The Skanda Purana

by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words

This page describes Battle between Vasishtha and Vishvamitra which is chapter 171 of the English translation of the Skanda Purana, the largest of the eighteen Mahapuranas, preserving the ancient Indian society and Hindu traditions in an encyclopedic format, detailling on topics such as dharma (virtous lifestyle), cosmogony (creation of the universe), mythology (itihasa), genealogy (vamsha) etc. This is the one hundred seventy-first chapter of the Tirtha-mahatmya of the Nagara-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 171 - Battle between Vasiṣṭha and Viśvāmitra

[Sanskrit text for this chapter is available]

Note: Vide Mahābhārata, Ādi ch. 174.

Sūta said:

1-4. In the meantime, the great sage Viśvāmitra came to know that the Śakti had become futile and hence was very angry thereby.

He then discharged Brahmāstra for killing him after invoking the requisite Mantras. Even when it was only combined (with the Ṃantra) its sound was very loud. Then a great number of meteors started to fall down from the sky. Various weapons like Kuntas, Śaktis, Tomaras, Parighas, Bhindipālas, clubs, swords, axes, arrows, spears and Śataghnīs came down in hundreds and thousands.

5-7. Vasiṣṭha came to know that the Brahmāstra was discharged by the son of Gādhi to bring about his death. So he remained pure and clean, took an Iṣīkā reed and charged it with the power of Brahmāstra. Then he told Gādhi’s son, “May it be well unto you. Let this missile be hit at sides at my instance without doubt.” Then Vasiṣṭha struck down the Brahmāstra discharged by him.

8-9. Then Vajrāstra was discharged by Viśvāmitra and it was destroyed by another Vajrāstra (by Vasiṣṭha). Thanks to the power of his Mantras, Vasiṣṭha struck down every missile that the furious Viśvāmitra discharged. In the meantime, the ocean became agitated.

10. Peaks of mountains crumbled down. There was a tremendous shower of blood. Signs like those at the time of Pralaya (ultimate dissolution) were seen cropping up all over the earth. Devas wondered, “Why should there be an untimely Pralaya?”

11. All the Devas including Vāsava went to Pitāmaha and told him that the signs of Pralaya had been seen on the earth.

12-14. Thereupon, Brahmā meditated for some time and said to the Heaven-dwellers: “A fight between Viśvāmitra and Vasiṣṭha has ensued. O Devas, they are fighting with divine weapons. Hence, the entire universe is in throes (of this agitation). So we shall go there before all the living beings are destroyed due to the power of the divine missiles.”

15. He then went to that place where the excellent sages Viśvāmitra and Vasiṣṭha were fighting with each other.

16. Brahmā spoke to them in gentle and sweet tones: “May this fight with divine missiles be withdrawn lest there should be a wide-spread Pralaya on the entire earth.”

Vasiṣṭha said:

17. O Lord, I am not employing the missiles with a desire to kill Viśvāmitra. As a means of self-defence I am subduing his missiles by means of counter-missiles.

18. This ruthless fellow discharges the missiles solely with the intention of killing me. O Brahmā, restrain him now.

Brahmā said:

19-20. O Viśvāmitra, O most excellent one among the sages, protect (keep off from) Vasiṣṭha, the excellent Brāhmaṇa at my instance. So save the entire universe. O Brāhmaṇa-sage, quickly stop discharging the missiles.

Viśvāmitra said:

21. O Prapitāmaha, he does not at all call (recognize) me a Brāhmaṇa. Hence my anger has been provoked with the intention of killing him.

22. Hence, O Lord of Devas, let him presently call me a Brāhmaṇa, upon which I shall withdraw the missile aimed at him.

Brahmā said:

23. O Vasiṣṭha, it is my behest that you now call Viśvāmitra a Brāhmaṇa. Thereby your life can be saved.

Vasiṣṭha said:

24. O Lotus-born One, I shall never call by the name Brāhmaṇa, someone begotten by a Kṣatriya. He, born of a Kṣatriya, is incapable to kill me at all.

25. The Brāhmaṇical radiance will not get destroyed through the Kṣatriya refulgence. Fully comprehending thus, O Fourfaced One, do what is befitting.

Brahmā said:

26. O Viśvāmitra, O most excellent one among the twice-borns, proceed ahead with your fight with Vasiṣṭha eschewing the use of divine missiles. Or I may have to curse you.

Viśvāmitra said:

27. Even after stopping the divine missiles, this evil-intentioned fellow can be done away with by attacking some vulnerable point. You may go to your abode.

Sūta said:

28. “Of course”, said Vidhi (Brahmā) and went to Brahmaloka. Viśvāmitra and Vasiṣṭha stayed behind on the banks of Sarasvatī.

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