Anukramanika is the name of the first upa parva out of ninteen upa parvas in Mahabharat. Mahabharat epic has eighteen parvas and Adi parva is the first one.  The original epic had been written in Sanskrit in verses. The total verses would be exceeding one lakhs.

In olden times, to be memorized by the disciples, the author cum teacher of this epic had classified the verses into several clusters, the partitions done according to the flow of events in due course of time. Parashara Rishi was the father of Veda Vyasa Rishi. Shuka Muni was the son of Veda Vyasa Rishi. Veda Vyasa Rishi himself told the entire Mahabharata to his son Shuka. Shuka told to his disciple, Suta muni.  In the Anukramanika upa parva, the summary of Mahabharat had been told in brief in the sequential form like indexing the story chapters, done for convenience.

Parting the Bhagavdgeetha]

Uttanka was a great sage as seen in the other articles regarding Ramayana. Also, the name was referred in the article of Gauthama Rishi. Uttanka had supervised the serpent’s yajna at Hastinapura which was conducted by Janamejaya, the son of Parikshit Maharaja. Suta muni was reciting the Mahabharata shlokas and Shounaka Rishi had attended it and heard the Mahabharat events, the war between Kauravas and Pandavas during the yajna. Then, Shounaka Rishi while returning to Badarikashram, visited Naimisharanya.

The forest Naimisha was on the banks of Gomati River, a tributary of River Ganga. The son of Lomaharshana, called Ugrashrava had his hermit in Naimisharanya and engaged in yajna for the peace and prosperity in the world. Ugrashrava welcomed Shaunaka Rishi and after respectful provision of a seat in the meeting, requested with him to narrate regarding the serpent’s yajna of Hastinapura.

Shounaka had started his narrations regarding Mahabharat.

नारायणं नमस्कृत्य नरं चैव नरोत्तमम् ।
देवीं सरस्वतीं चैव ततो जय मुदीरयेत् ॥

The meaning: Among the human beings, Krishna was the incarnation of the god, Narayana; he was the best person to memorize and the first to be worshiped. Then the Goddess, Saraswathi is to be worshipped. The story of Jaya is to be recited, Jaya was the name originally assigned to Mahabharat by Veda Vyasa Rishi.

Then the name of the epic was Jaya and the surrounding area of Kurukshetra was called as Samantha Panchaka. Hastinapura was its headquarters. The traditional epic, the story lines of verses, had been started here. Later it had been revised and retold in many times and in various fashion. Many authors had re-written the verses to make it crazier and oral orders also flew from generation to generations.  King Shantanu would be the story initiator.

One day, King Shanthanu met with the incarnation of Ganga on the banks of that River. King Shanthanu proposed a marriage with Ganga. Ganga had agreed under conditions that she would live under full freedom and do things as per her will and desire. In case if any of her actions were objected, then she would leave King Shanthanu. They agreed and married.

Thereafter, seven children had been born to the couple but Ganga had thrown all the children into the river immediately after their birth. Till then, King Shanthanu had not objected her actions but then he desired to know the reason for throwing the children into the river. Immediately she declared King Shanthanu had broken her agreement and wished to go away but then the eighth child had born and she gave it to him, instead of throwing into the river. King Shanthanu agreed to leave her but he also requested her to come again to provide education to the child when that male baby was to be sent for education. She agreed and carried the boy, for education later. His name was Devavrata and later he came to be known as Bhishma.

Later, King Shantanu had married Satyavati and Bhishma had taken a vow that he would never marry. Sathyavati had two children, Chitrangada and Vichitraveerya. Chitrangada was elder one and he was crowned. He was a good warrior but during the war with one Gandharva, he was defeated and slain. King Shantanu had died and hence Bhishma had started to look after the country.

The education of Vichitraveerya was not fully completed and then they heard a call of swayamvara at Kashi. The King of Kashi had three daughters. They were Amba, Ambika and Ambalika. Since Vichitraveerya was not a notable warrior, they had not been invited for the swayamvara at Kashi. Since Bhishma was looking after the country on behalf of Vichitraveerya, he went to the swayamvara parade and compelled all the three daughters of the King of Kashi to come to Hastinapura. On the way to Hastinapura, Amba told him her desire to marry the king of Salva. But she failed since Salva had rejected her request and finally she took a vow to destroy Bhishma.

Later Ambika and Ambalika had married Vichitraveerya. Dhritarashtra was the son of Ambika and Pandu was the son of Ambalika. Dhritarashtra was born blind and when he had grown up, he married Gandhari. He was the elder son, hence he was crowned but he could not see things. Pandu had also grown up, got good education and married Kunti. He was fond of hunting in forests and hence in the youth, most of the time was spent in forests with Kunti. The Royal administration had been discharged by the efficient ruler, Bhishma. Later one hundred male children and one daughter had born to Dritarashtra and Gandhari couple. Since Pandu was childless, he married Madri. Later, by worshipping angels, Yama, Vayu and Indra three male children had born to Kunti. By worshipping angels, Ashwini twin stars, two male children born to Madri. But then, Pandu died early.

Bhishma had arranged for the education of the children in Hastinapura.       

Duryodhana was the eldest son of Dritarashtra and Dushyasana was the second one. The girl child was Dushyala. The Children of Kunti were Yudhistira, Bhima, and Arjuna. The sons of Madri were Nakula and Sahadeva. Madri had died with Pandu.

Kripacharya has been described in the other article in the Mahabharat Introduction. He had given basic education to the children, after naming them. Since their number was more than hundred, it was felt difficult to manage those children for Kripacharya alone and later for higher education, they had been entrusted to Dronacharya.

Since Royal administration work was carried out by Bhishma, the children were feeling at ease and hence their marriage was arranged in time. Yudhistira was older in age. One day, the children had attended the swayamvara of Draupadi and in the bow challenge Arjuna had aimed the eye of the token fish and won. But they had not clearly and fully reported to Kunti but told that they got a gift. Unknowing the matter, their mother Kunti told them to share the gift equally among the five brothers. The children agreed but later Draupadi had to be the wife of five Pandavas.

Duryodhana had a charioteer called Satyasena. During the Draupadi swayamvara, Karna had attended but then he was not a king. Hence he was not permitted to enjoy royal status but he was of good physique. Duryodhana had recognized his good health and elevated him as the king of Anga, a vacant kingdom which then required a king. There was a sister called Vrushali to Satyasena. Karna married Vrushali.

Later, another swayamvara was heard by Duryodhana and Karna. Duryodhana attended it with Karna and Karna had helped Duryodhana to carry Bhanumati to Hastinapura. Then, Duryodhana had married Bhanumati.    

Duryodhana and his brothers were enjoying royal status in the palace of Hastinapura. Karna was always helping them.

Yudhishtira and his brothers had frequently lived in forests and sometimes by begging also. Frequently Draupadi accompanied them.

Dritarashtra also had a brother called Vidura and Kunti used to stay at his house. Vidura was always providing legal assistance for the administration in the court.

There was a gradual growth of hatred from the side of Duryodhana towards Yudhishtira and his brothers. Even though Dritarashtra was their father and king, Yudhishtira was elder in age than Duryodhana and people liked Yudhishtira more. Shakuni was the maternal uncle of Duryodhana and wanted him to crown next after his father’s rule. In order to kill Yudhishtira and his brothers with Kunti, Duryodhana had offered them a palace made of lacquer. It was called Jatugriha palace. But Yudhishtira and his brothers were clever. Bhima had excavated an underground tunnel from that palace into the forest and escaped in the evening on the day of its inauguration. Shakuni and Duryodhana had ignited it in the night burning that palace fully. For a few months, Duryodhana and their brothers felt happy thinking Pandavas had been burnt and died.

Arjuna was a man born by the boon of Indra. Indra had gifted Pandavas some forest area. Arjuna and his Pandava brothers managed to build a very good palace there and named it as Indraprasta. Yudhishtira had possessed a compromising nature. Pandavas had met with Bhishma and expressed to conduct Rajasuya yaga in Indraprasta. Bhishma was a devotee of Vishnu and knew Krishna as the incarnation of God Vishnu. Hence he directed Yudhishtira and his brothers towards Kirshna for consultations.

Yudhishtira with his brothers met with Krishna. Krishna was younger one and Balarama was the elder son of Nandagopa, who was known as Yadava king. Balarama was frequently attacked by the king of Magadha called Jarasandha. Several times Balarama had faced Jarasandha, and in defence, when their fight reached a moment of fury to cause death of Jarasandha, Krishna had intervened and let him free. When Yudhishtira approached for advice of Krishna regarding Rajasuya yaga, Krishna felt happy and kept a demand before them. In order to conduct Rajasuya yaga, there should not be a king, more powerful than Yudhishtira. Hence Krishna planned for killing of Jarasandha, using Arjuna and Bhima.

Krishna had arranged with Balarama to migrate to Dwaraka and build a new palace there for them. One night, Arjuna, Bhima and Krishna went to the palace of Jarasandha and killed him. The gold plated silver crown of Jarasandha was handed over to Yudhishtira and then Yudhishtira got the eligibility to conduct Rajasuya yaga. Krishna and Balarama travelled in the night and reached Dwaraka safely.

Rajasuya yaga had been arranged at Indraprasta with all glories. Krishna was a peace lover. He thought, in future, if a war happened for the throne of emperor of India, there might be great loss of lives and assets. War should be postponed to a maximum extent. During Rajasuya yaga, Yudhishtira consulted Sahadeva for the selection of the Chief Guest to worship and to offer the yaga prasadam as first provision, and then Sahadeva pointed towards Krishna. Shishupala, the brother of queen Radha, had a dislike towards Krishna and hence spoke disgracing words about Krishna. On behalf of Yudhishtira, Arjuna had put the gold-plated silver crown to Krishna, worshipped his pair of feet and presented the offerings of Rajasuya yaga to Krishna on a plate, in honor. s

When Shishupala openly declined the prestige of Krishna, Krishna had announced openly that it was the hundredth occasion on which she had to tolerate his disgrace. Krishna threw the plate and it had cut the throat of Shishupala and he died, then and there itself. Then the gold plated silver crown removed and preserved there.

The havoc situation of yaga ended and people had disbursed to their home. Bhishma had kept silent. Bhishma was a devotee of Krishna and a lover of peace himself. In the palace of Hastinapura, one day, Duryodhana had invited all his brothers and declared himself as the prince and took the crown himself. Kripacharya had kept silent since Duryodhana was the son of the emperor Dritharastra and he was blind.

Since royal administration works had been looked after by Bhishma, there was nothing in the official agenda left for Duryodhana but to play dice in the court. Hence he called Yudhishtira to play dice in the presence of Shakuni. A decent person such as Krishna or Parashurama was not present there. Kripacharya was inside the palace and not used to attend court proceedings. Bhishma was there but thought as children were playing and nothing to consider as a serious matter. Brothers would play but war was not in proximity and so it was permitted. But Shakuni had hidden malicious interest in the dice.

In the first round of play called Dyuta, Yudhishtira had won the game, but again in the next round called Anudyuta, Shakuni and Duryodana used tricks and Duryodhana won the series of matches. Yudhishtira had lost everything, including his wife Draupadi and brothers. Duryodhana had vengeance in his heart and liked to disrobe Draupadi in the court.

Draupadi was unwilling to attend court but Dushyasana, the younger brother of Duryodana had pulled her by her hair into the court and started to pull out her Saree in the presence of the people there. Helpless Droupadi prayed to Krishna and her saree had started to elongate wonderfully. When Dushyasana was tired of pulling, he stopped. The event had marked a sad stamp in history. In the dice game, conditions were already agreed to by the Pandavas, represented by Yudhishtira, to go in exile for twelve years and one year to live unrecognized called as Ajnathavasa.

Dritharashtra was blind and requested Pandavas to remain in their allotted palace at Indraprastha. In order to keep the words of promise, Pandavas with Draupadi had gone for exile for twelve years and one year Ajnathavas. Krishna was frequently helping Pandavas. Duryodhana was frequently disturbing them even though they were in forests. With the help of Krishna, Pandavas were always winning the situations. After thirteen years, when Duryodhana had rejected the request of Pandavas for a living place, a war had to be proposed between them. Krishna had tried for ceasefire but Duryodhana remained adamant.

The war between Pandavas and Kauravas had been fought for eighteen days. Lakhs of life had been lost in the war. Krishna was with Yudhishtira and served as the charioteer to Arjuna. Except Kripacharya, Ashwathama and Bhishma, all the army men of Kaurava had been killed in the war. The eighteen days war had its own chronology of fierce events. Yudhishtira was anointed by Kripacharya.

Bhishma was waiting for Uttarayana, the start of summer solstice. One day, when the situation was found to be peaceful, Yudhistira and his Pandava brothers met with Bhishma. Bhishma had explained many administrative secrets to them and recited the one thousand names of Vishnu, called Vishnu Sahasranama. In the beginning of the war, when Arjuna was compelled to start fighting, he had felt uneasiness. In order to boost his morale, Krishna had shown his Vishwaroopa Darshana and had recited and explained the holy Bhagavadgeetha. 

Bhishma requested Yudhishtira to bring Krishna with him. Krishna appeared before Bhishma and Bhishma happily sent his soul to the heaven, when summer solstice had started. The son of Arjuna, Abhimanyu was killed, but his son, Parikshit later had been crowned.

Parikshit was ruling in the beginning of Kaliyuga. One day, he had worn the gold-plated silver crown and went to forest for hunting. There he insulted Shamik muni with a snake skin in a forest after getting tired of hunting. When the son of Shamik, Shringi, had seen the snake skin on the body of his father, he had cursed Parikshit to die within seven days for his mischievous actions.

King Pariskit felt sorry and removed the gold-plated silver crown and preserved in his palace. He consulted Shuka muni, the son of Veda Vyasa Rishi. Shuka muni had narrated Srimad Bhagavatham for seven days. On the seventh day, after hearing the holy biography of Krishna, Srimad Bhagavatham, Parikshit was liberated and felt ready to go to heaven. The biting of Takshak coincided and Parikshit died. Then, his son Janamejaya was crowned. He did not know the back ground stories. Uttanka Rishi also did not know previous stories.

Uttanka had supervised the serpent’s yajna at Hastinapura which was conducted by Janamejaya, the son of Parikshit Maharaja. Suta muni was reciting the Mahabharata shlokas and Shounaka Rishi had attended it and heard the Mahabharat events, the war between Kauravas and Pandavas during the yajna. Then, Shounaka Rishi, while returning to Badarikashram, visited Naimisharanya.

Thus there were more than five hundred major sensitive events in the epic Mahabharat. The lineage of Shanthanu as King started the story and continued in the time of Janamejaya. Parashara Rishi started as Rishi, then Veda Vyasa, Shuka and it continued. Krishna made the story holiest.

Sahadeva, the youngest of the pandavas was an astrologer and he had explained the fate of the silver crown plated with Gold. It was done for Kamsa, later used by Jarasandha. For a few moments, it was put on the head of Krishna but after killing of Shishupala, immediately removed. Parikshit had got cursed due to its wearing. The crown had been melted during the serpent’s yaga by Janamejaya and the silver coins had been minted and distributed to all guests. These were called rupia and in Kaliyuga used as currency money. May those who read this story become rich by the blessings of God Krishna.  

The reading or hearing of Mahabharat credits virtues to the reader and listener. His sins are decreased.

It is humbly prayed for the blessings of God Krishna upon us.

Next post, Parva 1 Upaparva 2 Parvasangraha may not be missed.

Parva 1 Upaparva 3, Paushya parva would be presented separately in another article.

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