Anushasana Parva continues the theme of Shanti Parva, a discussion of duties of a ruler, the rule of law, instructions on dharma for those close to the leader. Here is an extract of Anushashan Parva.. Read and judge for yourself. SECTION “Yudhishthira said, ‘O thou of great puissance, tell me what that object. Yes, Bhishma does say that in chapter 88 of the Anushasana Parva of the Mahabharata: Listen to me, O Yudhishthira, what those Havis are.

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The Shanti Parva Sanskrit: It traditionally has 3 sub-books and chapters. The book is set after the war is over- the two sides have accepted peace and Yudhishthira starts his rule of the Pandava kingdom. The Shanti parva recites anjshasana duties of the ruler, dharma and good governance, as counseled by the dying Bhishma and various Rishis.

The book also provides what some have described as a “theory of caste ” as well as a comparative discussion between a rule of truth versus a rule of rituals, declaring truth anushaaana be far superior over rituals. Scholars have questioned whether parts or all of the parva was inserted or interpolated at a later age. This Parva book traditionally has 3 sub-parvas sub-books or little books and adhyayas sections, chapters. Shanti parva begins with sorrowful Yudhishthira lamenting the loss of human lives during the war.

He announces his desire to renounce the kingdom, move into a forest as a mendicant and live in silence. He receives counsel from his family and then sages Narada and Vyasaas well as Devala, Devasthana and Kanwa.

Arjuna argues it is more virtuous to anuahasana and maintain virtuous wealth and do good with it, than to neither create nor have any.

Yudhishthira challenges Arjuna anjshasana would he know. Sage Vyasa then intervenes and offers arguments from Vedas that support Arjuna’s comments, and the story of Sankha and Anusjasana.

Krishna concurs with Arjuna and Parrva, and adds his own arguments. Shanti parva is a treatise on duties of a king and his government, dharma laws and rulesproper governance, rights, justice and describes how these create prosperity.

Yudhishthira becomes the king of a prosperous and peaceful kingdom, Bhima his anushasanw apparent, sage Vidura the prime minister, Sanjaya the finance minister, Arjuna the defense and justice minister, and Dhaumya is appointed one responsible to service priests and counsels to the king.

Shanti Parva was composed in Sanskrit. Several translations of the book in English are available. Two translations from 19th century, now in public domain, are those by Kisari Mohan Ganguli [1] and Manmatha Nath Dutt. This translation is modern and uses an old manuscript of the Epic.

The translation does not remove verses and chapters now widely believed to be spurious and smuggled into the Epic in 1st or 2nd millennium AD. Debroy, innotes [12] that updated critical edition of Shanti Parva, after removing verses and chapters generally accepted so far as spurious and inserted into the original, has 3 sub-books, adhyayas chapters and 13, shlokas verses. Shanti parva – the longest book and most number of verses – has a number of treatises and fables embedded in it.

Examples include a theory on caste, [13] a theory on governance, [14] and the fable of the wicked fowler and compassionate pigeons. Chapters and of the parva begin by reciting Bhrigu’s theory of varnaaccording to whom Brahmins were white, Kshatriyas red, Vaishyas yellow, and Shudras black. Rishi Bharadwaja asks how can castes be discriminated when in truth all colors are observed in every class of people, when in truth people of all groups experience the same desire, same anger, same fear, same grief, same fatigue, same hunger, same love and other emotions?

Everyone is born the same way, carries blood and bile, and dies the same way, asserts Bharadwaja. Why do castes exist, asks Bharadwaja? Bhrigu replies there is no difference among castes.


It arose because of differentiation of work. Duty and rites of passage are not forbidden to any of them. The parva dedicates over chapters on duties of a king and rules of proper governance. A prosperous kingdom must be guided by truth and justice. Chapter 88 recommends the king to tax without injuring the ability or capacity of citizens to provide wealth to monarchy, just like bees harvest honey from flower, keepers of cow draw milk without starving the calf or hurting the cow; those who cannot bear the burden of taxes, should not be taxed.

The best law, claims Shanti parva, is one that enhances the welfare of all living beings, without injuring any specific group. Shanti parva recites many symbolic fables and tales, [22] one of which is the fable of the fowler and the pigeons. This fable is recited in Chapters throughby Bhishma to Yudhishthiraas a lesson on virtue, profit and desire: One day, while he was in the forest, a cold storm blew in. The storm knocked down a pigeon, who lay helpless on ground, trembling in cold.

The fowler picked up the pigeon and put her in a cage to sell her. The fowler decided to take shelter and spent the cold night under a tree. As he sat under a huge tree, he loudly called on all deities and creatures abode the tree to allow him shelter as he is their guest. On one of the branches of the tree lived a pigeon family, whose lady-of-the-nest had gone out for food but not returned. The male pigeon lamented how he missed his wife, cooing, “One’s home is not a home, it is a wife that makes a home.

Without my wife, my house is desolate. If my wife does not come back today, I do not want to live, for there is no friend like a wife. The pigeon in the cage called out her pigeon husband, and asked him not to worry about her or his own desire, but to treat the fowler as a guest to the best of his abilities.

The fowler is cold and hungry, said the she-pigeon. Be hospitable to him, do not grieve for me. One should be kind to everyone, even those who have done you wrong, said the she-pigeon. The pigeon husband, so moved by his wife’s request, flew down and welcomed the fowler. The pigeon asked what he could provide to make the fowler comfortable. The fowler said a warm fire could drive his cold away. So, the pigeon collected some dry leaves and set them ablaze. The pigeon had no food to offer to his guest.

So, the pigeon walked around the fire three times, then told the fowler to eat him, and the pigeon entered the fire to provide a meal for the fowler.

The Mahabharata

The pigeon’s compassion shook the fowler, who began reflecting on his life. The fowler resolved to be compassionate to all creatures. He silently released the female pigeon from the anushasaja. She, who had just lost her pigeon husband in fire, was so deeply in love that she too walked into the fire.

The fowler cried, and was overwhelmed with sadness for all the injury and pain he had caused to wild birds over the parvva. Scholars [24] [25] have questioned the chronology and content of many chapters in Shanti Parva and its companion book the Anushasana Parva.

Anushasana Parva

These scholars ask whether these two books represent wisdom from ancient India, or were these chapters smuggled in to spread social and moral theories during India’s medieval era or during second millennium AD. Iyer, incompared different versions of Shanti Parva manuscripts found in east, west and south India, in Sanskrit and in different Indian languages. The comparison showed that while some chapters and verses on moral and ethical theories are found in all manuscripts, there are major inconsistencies between many parts of the manuscripts.

Not only is the order of chapters different, large numbers of verses were missing, entirely different or somewhat inconsistent between the manuscripts. The most inconsistent sections were parvw relating to social customs, castes, and certain duties of kings.


Anushasana Parva – Vyasa Mahabharata

Iyer claims [10] these chapters were smuggled and interpolated into the Mahabharata, or the answers rewritten to suit regional agenda or views. Alf Hiltebeitel similarly has questioned the chronology and authenticity of some sections in Shanti and Anushasana Parvas.

Sorrow comes after happiness, and happiness after sorrow; One does not always suffer sorrow, nor always enjoy happiness.

Only those who are stolid fools, and those who are masters of their souls, enjoy happiness here; They, however, who occupy an intermediate position suffer misery. Happiness and misery, prosperity and adversity, gain and loss, death and life, in their turn, visit all creatures; Anusjasana wise man, endued with equanimous soul would neither be puffed up with joy, nor be depressed with sorrow.

There is nothing which leads so much to the success of kings as Truth, the king who is devoted to Truth enjoys happiness both here and hereafter. Even to the Rishis, O king, Truth is the greatest wealth, Likewise for the kings, there is nothing that so much creates confidence in them as Truth. Nobody snushasana nobody’s friend, anusasana is nobody’s wellwisher, persons become friends or enemies only from motives of interest.

I do not instruct you regarding duty anusshasana what I have learned from the Vedas alone; What I have told you is the result of wisdom and experience, it is the honey that the learned have gleaned. Kings should collect wisdom from various sources, One cannot go successfully in the world with the help of a one sided morality; Duty must originate from understanding, the practices of the good should always be determined. A king by the help of his understanding and guided by knowledge gathered from various sources, should so arrange that moral laws may be observed.

All men who live on this anushasqna, are filled with doubts regarding the nature of Anushasaba. What is this that is called Righteousness? Whence does Righteousness come? Righteousness begets happiness as its fruit; There is nothing superior to truth; Everything is supported by truth, and everything depends on truth.

One should not take other’s properties, that is an eternal duty; A thief fears everybody, he considers other people as sinful as himself; A pure hearted person is always filled with cheerfulness, and has no fear from anywhere; Such a person never anushasaha his own misconduct in other persons.

A person should never do that to others, which he does not like to be done to him ajushasana others; Whatever wishes one cherishes about his own self, one should certainly cherish regarding another. The Creator ordained Virtue, gifting it with the power of holding the world together. There is no fixed time for the acquisition of righteousness. Anushaasna waits for no man. When man is constantly running towards the jaws of Death, the accomplishment of righteous acts is proper at all times.

Like a blind man who, with attention, is capable of moving about his own house, the man of wisdom, with mind set on Yogasucceeds in finding the track he should follow.

One who walketh along the track recommended by the understanding, earns happiness both here and hereafter. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Public governance and decentralisation, Vol. Its History; Its Effects: The Duty of Government, Hindus and Christians with respect to it and its prospectsp. Essays on Sanskrit literaturep. Retrieved 21 January Retrieved from ” https: Anudhasana template wayback links Articles containing Sanskrit-language text.

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