns to his father
Seeing both dead, Taamradhwaj abandons them in the battle field and goes to his father. Mayooradhwaj scolds Taamradhwaj for abandoning Krishn and Arjun after taking hold of them. Taamradhwaj returns to battle field.

39. Krishn and Arjun in disguise
Left by Taamradhwaj in the battlefield, Krishn disguises as a Bhikshu and Arjun disguises as his student. They enter Mayoordhwaj's capital. They are impressed that everyone in the city is a Krishn Bhakt.

40. Mayooradhwaj put to them test
Mayooradhwaj is asked to offer his flesh to a lion to save the Bhikshu from a predicament. He asks his wife and son to cut him in half. When Mayooradhwaj is half cut, Krishn is pleased by his Bhakti and reveals his true form.

41. Mayooradhwaj surrenders
Mayooradhwaj abandons his Yagya and joins Arjun along with his son Taamradhwaj.

42. To Saaraswat
Veeravarmak is the king of Saaraswat Desh. Veeravarmak's army fails to . He sends Kaal to fight against Arjun. Arjun's army gets defeated. Krishn explains how Kaal became the son-in-law of Veeravarmak.

43. How Kaal becomes the son-in-law
Veeravarmak's daughter Maalinee wishes to marry Kaal. The fantastic story of how her wish was fulfilled: Naarad Jee comes to know about Maalinee's wish. He wonders: Knowing everything, why Kaal hesitates to marry Maalinee? Naarad Jee approaches Kaal and tells him about Maalinee. Kaal agrees to marry Maalinee at the next auspicious time. Naarad Jee promptly informs Maalinee. At the proper time, Kaal takes the human form and goes to Veeravarmak's city. Yakshmav is his army chief. Kaal requests Yakshmav and his chief soldiers to accompany him. Yakshmav is hesitant because Veeravarmak is a Braahman-Bhakt. Kaal's soldiers (Yakshmav and others who are terrible diseases) are afraid to enter the city. Kaal tells them to take beautiful forms (since their natural forms are horrible) and enter the city. He tells them that to Dharm followers they will appear nice but A-Dharm followers will be a infected by them. Then follows a huge list of what kind of disease will attack what kind of A-Dharm act and what is the remedy in each case. Yam is pleased with Kanyaa Daan. He requests Veeravarmak to accept a boon. Veeravarmak is hesitant. After much persuasion, he requests the boon that on the day of his death, he should have the fortune to meet Krishn in person. Yam grants the boon. In addition he promises to stay in the city till the death of Veeravarmak and repel anyone who attacks the city.

44. The valor of Veeravarmak
Veeravarmak defeats Krishn and Arjun by means of Bhakti. At this point in the narrative, the listeners criticize people in general who don't follow the path of Bhakti. They request Jaimini to advise them on the path to reach Krishn. Jaimini continues the story. Veeravarmak also joins Arjun's group.

45. In Kuntal Puree
The horses after crossing a river, reach near the palace in Kuntal Puree. Those who follow can't cross the river. Naarad Jee arrives. Naarad Jee tells them that the king of Kuntal Puree is of Chandrahaas, a great Vishnu Bhakt. Arjun wants to hear Chandrahasa's story.

46. Blessed Chandrahaas
A son is born to the King of Kerala. Astrologers predict that the child will be a great Vishnu Bhakt. But because of him, great calamities will also happen, the King will die in an enemy attack. They also advised the King to destroy the child. The King refuses. The minister employs a Chaandaal to take the child to a forest and kill him. The child prays to Vishnu. Chaandaal, unable to kill the child, abandons him in the forest. The long miraculous narrative of how Chandrahaas became the King of Kuntal Puree. Chandrahaas's sons capture the horse. Chandrahaas embraces Krishn and Arjun who stays in his country for a while.

47. Journey continues
Horses reach ocean and disappear in it. Arjun and others follow them walking over the waves. Those who follow also travel over waves and reach a lagoon where they find an ancient Rishi. The Rishi, Bakadalbhya narrates how he abandoned his Ahankaar. His meeting with the Brahmaa Jee (four faces), who together meet a second Brahmaa (eight faces), the three together meet another Brahmaa (sixteen faces). Meetings continue. Finally finds a Brahmaa with thousand faces who tells the greatness of Vishnu.

48. To Saindhav
Hearing Arjun's arrival, Surath (Jayadrath's son) falls dead. Dushalaa requests Krishn to revive him. Krishn obliges. Arjun request Dushalaa and Surath to participate in the Yagya.

49. Yagya
After almost an year, all reach Hastinaapur. Krishn summarizes the trip to Yudhishthir. All the accompanying kings are introduced.

50. Conclusion
Vyaas tells Yudhishthir that 64 men should go, accompanied by their respective wives, to bring in the water from Gangaa. Vyaas names the important men. Krishn is included with His wife Rukminee. Naarad watches the trip. He thinks: What will people say if I don't cause Kalaha (quarrel)? So he goes to Satyabhaamaa and reports that Krishn has taken Rukminee with him. Satyabhaamaa refuses to take the bait saying that Krishn is sleeping inside. He tells her awakened Krishn to go to Yagya with Satyabhaamaa. Scene is repeated with Jaambavatee and other wives too. Naarad Jee confirms that Krishn resides even in the house of every Gopee. The horse, brought to be killed, says something. Nakul who knows the language of animals interprets it. Horse is saying that, all the other horses before him had reached heaven after being killed at Ashwamedh Yagya, but because of Krishn's presence, he is going to get absorbed in Krishn. This miracle, along with some others, happens. Shree Krishn is honored. Vyaas is given a lot of wealth which he distributes among poor Braahman.

51. Appendix
Yagya is over. Two Braahman arrive. They have a problem which Yudhishthir should resolve. One Braahman has sold farming land to the second one. While sowing, the latter found a gold filled pot. He wants to return it to the one who sold the land. But the one who sold, refuses to take it back. Yudhishthir can't decide. Seeing this Krishn says: come after three months. A decision will be reached then, that will make both happy. The Braahman leave the wealth with the king and go back. Yudhishthir asks - "You know everything. Then why the delay?" Krishn answers - "In the third month, Kali Yug starts. Good thoughts will all disappear by then. Those same Braahman will come back after three months and fight to be the sole owner of the gold pot. I understand that, on that day you will divide it equally between them." Krishn gives a description of Kali Yug.

Jaimini continues: After some days, a miraculous happening. That is interesting to hear. I will narrate it briefly. A mongoose comes and says aloud that Yudhishthir's Yagya is nothing compared to that of Saktuprasth who lives by Unchchh Vritti. Story of Saktuprasth. Janamejaya asks Jaimini: Who was that one who took the form of a mongoose and spoke in human language? Story of the previous life of mongoose. It was Krodh who was cursed by his forefathers for testing and causing trouble to Jamadagni. Telling about Saktuprasth's Unchchha Vritti at Yudhishthir's Yagya will release him from curse. Released from curse, Krodh goes back to his place.

Finally the 1st English translation, Shlok-by-Shlok, of Jaimini's unique Ashwamedh Parv of the MBH, by Shekhar Sen is out from Writers Workshop, Kolkata edited by me (Pradip Bhattacharya). It runs to 500 pages with a detailed Introduction of 70 pages, a glossary covering weapons, plants, musical instruments, names. Available from  website:  Rs 800 hardbound, Rs 500 soft cover.



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Created by Sushma Gupta On 03/09/02
Modified on 12/08/12