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From here, following is what looks like the dhyana shloka (opening prayer) for the Mahabharata. I'm looking for an English translation of the same.

01,000.000*0001_01     jayati parāśarasūnuḥ satyavatīhṛdayanandano vyāsaḥ
01,000.000*0001_02     yasyāsyakamalakośe vāṅmayam amṛtaṃ pibati lokaḥ
01,000.000*0002_01     dharmadṛḍhabaddhamūlo vedaskandhaḥ purāṇaśākhāḍhyaḥ
01,000.000*0002_02     kratukusumo mokṣaphalo jayati kalpadrumo viṣṇuḥ
01,000.000*0003_01     pitāmahādyaṃ pravadanti ṣaṣṭhaṃ; maharṣim akṣayyavibhūtiyuktam
01,000.000*0003_02     nārāyaṇasyāṃśajam ekaputraṃ; dvaipāyanaṃ vedanidhiṃ namāmi
01,000.000*0004_01     pārāśaryavacassarojam amalaṃ gītārthagandhotkaṭaṃ
01,000.000*0004_02     nānākhyānakakesaraṃ harikathāsaṃbodhanābodhitam
01,000.000*0004_03     loke sajjanaṣaṭpadair aharahaḥ pepīyamānaṃ mudā
01,000.000*0004_04     bhūyād bhāratapaṅkajaṃ kalimalapradhvaṃsi naḥ śreyase
01,000.000*0005_01     yaḥ śvetatvam upāgataḥ kṛtayuge tretāyuge raktatāṃ
01,000.000*0005_02     yugme yaḥ kapilaḥ kalau ca bhagavān kṛṣṇatvam āyāga *
01,000.000*0005_03     . . . . . . . danti munayo yo yogibhir gīyate
01,000.000*0005_04     sa brahmā yadi vā haro yadi śivo yaḥ ko 'pi tasmai namaḥ
01,000.000*0006_01     vāgīśādyāḥ sumanasaḥ sarvārthānām u . . .
01,000.000*0006_02     . . tvā kṛtakṛtyāḥ syus taṃ namāmi gajānanam
01,000.000*0007_01     vyāsaṃ vasiṣṭhanaptāraṃ śakteḥ pautram akalmaṣam
01,000.000*0007_02     parāśarātmajaṃ vande śukatātaṃ taponidhim
01,000.000*0008_01     acaturvadano brahmā dvibāhur a . . . .
01,000.000*0008_02     abhālalocanaḥ śambhur bhagavān bādarāyaṇaḥ
01,000.000*0009_01     śuklāmbaradharaṃ devaṃ śaśivarṇaṃ caturbhujam
01,000.000*0009_02     prasannavadanaṃ dhyāyet sarvavighnopaśāntaye
01,000.000*0010_01     jñānānandamayaṃ devaṃ nirmalaṃ sphaṭikākṛtim
01,000.000*0010_02     ādhāraṃ sarvavidyānāṃ hayagrīvam upāsmahe
01,000.000*0011_01     vyāsāya viṣṇurūpāya vyāsarūpāya viṣṇave
01,000.000*0011_02     namo vai brahmanidhaye vāsiṣṭhāya namo namaḥ
01,000.000*0012_01     namo dharmāya mahate namaḥ kṛṣṇāya vedhase
01,000.000*0012_02     brāhmaṇebhyo namaskṛtvā dharmān vakṣyāmi śāśvatān
01,000.000*0013_01     abhraśyāmaḥ piṅgajaṭābaddhakalāpaḥ
01,000.000*0013_02     prāṃśur daṇḍī kṛṣṇamṛgatvakparidhānaḥ
01,000.000*0013_03     sākṣāl lokān pāvayamānaḥ kavimukhyaḥ
01,000.000*0013_04     pārāśaryaḥ parvasu rūpaṃ vivṛṇotu
01,000.000*0014_01     aśubhāni nirācaṣṭe tanoti śubhasaṃtatim
01,000.000*0014_02     smṛtamātreṇa yaḥ puṃsāṃ brahma tan maṅgalaṃ viduḥ
01,000.000*0015_01     dharmo vivardhati yudhiṣṭhirakīrtanena
01,000.000*0015_02     pāpaṃ praṇaśyati vṛkodarakīrtanena
01,000.000*0015_03     śatrur vinaśyati dhanaṃjayakīrtanena
01,000.000*0015_04     mādrīsutau kathayatāṃ na bhavanti rogāḥ
01,000.000*0016_01     sarasvatīpadaṃ vande śriyaḥ patim umāpatim
01,000.000*0016_02     tviṣāṃ patiṃ gaṇapatiṃ bṛhaspatimukhān ṛṣīn
01,000.000*0017_01     nārāyaṇaṃ suraguruṃ jagadekanāthaṃ
01,000.000*0017_02     bhaktapriyaṃ sakalalokanamaskṛtaṃ ca
01,000.000*0017_03     traiguṇyavarjitam ajaṃ vibhum ādyam īśaṃ
01,000.000*0017_04     vande bhavaghnam asurāsurasiddhavandyam

  • Hmm, I've never heard of this preamble before. Some of these verses are used in the preamble that'a traditionally used before reciting the Vishnu Sahasranamam. In any case, Dhyana Shlokas isn't the right term for these verses (except perhaps for verse 9). A Dhyana Shloka is a verse that describes what the Devata (deity) of a prayer looks like, so that you can meditate upon his appearance. You can call these verse invocatory verses, but not Dhyana Shlokas. – Keshav Srinivasan Aug 25 '16 at 22:16
  • pg. no. 58 of dvaipayana.net/books/ppssastri-mbh/ppssastri-adiparva-part1.pdf calls some of these dhyana shlokas. – sv. Oct 14 '16 at 18:38
  • Yeah, some of them are Dhyana Shlokas, like verse 9. By the way, verse 10 is from the Hayagriva Stotram, a hymn to Hayagriva composed by Vedanta Desikan, a Sri Vaishnava Acharya who lived in the 13th century. So that indicates that this opening is of fairly recent origin. – Keshav Srinivasan Oct 14 '16 at 19:53
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mahabharata-resources.org calls them benedictory verses and they are translated by Satya Chaitanya. These verses are not present in the critical edition of Mahabharata.

These verses in Sanskrit are taken from here and the English translation is from here as below.

jayati parāśarasūnuḥ satyavatīhṛdayanandano vyāsaḥ
yasyāsyakamalakośe vāṅmayam amṛtaṃ pibati lokaḥ

1. Victory to Vyasa, son of Parashara, delighter of the heart of Satyavati, from the flower-cup of whose lotus face the world drinks the nectar of words.

dharmadr.d.habaddhamūlo vedaskandhah. purān.aśākhād.hyah
kratukusumo moks.aphalo jayati kalpadrumo vis.n.uh

2. Victory to Vishnu, the wish-fulfilling tree, with dharma for its strong, binding roots, the Vedas for its trunk, the puranas for its branches, the sacrifices for its flowers, and salvation as its fruit.

pitāmahādyaṃ pravadanti ṣaṣṭhaṃ; maharṣim akṣayyavibhūtiyuktam
nārāyaṇasyāṃśajam ekaputraṃ; dvaipāyanaṃ vedanidhiṃ namāmi

3. I salute Dwaipayana [Vyasa], the treasure house of the Vedas, who is said to be the sixth down from the Creator, the great sage endowed with undecaying glories, the one-son born of a part of Narayana.

pārāśaryavacassarojam amalaṃ gītārthagandhotkaṭaṃ
nānākhyānakakesaraṃ harikathāsaṃbodhanābodhitam
loke sajjanaṣaṭpadair aharahaḥ pepīyamānaṃ mudā
bhūyād bhāratapaṅkajaṃ kalimalapradhvaṃsi naḥ śreyase

4. May the pure lotus of the Mahabharata, born in the lake of the words of Vyasa, intensely sweet with the fragrance of the meaning of the Gita, with the several stories as its stamens, which has been told to enlighten us about the story of the lord, the destroyer of the dirt of the Kali age, drunk joyously by the bees of good men in the world, bestow good on us.

yaḥ śvetatvam upāgataḥ kṛtayuge tretāyuge raktatāṃ
yugme yaḥ kapilaḥ kalau ca bhagavān kṛṣṇatvam āyāga
. . . . . . . danti munayo yo yogibhir gīyate
sa brahmā yadi vā haro yadi śivo yaḥ ko 'pi tasmai namaḥ

5. [Incomplete verse. Not translated.]

I didn't find any translation of the above verse. But my understanding of Sanskrit says that this verse is talking about the color of Lord in all yugas and oneness of the Trinity.

vāgīśādyāḥ sumanasaḥ sarvārthānām upakrame
yam˙ natvā kṛtakṛtyāḥ syus taṃ namāmi gajānanam

6. Salutations to the elephant-faced god bowing down to whom cheerfully before all beginnings, the gods beginning Brahma, the lord of the word, consider themselves blessed.

vyāsaṃ vasiṣṭhanaptāraṃ śakteḥ pautram akalmaṣam
parāśarātmajaṃ vande śukatātaṃ taponidhim

7. I salute that treasure-house of austerities, Vyasa, the great grandson of Vasishtha, the sinless grandson of Shakti, the son of Parashara.

acaturvadano brahmā dvibāhur aparo harih
abhālalocanaḥ śambhur bhagavān bādarāyaṇaḥ

8. Bhagavan Badarayana [Vyasa] is indeed Brahma minus his four faces a second Vishnu with only two arms, and Shiva minus his third eye.

śuklāmbaradharaṃ devaṃ śaśivarṇaṃ caturbhujam
prasannavadanaṃ dhyāyet sarvavighnopaśāntaye

9. Salute the Lord dressed in pure white clothes, the moon-hued one with four hands and the cheerful face, for the cessation of all obstacles.

jñānānandamayaṃ devaṃ nirmalaṃ sphaṭikākṛtim
ādhāraṃ sarvavidyānāṃ hayagrīvam upāsmahe

10. I worship Lord Hayagriva, whose nature is knowledge and bliss, who is faultless and in the form of a crystal, and who is the basis of all knowledge.

vyāsāya viṣṇurūpāya vyāsarūpāya viṣṇave
namo vai brahmanidhaye vāsiṣṭhāya namo namaḥ

11. Salutations to Vyasa who is none other than Vishnu! Salutations to Vishnu in the form of Vyasa! Salutations to the treasure house of spiritual wisdom! Salutations again and again to the sage born in the line of Vasishtha!

namo dharmāya mahate namaḥ kṛṣṇāya vedhase
brāhmaṇebhyo namaskṛtvā dharmān vakṣyāmi śāśvatān

12. Salutations to the great Dharma! Salutations to the wise Krishna! Having saluted the brahmanas, I shall now speak of the eternal dharmas.

abhraśyāmaḥ piṅgajaṭābaddhakalāpaḥ
prāṃśur daṇḍī kṛṣṇamṛgatvakparidhānaḥ
sākṣāl lokān pāvayamānaḥ kavimukhyaḥ
pārāśaryaḥ parvasu rūpaṃ vivṛṇotu

13. Dark as the clouds, with terrible looking yellow hair and beard, of short height, with a stick in his hand and wearing the skin of a black antelope, the chief of poets who sanctifies all the worlds – may that son of Parashara reveal his form in all the parvas.

aśubhāni nirācaṣṭe tanoti śubhasaṃtatim
smṛtamātreṇa yaḥ puṃsāṃ brahma tan maṅgalaṃ viduḥ

14. May that Brahman that destroys inauspiciousness and increases auspiciousness in men by its mere remembrance bring good to us.

dharmo vivardhati yudhiṣṭhirakīrtanena
pāpaṃ praṇaśyati vṛkodarakīrtanena
śatrur vinaśyati dhanaṃjayakīrtanena
mādrīsutau kathayatāṃ na bhavanti rogāḥ

15. Dharma multiplies by the ritual repetition of Yudhishthira’s name. Sin is destroyed by the repetition of Bheema’s name. And when Arjuna’s name is remembered, enemies are destroyed. And no disease will come to those who repeat the names of the sons of Madri.

sarasvatīpadaṃ vande śriyaḥ patim umāpatim
tviṣāṃ patiṃ gaṇapatiṃ bṛhaspatimukhān ṛṣīn

16. I bow down before the feet of Saraswati, and before the husband of Shree and of Uma. I bow down before Ganapati, the lord of obstacles, and before all the sages beginning with Brihaspati.

nārāyaṇaṃ suraguruṃ jagadekanāthaṃ
bhaktapriyaṃ sakalalokanamaskṛtaṃ ca
traiguṇyavarjitam ajaṃ vibhum ādyam īśaṃ
vande bhavaghnam asurāsurasiddhavandyam

17. I bow down to Narayana, the greatest of the gods, the one master of the universe, the lover of devotees, revered by the whole world; who is beyond the three gunas, the unborn, the most glorious one, the primal one, the lord of all. I bow down to the destroyer of samsara, the one who is saluted by the devas, the asuras, the siddhas, all.

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    I found the (supposed) full version of verse 5 gretil.sub.uni-goettingen.de/gretil/1_sanskr/2_epic/mbh/… 13,001.000*0002_01 yaḥ śvetatvam upāgataḥ kṛtayuge tretāyuge raktatāṃ 13,001.000*0002_02 yugme yaḥ kapilaḥ kalau sa bhagavān kṛṣṇatvam abhyāgataḥ 13,001.000*0002_03 yaṃ vedāntavido vadanti munayo yo yogibhir gīyate 13,001.000*0002_04 sa brahmā yadi vā haro yadi hariḥ pāyāj jagad durgateḥ I have no idea about the translation though. – Arya May 25 '17 at 10:53
  • @Arya good find – Triyugi Narayan Mani May 25 '17 at 11:20

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