“Sauti said, ‘At the very touch by Garuda of great might with his feet,the branch of the tree broke as it was caught by Garuda.
Casting his eyesaround in wonder he saw Valakhilya Rishis hanging therefrom with headsdownwards and engaged in ascetic penances. Reflecting that if that boughfell down, the Rishis would be slain, the mighty one held the elephantand the tortoise still more firmly with his claws. And from fear ofslaying the Rishis and desire of saving them, held that bough in hisbeaks, and rose on his wings. The great Rishis were struck with wonder atthe sight of that act of his which was beyond even the power of the gods,and gave that mighty bird a name. And they said, ‘As this ranger of theskies rises on its wings bearing a heavy burden, let this foremost ofbirds having snakes for his food be called Garuda (bearer of heavyweight).’
“And shaking the mountains by his wings, Garuda leisurely coursed throughthe skies. And as he soared with the elephant and the tortoise (in hisclaws), he beheld various regions underneath. Desiring as he did to savethe Valakhilyas, he saw not a spot whereon to sit. At last he went tothat foremost of mountains called Gandhamadana. There he saw his fatherKasyapa engaged in ascetic devotions. Kasyapa also saw his son, thatranger of the skies, of divine form, possessed of great splendour, andenergy and strength, and endued with the speed of the wind or the mind,huge as a mountain peak, a ready smiter like the curse of a Brahmana,inconceivable, indescribable, frightful to all creatures, possessed ofgreat prowess, terrible, of the splendour of Agni himself, and incapableof being overcome by the deities, Danavas, and invincible Rakshasas,capable of splitting mountain summits and sucking the ocean itself anddestroying the three worlds, fierce, and looking like Yama himself. Theillustrious Kasyapa, seeing him approach and knowing also his motive,spoke unto him these words:
“Kasyapa said, ‘O child, do not commit a rash act, for then thou wouldsthave to suffer pain. The Valakhilyas, supporting themselves by drinkingthe rays of the sun, might, if angry, blast thee.’
“Sauti continued, ‘Kasyapa then propitiated, for the sake of his son, theValakhilyas of exceeding good fortune and whose sins had been destroyedby ascetic penances.’ And Kasyapa said, ‘Ye whose wealth is asceticism,the essay of Garuda is for the good of all creatures. The task is greatthat he is striving to accomplish. It behoveth you to accord him yourpermission.’
“Sauti continued, ‘Those ascetics thus addressed by the illustriousKasyapa, abandoned that bough and went to the sacred mountain of Himavatfor purposes of ascetic penances. After those Rishis had gone away, theson of Vinata, with voice obstructed by the bough in his beaks, asked hisfather Kasyapa saying, ‘O illustrious one, where shall I throw this armof the tree? O illustrious one, indicate to me some region without humanbeings.’ Then Kasyapa spoke of a mountain without human beings with cavesand dales always covered with snow and incapable of approach by ordinarycreatures even in thought. And the great bird bearing that branch, thatelephant, and that tortoise, proceeded with great speed towards thatmountain. The great arm of the tree with which that bird of huge bodyflew away could not be girt round with a cord made of a hundred (cow)hides. Garuda, the lord of birds, then flew away for hundreds of thousandof yojanas within–the shortest time. And going according to thedirections of his father to that mountain almost in a moment, that rangerof the skies let fall the gigantic bough. And it fell with a great noise.And that Prince of mountains shook, struck with the storm raised byGaruda’s wings. And the trees thereon dropped showers of flowers. And thepeaks decked with gems and gold adorning that great mountain itself, wereloosened and tell down on all sides. And the falling bough struck downnumerous trees which, with golden flowers amid dark foliage, shone therelike clouds charged with lightning. And those trees, bright as gold,falling down upon the ground and, dyed with mountain metals, shone as ifthey were bathed in the rays of the sun.
“Then that best of birds, Garuda, perching on the summit of thatmountain, ate both the elephant and the tortoise, rose on his wings withgreat speed from the top of the mountain.
“And various omens began to appear among the gods foreboding fear.Indra’s favourite thunderbolt blazed up in a fright. Meteors with flamesand smoke, loosened from the welkin, shot down during the day. And theweapons of the Vasus, the Rudras, the Adityas, the Sabhyas, the Maruts,and other gods, began to spend their force against one another. Such athing had never happened even during the war between the gods and theAsuras. And the winds blew accompanied with thunder, and meteors fell bythousands. And the sky, though cloudless, roared tremendously. And evenhe who was the god of gods shed showers of blood. And the flowerygarlands on the necks of the gods faded and their prowess suffereddiminution. And terrible masses of clouds dropped thick showers of blood.And the dust raised by the winds darkened the splendour of the verycoronets of the gods. And He of a thousand sacrifices (Indra), with theother gods, perplexed with fear at the sight of those dark forebodingsspoke unto Vrihaspati thus, ‘Why, O worshipful one, have these naturaldisturbances suddenly arisen? No foe do I behold who would oppress us inwar.’ Vrihaspati answered, ‘O chief of the gods, O thou of a thousandsacrifices, it is from thy fault and carelessness, and owing also to theascetic penance of the high-souled great Rishis, the Valakhilyas, thatthe son of Kasyapa and Vinata, a ranger of the skies endued with greatstrength and possessing the capacity of assuming at will any form, isapproaching to take away the Soma. And that bird, foremost among allendued with great strength, is able to rob you of the Soma. Everything ispossible with him; the unachievable he can achieve.’
“Sauti continued, ‘Indra, having heard these words, then spoke unto thosethat guarded the amrita, saying, ‘A bird endued with great strength andenergy has set his heart on taking away the amrita. I warn you beforehandso that he may not succeed in taking it away by force. Vrihaspati hastold me that his strength is immeasurable.’ And the gods hearing of itwere amazed and took precautions. And they stood surrounding the amritaand Indra also of great prowess, the wielder of the thunder, stood withthem. And the gods wore curious breastplates of gold, of great value, andset with gems, and bright leathern armour of great toughness. And themighty deities wielded various sharp-edged weapons of terrible shapes,countless in number, emitting, even all of them, sparks of fire withsmoke. And they were also armed with many a discus and iron macefurnished with spikes, and trident, battle-axe, and various kinds ofsharp-pointed missiles and polished swords and maces of terrible form,all befitting their respective bodies. And decked with celestialornaments and resplendent with those bright arms, the gods waited there,their fears allayed. And the gods, of incomparable strength, energy, andsplendour, resolved to protect the amrita. Capable of splitting the townsof the Asuras, all displayed themselves in forms resplendent as the fire.And in consequence of the gods standing there, that (would be)battle-field, owing to hundreds of thousands of maces furnished with ironspikes, shone like another firmament illumined by the rays of the Sun.'”
So ends the thirtieth section in the Astika Parva of the Adi Parva.