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Chapter 124

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

“Lomasa said, ‘Now the news came to Saryati that Chyavana had been turnedinto a youth. And well pleased he came, accompanied by his troops, to thehermitage of the son of Bhrigu. And he saw Chyavana and Sukanya, like twochildren sprung from celestials, and his joy and that of his wife were asgreat as if the king had conquered the entire world. And the ruler ofearth together with his wife was received honourably by that saint. Andthe king seated himself near the ascetic, and entered into a delightfulconversation of an auspicious kind. Then, O king, the son of Bhrigu spaketo the king these words of a soothing nature: ‘I shall, O king, officiateat a religious ceremony to be performed by thee: let the requisitearticles, therefore, be procured.’ Thereat, that protector of earthSaryati, experienced the very height of joy, and O great king, heexpressed his approbation of the proposal made by Chyavana. And on anauspicious day, suitable for the commencement of a sacrificial ceremony,Saryati ordered the erection of a sacrificial shrine of an excellentdescription and splendidly furnished with all desirable things. ThereChyavana, the son of Bhrigu, officiated for the king as his priest. Nowlisten to me relating the wonderful events which happened at that spot.Chyavana took up a quantity of the Soma juice, in order that he mightoffer the same to the Aswins, who were physicians to the celestials. Andwhile the saint was taking up the intended offering for those celestialtwins, Indra pronounced his interdiction, saying, These Aswins both ofthem in my opinion have no right to receive an offering of the Somajuice.’ They are the physicians of the celestials in heaven,–thisvocation of theirs hath disentitled them (in the matter of Soma).Thereupon Chyavana said, ‘These two are of mighty enterprise, possessedof mighty souls, and uncommonly endued with beauty and grace. And they, OIndra, have converted me into an eternally youthful person, even likeunto a celestial. Why shouldst thou and the other celestials have a rightto the distilled Soma juice, and not they? O lord of the celestials, Odemolisher of hostile towns! be it known to thee that the Aswins alsorank as gods.’ At this, Indra spake saying, These two practise thehealing art,–so they are but servants. And assuming forms at theirpleasure they roam about in the world of mortal beings. How can they thenrightfully claim the juice of the Soma?

“Lomasa said, ‘When these very identical words were spoken again andagain by the lord of celestials, the son of Bhrigu, setting Indra atnaught, took up the offering he had intended to make. And as he was aboutto take up an excellent portion of the Soma juice with the object ofoffering it to the two Aswins, the destroyer of the demon Vala (Indra)observed his act, and thus spoke unto him, ‘If thou take up the Soma witha view to offering it to those celestials, I shall hurl at thee mythunderbolt of awful form, which is superior to all the weapons thatexist.’ Thus addressed by Indra, the son of Bhrigu, cast at Indra asmiling glance, and took up in due form a goodly quantity of the Somajuice, to make an offering to the Aswins. Then Sachi’s lord hurled at himthe thunderbolt of awful form. And as he was about to launch it, his armwas paralysed by Bhrigu’s son. And having paralysed his arm, Chyavanarecited sacred hymns, and made offering on the fire. His object gained,he now attempted to destroy that celestial. Then by the virtue of thatsaint’s ascetic energy, an evil spirit came into being,–a huge demon,Mada by name, of great strength and gigantic proportions. And his bodywas incapable of being measured either by demons or by gods. And hismouth was terrible and of huge size, and with teeth of sharpened edge.And one of his jaws rested on the earth, and the other stretched toheaven. And he had four fangs, each extending as far as one hundredyojanas, and his other fangs were extended to the distance of tenyojanas, and were of a form resembling towers on a palace, and whichmight be likened to the ends of spears. And his two arms were like untohills, and extended ten thousand yojanas, and both were of equal bulk.And his two eyes resembled the sun and the moon; and his face rivalledthe conflagration at the universal dissolution. And he was licking hismouth with his tongue, which, like lightning, knew no rest. And his mouthwas open, and his glance was frightful, and seemed as if he wouldforcibly swallow up the world. The demon rushed at the celestial by whoma hundred sacrifices had been performed. And his intent was to devourthat deity. And the world resounded with the loud and frightful soundsuttered by the Asura.”

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