Yoga Vasistha [English], Volume 1-4

by Vihari-Lala Mitra | 1891 | 1,121,132 words | ISBN-10: 8171101519

The English translation of the Yoga-vasistha: a Hindu philosophical and spiritual text written by sage Valmiki from an Advaita-vedanta perspective. The book contains epic narratives similar to puranas and chronologically precedes the Ramayana. The Yoga-vasistha is believed by some Hindus to answer all the questions that arise in the human mind, an...

Chapter XXXV - Description of the battlefield


vasishtha said:—

Then the waves of horse troops mounting to the sky, made the battlefield appear as a raging sea.

2. The moving umbrellas floated as its foam and froth, and the feathered silvery arrows glided like the finny pearly fishes in it, while the high flight and rush of the cavalry, heaved and dashed as surges of the sea.

3. The rushing of the weapons resembled the running of its currents, and the circles of the soldiers were as vortices of its waters. The elephants were as its islets and their motions resembled the moving rocks in it.

4. The whirling disks were as its eddies, and the flying hairs on the heads likened its floating weeds. The sparkling sands were as its shining waters, and the flash of swords like its glassy spray.

5. The gigantic warriors were its whales and alligators, and the resounding caverns like its gurgling whirlpools.

6. The flying arrows were like its swimming fishes, and the floating flags likened its uprising waves and bores.

7. The shining weapons formed the waters of this ocean and their whirlpools also, while the long lines of forces appeared as the huge and horrible bodies of its whales.

8. Soldiers clad in black iron armour, were as the dark blue waters of the deep, and the headless bodies groveling in dust were as the eddies of the sea, with the encircled equipments as the sea weeds.

9. The showers of arrows had obscured the skies with a mist, and the confused rattlings of the battlefield, were as the roarings of the clouds.

10. The flying and falling heads of the slain soldiers, resembled the large drops of rain, and their bodies were as pieces of wood, whirling in the eddies of the disks.

11. The bold bowyer, bending his strong bow in the form of a curve, and leaping above the ground, resembled the spouting sea, rising from underneath the ground with his heaving waves on high.

12. The unnumbered umbrellas and flags, that were moving up and down in the field, were as the foaming and frothing sea, rolling in waves of blood, and carrying away the beams and timbers of the broken cars in its current.

13. The march of the army resembled the flowing of the sea waters, and the blood spouting from the wounds of the elephants likened its bubbles, while the moving horses and elephants represented the sea animals in their motion.

14. The battlefield had become like the wondrous field of the air, where the furious war, like a tremendous earthquake, shook the hills like moving clouds in the sky.

15. Here the waves were undulating like flights of birds in the air, and the groups of elephants falling aground like rocks, and the cowardly ranks were murmuring like herds of the timorous deer.

16. The field is turned to a forest of arrows, and wounded soldiers are standing fixed on the ground as trees, with the arrows flying as locusts, and the horses moving like antelopes in it.

17. Here the loud drum sounded as the humming of bees in the hollows of trees, and the army appearing as a mist, with the bold warrior sprawling like a lion in it.

18. The dust was rising in clouds and the forces falling as rocks; the huge cars broken down as hills, and the flaming swords shining on all sides.

19. The rise and fall of the foot soldier's feet flitted like the falling flowers on the ground, and the flags and umbrellas o'ertopped it as clouds; it was overflown by streams of blood, and the high-sounding elephants falling as thundering showers of rain.

20. The war was as the last doom of death ready to devour the world, and destroy the flags and banners, the umbrellas and chariots in a confused chaos.

21. The shining weapons were falling like fragments of the refulgent sun, and burning all things as a burning pain inflames the soul and mind.

22. The out-stretched bows were as rainbows, and the falling arrows as showers of rain; the flying sabres resembled the forky lightnings, and their falling fragments like the sparkling hailstones.

23. The dire massacre made a sea of blood, with the hurling stones as its shoals and rocks; while the flying arms resembled the falling stars from heaven.

24. The sky was as a sea full of the whirlpools of the groups of disks and circlets, that were hurled in the air; and there were the burning fires, that performed the funerals of the slain.

25. The missiles were as bolts of thunder, which struck the rock-like elephants dead in the field, to block the passage of men.

26. The earth and sky were obscured by a thick cloud of showering arrows, and the army below was a sea of tempestuous warfare and bloodshed.

27. The destructive weapons were flying on all sides, like huge dragons of the sea, carried aloft by gusts of wind from the stormy main.

28. The flying arms of bolts and swords, disks, pikes and lances, were blazing and breaking one another in the air with such hideous noise, that it seemed to be a second deluge, when the last tornado blew up everything on high scattering them in all directions, and crushing and smashing them with a tremendous peal.

Footnotes and references:


The battle ground is compared firstly with the sky, then with the sea, next with a forest, and lastly with the last dooms-day.