Harivamsha Purana

by Manmatha Nath Dutt | 1897 | 293,872 words | ISBN-10: 8178542188 | ISBN-13: 9788178542188

This page is entitled “account of indra-yajna” and represents Chapter 15 of the second book (‘Vishnu Parva’) of the Harivamsa (English translation in Prose). The Harivamsha Purana narrates the lineage and life-story of Krishna (Hari). Although not officially mentioned in the list of Puranas, this book includes topics such as geology, creation theory, time (manvantaras), ancient historical legends and accounts of royal dynasties.

Chapter 15 - An Account of Indra-yajna

1. Vaishampayana said:—Thus ranging and sporting in the forest Krishna and Baladeva spent the two[1] months of the rainy season.

2. Thereupon returning to Vraja those two heroic brothers heard that arrangements were being made for performing a Yajna in honor of Indra and that the milkmen were busily engaged in merriments.

3. Seeing this, Krishna, filled with curiosity, asked "What is that Sakra sacrifice for which you are all filled with delight?"

4. Amongst them an elderly milk-man replied:—"Hear, why Indra’s flag is worshipped.

5. O subduer of your enemies, Indra, the king of the celestials and the lord of the world, is the master of clouds. For this reason from time immemorial and coming down from one family to another, this festival is being celebrated.

6. Commanded by him and embellished by his bow the clouds produce corns with new showers of rain.

7. Pleased with witnessing this festival the Lord Purandara, the giver of clouds and water, and the partaker of many sacrifices, brings about the gratification of the entire world.

8. We and other men live by the corns produced by him and the celestials are also gratified thereby.

9. Corns grow up when the king of gods sends down showers. And when the earth is gratified with oblations the whole universe appears as if full of ambrosia.

10. Fed by the grass produced by him the kine, with the bulls and calves, have attained to nourishment and easiness.

11. Wherever the cloud, pouring down water, is seen, there is observed neither a piece of ground shorn of grass and corns nor an hungry animal.

12. The nectarine rays, of the sun that are milched by the Lord Sakra, are discharged by the clouds in the form of ambrosia-like showers of rain.

13. The mighty leonine roar, announced by the air, which he emits with force from the clouds, is designated by the people as the muttering of clouds.

14. The terrible sound, that he sends forth when carried by clouds accompanied by the wind, is heard like the clap of a thunder-bolt that shatters the mountains.

15. O my child, as the great Lord Siva is encircled by the goblins, so Indra, surrounded by clouds coursing at will, and stationed in the sky, sends down showers accompanied by the clap of a thunder-bolt.

16-18. Sometimes resembling an unfair day, sometimes resembling scattered gold, sometimes resembling collyrium and sometimes pouring water in drops the clouds paint the sky. Thus extracting water from the earth through the rays of the sun, Indra, the giver of water, sends it down again on earth for the behoof of all creatures.[2]

19. For these reasons O Krishna, this rainy season has been fixed upon as the time for worshipping Indra. The kings and others men with delight worship Indra in the rainy season. We too do so".

Footnotes and references:


In India the year is divided into six seasons of two months each.


This shows that the ancient Hindus were not ignorant of the scientific formation of clouds.

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