Chapter 171

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

“Arjuna continued, ‘Remaining invisible the Daityas began to fight withthe help of illusion. And I too fought with them, resorting to the energyof visible weapons. And the shafts duly discharged from the Gandiva,began to sever their heads at those different places where they wererespectively stationed. And thus assailed by me in the conflict, theNivata-Kavachas, all on a sudden withdrawing the illusion, entered intotheir own city. And when the Daityas had fled, and when all had becomevisible, I there discovered hundreds and thousands of the slain. Andthere I saw by hundreds their shivered weapons, ornaments, limbs, andmail. And the horses could not find room for moving from one place toanother; and on a sudden with a bound, they fell to coursing in the sky.Then remaining invisible, the Nivata-Kavachas covered the entire welkinwith masses of crags. And, O Bharata, other dreadful Danavas, enteringinto the entrails of the earth, took up horses’ legs and chariot-wheels.And as I was fighting, they, hard besetting my horses with rocks,attacked me together with (my) car. And with the crags that had fallenand with others that were falling, the place where I was, seemed to be amountain cavern. And on myself being covered with crags and on the horsesbeing hard pressed, I became sore distressed and this was marked byMatali. And on seeing me afraid, he said unto me, ‘O Arjuna, Arjuna! bethou not afraid; send that weapon, the thunder-bolt, O lord of men.’Hearing those words of his, I then discharged the favourite weapon of theking of the celestials–the dreadful thunderbolt. And inspiring theGandiva with mantras, I, aiming at the locality of the crags, shotsharpened iron shafts of the touch of the thunder-bolt. And sent by thethunder, those adamantine arrows entered into all those illusions andinto the midst of those Nivata-Kavachas. And slaughtered by the vehemenceof the thunder, those Danavas resembling cliffs, fell to the earthtogether in masses. And entering amongst those Danavas that had carriedaway the steeds of the car into the interior of the earth, the shaftssent them into the mansion of Yama. And that quarter was completelycovered with the Nivata-Kavachas that had been killed or baffled,comparable unto cliffs and lying scattered like crags. And then no injuryappeared to have been sustained either by the horses, or by the car, orby Matali, or by me, and this seemed strange. Then, O king, Mataliaddressed me smiling, ‘Not in the celestials themselves, O Arjuna, isseen the prowess that is seen in thee. And when the Danava hosts had beendestroyed, all their females began to bewail in that city, like untocranes in autumn. Then with Matali I entered that city, terrifying withthe rattling of my car the wives of the Nivata-Kavachas. Thereupon,seeing those ten thousand horses like unto peacocks (in hue), and alsothat chariot resembling the sun, the women fled in swarms. And like unto(the sounds of) rocks falling on a mountain, sounds arose of the(falling) ornaments of the terrified dames. (At length), thepanic-stricken wives of the Daityas entered into their respective goldenplaces variegated with innumerable jewels.

‘Beholding that excellent city, superior to the city of the celestialsthemselves, I asked Matali, saying, ‘Why do not the celestials reside insuch (a place)? Surely, this appeareth superior to the city ofPurandara.’ Thereat, Matali said, ‘In days of yore, O Partha, even thiswas the city of our lord of the celestials. Afterwards the celestialswere driven from hence by the Nivata-Kavachas. Having performed the mostrigid austerities, they had gratified the Grand-father and had asked (andobtained) the boons–namely, that they might reside here, and that theymight be free from danger in wars with the gods.’ Then Sakra addressedthe self-create lord saying, ‘Do thou, O lord, desirous of our ownwelfare do what is proper.’ Thereupon, O Bharata, in this matter the Lordcommanded (Indra), saying, ‘O slayer of foes, in another body, even thoushalt be (the destroyer of the Danavas).’ Then, in order to slaughterthem, Sakra rendered unto thee those weapons. The gods had been unable toslay these, who have been slain by thee. O Bharata, in the fullness oftime, hadst thou come hither, in order to destroy them and thou hast doneso. O foremost of men, with the object that the demons might be killed,Mahendra had conferred on thee the excellent prime energy of theseweapons.’

“Arjuna continued, ‘After having destroyed the Danavas, and also subduedthat city, with Matali I again went to that abode of the celestials.'”

Chapter 170
Chapter 172
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