“For extending the fame of the high-souled Pandavas and of other Kshatriyas versed in all branches of knowledge, high spirited, and already known in the world for their achievements, Krishna-Dwaipayana, guided also by the desire of doing good to the world, hath composed this work. It is excellent, productive of fame, grants length of life, is sacred and heavenly. He who, from desire of acquiring religious merit, causeth this history to be heard by sacred Brahmanas, acquireth great merit and virtue that is inexhaustible. He that reciteth the famous generation of the Kurus becometh immediately purified and acquireth a large family himself, and becometh respected in the world. That Brahmana who regularly studies this sacred Bharata for the four months of the rainy season, is cleansed from all his sins. He that has read the Bharata may be regarded as one acquainted with the Vedas.
“This work presents an account of the gods and royal sages and sacred regenerate Rishis, the sinless Kesava; the god of gods, Mahadeva and the goddess Parvati; the birth of Kartikeya who sprang from union of Parvati with Mahadeva and was reared by many mothers; the greatness of Brahmanas and of kine. This Bharata is a collection of all the Srutis, and is fit to be heard by every virtuous person. That learned man who reciteth it to Brahmanas during the sacred lunations, becometh cleansed of all sins, and, not caring for heaven as it were, attaineth to a union with Brahma. He that causeth even a single foot of this poem to be heard by Brahmanas during the performance of a Sraddha, maketh that Sraddha inexhaustible, the Pitris becoming ever gratified with the articles once presented to them. The sins that are committed daily by our senses or the mind, those that are committed knowingly or unknowingly by any man, are all destroyed by hearing the Mahabharata. The history of the exalted birth of the Bharata princes is called the Mahabharata. He who knoweth this etymology of