Chapter 11

Mahabharata English - ASWAMEDHA PARVA

Vaisampayana said, “When Vyasa of wonderful achievements had concludedhis speech to the king, the highly-puissant son of Vasudeva (Krishna)also addressed him. Knowing the king, the son of Pritha, afflicted inmind, and bereft of his relatives and kinsmen slain in battle, andappearing crest-fallen like the sun darkened eclipse, or fire smotheredby smoke, that prop of the Vrishni race (Krishna), comforting the son ofDharma, essayed to address him thus.”

Vasudeva said, “All crookedness of heart leads to destruction(perdition?) and all rectitude leads to Brahman (spiritual excellence).If this and this only is the aim and object of all true wisdom, then whatcan mental distraction do (to one who understands this)? Thy Karma hasnot yet been annihilated, nor have thy enemies been subjugated, for thoudost not yet know the enemies that are still lurking within thine ownflesh. I shall (therefore) relate to thee truly as I have heard it, thestory of the war of Indra with Vritra as it took place. In ancient timesthe Prithivi (earth), O king, was encompassed by Vritra, and by thisabstraction of earthly matter, the seat of all odour, there arose badodours on all sides, and the Performer of a hundred sacrifices (Indra),being much enraged by this act, hurled his thunderbolt at Vritra. Andbeing deeply wounded by the thunderbolt of mighty Indra, Vritra enteredinto the (waters), and by doing so he destroyed their property. Thewaters being seized by Vritra, their liquid property left them. At thisIndra became highly enraged and again smote him with his thunderbolt. Andhe (Vritra) smitten by the thunderbolt by the most powerful Indra betookhimself to the Jyoti (luminous matter) and abstracted its inherentproperty. The luminous matter being overwhelmed by Vritra and itsproperty, colour and form being thereby lost, the wrathful Indra againhurled his thunderbolt at him. And thus wounded again by Indra ofimmeasurable power, Vritra entered all on a sudden into the Vayu (gaseousmatter). and thereafter made away with its inherent property. And thismatter being overpowered by Vritra and its property, viz., touch beinglost, Indra became again filled with wrath and flung his thunderbolt athim. And wounded therein by the mighty (Indra), he overwhelmed the Akasa(ether), and took away its inherent property, and the Akasa beingoverwhelmed by Vritra, and its property, sound being destroyed, the godof a hundred sacrifices highly incensed, again smote him with histhunderbolt. And thus smitten by the mighty Indra, he suddenly enteredinto his (Sakra’s) body, and took away its essential attributes. Andovertaken by Vritra, he was filled with great illusion. And, O venerablesir, the mightiest of Bharata’s race, we have heard that Vasisthacomforted Indra (when he was thus afflicted) and that the god of ahundred sacrifices slew Vritra in his body by means of his invisiblethunderbolt, and know, O prince, that this religious mystery was recitedby Sakra to the great sages, and they in turn told it to me.”

Chapter 12
Chapter 10
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