Mahabharata Udyoga Parva - Translation by KM Ganguly

Mahabharata Adiparva

Section CIX

"Garuda continued, 'In days of yore, Vivaswat, having performed a sacrifice, gave this quarter away as a present (Dakshina) unto his preceptor, And it is for this that this region is known by the name of Dakshina (south). It is here that the Pitris of the three worlds have their habitation. And, O Brahmana, it is said that a class of celestials subsisting upon smoke alone also live there. Those celestials also that go by the name of Viswedevas always dwell in this region along with the Pitris. Worshipped in sacrifices in all the worlds, they are equal sharers with the Pitris. This quarter is called the second door of Yama. It is here that the periods allotted to men are calculated in Trutis and Lavas.  In this region always dwell the celestial Rishis, the Pitriloka Rishis, and the royal Rishis, in great happiness. Here are religion and truth. It is here that the acts (of persons) exhibit their fruits. This region, O best of the twice-born, is the goal of the acts of the dead. It is this region, O best of regenerate persons, whither all must repair. And as creatures are all

overwhelmed by darkness, they cannot, therefore, come hither in bliss. Here, O bull among regenerate persons, are many thousands of Malevolent Rakshasas in order to be seen by the sinful. Here, O Brahmana, in the bowers on the breast of Mandara and in the abodes of regenerate Rishis, the Gandharvas chant psalms, stealing away both the heart and the intellect. It was here that Raivata (a Daitya), hearing the Sama hymns sung in a sweet voice, retired to the woods, leaving his wife and friends and kingdom. In this region, O Brahmana, Manu and Yavakrita's son together set a limit which Surya can never overstep. It was here that the illustrious descendant of Pulastya, Ravana, the king of the Rakshasas, undergoing ascetic austerities, solicited (the boon of) immortality from the gods. It was here that (the Asura) Vritra, in consequence of his wicked conduct, incurred the enmity of Sakra. It is in this region that lives of diverse forms all come and are then dissociated into their five (constituent) elements. It is in this region, O Galava, that men of wicked deeds rot (in tortures). It is here that the river Vaitarani flows, filled with the bodies of persons condemned to hell. Arrived here, persons attain to the extremes of happiness and misery. Reaching this region, the sun droppeth sweet waters and thence proceeding again to the direction named after (Vasishtha), once more droppeth dew, It was here that I once obtained (for food), a prodigious elephant battling with an enormous tortoise. It was here that the great sage Chakradhanu took his birth from Surya. That divine sage afterwards came to be known by the name of Kapila, and it was by him that the (sixty thousand) sons of Sagara were afflicted. It was here that a class of Brahmanas named Sivas, fully mastering the Vedas, became crowned with (ascetic) success. Having studied all the Vedas they at last attained eternal salvation. In this region is the city called Bhogavati that is ruled by Vasuki, by the Naga Takshaka and also by Airavata. They that have to journey hither (after death) encounter here a thick gloom. And so thick is that gloom that it cannot be penetrated by either the Sun himself or by Agni. Worthy of worship as thou art, even thou shalt have to pass this road. Tell me now if thou wishest to sojourn towards this direction. Else, I listen to an account of the western direction.'"