BY: SUN STAFF
Coronation of Yudhishthira
Kurnool, 17th c.
The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa
Translated by Kisari Mohan Ganguli (published between 1883 and 1896)
Jun 04, 2011 CANADA (SUN) Santi Parva, Book 12, Part One - Mokshadharma Parva - Section 353, Part Two.
On the occasion of churning the Ocean for raising the amrita, Vrihaspati of Angiras race sat on the shores of the Ocean for performing the rite of Puruscharana. When he took up a little water for the purpose of the initial achamana, the water seemed to him to be very muddy.
At this Vrihaspati became angry and cursed the Ocean, saying,--Since thou continuest to be so dirty regardless of the fact of my having come to thee for touching thee, since thou hast not become clear and transparent, therefore from this day thou shalt be tainted with fishes and sharks and tortoises and other aquatic animals. From that time, the waters of the ocean have become infested with diverse kinds of sea-animals and monsters. Viswarupa, the son of Tashtri, formerly became the priest of the deities.
He was, on his mother's side, related to the Asuras, for his mother was the daughter of an Asura. While publicly offering unto the deities their shares of sacrificial offerings, he privately offered shares thereof unto the Asuras. The Asuras, with their chief Hiranyakasipu at their head, then repaired to their sister, the mother of Viswarupa, and solicited a boon from her, saying,--The son Viswarupa by Tashtri, otherwise called Trisiras, is now the priest of the deities. While he gives unto the deities their shares of sacrificial offerings publicly, he gives us our shares of the same privately. In consequence of this, the deities are being aggrandised, and we are being weakened. It behoveth thee, therefore, to prevail upon him that he may take up our cause.
Thus addressed by them, the mother of Viswarupa repaired to her son who was then staying in the Nandana woods (of Indra) and said unto him,--How is it, O son, that thou art engaged in aggrandising the cause of thy foes and weakening that of thy maternal uncles? It behoveth thee not to act in this way.--Viswarupa, thus solicited by his mother, thought that he should not disobey her words, and as the consequence of that reflection he went over to the side of Hiranyakasipu, after having paid proper respects to his mother. King Hiranyakasipu, upon the arrival of Trisiras, dismissed his old Hotri, viz., Vasishtha, the son of Brahma, and appointed Trisiras to that office. Incensed at this, Vasishtha cursed Hiranyakasipu, saying,--Since thou dismissest me and appointest another person as thy Hotri, this sacrifice of thine shall not be completed, and some Being the like of whom has not existed before will slay thee!--In consequence of this curse, Hiranyakasipu was slain by Vishnu in the form of a man-lion, Viswarupa, having adopted the side of his maternal relations, employed himself in severe austerities for aggrandising them. Impelled by the desire of causing him to swerve from his vows, Indra despatched to him many beautiful Apsaras. Beholding those celestial nymphs of transcendent beauty, the heart of Viswarupa became agitated.
Within a very short time he became exceedingly attached to them. Understanding that he had become attached to them, the celestial nymphs said unto him one day,--We shall not tarry here any longer. In fact, we shall return to that place whence we came. Unto them that said so, the son of Tashtri replied,--Where will you go? Stay with me. I shall do you good. Hearing him say so, the Apsaras rejoined,--We are celestial nymphs called Apsaras. We chose in days of old the illustrious and boon-giving Indra of great puissance, Viswarupa then said unto them. This very day I shall so ordain that all the deities with Indra at their head shall cease to be. Saying this, Trisiras began to recite mentally certain sacred Mantras of great efficacy. By virtue of those Mantras he began to increase in energy. With one of his mouths he began to drink all the Soma that Brahmanas engaged in Sacrifices poured on their sacred fires with due rites. With a second mouth he began to eat all food (that was offered in sacrifices). With his third mouth he began to drink up the energy of all the deities with Indra at their head. Beholding him swelling with energy in every part of his body that was strengthened by the Soma he was drinking, all the deities, then, with Indra in their company, proceeded to the Grandsire Brahma.
Arrived at his presence, they addressed him and said,--All the Soma that is duly offered in the sacrifices performed everywhere is being drunk by Viswarupa. We no longer obtain our shares. The Asuras are being aggrandised, while we are being weakened. It behoveth thee, therefore, to ordain what is for our good.--After the deities ceased, the Grandsire replied,--The great Rishi Dadhichi of Bhrigu's race is now engaged in performing severe austerities. Go, ye deities, unto him and solicit a boon from him. Do ye so arrange that he may cast off his body. With his bones let a new weapon be created called the Thunderbolt. Thus instructed by the Grandsire, the deities proceeded to that place where the holy Rishi Dadhichi was engaged in his austerities. The deities with Indra at their head addressed the sage, saying,--O holy one, your austerities, we hope, are being well performed and uninterrupted.--Unto them the sage Dadhichi said,--Welcome to all of you. Tell me what I should do for you. I shall certainly do what you will say. They then told him,--It behoveth thee to cast off thy body for benefiting all the worlds. Thus solicited, the sage Dadhichi, who was a great Yogin and who regarded happiness and misery in the same light, without being at all cheerless, concentrated his Soul by his Yoga power and cast off his body. When his Soul left its temporary tenement of clay, Dhatri, taking his bones, created an irresistible weapon called the Thunder-bolt.
With the Thunder-bolt thus made with the bones of a Brahmana, which was impenetrable by other weapons and irresistible and pervaded by the energy of Vishnu, Indra struck Viswarupa the son of Tashtri. Having slain the son of Tashtri thus, Indra severed his head from the body. From the lifeless body, however, of Viswarupa, when it was pressed, the energy that was still residing in it gave birth to a mighty Asura of the name of Vritra. Vritra became the foe of Indra, but Indra slew him also with the Thunder-bolt. In consequence of the sin of Brahmanicide, being thus doubled Indra became overcome with a great fear and as the consequence thereof he had to abandon the sovereignty of heaven. He entered a cool lotus stalk that grew in the Manas lake. In consequence of the Yoga attribute of Anima, he became very minute and entered the fibres of that lotus stalk. When the lord of the three worlds, the husband of Sachi, had thus disappeared from sight through fear of the sin of Brahmanicide, the universe became lordless.
The attributes of Rajas and Tamas assailed the deities. The Mantras uttered by the great Rishis lost all efficacy. Rakshasas appeared everywhere The Vedas were about to disappear. The inhabitants of all the worlds, being destitute of a king, lost their strength and began to fall an easy prey to Rakshasas and other evil Beings. Then the deities and the Rishis, uniting together, made Nahusha, the son of Ayusha, the king of the three worlds and duly crowned him as such. Nahusha had on his forehead full five-hundred luminaries of blazing effulgence, which had the virtue of despoiling every creature of energy. Thus equipt Nahusha continued to rule heaven. The three worlds were restored to their normal condition. The inhabitants of the universe once more became happy and cheerful. Nahusha then said,--Everything that Indra used to enjoy is before me. Only, his spouse Sachi is not by. Having said this, Nahusha proceeded to where Sachi was and, addressing her, said,--O blessed lady, I have become the lord of the deities. Do thou accept me. Unto him Sachi replied, saying--Thou art, by nature, wedded to righteousness of behaviour. Thou belongest, again, to the race of Shoma. It behoveth thee not to assail another person's wife.--Nahusha, thus addressed by her, said,--The position of Indra is now being occupied by me. I deserve to enjoy the dominions and all the precious possessions of Indra.
In desiring to enjoy thee there can be no sin. Thou wert Indra's and, therefore, should be mine. Sachi then said unto him,--I am observing a vow that has not yet been completed. After performing the final ablutions I shall come to thee within a few days. Extracting this promise from Indra's spouse, Nahusha left her presence. Meanwhile Sachi, afflicted with pain and grief, anxious to find her lord and assailed by her fear of Nahusha proceeded to Vrihaspati (the chief priest of the celestials). At the first sight Vrihaspati understood her to be struck with anxiety. He immediately had recourse to Yoga-meditation and learnt that she was intent upon doing what was necessary for restoring her husband to his true position. Vrihaspati then addressed her, saying,--Equipt with penances and the merit that will be thine in consequence of this vow that thou art observing, do thou invoke the boon-giving goddess Upasruti. Invoked by thee, she will appear and show thee where thy husband is dwelling.--While in the observance of that very austere vow, she invoked with the aid of proper Mantras the boon-giving goddess Upasruti. Invoked by Sachi, the goddess presented herself before her and said,--I am here at thy bidding. Invoked by thee I have come. What cherished wish of thine shall I accomplish? Bowing unto her with a bend of the head, Sachi said,--O blessed lady, it behoveth thee to show me where my husband is. Thou art Truth. Thou art Rita. Thus addressed, the goddess Upasruti took her to the lake Manasa. Arrived there, she pointed out to Sachi her lord Indra residing within the fibres of a lotus stalk.
Beholding his spouse pale and emaciated, Indra became exceedingly anxious. And the lord of heaven said unto himself, Alas, great is the sorrow that has overtaken me. I have fallen off from the position that is mine. This my spouse, afflicted with grief on my account, finds out my lost self and comes to me here. Having reflected in this strain, Indra addressed his dear spouse and said,--In what condition art thou now? She answered him,--Nahusha invites me to make me his wife. I have obtained a respite from him, having fixed the time when I am to go to him. Unto her Indra then said, Go and say unto Nahusha that he should come to thee on a vehicle never used before, viz., one unto which some Rishis should be harnessed, and arriving at thine in that state he should wed thee. Indra has many kinds of vehicles that are all beautiful and charming. All these have borne thee. Nahusha, however, should come on such a vehicle that Indra himself had not possessed.
Thus ends Part Three, Section 353, Part Two, of the Santi Parva of the Mokshadharma Parva of of Sri Mahabharata.