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Chapter 24

Mahabharata English - ADI PARVA

“Sauti said, ‘Then hearing of and beholding his own body, that bird ofbeautiful feathers diminished its size.’

“And Garuda said, ‘Let no creature be afraid; as ye are in a fright atthe sight of my terrible form, I shall diminish my energy.’

“Sauti continued, ‘Then that bird capable of going everywhere at will,that ranger of the skies capable of calling to his aid any measure ofenergy, bearing Aruna on his back, wended from his father’s home andarrived at his mother’s side on the other shore of the great ocean. Andhe placed Aruna of great splendour in the eastern regions, just at a timewhen Surya had resolved to burn the worlds with his fierce rays.’

“Saunaka said, ‘When did the revered Surya resolve at the time to burnthe worlds? What wrong was done to him by the gods that provoked hisire?’

“Sauti said, ‘O sinless one, when Rahu was drinking nectar among the godsat the time of the churning of the ocean he was pointed out to the godsby Surya and Soma, and from that time he conceived an enmity towardsthose deities. And upon this Rahu sought to devour his afflictor (Surya),became wroth, and thought, ‘Oh, this enmity of Rahu towards me hathsprung from my desire of benefiting the gods. And this dire consequence Ialone have to sustain. Indeed, at this pass help I obtain not. And beforethe very eyes of the denizens of heaven I am going to be devoured andthey brook it quietly. Therefore, for the destruction of the worlds mustI strive.’ And with this resolution he went to the mountains of the west.

“And from that place he began to radiate his heat around for thedestruction of the world. And then the great Rishis, approaching thegods, spake unto them, ‘Lo, in the middle of the night springeth a greatheat striking terror into every heart, and destructive of the threeworlds.’ Then the gods, accompanied by the Rishis, wended to theGrandsire, and said unto him, ‘O what is this great heat today thatcauseth such panic? Surya hath not yet risen, still the destruction (ofthe world) is obvious. O Lord, what will happen when he doth rise?” TheGrandsire replied, ‘Indeed, Surya is prepared to rise today for thedestruction of the world. As soon as he will appear he will burneverything into a heap of ashes. By me, however, hath the remedy beenprovided beforehand. The intelligent son of Kasyapa is known to all bythe name of Aruna. He is huge of body and of great splendour; he shallstay in front of Surya, doing the duty of his charioteer and taking awayall the energy of the former. And this will ensure the welfare of theworlds, of the Rishis, and of the dwellers in heaven.’

“Sauti continued, ‘Aruna, at the behest of the Grandsire, did all that hewas ordered to do. And Surya rose veiled by Aruna’s person. I have toldthee now why Surya was in wrath, and how Aruna, the brother of Garuda,was appointed as his charioteer. Hear next of that other question askedby thee a little while ago.'”

And so ends the twenty-fourth section in the Astika Parva of the AdiParva.

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