The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 2,886 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3.

“Yudhishthira said, ’How great was the love of virtue possessed by Vritra of immeasurable energy, whose knowledge was incomparable and whose devotion to Vishnu was so great.  The status occupied by Vishnu of immeasurable energy is exceedingly difficult of apprehension.  How, O tiger among kings, could Vritra (who was an Asura) comprehended it (so well)?  Thou hast spoken of Vritra’s acts.  I too have listened to thee in full faith.  In consequence, however, of my seeing that one point (in thy discourse) is unintelligible (and that, therefore, it requires explanation), my curiosity has been roused for questioning thee again.[1387] How, indeed, was Vritra, who was virtuous, devoted to Vishnu, endued with knowledge of truth derivable from a just comprehension of the Upanishads and Vedanta, vanquished by Indra, O foremost of men?  O chief of the Bharatas, resolve me this doubt.  Indeed, tell me, O tiger among kings, how Vritra was vanquished by Sakra![1388] O grandsire, O thou of mighty arms, tell me in detail how the battle took place (between the chief of the deities and the foremost of Asuras).  My curiosity to hear it is very great.’

Bhishma said, ’In days of yore, Indra, accompanied by the celestial forces, proceeded on his car, and beheld the Asura Vritra stationed before him like a mountain.  He was full five hundred Yojanas in height, O chastiser of foes, and three hundred Yojanas in circumference.  Beholding that form of Vritra, which was incapable of being vanquished by the three worlds united together, the celestial became penetrated with fear and full of anxiety.  Indeed, suddenly seeing that gigantic form of his antagonist, O king, Indra was struck with palsy in the lower extremities.  Then, on the eve of that great battle between the deities and the Asuras, there arose loud shouts from both sides, and drums and other musical instruments began to beat and blow.  Beholding Sakra stationed before him, O thou of Kuru’s race, Vritra felt neither awe nor fear, nor was he disposed to muster all his energies for the fight.[1389] Then the encounter commenced, inspiring the three worlds with terror, between Indra, the chief of the deities, and Vritra of high soul.  The entire welkin was enveloped by the combats of both sides with swords and axes and lances and darts and spears and heavy clubs and rocks of diverse sizes and bows of loud twang and diverse kinds of celestial weapons and fires and burning brands.  All the celestials with Grandsire at their head, and all the highly-blessed Rishis, came to witness the battle, on their foremost of cars; and the Siddhas also, O bull of Bharata’s race, and the Gandharvas, with the Apsaras, on their own beautiful and foremost of cars, came there (for the same purpose).  Then Vritra, that foremost of virtuous persons, quickly overwhelmed the welkin and the chief of the deities with a thick shower of rocks.  The celestials, at this, filled with rage, dispelled with their showers of arrows that thick downpour of rocks showered by Vritra in battle.  Then Vritra, O tiger among the Kurus, possessed of mighty strength and endued with large powers of illusion, stupefied the chief of the deities by fighting wholly with the aid of his powers of illusion.  When he of a hundred sacrifices, thus afflicted by Vritra. was overcome by stupefaction, the sage Vasishtha restored him to his senses by uttering Somanas.’[1390]

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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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