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Chapter 101

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

“Lomasa said, ‘Armed with the Vajra then, and supported by celestialsendued with great might, Indra then approached Vritra, who was thenoccupying the entire earth and the heaven. And he was guarded on allsides by huge-bodied Kalakeyas with upraised weapons resembling giganticmountains with towering peaks. And the encounter that took place betweenthe gods and the Danavas lasted for a short while and was, O chief of theBharatas, terrific in the extreme, appalling as it did the three worlds.And loud was the clash of swords and scimitars upraised and warded off byheroic hands in course of those fierce encounters. And heads (severedfrom trunks) began to roll from the firmament to the earth like fruits ofthe palmyra palm falling upon the ground, loosened from their stalks. Andthe Kalakeyas armed with iron-mounted bludgeons and cased in golden mailran against the gods, like moving mountains on conflagration. And thegods, unable to stand the shock of that impetuous and proudly advancinghost, broke and fled from fear. Purandara of a thousand eyes, beholdingthe gods flying in fear and Vritra growing in boldness, became deeplydejected. And the foremost of gods Purandara, himself, agitated with thefear of the Kalakeyas, without losing a moment, sought the exaltedNarayana’s refuge. And the eternal Vishnu beholding Indra so depressedenhanced his might by imparting unto him a portion of his own energy. Andwhen the celestials beheld that Sakra was thus protected by Vishnu, eachof them imparted unto him his own energy. And the spotless Brahmarshisalso imparted their energies unto the chief of the celestials. Andfavoured thus by Vishnu and all the gods and by the high-blessed Rishisalso, Sakra became mightier than before. And when Vritra learnt that thechief of the celestials had been filled with might of others, he sentforth some terrific roars. And at these roars of his, the earth, thedirections, the firmament, heaven, and the mountains all began totremble. And the chief of the celestials, deeply agitated on hearing thatfierce and loud roar, was filled with fear, and desiring to slay theAsura soon, hurled, O king, the mighty Vajra. And struck with Indra’sVajra the great Asura decked in gold and garlands fell head-long, likethe great mountain Mandara hurled of yore from Vishnu’s hands; andalthough the prince of Daityas was slain, yet Sakra in panic ran from thefield, desiring to take shelter in a lake, thinking that the Vajra itselfhad not been hurled from his hands and regarding that Vritra himself wasstill alive. The celestials, however, and the great Rishis became filledwith joy, and all of them began to cheerfully chant the praise of Indra.And mustering together, the celestials began to slay the Danavas, whowere dejected at the death of their leader. And struck with panic atsight of the assembled celestial host, the afflicted Danavas fled to thedepths of the sea. And having entered the fathomless deep, teeming withfishes and crocodiles, the Danavas assembled together and began toproudly conspire for the destruction of the three worlds. And someamongst them that were wise in inferences suggested courses of action,each according to his judgment. In course of time, however, the dreadfulresolution arrived at those conspiring sons of Diti, was that theyshould, first of all, compass the destruction of all persons possessed ofknowledge and ascetic virtue. The worlds are all supported by asceticism.Therefore, they said, ‘Lose no time for the destruction of asceticism.Compass ye without delay the destruction of those on earth that arepossessed of ascetic virtues, that are conversant with duties and theways of morality, and that have a knowledge of Brahma; for when these aredestroyed, the universe itself will be destroyed.’ And all the Danavas,having arrived at this resolution for the destruction of the universe,became highly glad. And thenceforth they made the ocean–that abode ofVaruna–with billows high as hills, their fort, from which to make theirsallies.”

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