Mahabharata Aswamedha Parva - Translation by KM Ganguly

Mahabharata Adiparva

Section LIV

"Utanka said, 'Do thou, O Kesava, tell me that faultless Adhyatma. Having heard thy discourse I shall ordain what is for thy good or denounce a curse to thee, O Janarddana.'

"Vasudeva said, 'Know that the three qualities of Darkness and Passion and Goodness exist, depending on me as their refuge. So also, O regenerate one, know that the Rudras and the Vasus have sprung from me. In me are all creatures, and in all creatures do I exist; know this. Let no doubt arise in thy mind respecting this. So also, O regenerate one, know that all the tribes of the Daityas, all the Yakshas, Gandharvas, Rakshasas, Nagas. Apsaras, have sprung from me. Whatever has been called existent and non-existent, whatever is manifest and not-manifest, whatever is destructible and indestructible, all have me for their soul. Those fourfold courses of duty which, O ascetic, are known to attach to the (four) modes of life, and all the Vedic duties, have me for their soul. Whatever is non-existent, whatever is existent and non-existent, and whatever transcends that which is existent and non-existent,--all these which constitute the universe--are from me. There is nothing higher (or beyond) me who am the eternal god of gods.  O perpetuator of Bhrigu's race, know that all the Vedas beginning with (the original syllable) Om are identical with me. Know, O son of Bhrigu's race, that I am the sacrificial stake; I am the Soma (drunk in sacrifices); I am the Charu (cooked in sacrifices for being offered to the deities); I am the Homa (that is performed); I am those acts which sacrificers perform for gratifying the deities; I am even the pourer of the sacrificial libation: and I am the Havi or libation that is poured. I am the Adharyu. I am the Kalpaka; and I am the highly sanctified sacrificial Havi. It is me whom the Udgatri, in the great sacrifice, hymns by the sound of his songs. In all rites of expiation, O Brahmana, the utterers of auspicious Mantras and benedictions fraught with peace hymn my praises who am the artificer, O foremost of regenerate ones, of the universe. Know, O best of regenerate person, that Dharma is my eldest-born offspring, sprung from my mind, O learned Brahmana, whose essence is compassion for all creatures. Constantly transforming myself, I take birth in diverse wombs, O best of men, for upholding that son of mine, with the aid of men now existing in or departed from the world. Indeed, I do this for protecting Righteousness and for establishing it. In those forms that I assume for the purpose, I am known, O son of Bhrigu's race, in the three worlds as Vishnu and Brahman and Sakra. I am the origin and I am the destruction of all things. I am the creator of all existent objects and I am their destroyer. Knowing no change myself, I am the destroyer of all those creatures that live in sinfulness. In every Yuga I have to repair the causeway of Righteousness, entering into

diverse kinds of wombs from desire of doing good to my creatures. When, O son of Bhrigu's race, I live in the order of the deities, I then verily act in every respect as a deity. When I live in the order of the Gandharvas, I then, O son of Bhrigu's race, act in every respect as a Gandharva. When I live in the order of the Nagas, I then act as a Naga, and when I live in the order of Yakshas or that of Rakshasas, I act after the manner of that order. Born now in the order of humanity, I must act as a human being. I appealed to them (the Kauravas) most piteously. But stupefied as they were and deprived of their senses, they refused to accept my words. I frightened them, filled with wrath, referring to some great fear (as the consequence of their slighting my message). But once more I showed themselves my usual (human) form. Possessed as they were of unrighteousness, and assailed by the virtue of Time, all of them have been righteously slain in battle, and have, without doubt, gone to Heaven. The Pandavas also, O best of Brahmanas, have acquired great fame. I have thus told thee all that thou hadst asked me.'"