“Sauti continued, ’Indra, having heard these words, then spoke unto those that guarded the amrita, saying, ’A bird endued with great strength and energy has set his heart on taking away the amrita. I warn you beforehand so that he may not succeed in taking it away by force. Vrihaspati has told me that his strength is immeasurable.’ And the gods hearing of it were amazed and took precautions. And they stood surrounding the amrita and Indra also of great prowess, the wielder of the thunder, stood with them. And the gods wore curious breastplates of gold, of great value, and set with gems, and bright leathern armour of great toughness. And the mighty deities wielded various sharp-edged weapons of terrible shapes, countless in number, emitting, even all of them, sparks of fire with smoke. And they were also armed with many a discus and iron mace furnished with spikes, and trident, battle-axe, and various kinds of sharp-pointed missiles and polished swords and maces of terrible form, all befitting their respective bodies. And decked with celestial ornaments and resplendent with those bright arms, the gods waited there, their fears allayed. And the gods, of incomparable strength, energy, and splendour, resolved to protect the amrita. Capable of splitting the towns of 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 iron spikes, shone like another firmament illumined by the rays of the Sun.’”
So ends the thirtieth section in the Astika Parva of the Adi Parva.
(Astika Parva continued)
“Saunaka said, ’O son of Suta, what was Indra’s fault, what his act of carelessness? How was Garuda born in consequence of the ascetic penances of the Valakhilyas? Why also Kasyapa—a Brahman—had the king of birds for a son? Why, too, was he invincible of all creatures and unslayable of all? Why also was that ranger of the skies capable of going into every place at will and of mustering at will any measure of energy? If these are described in the Purana, I should like to hear them.’
“Sauti said, ’What thou askest me is, indeed, the subject of the Purana. O twice-born one, listen as I briefly recite it all.
“Once upon a time, when the lord of creation, Kasyapa, was engaged in a sacrifice from desire of offspring, the Rishis, the gods, and the Gandharvas, all gave him help. And Indra was appointed by Kasyapa to bring the sacrificial fuel; and with him those ascetics the Valakhilyas, and all the other deities. And the lord Indra, taking up according to his own strength, a weight that was mountain-like, brought it without any fatigue. And he saw on the way some Rishis, of bodies of the measure of the thumb, all together carrying one single stalk of a Palasa (Butea frondosa) leaf. And those Rishis