dread. And forcibly struck by that thunderbolt,
he was slain and fell down, as falls on the earth
the loosened summit of a hill. And beholding
him slain by the thunderbolt, and lying down huge as
a hill, the chief of the celestials found no peace,
and felt as if scorched by the effulgent appearance
of the dead; for though slain, he had a blazing and
effulgent appearance and looked like one alive.
And, strange to say, though lifeless, his heads seemed
to be alive as they were beheld lying low on the field.
And exceedingly afraid of that lustre, Indra remained
plunged in thought. And at that time, O great
king, bearing an axe on his shoulder, a carpenter
came to the forest and approached the spot where lay
that being. And Indra, the lord of Sachi, who
was afraid, saw the carpenter come there by chance.
And the chastiser of Paka said unto him immediately,
‘Do this my behest. Quickly cut off this
one’s heads.’ The carpenter thereupon
said, ’His shoulders are broad: this axe
will not be able to cut them off. Nor shall I
be able to do what is condemned by righteous persons.’
And Indra said, ’Do not fear, quickly do what
I say. At my command thy axe shall equal the
thunderbolt.’ The carpenter said, ’Whom
am I to take thee to be who hast done this frightful
deed today? This I wish to learn, tell me the
exact truth.’ And Indra said, ’O
carpenter, I am Indra, the chief of the gods.
Let this be known to thee. Do thou act just as
I have told thee. Do not hesitate, O carpenter!
The carpenter said, ’O Indra, how is it that
thou art not ashamed of this thy inhuman act?
How it is that thou hast no dread of the sin of slaying
a Brahmana, after having slain this son of a saint?’
Indra said, ’I shall afterwards perform some
religious ceremony of a rigorous kind to purify myself
from this taint. This was a powerful enemy of
mine whom I have killed with my thunderbolt.
Even now I am uneasy, O carpenter; I, indeed, dread
him even now. Do thou quickly cut off his heads,
I shall bestow my favour upon thee. In sacrifices,
men will give thee the head of the sacrificial beast
as thy share. This is the favour I confer on thee.
Do thou quickly perform what I desire.’
“Salya said, ’Hearing this, the carpenter,
at the request of the great Indra, immediately severed
the heads of the three-headed one with his axe.
And when the heads were cut off, out flew therefrom
a number of birds, viz., partridges, quails and
sparrows. And from the mouth wherewith he used
to recite the Vedas and to drink the Soma-juice, came
out partridges in quick succession. And, O king,
O son of Pandu, from the mouth with which he used
to look at the cardinal points as if absorbing them
all, a number of quails came forth. And from that
mouth of the three-headed being which used to drink
wine, out flew a number of sparrows and hawks.
And the heads having been cut off Indra was freed
from his trepidation, and went to heaven, glad at heart.
And the carpenter also went back to his house.